8 Things Every Person Should Do Before 8 A.M.

Benjamin Hardy has nailed what might be every productive person’s perfect morning routine.

 

He states that although life is busy, You are the designer of your destiny. You are responsible.

You get to decide. You must decide — because if you don’t, someone else will. Indecision is a bad decision.

 

Hardy has provided his insights into a short morning routine that has the potential to quickly change your life.

Wake up

Get in the zone

Get moving

Put the right food in your body

Get ready

Get inspired

Get perspective

Do something to move you forward

 

Here is a Readers Digest version of his thoughts…

 

  1. Get A Healthy 7+ Hours of Sleep

Getting a healthy amount of sleep is linked to:

  • Increased memory
  • Longer life
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Decreased fat and increased muscle mass with exercise
  • Lower stress
  • Decreased dependence on stimulants like caffeine
  • Decreased risk of getting into accidents
  • Decreased risk of depression
  • And tons more… google it.

 

  1. Prayer and Meditation to Facilitate Clarity and Abundance

After waking from a healthy and restful sleep session, prayer and meditation are crucial for orienting yourself toward the positive. What you focus on expands… Prayer and meditation facilitate intense gratitude for all that you have. Gratitude is having an abundance mindset. When you think abundantly, the world is your oyster. There is limitless opportunity and possibility for you.

 

  1. Hard Physical Activity

If you want to be among the healthy, happy, and productive people in the world, get in the habit of regular exercise.

 

  1. Consume 30 Grams of Protein

Protein-rich foods keep you full longer than other foods because they take longer to leave the stomach. Also, protein keeps blood-sugar levels steady, which prevents spikes in hunger. So, eat at least 40% of your breakfast calories as protein.

  • Do it with two or three whole eggs (each egg has about 6g protein)
  • If you don’t like eggs, use something like turkey bacon, organic pork bacon or sausage, or cottage cheese
  • Or, you could always do a protein shake with water
  • For people who avoid dairy, meat, and eggs, there are several plant-based proteins. Legumes, greens, nuts, and seeds all are rich in protein.

 

  1. Take A Cold Shower

Cold water immersion radically facilitates physical and mental wellness.When practiced regularly, it provides long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems that improve the quality of your life. It can also increase weight-loss because it boosts your metabolism.

 

  1. Listen to/Read Uplifting Content

Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning. It is common for the world’s most successful people to read at least one book per week. They are constantly learning. Taking even 15–30 minutes every morning to read uplifting and instructive information changes you. It puts you in the zone to perform at your highest.

 

  1. Review Your Life Vision

Your goals should be written down — short term and long term. Taking just a few minutes to read your life vision puts your day into perspective. If you read your long term goals every day you will think about them every day. If you think about them every day, and spend your days working toward them, they’ll manifest.

 

  1. Do At Least One Thing Towards Long-Term Goals

So your mantra becomes: The worst comes first. Do that thing you’ve been needing to do. Then do it again tomorrow. If you take just one step toward you big goals every day, you’ll realize those goals weren’t really far away.

 

By George recommends that you read the whole of this great Benjamin Hardy column – right here:

https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/2280-8-things-every-person-should-do-before-8-a-m

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

A Sunday Retreat with Marcus Aurelius

We all should take time to reflect upon the advice of ancient Roman sage Marcus Aurelius. There is much to learn from his writings Meditations. Of his most important musings is the fact that man’s happiness in, and appreciation for life begins with self knowledge.

 

These particular excerpts from the earlier books of Meditations are a great launching pad in understanding the teachings of this great counsel.

 

       Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou, too, art wont to desire such things very much. But this altogether a mark of the most common sort of man, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest.

 

       This then remains:  Remember to retire into this little territory of thy own, and above all do not distract or strain thyself, but be free, and look at things as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, as a mortal. But among the things readiest to thy hand to which thou shalt turn, let there be these, which are two. One is that things do not touch the soul, for they are external and remain immovable; but our perturbations come only from the opinion which is within. The other is that all things which thou seest change immediately and will no longer be; and constantly bear in mind how many of these changes thou hast already witnessed. The universe is transformation: life is opinion.

