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Wealth must fulfil two functions.

Growth and inspiration I believe that all of us will be richer if we live each day with the certainty that we will be inspired, that we do not need to forget to look with our eyes and listen with our ears; to understand with our heads and feel with our hearts; to end the day with the surety that we have grown. This growth is not only the domain of artists, philosophers, prophets and gurus. It is fundamental to real leadership. Corporations have a practical as well as a human interest in making things better, because ‘better’ means growth in people within the enterprise, which is a basis of growth in performance and, consequently, in wealth for society. Such growth is a sign that the connection between the producer and the buyer is healthy, and with that comes the joy of achievement. I see no intrinsic conflict between inspiration and wealth creation,...
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Jasmine infusion.

Jasmine   In my window I can see through the jasmine to the blue sky of the Andaluz winter. Yesterday at tea time the sun was hot on the skin. The wind of the previous days has left me with a headache, but today the air is as still as silence itself. The morning light is making patterns on the broad leaves of a creeper whose name I can never remember. That’s what I see. How do I feel about it? Glad, and more than glad. Why do I care? Because it’s just for me, so it’s like a present. Deep breath and blow the air out through the lips, like blowing out a candle. Do this for about 3 minutes. Get the body centred in the chair, the weight of gravity on the feet, backside and hands. Feel my pulse – the beat of the heart. There is no pulse...
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The Scent of a Woman.

scent of a woman When we want to inspire others, the habits of looking, feeling and caring at what we experience will provide the best foundation, because our capacity to inspire depends on our being inspired. The mechanics of inspiring require physical energy, whether our audience be big or small. I call this energy the power of Presence. It means finding and using the combined force of breath, voice, diction and posture to shift our receptors of inspiration to a level where they become its transmitters. By using the power of Presence, looking can become the transmitter Creativity, feeling can become the transmitter Empathy and caring can become the power of Authenticity.  This lesson is often the trickiest one to learn, because the conscious application of Presence means navigating a new awareness of something that has always come naturally, and it feels uncomfortable until it becomes a habit. Nonetheless, it is the key to...
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The harder we work, the luckier we get.

Our se Our senses and our imagination are just two of the ways through which our three receptors of inspiration, Mind, Heart and Soul, work. If we practise using them willingly and regularly, other ways will open up for us. All of them will get stronger over time, and we’ll become adept at exercising them simultaneously and in balance with one another.  The fact that it results from distinct habits makes inspiration more, not less, something to wonder at. It’s said that the harder we work, the luckier we get, and in that equation there is both fact and mystery.  Paul McCartney may have written ‘Yesterday’ in half an hour, but that half hour was fed by his talent, nurtured by years of daily rehearsal and nightly performance in a Hamburg cellar. Picasso at the height of his powers could turn out a great painting in half an hour, but he would...
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Immersion into the knowledge and skills of inspiration can help a corporate person to lead themselves.

It is the purpose of a business to survive It is the purpose of a business to survive, and the received wisdom is that it can only do so by growing. Once a company reaches a certain size, though, its further growth will demand conformity. Its leaders become more a part of the corporate system than of the natural and human systems they were born into. If this is symptomatic of capitalism, as Marx pointed out it was, the living standards we expect in return for its command to grow wealth require most of us to be complicit in this conformity. Yet, and to quote Fromm again, this mode of existence ‘is insufficient to pacify the anxiety of separateness.’  Within the separateness that conformity seems to breed, I have seen how an immersion into the knowledge and skills of inspiration can help a corporate person to lead themselves, and the people they lead, with an effect that they variously...
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