Larry Mullins

January 12, 2013

A VICTORIOUS LIFE on EARTH

“Today, like every other day we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
RUMI

The brilliant poet suggests a way to fill the void we feel each day. I personally hate that vacuous feeling. But, I do not have a musical instrument. How do I fill the inner void with beauty? I recall other great words: “Without vision, the people perish.” It seems to me vision–the consciousness of possibilities–is the answer. But also, without faith in that vision, the people still perish. So my daily problem seems to be: First the vision. Next, impregnable faith in that vision.

This begs two questions. What will the vision look like? And, how to I kindle the mustard seed of faith necessary to ignite that vision with passionate meaning and purpose?

What is my ultimate vision? What is my legacy to be? How do I want people to remember me? The clearer, more vivid, more charged this vision is, the more replete it will fill the emptiness. And if we add this infallible mantra, we can attain, or begin to attain, the consciousness of a victorious life on earth:

“The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absolute of the universe of universes. And that is ‘the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith.’”

The Urantia Book

LARRY MULLINS

November 28, 2009

The MetaValues® that will Change the World

TRUTH, BEAUTY and GOODNESS

The MetaValues® that will Change the World

 “The world is in a crisis of values.

And we are all called to leadership, all of us, to meet this challenge.

For the first time in the history of civilization, large numbers of us can choose to answer this call. To do this successfully, we must understand the power of the primary MetaValues that govern the universe: Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

Along with this limitless power comes boundless opportunities.

And also, the modulating inspiration and energy that will

ensure we use this power wisely.

 Because when our successes allures us towards arrogance,

Truth reminds us of our limitations.

 When our self-interest compresses our perception of reality,

Beauty reminds us of the richness and diversity of the world we live in.

 And when unbridled power corrupts and does injury,

Goodness cleanses and heals.

 For it is the MetaValues of Truth, Beauty and Goodness

that will energize us to lead with confidence and Love,

and will best serve as the touchstones

for our philosophies, our choices, and our actions.”

 

LARRY MULLINS

August 3, 2009

Book Publishing will Never Be the Same

How David Hancock is Helping Authors Get Published
While Re-Inventing the Book Publishing Industry

When a group of street performers observed the declining customer appeal of the circus, they re-invented it. In less than twenty years Cirque du Soleil achieved a level of revenue that Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey took more than a hundred years to achieve.

In a similar way, Walt Disney had a bad experience when he took his daughters to a carnival, and he created Disneyland. Disney revenues and stock began to soar. Walt Disney did not improve the carnival, he revolutionized it. David Hancock had negative experiences becoming a published author a few years ago. This triggered much the same creative process, resulting in a new publishing company that is quietly and dramatically transforming the publishing industry.
While major publishers are foundering, closing divisions and canceling titles, David Hancock’s fledgling company, Morgan James Publishing, enjoyed a 52% increase in sales last year. Morgan James is still one of the fastest growing publishing companies in America.

