In a world in which people are stressed to the max, feel overwhelmed, and are caught up living a High Density Lifestyle existence; and in a world in which things seem topsy-turvy and what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong, voices of sanity are desperately needed.
That’s why we need people who live a Low Density Lifestyle to speak out and to be bold with their vision, because they are the voices of sanity, and the voices to lead us out of the wilderness.
And that’s why I’ve had this series on What Would a Low Density Lifestyle World Look Like? - to inspire the Low Density Lifestyle folks to help point the finger to the way to live a sane existence.
In the above video, you can see the actor Woody Harrelson’s poem Thoughts From Within set to music and images. In the poem he speaks simply, clearly and eloquently to help us understand how we’ve lost our way.
Woody is giving a Low Density Lifestyle perspective to a High Density Lifestyle world. Perspectives like these are voices from the wilderness, voices of clarity. They shine a light to help us see through the darkness of a High Density Lifestyle existence.
Woody Harrelson, best-known as Woody on the TV show Cheers, but also star of many well-known movies, including Indecent Proposal, Wag the Dog, and The Messenger, lives a Low Density Lifestyle. He’s a peace activist, a vegan – in the recent film Zombieland, when the script required him to eat a Twinkie, he replaced it with a vegan-faux Twinkie made from cornmeal – and in October 2009, he was conferred an honorary degree York University for his contributions in the fields of environmental education, sustainability, and activism.
I hope you enjoy the video and it inspires you to become a voice of sanity in a High Density Lifestyle World.
A few days ago, in this series on What Would a Low Density Lifestyle World Look Like?, I stated Be a Leader, Not a Follower.
In that article, I said how a Low Density Lifestyle world would be one of people with vision willing to take bold action, of being leaders not afraid to follow their dream and not afraid to come up with big ideas.
The challenge though is that even when you come up with a big idea or a vision, fear may stop you from moving forward with it. There will be many excuses as to why you can’t do it, and then fear will paralyze you from even coming close to implementing it.
The mind will often play tricks on you, and come up with all kinds of convoluted reasons for why you can’t do something, using all kinds of twisted logic to keep you from realizing your greatness.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of getting past your comfort zone. It can be very uncomfortable stepping outside of what is known in order to go into uncharted territory. It’s often easier to make excuses as to why you can’t do something, as opposed to just doing something, especially something bold.
So watch the video above featuring athlete Matt Scott. I guarantee that you will be inspired to get out of your chair, put the excuses aside, and take bold action.
I continue on with this series, in which I pose the question, What would a Low Density Lifestyle world look like?
When you live a Low Density Lifestyle, you are capable of thinking more creatively and coming up with new and progressive ideas, because your mind becomes open to the infinite creative pulse of the Zero-Point Field.
For those living a Low Density Lifestyle, if you believe in your idea and your vision with all your heart, it will prevail. The British politician Tony Benn put it well when he said, “It’s the same each time with progress. First they ignore you, then they say you’re mad, then dangerous, then there’s a pause and then you can’t find anyone who disagrees with you.”
And Warren Bennis, the best-selling author, organizational consultant and founder of The Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California, said, “Innovation— any new idea—by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeated attempts, endless demonstrations, monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires courageous patience.”
A Low Density Lifestyle person thinks for themselves and does not do what the crowd does. They go to the beat of their own drummer, and are not swayed by mass psychology and groupthink.
In the above video, you will see a prime example of this. A man is dancing at a music festival all by himself, and people just look at him like he’s nuts. But he doesn’t care, because he’s happy and having a great time being free.
But it all started with one person. The leader.
And that could be you.
“Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
I posed the question, What Would a Low Density Lifestyle World Look Like? in yesterday’s introductory article in this series.
And I answered that it would be quite the awesome world – it would be a world of peace and of many great things, and a world filled with bold thinking visionaries who put their positive visions into action.
In today’s article, I want to focus on someone who has worked tirelessly for peace, for the cultivation of the imagination, and for the integration of the two, originally with her husband John Lennon, and then by herself. That person is Yoko Ono.
John of course, wrote the anthem for imagining peace, with his song Imagine. That song is featured in the video above.
Yoko Ono has, since John’s untimely passing, continued on in the same vein, with many varied activities, doing many things to encourage people to imagine peace, and imagine a more peaceful world.
