5 ways naps will increase your productivity –

Many do not know that napping increases productivity. I started napping a few years back when I left a full time job that was very engaging all 24 hours. I found that my most productive hours were around the early hours of the morning which incidentally is when I wake up from sleep. By late morning I have started to slow down. If I stay the course, I burnout by late afternoon. My concentration is often very low by 3PM and I am not even good company. All kinds of trivia begin to get my attention. I found however, that if I take a nap, I get back into shape and produce more than I do if I keep pushing.  If you think this a bad idea, don’t take my word for it.  Here is a list of famous folks who took their naps seriously;

  • Leonardo da Vinci took multiple naps a day and slept less at night.
  • The French Emperor Napoleon was not shy about taking naps. He indulged daily.
  • Physicist Albert Einstein napped each day—on top of getting ten hours of sleep each night.
  • Though Thomas Edison was embarrassed about his napping habit, he also practiced his ritual daily.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, used to boost her energy by napping before speaking engagements.
  • Gene Autry, “the Singing Cowboy,” routinely took naps in his dressing room between performances.
  • President John F. Kennedy ate his lunch in bed and then settled in for a nap—every day!
  • Oil industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller napped every afternoon in his office.
  • Winston Churchill’s afternoon nap was a nonnegotiable. He believed it helped him get twice as much done each day.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson took a nap every afternoon at 3:30 p.m. to break his day up into “two shifts.”
  • Though criticized for it, President Ronald Reagan famously took naps as well.


“The secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time; it’s managing your energy.

It is possible these great know something you don’t. Here are 5 benefits of napping I picked up from Michael Hyatt’s article

  1.  A nap restores alertness. You know how your energy dips in the early afternoon? You start feeling a little sleepy and lose focus. It happens to most of us. A quick nap can bring us back up to speed. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a short nap of twenty to thirty minutes “for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.”
  2. A nap prevents burnout. In our always-on culture, we go, go, go. However, we were not meant to race without rest. Doing so leads to stress, frustration, and burnout. Taking a nap is like a system reboot. It relieves stress and gives you a fresh start. Research subjects who nap show greater emotional resilience, improved cognitive function, and more. Just thirty minutes can prevent the day’s wear and tear from frying your circuits.
  3. A nap heightens sensory perception. According to Dr. Sara C. Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life, napping can restore the sensitivity of sight, hearing, and taste. Napping also improves your creativity by relaxing your mind and allowing new associations to form in it. When it came to making new connections, nappers had the edge in research done by the City University of New York.
  4. A nap reduces the risk of heart disease. Did you know those who take a midday siesta at least three times a week are 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease? Working men are 64 percent less likely! It’s true, according to a 2007 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. “Taking a nap could turn out to be an important weapon in the fight against coronary mortality,” said Dimitrios Trichopoulos of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who led the study.
  5. A nap makes you more productive. The secret to becoming more productive is not managing your time; it’s managing your energy. Numerous studies have shown workers becoming increasingly unproductive as the day wears on. Just think of your own experience. But a 2002 Harvard University study demonstrated a thirty-minute nap boosted the performance of workers, returning their productivity to beginning-of-the-day levels.

Productivity is but the outworking of a state. If a nap brings you to that state then you really should have one. I often say in my workshops that high performance often comes out of effortlessness. Never out of struggle. Sometimes when I am struggling with something, I simply take a nap. When I come back, problem solved. It works for me every time. It is important that you understand your body enough to know when to get the best out of it. In this series I am exploring ways in which you can be more productive in your occupation and larger life and I have loads of material to share with you. Stay tuned and share this with someone.

The Legitimacy of Resistance.

