Energy Vampires

July 2, 2006

My good friend, Jon Gordon is America’s Number 1 Energy Coach. Jon travels America, delivering seminars in public and corporate situations. He is also the author of two best-selling books, his latest “The 10 Minute Energy Solution” released in January 2006. Please check him out at www.JonGordon.com

Jon talks a lot about Energy Vampires, things that suck and drain energy out of you and his role is to help you find ways to restore that energy within yourself. It is with energy that you will be able to move forward to achieve the desires you wish. And it is through Jon that I have mastered the art of creating energy within me so I am at peak at all times in order to create more effeciency in my life.

Energy Vampires can be in the form of lack of sleep, poor eating habits, Starbucks coffee, drugs and excessive alcohol, lack conditioning, media negativity, wrong peer group and much more. Make a list of what energy vampires are currently in your life, and work to get rid of them one by one. You’ll feel much more energetic, I guarantee that.

Things such as giving up Starbucks coffee, poor eating habits, drugs and alcohol and TV are more easier than dealing with your peer group. Many of us have friends and family who are negative and depressed. We feel obliged to stick with them through their “tough” times, not consciously knowing the effect it has on us. And we don’t just want to leave them in the lurch too.

It is important that when you are surrounded by such negative people, or people who just bring you down, you stay positive. It is no use if you are negative too. And it is also no use if you can’t stay strong and positive. The ultimate result is that you’ll also be drained, tired and stressed if you can’t handle it. As a positive person, you’re radiating energy and will give the other person an emotional lift from their negativity. This is you facing your energy vampires right in the face.

Other things I’d recommend you are do: exercise for a few moments each day, surround yourself with people who are going in the same direction as you are. A good peer group will get you on the road to success automatically. Eat healthily. Give people gifts. Give up the coffee, and try some green tea. Read my post about that here. Surround yourself with books and audio tapes on inspiration, motivation and personal development.

When surfing the web, I come across many newsletters. I also subscribe to them, but unsubscribe within a few weeks because I don’t see any value for me in those moments. There’s one that I highly recommend though. Jon Gordon’s Energy Tip is written and sent out every single Monday. I always look out for it because of the straight forward value that he provides to my life. Every newsletter I have read so far has been instrumental in creating some sort of action within me. It’s free, and I urge you to sign up. Check out his website, www.jongordon.com/newsletter.html


Anup Shah Interview – Part 2

June 2, 2006

Here is part two of the exclusive Anup Shah interview.

If you missed Part 1, read it here.

4. In my work as a personal coach, a large amount of work goes into not being biased or judgemental when talking with clients. Do you feel that it is an important trait to have when you write articles that are related to topical global issues?

Certainly. It is not easy though. I am not happy with some of my earlier articles, which are a bit more opinionated than I would like (which I will address over due course). The challenge of writing about political issues is that it will not be possible to please everyone, so even though some may think you are not biased, others will think you are! What I try to do is provide liks and sources as much as I can, so people can see for themselves.

5. You are not credited in any political field and write extensively about global issues. Does this affect your readership or your website content's reliability?

Probably. I am quite conscious about this, and have tried to be as open about this as I can on my web site's about section. I therefore try to link and reference as many sources as I can within the articles so people can follow through. I think in the earlier years of the site, I occasionally cited slightly more opinionated views that I would do now, and these days I try to ensure what I cite is of good quality, too. Of course, not everyone will have heard of all the sources I use, but when they are online, people can follow them as much as they want. I tried to keep them varied and broad, including sources from developing countries, as here in the UK, or from my experience in the US, we hardly hear such views and perspectives.

As an aside, not having a degree in a related field and doing computer science instead has resulted in another problem for me: the quality of my writing skills! Computer science encourages efficiency, not good quality writing. A number of pages are, I feel, poorly written, and that is something I am trying to improve. I think more recently updated pages/sections are better, but some old pages do still exist that I want to change – time allowing!

In terms of readership, from what I can tell, the visitors come from all around the world (the majority being from the US). I have even had people from the UN email me or sign on to my mailing list. Even former US President Jimmy Carter, and the famous political activist, Bianca Jagger, have emailed me with kind words.

I have personally tried to avoid ads, and requests for donations, etc for the time-being, so that probably helps with credibility, too.

I think I have made a decent attempt thus far, as a number of times I have been asked to either write an article for a publication/newspaper, or do a small radio interview for someone. The OneWorld.net and MediaChannel.org affiliations for example, also help in terms of credibility. A number of other reasonably prominent web sites have linked to certain pages of mine, which helps too. Until Africa started being talked about a bit more in recent years in the mainstream, I found news sites such as the BBC and others occasionally link to some of my Africa pages. A number of high schools and university web sites have linked to the site as a resource for students. I have also recently been asked to write a book, which I think really helps as well. I won't go into the details on the book for now as it may not go ahead, but the fact that I was approached rather than the other way round makes me feel that I must have done okay somewhere!

