Saturday, 18 October 2008

Credit Crunch - My theory

I have stayed quiet on this issue for some time, because the media has been screaming like a headless chicken for months, and I did not want to add to it. Now the world governments are doing something about getting liquidity moving, I feel it is time to add my two-penneth.

The financial industry (and pretty much every other industry) has had corporate bonus packages based on single-year metrics. These measures are pretty crude - New Business Volume, Payment Income (£) and New Business Profit. In one year, all the exec needs to do is any of these 3 things:

1. Sell more products.
2. Reduce costs.
3. Charge more for services.

Any other (more sustainable) methods of business improvement - like customer engagement, retention strategies and risk mitigation are difficult to measure, costly to implement and the benefits may not be realised over a single year. 

So it is the blinkered obsession with new business acquisition and increasing market share that has led financial institutions in America to overlook the customers ability to pay back their credit (conditions of the market). 

However, before we steam in on the bankers of the world for their lack of sustainability, just take a look at how our society generates energy. In fact, look at every area of society, and you will find a distinct lack of restraint. When we do something, we want to do it more and more until everything is used up, and we don't seem to be able to see it coming in time.

This is nothing new. The pre-historic population of Easter Island wiped themselves out by cutting down all the trees - and therefore removing all their food and energy source.

It is the present curse of mankind that we are unable to gauge growth, sustainability and balance with our environment. What concerns me now is that people will use this recession as an excuse to cut back on our progress towards cutting carbon emissions.

I'm sure I will get emails on this.

It was bound to happen

These 'quick fix' motivational posters have been annoying people for years now. It's nice to see someone striking back.

People have been making obscene amounts of money putting together this kind of bilge. When all people really want is to be listened to, respected and valued.


Thursday, 16 October 2008

Introduction to the Monroe Institute

If you could go anywhere in time and space (and beyond), where would you go? Who would you like to see? What questions would you like to have answered?

The Monroe Institute was founded by Robert Monroe - a sound engineer who started to have involuntary Out of Body Experiences (OBE's), following experiments in sound. 

He later mapped and categorised many altered states of consciousness, and developed tools to access these states. He conducted courses in how to access these states, and founded the Monroe Institute - a nonprofit educational research organisation dedicated to the exploration of human consciousness.

To this day, TMI offers courses in many different aspects of human development. TMI is not a cult, or a religious organisation. They merely provide to tools for you to explore your consciousness, and as a result, live your life more fully.

TMI embody the very best that the west has to offer in spiritual growth and personal discovery. Check them out.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Power - what is it?

There was a stone mason. He watched an army charge past, and said to himself.."It would be so great to be a powerful soldier - charging through the land."
Buddha (it's a buddhist story), heard his cry and suddenly the stonemason was astride a horse. It was fun for a while, then he soon became disillusioned. As he lined up for an inspection, he noticed the Emperor. And he found himself thinking "it's not good being a soldier. You have to take orders all the time. It would be much better if I was the Emperor. He has absolute power over all the kingdom.
Buddha heard the prayer, and suddenly the stonemason was the Emperor. And for a while, he was happy. Then one day, a great storm swept through the city, smashing everything in it's path, and once again, our stonemason was envious... "Oh how great it would be to be the wind - able to smash anything in it's path. No one can stop you."
And suddenly he was the wind. He had a great time, overturning carriages, uprooting trees. Until he ran into a mountain. No matter how hard he blew, he could not move the mountain. And before he could even say it, he became the mountain. 

"Finally, I am powerful," The mountain thought, "Nothing can move me. Not even the Emperor or the strongest winds"..... 
Suddenly he heard a noise. He followed the tap, tap, tapping down to a small stonemason, who was busy cutting away at foot of the mountain

Watch this vid:

One of the most powerful media magnates in the world (not a US citizen) wants the people of America to vote for a man.  And through actions like this, we can all see that he is frightened that the elections are not going his way.  
No matter how big a mountain you become, there will always be stonemasons able to cut you to size. This is a time for stonemasons (common voting people) everywhere to do the right thing. 

People of America, please use your vote wisely. The rest of the world is watching.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

5 ways to cheer you up

We all need a little pick up. Here are a couple of little tricks that work for me:

1.  Wear your favourite clothes
It always cheers me up if I put on my favourite jumper. It feels comfortable and warm. Sometimes all you need to do is dress the part. It's like putting on a costume. If you dress happy, you will feel happier.

2. Cook something nice
In our modern microwave society, everything is super speed. Take your time to bake something nice like cookies, cakes or flapjacks. The whole house permeates with the scent of baking, which always makes things seem more cosy and welcoming. And don't forget to eat them. invite friends to your house, or give them away.

3. De-clutter and tidy up
Sometimes we can feel the weight of all our accumulated junk. Getting rid of all the superfluous stuff like catalogues, paid bills, marketing literature and magazines can really take some weight off your shoulders. Another good place to de-clutter is your car and your wallet or purse. 

4. Move your furniture around
 I know this sounds crazy, but changing the layout of your rooms, moving the furniture can really feel like a fresh start.

5. Sing or whistle
One of the funny things about going to China was the amount of spontaneous singing that went on. It was great. And it was a habit that I'm glad to bring back with me to England. Sing something great, something funny (monty python songs are excellent for this!!).

Be happy,


Final word on Acupuncture

I have just finished my 4th acupuncture session, and the doctor had trouble discerning my damaged knee from the healthy one. All the swelling is gone. Full movement has been restored.

Earlier this week I ran up and down 8 flights of stairs at full sprint (I left my wallet in the office), and did not even notice. A few weeks ago, such activity would produce pain after the second flight of stairs. 

The doctor informs me I will only need 3 more sessions. This should hopefully close the door on two years of insistent and aggravating pain in my right knee. Yes, it has cost me quite a lot of money. But if I had done this on the NHS, I would still be waiting for a scan or physiotherapist, and in the meantime, my GP would have told me to stop teaching taijiquan. 

I can not say any more than for me Traditional Chinese medicine works. It may not be for everyone, and it may not cure everything. But in this instance, I have been delighted with the results.