How did David Hancock do it?
David had studied the cutting edge techniques of the top marketing experts and applied them to a successful mortgage banking career. He then wrote two excellent marketing books. “Publishing a book helped me double my bottom line in less than eight months, and I enjoyed the positive reinforcement that came from my book helping other people. But the traditional publishing process was a terrible experience.” David then self-published and distributed a third book. This experience was not encouraging. The self-published book lacked the prestige of a recognized imprint.
Hancock became convinced that the world needed a new kind of publishing company. He decided to create it himself. His vision was as daring and revolutionary as that of Walt Disney and Cirque du Soleil. With a slight twist. David added what may seem to some a Quixotic vision, one of service. He wanted a publishing company that put the author first. When David Hancock founded Morgan James Publishing in 2003 the odds against success appeared formidable. The industry was not robust, and David’s experience as a publisher was limited to a single book.
Unconventional from the beginning, David and his wife, Susan, named his new company after their two children, Morgan Renee and Ethan James. Much in the manner of Disney and the Cirque du Soleil team, David began developing a business plan by identifying the industry’s costly sacred cows and then chasing them off the reservation. First, the traditional publishing model of the expensive long-run printing of titles was discarded in favor of a blend of printing technologies with short runs to cover demand with print on demand as a back up strategy. Market demand would dictate quantities of each title. Morgan James became the first high-volume title publisher with Ingram Publisher Services and Lightning Source, a finely tuned print and distribution combination owned by the Ingram Book Group. In one stroke, Hancock addressed production problems and achieved distribution venues. Eventually, his sensitive management of book store relationships would result in returns of less than 25%, compared to the industry average of 50%.
This was clearly an innovative approach to the economics of publishing. But David Hancock had insight into something more—something that the publishing industry, and many other industries, have too often neglected. Like Disney and the Cirque du Soleil team, he realized that successful business models have dimensions beyond pure economics. Disneyland and Cirque du Soleil passionately focus upon serving customers with extraordinary creative products of value-enhanced significance. David appreciated that publishers’ most important assets are the creators of their books—their authors.
Hancock’s new model would cultivate talented authors, both known and unheralded, with uncommon consideration and respect. Morgan James would become the world’s first Entrepreneurial Publisher™. The old school patron-clerk relationship between publisher and author was discarded. In its place, a collaborative entrepreneurial team would be formed to develop each publishing project. The author would be consulted and in the loop during the entire publishing process, including the design of the cover and interior of the publication. This was virtually unheard of.
And there is yet another dimension to the Morgan James’ Entrepreneurial Publisher® model. David understood that it is self-evident that a publishing business model would not work unless it could sell an appropriate number of books. David was aware that all successful marketing and advertising theories turn on this principle: Nothing happens until a sale is made. Mainstream publishers today are unwilling to risk large budgets to market books. Unless authors happen to be celebrities, they will find it necessary to market their own books. A few years ago this involved considerable time, expense and arduous grunt-work. That obsolete model was pre-internet.
Today a savvy author has access to Amazon and a host of other internet options to interface with prospective readers and sell books. But few authors have the sophisticated knowledge necessary to make the internet work with maximum efficiency in their behalf. As internet guru Mark Joyner (a Morgan James author) might express it, authors had the will and the internet gave them the means, but they lacked the knowledge. Hancock decided upon another breakthrough solution. He would put the tools of the internet at his authors’ disposal and teach them how to use them.
Here David had distinct advantages. He could draw upon his extensive study of the proven principles of marketing, especially those state-of-the-art techniques that involve the internet. He could use his precious connections with the best internet teachers and make their products available to his authors. Suddenly it became possible for talented unknowns as well as top authors to interface with untold numbers of readers in cyberspace for little or virtually no cost.
The result was electric. Authors have generally proven to be better than publishers at marketing their books. And the publishing world will never be the same.
How to Win Friends and Help Authors Sell Books
I had the good fortune to see David’s philosophy operate in real time recently in Phoenix. I attended a three day seminar featuring internet guru Armand Morin. Several Morgan James authors were in attendance, courtesy of the Morgan James Author 101 University marketing program. David attended the seminar, and I found him to be remarkably accessible and gracious. So much so that my fascination about self-actualizing personalities kicked in. I wanted to know what drove David’s passion to help authors. Fortunately, I learned more during several brief encounters with David over the three-day period.
In one particular instance, David and I sat down together for an informal chat in the hospitality center of the hotel. We were soon joined by several authors. In this circle of eager writers, David patiently listened as one after another discussed his or her book and unfolded their goals and visions. During a lull I asked David to reveal his secret for working successfully with authors, he replied: “I try to catch their dream.” Indeed, one must watch David in action to appreciate the significance and depth of this, his own passion.
I came to realize that perhaps what I was observing was an example of servant leadership. I know some will sniff at this remark and even regard it as corny. But those who are not embarrassed by this concept will find the next few paragraphs of particular interest.

