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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: 1/16/11 - 1/23/11

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Keep a temperate mood

There are times when we witness conflict between people. Sometimes we are in it and with the personal element to that, it is difficult to keep a cool and reasonable head. 
Try to be temperate

I've witnessed people have a disagreement with one party getting angry and raising their voice, attempting to dominate the interaction. So long as one side of the exchange keeps relatively calm, the moment of anger can be expressed and then float away. Dangers occur when both people become angry and seek to dominate, each claiming the other is not listening. As we know, some serious incidents end up in a physical fight. It is simply poor communication that causes this.

I was involved in a situation somewhat like this the other day. The disagreement was certainly not going to be resolved. The subject was about a persons anger. Voices getting raised on both sides made it worse. I became aware that I kept calm at all times. I had the advantage of being less involved. I recognised the issues on both sides. I was tempted to be critical of how the communication was breaking down, but to have voiced that would have got me involved unnecessarily. I actually caught sight of myself in the mirror and became aware that my calmness alone stopped the interaction escalating. 

I've said in the past that "Sitting on the Fence" can cause us to get splinters in our backsides! The secret in being on the outside is to stay outside and say little. Just allow your calmer spirit to enter the space. I'm suggesting it helps those in conflict to feel safe. That occurs in their sub conscious

  • If you get into a conflict, try to stay as calm as you are able to.
  • If you feel an injustice, take a inventory of your emotions and feelings. It is probably better to do that at a later, more appropriate time when you feel less angry. 
  • Decide what your options are. What creative ways can you get the best out of the situation?
  • Look at what you can learn from the experience.
  • If you feel bad, recognise that the feeling is there for a reason. We have been granted a wide spectrum of feelings at the point of existence. They are there for a reason, so resolve to make use of them to learn.
  • If you are not directly involved in the conflict, try not to get too involved. People are entitled to get angry so allow that anger to be expressed in a natural and appropriate way.
Take care folks. 

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Warning! Highly infectious virus

We have to so very careful when there are viruses around. Without taking precautions, we can easily get contaminated. Some viruses can make permanent changes to our make up. These changes are considered irreversible in so many cases. Some of us have strong resistance to these viruses.

Many people have a particular aversion to this virus.

I want to warn you that I've caught one of these viruses in the last year.
I used to have a very strong resistance to this particular virus. It infected me on some occasions, but was quickly resisted.
I need to warn you that my resistance to this virus is now almost non existent. It is very possible that the effects are now permanent. 

In fact this particular virus is relatively common. There are mini epidemics of it around everywhere. Some only last for a short time, then disappear. They often occur in places where many people gather together.

This particular virus has many names for its various strains.

They are: -


Positive Energy
Good humour

"MEETPEG" is actually around us all the time. It's likely that you are never very far from it, especially in built up areas. Sometimes it is easy to see. Large meetings and conferences, sports stadiums, comedy shows and gala shows are some of those places. 

It also appears in the workplace, but there can be strong resistance to the virus at work. Some workplaces are a strong sanctuary away from MEETPEG, but there are times when it can creep in and infect everybody, including visitors, patients and customers. 

Be warned everybody. You can run but you can't hide! This virus is actively seeking you out. If you come any way near me and do not have the appropriate protection, you are very likely to catch it from me and spread it further. 

Virus variants: -
Self Confidence

P.S. I highly that you consider sharing this public service announcement blog to everyone you know. Please send on the link to all your social network so they can be fully prepared for its impact! Oh..... and if you have any comments to make on it, please leave them in the comments box below. I need your feedback because I am very seriously infected!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Choose to give credence to belief

There are many "religions" in our world. Most strong followers of them state that they are the one and only way. I find it sad that conflict often results from arguments that prevail. It seems to me that almost always, the central edicts of the various belief systems promote the same or a similar message.
I find it sad that often, these (and other) central edicts get downgraded in importance allowing the emphasis of differences and dogma to get in the way. 

Man loves to be right and hates to be wrong. 

On a personal level, I'll state that I am a Christian. Much of this comes from the culture I live in. When I chose to commit to Christianity, I did so based on the concept of love and respect for others. It is something that is a challenge to maintain, but is central to my desire. I believe that the very same foundation of other belief systems applies to all other "religions" or belief systems including those of humanism and/or atheism.

In my pursuit of self development and research, I discovered "The Way to Happiness". I received the DVD, booklet and promotional material a couple of days ago. It's pretty impressive. It ties in some cases to The 10 Commandments lovebut has the interesting principal of not claiming to be part of any "religious" organisation. 

You'll notice that I use quotation marks when writing the word "religious". This is deliberate. I find the word comes with labels that generate assumptions and creates fear and prejudice. I prefer to refer to myself as spiritual and of the Christian Faith for which I choose to believe. 

It is pretty clear that virtually all war and conflict occurs as a result of "religious" conflict. Some of it is generated as a result of anti "religion". Many of the ancient conflicts are all detailed in The Old Testament/Torah/Koran as I'm led to understand. (I'm not much of an expert on The Old Testament and have read only parts of it. In truth, I find it a bit hard work!) 

