Thursday, June 16, 2011

Power Principle #3

Gratitude is Power
This is a principle I understand, but don't always follow. There is a lady in our town who never has her requests rejected. The reason? She is the most exuberant person with praise and thanks.
More than merely thanking others for whatever favor they have done her, or task they have performed, This lady sends written thanks in the form of a card, and consistently stops the person in the store, at church, or on the street to thank them again for their efforts, while praising them for their talents, skills, personality, achievements, etc. She simply makes every person she speaks with feel as though her life was made better by their involvement.
And who is to say this isn't what she believes? I doubt anyone would question her sincerity, simply on the foundation of her consistency. I know I will definitely not be the person to raise a doubt.
People who follow this practice seem to always have better results in delegating responsibilities. They are able to create a situation in which others actually want to help them. Individuals who achieve this ability have absolutely built a power base in their lives. 
The opposite is also true, however. People who never show gratitude, or are consistently critical of the efforts of others are more likely to alienate the very people who could be helping them. Others end up being insulted by such individuals, and will even go to greater lengths to avoid them.
This principle is a very simple matter, but a very effective process. To create a reality where others are more willing to be around you and help you, cultivate a thankful demeanor. You'll be thankful you did!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Power Principle #2

Knowledge is Power.
Ignorant men (and women) are rarely aware of the fullest extent of their own influence. They are also unaware of the contributions of others, and how those contributions can benefit their own lives. 
If you were to see a baby crawling toward a fire, what would your response be? Stop the baby, so it would not be burned? Yell and scare the baby, hoping it would never go toward another fire again? One tribe would simply watch as the baby's fingers touched the flames, or the rocks near them. The baby would get a minor burn, yes, but it would learn, absolutely, what those flames could do. And no, I am not advocating burning infants to teach them the dangers of fire. I am advocating learning where we can.
If you want to be able to succeed in this world, not only must you be educated, you must also be informed. There are many people who are making money without having received a college education (or in some situations, even a high school education), but every one of these people researches their options, and finds out as much as possible about the factors leading up to their success. And every one of them stays educated--or informed--about as much as possible. 
Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's restaurants had not graduated high school when he started working for Colonel Sanders in his KFC business. But her learned all he could about the business. One of the things he learned is that by working for the Col. he would not be leaving a legacy for his daughter. So, he started his own business, and became very successful. And what did he do after making his company the giant is is today? He went back and finished high school, even going so far as to pay for the graduation party for his classmates!
Even teachers and professors attend what is called "Professional Development Conferences" to better themselves and their teaching. If the people who are on the front lines of education feel it necessary to continue learning, perhaps everyone else should at least give it a chance.
By learning more, you open up a world of opportunities. You give yourself the tools that can help you make--well, there is no other way to say it--"educated decisions." By refusing to learn, you risk not only stagnating, but reversing your circumstances. You are more likely to lose money, lose time, and lose out on opportunities.
Do not assume that current media practices will keep you informed about the issues surrounding you. The people who run the different media organizations stay informed about all issues. Then they relay the information they want you to know. If you simply rely on their slanted reports, you may never know how much you don't know. You will believe that you are informed on the issues, while remaining as ignorant as the truly informed people want you to be.

One danger in our world is the attitude of "Why can't you let me make my own mistakes!" Only the truly ignorant would wish to not learn from those who went before. I do not need to stick my hand in a shark's mouth to know for myself whether or not that is a bad idea. I myself once slammed my finger in a car door. Should my children perform this mistake simply so they don't have to rely on my experience? Of course not. Then why do so many people insist on the Freedom of Stupidity?
Another point to consider is the Tabula Rasa condition. This is the Blank Slate student. They soak in every word as though it were Gospel. Don't accept everything you hear at face value. Even professors may miss some information, or even skim past it due to time restraints, with the hope that you will actually read up on the research. 
There is a character in a Shakespeare play who exhibits an undesirable attribute with regards to learning. He name is Ophelia. Her father Polonius asks her if she believes Hamlet's sincerity. She answers, "I do not know, my lord, what I should think." He tells her he will teach her, and to think of herself as a baby. This basic relationship has been named, the "Ophelia Syndrome." 

