A Lesson Of Life for each one of us

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”   ― Aldous Huxley, Collected Essays.  

Lesson of Life

Massive Bulldozer lifting power. Image from hulcher.com

Or: The Lesson of Life I learned from a bulldozer and a bucket of oil!

Think back to 1984, if you can.

This was the time of the war over the Falklands Islands, between England and Argentina. It was the year Indira Ghandi was assassinated. Reagan made his famous joke: “My fellow Americans, I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” He supposedly didn’t know the microphone was on. It was the year of the summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and the Soviet Union boycotted it. Wonder why. 1984 is the name of George Orwell’s famous novel, although he wrote it in 1949. It was the year the first “megabit” chip was ever made in Bells Laboratories – the event that heralded and made possible the super computers. 1984 was the year the “Bill Cosby Show” had its first TV premiere.

1984 was the year my old bulldozer gave me the most amazing lesson of life.

In that former life, I had a farm and an earth moving business, doing land clearing, soil and water conservation dams and channels, noxious weed management, tree removal and levelling building blocks, regular bulldozer type work.

I need to give you some idea of the scale of the machinery used, to put this into perspective.

Lesson of Life

Ironbark Tree – image from nationalregisterofbigtrees.com.au

Imagine a tree, 100 feet tall, around 30 metres. That’s half as long again as a cricket pitch. This tree is an ironbark tree, half a metre through at the trunk. It has branches and leaves on top, roots around 2 metres deep in the earth, and with a big clump of soil around them. It had to be moved. My bulldozer was actually a track loader with a clam bucket on the front (similar to the photo above), useful for picking up objects in the big jaws. The tree was gently pushed over and laid on the ground, roots and all. My bulldozer came alongside, clamped the jaws over the trunk of the tree, picked it up and carried it across the field to a large log pile, lifted it 15 feet (4 metres) into the air and laid it on top of the pile, for pole harvesting later. That was easy. And it shows the power of the hydraulic system of this particular bulldozer.

Earth moving equipment needs to be maintained for it to work properly, and there are many moving parts, using lots of oil.

Onto the lesson of life. We, my assistant David and I, were doing a regular oil change. The hydraulic oil was very special – read ‘expensive’. In 1984 dollars, when a 5 gallon can of regular oil was $20, this was $200! Every drop precious. We drained the old oil, and replaced the filters and the oil plug. Because the machine was so big, we were working on opposite sides of it. David was 18 years old and as fit, flexible and athletic as any farm kid in those days. I called out to him:

“David, I’ve replaced the plug and tightened it. I’m ready to put the new oil in. Have you tightened the filters?”

“Yep. They are tight.”

In went the new oil, glistening gold as it poured down the funnel. I wiped my hands on an oil rag, then climbed up to start the engine. As it started, a spray mist of fine gold particles created a perfect rainbow arc beside me. The precious oil was gone in seconds. David hadn’t tightened the filters enough after all! The incredibly powerful hydraulic pump that could lift a 100 foot tall iron bark tree up in the air, roots and all, pumped all that expensive oil out into a magical golden rainbow.

I shut the engine down and sat for a few seconds in silence. David stood there, out of range, but prepared to sprint for the cover of the bushes behind him. Much went through my mind. First was the thought of the cost. Then there was the thought of how much spare oil we had, because the job had to go on. Then there was David, almost rooted to the spot in fear, very apprehensive about what I might do. He looked ready to bolt into the bush and make his way home across country. A virtual whirlwind of thoughts. However, although I felt like a good butt-kicking would release some pressure from the head of steam I had developed, I didn’t feel it would achieve much else. There had to be a better way.

I looked at David, with a purposely blank expression. “I should have checked those filters, shouldn’t I?”

He just looked back in surprise – not expecting that. He was expecting spanners or other loose objects to be hurled at him I think. He mumbled something in reply but I don’t think his lips had reconnected to his thoughts at that time.

“Could you get the other drum of oil please David? I’ll clean this up and tighten the filters again.”

We put the new oil in and it tested perfectly; back to work we went.

Lesson of Life

That’s about right!           Image from bestsayingsquotes.com

What was our lesson of life?

In the years since 1984, I have found so many lessons that came from that incident. I’ll list a few:

1. Getting angry didn’t serve anyone. Dealing with the problem did.
2. Blaming didn’t serve anyone. Taking responsibility did. On that point – was David to blame? He did say he tightened the filters. But David was an 18 year old staring goggle eyed at a huge machine, the likes of which were out of his imagination before he came to work for me. He was under my instruction, and it was my responsibility to make sure he understood and did what was necessary. No, I should have checked!
3. Monitor what you delegate. That came home with a $200 price tag, in 1984 – I have since had whole weekend seminars that taught me less than those few seconds and cost more too! Powerful lesson.
4. Teaching and imparting lessons rather than blaming for mistakes gains respect and trust.

I’ll spend a moment on this point. David was only 18 and this could have sent him packing, back to a cranky father with a drinking and gambling problem. Instead, it was a turning point in his life, as I later came to find out. From that moment on, he stepped up and took responsibility for maintenance. Never again did anything go unchecked; nothing was ever allowed to leak oil, rattle, or other than behave like brand new. It became his mission, to look after my machinery and be the best operator possible. He became a zealot!

We worked together for another couple of years when the business expanded and we took delivery of a massive earth moving scraper. When the dealer left after unloading and setting it up, I threw him the keys and said “Look after this, would you?”

The look on his face was priceless. However, the pride he felt was evident and he applied himself to caring for that new machine also, as though it was his very own.

David did not need a reprimand on that pivotal day. A lesson of life comes in many forms and opportunities are often disguised as disasters. That day was perhaps my greatest lesson of life and as I reflect on it from time to time, still more comes through.