One of the most profound statement in "The Way to Happiness" is reference to being respectful of other peoples belief systems. If we all simply did that, then surely we can all live in harmony?

All this has been said before I know. These messages get written and re-written. I believe it is natural to do this in order to keep the message fresh. Otherwise the message simply goes stale and is in danger of being forgotten. 

It is always advised to be careful when discussing "religion" and politics. It brings forward so much emotion. I do so today to attempt to share some balance to the arguments.

So endeth Marty's thoughts for today!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is Motivation?

I'm looking forward to tomorrow because I will be delivering a training workshop to staff that is intended to help people become motivated. The purpose is also to propagate this motivational energy so that it will snowball to others. 

So what is motivation and how does it manifest?

Everyone experiences motivation to a greater or lesser degree in their lives. Difficulties occur when our motivation is low. Motivation is clearly linked to our emotions. Positive motivation is driven by our sense of well being and purpose in life. 

It is most effective when it comes from the very centre of our individuality and being. If we know who we are and accept that we have value, we will be able to focus on that motivation and be less likely to be distracted by outside influences. I feel certain that famous people that have achieved amazing feats have that knowledge of value in life. A typical person would be Sir Edmund Hillary who conquered Mount Everest.

Having a confident sense of personal value must surely be the key to achieving goals.

So why does our motivation sometimes wane? 

I think this is because the motivation is driven by some outside influence or source. Being motivated by seeking to prove somebody wrong may seem on the surface all well and good, however, there is a danger in this. When we come up against a challenge along the way, self talk may come in that says: 

"Maybe the other person was not wrong about me. I'm going to fail and feel like a fool." 

It is quite possible that the other person will not think you a fool at all. If we are trying to prove someone wrong, then essentially our motivation is to attempt to make a fool out of the other person. Frankly, what purpose does that serve? It certainly has some sort of negative intention on our part.

Maybe the outside influence is to try to impress somebody. If we have personal value and are at peace with ourselves, surely there is no need to impress anyone else. Self value is far more powerful than any feedback that we get from anyone else. Of course, getting positive affirmations is important because they help to build and maintain a sense of personal value. 

A few years ago, I became very enthusiastic and motivated by a business I got involved with. My motivation was driven to a certain extent by anger at having lost a job. It was my own sense of being wronged and wanting to prove that I could succeed. I got some limited success, but the driving (negative) energy source soon ran out. It ended with a breakdown of sorts where I felt I had failed. I felt I'd failed those who I love and care about. I felt that others would be disappointed by me and ultimately, I felt I had failed myself. The motivation did not come from my true self. I was even in denial about the fact I did not really believe in the product I was marketing!  

When we feel enthusiastic and motivated about something, we can choose to evaluate where it comes from. 

How much of it comes from the anticipation of receiving praise? 

When we receive praise, are we able to accept it in a genuine and thankful manner that helps to build and maintain our personal and individual sense of value?

I write about this because it is a continued challenge on the journey of self discovery, self acceptance and sense of well being. 

Be blessed folks...


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to be an expert

a person who has special skill or knowledge in some particular field; specialist; authority: a language expert.
Military .
the highest rating in rifle marksmanship, above that of marksman and sharpshooter.
a person who has achieved such a rating.
possessing special skill or knowledge; trained by practice; skillful or skilled (often fol. by in  or at ): an expert driver; to be expert at driving a car.
pertaining to, coming from, or characteristic of an expert: expert work; expert advice.
I approach this subject with some trepidation because I'm treating it with some free thought and who knows where that will lead. As much as I like to do a little research, I also like to "free think" and tap into some sub consciousness thereby hopefully finding some creativity in writing.
I'd been thinking in the car on the way home from work today "What is an expert?" I was led to thinking that it is somebody with some sort of formal qualification in a subject.  The modern world seems full of people who can produce certificates the study of a particular subject. 
Access to university appears much easier than it once was. Reports on school exams results if they are good get challenged by some that examination papers have been "dumbed down."
Studying has never really been a strong point for me. I didn't perform as well as I'd wished in exams at school due to panicking on the day and not being able to recall answers from my memory. I've no real formal "qualifications" as such.
I've come to the conclusion that to become an expert is not an end in itself. We all continue to gain knowledge and wisdom if we choose to as we continue through life. As I've gained wisdom through my own life through various experiences (some of them pretty painful) I sense I have something worth sharing to help others. I seen the results of that with some of the people I work to support. 
I think it is broadly acceptable to state that we are all experts to one degree or another. Being an expert is not a destination, it is a landmark on a continuous journey. To illustrate this, consider the following: -

Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean achieved 12 "perfect" 6.0 scores in their Bolero ice dance during the 1984 Winter Olympics. This was not an ending destination for them, but it was a landmark for them to go further. They did not put a ceiling on the achievement. I remember watching that Ice Dance and being as impressed as most people at how good it was. Arguably, there have many ice dances since then as good or better. The scoring system cannot be based on the same principals it was back in 1984. The bar has to be raised. And will be again and again in the future.
A person with less knowledge than another may consider the person with greater knowledge as an expert. This would be true in the perception of the person with less knowledge. 
So, we can all consider ourselves to be experts to a degree and take positive energy and esteem from that. 
  • Take credit for the knowledge and wisdom that you have.
  • Continue to seek greater knowledge and wisdom, thereby acknowledging expertise at each landmark.  
  •  Being an expert is not necessarily an exclusive club.   

