Wild ideas; Success coach: Nature's calling,
and it has a lot of good thoughts on building your business.
Entrepreneur, December 2001
TOM BROWN IS A TRUE INSPIRATION. Not only is he
the founder of Tom Brown Jr.'s Tracker School, a renowned school that teaches
survival and tracking techniques, and a bestselling author with 16 books to his
credit, including The Tracker (Berkley), but he's also technical advisor on
Paramount Picture's upcoming The Hunted, a movie directed by Billy Friedkin and
starring Tommy Lee Jones.
Brown teaches many tracking and survival skills in the course of his work, but
one of the most important lessons he instills is that nature has the power to
give people inspiration and direction. "People are drawn to nature," says Brown.
"Look at where we spend our vacations--at the beach, in the woods, in the
mountains. Many people have their greatest ideas when they close off the world
and experience the solitude of nature. Nature is a place of inspiration and of
Don't discard his ideas as banal. Brown says some of the greatest inventions
were born from dreams, which he compares to a meditative state. The double-helix
formation of DNA came to James Watson in a dream. Eli Singer, who invented the
sewing machine, dreamt of natives carrying spears with big holes in the spear
points. Thomas Edison had a habit of taking catnaps and would often awake with
ideas for new inventions.
Tom Brown's message is that when you look to nature to understand how things
work, you see every moment of life as a tremendous opportunity to gain
information. In his book The Way of the Scout (Berkley), Brown wrote: "We should
always hold one question in our minds at all times. And that is, 'What is this
telling me?' All around us are secrets that have to be unraveled, mysteries that
have to be understood, and countless questions that have to be answered. Thus we
are always searching, seeking and asking questions of the environment, whether
of nature or of man."
That is the best lesson we can ever learn from nature--to constantly question
what we see around us. When we find ourselves facing a new challenge or
opportunity, we should ask, "What is this telling me?" The answers will bring us
to places we never knew we could reach.