May 20

Martin Rutte’s Project Heaven on Earth


Martin Rutte is an international speaker and management consultant.  As President of Livelihood, a management consulting firm with offices in New Mexico, USA, and Prince Edward Island, Canada, he explores the deeper meaning of work and its contribution to society.

Martin has helped many organizations position themselves for the future: The World Bank, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Southern California Edison, Virgin Records, Esso Petroleum and London Life Insurance. 

He was the first Canadian to address the Corporate Leadership & Ethics Forum of The Harvard Business School, returning for four consecutive years. 

Martin is co-founder and past Chair of the Board of the Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace, Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada.  

He is a co-author of The New York Times business bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, with over one million copies sold. 

His newest book, available on Amazon, is: Project Heaven on Earth:  The 3 simple questions that will help you change the world … easily explores the deep yearning for the kind of world you want and the simple, easy, concrete steps you can take to make that happen.  Martin calls that discovering what Heaven on Earth is for you and activating a simple plan to begin making it real.  

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on the No Limits Selling Podcast where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:41
Hello everyone. Today I have the privilege of having Martin Rutte here with me today, he's the president of Livelihood. Martin, welcome to the program.

Martin Rutte 0:48
Thank you. A pleasure to be with you Umar.

Umar Hameed 0:50
Martin, when you give us like a one-minute bio.

Martin Rutte 0:53

Umar Hameed 0:54
Who are you?

Martin Rutte 0:56
I born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, so and dual citizen Canadian-American. I'm a management consultant, that's been most of my career. I've worked with large companies like Sony Pictures, Southern California Edison, Virgin Records, spoken four times at the Harvard Business School on Vision, I'm co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul At Work with Sales. I think last I looked at over 1.1 million in 26...

Umar Hameed 1:26

Martin Rutte 1:26
...languages. Yeah, it's amazing. And now this newest book, Project Heaven on Earth.

Umar Hameed 1:30
We're going to talk about that in a minute but you very much have a deep understanding of human behavior and why we do what we do.

Martin Rutte 1:37
Deep, but not complete.

Umar Hameed 1:40
No. No one ever does.

Martin Rutte 1:42

Umar Hameed 1:42
So right now we're at a crossroads, where all around the world, people are getting entrenched into me first, my group first, my tribe first, my tribe is better than your tribe. Any thoughts on, that if it was happening in one country, you kind of go, "Uh, that's interesting." But what is happening globally? What do you think's going on right now?

Martin Rutte 2:01
I've been thinking a lot about that Umar, and it's a question that concerns me very deeply. I think we have developed I as far as it can go and it's now going into some some kind of dark territory, and that what needs to emerge now is we not to the exclusion of I, but we need to come out. Look at the problems, the major problems in the world. COVID that is a pandemic globally, the environment, that is a issue globally, the threat of nuclear war that is, God forbid, you know, a threat nuke globally. So these are problems that have the potential to wipe out all of us. There exists human existential problems, I can't do this, we need to do this in conjunction with I but we need to develop we, so that we can solve problems. That's what I see going on.

Umar Hameed 2:55
You know what I like better, which is nice but there's something more warmer about us.

Martin Rutte 3:00
I you know, that's a lovely thought I'd never thought about us. Yeah, like that, I never thought of it, what's the difference? Let me ask you, what's the difference between we and us? Well, we as we as the subject us as the object.

Umar Hameed 3:15
Yeah. We the people, as in the US, you know, uh...

Martin Rutte 3:19

Umar Hameed 3:19
...are important documents. Us is a, just seems warmer to me and maybe that's my peculiarity.

Martin Rutte 3:25
I've never thought of that. I like it, there is that warmer tone to it, for sure.