Ultimately, however, bias will be everywhere, intentional or not, from the largest and most popular news outlets to the smallest sites, so it is up to the individual reading the content to determind if the content is reliable or not.

6. From a web development angle, how did you manage to get your Global Issues website to the top search engine ranking for the issues you write about?

I think a number of factors have helped me here: I have had the site since 1998, so some search engines place a bit of weight on that. Perhaps most importantly, many other websites link to various pages on my site, which I also link out to others.

 

 

 

 

Search engines apparently like this, because when they see a site receiving many links from other, related and reputable sites, they see it being a kind of vote for that site. Enough of these "votes", and you get a better ranking!

In the early years of the site there was a lot of one-to-one "marketing", whereby I simple emailed other websites that I frequently visited to see if there was any way they could place a link to my site. I was probably fortunate because in those "early years" of the web, there were not as many sites on these issues as there are now. These days, I don't really have the time to do this, but I still find many new links to the site from all over the place, so hopefully this means that the site is itself generating enough interest. (As I write this, it has been almost a month since I have updated the site, because of a particularly long and drawn out project at work, and yet that has not affected site visits, for example).

Some people try to fool and cheat search engines using a variety of techniques. I stay away from that, because once you are found out, you will be knocked off the listings, and struggle to get back on. Furthermore, it is plain dishonest. In principle, search engines go for what can be determined as good quality content that people are compelled to link to.

 

7. You’ve been editing the Global Issues website since 1998. What has driven you to continue it eight years later?

Another hard one to answer! A number of people ask me this as well and I always struggle to answer it! I guess it’s a combination of deep interest in these issues, the enormous number of encouraging and motivating emails I get (for I often question whether there is any point going on, as in some ways not much seems to change or just when you think there might be progress in world affairs, something will happen to prove otherwise), and probably a number of other factors I can’t yet articulate!

 

8. What do you believe is the relationship between self development and global issues? Is there a connection between the two?

 

The way I see it, there is a connection between most issues, in some way. At one level, the support of global issues such as universal human rights inherently supports the development of the individual self.

Furthermore, in a functioning democracy, individuals have responsibilities as well as rights. Amongst other things, those responsibilities include making informed decisions, not just to vote, but to also ensure that people are accountable, that those universal values are not slowly taken away, and so on. Self development is not done in a vacuum, and so, I feel that global concerns are crucial for self development.

 

Approaching this from the other way, a drive to improve and develop the self can perhaps help one to be more open-minded about global issues, encourage one to look outwards to see how they fit into the world around them, and even strive to learn more.

9. What advice would you give to individuals who are on the personal growth path about global issues and the way they deal with it?

Probably to say be open minded, try to learn about issues from the perspective of others around the world, to be questioning about what is (and what is not) reported from the mainstream media, and the types of experts interviewed, etc. That is not to say there is a conspiracy of some sort to actively lie, or whatever, but that power does influence our world, and so naturally the media—a crucial aspect of a functioning democracy—is going to be subject to those interests, too.

If we wish to develop ourselves personally, as productive members of society, then we also need to ensure the society we are to be productive in is as positive for the world as possible. We in the wealthy countries have more influence on other people around the world than we realize. But this influence can be negative as well as positive, so any personal growth path, I feel, needs to consider the global as well as personal considerations.

KH: Thanks very much, Anup. Your commitment and the writings you present are a great learning resource and eye-opener to all who read them. And I hope you write that book!


Anup Shah Interview – Part 1

May 30, 2006

This week, I have an exclusive interview with Global Issues editor, Anup Shah. Anup is the founder of Global Issues, a website that is founded on his broad interest in global issues and is now used as a reference worldwide in various institutions and publications.

The Global Issues website is something I read on a regular basis. It provides me with more information to things I hear about on the news as well as help trains my skills in being non-judgemental, critical thinking and making decisions in everyday life.

I'm a huge believer of creating something that has a great impact around you by providing useful material and I think Anup has an impressive story of how you can use a hobby that doesn't need to make money to make a difference in this world. His story is also great teachings for those who want to set up good, informative and resourcesful websites. So I was delighted when I had the opportunity to interview Anup in connection with global issues and a hint of self development.

The interview has large informative answers so I have divided it into two parts. The second part will be posted in a few days. Enjoy!

