Monthly Archives: October 2014

Press Release

When your interviewee offers to pay you for your trip to Somerset, that’s kind. When you realise that Somerset is actually a town in Bermuda, it becomes an offer you just can’t refuse.

BermudaAfter arriving at St. David’s International airport, I still had a light plane journey and a taxi ride to get to my destination – a chance to get a bird’s-eye-view of what must be one of the most beautiful isles under British sovereignty. With its exquisite beaches of pink-white sand, crystal clear waters, brightly painted houses, historic churches and ship-wrecks, Bermuda is a fascinating mix of European quaintness and tropical splendour. Below us, breath-taking views of the reef onto which Admiral Sir George Somers deliberately sailed his ship in a storm (that is reputed to be the inspiration for Shakespeare’s The Tempest), thus saving the crew, who became the island’s first inhabitants – a veritable riot of blues and greens compete to greet the eyes of anyone so fortunate to witness the scene. As the mid-morning sun’s rays playfully skipped across the azure Atlantic Ocean, I was already smitten with the island’s charm.

I The brightness and heat changed to coolness and calm as I entered the spacious, modern-style 6-bedroom building that was the current bolt-hole of someone who rarely gives interviews because he says that if he’s not too busy enjoying his work, he’s too busy enjoying his play-time. Such is the life-style of John Somers, business-owner-turned-entrepreneur whose company has recently burst onto the scene in the Sunday Times’ “Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For” list.

imagesSN3TN5LZ“It’s a great achievement to be recognised as one of the best 100 employers in the UK, but I’m far from finished on that count. I have more plans for expansion and in by next year our aim is to be in the top 100 big companies’ list”, came the reply from the man who, despite his successes, maintains a level-headed, even simple approach to business and life in general. “The secret is to work with the people you love to work with”, he said in his serene, matter-of-fact style as he showed me to the rear of the house – a superb pool and sunken jacccuzzi area encased in a glazed framework, adjacent to the rear reception room.

 

“As long as you put the effort in to picking the right people to employ with the right frame-of-mind, it’s pretty simple”.

“And what about your customers? Are they so easy to work with?”

“There are those clients who make work a joy and a pleasure, and there are those who, in time, will do the same.”

“Don’t you have any awkward clients?”

“They’re only awkward if you allow yourself to think in such a way, and we don’t. We treat all clients in the same way – our attitude is the same to each and every client: respect, care and commitment to their happiness regardless of their mood or demeanour at the time. As a result, we have the best possible relationships we could have with our clients, but this can only be done by having our employees cared for in similar manner. We pick the most suitable candidates and look after them. Employees are the greatest asset to any organisation.”

Such positive messages are one of the philosophical keys to the Somers’ successes in recent years, though it hasn’t always been so. As we talk surrounded by the welcome shade of palm trees next to the pool, the conversation turns to how, after twenty-plus years of working in multi-national companies, how he managed to break-free of the rat-race and end up in a superb house, knocking back cocktails with a journalist in Bermuda.

“After the initial shock of redundancy, I soon realised that this was a fantastic opportunity to live my own dreams instead of someone else’s. It took me four years to find my feet and have an embryonic plan. But there was still something missing – I lacked focus and direction. I knew I needed discipline and accountability to get me through the next stage. With perfect timing, I was introduced to MKMMA. It was like it was meant to be.”

The Master Key Mastermind Alliance (MKMMA) is a web-based, pay-it-forward scholarship course based on the original Master Keys System correspondence course created by Charles F. Haanel in 1912. Somers took the course when it was in its relative infancy and proved to be a pivotal point I his life.

“It was about five weeks into the course when it hit me: I was reading Haanel’s words on the subconscious, urging the reader to consider using the subconscious rather than to be a bystander to it. The statement ended with ‘Shall we have a vision of a destination to be reached, the dangers to be avoided, OR SHALL WE DRIFT?’ For so much of my life until that moment, I thought of myself as drifting and this was the reason. The desire to take control of my subconscious was ignited after that, all that was needed was to take control and maintain it. The course gave me all the help and advice needed to turn Haanel’s good counsel into my reality.”

From that moment, fate took its course as the course forged his fate. Client opportunities open up for John Somers that resulted in a sustainable income that doubled within a year.

“It was a time I had burned my bridges and committed everything to the plan I had created for my future. It was the most awe-inspiring, mind-boggling, surreal experience to see chance-encounters, amazing coincidences and new opportunities just opening themselves up to me. It was an exhilarating, bizzare and utterly joyful ride into unknown territory with a planned destination.”

