Because every page of the Shortcut Zen of Mastery is directed to contain actual words and/or actions that produce faster results, let us use the tool of politics as the vehicle for delivery. Let's look at four of the more influential moments of a given twenty-year period. If you feel that any of these event-filled circumstances has had an impact on your life, you're more likely to understand the value and power of the magic you can -- and some of you will -- tap into within this very document. Emotion is always the gasoline between desire and achievement.
President Clinton's failure to stop Osama Bin Laden was matched by the failure of President Bush to stop Osama Bin Laden, and you can choose which to focus on.
President Bush's leadership after 911day is matched by President Clinton's economic successes for impact on citizens lives, forgive the eschewal of an apostophre, we want focus on impact. Your life, and the parallel events in your experience.
Predident Clinton's impeachment for unacceptable departure from the dignity of the Presidency, complete with the draconian misuse of many tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, inclined us to avoid asking ourselves how we'd allowed such detraction of dignity as much as how we could allow the public forum to be dominated by anything less important that the provision by government of the only things that matter to us: protection, good schools, garbage removal, water, and a way to make a dollar.
All of your own dreams and desires are contained within these concerns. The largest obstacle to America returning in a newer better mold of our past best performances, without a shadow of refutation present, is your personal action or lack of action.
Nothing comes close; the bureaucratic kakistocracy we have embraced is not the fault of the Peter Principle's assurance that people will always rise to their highest levels of incompetence, it is the sold responsibility of you. You continually underestimate your power, your influence, and your very personal abilities and skills to engage other people to simply shut up and use the power of their vote.
First and foremost is you -- and I don't mean the person standing behind you -- understanding that you do have power and you can use it in the next few days, hours, minutes, or even seconds. When Huey Long, the famed Kingfish of Louisiana, urged a crowd of both Southern and Northern voters to send a telegram to the White House advising who they would vote for, the White House itself acknowledged receiving more than forty thousand pro-Long telegrams that evening. Less-solid sources claim it was more than seventy thousand. Whichever estimate is more accurate, Senator Long was soon thereafter found slumped at his Capital desk with a bullet in the back of his head. This does not in any way establish that the White House had anything to do with the assasination of a Presidential candidate; it simply establishes that there was a connection between the two events.
Underestimating the power of the people is one of most oft-repeated mistakes of both democratic and despotic leaders who have politically or literally lost their heads as a result. When President Bush was accused, perhaps very unfairly, of running away from Washington after the hijacked planes crashed, he properly addressed the nation and the world with stength, dignity and actual poise, giving one of the most moving speeches in many years. Weakness balance strengths, nobody is perfect. Yet, it is vital to your personal life and those you love to engage more specifically by letting your voice be heard in the face of action that is directly against your interests, and the interests of those you love, and those you hope to grow and leave behind you for a better life.
Let's face it. When Bill Clinton turned over power to George Bush, he told Mr. Bush and Mr. Bush's top managers point blank the same thing that the first President Bush had told Mr. Clinton and top managers, specifically that the single greatest threat to America was a man named Osama Bin Laden. That means that Mr. Clinton factually and quite directly shares the responsibility for the attacks on September 11, 2001 because the single most important task of every U.S. President is to provide governmental protection to the citizens. Three thousand lives must be on Mr. Clinton's conscience as much as on both Presidents Bush. This does not lessen our appreciation of the many life-boosting successes of the Clinton team, nor does it less the appreciation of wealthy Americans for George W. Bush's vision of America. Both Republicans and Democrats have produced stunning failures and equally startling successes.
Outside of President Rumfe.. I mean President Ch... oh, there I go again; outside of President Bush's decision to so dramatically defy the will of hundreds of thousands and more hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on a single day throughout the country, it used to be that a medium-sized constituency was not only required to make national decision-makers definitively change direction; as well it guaranteed such a change. The attacks on America and the war in Iraq combined strictly as a result of the putative Muslim connection although the events give every evidence of being discrete, unconnected. Today, however, it is all about smaller constituencies having greater sway. That's why you have so many groups of lobbyists and spokespeople for the handicapped and Latvian-American lesbian midgets and gay anti-abortionists as much as for those who own million-share blocks of pharmaceutical companies or directors on the boards of Halliburton and Lockheed-Martin or whatever they're called this year. Divisiveness and alienation from the center are the flavors of the moment.
It's critical to remember that it is a prime function and feature of successful economic thery that the most regulated of markets are the most ineffiecient. No human has seen an exception to this rule of thumb. For those who point out the ruthless efficiency of corporations such as DeBeers diamond monopoly or Reed Elsevier, Enron or Parmelot, in every case the answer is twofold and identical:
these companies are not run democratically or within the rules as we see by long histories and cycles of criminal activity, huge fines, now into the billions, and back to business as usual until the cycle comes around again.
