Humorous Reflections on Family

This morning I came across an article about Nelson Mandela’s family fighting over virtually everything. It is a sad story and ironically funny at the same time. I do not smile at any ones “life drama” but of course Nelson Mandela is no longer in the mortal coil so it is not his drama. It is his family’s drama.

Do you have a family drama? Do you have a family?

In my mind there are two types of family. The kind you are handed at birth and the kind that you create.

The first one was given to you by God because She/He/IT wanted you to learn the important skills for a happy life. –patience, generosity, spending time with people who have nothing in common with you but for the same great, great, grandfather and grandmother who got on a boat either voluntarily (or otherwise) back in Poland or Ireland, or Nigeria back in 1782.

So here you are fighting over a Turkey’s ass with your sister or brother!

 

The second type of family is the one you create. The extraordinary friends, partners, husbands, wives, ex-husbands, ex-wives, children, peers, associates, lover’s, ex-lover’s and all your “Friends” on Facebook (distant and close).

These are all a reflection of who you have been, who you have become and what you will evolve to be. If you are a kind and compassionate person and have had a sense of clarity and vision you may be able to talk to people in this “family” you have created about things you have shared in the past.

There is are few things sweeter than talking about the old days on the phone with your recently divorced, ex-soul-mate, who left you for his or her gay lover and then decided ten years later that they weren’t gay.

 

 

Hey, as Ram Das says “It’s all grist for the mill”.

 

If you can transcend your emotional baggage and penchant for drama it can be a truly joyous experience.

So it is my wish that you get to enjoy your “biological or adopted sort of-nuclear family”. Say “hi” to your biological parents who put you up for adoption, or your adoptive parents who saved you from you biological parents. If you weren’t lucky or unlucky enough to have either then say “hi” to your foster home, or call the orphanage.

Of course if you are going to be with your crazy, dysfunctional, neurotic mom, dad sister and brother you can always say nothing and smile a lot.

 

You may also be some kind of freak – Two parents who get along, healthy, successful siblings and a dog name spot that is 96 years old in dog years. Mom, dad, sister, brother, in-laws, all happy and well behaved. Like Ozzie and Harriet or Leave it to Beaver….or the Cosby family. Lucky you.

 

Whatever you were given know that someone somewhere loves you.

 

If you need a family therapist let me know. I have a few that I have worked with that are taking clients in the New Year.

….As for Nelson Mandela. I think he is watching his family from heaven. I think I just heard his voice.

He said “oy”.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/african-royals-concerned-mandela-family-39-instability-39-181051783.html

 

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Dear Friends,

This funny blog is dedicated to my sweet sister “Lily Roslyn Harrison Ehrlich who passed away this past August 13.  We fought over the Turkey’s ass every Thanksgiving and cared deeply for each other. I miss her!

Lewis

 

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ Kindle E-book “Healing Depression Naturally”.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” every Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis is the creator of the “Free Advanced Course in Personal Development”

Learn more about the course at  – www.HowToSolveAnyProblem.com

André Cassagnes, A Great Visionary Has Passed On

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center for Personal Development. The site is focused on how to improve people’s live through visionary thinking, skilled problem solving and through Applied Game Theory.  Please explore our website and our many unique blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker who has a passion for ideas.   There are some ideas presented here that might be new to you and which may inspire your creativity.

Today’s blog l addresses the problem of intellectual elitism and arrogance In my work in applied game theory and problem solving I am often accused by academics of presenting complex ideas in excessively superficial and simplistic ways and  by my blog readers as presenting idea that are too hard to understand.

André Cassagnes a great visionary, inventor of kites, the Etch-a-Sketch and other children toys  most likely affected your life or the life of your children in some way. That is correct? Andre Cassagnes has left building, flown the mortal coil, and left the earth to meet his maker.

“Andre who?” You say!

I’ll tell you more about this great visionary in a few minutes but before I tell you who he was let’s talk a bit about what it means to be a visionary?

A visionary is an individual with clarity of thought, and a passion for a clearly defined experience, as well and foresight on how that passion may manifest.

How does the visionary process evolve for someone who is content to just have goals?   It often arises when a person combines his natural curiosity with a sense of deep introspection. In time this evolves into a passion so vast in scope that it can be described as nothing less than a “transcendental vision.”

