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5 Year Lift Off

February 14, 2009

World Peace is possible, it has a Deadline, and here’s why it’s up to You!

Today in 12 cities around the globe groups of people are Giving Peace A Deadline. People who have always wanted peace, but until now haven’t felt it was possible or that they didn’t have the tools. Now myself and thousands of others I have never met before, are committing the next five years of our lives to delegitimizing war on the planet forever.

“The 21st century will be equivalent to 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate of progress” Ray Kurzweil

No matter what, five years from now on Feb 14th, 2014 we will all be in a very different world. We will have given up five years of our lives to do something. I want to wake up in a world where All human life is valued and protected.

You can be a part of this epic adventure.

The team is gathering at


Nice Beliefs Prevent Peace

February 6, 2009

A friend voiced this frequently found opinion in an email today:

UntilNathan Otto basic survival needs are met in these [poor] countries peace isn’t possible.

Actually, we can have world peace before these basic survival needs are met. In fact, I would be astounded if we could meed basic needs globally before we abolish war. War is one of the worst ways that prevents these needs from being met. Desperation, according to Paul Collier, economist and author of “The Bottom Billion”, is not a big driver of war.  Surprised? I was too. The reason is brutal economics–which is probably why they call economics the dismal science. Here is the simple reason desperately poor people rarely or never wage war: it costs a lot of money.

Even “cheap” war requires food, ammunition, transportation, and supplies. War is always very expensive relative to the population–even in the USA. A starving or desperate population simply does not have the resources to wage war. Even though desperation may fuel acts of cruelty, outright war, with political or economic objectives, in a poor country is typically not sustainable without some form of outside economic input.

Imagine you are starving, weak, and desperate–you might fight for a moment of survival, but you don’t have the energy or motivation to fight a war, until maybe you eke out enough food and ammo to get out of your immediate dire situation.

War often happens near scenes of desperation and starvation, because war is a cause of famine. Refugee populations, fleeing death and destruction, or often just the rumor of death and destruction, are cut off from food, water, shelter and health care. But generally the soldiers acting as agents of the mayhem are well enough fed and supplied to continue the violence, often directly against a civilian population.

War in desperately poor areas is usually financed by extractive industries pumping cash into the hands of warlords and corrupt politicians. It’s not the fault of the companies, or of the corrupt politicians, as it is the entire system we ALL participate in, that lets us buy minerals and timber found in our computers and furniture that finances war and corruption without our knowledge or consent. We peacemakers need to look at and change these systems to increase transparency, so that our purchases support peace.

Unlimited Peace Power with Tony Robbins

February 3, 2009

At eleven I had this sorta empathetic realization when I switched schools and almost got ‘beat up‘ by ten other kids. I got to feel every moment I had harassed other kids and what that felt like. That’s when things changed. I dedicated my life to God and started reading the Bible from front to back, along with listening to my mothers library of personal development tapes from Brian Tracy to Louis Hay. At fourteen my mother gave me Awaken The Giant Within. I remember devouring it in study hall, underlining all the  quotes, filling out the questions of my life behaviors, and sharing all the good parts with my friends after school.

It was a monumental day sitting on the stairs leading up to my bedrooom. I’d been filling out applications and making arrangements for weeks to see if I could go to the ‘U.P.W.’ Unleash The Power Within weekend with Tony Robbins in Dallas. I was fifteen holding my white cordless phone to my ear. The carpet was scratching my legs. I screamed and about jumped off the stairs when the account executive said “You’ve been accepted on student scholarship to UPW!”

That same scream Happened TODAY.  Fifteen years later, opening an email to see Tony Robbins endorsed Give Peace A Deadline.

“Here’s how you can help to move the world toward world peace in five years. Committing to a path of peace transforms every aspect of your life. Buy this book. Read it. Act on it!”

Anthony Robbins, Best Selling Author of Unlimited Power

Here’s to Unlimited Power to Create Peace In A Deadline:

Thank You Tony!


Oscar-Winning Filmmaker Malcolm Clarke on Peacemakers

January 13, 2009

Amber and I are in New York, staying at a friend’s apartment on the West Side. Today we welcomed Malcolm Clarke to afternoon tea. Malcolm won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subjects for his 1988 film “You Don’t Have to Die“. He’ has won other awards too numerous to mention.

Filmmaker Malcolm Clarke

Filmmaker Malcolm Clarke

What’s most amazing to me about Malcolm is his radical courage in telling a truthful story. He’s done stuff that would make most of us wet ourselves–he mentioned an incident in which his assistant received a letter bomb addressed to him… because he followed a suicide bomb squad around for weeks and made a documentary about them for ABC News, called “Terror in The Promised Land”. He also sneaked into a maximum security prison in South Africa disguised as a priest, with a camera hidden under his cassock, and when he was filming another documentary in Beirut a member of his crew was tragically murdered.