***This past summer, in collaboration with the Youngstown, Ohio State University Museum of Art, a billboard of hers was put up in downtown Youngstown. The billboard says quite simply enough, “Imagine Peace.”
***In April of this year, in Montreal, the Montreal Transit Corp. began broadcasting a 17-second message of peace and love from Yoko Ono on its public address system throughout the métro network.
“Bonjour Montréal, ici Yoko Ono!” it begins.
The rest of the message, in English, said, “Hi. This is Yoko! It’s time for action, and action is peace. Think peace; act peace; spread Peace and tell your friends to IMAGINE PEACE I love you!”
***On October 9, 2007, Yoko dedicated a new memorial called the Imagine Peace Tower located on the island of Vioey, 1 km outside the Skarfabakki harbor in Reykjavik, Iceland. Each year, between October 9 and December 8, it projects a vertical beam of light high into the sky.
It consists of a tall “tower of light,” projected from a white stone monument that has the words “Imagine Peace” carved into it in 24 languages. The Tower consists of 15 searchlights with prisms that act as mirrors, reflecting the column of light vertically into the sky from a 10-metre wide wishing well.
It often reaches cloudbase and can be seen penetrating the cloud cover. On a clear night it appears to reach an altitude of at least 4000m. The power for the lights is provided by Iceland’s unique geo-thermal energy grid.
Buried underneath the light tower are upward of 500,000 written wishes that Yoko Ono gathered over the years in another project, called “Wish Trees.” She plans to have the tower lit every year from October 9, John Lennon’s birthday, through December 8, the date he died. Iceland was selected for the project because of its beauty and its eco-friendly use of geothermal energy.
In case you’re interested, you can see a live view of the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, courtesy of the Imagine Peace Tower MegaPixel Cam.
***Yoko Ono’s most recent action was a Thanksgiving message she sent out on Nov. 25, 2009. It is:
THE AFFIRMATION FOR PLANET PEACE
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Our planet is healthy and whole.
Every part of the planet is revitalized and healed.
We, the people of Earth
See clearly, Hear clearly, Think clearly.
Express and communicate our thoughts clearly,
Spiritually, mentally, and physically
For the benefit of ours and other planets.
We make the right judgement, right decision, right move
At the right time
At the right place
For ourselves and others.
We are now bathing in the light of Dawn
Standing in the Heaven we have created on Earth.
Sharing the Age of Joy
With all Lives in the Universe,
United with infinite and eternal love.
For the highest good of all concerned, So be it.
I love you!
You can read more about Yoko Ono and her work at her website, Imagine Peace.
I will be exploring the question, What Would a Low Density Lifestyle World Look Like?
What I mean by this is, What kind of a world would we live in if a majority of people, or at least a solid minority of people, were folks who lived a Low Density Lifestyle?
These would be people who were light of body and mind, who understood and embodied the concept of flow, who understood how to relax and not let stress overwhelm them, and who were passionate about what they do in life.
They would also be people who lived by the 12 step guide to living a Low Density Lifestyle, meaning they:
***Eat a healthy, whole foods oriented diet.
***Understand how to take care of their health, and are proactive in doing so.
***Are active and move, especially in ways that accentuate flow.
***Are mindful of their actions and reactions, meaning they are fully aware of how they interact with others.
***Carry themselves with integrity, and maintain their authentic nature.
***Do their utmost to keep a positive attitude about life, and make
sure their emotional well-being is tended to.
***Have an abundance mindset, as opposed to a scarcity one. In other
words, they know there is enough to go around and they willingly share, as
opposed to believing that it’s every person for themselves and you have to
get yours before someone takes it from you.
***Have a great sense of humor, don’t take themselves too seriously, and
***Are creative people, and are capable of using their creative intelligence
and can easily think outside the box. Where problems might bog others
down, they can come up with creative solutions.
***The work they do is something that they love and feel passionate
***Feel a strong connection to the spiritual dimension of life.
So what kind of world would it be if it was a Low Density Lifestyle world? It would be a tremendous and magnificent one!
It would be a world of peace; a world of a sane health care system; a world where people helped one another without thinking, what’s in it for me; a world where people lived their dream and answered to their calling; a world where people could overcome their fears and take bold action; a world where people didn’t let things impede them from finding what it is that they loved to do; and a world of forward-thinking visionaries.
In other words, it would be one amazing and mighty world.
So I invite you to take a trip with me over the next few weeks and dream along with me of what this type of world would look like.