Can you recognize a visionary when you meet one? At the first meeting probably not. Over time, you notice he/she is different than the ordinary person. In conversation this person may appear particularly intense but not in a negative way. He/she is not the type of person inclined to banter around light cocktail party conversation or enter into a conversation about the weather. Of course this is all a generalization. Visionaries are unique unto themselves and tend to express who they are in different and often unusual ways.

In my experience a focused and skilled visionary is a force of nature. What he is able to do is change the external landscape, enroll large groups of people into his vision, and harness as well as utilize formerly dormant resources in the service of his vision. He is able to shift opinion and impact society in ways usually associated with the most skilled futurists, economists, and influence peddlers.

To speak with a visionary is like conversing with any “true” artist. It is not always easy to follow the stream of thoughts expressed by a visionary and yet you understand that something unique and interesting is being presented.

Why is this so?  A visionary is often inclined to speak of an ideal that seems totally unrealistic. Imagine speaking to the Wright Brothers – two bicycle manufacturers – a year before they took flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Imagine speaking to Gandhi or the inventors of the personal computer, the telegraph, the telephone, the ballpoint pen, or robotic surgery before their visions took form.                                                                                                                   If a vision seems so unrealistic why do these visionaries continue working to bring them to fruition?  They just think differently than the ordinary individual. The perception that a vision is unrealistic does not deny the fact that there is a delight in having the intention for achieving and experiencing that ideal. Often it is the hunger, the desire, the joy and the intention that in the end brings the vision to fruition.

This being said about visionaries let’s get back to the late, great Mr. Cassagnes, a visionary inventor, electrical technician the greatest kite manufacturer in France and the inventor of the “Etch-a-Sketch. ”. Yes, the Etch-a-Sketch. .

To some an Etch-a-Sketch.  is some mechanical drawing toy from the 1950s. But for the individual with a passion for ideas and a vision it is so much more.  What André Cassagnes figured out was a recipe for creativity that would use the laws of physics and mechanics to stimulate the artistic impulse in a child. In addition this invention would improve hand to eye coordination, and expand a sense of awe that is the cornerstone of any happy childhood. This is what he did and it was probably not even what he had in mind when he created the toy. He figured out that if you did the following

….You could create one of the most wonderful toys ever invented…without electricity, software, Apps, spam blockers or IT specialists.

  1. Take a thick, flat gray screen and put it in a in a red plastic frame.
  2.  Add two knobs on the front of the frame in the lower corners. The left control would move the stylus horizontally, and the right one would move it vertically.
  3. When twisted this moving stylus would displace aluminum powder on the back of the screen, leaving a solid line.
  4. The turned knobs would then create lineographic images

I often write about “Black Swans Theory” –  Unexpected events with great consequences. It was such a event that effected Cassagnes’ life

André Cassagnes’ father was a baker. Andre’ was to be a baker as well however he was BLESSED with a terrible allergy…to flour. So instead of becoming a baker he focused on a different life path beoming one of the greatest kite designers in history and later invented the Etch-a-Sketch. .

I know that somewhere there is a neo-modernist-postimpressionist-dada motivated-conceptual artist who began his career on an Etch-a-Sketch.

What he created on the world stage was so influential in some un-measurable way that on his passing he way was awarded an obituary in the February 16th 2013 issue of the magazine THE ECONOMIST. In the world of power and influence this is considered one of the great honors.

Below is a joyous salute to Mr. Cassagnes created on an Etch-a-Sketch.

http://digg.com/video/an-illustrated-tribute-to-the-inventor-of-the-etch-a-sketch

Be a visionary! You’ll be happier for it and the world will be a better place.

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ Kindle E-book “Healing Depression Naturally”.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” every Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis is the creator of the “Free Advanced Course in Personal Development”

Learn more about the course at  – www.HowToSolveAnyProblem.com

How To Solve Complex Problems?

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center for Personal Development. The site is focused on how to improve people’s live through the creation of problems solving skills and decision science. Please explore our website and our many blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker who has a passion for ideas.  There are some ideas presented here that might be new to you and which may inspire your creativity.

Today’s blog l addresses the problem of intellectual elitism and arrogance In my work in applied game theory and problem solving I am often accused by academics of presenting complex ideas in excessively superficial and simplistic ways and  by my blog readers as presenting idea that are too hard to understand.