5. Nurture your people, to allow them to become what is possible. Understanding of their situation and circumstances means that sometimes, you’ll make allowances. When you do, they have the opportunity to see that you are treating them as an individual, not a number. David realised I cared how he felt, and although he expected to be given the blame, he already felt bad enough – no one needed to hammer it home any more. His growth from this incident was phenomenal, but only because he was nurtured through it.
6. Education is critical. I didn’t expect David to know everything. I worked from where he was in life and built on his knowledge from that point. When he left my employ, he could stand tall with anyone in the industry.
7. The lessons you teach are taught to others. Did David tell anyone about this incident? Yes. His younger brother was the first one who came to talk to me about it. Their relationship changed at that time, as David became his mentor, rather than his tormentor – which many older brothers are. They taught others how to deal with crises when it happened to them. And so it went, down the line. Who knows how far the benefits of that lesson of life on that day have gone.
8. If David’s lesson from the day was to react in anger, instead of how it happened, do you think that lesson would have been perpetuated? Of course. However, it broke a cycle of blame and anger that had been his family’s way for generations. One incident can change a life, depending on how you deal with it.

In the 30 years since this event, much has happened. When I sold the machinery, David went his own way and I entered the corporate world. I attended seminars and heard the greats speak of their lesson of life and the amazing incidents they recounted. However, I often wondered about how these much embroidered tales of their wisdom and mastery actually began. Did they have an oil can moment too?

With my current programs and coaching clients, I am most conscious of how important the simplest lesson of life can be. The opportunity to impart them is vital, as we never know where they will end up and who they will empower.

“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” ― Tom Bodett

Life Change Coaching?

We still have a couple of coaching places available for anyone wishing to experience and benefit from our life change coaching first hand.

At your free initial session;
• We will look at what you want and gain clarity on the cause or need for your desire for coaching and change.
• We will give you an objective perspective of your situation and the opportunities, as well as the obstructions to your progress.
• Finally, we can help you establish a plan to progress your desires and goals to where you really want them to be.

If this is you, take a look at our Coaching Page, answer the simple questions at the bottom and send the answers through to us, to schedule your free session. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Til next time, fair winds and full sails.

Ray Jamieson

PPS: If you wish to read my book “Lessons of Life”, check it out here!

Related Posts:

Help From My Friends

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” ― Helen Keller

Og Mandino – Lessons from the Master

Og Mandino

Og Mandino Courtesy of Wikipedia

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”
― Og Mandino

When Og Mandino touched my life

There are moments in our lives that are indelibly etched, that live with us forever. One such moment in my life is when Og Mandino first walked out on stage in front of me, sat down and began to speak.

It was a day in early 1987, at the old Boondall Entertainment Centre on the north side of Brisbane. There were half a dozen famous speakers on the schedule; I’d only heard of a couple. A friend and business associate at the time invited me along. He had a mobile mechanic business and credited much of his success to staying motivated by events such as this. That still holds true, we do need a regular injection of inspiration. I was then new to the corporate world and this was my first taste of it.

A couple of high energy, foot stomping, stand on the chair and chant speakers came on, one of whom has since mellowed and gained great popularity. When he spoke, there was a great energy in the hall, 17,000 people were up and chanting too, clapping and cheering.

Then Og Mandino took the stage.

The man had a presence I have rarely experienced. He spoke softly, invited us to sit, then he sat and began to speak. In contrast to the energy of the previous speaker, he hardly moved on his chair. The audience didn’t move, not even sure they breathed for the next hour as this man poured wisdom forth as though there was nothing else happening anywhere in the world. I don’t recall a single person coughing, not a chair creaking, not a sound for that hour, except the voice of Og Mandino reaching into my heart and changing my life around for me. If ever there was an audience with an angel, this was it.

I have no further recollection of any of the speakers of that day, although I still have the promo material and notes I made. Og Mandino had done his work. That was, I think, his last visit to Australia. He passed away in September of 1996, the world was saddened by his passing and his loss to humanity was incredible. However, the man left a legacy that I had begun to devour long before then. He was also an inspired author.

The Og Mandino Legacy

Og Mandino wrote many books, the most famous of all was “The Greatest Salesman in the World”. I read it many times, and followed up a number of times with the ‘workbook’ “The Greatest Secret”. It was while working through the exercises in this book that I gained the personal empowerment and inspiration that has me writing to you now.

Not only did #Og Mandino teach through the wisdom of his writing, he used strategies that if implemented, work brilliantly. Old but powerful concepts that the greatest teachers and philosophers down the ages have used to change the world. He made the suggestion that we record our successes daily, so that we could see at a glance, just how successful we were. He described a simple graph paper chart he used and I followed up on it.

First, I took a sheet of paper, ruled it up as I thought he meant, and went to work with it. Then I got my first computer, and created a spreadsheet in Excel. Each morning I would set my intention and goals for the day, and each night I would tick off my successes. My life turned on this program.

At the time, I was recovering both in health and from a business failure, and my goals for recovery from each went on this sheet. Month after month, I would check back and chart my progress. Some months I would see poor results, so I got out my diary and checked what I did that did not work – and saw how to change it for the better. Other months were a series of daily celebrations. On review, I could see what worked, so I incorporated more of those events and activities into my life. Simple although crude, but incredibly effective, daily doses of empowerment. Daily readings of Og Mandino books were a staple at this time in my life, consolidating my successes and carrying me through the dark times.

Og Mandino

Og Mandino Fundamentals Courtesy of pixpirations.com

After only a couple of years of rebuilding my health and my life, I restarted in a new career direction. I had undertaken the Entrepreneurs Program at University of Queensland, the Business Programs at Kedron Business College and numerous other courses, programs and seminars, when the share market crashed.

The 1987/1988 share market crash was a global catastrophe. Lives and businesses were ruined overnight. But I was ready. I found that people were coming to me in my new vocation of business adviser to get them back out of trouble, out of impending bankruptcy, business closures and persecution by the banks. I had made my own turn-around, and now armed with the tools of my recent experiences, I took on this challenge. The incredible part was that the empowerment strategies I had used on myself, combined with the business education I had obtained, were both the emotional and business support and advice that these ailing and failing business owners needed. We never lost one who came on board with us! We saved millions of dollars for companies that were within days and sometimes hours of closure, hundreds of jobs that would have vanished, ruining lives and families as they went. But we saved them all.

I thank Og Mandino for it. His teachings and wisdom enabled me to be in the right place at the right time, to make this contribution and Mr Og Mandino, I am eternally grateful to you Sir. Thank you.

