Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Real Secret

Recently, books and information on using creative visualization and focussed imagination for success and self improvement have become wildly popular. Books such as The Secret reveal "ancient and timeless wisdom" on using the power of the mind for accomplishment. As true and as valuable as these principles are, many if not most of the information currently presented in pop literature is in my view missing a simple but crucially vital element.

Unfortunately, these potent principles are most often being presented in the context of our modern materialistic, overly-commercialized society, whose ideals are to "get everything I want". The goal is to get all the money and wealth and material abundance that you can possibly accumulate for yourself. However, the "magic" of these timeless, creative principles also carries great responsibility, and if not used wisely, the power inherent in these techniques can rebound upon the user with dire consequences.

In our society we have sacrificed our true creative Self-expression, and therefore our true fulfillment in life, for the illusion of selfish materialism. Real aspiration has been replaced with "I want", and we worship at the feet of the god of "More". The inevitable result of this focus is being realized in the current financial meltdown. In a world that is ever more interconnected and interdependent, the folly of "I, me, my, MINE!" leads us unerringly to disaster.

The timeless principles of "you become what you think about", and "as a man thinketh, so is he" are based on our inherent interconnectedness. They are totally impersonal and potent, and can be used for purely personal gain, and it will often work for a time, but it's much like using live, bare, high power electrical wires to manually burn off the weeds growing up in your sidewalk. It will indeed work, but watch out!, because you're bound to get electrocuted eventually!

This is why I always recommend that our actions be consistently inspired from our intuition, from that "still small voice within". The guidance we receive there, when acted upon, is always for the highest and greatest good of all concerned. And when all else fails, the question to ask is always "how may I serve?" If you're looking mainly to be of service to your fellow human beings, you can never go too far wrong. The secret is, that even your own individual needs are best served in this way. What you give always comes back.

I truly believe that we can solve the major problems of the world, through vision and collaboration. But it won't come from an exclusive focus on "mine"; regardless of whether it's exclusively "my possessions", "my family", or "my country". We must learn to be broader and more all-inclusive in our perspective. We need to understand that we truly are "all in this together". The magic of the human spirit is that it is One Human Family, and that we all share in it. Sharing is really the keyword. There is enormous and untold magic in cooperation.

Food for thought.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Event Planner's Guide on Catering

Here's a quick event planning reference I wanted to share. Yesterday I was talking about how companies are trying to save money on their holiday event planning. Well this morning I just came across a book on how to save money on catering costs for meetings and events. It's called A Meeting Planner's Guide to Catered Events.

Here's a quote from the book description:
Food and beverage is the largest portion of a meeting budget, but most meeting and event planners have no formal background in purchasing and managing this expense. This guide helps event, meeting, and convention planners save money, negotiate contracts, deal with catering managers, and successfully manage the food and beverage aspect of their event. Covering everything from styles of service to on-premise and off-premise considerations to food and beverage contract negotiation, this book is a comprehensive and accessible reference for event planners and students.
And here's the link to the book on Amazon.

Good luck, and don't hesitate to contact me if you have entertainment questions for your holiday party planning!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Ho, Ho, Holidays Approach!

My holiday season is about to launch. I'm performing at my first holiday party this weekend. Seems like some of the people are planning things late this year though, and waiting 'til the last minute in many cases. Have you made your plans for company or private events yet?

I've been seeing lots of information on creative ways to save on planning costs this year. With the economic worries, many companies are cutting back. But many event facilities and other service providers are also offering special pricing and other incentives, to make up for the lag in business.

My own season is looking pretty decent, though I do still have a few open dates left. Normally I always recommend booking early, since the best dates generally fill well ahead of time. But if you've been waiting to see where you are financially, you can sometimes find bargains as dates get closer. As we move into December, I generally will offer any remaining dates that people inquire about at my regular pricing, rather than the normal "holiday" pricing, just so I can fill the dates without having to devote any extra time and energy to it during my busiest time of year.

Even if you're not planning on using my services this year, if you'd like to get a free consultation and discuss ideas on how to save money and still have a great party, feel free to give me a call; 309-647-3692.

Hey, a special thanks to Lee Maki, Ronna and Jerry James, and the First English Lutheran Church in Peoria. Lee purchased my Deluxe Entertainment Package on this year's "On-air Auction" on WTVP, and I performed for the church this past weekend. I had a great time, and enjoyed meeting everyone there.