I am often asked when I teach seminars on Problem Solving how the type of coaching I offer is any different from what any life coach might offer.

There is a difference and it has to do with patterns. Most of us see problems or obstacles as “something” that is in our way or challenging. There is more to it than just this. I have learned that each problem has a pattern, a recurring theme of events or objects inherent in it. My experience over the years has taught me that exploring and learning to recognize these often subtle patterns can help one to solve complex problems.  The elements of a pattern will repeat in a predictable manner. Much of my work is based on the theories of architect Christopher Alexander. He calls his theory Pattern language.

Here is a segment of the Q & A session in one of my recent seminars on Applied Game Theory. You can read the rest of the session on today’s blog at www.HowToSolveAnyProblem.com.

Q & A. on Pattern Language:

Q. Does the application of pattern language require great skill or training?

A. Advocates of this design approach claim that ordinary people of ordinary intelligence can use it to successfully solve very large, complex design problems.

Q. Why is it called a “pattern language”?

A. Like all languages, a pattern language has vocabularysyntax, and grammar. Unlike most languages pattern language can be  applied to the solving complex problems that are not related with communication.

Q. How do can an understanding of patterns and pattern language help us to solve problems?

A. When a skilled individual is designing something (whether it is a house or a computer program or a lamp), he/she must make many decisions about how to solve problems that will arise organically in the designing process.   By understanding patterns they can document a single problem with its typical place (the syntax), and use (the grammar) with the most common and recognized good solution. One can create a type of dictionary of these patterns. Each such entry is a single design pattern. Each pattern has a name, a descriptive entry, and some cross-references, much like a regular dictionary of words would. entry. A documented pattern should explain why that solution is good in the pattern’s contexts.

Q. Is there one best type of pattern language?

A. No However any pattern language has something in common with any spoken language, it has grammatical and semantic relationships. In order to make a an effectively communicated spoken language the patterns in the language must be related to each other. Patterns in problem structures are the same.

Q. Can you explain Christopher Alexander’s work in this area?

LEWIS:  He focuses on design problems but his approach can be applied to many problems especially related to “synergy”.

Q. What is synergy?

LEWIS: The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. An example of a positive synergy would be when a large organization buys or absorbs a smaller company or organization and offers the smaller entity compensation in the form of future profits for benefits from the larger entity. This helps both groups achieve what they desire. Another example of synergy is seen when one two individuals have different strengths and weakness and each enables the other to achieve benefits they could not achieve alone.

It is the ability to understand how synergy works that gives one the key to solving complex problems.

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ E-book “Everything You Need To Know About Solving Any Problem”. It is available for $7.00 and can be ordered directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

The Tea Party vs Occupy Wall Street and the Future

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center for Personal Development. Please explore our website and our many blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker who has a passion for ideas. Please click on the button “How To Solve Any Problem” as well as the button “Applied Game Theory”.  There are some ideas presented here that might be new to you and which may inspire your creativity.

Today’s blog looks to address the problem of excessive government spending vs. the need to maintain the social safety net.

Lewis Harrison – Founder and Director

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Over the last few days I’ve been reading quite a bit about the formation of various Tea Party groups as well as the “Occupy” Movement – Occupy Wall street, Occupy Stamford NY etc.

 

What has been made clear from all these new political movements is that there has been a consolidation of a an economic model that is grounded in the financial sector. The banks, derivatives, the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve, the mortgage crisis and so much more. These are fed by a rampant consumerism so expansive that the Pope has found the need to comment on both corporate behavior and individual attitudes.  

   What both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement seem to have in common is that they are seeking an alternative model to how things are run politically and economically. They are seeking an alternative model of civilization that will match new trends in multiculturalism, technology and social conscious. The fact that they see this situation differently is not the point. What they agree on is that finance is no longer about respect for private property, community, the social safety net, initiative or empowerment. It is about the money business ‘run amok”.

 

Gregorio Harris a community activist based in Baltimore had this to say to me recently in my Blog “The Democracy Project.”

