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Creating Long Term Success

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Empowerment
Creating Long Term Success

I have often heard many “business experts” discuss how leadership methods and business principles in one area or industry simply do not apply to another industry. They argue, “I am a non-profit, the guidelines used by ‘for profit’ companies simply do not apply.” Another one is “My industry is so unique that we have to come up with our own set of guidelines. I must respectfully disagree. While the industries or businesses differ in what they do, I have discovered Ten rules or steps or guideline or principles (call them what you want) that worked for me in turning around six different organizations.

After thirty years, I came to the realization that similarities between organizations in crisis, be it a business, an industry, a government entity, a non-profit, an education system, a church and even an athletic program are strikingly similar. All are failing but are unwilling or unable to try new approaches. All become very defense when a new person comes in and tries to initiate change. The majority of the current staff says they are open to hearing the new plan, but will not make a real effort to help execute the plan. They would rather pay lip service to the plan and stand on the sidelines and watch the new plan fail so they can say “I knew it wouldn’t work.” The bottom line for organizations in crisis is this – What you are doing and the way you are doing it is not working. That is why new people are being brought into the organization.

I had the opportunity to work with Jim McLaughlin the head coach of the women’s volleyball program at the University of Washington. This program had it “rock bottom.” They had finished last or near last in their conference for several consecutive years. The former coach had resigned two weeks before the start of a new season. The program was clearly in crisis. The athletic director was able to convince a Jim McLaughlin to take over a job that was described as “Becoming the captain of the Titanic after it hit the ice burg.” The athletic director had accomplished the first of my Ten guidelines.

1. Find the right leader

This is often easier said than done. How do you know if you have the right leader? Initially you don’t. You do your due diligence, set your goals and requirements, conduct interviews, check reference and make an informed decision. In other words you take a leap of faith.

2. The leader must clearly articulate the vision

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never know if you get there. Every leader must have a vision or a plan. Everyone in the organization must know that vision and make it his or her own. The more concise the vision the better. Coach McLaughlins’s vision at the University of Washington was three points

Graduate every player
Finish in the top three in the PAC-12 every year. This gives the team the opportunity to compete for the national title
Prepare players for the U.S. national team

3. The leader must inspire people to believe

People become inspired when they see a consistent positive movement. The leader must stay the course by continuously articulating the vision and pointing out the “small steps” that are occurring. Consistency in the message and the method is critical. At Washington the team was playing with passion and intensity. The fans and the team saw the improvement and started to believe.

4. The leader must clearly define what he/she wants to do and what pieces are needed to get there.

When you take over an organization one of the first steps is to take inventory of the existing staff, products, processes, procedures etc…The leader must quickly determine the strengths and weaknesses in each area and have the courage to make the changes that will continue to move the program forward.

At the Washington, a new defensive specialist was being added to college volleyball. The goal of this position is to keep the ball from hitting the floor (called a dig), which prevents the other team from scoring. Two returning players believed they had the inside track for this position. The Coach McLaughlin had recruited a freshman who won the position. The premise was simple. It we can make it more difficult for the opponent to score, we improve our chances of winning. Starting a true freshman in a critical role, was a courageous step but one that was needed to get the organization to where it needed to be.

5. The leader must select the right people and put them in the best position to succeed.

The most difficult task in turning around an organization is evaluating and or replacing the people you inherit. These people were there before the new leader arrived and obviously have some vested interest in the organizations success. Hopefully most of the inherited people will buy into the program and are willing to change. Those that change can be valuable assets. Those who refuse have to be let go. This is concept Jim Collins described in his book Good to Great. Mr. Collins described it as getting the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. Most leaders will say the most important asset in any organization is the employees. This is not really the case. We discovered the most valuable asset is the right people. The right people understand and accept the vision. The right people are motivated and driven. The right people are both ready and able to execute. The wrong people do none of these things. The wrong people lower standards. The wrong people drive away the right people.

At Washington Jim McLaughlin had a system. He needed people at each job who were willing to accept their role (job description). He selected (recruited) people who understood that the collective contribution of like-minded people would produce a result greater than what could be achieved alone. He often passed on a more talented person if that person was more interested in his/her individual success rather than that of the organization.

