when we see the world differently
the world we see becomes different.
are you willing to look at your life
look how coved has
where do you go from here?
are you able to listen and hear
love and accept
acknowledge and validate
the people and the world around you?
innovation and change
creativity and genius
do not exist in status quo.
we cannot change if we do not change.
recently a company brought me in to interview me.
they wanted to see if i could help them
they had been trying for many years to raise money
to create something that would go down in history as visionary
but they were unable to raise the money
and so the project for years and years remained undone.
sitting with them
i felt instantly why they had not raised the money
the story they were telling was not connecting to people
and i created a proposal for them
that eliminated their main objection,
“we have had a lot of people come in here and take our money
and not provide results.”
this was the excuse they were hiding behind
so i told them,
i would do the work and get paid
only when the work i did
brought in for them the money they sought.
it turned out,
they were scared to take the risk
and once i had resolved the problem they were hiding behind
they found another problem.
this is what we do when we are scared to play big.
i do it too sometimes.
the new excuse was
that had i come in, in a suit and tie and sat with them
they would have probably gone with my offer
but my look was too unconventional.
i shared with them,
the suits and ties had brought them to this place of frustration
what they saw as my disadvantage
was in fact my greatest advantage.
i am different.
i look different. think different.
and do business different.
i draw with a different box of crayons.
i am the one
people come to
when they want something different than what they have.
if they are happy with the status quo,
they do not need me.
i am not for everyone
nor do i want to be.
i am for those who want to stand out
for the innovators,
who want to create something different than everyone else.
and so we said goodbye amicably.
interestingly enough, to this day,
they have still not raised the money they need
and the project remains in pretty pictures,
but not in reality
i cannot disrupt a culture
by fitting in the box that creates the problem
i must stand out.
outside of that box.
innovation does not come by being the same
it comes from the practical creatives.
do you have the courage to be different,
not for the sake of rebellion
but for the celebration of originality.
to me, this is what we all yearn for
in our lives, our businesses, our communities
the creative unique expression to be who we truly are.
this is my joy
to live this way
and help others discover what makes them stand out.
how about you?
does this resonate with you?
i have witnessed some great businesses,
innovate once and then get stuck in the innovation
and lose their innovative edge.
they had a great idea and then followed it forever
until the innovation became the status quo
and they grew comfortable,
and lost the ability to risk everything and innovate again.
One of my guests on The Mosaic Podcast,
Donald Hoffman, a brilliant scientist and cognitive psychologist
shared with me this incredible statistic:
science tells us that 99% of all species become extinct.
In his book, The Case Against Reality
he says that evolution needs to hid the truth from us
because the truth would impact
our innate survival of the fittest instinct, making us extinct.
what do you choose not to see in your life and business
thinking that if you saw it,
you might lose your competitive edge?
we have been taught subtlety not to innovate,
most of us have been taught to not reinvent the wheel
and to just do what others do.
a sure fire way to stop innovation,
become irrelevant and become extinct.
it is understandable why we do it.
again lets look to science . . .
Dr Joe Dispenza says,
science tells us we have 70,000 thoughts a day,
95% of which are the same thoughts we thought yesterday.
and the day before, and the day before that.
so it is easy to understand why so many of us
just follow our routine,
we do what we have always done,
we think what we always thought,
and see what we have always seen.
and we do this in our lives, our relationships
and our businesses.
innovation is not something that is natural for us to do
and it may cause us our life in a survival of the fittest battle.
so, we look for situations that maintain the status quo
to help us play safe, take fewer risks,
we avoid environments that invite innovation
fearing a survival of the fittest confrontation
because we don’t have the confidence to think we can win,
and so we live life under the radar,
trying to “live” unnoticed.
this is how most of us spend our days, our years, our lives.
invisible. safe. creatures of routine and habit.
is this the way you want to show up in the world?
it all makes sense, until it doesn’t anymore.
innovation is what happens when it all stops making sense.
if life has stopped making sense,
if you are tired or bored or have just lost your spark,
if doing the same thing over and over
has dulled the light of hope you once had in your eyes,
if you want to live your dream again, no matter how old you are.
if you want to reconnect to yourself, your source, your purpose
and remove the boxes that you have been living in.
if your business is ready to innovate
and you are ready to see differently…
i have created what i call THE INNOVATION SESSION
where we sit together and ask for an initiation;
the words we share together will invite you to see differently
they OCCUPY MIND
so that a transmission of innovation can happen uninterrupted.
the practice is based on what i noticed in my book
The Mosaic (available on Amazon)
that while the story is charming and its words touch your heart,
the secondary transmission happens
in the space between the words.
i feel guided now to offer private sessions
to initiate innovation
for those interested in seeing differently.
this is for individuals, couples, families and/or businesses.
contact me for details, price, appointment times.
I have been blessed with having a developmentally delayed daughter, but I have to say it didn’t always feel like a blessing. You see, my daughter Elisa can’t talk like you and I can. Most of the time she speaks, people don’t understand her. But because she has been with me all of her life, I usually have a pretty good sense of what she is trying to say. But sometimes, I don’t.
When she speaks and I don’t understand, she yells. If that doesn’t work, she tantrums. That can be in a restaurant, a store, driving in a car, or over a friend’s house. And when she tantrums and I don’t understand her, she attacks me by trying to rip my shirt or bite me. This went on for a long time, with incidents like this happening sometimes 5,10 or even 15 times a day.
