Archive for February, 2013

We all have hopes. We hope to accomplish something see someone be somewhere and we all if we are lucky will live long enough to see these hopes crushed. We will be disappointed. Life is a struggle.

If life is a struggle, and hope will be lost, why would I call those who live long enough to lose hope lucky? Because, when we lose hope that is given to us, we have the opportunity to make it happen on our own.  Just ask one of the greatest singers ever… “You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.” Diana Ross.
perseverance

Through hard work blood, sweat and tears, we build our hope and manifest our dreams. When you create your own hopes and dreams you will find that the rewards are immeasurable and the limits are gone. You can truly do anything. Sweat makes a big difference. “Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach.”

Maybe you have had your hopes destroyed. You might feel like the carpet has been yanked out from under you and the universe conspires against you but all this is just your chance to start sweating.

peace

john3c

Advertisements

There is a new and alarming trend among teens in the UK and the United States. The name of the trend is illicit and I don’t want to retype it here. If you want more information follow this link. Basically peers use social media to encourage other peers to stop being and dressing as a promiscuous teenager, however as with almost all unsolicited advice this has become a huge form of bullying. When reading the story in the UK’s Telegraph I immediately thought two things one this is sad and two is this our generations “Scarlet Letter“.  The Scarlet Letter is a romantic novel written by Nathaniel  Hawthorne. In the book the hero is a woman with a husband a country away became pregnant. She is forced by the authority in the town to wear a Scarlet A on all her clothes and becomes a social outcast. Another part of her punishment for her sin is to report to the town square where the town ridicules her for her transactions. The baby is born and the reader realizes who the father is (it is a big twist in the book I will not give it away).

More than just a romantic novel this book should serve as a lesson for the overzealous who wish to force their morals onto a population that may or may not want it. I am not a fan of sexual promiscuity. STD’s unwanted pregnancy and abusive relationships can form because of it. However because of puritanical views on sex and draconian enforcement teenagers brought up in this environment are more likely to engage in clandestine sexual promiscuity, less sexual activity but clandestine and shameful sex.

The jury is out on sex and it is a personal decision formed at an early age. It is best to keep sex personal and not public. If you are attempting to shame a person into becoming more prudent, you are a bully and wrong this I am sure off.  I have kids and they are different ages and I find myself correcting them quite often for all kinds of infractions. One infraction that seems to happen often is correcting the children for correcting their peers. I may be somewhat of a smart-alec (and I know shame on me for it), so I ask them “are you their mother?”

I don’t want to spoil the Scarlet Letter, but I will tell you this the book did not end well. Anytime we bully someone it will not end well and unsolicited advice is bullying, unless of course you are their mother than it is law!

images

Next time we decide to “fix” someone who does not share our same view about anything we would do well to remember some wise words from the author of “Women are from Venus Men are from Mars. ” To offer a man unsolicited advice is to presume that he doesn’t know what to do or how to do it. Generally, speaking when a woman offers unsolicited advice or tries to help a man, she has no idea of how critical or unloving she may sound to him.” John Gray speaks to the pitfalls of offering unsolicited advice between partners in a marriage, however it seems unsolicitied advice can and is toxic in any relationship dynamic. See the scarlet letter.

The best piece of advice when we are tempted to “fix” someone with advice is probably that of  the new queen of daytime television. “Don’t give advice. It will come back and bite you in the [butt]. Don’t take anyone’s advice. So, my advice to you is to be true to yourself and everything will be fine.”  Ellen DeGeneres, Tulane Commencement Speech, 2009

peace

john3c

Last weekend my oldest son wanted to visit the bookstore in the mall, so we did. While in the book store I was encouraged to see all the new titles and authors available for readers of all ages. I love to read. I was just recently turned onto reading  books on my I pad using the kindle app. I love it! I can download all sorts of books and read them whenever and wherever I want and they do not stack up in the bedroom, living room, den and kitchen!

