Earl R Smith II, PhD


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You know, there is something to that. But there is also something beyond that. A fundamental insight into the experience of being alive. Every living thing that has existed or will exist shares in a basic experience - that of continuance. All have been or will be links in the incredibly diverse phenomenon called life.

While it is true that all life continues by devouring other life it is also true that it continues because of an inherent intentionality to persist. We are because our forbearers carried sparks of life that were intent on continuing. Those life forces were transferred to a next generation with a single purpose of life continuing.

It is easy, in our day-to-day lives, to lose track of this fundamental truth. We are all keepers of a fundamental flame that was kindled millennia ago. No matter how you prefer to explain how life emerged, the fact is that it persists.

As you move through your day, all that you encounter - every living thing - all sentient beings - are keepers of that flame. In that basic sense, none are privileged above others. The precious ability to continue is a common characteristic of all life.

You may get caught in the trap  of thinking about you and your life narrowly. You may think of yourself in terms of nationality, gender, the epic into which you were born or any other of a dizzying range of narrowing qualifications. But this misses not only a fundamental point but an experience that is truly liberating.

The amoeba that inhabits a spot in your kitchen, the tree that you walk by every day, the dog that seeks out attention as you walk along, the person that you routinely exchange greetings with - all of these carry the spark of life. All of these are subject to the intention of life to persist.

But the shared experiences broader than even that. All life, everywhere in the universe and beyond, is subject to that same persistence. It’s not a matter of it being willed or intended by that which is alive. Life intends to persist prior to the birth of any particular variation. That intentionality will continue long after that particular variation is no more.

Such a message might seem depressing. What is the point of an individual life should only be a link in a chain that will be forgotten? This would seem a road to despair and a vision of life without meaning. But life, all life, is not like that. It not only persists but does so enthusiastically, hopefully and under the guidance of mother nature’s loving lies. It was Orson Welles who put it particularly well. Standing outside the cathedral of Chartres, he made the following observation:

Our works in stone, in paint, in print, are spared, some of them, for a few decades or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash - the triumphs, the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life: we're going to die. "Be of good heart," cry the dead artists out of the living past. "Our songs will all be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing." Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much.

The affirmation of life - it’s essential flowering, is the song. Beside it, all else pales. The gift that life gives to itself is continuance and you, as a unique version of that spark, can experience the joy of that gift. Certainly, your time is limited. Certainly, you’re going to die. But you have been given a chance to experience that life spark in a completely unique way. Your song will be silenced, but what of it? Go on singing!

© Earl R. Smith II, PhD

It's the most amazing experience I have ever had. I needed to find a new path. A friend recommended Dr. Smith. From the first, it was clear that he and I were going to get along. What was most amazing was the wisdom and perception that he brought. New vistas have opened up and, as a result, a new chapter in my life. There's no way that I could put a value on what he has contributed to my life.

Mentoring Client, CEO and Serial Entrepreneur

Chief - That is how Dr.Smith was introduced to me and, based on our work together, I have come to understand why he was called so. He helped me focus on the possibilities that I had been missing in my life. He guided through developing a new vision for my life. Truly he would be my "Chief" anytime and I will always value his guidance and wisdom. My life is richer because of working with him.

Mentoring Client, NPI Team Lead

Earl is a very wise individual with a lot of experience. He truly understands business and professional development. Earl has a great way of explaining things and getting you to look at things from another perspective. Earl is a tough mentor, but if you can learn just some of what he knows you will come out ahead.

Mentoring Client, Deloitte

“Dr. Smith is a very different kind of mentor. If you’re looking for a warm and fuzzy adviser, this is the wrong guy for you. But if you are dedicated to change and want to be challenged by a very experienced mentor Earl may be just what you are looking for.”

CEO of Croix Connect and Host of ABC Radio’s ‘Taking Care of Business’

“I consider Dr. Smith to be a truly revolutionary thinker and leader. His mentorship has been of great value and inspiration to my own personal and professional development. I was at a point in my life where I felt the need to take a new direction. He helped my sort out the possibilities and showed my ones that I never considered. Working with him has been a truly life-changing experience.”

Partner, IT & Telecom, Defense Solutions

“Dr. Earl Smith is a very gifted and talented thought leader and strategist. I had an opportunity to work with him on various occasions, and found his analytical thought process to be the most creative and illustrative in the industry. He is a great asset in developing business solutions from complex problems and chaos in the every day world.” Executive Director, Global Innovation Summit,

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