In essence, you should not go into an educational experience as a completely empty vessel, waiting to be filled, but as a full being, expecting to increase understanding. Far too many students do not have the foundational knowledge necessary to actually LEARN from their professors. Instead, they memorize as many facts as possible in an attempt to pass the exams. Every one of these professors would prefer a room full of well-informed thinkers instead of vacant automatons. When you can communicate with those who teach you, you can grow more than even they would hope.
So stay in school. Go to college. Earn a degree. Keep learning. When you stop learning, it's because you're dead.
Knowledge is Power.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Masculine Affirmation

We watched one of the final episodes tonight of the Oprah Show. One of the main themes was what this woman has done to help girls and women all over the world believe in and grasp the power they have. It was an affirmation of the feminine sex. It was inspiring. And it made me ask a huge question:
What is being done to TRULY empower young men all over the world?
So I would like to start a series of posts about what attributes belong to REAL MEN. These are from a set of standards I have had in the back of my mind for some time now. I call them "The Power Principles."
Patience is Power
This is the first great Principle. Real Men do not feel the "need" to lose their tempers or "blow up" at their families. Real Men bide their time and focus their energies on solutions instead of retaliation. And, oh yeah-- just for the record--Real Men NEVER HIT WOMEN! 
A Real Man can always find a solution that is better. Those who "can't help it," or "lose control" are less than Real Men and more like Beasts. And Beauty may have fallen for one, but Beasts are NOT Real Men. In fact, if we continue the story of the fairy tale, it was only through the Beast's willingness to overcome his Animal nature that he was able to break the curse and become a Real Man.
Those who lose their temper do not see the whole picture. They only see the immediate burn from those they consider their enemies. Only those who can remain cool can wait out the storm to find the security that comes later. These are the Men who keep money instead of spending it, make profit instead of losing wages, and climb the ladder of success instead of sliding into the gutter. Those who cannot maintain their control are more likely to take risks that cannot pay dividends in the future. 
If we look at the simple phrase "Losing your temper," we must go to the foundation of our culture. A blacksmith would heat and hammer steel until he could not only shape it, but strengthen it by hardening it through the process. This is called "tempering the blade." When a blade "loses its temper" it becomes weaker and more likely to break or shatter upon contact with another blade, a shield, or other hard surface. Its effectiveness as a blade is diminished. It is worthless as a weapon. 
Knives that lose their temper will not hold an edge as long, and will dull more quickly. They become an inconvenience and a frustration to those wielding them. They cannot fulfill the purpose for which they were made. These blades rust more easily and become a tarnished shadow of the image they were meant to project.
Men who "lose their temper" are no different. They become weaker, easily distracted from true objectives, and less capable of fulfilling the purpose for which they were created. They become worth less (if not completely WORTHLESS), and are more likely to break or shatter when facing truly difficult circumstances. They become, at best, an inconvenience and a frustration to those who would be with them. They repulse others, and wallow in solitude.
Those who maintain, or hold their temper are among those who remain strong. They can stay the course. They will not be broken by the smaller issues that face them, and are more likely to remain strong when faced by truly deep trials. They can, simply by their presence and and focus, strengthen the people around them; their friends, families, and spouses. They attract the people around them, and create unbreakable bonds in their most intimate relationships.
Young men, for the sake of your own future, and the well-being of those around you, remember this first Principle:
Patience is Power

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Self Evident Truths: President Obama's Trash Talk

Self Evident Truths: President Obama's Trash Talk: "I was going to post an analysis of a quote on civil liberties and morality but found this video analysis from the Wall Street Journal showin..."

Thanks to Euripides for posting this! I really don't need to say more....

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Stupidity of Standardized Testing

As an Arts Teacher, I get to avoid one of the E-VILS permeating the lives of some of my co-workers--Standardized Testing. Studies have indicated for many years now that these tests, and preparations for them have no educational value whatsoever. Here is another take on the whole subject that I found fascinating. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

No Excuses

This is just going to be a short post (I know -- I've said that before!). I have had some success in the past couple of weeks that I did not have in the previous years. I have lost 45 lbs. since Christmas (it is now March 19). A friend who is a fitness expert thinks this is a huge feat.
My weight loss has taught me a couple of things, though and I would like to share those.
1) Some people fail at diets because they don't truly commit to them. Period.
2) Some people fail at diets because they medically cannot succeed.
3) Some people succeed at diets because they don't see them as "diets" but "life-style changes," and commit to them.
4) The people who have the most success usually have a very good reason to succeed, not just a desire.
This site is title "No Apologies," but I now offer up No Excuses for the past 20 years. I never truly committed myself to doing what was necessary to be healthy until my poor health threatened my ability to take care of my wife, who is going through chemotherapy. SHE is my reason to get and STAY healthy. Victor Frankl developed a type of practice called "Logo Therapy" in which people are given a reason to succeed. You can withstand any WHAT as long as you have a strong enough WHY. 
So all those out there who just "can't lose weight," I call to you to join me in offering no more excuses. It's time to take your future in your own hands. And, by the way, I offer that same invitation to those who "can't quit smoking," or whatever bad habit/addiction may be holding you down. Find your reason, make your commitment, and NEVER LOOK BACK!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Identity Crisis Part 2