The achievement of financial security gave John Somers the freedom to release direct control of his businesses and work with several charitable and humanitarian organisations.

“I see it as an extension of the love and care I learned to give in service to my clients. Now I can give my time and resources to those who haven’t had the opportunities that I had”.

Over 400 years ago, an Englishman by the name of Somers steered his ship through dark and stormy waters to his ship upon the reef of Bermuda, thus saving his crew. He gave those first inhabitants of the island life and hope. Today, there lives another Englishman on the same island and by the same name who has weathered the storms of his life and now gives hope and new life to many other through his businesses and charitable works.

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Week 4 – Two Ghosts in the Machine

Monday

It’s a truly bizarre experience to find your conscious mind and your sub-consciously-controlled body working on separate levels and to disparate purposes. This evening, I witnessed my conscience suddenly “wake-up” and realise what my sub-conscience had been up to with the rest of me for the previous 5 minutes. It’s been an object lesson for me about the power of the MKMMA programme.

The day started productively for me – or at least, it followed my definition of “productively” up until now. I met with a prospective associate with whom I have a may have a great deal of synergy with in a new project I’m working on. However, the afternoon, so I felt, was wasted on several hours of listening on a music website. So along came a self-flagellation by that razor-sharp, well-trained, guilt-ridden conscience of mine, telling me that I’ve wasted time / broken promises to myself / started a bad habit etc. etc. By the end of my self-kicking period, I was so low that I decided I was going to completely rebel and watch TV for the rest of the evening. I know you may be wondering where all this is going, but stick with me…

After dinner I settled down for TV. In a commercial break, I decide to get some tea and in this time my mind wandered from the drama plot, to this morning’s meeting, to my kids, to what presents I need to buy for Christmas and so on. While was thinking about all this “important stuff” in my conscious mind, my sub-conscious had made the tea, taken me to my office, switched on the computer and the printer, sat me down, opened up my project files and I was half-way to printing-off some files I needed to collate and present! It was like coming-to after a trance! I’m thinking, “What the hell am I doing here? How did I even get here?” I must confess, I was a bit spooked by the experience.

So, a classic case of the power of the sub-conscious mind and a testament to the success of the teaching of the MKMMA course. But that’s not all…was that my first such experience of my sub-conscience making the right decision that day? I just cannot remember what drew me to the music website. I’d forgotten how much I LOVED my favourite music tracks, it had been so long. Plus, I was chanting over and over to the rhythm of the music “DO IT NOW!” and “I CAN BE WHAT I WILL IT BE!” The music just gave these emphatic statements a real buzz of emotion when I said them. So, was it a wasted afternoon or my sub-conscience leading the way to a better way of utilising the moment? Maybe the conscious mind makes the inferences and moral judgements but not always the correct ones.

It sure has got me thinking…

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Week 3 – Structure from Nothingness

Monday

I woke up on Monday morning in a half- daze with a voice still going in my head addressing me and telling me to make a plan. Until now I always had a daily plan, but it was never written down and as a result timings drifted because things on the plan never had a deadline. Better still, it gave me a chance to factor in the daily activities that I had identified in my DMP. I followed the daily plan and I felt so good as a result! Little steps add together to make a BIG overall effect. It’s not just the plan, but knowing that I’m more accountable to myself because of the promises I made to myself and I know I have the support and encouragement of others who are on the course with me, which makes all the difference.

Tuesday

At Tai Chi class, I hear from my instructor that it’s not just the thought of the movement in Tai Chi, but the feeling that goes with it. Now where have I heard that thought and feeling together are so important???

Wednesday

What can be better than talking to a good, close friend who knows you well enough to see you as you are and not how you think you are, or how you want to think you are, or how you want others to think you are? Someone who helps you see yourself without really doing anything but listen. This course has got me thinking on a lot of levels. It’s not just about knowing about the person you want to be, but realising the person you are right now. The bad habits and the bad characteristics that hold me back. I expected it to be depressing to see your limitations and faults, but I’m finding it more of a revelation – if I know more clearly where I’m at, and (thanks to the course) I know clearly where I’m going, how encouraging is that?