Change people are a special breed. The resistances they face in their missions are not easily surmountable and it will appear there is a valid reason for this. One can only imagine how things will be if everyone could just get up and at will, change the way things are? Chaos! Our world is a predictable one. Perhaps because of its infinite layers of cycles that in their own rights give meaning to the axiom “what goes around comes around”. Solomon in his divine inspired wisdom observes; “there is nothing new under the sun” – Ecclesiastes 1:9 
People are not as complex as they might seem at first glance. Ok I should save that for my people dynamics class. Before I get back on track however, let me just say that people are ALWAYS frightened of what they cannot explain and if they process it as a threat in any form, they will fight tooth-and-nail to stop it. You can take that to the bank!  For years I have struggle with this—I never understood why people will fight you even when all you are trying to do is help them. Well, that’s simply because they don’t understand two things; the first is why the change and second; what the ultimate outcome will mean for their self-preservation. A majority of people are incapable of making the right connection and fear gains grounds. But this also serves a purpose as we will soon see for it is this fear, that the much needed resistance will be generated.

For the most part, we are all social scientist in our own capacities. We want to see something work repeatedly so we can be sure it will continue to work even if we stop paying attention. Once we have accepted it, any agent who attempts to change it is a threat. Well, he is trying to take away the predictability we cherish so much. This may sound like a good idea. Yet it is within this sphere of thought that our most perilous vulnerabilities are hosted. If there is one thing I agree with Robert Green on, this will be it. It has to count for something that he made a bestseller out of telling the world that we are predictable and that we actually prefer it so. And he was right when he thought we will buy the idea and list him among the rich and famous for it. He is a master social scientist of his own.

If you ever tried to change something and did not meet with any kind of resistance, you need to start worrying. Something is fundamentally wrong. The system needs resistance to ensure that it is not tossed around in all directions by the ever present tides of ideas that it generates. Yep! The ideas come from within because the agents of these ideas are also products of the system. Their role is to ensure the incessant improvement of the system as a means of ensuring its continuous existence—this is vital as stagnation has no place in nature. You are either going up or coming down. Growing or dying—for or against. Christ captures this beautifully in Mathew 12:30.

The role of a group I will call average people is to test the change idea for integrity. This is the role of resistance which manifests itself in several forms. Among them; opposition, rejection, isolation, hatred, the list is endless. A system that does not have a resistance system has little or no chance at all for success. The “resistance” do their job in two ways; They first test the idea to ensure that it will bring the vital improvement need to keep it in existence. The second is to ensure that the change agent has what it takes to sustain the idea once it has been accepted. This is done by first evaluating the credentials and track record of the agent. When the resistance cannot validate the credentials of the agent or the integrity of the impending change, it narrows the gate. This is often the case when the change or idea, it’s methods or intended outcome seem too complex for the average mind. Real change ideas are often intended for the good of the larger society. Unfortunately the average mind cannot see beyond the self and is therefore unable to comprehend the larger scope of the change. This makes the case for resistance even more robust necessitating more effort on the part of the agent if he is going to break through. Real Change agents have the persistence to carry the idea through even in the face of the stiffest of oppositions and what-have-yous.

Interestingly, the power of this system is largely dependent on the averageness of average people who for the most part will be the main beneficiaries of the impending change. It is also the reason why they eventually become the main defenders of the change once it has become the status quo. Often this will take a lot of work and time but the agent once he understands this, knows that he must persist. Because resistance in the larger sense is doing a legitimate job and therefore any positive change must embrace it and work with it for the two, in the larger scheme of things, have shared objectives. The strength and integrity of an entity is dependent on the rigorousness of the tests it has passed. The more rigorous the test, the better the outcome. It is why factories have testing and quality assurance units. It is the reason we have standards and certifications. It is what Paul meant by having you work passed through fire -1 Corinthians 3:13.

You only have to go back to the likes of Hitler and imagine how things would have panned out without the resistance that put them out of business. Your idea is but one out of an infinite number of tides seeking to determine the direction of the boat. The strongest and the most persistent ideas, if they are truly useful for the system will eventually cause change and enjoy the protection of the average. You will find if you look closely enough; that it will be fatal for all of us to be change agents and be left with no resistance unit whatsoever. Average people perform a very vital role and for this reason, no matter how hard and wide we teach the idea of change, change agents will always be few and average people will be in the majority. It is a necessity. 