While in the book store I walked by a section titled self-help and I noticed quite a few books dealing with the title of todays post. I am a guy so I am more skeptical about the power of optimism. I have read the secret and watched the movie.  The book is good and so was the movie. The secret is a book written by Rhonda Byrne. In the book Rhonda purposes that, because of the law of attraction individuals who think positively will attract more positive things. 

images

The problem with the law of attraction is that this is not a scientific law it is a thought principle.  The thought principle was created or discovered by a 9th grade educated welder born in Scotland,  named Sydney Banks. The three principles of Mr. Banks have been and are still being applied in hospitals and hospital systems, correctional institutions, social services, juvenile justice programming, community housing, drug and alcohol prevention and treatment programs, schools, and multi-national corporations. Despite the lack of empirical evidence this idea of principles forming and shaping man works!

Self-help and the power of positive thinking can be easily dismissed and usually is, but I ask you this. When you are faced with something dark and depressing what would you rather have inside you guiding you a pessimistic person or a optomistic one (of course both would be pragmatic)?

So with that in mind I hope everyone has a wonderful day and if you want to chances are you will.

peace

john3c

Do me a favor. Define restart. I don’t know about you but this was tough for me. See there is start and stop and even stall but restart. That is a tough on. If you are restarting are you not simply starting?

An old neighbor of mine worked as an instructor for The Youth Challenge Academy on Fort Stewart GA. The Academy is a school for high school dropouts. The school functions as a last resort military style establishment. One afternoon while just talking, my neighbor let me know that “a big problem with a lot of these kids don’t realize that life doesn’t have a reset button”. These are some insightful and thought-provoking words for me. I couldn’t tell you how many times I would have loved to “restart” and do things in life differently, but we can’t. We were born and life started when we die life is over. In between we have to do what we can to make a difference.

images

The good news is no one gets restarts but there truly is no yesterday or tomorrow  only now and now we can do right despite what was and what will be. Challenge yourself today!! Embrace  life now!!

Peace

john3c

So I am of the Christian faith and in the Christian text there are accounts of miracles. All types of miracles. Things that happen to people through divine intervention from god. The Islam, Judaism and Buddhist faiths all also have within their religious texts records of miracles. But my question is why are there miracles? Why would god need to help his people directly when he set up the world and controls everything why would he need to step in and intervene?

I am unsure. Some religious people will tell you that miracles are proof for unbelievers but knowing some unbelievers, I would disagree with that. Others will tell you it is so man understands the need for god, this idea is more believable. It seems every major monotheistic religion points out mans need for the divine. The reason aside the recording of miracles is nothing new. It seems that collectively the why for miracles is an elusive answer, but what about individually?

Well first you would need to define a miracle.

A miracle is defined as

1: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs

2: an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
 
The second definition I find interesting. Would you disagree with the statement that a one and a million statistic qualifies as outstanding or extreme? If you had answered no then you may be interested in the philosopher Littlewood and Littlewoods law.   Littlewood’s law,  states that an individual can expect to experience “miracles” at the rate of about one per month. That is some really good news and if you follow the link Littlewood explains why. So individually why miracles. Well let’s see a miracle is a one and a million event and until the late 1700’s a person catching smallpox was basically given a death sentence. In 1977 smallpox was completely eradicated from the earth. Is that a miracle? The chances for survival were one in a million prior to vaccination and after the disease has basically disappeared I say yes. So miracles help and save lives. Why miracles? Because sometimes somebody needs a little help
imagesCAU5RU0I
 
 But in looking for an answer. I realized that we can do miracles. There was a video on the internet which went viral. In the viral video a New York police officer gave a homeless man a pair of boots.  I wonder how many people passed by the man, 100, 1,000? If it was a million then the police officer made a miracle happen, right?   Miracle or not the police officer did something good for someone else. The Police officers act of kindness made a difference for the man without shoes and a woman who captured it on video.“This man’s face lit up like it was Christmas and like, he had just been given, literally, a million dollars,” Foster told the Today Show.

So.. why miracles?? Why not?

peace

john3c

 

 

The movie was named “The Iron Lady“. The Iron Lady is a nickname given to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margret Thatcher. I am not British I hail from The United States of America, but I can say from the history and legacy that is known internationally Margret Thatcher is one stand up woman.