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Monday, January 17, 2011

How to accept Change positively

Many people I come across find it difficult to accept change. I guess I'm fortunate in that change (particularly in my working life) has occurred on a frequent basis.

Why is it that we are so resistant to change? 

Rather that try to answer that question directly, I want to look at it from an alternative perspective. 

Change is natural. 

The seasons change throughout the year. We don't get the exact same weather each year. Some summers are warmer than others, some winters colder. Some years we get extreme weather. 

The one constant is that nature adapts. 

Without the seasons, we would not have variety. We would not have the constituents that make up sun and rain that allow life to exist. Perhaps that is why we have abundant life on earth and that planets around us appear to be dead. (At least we still seek to discover life on other planets but still have little evidence to prove otherwise).

Change in the world that we experience is inevitable. It is meant to be in order to support life. We are designed to accept change, so there is no real point in resisting it. 

On a less profound level I'll explain that there have been times in my working life that change for change sake has not been helpful. One place I worked made changes so often (sometimes on a hourly basis) that it was difficult to keep up. Also, there was no chance to measure and test the outcome of a given idea to see if it was effective. It created confusion and chaos. 

To resist change is to become stuck. There may well be comfort in keeping things the same, but that simply stunts growth. Change IS inevitable. I heard a story once of a new minister at a parish church who wanted to move the piano /organ from one side of the church to the other. People were very resistant to this wanting things to remain familiar. The minister achieved moving the item eventually by moving the item 1 inch at a time each week. 

I used to commute to work on the train to London a few years ago. It always amused me how people would sit in the same seat each morning. Sometimes, when somebody new joined the train, an indignant non changer would say "Excuse me, you are sitting in my seat". It begs the question "Who's seat?" The seat was not reserved specifically for anyone. If somebody wanted that, I'm sure they would have had to pay a very high price for it!

If you are resistant to change, are you going to continue to waste energy by fighting it? That energy would be far more productive by adapting.  

If you attend meetings regularly, experiment with sitting in a different place occasionally. From a different view point, you may get a different perspective of the content of the meetings. 

Having said all that, I am still a little resistant to change, especially when my wife gets itchy feet and changes the furniture round in the various rooms of our home. After she has done that, I simply can't find anything! 

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

What are the benefits of being spontaneous?

The photograph above is one I took spontaneously this morning, simply because I enjoyed the bright blue winter sky as a backdrop to the church spire at All Saints Church in Birchington. 

There is going to be a change of management at one of my local pubs The Powell Arms. The brothers are moving on. Last night was their last evening at the pub, so those of us from the band decided to go and and have a drink with them. Andy and Phil have been very good to us having booked us on a few occasions and promoted us. Right at the last minute, we decided that we would set up and play some music as a bit of a send off for them. This was in no way an official gig, just a bit of a jam night for any musicians who wanted to come along. It was one of the best nights I have had out playing music.

By doing what we did spontaneously made the evening far more enjoyable. I believe the reasons for this are as follows: -

  • We had no expectation of what would happen.
  • There was no pressure to perform.
  • The fact there was very little pre-planning allowed space for creativity.
  • We did it for free. So it was a genuine gift, thereby allowing space for motivation as well as a thank you for the support we have had from the pub. 
Have you ever had a better experience of something when it is done spontaneously? 
We have all had times of planning a party or event. Lots of energy goes into it with lofty expectations of having a good time. Frequently, it turns out to be not as good as we hoped. 

Whenever a Christmas time meal comes around, I usually prefer not to go due to the restrictions of pre planning the venue, time limits, booking what you want to eat, dressing up.... Personally, I prefer to just go for a casual drink and see what happens on the night itself. Maybe going to a different venue and finishing the night off at a time when everybody is ready. 

Spontaneity is creative.
It provides unexpected and surprising results.
It allows for freedom of choice.
It brings new life experiences. 

Try doing something spontaneous today. 

  • Contact somebody you have not seen for a long while.
  • Send a friend a random text message to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Go for a walk without pre-planning where you are going to go.
  • Book a last minute holiday or short break.
  • Make polite conversation with someone in a queue at the shops.
  • Tell someone you care about that you love them.
  • Think about something healthy that you would like to do and do it immediately.
All of the above, you have the right to choose to do. Whatever it is that you do, simply trust in your intuition. I believe we all have it. It's getting in touch with and trusting it that takes practice. 

Here's wishing you all a blessed Sunday.


P.S. "Hey Jude" is a cover we do at gigs. It's amazing how everyone spontaneously joins in. 

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