Real change agents are equipped with special abilities that help to survive the integrity test of the resistance. Like Tyler Perry said and I rephrase; your dream itself must come to believe; so that no matter how frustrated you are, something inside of you just won’t let go even if you wanted to.  Many dreams have died a still-birth because the agents did not have this special ability and that is how we know that they are not meant to cause change. If you think average people don’t have dreams or change ideas of their own, think again. They do, they just do not have what it takes. May your dream believe enough to never let go even if your whole being wants to. #spidup

10 Branding Tips for CEOs

To begin with note that where the CEOs personal vision doesn’t align with the company’s vision the brand will eventually fail.

1. You are the first brand ambassador of your firm

2. Your personal brand is as important as your corporate brand

3. Communicate your brand’s value in simple English. (Simplify) succinctly

4. Wear your brand daily

5. Find out how consumers perceive your brand

6. Know what people like most and dislike about your brand

7. Invest in Employer Branding

8. Never neglect Social Media as part of your brand LinkedIn is a MUST for CEOs)

9. Your private and public life are interrelated as long as you are the head.

10. Stay transparent, stay trusted!

Bernard Kelvin Clive is Personal Branding Coach/ Amazon bestselling author of “How to Repair Your Broken Brand & Manage Your Reputation” plus over twenty-five published books.

How Startup Brands Can Survive in the Digital Disruptive Age

The four C’s that SMSs and Startup Brands must utilize to make it in this age;

1.      Content: you must have content, as it’s said “content is king”, however not just any content, you must have relevant content which your audience will crave for, that meets their needs.

Your content must be timely; there is nothing worse than dead news, so ensure that you deliver your content when it’s needed. You need content that has been tested and trusted; the fact that content is required doesn’t imply throwing unverified, untrusted information out there.

2.      Connection: the first stage is to have relevant, trusted, timely content. The next step is to build meaningful connection with your audience; that is your market, fans and followers. Businesses thrive on relationships. Take time to build key relationships. Having great content that doesn’t resonate with your audience is futile, so by constantly engaging with your audience you will better understand their needs and wants which will enable you provide tailored made solutions for them.

3.      Contacts: from your connection you step up your game by establishing key contacts; connecting with influential people who can help push your business/brand to the next level. Some of them are the gatekeepers in the industry which you seek to penetrate, without them it will be difficult to breakthrough such barriers. Your contacts are the people who have the ability and capacity to help you in various ways. They are influential in their various fields. Take time to make such contacts.

4.      Contracts: your contacts should enable you get other clients, repeat business, and contracts. This is the last stage of the process of sustaining your business/brand in this age. Businesses exist to make profit (whatever that means to your business). Most often than not, it’s your contacts that will lead you to your contracts. That is to say your key relationships/influencers are the ones who will bring business to you. If you build this properly, your business will thrive, if not you will be firing arrows without hitting your target.

In conclusion, take note that big brands can readily afford mass media promotion to compete with price but as a small business owner and startup, focus on delivering outstanding offer with excellent customer experience to win. To survive in business today requires that you keep this cycle running constantly; to have something of value to offer – content, to build a bridge with your content – connection, to connect with key influencers – contacts, to get income coming through them – contracts.

Bernard Kelvin Clive is an Amazon bestselling author of REBRAND: The Ultimate Guide to Personal & Corporate Branding & Rebranding, and over twenty-five published books. A Personal Branding Coach, Brand Strategist at BKC Consulting. He has consulted for and helped hundreds of authors locally and internationally to self-publish books and build author brands. Ghana’s foremost authority on Personal branding and Digital Publishing who hosts the #1 iTunes ranked Business & Career Podcast in Ghana. 

Leadership duality— Encourager vs Challenger

In my recent article on leadership in which I made a point about the difference between effective and efficient leadership, I pointed us to effective leadership as the better option if change was desired. This article is a necessary installment intended to deal with the next stage of leadership i.e. guiding others (or leading if you like) through the new territory. This is based the premise established in the previous article; that leaders set the pace or lead the way in a particular area—it is what makes a leader. It is in this realm that such matters as leadership styles become worthy of the microscope.
Any reader of Lee Roberson is familiar with the expression; everything rises and falls on leadership. It is also a well-accepted notion that Leadership is cause and everything else is effect. Whiles much has be written and taught about leadership styles with so many different theories being thrown about, I find two attitudes showing up in my own experiences and observation; challenging and encouraging. 