It will be fun, it will exhilarating, and it will be inspiring: so over the next few weeks put it on your radar, and we’ll all take this ride together.
And who knows: when this series is over and we all have a good feel for what a Low Density Lifestyle world would look like, we can all then resolve to make it happen.
And happen soon.
His books include The Magic of Findhorn, The Next Economy, The Ecology of Commerce, and Blessed Unrest.
His work includes starting and running ecological businesses, such as the tool company Smith and Hawken, writing and teaching about the impact of commerce upon the environment, and consulting with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy.
He life is dedicated to changing the relationship between business and the environment, and between human and living systems in order to create a more just and sustainable world.
Among other things, he is also someone who lives a Low Density Lifestyle.
On May 3, 2009, Paul Hawken gave the commencement address at the University of Portland. Like the commencement speech of Steve Jobs that I published not too long ago, Hawken’s speech was an inspirational talk designed to encourage the audience not only to do what they love, but to have it be something that could make a positive impact on the world.
To close the series on Doing What You Love, I give you Paul Hawken’s speech in its entirety:
Commencement Address to the Class of 2009
University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009
When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” No pressure there.
Let’s begin with the startling part. Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation… but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement. Basically, civilization needs a new operating system, you are the programmers, and we need it within a few decades.
This planet came with a set of instructions, but we seem to have misplaced them. Important rules like don’t poison the water, soil, or air, don’t let the earth get overcrowded, and don’t touch the thermostat have been broken. Buckminster Fuller said that spaceship earth was so ingeniously designed that no one has a clue that we are on one, flying through the universe at a million miles per hour, with no need for seatbelts, lots of room in coach, and really good food—but all that is changing.
There is invisible writing on the back of the diploma you will receive, and in case you didn’t bring lemon juice to decode it, I can tell you what it says: You are Brilliant, and the Earth is Hiring. The earth couldn’t afford to send recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done.
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. The poet Adrienne Rich wrote, “So much has been destroyed I have cast my lot with those who, age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.” There could be no better description. Humanity is coalescing. It is reconstituting the world, and the action is taking place in schoolrooms, farms, jungles, villages, campuses, companies, refuge camps, deserts, fisheries, and slums.
You join a multitude of caring people. No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. Rather than control, it seeks connection. Rather than dominance, it strives to disperse concentrations of power. Like Mercy Corps, it works behind the scenes and gets the job done. Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement. It provides hope, support, and meaning to billions of people in the world. Its clout resides in idea, not in force. It is made up of teachers, children, peasants, businesspeople, rappers, organic farmers, nuns, artists, government workers, fisherfolk, engineers, students, incorrigible writers, weeping Muslims, concerned mothers, poets, doctors without borders, grieving Christians, street musicians, the President of the United States of America, and as the writer David James Duncan would say, the Creator, the One who loves us all in such a huge way.
There is a rabbinical teaching that says if the world is ending and the Messiah arrives, first plant a tree, and then see if the story is true. Inspiration is not garnered from the litanies of what may befall us; it resides in humanity’s willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider. “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice,” is Mary Oliver’s description of moving away from the profane toward a deep sense of connectedness to the living world.
Millions of people are working on behalf of strangers, even if the evening news is usually about the death of strangers. This kindness of strangers has religious, even mythic origins, and very specific eighteenth-century roots. Abolitionists were the first people to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. Until that time, no group had filed a grievance except on behalf of itself. The founders of this movement were largely unknown — Granville Clark, Thomas Clarkson, Josiah Wedgwood — and their goal was ridiculous on the face of it: at that time three out of four people in the world were enslaved. Enslaving each other was what human beings had done for ages. And the abolitionist movement was greeted with incredulity. Conservative spokesmen ridiculed the abolitionists as liberals, progressives, do-gooders, meddlers, and activists. They were told they would ruin the economy and drive England into poverty. But for the first time in history a group of people organized themselves to help people they would never know, from whom they would never receive direct or indirect benefit. And today tens of millions of
people do this every day. It is called the world of non-profits, civil society, schools, social entrepreneurship, non-governmental organizations, and companies who place social and environmental justice at the top of their strategic goals. The scope and scale of this effort is unparalleled in history.
The living world is not “out there” somewhere, but in your heart. What do we know about life? In the words of biologist Janine Benyus, life creates the conditions that are conducive to life. I can think of no better motto for a future economy. We have tens of thousands of abandoned homes without people and tens of thousands of abandoned people without homes. We have failed bankers advising failed regulators on how to save failed assets. We are the only species on the planet without full employment. Brilliant. We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.
