Money Management

Money management offers a tour of research on the science of spending, explaining how you can get more money.

Information of the Ages

Learn wisdom from extra-ordinary leaders of the ages.

Business Guide

Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends. Walt Disney

Thursday

"Love Is the Killer App" by Tim Sanders

Is love really all you need? Tim Sanders, director of Yahoo's in house think tank, believes love is the crucial element in the search for personal and professional success. In Love Is the Killer App he explains why. Sander's advice is to be a "lovecat," which despite the cutesy moniker is his sincere and surprisingly practical prescription for advancement both inside and outside the office. It starts with amassing as much usable knowledge as possible, which he explains can be done by religiously carving out time to read and then poring through as many cutting-edge books in your field as possible. It follows with an emphasis on networking to the extreme.

Sanders offers concrete suggestions, from compiling a super list of contacts to ensuring all are regularly stored in an always-accessible format. And he concludes by advocating a true mindset of compassion, which he says involves sharing this knowledge with those contacts and ultimately helping anyone who in one way or another may ultimately help you. Through identifiable anecdotes and specific recommendations, the book promotes an undeniably feasible yet decidedly offbeat program that has worked for the author and could prove equally favorable for others who apply it.
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Wednesday

"Lessons from the Monkey King" by Arthur F Carmazzi

This fantastic journey deals with the very real dynamics of how an organizational culture affects an individual and their personal effectiveness. Transform your corporate culture with Directive Communication Psychology and have fun in the process. This "HOW TO" journey empowers you to access the resources you need to make a BIG difference in the way people act and treat each other at work. Armed with psychology and force multiplication strategies you will learn in this book, you can lead the change no matter what position you have in your organization; one individual can make a difference. Prepare to be inspired on this fun and magical journey toward an effective and fulfilling work environment with Arthur F Carmazzi and become an organizational Monkey King.
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Tuesday

"Leadership and Self-Deception" by The Arbinger Institute

Using the story/parable format so popular these days, Leadership and Self-Deception takes a novel psychological approach to leadership. It's not what you do that matters, say the authors (presumably plural the book is credited to the esteemed Arbinger Institute), but why you do it. Latching onto the latest leadership trend won't make people follow you if your motives are selfish people can smell a rat, even one that says it's trying to empower them.

The tricky thing is, we don't know that our motivation is flawed. We deceive ourselves in subtle ways into thinking that we're doing the right thing for the right reason. We really do know what the right thing to do is, but this constant selfjustification becomes such an ingrained habit that it's hard to break free of it it's as though we're trapped in a box, the authors say.
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Monday

"Lateral Thinking" by Edward de Bono

This book, which is now internationally known and a bestseller, is a textbook of creativity. It shows how the habit of lateral thinking can be encouraged and new ideas generated. The author has worked out special techniques for doing this, in groups or alone, and the result is a triumph of entertaining education.
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Sunday

"Killing Sacred Cows" by Garrett Gunderson

In this thought-provoking work, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker Gunderson takes aim at the social brainwashing and financial planners and institutions that are constricting Americans' financial freedom and undermining their abilities to prosper with misguided and dangerous advice.

The author debunks various investment myths offering a fresh look at 401(k) fallacies and false beliefs (high risk = high returns). In a book studded with anecdotes and historical tidbits, Gunderson excels in his description of the prevalent psychological beliefs that hinder success: the scarcity mindset in which financial success is understood as a zero-sum game; the American equation of happiness with prosperity; and the misconception that money holds power. In appeals more befitting a self-help guide than financial primer, the author argues that individuals need to embrace a mindset of self reliance and identify their Soul Purpose.

In the vein of The Secret and the classic Think and Grow Rich, Gunderson suggests that prosperity is a state of mind from which value and wealth flow. Readers will find his assault on traditional financial nostrums fresh, eye-opening and emboldening.
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"Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach

"Most gulls don't bother to learn more than the simplest facts of flight--how to get from shore to food and back again," writes author Richard Bach, in this allegory about a unique bird named Jonathan Livingston Seagull. "For most gulls it is not flying that matters, but eating. For this gull, though, it was not eating that mattered, but flight." Flight is indeed the metaphor that makes the story soar.

Ultimately this is a fable about the importance of seeking a higher purpose in life, even if your flock, tribe or neighbourhood finds your ambition threatening. (At one point our beloved gull is even banished from his flock.) By not compromising his higher vision, Jonathan gets the ultimate pay-off: transcendence. Ultimately, he learns the meaning of love and kindness. The dreamy seagull photographs by Russell Munson provide just the right illustrations although the overall packaging does seem a bit dated (keep in mind that it was first published in 1970). Nonetheless, this is a spirituality classic and an especially engaging parable for adolescents.
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Saturday

"In Search of Excellence" by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman

This publication is a survey written by a couple of McKinsey consultants that seek to define the characteristics of successful, I mean excellent, organizations using the McKinsey 7-S framework; Structure, Systems, Style, Staff, Skills, Strategy, and Shared Values.

