Saturday, June 18, 2005


This page shall remain silent for a week as I journey down memory lane. I am leaving tomorrow to return to my home town of Edmonton, Alberta to visit my family and then on to the 50th reunion of Camp Bnai Brith at Pine Lake Alberta, where fond memories linger of warm summer breezes, and of course the occasional mosquitoe followed by the obligatory thunderstorm. I shall report back on June 29th, but don't expect the same prose as Garrison Keiler.


Buddha Speaks Biz

Thursday, June 16, 2005


My apologies to Nina East, for not recognizing her contribution to this blog with an article on "Enlightened Entrepreneurs". Here is her website:


My apologies for those who are regular visitors to this site. I have been on a bit of a sabbatical as it were and have not fulfilled my promise to provide daily quotes from Buddha and inspirational insights on my personal journey.

As I prepare for a trip down memory lane, I will try to add some content over the next couple of days....after that I'm off to my home town of Edmonton for a summer camp reunion. It's the 50th anniversary of Camp Bnai Brith, at Pine Lake , Alberta where I honed my skills as a Camp Counsellor, and teenager in lust. All I accomplished was falling in love with the swim instructor who was twice my age . She could win the Esther Williams look alike contest.


I came across a number of articles and new books that I found relevant to our discussions on this site. I hope you will find them as inspirational as I have.
As always, I'll try to identify links so you can learn more from the sources.

Measure time by experiences rather than by deadlines."
—Taisir Anbar, Consultant, Mercer Management Consulting Inc.

From: FAST COMPANY February 2001 Page 66 By Christine Canabou.


Taisir Anbar (, 24, management consultant, Mercer Management Consulting Inc., Washington, DC.

Enough Already

Constantly travelling and working up to 130 hours a week took its toll on Taisir Anbar. "You start to wonder when you put off flying home to hang out with friends, because you'd only be home for one night anyway." Basically, his monthly rent paid for some really nice storage space.

Red Flag

"I reached the point where I wasn't as willing to make the kind of sacrifices that I had initially accepted. I also became more intent on checking off goals on my lifetime to-do list."

Coping Mechanism

Anbar decided to take some R&R through his company's sabbatical program, which allows consultants to take one or two months off per year -- in addition to vacation time. During his first month off, he hiked in Spain along the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage route largely unchanged since the Middle Ages. He spent his second month visiting friends and family in the United Arab Emirates. For Anbar, the sabbatical was a smart way to detox.

"Time somehow shifts when you have the freedom to take an afternoon nap in an olive grove," he says. "You begin to measure time by experiences rather than by deadlines." He needed it: "I was no longer doing justice to my job or to my lifestyle. The sabbatical reaffirmed my commitment to lead a balanced life.

"Time somehow shifts when you have the freedom to take an afternoon nap in an olive grove," he says. "You begin to measure time by experiences rather than by deadlines." He needed it: "I was no longer doing justice to my job or to my lifestyle. The sabbatical reaffirmed my commitment to lead a balanced life."

Buddha says: "By day the sun shines, and by night shines the moon. The warrior shines in his armour, and the Brahmin in his meditation. But the Buddha shines by day and by night---in the brightness of his glory shines the man who is awake".


by Black Tie Magazine

Brothers Are You Listening? A Success Guide For The New Millennium(click title to order on-line)

Michael Taylor's Brother's, Are You Listening? is a powerful, solution-oriented tool for getting one's personal and professional program together. Taylor's message is directed toward African American males. The contents however, are fuel for contemplation for both males and females.

" Brother's, Are You Listening?" is an easy read, but don't be deceived. Any reader ready to examine his or her life and actively implement changes will find enough depth and referrals within Taylor's work to start the journey. He talks candidly about his experiences - the good and the painful. He then generously offers how he found his way to become a better man.

