Friday 15 August 2014

How focused are we?

As I return from my holidays (that entailed the privilege of switching off on an island of natural beauty and tranquillity, in Norway enjoying the family with a considerable amount of swimming, fishing and hiking), my mind is now slowly reverting into the real world. As you can imagine I have had to get my head together. It takes a while. After listening and watching the news, not surprisingly it is difficult to remain focused, as one might easily become a pessimist, uninspired, a cynic, an escapist or side tracked? This can tempt us to generalise on so many important matters often aggravating all sorts of situations. Or to say something on a subject, that we are not attuned to or where we lack the facts and knowledge or even life experience whereby we might by no fault of our own find ourselves wearing a very different hat.

We know evil exists in our world, it always had. Yet I wonder if the media are capable of coming out with good news, inspirational news as I am so often a great sceptic of this powerful Western institution if I may call it such as they have so often manipulated let alone deceived mainstream for the sole purposes of hidden agendas or commercial gain. Even modern technology has the capacity to deceive nowadays. I am a believer that the good inspires the good and the bad inspires the bad. Naturally well…if the bad harms the good including the innocent unintentionally or intentionally in whatever form then it is our duty that something must be done, corrected or reported, in our given capacity and if we feel in a position or called to do so. This is the way things can change. And yet is all this possible by still remaining on the side of good where therein lays the challenge?

It is worth noting if and when the good prevails over one’s own human suffering or dysfunctional behaviour that is news as it sets an inspirational precedent to others in so as our great virtues such as courage, hope or love can begin to carry true meaning.

I see that even I am getting carried away; therefore I must stay focused to fall back to where my talents and vocation lie in my business and daily life. This brings me back to Time MCG and its services. Time MCG stands for strong corporate governance in the Banking sector, purposeful values including training/coaching of individuals in their careers linked to the changing of culture in this sector where so much harm has been done in our society and our economy. This brings us to our very own doorstep and closer to home. Sometimes I need inspiration. Fortunately it so happens the other day an email fell into my inbox that had caught my attention.

It was a marketing advert from a leading European bank no doubt trying to improve its image with something mentioned about tolerance showing one of the annual festivals in Amsterdam. There are other examples of other banks on a marketing drive in a similar yet bizarre fashion. I have been to a couple of these parades back in my former immature, shameless and hedonistic days. One is enough. As the advert shows, it is just often very loud music, a lot of nihilistic behaviour, this ever-lasting obsession with self or narcissism and so on and some of it is fun. I suppose it is ok if you are that way inclined irrespective of our sexuality. It seems ironic that I could even be describing the very attitude that needs to change within parts of the Banking sector and our society from the bottom to the top. The question to this bank is what does this have to do with your products and your services? Is this not a confusing message that you are trying to give, by sexualising money or stepping into a world of play acting and pretence? Is this the way to raise the much needed credibility in the sector?

I am not one to be a kill joy yet it is a very serious pretext if the banks have caused one of the biggest crises in our living memory that has put some national economies on its knees and even pulled down countries. We know now they are often a law unto themselves and part of an industry that likes to speak to itself. At least in most part, it is to do with the credit delusion, our self-serving behaviour, lack of morals, purpose & integrity, failing leadership and falling standards. The evidence out there is overwhelming. It takes character to change this, a combination of emotional, spiritual, physical and mental intelligence where there are many solutions. We do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. It is essential that we remain focused as there is a lot to do and not diverge by scraping along the surface or manipulating mainstream through the media with adverts irrelevant to the task at hand. As my Dutch Amsterdam friends commented, ‘it is just businesses like most other businesses that would do anything for money. It has always been the case and it never changes.’ Another one commentated ‘I am tolerant yet exposure I find rather abject’ I often hear, as I am all too aware having lived in the city for over ten years that Amsterdam, is hardly representative of the rest of NL. Again what am I talking about, what does this have to do with a European Bank and its products and services?

In short when are the banks going to mature and come out with the message of real change that will inspire? We know how hard it can be with so much noise and endless sound bites around us. We live in an era more than ever where we need the time and peace to think wisely and not impulsively, to allow us to gently challenge and not overwhelm or dominate, to raise our individual responsibility and to free ourselves from self and into a new world of innate wonder and happiness.

Within our vocation and talent lies credibility