The Remarkable Power of Organizational Values
I believe it is the company’s core values that make Morgan James a different kind of organization. I am not referring to a list of principles in some formal document, unread and gathering dust in an executive’s credenza. They are values that are more lived than formally stated. They begin with David Hancock and they permeate the entire Morgan James organization … operations and production, sales; and relationships with associates, vendors, authors, and the general public.
First is the pragmatic core value of excellence. From a material perspective, the operational essentials of profitability and well-crafted products are basic. The company focuses on four book categories: Business, Self Help, Inspirational, and Health. Morgan James is very selective about the quality of what it publishes. The prevailing principle is that the company will not publish anything that David would not feel comfortable showing his children. Appropriate content, character, and family values are weighed to determine whether an author’s work makes it. And making the team is not a lark. Over four thousand five hundred manuscript proposals are submitted annually, and an average of 163 survive the cut.
Once accepted, however, an author experiences a second essential core value: integrity. Trust is cultivated and fostered. What David Hancock promises, he delivers. What the organization says it will do, it does. Author relations are funneled through a single individual, and responses to inquiries are swift and reasonable. An entrepreneurial and marketing training program kicks in. Authors retain rights to their intellectual property, and books stay in print. Royalties are generally larger than those common in the publishing industry. There are a host of other benefits, such as group health insurance, that are too numerous to list here. The bottom line is that authors are made to feel valued as important assets, as part of a family.

There is a third core value that should not be overlooked: caring and mutually beneficial relationships. On the practical side, strong relationships with authors and vendors have resulted in authentic strategic advantages. Yet Morgan James goes beyond the pragmatic and embraces community responsibility. A percentage of the revenue of each book goes to Habitat for Humanity. The company places the Habitat for Humanity logo on the back and inside of its books. David appreciates the Habitat for Humanity’s life-changing work of helping low income families build homes they can afford to buy. Many Habitat for Humanity home dedications are visited by a large van with Habitat and Morgan James logos, featuring imprints and authors. New homeowners are gifted with a small library of books. David explains that these activities help his authors and raise public awareness of Habitat for Humanity’s work for the less advantaged.

The core values of integrity, excellence and caring—vibrant and in pragmatic balance—seem to form the essential foundation of Morgan James Publishing.
In the first five years, the Morgan James business model moved from start-up to a 15 million dollar company. Many well-known writers have joined its author base, including Jay Conrad Levinson, Robyn Spizman, Rick Frishman, Mark Victor Hansen, Dr. Robert Anthony, and Tony Alessandra. Morgan James was ranked 44 on Fast Company’s “Fast 50” in 2006. David Hancock was a finalist in the Best Chairman category in the 2006 American Business Awards, hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post.
Hancock has proven that the publishing industry was ready for his entrepreneurial author concept. The pubic is obviously hungry for his products. Of the future, he says: “Of course, we are watching, planning and positioning ourselves for this new economy, but we are optimistic in our continued growth and reach in the marketplace today and in years to come.”
One thing seems certain to me after meeting David Hancock. He is loving every moment of working with his authors and actualizing his mission to “catch their dream.”

July 28, 2009

RESPONSE TO ANIL

Good day Anil. Let me preface my remarks with a disclaimer. I know Western thinkers generally embrace models such as Maslow’s pyramid. However, when discussing a model, such as the pyramid, we must keep in mind that it is an imaginary concept that we are imposing upon reality. It makes us more comfortable, but it does not really exist.

