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.

Australian Fires 2019-2020

Australian Fires 2019-2020

I was having a conversation, the other day with an American friend who was quite worried about my welfare. (Thanks Mark – much appreciated – I am very grateful for friends like you even all the way around the other side of the world).

He was hoping that we were OK and safe from the fires etc in Australia in January 2020.

It seemed that the media was reporting that Victoria (The Australian State in which I live) had been evacuated.

Evacuation of Victoria

Malacoota FireHmmmmm. This is actually not likely nor possible. It is very hard for us living in vastly different countries to understand the various sizes and other attributes involved.

Let’s have a look.

The Size Situation

Victoria, the smallest mainland state in Australia, is approx 92,000 sq Miles in area. This is just a little bit smaller than the American State of Oregon, and a little bit less than twice the size of New York State. Victoria has one major city, a few smaller cities, approx 10 minor cities, some hundreds of large country towns and settlements, (I live in a town of 4,500 people some 2.5 – 3 hours drive from Melbourne the major city). And there are LOTS of smaller settlements, farms and (hamlets shall we call them?) all over the place.

New York State has a population of just under 20 million people, whereas Victoria has approx 6.4 million. So you can see mass evacuations would really not be likely. We could move people around a bit if really necessary, but evacuations – in general, No.

Current Fire Situation

The current fire situation on my side of this huge country is mainly in the State of NSW and the North East of Victoria (near where I live – about 30% of the small State and mostly in uninhabited mountain or hard to access country) and spreads toward the Eastern Seaboard. But it is still not an issue here apart from a lot of smoke that comes and goes. Not yet. It may become so before the season concludes at the end of February.

Now while this is nothing short of catastrophic in so far as the amount of bush or forest, that has burned, (an estimated 26 million acres; 107,000 square kms; 41,000 sq miles - that’s approx the size of New York State again); it has destroyed over 5,900 buildings (including over 2,204 homes) and killed 28 people as of 8 January 2020, there is more. (Note that with our population density so low – 28 people is a LOT.) And it is ongoing.

Animals

The biggest issue is an estimated 1 billion animals that have been killed and some endangered species may have been driven to extinction.

Perspective

Arguments as to causes and mitigation strategies, political or otherwise, are not my concern here. But hopefully, this puts things into perspective.

Navy

However, not in my 70 or so years down here at the bottom of the globe, have I heard of Navy ships being called in to evacuate a whole town (which was almost completely destroyed by the way) from the beach/sea where the residents had all congregated in an attempt to stay alive.

I guess that was a mass evacuation. Normally 1,063 people live in that town increasing to about 10,000 during the Summer (Christmas) holiday season.

No one there now. They are all at emergency stations in Melbourne.

Facts

Often the media doesn’t take into account all the facts. Sometimes they don’t know all of the facts. Consume with care.

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

Cruise Ship Liability

Cruise Ship Liability

Cruise Ship Liability. The recent disaster in New Zealand is close to my heart being that N.Z is my place of birth.

Now, at the outset, I must say I have not researched what I am about to say in any great depth, but have just skimmed a few Google news alerts and a few FB posts.

So this article is probably more in the realm of uninformed comment. But you are going to get it anyway.

The latest comment I noted was that Jacinda Ardern (N.Z, PM) said that the tour ships are liable.

I am not a lawyer and I have no idea of the laws of liability in this area in NZ, but my application of the common sense principle suggests that as a cruise line is, at the very best, a third party in these transactions, it should not have a direct line of attribution to any event on that island which contained the volcano.

Here’s wOvation Of The Seashat I understand.

A cruise line,

in an effort to differentiate itself from other lines offering similar pieces of excitement for its patrons, contracts with another party to provide some excursions off the ship. Something that is a unique selling proposition. (USP)

Live and Active Volcano

Now, this party (the Island Tour Company) then contracts with a passenger to provide a trip to a LIVE and ACTIVE volcano. This is a huge risk as there has been no warning in the past when and if there would be any events occurring with this volcano. But that is what makes it even more exciting and what means the Island Touring Company can charge fees up to $500 NZ for the excursion. And makes it an amount participants are willing to part with for the experience.

