The Commencement Speech of Paul Hawken

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love, The Dreamer

paul-hawken1Paul Hawken is someone who is doing what he loves. He is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and best-selling author.

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.

7 Steps to Help You Get On the Path of Doing What You Love

September 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love, Happiness, The Dreamer

entrepreneurIn yesterday’s article, I discussed how if you want to do what you love, you may have to create your own work. In essence, to do what you love you may have to become an entrepreneur.

But to go off on your own is a scary thing for many people. Even if you’re not happy working at a job, there’s a certain comfort level and feeling of security it gives you.

But if you’re not happy working for someone else, you can have all the comfort and security in the world, and you will never feel appeased. You will always have an uneasy feeling gnawing at you.

And the reality is, if you’re working at a job, working for someone else, you may never feel like you’re doing what you love, because it just may not be the fullest and truest expression of who you are.

I talked in an earlier article about Carpe Diem, of Seizing the Day. That is what it takes to let go of the comfort zone and to venture into the unknown.leap-sunny-sky

But it’s not really an unknown, because it’s fully known: it’s who you really are. It’s living your dream and your passion, and being true to yourself.

And to get past the fear, it just takes a certain mindset.

Here are 7 things you can do right now to get past the fear and attain the mindset of being willing to do what you love:

1. Reclaim your mind.

This might seem a little strange, right? Who would think that they don’t own their own mind? The truth is that most of us live with partially free minds. We act on our intentions as long as our comfort zone is not violated. We rebel when the risk is minimal.

In order to reclaim ownership of your mind (and stop renting it out) you have to demand of yourself nothing short of a completely free, unadulterated mind. Underline this in your mind: “I won’t let anyone else have control or dictate the contents of my mind. Only I have that power.”

2. Put yourself on auto-response.

The ability of the leader to take action, despite not having a clear course, is a highly coveted skill in the entrepreneurial world. A leader takes action while others wait around for the situation to become more favorable. He has the “auto-response” of “I’ll figure it out.” When faced with a tough decision, or unclear path, he takes action instead of waiting for orders.

The more you’re able to take action despite having all the facts, the faster you’ll get results. You’ll adjust your course when you make mistakes and ultimately get there much faster than the person waiting around for the perfect plan to materialize.

yy3. Think holistically.

All of our decisions are interconnected. A choice in our health could create an improvement in our productivity. A shift in our spiritual practice can cultivate a calm state, where your focus increases. A move toward working for yourself will dramatically impact your freedom of time and movement, and greatly improve your happiness. All of our decisions are interconnected and a smart renegade knows this. She or he tries to make high leverage holistic decisions that will have a ripple effect across all aspects of their life.

Think holistically. See how the changes in all areas of your life impact each other, not just in business, but in the areas of health, fitness, finances, mental/emotional and spirituality.

4. Question authority.

Too much skepticism will make you unbalanced, and will honestly probably turn you into a conpiracy-theory nutcase. A healthy amount of skepticism, on the other hand, is essential to working intelligently.question-authority-not-mother-button-0383

One of the oldest living renegades, Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha) once said, “Do not believe anything that you’ve been told, unless it agrees with your own common sense.” The same advice applies 2,000 years later. Listen to yourself first, before you listen to the experts. Test before you assume.

5. Focus on interdependency.

We all have certain communities of people or tribes that we naturally connect with and are attracted to. Seek out these people, help them, start conversations with them. These are the people that are most likely to identify with you, therefore the most likely to also support and promote your work.

Find a way to connect with influential leaders or members of your tribe today. Whether it be through sending them a message on twitter, contacting them through their blog or emailing them directly. And if you can, try to get one of these people to mentor you. It can’t hurt to ask and you’ll be surprised at how genuinely helpful some of these people can be.

6. Defrost your passion.

If you’ve been stuck in a cubicle-farm for some time, or have been in a less than ideal work situation, you’ve probably given up hope on some level. Being surrounded with people you’d rather not work with, grey walls, no windows and bad coffee tends to dampen your spirits. This dispirited condition may have progressed so far that you have trouble remembering what it’s like to be excited about your life.

That’s got to change. It’s time to reconnect with what you’re truly passionate about and wake up to the possibility that you can start making your own rules. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle of paying your dues with the occasional bit of fun. Realize that you don’t have to live in the way you think is required.

14-amazing-ridiculous-dog-costumes-17. Be ridiculous.

There’s obviously a certain societal value to being practical. But what’s easily overlooked is the value of being highly impractical. You have to be willing to take risks, and keep your head in the clouds to be a successful trailblazer. You have to strike a balance between having roots (practicality) and wings (innovating).