The programs I created back then were followed by far more advanced programs in later years, seminars, workshops and advanced trainings in many fields, delving into the neuro-sciences and alternative thinking therapies and strategies way before they were popular or fashionable. Life has changed and evolved much for me since then, and the products and services I now deliver are far more advanced than anything I could have dreamed of back in the 1980’s. However, just like you can trace your DNA back hundreds or thousands of years, so you can trace the DNA of my programs and training back to the simple, fundamental philosophies and teachings of Og Mandino, and some of the other great mentors of my early years in business and training.

Whilst some people have said that “unless it’s created with the technology of the current day, it doesn’t work anymore”, I think about the other fundamental laws of nature and physics and the generalised principles that still make the world go round. Gravity is one such law. It’s still working incredibly well. Cause and effect. Very powerful also. Sayings like “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar” and so on, still relevant and absolutely true. The fundamentals will always work. Because they are the fundamentals of life and of very our existence on this planet. They are there for everyone to use, if only they knew about them and would access them to their benefit.

Please look at this link about OG MANDINO. His life story makes for powerful reading. Before becoming a best-selling author, Og Mandino was a bombardier and pilot in the US Air Force during World War 2. He flew with fellow pilot and later movie star, James Stewart. During his early life after the war, he, like so many other returned soldiers, contemplated ending it all, but found inspiration in a book, and his life changed also. His remarkable life story is well worth reading…

Og Mandino

Og Mandino Air Crew Courtesy of http://www.natickvets.org

If you would like to experience the benefits of the teachings of Og Mandino as they influenced my life, you can. I have packaged much of what I learned from Og Mandino into Life Change 90, the life change program that over a period of just 90 days, can transform the life of the person who truly commits to it. No matter what you do, you are here, on this planet, and you are likely to be here for the next ninety days. Make them count. Get Life Change 90!

If you know someone else whose life could benefit from exposure to the principles espoused and taught by Og Mandino, please send this blog article to them. I’m sure they will thank you.

Til next time, fair winds and full sales.

Ray

Empowered by Gratitude

Gratitude?

#Gratitude

A new day, a new start
Image from aquabumps.com

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
L.M. Montgomery

Did you wake up this morning?

That’s something to have gratitude for.  Many didn’t.  What does waking up each morning mean?

When you wake up each morning, or whatever time you wake up, it means you have another chance to start life all over again.  Now I know that some people are locked into a pattern which is not easy to break free of, and I’m thinking here of people in chronic pain, people who are on minimum wage and who know that finding a better paid job won’t be easy, and so many more people who have life challenges to face.

But you woke up, didn’t you?  That’s the first step towards a new life, a life change if you wish, but regardless of how you look at it, your life starts again the moment you wake up each day and that’s something to show #gratitude for.  You got another chance to start over.

What can you do with a new day?

Perhaps you can’t change everything in your life all in the next day, this new day you have given to you.  But you can change something if you need to, want to, or HAVE to!  Start small, with the single thing that will make the most difference if you change it.  A habit?  A thought?  Something you don’t do, but perhaps should?  Something, anything, but if your life is not exactly where you want it to be right now, at this time of your life, start making changes, little ones, to gently steer your life in the direction you need it to go.  Then show some gratitude, say a little “thank you” that you can do even this much.

How do you know if the change is the right one?

In a way, it doesn’t matter.  It’s the stagnation that is the death of a life.  Sometimes, any movement is better than none, but once you make a start, get some movement, you can steer from there.  It’s very hard to steer your car when it’s parked at the kerb.  You need to be moving, any direction at all, before you can steer it.  So start moving.  And show gratitude that you can actually move a little.  A little “Thank you” for the ability to move.

Gain some momentum.

Once you are moving, after your feet hit the floor, you started to move, you turned in the right direction, you got a little speed up.  Perhaps not much, but a little.  This is called momentum and there is power in momentum.  The weight of your movement, the mass of you moving along has a force.  Use it to shift other bigger things.  Point it towards obstacles, tack on another change or two and use your momentum to carry you through.  Old train drivers called this “getting up a head of steam” and there you go, you have momentum.  You are moving, steering, gaining power with your momentum and making more changes.  There’s something more to show #gratitude for, a little “thank you” for the momentum.

#Gratitude

A head of steam!
Image from burnham-on-sea.com

This is called changing your life, a step at a time.  It’s simple, but not always easy, and much depends on where you are starting from, whether at the top of the slope, or the bottom.

“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Read more at http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/10-quotes-to-change-your-momentum/#GZhkeeqdED5smDXI.99
“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Read more at http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/10-quotes-to-change-your-momentum/#GZhkeeqdED5smDXI.99
“It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Read more at http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/10-quotes-to-change-your-momentum/#GZhkeeqdED5smDXI.99

Sometimes you need a hand.

Look around you.  How many people are there in your life?  How many of them do you think are feeling the same way each day, facing challenges and wondering how to make it?  There are a few, feeling just like you, and some feeling very challenged also, much more than you.  My Dad told me something that has stuck with me, when I was around 7 years of age and walking out on a frosty morning to milk the two old milking cows.  I complained about the cold frost on my boots and he said “I cried when I had no shoes, til I saw a man who had no feet!”  I didn’t realise he was quoting the old Sufi proverb but it didn’t matter.  I gladly walked down to the cow-bail, in gratitude for my boots.

There are many people who would like a hand, and many who would like to help you.  More than you realise.  Sometimes though, you need to take the first step on your own, to demonstrate to others that you are serious about the changes.

One way of making little changes that add up to a powerful momentum in a short period of time is to lock into a program that has these gentle changes built into it, and can help you decide what and when and where the most effective changes could be made.  That program also has a gratitude section in it, and without a doubt, showing gratitude for where you are already is perhaps the most powerful tool at your disposal! 

To learn more about this powerful program with the inbuilt gratitude program as well as all the other vital tools for changing your life, CLICK HERE NOW! 

You’ll be glad you did, as you watch your life change direction under your guidance, and build up a head of steam in a way that you will always want to show gratitude for!

Show some gratitude!

