Most people or companies produce some kind of product for consumption. So, how do you motivate consumers to want to buy your product? If you think they will choose yours simply because it is such a fantastic product you are sadly mistaken. A typical mistake people make when they are directed by inner intention is to assume the standpoint that: “People are bound to buy our product because ours is a masterpiece”. This position is flawed on three accounts. Firstly, the phrase “ours is a masterpiece” is strongly directed by inner importance. You assume your creation is perfect, which means that it is important to you, and if this is the case, you will not be able to evaluate it objectively because you are not sufficiently indifferent. Secondly, inner intention is aimed at selling, but people will not want to buy because, in their eyes, your creation is not a masterpiece at all, and someone else’s intention to sell is of no interest to them whatsoever. Finally, the greatest mistake of this approach directed by inner intention is that it centres around the product, rather than the customers’ needs. The narrow focus of inner intention creates the perfect product that no-one needs and it happens all the time. The position of outer intention lies in determining what people want, what they are missing, what they need, what motivates them and what their interests are. Outer intention follows the alternatives flow. All the time that you are busy creating a “masterpiece” taken from the glass ceiling of your own mind, you are going against the flow. The mind is always prone to idealise its own abilities and it becomes so totally and utterly absorbed in the creative process that it fails to notice what is happening outside of that. The mind strives to subordinate everything to its control. However consumer demand is a difficult thing to control because it goes with the flow and always follows its own course. It takes huge resources to influence the flow of demand and even then, it does not always work. The mind cannot predict market trends but fortunately, it does not have to. All you need to do is stay abreast of the flow and note any minor changes in its course. There is no need to invent the object of demand. Almost all inventions that are ahead of their time do not end up being implemented and neither do they pay off. This does not mean that innovation has no place. The point here is that if you are counting on earning an income from a personal masterpiece that is ahead of its time you are likely to lose the bet. Of course, if your discovery is totally brilliant it might claim a winner-takes-all market but this does not happen all the time. Only ventures that aim to fulfil their customers’ current demands can be guaranteed of success. Now we can return to the question of how to make people want to buy your product. The answer is: you cannot. Trying to make someone want to buy something is, if not impossible, then extremely difficult. Acting from inner intention you inevitably try to push or impose your product. Going with the flow, outer intention works towards tracking what the customers want and where their needs have already been satisfied. Changes in demand are shaped by the alternatives flow. The alternatives flow contains all the answers and is the only thing that can guarantee success. It is no coincidence that fundamental discoveries and inventions are sometimes made by different people practically simultaneously. This is an example of the phenomenon of material realisation and how it moves through the alternatives space. Everything that must come into being has its time. Only very recently, have many inventions accredited to Leonardo da Vinci been implemented in physical form. This would all seem quite obvious. However, the mind is liable to forget as it endeavours to break away from the stream and take control of the current. We have already talked about how the alternatives flow is a sumptuous gift for the mind. Remember this and make the most of the good fortune. If you do, many an obstacle will pass you by untouched. Many problems in relationships occur as a result of the mind battling against the alternatives flow. Criticism is one aspect of the battle and is the direct fruit of inner intention. Encouragement and trust in a person’s positive qualities is more concordant with outer intention. Criticising people is the same as fighting against the outside world. It will not bring any dividends unless you consider the need to vent your bile and provoke your enemy a dividend. In contrast, encouragement is a true driver in human relationships. We blame and criticise others when we are trying to influence them with inner intention. Yet, when you emphasise a person’s positive qualities, no matter what, you lose nothing and allow the situation to develop to your benefit. Never blame anyone. Many people reproach themselves and carry a sense of guilt around with them, but nobody likes to be reproached by others. People can be extremely condemning in relationship to themselves, even to the point of sadomasochism, and yet they will take any accusation made by another very badly indeed. People will always take offense at criticism, irrespective of whether they are in the wrong, or whether the accusation is fair or not, so where does criticism get you? You might get to vent your bile but at the same time you create excess potential and end up being the one to suffer. You will never persuade someone that they are in the wrong. They may listen to your accusations but are unlikely to fully acknowledge being in the wrong, even if they agree with you superficially. You may be successful in asserting yourself at someone else’s expense or at establishing your power over them, but not without adopting the role of manipulator. If this is not your goal, abandon criticism and blame. When you are disapproving of others and find them at fault you are in effect slapping your hands about on the water trying to swim against the current. When you resign yourself to other people’s shortcomings and concentrate on their strengths you go with the flow which is immensely beneficial. Unless