Power Authority

Power & Authority

Power and Authority

I first heard about these concepts during some training I did way back in the good old days.

Power Authority

I was studying to move from a classroom teacher to become a headmaster. (I didn't finish – I stayed in the classroom.)

For those of who who haven’t heard of this before, it means that the one person who controls an outcome in almost all cases in almost any situation, will be the one with the most power or most perceived power, even if they do not have the authority to make any real decisions.

“How does this happen?” I hear you ask.

It is actually very simple, and when you know, you’ll think, “How did I not understand this?”

An example from my own life.

Power V’s Authority In Sales

As a salesperson I often made ‘cold’ calls to companies to sell them advertising. Sometimes I knew the name of the decision maker. Sometimes not. More often not, I’m afraid. But that’s another story. For another time.

I asked for the the media buyer, or whomsoever had the AUTHORITY to make a decision to buy my bill of goods.

All good. Just a breath away from an appt. Then my superior skills as a salesman would kick in and I’d get me a sale. Fantastic.

Not so quick. I was asking to speak to the decision maker – the one having the authority, but I wasn’t there yet. The Receptionist or Personal Assistant or Secretary was sitting there in front of me with an inscrutable smile on his or her face.

It dawned on me. This person will DECIDE if I see the authority figure. Or not.

Yes or No

If I received a yes then Thunderbirds are go. Appt made.

If I received a no, an excuse, a brush-off, an “I think he’s busy that time/day,” kind of thing – I was left hanging. Who was this person in front of me? No matter what I said, how I pleaded, cajoled, explained that the authority would make the decision, I was very often stymied right there. At the reception desk.

The seat of power.

You see if I couldn’t get an appointment to see the authority figure because the one person with the power to make that happen was a massive roadblock, I was stuck right there.

OK. No authority to make decisions EXCEPT the only one I needed at that point – an audience with the boss or whoever. It didn’t matter. If I was stuck at the front desk it was ‘game-over.’

The one with the power is always going to be the barrier to any further interaction. No matter what.

May Not Be Who You Expect

And this is often one of the least likely people. Someone quite low on the company pecking order. Someone who was making these judgement calls based on incorrect or incomplete knowledge of the company, the processes, or the person involved. Or even personal or other emotional – non business reasons. (For example there may be a belief that I was untrustworthy, or had been inappropriate in some way, or ‘the Boss’ needed protection from my type -ie salesmen). He/she may just not like me. Anything really. Makes no difference if the decision to grant an appointment was based on anything real; it was still the decision that counted.

All the power. No authority, but I couldn't move forward past this obstacle.

Current World

I think we need to know this in our current world more than ever. Are we interacting with the right person? Social media gives us an opportunity to lambaste anyone. Free speech at its finest. But first we need to establish whether we we aiming our comments at the right person or organisation. We may be a victim of a power game.

Chicken Soup

Where is the power in any situation in which you find yourself? There is a really interesting story in “Jack Cranfield’s - Chicken Soup For The Soul” that illustrates this very point.

Think About This

Make it a factor in your thoughts and actions from now on.

Who has the power in this situation?

Have you had any experiences in this kind of thing you can share with us?

Off you go. Over to you.

Socrates Paradox

Know What I Know

Know what I know.

The other day I was talking to my optometrist – a young woman by my standards, I’ll not attempt to guess her age to avoid embarrassment. But it was less than half mine.

I have thought about this issue before, possibly even written about it, but here it is popping up again.

New Glasses

I was ordering my NEW glasses. I seem to remember early on in our discussion (some weeks ago) that the time frame for the generation of these new lenses and placing them in my frames would be about a month and I would have to wear on older pair until then.

While that was not the end of the world it was a long time to contemplate using an even more outdated prescription. My eyes were already sore, puffy, leaky, bloodshot and having a higher pressure (glaucoma) than was optimal.

How Long?

However this time when the order was placed, I noticed that I did not ask about the time frame. This is not to point out how clever I am, but just to note how priorities and expectations have changed as I have reached these higher strata in the age department.

I didn’t ask ‘cause it didn’t matter anymore. I had made a decision to get new spectacles. It will take as long as it takes. I can’t do anything about it, so why worry? Using an older pair was part of that decision. I am unable to fix this. It is what it is and I might have made a different decision if urgency was an issue.