Umar Hameed 3:29
One of the things I've been thinking for a while is that we have been, this is my theory, which has zero scientific data behind it so bear with me here, that I suspect when we went from hunter gatherers to farmers, that there was a major, major shift with a lot of people saying, "Are you nuts? Why would we stay in one place? Why would we do this?" that's not who we are. And then we went from agricultural to industrial, industrial to technology and less a technology to the information age, I don't think we're quite in it yet, I think we're at the cusp of it. And anytime we went from one state to another, there was a lot of fear that you know, our will is going to end our kids going to be okay, what's going to happen. And I think the reason there's so much nationalism and fright, is because we haven't fully stepped into the information age, there's uncertainty there, and what I was thinking was, you know, with this political strife, that what we needed was the Martians to attack us and if the Martians attacked us, we would come together. And then I realized that that was a fallacy that COVID is here globally, and we're not coming together, we're still more deeply entrenched than we were in the past. And kind of thoughts on that?

Martin Rutte 4:40
Yeah Umar. Let us suppose I want to give you an analogy here. Let's your I see you in a room, I'm assuming it's your office. Let me say that I asked you to leave that office and go into the next room.

Umar Hameed 4:52

Martin Rutte 4:53
And let me say that the doorway between the room you're in in the next room is now has been widened, magically over night so that when you're in the doorway, you are completely enclosed in that door, your whole body is within the doorway...

Umar Hameed 5:06

Martin Rutte 5:07
It's called the liminal period, comes from the Greek from the Latin limb, limbness, meaning doorway. We are not in the previous room, and we're not in the next room, we're in a space in between. So our frame of reference is still the previous room, although actually, I think we've maybe taken a step or two into the new room, but we have no bearing on it yet. And so that causes great uncertainty, pair that with these existential, the three crisis that I talked about economic environment, and so on. So not that we ever had certainty, I mean, ever life is not certain in that sense but there was a myth of some kind of certainty and stability.

Umar Hameed 5:48
Delusion, which is very useful.

Martin Rutte 5:50
It was a delusion that was useful, very wisely said. And so what I've been looking at is given that that's not present, where's the source, the spiritual source, the stability, certainly its family, its friends, it's connecting with people who are wise, who have loving intent. You know, we decided this year not to go back, for example, to the United States, we're staying in Prince Edward Island, Canada, there's a sense of decency here, it's safe, COVID is very, very low and you can't get in I mean, the borders are locked.

Umar Hameed 6:24

Martin Rutte 6:25
So that's given me a, you know, a safe, and I think a very privileged and beneficial place to look from. We're going through a transition, we're in a liminal period and once you know that, I had a career counselor friend of mine years ago, who gave me a book, I forgot the title but it was written by a psychiatrist who spoke about the liminal period.

Umar Hameed 6:46

Martin Rutte 6:47
I was in a liminal space myself at the time reading the book, it was like this guy is in my head. And it was a great.

Umar Hameed 6:55
Brilliant. So let's talk about your new project, because I think it ties in nicely to kind of how do we bring people together?

Martin Rutte 7:01
Well, the new project is called Project Heaven on Earth. And it came really, Umar out of my desire, I said that a lot of my work had been has been envision, building, building visions with individuals and with corporate groups. And I thought one day, is their vision for the world and this thought came to me, well, it because I was working in business, and I thought, if we could transform business, we could transform the world. And then this thought popped in my head, "Oh, you mean heaven on earth?" And my first reaction was, "Oh, my God, you can't say that." You know, people will think you're proselytizing, you're you're, you know, you have a hidden agenda, hidden religious agenda, none of which was true but so I withdrew. But then I thought, "Oh, wait a minute, I can speak to you about hell on earth." that's a permissible conversation.

Umar Hameed 7:54

Martin Rutte 7:55
Why can't I talk to you about heaven on earth? Why can't I talk to you about the kind of life and work and nation and world that my soul deeply longs for? And why can't that be public conversation, permissible conversation, not to impose it on anybody, no, but to evoke it from people. And that began with the inquiry.

Umar Hameed 8:16
Brilliant. We're gonna go there in a minute but let's take a step back. And the step back is this, is that hell on earth is a phrase that we can all relate to...