Their findings suggest that eight attributes are common for an excellent organization; bias for action, close to the customer, autonomy and entrepreneurship, productivity through people, hands on, value driven, stick to the knitting (=focus on what you do best), simple form lean staff, and simultaneous loose-tight properties (balance between centralized/decentralized organization).
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Friday

"Illusions" by Richard Bach

Richard Bach's "Illusions" is a little book telling a story of two biplane pilots of whom one was Messiah and the other his student willing to become Messiah.

In a form of the "Messiah Handbook" and continuous dialogues between the two as well as the situations happening in the book, Richard Bach delivers us the life changing information and the greatest wisdom of life where every person is responsible for the life he has and has power to change it if he wants, also that the material life is illusion and that the spiritual life where no space or time exist is what is real.

I've read this book several times but each time I read it, I see and understand it differently. However it is always highly inspiring, awakening, positive, thought provoking and by all means brilliant!!! I love this book. It's a bit like Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince" or Paulo Coelho's "Alchemist" which are all masterpieces of all times.
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"I'm OK, You're OK" by Thomas Harris

If you ever feel insecure and worry what others think about you then this is the book for you. Harris explains in simple terms the breakdown of the personality and enables you to understand what makes people the way they are. It would be a shame if people went through life never having had the fortune to comprehend the details in this book. The PAC model is simple and it works.
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Thursday

"How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Dale Carnegie

"Those who don't know how to fight worry, die young." This ominous advice begins Dale Carnegie's bestseller, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, an eight-part treatise on the follies of worrying. Like other Carnegie books, this one is packed with good old-fashioned common sense, illustrated with examples drawn from research on historical figures and interviews with business leaders. Somehow, even the most simple advice such as Carnegie's four-step method of problem solving is presented in a way that makes you want to write it down and post it on the employee bulletin board.
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Wednesday

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

Under the subheading "15,000,000 people can't be wrong," I proudly present one of the all-time business book classics. You've probably heard about this book, as it's one of those titles that have become part of the cultural lexicon (like CATCH-22). It floats around the edges of the pop-culture ether, easily recalled but little read.

Written in 1936, it is based on courses in public speaking that had been taught in adult education courses by Dale Carnegie since 1912. It is an unusual little book, written in a highly personalized, colloquial style that is reminiscent of a lecture.

This book was designed with professionals in mind, and designed to help professional people do better in business by helping them make social contacts and improve their speaking skills. It was also written with a certain earnestness in mind. Carnegie was a big believer in sincerity when it came to dealing with other people.
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Tuesday

“Good to Great" by Jim Collins

Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time.

They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner.

Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider. Like Built to Last, Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come.
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Monday

"Getting to Yes" by Roger Fischer and William Ury

This is the first book I ever read on negotiating, and at the time I found it extremely good. However, since then, I have read both Shell's "Bargaining for Advantage" and Cialdini's "Influence", and found those two books immensely better than Getting to Yes, for a few different reasons.

Number of stories in Getting to Yes, the authors do not offer enough stories to burn the concepts into the reader's mind. I personally think stories are the best way to communicate something like negotiating.

Actual psychological concepts explained Getting to Yes is a summary of findings, and it never explains why certain things work. Without a deep understanding, it is not clear when the concepts work and when they don't. Especially in Influence, you really get to understand how to persuade someone by remembering the core psych concepts.
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"Getting Things Done" by David Allen

'With first-chapter allusions to martial arts, "flow", "mind like water", and other concepts borrowed from the East, you'd almost think this self-helper from David Allen should have been called Zen and the Art of Schedule Maintenance. Not quite. Yes, Getting Things Done offers a complete system for downloading all those free-floating gotta dos clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists all purportedly to free your mind to focus on whatever you're working on. However, it still operates from the decidedly Western notion that if we could just get really, really organised, we could turn ourselves into 24/7 productivity machines. As whole-life organizing systems go, Allen's is pretty good, even fun and therapeutic.

It starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk. The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket".
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Sunday

"Future Shock" by Alvin Toffler

Historians are more in fashion than futurologists nowadays but it is instructive to consider how far what has happened diverges from what futurologists thought would happen. I like to look back on one popular book which daringly probed the future, Alvin Toffler's Future Shock. C P Snow, scientist and novelist, said of it that, 'no one ought to have the nerve to pontificate on our present worries without reading it'. The remark holds one generation on. Toffler coined the term 'future shock' in 1965 in the middle of what remains one of the most controversial decades of this century.
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Friday

"Follow Your Heart" by Andrew Matthews

A sequel to Andrew Matthew's "Being Happy" and "Making Friends", this is a simple and practical guide for anyone who wants to find purpose in their life and work. It is about: doing what one loves; dealing with bills and broken legs; discovering one's own power; finding peace of mind; dealing with disasters; and not blaming one's mother. The book is also about: how happy people think; why rich people make money, even by accident; and what losers do, and how not to be like them.
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Thursday

"First Things First" by Stephen Covey

Dr Covey appears to have worked out life to a mint here - how to organize every second of your life to what you want to do, and how to make decisions based on what you set yourself. He starts from the roots - and tells you how to lead yourself to form your character, with a singular mission in life based on your values, which form the secondary base of the leadership principles he describes. It's a complicated process which needs all 368 pages to explain, and a lot of effort to start the ball rolling if you are serious about your life.