Many younger people cannot come to terms with the prayer we all attribute to alcoholics anonymous. It was written much earlier than that organisation’s use of it – but that is not important right now. You understand this as you get older. Know what I know.

The serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

There is so much stuff we know as older people that is so frustrating to us, when we see younger people make the same mistakes we made 30-40 years ago.

Now I understand the learning process (I was a teacher for many years) and we learn and remember more by doing than any other way, and if we are to make mistakes the learning is often that much sharper. This adds to my frustration. I need to be able to accept that mistakes MUST happen and if I were able to stop them all – this might well be counter-productive.

Peer Pressure

But I wish I could, at least, make these youngsters aware that there might be another way

My daughter often uses peer information to make decisions that her mother and I know were not what we believed. And our daughter is a pretty fine woman, so we must have done something right. Peer pressure wins. Again.

Know What I Know

Sometimes it’s not time or money or anything physical. Sometimes it’s guilt and more often regret.

I KNow

“I wish I’d done that differently.” is a common response to a ‘not completely satisfactory end game.’ “I tried to tell you.” is our older person’s refrain. That doesn’t help. Only makes the situation worse.

I don’t think schools help. How to multiply 2*2 might not matter in the time of the calculator, but that, and say, “What’s the Capital of France?” might be nice to knows, and might suggest a higher intelligence – doubtful but impressions count, and MIGHT save time if a question is asked. (ie you don’t have to look it up- it is available from the RAM (Random Access Memory) in your head. But as well as all that factual stuff schools, in my opinion, should teach self-help, personal development, and all that supposedly esoteric stuff. Along with standards like balancing a budget. Cooking. Basic life skills.

(Cliche alert) The ability to think outside the box does not appear to be prioritised; yet we all know - NOTHING in life is ever able to be categorised completely. There is always something different.

And we are not often taught to think at all. And just rote learning is not enough. Important in many cases, but not enough.

That is why our (older) knowledge is really cool. It is based on life skills. Living. It doesn’t rely on a TEACHER as such.

Teacher Appears

Although, there is a saying, alternately attributed to Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni and the Theosophists, that goes: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

This applies more than ever nowadays, I reckon.

Know what I know.

HaHaHa.

Reminds me of a couple of songs I know.

In the middle of a ‘Hey Gringo’ song the and lyrics replying to an audience heckle, “Play something we know.” – the band leader replies, “Know something we play.”

And Rick Nelson, in a song called, ‘Garden Party.’ says, “… if memories were all I played, I’d rather drive a truck.”

Learning, (moving forward with new knowledge) is the key to a better way of life.

Isn’t it?

Stoicism – Loneliness

Stoicism and Loneliness

Patrik Edlad Mental Trainer & Author “The Self-Discipline Blueprint: A Simple Guide to Beat Procrastination, Achieve Your Goals, and Get the Life You Want” in an email to me wrote the following, and I quote.

Some 2300 years ago, a merchant by the name Zeno found himself shipwrecked and stranded in Athens.

With not much else to do, he walked into a book store and picked up a book that happened to be about Socrates.

Fascinated by what he was reading, Zeno set out to find and learn from the finest philosophers the city had to offer.

Over the next couple of years, he studied under a wide array of philosophy teachers before eventually founding his own school.

Just enjoy. I’ll get to the point in a moment or two.

The Birth of Stoicism

Zeno started teaching by standing on a porch in the central market in Athens and talking to anyone who happened to pass by. Soon, he had a following of men hanging around and discussing philosophy with him.

StoicThe Greek word for porch is stoa, and the men who met there to talk philosophy became known as Stoics; the men of the porch.

Over time, the ideas they were discussing became increasingly popular and over a thousand books came to be written about stoicism.

We’ve lost almost all of those books to antiquity, but we still have the works from three fascinating Stoics who are widely influential to this day: Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius.

The Main Characters

  • Seneca lived right around the year 0 CE, and he was a successful and wealthy statesman and playwright. He is known for the personal letters he wrote in his lifetime, such as Letters from a Stoic1 and On the Shortness of Life2.
  • Epictetus was born a couple of decades after Seneca, and he was a crippled slave who eventually became a free man and one of the leading philosophers in Rome. None of his texts remain but one of his students wrote down his ideas in two books called The Discourses3 and The Enchiridion4.
  • Marcus Aurelius lived shortly after Epictetus, and he studied, applied, and developed stoic ideas in his role as emperor of the Roman Empire. We know his wisdom primarily through his Meditations5; a private journal that was never intended for publication.