6. The leader must focus on details and training.

Once the leader starts getting the right people on the bus, the next step is to make sure everyone knows not only what to do but how and most important, why to do it. Many leaders call this falling into a routine; I prefer to call it finding your stride. Consistency is now the key. Constant repetition or practice must occur. The leader at times seems like a broken record. Some people call this having a mantra. The leader must constantly preach three things:

This is what we do
This is how we do it
This is why we do what we do
At Washington this was accomplished by the mantra “There are no small things in volleyball. Everything we do is important and has a purpose.”

7. The leader must document everything; the organization must operate without key people present.

Far too many organizations rely on word of mouth or the company grapevine to establish processes and procedures. This works if your organization is small with little to no turnover and people interact with each other daily. Many companies in crisis wanted to avoid creating a bureaucracy particularly if they came from large stagnant bureaucratic organizations. For many companies I heard the term “flat organization.” We have someone in the organization who knows what to do when a situation arises. That raises the question, what if the person who knows the answer isn’t there? Does the operation stop? Do you wait for the person to return in a day or two? Having a plan as simple as an instruction manual that is reviewed frequently allows the organization to address and resolve issues quickly. In short people know what to do.

At Washington every step and procedure was detailed and documented. Little was left to chance. They created written practice plans, game plans, training plans, travel plans, meal plans, position plans, recruiting plans, official and unofficial visit plans, home visit plans etc… Every day the white board was filled with the specific plan for that day. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

8. The leader must constantly review all aspects of the operation making adjustments as needed to stay on course.

The only constant in life is change. Truly great leaders constantly evaluate themselves. Once they have a good sense of what the market is doing and what opportunities the market is offering, they must have the courage to change. A prime example is Walgreen’s. At one time food service, (soda fountain), was highly profitable. As then CEO Charles R. “Cork” Walgreen projected forward he saw no role for food service. Over five years he eliminated food service and focused on convenient locations and wide product availability. Today we find Walgreen stores at nearly every major intersection.

In 2004, Washington went to the volleyball Final Four. While they did not win, the vast majority of the team was returning the following year. Projecting forward, Coach McLaughlin made three major changes.

He replaced the staring middle blocker, a senior, with a physically gifted but very inexperienced sophomore.
He brought in an assistant coach whose specialty was coaching how to block at the net.
He moved his three time All American to a new position on the right side.

He knew his team was good enough to return to the Final Four, but unless they improved their blocking and generated more scoring from the right side they would have trouble beating Nebraska. The adjustments paid off handsomely. The young sophomore became a force at the net becoming an All American, and the team’s blocking went from a weakness to a major strength. Washington won the 2005 national championship sweeping Nebraska for the title.

9. The leader must continue to bring in people that are better than the ones already in place.

How and why do you find better people once you have achieved success? The answer is fairly basic. If you figured out how to become better, so will your competition. Many great leaders become more nervous when things are going well. As hard as it is to reach a high level of success, it is even harder to maintain. Success also brings competitors attempting to raid your top people. It is critical to continue to raise the requirements and expectations to attract more of the right people.

At Washington, the volleyball program went from last place in the PAC-10 to the Elite 8 and three consecutive Final Fours including one national championship in five years. Some of the best student athletes in the world were now interested in coming to Washington. A player from the 2001 team said to me, “The transformation of this program happened so quick it is beyond belief. Most of the girls I played with in 2001 would not make this team.

10. The leader cannot lose sight of the goal.

As a leader, the worst thing you can do is relax when your organization is doing well. At times success breeds apathy and complacency. A leader must guard against the attitude “We got to where we wanted now we can take it easy.” I will never forget what a speaker at a turnaround management conference in New Orleans once said: “We worked so hard to pull our company from the brink of disaster. We were able to convince the staff that we had the right plan and the right vision. As things started to improve, I noticed complacency had begun. The attention to detail was not as intense. We started to fall back into some bad habits. I saw it, but I guess I started to believe our own press releases and didn’t move quickly enough, and we found ourselves back in danger.”

Washington continued to have laser like focus. Over his 14 year tenure his teams reached the NCAA tournament 13 straight years, the eighth-longest active streak. In addition to a national title, Washington produced four NCAA Final Four appearances, three national players of the year, three Pacific-12 Conference titles, 17 players who combined for 34 American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America awards, nine CoSIDA Academic All-America scrolls and 58 all-Pac-12 awards.

Summary

I think we can safely say that the turnaround principles described here are not limited to for profit businesses. With the right leader, the rules can be applied to any type or size of business of organization. So if your business or organization is at a cross road give these rules a try. They are not easy. They will test and challenge you in ways you could never imagine, but in the end they work. Give me a call. I will be happy to help your where I can.