It seems you might as well call this book 'how to live'. But - one problem - doesn't what you value in life (the base upon which his life leading strategy lies upon), change over time - so what you achieve from using this book will depend upon when you start using it. Or do your values only change over time if you have not set yourself values to stick to? It's very complicated.

But enough philosophy - this book is definitely worth a serious look. It teaches how to live with honesty and integrity, out of which personal worth is produced. Just don't think about it too hard.
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Wednesday

"First Break All the Rules" by Curt Coffman and Marcus Buckingham

The authors, both management consultants for the Gallup Organization, use the company's study of 80,000 managers in 400 companies to reach the conclusion that a company that lacks great frontline managers will bleed talent, no matter how attractive the compensation packages and training opportunities. With this in mind, they sought the answers to the follow-up questions: "How do great managers find, focus and keep talented employees." Using case studies, diagrams, and excerpts from interviews, Buckingham and Coffman guide us through their findings that discipline, focus, trust, and, most important, willingness to treat each employee as an individual are the overall secrets for turning talent into lasting performance. The book concludes with suggestions on how to become a great manager, including ideas for interviewing for talent, how to develop a performance management routine, and how to get the best performance from talented employees. Although this is clearly an infomercial for the Gallup Organization, it nevertheless offers thoughtful advice on the essential task of developing excellent managers.
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Tuesday

"Finding Your Strength In Difficult Times" by David Viscott

I do not try to be accepted. I do not search for love. I want only to be me and am grateful for the gift of myself. The road of life is seldom a smooth one - it's dotted with potholes, treacherous turns, speed bumps, and numerous detours. While it's easy to lose your way traveling along such a road, you need not despair. This comforting, portable book will help you find your inner strength. The many mediations and affirmations collected in "Finding Your Strength in Difficult Times" will help you recognize and nurture your innate strengths and gifts. These practical insights and sensitive reflections will be welcome guideposts as you make you way through difficult times.
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Monday

"Facilitation" by Trevor Bentley

Trevor Bentley's book on Facilitation is a wonderful source of learning. This is partly because of what the author shares of his experiences as a facilitator, and partly because of the way in which he does so. The book is structured around a case study of a facilitation skills workshop that he facilitated, which he describes with such clarity that as I read the book I felt like I was part of the workshop and that I cared about what was happening for the participants. The combination of explaining what he did and why (and what other techniques might or might not work), and the ways in which he modelled his own values through what he did, is a powerful one and made my learning seem experiential.

Throughout the book the author demonstrates that it is the other person's process that he is facilitating, that anything might happen and frequently does - and how good contact can enable individuals and groups to grow and develop. The book is a remarkable testimony to the ability of individuals to achieve things for themselves and to take control of and responsibility for their own efforts and achievements.
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Sunday

"Execution: the Discipline of Getting Things Done" by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

Disciplines like strategy, leadership development, and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful business; actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous.

But as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution, the ultimate difference between a company and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute. Execution is "the missing link between aspirations and results," and as such, making it happen is the business leader's most important job. While failure in today's business environment is often attributed to other causes, Bossidy and Charan argue that the biggest obstacle to success is the absence of execution.

They point out that without execution, breakthrough thinking on managing change breaks down, and they emphasize the fact that execution is a discipline to learn, not merely the tactical side of business. Supporting this with stories of the "execution difference" being won (EDS) and lost (Xerox and Lucent), the authors describe the building blocks--leaders with the right behaviors, a culture that rewards execution, and a reliable system for having the right people in the right jobs that need to be in place to manage the three core business processes of people, strategy, and operations.
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Friday

"Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman

There was a time when IQ was considered the leading determinant of success. In this fascinating book, based on brain and behavioral research, Daniel Goleman argues that our IQ-idolizing view of intelligence is far too narrow. Instead, Goleman makes the case for "emotional intelligence" being the strongest indicator of human success. He defines emotional intelligence in terms of self-awareness, altruism, personal motivation, empathy, and the ability to love and be loved by friends, partners, and family members.

People who possess high emotional intelligence are the people who truly succeed in work as well as play, building flourishing careers and lasting, meaningful relationships. Because emotional intelligence isn't fixed at birth, Goleman outlines how adults as well as parents of young children can sow the seeds.
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Thursday

"Embracing Change" by Tony Buzan

In this book, Tony Buzan, as usual, reiterates his favourite techniques like Mind Maps, TEFCAS, Radian Thinking, etc. If you've read other books by Tony Buzan, you may find parts of this book monotonous, uninteresting and not engaging readers' interest. However, there were valuable thought worth consideration in the other parts of the book.