Social Media Proof

Of course, they expect to live and be able to share the photographs of them in this unpredictable and dangerous place. Shows what kind of people they are. Danger is what they were willing to pay a premium for. Of course, they didn’t believe it would ever be that dangerous. They probably signed a waiver (which they didn’t believe – their issue), which amongst other things promises that IF anything happens they won’t sue the Island Touring company.

Let’s Look At This.

The touring company told them it COULD be dangerous, deadly kind of dangerous, they signed something, they paid their money. “Yeah. Yeah. What could go wrong?” And they went on the guided tour.

The island blew up

The island blew up. Many of the 40 or so people on the tour at the time were immediately vapourised or massively injured. Several are still missing.

The tour company has, hopefully, Public LiabilityContinue reading

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?

Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness is a term I have recently become aware of thanks to a FB conversation with a somewhat right-winged Texan.

Judgment

Now judgment is something I work hard to avoid as I believe that unless you have lived another person’s life, walked in their shoes if you will, then you don’t really know them and had you experienced their life you may talk and act exactly as they do.

BUT. We are NOT our past and if we find that it (our past, our upbringing  - when we are finally grown adults) no longer serves us, then we, I believe, ought to look for ways to change things.

Be Prepared

Makes me wonder, though, what kind of upbringing leads a person to think that they need to be prepared for whatever, so that they think that a 7-year-old child needs to be brought up understanding guns, and how to shoot them.

A child. Almost still a baby. I am reminded the, my grandson is 6 and that means that in a tad less than a year if this is the norm, he should be taught the ways of killing things. Oh dear. Not on my watch.

Killing

However you cut it, guns are designed to kill another living creature, make no mistake with this. Animal or human. There is NO OTHER REASON FOR THEIR EXISTENCE. Now I know the argument that guns don't kill, people do, but I have never seen or heard of a person without a gun shooting/killing someone. Have you? So possession of a gun is the key. No gun - no shooting. Simple.

Situational Awareness

But back to our subject. Situational Awareness. What is it? What does it mean for me another like me? What does it mean for my conversation partner in Texas?

I looked at his profile, and apart from the fact that almost all of the videos he submitted to FB were deleted, his beliefs were way too far right-winged for me.

Polarisation

I wonder, again, why it seems that Americans – and it’s often Americans - are so often polarised politically. It seems to me that to blindly believe and follow a political pathway is not really the way to go. Surely some of the policies or ways of thinking/acting are against a person’s values. Or are these values decided by the political landscape without any input from the brain of the devotee? I don’t know. But it doesn’t make sense to me.

Situational Awareness 2

Situational Awareness – yes I said I’d get back to this.

Wikipedia tells me: "It is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their future status”.

That is way too much for me. Let’s try a different approach.

Situational awareness can be defined simply as “knowing what is going on around us”.

That makes more sense.

Feeling Safe

My FB conversationalist tells me I don’t have this because I don’t believe in guns per se, and certainly not in the hands of children.

Let’s look at this. I am 70 years old and I live quietly in a country town in Australia where I interact with the community a lot in, I believe, a meaningful way.

I travel to the nearest big city to be with my family periodically, and I feel safe. All the time.

I don’t go or do anything where I believe my safety would be compromised. Why would I?

I have no fear of my Government killing me, or being attacked by a religious Zealot or any other terrorist. It may happen, but I do not fear it. I take all precautions to not be a victim wherever I can. I do not fear gun-crazed, mentally unhinged individuals shooting me in my home, a local shopping mall, or anywhere for that matter.

Or any other fear-based on my environment.

Phenomena Beyond My Control

I am aware that there are many natural (or even man-made) phenomena that may or may not impinge on me, but I also realise the I have no control over these events, so they don’t need to concern me very much. I take note of bush fire warnings (I volunteer at the local emergency broadcaster so I am intimately aware of the possibilities here) but I don’t worry. Why would I, I ask again?

I am not living, as my FB acquaintance says, with my head in the sand because I don’t fear the same things he does. I don’t even know what ‘head in the sand’ really means in terms of a normal life.

Paranoia

How sad to live in a state of constant paranoia. A state so strong that a person feels the need to be protected by a kid with a gun. A state where the ONLY defence to a gun is another gun. Is there no other way? Surely intervention at the other end of the cycle might be a better option?

