Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"Simulated" draft for The History of Excellence

“What's right about human nature?”

I was walking down a city street, packed with restaurants, fashion boutiques, cinemas and bookshops, with this question on my mind. I had been studying the roots of business throughout South East Asia for the past four years, answering questions about why they worked.

Often the answers were phrased in terms of what was wrong. Which is only fair when you consider that business has developed to fill needs, to occupy people, and create a profit. There must be a problem to begin for business to solve, almost by definition. So I had collected lots of answers as to why things went wrong, why people couldn't be trusted and why systems had to be transparent to catch out the wrongdoers.

But just at that moment I walked past the Tobacco Shop owner, outside his shop smiling at the sunlight. In recent years smoking has become unfashionable but his shop still does a roaring trade. The doors are open morning and night and he sells a range of sweet smelling and perfumed tobaccos. I smile and say hello as I pass and at that moment an insight flashes into my mind.

Out of all the businesses that go bust, go wrong, and fail, there are literally hundreds like this little shop. Open year after year, the owner happy, they not only never fail, they succeed daily. That's it! I thought: We are surrounded by successes at all times. We get used to them. We don't notice them because there's so many people winning and doing well. Our city streets are crowded with businesses doing well. Our suburbs are packed with prosperous people. Much of the world is prosperous, having sufficient of everything to live their lives happily.

Now there are folk who think they're only being good if they're worried about others. This is a very simply misunderstanding, but the understanding is subtle and must wait until later in this book.

1. Next time you walk down a city street, note all the shops that are prospering and flourishing. Think of all the well-off people buying from those shops who are also doing fine. And simply feel gratitude! Feel grateful for being surrounded by success.
2. People often suggest to get around people who are successful. I suggest you start noticing it all around you. Look for success in nature. Every plant that grows is a success. Every baby that cries is successful at expressing her needs. Success is everywhere around you!
3. Widen your perception of successful people. Start looking not just at them but at the context or, as we will discuss in later chapters, at the field around them. Most of the time they will be successful in many wonderful areas.


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