The first living cell came into being nearly 40 million centuries ago, and its direct descendants are in all of our bloodstreams. Literally you are breathing molecules this very second that were inhaled by Moses, Mother Teresa, and Bono. We are vastly interconnected. Our fates are inseparable. We are here because the dream of every cell is to become two cells. And dreams come true. In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe, which is exactly what Charles Darwin foretold when he said science would discover that each living creature was a “little universe, formed of a host of self-propagating organisms, inconceivably minute and as numerous as the stars of heaven.”
So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it, and wonder instead when this speech will end. You can feel it. It is called life. This is who you are. Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules? Hopefully not a political party. Life is creating the conditions that are conducive to life inside you, just as in all of nature. Our innate nature is to create the conditions that are conducive to life. What I want you to imagine is that collectively humanity is evincing a deep innate wisdom in coming together to heal the wounds and insults of the past.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.
This extraordinary time when we are globally aware of each other and the multiple dangers that threaten civilization has never happened, not in a thousand years, not in ten thousand years. Each of us is as complex and beautiful as all the stars in the universe. We have done great things and we have gone way off course in terms of honoring creation. You are graduating to the most amazing, stupefying challenge ever bequested to any generation. The generations before you failed. They didn’t stay up all night. They got distracted and lost sight of the fact that life is a miracle every moment of your existence. Nature beckons you to be on her side. You couldn’t ask for a better boss. The most unrealistic person in the world is the cynic, not the dreamer. Hope only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.
What happens if a company determines that they want to encourage Creative Intelligence and Visionary Thinking in all their employees? What could possibly result from it?
Before I tell you who the company is and some of the results of the creative intelligence of the employees, I just want to say that imagine if all companies cultivated creative intelligence and vision?
And how about schools? Imagine if creative intelligence and visionary thinking was the guiding force behind the education process? (Hint: creative intelligence is not cultivated in the education process and is usually squashed.)
So if all companies—and schools—truly cultivated creative intelligence and vision, all I can say is: Wow! This would be a world of creative thinking visionaries, people who were willing to dream up big ideas and put them into practice.
It would be a world filled with people living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Ok, so now back to about that specific company. You may have heard of them. Their name: Google.
Google allows all employees to spend 20% of their time on whatever endeavors they fancy. They are totally allowed the free rein to do whatever they want with their work time, and to dream up ideas and then to see if they can come to fruition.
And this is why the folks at Google have created a cutting edge company that is never at a loss for new and fascinating ideas. By letting employees truly use their creative intelligence and by encouraging them to live a Low Density Lifestyle, they are a rich resource of original thinking.
How do I know Google encourages employees to live a Low Density Lifeestyle? Google offers a free dining facility for their employees that serves organic whole foods, offers free massage services to their employees and has places on their campus where employees can go to take a nap. These things are part of the 12 steps to attaining a Low Density Lifestyle.
And so, whether you are a technophile or technophobe, it’s worth checking out some of the really cool things Google employees have developed, thanks to the corporate climate of encouraging creative intelligence. It may not be your inclination to think up these kinds of things, but I just wanted to show you the possibility of what can be done, if it is cultivated and encouraged, in order to inspire you:
IGOOGLE: At iGoogle (google.com/ig), you can dress up all that white space with useful miniboxes containing additional info. Hundreds of useful displays are available: a clock, local weather, movie listings, incoming e-mail, news, daily horoscope, to-do list, Twitter updates and whatever-of-the-day (joke, vocabulary word, quotation, Bible verse and so on).
GOOGLE READER: Why spend your time finding and navigating to the Web sites that cover your favorite topics? They can all come to you — all nicely congregated on a single page, called Google Reader (reader.google.com).
You type in a topic, inspect the search results, and click the Subscribe buttons that look interesting. After that, Reader displays the first paragraph from each site or blog; click to read more. Star items to read later, or pass along your favorites to friends.
FLU TRENDS: Google figured out that whenever people get sick, they use Google to search for more information. By collating these searches, Google has created an early-warning system for flu outbreaks in your area, with color-coded graphs. Google says that Flu Trends (google.org/flutrends) has recognized outbreaks two weeks sooner than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has.