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

10 Lessons on Life shared by Billionaires

Forbes Magazine catalogues priceless words of wisdom and Forbes staff Keren Blankfeld has done a very great job in compiling a must-read list of life observations in her piece: Billionaires To Graduates: All-Time Best Advice From Their Commencement Speeches

The following list is the top 10 lessons successful business people have shared in commencement speeches to graduating classes:

 

  1. Life is short.

“As you graduate, can you ask yourselves to live as if you had eleven days left? I don’t mean blow everything off and party all the time— although tonight is an exception. I mean live with the understanding of how precious every single day would be. How precious every day actually is.” – Sheryl Sandberg, UC Berkeley 2016

 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs, Stanford 2005

 

“Always remember that the moments we have with friends and family, the chances we have to do things that might make a big difference in the world, or even to make a small difference to someone you love — all those wonderful chances that life gives us, life also takes away. It can happen fast, and a whole lot sooner than you think.” – Larry Page, University of Michigan 2009

 

  1. Be present.

“Being present is smarter, funnier and undeniably more attractive. When you’re right here, right now, you notice things. You notice the nuance and expressions of the people around you. You notice the things that might make you a new friend or get you hired or even give you a chance of hooking up. You notice today and how wonderful it is. You noticed the people around you might not be as lucky as you are and the people who work their asses off to make sure you succeed.” – Chris Sacca, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management 2011

 

  1. Be bold and take risks.

“I will hazard a prediction. When you are 80 years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices. Build yourself a great story.” – Jeff Bezos, Princeton University 2010

 

  1. Embrace failure and learn from it.

“It doesn’t matter how far you might rise…. If you’re constantly pushing yourself higher, higher the law of averages not to mention the Myth of Icarus predicts that you will at some point fall. And when you do I want you to know this, remember this: there is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” – Oprah Winfrey, Harvard University 2013

 

“I have always believed and I have taught my children and grandchildren that great success is not built on success. It is built on failure, frustration and sometimes even calamity.” – Sumner Redstone, Northwestern University 2002

 

  1. Be of service: make the world better.

“In the course of your lives, without any plan on your part, you’ll come to see suffering that will break your heart. When it happens, and it will, don’t turn away from it; turn toward it. That is the moment when change is born.” – Melinda Gates, Stanford 2014

 

  1. Use your imagination.

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.” – J.K. Rowling, Harvard University 2008 (former billionaire)

 

  1. When a great dream shows up, follow it.

“I dreamed of doing it and finally I achieved it and that is when I came to realize that fantasizing, projecting yourself into a successful situation is the most powerful means there is of achieving personal goals.” – Leonard Lauder, Connecticut College 1989

 

“Overall, I know it seems like the world is crumbling out there, but it is actually a great time in your life to get a little crazy, follow your curiosity, and be ambitious about it. Don’t give up on your dreams. The world needs you all!” – Larry Page, University of Michigan 2009

 

  1. Be flexible.

“You don’t need a grand plan. Whatever plan you do have is probably going to change 100 times before you’re 30. And you don’t need to be an expert in something to try it.” – Michael Bloomberg, University of North Carolina 2012

 

  1. Work hard and be irrepressible.

“Irrepressible is kind of tenacious, but with optimism. You just have it in you. You keep going and going. You could say, isn’t that the same as passion. It’s not. Passion is the ability to get excited about something. Irrepressibility and tenacity is about the ability to stay with it.” – Steve Ballmer, University of Southern California 2011

 

“It is the hard days — the times that challenge you to your very core — that will determine who you are.You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.” – Sheryl Sandberg, UC Berkeley 2016

 

  1. Don’t let money drive you.

“The truth is, I’ve never cared for money. I realize that sounds strange coming from a billionaire, and I recognize that many people do work for money, but I would wager that those who become extremely successful are more strongly motivated by the desire to achieve, by a commitment to excellence and by an obsessive drive to win.” – Sumner Redstone, Northwestern University 2002

 

Read the full Forbes article here:  Billionaires To Graduates: All-Time Best Advice From Their Commencement Speeches

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Borowitz on a Friday morning!

