Loneliness Is … In The Beginning

Loneliness Is … In The Beginning

Colin Learns To Play

loneliness Is ...Colin Rochford loves jumping in at the deep end. (metaphorically speaking – since he’s afraid to have his head underwater). He lives by the mantra, “It’s better to say you’re sorry than ask for permission”.

How’s that worked for him, you ask? OK. Most of the time.

When Colin moved from the big smoke to a small regional town in country Victoria, Australia he joined every group/activity he could. Went to the opening of the proverbial envelope.

He then decided the muse needed to make herself known.

Having already written a chapter in the book Nkwocha, Kizzi. (2015), Success Unlimited. Sussex, UK: Mithra Publishing; called “Beliefs, Rules, Values & Language – Their Role In Your Success”, he thought to himself, “Why not write a whole book all by myself?”

The result is “Braving Change”.

Colin lives in a small one-bedroom unit in Mansfield – no dogs, no cats; dreaming of travelling all over the world on a yacht.

Colin Rochford is a life coach, author, trainer, self-help speaker, world traveller, and entrepreneur.

His blog can be read at http://colinlearnstoplay.com. He can be followed at Twitter.com/ColinTRochford.

Now retired, he believes that nothing changes if nothing changes, and success requires positive thinking combined with massive action.

Starting a Successful Blog when you have No Clue: Gundi Gabrielle – A Review

Starting a Successful Blog when you have No Clue: Gundi Gabrielle

Successful BlogThis book has been completely rewritten and it shows.

I have pages of notes and my new website (blog) is now close to being finished. The information contained in this book and the free video lessons make it an absolute winner.

It spans the gamut of newbie to seasoned user and is easy to follow.

I love it and you will too.

Double Jeopardy by Aime Austin – A Review

Double Jeopardy by Aime AustinDouble Jeopardy

There’s a new word in the lexicon.
Pantsfeelings.
Cool yeah? I won’t tell you any more. You’ll see when you read it. The book gives a new understanding to Double Jeopardy as well.
I enjoyed this story and the character of Casey Cort is so engaging. I love that she is a girly girl AND a blokey bloke. It is a refreshing vision.
A couple of issues from a previous book in the series were resolved and the ending is something I had not expected.
Great work. I’ll be chasing up more from this author.

On Writing by Stephen King – A Review

On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing

Recently I read an extremely cool little book by this famous author.

It covered a fair amount of biographical data that was very interesting, enlightening, educative, and insightful. Now that sentence probably violated many of the writing rules the other parts of the book covered.

But the book is well structured, easy to understand and entertaining, as you’d expect from ‘The Man’. But it is still a learning exercise. I found out about stuff I have not heard of before. Like: your tool box with 4 levels. Vocabulary in the top tray, along with Grammar.

Some examples: He advises against using the passive voice. Ever. Well hardly ever. Adverbs also fit into this, use them VERY rarely, category. And then there’s dialogue attribution. (If you don’t know about this; there’s a great reason to find and read this lovely little book). He notes that this later bit of construction when aligned with an adverb is called a Swiftie after author Tom Swift. And should once again NEVER be used in GOOD writing.

It is an amazing book. I loved it. Please find it and read it. Only takes an hour or so and your writing life will never be the same.

Neither Borrower Nor Lender Be

Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be

Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be. What does this actually mean? Where is it from and how does it relate to our lives at the moment?

Shakespeare

It is a Shakespearean quote:

Polonius in Act-I, Scene-III of the play, Hamlet, counsels his son Laertes before he embarks on his visit to Paris. “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend.”

It means do not lend or borrow money from a friend, because if you do so, you will lose both your friend and your money. If you lend, he will avoid paying back, and if you borrow you will fall out of your savings, as you turn into a spendthrift, and face humiliation.

Integrity

It mentions friend, but I reckon it is more universal than that.

I believe it touches on honesty and trust by which I mean integrity; elements of our lives of which we need to be more aware.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and figure that the definitions of these terms might have slipped from our conscious minds.

Let’s reacquaint our selves with them, shall we?

Definitions

Honesty: (Wikipedia) Honesty is a facet of moral character that connotes positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, straightforwardness, including straightforwardness of conduct, along with the absence of lying, cheating, theft, etc. Honesty also involves being trustworthy, loyal, fair, and sincere.

Trust: (Wikipedia) Confidence in or dependence on a person or quality. The assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.

Integrity: (Wikipedia) The practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions.

All of these include the word TRUTH. Or TRUTHFULNESS. Co-incidence? I think not.

Top Value

My top value in life is Integrity.

And it would seem to include the other sentiments of Trust and Honesty as its mainstays.

Let’s have a think about Integrity.

Integrity again

It says, “having strong moral and ethical principles”. Well even that’s difficult, isn’t it? Both can be very subjective. What’s moral to one is completely against the odds for others. For example ‘Jihads’ and ‘An eye for an eye’.

