Has technology killed love and romance?

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The London transport system commonly renowned for ‘The Tube’ and ‘Mind the Gap’ reliably transports 1.34 billion people a year across its network and the busiest train station in London is Waterloo station which commutes 95.1 million passengers a year (research provided by transport for London http://tflgov.uk). The most common factor in any commuters possession is a mobile device, catching up of online dating, facebook, linkedin, email or an embarrassing phone call for everyone to hear to the date, girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband about what is wrong with the relationship.

The facts, do we actually have time for our most precious relationships, do we give the time to build lasting, loving relationships around trust and values or do we constantly feel we can always do better with the latest api or technology app?

As children, we are taught that there will be one true love and that they’re going to solve all our problems and we’ll be happy forever, we are taught to wait for our perfect fit. But that’s not really how it works, is it?

Staggering advances in technology, communications and sciences across the world is one of the defining aspects of the last few decades. From social media websites to free video calling services from anywhere in the world just being a phone’s click away it would appear that the millennial generation has it all. But if we move past all the smartphones and gadgets and websites and take a hard look at the lives of Gen Y, we will notice that dating has become harder than ever.

Some people find it easy to fall in love, others not so much. We tend to fall in love with people who meet a certain criteria in our mind. This subconscious criterion is based on our past experiences, relationship with our parents or events that have happened in our lives. Based on each individual’s subconscious criterion, the reasons vary from person to person on why it’s so hard to fall in love.
When you think about it, despite feeling difficult, the problems people struggle with in dating sound pretty trivial.

For instance, we have been walking and talking our entire lives, yet walking up to an attractive person and opening our mouths to say “hi” can feel impossibly complex to us. People have been using a phone since they were children, yet given the agony some go through just to dial a person’s phone number, you would think they were being waterboarded. Most of us have kissed someone before and we have seen hundreds of movies and instances in real life of other people kissing, yet we still stare dreamily into the object of our affection’s eyes hour after hour, telling ourselves we can never find the “right moment” to do it.

Why? It sounds simple, but why is it so hard?

We build businesses, write novels, scale mountains, help strangers and friends alike through difficult times, tackle the thorniest of the world’s social ills — and yet, when we come face-to-face with someone we find attractive, our hearts race and our minds are sent reeling. And we stall.

Dating advice often compares improving one’s dating life to improving at some practical skill, such as playing piano or learning a foreign language. Sure, there are some overlapping principles, but it’s hard to imagine most people trembling with anxiety every time they sit in front of the keyboard. And I have never met someone who became depressed for a week after failing to conjugate a verb correctly. They are just not the same.

Generally speaking, if someone practices piano daily for two years, they will eventually become quite competent at it. Yet many people spend most of their lives with one romantic failure after another.

Why?

What is it about this one area of life that the most basic actions can feel impossible, that repetitive behaviour often leads to little or no change, and that our psychological defense mechanisms run rampant trying to convince us to not pursue what we want?

Why dating and not, say, skiing? Or even our careers? Why is it that a person can conquer the corporate ladder, become a militant CEO, demanding and receiving the respect and admiration of hundreds of brilliant minds, and then flounder through a simple dinner date with a beautiful stranger?

As children, none of us get 100% of our needs met. This is true of you. It is true of me. It is true of everyone. The degree of which our needs are not met varies widely, and the nature of how our needs are unfulfilled differs as well. But it is the sad truth about growing up: we have all got baggage. And some of us have a lot of it. Whether it is a parent who did not hold us enough, who didn’t feed us regularly enough, a father who was not around often, a mother who left us and moved away, being forced to move from school to school as a child and never having friends — all of these experiences leave their mark as a series of micro-traumas that shape and define us.

The nature and depth of these traumas imprint themselves onto our unconscious and become the map of how we experience love, intimacy and sex throughout our lives.

Psychologists believe that romantic love occurs when our unconscious becomes exposed to someone who matches the archetype of parental love we experienced growing up, someone whose behaviour matches our emotional map for intimacy. Our unconscious is always seeking to return to the unconditional nurturing we received as children, and to re-process and heal the traumas we suffered.
In short, our unconscious is wired to seek out romantic interests who it believes will fulfill our unfulfilled emotional needs, to fill in the gaps of the love and nurturing we missed out on as kids. This is why the people we fall in love with almost always resemble our parents on an emotional level.

AppleMark

AppleMark

The attributes that have come to define us and the overexposure that the 21st century human is subjected to leaves no dearth of psychological problems. More and more people each year are diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety problems. This becomes a detriment when it comes to dating. With dissatisfying home, office or academic environments the relationship in many cases become the dumping ground for emotional baggage.