To most people it is always the nice guy who is the most attractive. In many success stories, there is always that leader who encouraged someone to do something and how lucky they were to have met that individual. The encourageris loved because of his seemingly calm and loving nature. He is accepting of people’s weaknesses and encourages them to do what they think they can. People want to be treated nicely, feel loved and respected—the encourager model serves this purpose perfectly.

In a recent attempt to teach a lady friend how to drive, I found myself failing woefully simply because, I was not using the encourager model. You see I am more the bad guy type. The kind of guy who will throw you a challenge and expect you to rise to the occasion after having sold you the idea that I wouldn’t ask you to do it if didn’t think you could. The challenger doesn’t want what you think you can do, he wants what he believes you can do. The challenger wants to work with people who have a will to do things (transcend themselves) not those who need to be convinced to do thing. That’s the challenger guy and he is not the most popular.

The challenger is usually (not always) quite low on socio-emotional competence. He is more performance oriented and less people sensitive. He is not concerned that you havn’t had lunch and that your child has a headache. Nobody likes people like that but the fact remains, it is results that make great people and for that reason alone a focus on performance instead of comfort may be the winning formula. The larger point however, is that leadership is not for everyone (don’t look so shocked).  A leader is a game changer—he charts a course —a new course and from all indications a majority of people do not do that. Those who change the game are constantly in the face of challenges. It is the ability to rise above a challenge that sets them apart putting them in the lead creating something that others will emulate. A person who has trouble with challenges can therefore only follow such persons with pain. Yet a leader cannot be a leader unless he has followers who he must guide on this path. People have needs and that includes comfort and love. We also know that people are their best when they are comfortable in what they are doing. So that it is clear that the two models have merits and demerits. The most versatile leader will know not only how to throw a challenge but also how to encourage followers to take them up without threatening their self-esteem.

If you are an encourager, then encourage more while recognizing the need for throwing a challenge. On the other hand a challenger must challenge while encouraging where it is needed. As is always the case; one may be stronger in one area than the other, this is fine and decides what kind of followers he assembles. If John C. Maxwell is right, then a leader must aim to raise other leaders. What kind of a leader will you train, how will you do it and why? Go lead with high performance!

End poverty—did we miss the mark again?

I came very close to calling the World Bank End Poverty Campaign event held at the University of Ghana recently another patronizing charade. But for the fact that there were highly intelligent individuals who have demonstrated great capability in many areas on the panel, I am sure I would have stuck to my conclusion. When you have the likes of Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu   (Heirs holdings, the united bank of Africa, Transcorp, Tony Elumelu foundation); Forbes’ one of the 20 most powerful men in Africa on the panel, you tread cautiously. You might be missing something. We do not have many of such men on the continent and for that reason; we have a responsibility to protect the few we have. And yes, such men and women can be instrumental in our fight against poverty. But should we be fighting poverty in the first place?

I am in all candidness deeply concerned about the notion that agribusiness is the way forward as far as this end poverty thing goes. Apparently the figures for what they are worth, prove that young people are actually interested in agribusiness since 30% of applications to the Tony Elumelu foundation entrepreneurship program actually needed support to grow their agribusinesses (one would have thought that meant that we were already in agribusiness). This might be true but does it really support the idea that agribusiness is the way forward. One cannot help but to wonder what the other 70% of the applications were about but since we do not have the benefit of adequate information a degree of deductive reasoning must be resorted to.

Ghana’s very own Professor Nana Opoku Agyemang who happens to be minister of education on her part insisted that Women and children are the most vulnerable. Groundbreaking information! How about a more detailed analysis of the issue of poverty itself and not the group you think it affects the most? I am leaving the children out of the equation for now but is poverty really a gender issue? Is your country itself by accepted standards not poor and is that because we allowed the women to live in poverty?