Realize that all major revolutions in the world were first seen as crazy, ridiculous and absurd. If you want to innovate, you’ll have to accept that the majority of the population will view you as a lunatic. You secretly know, though, that your level of lunacy is quite possibly your most valuable skill.

So there you have it – 7 things you can do to help you get past the fear and do what you love. Once you do so, you’ll be happier, healthier and feeling more fulfilled.

Doing What You Love Could Mean Becoming an Entrepreneur

September 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Creative Intelligence, Do What You Love

If you are doing what you love, you may have to create your own work.

It’s not always easy to fit into a defined and set job if you are doing what you love, because it often means that you are listening to your own muse and setting out on your own path and finding your own way to express who you truly are.

entrepreneur1It can also mean that you prefer the freedom of working for yourself, so that you can set your own boundaries, as opposed to having them  set artificially by a job.

If you decide to go your own way and create your own work, you are following the time-honored path of entrepreneurship.

It is the entrepreneurs who are the innovators, who move forward even when the naysayers say it can’t be done.

They love what they are doing so much that they believe in themselves even when others don’t, and aren’t afraid to fail.phrenology-of-the-entrepreneur1

In fact, failure is not part of the vocabulary of an entrepreneur, because as long as they are doing what they love, whatever the outcome, they are succeeding.

They see failure as not pursuing their dream.

The reality is, is that entrepreneurs can change the world – watch the above video and you will be inspired as you realize this is true.

Just by pursuing their dreams, entrepreneurs are changing the world, by also inspiring others to pursue their dreams.

And with their creative imagination and innovative drive, entrepreneurs are changing the world, by creating new ways of doing things, or by making adaptations to current ways of doing things.

Entrepreneurs are also changing the world by shining the light of hope where there once was darkness.

It takes a Low Density Lifestyle mind to be an entrepreneur with a fertile creative imagination.

Which isn’t hard to do. It just starts with doing what you love.

How to Discover Your Dream

September 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love, The Dreamer

do-what-you-love-what-you-doI’ve been writing about Doing What You Love for the last few weeks, and in the process have encouraged you to live by the mantra of Carpe Diem/Seize the Day.

This is all well and good, but what happens if you’re not sure what your dream specifically is – in other words, how can you do what you love if you’re not sure what that might be?

Don’t feel guilty if you’re not sure of what it is that feeds your passion, because most of us make life choices based on expectations.

We  go to college and do what is expected of us, and along the way we get married and settle down and have kids, because that’s what everyone else does.

Now, there’s nothing necessarily bad at all about this. It’s just that if you live based on expectations then you may not know what it is that you really want.go-confidently-in-the-direction-of-your-dreams-live-the-life-you-ve-imagined-posters

Dreams then become buried deep down to the point that you don’t even know that you have them; yet, even with this, the dreams still will come through as a kind of itch, ache or longing.

Life is meant to be full of passion and chasing after desires, not going from life to death without experiencing joy. If you think you might be one of those people who has buried your dreams so that you could live how others expected you to live, you don’t have to continue like that.

Here are seven ways that you can rediscover your dreams and add passion back into your life and start doing what you love.

1. Talk to your preteen self
Before we started worrying too much about growing up and settling down, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted out of life. A child has fantasy dreams and adults for the most part worry about being grown ups and being responsible. Our preteens selves, however, had a good mix of wonder and practicality. Are you doing what you wanted when you were that age? And if not, can you explain why without using the words “I grew up?”

2. Do something out of your routine
Many of us live using the autopilot. By breaking our routines, we open ourselves up to making conscious choices and to shaking ourselves out of a kind of stupor. Once we’ve broken the bonds of habit, our desires and dreams can start sliding through the cracks in the wall of comfort we’ve built around ourselves.

3. Think about what terrifies you
Think of an action where your response is “I could never do that” then ask yourself why not? Most things we say that about we secretly want to do it but we’re just scared.

inspiration_what_makes_you_happy4. Ask someone else what they think your dream is
Often our friends and family know what we want more than we are willing to admit to ourselves. In your question do not use the words should or need – that’s asking for their opinion which means they will project their own desires onto you. Ask them instead to start the sentence with “I believe you want to…” and they will have a harder time telling you their own hidden dreams.

5. Pretend you have amnesia
While we are shaped by our past, too often we let it define us and box us into making certain choices. By pretending to have amnesia the only things open to us are the present and the future. Given how you feel in the moment and forgetting everything that has happened in the past, ask yourself what you want for the future.

6. Write “I want to…” thirty times and start filling it in
Asking ourselves what we want usually produces a quick answer, something habitual, but if we go deeper and keep asking the same question over and over we force ourselves to find hidden desires and dreams. If you can complete the sentence “I want to…” thirty times without struggling, up the number to 50, or 75 or 100 – whatever it takes to start pulling out the dreams you’ve hidden in dark corners of your mind.