Taylor covers a lot of ground, including what African American men do and say to themselves to stifle their own progress and growth. The segments on personal growth, relationships and sex are well-presented and thoughtful. His thoughts on children and a man's responsibility to his children are easily understood and refreshing to read. The chapter on children would be particularly insightful for a man of any age to review before engaging in the act that creates fathers.

Since, Brother's Are You Listening? is a success guide, it includes Michael Taylor's synthesis of the best recipe for deciding what one's purpose in life is. He guides the reader through how to create a plan, then includes tips on implementing that plan to breathe life into one's own definition of success and wealth.

Brother's Are You Listening? talks to its reader about the accountability of staying health and fit, of spiritual self enrichment and of recognizing the need to give back to one's community.

Not every reader will agree with everything he says, but you will close this book knowing the author is passionate about his topic. Michael Taylor writes about his vision and he clearly has the perseverance to make his dreams become reality. He invites you, his reader, to do the same.


An article by Nina East

Enlightened Entrepreneurs approach life and business from a perspective that is new, fresh, and rather unorthodox. The differences are subtle, yet significant, and lead to tremendous success. These distinctions are more than just fads or interesting tips; they are QUANTUM SHIFTS in how you will approach your business, your personal life, your relationships, etc. - for the rest of your life!

They are direct from the experience of hundreds of enlightened entrepreneurs!
First, one pre-distinction. We are not talking about “habits” in this article. There’s really nothing wrong with habits, except that you are still looking at habits. And, you probably already knew the habits before you even read about them…you just weren’t getting them to stick.

The problem with habits is that it’s easy to backslide because they aren’t really YOURS. You haven’t really owned them. Just when you are about to decide they are valuable and working, something comes up that throws a twist in the whole thing and there you are back again, living your same old habits.

A distinction, on the other hand, is not a habit or a secret, or even the latest tip of the day. A distinction is often a subtle difference in language, but it brings powerful new insight, meaning and perspective to the situation at hand. As you incorporate these 9 key distinctions into your life and business, you will create a key shift in how you think, how you evaluate, and how you approach any situation. You can never go back to the old way again – unlike the old paradigm of “habits”.

What are the 9 Key Distinctions of Enlightened Entrepreneurs?

1. Force vs. Power

When you are forcing something, you are pushing and shoving to get things to work out the way you want. There is a great deal of effort involved, and usually struggle.

Power, on the other hand, implies a strength that goes beyond what you might be able to exert. You experience power when you align your inner energies, beliefs, and emotions with your outer actions. This will propel you forward toward your goals, with much less effort and fewer toes being stepped on.

Some people talk about this as flow, but it is really much more than that. It is a sense of energy and multiple dimensions working in tandem so that with each step you actually move ahead many paces.

2. Accomplish vs. Attain

Accomplishment has a sense of finality, an end point, and refers more to a task. Accomplishments often feel meaningless once you’ve accomplished them. Have you ever worked hard in order to get something, and then once you had it, it didn’t seem so important or meaningful any more? There was a bit of a letdown.

Attainment, on the other hand, has no end. It is based in a spiritual or inspired knowing that what you are doing is meaningful at a level that goes far beyond just you or your company. Enlightened entrepreneurs indicate that when they were in “accomplish” mode, they got a lot done, but it didn’t always move them closer to their grander vision or mission. When they made the shift to attainment, it expanded their capacity to create the life they wanted.

3. Gaining information vs. Using what you learn

While it might seem obvious that to simply gain information is not sufficient for producing incredible, enlightened success, there are a lot of business people out there reading and acquiring information without really putting it into practice. Until you use what you learn, you haven’t really learned it. You’ve just expanded your storehouse of information.

By putting it into practice, applying what you learn, you are able to distinguish useful information from irrelevant, and tweak approaches or systems so that they work for you.

4. Segmented vs. Integrated

Enlightened entrepreneurs say that before they became incredibly successful, they thought of their lives in compartmentalized segments. Even within their businesses they had a segmented approach to their services, products, and even their efforts.