it is dozing your Guardian will always find an explanation for the behaviour of the person you wished to judge. As the inner witness your Guardian will stop you from leaping headfirst into the game and starting a dispute or quarrel. Stand back and observe the game, as a spectator. Remember that criticism only causes harm, and go with the flow. Blame and criticism can never lead to anything positive because they catch a person off balance, and knock them off the course they were following. Everyone is guided by their own motives and aspirations and is in a flow that is carrying them in the direction of a specific goal. When you encourage a person, no matter what, you urge them in a favourable direction without making them lose the flow or undermining their inner most hopes. When you encourage someone nobody’s rights are impinged upon and nobody’s pride is knocked. Your interests become one and their desires run parallel to your own. How do you feel when you are criticised? You probably either refuse to take the criticism on board or try to convince yourself that the criticism is wellfounded. In neither case do you actually accept the criticism outright unless of course you have developed your own personal guilt complex in the meantime. Criticism can spur you on or make you behave ‘as you should’. However, only the mind can be coerced. It is impossible to force the hand of the heart. The heart will always either do what it wants to do or hinder the mind from doing what it thinks it should do. Criticism makes the heart an enemy of the mind — encouragement makes it an ally. Encouragement is a creative force; criticism a destructive force. The successful applicants for business management positions are not the managers who focus on criticising poor quality work which any idiot can do, but individuals capable of creating an atmosphere of enthusiasm in which people are motivated to work efficiently. People feel driven to work hard in contributing to a common goal when they feel their individual worth is being valued. Arguing to the end to prove your point is a sure way of making enemies. We have already discussed how senselessness and harmful it is to try and prove you are right at any cost in the chapter “The Alternatives Flow”. If the argument is critical and your interests in no way allow you to step down, then go ahead and argue. In all other cases, leave the job of exercising the right to slap your hands around in the water to others. Winning a debate will never pay dividends. Your enemy however may well benefit from your efforts. No-one will never thank you for pointing out that they have been talking rubbish with absolute confidence and if they do it is only because they have a tendency for self-flagellation and a heightened sense of guilt. Yet, what good is winning one over on a person like that? If it is not going to compromise your interests in any way, allow others to freely state what they feel they cannot agree with. You on the other hand will avoid creating excess potential and battling against the current. People who argue are usually oblivious to anything else but the game. They are in such a deep sleep that they cannot be awakened. To protect yourself from being drawn into the game you have to wake up and switch on your inner Guardian. If several people are taking part in a debate come down into the auditorium and watch the performance from there. There is a huge advantage in playing the role of the judicious spectator. Whilst everyone else is trying to fulfil their inner intention insisting on their personal opinion you have flown backwards from the window pane and are taking a good look around. You will see a solution that would not have occurred to any of the disputants. Do not try and force it upon them though. All you can do is make a suggestion; leave the horn locking to the others. If you win the argument, you can consider yourself defeated. Even if your opponents have formally acknowledged that you are right you can be sure that in their minds they will have found numerous informal arguments in their own favour. Whatever the case, the one who loses the argument takes a knock to their self-esteem and who delivered the blow? The one who succeeded in proving their own point of view. You would not want to punch another person in the face, after all; so why would you possibly want to deliver the same blow to their feeling of self-worth? People often offend each other in this way and the insult always has a hidden quality to it because the hurt is taken silently. People do not like to demonstrate their need to assert their self-worth openly. We are all supposed to have a sense of worth automatically, so no-one wants to reveal that they have to fight for theirs, despite the fact that we are all looking for confirmation at every step we take. Just because a person keeps quiet when their self-esteem has taken a knock does not mean that they were not hurt or had simply accepted the knock. The hurt will continue to live in them, not in their conscious mind but in their subconscious. When you win an argument you feel confident that you have risen in standing. However, you have only won by compromising the integrity of your opponent. We all know that the hidden hurt will end in tears eventually. Moreover, the defeated opponent will never acknowledge your newly acclaimed worth. There is one sure way to set a person against you which is to let them know how much better you are then they. “Do not make idols for yourselves and do not create enemies” is the most important slogan you could have for creating relationships that go with the flow. Avoid injuring other peoples’ sense of selfesteem like the plague. Make it a kind of taboo. In so doing, you will save yourself from endless problems and niggling unpleasantries you will never know the reason for because of the hidden nature of the blow to self-worth. What the person arguing with you is really trying to do is protect their own sense of worth in one way or another so meet them half-way. Agree with what they are trying to say. By agreeing you will have given the person what they wanted enabling you to calmly