Ethics is much more strongly defined and thus a better gauge, but ‘honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions’. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Means you do as you say. Can’t be clearer than that.

So I guess a Jihadist who truly believes that what he says he is going to do in the name of his religion, or his God, and follows through; is acting with integrity. Interesting point?

Listen

Comes down to the fact we all must listen and think before we react. Not everyone is like us. I mean each human on this planet is UNIQUE and stands for something. We are all important. We all have our own values – sometimes our issue might be we actually don’t know what these values are, and this makes life a little fraught, but that is for another time. Perhaps we can discuss values again soon if you like.

Think Before We React

Be aware. Be grateful, be less judgemental, and remember that while we cannot control circumstances external to us (and that means other people too, who have different, even extreme views - and are entitled to them), we can control how we react to them. Those who react completely from emotion with no checks (ie is your reaction Logical, True, and Constructive – all 3 MUST be present), are really no better than those they criticise.

Just sayin’. What do you think?

Values – Integrity & Trust

Values – Integrity & Trust

Values

 

Today we talk about values. And the two I am going to discuss are Trust and Integrity.

Wikipedia: Integrity

Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions.

The word integrity evolved from the Latin adjective integer, meaning whole or complete. In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs, and principles they claim to hold.

Dictionary: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

Wikipedia: Trust

In a social context, a situation characterized by the following aspects: One party (trustor) is willing to rely on the actions of another party (trustee); the situation is directed to the future.

In addition, the trustor (voluntarily or forcedly) abandons control over the actions performed by the trustee. As a consequence, the trustor is uncertain about the outcome of the other's actions; they can only develop and evaluate expectations. The uncertainty involves the risk of failure or harm to the trustor if the trustee will not behave as desired.

Trust is believing that the person who is trusted will do what is expected. It starts at the family and grows to others.

Dictionary: The firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.

Trust and Integrity Linked

While these two values may appear to be quite separate, I believe them to be inextricably linked. You can’t have one without the other.

I can rely (trust) on you if you are honest (integrity), can’t I?

Family

Note: this trust thing is something that starts at the FAMILY according to the definition above.

I am reminded of a story told to me recently of a young woman (possibly about 12 yrs old at the time ) who, finding that she needed some extra money, borrowed it from a very generous older woman – a ‘friend’ of the family.

The young woman began to pay back the loan as soon as she could, but was stopped by her parents. A learning opportunity squandered. But, more importantly, a lesson that honesty, trust, and integrity were values not to be considered important.

Imagine being taught that, at such a young and vulnerable age? As far as I know, this young woman (now 18 at time of writing) has shaken off the shackles of this upbringing to become an admirable member of society. (That’s me being judgmental, isn’t it?)

Integrity

Integrity is and has been one of the cornerstones of my life. I believe that there is no higher aim than, to be honest in everything, (of course, I am human and make mistakes as often as most – I am not perfect, but I am as authentic as possible) and to strive for the wholeness alluded to in the above Wikipedia definition.

Trust

I think more needs to be said about TRUST, but that is for another time.

Let me know what you think.

Values – Be A Better Person

Agentic – Leadership Style

Agentic – Leadership Style

Agenetic. I learned a new word today. Quite a simple word, but seems to have two almost opposite meanings.

Let’s investigate.

Wikipedia: Agentic leadership derives from the term agency. This leadership style is generally found in the business field by a person who is respected by subordinates. This person demonstrates assertiveness, competitiveness, independence, courageousness, and is masterful in achieving their task at hand.

Then there is Milgram’s theory: which is the psychological state the obedient subject is in when he or she is obeying authority.

Milgram

Milgram (1963) was interested in researching how far people would go in obeying an instruction if it involved harming another person. for example, Germans in WWII.

Not the same I would have thought.

As the word was applied to me- I would like to think Wikipedia was more likely to be true.

Etymology

Although if we follow etymology agency, (and that would surely be where the word came from), seems to mean 'acting on behalf of', as in an actor’s, or an author’s agent. This would be an obeying authority kind of thing, wouldn’t it?

Hmmmmm.

Where to from here?

Another extension of one of the definitions suggests: Adjective. Social cognition theory perspective in which people are producers as well as products of social systems.

This a combination of both perhaps? I like this one.

Left Wing – Right Wing

Left-Wing – Right-Wing

Generally, the left-wing is characterized by an emphasis on "ideas such as liberty, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform, and internationalism", while the right-wing is characterized by an emphasis on "notions such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism". Wikipedia

Opposites

What If I Told You

Now it might surprise you but these can be seen as opposite sides of the same coin.

One can assume that there are as many of our world’s people on the left or the right. That would make sense. It is also sensible to assume, I reckon, that the edges of both of these move way out into radical airspace.