So there has been some new developments in the media lately. There always are. One in particular is a real gem. To demonstrate, I will use personal history.
When he was young, my oldest child wanted to be a Ninja Turtle. He even told everyone his name was Michaelangelo. We didn't think anything about it at the time, because we were unenlightened. Now we know differently.
The media tells us now that we were not allowing our son to fully express his own identity.
What we should have done is let him dress like a turtle and act like a turtle. And we should have encouraged him to seek out his own sense of turtle identity. 
This would include the fact that we should have encouraged him to grow up and seek loving caring relationships with turtles who believed in him and accepted him for who he is. Perhaps one day, if the people of the world finally stop hating turtles so much, they may even have allowed him to commit to a loving turtle by taking the vows.
In this way, perhaps he would today feel a sense of turtle worth, instead of rejecting his inner nature by trying to please his parents and the non-turtle acceptance of our closed-minded society.
Son, we're sorry we didn't live up to the ideals our media would have us believe! How you must have suffered, and must suffer still!
It's too late for you, but perhaps some other turtle boy or girl out there will be allowed to freely express the way they were born!
Sorry, the tears in my eyes are making it difficult to see the keyboard....
See what I mean?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So Which Is It?

My wife an I were recently watching a popular talk show, hosted by several women around a table. Their guest was a famous actress who for awhile was the lesbian partner of another famous celebrity. She is now living a heterosexual life with the man she claims as her fiance, but to whom she says she will never be married. So now I am confused.
The issue has become so blurred that I cannot make heads nor tails of it. The gay and lesbian community says society is denying them the right to marriage, but then so many on the hetero side are saying they don't need it. Doesn't anyone see the pattern here? I will speak religiously for a bit.
Satan has it in his mind to destroy the family. He doesn't care how he does it as long as he does, because he knows that when that happens, society will destroy itself. Our world will collapse if the family falls. That is the devil's design. So he works both sides of the fence.
He has the gays and lesbians trying to destroy the family by undermining its very foundation--the marriage between a man and woman. Then they adopt children, raising them to believe in the same traditions that those raising them have changed.
On the married, hetero side of the fence, he has gotten spouses to cheat on each other, destroying lives, families, and breaking hearts. In this way, even those who did it right are ruining a good thing.
The hetero singles fit right on the fence. Some think they don't need marriage. Many don't think they should remain pure until marriage. All this weakens the institution, the commitment, and the sanctity of marriage. Their families will either never exist, or be built on a lie.
So, upon reflection, I don't think the discussion should just be about gay/lesbian marriages, but on every aspect of the survival of the family! And the media isn't helping.
I recently saw episodes of two of my favorite TV shows mock the purity of girls remaining virgins! Both suggested that men should only want women with "experience" and that to achieve this end, girls should have sex as soon as they can so they will no longer be "undesirable." Imagine that. Can't you just see new husbands dropping all over the world from diseases their new brides give them? Can't you just see those husbands spreading those diseases to the mistresses Hollywood convinced them they needed? And can't you see the bastard children of those illicit affairs growing up in a broken home and joining gangs, dealing drugs, and prostituting themselves to fill the void?
I can. All I have to do is turn on the news or read the paper.
Let's stop worrying about who as spouting the most vile accusations and simply save our society by saving our families.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Time for a Change

“Fasting will bring spiritual rebirth to those who cleanse and purify your bodies. The light of the world will illuminate within you when you fast and purify yourself. What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner.” – Mahatma Gandhi

With all of the success I have had with my diet, I decided to try another one. I will begin this diet with a week-long cleansing fast. I will abstain for the next seven days. Not from fat, not from sugar, not from carbs. From the Internet.

That’s right, for the next week, I am on an e-Fast. I will still read e-mail, because I have important messages every day, and as a teacher, I must enter attendance and grades. But I will not be blogging all week. I will not be on Facebook. I will not play Internet games.

I am not quitting. I am not going “Cold Turkey.” I am simply spending a week cleansing and thinking. I will find alternate means of entertainment. I will still carry my cell phone, so can still be reached, but not via those normal channels.

Then, following this Internet Fast, I will be going on an e-Diet. I will cut down the time I spend (or rather, waste), and put that time to more important matters. Who knows what I can accomplish with all that extra time. I will still do FB, I will still do other stuff, but I will try to NOT spend the many HOURS I sometimes find I have passed wasting my energies online!

If I can feel THIS much better watching what I eat, I may find whole new horizons available to me after this Fast!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just a Quick Thought or Two

I don't want to take much time or space here, so I am simply going to list two things that our state needs.
1) A law making smoking in public parking lots illegal (Seriously, people! Knock it off, knuckleheads!).
2) A radiation clinic in the central part of the state for all the hundreds and hundreds of cancer patients who can't afford a two, three, five, or six hour drive five days a week!
Now how do we go about making these two dreams realities? Anyone?