Listening and its Effect on Learning

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Empowerment
Listening and its Effect on Learning

Listening and its Effect on Learning

Practical Enlightenment by Ariel & Shya Kane

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably spent more time in a classroom than you can remember. It’s likely that you continue to spend time in similar settings, maybe conferences, meetings, sales presentations, or the like. You’ve spent a lifetime listening to teachers, speakers, reading books and materials, and watching presentations, all in the quest for information. But do you really know what you’re doing?

We have a name for this: Learning. But do you really know an effective way to learn? Have you ever even considered the questions, “How well can I learn?” and “How can I learn better?” Despite the thousands of hours that many of us have invested in learning situations, we’ve really never learned how to learn. It was always something that we just sort of figured out on the fly.

There is an existing technology that can make a dramatic difference in how you learn. It isn’t a study method, a memory aid, or a way to read faster. The major component of this technology has a deceptively simple name and you probably think it’s something you already do. It’s called “listening.” But don’t let the name fool you. When you think you’re listening, you may be doing something completely different. I’ve learned that what I used to call “listening” is not what I mean when I use the word now.

I recently attended a business workshop given by Ariel and Shya Kane, entitled Transformation in the Workplace. As part of the seminar, we explored what it means to truly listen, to intentionally hear what is being said from the point of view of the person who is speaking. How many times do you remember sitting in a presentation or a class, engaging in a casual conversation and hearing something that gave you an idea? It happens to me a lot. I follow the thoughts to see what the new information might mean, or how I might use it. But by the time my attention returns to the speaker, I’ve become totally lost.

If the speaker says something that sounds like what I’ve previously learned, I think “I know that” to myself. Since I already know – or believe that I do – I don’t bother to really listen and hear it. And then there’s no chance for me to see that what the speaker is saying is new or different. Even if I did happen to know the facts involved, the speaker’s perspective is different from my own. If I truly listen, I can acquire a new insight into things. When I think, “I already know that,” it closes me off from hearing the truth and therefore learning. And if you hear yourself saying, “I agree” or “I disagree,” you are converting someone else’s words into something you already know. Again, you’re stopping yourself from truly hearing.

Having an agenda is another hindrance to listening. Consider a sales presentation for a product that I’ve already decided I want. I’m probably listening through my agenda, storing information to make the case that the product should be purchased. At the same time, though, I’m filtering out any information that might serve to change my mind – or at least cause me to further question my purchase. Because all information is passing through the filter of my agenda, I’m not truly listening to the speaker, and I’ve lost the opportunity to learn. This filtering process works exactly the same way when my agenda is to not purchase the product.

I also discovered that if I’m practicing what I’m about to say while someone else is speaking, I’m not listening. This is especially true when I’m about to give a planned presentation. I generally don’t remember who spoke before me, much less what they said during their talk because I was busy practicing my talk in my mind.

One final hindrance I want to mention is “feeling badly” for not listening. Punishing yourself is just one more way to avoid listening and learning, and it doesn’t accomplish anything positive. When you notice that you’re not listening, you have a choice. You can feel badly, or you can move your attention away from yourself and back onto the speaker. By choosing wisely, you are placing yourself back into a state where you’re listening and learning.

Since attending the Kanes’ course, I have discovered that listening goes far beyond just learning. It is about truly hearing what is being said, whether it’s coming from a teacher, a coworker, a supervisor, or a client. The simple act of truly listening allows a dramatic shift, a transformation in what you can accomplish in your life. I urge you to try it for yourself. Then, when someone tells you how you’ve suddenly become much more effective, productive and easy to be with, you’ll really be able to hear it.

Andrew Gideon has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. He is the Vice President and Co–owner of TAG Online, a World Wide Web provider and software development corporation.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, podcast/radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here podcast or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, is available on Amazon.comBarnesandNoble.com and everywhere books are sold.

Books by Ariel & Shya Kane

Greener Pastures, an excerpt from Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work

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Empowerment
Greener Pastures, an excerpt from Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work

Once we saw a goat put out to graze in a lush field. The grass was high and feeding was plentiful. But the goat wasn’t satisfied. It made a funny picture as it strained toward the field next door. Its front legs were suspended midair, dangling over the fence as it vainly reached for a tempting bit of green just out of reach. Of course the grass wasn’t any richer or higher or more succulent in the next pasture, but try telling that to the goat.