Everything changes around us. According to Darwin, neither the strongest nor the smartest species will survive but that will be able to adapt to the changes of the environment. If we resist changing, we will be at a loss. Procrastination is a form of resistance to change. The body may be the first thing that we postpone taking care of. If we are unfit and our nourishment is poor, all our energy levels will slide. We will become stagnant: in the sense of becoming unmoving, unchanging, our changing towards becoming more unchanging! A body that is stagnant will eventually corrupt itself, It will disrupt the immune system, lose its ability to self-heal, will have no freedom of will, no ability to act to preserve its goal and its ability to change.
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"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson and Kristine Carlson

The cover of this book says it was a bestselling book of the year at one time. After opening it up and glancing through it, it's not hard to see why.

The purpose of the book is to get you to look at things, common situations we all come across every day, like being criticized or being given more work than you can possibly finish, and see them a little differently. Believe it or not, it delivers- and in just a page or two at a time if you can believe that! That's because the wisdom is definitely there, on every page, and it just plain makes sense. Many times I've read a chapter or two and thought, "Why didn't I think of that before?".

The other good thing about this tiny book is that you could either sit down and read it cover-to-cover, or just pick it up once in awhile and pick a random chapter to read. Either way, the mini-chapters are sure to quickly leave most readers wondering why they make such a big deal out of the things they do. Other short self-help books I like include "Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World".
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Wednesday

"Crucial Conversations" by Kerry Patterson

Wanna argue? Nope. Then you need Kerry Patterson and his co-writers, who describe techniques for effective negotiation and conflict resolution in the context of important, potentially life changing conversations.

Examples include talking yourself into a promotion, bringing up important information at meetings and working out problems with your spouse. Some tips will sound familiar, such as knowing what you really want and being open to alternatives. However, the book also highlights some themes that are often forgotten in negotiations, such as making it safe for others to express their true feelings and desires. The authors explain how to avoid getting forced into false either-or choices and tell you how to remain alert for unstated alternatives or possibilities.

This lively book includes many examples drawn from business and personal relationships. We recommend it in particular to those who are new to negotiations and conflict resolution, though it teaches solid skills that any manager - or any marriage partner, for that matter - could benefit from mastering.
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Tuesday

"Conversations with God" by Neale Donald Walsch

Blasphemy! Heresy! Who does this man think he is, claiming to speak directly to God?! Jesus did it, Muhammad did it, the Jewish prophets did it, but none of their Gods had the sardonic wit or raw verve of Prophet Walsch's God. Neale Donald Walsch isn't claiming to be the Messiah of a new religion, just a frustrated man who sat down one day with pen in his hand and some tough questions in his heart. As he wrote his questions to God, he realized that God was answering them... directly... through Walsch's pen. The result, far from the apocalyptic predictions or cultic eccentricities you might expect, turns out to be matter-fact, in-your-face wisdom on how to get by in life while remaining true to yourself and your spirituality.
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Monday

"Clear Leadership" by Gervase Bushe

Expanding on the fresh concepts that made the first edition of "Clear Leadership" such a success a decade ago, Bushe brings up-to-date the tools and techniques needed to build sustaining partnerships and make today's collaborative organizations work. This fully revised edition now includes 23 skill-building exercises, dozens of personal stories and examples, and completely new chapters that add a sharper focus on ways that the original model of the four selves the Aware, Curious, Appreciative, and Descriptive Self - can help anyone cut through the miscommunication, misunderstanding, and toxic mush dominating the workplace to achieve clarity, full engagement, and sustained collaboration.
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Sunday

"Built to Last" by James C Collins and Jerry Porras

Built To Last was an extremely thought provoking and eye opening read. Built To Last studies some of the most successful (called the leading companies) and the following companies (non-leaders in an industry). The research for this book produced surprising results for the authors (and the reader). The authors found the there were at least twelve commonly held businesses beliefs that their research refuted. In essence these dearly held business beliefs were myths. These myths included:

1. It takes a great idea to start a company Few visionary companies started with a great idea. Many companies started without any specific ideas (HP and Sony) and others were outright failures (3M). In fact a great idea may lead to road of not being able to adapt.

2. Visionary companies require great and charismatic visionary leaders A charismatic leader in not required and, in fact, can be detrimental to a company's long-term prospects.

I would recommend this book to anyone engaged in developing and running a business at any level. If
you want to design, build and run a lasting enterprise this book has some ideas and insights worth
exploring.
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Saturday

The Creative Process In the Individual

I have already pointed out that the presence of a single all-embracing Cosmic Mind is an absolute necessity for the existence of any creation whatever, for the reason that if each individual mind were an entirely separate center of perception, not linked to all other minds by a common ground of underlying mentality independent of all individual action, then no two persons would seem to be same thing at the same time, in fact no two individuals would be conscious of living in the same world.

If this were the case there would be no common standard to which to refer our sensations; and, indeed, coming into existence with no consciousness of environment except such as we could form by our own unaided thought, and having by the hypothesis no standard by which to form our thoughts, we could not form the conception of any environment at all, and consequently could have no recognition of our own existence.