Outrage and Offence

That being the case there is the likelihood that outrage and offense can be, and will be taken when these outer reaches are breached in either direction.

Perhaps the left might be a softer option (a judgment call,) and the right more hard-edged (another judgment call) and perhaps the idea of hatred is more likely to arrive out of the right-wing camp? Do you think?

Seems likely to me.

Moderates

If we as (shall we call ourselves ‘moderates’ - those closer to the middle line between these two extremes), are going to avoid confrontation from either side, we would need to draw in the edges, somewhat, to remove the ‘radicalised’ tips of this continuum.

While I am no fan of anything that is too much left or too much right, nor am I an apologist for companies like Facebook, I am mindful that in our world where free speech is revered we must be aware that if we are to leave these edges as wide as possible maintaining a situation where most people are allowed freedom of expression – some WILL and MUST be offended. Goes without saying.

On both sides of the coin.

Skew

It can’t happen otherwise. If we skew our cutoffs because we say, “Oh the left is softer and doesn’t hurt people so much”, then we are making a mockery of free speech. This is free speech adjusted for the left. I don’t believe this is the way we need to go. Of course, the exact opposite is also true. If we restrict the right, the far-left community will be outraged, Albeit more quietly as is their want.

Therefore we have to assume while we live in this partisan, dichotomous, politicised society there will be issues. Some of them may have calamitous effects. We have to understand this and expect it.

FaceBook and Twitter

Social Organisations like Twitter and Facebook, for example, need to maintain the widest possible limits for their customers/members who provide ALL of the content for the platform, to fully cater for free speech, while cutting off at the edges, the most extreme violations of the human condition.

As it is, many more of the notions at the far boundaries of the right side may tend to spill over into offensive territory, than the ideas of the left.

My prejudices

Of course, that may just be my own prejudices showing. I guess I am way more left than right in my tendencies. No apologies for that. I have always been more open and ideas orientated than absolutes and authority driven.

Doing Its Best

I am sure FB is doing its best. As a money-making concern, it does not want to alienate ANY of its patrons in spite of thoughts and comments to the contrary. But it also has to take into account what is considered by law in all countries where it exists, as ‘common decency’ and adjust its policies to suit. However skewed that might seem to those affected.

What do you think?

Petrol Prices – Ripped Off

Petrol Prices – Ripped Off

Recently I have been noticing a bit of activity on Social Media where people are commenting that they feel ripped-off by gas/petrol prices in particular, but in reality, they are thinking, I believe, on a larger scale. Gas/petrol is just one of the most visible. Let’s declare that we are talking small business in this article. I won’t define small business at this point, as that is a whole different story.

Rip-off

Definitions

What does rip-off mean? In the Urban dictionary it is defined as:

  1. Stealing ideas and/or products to create something of lesser value.
  2. To take credit for something that is not their own.
  3. To slightly alter an existing idea and product for personal benefit.
  4. Disregard the origin of the true creation in attempt to make a quick buck and turn a few heads.

None of which relate to actual pricing of a product or service such as gas/petrol unless the product is being misrepresented. That would be item #1. ie offering a lower octane fuel for the higher octane price. Classic case.

Then there is the Collins Dictionary:

  1. If someone rips you off, they cheat you by charging you too much money for something or by selling you something that is broken or damaged.
    • The Consumer Federation claims banks are ripping you off by not passing along savings on interest rates. (Maybe? All banks have shareholders they must pay. Some of these investors might be you?)
    • The airlines have been accused of ripping off customers. (Hmmmm)

This comes much closer to what people have been saying. But we need to be careful here. Value judgements and subjective thinking can trip us up.

What is too much money? More than you WANT to pay? More than you paid last week? More than Bill bought the same thing for on-line? More than the business owner deserves? How do we decide?

Wage/Salary

When you and me go to work for a boss, we do so, in general to receive a wage or a salary. There is some kind of ‘quid-pro-quo’ here. We provide something the company wants and they pay us for our time. All good.

And we, more or less, happily massage our living expenses to match as closely as possible the weekly/fortnight/monthly money, wages, salary. What happens within the company has very little effect, most of the time, on the workers/employees. They get their money (the same amount) regularly. Usually no matter what. There are retrenchments/layoffs and unfortunate things like that, but they are still exceptions to the rule. You go to work, put in your time, get paid, end of story.

Business

Doesn’t work that way for a business. Those of us who have ever owned a business know this only too well.

Every business (even the big corporations many of us work for) must SELL something to make any money. Every day. And when you are the owner, the actual machinations, the regular daily sales of your product or service matter to you. They matter a lot.

You are in a business, whatever it is, to make this salary employees take for granted. If sales go down one month so does the money in your bank account. You get less or sometimes no pay that month. Bills and costs of running a business very rarely drop. They usually go up. And they are continuous, they don’t stop because sales do. And then there’s stuff like school fees to consider as an example. So we walk a very tight rope in our businesses.