After all, you DID wake up this morning, didn’t you?

If you feel gratitude for the lessons I hope I have presented to your here, please reblog and share this post with your friends, family and associates.  Share your journey with them.  Everyone deserves an opportunity to look at their new day with fresh eyes and feel gratitude just for having the chance to start again, this new day.

Til next time, fair winds and full sails.

Ray Jamieson

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. 
Melody Beattie

By the way, if you are looking for some inspiration on how to make the most of your new day, please also refer to my other posts below on Empowerment: There might be something of special interest for you here.

Empowered by my Failures

Integrity, Spirituality and Empowerment

Empowerment through Emotional Intelligence

Financial Empowerment

Empowerment

Empowerment for Men

Empowerment for Women

Empowerment for Teens

Empowerment for Children

Personal Empowerment

What would an empowered man do?

Empowered by love

What would an empowered man do?

#What would an empowered man do

Empowered Man
Image from theredlist.fr

“The only thing that stands between a person and what they want in life is the will to try it and the faith to believe it is possible.”
Rich DeVos

What would an empowered man do?

It’s easy to preach.  It’s easy to lecture.  It’s harder to live what you preach and lecture about.  It’s especially hard when Spirit or fate or the Gods on high decide to confront you with a problem straight out of the box you were preaching from!

The question is, when something like this happens, #what would an empowered man do?

Now, an empowered man here refers to empowered women, children, teens, civic leaders, politicians, and anyone else you can think of.  It’s all of us, and I’m lumping us together under the term ‘man’.

The guy (or girl) comes home, tired and well and truly over the day, it’s been a tough one.  Their partner is frustrated as their day was tough too, the kids are noisy, but they just want to sit with a beer or wine and relax, let the day go and when they feel like it, come join the family.  But the kids want to play, their partner wants a hand in the kitchen, stuff is happening all around and this is not a time when they can opt out for a while.

#What would an empowered man do

Home at last!
Image from http://www.huffingtonpost.com

What would an empowered man do?

The question really should come back to “what is important in this life?” and start from there.  Attend to the first priorities and work outwards from there, once they have been attended to.

First priority?  There’s their partner standing there, tired and very frustrated with their day also.  This person committed to spend their life with them, and share the joys and hassles of their family forever.  WOW!  Number one priority?

What would an empowered man do?  He would kiss this lady, tell her he loved her and block the world out for a while.  There’s a book called “The ten second kiss” that I have referred to in my seminars and it suggests that night and morning, and leaving for work and coming home from work is a powerful time for it, that you should kiss your spouse or partner for at least ten seconds.  At least twice a day, at those important times.

Why?  Because when you kiss someone for ten seconds with your full intention and attention on your kissing, it speaks volumes to them about your love for them, and it does them a world of good too.  Things like easing tension, frustration and giving the feeling to them that they are loved and supported in every way.  Sort of an antidote to a tiring and frustrating day.

What about the dinner on the stove?  What about the kids?  What about all the other distractions?

Take the pot off the heat – it’s only for 10 seconds!  Get the kids to time you – this is a powerful way for them to see and experience what love between their parents is and should be.  There is not much that cannot be put off for just ten seconds!

#What would an empowered man do

A great daily ritual
Image from karapearson.com

OK, that’s Priority 1 done.  Priority 2 should be a hug for the kids.  Big hug, acknowledgement for a moment, so they feel the love too, and it’s amazing how often that is enough for them for a time.  Time to enable you to handle the other issues that are demanding attention.  Perhaps you can be with the kids in a family way.  Grab a coffee or tea, sit with your spouse and children on the couch for a few minutes, have a family hug, right after your ten second kiss.  Take a few more minutes with all of you together, sharing your days.  Ask your spouse about their day, their ups and downs.  The same with the children, asking questions gets them present and takes their mind off concerns that drag energies down.  That also allows you to catch up on the urgent news and to plan the next few minutes of dealing with the other issues, such as the dinner that’s cooking, the chores to be done, homework and so on.

What would an empowered man do?  He’d first attend to his family and be nurtured by them, while he empowers them with his love and attention.  He’d make this a daily ritual.

Another scenario.  The empowered man (or woman) is at work and the boss yells at them, bawling them out over something, whether it’s valid or not.  The boss is a chump, loud mouthed and obnoxious.  The first reaction is to make a batch of ‘nose jam’ and spread it all over his face.

#What would an empowered man do

Not again!
Image from http://www.mccormicksys.com

What would an empowered man do?

First, is it OK to get angry?  Yes, and it’s natural to get angry at times.  The human body and most other species become angry if provoked.  It’s what happens next that matters.

We established a few blogs back that you cannot win an argument.  We learnt in another blog about how to empower people when they are angry or fearful, so that you can work with them rationally and come to a good resolution.

This image is the Empowerment Tone Scale.

#What would an empowered man do

Empowerment Tone Scale

(Click on this image to enlarge it)

The angry person is down under the empowerment line.  The fearful or grieving person is lower still, near the bottom.  To relate with these people, you need to boost them and their emotional state up to the empowerment level at “interest”, near the top, even if only for a few seconds!  You do that with targeted questions, relevant to the topic, but ones they need to process a little.  That processing is the key to empowerment.  This is because for the mind to process a question, it needs to be in a constructive state, not destructive.  Asking a question raises the person’s emotional state.  It empowers the person you are asking the question of.

Back to our angry boss.  What would an empowered man do?

They would engage the boss with simple, relevant questions to establish the parameters of the situation.  They would go on to ask about the specifics.  Then they would ask the most powerful question framework “WHAT can WE do about THIS PROBLEM?”  This establishes the conflict as an issue separate to either of them, but a problem they can solve as a team.  A totally different scenario to when the boss walked in.

#What would an empowered man do

That’s better! All sorted now!
Image from http://www.act-now.ca

Does it work every time?  Of course not.  But it’s what an empowered person would do first, rather than inflame the issue with retaliation.