What is Stoicism?

These days, people use the word “stoic” to describe someone who doesn’t feel any emotion at all. But even though the word originates from Stoicism, that was not at all what the Stoic philosophers were trying to accomplish.

What they wanted to do was minimise negative feelings to make as much room as possible for positive ones. They wanted to replace frustration, discontent, and anger with calm, fulfilment, and happiness.

To do that, the Stoics developed a variety of mental techniques to deal with the challenges of life. And many of these techniques have inspired modern therapies like, for instance, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

So even though the philosophy itself is very old, modern research shows that the ideas are highly relevant to this day. Stoicism can help you feel better, perform better, and live a better life.

And it all begins with cultivating a peaceful mind so you can keep your calm no matter what life throws at you.

Loneliness

No matter what life throws at you? Right? What about loneliness? How does that work? Is this, as we have suggested in some of our posts so far, something that is internal to our minds? Something that we perceive? Not necessarily real?

How to Have a Peaceful Mind

If you’re like most people, you like to think of your mind as objective and rational. But as the ancient Stoics argued, and as modern psychology has confirmed, that’s not the case.

We’re all vulnerable to cognitive biases and logical fallacies; thinking errors in the way we perceive and reason about information from the world around us.

All of us filter each experience through our subjective lens that is tainted by our unique disposition, background, and emotions.

The Stoics taught that we can improve our perception of life — to polish our lens, so to speak.

By doing that, we can reduce irrational thinking, cut off negative emotions, and approach our lives with equanimity.

We can cease being lonely even when we are alone. We can have a peaceful mind and be happy within ourselves.

Sounds pretty good, don’t you think? Let’s have a look at the Stoic’s best techniques for creating a peaceful mind.

1. Focus on What Is in Your Control

We should always be asking ourselves: ‘Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?'”
— Epictetus

This is the most important practice in all of stoicism. If you take away only one thing from this article, let it be this:

Always identify, and care exclusively about, what is inside your control.

What you’ll find when you start doing this is that very few things are within your control. In fact, the Stoics would argue, the only things in your control are your own thoughts and actions.

Everything else — the past, most of the natural world, the thoughts and actions of other people, and even most things about ourselves — are ultimately outside your control.

This insight is crucial because, according to Epictetus, “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

So, get into the habit of separating what is within and without of your control, and then act accordingly:

  • If it’s inside your control — take action! Spend the time, energy, and focus necessary to create the change you want.
  • If it’s outside control — let it go. Repeat the mantra “I don’t care” to yourself until you’ve developed a healthy indifference to the situation.

At all times, strive to focus only on what is in your power. That will make you calmer, happier, and more effective.

2. Choose Empowering Thoughts

If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgement about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgement now.”
— Marcus Aurelius

Imagine that you’re about to give a presentation to a big group of people. As you fiddle with your notes, you can feel your heart pound, your hands getting sweaty, and your mouth drying up.

In this situation, most people will try to calm down. But that’s actually not very helpful. A much better approach is to perceive the stress symptoms as excitement.

If you tell yourself to calm down, you’re nervous. But if you tell yourself you’re excited, you’re ready for action. It’s a small mental shift but it can make a huge difference.

Research shows that people who tell themselves “I am excited!” before giving a speech way outperform people who try to calm themselves down6.

What we can learn from that is something the Stoics figured out thousands of years ago: Your emotions aren’t determined by your situation, but by how you choose to perceive your situation.

And that’s a very powerful insight because it puts you in control of your state of mind. At any moment, you have the option to dispute and replace unhelpful thoughts with more empowering ones.

So, whenever you find a negative feeling stirring in your mind, find a positive way to re-frame the situation, and your emotional response will follow suit.

3. Welcome Everything That Happens

Let us meet with bravery whatever may befall us. Let us never feel a shudder at the thought of being wounded or of being made a prisoner, or of poverty or persecution.”
— Seneca

The Stoics taught that we shouldn’t wish for things to happen the way we want. Instead, we should wish for things to happen exactly the way they happen. This attitude is called “amor fati”, which means “love of fate”7.