Thursday

Went to a work convention, rubbing shoulders with people who do what I do. A fair number of these competitors, who have been on the business much longer than I have telling me how they are inundated by clients. In the past, I would have found this kind of talk quite intimidating, but with my new mind-set, I thinking, ‘Great! “The career I have chosen is laden with opportunity”!” In fact, the more I listened to them the happier I became! Ended up befriending one guy who had some amazing “co-incidences” happen in his life. I mean truly astronomically improbable stuff. It made me happy to meet someone that has been literally manifesting their desires! Wow…

Friday

Some extraordinary things are happening. It’s been a really busy week for me but I have kept true to my MK commitments. Completely disparate parts of my life seem to be teaching exactly the same lessons. It’s like listening to note upon note of a harmonic chord -beautiful, in-step, complimentary. The whole is more than the sum of the parts.

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October 17, 2014 · 9:36 pm

Week 2 – On Purpose

Wednesday

Today was the day to overhaul my Definite Major Purpose. Since my first attempt at the task, I grew increasingly dissatisfied with the outcome of my labours. Firstly, the style was a sort of letter from the future to myself, here and now, which seemed good at the time – it was full of feeling but lacking focus and solid fact. Worst of all it went way over 400 words on my first attempt. I was annoyed at first when I got a straight rejection from my guide over the word count. My initial reaction was “I imagine Og never had these problems”. But the point is that Og is Og and DMPs are DMPs. My dented ego can’t square that circle.

So, I scrapped my DMP and started again.

Instead, I decided to put what I’ve learned of Master Keys into practice. In the peace and quiet, I sat down on the sofa with a pencil and pad and I used my meditation / quiet time to think of what my potential me in the future would experience and feel. No forcing – I tried to let the thoughts come to me. Then I jotted down the words that came into my mind. I didn’t put them as a list, but all over the paper and linked-up the words that I felt went together.

What a great exercise! When I finished the session, I deduced, from the 2 dozen or more words and phrases that came into my head and their links, that my absolute core requirement was inner peace – which happened to be the motive of my colour personality type – with the major contributing factors being independence (i.e. the PPN “autonomy”) and financial security (i.e. the PPN “liberty”). Last Sunday I picked the very same contributing factors for my PPNs.

Now, was it my subconscious mind telling me of its deepest desires or was it my subconscious mind regurgitating what has come out of MKMMA? I don’t know and nor do I particularly care. The fact is that it resonates with me in a fundamental way and it “feels real”. What more do I need than that at this stage of the proceedings? The rest of the words that came from my little exercise will be a natural outcome of meeting the requirements of the fundamentals. I now have a definite major purpose, the bedrock of which, I feel comfortable, even pleased with.

Thursday.

Really don’t know what has happened today – very slow start for me and no motivation whatsoever. Rather ironic after yesterday’s breakthrough. Reading Og gave me glimmers of positivity and I put that down to the fact that I have read the same word in former day with sincere purpose and commitment. The positive feeling of visualising a successful me in the good days are making a small but nonetheless real impact on the bad days. I imagine it’s just a question of time before the associated good feelings accelerate to a point where even the worst of days cannot dent the committed psyche. But for now I know that tomorrow will be a new day, with a new life to live – and that’s enough for now.

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Week 2 – Light in the Greyness

Monday

The webinar was really good last night. Answered all my concerns about the workload and how to view it. My jitters of yesterday are gone completely. I wasn’t expecting that.

I’m taking charge of everything – work, MKMMA and everything else to do today. Head down and keep plugging at it.

 

Tuesday

It’s a grey, rainy morning in the heart of England but in my house there’s a light shining. It’s not a bulb or a candle but a light nevertheless.

I’m not a morning person at all and this fact, combined with living and working alone at home has made it a challenge in recent months to go to bed and wake up on time. Up to now, I’ve have had mixed results. Part of the difficulty is my mood in the first hours of the day. On the days I’m not at clients, it can be a slow start trying to motivate myself.

Enter MKMMA. I knew in my head that constant repetition of Og’s words about rising vigour, enthusiasm and desire to meet the world would work – but to EXPERIENCE it….the difference is everything. EVERYTHIING. My conscious mind feels buoyed up on a series of positive emotions. This morning I’ve smiled, laughed, danced, and shed the odd tear of joy. My work seems easier too. My creativity is rising, new ideas popping into my head and often they seem to be wrapped in emotion. It’s working, it’s really working!

In the dingy, sodden morning, there is a light shining. Within me. A light, an energy, a power. It shines outwards. And another light is dawning – this is only week 2… I’m beginning to believe that this course can be a life-changing experience.

In the afternoon my new found positivity even improved my technique art Tai Chi class, something I did not expect at all.

