Evolve or Die – Teaching the World a New Way to Think
Evolve is better business wisdom than adaptation.
Adaptation means change happens and then you adapt to it. A business or team that’s in adaptation mode is being led by the nose through to the future. Dragged kicking and screaming through the process of evolving by competitive forces. Tech New Master
I teach the 100% opposite. And that means staying ONE STEP AHEAD… proactive prediction of market competitive force, person demands and consequential action. Simplistically, ONE STEP AHEAD means trigger the cause and benefit from effect rather than wait for the effect and then adapt. Eating ice cream makes you fat, so, instead of recognising you’ve become filled with mucous and you’re getting fat before you stop eating ice cream, don’t eat it and don’t suffer the consequences.
STAYING ONE STEP AHEAD – 20 Principles
1. Eat Right – Evolving your metabolism means not becoming bound by techniques and limitations. Real evolution means freedom, not a straight jacket. So, avoid diets and excluding food groups from your diet. If you have an allergy, (provided it’s not life threatening) introduce tiny amounts of the problem food until you evolve to process it. Beware of routines in eating that bind you in some sort of “can’t and shouldn’t”… People who become pure vegetarians are actually devolving their body DNA. This does not mean eat randomly. It means count calories, fat, protein and eat by numbers. Best way to do this is to “drink your meals” and Chew your Liquids.” Beware of paranoia about “organic being better than not” – use taste test as a far better barometer of what is value for money, not labels.
2. Take Supplements – Our modern body, the one that can play 6 hours of Championship Tennis at full speed and still exist for a press conference the next day needs super foods. Super foods are, ironically, quite primal. Simply put, the more simple or primal the food, the better it is for the evolution of our DNA. (for more about evolution of our DNA see virus DNA ) Green vegetables, Spirulina and Krill oil are made of the finest building blocks of simple food whereas Mars Bar and Red Meat are highly complex forms of foods requiring massive digestive energy and time. They all add value but in an evolving world where recovery time between events and meetings is getting less, we need highly effective foods. Pills are often packed with starch and this is often an unwanted complexity. Raw coloured vegetables (not white vegetables) can be processed in blenders to benefit from both roughage and vitality. They should be drunk immediately after blending
3. Avoid excess of Stuff that Chokes You Up – In India dairy foods are a staple, however, they are rarely ingested cold or without supplementing herbs. My favourite is Chai tea which has cardamom, pepper, chill, turmeric, and honey all of which help break down the glue in milk so it can pass unobstructed, while releasing the good proteins so they can be assimilated. Food temperature is a really big variable in evolved eating. All refrigerated drinks and ice sticks are dampening to the digestive fire, and the digestive fire is a key to life forces. So, don’t clog the pipes.
4. Adapt to Love the City – Car pollution, CO, Dust, traffic jams, processed food, synthetic light, window cleaning fluids and plastics are life. They are nature, and we need to adapt. Buckminister Fuller once wrote “there’s no such thing as pollution, there are only environments we haven’t adapted to yet.” The green brigade hate this sort of thing, because they believe with their mighty righteousness they can fight “pollution” and bring the world back to the way it was. It’s just their unfinished personal journey projected onto the world. Embrace the city and all it’s problems and see how you can evolve your lifestyle to suit. Travel outside peak hour, exercise in the day, work early morning when your brain is best, and, become hyper mobile in your communication.
5. Expand Your Mind – Become Inclusive – I walk around my area of Sydney and the most weird thing I used to see were Hassidic Jews with their strange hats, beards and curls being followed around by their equally strangely dressed women folk. It was a new experience and as I got used to it, an enjoyable one. They’re great people and not as divided from the mainstream of Aussie life as I first thought. Now we have the Muslim attire and it’s added more flavour to our community over the past five years. Synagogues and Mosques in the same suburbs. It’s great to be able to expand to become inclusive of diversity rather than exclusive. I remember my father, after the second world war holding a real issue with Japanese people for nearly 30 years. That old way of adaptation over time just wouldn’t work in this evolving era.