To love fate is to make the best out of everything that happens no matter how difficult it is. It’s about courageously meeting life’s challenges head-on and continually getting stronger.

Marcus Aurelius wrote that: “a blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown into it”. In the same fashion, we should use obstacles, setbacks, and hardships as fuel to realise our full potential.

Life will inevitably throw you into difficult situations. That’s outside of your control. But, as we’ve covered, you can always control your reaction to these situations. And poorly chosen reactions will make life very difficult.

As Seneca puts it: “Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.” So, when life presents you with a challenge, don’t avoid it or complain about it. Instead, embrace it wholeheartedly, and use it as an opportunity to practice stoicism.

That will make you much stronger and life much smoother.

4. Put Your Life in Perspective

Remember: Matter. How tiny your share of it. Time. How brief and fleeting your allotment of it. Fate. How small a role you play in it.”
— Marcus Aurelius

In my work as a writer, I often find that my day-to-day problems get blown way out of proportion. As I sit down at my computer, isolated from the rest of the world, even the tiniest difficulty can appear overwhelming.

A slight drop in book sales, a broken Internet connection or a negative comment from a reader all seem like a big deal. But, of course, they’re not. In the grand scheme of things, these issues are tiny.

Luckily, there’s a quick cure for this irrational inflating of problems, and it’s as simple as quickly contemplating the scale of your life:

Reflect on where you are, then slowly move outward, visualising the street outside, and the city. Keep expanding further and further to your country, then the world, and finally the entire cosmos.

Carl Sagan’s famous talk about The Pale Blue Dot8 can serve as a great aid in this exercise.

Then, return to the difficulties in your life. From this new vantage point, you’ll most likely find that what was weighing you down wasn’t as heavy after all.

Zoom out to a cosmic perspective, and you’ll find peace and humility.

Loneliness Is … In The Beginning

How to Have a Peaceful Mind, In Summary

  1. Focus on what is in your control. If it’s inside your control, take action! If it’s outside control, let it go.
  2. Choose empowering responses. Find a positive way to re-frame the situation, and your emotional response will follow suit.
  3. Welcome everything that happens. Cultivate a “love of fate” by wishing for things to happen exactly the way they happen.
  4. Put your life in perspective. When your day-to-day problems appear overwhelming, zoom out and look at them from a cosmic perspective.

References

  1. Letters From a Stoic by Seneca
  2. On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
  3. The Discourses by Epictetus
  4. The Enchiridion by Epictetus
  5. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  6. Get Excited: Reappraising Pre-Performance Anxiety as Excitement
  7. Amor Fati
  8. Carl Sagan – Pale Blue Dot

More Books Loneliness

More Books on Loneliness

Previously I posted a list of 10 books I found listed on the Internet that related to loneliness and how to overcome it, amongst other things.

Today I turn it over to you.

Loneliness ReadingAre there any books you swear by that have helped you come to terms with you feelings about loneliness. They can be fiction or non-fiction, but must have had some effect on you. Doesn’t matter what kind of effect though. Made you feel better, worse, helped you think more positively, understand other people better, see things from a different perspective. Whatever.

One or two is enough, and you can leave some comments as well, if you want, that might help us understand where you are coming from.

Perhaps after a while we can ask some kind soul to compile these into a categorised list and put it in the files section of the group, so all our new members might have somewhere to start looking for something.

Hit us up with some books now.

Some Great Book Suggestions

We Need To Talk About Loneliness

Need  To Talk About Loneliness.

Loneliness is …

A book I read a few years ago started with the words, “We need to talk about Kevin.”

Loneliness Collage

Well, we need to talk about loneliness.

  • What is it?
  • How does it affect us as human beings?
  • Can you be lonely in a room full of people?
  • Can you fix/mitigate it?
  • Loneliness and social media
  • Loneliness and the smart phone
  • Loneliness is better than bad company

The list can go on and on. We will be extending it as we move forward with our discussion of this topic over the next few weeks and months.

There is a lot to be said.

A Listing Of 10 books (Self-help) on Loneliness:

These books were chosen as the top ten based on sales, bestseller rankings, and positive reader reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

https://www.onlinepsychologydegree.info/top-10-self-help-books-about-loneliness/

Join our group.

