Voice & Exit 2016 Retrospective

voice-and-exit-graphicMost of you know that I attended Voice and Exit last year and it was a informational experience. That was a year and a half ago. It motivated me to launch a private Master Mind group, Debt Hackers, Jump to the Next Level and make some positive changes in my personal life.

Well, the 2016 edition of Voice and Exit was this past weekend. It was like Homecoming to me. I saw and reconnected with a few dozen of my friends from the Austin Intentional Community but it was so much more than that.

What is Voice and Exit?

Voice and Exit is billed as “the Festival of the Future” It is a Weekend immersed in thinking about a positive outcome for the future, led by people that are pioneering that outcome.

Speaker after speaker showed us ways to improve/transform ourselves, our communities and the world. I made many new friends because everyone there was not only open to future possibilities, they were eager to embrace them! This allowed us to quickly gel into a community of our own. I will save the details of the speakers, panels, or workshops I attended for another time.

 Here are my general impressions:

  •  Right now, we are building lifeboats – maybe even an ark or two. Most of the world is laughing at us. It doesn’t matter, we see the gathering storm.
  • For me, this year’s experience was elevating more than transformative.
  • A few of the contacts I made will merit special announcements, stay tuned!

 Most important take away:

Don’t get caught up in the negative drumbeat. Heal ourselves, those around us an work to make that radiate out like ripples in a pond.

 

To learn more:

Website: voiceandexit.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/voiceandexit

Lessons Learned from the Autumn of Abundance

Abundance-Pyramid1

You may know that we have embraced a Vision of the New Era that has 4 pillars: Health, Sustainability, Peace and Abundance. The plan for ushering in the New Era involves spending a particular season of the year focusing on each one. This was our first Autumn of Abundance because we only discovered Vision 2020 (detailed here) in September.

Abundance is the idea that every person can have their basic needs met, no matter how many of us live on this beautiful blue marble. Abundance is when everyone has the means of meeting their basic needs and the opportunity to pursue his or her potential.

Here is what I learned during the last couple of months:

  • The Abundance Pyramid is valid. It describes food, water and shelter in the bottom layer; energy, education and information/communications technology in the middle layer; health and freedom in the top layer.
  • Lack hides Abundance. Many of the myths we need to shed as a society surround lack. We go into debt for lack of the latest gadget. We go to war for lack of natural resources. We waste huge blocks of time in despair for lack of (fill in the blank here).
  • Gratitude is always in order. Gratitude is a way of celebrating your abundance. It needs to be practiced constantly by every person that wishes to participate in this wonderful New Era.
  • Random acts of kindness can backfire unless they come from the heart. I once had a mantra, “no good deed goes unpunished”. It should be, “Acts of kindness with ulterior motives have unexpected, usually negative consequences”.
  • Abundance means sharing when you have more than you need. This is hard when you are a seasoned baggage-carrier like me! Too much stuff (this includes material and non-material things) is a burden, not a blessing.
  • Clutter will fill any space you allocate to it.
  • The mantra, “Be the change you want to see in the World” has deeper meaning for me now!

The season has changed and it is now the Winter of Wellness. The work I did during the Autumn season made lasting improvements that allowed me to take a step or two into the new era.

What did you learn or do this Fall that made lasting changes?

Bank Corruption

I have been wondering if it is OK to demonize banks. Well, they told me themselves. Commenting on the recent record fines levied by the Department of Justice for currency manipulation, one Barclay’s worker was quoted as saying, “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying.”

Gratitude and Going Quiet

Editor’s note: This is post number 61 since moving to this web site. It will also be the last weekly post in this format. Change Agent Publications is “going quiet” for the winter. A new and improved web site will re-launch in the spring.

My focus has already shifted to participating in the launch of PayCoin, the next generation of cryptocurrency. Watch my Social Media feeds Facebook and @CliffChange for details as they unfold! This is my way of “doing” instead of “reporting”. Blessings to you all! I will leave with excerpts about Gratitude from Become a Change Agent: Drive the Positive Change You Want For Yourself And The World! Part Two: Visions

Gratitude

Your Vision should bring you happiness. Being happy allows you to focus on the Now without effort. As you live your Vision, expressions of joy and gratitude should become a common part of your everyday life. Gratitude acknowledges the gifts that other people and external forces constantly bring to you. It also helps others validate their vision. Wouldn’t life be wonderful if everyone you come into contact with helps you elevate your Vision? This can happen because cause they are elevated by interactions with you. Make it so!

Hold joy, gratitude and an appreciation for beauty. This raises the vibrational level of not just you but of everyone around you.

(The fourth characteristic of a Change Agent) A Change Agent inspires others, primarily by sharing an infectious Vision and expressing the appropriate amount of gratitude.

Be Visionaries, my friends!

3 Types of Currencies

Editor’s note: I am using enough of the ideas of bitcoin enthusiast Ed Clements that this post should be considered collaboration between us. For more, check out his site, ThinkingInBitcoins.com.

