I remember as a boy going to New York City to see the Broadway musical Camelot, and I remember Richard Burton singing a song about the wisdom he, as King Arthur, had received from Merlin, his wizard.
The song, by Rodgers and Hammerstein, was called “How to Handle a Woman.” As a teenage boy I had more than a passing interest in the subject, and I was spellbound by the quiet, dramatic ballad. I remember the song ending with the king singing that the way to handle a woman was to “love her. Simply love her. Merely love her.” I was young but I remember that the formula sounded simple enough, and I don’t know why I didn’t just adopt it right then and there for all relationships in life, because it would have saved me a lot of unnecessary trouble.
It took me many years after seeing that play to get that formula back, but when I did, powerful things began to happen.
As I grew older and began to make my living teaching seminars, I realized that almost all of us forget to use this effective process. We end up having difficulty in even the simplest relationships because we do not use it.
For “how to handle a woman” is also how to handle a teenage son and how to handle a customer and how to handle a business partner and, finally, how to handle any relationship.
But where we often seem to go wrong is in misunderstanding the mechanics of love itself. Because we associate love with feelings and because we associate the absence of love with feelings, we turn the whole idea of relationships into a “feelings” thing. Even (and especially) in the workplace. And that is our first mistake.
Because love is not a feeling. Love is a creation, and, therefore, love comes from the spirit. It comes from the highest part of every human being and it asks that we access our greatest powers of imagination. As writer Emmet Fox says, “Love is always creative and fear is always destructive.”
Recently I received a letter from a man in Japan who had purchased audio tapes of a relationship seminar I’d given years ago. One particular image intrigued him:
“Boy, I loved it when you used the dead fish as an example.
It’s so true! All a dead fish can do is react. If you put a dead fish in
the stream it just reacts to everything, every rock, every branch, every flow of water. Dead things react. Like you said: Live fish don’t react, they create. They create a path through the water or stream depending on where they want to go. That’s so great. Reacting is done by dead things. If we just react to other people all day we…are dead already. We’re a dead thing responding to the life of the other person.”
The solution to the problem is so easy and gentle: You can change everything when you make it your gentle practice to create rather than react.
The way to create relationships all come from my workshops and seminars on the same subject. These are easy thinking tools that have worked well for average people like me. Through the process of trial and error I have saved the 50 mental concepts that work the fastest and easiest and put them in this site.
Each of these thinking tools asks us to be creative just a little beyond the norm. Each one requires a certain awakening of the artist that lives in all of us. But to awaken that artist within is to learn how to feel joy again— in business and in life.