While sometimes it is good to share and spell out feelings as they stand, it is not healthy to keep using your date as an emotional crutch over and over again. It is therefore advisable to work on your trust, abandonment or other issues before embarking on healthy dating choices.

We as human beings have a nasty tendency to crave for more in every aspect of our lives. Before we desire more, we have to learn to be grateful with what we already posses, only that is going to help us obtain more.

Life is confusing, and dating nowadays is more confusing than it has ever been.

Everyone is a commitmentphobe, everyone has attachment issues, no one takes anything seriously.

Maybe there aren’t any right or wrong answers, maybe nothing is black or white. Maybe life is just a big grey blob and you’re meant to create your own rules as you go along; not what that dating book said, or the advice your friends or your therapist gave you.

The fact of the matter is, romance isn’t dead – we’re just in danger of neglecting it. My advice? Visit your Grandmother and Grandfather and have them re-tell stories of how she was wooed by your grandfather; how they spent evenings dancing on the kitchen tiles and how a love note said it way better than a sweeping 140-character tweet.

Brene Brown puts these words into gret prospective:

“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.”

Quantity business relationship vs quality business relationship

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While businesses tend to want as many clients as they can get, what good would getting the client be without the ability to retain them? If a business is busy taking on too many projects to produce quality products and services for their client, it’s likely that they will lose them. On the other hand, if a business paces itself and spends quality time making new connections and building relationships, they are more likely to retain the relationships and be able to move forward with the next ones.

Even though large quantities can appear as an alluring and successful sign of business, it’s easy to imagine how many clients of a quantity-focused company are not satisfied with the product or service and will not return to or stay with the company. Taking the time to build rapport with clients will increase your company’s substantial business, in turn building your company’s brand and clients’ trust. In a competitive business world, quality leads to quantity.

Michael Simmons’ Forbes article titled “The Most Important Decision You Need to Make When Building a Network”, I feel tackles the questions we are all wondering when it comes to establishing relationships. Creating an extensive network, both personally and professionally, is tempting, but it brings up the age-old dilemma: “Quality or quantity?”

Initially, growth is both essential and inevitable. But at what point does expansion begin to hinder progress?
Research shows, after immense growth, it is essential to re-evaluate your network. Once you have reached capacity, a large-scale network becomes inefficient and difficult to maintain. In order to combat this, it is important to understand that as networks increase in size, quality becomes much more important than quantity.

Instead of forcing expansion, it becomes more beneficial to establish close, valuable relationships. At that point, we must then decide which relationships are most important so that we are best able to foster and encourage their growth.

Focusing on quality should be foundational for any business and extend from the design of the website to the latest product hitting the shelves. The quality vs. quantity debate can be relevant to every aspect of your business. Do you want to optimize your sales processes, marketing efforts, employee happiness and every other attribute of your business? Of course you do. Here are 5 tips to increase business whilst maintaining quality relationships

1. Increase sales with higher quality leads.
The quality of your customer data affects every subsequent step in your buyer pipeline. It’s about more than just accuracy. Low quality leads waste your team’s time on research, data entry and chasing dead ends. High quality leads facilitate better reporting, automation and segmentation.

2. Ensure all products/services are flawless.
One quality product or service is often worth at least 100 mediocre alternatives. Have you ever noticed that luxury boutiques have many fewer shelves than the big box stores? Not only do boutiques usually have higher quality, but they also have more loyal customers, higher sales points and are generally a much more reasonable venture for a startup or the small business owner.

3. Don’t take SEO shortcuts.
If you know about search engine optimisation (SEO), you have probably heard about black hat tricks. These are illegal moves to falsely bolster the apparent popularity of a website, and they are almost always a short-term hack until search engine algorithms catch them and penalise them. A common trick is duplicate content and/or duplicate sites. You might suppose having multiple sites with the same content can boost your SEO rankings, but it can ultimately be your undoing. Focus on one very high quality site instead of several lower quality ones.

4. Nurture relationships with premium employees.
Both high skilled employees and mediocre ones may leave your company, but the loss of top employees could hurt much more. You know who your most talented workers are, so do what it takes to keep them long term. Offer workplace programs and benefits that show employees you respect their personal growth and long-term professional goals. This will help to ensure they don’t move on before you expect.

5. Go with targeted marketing campaigns.
Be a sharpshooter with your marketing. It’s more effective to take the time to research, pinpoint and create a marketing campaign for an appropriate demographic rather than pay for thousands of inserts in the biggest newspaper in town. It’s the difference between hunting your prey in the wild and setting up for that perfect shot, or wildly shooting a machine gun into the woods.