On the other hand, when discussing immensely complex issues such as human motivation it is helpful to have an idea what conceptual model of the human psyche a particular individual subscribes to. My understanding of one Eastern view is that the essence of a mortal (forgive the brevity and crudeness) could be viewed as concentric circles, with the spiritual essence of the individual in the center, and increasingly grosser levels of matter enveloping it. Freud used a different, more simplistic idea of the ID, the EGO and the SUPER EGO, with no concession to a spiritual component. Maslow himself was a professed atheist, yet he hinted at transcendent qualities in the mortal being, while insisting that such qualities as the highest values were somehow biological in nature. I find neither Maslow or Freud’s models satisfactory, in that they fail to explain transcendent qualities in mortals that appear to impinge upon the materialistic situational field, especially in critical moments. Maslow and Freud also fail to explain the continuity of consciousness that we all experience and sense to be valid. The Eastern model comes close to explaining both phenomenon, but still seemed to fall a bit short.

Victor Frankl offered a much more viable option than any of the three above, in my judgment. He explained his model at length in the book he wrote immediately after his concentration camp experience, “The Unconscious God.” Later this book was republished a few years ago as “Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning.” (Not to be confused with his “Man’s Search for Meaning.” They are very different.) Frankl believed in two spiritual components are essential parts of mortal being, two “irreducible essences.” One was very similar to the Eastern spiritual essence … the changeless, personal “I am” that is uniquely us, yet part of the ultimate whole. Yet, Frankl declared that this immortal essence “should not be a judge unto itself.” He suggested that a second spiritual essence, objective, impersonal, and transcendent was necessary to guide the mortal. In this way he brushed aside ethical “rules” and declared the second ultimate essence capable of operating infallibly to provide mortal guidance in the present. I found this hybrid model (that is dual components of spiritual influence, one personal and the other objective and impersonal) in only one other place, “The Urantia Book.” This huge and challenging tome claims to be a revelation that synthesizes science, religion and philosophy. I find many useful ideas in it.

With these caveats in mind, I will attempt to offer you a response to your questions.

QUESTION: 1. How does his theory explain Victor Frankl’s case who chose to live at the top of the Maslow’s pyramid even when his most basic needs were not being fulfilled in the Nazi concentration camps. Galileo, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, were poor to the extent that their most basic needs were not being fulfilled when they produced some finest works in their fields contributions that can at least fit in the middle of the pyramid, if not at the highest levels. (By the way does he ever talk about the pyramid in his book. Some people say the concept of pyramid was added later)

Maslow’s model does not really explain instances of spiritual transcendence that makes possible virtual miracles of the human spirit. Unlike many people, I believe the self-actualizing process may engage on any level of the pyramid. I find the pyramid helpful in explaining immature behavior, but once we enter the self-actualizing process material cause and effect is less and less significant. The self-actualizer becomes lost in his or her quest. Ironically, we become more and more our real self as we become less and less concerned with its welfare. Maslow presented his pyramid about In 1943, in a paper that featured his Hierarchy of Human Needs. This would turn out to be the one piece of his work that nearly all his academic peers in psychology enthusiastically embraced. Yet, in my judgment, his later work was much more important.

QUESTION 2. Does a person shift to the next level of hierarchy when his needs in the current level get satisfied substantially or satisfied at least to the most basic level. In case it is substantial, what makes a human decide how much is substantial? How does he know that level has been achieved? Isn’t it something within him that decides it? If that is so how much control he wields in manipulating that feeling?

The different levels are defused, not clearly defined. Moreover, except for very basic needs, an individual does not consciously decide to move to another level. as one moves up the pyramid the “needs” become more like “urges.” If we are hungry, we clearly know it. But if we perceive we are not sufficiently respected, the urge is very subjective. How do we decide the situation of a lack of respect? It may be true, or it may be an immature feeling that is not justified. Therefore, we can hardly consciously decide that this emotional need has been satisfied in the manner a big hamburger satisfies our hunger. Indeed, it is “something in him” (as you say) that may enlighten his perspective of self-worth and appreciation. Virtually every distasteful thing a person does is when he strives to be loved and appreciated long after he should be striving to love and appreciate others.

QUESTION 3. Do we really need to go through these levels first hand or can we by pass them through our mental imagination?