The confusion of thought involved even in the attempt to state such a condition shows it to be perfectly inconceivable, for the simple reason that it is self-contradictory and self-destructive. On this account it is clear that our own existence and that of the world around us necessarily implies the presence of a Universal Mind acting on certain fixed lines of its own which establish the basis for the working of all individual minds. This paramount action of the Universal Mind thus sets an unchangeable standard by which all individual mental action must eventually be measured, and therefore our first concern is to ascertain what this standard is and to make it the basis of our own action.

But if the independent existence of a common standard of reference is necessary for our self-recognition simply as inhabitants of the world we live in, then a fortiori a common standard of reference is necessary for our recognition of the unique place we hold in the Creative Order, which is that of introducing the Personal Factor without which the possibilities contained in would remain undeveloped, and the Self-contemplation of Spirit could never reach those infinite unfoldments of which it is logically capable.

The evolution of the Personal Factor is therefore the point with which we are most concerned. As a matter of fact, whatever theories we may hold to the contrary, we do all realize the same cosmic environment in the same way; that is to say, our minds all act according to certain generic laws which underlie all our individual diversities of thought and feeling. This is so because we are made that way and cannot help it.

But with the Personal Factor the case is different. A standard is no less necessary, but we are not so made as to conform to it automatically. The very conception of automatic conformity to a personal standard is self-contradictory, for it does away with the very thing that constitutes personality, namely freedom of volition, the use of the powers of Initiative and Selection.

For this reason conformity to the Standard of Personality must be a matter of choice, which amounts to the same thing as saying that it rests with each individual to form his own conception of a standard of Personality; but which liberty, however, carries with it the inevitable result that we shall bring into manifestation the conditions corresponding to the sort of personality we accept as our normal standard.

I would draw attention to the words “Normal Standard.” What we shall eventually attain is, not what we merely wish, but what we regard as normal. The reason is that since we subconsciously know ourselves to be based upon the inherent Law of the Universal Mind we feel, whether we can reason it out or not, that we cannot force the All-producing Mind to work contrary to its own inherent qualities, and therefore we intuitively recognize that we cannot transcend the sort of personality which is normal according to the Law of Universal Mind.

This thought is always at the back of our mind and we cannot get away from it for the simple reason that it is inherent in our mental constitution, because our mind is itself a product of the Creative Process; and to suppose ourselves transcending the possibilities contained in the Originating Mind would involve the absurdity of supposing that we can get the greater out of the less.

Nevertheless there are some who try to do so, and their position is as follows. They say in effect, I want to transcend the standard of humanity as I see it around me. But this is the normal standard according to the Law of the Universe, therefore I have to get above the Law of the Universe. Consequently I cannot draw the necessary power from that Law, and so there is nowhere else to get it except from myself.

Thus the aspirant is thrown back upon his own individual will as the ultimate power, with the result that the onus lies on him of concentrating a force sufficient to overcome the Law of the Universe. There is thus continually present to him a suggestion of struggle against a tremendous opposing force, and as a consequence he is continually subjecting himself to a strain which grows more and more intense as he realizes the magnitude of the force against which he is contending.

Then as he begins to realize the inequality of the struggle he seeks for extraneous aid, and so he falls back on various expedients, all of which have this in common that they ultimately amount to invoking the assistance of other individualities, not seeing that this involves the same fallacy which has brought him to his present straits, the fallacy, namely, of supposing that any individuality can develop a power greater than that of the source from which itself proceeds.

The fallacy is a radical one; and therefore all efforts based upon it are fore-doomed to ultimate failure, whether they take the form of reliance on personal force of will, or magical rites, or austerity practised against the body, or attempts by abnormal concentration to absorb the individual in the universal, or the invocation of spirits, or any other method — the same fallacy is involved in them all, that the less is larger than the greater.

Now the point to be noted is that the idea of transcending the present conditions of humanity does not necessarily imply the idea of transcending the normal law of humanity. The mistake we have hitherto made has been in fixing the Standard of Personality too low and in taking our past experiences as measuring the ultimate possibilities of the race.

Our liberty consists in our ability to form our own conception of the Normal Standard of Personality, only subject to the conditions arising out of the inherent Law of the underlying Universal Mind; and so the whole thing resolves itself into the question, What are those fundamental conditions? The Law is that we cannot transcend the Normal; therefore comes the question, What is the Normal?

I have endeavored to answer this question in the chapter on the Divine Ideal, but since this is the crucial point of the whole subject we may devote a little further attention to it. The Normal Standard of Personality must necessarily be the reproduction in Individuality of what the Universal Mind is in itself, because, by the nature of the Creative Process, this standard results from Spirit’s Self-contemplation at the stage where its recognition is turned toward its own power of Initiative and Selection.

At this stage Spirit’s Self-recognition has passed beyond that of Self-expression through a mere Law of Averages into the recognition of what I have ventured to call its Artistic Ability; and as we have seen that Self-recognition at any stage can only be attained by the realization of a relation stimulating that particular sort of consciousness, it follows that for the purpose of this further advance expression through individuals of a corresponding type is a necessity. Then by the Law of Reciprocity such beings must possess powers similar to those contemplated in itself by the Originating Spirit, in other words they must be in their own sphere the image and likeness of the Spirit as it sees itself.