 

I am not sure if you only wanted those who firmly argue Krugman’s point to respond, but I haven’t had time to respond to the other opportunities, and have been working on grant applications and budgets to fund the “safety net”, well more like fraying safety thread, for youth in Baltimore, for days now, and I think I just need to spout…

The argument and associated behavior on both sides of the aisle is fundamentally flawed. It is not about large or small government, or so called “entitlements”. It is about the two V’s, Vision, and Values, which both sides seem to be lacking. Those deeply connected to Wall Street suffer pathological affluenzic myopia, from too much measuring of personal profits on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, and now given the advent of the techno-obsessive age, momentary basis. In other words, if you keep looking at your bank account to make decisions, in absence of a vision guiding your investment, the road becomes more unstable the further out we go. Those who claim to be for the poor and middle-class seem to forget those priorities in the face of wanting to make a deal at all costs to those who are poor and middle-class. There are clearly no values on either side.

Krugman’s most salient point, to this poor-middle-class-Black-man, is “if you look at my list of major areas that were cut, you’ll notice that they mainly involve investing in the future.” Both the right and left are acting out of this short-sightedness. Never before in the history of human-“kind” has there been a more powerful opportunity to shape a future that does not leave anyone out. And interestingly enough, even the early indigenous cultures gave the future generations more thought and foresight. It is time to create a sustainable vision for this country, and the world for that matter, that maximizes the incredible assets we have access to, and minimizes waste of any sort, particularly as it relates to our most vulnerable citizens.

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

An Attitude Adjustment

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center. Please explore our website and our many blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker with a passion for ideas.

        Lewis Harrison – Founder and Director

 

I was recently re-reading The Power of Positive Thinking By Norman Vincent Peale and the Secret. I also spent time this week with a few old friends and clients who have crappy attitudes about life. They are “glass is half empty” types and it got me to thinking about the holiday season and how many people find this time of year depressing. It also reminded me again about the role of attitude and perspective on how we experience life. Now I’m not going to give you’re a sermon on attitude or bore you with a long blog on how to get a positive attitude but it did get me to contemplating on the subject.

Then I I received an e-mail from my old friend Mark Braunstein. I know Mark about thirty five years and send him the blogs that you are receiving from me. He is an author, philosopher, activist, scholar, entrepreneur and incredibly positive about life and living. . He also has some pretty extreme physical challenges. You see many years ago he went hiking and dove off a small bridge over a stream. Lots of people jump off this bridge into this stream all the time. Mark did it too (he is a pretty good athlete). When he came up he realized that he couldn’t feel his legs.

But Mark not being able to feel his legs is not the point of this blog. Mark has a pretty good attitude so the fact that he can’t feel his legs is just what “is” The point is that some people have a positive attitude about life and living and some people have a crappy attitude about life and living.

I have learned as a life and success coach and as an “expert” on Applied Game Theory that attitude counts for a lot concerning how we make choices in life and how wise these choices are.

This isn’t some half-baked motivational philosophy. Numerous studies show that this is so. People with positive attitudes have better marriages, more friends, make more money and die happier than people with crappy attitudes.

Now back to Mark Braunstein.

Well about a year after Mark’s accident (he’ll correct me if I’m wrong) network television did a show on extreme events that happen to people and that get caught on video. It happened that Mark’s friend had video-taped him jumping off that bridge. We had a party at my apartment in Manhattan. Mark came in his spanking new wheel chair and a good time was had by all as we watched the TV show. Yup, there was mark jumping off the bridge. Yup there was Mark coming to the surface realizing that he couldn’t feel his legs.  Eventually the party ended as all parties must and Mark went back to living his life with some new and unexpected challenges. He became an activist for the legalization of medical marijuana, testified at government hearings and generally did what he did before his accident; -lived a good life and made a positive difference in the lives of others which he continues to do.

So the essence of today’s blog is this…If you have a crappy attitude get rid of it. If you can’t get rid of it replace it with a positive attitude.

You might say, “Lew it’s not that easy. My parents had a crappy attitude, my siblings had crappy attitudes and I came from a damaged childhood where everyone and everything was designed to support the development of a crappy attitude.” You might say that.”

I feel your pain!

Now the visionary psychiatrist who created the foundations behind Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Tony Robbins ideas was named Milton Erickson. Erickson, who created Ericksonian Hypnosis, said that some people respond to visual influence and others to auditory. If you happen to have a crappy attitude and would like to have a positive attitude this music video by Billy Joel might be of value. It is the song “Your Only Human: Don’t forget Your Second Wind” The link is below. I have included the lyrics in case you want to sing along

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhxjNYvJbgM

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ E-book “Everything You Need To Know About Staying Happily Married”. It is available for $7.00 and can be ordered directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

How To Have a Happy Marriage

Humor can keep a marriage strong. In fact some problems, especially marriage problems get solved because we are will to accept the absurd as normal reality. This applies to game theory, life strategies and basic problem solving.