In conclusion, quantity versus quality applies to almost everything in your business. When you think of quantity versus quality what comes to mind for you?

When I think about quantity I think about things like McDonald’s – fast food, get through fast, inexpensive, fast paced, high volume.
When I think of quality I think about The Cinnamon Club – slow, nice high-quality environment, higher price point, more luxurious, more elegant.

The reality of those differences is what makes one a quality experience versus a quantitative experience.

Quantity is really important – it may not be too exciting, but if you learn to get intimate with your numbers and you learn how to break them down, your quantitative numbers will show you a direct correlation to qualitative behavior that can drive the quantitative results.

Calvin Coolidge once said:

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity”.

Launching “Meaningful Conversations” with a book signing at Waterstones, Presentation and Party

My second book, “Meaningful Conversations” was finally launched on 28th January 2017 at Waterstones, and it has been an incredible journey. One that I am so proud of and I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading it.

I would like to thank Mark and Jackie, Sylvia and Liam, and Lisa my wonderful friends who allowed me to dream and who never stopped believing in this book. Without their love, support and constant belief, this book would not have been possible.

Below you will find some reviews and a gallery with snapshots from the launch.

In the sidebar on the right I put some links to selected booksellers – all other related posts you can find here: “My second book”. Also, check out my dedicated site: Meaningful Conversations Book.

REVIEWS

“Meaningful conversations is a brilliant follow up to Geoff’s first book Freedom After the Sharks. Although it is quite different Geoff’s passion and commitment are clearly present!”
Mark F Herbert, author of Managing Whole People

“Geoff has demonstrated his unique awareness and experience of how to succeed in business (or indeed any other human endeavour) by identifying 3 essential success factors. Simple as it sounds, it makes logical sense. Starting with the complexity of communication, he reminds us that without it nothing can move forward. His next step is all about the need for a clearly thought out strategy. Of.course, this is much more difficult to define and the appropriateness and effectiveness of the strategy will only be identified after implementation. The final leg is Growth and Planning. Providing there is good communication and a good strategy, then growth and planning will deliver the results. It is clear that Geoff is talking from a position of knowledge and experience and his thoughts and ideas make a lot of sense. All in all the book is packed with lots of useful nuggets and suggestions. A useful guide for any budding entrepreneur or indeed many CEOs.”
Amazon Customer

“Great book! Brilliant combination of practical guidance on key aspects of business development & growth as well as fresh look at some of the main challenges and opportunities facing businesses of our time. Strongly recommended for corporate managers and entrepreneurs.”
Amazon Customer

“Extraordinary insight into whole range of issues that face those in positions of responsibility. Completely accessible and invaluable guide.”
Simon Halstam

GALLERY

Thoughts on Leadership in the Digital World

The Christmas holiday period is always a good time for reflection and once my dreaded cold had calmed down, I started to reflect on some of the most influential push buttons of business and “leadership” firmly came to mind. I decided to go for a hike and picked Sabino Caynon, a significant canyon located in the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Arizona, United States. Sabino Canyon is a popular recreation area for residents and visitors of Southern Arizona, providing a place to walk, hike or ride. Minutes away from the desert are large waterfalls along Sabino Creek with minor bridges constructed over them. Wildlife in the canyon includes deer, javelina, skunks, tortoises, rattlesnakes and mountain lions.

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As I started to climb this magnificent caynon, I reminisced with the new Millennium and the Information Age which is setting the stage for a changing world. Wheatley states that information is a dynamic element that gives way to order, growth and defines what is alive. It is with this fluid movement of information that we see change. “This is the world of ‘Darwin’ where we have to change to survive; where we have to develop to thrive; and paradoxically, where the very act of change increases the risk that we will not survive”. It is a world now of mergers, down-sizing, reorganisation, diversity and more women in the workplace.

So let’s now move to leadership, my understanding of leadership is that leadership is the ability to motivate groups of people towards a common goal, an incredibly important skill in today’s business world. Without strong leadership, many otherwise good businesses fail. Understanding the characteristics of strong leaders and cultivating those skills is paramount for those pursing a career in business.

Many of the world’s most respected leaders have several personality traits in common. Some of the most recognisable traits are the ability to initiate change and inspire a shared vision, as well as knowing how to “encourage the heart” and model the skills and behaviours that are necessary to achieve the stated objectives. Good leaders must also be confident enough in themselves to enable others to contribute and succeed.