Secondly, in each and every known instance of corporate corruption and criminality, there are a limited group of people who benefit from such activity. Whether it's an oil company buying Charles Pogue off, paying him an unprecented ten million dollars for this five-hundred-mile-per-gallon carburator, which backyard mechanics continue to build today, or saw palmetto, cheap convenient non-toxic saw palmetto NOT being made available to every male suffering from enlarged prostrate, it's not the general public that is tasting the better life. it is the refined few who are entitled to the lion's share of feast and profit. They are actually more entitled to the wealth and luxury than you are, because they are willing to take action in pursuit of their desires while folks like you sit and speak, nay, pontificate and hold forth with unbounded wisdom, speaking a hundred and even a thousand times for every once you get up and pursue the physical steps and actual words that add up together to satisfaction, based on the Latin roots which mean "creating sufficent action." Everything else comes down to meaningless chatter.
One thing we also know from histories of mob mentality: whatever you decide to do or not do, as many as ten or more thousands of other people who are generally similar to you in disposition within a few thousand miles are going to respond to stimuli identically as you do. Decide to send one telegram every month for twelve months to your local or state senator promising to influence everyone you know to vote for the senator's reelection as long as the senator pushes for _______________ or refused to prevent ________________________. Watch what happens. No matter what your cause or interest, at some point the media will become aware of it and will publicize it. At that very moment and day, means that
also in combination with the first commonality displayed, the Shortcut Zen of Mastery
Whether you agree that it was okay to invade a country pre-emptively without provocation or whether you believe that Saddam Hussein was a part of the 911day attacks
Prior to the end of the 20th centuries, there were few major debates on public exenditure so filled with vitriol as the expenditures on the Clinton invetigations and impeachment as well as the war in Iraq which cost so many civilian and military lives and tens of thousands of horrible injuries. As remarkable as it was that several million people demonstrated on the same day, it is equally remarkable for being the first time in all of human history wherein the voices of so many did not prompt immediate action in favor of the demonstrators.
All of this goes to firmly support the atatement that those who say the country has been headed in the wrong direction are right, and those who say the country has been headed in the right direction are correct. Knowing two or three answers that are intelligent is the best way to ask the built-in question of what to do.
Looking at the past, when blazing flames have been controlled and focused by the sooting resolution of reason, the single word answer is unification.
Silly, that too many of us think unification means or entails or encourages reduction of, diminishment of personal identity. So if I don't personally go out and
The Democrats, who have genuinely tried to look out for the common guy and girl, lost moral vision. The Republicans, who have genuinely tried to look out for the wealthy, suppress all who have no money.
At seventeen, stationed in Thailand and collecting both overseas and hazardous duty pay, allowing an hour for the before and after of duty assignments meant fifteen discretionary hours per day, even more on your two days off. With all living expenses paid for outside of hygiene supplies, it is only natural and fitting that a portion of income will go to entertainment. Introduced to a thoroughly athletic and fit man who could easily beat up adults sixty and seventy years younger than him, including many of an athletic or martially-skilled nature, it was obvious that he was a living example of the Shortcut Zen of Mastery in action. I knew I was in the presence of greatness. We're told about a greatness that is indescribable. Such greatness, and our meager, often-inadequate attempts to describe it, are surely inspired by men and women like him. He was simultaneously humble and commanding. He was one of the last dozen or so people I've ever been almost exclusively silent in the presence of.
As for a useful or practical explanation for why it has been so rare for me to be voluntarily silent when a situation calls for someone to have control of language, it's only because I believe that, most of the time at least, the most knowledgeable person in the room should perform the majority of speech. If I'm in a room with twenty people, I do not wish to be doing the majority of the speaking if there is any person in that room - WHATEVER their education, sex, age, race, religion, or inclination - who is either smarter than I am, or who habitually performs a specific given task with greater demonstration of excellence.
It is not the skills of, for example, reciting thousands of digits of Pi at dizzing speeds (faster than the human eye can keep up on a page or screen), nor out-loud computation of Fibonacci sequence terms that demonstrates greater intellect, not at all...
... It's the happy recognition of knowing why we have two ears, one mouth, two eyes, one mouth... to use them twice as much.
It's the willingness, eagerness even, to remain silent - other than questions submitted - in the presence of those who do better.
We all benefit by comprehending the difference between a smarter person and a wiser person, the differences between the person who knows more and the person who shows more.
This Shortcut Zen of Mastery reference is not towards the smartest person or people in the room; in their stead you are asked to allow the person with the most recallable information stored inside their head, OR the person who has repeatedly - let alone routinely - outperformed approximately everyone else in their field of expertise. That's where we get to witness the exquisitely useful nature of the Shortcut Zen of Mastery, when it's put into action. Then and only then are we all in a position to make decisions that empower ourselves and others. Aside from recreational down-time, moving forwards ennobles the spirit -- and provides help to those most in need of it. As often as not, surprise is one result of identifying who is in the most need. You see, a rarely appreciated - fully and truly appreciated - master secret of the universe is that the more we give, the more we get. It's not necessarily because of rah-rah soft-heartedness, more a fruit of applying Newton's 3rd law of physics, a treasured favorite of the Shortcut Zen of Mastery.
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