7. Throw away your planslive-yourdream
While some people live too much in the past, others live too much in the future. They create plans and set them in motion following through on them without thinking. Trouble is people and situations change. Plans need re-evaluating. We need to stop the plan and ask ourselves whether we still really want this dream or whether we are just moving forward with momentum instead of passion.

Pick one of the above actions and do it today. Don’t wait. You deserve to fulfill your dreams. Now.

It’s a surefire way to live a Low Density Lifestyle.

Follow Your Bliss: The Story of Greg Pritchard

August 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love, The Dreamer

Following your bliss and doing what you love doesn’t always mean doing what people expect of you. In fact, to follow your bliss, you sometimes have to go to the beat of your own drummer and flat out go your own way.

And you may have to overcome tremendous obstacles to do so, defy expectations, and overcome your own fears and confidence issues.

But if you do so, you will be much happier in the long run.

A few days ago, I told you about Paul Potts, the shy and unassuming cell phone salesman who in 2007 appeared on the English television show Britain’s Got Talent, singing in front of the audience and judges, including the notorious Simon Cowell, and displayed an amazing operatic voice.

greg-pritchard-britains-got-talentToday I tell you about another singer who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, Greg Pritchard. Greg is a hotel waiter, yet he had an unabiding dream to sing, and on the show he displayed his voice.

When Greg began, it was assumed he would be singing a rock song, since he came dressed in that way.  But Greg defied expectations with his song and his singing style.

You see, Greg’s dream is to be an opera singer, and this is truly what he loves doing. He has a male soprano voice, and he showed extraordinary range as he sang “Nessu Dorma” in front of the judges. It was the last thing anyone expected him to sing.

It’s an incredible performance, and you can see it in the video above.

And it’s a prime example of the fact that following your bliss and doing what you love sometimes mean you have to find your own way, and find your own voice, no matter what people may think of you.

That is what Greg Pritchard did, both literally and figuratively.

Follow Your Bliss: The Story of Paul Potts

August 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Do What You Love, The Dreamer

Yesterday’s article was about doing what you love and following your bliss, which is a term developed by Joseph Campbell.

bliss_diagramWhat does following your bliss and doing what you love look like? It obviously is different for every person. But ultimately it will be the best thing you do, because it will allow you to be in alignment with your true nature.

Today, I give you the incredible case study of Paul Potts. Paul was a mobile phone salesman in England with a majestic operatic singing voice, yet lacked the confidence to follow his dream of pursuing a career in opera.

He had sung opera on and off for a few years, but had not sung for years when he decided in 2007 to audition for the British televison show, Britain’s Got Talent, a show similar to the American television show, American Idol.  Both shows feature Simon Cowell as one of the judges.paul-pott2

The first of the above videos is Potts’ audition in front of Cowell and the judges, along with the studio audience of 2,000.

Potts came out, and the judges sized him up. Potts was nervous, and the judges assumed by his temperament and makeup that he would not have much to offer.

But once Paul Potts began to sing, hearts melted and tears flowed out of many people in the audience, including one of the judges. In fact, you will have to see if you can keep dry eyes while watching him sing.

The second video above is of Paul Potts being interviewed by a Hong Kong television station on a recent trip that he took through China to promote an album. Paul talks about following your dreams and the importance of doing what you love.

do-waht-you-loveSo watch the videos, reflect on the story of Paul Potts, and think about whether you too are doing the thing that you love.

It makes all the world of difference if you are. And it’s not hard to do so.

All you have to do is dream.

Creative Intelligence and Vision – Be a Dreamer, Be a Visionary

Can You Imagine?  Can You Use Your Creative Intelligence and Vision? Can You Dream, Can You Vision?

Today, for the series finale on Creative Intelligence, I present you with a video that I hope will inspire you and move you to continue to use your Creative Intelligence, and to Dream, Vision and Imagine.

In words and pictures, the video will tell the story.


See you next time……

Creative Intelligence and Vision – One Company That Cultivates It

5661_ideas_moderation_permalinkWhat 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?

Imagine This

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:

5549_share_ideas_mihIGOOGLE:  At iGoogle (, 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 (

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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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, 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, 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.

Vision – Quotes of Noted Visionaries of the 20th and 21st Centuries

March 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Creative Intelligence, Genius, The Dreamer

mandelaI’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 mlkout 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-vonnegutKurt 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.

Vision – What is Your Vision Quotient/Vision Intelligence?

March 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Creative Intelligence, Genius, The Dreamer

Every person takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. – Arthur Schopenhauer

intelligence_the_eye_the_brain_and_the_computerHigh 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?vision

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?

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