Andy Borowitz is a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian who writes in The Borowitz Report in The New Yorker. These two priceless Borowitz columns first appeared in The New Yorker

 

Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans

Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports.

 

The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them.

 

“These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.”

 

More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.”

 

While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.

 

While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.

 

 

Many in Nation Tired of Explaining Things to Idiots

Many Americans are tired of explaining things to idiots, particularly when the things in question are so painfully obvious, a new poll indicates.

 

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, while millions have been vexed for some time by their failure to explain incredibly basic information to dolts, that frustration has now reached a breaking point.

 

Of the many obvious things that people are sick and tired of trying to get through the skulls of stupid people, the fact that climate change will cause catastrophic habitat destruction and devastating extinctions tops the list, with a majority saying that they will no longer bother trying to explain this to cretins.

 

Coming in a close second, statistical proof that gun control has reduced gun deaths in countries around the world is something that a significant number of those polled have given up attempting to break down for morons.

 

Finally, a majority said that trying to make idiots understand why a flag that symbolizes bigotry and hatred has no business flying over a state capitol only makes the person attempting to explain this want to put his or her fist through a wall.

 

In a result that suggests a dismal future for the practice of explaining things to idiots, an overwhelming number of those polled said that they were considering abandoning such attempts altogether, with a broad majority agreeing with the statement, “This country is exhausting.”

 

And that should get you through Friday with a smile!

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

News from the Hill

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The Hill Timeswww.hilltimes.com – is the authoritative news voice and a must-read for all things happening on Parliament Hill. This week the paper has begun a bi-weekly publishing schedule, delivered on Mondays and Wednesdays.

 

It is always an informative read! For example, here are 10 interesting facts about the current state of affairs in Ottawa gleaned from the paper’s last few editions.

 

  • Of the Syrian refugees that Canada has welcomed, only 15 percent of them actually came from refugee camps.
  • The House of Commons sat only 9 days in March and will sit only 10 days in April. Related:  in 6 months of Government, the Liberals have introduced only 12 legislative bills.
  • Prevalent HT budget analysis is summed up in front page headlines: “Trudeau’s big government spending budget reflects his view of Canadian federalism”
  • Federal public service unions not satisfied with federal budget:  wants commitment to new hiring spree
  • Canada is seeking a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council by promising to take command of the UN military force in Haiti.
  • Rail safety, transit funding and drone regulations are the top transportation items in Parliamentary circles at the moment.
  • Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry has become the longest serving female MP in Canadian Parliamentary history. She first won her seat in the 1993 election defeating then PM Kim Campbell.
  • The NDP has dropped to 12 percent support of the decided vote, while the Liberals have grown to 46 percent. The Conservatives are at 30 percent, near their election night support.
  • The Conservative Party has set new membership fees at $25 and has its own Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai criticizing it as “an elitist party.”
  • The Canadian Association of Prawn Producers have a new advocacy campaign launched on a website: StrongShrimp.ca and the Canadian Urban Transit Association has a new campaign at website: Lets-Move.ca

 

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. (He’s also a political junkie that loves to play in the shadow of the peace tower.) Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Kaufmann on a life of intensity

running-feet_2Walter Kaufmann believed that there is an urgency in life and expressing oneself or, at least, there should be. The full significance of this urgency is captured is the following excerpt:

 

     Let people who do not know what to do with themselves in this life, but fritter away their time hope for eternal life. If one lives intensely, the time comes when sleep seems bliss. If one loves intensely, the time comes when death seems bliss… The life I want is a life I could not endure in eternity. It is a life of love and intensity, suffering and creation… As one deserves a good night’s sleep, one also deserves to die. Why should I hope to wake again? To do what I have not done in the time I’ve had? All of us have so much more time than we use well… Lives are spoiled and made rotten by the sense that death is distant and irrelevant… But it makes for a better life if one has a rendezvous with death… There is nothing morbid about thinking and speaking of death. Those who disparage honesty do not know its joy.