Of course, launching into strategies such as these without a reference point in place is going to be a challenge.  For some men, if they arrived home and without warning, took their wife and kissed her solidly for more than a few seconds, it would either frighten them or make them very suspicious.  After reading this blog, discuss it with your partner and adopt this practice of the ten second kiss morning and evening.  Make the family hug a ritual.  You’ll probably find it changes other areas of your life too.

With your boss, don’t wait until he’s furious before you try to empower him.  Use simple but relevant questions all the time to build his level of empowerment and you’ll find he is much less likely to explode if and when something does go wrong.  And at that time, he’ll respond better when you ask more questions, because you have conditioned the situation already.  It won’t be anything new!

What would an empowered man do, to become more empowered in the first place?  

How do you get to BE this way, without needing to re-read this blog when life serves you a rotten tomato?

Empowerment is not hard.  It’s simple, it’s strategic and it’s constant.  Constant implementing of daily success habits, morning and evening, practicing throughout the day and celebrating your successes at night.  It’s challenging yourself to be the best you can, and recording your efforts to be your best.  It’s dropping unproductive habits and replacing them with success habits that step you closer to your own goals every day.  It’s putting yourself in a state of mind that is empowered by the environment you create around you.  It’s choosing the people you associate with, the information and influences that go into your mind and surround you in your life.  One tiny step at a time, all the time.  It’s simple, and it’s constant.

After a while, it becomes a habit and is the state of mind you unconsciously life in.

During the learning process, we pass through four stages of competency.  They are:

  1. Unconsciously incompetent – we don’t even know we are messing things up!
  2. Consciously incompetent – we know how bad we are at this new thing.
  3. Consciously competent – we know what to do but still need to focus to get it right.
  4. Unconsciously competent – it’s become a good, solid habit; no need to even think about it anymore; we do it unconsciously and get it right every time!

After a while, these new success habits that we practice daily, morning and evening, become a part of our subconscious program and we do them without thinking.  We LIVE them.

What would an empowered man do

Words of a wise and empowered man
Image from wolflaguerra.wordpress.com

What would an empowered man do?  Subscribe to this program and share it amongst his family, friends and workmates, to empower them too…

If you feel this article has empowered and benefited you and you feel it could benefit the personal empowerment of other folks you know, please reblog it, share it with your friends and associates.  It might be the day you changed someone’s life for the better!

Til next time, fair winds and full sails,

Ray Jamieson

“Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it’s time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself.”
Bill Moyers

Please also refer to my other posts on Empowerment:

Financial Empowerment

Empowerment

Empowerment for Men

Empowerment for Women

Empowerment for Teens

Empowerment for Children

Personal Empowerment

Personal Empowerment

Personal Empowerment

Personal Empowerment – starting young!
Image from http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Personal Empowerment.

asinha97
You are responsible for your life. So why expect something to happen for motivation. Self motivation is biggest drive for self empowerment. Anil Sinha

I recently sat with a man who had asked me to write his biography, his journey from weighing 350 pounds (160 kilograms) back to 200 pounds (90 kg).  After he told me his story, I had a question for him.  First, here is his story, briefly.

He had told me that as he grew fatter, just from being a glutton and careless, he grew too big to do his ceiling insulation batt business – he couldn’t fit through the manholes into the ceiling cavity, so he sold that business and bought a security patrol business.  Then he couldn’t get in and out of the patrol cars because of his rapidly expanding girth, so he sold that business too.  Eventually he began selling real estate in a city office because all he had to do was stand (or sit) near the front door where people would walk by, and he could talk to them.

Personal Empowerment

Something wrong with this picture
Image from nypost.com

However, the life changing chain of events for him began with the bicycle shop next door.  Sometimes he’d stand at his front door and chat to the owner of the bicycle shop, a former triathlete champion, and one day he asked him if he could try riding a bike, as he thought he might like to lose some weight.  Just making conversation.  The reply was that he didn’t stock a bike that would hold his weight!

Then he needed to run to the back of his shop again to the toilet, for the fifth time that hour, and the bicycle shop owner told him he needed to get ‘that’ checked out.  He already knew what his problem was.  The doctor told him after a few short minutes “You have chronic diabetes caused by your eating habits.  If you don’t lose 100 pounds this year, you won’t see next year!”  It scared him; he said those words felt like machine gun fire into his chest!

My question to him was: “If that doctor had not threatened you with your own death, at what point would you have decided you were overweight and needed to do something about it?”

His answer?  “I don’t know.  I never considered it!  I don’t know what it would have taken to have that amount of personal empowerment, to recognise my problem and deal with it!”

Personal empowerment is not a big deal.

Personal Empowerment

A whale of a time!
Image from selfimprovementdevelopment.com

My definition for personal empowerment is the willingness to honestly see yourself as you are, and to commit to making any changes you feel are necessary for your wellbeing, on any level, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.

That just means that if you know you are not fit, you decide to change that and you do what you need to do, to become more fit.  If you have bad breath, you brush your teeth.  If someone tells you that your breath is bad, you don’t abuse them for being rude to you; you thank them for being honest with you and then you brush your teeth.

Being less than you can be, less than your human potential is a crime against yourself.  That doesn’t mean that you need to be training to be fit enough to run the next marathon.  It doesn’t mean you need to immediately begin to diet, or take any other radical steps.  It has nothing to do with vanity, and everything to do with your personal pride.  Look honestly at yourself. Ask yourself if you are the person you always wanted to be. If you can see how you can become closer to that ideal, then you need the strength to commit to making the changes that will get you there.

OK, I hear some howls of protest!  Personal empowerment?  I’m suffering from a chronic illness, I can’t do that!  I was in a car accident and my injuries won’t allow that!  I am overweight because I have a medical condition and the drugs affect me!

Relax.  The question is; are you being all you can be?  If you are ill, then you are ill and that will place limitations on you physically.  But how is your heart?  How is your spirit?  How is your mind?

Personal empowerment will take you from where you are in your life, to where you could be.  It’s not about being fitter, faster, smarter or better than anyone else, just being the best YOU that you could be.  Sometimes, personal empowerment is just being the best parent you can be, so that you can be an empowered parent for your children.  What this world needs probably most of all, is empowered people, who can be empowered parents, so that the next generation who are our children now can take over this world and continue to make it better and fix the mistakes we have made in getting it to them.