Dr. Kim Yong Kim of the World Bank group (is that a Bretton woods institution or is it just me?) thinks it is the poor child living in and around rural areas between the ages of 0-5 that we should be concerned about. He insisted: “It is the height of unfairness to relegate children under the age of 5 to never being able to learn. Children have to be able to learn anything and quickly. We have to dedicate a huge portion of our operations to the achievement of this objective”. (Really? Show me) But the question is this; are we going to simply put the children in school or are we going to empower the parents to make sure they handle their responsibilities?

Dr. Kim adds ; “this is the most important thing I can tell you, the Korea of 1959 is now the Africa of 2015, we talk about Africa rising but in quiet conversations we hear all kinds of talk about impossible, you know what we hear from the prime minister about DRC lots of people were saying that’s impossible. Don’t ever believe and certainly don’t believe it by yourselves”. Erm, Africa is a continent Dr. Kim.

Mr. Akinwumi Adesina’s (President of the African Development Bank) view is not nothing near unorthodox; Agribusiness and technology is Africa’s best bet at reducing poverty. “65% of all the world’s arable lands are not in Asia, Latin America, but right here in Africa, great sunshine, great water, and cheap labour. You throw anything up, it comes down it grows”.  Yeah… thank you very much! We did not know that. Their final words did not add much;

Dr. Adesina: just end it. Well… How?
Dr. Kim: listen to young people and listen to the women.
Oh Thanks but were they represented on your panel?
Opoku Agyemang: focus on quality education delivered in the right medium. Who will do that again? And are you saying these won’t be necessary if we weren’t s poor? Bright Simons has a few words for you on that language thingy.

Tony Elemelu at least gave us five factors on getting out of poverty; “hard work, enabling environment, discipline, culture of saving, long term thinking, aligning with people with similar perspective”. The first two; sound like something from an economic text book. But one can almost be certain that if hardwork made people billionaires, 98% of women in Africa will be billionaires ahead of Tony Elemelu. Nobody pays you for how hard you have worked; they pay you for what you have produced. Enabling environment however, is another matter altogether; it just doesn’t exist but we have to at least continue our search for it. The rest are just the usual you hear from motivational speaking sessions. It will be refreshing to learn that Mr. Elemelu saved his way to billions; that will at least provide some comfort in that direction.

The source of worry is simple; one cannot be so sure what purpose an event like this with all its pomp was supposed to serve. Maybe it is just useful to keep talking but if anyone is really interested in eradicating poverty (and I have reached a disturbing level of skepticism on the matter), they must first stop telling us that agribusiness is the way out. In America, less than 2% of the population is involved in agriculture, in Africa, some 65% is. The difference is that the American farmer is a billion times more productive. Perhaps we do not need to be told we ought to be in agriculture, we are already in it, always have been. For most of Africans, we return to the land when other things don’t work out. We have always been in it and if things don’t change soon, we are seriously considering migration.

But here is the thing though, if the idea that how one thinks about something determines how he deals with it is anything to go by, then we must stop looking at what we do and start thinking about how we do things. Africans always find something to do. Our “vulnerable” women are working hard in the markets and in the streets amidst the threats to their well-being often perpetuated by government and its agents. It is how they do what they do that is the bone of contention.

Walking through one of our many slums recently, I counted 6 traditional drinks; Brukina, lamugii, Asana, Ice-Kenkey, Sobolo, Shitor-daa, Nme-daaa. I am told there are many others. None of these drinks have made it to commercial levels and they have been around for a while. There is clearly a viable market for these products. A small study of Kenkey sellers and how they do their busin6ess (and they DO NOT think of themselves as business people and potential billionaires) revealed some obstacles to wealth creation. They all insist on making their own Kenekey. It turns out most of them are not good at making Kenkey (the process is nowhere near simple) yet they refuse to buy from those who make better Kenkey and resell. Or perhaps it hadn’t occurred to them that they could do that and possibly make more money. On the other hand, those who are good at making it do not even realize their competitive advantage so they do not capitalize on it to expand by making retailers out of their weaker competitors. Because of this, Kenkey making still remains a cottage industry even in the heart of the city whiles still remaining the nation’s number one meal. These are real thought problems that when addressed can unlock the wealth trapped within communities.