The shift for them came when they created a synergy by integrating their work and their lives. When you have an integrated approach, activity in one area directly benefits goals in another area. This is part of how you can move three paces ahead with only one step.

5. Working Hard vs. Working Joyfully

Working hard brings with it all the “must do’s” and “to do’s”, plus all the heaviness that those lists entail. Working joyfully, on the other hand, brings with it ease, fun, inspiration, and a light, powerful sense. When you work joyfully, you are working in tandem with spirit, in tandem with your true desires, whereas when you work hard you are usually pushing against something. (See Force vs. Power.)

Enlightened entrepreneurs often learned this the hard way. They spent years working hard, only to see their goals slipping away – along with their health and their energy. Often they “hit bottom” before they decided to try it a different way. When they did make the shift to working joyfully, they found themselves thinking, “Is it really this easy?” or “Wow, this is great! I can have fun, make money, and make a difference!”

6. Structure vs. Environments

Structure is a good thing. You need some structure in order to get things done – even if your structure looks vastly different from someone else’s. Structure is focused on tasks and specific outcomes.

Environments, on the other hand, go beyond structure to setting up entire systems of support that enable you to continue making progress without even “working” at it.

The distinction is that an environment works for you, while a structure requires you to do the work. An environment makes the structure YOURS. Enlightened entrepreneurs say this is one of the most important distinctions. When they could transform their structures – or lack of structure – into environmental supports, they were able to consistently move ahead with far less effort.

7. Behavior change vs. Shift

A behavior change is just what it sounds like. You either stop doing or start doing something. It can be simple, and may or may not be lasting. A shift, on the other hand, is powerful. It usually comes as the result of an experience of some sort (perhaps from the behavior change), and results in a deep, cellular change in how you approach things. It is often accompanied by an identify shift as well.

Think of those “aha!” moments and epiphanies you have had – the times when you all of a sudden “got it”. That is a shift. You can try to go back to the old way of doing things, but there is a part of you that always knows you’re not participating at your full potential.

For example, once you realize that what you think about and focus on affects your results, you cannot pretend it isn’t so. You might temporarily think less than helpful thoughts, but your internal set point has changed and you will be inspired back to what you know to be the truth. In order to get to this shift point however, you might have to practice it as behavior change until you get the evidence of how it works.

8. Pessimism vs. Optimism

This distinction seems obvious. What’s not always so obvious to people is WHEN they are being pessimistic. People who are struggling with their businesses often describe themselves as being “realistic”, seeing what’s really going on. The truth is, they are only looking at a portion of what’s going on, and chances are they are making that worse than it really is.

Optimism is not just a state of mind or an approach. It is a commitment to looking for what’s working, looking for the good in a situation, and building on that. It is based on spiritual and scientific principles that when we focus on what’s working and looking with vision and passion toward what we want, that we are actually more resourceful and creative.

Enlightened entrepreneurs have MASTERED this distinction!

9. Focusing on the gap vs. Honoring where you are

While wanting more is not a bad thing, when most people talk about what they want, what they are really doing is focusing on the gap between what they want and what they have. By doing this, they actually activate the “not having” more than the “having”, so it sets up a bit of a catch-22.

Honoring where you are is being fully present, loving each moment, knowing that each moment is already full and perfect, regardless of whether you have accomplished or attained. It is tapping in to the power of NOW.

Honoring where you are doesn’t discount that you might have dreams and desires, but in really honoring, you activate trust, celebration, and good feelings that allows in more of what you are wanting.

As you’ve noticed, these key distinctions of enlightened entrepreneurs are grounded in inner and outer attitudes, beliefs, and actions. They require a spiritual shift, as well as an external, or action, shift.

What shifts or distinctions are you noticing in yourself already?
What will be your next actions toward becoming an Enlightened Entrepreneur?

Buddha says: "In the light of his vision he has found his freedom: his thoughts are peace and his work is peace".


Buddha Speaks Biz

Friday, June 10, 2005


I thought I would start out the day by reviewing an incredible article that so inspired me that I had to quickly share it with you.