I accepted this as an epiphany of sorts during an argument my wife and I were having. Yup my wife and I had a bit of a tiff this week.  We were watching a movie about marriage and ruminating on why some couples stay together and others get divorced? Then we had a tiff about something.

Neither of us can remember what it was about but it was a tiff nonetheless. You see we are each from a different culture, religious background, racial heritage, and have differing and often oppositional tastes in almost every way.  To add to the differences I am 6’1” and she is 4’8” tall. I guess that the cause of the tiff is somehow tied to one of these differences… but I’m not sure.

Lilia and I never dated and she moved in with me the second time we met (I begged her to).  As I remember it the voices in my head said “Hey, Lewis, ask this woman that you don’t really know to move in with you” Of course I always do what the voices in my head tell me to do so I asked her, actually I begged her to stay. We got married in a year and many of our friends were convinced that we would be divorced in less than a year (sadly most of them are now divorced). We have spent well over a decade bickering about this or that. Our neighbors used to call us the “Bickerers”. (Oh they are now divorced as well).

I was single till I was forty seven and used to dazzle the ladies with my cooking skills. I only tell you this because Lilia doesn’t really like most of my cooking. I often create feasts for us and she send out for Chinese takeout.

Now all that being said we really do have something special. Trust and respect is at the top of the list and we’ve pretty much accepted what are often called by others as “irreconcilable differences”. Some say we have learned to compromise.  I’d rather call it drawing and seldom crossing a “line in the sand” that seems to be constantly moving. We often communicate effectively within an hour or two of any disagreement we may have. That might be the key to some sort of marital success.

A SHORT SEGUE

I want to say that greatly respect the Pope and the Dalai Lama but have always wondered how easy it would to be the Pope or the Dalai Lama if they had to deal with the quirks of marriage.

BACK TO THE BLOG

So as I was saying Lilia and I had this tiff while we were watching a movie about marriage and we began ruminating on why some couples stay together and others get divorced?

This tiff and our discussion about it reminded me of a funny story I pulled out of  Woody Allen’s movie “Annie Hall” about marriage.

The male and female parts can be switched. It doesn’t  matter.

Enjoy.

“A man goes to a psychiatrist and explains that his wife is insane.

“Maybe she is a bit eccentric” replies the psychiatrist. “You can learn to adjust to her behavior, after all marriage is compromise”.

“No” replies the man. “She is really crazy”

“What makes you so sure that she is crazy?” asks the psychiatrist

“She thinks she’s a chicken” Replies the man

“What?”

“She thinks she’s a chicken”

“What makes you think, that she thinks she is a chicken?” Asks the Psychiatrist

“Well she acts like a chicken”!

“I don’t understand” Replies the psychiatrist

The man explains. “Every morning she wakes up and starts to make clucking noises. Then she bends over and starts to peck at the floor like she is eating seeds. Then she waves her arms up and down like a chicken does.”

“Wow” say the psychiatrist, “Your wife really does think she is a chicken”.

“That’s what I told you” replies the man.

“Why do you stay married to her”? Asked the psychiatrist

The man responded instantly, without any thought or sense of irony. “Because I need the eggs!”

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ E-book “Everything You Need To Know About Staying Happily Married”. It is available for $7.00 and can be ordered directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

The Greatness of Nelson Mandela and Leadership

How does one define greatness?

Nelson Mandela’s death got me thinking about what makes a great leader? I am interested in exploring how genuine leadership can guide organizations towards greater individual and group effectiveness.

 

Let’s define leadership. I believe it is the application of leadership to a group of extraordinary individuals with a common vision or transcendent mission. A leader will be capable of inspiring others in the group to go beyond what might otherwise seem the norm.

 

Here is a short Q & A on leadership.

 

Doesn’t a successful organization expect its leader to have all the answers?

 

Nobody has all the answers, and this sort of expectation is one of the problems in ineffective hierarchies and toxic communities. In our culture, we want leaders to have all the answers, and we discredit them if they don’t. The media and partisan politics feed this attitude.