Martin Rutte 8:26

Umar Hameed 8:26
....but heaven on earth has religious overtones, but one can't happen without the other. So what do you think we have permissibility for the negative aspect of the same side of the same coin? It's kind of curious, isn't it? Because I totally agree with you that there's two different roles.

Martin Rutte 8:40
It's a, it's a wonderful question. Part of creating heaven on earth is to clean up the hills on earth. It's not just some lovey dovey stuff, and we'll get more deeply into it in a moment. But it really is confronting the hunger, the war that the you know, the deep suffering. I saw a young woman who the book is dedicated to and when I was at an orphanage in Brazil, and she had been burned cigarette-burned, she was catatonic, I never have seen anything like that in my life, I reached out to try to just even touch her hand and she recoiled. And I tried to give her a little doggie, you know, a little stuffed dog, you know, and then I just in my mind, that's the only thing I had left, I said, "Look, I apologize for this. I'm sorry that this happened to you." And she stuck in my mind and I thought screw this, you know, this is not acceptable, period, it is not. It really made me mad, it's unnecessary. I you know, I actually had the thought, God forbid I could have killed the parent or parents that did this to her. I was so mad.

Umar Hameed 9:45
Yeah, it is astounding the cruelty that we have. The only people that are inhuman are humans.

Martin Rutte 9:52
Yes. So that gets that gets, you know, so we need to clean that crap up in and talk about the good stuff that we can do as well, to create more heaven on earth experiences, for example, this, you know, this interview with you, we just met online, and, you know, I was taken with you as taking the previous interview I heard. And in my interview with you by the pre-interview, I thought, there's something here, this guy's interesting, you know, you got a good heart, you've got a warm heart, and you've got a good business background, I want more of that in the world.

Umar Hameed 10:23
Brilliant. So I'm going to do a transition on heaven on earth in a minute but to do that, we need a joke, so let me give you a joke. Sometimes I mess around with people and I was driving with a friend and I said, "I can prove that God exists."

Martin Rutte 10:36

Umar Hameed 10:36
And he goes, "Prove it to me," as we're driving by, I've slow down to 25 mph, because there's a speed camera that has given me many tickets. And I said, "Only Satan could have invented the speed camera and if Satan exists, then God has to." But let's talk about Heaven on Earth, so what's really interesting is this, my illusion is that when, when you ask people, what does heaven on earth look like? that nobody instantly goes, "Well, it looks like these five things." I would suspect for most people, there's some introspection to really go, "Huh!" and then they articulate what they're thinking. Is that a true statement or do people have at the top of their head ready to go?

Martin Rutte 11:13
Well, let me go deeper with you. So when I when this thought came to me, it's about heaven on earth and I decided to begin an inquiry into that. The way I do inquiry is, I'm not a big reader, I'm an interactor so I went Umar and asked, I don't know, 100-200 people, "What's heaven on earth? What's heaven on earth? What's heaven on earth?" And I began to see the lay of the land, asking this question, and then what happened was I distilled three very powerful questions that get right at it instantly. And with your permission, I'd like to ask you them and I'd like to ask your listeners to answer them as we go through as well.

Umar Hameed 11:47

Martin Rutte 11:48

Umar Hameed 11:49
Let me take some water.

Martin Rutte 11:50

Umar Hameed 11:50
And go for it.

Martin Rutte 11:51
So question number one. Recall a time when you experienced heaven on earth, recall a time when you experienced heaven on earth, what was going on?

Umar Hameed 12:02
So he asked me this question before and what's interesting is another memories bubbling up. It was just in the room, we were talking about the transition between rooms, just down the hall is my bedroom. And it was a particular challenging time for my wife and I in our relationship and we had made love and we would just there together, one human to another, and that would be heaven on earth. It wasn't the lovemaking it was the connection...

Martin Rutte 12:29

Umar Hameed 12:29
...like everything else had just totally disappeared. There's one human being connecting with another.

