September 22, 2008

Will power, control and spontaneity

Master Mind Alliance - Painting by Juan Bielsa

Master Mind Alliance
Painting by Juan Bielsa
Oil on board, 69.2 x 50.1 cm
Work for sale

I used to be for the most part of my life a person who disliked control in many ways. I’ve always liked spontaneity, and control seemed to me an antagonist of it. Naturally I’ve been aware of the great fruits and possibilities that training our will power can give to us, but I always was conscious of that with sadness, as if this training was a sort of bitter punishment.

So in my life always existed some fight between spontaneity and control, as if they were not perfectly complementary. Now I think that they are. Spontaneity is good, and control is good. Spontaneity is wonderful, and so it is control. There is fun in spontaneity, and there is fun also in control, and joy, and triumph.

All of us have in our lives some sort of philosophy, maybe a silent philosophy, maybe not completely structured. In my case I think my philosophy has not been so bad, because for the most part of my life I have been happy and I’ve tried to make happy others. But I must admit that perhaps the role of disclipline and control could have played a most important part. I think that that could have been another positive factor in my life.

Control and discipline, and will power, if applied with wisdom, love and compassion can be extraordinary tools, the most useful tools at our disposal. Compassion, yes, because we are not simple machines, and love and wisdom, because in our lives can broke out riots as well, as in any society or country, if we don’t apply righteousness with amorous justice and very carefully, if we don't acknowledge and respect our real needs and nature.

Spontaneity and discipline, what a wonderful couple, if love and wisdom and compassion rule!

Training daily our will power can be a very exciting task. When we accomplish “our duty”, we feel triumfant, happy, radiant. With control, discipline and will power it is perfectly possible to accomplish our most desired objectives. Without them, our dreams will never be completely attainable.

And, most important, in that way we won’t lose spontaneity at all, surely we will be, through our training and control, more spontaneous and happy and confident than ever.

So I see now control and spontaneity as absolutely complementary, in the same manner that we have a creative side and a most analytic side in our brain working perfectly together, as a couple in search of a same objective: our dreams and happiness.

Juan Bielsa


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- My website in English :

September 17, 2008

A day in the life of Mark McCormack. Time management.

Mark McCormack - Time Management

Another time I said that I never learned English at school (that’s the reason my English is so bad). Instead, I did study French.

Sometimes I feel I’m really dreaming when I look at this blog of mine (in pseudo English) because I never thought possible that I could learn English by myself. For me most of the Romance languages are very familiar: French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Aragonese, Galician, Portuguese, Occitan-Provençal, Asturian... But English, though it contains a great percentage of Latin words, always has been difficult for me. Yet I must say that now I read a lot in this language and even listen to audiobooks or watch movies as often as I can. English is the “lingua franca” of these days, so... But “my house” are Romance languages, as I’ve said; there I feel at ease, at home...

I remember that years ago I went on an English Course, six hours a week during four months. That has been the only English course that I’ve ever attended. Truly my “School in English” has been the Internet, because most of the sources I’ve always read on the net are in English.

I’ve next to me the “Student’s book” that I used for that course (“English File”, by Clive Oxenden and Paul Seligson, Oxford University Press). Time runs frantically, so most of the materials are outdated, letting aside grammar, vocabulary, and the like.

Some of the readings on that course catched the attention of the students (all adult people). In particular, this story, surely authentic, about Mark McCormack’s time management skills. We were all shocked in seeing how a person could control all his life in such a manner, apparently without a second out of control.

At that time, Mark McCormack’s approach on time management seemed to me unnatural and excessive. But the excerpt that I reproduce below of him has always interested me, in fact I’ve read it many times. Actually, I don’t think now his ideas are inadequate or even exaggerate ones. In today’s world full of temptations, distractions, possibilities... surely is not a bad thing to try to control our life, severely, rigorously and at the same time with love, wisdom and compassion (compassion for ourselves as well as for others).

I will return very soon to that very interesting (and even exciting) subject.

Juan Bielsa


A day in the life of Mark McCormack

1.- Mark McCormack is American. He’s sixty-three. He’s the manager of many famous people, including the Pope, Monica Seles and Alain Prost. He’s married with two sons and a daughter. He has forty-two offices in twenty countries, and homes in London, New York, Cleveland and Florida.

2.- I get up every morning at 4.30. If my notebook says “Do exercise”, I do some exercise. My secretary arrives at about 5.15, and she brings the newspaper. Then I have a shower and I get dressed. I usually have coffee and cereal for breakfast at the Carlton Tower Hotel (if I am with a client) or I just have a coffee at home.

3.- First I look at my yellow notebook. On the left are my meetings, on the right are my phonecalls. I’m a very good time-manager. I always plan my life exactly for the next six months. I write down everthing I do: how many hours I sleep, how many hours I see my children, and how many hours I spend in each city in the world. I have business meetings in my office from 9.00 a.m. until lunchtime. At 1.00 I usually have lunch at the Carlton, and I always sit at the same table. After lunch I call the USA, and after that I sleep until 6.00.

4.- At 7.00 I often have a drink with a friend or client in the bar. I usually have a Jack Daniels whisky. Then I have dinner at a restaurant. I never cook. In the evening, if my wife is with me, we sometimes go to the cinema. We have meetings to plan our life together. I go to bed at about 11.30. Sleeping is not a problem for me. It’s in my yellow notebook _so I go to bed and I sleep.

- My e-mail addresses :
- My website in English :

September 3, 2008


The Universal Mind - Painting by Juan Bielsa

The Universal Mind
Painting by Juan Bielsa

When I look in history for women and men of great accomplishment, almost always I see a common trait: they have a MISSION. Some authors call it “a magnificent obsession”.

Obviously there are “missions” of many kinds; some are clearly positive ones and others not so worthy, or even negative ones. I think that the only MISSION that can give us strength and perseverance, and endurance in the hard times, is only a WORTHY MISSION, a sincere passion for something very valuable, call it an “innocent” and gigantic passion without a gigantic ego.

If we have a GREAT MISSION, we can surmount many obstacles, we can endure a lot of hardships which probably would seem impossible to overcome otherwise. A MISSION can certainly give to us the necessary force to go ahead without excessive procastination or doubts, regardless of circumstances. A MISSION IS LOVE for what we do, and nothing is more powerful than love in the long run.

When we have a MISSION, call it if you want “a magnificent obsession”, we do daily what we HAVE to do, we do our inner duty, what dictates our consciousness, and so it can be possible for us not to pay too much attention to the infinite distractions _and temptations_ which we encounter every hour, every day, in our way.

In the recesses of my mind I have a great MISSION to accomplish. And you have YOUR MISSION, a very great one, I’m sure of that. All of us have a magnificent dream waiting to be accomplished and fulfilled daily. It is the deepest of all things, I think. We even can have some embarrassment to make public this GREAT DREAM, just because its greatness. In every valuable dream there are so many utopian drops and extraordinary possibilities... It can give colors and sense to all things in our life. A worthy MISSION can be the cornerstone of our life and a fabulous adventure.

A MISSION... Following the pace _certainly, with modesty and humility_ of Alexander, Columbus, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Edison, Madame Curie, Tesla, Mother Teresa... All of us have in reality entire continents to be discovered, continents of love and compassion, continents of understanding, continents of beauty, continents of peace and wonder, continents full of future and hope...

Juan Bielsa

- My e-mail addresses :
- My website in English :