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Ideas for people pursuing an empowered life,




Creating a "buzz"

Capuchins (the white-faced monkey) in America's jungles are very intelligent and some are even expert strategists. A young adult proved to be quite creative in the early hours of one fine day. His tribe had spent the night in the jungle canopy with the intent of descending onto a small patch of finger bananas at first light. A big cat was known to hunt around there and their leader had decided daytime was best for feasting on the bounty.

Minutes before sunrise, the young adult moved slowly and quietly toward a bird's nest in a tree hollow. He positioned himself a small distance below the nest and suddenly, aggressively and purposefully shook branches with both hands while uttering a surprising and rather throaty purr. A bird's startled cry then pierced the night and the monkey ran off in the confusion to a farther place and repeated his throaty purr.

Then dozens of species screamed warnings of danger and the whole jungle was in an uproar: "Big cat walking!" The monkey tribe scattered except for that lone strategist who bee-lined for the bananas. He'd created "a buzz" - the word-of-mouth advertising that so often marks a successful strategy or campaign. He got the forest reacting... as was his plan. Had he sounded the alarm himself, the source and motivation might have been suspect.

Word-of-mouth reactions are a very powerful way of getting your message across. But "buzz" has nothing to do with truth, honesty or facts, even if large segments of our social and financial lives are influenced by it.

American experts estimate that 13% of their economy is largely affected by "the buzz factor" and that 54% is a least partially affected by it. The former includes industries like entertainment, sports, leisure and fashion, etc, while the latter lists tourism, finance, pharmaceuticals and many others. Only a third of the economy - sectors like insurance and utilities - are largely immune from buzz.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, strategy consultant Renée Dye tells entrepreneurs about five myths they should understand if they are to use this legend-making tool. She says "buzz" is a force in Nature that can cause an explosive and self-generating demand for your product or service.

These 5 myths are :

1. Only outrageous or edgy ideas are buzz-worthy. Dye gives examples ranging from the "pet rock" to Viagra to prove that to be false;

2. Buzz just happens. In fact, it's most often a component or a tactic in a larger strategy which can include seeding avatars, vanguard groups, leverage lists or niche nooks, etc. with information;

3. The best "buzz starters" are your own customers. In fact counter-culture groups and cross-generation links allow powerful overlaps - Imagine how kids sell to their parents or how "rap" can affect the Gap;

4. To profit from buzz you must be first. Mimics very often profit from a new trend but they must know when to come aboard and when to bail out;

5. You need big media or advertising budgets to create buzz. (Again, facts suggest too much media or using it too early tend to extinguish the buzz.

When you consider the recent phenomenon of the rise and fall of dotcom companies and the amazing wealth that changed hands in the buzz they created, you have to wonder if there isn't "deep wisdom" to be gained from watching monkey-business in the jungle.

So... what's the latest buzz on your product or service?



"Stalking" - is a powerful exercise that will let you fulfill any need. Ancient seers suggested we could latch onto anything with fibers of our "will". In that worldview, where everything - including our conscious thoughts - is energy, we can will a connection to people, things, situations, positions, etc. across space-time by maintaining our awareness (an intensity of will) on them.

The techniques, tools and exercises offered on our web site are templates to facilitate the emergence of a more creative intelligence. Even if there are many variations for each of them, the descriptions of the "Art of Stalking" found by clicking here spell out the essentials.



This month we're featuring "The Way of the Jaguar-kings" - our 2 week adventure that demystifies the self-empowerment process and the"sorcery" taught by the Olmec, a creatively advanced culture who existed in Mesoamerica more than 3000 years ago.

Itinerary: Visit several bio-zones over 14 days: You'll stop in 4 places, stay in quality hotels and explore a cloudforest, a volcano, the andean paramo, hot springs, a mystic waterfall, jungles, Pacific coast beaches, National Parks... and much more. Check out the daily itinerary of this extraordinary adventure by clicking here.



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"How glorious it is - and also how painful - to be an exception." Alfred de Musset

"...Creative persons find joy in a job well done." Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." Aristotle

"Never let formal education get in the way of your learning." Mark Twain

"If a man's eye is on the Eternal, his intellect will grow." Ralph Waldo Emerson



The conference speaker was called in to "motivate the troops". They'd been pushed by the company's need to compete in the global marketplace and were stressed out by the pace and the number of changes they had to endure. In a sort of unconscious protest, they'd recently adopted bad work habits and no longer gave their career the attention and skill it deserved. Folks thought more about "rest and recreation" than the "rejects and returns" they were producing.

The speaker began his presentation by telling a story: "I know a carpenter who was tired of working and so he told his employer - the town's most successful housing contractor - that he was retiring.

The builder was surprised and sorry to see his best worker go. Because he had a backlog of orders -all of them important- he asked the man to please stay on and build one last home as a personal favor to him. The carpenter grudgingly said yes but, in a short time, it was obvious to his crew that his heart was no longer in the work. Soon they began cutting corners and so they built a shoddy product. What an unfortunate way to end his career.

When they'd finished the house, the boss came by for an inspection visit. But, instead of examining it, he gathered the men around him and ceremoniously handed the keys to the carpenter, telling him: "You worked hard from the very first day you started with me and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. Here, this home is yours... a gift for always giving me your best."

First the man was shocked and ashamed. If only he had known he was building his own house he'd have taken all the care to make sure it was perfect. Instead, he knew every flaw and -worse- knew he'd cheated himself and, indirectly, his employer and his crew. Now he'd have to live in a home built none too well... unless he invested a lot of his time, money and effort to right the wrongs his lackluster attitude had produced.

Then, sadly, he remembered the words of the "old pro" who had taught him his trade: "Work is less what you do and more who you become. Do your best and you'll be the best." He thought of the pride he felt whenever he did his level best and realized that - regardless of who's house he was building - he was really creating an "inner place" where he would then reside.

He thanked the boss for his generosity and -as he walked him away from the new house towards his truck - said he'd like to stay on a few more months to help with the backlog of orders and would invite him into the home on his last day. The boss very happily agreed and you can imagine that my friend the carpenter built the finest homes of his career in those last months. And in his spare time, he did fix his own home so that it too made him proud.

So it is with all of us: How we work is who we become. If we build our careers and lives in a tired way, reacting rather than acting to circumstances, putting up with stress rather than addressing and correcting its causes, we'll find ourselves satisfied with being less than who we are. And what will we have to look back on? ... Mediocrity. By taking halfway measures we cheat ourselves out of reaching the greatness we can and of feeling good about ourselves; without doing our best we can't feel pride.

If we don't give the job our best effort we'll experience our career as if living in a defective house. We should think of ourselves as a carpenter and imagine work as if we were building our own home. We should build wisely as it may even be the only place we'll ever work. But even if we only live in the house one more day, doesn't that day deserves our best effort. It can fill us with the pride we'll carry around for the rest of our lives.

The "inner place" where we'll spend our tomorrows directly results from the attitude, the choices and the effort we put into building today. Have a great day!

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