She did not get her start professionally in politics and I already like her for that. She started in science (there is another point for me, scientist do not make the world spin but they know how it does and they may keep it spinning later on we will see). Margret Thatcher was first a chemist then a barrister and finally PM of the UK. Her rise to power and position was a result of what I posted yesterday. She was smart, she worked hard and well with others and finally she got lucky when Edward Heath offered her a position as secretary of state for education and science.

Margret Thatcher has never stopped working. I would go on and on (yes even more than I already have) about her work ethic but I will let her sum it up with her own words.

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.”  Margret Thatcher

Margret Thatcher seems to have lived her life holding true to this idea and she also felt everyone else should hold this as a simple truth. Once again let us read her words.

“I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations”    Margaret Thatcher

imagesCAHWX6YR

I heard her ideals put another way which make it easier for the punchy fellows like myself to understand “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”  Mark Twain The sooner we realize this truth the better.

Earn everything you get if you don’t it really isn’t yours.

Peace

john3c

Hmm winning that is important right? If winning didn’t matter we wouldn’t keep score. So winning is fun and success has it’s rewards and we all want it. We all despite what we say want to win. We compete always. Sometimes we have competitions with friends sometimes foes and even at times against ourselves and we all want to win. unfortunately we all cannot win all the time. So we are told by coaches and parents and leaders. We can’t win all the time, but it can seem like some people experience more wins than loses. Why do some people get more wins than loses? Is there some formula for winning, a magic elixir? Yes there is! I will tell you the four secrets to winning.

images

1. Be smart.

There are hundreds of sciences, so one has to ask be smart in what science? The answer is as many sciences as you can. We should never quit learning. We should learn as much as we can about as many subjects or sciences as we can. I posted, sometime back an article, that to a certain extent, spoke about the danger of not being a master of many sciences. Knowledge in multiple sciences is more than just something good to have it is often a necessity. So learn as much as you can and apply what you have learned this makes you smart and being smart is step one for success.

2. Work well with your teammates

I am only 34 years old and I have already had the pleasure and pain of working with people from all over the world on various projects. People are diverse and different and that is great. I have always and will continue to believe that different is good, but different can cause some stumbling blocks. Here is the thing about these stumbling blocks people will not change for you and if they did would you want them to? You will have to learn to utilize your groups individual strengths and compliment each other to make up for the weakness. This is a rule for success plan and simple. Successful people take people and situations personally, because we are all people. They know what everyone is best at and they work so that everyone can shine. Learn to respect and work well with others this is step two of the rules for success.

3.Winners work hard

Hugh Hefner the founder and chief creative officer for Playboy Enterprises, is known for wearing silk pajamas at all times. When he was asked in an interview why he wore the pajamas he told the man asking him the question that it was initially a mistake. He had stayed up all night getting his magazine ready for print and there was a board meeting scheduled with less than half an hour to attend, he had no time to change. He had worked so hard he lost track of time. When was the last time you worked so hard at something that you stayed up all night? If you want to win you have to work hard at it. The best lesson my mom ever taught me was when she bought me a soccer ball. I was 14 years old and complaining about the lack of playing time I was getting on the team. Mom bought me a soccer ball and told me that every time I felt like complaining to her I should instead practice. She was right before the end of the season I was a starter. Wimmers work hard

4. Finally winners get lucky (never give up)

So you have learned and applied as much as you can and you are still learning, you are a joy to be around everyone feels better after they meet you and you are working 24 7 and you still lost!! What is the deal, well see winners also need to get lucky. There is a secret to luck too. The secret to luck is that it doesn’t exist. No such thing as luck or fate only probability.   I am not sure how you feel about probability, but I am a fan of the frequency approach. probability is relative to the frequency to which an event occurs. Simply stated the more times you try the more often you will get “lucky”. I took these four secrets from another post dealing with intelligence.  Great article when you get the chance you should check it out. I agree with all four statements almost, see instead of winners get lucky I believe we should say winners never give up!!

So let us review:

Everyone really can be a winner you need only

1. be smart

2. work well with everyone you meet

3. work really really hard

4. finally make your own luck by never giving up

So get out there and start winning!!!

peace

john3c