GODSun Perspective on
Spirituality, Leadership and Business
February 2023 Vol 0223
The purpose of this newsletter is to uncover the interconnectedness between the spiritual, leadership and business arenas and to understand that good leadership and well run businesses recognize the spiritual aspect of what they do. This recognition generates power and excellence in whatever is done.
Most of the writings will be based on my experiences and observations as well as, in some cases, scientific thought on the matter. As I had stated in the January Newsletter, this is a new venture for me. I will be doing a monthly release for the next number of months. I hope that the thoughts and information posted here will encourage, enlighten, perhaps challenge you, but most importantly that you will grow and be blessed by them.
The picture to the left was taken by me at Seaworld and I put it here because I thought it is a good representation of how more than one thing can be housed in the same vessel.
As I said last month: human beings are a three part entity: body, soul and spirit. And our soul is made up of the mind, will and emotions. The mind is associated with the brain and we have a tendency to use the terms interchangeably, but they are not the same. The brain is composed of neurons which can be seen, tracked and touched. The mind cannot be touched. The mind uses the brain to generate a response. According to Dr. Caroline Leaf the mind is energy and it generates energy through thinking and feeling. Thoughts are not visible but they are energy. She goes on to state that our mind is our aliveness and creates energy in the brain, which speaks to the body. Our thoughts, generated by the mind, ignite the neurotransmitters in the brain causing chemicals to be released that will impact the body or cause certain responses in the body. The mind is a stream of conscious and unconscious activity.
When you think, you feel and when you feel you will choose. Think of a dream you had and in the dream you may have been running in terror from something or enjoying an activity of some sort. If the former, you may have woken up in a cold sweat, heart beating a mile a minute and legs moving to get away. Non conscious thinking was taking place while you were sleeping and those thoughts triggered the neurotransmitters in your brain causing chemicals to be released thereby causing your body to react. Your body didn’t realize that those thoughts were not real nor did your brain. Yet thoughts can cause you to respond in an appropriate or inappropriate manner. The saying “As a man thinks in his heart so is he” is so true. We become, based on what we cannot see or touch. In other words, we become what we consistently think about or meditate on. The unfortunate thing is that our thoughts normally are not the things that we focus on in order to make change. And the reality is, that it is our thoughts which have given us the world that we live in today. We have a tendency to focus on the body and/or behaviour, which is only responding to the unseen reality, the thoughts or imagination of the person. Just imagine where we would be today if the Wright brothers had not been obsessed with the concept of flight and thought day and night about how they could make it happen. I am sure that they even dreamed about it because they wanted to achieve it so badly. Have you wanted something so badly that it was all you could think about and your brain assisted you in figuring out how you could make it happen? I have many examples of that in my life. It’s the thoughts of a person, the unseen part of mankind, that can change our world. For good or for evil. It all depends on the thoughts that they are allowing to be created and entertained in their mind. Truth in is truth out which is my version of the garbage saying. (Garbage in, garbage out)
The key is the soul of a person. So here again we have a three part entity. Without the mind the physical brain and the body are of no use. The mind stimulates the brain which stimulates the body. We are three in one on so many levels yet we have consistently only focussed on one part of us. And unfortunately the focus has been on that part of us that is the least powerful and impactful. Can you imagine what it would be like to have a person around whose thoughts were always for good and therefore their response was always good which would lead to the impact always being good. Oh wait, we did have someone like that on the earth: Jesus Christ. We are told that He went about doing good because good was on His mind and in His heart.
I will continue my train of thought next month.
I started out last month by asking ‘What is leadership?’ and suggested that some think it is the result of a position that one holds. Others may identify a leader as someone with privilege and power. That could be a governmental or an economic or a corporate position. There are those who have a tendency to acquiesce to those with money or who have more money than they do. But, just because one person has more money than the average person doesn’t mean that that person is a leader or that if that person is a leader that they are a good leader or even a good person. Let’s face it, many of the bad leaders that I mentioned last month were in those positions to attain great wealth and power. That was their focus, not the welfare of mankind even though they may have said they were doing what they did for the benefit of the masses. In most cases they obtained both wealth and power but those things didn’t make them more compassionate, caring or desirous of peace. If you are a mean, hard, revengeful poor person, you will be a mean, hard, revengeful person when you attain wealth and power. The only difference will be that as a wealthy person with power you will be a person with more ability to enact revenge, create more hardship and division. Having money does not make you a better person or better able to lead than someone who doesn’t have as deep pockets. People may appear to value you more but not because you are a better person than the poor man walking down the road. Having money doesn’t guarantee that you will be a person of integrity and good character. Those who treat you with deference because of the balance in your bank account are those who value your bank account.
