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Saturday, March 17, 2012

ABUNDANCE: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Steven Kotler and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis

Just reading the first chapter (it's free on Amazon) will change you forever.  Take fifteen minutes to do it now.  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Abundance.

Abundance has been added to my Amazon Wish List.  I also saw a free video going around in one of my online communities where Dr. Diamandis astounded me with his global mind-set.  He has an X Prize established which provides contests to encourage developments in areas of concern.  Also, he has built a university where like minds can share and interact.

His Abundance Pyramid consists of each of these needs:  food, water (and air), shelter, energy, education, information/telecommunication, health, freedom.

Just from the free chapter and video on this brilliant book, I have learned so much.  In summary:

1.  There are four ways to drive breakthroughs:
  •  fear
  • curiosity (but weaker than fear)
  • wealth creation (huge motivator) and 
  • the desire to matter (the most powerful influence upon us).  
[SIDE NOTE HERE:  Yes, I agree that fear is a motivator and, thus, on the list.  And thankfully is not one of the ways Dr. Diamandis utilizes.  However, others do.  IMO, fear-based ads should be banned.  Can't advertisers think of a more constructive way to hack their wares?  I unsubscribe from such "promoters."  Don't we have enough real uncontrollable fears to motivate us without the human race creating more?  Examples:  the car that has fallen on a loved one and the woman lifts it off.  The near-death escape from plane crashes, wild animals, Mother Nature.  So, please, no man-created fear is needed.  Use the other motivators Dr. Diamandis lists above.  Elevate your sales approaches and my guess would be that your sales numbers will follow.  Your customers are smarter than you give them credit for.]

2.  A crazy idea of yesterday could become a breakthrough of today.

3.  Innovation = a State of Mind

4.  To create innovation, you need:
  • A strong belief, an audacious vision.
  • Risk is an absolute requirement.  Yes, it took great risk for America to break away from England.  It took risk to create this wonderful country I am blessed to live in.  The potential for risk includes loss of life, money, time, reputation.
  • Small diverse teams.  Groups of individuals, not corporations.  The solution usually doesn't come from the experts in THAT field, but from budding experts in another.  
  • Mind-set.  You must be of the "crush that goal" mentality.
  • Clear objective goals.  A target.  Measurable.
  • Open participation.  You never know where the answer will come from, so keep the options open.  It may be one (Russian?) woman who is a secretary by day that ends up being the best protein folder at night.
  • Willingness to fail.  Fail often, fail early.  [I am reminded of a quote that goes something like this:  if you're not failing, you are not trying hard enough.  The purpose here is to TRY!]  Trying the unheard of things to get the breakthrough needed. His 5 + 5 + 5 plan, which goes something like this:  five people, five weeks, try at least five ways to create X (whatever the needed solution is for this moment) and winner gets $5,000.
  • Constraints.  [This is like the ticking-time-bomb-on-the-bus technique that us authors use to create conflict, up the ante.]  Such as asking for answers for your project/problem, and demanding them in two weeks!  With that two-week deadline comes a penalty built-in for NOT trying something bold.
  • Super-credible birth.  [Not addressed in video I saw.] 
  • A supportive environment.  [That goes without saying in any endeavor.  I've posted before:  if your family member laughs at your dream, avoid them, don't talk to them (hopefully you are not living with them).  If your boss thinks you are strange to have your dream and be working toward it, find another job.  Quick.]
Dr. Diamandis said that in the next thirty years, every man, woman and child will have a life of possibility.  Not a guaranteed life of luxury, but a life of possibility.  What a beautiful thing.

Recommended reading per Dr. Diamandis is Matt Ridley's book The Rational Optimist.  Here is the Amazon link:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Rational-Optimist-P-S-ebook/dp/B003QP4BJM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1331987106&sr=8-4. 

[NOTE:  I also found another Matt Ridley book entitled The Rational Optimist:  How Prosperity Evolves.  That link is here:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Rational-Optimist-Prosperity-Evolves/dp/0061452068/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331987243&sr=8-1.]

Dr. Diamandis states technology removes the "scarcity" problem.  It is not a problem of lack, but of access.  Like being able to capture the sun's rays and turn it into solar energy.  We have more sunshine than we do energy needs.  Like finding and using processes that change the ocean's salt water into pure drinking water.  After all, the earth is seventy percent ocean water.

With the growing use of the internet, by 2020, he estimates there will be three billion new minds jumping into the discussions, buying things, learning from it, sharing with us all. 

Here are a few final thoughts from him that are amazing:

Create the future you want, influence one billion people, make the world better.

And a glorious quote to end on:

"We want to change the global conversation one person at a time."

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