Loneliness Is … https://www.facebook.com/groups/loneliness.is/

Loneliness Australia

Loneliness In Australia

Loneliness In Australia

Numbers - Stats:

Let’s start with a few numbers and some bits and pieces culled from around the web shall we? This part is not my own work (I will tell you where it comes from if I know) but it is germaine to the whole topic.

We need to know the facts, as far as we are able to ascertain them, before we can do much that is intelligent, don’t we?

There is one school of thought that says there is very little difference between genders in this state of affairs and since that makes things a whole lot easier. we’ll go with that. OK?

There is a difference in age groups though. See below info from VicHealth below, the State Health Authority from Victoria, Australia. I am going with our older group here, the over 75’s. Some of the stats tell us that over 65’s until this 75 age group have less problem with loneliness than all other groups, but that might be for another time.

I am not going to pull out the stats but refer you to the attached document which does a pretty good job of telling you the facts and all the facts. Too many for me to discuss in detail.

Australian Psychological Society (APS) Swinburne University of Technology.

This covers in great detail everything you needed to know but were afraid to ask.

Except, perhaps, something that surprised me. Those amongst us of high IQ (more than 150-160 say, not me, I’m afraid) are more prone to being lonely than those with lower numbers, because they find it difficult to communicate with those of lesser intellect than themselves. They become kind of social outcasts. Interesting?

Neil Howe of Forbes Magazine has this to say:

The scourge of loneliness is an issue that we’re going to hear ever-more about in the years to come.

The Economist/KFF findings add to a wave of recent research showing high levels of loneliness. A recent Cigna survey revealed that nearly half of Americans always or sometimes feel alone (46%) or left out (47%). Fully 54% said they always or sometimes feel that no one knows them well. Loneliness isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. In a nationwide survey released in October from the BBC, a third of Britons said that they often or very often feel lonely. Nearly half of Britons over 65 consider the television or a pet their main source of company. In Japan, there are more than half a million people under 40 who haven’t left their house or interacted with anyone for at least six months. In Canada, the share of solo households is now 28%. Across at the European Union, it’s 34%.

Have a look at the attached doc and then at these excerpts from VicHealth.

Vichealth.Vic.Gov.Au Loneliness:

A New Public Health Challenge Emerges – Some Excerpts for Your Perusal:

Loneliness can affect people at any point, but is more common among two key groups: older individuals aged 75 and above and, perhaps surprisingly, young people aged 15–25.

Figures released in April 2018 by the UK’s Office for National Statistics showed individuals aged 16–24 reported feeling lonely more often than people in older age groups. The statistics also identified a particular risk of loneliness among young people who were renting and who did not feel a sense of belonging to the local area.

Although research in Australia is currently limited, a 2015 survey funded by VicHealth found one in eight young people aged 16–25 reported a very high intensity of loneliness.

Why Do They Say They Are Lonely

Social loneliness refers to the absence of a social network made up of a wide group of friends, neighbours and colleagues.

The quality of those social connections is also important. Relationships need to be reciprocal, with those involved both sharing a sense of happiness, satisfaction and self-worth. (In 2012, a team at the University of California published the results of a study that found significant numbers of older people who identified as lonely were either married or lived with others.)

What Does Loneliness Mean?

Loneliness is commonly understood as an emotional response to the perceived mismatch between the amount of personal contact a person wants and the amount they have.

Men’s Sheds

A well-known community initiative that tackles social isolation is the Australian Men’s Shed Association. Its CEO David Helmers says, with a little humour, ‘There are currently 130-odd more Men’s Sheds [987 Sheds] in Australia than there are McDonald’s restaurants. Not that it’s a race.’

The Sheds target men who are no longer in paid employment, through retirement, redundancy or other reasons. Men can come to the Shed to build and repair items for the community, but that’s not the place’s main purpose.

The most important thing is the men getting together, building those relationships, that brotherhood that exists in the Sheds. They’re finding new friendships but, most importantly, finding meaningful purpose,’ says Helmers.

Most Effective Way To Reduce Loneliness:

The most effective way to reduce loneliness is to make people feel connected to their community,’. ‘Those communities may not be geographic – for example, they may be online for LGBTI youth or rural young people – but what’s important is they share common interests and develop meaningful connections.’