Fear Mongering

Judging, Judgment of Others

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

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

Braving Change – Colin Rochford

Braving Change - Colin Rochford

Reviewed By: Mamta Madhavan

5 Stars

Review Rating: 5 Stars - Congratulations on your 5-star review!


Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite

Change is constant

Change is constant but there are many people out there who feel intimidated by change and find it difficult to accept change.

Braving Change: 5 Steps to Overcoming your Fear of Change and Facing Life with Joy (Change Series Book 1) by Colin Rochford gives an insightful view of the concept of change and gives confidence to readers to accept change instead of resisting it. The author delves deep into the concept of change and speaks about overcoming the fear of change, understanding the fear of change, what can be done, and how to move forward with a different outlook. It is a good book to help readers realize that the concept of change is not new and there is no need to be afraid of it.

Methodical

The author tackles a relevant subject methodically and practically, making it easy for readers to connect with his words as they navigate and welcome the changes in their lives. The book will give readers a way of understanding why change happens and will also tell them how often 'bad' changes can also have silver linings. It is definitely a good book to help one look at change with a new outlook and welcome it with an open mind.

Five Steps

The 5 steps to overcoming the fear of change are helpful when it comes to making change easier to accept. The author's style is simple and neat, honest and straightforward, making it easy for readers to understand and apply the advice in their lives. I am sure, like me, that readers out there must be waiting for Book 2.

Fear of Change eBook

How to Stop Overthinking Charles P Carlton

How to Stop Overthinking - 8 Proven, Practical Techniques to End Anxiety, Stop Negative Thinking, Overcome Worrying and Live a Healthier, Happier Life – Charles P Carlton

Powerful CoverStop Overthinking

Wow. This book started with an extremely POWERFUL cover design. Loved it.

Much of what was covered, I thought I knew, but as I continued I realised that’s my problem. If you think you know stuff you never learn anything. When you talk you say things you know, but when you listen, that’s when the magic happens.

Magic

Thanks, Charles. You magician you.

I began to read this book with my ears wide open and the gems just kept on coming.

Mindfulness

The chapter on mindfulness made it worth the purchase of the whole book. It was masterful. The style of writing was informative firstly, but more importantly, it was contemplative, calming, meditative and relaxing. I loved the info but also the very feel of it. It was well done.

Powerful cover, great message, inspired writing style? I’d say it had it all.

Depression, Anxiety & Compassion

How To Overcome The Fear Of Change

Eat That Frog Brian Tracy

Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy

A short book in the procrastination genre. Not to be missed.

One thing I notice as I read the many self-help books available out there is the fact that they are all as special as the people reading them.

Resonate

Some resonate immediately and qualify for the “Changed My Life” comment. Some you need to read again and again.

And some hit a note that you are absolutely sure you have heard/read before, but never seemed to quite hook onto.

Hook

This book was the hook for me. So simple, straightforward and beautifully crafted. Hardly a wasted word. He does repeat “Eat That Frog” a few times, but that was necessary. Well, it was for me.

You just need to keep right on reading each new book until one smacks you in the forehead as this one did for me.

OMG. Yeah. Now I get it. Why did I put it off for so long?

CANI

Then keep right on reading – because why would you want to stop learning? Continuous and Never-ending Improvement.

Thanks, Eat That FrogBrian. I get it now.

 

 

 

 

The Art of Art

The Art of Art

The Art of ArtWhat is art? I mean all kinds of art. Visual (including drawing, painting, sculpture), performing (including music & theatre, mime, statue etc), and design (including architectural, decoration) to name a few to start with.

Categories

And, of course, each of these very broad categories has so many layers below them we would not have enough paper to show probably half of the spreads. But the high-level question still remains. What is Art? Who decides and how does it (an idea) spring out of a mind and into the realm of ART?

Silly question? Perhaps? But it has been taking some energy from me lately, so I figure let’s get it out.

The difficulty here is to not be judgemental. Because that’s not it. I actually don’t have any vested interested in the perceived value (or not) of any of these creations. That is not the point. We all have our predilections and our current likes and dislikes. It is not up to me do have any input into that process at all.