Personal empowerment is worth it.

But how do you get personal empowerment?

Personal Empowerment

It’s the little things that count!
Image from mylifeismymessage.org

It’s easy.  Baby steps each day.  It’s not a massive shift, it’s just a few little success habits to get into each day, and then continue to do them every day!  Not hard at all.  You already have a number of habits right now, perhaps some that don’t serve you that you could replace, others that you definitely want to maintain.  Like brushing your teeth.  But add some affirmations and goalsetting to that.  Perhaps doing a few minutes reading of something positive each morning and evening – just a few minutes.  Perhaps setting priorities for your day, specific things that will actually advance you a little closer to your goals.  Perhaps at the end of the day, doing a review and seeing what you achieved, what you learned, what you felt, and checking off what you actually did.  If you started a new habit, check off that you did it, or didn’t – make yourself accountable.

Get into success habits.  Start feeling a sense of achievement for the little things, so that when the big things come up and real personal empowerment is needed to face those challenges, you have already been practising, you have the success habits in place, all you are doing is changing the goal……!  See?  Simple.

That is personal empowerment.  A program with all of this exists now for you to slip into your daily routine; you can get it here.  A few minutes morning and evening and it is done.

The bonus is that it teaches you lots of other cool strategies as well, such as communication skills, financial success tips, stress management and health tips, mental strategies, conflict resolution, goal setting and a whole heap more over the 90 days of the program.  That’s the few minutes of positive and empowered reading material, a couple of hundred words a day to get you on track with life changing strategies in every area of your life.  Personal empowerment was never so easy!  Start your personal empowerment program now!

If you feel this article has empowered and benefited you and you feel it could benefit the personal empowerment of other folks you know, please reblog it, share it with your friends and associates.  It might be the day you changed someone’s life for the better!

Til next time, fair winds and full sails,

Ray Jamieson

Be ambitious towards your own personal enhancement.  Steve Mariboli

Please also refer to my other posts on Empowerment:

Financial Empowerment

Empowerment

Empowerment for Men

Empowerment for Women

Empowerment for Teens

Empowerment for Children

Personal Empowerment

What would an empowered man do?

Empowerment for Children

#Empowerment for Children

Happy, learning children
Image from http://www.cumc.com

#Empowerment for Children

In Empowerment for Teens, we saw that the way children are raised has a huge effect on their behaviour as teens and then young adults.  This is found in the most basic of human instincts, the instinct of survival, one of the few a baby is born with, and is very relevant in Empowerment for Children

To survive, a human being is programmed to do whatever it must.  As a baby has little conscious thought capability at birth, everything is trial, error and instinct.  Babies rely on mothers for feeding, nurturing, protection and survival.  Therefore keeping mother close is a survival instinct.  To do this, some babies cry, some laugh, some are cute and coy, some are funny little clowns.  All are survival strategies initially; the range of survival strategies expands as the baby grows.

A toddler cry baby doesn’t get much sympathy.  However, the baby can learn that a certain laugh, or a certain funny behaviour can get mother’s attention, so that becomes a strategy.  This might be the start of the ‘clown’ survival strategy.  Robin Williams claims this was his way of surviving school, where the bigger boys bullied him until he told jokes!  Now, it is his career!

With most young animals in a nest, if there is competition for food, the bully always wins.  The same with human babies – the instinct is to get in first and get the food to survive.  A bigger or more boisterous baby may become a bully as a survival strategy amongst smaller siblings.  A smaller one may realise that direct action against a bully would not work, but being sneaky and agile might – monkey like antics might become the survival strategy, or outright stealth, guile and theft.  Just as a survival strategy.

#Empowerment for Children

Feeding time – who’s going to get it?
Image from commons.wikimedia.org

However, we see these same strategies employed in adults!  This is because these survival strategies become embedded as “sub-personalities” in the mind and psyche of the child and remain embedded as the child grows up.  At one time they were all relevant as survival strategies; now, as adults many are redundant, but they remain.

How are sub-personalities relevant to empowerment for children?

The baby we first looked at is developing sub-personalities as it grows older, in order to survive.  The empowered child, the well balanced and happy child will confidently move between sub-personalities almost unconsciously, provided we create and foster a supportive environment around them, making it safe for them to grow, explore and experience the world.

How do we make empowerment for children possible?

As parents, it is our responsibility to create the most supportive environment for our children to grow up in.  The best way to do that is for us to be fully empowered personally first – being the best parents and teachers we can be, for them to model as they grow.  Empowerment for Children comes after their parents learn empowerment for women and empowerment for men!

Children do not do as they are taught.  Children do as they are shown by example and that is why they model older children, rather than anonymous characters from text books!  As parents, we need to demonstrate what we want children to learn, and provide the environment where this learning is possible!

Enlightened educationalists will tell us that children learn best in a happy environment where they can experience what they are learning about.  Experiential learning has become a buzz word but really, children have been doing it for thousands of generations, learning through their childhood games.  We need to ensure those childhood games are possible, safe and that we can participate in them to the extent we need to, so that we can give guidance as and when the children need it.

#Empowerment for Children

Learning by playing
Image from lindaoconnell.blogspot.com

The best way for empowerment for children to be experienced is by parents reading to children.  If you have ever seen the rapt look on a child’s face as they explore a picture book with Mummy or Daddy, and the innocent questions that come from it, you will understand.  As the child grows, reading more mature story books opens the child’s mind to the wider world.  I remember my Dad reading “Treasure Island” to me, and another of our favourites, “Two years on Bardunyah Station”, an Australian outback cattle station where everything was larger than life.  Stories such as these allowed us to create magical images of what lay beyond and enthused us with the desire to get out and explore the world, to discover our own Treasure Islands and feel the vastness of the wide outdoors.  We were fortunate that we had empowered parents who understood this.

#Empowerment for Children

Reading to your child is empowering for them
edu101.hubpages.com

When the children do get outdoors, be there with them!  Children’s school sports days are a great place for them to show off to Mum and Dad, if they are sporting by nature.  Music recitals or dance classes are other great ways to participate in your children’s activities if they have come to love the arts.  Whether or not they are the best doesn’t matter, as long as you demonstrate your involvement, and show encouragement for their efforts!