Now we have seen that the Creating Spirit necessarily possesses the powers of Initiative and Selection. These we may call its active properties — the summing up of what it does. But what any power does depends on what it is, for the simple reason that it cannot give out what it does not contain; therefore at the back of the initiative and selective power of the Spirit we must find what the Spirit is, namely, what are its substantive properties. To begin with it must be Life.

Then because it is Life it must be Love, because as the undifferentiated Principle of Life it cannot do otherwise than tend to the fuller development of life in each individual, and the pure motive of giving greater enjoyment of life is Love. Then because it is Life guided by Love it must also be Light, that is to say, the primary all-inclusive perception of boundless manifestations yet to be. Then from this proceeds Power, because there is no opposing force at the level of Pure Spirit; and therefore Life urged forward by Love or the desire for recognition, and by Light or the pure perception of the Law of Infinite Possibility, must necessarily produce Power, for the simple reason that under these conditions it could not stop short of action, for that would be the denial of the Life, Love, and Light which it is.

Then because the Spirit is Life, Love, Light, and Power, it is also Peace, again for a very simple reason, that being the Spirit of the Whole it cannot set one part in antagonism against another, for that would be to destroy the wholeness. Next the Spirit must be Beauty, because on the same principle of Wholeness it must duly proportion every part to every other part, and the due proportioning of all parts is beauty.

And lastly the Spirit must be Joy, because, working on these lines, it cannot do otherwise than find pleasure in the Self-expression which its works afford it, and in the contemplation of the limitlessness of the Creative Process by which each realized stage of evolution, however excellent, is still the stepping-stone to something yet more excellent, and so on in everlasting progression.

For these reasons we may sum up the Substantive Being of the All-originating Spirit as Life, Love, Light, Power, Peace, Beauty, and Joy; and its Active Power as that of Initiative and Selection. These, therefore, constitute the basic laws of the underlying universal mentality which sets the Standard of Normal Personality — a standard which, when seen in this light, transcends the utmost scope of our thought, for it is nothing else than the Spirit of the Infinite Affirmative conceived in Human Personality. This standard is therefore that of the Universal Spirit itself reproduced in Human Individuality by the same Law of Reciprocity which we have found to be the fundamental law of the Creative Process — only now we are tracing the action of this Law in the Fifth Kingdom instead of in the Fourth.

This Standard, then, we may call the Universal Principle of Humanity, and having now traced the successive steps by which it is reached from the first cosmic movement of the Spirit in the formation of the primary nebula, we need not go over the old ground again, and may henceforward take this Divine Principle of Humanity as our Normal Standard and make it the starting point for our further evolution. But how are we to do this? Simply by using the one method of Creative Process, that is, the Self-contemplation of Spirit.

We now know ourselves to be Reciprocals of the Divine Spirit, centers in which It finds a fresh standpoint for Self-contemplation; and so the way to rise to the heights of this Great Pattern is by contemplating it as the Normal Standard of our own Personality.

And be it noted that the Pattern thus set before us is Universal. It is the embodiment of all the great principles of the Affirmative, and so in no way interferes with our own particular individuality — that is something built up upon this foundation, something additional affording the differentiating medium through which this unifying Principle finds variety of expression, therefore we need be under no apprehension lest by resting upon this Pattern we should become less ourselves.

On the contrary the recognition of it sets us at liberty to become more fully ourselves because we know that we are basing our development, not upon the strength of our own unaided will, nor yet upon any sort of extraneous help, but upon the Universal Law itself, manifesting through us in the proper sequence of the Creative Order; so that we are still dealing with Universal principles, only the principle by which we are now working is the Universal Principle of Personality.

I wish the student to get this idea very clearly because this is really the crux of the passage from the Fourth Kingdom into the Fifth. The great problem of the future of evolution is the introduction of the Personal Factor. The reason why this is so is very simple when we see it. To take a thought from my own “Doré Lectures” we may put it in this way. In former days no one thought of building ships of iron because iron does not float; yet now ships are seldom built of anything else, though the relative specific gravities of iron and water remain unchanged.

What has changed is the Personal Factor.

It has expanded to a more intelligent perception of the law of flotation, and we now see that wood floats and iron sinks, both of them by the same principle working under opposite conditions, the law, namely, that anything will float which bulk for bulk is lighter than the volume of water displaced by it, so that by including in our calculations the displacement of the vessel as well as the specific gravity of the material, we now make iron float by the very same law by which it sinks.

This example shows that the function of the Personal Factor is to analyze the manifestations of Law which are spontaneously afforded by Nature and to discover the Universal Affirmative Principle which lies hidden within them, and then by the exercise of our powers of Initiative and Selection to provide such specialized conditions as will enable the Universal Principle to work in perfectly new ways transcending anything in our past experience.