It is known that the way out of poverty is a positive motivation not a negative one. Negative is flight (trying to get out of a situation) positive is fight (making your way to an aspiration). Wealth creation mentality might just be the best thought system for ending poverty. Citizens must be led to think about aspirations—what they could be and how they could be it.

One must stress the point that we are not short of things to do; our issues are more to do with how we do it. Those who insist on agribusiness must at least see if they can promote the making small mechanical equipment with the engines and hydraulics that have been developed by Safo Kantanka in the hope of improving the performance of the average farmer.

These are the reasons why we think a project like SPiD-UP extremely important. Each African must be conscious of what we do and how we do it. We must insist on being the best we can be regardless of what we have chosen to do with our lives. We must see the world standards and want to meet or beat it. This is a way of thinking and it has to be said; it was to be the new African that Nkrumah wanted to create.

Those who claim they want to end poverty must therefore, of necessity turn to performance consciousness. Without that, we will put 80% of our people into agribusiness and end up worsening the conditions. This is easy to predict with the benefit of antecedents. A change of pattern is needed and if Dr, Kim is serious about ending poverty, lets see some -more investment towards changing mindsets towards performance consciousness. 

Effective and Efficient —An unclear dichotomy?

It is very easy to confuse efficiency as the same as effectiveness. There is nothing farther from the truth. The two can quite easily be opposites if we take a closer look. In everyday language, we can easily say a person is efficient and actually mean they are effective.  Hopefully your view will be well-formed by the end of this article and you will begin to look for effectiveness and not efficiency.

Efficient actually means you are good at keeping things the way they are—you meet the standard. There is a system and a standard in place, you follow it very well enough not to upset it. So that most people are in fact efficient (normal or average performers) and form the 80% of the population that keep things the way they are. As long as we remain efficient in what we do, we will get good results but nothing will change. There will be no breaking of new grounds. This is detrimental to human progress as by nature, the world itself is in a perpetual state of growth and nothing stays the same. The mobile phone in your hand has not always been the way it is. It has been continuously changed by effective people who consistently sought to improve.  It is normal for people to be born into the world, live and die. That is normal and a person can get very good at living life efficiently without making any real difference. Efficient leadership therefore, actually keeps us where we are— maintaining the status quo.

Effective on the other hand is another matter altogether. There are certain individuals who’s very presence challenges everyone and everything around them. They know not another way to live but to change things for the better. Such persons are responsible for the progress mankind enjoys. As soon as they become a part of something, that thing must change. It is the reason they are referred to as game changers. These are the effective people— the 10% responsible for raising the bar for everyone else to catch up. They are peak performers.

So that we can easily see what can be described as an effective leader and efficient leader. It is the difference between a person who got into a position and a person who actually lead the way with something they did. Effectiveness is what Jesus meant when he said “you are the salt of the earth”.Salt by nature is an effective change agent. You know immediately when the food is missing salt just as you know when Barcelona is missing Messi. When a person is born into the world, he must leave it improved—something about the world must be better or something of great benefit must come into existence because of his presence.

This then is the difference between being efficient and being effective. Most importantly it is imperative for every one of us to evaluate ourselves regarding our effectiveness. And if we are in a leadership position, ensure that we are true leaders and not position occupiers. What is the nature of your influence on the organization you are part of? How has that group changed for the better since you became part of it? May you receive grace to be the salt of any group you are a part of. May things begin to move because of you.
#spidup #hopemanexhortations

Capability the engine

If you are not new to my ramblings about performance, then you probably already know what role occupation plays in the quest for maximization of existence or peak performance for that matter. In uptimetrics, we describe it as the vehicle that must transport the agent to the set destination. From a practical viewpoint, destination is the goal a person sets for their existence (it is the ultimate determinant of a maximized existence). It answers the question; what one thing must you achieve for you to say you have given your best in life.