In my judgment we cannot self-actualize in a vacuum. While it is possible to exercise integrity and excellence (truth and beauty) to some degree alone, it is very difficult to manifest goodness without a human relationship of some kind. Imagination is of immense importance to spiritual growth, but nothing can replace the reality of personal experience of human relationships. Personality relationships are ends in themselves, and transcend all other realities we can know as humans.

QUESTION 4. Don’t our actions often stem from the confluence of many needs–a
combination of needs from many levels?

Yes, I agree. And probably the most significant is the presence of a spiritual component in the mortal being.

QUESTION 5. Maslow’s theory tells us how most of us would respond in a certain situation but could we take “what people are likely to do in a certain situation” as “what they ought to be doing”? Our needs should be decided by what most of people may be doing at a certain level of human consciousness or should we see our needs in the context of a possible purpose we have been brought on earth?

In his later writings Dr. Maslow expressed the existence of two components that determine the behavior of self-actualizers. These remarkable human being are the flowers of humankind, only one percent of the population. The first component or attitude Maslow detected was the fact that all self-actualizers are committed to a mission (or purpose, as you describe it) larger and more important than self. The second component (which I call his lost discovery) was the self-actualizers passionate love for. and expression of, the MetaValues of truth, beauty and goodness, which in synthesis manifest as love. Self-actualizers become channels for the ultimate values and express them in their lives. Although Maslow believed MetaValues are biologically based, while I believe they come from our Creator.

I hope this is helpful.

Larry Mullins

July 23, 2009

The young want an optimistic message

The young people of this planet are ready for this message, this great new covenant of optimism—not bounded by traditional religion—yet unafraid to explore the realm of religious values, the domain of Meta-Values. When the youth hear the concept, their eyes kindle with hope, and with new energy and passion.
The time has come to offer the young, and those with young minds, a process of spiritual Self-Actualization that is accessible to anyone who seeks to unlock his or her inner potential—a process-design driven by an authentic Science of Values. Eventually, a study of Meta-Values will lead some of us, perhaps many of us, to a personal relationship with the source of Meta-Values. This source of Meta-Values is perhaps nothing less than the Highest Power in the Universe. See http://metavalues.net/video/1.htm

July 14, 2009

Self-Actualizing is about Forgetting Self

Maslow has been unjustly blamed by some for fostering a “me generation” of ego-centered narcissism. These cults seem to form around gurus, or ultra-energetic motivators who leap upon a stage and assure their adoring flock that they, too, can be “great.” It is professed that if one can only become fearless enough, free enough, brilliant enough, and can visualize success vividly enough, one can find happiness. The failure of the “ME” philosophy has now become as obvious as the insolvency of the Freudian “ethic.” Yet, in the face of our disillusioning role models, unhappy celebrities, and the continuous unraveling of the lives of rich and famous personalities, many aggressive would-be “achievers” persevere in worshiping the gods of power, narcissism, and fame — and to “keep score” with money and material possessions.
Maslow taught something quite different. The process of Self-Actualization often fosters the peak experience, or “flow.” At these moments of highest actualization there is a self-transcendence, a self-forgetfulness. One becomes completely involved with service to humankind.

June 30, 2009

Your Prison Door is Open

The late Peter Drucker once observed that when the history of this age is written, it will not be wonder-struck by the technology explosion, nor the web, not any on the technical advances so much. What will intrigue the historians of the future will be the fact that for the first time ever in recorded history, large groups of human beings were actually free, and they did not know what to do with their freedom. The prison door is open. But the masses of humanity are afraid to step out the door. Never before has it been possible to actualize your gifts and make them known to the world on a scale that would have been inconceivable a couple of decades ago. We were all born with a unique gift, but most of us have not learned to unwrap it yet. To learn how to unwrap yours check out the free video at http://metavalues.net/video/video2.htm .