Then there are those that people may submit to because of the privilege that is attached to them. I am identifying privilege here as those who may have a certain level of education or mental ability or upbringing, gender, wealth, ethnic status, etc. These are things that society may put a lot of weight on in regards to a person’s potential and capacity. But none of these things will ensure that you are a good leader. Depending on the actions and the results you can determine the foundation upon which the person’s leadership is based. Do the results of the leadership lead to increased benefits for all. Does it spread love and generosity, a sense of safety or does it create scarcity, division, fear and a sense of insecurity. The latter is the result of leaders who are thinking about themselves, their position and grabbing more money and power. The former is the result of those whose focus is outward. They want to make the world a better place for everyone and not just themselves. They want to give people the opportunity to achieve their potential because they believe in the inherent capacity and ability of mankind.
Ultimately, leadership is spiritual. I say this because leadership is the result of what we do, which is the result of our thinking. All of our behaviour is the result of what we believe or what we think is true. So the unseen, our thinking, is impacting our ability to lead and the unseen is communicating daily to those around us. A lot of the time this communication may be unconscious and unintentional. This is the communication that speaks loudly to those who are watching and there is always someone watching what you do and comparing it to what you said. There is a saying that goes something like this: “Your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying”. I don’t know who said this but I think it is very true. We need to ask ourselves if our actions and words are in agreement or is there a disconnect? Are we saying what we really believe and think or are we saying what is expected of us to say? As a leader our words have power because leadership is influence and we influence by the words we speak and the actions we take. If the words and actions are not lining up then one of the most important things that needs to be developed in a position of leadership will not happen. And that is trust. Without trust you cannot lead. Without trust you will have a hard time influencing people to support the vision or goal. Why? Because they will not be convinced that you believe what you are saying because your actions have contradicted your words in the past. So it really comes down to a leader knowing what they believe and why. We all believe something, whether we have admitted it to ourselves or not. But as a leader it is really important to know what your core beliefs are about yourself and others.
As I stated in the last newsletter business is ultimately service. And I covered off, in a general way, what a sole proprietorship and partnership were. One other point I would like to make is that if you are running your sole proprietorship or partnership from your home there are some expenses that you can legitimately claim to reduce your taxable income. The amount will vary depending upon the percentage of your home that is being used as your business. In most cases you will be able to claim as a cost of doing business a certain percentage of your annual home operating expenses including interest paid on mortgage (if you have one). It will be the percentage of your home that is being used solely for the business. Solely is a key word. If you are using a space in your home that is also being used on a regular basis for living then you will have to do some math to determine how often it is being used for the business. The same can be done for your vehicle. You will have to track what percentage of your vehicle use is for business and that percentage can legitimately be claimed as an operating expense of doing business. You will need to keep good records here. Any electronic tax filing system from CRA or Intuit will also list the things that can be expensed for a home based business. You can speak with an accountant or contact CRA or do a search on Google for more information in these areas.
The last business structure to talk about is the corporation. A corporation is a separate legal entity and is responsible for its own profits and liabilities. The owners of a corporation are called shareholders but they are not responsible or personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the corporation. A corporation will have a lower tax rate than an individual and can also pay dividends to the shareholders, which will also have a different tax set up. Most provinces allow for the payment of dividends which can be tax free up to a certain amount. Check out the guidelines and procedures for the alternative minimum tax (ATM) that is allowable in your province or territory. Just be aware that earning all of your income from dividends will limit your RRSP contribution and impact your CPP (Canada Pension Plan). Revenue Canada does not consider dividend payments as income and CPP is calculated based on income earned. Speak to your financial planner to get more information of dividends and to determine the best route for yourself.
I will also mention that there are those who do business under the table, so to speak. Money that is earned under the table is usually not accounted for during the tax season. I am not advocating this as an acceptable business practice. I am just identifying that it may take place. Doing business this way means that you will have less money going towards your CPP and it will also limit how much you can invest in RRSPs. Doing things under the table may be done to lower your taxable income but contributing to an RRSP will enable you to legitimately lower your taxable income while creating a future benefit at the same time. It is always best to run things above board so that you can maximize your future living potential instead of looking only at the present situation of being able to pay less taxes in your current tax year.