Martin Rutte 12:33
Lovely, lovely. Alright, second question. Here's a magic wand, and with it, you can have heaven on earth. What's heaven on earth?

Umar Hameed 12:45
People doing one kind thing a day for someone, someone they know, someone they don't know, without agenda, just the sheer joy of doing it.

Martin Rutte 12:55
Very clear. And then the third question, what simple, easy, concrete step where you take in the next 24 hours to have more of that, to move that forward?

Umar Hameed 13:08
To follow the advice of step number two is to do one kind thing for a stranger and I've been doing that. And two days ago, I met this woman for the podcast, and she is transitioning from working for someone and doing something herself. So yesterday, I invited her to my Facebook Group, and we did an interview about how to get anybody on the phone that you want, that's her business. It was a way of sharing her wisdom and getting are highlighted. And that was my one kind thing yesterday.

Martin Rutte 13:37
Lovely, lovely. So let's go through the questions one by one. Question one recall a time when you experienced heaven on earth, what was going on? What you did Umar, is you answered the question, being connected with my wife after we made love. What you did not do and what no one does is ask, "Martin, what do you mean by heaven on earth?"

Umar Hameed 14:00

Martin Rutte 14:00
How do you know what I'm talking about? I never defined it but you go right to it, people go right to it. It's because they have what I call an already knowing in their soul. And when I say recall a time you experience heaven on earth, bang, the time when I and an answer the question. That was astounding to me, when I first discovered made that discovery that people know. The second question, here's a magic wand and with it, you can have heaven on earth, what's heaven on earth for you? The purpose of the magic wand is to remove the necessity of having to know how you're going to do it. And if you don't have to know how you go right to the what? and for you, it's very clear, it's living a value, the value is, doing one kind act for somebody you know, or don't know. Now, there are other gateways which I'll talk about in a moment. Your gateway is living a global value. And then the third thing is I'll do that every day. And you gave me the example of doing it with a woman a couple days ago. So you notice we move from, "Oh yeah, I have. I do Know what heaven on earth is, I've had the experience to, I do know what it is to here's what I'm going to do to get going." And when you jump to a higher level Umar by people answering that those three questions, we're changing the story of what it means to be a human and what it means to be humanity, we're co-creating the new story. To go back to our analogy previously, we're naming the new room that we're entering.

Umar Hameed 15:24
Yeah. So let me take that a little bit deeper, perhaps. So when people go through that exercise, there is a certain level of reliving of the events that they're talking about, this is what heaven on earth is.

Martin Rutte 15:38

Umar Hameed 15:39
And oftentimes, in workshops, I'll ask people what comes first, a thought, or the feeling? So do you have a happy thought that makes you feel happy or were you feeling happy? and that generated happy thoughts. And people have different answers, and I dancer I get them is, which always gets a laugh, "I have no idea," but they happen so closely together, it doesn't make a difference. But I think your exercise, what it does is it gets people to re-access that moment of heaven on earth, so they actually get that feeling and we'll do more feelings than what we'll do for thoughts. So I like that I think there's more to kind of ground people to that emotion because that's that energy in motion is what will get inspired them to take action to do something, hopefully, which would be the third thing. What are you going to do today to make that happen?

Martin Rutte 16:24
With the language is very important. What simple, easy, concrete.

Umar Hameed 16:28
Brilliant. Genius, by the way,

Martin Rutte 16:31
I know it's not mine. It came from a dear dear friend of mine, Mark McCargo. Simple is it getting more and more about the notion of simple. There was a one there is a woman in Austria, Elizabeth, and we were talking about having an earth what's your heaven on earth project and she said, "Austria is a heaven on earth nation." And I went, "What! how dare you can say?" And she said, "What Martin, it's because it's simple." And she taught me the meaning of simple. I don't know what your simple is but you know what it is and when you find it, you'll do it because by definition, it's simple for you to do. And once you do it, you're in, and you're in to co creating heaven on earth.

