>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

What are we going to do about it?

Posted: 04 Feb 2008 02:13 AM CST

A while back I wrote about the triple challenge that we are facing as a society.  The ‘Blue’ challenge of terrorism and the ownership of meaning, the ‘orange’ challenge of peak oil and the ‘green’ challenge of climate change.

We don’t know the future, but we can be fairly certain that if we are unable to respond to the ‘Blue’ challenge there will be a rise in conflict and crimes of hate. If we are unable to respond to the ‘Orange’ challenge, there will be a deterioration in our standard of living. And if we are unable to respond to the ‘Green’ challenge there will be a tremendous hardship for those least able to respond – wildlife and those without the resources to move or protect themselves.

If we are unable to respond the relatively comfortable life that we in the west have known for the last 50 years will be over. It will be replaced by poverty and conflict.

The point about this triple challenge is that it is a challenge of PERSONAL responsibility. It is not about waiting for politicians and business people to sort it out. It is about us sorting this out. It is about YOU sorting this out.

We have a choice, we can either step up. Or we can watch and wait for someone else to take responsibility.

If you are ready to take responsibility – here is what you need to do.

Blue Challenge: The Blue challenge is about the ownership of meaning. Meaning is enormously powerful and has been used, with great success, to manipulate people for millennia.

It has been used in religion, it has been used by dictators and it has even been used in reverse to create the nihilistic consumer culture of today.

The paradox of the blue challenge is that meaning cannot be owned. It is entirely individual, but it is possible to persuade people, using fear, that there is one true path and to get them to fight for it.

The solution to the Blue challenge is to be loving. Be loving with your partner and your children. Be loving with everyone you meet. Whenever you meet fear and anger respond by spreading love and peace. Bring whatever influence you can to encourage the media to be more loving and less fearful. Look for the love in every situation you encounter and focus on it.

Orange Challenge: The Orange challenge is about peak oil. There is a myth that the relative affluence many of us enjoy is the consequence of the hard work and ingenuity of the people of the west. There is some truth in this, but it is entirely underpinned by the availability of cheap energy in the form of fossil fuels.

Oil is a limited resource and it is running out. It may remain relatively cheap for another ten years or another fifty, but at some point in the not too distant future, it will become seriously expensive.

The availability of cheap oil has stifled investment in alternatives. It has been simply uneconomic to invest in alternative energy sources while oil is so cheap.

The reality is that virtually all energy on earth comes from the Sun – including oil, gas, coal, hydro and wind, the exception is tidal energy which is largely driven by the moon.

The Sun pours a simply staggering amount of energy onto the earth (about 7000 times the amount of our total annual consumption) and we need to make the shift from the inefficient and polluting use of ancient sunlight (in the form of fossil fuels), to using the current sunlight to power our lives. It is like making the shift from living off our savings to living from a sustainable income.

The challenge is that historical investment models dislike the use of current sunlight for two reasons. 1 – energy from ancient sunlight remains relatively cheap. 2 – you cannot own or profit from current sunlight energy in the same way because it is everywhere and not controllable.

The solution to the Orange challenge is to invest in renewable energy. In spite of the propaganda from the fossil and nuclear lobbies the current energy of the sun is easily sufficient for our needs, if we are prepared to be creative and committed.

There are some amazing new technologies such as Concentrated Solar, that make significant amounts of solar energy useable.

Invest both in your own micro energy generation and in renewable energy generally. Companies in the UK like – Good Energy, Solar Century and Green Energy can all help.

Treat renewable energy as part of your pension, make your home and business a power station that generates more electricity than you consume. You will be in good company – see what Google are doing. If that is difficult – invest in other renewable energy businesses and/or become their customers.

The Green Challenge: The Green Challenge is primarily about the pollution caused by abuse of all of the ancient sunlight reserves. Oil, coal and gas are our inheritance and it is our responsibility to use it wisely. Wisely means using this wealth to help our society get to sustainability at a higher level. So far – we have mostly squandered it in an orgy of societal indulgence.

Keeping ourselves safe and comfortable, inspiring ourselves and interacting with other cultures are good uses of our inheritance. Learning, developing, connecting and inspiring are positive and help us move forwards.

Truly wasteful uses are war (see the Blue Challenge), commuting and distraction.

We must find more efficient ways to do the useful things (the Carbon Coach can help with this) and actually stop doing the wasteful things.

I used to believe that war was where we got to when we had exhausted all other possibilities. Now I realise that on the whole it is either to do with bullying or toddler tantrums. In other words we go to war when our ‘leaders’ revert to playground behaviour. The way to avoid war is for us all to be more loving and more peaceful.

Most office work has more to do with control than it does with effectiveness. We do not need to commute to use a phone or answer e-mails. We only need to travel when we need to collaborate with others in the same location. Let’s adjust our working habits so that we only travel when it is appropriate to do so.

Distraction is the media, gadgets, travel and other aspects of our culture that we consume simply to avoid facing up to our responsibilities. The opportunity lies in shifting away from distraction and towards inspiration.

And of course the really big thing is to prepare our children for adulthood in a way that means that they already know these things.

Ways in which I can help:

I can help you make your business more authentic, which will make it both more responsible and more inspiring. Join me for the Authentic Business Phone in this Thursday to discover the secrets of Authentic Business.

Join the Authentic Transformation Advance in Mallorca or California to find your way to make a living by inspiring authenticity in others.

Join the Total Potential Retreat to find out how you can bring more love into your life.

With love


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About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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