1. Why did you intend to start, write and edit Global Issues? What is your motivation?

In 1997, having just graduated from a university in England with a computer science degree, a friend of minte introduced me to Structural Adjustment Policies and their negative impacts on poor countries and people around the world. I was shocked about this, having never heard of it before.

My first job that autumn was in the US in the software industry. I wanted to practice web development skills for work, so in my spare time I tried that, but needed to focus on something. At the same time, I quickly became disturbed by the poor quality of the mainstream media in the US. The two seemed to go hand in hand… I purchased the globalissues.org domain in mid-1998 and it has unexpectedly taken off since then.

So, my inital motivation was actually to practice web development, but then it became like a personal journey for me: I wanted to learn more about why the media was so poor and why otherwise very kind and good people seemed to have narrow views about those from other countries. This led me to learn and read more about geopolitics, poverty, trade/economic related issues, the environment and so on. In those days, there were very few web sites about these things, compared to now, though there was an exceptional one, called OneWorld.org (now OneWorld.net). They accepted me as a partner organisation, which was fantastic for me, as I viewed them as one of the few web sites at that time that wrote about global issues from a much more global perspective than the media in the US – or UK for that matter – offered.

I continue to maintain this in my spare time, though it is often difficult to get the time to do so. I have tried to answer this question in more depth at http://www.globalissues.org/about/ if you want to read more.

2. How do you select the issues that you write about?

Hard to say! Initially it started off in a few major areas: human rights, the environment, poverty/structural adjustment, the media and geopolitics. There were just these few initial pages, which over time, grew into multiple pages as sub-topics became larger and larger.

In some aspects, the choice of topics I may write about at a given time feels a bit randome/unstructured. For example, sometimes I may have read something which intrigues me and I follow it through a bit more. Other times, I just look over my site and try to see what needs updating and try to work that, if possible (though there are still many pages requiring updates!). Yet other times, there may be a global event, which I feel may be getting covered in such a way that many global concerns are being ignored or glossed over, and thus not providing enough context for readers. I also try to read a number of books, and make notes from them, which I then try to write up. (However, I am some three years behind on writing up those notes!) It is a continual learning process for me, so in a way, I just let it take me wherever it goes.

3. How do you manage to keep on top of all the extensive topics you read and write about as well as working long hours on a full-time job and balance all other interests you may have?

A lot of people ask me this, and to be honest, I don't know! I often work into the night, 2am or so being common. I don't drink tea or coffee, either, which people think I need to consume in gallons!

In terms of how do I keep on top of all the extensive topics: I subscribe (either via Email or via RSS subscriptions) to a number of sites. I admittedly find it very hard to read most of these subscriptions these days due to time constraints and email overload. One thing I try to do is set a goal for myself, that every month I send an email update of major updates/additions made to the site over the course of the past month. This encourages me not to slack off too much. The only time I have ever missed this was when I was getting married!

In terms of other interests: well, with my recent marriage, I thought I would have a lot less time on this website, but my wife is very understanding, which is fantastic. (She is quite busy herself with volunteering work and the like, so it kind of balances out!) My family has been very supportive, too, which helps. There are times when work deadlines results in a number of long days or weeks, and the web site and emails have to take a back seat. Other times, I simply decide for a few days or a week to just not do anything, as it can be quite draining. Sometimes I try to do the global issues work around other commitments, and other times I do it the other way. It really depends on my mood at the time, I think!

 

 


What School Doesnt Teach

May 21, 2006

My two-year research project has kicked off. It's a work research project with my business, InnerRhythm and will ultimately lead to starting The InnerRhythm Foundation.

The project, WhatSchoolDoesntTeach.com, is live over at this website and seeks out views from hundreds of people as to what they wish they learnt back at school in order to create brilliant lives now.

The headline reads: "Imagine being 21, fully passionate about what you're doing, living a healthy, abundant life, and striving towards your goals like your on Auto-Pilot Let's help kids today become like that!"

The plan in the next two years is to build a base of presenters and take all these views and condense them into ten key lessons for self-development. Presenters will then run ten week programs at schools after school and share these lessons through free, fun and interactive sessions with kids.

You can also help promote this is in many ways. As well as linking to it, sharing this with your friends and blogging about it, why not write a testimonial just like those in the yellow boxes on the website?

Remember, this is non-profit. Please hop on over to WhatSchoolDoesntTeach.com and share your thoughts.


The definite richness!

April 14, 2006

Once again, I've been out of touch with my blogging for several days because my business is doing well, my study is good too and I'm having a blast of a time! However, I don't like that I haven't made time to blog so I'm ensuring that I'm back on track from today.