This is how all progress has been achieved up to the present; and is the way in which all progress must be achieved in the future, only for the purpose of evolution, or growth from within, we must transfer the method to the spiritual plane.

The function, then, of the Personal Factor in the Creative Order is to provide specialized conditions by the use of the powers of Selection and Initiative, a truth indicated by the maxim “Nature unaided fails”; but the difficulty is that if enhanced powers were attained by the whole population of the world without any common basis for their use, their promiscuous exercise could only result in chaotic confusion and the destruction of the entire race.

To introduce the creative power of the Individual and at the same time avoid converting it into a devastating flood is the great problem of the transition from the Fourth Kingdom into the Fifth. For this purpose it becomes necessary to have a Standard of the Personal Factor independent of any individual conceptions, just as we found that in order for us to attain self-consciousness at all it was a necessity that there should be a Universal Mind as the generic basis of all individual mentality; only in regard to the generic build of mind the conformity is necessarily automatic, while in regard to the specializing process the fact that the essence of that process is Selection and Initiative renders it impossible for the conformity to the Standard of Personality to be automatic — the very nature of the thing makes it a matter of individual choice.

Now a Standard of Personality independent of individual conceptions must be the essence of Personality as distinguished from individual idiosyncrasies, and can therefore be nothing else than the Creative Life, Love, Beauty, etc., viewed as a Divine Individuality, by identifying ourselves with which we eliminate all possibility of conflict with other personalities based on the same fundamental recognition; and the very universality of this Standard allows free play to all our particular idiosyncrasies while at the same time preventing them from antagonizing the fundamental principles to which we have found that the Self-contemplation of the Originating Spirit must necessarily give rise.

In this way we attain a Standard of Measurement for our own powers. If we recognize no such Standard our development of spiritual powers, our discovery of the immense possibilities hidden in the inner laws of Nature and of our own being, can only become a scourge to ourselves and others, and it is for this reason that these secrets are so jealously guarded by those who know them, and that over the entrance to the temple are written the words "Eskato Bebeloi" — "Hence ye Profane."

But if we recognize and accept this Standard of Measurement then we need never fear our discovery of hidden powers either in ourselves or in Nature, for on this basis it becomes impossible for us to misuse them. Therefore it is that all systematic teaching on these subjects begins with instruction regarding the Creative Order of the Cosmos, and then proceeds to exhibit the same Order as reproduced on the plane of Personality and so affording a fresh starting point for the Creative Process by the introduction of Individual Initiative and Selection. This is the doctrine of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm; and the transition from the generic working of the Creative Spirit in the Cosmos to its specific working in the Individual is what is meant by the doctrine of the Octave.
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Friday

The Mental Phase

The mental phase of personal magnetism depends upon two coordinated manifestations of mental power, as follows:

(1) the holding of certain mental states until the mental atmosphere becomes charged with the vibrations of the particular mental states; and

(2) the conscious projection of the mental current from the brain centers, by the action of the will of the individual.

I shall now proceed to describe these two mental phases of manifestation in detail.

It is a fact known to all students of the subject that the character of the mental atmosphere of any individual depends entirely upon the character of the mental states held by him. The mental atmosphere of the hopeful, expectant individual is composed of vibrations of a hopeful, cheerful character, which tend to impress and affect other persons coming within the field of activity of his personal atmosphere. Likewise, the mental atmosphere of the gloomy, depressed individual is composed of vibrations of a gloomy, depressing character, which impresses and affects individuals coming in contact therewith. And, in the same manner, all of one’s mental states will become manifest in his mental atmosphere, and accordingly, will affect those with whom he comes in close contact.

The truth of the above statements will become apparent to anyone who will give the matter a moment’s careful consideration, remembering at the same time the impressions created upon him when he has come in contact with different individuals. He will remember that some individuals have left upon him the impression of gloom, inefficiency, failure, etc. Others have left with him a feeling of suspicion, distrust, and uneasiness. Others still have given him the impression of cheerfulness, friendliness, confidence, and good will.

The atmosphere of some persons is such that it causes us to let them alone, and to take no stock whatsoever in their business propositions. Others, instead, imbue us with confidence and trust, and give us the feeling that we would like to do business with them. Some persons leave upon us the impressions that we have been in the presence of a snaky thing, and we often can scarcely repress a shudder of disgust and dislike while others create in us the impression that the other person is a good friend and can be depended upon as a helper and comrade. Why?

It is not from anything these persons have said, for, as we all know, some of the slipperiest persons are often the best and smoothest talkers; and some of the best and most dependable persons are often very reticent, and even "short" in speech. The reason lies deeper than words. It is the "feeling" that we experience when we come in contact with persons, rather than any report of the reason regarding them. And this "feeling" is caused by the registry upon our sensitive brain organism of the thought-vibrations of the other person’s personal atmosphere. Not only are these things noticed in the person himself or herself, but even the very residences, stores or other places frequented by the individual are also affected by the continuous influence of the thought-vibrations of his or her personal atmosphere. Did you ever notice how some houses produce upon you a feeling of sadness or woe, or worse; while others seem to carry within them an air of health and good cheer, happiness and content? This is often true although the house may have been unoccupied for some time. So strong do the mental vibrations of the atmosphere of the person or persons formerly inhabiting them. In the same way some offices and places of business are so saturated with the vibrations of the personal atmospheres of their occupants, that one is forcibly impressed by the same upon entering the door. A man may disguise his thoughts by his words or his facial expression, but the mental vibrations of his personal atmosphere will frequently "give him away."