Holt-Lunstad suggests interventions ranging from a bigger focus on social skills training in schools, to making social connectedness checks part of standard medical screenings. Human Resources departments could prepare workers for retirement socially as well as financially, she says.

Planning out suburbs so they are walk-able and include social spaces where people can meet up, such as gardens or recreation centres, is also crucial. Media campaigns could raise awareness about loneliness while also removing some of the label’s stigma.

Public Health England, in its 2015 Reducing social isolation across the lifecourse report, highlighted that ‘access to transport is also vitally important for building and maintaining social connections’.

Affects of loneliness

There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,’ Holt-Lunstad told the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association in August 2017, adding, ‘Many nations around the world now suggest we are facing a ‘loneliness epidemic’. The challenge we face is what can be done about it.’

Holt-Lunstad drew on data from two meta-analyses for her presentation. The first found greater social connection conferred a 50 per cent reduced risk of early death. The second examined 70 studies and concluded that social isolation, loneliness or living alone posed risks for premature death that were as big as or bigger than obesity, smoking (less than 15 cigarettes a day) and air pollution.

We know that the impacts of feeling lonely and isolated impede your health, whether that’s your mental health or physical health,’ says Irene Verins, Manager, Mental Well-being at VicHealth. ‘We need to identify the factors that influence loneliness – at the level of the individual, the local community and wider society – to get some idea, or a clue, as to where to look for solutions.

The Health Consequences of Loneliness -Causes and Health Consequences of Feeling Lonely By Kendra Cherry

Loneliness has a wide range of negative effects on both physical and mental health, including:

Depression and suicide

Cardiovascular disease and stroke

Increased stress levels

Decreased memory and learning

Antisocial behaviour

Poor decision-making

Alcoholism and drug abuse

The progression of Alzheimer's disease

Altered brain function

Loneliness can be overcome. It does require a conscious effort on your part to make a change. Making a change, in the long run, can make you happier, healthier, and enable you to impact others around you in a positive way.

Here are some ways Kendra Cherry suggests we can prevent loneliness:

  • Recognise that loneliness is a sign that something needs to change.
  • Understand the effects that loneliness has on your life, both physically and mentally.
  • Consider doing community service or another activity that you enjoy. These situations present great opportunities to meet people and cultivate new friendships and social interactions.
  • Focus on developing quality relationships with people who share similar attitudes, interests, and values with you.
  • Expect the best. Lonely people often expect rejection, so instead focus on positive thoughts and attitudes in your social relationships

Loneliness and social isolation are important health risks in the elderly Uni Crest

Living alone, health problems and disability, sensory impairment such as hearing loss, and major life events such as loss of a spouse have all been identified as risk factors for social isolation and loneliness.

Some Suggestions for Solutions

If you're not sure how to help someone who is lonely, here are some tips on how to support someone who is experiencing feelings of loneliness. (From British Telecom – Press Association)

  1. Show them you’re available

Keep in touch by phone, email or in person so they know someone is there for them when they need support. Don’t give up on them if they don’t call or visit you in return, but if they need time alone, try to respect that.

  1. Offer to take them out

If it’s difficult for them to get out and about, you could volunteer to take them out, for example to a café or to visit a friend. There might even be a local charity who could help if you don’t have much spare time. Just don’t push them into anything, as it might seem daunting to them at first.

  1. Ask how they’re feeling

By talking to them about how they’re feeling, without leading them into any particular issue, you might find out that something else is troubling them. Try not to make assumptions about why they are lonely – there are many reasons why someone might be feeling loneliness.

  1. Enlist expert help

Some people might feel more comfortable talking about their feelings to a stranger or professional. If it seems appropriate, you could suggest they speak to their GP or call a charity helpline.

  1. Be dependable

Missing a visit or phone call may not seem important to you, but could be very disappointing for someone who doesn’t have much contact with others, so try to be reliable.

  1. Help them discover new ways to stay in touch

There are a huge range of different ways to stay in touch these days, from social media to email and text messaging. If they don’t feel comfortable using computers, you could encourage them to join a course to learn how to use computers and the internet, which are run by most local councils.

  1. Help them to try something new

If they have a particular interest, joining a group, such as a rambling club, reading group or dance class, could help them connect with like-minded people. If they show an interest in an activity, you could offer to go with them to the first session if they’re nervous about going alone.