Not In Business For You - The Customer

It may come as a shock to many of you, but a business owner (say the boss of a gas/petrol station) is not in business for you. He is in business for his family. The PRODUCT he sells is FOR you, but that is all.

He/she decides what monthly personal income is needed over and above all expenses (and very often a contingency for lower sales some times of the year). Just like decisions you make when sometimes you decide a job is not for you as the salary is not enough to fund the lifestyle you desire. Same in a business. As well most businesses have a cost structure that includes up-front money. Remember if the business fails, the proprietor loses this up-front money, but the loan (usually this up-front cost is funded by a bank) does not go away just because the business does. So now our business owner has no income but continued personal as well as business expenses. He/she must set up contingencies to cover this possibility.

Contingencies

Speaking of contingencies – many businesses price their goods/service based on a yearly average. Some – the most lucrative - can afford to fluctuate prices to the customer down in good times, up in the not so good, many cannot.

If all else was equal gas/petrol stations could change prices based on the cost of the last delivery of fuel. And this is NEVER the same in any two consecutive deliveries. I spent many years in the fuel industry, and this is a known fact.

But if they have decided to run as close as possible to the bone, this cheaper fuel load sold at the higher cost, is a minor bonus like a salary earner Christmas bonus for example. It may fund an otherwise unlikely holiday, or it may just be set aside as a buffer for the rainy day when sales hit rock bottom for no foreseeable reason.

Charges

Businesses charge what they want? True as far as it goes. But it would be silly to watch your bottom line disappear in the red because you went all altruistic and figured your customers deserved a better deal. “I can’t charge my customer’s that – it’s a rip-off. I’ll just charge this price instead. Of course I may not be able to save up enough for my tax bill, but let’s worry about that another day”.

How does that help anyone?

On the other side of the coin, it would be beyond stupid to charge a price much greater than the opposition for the same product/service, or to charge a price so high that your customer base evaporates.

Must Charge

It is a see-saw (teeter-totter). In fact business can’t really charge what they want for a product/service. They MUST charge what their bottom line requires. And yes, some of this will be discretionary income. Personal funds. To spend as they see fit on - what you may JUDGE as - frivolous things, Perhaps like boats, holidays, houses, restaurants, clothes etc. Most salary earners consider this a right. A direct consequence of putting in 40-50 hours at the coal-face each week.

By the way, most business owners I know would kill to spend only 40-50 hours per week at work. So would their families. It is not possible in almost every small business. A story for another time.

Of course, if the business is huge different scales of economics apply and much of the argument in this article is not accurate.

Summary

To summarise, business owners are in business for THEM. Not for YOU. They charge what they want within reason to fund the lifestyle many wage and salary earners take for granted. It is not for you to judge.

You can CHOOSE to pay the prices asked for many varied reasons, or not. Your CHOICE. You cannot bleat until you can compare the lifestyle you have with that of a business owner. Remember ALL businesses are set-up to provide the owner with an income. Disposable income and costs of doing business income. Unless it is a hobby or a side hustle; but if it is the main wage/salary of a family many things are set in concrete before they even begin.

If a lower price would actually increase the businesses’ bottom line then it is silly to overcharge. If not it is reality.

Take it or leave it. In almost every case there are other choices you can make that better suit your budget or your convenience.

Make them. Don’t play the victim card.

Quick to Blame

What’s it all about? We are in Control of our lives!

Braving Change

For those who enjoy Who Moved My Cheese - November 16, 2019

Braving Change

Change is unavoidable and it seems to get harder to deal with the more I fight it.

Braving Change has let me look at change through different eyes. My resistance has been worn down through the author's words of wisdom.

For people who enjoy Who Moved My Cheese, this book keeps you on track to embracing change and all that it offers.

Amanda

Religion is The Opiate of the Masses

Religion is the Opiate of the Masses

Karl Marx

“Religion is the opium of the people”, wrote Karl Marx in 1843, often paraphrased as the ‘opiate of the masses’ as above.

I was reminded of this today while discussing life and other things with a friend whom I was visiting in the hospital.

Catholic

Not sure how the topic came up, but he was waxing lyrical about how religion was simply a means of controlling a population. This from a 78-year-old Irish Catholic.

I said that as far as I knew all religions had been created by humans and NOT a God of any variant.

A Drug of Addiction

Don’t we have here a drug, as can be construed by Mr. Marx’s comments, that we, as the people or the masses, are being hooked on by the pushers of this religious nonsense? I think so.

Suffering Does Not Last

We went on to discuss how in his early years in Ireland he was constantly disappointed, (NO read disgusted) by The Church’s exhortation that suffering was only temporary (an earthly thing since time in Heaven didn’t exist), and poor people, in particular, should remember that they will be rewarded in the afterlife. This, of course, kept them from trying to better themselves, because, why would they? This was temporary, the afterlife was forever – unending.