What pastures are you straining after? Most people are strenuously reaching toward what they think will make them happy or satisfied, straining toward something more, better, or different. The problem with this is that there is always something else that needs to be bought or produced in order for you to be happy or satisfied. Truthfully, in this moment, you can only have what you have. Anything you yearn for robs you of the possibility of reveling in the richness of your life.

People get so driven by where they are going that they miss their lives. You may actually be rushing ahead to finish this book, trying to answer some question or fulfill some agenda. While you are trying so hard to get something from the writing, you are not actually there for the reading.

Many of us live our lives as if we are looking through a telephoto lens on a camera. A telephoto lens focuses in on an object in the distance and excludes everything peripheral to that object. So you miss everything happening around you. Instantaneous Transformation is more like a wide-angle lens. It holds everything in focus whether it is close up or far away, and there is three-dimensionality and depth to what you see. The telephoto lens, on the other hand, makes things much more two-dimensional or fl at; you lose the depth of fi eld. When people are lost in a change modality, they feel annoyed when things “intrude” and interrupt their flow toward where they are headed. In a transformational approach, life becomes a dance of noticing what is rather than a tense experience of trying to exclude everything that does not seem on track to producing the things we think we want in the future to make us happy or fulfilled.

Working on Yourself Doesn't Work by Ariel & Shya KaneIt could be said that life is an unfolding, moment to moment, and we have preferences that frequently disagree with how life unfolds, because we are trying to get somewhere rather than be where we are. We think something better is going to come along because this isn’t it, when in fact this moment is all there is. This moment IS it.

People are so busy worrying about what they don’t have or how it is going to turn out in the future, they rarely allow themselves to really relish and enjoy the way things are right now. Life becomes a worry about what isn’t, rather than a celebration of what is. For if we, like the goat, invest our energy only in wanting what we don’t have and lusting after tantalizing goals currently out of reach, satisfaction is set aside for a mythical someday that never comes.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books.  Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

Diamonds at Your Feet

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Diamonds at Your Feet

Diamonds at Your Feet

When moving through life with awareness, there are gems to be discovered each day, provided you look. It requires you to slow down and see what is right in front of you rather than racing forward to some “better” destination. It takes the willingness to discover what is there even if others may think that you are being silly or impractical. It also may require a dose of childish enthusiasm as it did in the case of our young friend Milan, from Brooklyn, New York.

Milan’s interest in gems began at the tender age of six. What started with digging for stones in the park has now blossomed into a full-fledged passion. Like many children, he was fascinated by a piece of quartz found in gravel or an interestingly-shaped rock found by chance. Then his father introduced him to the field of gemology and now Milan has an extensive collection of books on the subject as well as a small collection of semi-precious and precious gems of his own.

Somewhere in his fledgling studies, Milan heard about an urban tale that sparked his imagination. According to lore, on 47th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Midtown Manhattan, home to the legendary Diamond District, is a place where you can find treasure. 47th Street is filled cheek by jowl with stores, each more gaudy than the next, hawking gold and jewelry, precious gems and bling, but according to this legend, the wealth was purported to not only be behind the plate glass windows and security systems. Young Milan had heard that if you look hard enough and if you are dedicated to the search, you can find loose stones on the sidewalk itself. He was told that if you take your time, you will find diamonds at your feet that have been dropped by careless couriers or unsuspecting buyers.

A silly notion some might say. Others might scoff at how ridiculous one would look, slowly meandering, nose virtually to the sidewalk. Practical parents might discourage this dream as childish and having no merit. Yet Milan’s parents did not. Both his mom and dad have repeatedly taken him to the diamond district so that he can scour the streets. There he has found two black diamonds, one ruby, four emeralds, six sapphires and fifteen diamonds. His largest stone, a triangular half-carat diamond, has been appraised for $600.

Now at 15, Milan continues to pursue his passion for gems and shiny things and has grown an extraordinary collection. He has also discovered that while finding gems fuels his enthusiasm and creativity, sharing them with others feeds his heart.