Is it OK for a child to fail?

Empowerment for Children can only happen when the child learns to fall over and stand up to try again!  So many are nursed through childhood that when they reach teens and Mum and Dad can’t keep an eye on them every waking moment, that the first obstacle they come across flummoxes them!  They need to learn from setbacks; learn to power on despite them and because of them, learning from the mistakes and picking up the lessons!  Only in this way do they become ‘battle hardened’ for the sometimes hostile environments they will face as teens and young adults.

#Empowerment for Children

Ooops! Here comes a lesson!
Image from liketreesplanted.com

However, of critical importance is where Mummy and Daddy are when they fall, and how THEY react to their child’s failures!  Empowerment for children happens when they learn from parents that it’s not the failure that matters, it’s getting the lesson and starting over that is important!  If parents are critical of poor school results, poor sporting results or music recitals, then the child learns that it’s a hard world and their parents are just another part of it.  If instead Parents are there to encourage and teach success habits, they learn that mistakes and failings are only stepping stones to success!  They learn what we demonstrate!

This is important in another way too, because as parents we fail sometimes too, and our children know it!  They recognise in us the mistakes we make, and if we judge them harshly for their mistakes, that is what they have learned to do with us.  They become the most critical and unforgiving teenagers unless they learn the truth about mistakes – they are just part of the lifelong education system we are all enrolled in!

Empowerment for our children is directly proportional to the amount of personal empowerment we, as adult parents have.  When WE are empowered, we can empower others, especially our children.  Personal development and empowerment work for us is how we can best empower our children, and lead by example on their march into their teens and adulthood.

If you feel this post has contributed to empowerment for children, please share and reblog amongst your friends and associates.  So many parents are crying out for empowerment for children, but don’t realise that it is within reach.  Your sharing may change the life of another – everyone deserves personal empowerment and this could be the day you make a difference!

Til next time, fair winds and full sails,

Ray Jamieson

Please also refer to my other posts on Empowerment:

Empowerment through Emotional Intelligence

Financial Empowerment

Empowerment

Empowerment for Men

Empowerment for Women

Empowerment for Teens

Personal Empowerment

What would an empowered man do?

Empowerment for Teens.

#Empowerment for teens

Moving on up!
Image from everydaylife.globalpost.com

Empowerment for Teens

In the movies, you see the police chasing the fugitives and the wily old detective says something like “to catch them, we need to understand what drives them”…  Big game hunters say something similar, even now when hunting with a camera for shots for National Geographic, they need to understand what motivates their targets before they can film them.  Do you see the pattern?

Empowerment for teens

Searching for the fugitive
Image from http://www.impawards.com

No, we are not hunting for teenagers.  We know where they are, mostly.…  But why?  Why are teenagers, just like teenagers?  What drives a teenager to behave as a teenager?

No, it’s not a trick question.  In answering it, we can understand and find #empowerment for teens and teach them how they can be happier teens.  To do this, we need to go way back into human evolution, thousands of generations.  Back when achieving and surviving your teens was a bit like reaching pension age.  The world was a savage place, survival was not guaranteed and there was no social security when things got tough.

Early humans were programmed to survive and to continue their species, in a very hostile environment where man was not the supreme predator.  Understanding the human program is the key to understanding teenagers and children, and to helping them make it safely into adulthood!

What is this “human program”?

The human program is to:

  • Survive
  • Explore
  • Experience
  • Identify
  • Procreate
  • Leave a legacy

Understanding this programming enables both teens and parents to understand how the most appropriate Empowerment for Teens can be achieved, especially in the modern world.

Looking at the programs one by one, we can see how they apply, and match behaviours according to the inbuilt human programming.

Survive

We are born into an alien world, helpless, without language, unable to walk or feed ourselves, totally reliant on someone else to protect and nurture us and teach us to survive.

That is a scary deal!  Different people/babies react in different ways.  Some are demanding and scream until Mother comes to cuddle, feed them or give them attention.  That is how they survive, by demanding attention.  Others are cute and use being cute to keep Mother close by, to nurture, cuddle and feed their little ‘cutey pie’.  Yet others are funny, laughing and playful and their antics keep mother close by because it’s fun for her too, to feed, cuddle and nurture her little ‘clown’.  And so our babies find ways to survive.

All through our lives, we find ways to survive.  Those can become sub-personalities, but more on this in our next blog on ‘Empowerment for Children’.  Suffice to say, we adopt sub-personalities as survival strategies as we grow older.

Explore

#Empowerment for teens

Young Explorers
Image from http://www.prime-movies.net

Can’t keep kids at home?  Of course not!  Since they learned they had wriggly things called fingers that they could see and control, each child has been an explorer.  Some do it through books, some through TV, some on computers and some just run wild!  It’s their nature!  The young mind grows fastest in its formative years because as part of the survival process, they have to learn what’s going on around them!  Their curiosity is natural and healthy!

They explore the world they have discovered.  That is how man pushed out of Africa’s Olduvai Gorge and populated the world.  It’s why Columbus sailed west across the Atlantic in three tiny sailing ships and discovered the New World.  It’s why the Pilgrims settled in North America.  It’s why Captain Cook sailed around the world three times – it’s what he did – he was an explorer.  It’s why my family emigrated to Australia a hundred years ago!

Experience

Why do any of us do what we do?  We are experience creating machines!  Our eyes are the most powerful visual sensory units ever – the most incredible telescopes are still not as versatile as the human eye.  Our ears hear and interpret sounds across a vast range and translate them into a language we communicate with.  Our skin is the largest sensory organ.  Our nose is a delicate smelling tool and our tongue’s taste buds can send us over the moon from exquisite food delicacies.  Deeper within, we have senses that intuit and compute on a level beyond consciousness to bring our world alive in another way.

This is just what an astronomer does with a new telescope, a racing driver does with a new car, and a sailor does with a new yacht!  As a teenager, given new awareness of and freedom with this amazing situation called life and a fabulous body to explore it with, wouldn’t you want to find out how far you can take it?  How amazing an experience you could create?