GOOGLE MAPS: You probably know this one, but it’s still worth pointing out (maps.google.com). Choose the directions you want: by car, by public transit or on foot. Drag the path line with your mouse around construction sites or down interesting streets. View current traffic conditions. Turn on Street View to see actual photographs of your destination.
GMAIL LABS: Gmail is already the world’s best free Web-based e-mail service, with terrific organization tools and a superb spam blocker. But if you click Settings and then Labs, you find a huge list of on/off switches for cool enhancements.
There’s Text Message in Chat (send text messages to your friends’ cellphones from within Google Chat or Gmail); Offline Mail (work on Gmail when you’re not online); Canned Responses (build a menu of stock answers to your mail); Multiple Inboxes (manages mail by auto-creating multiple mail folders); and Send & Archive (one click sends your reply and removes the original from the list).
TRANSLATOR: Translate any text or Web page to or from 40 languages (translate.google.com). It’s not perfect, but you’ll get the gist of that spam from Russia.
800-GOOG-411: Possibly the best voice-recognition cellphone service in existence. Call the number, say what you’re looking for (“comedy clubs, Chicago” or “Domino’s Pizza, Cleveland”), and Google’s auto-voice reads off the closest eight matches. You can speak the number of the one you want, and he’ll connect your call automatically — no charge. You never know or care what the phone number was; it’s like having a personal secretary.
Or you can say “text message” at any time to have the address and phone number zapped to your cellphone in one second.
GOOGLE SMS: Send a message to GOOGL (46645). In the body of the message, type the sort of information you want: weather report (“weather dallas”), stock quotes (“amzn”), movie showtimes (type “slumdog millionaire 44120”), definitions (“define schadenfreude”), directions (“miami fl to 60609”), unit conversions (“liters in 5 gallons”), currency conversions (“25 usd in euros”), and so on. Five seconds later, Google texts back the details.
GOOGLE SETS: At labs.google.com/sets, type in several items in a series (like “cleveland browns” and “dallas cowboys”); Google fleshes out the list with others like it (all the other football teams). Great when something’s on the tip of your tongue (a kind of fruit, president, car, holiday, currency) but can remember only something like it.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR: You can search all published academic papers at once, at scholar.google.com, for whatever subject you are interested in.
SECRETS OF THE SEARCH BOX: Usually, whatever you type into Google’s Search box is treated as a quest for Web pages. Certain kinds of information, however, get special treatment.
For example, you can type in an equation (like “23*9/3.4+234”); press Enter to see the answer.
Think of Google, too, for conversions. For example, type “83 yards in inches,” “500 euros in dollars,” or “grams in 3.2 pounds”; then press Enter.
The search box can also serve as a dictionary (type “define:ersatz”), package tracker (type your FedEx or U.P.S. tracking number), global Yellow Pages (“phonebook:home depot norwalk ct”), meteorologist (“weather san diego”), flight tracker (“AA 15”), stock ticker (“AAPL” or “MSFT”), and movie-listings (type “movies:10024,” or whatever your ZIP code is).
And there’s more, but that’s all space allows.
That’s one company with mega amounts of Creative Intelligence and Vision.
Come back tomorrow for a final article on Creative Intelligence and Vision. It will be a video that will move and inspire you.
I’ve been talking for a few weeks about Creative Intelligence, and the last few days about Vision and how being a Visionary is something innate we all have brewing within.
So today for some inspiration I would share with you quotes of some noted visionaries of the 20th and 21st centuries. I hope this gets your wheels turning and encourages you to start cultivating and evolving your own vision.
Words of Visionaries
Muhammed Ali: To be able to give away riches is mandatory if you wish to possess them. This is the only way that you will be truly rich.
Winston Churchill: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Albert Einstein: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Anne Frank: Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
Buckminster Fuller: Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.
Mohandas Gandhi: An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Vaclav Havel: Genuine politics—even politics worthy of the name—the only politics I am willing to devote myself to—is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.
Helen Keller: No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
John F. Kennedy: The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.
Robert F. Kennedy: There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
Martin Luther King, Jr.: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. The chain reaction of evil—hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars—must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Dalai Lama: With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.
John Lennon: My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
Nelson Mandela: I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
Rosa Parks: I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
Pablo Picasso: The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Jackie Robinson: A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
Eleanor Roosevelt: Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer: By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world. By practicing reverence for life we become good, deep and alive.
Dr. Benjamin Spock: Happiness is mostly a by-product of doing what makes us feel fulfilled.