6. Avoid the Idea of Work Life Balance it’s a Myth – My great discovery is that most people love hard work. They boast about it, even if it is in the form of complaint, about how hard they work. I add this to Parkinson’s Law “work fills the time allotted to it” to come up with the idea that no matter how little you have to do at work and how much time off you’ll be able to manage you’ll never really feel good about things unless you are out of balance. People like to feel like they work hard. It’s quite human and we really don’t like wasting our day doing something at half the pace, in twice the time with no real meaning at the end of it. Sometimes in companies when an individual is complaining about being depressed or miserable their boss backs off the workload, I recommend increasing it, but making the link clearer between what they are doing and what their love for life involves. If there’s a sense of purpose in a person’s work they’ll love working hard, and might even move from complaint to boasting about their “tough day at the office.” It rarely is tough, it’s just that we love to create self worth from the perception that we’re important and doing something important. It rarely is, but lets keep the illusion alive.
7. If You Take the Advice – Pay the Price – Health food stores charge a huge premium for the fact that they have expert staff available to provide support. Don’t take the advice and then run to the cheapest supermarket where the products are cheaper. Pay for what you get. At the same time, when someone offers you advice you didn’t ask for, beware, because it’s 100% loaded with a judgement. Reject advice you didn’t ask for or wouldn’t pay for. Last week in Coles supermarket a shelf stacker suggested I buy “no brand” rather than branded vitamins. I didn’t ask, and wouldn’t pay for that advice, so, I just smiled and discounted their suggestion. One of my clients paid triple my fee because just one idea I’d given them, paid tens of thousands of dollars – they paid for what they got. I like that, and I do it often in taxi’s and last week when I hired a couple of guys for home renovations I was doing, they charged one fee, I doubled it because they did twice what I hoped for. It’s easy.. you only get what you pay for.
8. There Are No Free Lunches – On the first day of my MBA, Professor Jeremy Davis stood before us, a bunch of eager, nervous and mostly smart MBA hopefuls. His introductory lecture was the one I valued most: “There are No Free Lunches” Over and over and over again, in share valuation, business strategy, statistics, human resource development, change consulting and other subjects we had to pass to graduate, the same them rose to surmount the tech talk, “there are no free lunches.” After graduating and starting my business career as a management consultant I learned that there were some places in life that looked like this metaphor was wrong. Government “jobs for life” positions for example where, people, irrespective of their talent, skill, wellness or contribution got paid. They simply had to get in, and they’d never have to worry about work again. I worked with this first hand in Canada’s Public Service. But the longer I served that industry the more the truth came out, “jobs for life” was not a zero cost option. People paid with their lives, bored, overweight, depressed, alcoholic and the highest rate of domestic violence of any country on earth. Yup, there are no free lunches, cheap jobs have a high cost.
9. Life is One Big Mirror – Look Hard and Give it a Shine – I never once looked in the me mirror until my divorce, then I just bloody couldn’t stop. Before the divorce I saw what I wanted to see, muscles, tats, teeth and personal bits. It all combined to make the me I called me. In order to sustain that, I had to work hard to avoid the real reflection, keep the mirror slightly dusty and blame everything and everyone for my “occasional misadventures. My business partner, my wife, my suburb, my car, my sport, the sun, the wind and the government to name just a few. I blamed anyone and everyone for my troubles. During the court case I blamed the judge, the lawyer, her lawyer, her new family and more. After the court case, when my family sailed off into the sunset and left me sitting with no one to blame, it all came home. I was on a perfect beach, with a perfect morning, on a perfect day, with a perfect health, and a perfect business.. being miserable and feeling sorry for myself. It had to change.. and the way it changed was “I polished the mirror” and looked more deeply at who I am. More than muscles and hairs, I became aware of my memories, thoughts, heart and soul. Some changeable some not. And so, from one extreme of keeping the mirror fogged with busy hard work to the other of polishing the mirror to get a deeper look.. It’s quite nice on the inside, eventually.