As the aforementioned poorer class of people was probably not very well educated, this belief was perpetuated; and the weekly gatherings that were forced upon the members of these groups by threats of missing out on the afterlife as well, if they didn’t attend, continued the travesty.

This was far from the beginning, though. These unsavoury tactics had been going on for millennia.

Religious Leaders

From the earliest of times, humans have created groups of men who have been designated as having greater significance in the scheme of things (the so-called religious leaders). Let’s look at this.

Religion - Defined

Religion is often defined as “, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs”. Man-made. Yes?

Wikipedia says:

Historical Perspective

“There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion”.

Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, the other two being Christianity and Islam. But the oldest form of religion would probably be Zoroastrian, sometimes called the official religion of ancient Persia.

Zoroastrian

Is one of the world's oldest surviving religions, with teachings older than Buddhism, or Judaism, and far older than Christianity or even Islam. Zoroastrianism is thought to have arisen “in the late second millennium B.C.E amidst semi-nomadic pastoralists in the Central Asian Steppelands,” according to Dr. Jenny Rose, a scholar of the religion. Its name comes from Zarathushtra, to whom the earliest texts of the religion (the Gathas, or “songs” of praise to Ahura Mazda) are ascribed. He was known to the Greeks as Zoroaster, hence the name we know today.

Do As We Say

Now have a read of this, “In Zoroastrian thought, good and evil are strictly divided. The deity Ahura Mazda (the “wise lord”) establishes everything good, whereas Angra Mainyu (the “destructive spirit”) is the source of everything evil, bringing chaos to the orderly world. The chaos and confusion of evil are spoken of as “the lie,” in contrast to the order, right, and truth of Ahura Mazda.

I mean isn’t this – the oldest known religion, just a system of man-made control? Do as I (we) say and all will be well. Or else chaos.

Comments, Please

Hmmmmm, So this bollocks is not new. Not at all.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Writing Everyday

Writing Everyday

WritingWriting, journaling or scribing as Hal Elrod calls it in The Miracle Morning, is the final task in the SAVERS morning routine.

Daily Thoughts

The idea is to put down on paper with an actual pen or pencil some thoughts, on a daily basis. Hal Elrod gives you a number of options in an attachment to his ebook, but the problem seems to be that many of his (shall I Call them disciples?) don’t seem to be able to figure it out. What to write, I mean. How to write for the 10 minutes the ritual calls for.

Not your Guru

I don’t profess to be any kind of guru, but I do not seem to have a problem with this task.

Now I reckon this might be because of a number of things that I have read and done, not because I am all that clever.

Write a Book

Firstly, a few years ago I started down a path to write a book. I had no idea what to write about; fiction or not, and not a single notion how to start.

Somewhere I read about a website where you write, electronically, 500 words of anything – often utter drivel - and publish it either in a folder on your computer, or if you were feeling brave on the website or Facebook group. I can’t remember now. I did a bit of both. But the idea was not to write anything of value, just to churn out 500 words (more or less) and leave it at that. Even the stuff published on the web was not to be read, just to prove that you had written it.

The Artist’s Way

Then, not that long ago, I found another really exciting book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. In this book, Julia extolled the virtue of what she called ‘Morning Pages’. The idea behind this again was to write in longhand ANYTHING. Yeah, there were some clues given, but the most exciting and most useful to me as a writer was the need to completely remove yourself as a person writing the material, from the actual result. It wasn’t easy. Took a lot of time to get it to happen consistently. Many mornings writing for a defined number of minutes. Many mornings missing out. But the whole process was just that. A process.

Writing as a Process

In earlier times when I was working, I was a process manager. What happened in any manufacturing process, was that if you put the correct bits and pieces in, carried out the same routines, each and every time, then a result would occur, that was very consistent. Nothing else to it. No emotion. No connection. Just input, action and output.

What am I saying here? Simple. Begin by sitting somewhere quiet and without any distractions, put pen to paper and write words. Don’t lift the pen or even think too much. It’s like meditation. You need to empty your mind of all thoughts and emotions and just let the moving finger write. You will end up with a result.

Raw

Don’t read it back. Don’t edit. Just put words down on paper and off you go. Next task for the day. Job’s done. This is the most important part.

Stuck

It has even been said that if you get stuck just write, “I am stuck. Do not know what to write.” and keep up that until something shakes out. As you are not reading it and there is no point to the writing, other than the actual act of writing, there is no loss, no foul.

No point to the Writing

You did it. Good on you. After some days, weeks, months of this, you might find you can give it some structure and actually write something like I am doing here. But it just flows. This is NEVER the point so don’t stress. Is there a time when structure should take over? NO. If it does. Cool. If not cool too. The whole point is to just write. Period.