Umar Hameed 17:13
So just to add to that, what's kind of interesting is sometimes like, so Martin, tell me, you know, the five things you really need to have in working with a client. And let's say you come up with the five, and then I go, "Is there anything else?" And you say, "No," then I go, "When you look at the list, what's missing?" And oftentimes nancy pops up. So by asking the question, what's the simple thing, you're opening up a filter in their mind that as she goes for the simple solution, which is almost always the best?

Martin Rutte 17:42

Umar Hameed 17:43
I do not have that simple thing in there. Well, the first thing we need to do is get the United Nations to, "Da da da da", and all of a sudden, this complexity. So good on you, mate.

Martin Rutte 17:50
And thank you mate. And they're also then they become overwhelmed.

Umar Hameed 17:54

Martin Rutte 17:55
I don't want you to be overwhelmed because overwhelm is an act of arrogance. If I'm overwhelmed, it's about me only, and meanwhile, the sufferings are going on in the world. So let me also just tell you about the other gateways, your gateway was living a global value. For some people, it's inner, the more heaven on earth within me, the more it will show up in the world. For some, it's about relationship, I have a bad relation with, you know, Bill Smith, it's a hell on earth relationship, I gotta go clean that up and make it heaven on earth. Ending a suffering, war, poverty, hunger, there usually is for people if if it's ending a suffering, there's one suffering, which I call the keystone suffering, it's the one that really rings their bell, making an institution work, making your country a heaven on earth country. And the final one is this here right now, this is heaven on earth and our belief that it's not is what's keeping us away from the realization.

Umar Hameed 18:49
Brilliant. Martin, thank you so much for an amazing conversation, we need to schedule another one. So we're going to put links to your books and your website.

Martin Rutte 18:58
Thank you. Thank you. Can I give you can I give you a couple more examples?

Umar Hameed 19:02
Oh, absolutely.

Martin Rutte 19:03
I think the examples are, so a woman in Hawaii has put her definition of heaven on earth, she's embedded it at the end of every email done. Police officer has written a 16-page manual called heaven on earth for law enforcement. A real estate agent has created a program called a home for everyone, each agent in her office donates $100 off of every commission check. They raised up to a maximum of 1200 a year they raised $400,000 for this program, A Home for Everyone. A woman who was committed to ending violence in our community started a program of our called, Making Change in which they handed out a little mason jar with a picture of a woman half her face beaten up bruised, half her pace, bright and alive and they asked for a penny a day. That's all a penny a day for a year, they raised $2500 from two communities, they took that to the federal government, this is in Canada, who gave them 100 grand for each of the subsequent three years. We go all the way up to the country, Oscar, and we have a man from Gabon, and Africa living in Montreal, Canada now, who has a Facebook Group get this called , Africa: A Heaven on Earth Continent. He wants his continent to be heaven on earth. It blew me away. So the creativity that emerges from this is staggering.

Umar Hameed 20:31
So inspiring.

Martin Rutte 20:33
Totally. Because the creativity just I that's what gives me so much juice to keep doing these all these years that creativity astounds me.

Umar Hameed 20:42
So Martin, do you have that manual from the police officer?

Martin Rutte 20:45
I do.

Umar Hameed 20:46
Send it to me, please.

Martin Rutte 20:47
I will. I will. I will.

Umar Hameed 20:49
Brilliant. Martin, thank you so much for being on the program. I really appreciate what you're doing. And....

Martin Rutte 20:54
And my book, I get a little plug for my book Project Heaven on Earth, Project Heaven Earth on Amazon, available globally. And the three questions are available on project heavenonearth.com.

Umar Hameed 21:05

Martin Rutte 21:06
Thank you

Umar Hameed 21:06
Thanks so much, Martin.

Martin Rutte 21:08
Thank you Umar.

Umar Hameed 21:14
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro-linguistic programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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