We asked Malcolm what movie he would make that would help cause world peace. He said that the moving stories of numerous on-the-ground peacemakers in war-torn areas was the best untold story out there. He praised these people with “dirt under their fingernails” who understood what it takes to work for peace when it gets sweaty and dangerous. He said that in every horrible conflict area he has been to–and he has been to a lot of them–he finds people working under dire conditions, under the constant threat of death, to bring peace to their nations and homes.

These people choose themselves. They are determined, tireless, usually anonymous, and often are harrassed and even killed by those who wish to continue the conflict. He told the story of one Iraqi woman to worked in three-month intense shifts bridging tensions between Shia and Sunni Moslems in her country. She had to travel with a posse of bodyguards just to survive, and the stress was so great she had to take breaks of several weeks to recover–but she succeeded. He mentioned famous UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello, killed in Iraq in 2003, and how he had a special genius for diplomacy that was so effective, people were scared of him.

Every war has embedded peacemakers trying end the insanity; putting their lives on the line for peace. Every true warrior has this same impulse–protect and serve, enforce the peace, help the wounded, the women, the children, the sick, the elderly, the young people who are the ones planting mines and firing artillery. Men and women both fight to bring peace back, to get people talking, to build bridges, to increase trust–that all sounds like soft stuff, but it is hard, and it is easy to get killed doing it.

Over the next five years, we at P:5Y are going to build tools for all of to support these radically determined peacemakers, to help them, the learn from them, to tell their stories and implement a Global Peace Treaty to commit the family of nations to the practices of peace safety that keep us ALL safe from war. We all know there’s no “over there” anymore: there is only one human family, and today war comes home sooner rather than later. It’s time to abolish war for good.

You and I will probably not be called to make the sacrifices these anonymous peacemakers do. But we can praise them, support them, give them resources, and give them our time–because if we don’t, one day war  will come to our homes.

Win in Fast Time

January 9, 2009

This is the ‘new year’ and you may be thinking about making a ‘change’ somewhere in your life.   Sometimes to accomplish a goal it may seem easy to do a new tactic like ‘I’ll only eat 1000 calories a day to lose weight’.  Yet, many times the solution comes out of taking a step back to reflect on your ‘Whole Life System’ and ask ‘What needs to change holistically?’.

You may discover an entirely new approach to your goal that is easier and more effective. For instance, instead of taking an isolated action, you may come up with an approach like ‘Asking yourself the purpose you want in each moment, including while you’re eating food or talking to a friend.’  Out of that approach new actions fall out in multiple areas of life.

These four questions below are modified from Winning in Fast Time a book I highly recommend for creating strategies in business or global system change. The authors are John Warden III and Leland Russell.

What future do you want to create?

What system change is necessary for that future to become reality?

What leverage points in the system will move it in the desired direction?

How will you know when you’ve finished or succeeded?

Some people lay bricks not knowing what they’re working for. Others step back to envision the larger picture and architect the future.

The current conversation about peace and war is killing us

January 6, 2009

Peace seems boring or wimpy while war is dramatic or macho. War is black and white, do or die, mission failed or mission accomplished. War is “take orders”, peace is “think and talk”. War is hot-headed, action-oriented, while we see peace as “slow down”, about options and talking. War is crisp, fact-filled communication, peace is vague, theory-filled discussion. War and its outcomes are immediate and obvious, whereas peace doesn’t have definite lines. War is urgent, exciting; peace is relaxed, reflective.

Peace seems complicated while war seems simple.

But peace is good, and war is bad. War is not just bad, it is wrong. Even if you think war wasn’t wrong in the past, it is definitely wrong today. It’s not wrong to defend yourself or your country from attack—I’m saying the whole idea of politically organized mass murder, rape and destruction is wrong and outdated like slavery, human sacrifice and stretching people on the rack are outdated.

Are we going to let ourselves just throw up our hands and give up because peace seems overwhelming? NO! “Overwhelming” is a paper tiger—practicing peace safety is far less overwhelming than war—just ask any combat veteran, war widow or rape victim.

What if we did the ju-jitsu and took all the stuff that makes war appealing and use it for peace? That’s what P:5Y does: World peace is now clear: and end to all politically organized violence. It is urgent: we make peace or we all perish. It is measurable: worldwide violent conflicts decrease, then cease.

The NUMBER ONE global mission: push through a Global Peace Treaty among the family of nations. More on the specifics later.

2009 is the year that peace got clear, urgent, doable. This is the year peace organized itself into an army, made clear missions, and started accomplishing them. Peace set priorities, took action, kicked ass. Peace has a deadline.

World peace is giving orders, taking orders, communicating crisply. You can be a foot soldier or a strategist or a quartermaster for peace.