– from The Faith of a Heretic, by Walter Kaufmann.

 

In his book Socrates Café, Chris Phillips describes the impact this passage had on his life quest.

 

     Kaufmann’s words made me realize not how short and precious life is, but how unbearably long and meaningless much of my life had seemed to me. And they made me realize how inexcusable it was for me to have allowed my life to take on such soporific dimensions by abandoning my search for meaning.

 

Chris Phillips is an American writer and modern day philosopher, author of the best-sellers Socrates Café and Six Questions of Socrates. For anyone wishing to dive deep into the questions of being and self-expression, these provocative books are a #must_read

 

Walter Kaufmann (1921 – 1980) is a German philosopher, primarily known for his scholarly works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Goethe’s Faust.

 

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

7 Harsh Realities to Face Today

By George recently read an advice column for millennials which can easily apply to most people today who find themselves hiding comfortably within the herd mentality of political correctness. Tyler Durden wrote 7 Harsh Realities Of Life Millennials Need To Understand. His lead taunted the youth of today:

It’s time millennials understood these 7 harsh realities of life so we don’t end up with a generation of gutless adult babies running the show.

However, his advice can be instructive for many Canadians and By George offers this excerpt from the original column to prompt a re-think of all those things many now take for granted or are accepting as truth.

 

1. Your Feelings Are Largely Irrelevant

Given feelings are entirely subjective in nature, it’s completely unreasonable to demand everyone tip-toe around you to prevent yours from being hurt. The reality is that people will offend you and hurt your feelings, and they won’t stop to mop up your tears because they shouldn’t have to. Learning to accept criticism, alternative viewpoints, and even outright insults will make you happier in the long run than routinely playing the victim card.

 

2. You Cannot Be Whatever You Want To Be

This is a comforting lie parents have started telling their children to boost their morale in school. Unfortunately, millennials are now convinced it’s true,

 

3. Gender Studies Is A Waste Of Money

While some millennials taking useless degrees will claim they’re beneficial for teaching or research positions, the reality is that they just put themselves several thousands dollars in debt to learn how to be a professional victim.

 

4. If You Live In America, You’re Already In The 1%

 

5. You Don’t Have A Right To It Just Because You Exist

Just because you’re here and breathing doesn’t mean society owes you anything. Like the billions of people who lived before you, working hard is a better guarantor of wealth and the ability to comfortably take care of yourself than begging society or the government to do it for you.

 

6. You DO Have The Right To Live As You Please — But Not To Demand People Accept It

You don’t have the right to demand people keep their opinions about your lifestyle to themselves, especially if you’re open and public about it. I have as much of a right to comment on the way you live your life as you do to actually live it. Your feelings are not a protected right, but my speech is.

 

7. The Only Safe Space Is Your Home

No matter where you go in life, someone will be there to offend you. Maybe it’s a joke you overheard on vacation, a spat at the office, or a difference of opinion with someone in line at the grocery store. Inevitably, someone will offend you and your values. If you cannot handle that without losing control of your emotions and reverting back to your “safe space” away from the harmful words of others, then you’re best to just stay put at home.

 

Read Tyler Durden’s full column in Zero Hedge news.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Writers Pick Top-10 Books of All Time

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The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books is a readers’ collection of dream lists.

It is the ultimate guide to the world’s greatest books – as picked by writers such as Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, Margaret Drabble, Michael Chabon and Peter Carey. The Top Ten includes summaries of 544 books-each of which is considered to be among the ten greatest books ever written by at least one leading writer. You can get this treasure from Amazon (where else?!)

Here are three intriguing lists from that book.

