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October 2007

Slowing Down to Speed Up 

Welcome to the Conscious Communication Chronicle, sharing how Conscious Communication results in success, and how you can achieve yours.   Enjoy!


Ian Blei,
Director of the
Integral Enneagram Institute and
President of
Optimized Results







Available at:

Browser Books
 2195 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA

Cover to Cover
 1307 Castro St.
San Francisco, CA

Phoenix Books
 3850 24th St.
San Francisco, CA

and of course the 800 lb.

Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul

Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.

Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.


Kind words for “Kind Ambition”

"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media


“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real
 growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics
solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment


" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine


“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

                       -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”


" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III, Director Pacific Development Partners

Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.


Feature Article  - (podcast version)

Quick Communication Tip

Upcoming Events

Resource Links



Tuesday, Oct. 9th, 2007

"Intro to the Integral Enneagram - a New Approach"

From Compulsion to Choice;

            - getting off the 'hamster wheel.'


Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 220
Marina Blvd. at Buchanan St., San Francisco

More Info




Thursday, Oct. 18th, 2007

"Intro to the Integral Enneagram - a New Approach"

From Compulsion to Choice;

            - getting off the 'hamster wheel.'

(Encore Performance)

Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 190
Marina Blvd. at Buchanan St., San Francisco
More Info




Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, 2007

"Optimize Your Communication for Success"

Fort Mason Center, Building C, Room 190
Marina Blvd. at Buchanan St., San Francisco
More Info





Slowing Down to Speed Up  


Paradox Never Sleeps

There are things we know; things we learned in childhood, that we ignore; probably due to their counter-intuitive or paradoxical natures.  Whether we pay attention to them or not, they remain in play, having an impact, just like gravity or breathing.  One of the things we learn early on from countless fables, anecdotes, parables, and mythology is that we need to slow down to speed up.  Of course this makes no sense on the face of it, so we tend to blow it off as one of those pithy or New Age sayings, without substance in the real world.  Nothing could be further from the truth.


Unfortunately, our early dismissal of this old wisdom robs us of a powerful resource.  It becomes just another one of those things we know, but we just don’t do.  What’s up with that?  Why don’t we do these things we know deep down inside will serve us?  Most likely, it has a lot to do with this aspect of paradox.  When we hear something that has some kind of contradiction right up front, our dualistic filters run a quick spot check.  If it is X, it cannot be Y, and vice versa.  Of course without that dualistic filter, it could be both X and Y.  Paradox would be a lot easier to swallow.


And since it appears that the nature of the Universe is filled with paradox, it may be time to look at whether our dualistic filters are helping us, or obstructing progress.  Dualism certainly makes things simpler, and we do like simpler.  Of course accuracy might be even better, so we may have to make an occasional foray into the land of (shudder) details.  Once again, we know that “God is in the details,” but we turn our backs on that and opt for fast and simple more often than not.  Why?  We’re in a hurry.  You see how these issues tend to compound and build on one another?  So where can we find the best of both worlds?  This aspect of “rushing” might be a great place to start.



Fables and Parables Have a Purpose

It has been said that when information is combined with experience, it becomes wisdom.  We can learn from our own experiences or not.  We can also learn from other people’s experiences or not, learning from their's can be a great time saver.  To borrow from another old saying, why re-invent the wheel?


This is not to say that what worked for me will necessarily work for you.  However, when a certain theme shows up for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, it becomes harder to ignore the lesson to be learned.  This is one of the great things about fables, parables, mythology, and so on.  A theme could be just as much a part of daily life in Aesop’s time as in ours, and the learned wisdom can be handed down to us.  We don’t have to learn the lesson through our own experience.


Let’s look at a couple obvious perspectives on our theme.  The story of the Tortoise and the Hare is pretty familiar to most of us.  There are several sub-lessons woven throughout the story, such as “not getting so confident that you don’t still strive,” but the over-riding theme is that “slow and steady wins the race.”  Unfortunately we figure, “yeah, but if the hare didn’t take a nap, he’d have won,” and dismiss the lesson.  Then rushing to get out of the house, we forget important papers, keys, or spill coffee on ourselves while multi-tasking.  This inevitably eats up more time than if we’d slowed down just enough to be more conscious and intentional.  Especially if you have to go back in the house and change your outfit, or you’ve locked yourself out, or both.


Another favorite expression of mine is: “measure twice and cut once.”  It takes just a little more time to slow down and double-check before you take an action that will require far more time and resources to re-do.  Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac advised that “a stitch in time saves nine.”  How often have you thought you didn’t have time to fix something right now, and paid triple in both time and money later?



 Increasing Effectiveness

We’ve brought up some of the downside of rushing yourself, and hurrying through things, without even mentioning the quality of your experience.  As quality is incredibly subjective, measurement is tricky, so I’m going to stick with the more easily seen metrics of your effectiveness.  Rather than just looking at the negatives of rushing, let’s look at the positive affect you can have on your life by slowing down just enough to find your natural “perfect pace,” and the beat of your own drummer.

In virtually every sport, one of the top techniques for success is something called “slowing time.”  Anyone who has ever swung a golf club, baseball bat, or tennis racket knows that the more you try to kill the ball, the worse the shot.  Taking the time to prepare, visualize, and smoothly swing through the ball gets incredible results. 


In auto racing, they regularly, explicitly say that you need to “slow down to go faster.”  By pushing too fast in a corner, the car will “wash up” the racetrack, (due to centrifugal force) leaving an opening for your competition to pass you lower on the track.  In addition, you wear out your tires (metaphor for your resources) sooner, and will likely have to stop entirely, needing a change of tires, or worse, due to a blowout.  In the pits (where race cars are serviced during races) crews are trained to slow time in their minds, so that they can change four tires, do chassis adjustments, and maybe some body work in under 15 seconds, with no errors.  Missing a single lug nut could cause a life-threatening crash.


You know that you have plenty of personal experience to back up the old wisdom, and still we’re all guilty of blowing that knowledge off when we’re in a hurry.  Unfortunately we don’t hold on to that lesson, and pay for it over and over again.  Maybe if we can stay a little more conscious and in the moment, we might remember what we know.  We can take a few seconds to save hours.  We can listen to another person more fully, and with more attention, because we’re not rushing off in our heads.  We can avoid misunderstandings that waste time.  We can give others the gift of our full attention, enriching our relationships, and creating depth and sustainability.  We can do things once, without errors, giving us back more time to do more (if we want to).  We can also fully experience our own lives, rather than the blur from the window of our speeding train.





Quick Communication Tip


Define Terms

One of the things we skip when we are racing through our lives, is taking the time to define terms because we think it will slow down our conversations.  After all, isn’t the point of a common language to save that step?


Well yes and no.  Thankfully we are not standing at the base of the Tower of Babel, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of variety in our interpretations of words and statements.  Responsibility, integrity, friendship, even words like “late” or “early” have drastically different meanings to different people.  Define terms in the beginning, and save the hassle of straightening things out later.





Resource Links:


Conscious Communication - the podcast series

Communication Excellence Podcast "Coaching the Life Coach" department for Personal Life Media (direct download)

Entrepreneur Magazine Radio - Interview for Entrepreneur Magazine Radio w/ Romanus Wolter

Interview Podcast for Evolutionary Radio w/ Jason McClain

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition now available

Got Blog? come visit the Blog.  Rants and delvings for your entertainment.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?




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