This year, we need recruiters: we need you join the peace army and talk your friends into joining too. On February 14 we launch Peace in Five Years, along with the next version of which will let you bank your hours for peace—more on that later.

Invite all your friends on Facebook to join the Peace in Five Years cause. Follow @amberlupton or @ottonathan on Twitter. Talk about peace as safety, peace as doable, peace as urgent, interesting., definite.

Oh, and yes, creating world peace is a LOT easier than war. It may seem like a lot of effort, but just think about it for yourself: establishing the worldwide practices of safety from war is less effort, less cost, and WAY more benefit than fighting even one major war. P:5Y is focusing, collaborating and making it EASY for YOU to create world peace.

PS: ending war in the next five years is easier than taking longer. Let’s get this done so we can move on to what’s next for all of us in world where war is systematically prevented.

Instant Purpose and Passion: Take the Pledge

December 31, 2008

Here is a way a way to Supercharge your next five years and possibly the rest of your life. Have you been wondering what your purpose is that is worthy of your skills, passion, time and attention? Do you feel like a global citizen and want to connect to all of humanity? We invite you to take this pledge with us to collaborate for world peace.

This is about The Pledge Nathan and I took to create world peace in five years.  Various friends and business people have already taken this pledge for themselves.  This is adapted from our book Give Peace A Deadline.

Preparing to sign the Pledge

This is an opportunity to take a risk, based on knowing your capacities and your intuitive faith. To take the Pledge is to take personal responsibility for causing world peace. This requires honest soul searching. We don’t recommend this to anyone who isn’t ready to make that promise. In fact, don’t take the Pledge unless you know you will follow through. Only you know if you are ready to make that commitment. Taking the Pledge is an initiation that launches your life into a new level of being.

Before you take the Pledge, you may ask for help, collaboration, resources, ideas, or feedback from others, but once you take the Pledge, you are fully accountable. You are a resource. You are the key to creating world peace in five years.

Here are some of the people who did what you’re considering doing. Thomas Edison didn’t know how he was going to invent the lightbulb. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., did not know the final view of civil rights. Gandhi didn’t know how England was going to leave India when he declared that he would lead India to independence. Badshah Khan didn’t know that 100,000 Muslim Pathan tribesmen would join his nonviolent army in Afghanistan. Nelson Mandela didn’t know how apartheid would end when he began his twenty-seven-year prison sentence. Sometimes all we need is to be certain of what a vision means and let the methods.

Warning! The Pledge Is a personal promise you make to yourself and the world to create peace by 2014. If you don’t want to go through all the steps of articulating your passions and skills, figuring out your values, or aligning your life; if you want the super-efficient way through all of that, then the gesture that gets it all done in one fell swoop is to take the Pledge. This is pulling yourself through from the other side instead of pushing yourself from where you are now.

Please Do NOT take the pledge:

•  Because you feel pressured from everyone else doing it.
•  Because your favorite celebrity, political leader, or religious leader took it.
•  Because you feel pressured by someone.
•  Because you want to look good.
•  If you do not know what it is to make a promise and keep it.

Taking the Pledge

Now the time has come to step outside of yourself and to consider your commitment beyond yourself. When you take the Pledge, you make yourself personally accountable for peace in five years. You acknowledge that you are dedicated to the goals of P5Y, a global movement that will incorporate millions of individuals. You are taking responsibility for all of your actions. You extend yourself beyond your own personal context and combine your spirit and your gifts with a vision that reshapes humanity.

Taking the Pledge creates an umbrella of purpose over all of your actions.
It envelops you in an emerging understanding and generosity that energizes your life. You experience the raw thrill of living for something worthy of your attentions, toils, pressures, complaints, prayers, and celebrations. Now, you become aware that everything you do matters to our entire planet. Your life is now lived for something. Whatever your concerns may be today, they consume your attention, energy, resources, and life. Upon taking the Pledge, your concerns naturally grow to a global level, turned toward peace.

Until you throw your hat over the wall and declare that you will find a way, you cannot know the full power of making a promise for the whole world. You can know that the Pledge represents a new orientation of your life until 2014, focused on your commitment to creating peace. Although the Pledge is a five-year commitment, it will change you for the rest of your life.

Take a moment to reflect on the Pledge itself.
What is the first thing you would do? It is a wake-up call, an “oh, boy-o-boy!” moment. Upon Pledging yourself, something becomes immediately obvious as the next thing to do, that thing that will further your keeping your Pledge. Let go of your fear. Trust yourself.

If now is the time for you to take the Pledge, then write it out in your own handwriting and sign it:



By February 14, 2014, I will have created World Peace as measured by The Economist magazine.

___________________________________   __________________
name                                                                                          date

We recommend putting the signed Pledge in a place where you will see it
every day. We put it up as our computer screensaver. This is your vision, your
statement, your Pledge. Together, all of us will create world peace by 2014.