 

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  4. Ulysses by James Joyce
  5. Dubliners by James Joyce
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  9. The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor
  10. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

 

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 19th CENTURY

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  5. The stories of Anton Chekhov
  6. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  8. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Emma by Jane Austen

 

TOP TEN AUTHORS BY NUMBER OF BOOKS SELECTED

  1. William Shakespeare — 11
  2. William Faulkner — 6
  3. Henry James — 6
  4. Jane Austen — 5
  5. Charles Dickens — 5
  6. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 5
  7. Ernest Hemingway — 5
  8. Franz Kafka — 5
  9. (tie) James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf — 4

 

Read more about this book at Brian Pickings.

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What ISIS Really Wants

Here is a must-read magazine feature by Graeme Wood, which appeared in the March 2015 issue of The Atlantic.

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Here are 10 key excerpts, as selected by By George, that are remarkably insightful.

  • The Islamic State “rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.”
  • The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy…. it looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.
  • The Islamic State requires territory to remain legitimate, and a top-down structure to rule it. (Its bureaucracy is divided into civil and military arms, and its territory into provinces.)
  • The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic… the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it.
  • …the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war. This behavior includes a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. “Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition,” Haykel said. Islamic State fighters “are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day.”
  • Following takfiri doctrine, the Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people. The lack of objective reporting from its territory makes the true extent of the slaughter unknowable, but social-media posts from the region suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks. Muslim “apostates” are the most common victims.
  • Islamic State operates as policies of mercy rather than of brutality. He told me the state has an obligation to terrorize its enemies—a holy order to scare the shit out of them with beheadings and crucifixions and enslavement of women and children, because doing so hastens victory and avoids prolonged conflict.
  • One way to un-cast the Islamic State’s spell over its adherents would be to overpower it militarily and occupy the parts of Syria and Iraq now under caliphate rule. Al Qaeda is ineradicable because it can survive, cockroach-like, by going underground. The Islamic State cannot. If it loses its grip on its territory in Syria and Iraq, it will cease to be a caliphate. Caliphates cannot exist as underground movements, because territorial authority is a requirement: take away its command of territory, and all those oaths of allegiance are no longer binding.
  • Given everything we know about the Islamic State, continuing to slowly bleed it, through air strikes and proxy warfare, appears the best of bad military options….with every month that it fails to expand, it resembles less the conquering state of the Prophet Muhammad than yet another Middle Eastern government failing to bring prosperity to its people.
  • the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor. As it stagnates or slowly shrinks, its claim that it is the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken, and fewer believers will arrive. And as more reports of misery within it leak out, radical Islamist movements elsewhere will be discredited…

 

Read the full article here: What ISIS Really Wants

Hat’s off to the wise fool

Roger von Oech is an author, inventor, and consultant on stimulating creativity in business. His blog http://blog.creativethink.com/ featured an intriguing post: “Think Like a Wise Fool.”

Von Oech writes:

Carrying the strategy of “looking at things differently” to extremes brings us to the realm of the Wise Fool, the being for whom everyday ways of understanding have little meaning.

It’s the wise fool’s job to extol the trivial, trifle with the exalted, and parody the common perception of a situation. In doing so, the fool makes us conscious of the habits we take for granted and rarely question. A good fool needs to be part actor and part poet, part philosopher and part psychologist.

And throughout history, the wise fool has been consulted by Egyptian pharaohs and Babylonian kings, Chinese emperors, Greeks tyrants, and Hopi Indian chiefs.

Here’s what a wise fool can accomplish by making us re-look and re-think our work:

  • reverse our standard assumptions
  • notes things that other people overlook
  • be irreverent
  • be cryptic
  • be absurd
  • challenge viewpoints by taking the contrary position

von Oech concludes his post by pointing out: “The great benefit of the wise fool’s antics and observations is that they stimulate our thinking. They jolt us in the same way that a splash of cold water awakens us when we are drowsy.”

By George recommends this post and the blog for those who wish to place assumptions in question and refocus their thinking.