  1. Talk about practical barriers

Barriers such as not having a car, not having enough money or being a full-time carer could be preventing them from connecting with people or getting out and about. Talk to them about what these barriers may be and encourage them to speak to someone.

  1. Ask other people for help

If you’re very busy or live far away, you don’t need to feel like you have to do everything yourself. See if anyone else, such as a friend, neighbour, relative or charity volunteer, can regularly call or visit the person who is lonely.

  1. Host a Sunday lunch

Summary

Let’s leave it at that for this time shall we? We’ve had a bit of a look at the stats, and what loneliness means. Added to that we have had a very quick look at the mental and physical health effects of loneliness, and some ways to mitigate this whole loneliness thing. And finally some solutions.

We’ll pick up on each of these as we move forward. There is so much to say.

One of the thoughts that comes up in my mind is ‘what do lonely people do all day?’

We should have a look at that in a little while.

If any-one has any input, comment let’s hear it. Are you lonely as distinct from being alone?

How much of you day/week/month would you say you are lonely, and what do YOU do when you are in these lonely patches? Talk soon.

Loneliness Is … Concerned

Loneliness Is …

I have become increasingly concerned about the number of people professing loneliness in our society. Particularly amongst those over the age of 55.

I have rarely felt lonely (as I would define it – see below) in my life, so this is a difficult concept for me to come to terms with, but it is obviously ‘a thing’. What does it mean? What can we do about it? Is it an issue we need to deal with?

This blog is an attempt to address these issues.

Loneliness Is … Alone & Lonely – What is the difference?

Some info from The Webster Dictionary:

Lonely

Lonely V's Alone

1a: being without company: LONE

1b: cut off from others: SOLITARY

2: not frequented by human beings: DESOLATE

3: sad from being alone: LONESOME

4: producing a feeling of bleakness or desolation

Alone

1: separated from others: ISOLATED

2: exclusive of anyone or anything else: ONLY

3a: considered without reference to any other

3b: INCOMPARABLE, UNIQUE

What does this mean?

To me it seems that some of these words are related to feelings and some are related to facts.

So, our next questions then must be: what is a feeling and what is a fact?

Let’s start with a fact.

Fact

  • Webster says that a fact is something that truly exists or happens: something that has actual existence,

  • a true piece of information

So I guess that means if I am standing by myself, in isolation from other human beings, then I am alone.

That is a fact. It is verifiable. There is no one else in the area.

Emotion - Feeling

A feeling, on the other hand, is not a fact by this definition above. It is

  • an emotional state or reaction

  • often unreasoned opinion or belief

  • sympathetic aesthetic response

Fact V’s Emotion

Loneliness is therefore a belief, something created by the mind? Is that what we are saying here? I am feeling sad. Why? Because I am alone. A feeling, a reaction or response to a fact.

How does this work? What does this mean in real life?

Emotions - Feelings

Thus, loneliness is an emotional state of being whereby we find ourselves unhappy and feeling sad because of the LACK of human interaction.

Being ALONE is the same thing, really, without the emotional business. Does that make sense?

Can we change one into the other? Would we want to?

Facebook Group

In order to answer some of these questions and more, I have set-up a FB group called Loneliness is….

There will be a couple of confidential questions before anyone can join this group, and then it would probably be useful if those questions were asked and answered again on the open/public forum after a person has been approved to join the group.

This is totally optional, of course. You can join and just observe the conversations.

Let’s deal with this together. Let’s sort out what the issues are and work towards mitigating this question in our society.

I am talking about my hometown - where we can do stuff or talk about stuff face to face; the greater Melbourne Australia area where both face to face and electronic connections can be arranged; and then Australia and the world where we can use social media and other electronic means to meet and communicate. There is not even a need for any excuse that we don’t live in the same time-zone for example. I promise to make myself available as the need arises. This is such an important subject. I’ll be there for you if necessary.

The questions? OK. Here they are.

  1. What does loneliness mean to you? Definition, I guess. 1 sentence only please.
  2. How does loneliness affect you in your normal everyday life? 1 sentence only please.

Head on over to Face Book and join the group. Answer the qualifying questions and then, when approved, repeat your answers (if you feel you want to) so we have a basis to start a dialogue with you.

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 . 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