Currency is a medium of exchange that is generally accepted as money. A lot of different currencies exist. They generally fall into 3 categories.

Asset-Based Currencies

Asset – based currencies have value in and of themselves. Some examples:

  • Gold – has been recognized as money for nearly 3.000 years
  • Silver – has been a favored medium of exchange for small transactions since it is less rare than gold
  • Barter – trading goods requires face-to-face negotiations and has complicated tax consequences
  • Time – time exchange networks have caused simple labor exchanges to regain popularity. I am a member of the Austin Time Exchange Network.

Asset-based currencies are generally the “push” type. That means the party sending the transfer of currency initiates the transaction by pushing it to the receiver.

Debt-Based Currencies

Debt-based (also called fiats) are the creation of government-sponsored banks (central banks). Their value is guaranteed by the “full faith and credit” of the issuing nation. Most started out as asset-based (the US dollar was 1/20 oz of gold for most of its history). A complex mechanism called “fractional reserves” is typically employed to allow fiat currencies to be manufactured.

Most debt-based currency transfers are the “pull” type. The party receiving the money initiates the transaction. Push and pull each have advantages. Here is a chart:

Edd4

Proof-Based aka Cryptocurrencies

I have written previously about Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies in a 2-part post. Please feel free to review Part 1 and Part 2.

Cryptocurrencies are backed by cryptographic proof that each unit of the currency exists only once. They also have the advantages of both “push” and “pull” type mediums of exchange:

edd5

But wait, there is more! Cryptos have the following additional benefits for merchants:

  • Proof-based currency transactions are irreversible. That means there are no charge backs or fraudulent transactions. These issues are significant problems for vendors accepting credit cards.
  • The sender pays transaction fees. Credit and debit card fees are actually very high but the merchant absorbs them – passing them on to consumers as hidden higher costs.
  • There are negligible setup costs to start accepting Cryptos. It simply involves downloading some software and setting up an account with a currency exchange.

The ability to conduct transactions in cryptocurrency is going mainstream. You should grab lunch at Subway today and pay with bitcoin!

Learn more by attending a Meetup or visiting ThinkingInBitcoins.com

The Gratitude Advantage: Four Ways Giving Thanks Improves Your Life

Editor’s note: In the spirit of the Holiday Season, this is the first installment of a series on gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving. We start with the reprinted thoughts of blogger, Michael Hyatt.

Gratitude-Advantage

There are a lot of myths around the first American Thanksgiving in 1621, but one thing is for sure. The Pilgrims were lucky to be alive, and they knew it.

“Eleven months earlier the Pilgrims had arrived at the tip of Cape Cod, fearful and uninformed,” says Nathaniel Philbrick in his history Mayflower. “By all rights, none of the Pilgrims should have emerged from the first winter alive.”

But they did. Thanks to God, their faith, and help from many Native Americans, they did more than survive. They began to flourish. And it’s a virtuous circle.

Most of us know this from personal experience, but for the last several years researchers have come to the conclusion that gratitude is a key component of helping people live happier and longer.

I know this is true in my life. It seem the more I give thanks, the more reasons I have for gratitude.

We all know that materialistic people who expect possessions to make them happy are usually unhappy—no matter how much stuff they get their hands on.

The reason, according to researchers at my alma mater Baylor University, is that by focusing on what we do not have, we are less likely to give thanks for what we do. And gratitude leads directly to feelings of satisfaction and wellbeing.

How? According to research reported by Robert A. Emmons and Anjali Mishra, there are several scientifically supported ways gratitude helps us flourish. Here are four I found especially compelling:

  1. Gratitude reduces our stress. Thankfulness redirects our attention from our difficulties to the benefits we enjoy. It’s like creating a stockpile of good thoughts for when times are tough. It also helps us reframe our losses and stay connected emotionally to friends and family.
  2. Gratitude inoculates us from negative emotions. When we focus on what we don’t have or how our decisions could have turned out better, we leave room for resentment, envy, and regret to build. Gratitude can keep these feelings at bay.
  3. Gratitude sustains our relationships. Let me just ask, Do you like hanging out with people that gripe and complain? Me neither. It’s gratitude that draws people together, builds trust, and strengthens ties. That’s true in the workplace, among friends, in families, and between husbands and wives.
  4. Gratitude improves our health. Grateful people visit their doctors less often and live longer than others. The research shows that thankfulness helps us sleep better, control our blood pressure, and generally reduce physical complaints.

Given these four ways gratitude can benefit us, I’d say we have some very good reasons to return thanks more than once a year. Cultivating gratitude makes each day worth living and might even give us more days.

However we do it—make lists of our blessings, journal our gratitude, practice mindfulness, pray, find a trigger to pause and express thanks, write notes to colleagues and friends—let’s just make sure we do it.

Question: What are you grateful for right now?

Michael Hyatt blogs about Intentional Leadership at michaelhyatt.com