Example

OK. I was in an airport the other day resting on a day bed during a long layover, and I was staring at a design feature on top of a column. It was a wide twisted white plaster (or plastic – I couldn’t quite tell from where I was) and it was about 20 meters long extending from the pillar out into the airspace above me. It wasn’t very wide, although the bit over the column was wider than the rest.

Hanging from this were a large number of rectangular plates of a golden colour (metal, or plastic – not sure). They were hanging from a wire or some such support, were all the same thickness and width, but slightly different lengths.

As I stared at it I wondered why it had been made like that. Why not different coloured bits of hanging stuff? Why not many different lengths or shapes? A zillion questions appeared to me and there were no answers. This is a piece of building design either commissioned by the airport building company or generated by an employee. It probably doesn’t matter. It had no purpose but decoration, at least as far as I could tell.

Decisions

But the point was many DECISIONS were made about how this would look. Even perhaps how it would sound or maybe even smell. How did these decisions get made?

The other week while watching a guitarist play some really great original music, I noticed his foot reach out and tap one of the many buttons on the switch array under his microphone. I am not sure if I heard anything change, but once again, my questioning mind asked, “What did he do? Why”. And, “How did the decision to do that and not something else or nothing at all get to be made”, I asked.

Of course, I am brushing over here, the strumming, finger-picking and fretboard work that generated the sounds in the first place. All the result of decisions relating to the art of music. Way beyond my understanding. But I usually like what I hear. Bugger. That is judgemental. Sorry.

Higher Artistic

Is this line of thought reducing the higher artistic to a low end simple, practical decision or series thereof? I guess it is. Your thoughts, please?

You are the Writer

You are the Writer

Something happened to me today that I have to tell you about.

Writer

WriterAfter my yoga class, a woman came up to me and said these words, “You are the writer? I’ve heard about you from a mutual acquaintance.”

I gulped and after a tiny but probably noticeably awkward pause, I said, “Yep. That’s right. I am.”

Pause

Why the pause? Why the awkwardness? I mean yes I have a chapter published for all to see in a book edited by a chap in England. (You can buy it at all good bookstores everywhere, and online – Amazon). In 3 days from this conversation, I will have published a book, ‘Braving Change’, written all by myself. At the time of writing, I am juggling a few final late edits (it just never stops – the ‘how long is a piece of string?’ syndrome). As you read this I believe that this book will be available for all to purchase.

But enough sales talk. The point of this is - we all (and I reckon ALL is not too strong a word), seem to put ourselves down in this way at least once or twice in our lives. Probably MUCH more often. Why?

Put Down

OK. It is not a positive ‘put-down’ like “I suck,” for example, but denying something or being awkward about admitting it is just as bad? Isn’t it?

Go back over the last 24 hours or 3 days or a couple of weeks and see if you can find a time when you did this. It could be to your children, your significant other, your boss, your mates, anyone. Think about it. Think hard.

Deny

We deny ourselves. All the time. If we fail to accept a compliment or fail to acknowledge something like being a writer for example, or a guitarist, an artist, sculptor, writer or many many other appellations others might give us, or we make an awkward pause before we accept, then we are DENYING ourselves.

Who taught us this was a good idea? Is this rather silly denying action serving us now? In our busy and confusing lives to be something or to be good at something to the point where another notices it and points it out to you is FANTASTIC.

Love Yourself

Don’t go ape over it, but don’t disavow it either. Be cool. Let it happen. Let it flow over you. Bask in its significance. Love it. Love yourself.

I teach positive thinking, change, life coaching stuff and I could not believe that I did this today. To myself. Why? This is such a crock.

Talents

All of us have talents, all of us can do things, the labels that society gives us for the good things we do or what we are, must be accepted, not diminished or worse still pushed away. And an awkward pause IS a pushing away.

Be proud. Stand tall. Admit that yes we are a writer. We are a great mother/father. We can play guitar well even though we are not yet in a band.

Accept

It’s not self-aggrandisement. It is not arrogance, (unless you crow like a rooster). It is humble acceptance of your own very special attributes.

Love Yourself

Love your self, and others will too.

Published Author

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

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