The story of the Elders started in a conversation between the entrepreneur Richard Branson and the musician Peter Gabriel. The idea they discussed was a simple one. In an increasingly interdependent world – a global village – could a small, dedicated group of independent elders help to resolve global problems and ease human suffering?
For inspiration, they looked to traditional societies, where elders often help to share wisdom and resolve disputes within communities. They took their idea to Nelson Mandela, who agreed to support it. With the help of Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu, Mandela set about bringing the Elders together.
The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.
“The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life.” ~ Brian Tracy
I have been reading Success Magazine for a couple years now, and have heard the name Brian Tracy referred to frequently. He has dedicated his life to the training and development of individuals and companies, and strives to help others achieve their personal and business goals. He is the author of over 45 books, including “Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed”, “The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires: How to Achieve Financial Independence Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible”, and “Goals!: How To Get Everything You Want—Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible”.
The latest Success Magazine issue had a great article on Mr. Tracy, and has really opened my eyes to what a great mentor he could be. It talks about being a student of success and achievement, embracing accountability, and the importance of having a clear goal. Most importantly, for me, was that the magazine article previewed an except from Brian Tracy’s newest book “No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline”. In this excerpt, Mr. Tracy asks the following three questions:
1) What would it take for me to be perfectly happy?
2) In what situations in my life, and with whom, am I not perfectly happy?
3) In looking over my life, where and when have I been the happiest? Where was I, with whom was I, and what was I doing?
I recently took the time to answer these questions for myself and the exercise has helped solidify what areas of my life I want to focus more on, and what areas of my life I need to develop an “exit strategy” for so that I can move on from them. Too often we get bogged down with what we feel we “should” be doing, and don’t spend enough time on what we “want” to be doing. Sometimes one responsibility is one too many, and it ends up draining us more that anything else. We need to move away from these activities and focus on what really brings passion to our lives.
I suggest taking the time to answer these three questions for yourself. It will only really take half an hour of your time, but will help focus where you want your energies to be spent.
Also, spend more time with Brian Tracy. Here are some links that will be of some assistance:
What does transparency and celebrity have to do with charity? Have you heard about the $600 billion challenge? Which Canadian Charity is rated the highest among its peers? Read on to find out.
Once upon a time I read a book called “Philanthrocapitalism” by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green. This book opened my eyes to the world of philanthropy and the wealthy people who have taken it upon themselves to make their mark through charity and social assistance on a global scale. “Philanthrocapitalism” includes interviews with such social-conscious celebrities as Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, George Soros, Richard Branson, Angelina Jolie, and Bono. In the past, we have all looked to our governments to tackle and solve social issues, but a new movement is beginning where the more fortunate citizens of this world are using their money to tackle issues such as poverty, climate change, and treatable disease. In June of this year, Fortune Magazine ran a story that is yet another example of celebrities flexing their philanthropic muscles. The story was called “The $600 billion challenge.” According to this article, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett are asking America’s billionaires to pledge to give at least half their net worth to charity, in their lifetimes or at death. To pitch this idea, the Gates’ and Mr. Buffet held a special dinner with some of the most notable billionaires in America, including David Rockefeller and Oprah Winfrey. The face of philanthropy is changing, or at the very least is being challenged, and this, I feel, is cause for great hope.
“Philanthrocapitalism” also got me thinking about the need for transparency in the world of non-profit organizations, and in some cases the need to treat non-profits more like a for-profit business in order to run more effectively and efficiently. Now, I can’t even begin to pretend I know much about the world of non-profit, but the area of for-profit business that I specialize in is in looking for ways to make businesses and business processes more streamlined and efficient. How could it be a bad thing to apply this to the non-profit world as well? Especially when so much of their spending capital comes from citizen donations.
I soon started my research and came across two websites – GuideStar and Charity Navigator. I wanted to see how non-profits reported their day-to-day activities and annual successes. The problem was that both these websites are American-based, and thus not 100% relevant to a Canadian. Because of this I had a short-lived dream of building my own website that would provide this information for Canadians, but with my aforementioned lack of knowledge in the non-profit area, I really had no clue where to start. This is why I was so excited when I saw in this summer’s issue of MoneySense magazine that they had actually taken the time to rate our Canadian Charities. To see this full article, buy a copy of MoneySense magazine today, or click here to see the free online article.