The description of occupation as a vehicle automatically proposes the need for an engine; a vehicle cannot move without a source of energy. That engine is capability. Capability for our purposes can be said to have four main cylinders—Talent, Skill, Interest and Traits. It is when these cylinders are well aligned and are all firing at their full capacities that the vehicle moves at full power. The importance of firing at full power is based on the premise that time is the only known unit for measuring existence and maximization of existence relies heavily on its optimum use.  

What you do + Quality(quality+quantity) of what you do / the length of Time in which you do it =Performance

Ok don’t let the math frighten you. I am not good at it ether. This simply means you have given it your best possible shot. The extension of this formula is the comparison to the best in the field but I shall desist from exploring that since that discussion is beyond the scope of this article. I am actually avoiding the Ecclesiastes 9:11 fanatics…for now. 😉

As a general rule however, the faster the vehicle the more likely it is for the goal to be reached and the less the time this is likely to be done in. Since one does not have the luxury of eternity, at least in this existence as we know it, it counts that you take the time factor into consideration and this depends directly on the power of your engine—capability. What can you do in a day? Not many of us have answered that question but a careful analysis will reveal that it is that simple answer, too often very hard to produce that will shape your whole existence.

Anyway, as you may already know, a well-oiled, well-functioning engine is critical for overall performance. Yet it is not the only determinant. It must be steered in the right direction and stopped when necessary. These two elements ensure that the capability engine remains an asset. A high performance vehicle is a death-trap without a good breaking and control system. There is an axiom for this; Great power must come with great responsibility. But that’s not the end of the story; there are also matters regarding weights or baggage (how much you are carrying along) which must be shed so the power of the engine is allowed to be what it really is. 

For a deeper understanding you need to read my theoretical foundation of peak performance which unfortunately is being rewritten at the moment—sorry. Stick around long enough and I might just give you a copy. In the meantime, spend some time thinking about your engine and how it is influencing your vehicle towards the possibility of maximizing your existence. #spidup

Dimensions of GOOD

Many are the thinkers who have treated good as an idea. The conclusions have not always been the same (You know how philosophers are). This is strange given the fact that goodis an idea we deal with in every day activity—it is also what we all claim we represent. The consensus appears to be that; it is relative and only determined by the context of particular circumstances. What may be good for the goose may not be good for the gander after all. And what may be good today may not be good tomorrow. But don’t let me rock the boat too hard.

Think about this for a second; a person seeking justice will be very quick to point out that what is good for the goose is good for the gander and he may be right. But he will say so only because it helps his cause—it preserves his existence in one way or another. A person who is actually in the wrong, will refer to a judgement in his favour as good—it helps his cause. So in a typical scenario of opposing forces, there might be different definitions of what is good as it will be dependent on the cause it helps (in Plus-Thinking, we explore this notion in more detail). This may perhaps be the reason utilitarians turned to the idea of the general good i.e. that which promotes the larger cause of society though at the expense of one of its sub-components. This means a sacrifice of the individual for the larger good (perhaps that rings a bell).

While I personally like the idea of the general good, many of the scenarios that result from it are nothing short of petrifying. But I am digressing again aren’t I; the point of this article is to find a more humanly digestible understanding that can be applied in your daily activities as you map your way to high performance in your occupation and larger existence.

There are two levels to good which must be complied with if your output is to qualify as good. First is your very person; a good person is likely to produce a good product. This is based on the presumption that, a good person has good intentions and therefore creates good products. A beneficiary will describe your output as good because it helps their cause. But the question that arises is; is their cause good? The answer to that will be a resounding yes if we presume that the beneficiary is a good person who has good intentions. So that the goodness of the product is not simply because it serves a purpose well but more because the purpose it serves is good. We have seen that the larger good—the good that benefits the larger society is the ultimate good that must be aspired to. So that if the product meets the needs of the larger society is some way, it will be because it was put in place by a good person who by our understanding is good only because he has the needs of the larger society at heart even at the expense of his comfort.