We rather doubt that most people have found wealth in the cracks of the sidewalk. It wouldn’t even occur to most people to look. But to us Milan’s childish dream is a gentle reminder to slow down and look at where we are, who we are with, and what we are doing. It is a simple suggestion to go about one’s life with awareness and persistence, for in this moment there are gems to be discovered if only one has the eyes to see.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYCGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Being Here…Too, Short Stories of Modern Day Enlightenment, comes out this November and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Footprints in the Sand

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Empowerment
Footprints in the Sand

Footprints in the Sand

For several years Shya and I travelled down to Great Harbor Cay, on the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. We traditionally rented a little condo on this small sparsely populated island with windows facing east overlooking the ocean – a beautiful place to watch the sunrise to be sure. On many mornings, I went for a walk on the beautiful sandy beach. The shore is long enough that I could easily go for 45 minutes in either direction, enjoying the lap of the waves while keeping a sharp eye out for treasures that the sea had dropped on the sand overnight. This little beach is its own world, one where “rush hour” happened when I occasionally saw another human being – perhaps two. While this stretch of sand is sparsely populated I still was not the only Beachcomber. Sometimes when walking along the beach I followed the tracks of a fellow explorer, noticing where he or she had veered left or right to investigate an interesting-looking tangle of sea grass that had been deposited by the waves upon the shore.

I must admit I really prefer being first to cross the virgin sand after it has been smoothed by the receding tide. When I have come upon the tracks of someone who has come before me, it spurs the notion that I have fallen behind somehow, that I am too late, that everything of note to be discovered has already been found.

One morning, Shya and I stepped out our door and debated briefly whether to turn left or right. He, fly rod in hand, me wearing my light cotton tee with a kangaroo pouch on the front ready to tuck away little treasures. I was also wearing my small belly-pack, complete with water bottle, tissues and more room for seashells inside. Everything a gal needs for a trek down the beach.

We decided to go left, toward the point where the sea wraps around, often leaving interesting shells. It is also where small fish, mainly schools of jacks and pompano, chase baitfish and are likely to take Shya’s fly.

As we walked along we saw a needlefish, a long toothy creature, cruising the shallows. Farther out, shoals of tiny minnows jumped, silver waves fanning out, cascading back into the slick water as they tried to evade a predator below. Occasionally little sandpipers bobbed and weaved their way up and down the gentle rise of sand in search of edibles too tiny for our human eyes to see.

As we walked in the wavelets, Shya’s gaze was pinned on the water as he scanned for the silhouettes of fish, ready to cast the fly, my attention kept being pulled to a flash of light or a daub of color as seashells winked at me in the morning sun. It was a leisurely adventure, not really going anywhere even though our feet were taking us toward that point of land in the distance. When a small school of jacks came hunting, we both caught and released several as we took turns enticing them to eat our imitation shrimp fly.

Eventually we came to the point and Shya waded out down a long sand bar to see if he could catch one of the larger predator fish cruising the water on either side of the underwater spit of sand. I, on the other hand, rounded the corner and ranged up the beach to see what seashells had been left by the ocean overnight. But to my surprise, instead of an unblemished surface, I found footprints in the sand.

Oh no! I immediately thought. Someone was here before me. From nowhere my leisurely morning’s mood disappeared and my competitive nature surged forward, activating those niggling insecurities that whispered: You’re behind. You missed your shot. You’ve lost out.

Prompted by those thoughts, my steps quickened, heart thumped and breath hitched. How could they have gotten here before me? Shya and I came out to the beach virtually at first light.

Scanning ahead, I saw how the trail zigged and zagged and I began to follow it. Several yards down the beach, as I took a step, I noticed that the footprints I was leaving in my wake looked suspiciously the same size as those I was following. I stopped in my tracks. Actually I stopped next to my tracks also and I tipped my head back and laughed. I finally realized that the person I’d been competing with was actually the ghost of myself, for I had come this way the night before. As I looked, it became clear that high tide the night before had not come up far enough to obliterate my prints from yesterday’s beach adventure. I smiled to myself, reminded of Winnie-The-Pooh where Piglet and Pooh follow their own tracks as they circled around the same tree again and again.

Relaxed once again, my eye returned to seeing the wonders in front of me. My attention was no longer turned inward upon perceived failings, and I was no longer subjected to that automatic self-defeating mental diatribe. My stride evened out and I enjoyed the movement of my legs, the textures under my bare feet as I turned around and begin walking back toward Shya.

Suddenly I caught sight of a delicate seashell standing in the fresh sand looking like a pair of butterfly wings poised for flight. Opalescent interior in pearl, aqua and pink contrasted with the darker outside. The outer edges were not smooth but adorned with many points, feathered fingers that would interlace when closed, currently reaching toward the sky. Gently I collected the shell, wrapped it in a tissue and tucked it in my pouch for the walk back to the little bungalow where we were staying.