10. Meditate Don’t Medicate – Play Instead – Two gladiators enter the arena, one will leave. They are friends but for now, one will live and one will die. Someone in the grandstand is picking their nose, another person scratching their bum, and yet another person is blowing kisses. The gladiators don’t care. There is no grandstand, there is no nose or bum, there’s just an opponent, a club and a spear.Call this “The Australian Open” tennis final – six hours of pure focus. Call it playing with the children at the park until you are one of them. Call it a kiss on the balcony where you forget all but your lover’s lips. It’s simply meditation in real, everyday life. You can do it. Just Turn UP. Turning up is a habit, just as not turning up is a habit. Kissing, thinking, touching, smelling, seeing can all be focused in one moment of time on one person, or they can be five separate experiences, and not turning up at all. Unsatisfying fore everyone. Meditation is simply turning up, thankful in any moment of time.
11. Practice Between Performances – The way you treat people is the way you treat yourself and it’s all too easy to put on a brave face when you meet people and spit chips about them behind their back. That, in essence, is what you end up doing to yourself. Presenting the good side and taking home and living with the other. I think it’s really important to raise the bar on monitoring your thoughts about people. Now, this doesn’t mean berating yourself just because you think Jenny’s a bitch. What it means is that you hear yourself think that, smile and then unthink it. Here’s an example: You hear yourself saying “Jenny’s a bitch” and then have the following inner dialogue “Jenny’s a bitch, well that means I must be one too. Well there’s two sides to everyone, and who isn’t a bitch sometimes? I guess we all are and the benefit is, well we stand up for what we think. Oh, well, good on you Jenny, go sister…!!! And good on me for my bitchy moments.” If you develop a system for dealing with your dark thoughts about people you benefit because dark thoughts bounce “right-back-at-ya” and do more damage to your evolution and happiness than you’d ever imagine.
12. Add Value of Get off the Pot – On one trip guiding people up to the Bottom of the Top of Mount Everest, a group of entrepreneurs had booked their annual getaway. From the moment we met they asked questions, hundreds of big and small questions. No format or conscious process, just their natural style, ask questions. After three days they knew what I knew about the next 10 days of journeying in the Himalayas, and I went from leader to follower. Or in business terms “leader to manager.” Now, I was left pretty humbled. It was, after all, what I was being paid to do, lead that is. So I had two choices, “Make the future variable so they would never know what was going to happen next and hence retake the control of the group, or, surrender and get off the pot, manage instead of lead. I chose the latter and enjoyed 10 days of relatively easy management. Of course, I’d hired managers, Sherpa Guides and more so, we became an over managed group, I even had to slip further back into the background to make things work. And they did, everyone was happy except my Ego which I dealt with, kindly, along the way.
13. Value Every Second – This morning I went to pick up a friend before work. I was early so I decided to just wait out front. It came to me in those few moments that, in spite of my morning efforts, I’d not noticed a moment of time. I’d gone from doing my sit-ups to shower, to clothes and out the door without blinking. Now I stood waiting for her and instead of checking emails or phones, or reading the paper or listening to the podcast, I just stopped. Stopped! Can you imagine it? Stopped? Two minutes takes so long when you stop and yet, when we’re in a rush, two minutes is gone before we start. Nobody wished they’d worked more hours at the end of their life.
14. Organise, Supervise, Deputise – This may sound corny, but it isn’t. Nature is a recycling system. In fact, by the third law of nature, and the second law of physics, nothing can be created or destroyed in a closed system, it just changes form. Water moves to ice or to vapour or rain. There’s no new water on earth, just a shift in where it is and how it appears. The process of recycling used by nature, is mirrored in Organise, Supervise and Deputise. First something is new, so, it needs to organise itself into some form of reproducible order. That’s You, Organising your work and life so that it’s Manageable. Second nature reproduces it, That’s you, checking to see if you’ve organised it right by supervising, or teaching others to do what you do, or did. Now the last phase is handing over what you organised, then supervised so that someone else get’s to go what you used to do, and you expand and move onto your next chaos, which, in turn you Organise, Superview and Deputise. Just in time for the process to start over again…. This is the only way to evolve – if this is not done the workload mounts and you eventually drown in your own volume of work.