Now, let’s not get carried away with the utilitarian thinking of which I am not exactly an aficionado by any stretch of the imagination. I am more the God kind of guy who, instead of saying larger good, will be happier placing God (the repository of all good) in the center of things much to the displeasure of one Richard Dawkins. If God is the repository of all goodness, then we must see how complying with his interest is what makes a good person who of necessity will put out a product that must meet the God standard. In effect, the single goodness of God when accepted makes a good person who puts out a good product that meets the need of the larger society.

We have seen from our research at the CSD that the high performing individual is a certain kind of personality with specific character traits (I shall treat this thought in more detail in a coming paper) which is akin to those proposed by scripture. Indeed we are yet to encounter any religion or spiritual path for that matter; that does not advocate goodness as the best way to exist. They all seek to develop devotees into such a personality. This substantiates the fact that any maximization of existence must begin with goodness and that the degree of goodness in that order determines the extent of the maximization of existence.

The high performing individual is a good guy. The better you are as a person the better your output and the better your life will be—all things being equal. It will be difficult to describe something as best without first passing it through the good stage. Be good at what you do but also do it for a good reason because you are a good person. After good comes better and best #spidup

Motivation VS Inspiration

Do you find some things really effortless and other things needing you to push yourself, and really focus on staying on task to complete?… You do. Everyone does from time to time, in one sense or another, but why? What’s the difference?
Simply defined, motivation is driven from external forces- like expectations, deadlines, goals etc. Something that you don’t intrinsically have, or are driven for example you need to be ‘motivated’ to do it, whether you motivate yourself, or you have someone else motivate you, like a coach or mentor or friend or lover etc.  Inspiration comes from within, and is much more powerful as a driver for behavior and ultimately results, yet inspiration &/or motivation alone don’t equal results without action.
How many times have you had a fleeting moment of inspiration? An idea that at the time you had it, stirred up a deep positive feeling inside you, and in the next instant it was gone! Vanished into the depths of your biological filing system, no matter how hard you tried to recall it, you just couldn’t, and the harder you triedthe harder it was to recall, until you just moved on.
One of the biggest keys to a fulfilled life is to act on your inspirations, like the great artists, engineers, architects, authors, thinkers, doers, leaders & changers of our time did and do. All of these people were driven not by motivation, but by inspiration, or in other words their ultimate purpose, the thing that no one told them to do, and everyone said they would never be able to do.
If you get a bucket and put one crab in the bucket, the crab will crawl out of the bucket. The crab is instinctually inspired to get out of the bucket and back to the ocean floor, where it knows it belongs and loves to be. BUT, you put two crabs in the same bucket and neither crab will get out….true story. You see, every time one of the crabs gets inspired enough to escape the limitations of the bucket, the other crab will reach up and pull it back down… 
So what is your purpose? What inspires you? Which is normally the point where a person will say either “I don’t know” or they’ll say what inspires them, followed by all the reasons they can’t do it, based on the size of their bucket and all the crabs out there that keep them in the bucket. 
Inspiration doesn’t have to mean changing the world, or going into business, or anything for that matter, it means what ever it means to you, whatever it is that provides you with real fulfillment. I have friends that are inspired to live very simple lives, completely off grid, and I can tell you they are happier than most other people that need to be continually motivated to do something that doesn’t inspire them, but “pays the bills”, but you can find inspirations in your everyday movements… if you look for them!
The bucket is your comfort zone. Your limiting beliefs about the world and what is possible, and the crabs are the external things that limit you (money, relationships, government, opportunity, privilege etc.) 
When things seem impossible think about this. The Earth is 4.6 billion years old.
If you scale this to 1B:1, or in other words down to 46 years, then the human race has been here for just 4 hours & The Industrial Revolution began just 1 minute ago!
Forget about what you think is possible, and start to think about what inspires you. Steve Jobs once said “I want a phone with one button…” and everyone said he was crazy – to which he replied “the people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do”
Step out of the bucket and into life, and if you have crabs, ask a coach for some inspirational crab removal cream…
This article was contributed by John Fell. For more about the author click the link below; Click here

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