Identify

#Empowerment for teens

Teens together
From http://www.digitaltrends.com

As babies, we experience life through our mothers, not as individuals until time has passed and we begin to exercise control over our body.  Mother is still close but we learn that we can safely venture away a little.  As years pass, we venture further, finally heading off to school, joining a class of children the same age, doing the same classroom exercises.

As teens, classroom shackles are lessened; we have freedom to explore.  Freedom to meet and form groups of our choosing, not classrooms chosen for us.  This is where friendships, group associations and identities begin to form.  This is where young people begin to search for others like them, who think and feel the way they do, who they feel safe expressing their fears and doubts and joys and delights with.  Mum and Dad are always giving us rules to follow; teachers have other rules; where can we be free, together?  This is where we see the gangs as well as special interest groups form.  Some play football, some are cheerleaders, some play chess, some hang out in the mall and pick on little kids for their pocket money.  Identities are formed, sometimes directly aligned with our survival sub-personalities from infancy.

Procreate

#Empowerment for teens

Teen romance
asp.cumc.columbia.edu

Possibly the next most powerful force after survival is procreation, the program for the species to reproduce and ensure its survival.  It is the nature of life to procreate.  Life will always find a way.

With human beings, this program is set to explode as the body reaches the stage when it is physically mature enough to reproduce – based on a situation that humans faced many thousands of years ago, when old age could be anything beyond teenage years!  In those days, with a very short life expectancy, reproduction had to begin as early as possible and happen often, because mortality was high and more children were needed to ensure there were enough who lived for survival of the tribe.

Now, the tribe would rather the teenagers waited until they were married before this process happens.  The program says otherwise; it screams it loudly and urgently to the teens and won’t take no for an answer!

Leave a legacy

#Empowerment for teens

Graffiti?
By erinsingleton.wordpress.com

Some of the most fascinating art ever done is cave art from thousands of years ago, notably the Painted Caves in France.  This is early man leaving a legacy.  So why are we surprised when kids tag trains and walls with spray cans of paint?  We venerate one form as art but vilify the other!  The reality is that it is a program, just as much as it was for Leonardo to paint the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo the Sistine Chapel, for Bill Gates to create Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and for so many of us to want to write a book.  It’s a legacy.

We are born with a burning question:  “Why are we here?”  How else will anyone ever know we were here?  Our legacy has some answers.

How does this relate to Empowerment for Teens?

Whilst this blog is not a teen operating manual, it gives insight into behavioural drives that motivate and provide empowerment for teens.  It’s handy for parents to understand, as well as for teens.  Teens want to understand themselves, because in their search for ways to survive, explore, experience, identify, procreate and leave a legacy, they want to understand other teens too.  Empowerment for teens through these inbuilt programs is a subconscious, impatient driver and motivator.  If teens were more conscious of it, and if education became better targeted in these areas, they could control it better and empowerment for teens could be managed, even harnessed!  Currently, motivators for teen behaviours are at best a mystery for many parents, as well as the teens!

How to provide empowerment for teens

#Empowerment for teens

Family fun outings
From http://www.telegraph.co.uk

The key to this is understanding the motivators and providing opportunities for them to occur naturally, without threatening the teenagers’ development.  When these ancient programs developed, two main skills required were to hunt and to fight.  Now, many are in school or university til mid twenties and neither of those skills are called upon.  We are programs screaming around in a body with nowhere to express ourselves!

With survival not really an issue, exploration, experiences and identity become the primary drivers for early teens.  Providing suitable safe opportunities for these enables curious teens to develop in ways that will enable them to have a safe and fun journey through their world, and take the pressure off for the next two programs to begin – that of procreation and leaving a legacy.  Education enables them to identify and form bonds with the groups most suitable for them.  Without the pressures of survival, they can take their time to decide to procreate when they have prepared for it.

Taking a giant leap forward to look at Maslow’s hierarchy, we can see that ‘self actualisation’ is at the top.  Effectively this is delaying the “leaving a legacy” until the other drives have been satisfied – suggesting that it is a more naturally occurring process after teen years, provided all other drives are satisfied.

The practical application of Empowerment for Teens 

#Empowerment for teens

Family discussion over dinner
fromdiploma2dreamjob.com

When working with and searching for real empowerment for teens, look at what stage they are at and what program is driving them.  When you know they want to explore and experience, don’t lock them in a bland room with homework.  Find a way to give them experiences that satisfy their drives, as well as provide an environment that brings their homework and education alive.  Enable them to meet and experience wider groups of people and cultures to enable them to choose the identities they relate to, but from a much wider range of options.  Don’t force choices from a narrow range of options or they will rebel in their need to explore and survive.

Educational experiences with cultures and expressions outside the norm of daily life will provide healthy empowerment for teens and an enthusiasm for more of what life has to offer.  When youth and enthusiasm meet, the other barnacles of life such as arguing with parents, chores and homework become insignificant issues that no longer represent limits to their freedom.  Rather, they see them as part of their freedom, opportunities and way of life.

This creates healthy relationships in which communication is usually much better.  Issues such as procreation – boyfriends and girlfriends, sex education, career and life directions can actually become interesting family discussions.  When family remain friends, identities are also more closely fostered and often less radically chosen.

However, remember that generalities are generally wrong.  Expect that teens will always surprise everyone, including themselves!

To assist with providing discipline that is not parental, but rather self guided and self consolidating success habits, a program of daily encouragement, teaching goalsetting, affirmations, rewarding achievement, journalling thoughts and feelings and raising awareness of emotions and the daily lessons of life.  Such a program is Life Change 90.

If you feel this post has contributed to empowerment for teens, please share and reblog amongst your friends and associates.  So many are crying out for empowerment for teens, but don’t realise that it is within reach.  Your sharing may change the life of another – everyone deserves personal empowerment and this could be the day you make a difference!

Til next time, fair winds and full sails,

Ray Jamieson

Please also refer to my other posts on Empowerment:

Empowerment through Emotional Intelligence

Financial Empowerment

Empowerment

Empowerment for Men

Empowerment for Women

Personal Empowerment

What would an empowered man do?