If you have been a regular visitor to this site, you know I have been using the term "puposeful alignment" whenever I talk about synchronicity or perfect timing, chance meetings, divine intervention, clairvoyant experiences, or just meeting the right people at the right time.

Well, I have never met Bill Strickland, but I can tell you that he is the true essence of the "Enlightened Entrepreneur" we are all striving to become . I hope to connect with him even if it's only through cyberspace, as I feel he is a beacon for all of us who are on the journey of re-discovering ourselves and the way we do business with others.

Here are excerpts of the article from the latest issue of Fast Company


With his potter's hands, Bill Strickland is reshaping the business of social change. His Pittsburgh-based program offers a national model for education, training - and hope.

by Ellen Mark

Bill Strickland can tell you when his life began: It was a Wednesday afternoon in September 1963.

And he can tell you how it began: It started with a lump of clay.
Strickland, then a 16-year-old black kid, was bored by school and hemmed in by life in a decaying Pittsburgh neighborhood. He wanted a way out, but he didn't have a clue about how to find it - until that Wednesday afternoon, when he went wandering through the hallways of his high school. It's a moment etched so clearly in his memory that, 35 years later, he can still recall the quality of the sunlight streaming in through the school windows. That's the day he came face to face with hope.

Looking through an open classroom door, Strickland saw something he'd never seen before: a rotating mound of clay being shaped into a vessel by a man absorbed in his work.

"If ever in life there is a clairvoyant experience, I had one that day," says Strickland, now 51. "I saw a radiant and hopeful image of how the world ought to be. It opened up a portal for me that suggested that there might be a whole range of possibilities and experiences that I had not explored. It was night and day - literally. I saw a line and I thought: This is dark, and this is light. And I need to go where the light is."

So Strickland walked into the sunlit classroom, introduced himself to ceramics teacher Frank Ross, the man at the potter's wheel, and said, "I'd like to learn whatever that is." With Ross as his mentor for nearly 20 years, Strickland not only found the way out - one that led to college - he also found the way in: the path that lets one person make all the difference in the world.

He mastered the art of social entrepreneurship, applying his potter's hands to reshape the business of social change. As a result, the people who now work with him and come to his programs at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (MCG) and at the Bidwell Training Center Inc. (BTC) - his Pittsburgh-based organizations for urban change - will tell you that the day Bill Strickland walked into that ceramics classroom was the day that he began reinventing this country's approach to social entrepreneurship.

In the Manchester neighborhood of Pittsburgh's North Side, Strickland has forged a series of programs to bring new life to the community. At one end of the lifeline is the MCG, which aims to rescue at-risk school kids by using the arts to teach them life skills. At the other end is the BTC, an innovative partnership with local companies to train displaced adults for real work in real jobs. Since their inception, the two programs have each grown into more than $3 million-a-year operations, with a combined staff of 110 people. Strickland serves as president and CEO, the linchpin that holds all of the parts together.

And there's more. Like any true entrepreneur, Strickland has filled the space between the two programs with other ventures: a jazz concert hall and an innovative Grammy Award-winning record label. Next year, he plans to roll out the Denali Initiative - a national three-year effort funded by the Kaufmann Foundation to teach nonprofit leaders how to think like entrepreneurs.

The source of it all is Strickland's single flash of insight on that long-ago Wednesday afternoon. "You start with the perception that the world is an unlimited opportunity," Strickland says. "Then the question becomes, 'How are we going to rebuild the planet?'"

"Artists are by nature entrepreneurs, they're just not called that," Strickland says. "They have the ability to visualize something that doesn't exist, to look at a canvas and see a painting. Entrepreneurs do that. That's what makes them different from businesspeople. Businesspeople are essentially administrators. Entrepreneurs are by definition visionaries. Entrepreneurs and artists are interchangeable in many ways. The hip companies know that."

