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Ideas for people pursuing an empowered life,






It's hard to find the attributes that we consider as "leadership qualities" in the jungle. The way a lot of people interpret it, leaders have followers but that's not how Nature manages the pecking order. The dominant themes in animal life are a competition for food and for the privilege to mate and that means "self-interest" so everyone is expected to manage their own self-interest.

If you see an alpha-male lion sitting with its pride, for example, you'll have no trouble figuring out who does what. The "king" protects and serves his mates and their cubs and he might lead his family but that leader's dominant role is very fragile. Young males looking for "breeding status" are itching to take over the pride so they want to expel the incumbent.

To do this, three of four brothers will form a coalition and then attack. If successful, they'll slay the pride's small cubs to bring the females into heat so the battle is ferocious. After they win, without any further aggression, the brothers share the females and grow the pride... while looking out for up-coming males who'll threaten their status.

The higher primates behave pretty much the same way. A silverback gorilla has his hands full tending to his harem. Gentle creatures, they grow huge and will behave atrociously to intimidate any rival, to assure their females that their offspring will inherit the Earth. They don't lead anyone, they awe all competition and every predator into submission.

So where do leaders come from? Well that's a human trick. Sociologists Melvin Sorcher and James Brant suggest the abilities that mark leaders are found by evaluating four criteria in our day-to-day performance: 1. Personal integrity; 2. Effective communication; 3. An ability to reason and analyze situations; 4. The capacity to work well with others. In Nature, in « altruistic self-interest », creatures are called to mimic what works and then fill their own needs.

Looking for a leader? Just interview people on those 4 aspects of themselves:

1. Find out about a candidate's integrity by directly asking him or her: Has the person ever lied or bent or shaded the truth and under what circumstances? Has she or he ever withheld information and why? Look for concrete examples. Does s/he give credit to others or include others? Does s/he stand firm in his or her opinions? Find examples.

2. How do you assess a person's communication skills? How well does s/he receive and give out information? Does s/he tailor the message to the audience? Does his or her presence command attention and respect? Is s/he intellectually curious and proactive? Can s/he persuade others without offending them?

3. How do a person reason and analyze issues? How well and quickly does s/he assemble information into functional order? Does s/he demonstrate sound, logical thinking? Does s/he confront ambiguous situations or does s/he procrastinate around vague directives and timelines? Does s/he make good quick decisions? Is s/he self-directed to move towards opportunity? Get examples.

4. How well does a person work with others? Does s/he help or seek out help? Is s/he open to people with different styles and skills? Is s/he surrounded by people who give candid feedback? Is s/he capable of receiving criticism or advice and can s/he adapt? Get examples of how s/he motivates others. Does s/he delegate authority, give confidence when explaining tasks or inspire loyalty?

Changing demographics insist that we are heading for a severe leader shortage as the baby-boomers retire; wisdom then, in altruistic self-interest, suggests that enterprise invest important resources in holding on to the ones it has and in developing more.



« Suggestive thinking » has another name: Self-hypnosis. That word has some sort of show-biz feel so this is another way of saying it. Many people, over many years, have made a good living with the practical and useful aspects of hypnosis, without the unwarranted theatrical, religious, mystical or ritual connections.

Today, we know self-hypnosis can remove pain, alter self-image and teach new skills, among other things. It works by influencing our "inner dialogue" so check it out how to "hypnotize" yourself aby clicking here.



The Way Of Jaguar-kings (and queens) is the way of self-empowerment, sorcery and magic. This is our most extra-ordinary training tour - a 14-day educational adventure that demystifies how to use the forces in Nature... for fun, love and profit.

People who have wondered about their full potential can checkout the daily itinerary of this trek in Costa Rica's southern zone by clicking here.



Bob Hall of Eureka!! University insists that coffee is "the" creativity drink. We grow a little in our park in Costa Rica and I've taken the "Coffee Tour" a few times so I can give him a provisional OK. The proviso is that while it helps creative people think faster and clearer, it does the same thing for dolts. It doesn't do the work, it only primes the worker.

Everything else you want to know about the world's 2nd most consumed commodity is at http://cs.und.ca/~alopez-o/Coffee/coffaq.html

Read the coffee bean's own story at http://coffeuniverse.com/university.html, pick up the latest coffee industry gossip at http://www.scaa.org and book your coffee tour around the world from http://www.cafeaway.com.

If all that caffeine gets you up, visit NASA at http://www.space.jpl.nasa.gov.



"Nature gave man two ends - one to sit on and one to think with. Since, man's success or failure is dependent on which one he uses most." George R. Kirkpatrick

"If a man is happy in his work, exerting himself to the fullest extent of his capabilities and enjoying it, I'd say he's a success." William Romain

"Experience is the name that everyone gives to his mistakes." Oscar Wilde

"If we learn for each success and each failure, and improve ourselves through this process, then, at the end, we will have fulfilled our potential and performed well." Porsche

"A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day." Albert Schweitzer

"The successful leader does not talk down to people. He lifts them up." Richard Nixon



Did you hear the tragic news? Today, we are mourning the passing of an old friend. He lived a long quiet life but I just found out that he died suddenly from heart failure at the turn of the millennium. He'd selflessly devoted his life in service to government, to education, to health, to home, parents and children, and to company owners, managers and workers everywhere. He helped most folks get their jobs done without fanfare or foolishness.

No one really knows how old he was since his birth records were lost long ago in bureaucratic red tape, but we called him "Common Sense".

For decades, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over him. Common Sense was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, the early bird getting the worm and that bit about life not always being fair. He lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn, save some for a rainy day) and reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids and we teach by example).

A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, Great Depression, and Information Age, Common Sense survived cultural trends including polyester, body piercing, designer drugs, "new religion" and moral ambiguity like "Pre-emptive Defensive Strike" strategies, wherein we hit them back first.

In recent times the strength and resolve of Common Sense proved no match for federal deregulation, the rampant destruction of the environment and the lust for war. He watched in pain as good people became overly influenced by lawyers, liars and micro-managers and stopped referring to him for their first source of advice.

In the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election, having given his all to the debate, he breathed his last breath. As his end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of mind. He knew he'd be needed in the debate on the erosion of rules of concern to basic rights and freedoms, on world trade imbalances, on the general break from ethical practices and much more, but didn't hold on.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust, his brother Valor, his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility and his twin sons Rhyme and Reason.

No one attended his funeral because we didn't realize he was lost.

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