Mother Teresa: It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.
Desmond Tutu: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
Kurt Vonnegut: Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn’t mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
Every person takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. – Arthur Schopenhauer
High IQ doesn’t guarantee being a visionary and a leader. It takes a different type of intelligence. It takes using your VQ – your Vision Intelligence.
When you live a Low Density Lifestyle, your Vision Intelligence will naturally be higher.
For most people, having a vision and being a visionary is a learned skill, even though it is innate in everyone. Over the years, the various impediments of life that stop us from using our visionary capabilities and also stop us from freeing our mind and tapping into our genius nature get in the way.
Here is a self-quiz, a VQ test, to see if you are using your visionary abilities. Actually, it’s not so much a quiz as much as a listing of the traits of a visionary. You can make it a quiz by asking yourself if you have each of these traits, and then score each trait that you have on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
There are 10 traits. Score it this way:
60 and under: Your vision hasn’t yet manifested.
61-70: You occasionally are able to see in a visionary way.
71-80: You are starting to become a visionary.
81-90: Your visionary abilities are shining through.
91-99: You are someone who has a strong vision.
100: You are a true visionary.
1. Mindfulness - Do you know who you really are? How much of the time are you present and fully aware?
2. Idealism – Are you an idealist and someone who prefers to live a principled life?
3. The Capacity to Face and Use Adversity – We all make mistakes and we all face adversity. Do you own your mistakes and use adversity and the pain that goes with it to learn?
4. Being Holistic – Do you see the interconnections between everything?
5. Being Open – Are you open to new ideas, to things that are different? Or do you just have a knee-jerk reaction when something comes your way that is not the same-old same-old?
6. Thinking with Head and Heart – Do you integrate critical thinking with what your heart tells you? In other words, do you think with both your head and heart?
7. Courage – Do you have the courage to be independent, to not do what is expedient or what the group wants you to do? Are you willing to stand on your own two feet for what you believe in, and to do the right thing?
8. Asking Questions – Do you take things at face value or do you want to know more, and to get at the heart of the matter, in order to form your own opinion and to think for yourself?
9. Re-Framing Ideas – Do you take things you are presented with and put it into a larger context of meaning, something that has practical value for you and others?
10. Spontaneity – Do you make decisions and react to things based on fear, so that you have an immediate and negative knee-jerk reaction? Or are your responses based on the situation at hand, so that your response is appropriate to the situation?
In Friday’s article, which was Elizabeth Gilbert talking about genius and the creative process, I said that was the end of the series on Creative Intelligence. But as I thought about it over the weekend, I decided I wanted to extend the series a few more days, because I wanted to talk about how Creative Intelligence is so closely related to Vision.
I also have received a lot of positive feedback on this series, so that also made me decide to stretch it out a few more days.
Vision is the ability to see the world in the largest way possible. Living a Low Density Lifestyle is something that will help you develop your visionary capabilities.
You can use vision to to find happiness, love, prosperity, a successful career, fulfilling work or to change the world.
You can vision small or large, and you can make the vision a reality. Many have done it before us, and many will do it after us. And most importantly, many are doing it right now. You have the power to be one of those who are doing it now.
To vision you need to learn to think different (and that should sound familiar, one because it’s the theme Apple Computer uses, and secondly because that’s what Creative Intelligence is about), to add space in between your thoughts, and to let go of your current way of thinking in order to see something new.
In other words, you need to interject a certain amount of dreaminess into your thinking, whether it be daydreaming, gazing into space or applying your night dreams to situations that arise during the day.
I believe John Lennon’s song “Imagine” strikes such a resonant chord because it is a song about the power to vision, and it empowers us to vision the highest calling of humanity — living in a world of peace (which, sad to say, is such an elusive thing — could that be because so few people know how to vision?)
And so, the question is, What is Your Vision?
It might be something you’ve never thought about before, primarily because it is a quality that none of us are encouraged to cultivate. But what and who are we without a vision? If you have a vision, then you have a dream to live by, and it becomes a passion, something that can fire you up and inspire you every waking hour of your life.
And when this occurs, your actions in everyday life will be performed with effortless effort.
So ask yourself, What is My Vision?
Take some time to ponder that question. It’s not a test. Come back to it. And your vision can change and evolve, so what you come up with now may change tomorrow, next week, or next year.
I will continue on with Creative Intelligence and Vision tomorrow.