 

 

 

Can you explore various approaches to leadership, especially as applied to large organizations?

There are a many ways to define leadership; however, what most forms of leadership have in common is the centralizing of power in the hands of one individual or group of individuals. Thus, in order to understand leadership, one must understand power. To make this easier for you, I have provided a basic list of categories of power.

 

1. Charismatic Power: Based on a magnetic style or personality. To explore charismatic power and why it is so effective, see the Conversation on How RTPs Spread Through Society in the Level: Regenerative Thought Programs – RTPs.

 

2. Coercive Power: Based on the ability to make others accountable for their choices and actions.

 

3. Expert Power: Held by a person with a skill that is not only invaluable to the group but irreplaceable.

 

4. Information-based Power: Short-term power derived from a body of information that is essential to the group’s functioning within a particular area.

 

5. Legitimate Power: This is among the most rigid expressions of power. It is structured, hierarchical and is usually bestowed formally upon a person by others.

 

6. Reward Power: This type of power is directly connected to the concept of positive reinforcement. In this concept, an individual has the legitimate administrative power to offer rewards and incentives to others.

 

Leadership is essential in politics. What makes a person a poor political leader?

Some politicians, while seeming to care about others, are actually driven by hidden and often selfish agendas fueled by selective use of the media.

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Where do the concepts of altruism and reciprocal altruism fit into the various theories of leadership?

There is a leadership model known the “Managerial Grid” that presents five different leadership styles, based on the leaders’ concern for people and their desire to achieve certain goals. I will not discuss these here, but there is much information available.

 

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Lewis Harrison the creator of this blog is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching. He is creating a series of ebooks entitled “Ask Lewis…” which will be available on line.

This blog is explored more fully through Lewis E-book “A Primer To Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory”. Lewis’ ebook “How to Predict the Future (Not!) ”,  is available as a $7.00 e-book. You can order it directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Lewis owns a stress management consulting and corporate chair massage company www.eventschairmassage.com

Lewis offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

Spirituality in the Digital Age

 

Now let’s take creative thought and the digital arts, and integrate them with the compassionate and kind life. What arises from this is the Post-digital Path. This term points significantly to our rapidly changed and changing relationships with digital technologies and art forms. It focuses on an attitude that is more concerned not with the digital in isolation but with ways in which digital technology can bring forth with the highest elements of what it means to be a human being human. The Post-digital path defines an ever changing reality that is anchored in enlightenment.

This conversation is important for it helps each of us to define what it means when we say “I’m spiritual, but not religious”> On this path the student must explore ways in which 21st century technology and social dynamics – power, competition, altruism and hierarchy – may affect human conceptualizations of the world. This practice helps us redefine the way knowledge is constructed and used.  This is a real paradigm shift, a shift in the mathematics of a particular reality. Specifically defined, a paradigm is a theoretical and philosophical model, pattern or framework; specifically of a linguistic discipline or a mathematically based or scientific school of thought. The word paradigm was first presented by Thomas Kuhn in his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”

Mr. Kuhn’s descriptive word was specifically created to address ideas related to the natural sciences and would not,  in the strict sense of the word, be used outside of a strictly logical or rational model, since to do so is to corrupt the purpose of the definition to begin with. In Postmodernism and Zen there is no rigid view of anything – no paradigm.

You see, the natural sciences are disciplines and schools of thought with specific and definable laws and theories.  They include experiments that might be performed in support of these disciplines and schools of thought, and the laws, rules and guidelines that define them.

The more involved you become in the applying of  Zen, Taoism and post modern thought to creating a life of love, wisdom, compassion, spiritual contentment and happiness many of the distinctions between paradigms, social paradigms, and other forms of belief will disappear while other, more subtle distinctions will become apparent.

 

To paraphrase Joseph Campbell the pioneering anthropologist: The artist is the clergy for the modern age. I think this is even more so ON the Post-modern and post-digital path.

 

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Lewis Harrison the creator of this blog is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching. He is creating a series of ebooks entitled “Ask Lewis…” which will be available on line.

This blog is explored more fully through Lewis E-book “A Primer To Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory”. Lewis’ ebook “How to Predict the Future (Not!) ”,  is available as a $7.00 e-book. You can order it directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

 

Lewis owns a stress management consulting and corporate chair massage company www.eventschairmassage.com

 

Lewis offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.