June 19, 2009

The Will to Fail and going the distance

The Will-to-Fail Syndrome functions to cause us to avoid beginning projects —and if we do start, it causes us to avoid completing projects. It is never a question of winning or losing, so much as going the distance. The old seventies movie Rocky is the story of a washed up boxer who is given a chance to fight for the heavyweight title. The bout was conceived of as a publicity stunt, almost a joke, but Rocky takes it seriously. He goes into intense training. Rocky reaches a peak of conditioning; but on the night before the fight the Will-to-Fail complex strikes. Rocky wanders the streets and comes to the conclusion that he simply cannot win. But there is no escape, he must go on with the bout. Finally, Rocky comes to a resolution that calms the struggle going on inside of him. He returns to his room, and informs his girlfriend that the task of beating the champion is too formidable, he cannot do it. “What are you going to do?” she asked.
Rocky replies that he will “Go the distance.” He explains: “No one has ever gone the distance with the champ before. I can’t win, but I am going the distance.” That night, Rocky is battered, but he goes the distance. In fact, he nearly wins the contest. Whether you approve of boxing or not, this is an excellent allegory that expresses the central dilemma of life itself: few people go the distance. At some point in life, usually in their twenties or thirties, the Will-to-Fail Syndrome takes hold; people unconsciously commence the avoidance process. They delay, then give up their dreams; the fire of desire sputters out. You have seen most of your friends, or will see them, one by one drop away from the bitter struggle of life and begin to go through the motions. Only rarely does a human continue to get up after being knocked down — over and over again — by life. Most of us — eventually — decide to stay down to avoid the pain of falling again. We begin to fake it.But when a final and irrevocable decision is made to get up again, no matter what — to go the distance regardless of how many times we are knocked down — something happens. Things begin to change. Forces come to our aid. We are on the side of life.

June 7, 2009

How to Create a New MetaValues-driven Life

Over the years, I have discovered that modern minds have trouble applying the classical terms of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness to the hard practicalities of life. In order to make these ideas more accessible, I have chosen to supplement them with the reasonably parallel—and more action-related—terms Integrity, Excellence, and Caring. While we cannot see or examine a MetaValue, we can detect its presence and influence in the same way Dr. Maslow did. When he observed a Self-Actualizer living a life of remarkable Integrity, he deducted that the MetaValue of Truth was influencing that life. When he detected Excellence, he concluded that this was an expression of the MetaValue of Beauty. A Caring individual is one expressing the MetaValue of Goodness. The terms Integrity, Excellence, and Caring represent the MetaValues of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness made visible through action.

MetaValues are not something someone created; they are realities that were discovered. The best evidence for this is the fact that all normal people, regardless of race, religion, or culture, share and recognize MetaValues on some level. I learned that even the most materialistic business people, perplexed by the challenge of applying MetaValues to their work, readily respond when asked, “Would you hire an associate you knew to be lacking in Integrity? How about one who was uncaring and indifferent about his fellow workers, customers, and the community in general? Would you want to employ people who could not be motivated to strive for high levels of Excellence in their work?” The answers to these questions are so obvious because MetaValues are universal realities that transcend cultures and the barriers between science, philosophy, and religion.

June 2, 2009

How to actualize a new life of incredible happiness

The concept Maslow called his most important finding, MetaValues (or what he designated as Being values), has been neglected and is in danger of being lost. MetaValues are inner resources available to everyone. They change lives. They drive and inspire the top one percent of the world’s achievers, people Dr. Maslow designated as Self-Actualizers. MetaValues will one day lead to an explosion of human potential that will revolutionize the world we live in. This pronouncement may seem to some to be grandiose. It did not originate with me, it originated with Abraham Maslow. I believe he was right. Dr. Maslow was convinced—as I am—that when that day comes, MetaValues will foster “A new image of man, a new image of society, a new image of nature, a new philosophy of science, a new economics, a new everything…” For more information and to view free videos, go to www.metavalues.net .