express your own point of view without having to insist or prove anything. When you take this approach you not only go with the flow; you implement outer intention. The results will be beyond compare and far superior to anything you could have achieved via sophisticated intellectual contrivances. It is essential that the tone of the conversation be set to one of agreement from the very beginning. If the first thing a person utters in response to your opening phrase is “No”, you can consider that trying to convince them of anything is totally out of the question. The person you are talking to has taken a different turning and there is no chance of them now going with the flow together with their conversation partner. It is important to start a conversation in such a way that the first word a person says is “yes”. Never begin a conversation with a sensitive issue. It does not matter what topic of conversation you choose to start with, as long as your conversant agrees with you. Later, you can smoothly navigate the conversation towards more contentious issues. There will now be a much greater chance of achieving the outcome you desire because by inertia both are moving in the same direction and going with the flow. The thought energy of the conversants will avoid being brought into dissonance. If somewhere you have slipped up and are expecting to be blamed fairly, try not to get all prepared to defend yourself. Come forward in admitting your mistake. Then, the person who had intended to vent the wrath of justice upon you is likely to take a more generous and gracious stance. In this instance the saying ‘attack is the greatest form of defence’ does not apply. You have effectively agreed in advance with your opponent’s line of argument giving their intention the green light. Your anticipatory submissiveness realises their inner intention to put you in your place at the same time as increasing their own magnitude. Because you have taken the step voluntarily without being forced into it your self-esteem will not suffer in the slightest. You end up killing two birds with one stone: you increase the standing of your opponent for which they will be grateful, and you keep your own integrity. By defending yourself and trying to justify your mistakes you end up rowing against the tide and giving your energy over to pendulums. Whatever the circumstances, the desire to justify yourself comes from heightened inner importance. Lay down this crippling burden, gift yourself the right to make mistakes and allow yourself to make them. Do not justify your mistakes, acknowledge them and you will immediately feel relieved. In the chapter “The Alternatives Flow” I mentioned that irritating comments other people sometimes make can actually be very helpful. Other people’s suggestions that you may at first have been inclined to take coldly can in the end turn out to have more sense than you initially thought. The comments and suggestions of others only hurt if we have somewhere heightened inner importance. Drop importance and stop fighting the current. Accept that the other person was right or at the very least, try to bear it in mind. Tell the person that they were right about what they said and you will see the result. You are not obliged to say anything, but do it anyway. You have nothing to lose. Everyone makes mistakes, fools and thinkers alike, but unlike fools people with brains can acknowledge their mistakes. By admitting aloud, that the person was indeed right you win their good grace. People live in an aggressive world of pendulums where at any moment they may be forced to stand their ground and protect themselves. Suddenly you are offering to do that for them. In this moment the problem of having to defend their position to you is pre-empted. They immediately feel a sense of relief and are grateful for the assistance afforded during battle. You are no longer a potential opponent but an ally. All this information passes through your partner’s subconscious in a matter of seconds. People think in exactly the same way in lucid dreaming. If however you practice mindfulness you will find it easy and even fun to adopt the role of witnessing others peoples’ right-mindedness. When someone turns out to be right, other people usually keep quiet whereas you openly express your opinion that the person was right. For that person the moment will have huge significance and they will feel indebted or at the very least grateful to you, although for the most part the realisation will be subconscious. Imagine what a jungle we live in. People have to be constantly on the look out, ready to spot potential opponents even in relationships that, on the surface of things, look relatively friendly. Everyone puts themselves first and is ever ready to defend themselves. This is no over-exaggeration. It just seems that way because we have long become used to the current state of affairs. Given the nature of the environment we live in, you can become a real treasure for those who are already tired of the battle. Can you just imagine how many allies you could fine?! All it takes is to ditch importance and not hold back in acknowledging other people when you know that they are proven right. Your advantage is that you act with conscious awareness whereas other people are asleep and will therefore never thank you in return. If they could wake up and express their opinion or attitudes mindfully you would hear them say something along the lines of: “Yes, this person is far from stupid. They are nice. I would like to get to know them better. What a sweetie.” No-one will say these words aloud and they may not even say them to themselves but this is what their subconscious feeling would sound like if it could be expressed. Imagine the gold that lies at your feet. People are usually so anxious and burdened with importance that they wander around failing to notice the nuggets lying right under their noses. You have a huge advantage: mindfulness, the absence of importance as well as the willingness to give others your attention. Make the most of your advantage and you will see gold where others can only see stones.