Finally, one day, I couldn’t take it anymore and in the midst of her increasing rage, I said to her, “Elisa, I want so badly to understand what you are saying, but I cannot understand your words. Can you please find a way to tell me what you are saying without using words?” From the midst of her rage, a smile came over her face, the kind of smile that melts you right down to your heart, and she looked at me and said in perfect English, “I am, Daddy.”
I was dumbfounded. When I asked her how she was doing that, she pointed to the side of head and I understood from her gesture that she was putting thoughts into my head. Immediately I realized, I had felt her doing that, but never trusted my instincts and now instead of her rage, both of us started laughing uncontrollably. That was about 4 years ago, from that moment on, she has never yelled, tantrum or attacked again.
Here is the amazing lesson she taught me that day. I realized that everyone I work with, be they CEO’s of companies or employees, leaders in government or the people they govern over, teachers or students, family and/or community leaders; everyone does the same thing. When they speak and they aren’t heard, they yell, when they yell and they aren’t heard they create a scene and when that doesn’t work they try to destroy something. They shoot people in a shopping mall or blow up a building; attack someone’s reputation or destroy a marriage. And when I look at each situation and retrofit it, I realize, just like my daughter these people don’t feel heard.
I have had the opportunity to be with some of the richest people in the world, to sit with them around the dinner table, to meet their kids and their parents and to have conversations with them about the things going on in our lives, and I have had the amazing opportunity to sit with the poorest of the poor on street corners and have those same conversations.
One of those conversations was with Cory, a homeless man. We had been speaking for hours when I looked at him and asked, “Cory, you sit here and watch people all day long, is there something you would suggest people do to make the world a better place?” He didn’t even have to think about it for a moment, he knew his answer. “I would invite people to find someone they don’t know and ask them how they are doing and then spend 10 minutes listening, really listening to their answer.”
I asked him, “Of all the things you could ask for, why would you ask that?” His answer told me.
He said, “Danny, 3 months ago, I was having a really bad day. I was just sitting here but as people walked by, they spit on me, punched me, kicked me and cursed at me. I thought to myself, ‘what am I doing here? I am only making people more unhappy and so I decided that day, that when evening came, I would go around the corner to a street where it was dark and just take my life, thinking no one would even miss me. Two minutes after I had that thought, a man came out of nowhere and put his hand on my should and asked me, Brother, how are you doing? Tears started to pour from my eyes and I told him I wasn’t doing well and without missing a beat, he sat down next to me and said, I am here for you if you want someone to listen.”
Danny, do you know, it took only about 10 minutes and when he left, I realized I could no longer kill myself, because somebody cared enough about me to listen to me for 10 minutes. That man has no idea that he saved my life that day.”
Here is another interesting result of this story, it is called The Butterfly Effect. where one small action, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings get multiplied by others doing the same and over time the flapping of their wings creates a hurricane in another part of the world. Just like that man had no idea he saved Cory’s life, Cory has no idea the impact his story had on me. He doesn’t know I tell his story on every TV, radio and/or podcast I am interviewed on and how much that one story touches others. It has also inspired me to travel around the world, doing just what Cory suggested, to sit with people for 10 minutes and listen to their stories. It is my hope to one day create a documentary that will allow us to hear the voices of the voiceless. We have no idea the impact listening to these stories might have. Who knows where the next great idea will come from?
Become part of the 10 minute solution. Ask the people in your business how they are doing and then just listen to them for 10 minutes. Ask everyone, the ones who clean your floors and run your marketing department; those who restock your inventory and ship your products as well as those who design and create those products? And more than that, why not take time to run your latest idea by these people and ask for their feedback? Who knows where the next great idea will come from?
In my book, The Mosaic, the protagonist sets out to find heaven, but the people he meets along his journey are not the holy people he expects, but common ordinary people, like the trashman, the beggar, the blind woman, the gardener and the street artist. But when he listens to each of them tell their story, he realizes the person he now sees is entirely different than the person he first saw. And he wonders, what would he see if he could see what he doesn’t see. In this change of perception, he finds the heaven he was seeking.
Why not practice the 10 minute solution with everyone in your life; your spouse, your kids or your mother in law and as Cory suggests with someone you have never met before?
Levin is rare blend of businessman and mystic who sees what others do not see. It has been this one quality more than any other that has thrown him into some of the most exclusive boardrooms to help companies innovate new ways of finding solutions when the old ways stop working.
From the time I was a child, one of my earliest memories was my mother and father saying to me, “Play nice together.” I never realised how powerful this simple words were, and I wonder if the great mother and father of us all are whispering these same words to us all right now.
The world is filled with so much beauty, so many acts of kindness, so many things to celebrate and enjoy and yet, at the same time, there is so much lack of understanding, and a feeling amongst so many people of being disconnected. Too many of us are speaking and not enough of us are listening.
I wonder, if the answers to the real problems we face are more simple than we think. I wonder if the words of my parents thousands of other parents who have told their children the same exact thing, would not, if practiced completely change the world we live in.
What if it were that simple? What if being kind to ourselves and to each other was all we needed to do? What would that one practice initiate.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND PLAY NICE WITH OTHERS.