Let’s now look at some of the most recognised model leaders from the past:

The Ability to Initiate Change — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Good leaders are never satisfied with the status quo and usually take action to change it. In addition, strong leaders bring about change for the common good by involving others in the process. Roosevelt. sought practical ways to help struggling men and women make a better world for themselves and their children. His philosophy was, “bold, persistent experimentation…Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” Being willing to take risks by trying new ideas and involving others in the process of change is a key quality of strong leaders.

Inspiring a Shared Vision — The Leadership of Martin Luther King
Leaders, through their words and actions, must have the ability to draw others into a common vision by telling others where they intend to go and urging them to join in that vision. Martin Luther King’s vision of a country free from racial segregation and discrimination, so poignantly expressed in his famous “I have a dream…” speech, exemplifies this critical leadership trait. King had a vision of a better America, and his ability to bring both whites and blacks together to march against segregation changed America profoundly.

Model Leadership — Mohandas K. Ghandi
Strong leaders not only need to have a vision and the ability to initiate change, they must model the values, actions, and behaviors necessary to make the vision reality. Ghandi not only created and espoused the philosophies of passive resistance and constructive non-violence, he lived by these principles. According to Indira Gandhi, “More than his words, his life was his message.” By choosing to consistently live and work in a manner that exemplified the values he believed in, Ghandi engendered trust, becoming a role model for others looking to affect change without resorting to violence.

Encouraging the Heart — The Leadership of Winston Churchill
On December 29, 1940, London was hit by one of the largest aerial attacks of World War II. Somehow, St. Paul’s Cathedral survived. Two days later a photo showing a silhouette of the dome of St. Paul’s, surrounded by smoke and flames ran in the paper with a caption that read, “It symbolises the steadiness of London’s stand against the enemy: the firmness of right against wrong.” Churchill recognized the importance of St. Paul’s as a morale booster. His instructions were clear on that December night, “At all costs, St. Paul’s must be saved.” Leaders must be able to encourage the hearts of those who share their vision, providing a sense of confident optimism even in the face of enormous difficulties.

Traditional skills have not been supplanted but they now co-exist and very visually have survived with a mix of new factors.

First of all, digital leadership can be defined by a leader’s contribution to the transition toward a knowledge society or community and their knowledge of technology. Digital leaders have an obligation to keep up with the ongoing global revolution. They must understand technology, not merely as an enabler but also for its revolutionary force.

Leadership must be driven by an attitude of openness and a genuine hunger for knowledge. Of course, no rule dictates that leaders must be literate in coding or that they graduated from machine-learning but, there is an imperative to understand the impact of breakthrough or revolutionary technologies.

Today’s leaders must have the ability to identify technological trends across different sectors, such as big data, cloud computing, automation, and robotics. However, first and foremost they must possess sufficient knowledge and the vision to use these resources most effectively.

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Secondly, in a knowledge society, what we do not know is as important as what we do know. Leaders should know their limits and know how to acquire missing knowledge. A leader of the future is more like a community manager rather than an authoritarian.

These days, we are observing the decline of traditional hierarchical models of organisation. Take a look at how the organisation of governments has changed across Western societies in recent years. A number of governments have introduced or reinforced public consultation processes as well as opened up public data for the benefit of their citizens.

These processes, by and large, will continue to grow. As a result, the hierarchical model tends to be suppressed and replaced by horizontal structures among executives, leaders from different sectors, researchers and representatives from civic society. Hierarchy fails in the digital age because it’s slow and bureaucratic, whereas the new world is constantly changing and requires immediate responses.

Information is key. In today’s world, power is not gained by expanding new territories or areas of influence but by deepening and widening networks and connections. But what is the role of the individual or leader, or of qualities that distinguish one grain of sand from another?

Having acknowledged that digital technology will play a decisive role our future, leaders cannot afford to show fear or reluctance in implementing it. Instead, they must embrace technology with a clear view of its potential. We must set sail for new, ambitious lands. We choose to go to Mars because our technology enables us to at least attempt the exploration on other planets by the 2030s. And we choose to develop other fantastic things every day – self-driving cars, more powerful batteries, the Apple Watch, drones – to name only just a few.

My conclusion is that leadership in today’s world is a balanced mix of universal characteristics and digital leadership traits which has the potential to guide us through years of transformation with optimism and idealism.Technology continues to prove that it can be used for the benefit of mankind, but only if we set sail on the right course and with smart individuals that make our journey, progress, and performance so much worthwhile.

Robin S. Sharma once said:

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.”

Countdown to the launch of my second book: “Meaningful Conversations”

The books are printed and we are all set for the launch of my new book ‘Meaningful Conversations’! Interestingly enough the launch date for my book is 28th January 2017, which coincides with Chinese New Year.