Imaginative Story Writing

I did a bit of imaginative writing today – no gratitude, no journal, no diary – a story of sorts. I started with a sentence about dreams. My intent was to follow-up on a discussion I had been involved in the day before with a lady, from the paranormal arena. It didn’t down go down that path at all. It was a story about coffee and a new detective, and a new relationship and an exploding front door. Dunno why. But the same PROCESS was involved. Just the writing, nothing but the writing.

Reptile Brain

There is a direct link between the thinking conscious brain and the hand or keyboard. You need to break that and take the brain out of the equation. Write from the reptile part of your brain if you like. Straight from your hand to the page.

No connection to any actual thinking. After a while it is easy. Must be done every day, though, so as to keep up the momentum. Only 10 minutes. How hard is that really? Well, it is hard. But keep at it.

Writing today

I started writing this the same way. It is not literature but is over 800 words and most of it makes some kind of sense.

Writing Every Day – Journaling

The Teacher will Appear

The Miracle Morning

How To Overcome The Fear Of Change

How to Overcome Fear Of Change

FOC not FOMO, but Fear Of Change. It is a thing, and it even has its own word. Metathesiophobia.

Fear Of Change

Breakfast

We all like routine. Hell, I have the same 3 pieces of grain bread toast every morning. Lashings of ‘unhealthy’ butter, 2 slices with honey and one with vegemite. (Yeah, well I live in Australia – so sue me.)

The need to feel in control – and this is very often what routine is all about - is built into our physical and mental predispositions.

When you are finished changing, you are finished”

Benjamin Franklin.

And it is true. We need to accept that change is a necessary part of life. To not do so can lead to panic or anxiety attacks; it can become a full-blown phobia when it is irrational, persistent and intense.

FEAR

Someone once said to me that FEAR is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. You have probably all heard it – it is almost a cliché now, but let’s look at it in a bit more depth.

False Evidence

This usually comes from stories we tell ourselves based on the flimsiest of grounds and in many cases not true, not logical and not even slightly constructive. We fabricate stuff and believe our own stories even when they are obviously not real.

Phones And The Younger Generation

Here’s an example. Those who are afraid that our children will fail to learn socialising skills because they are always on their phones and not talking to each-other. Yeah? You’ve heard that one? What do you think they are doing on their phones? Most of them are not playing games. They are messaging friends, often several at once, occasionally from many different towns, cities or even countries. Isn’t this communicating?

Different

Is it different from the way we used to do it? Yes, of course, but it is a good change? I think so. Wider communication networks, and an instant (not having to wait for weeks to send and receive actual mail) connection. They can even take pictures and share them with friends all over at the tap of a finger on a screen.

Social Media

Yes and what about social media? Is it good or bad? Guess it depends on what you mean by good and bad. We used to SHARE our opinions using letters to the editor columns in magazines and newspapers. Sometimes on talk-back radio. (that in itself was a change from earlier communications not available to us until radio was invented and came into general use). But we don’t talk about that now do we? We just say kids are doing it wrong.

NO. They are not. They are just using NEW technology to do things differently.

Like we did. All those years ago.

Appearing Real

Change is inevitable. Listen to the stories you tell yourself that Appear Real to you because you repeat them so often.

Sisyphus

It is a fact that the brain has great difficulty in differentiating what is real from what is imagined. Seems to be same. And if you tell yourself these false stories often enough you will believe them and then you will resist change, and you become like Sisyphus trying to push the rock up the hill. You will fail and be crushed in the process.

Book

I have a new eBook coming out at the end of September addressing this situation. It will be published on Amazon.

It is called: “How To Overcome The Fear Of Change”. And it will give you some in-depth reasons why we might be suffering from this affliction, and some practical ways to avoid this crippling state of affairs. It even includes a ‘Call To Action’ that everyone can use.

Fear of Change eBook

CHANGE – Cannot be Avoided

Quick to Blame

Quick to Blame

Recently I have noticed, particularly in electronic conversations, (email and text) the tendency to correct others and lay blame.

Blame

I have had this criticism levelled at me a couple of times during the last year or so, “You always make out that you are right and others are wrong. You correct people all the time when you talk to them. This is extremely annoying.” for example.

Focus

I have become very aware, following these comments, of how I react in conversations and have been attempting to catch myself, preferably before making the comment, in the hope that this will make my speech less confrontational.

That being the case, and following on from the rule of ‘focus’ in life, (think of a red car – immediately begin to see hundreds of red cars) I have become hyper-aware of this tendency, in emails particularly.

Recently

A recent example. A request for volunteers for an event. One response said yep I’ll be there but this decision is made without any idea of when and what days I will be required.

Now all that required info was in the email, albeit a bit of a way down as this response was the end of a few answers. But the info WAS there. IN THE ACTUAL EMAIL THAT WAS BEING ANSWERED.

The responder had not read the whole communication, yet took it upon themselves to criticise the originator of the request and blame them for leaving out vital information.