These are facts, which should require no further proof – your own experience should be proof enough to satisfy you but you should make mental note of this fact, and carry it in mind as we proceed. Many persons leave but little impression upon us, for the reasons that their mental states are so varied, inconstant and fleeting that they neutralize each other, and fail to impart a definite shade of thought-color to the personal atmosphere. The strongest personal atmospheres are those of persons of strong feelings, desires and emotions, good or bad, for such have strong and constant mental states which impress themselves forcibly upon their personal atmosphere, so strongly, in fact, that one who notices these things cannot fail to perceive them.

A moment's thought will inform you that if these things be true – and true you will realize they must be when you give the matter a moment's careful thought – then one should be very careful to avoid harboring mental states of a character likely to inspire undesirable feelings in other persons. And, at the same time, one should endeavor to cultivate mental states of a character likely to awaken feelings of a desirable character in those with whom we come in contact. In fact, a great portion of the following chapters will be used to teach how to cultivate just such mental states so as to rate the desired effect upon others, for in this lies one of the great secrets of personal magnetism.

One need not despair if he has been creating and carrying around with him a personal atmosphere of an undesirable kind. For these things may be remedied, and one may entirely change the character of his mental states, and thus transform his personal atmosphere from the very worst to the very best. These things require work, perseverance, and patience, it is true, but the reward is so great that it pays anyone to devote his attentions and time to it. The principle is very simple, indeed, but it requires determination and dogged will to obtain the best results, particularly in cases where very undesirable conditions have existed.

The second way in which the mental phase of personal magnetism operates, i.e., that of the conscious projection of the mental currents from the brain centers, by the action of the will of the individual, also demands work on the part of the student who wishes to create a strong personal atmosphere.

The principle of this second form of mental action consists in the use of the will in a conscious projection of thought-currents. This is true in the case of stimulating the personal atmosphere, and also in cases in which one endeavors to produce an effect upon the mind of some other person in whose presence he may happen to be.

While it is true that the character of the mental states of the person will color and give character to his personal atmosphere, which will, of course, produce an effect upon the other person or persons in his field of action, it is likewise true that the effect of such mental vibrations may be enormously increased by the use of the will in the direction of the conscious projection just referred to. The mental states produce and create the mental atmosphere, it is true, but the will serves to project them forth with force, and to generally energize the atmosphere and increase the effect.

It is just as if you had created a great store of mental magnetism in your brain, and given it the proper quality and color by the character of your mental states. This would naturally create a personal atmosphere or aura around you, which would be felt by others. But then imagine the increased strength and effect that would arise from the use of your will to project and force outward from your brain these mental vibrations. You will see at once how such an action of the will would tend to energize and increase the vibrations of your mental atmosphere, can you not? It would be like turning on an extra force of the power, would it not? Certainly it would, and you may gain this effect whenever you wish to do so, by using the methods, which will be given you in this book as we proceed.

Again, you will see, by a little thought, how much stronger will be the effect upon any special individual, if, in addition to the vibrations of our personal atmosphere, we add the force of a special current of mental force directed steadily and pointedly at his mind, by an effort of our will. Do you see the point? You first affect him by the effect of your energized personal atmosphere, and then just when he is in the proper receptive condition you discharge at him a psychic rifle-ball which hits him right in the bull’s eye of his mind with enormous force.

At first thought, this may seem to you like very strenuous proceedings, and one which would require the outlay of a great amount of will power on your own part. But, this is not so, for the thought-currents are very responsive to the action of the will, and the main thing is to hold the will firmly to the task, and the thought-currents will flow out over the channel thus made for them. It is like holding a rifle properly aimed, and then letting the force of the powder drive the bullet home; or, again, like holding the nozzle of a hose pointed exactly where you wish the current of water to go, and lo! When the water is turned on, it flies straight to the mark, long after it has left the tip of the nozzle of the hose.

The strong men of all times have employed the will in this way in the direction of creating a strong personal atmosphere, and also in the direction of producing strong impressions upon those who they wished to affect. In many cases they have not fully understood the character of the forces set into operation by themselves, but they understood the "how" part, even if they did not grasp the "why". The next time you come into contact with a strong individual, watch him or her, and see if you cannot almost see the operation of this direction of mental force of which I have just spoken. But, far more important than even studying others, is that of cultivating the art of doing the thing for yourself, and this is what I am trying to teach you to do. And you will succeed in it, too, if you will enter into the work fully with heart and mind. Get in earnest about it, and the power will develop in you to bring about success.
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