I believe that everything happens for the perfect reasons and therefore at the perfect time. Just last night, our television went bust! Perfect timing because it's the Easter sales this weekend. This morning, I spent some time looking around various shops for some televisions and as I looked at the wealth that was around me, I asked myself, what is the definition of richness?

What do you define as rich? What is great wealth for you? Is it a great 50" plasma TV? A beautiful home? A nice car? Donations to charity? Security? Health? A satisfied and fulfilled life?

Richness is not just about being financially wealthy, it is everything associated with being wealthy. Being in a prosperous state is a great feeling of richness. When you are fulfilled, you are in a state of richness.

Get really specific about what would bring you a rich life. No one judges you, and thereforere there are no right or wrong answers. Live your life the way YOU want to. Get out some paper and brainstorm what being rich is for you and then spend a few moments each day focusing thoroughly on this. Watch that your thoughts, feelings and beliefs are aligned with your rich goal and then welcome it to unfold in your life.

You see, we are all creators. We hold the power with us to create anything we want in our lives. Our ability to manifest the changes we desire depends on the depth and passion of our beliefs and on the focus of our attention. Commit today to begin commanding for the richness in your life!

If you're in London next Saturday 22 April, come along to my "Attracting Wealth through Rhythm" seminar where we'll look at the mental state of wealth and how you can manifest wealth into your life. And also, it'd be great to meet you!


Looking for the spiritual pathway

April 6, 2006

Each and everyone of us has once always pondered on which spiritual pathway is the right one to take. However, what we also say is that spirit (or source), the life force exists in everything is present all the time. So if spirit is everywhere, how can we look for the right spiritual pathway to take?

By realising that every encounter in life has spirit in it, i.e. it has life force; then everything we do and every path we are walking on is a spiritual one – a pathway in which there our source of substance and the life force is present. Whether it's getting fired from a job, going higher in one's life, increasing one's time spent with the family, increasing/decreasing time for reading, meditation and self-reflection, connecting, believing or disbelieving… it's all a spiritual pathway.

We need not look far for our purpose as it sits within. All it wants is for ourselves to be expressed more openly. Work from today to bring greater awareness in your life so that by cultivating an increased awareness, you can experience a greater sense of achievement as you see each pathway as spiritual.

As often said, "the answers are within!" They just need you to pay attention in each and every moment.


Don’t settle for Tolerations!

March 24, 2006

I feel there are two different kinds of tolerations. The first is what I call “seated tolerations” – things that are “seated” within your life that when you are asked whether it needs to be there, you can’t answer “Yes!” straightaway. The second kind is what I call “immeadiate tolerations” – things that you put up with each day that take up space in your mind and distract you from that which is really important.

I believe that if you are tolerating something, it needs to be tackled to make way for something else to flow through and free energy to be created. Toleration isn’t good enough and to me, it means that it’s not important. Let me give you some examples…

A few weeks ago, I was with my parents in the garage and we were cleaning out some stuff to make way for some new storage cabinets. I took lead role and went through the garage asking if they needed the particular item. If they didn’t or couldn’t answer “Yes!” straightaway, I’d happily chuck it out… I told them, “if you can’t answer me straightaway, it means you don’t need it, and when you do really desire it, it’ll be sent your way!”

Another example was with a close friend of mine. He feels he has to do various chores for family members who aren’t even immeadiate, and when I asked him why, he told me it’s like a duty. I asked him whether it’s something he’s happy to do or whether he’s tolerating it. The answer was toleration, and I invited him to stop and be honest with his true feelings and following his “inner sense” or knowing as to what’s right. He’s no longer living in toleration

The first example above was of “seated tolerations” and the second was of “immeadiate tolerations”. By handling tolerations, you’re able to free up energy and space in your life so new things can come through. You’re also able to pursue other things that you may want to do and enjoy. Don’t let tolerations weigh you down.

Do you feel that something is holding you back from achieving your true growth and happiness? If so, follow this pathway to being toleration-free:

First make a list of the things that you feel you are currently tolerating. Classify them in various groups – work, family, friends, finance, community work, etc. Continue to build on this last as you feel. Then simply begin working on them one by one. As you start, go forth with the knowledge that you are creating more energy and freedom in your life to do what you really want to be doing, by not having the thought of things which you are tolerating. As you start, you’ll build unstoppable momentum that help you to complete all the items on your list as you feel ready.

If you’re saying, “There’s nothing I’m putting up with!”, I invite you to keep this in the “back of your mind” and as you go through your next few days or weeks, notice what kind of things in your life that you could do without. It’s these things that you should put on your list as you’re tolerating it. Then literally sweep them out… And have fun when doing so as you are now creating space for new and renewed infectious energy.