There's one other thing about the break-the-mold way that Bill Strickland does business: It's about the payoff. No, Strickland isn't in this for the money. But he's also not into being a starving artist. Strickland is looking for something in-between, like his hybrid model of social entrepreneurship. In fact, he's striving for the one thing that he thinks is missing in the world today: balance. A balance of resources, equity, and opportunity - a socially responsible mind-set that asks the haves in this country, How much is enough?

Buddha says:

"The glorious chariots of kings wear out, and grows old; but the virtue of the good never grows old, and thus they can teach the good to those who are good"


Buddha Speaks Biz

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


When looking at the Eightfold Path it becomes evident that the eight may be divided into three distinct areas of life, areas that were of particular concern to the Buddha.

These are wisdom, morality, and meditation. In his book, "Sayings of the Buddha", author William Wray tells us that "Wisdom involves Right View or coming to a proper understanding of the truth of the Buddha's teaching. All of us have had an insight, a flash of understanding, when our view suddenly changes. With that flash arises the realization that life as we know it has it's limitations.

In moments of greater awareness the sense of separation normally experienced gives way to a deep appreciation for the underlying unity, a unity from which we are in no way separate. From this experience there may arise a resolution to come to a more deeper and more lasting understanding of the true nature of things."

This is Right Resolve, and as part of this resolution put into practise in our business and our personal lives there may arise the steady determination to meet and counter those deep ingrained habits of heart and mind that force us into a state of separation and suffering.

Involving both heart and mind, the decision to be made is both emotional and intellectual. This is the second aspect of wisdom. In my interviews with "Enlightened Leaders"... I have observed a quality of great wisdom that comes from a place of deep compassion and understanding of the human spirit.

Buddha says:

"Through perseverance, vigilance and self-restraint, a wise person creates a safe harbour for herself that no storm can overwhelm"


Buddha Speaks Biz

Friday, June 03, 2005


As we journey down the road of Personal and Business Enlightenment, I have often wondered whether we become enlightened first or does the world begin to look enlightened to us. The other theory is that the world becomes enlightened to accomodate a new "enlightened" being. We begin to attract others who are also on the path and they are brought to us in many different ways, some have called it "synchroncity", "divine intervention", or "fate". I would like to call it "purposeful alignment".

I believe we are entering an era of "Enlightened Capitalism", where the bottom line is not the only reason to be in business, and thus we begin to meet other fellow enlightened entrepreneurs who are on the journey of discovering that the way we do business is the way we conduct our lives, and the way we conduct our lives is much like the eightfold Buddha principles we talk about: Right Understanding, Right Thoughts, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration.

So my fellow travellers, having met a number of these "Enlightened Entrepreneurs", I can tell you that they are totally at peace and at one with the universe. These same individuals run very highly successful companies. They tell me that when their life is in balance , their businesses life just seems to flow, not without work, but it flows with ease rather than effort, and they make the right decisions based on "right action" occuring in their lives!

Buddha says:

"The moment we are enlightened within, we go beyond the voidness of a world confronting us".


Buddha Speaks Biz

Thursday, June 02, 2005


"Have fire like a noble horse touched by the whip. By faith, by virtue, by wisdom and by right action, you shall overcome the sorrows of life".


Buddha Speaks Biz

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


As we build our businesses in an ethical and purposeful way, I can't help but feel that we are probably engaging in "purposeful alignment" with everyone we do business with. Given that like attracts like...we will soon begin to attract other purposeful individuals on the same journey.

When looking at the Eightfold Path of Buddha's teachings we find RIGHT LIVELIHOOD. "Right livelihood encourages us to seek a way of sustaining ourselves which minimizes the impact we have on others and the world in general. In gaining our living we may feel that circumstances force us into ignoring such considerations, but Right Livelihood encourages us to think differently, to appreciate the interconnectedness of all things and to tread lightly with due care and compassion".


Buddha Speaks Biz


"Abandon the ways of confusion and darkness and live in the light of peace and harmony"

Buddha Speaks Biz