As my feet found their rhythm, I quietly mused about how odd the notion was that I had missed an opportunity, that I was somehow “behind.” For I had just discovered not only a delicate treasure released by the sea, but the far greater wealth-of-being that happens when I let go of the reflex to get ahead, allowing myself the luxury to be right where I am instead.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

Transformation in the New Year

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Empowerment
Transformation in the New Year

You deserve to live a brilliant life. You know in your heart that you do. And yet, stress, fear, complaint and worry so often get in the way – eroding your sense of well-being and satisfaction…

What if there was a way to feel well in yourself and good in your skin – regardless of the circumstances? What if you don’t need resolutions to have this year be effortlessly successful and exponentially satisfying?

In this lively and fun evening seminar, wellness experts Ariel & Shya Kane share the keys to Instantaneous Transformation – an approach that has supported millions of people around the world in having happier, healthier lives and relationships. Through interactive discussions, you will learn practical and highly effective tools for everyday wellbeing.

This life is the only one you’ve got and this moment is all there is. Why have it be anything less than brilliant?

Transformation in the New Year with Ariel & Shya Kane
Date: Monday, January 8, 2018
Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Fee: $20
Location: Skyline Hotel, 725 Tenth Ave. at 49th Street, Penthouse Ballroom, New York City
Register: http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/product/monday-evenings-in-nyc/

Transformation in the New Year

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Empowerment
Transformation in the New Year

Transformation in the New Year

by Ariel & Shya Kane

New Year’s resolutions are things we promise ourselves we are going to do in the future. They usually spring from the idea that we need to improve some aspect of our body, way of being or personal habits with the expectation that when we improve, we will simultaneously achieve well being and satisfaction. This is all well and good but if you ask yourself the question, “Has it worked for me to make resolutions about how I should be in the year to come?” you might discover that in the past you either quit on yourself, did not follow through or the attainment of the goal did not produce the commensurate satisfaction you expected.

There is a transformational alternative, which does not involve changing or fixing your life. This New Year, see if you can be the way you are, not the way you think you ought to be. Instead of striving to be different, see if you can be exactly the way you are, without making yourself wrong or right for being that way.

“What good will that do?” you might ask, “How can one possibly effect positive change without setting a goal or resolving to do better?” The answer is simple. When you discover how to live in the moment, your life transforms as a natural byproduct and things that you have been struggling to change simply dissolve. Here is how it works.There are three basic principles of Instantaneous Transformation.

The first principle is: Anything you resist persists and grows stronger. Chances are, those things that you want to change or fix about yourself have persisted, no matter how many times you have resolved to change them.

The second principle is: No two things can occupy the same space at the same time. For example, if you are sitting while you are reading this article, you will discover that you could only be sitting right now.

We all have been taught that we can improve our lives and our lot in life. But in this very moment of now, you can only be exactly as you are. Striving to attain an idea or an ideal is akin to saying the way you are is imperfect or flawed. You may have the idea that you can be different, but in reality, in this moment, you are the way you are.

If we were to take a photograph of you, the moment the picture was taken, you could only have been the way the camera captured you in that moment. You can’t change the way you were. Life shows up in a series of moments of now and in this moment of now you can only be exactly the way you are – and that is the second principle.

The third principle is: When you allow yourself to be the way you are, and notice how you are being without judging yourself, a phenomenon takes place called completion. In other words, if you notice the way you behave without trying to change or fix yourself and without judging what you discover, those behaviors that you have been trying to change or ways of being that you have been putting up with will complete themselves, just with awareness. But you can’t notice it to get rid of it, because that throws you back into the first principle – anything you resist persists and grows stronger.

You can think of awareness like taking a block of ice and letting it sit in the sun. The radiant heat of simple awareness is enough to melt old, frozen mechanical behaviors.

So for this New Year as an experiment and an alternative to making resolutions, try a transformational approach. See if you can simply notice the way you are being in your life without judging yourself for what you discover. It is possible to reach a state of awareness where those behavior patterns that have run your life will lose their power over you. We’ve done it and you can, too.

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UKGermany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter. Also get information about their award-winning books.  Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

Life Will Provide if You Let It

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Life Will Provide if You Let It

Life Will Provide if You Let It
By Ariel Kane

I like birds and I really like taking pictures of them. I must admit that I am partial to colorful birds – except not always. The frothy white feathers on a great white egret have been known to catch my imagination and the silhouette of a little hummingbird sitting quietly on a branch at dusk has held me in awe.

