Virtually everyone who has ever been to the movies enjoys the experience of surround sound. To feel like you are actually in the middle of the what is going on in the movie is a powerful experience. The pulsing force of the sound itself pulls you into the action.

      Wouldn't it be great to be able to have that experience at home, too?  Actually we can, but it is usually quite a hassle and can be rather expensive, as well.

      The traditional way to create surround sound at home is to buy a nice stereo system with at least five or six speakers and place them in just the right places around the room. You have to be careful, though. Not only does each speaker have to be in the right place, the person listening also has to be seated correctly among the speakers. But when it is working right, even the most mundane show becomes a sound feast.

      But that is not the only way to get surround sound at home. Recently a technology has come out that provides surround sound using your regular stereo system with only two speakers - and they don't even have to be great speakers. This system uses a little black box with a computer chip which alters the frequencies coming out of the stereo system. These altered frequencies simulate what you would hear in an actual surround sound environment with multiple speakers. And the amazing thing about it is that no matter where in the room you are, you hear the same great sound. At some point I believe that this new technology will supplant the more bulky and expensive systems.

How to Evaluate Your Human Systems

      As a business owner, I face situations every day that challenge me. Whether I am working on marketing, PR, sales, product development or production, there is one challenge that is always the same - to run my business in a way that allows it to grow and thrive.

      As a result of training and experience I have learned methods which help me to accomplish the things that I need to do. I have created systems to make the routine tasks of my business easier so that I can be more effective and profitable. When I get to the place where I am able to create a system for a particular task, it is because I have found a way of doing it that is effective for me.

      Once a system is created, it is easy to just sit back and let the systems run. But we have to be careful not to become complacent. Before you know it a new technology will emerge or someone will develop a magnificent innovation that is better. Just like the surround sound. The old traditional way may work great, but the new technology will likely be cheaper and more effective. Without continual adaptation, we could soon be overrun.

      The speed with which the world is changing makes it imperative that we stay on the cutting edge. If we don't, we will find ourselves invested in systems that cannot compete in the current marketplace.

      But how can we make sure that this doesn't happen to us? It is certainly important to keep up with the latest technology and innovation. But there is an even more important area that needs to be taken care of. Oddly enough, this other area is not related to new technology or to innovation. In fact, it relates to something that mankind has struggled with since the beginning of time. No generation moves beyond it and every one has to deal with it. It is the issue of personal human development. The struggles that people dealt with 10,000 years ago are the same ones we deal with today - a different context, maybe, but the same personal issues.

      The specific issues relate to how we deal with emotions, how we take care of our bodies, how we operate our minds and how we manage our spirit. These all deal with the human part of our being. While some may not think that these are not top priority issues for the workplace, the fact is, your organization can only operate efficiently to the degree that your people are masters of themselves. We have to make sure that we ourselves, and those who work for and with us, are developed to the highest level possible. Ultimately it is our human ability to grow and adapt that makes the difference.

      In some ways individuals should address these kinds of issues before hitting the workplace. An employer wants everything focused on the job. But it is not always that simple. It is often the pressure of the job itself that causes emotional stress, physical fatigue, a dull mind and strained relationships. That being the case, it is essential for every company to provide ways for their people to address these issues, even in the workplace. In fact, any organization that wants to be successful over the long term will deal aggressively with these matters.

The Nature of Human Systems

      So, just what are the things that have to be handled? They fit into four categories - the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. These are the essential elements of our humanity. These are the things that make up who we are as human beings and that we can actually manipulate in order to generate personal growth. They are also the things that, if we neglect, will cause our personal decline. Let's look at each area individually to see what is involved.

Emotional Elements

      Emotions relate to how we feel. While most people don't like to admit that their lives are controlled by emotions, the fact is, the large majority of people basically live their lives based on how they feel. It is mostly an "autopilot" response. We react more than act.

      This does not mean, though, that we are doomed to a reactive life. We have the capacity to override emotion. All it requires is deliberate intention. Doing this at one moment or for a short period of time is the common experience of most everyone. Long term emotional control, however, takes more effort. It is a set of skills that takes knowledge and practice. Anyone who wants to move powerfully forward in life must learn and practice these skills as part of a daily routine.

Physical Elements

      We exist in a physical environment and are hosted in a physical body. Our mind can operate in ways that allow us to transcend the body with our thoughts, and this mental ability is a wonderful thing. But there is no way to actually leave the body. While we cannot escape its limitations, we can expand them.

      The limitations we experience with the body relate to nutrition, rest and exercise. To the degree we work on these things we become more able to develop the stamina which allows us to maintain control over our emotions, mind and spirit. If we neglect our physical part, we become weak and unable to sustain that control.

Mental Elements

      The mental part of our personhood relates to what goes on with our brain. This involves the chemical and electrical impulses of brain activity. Just as it is possible to do physical exercise that strengthens our muscles, there are mental exercises that can improve the ability of our brain to function effectively. We can work on things like adding content, developing concentration, expanding our focus and enhancing brain flexibility.

      All of this activity occurs automatically in every person. It is part of the normal course of living life. But the everyday use of our brains does not tend to expand our abilities, only to keep them at the level of our normal daily operation.

      But it is possible to move ourselves to a higher level mentally. People who intentionally learn and practice mental skills are able to advance to a higher mental level. Those who do not will experience stagnation or decline.


      When thinking of spiritual things, many people immediately think in terms of religion or the supernatural. This is the category where we address these topics, but the spiritual part of our being is more basic than that. This part is the very essence of our personhood. It is the part that makes each of us a unique individual.

      Our spiritual part expresses itself in our relationships. There are three relationship arenas where this plays out - with ourselves, with other people and in transcendent interactions.

      It is absolutely possible to develop the spiritual component within us and learn to express it more effectively. It involves learning and practicing specific skills which strengthen our spirit. It includes skills that relate to creativity, communication, analysis, decision making, imagination, and the like.

      There are certainly a lot of disgusting people in the world. You can open any newspaper and read about all the violence, hatred and other craziness that is rampant. Individuals can tame these negative aspects of their being and progress on to excellence by mastering the spiritual skills.

Creating Your System

      Creating our lives the way we want them to be is an almost unbelievable gift. But it doesn't just happen. Just because we are walking, talking, living, breathing creatures doesn't guarantee that we will attain excellence in our lives. It starts with a deliberate choice and progresses with a systematic plan of action.

      The choice emerges from the vision you create for your life. In your mind's eye, when you are able to vividly see your desired outcome, you are in a position to begin making it a reality.

      Your plan of action is the ongoing process that, step by step, takes you to your vision. We become good at what we do. To become good at your vision you have to figure out what skills will take you there, then make doing them a part of your lifestyle. It requires the development of skills in each of the four areas.

      The way you have lived your life, up to this point, has created a lot of good. After all, it has brought you to where you are now. But if you allow yourself to be satisfied with that, you will find yourself stagnating as an individual, and overtaken by people who are taking the initiative to press forward. Like the surround sound system, you have to keep innovating in your life. If you don't, you will lose out on life as you were meant to live it. But if you do move forward with continually new life innovations, the powerful pulsing of real life surround sound will create an environment where you will thrive beyond measure.


Dr. Freddy Davis is the owner of TSM Enterprises and conducts conferences, seminars and organizational training for executives, managers and sales professionals. He is the author of the book Supercharged! as well as the "Nutshell" Series of books for strengthening business. Sign up, free, for Freddy's twice-monthly e-letter, Nutshell Notes, at You can contact Freddy directly at 888-883-0656 or by e-mail at