Why?

Why do we do this? And I obviously include myself in this question, as evidenced by the above, I am as guilty as anyone.

But are there two possible ways of looking at this?

I was a teacher for some years in the earlier part of my working life and correcting kids when I thought I was right, has always been a part of my life. Do I now see everyone as kids that need my teaching to make them see the error of their ways?

Accuracy

I am a bit of a stickler for getting things right. Of course, ‘right’ is extremely subjective and I may often not be correct. My corrections can be, in fact, not corrections at all, but an extension of the original error.

I don’t feel I am doing this with an air of superiority, just a feeling that accuracy is important. Again, I say ‘accuracy’ according to me.

Superior

Secondly, it may very well be a feeling that if I can put you down, and tell you that you are wrong, this will elevate me to a higher status and prove to me, you, and anyone else listening, that I am, in fact, superior.

A need for ego-stroking or a need for correctness. Or are they both the same in a subtle kind of way?

Judgment

Or is there another element here? One of judgment? Hard to tell.

Call to Action

But my call out to all of you reading this, and to me of course, – before you criticise somebody, and blame them for something, make sure you have all the information, and make sure that your criticism is fair. How do you know if it is fair?

TLC

Easy. Follow the PAME code (Emee Vida Estacio) and use a little bit of TLC. Is your criticism TRUE? Is it LOGICAL? Finally, is it CONSTRUCTIVE? If your comment fails any one of these criteria, then suck it back in and say nothing at all. Better for everyone.

And remember when you point one finger at someone else, there are three pointing back to you.

Change Your Life for Good PAME Code

Mansfield Live A Podcast

Podcasting

I met a man Bojangles and ...– no that wasn’t his name and it’s not mine. Names don’t matter, but he was in a pub and we spoke a bit about music and Mansfield and all the stuff happening here. He extracted from me a promise to generate a podcast at least once a week talking about Mansfield.

It is now Monday morning and I have figured out that I can manage some time in the morning each Monday to do this. 5 mins only to start and the first one done today will not have all the bells and whistles. It will just be a bare-bones affair. No backdrop, although I do have that, it is not set up as yet. I’ll do that, probably not in time for next Monday as this week is looking like being a tad out of control already. And me in a tracky.

Mansfield Live

I’ll call it Mansfield Live, and it will cover

Books, Music, Theatre, Food, Wine, Radio, the paranormal, Bush Poetry and info about anything interesting or special about Mansfield in the week just gone and the wonderful week to follow.

After I get it going, I’ll even head off with my trusty mobile phone and record a few interviews.

Interviews and other stuff

People like Gabe Bergmoser, a local chap, now an author with a 2 book deal from Harper Collins and 2 books with movie rights either sorted or under discussion. Theatre people, Radio people arts people. All will be interviewed and have a spot in my newest venture. Mansfield Live. Look out for it.

I’d better get going as a rather large amount of research is now called for to figure out how to record and publish this podcast. I have no experience in this. Hmmm.

Let’s Gooooooooooo

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?carrot-egg-coffee

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high flame. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked, "What does it mean, Grandmother?"

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity -- boiling water -- but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her granddaughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavour, to them?

ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

I have no idea where this came from, (so I can't give credit to the author which is a pity) but it was too good not to share.

Learning. What Did You Learn Today?

Depression, Anxiety & Compassion

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

With apologies to David Bowie.
I have noticed (isn't it strange how things on our mind come to the fore in other parts of our lives?), a few videos on Facebook about change recently; Mel Robbins & Russell Brand to name just two. And also a large number of posts about life in the sixties and how different - read better, it was. These on Facebook too.

Changes

Green & Growing / Ripe & Rotting

I was reminded of the ‘We either are “green and growing”, or we are “ripe and rotting”. Change is inescapable’, quote (often attributed to Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame), which I first heard during my coaching training. The bell curve came to me. When we consider we are at the top or peak of our existence ie the 60’s - and we do nothing to keep growing (why should we? This is the best we've ever been?), then we begin to rush down the precipice. Down the slope of the curve. We begin to rot or at the very least not grow.

Best EVER

If the 60’s were the best - everything for the last 60 years has been down hill? Nothing that has changed since then has been worthwhile? Really? This is obviously not true but we often seem to think like this. Our ‘Change is ALWAYS bad’ mindset.

The Past

We can and possibly should, look back with nostalgia, reminisce about what we loved in the past; be excited about our lives and what we did. But we must realise that we only have NOW. The past, as wonderful as it was, (and we only seem to look at the really cool things like playing outside and billy carts for example, while not remembering the great sadnesses of the period), is not going to happen again. It can’t. Things are different now.