Not too long ago while attempting to capture the image of a bright bird with my camera, I had a surprising life lesson. I was keying in on what I wanted, on what I knew. All the while I had been missing something new and exciting by being focused on my desires.

Shya and I were at Caño Negro, a sleepy little village in Costa Rica that caters to nature tours, wetlands bird watching and tarpon fishing. We had been fishing for a day and a half on the Rio Frio where Shya had caught several tarpon, one being a giant, on his birthday. It was our lunch hour and Shya was tying up a few fishing flies for the afternoon; I had seen some scarlet-rumped tanagers by the dining room beneath a tree so I headed there with my camera in hopes of getting a shot.

Scarlet-rumped tanagers are a midnight black bird and as their name implies, they have the brightest of red on the backside. Their markings are very dynamic and I enjoy watching them in the wild. The hotel where we were staying had a bird feeding station and I had noticed them there but I had also seen them in a nearby tree that would be a much more natural picture.

As I drew near the feeding station, the tanagers darted up into a tree. While I could still see them, I knew it would be a really tough shot. The birds were dark, in the branches and leaves it was dark, and they were backlit by the bright, glaring light of day. Still I wanted what I wanted. The moment was arguing against it but I thought I should try. I focused down my lens and tried different settings to capture what I thought was my heart’s desire, dancing this way and that as they shifted position in an attempt to avoid me. So keyed in on getting “my shot” that I didn’t hear the man come up behind me.

“Excuse me,” he said. “You like birds?”

I turned and saw one of the nature guides standing directly behind me. “How about that one? It’s a lineated woodpecker.”

I swiveled my head to the left and on a tree was a beautiful bird. It was bright and interesting and to my delight, was easy to focus on. I gave the man my heartfelt thanks and he melted back into the dining area. For several moments the woodpecker enlarged the hole he was working on while I captured his image.

As I headed back to my room I had to smile to myself. It reminded me once again of how it is so easy to look for what we know and key in on getting the things we think we want, all based in the past. When focusing down on the known, we miss so many things. All it took for me was stepping back from my quest and listening to an expert. So sweet that that man pointed me in the right direction. Even sweeter that I followed his lead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since 1987, internationally acclaimed authors, seminar leaders, radio show hosts and business consultants Ariel and Shya Kane have acted as guides, leading people through the swamp of the mind into the clarity and brilliance of the moment. Find out more about the Kanes, their seminars in NYC, in the UK, Germany and Costa Rica, the Say YES to Your Life! Meetups their work has inspired, their Being Here radio show or join their email newsletter here: http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/ You can also get information about their award-winning books. Their newest book, Practical Enlightenment, is now available on Amazon.com.

Rest! You’ll be More Productive By Ariel & Shya Kane

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Rest! You’ll be More Productive By Ariel & Shya Kane

Do you ever think that resting is an indulgence? We’re all so driven to get somewhere we think if we take a break, we’ll fall behind. Take that break. Join Ariel & Shya Kane for this rejuvenating episode – disengage from your “projects” and discover the magic of Being Here!

Listen Live this Wednesday, August 30th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel: http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/being-here-radio-show/

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 500 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here: http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/being-here-radio-show-archives/

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:

Podcasts app for iPhone

Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device

VoiceAmerica app for Apple

VoiceAmerica app for Android

Regard – Disregard By Ariel & Shya Kane

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Regard – Disregard By Ariel & Shya Kane

Regard: respect, esteem, admire – to recognize the worth of a person or thing. –
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Ever been to a networking group or other gathering where everyone is texting, talking and basically disregarding others because they’re so self involved and want only to advance their own agendas? Ever notice how you disregard what you don’t think is pertinent to your own life? What if those things you disregard hold the keys to your own satisfaction and success? Tune in to Being Here and see what you’ve been missing. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-888-346-9141!

Listen Live this Wednesday, August 16th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel: http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/being-here-radio-show/

After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 500 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here: http://www.transformationmadeeasy.com/being-here-radio-show-archives/

You can also listen to Being Here on the go! Stream or download new and archived episodes to your smart phone or mobile device with these applications:

– Podcasts app for iPhone

– Stitcher Podcast app for Any Device

– VoiceAmerica app for Apple   

– VoiceAmerica app for Android

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