15. Walker’s Law of Lesser Pissers – Please people and piss yourself off, or Please Yourself and piss others off. There is no half. Understanding the ins and outs of life can be a mixed bag of hopes met and hopes failed. So, sometimes small pearls of wisdom can really save us a lot of unnecessary angst. The Law of Lesser Pissers is One of Pearls. So, much time wasted trying to please people, or bending ambition in order to make others happy or compromising dreams in order to placate the fears others have. It’s all a merry-go-round of second guessing, and ultimately time wasting. In Nature, everything is hierarchical. That hierarchy is build from the top down and the bottom up. Somebody at the top has to see the whole picture and those below don’t. So, if your choice is to lead, expect 50% of the energy that follows you to be resistant. No matter how much time you spend convincing the world you are doing great things, if information is transparent 50% of those who follow will do so reluctantly. It’s just how it is. It’s also why Democracy usually leads to minority government. The more transparent the information the more likely it is that a 50/50 vote be the election result of a stable system.
16. Act rather than React – Rated as one of the most important differences between the two big choices in life are the decision to act and the decision to react. React means adapt to the environment after the fact. It’s like waiting for winter to buy a coat. Prices are premium, and choices are limited. A Beaver stows away extra food up to 6 months before an extreme winter. Nature gives it’s creatures the capacity to see ahead. Some use it, act, and some don’t, react. Humans are nature’s creatures. You know things are going to happen but maybe you need tangible proof so you wait until you get a mechanical sign, then react. Alternatively you can trust that intangible proof, call it intuition, and act. Inspiration is a higher form of intuition and as such, a much more accurate predictor of the future. The future is not a guess, there is certainty and this is the choice. Act or React.
17. Listen to The Feedback Loops in Your Body – How’s your immune system? Are you feeling short of breath? How is your skin tone, looking bright or sallow? Are your joints mobile or is arthritis creeping in? How are your nerves, your eyesight, your hearing, your neck, your lower back, your head.. How are your feedback systems and what are they saying to you? If you let nature be your guide you’ll have all the material you’ll ever need for healthy, happy, love filled and successful living. If you choose to ignore the signals, and simply modify what you eat, avoid certain things and take certain pills you’ll remain alive but your ability to live will diminish daily. Nature is talking to you. Acid blood and saliva, wow, tummy aches, bad period pain, erectile dysfunction… nature is talking but the people who should be able to translate that language are gone, all but a few of us.
18. Throw away your Bucket list and replace it with your Do it list – The difference is huge. One you put your dreams in a bucket and do them when the time is right. The other, you say… “I’m going to do this and I’m going to make it happen.” So, there’s a huge difference. I don’t have a Bucket List – I have a Do it list and that list means come hell or high water, I’m doing it. No excuses.
19. Watch Your Motives – Find a Good Reason — When asked “what are you doing today?” You might reply whatever makes me feel good, or makes me happy. Great. What I’m going to share with you right now is this “No matter what you do today, it won’t make you happy, and won’t ultimately feel good. Happy and unhappy are inseparable friends and feel good and feel bad are buddies as well. So, sure today might “feel good” but there’s going to bed stuff that doesn’t feel good you might not feel, it might be stuff that accumulates and feels bad at the end of the year or week. Like the lady who bragged in a seminar that she feels great, and happy everyday, and defended her position when challenged. Six months later she found out her husband had been having an affair the whole time. Feeling good yes, but feeling bad at the same time, inevitable. One can be conscious the other, sub. For me, a purpose greater than yourself is a better bet. First, it’s resilient to ups and downs of energy and life, second, it’s transportable to any time or area of life, and finally, it means your ego is not your guide in life (feels good and happy are just ego states). SO, watch your motives and try to rise to a “sense of Purpose” in what you do.
20. Throw Away the Rule Book – Techniques and exercises create habits and habits create lives. So, attachment to techniques is a straight jacket. Techniques and the discipline to practice them, should lead instead, to freedom not restriction. But we need routine, techniques in order to free us to do what we do with inspiration. Master the process, liberate the result. Tech New Master