NOW

Yep, the past has gone, never to be seen again. The future is as yet unknown - it may never even happen. All we have is NOW. The decisions we make this very moment will decide what we will be, do or have in this future; and therefore, what happens to us for the rest of our lives - no matter how short or long that turns out to be. Check out “The Power of Now” by ‘Eckhart Tolle

Our Choice

We can decide now to be better - or do nothing. Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting. It is our choice to change if we are not happy, or stay where we are and rot.

CHANGE – Cannot be Avoided

Coffee as an Agent of Change

Nothing Changes By Sitting On Your Hands

Published Author

Published Author

I Am A Published Author

Being a Published Author is supposed to be of great assistance in furthering your career as a writer. I reckon that means you have to tell people about this published bit? Right?

There is a book published in 2015. Success Unlimited The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Success, Kizzi Nkwocha (Ed), Sussex UK: Mithra Publishing.

Contributors

Sixteen contributors to this book (thought leaders) have all written articles (chapters) speaking to areas of success in which they have expertise.

Many of these people are world renowned and come from varied backgrounds and disciplines. There are entrepreneurs, teachers/trainers, bloggers, psychiatrists, life coaches, business men and women, professional speakers, writers, leaders, marketing and sales executives just to name a few.

Most are from Australia, and among this illustrious crowd, you will find me. Yep. I am a published author.

My contribution is called ‘Beliefs, Rules, Values and Language – Their Role In Your Success’. It can be found on pp.(200-218).

Not Mainstream

You cannot find much of the material in this book in the mainstream, (although the book is available in most great bookstores and online from the various outlets), but that that does not discount the value that can be gained from these insights. The writers are all speaking from real life experience and the information is absolutely top notch.

No Vested Interest

You cannot find this kind of stuff in books by the well-known self-help and personal development writers, because in ‘Success Unlimited the authors have no vested interest in the sales of the book, nor in the acceptance or otherwise of their ideas; their aim is to function as servants, operating out of a wish to share their experiences, successes and sometimes fears, so that others may be better versions of themselves after having read the various articles in this wonderful book.

Nothing Changes By Sitting On Your Hands

Your Success book for Mithra Publishing

Affirmations Morning Routine

Morning Routine Affirmations

Purpose My life's purpose is to ADD VALUE to the lives of others, which starts with achieving everything I want in my own life, and never settling for less than I can be, do, or have so that I can 'pay it forward' and learn through experience how to help others to achieve everything they want.

Infinite Wisdom All things are possible when I actively connect to the infinite wisdom available at all times through the power of the Universe. Remember my thinking brain is restricted by my physical, mental and emotional limitations, but when I actively connect with what the universe has available for me at all times, that is when miracles are possible.

Authenticity I will give up being perfect for being authentic. I won't make everybody happy, some will judge me, criticize me and talk behind my back, while others will praise and respect me, spread goodwill about me and pray for my continued success. Everyone who truly knows appreciates me because of the value I give to others. They support me financially with connections and resources to bring me to my goals. I am grateful for those people.

Overcoming fear and worry Fear and worry a misuse of my intelligence and imagination. Only think positive self-affirming and confidence inspiring thoughts. If I am to use my imagination, it should be only to imagine myself doing or writing something great.  there literally is nothing to fear or worry about, because I cannot fail - only learn and grow.

Rest and Relaxation Taking regularly scheduled periods of R&R are crucial to my happiness, health and success. I love to travel; trips and me with new perspectives & ideas by removing me from day to day routine and allowing me to share carefree timelessness with my family and friends.

Reflection I will invest time in reflection, gaining a deeper perspective by asking questions like: "What am I doing well that I need to acknowledge myself for? What can I be doing better? What am I not even thinking about doing that I should be?"

Self Confidence I am just as worthy deserving and capable of achieving everything that I want in every area of my life as any other person on earth. The only thing that separates me from the most extraordinary life I can imagine is my level of commitment to becoming the person I need to be to achieve everything I want. From this moment on I am 100% committed to my personal development each day so that I can create and sustain the levels of success that I truly want and deserve. I commit now to schedule and follow through today with the necessary actions that will ensure that I create the extraordinary life I deserve to live. From this moment on I give up being perfect for being authentic. I will be myself, I will love myself and others will too.

Relationships I will love all people unconditionally because that is how we all deserve to be loved. I refuse to judge others because I recognise that I have no way of knowing that, had I lived another person's life, I might talk and act exactly the same way. I also understand that the more value I add to the lives of others, the more value that I will receive in return. So I will focus on adding as much value as I can, to enrich the lives of every person with whom I come in contact.

Adversity including depression I know that where I am in my life now is both temporary, and exactly where I need to be to learn what I must learn so that I can become the person I need to be to create the life I truly want. Even when life is difficult, especially when life is difficult, the present moment is always an opportunity for me to learn to grow and become better than I've ever before. Just as others have done, I can turn any adversity into an advantage by accepting all that is out of my control - past present and future, so that I can give myself freedom from emotional pain, to be at peace and create the life I truly want.