The first day of the 2017 Chinese New Year is also the day of the new moon and under the Chinese horoscope, ‘The Red Fire Chicken’. The Chicken is the Female Metal, which is the 8th element in the list of Yin Yang stems. Number 8 is a very lucky number to Chinese in Feng Shui application. In short, the Chinese believe the number 8 is connected to big wealth and prosperity. Therefore, the Chicken of 2017 might lay a golden egg – lets hope my new book has much Feng Shui!

Advance Information – by Geoff’s publisher

I am super excited, I am absolutely celebrating with Joy, the book has been 3 years in the making and launches this week!

I would like to thank my mentor and business partner in the US, Mark and his wonderful wife Jackie for being totally amazing, frankly Meaningful Conversations would not of happened without them, Sylvie and Liam, thank you for being there through my periods of writing lows and highs, the laughter, joy and love was a true support and inspiration, Lisa thank you for giving me the huge kick exactly when I needed it, you are amazing and thank you for your unconditional friendship, a huge thank you to my publisher Matador, Jeremy and his team were simply there when I needed you most and Jacques from my media agency 3J, you were incredible through the whole process, and a big thank you to all my friends and associates who I have not mentioned, thank you for your support.

Many people ask me what it is like to write books with different genre’s Freedom after the Sharks was a Non-Fiction and Meaningful Conversations is Fiction. So many people say they could never dedicate the time to finish a book. I believe if you have a purpose or idea that is so strong in your head and you really want to communicate this message to the world, then you can write, it will come through your heart, this is where the saying comes from ‘writing straight from the soul’. Writing is much easier when you can concentrate in a quiet space about something you really believe in.

So, why “Meaningful Conversations”?
Some of the most passionately debated subjects in business today are: Communications, Strategy and Business Development and Growth.

In February 2014, I set out as an author of Freedom after the Sharks, to write a weekly blog across a variety of subjects and foremost about people in business, opinions, research and tips, advise on some revelations, past and present.

I felt compelled to write about the relationship between communications (human 2 human), strategy and business development and growth. It is important to understand that a number of the ideas, developments and techniques employed at the beginning as well as the top of business can be successfully made flexible to apply.

Here is a short video interview across some of the book topics and some strategic push buttons in business today:

Communications, Strategy and Business Development and Growth are essential for success and profitability in the business process.
This book provides a holistic overview of the essential leading methods of techniques. It will provide you with a hands on guide for business professionals and those in higher education.

Readers will gain insights into topical subjects, components of Communications, Strategy and Business Development and Growth, including a wide range of tips, models and techniques that will help to build strong and effective solutions in today’s business world.

The terms ‘Communications’, Strategy’ and Business Development and Growth’ have become overused during the last decade and have become devalued as a result. In this book I aim to simplify these terms and to re-value management and leadership by addressing topics and subjects in each distinctive chapter

As Anthony Robbins once said:

“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”

The book therefore covers all the essential components of Communications, Strategy and Business Development and Growth, but ensures that they are described in an engaging, enjoyable way with clarity.

My new book has arrived!

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The book is divided into three key areas to make it easy to find the material you need. Each component is easy to locate by the titles of the short story at the top of the pages. Each chapter within the three components relates strongly to each other but is also interrelated to all the other chapters. Those with interest on certain topics may wish to start at their area of interest first, while those who prefer to read the book from the first page to the end will proceed as they started, there really is a topic for everyone in the book.

Business professionals and individuals in the great challenges of today’s business world have renewed responsibility for what business does best; innovate, invest and grow. Many people wait until circumstances force change and transformation, that can be radical and painful, this book will arm you with the tips, advise and techniques to provide fresh thinking to your everyday environment and to innovate your circumstances for a better environment, we are all extraordinary people and have the ability to share and provide wealth creation and richness to our surroundings, the question is how much do we want to be extraordinary.

This book has been written not just for people in a company or organisation, it is about helping and supporting understanding across a wide variety of subjects to anyone in life; students, budding entrepreneurs, business people and aspiring individuals.

For a free download of the first chapter, please follow this following link: geoff-hudson-searle-meaningful-conversations-free-chapter

Meaningful Conversations will be available via Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Nook, Kodo, Smashwords, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble in hardback, paperback, kindle, e-book from 28th January 2017 pre-sales on the book can be reached via Matador Publishing.

To purchase the book, the following links will take you to your preferred channel:

Amazon Kindle
Amazon – Hardcover
Apple – iBooks
Google Play Books

Meaningful Conversations Website: Meaningful Conversations Book.com