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Week 1 – Struggle and Imbalance

Sunday
Spent time yesterday working on various aspects of MKMMA. I keep finding bits of work I haven’t done and I parts of MKMMA that I feel I need to work on I don’t have time for. I probably spent too much time on it because I feel jittery today, like a panic has set in. It’s hard for me to fit MKMMA plus life together. I’m feeling overwhelmed and as if the MKMMA work, may have a detrimental effect on my working life unless I can find a way to balance the two. Even writing this feels like I should be doing something else. I‘m trying my best to “keep my promises” but struggling in the process. Keeping my promises feels like a millstone round my neck. It’s turning into a negative cycle rather than a positive one. Got to find a way to balance this out.
Week two webinar tonight – hope I find some inspiration…

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Week1 – Of Og and the Epiphany

Sunday

Checked the website and printed-off the necessary notes…quite a lot of them. I’m getting an impression of the size of the commitment now. Not that it puts me off. I sort of guessed (an even hoped) that it would be a challenge – I need to have discipline and a form of accountability and this course is ideal for that.

I’m not the kind of person that is going to perform cartwheels expression my excitement on the course but Yes, I have a positive vibe about all this.

Attended the webinar last night. It clashes with Downton Abbey – I hope that bunch in Hawaii realise what sacrifices we Brits have to make in the UK! It was a bit of a marathon, lasting nearly 3 hours and basically reiterated the content of the introductory videos with additional info on the course. I expected the style to be “slick” but instead, it was down-to-earth, at times a bit muddled and with the odd comment that could be interpreted to be brash, but endearing nonetheless. To sum it up, I would say it came over as “authentic” which is much better than “style-over-substance”.

Despite the lateness of the day, I decided to read GS up to the scrolls because I felt at least I would be up-to-date on that. The next day I wish I hadn’t – Overslept and almost forgot an appointment with a client by doing the Master Keys early morning ablutions! A bad start to the day which had knock-on effects right through to the evening.

Lesson #1 Take Og with me everywhere in the day, otherwise I have no chance to read it at midday.

The deciding factor for me is the content of the course and the Master Mind Alliance setup. Until then, the jury is out.

Talked to TJ from the Chamber of Commerce this week about the course. She’s interested in taking the course next year.

The Greatest Salesman- having some difficulty with accepting one or two of the pronouncements within it. The first was calling experience realm of old men who speak stupidly. It took some time, but I eventually realised that I had to take it in the context of the earlier text. Experience is meaningless if you have next to none and the words of wisdom of others was not always meaningful, or even true. When I worked in R&D, on more than one occasion, a more “experienced” research chemist would tell me that what I was doing was pointless because he/she and others before me had tried and didn’t succeed. So I carried on and did it anyway- and succeeded. I called it my “gift of ignorance”.

The other problem I had was calling Love a tyrant. Many in the list were worthy of that title, but Love? Many times Love is blamed for a certain situations where “Jealousy” or “Need” would be a more fitting description. So, I’ve decided to cross out “tyrant” and put “master” – more apt. A small change but these changes are important – If I am to imbibe these words into my subconscious, I must first trust them completely and without reservation. One thing I’m realising from these activities is that the subconscious is a temple to be kept pure from corruption.

 

 

Tuesday

Looks like Tuesdays will be the day I devote to MKMMA.

Read part 1 of the Master Keys this morning and by the time I got to Statement 15, I was having my first MKMMA EPIPHANY. Now, the way I first detected this was questioning myself why I had tears running down my face. A strange experience and difficult to put into words. It wasn’t a conscious reaction. It was as if my sub-conscious was saying, “Hello John, yes, it’s me and I’ve been expecting you for quite some time, now”. A burst of elation from my sub-conscious resulting in tears of joy! So now I have to face the dilemma of a (what I thought to be a healthy) sceptical conscious stance regarding the course and a completely elated, sold-out-on-the-course sub-conscious. I know which one will win too….

The Master Keys is unbelievably good. Statement 22, talks of the sympathetic system of the solar plexus, which, strangely enough, was mentioned by Craig, my Tai Chi teacher only a few weeks ago as a “discovery” in a scientific paper a few years ago – something that many eastern religions have taken for granted for millennia.

Craig was interested in the course and may take the course next year.

Lots of work to do form the workbook. Completed first draft of DMP and sent it away. Probably did it in the wrong style in hindsight and I certainly left in a couple of negative words. Time constraints make it difficult to put too much thought into it. That may be the idea if you want the sub-conscious to take control of the proceedings.

Have read Og – fine.

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