Thursday, October 1, 2009

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Monday, September 21, 2009





Friday, September 11, 2009

Are You Living Life or Is Life Living You?

An analogy of life can be seen in this short story. Life is like riding a wild stallion called “Time”. Everyone has their own stallion called Time. Now the horse “Time” is bred to travel down the paths of life, and there are many paths to take. It’s up to each rider to keep control of Time and to guide him down the specific path which is the rider’s choice. Time won’t wait, he’s continuing moving in any direction, that why it’s important to keep him under control by the person riding him. As you may know, in order to control a horse you have to be seated in the saddle looking forward with both hands holding the reins and to keep both feet in the stirrups. There will be times when the rider may be distracted by things around him and not focus on the direction that his horse is taking. The horse may to wander in any direction, or else there may be times when the horse gets startled by something on the path which and causes the rider to lose temporary control. The worst thing that could happen is that the rider can get bucked off and dragged by his horse, with one foot still in the stirrup. Remember the purpose riding Time is to choose the path of life that will make you a better person on your way to your goals and your destiny. The moral of this story is that life paths are full of bumps in the road, valleys to overcome, mountains to climb, unforeseen hardships that must be endured. Life is full of curve balls that come out of nowhere that hit you upside the head that will daze you. Life will cause you to lose control at times, go in the wrong direction, fall off or even get bucked off your horse. The question is will you just lay there and allow Time to drag you any where he pleases, or will you get up back on your horse and ride to your destiny? My prayers for every reader of this book will have the courage to get back up, no matter how many times you may fall off your horse, to get back up and continue riding down the path of life. God Bless you! Rewarded for being me Find your Passion List five things you really enjoy doing. List the three most favorite things you enjoy doing. List the one you can't you in your heart can't give up.

Smorgastbord

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Humans are social beings. We have the need to belong. We spend most of our lives looking for a place in society to fit in. This is broken down into smaller environmental groups. Its where we interact with each other. Not just a place of common and of the ordinary, but a place of importance. We have the need to feel value to ourselves and to others. Especially to those who are part of our social group. We even use groups as a place of security and safety. We are always evolving from group to group. A lot of times we may be a part of multiple groups. Groups can consist of churches, job, families, neighbors, hang out buddies, or in any combination. You may feel that you are a leader in one of you groups. You will find that others will come and go. As life goes on, we evolve and change. Along with goals and desires it is common for our groups to change as we change.

Life is a spiritual journey. It’s a journey that we learn as we go. We call it life’s experiences. No matter if it’s a positive experience or a negative one. There is always the opportunity to make it a learning encounter out of each situation. It takes an open mindset in order to take total advantage of these opportunities.

You have heard the phrase “No man is an island”. Well its true, we have the need to be a part of life and to interact with each other. We interact by sharing who we are as a person. We share our experiences, our knowledge, skills, along with our character and personality.

Its like a smörgåsbord, a place where you can go and try different types of food, or you can eat the foods that you like. All the food is laid out for you buffet style. Just get a plate walk around and you can choose whatever you see that looks good to you.

I usually pick the things I like, and some of the things don’t have a lot of the opportunity to eat often. I also take this opportunity to try maybe one thing that’s different, something I never tried before, something that’s new to me. Sometimes I discover a delicious item that I like. Sometimes I run across an item that tastes horrible. That’s what’s so great about a smörgåsbord, you have the opportunity to try something different.

Well, our social groups work similar to that of the smörgåsbord. Except what’s on the menu is not food, but parts of who we are. There is a couple of ways we lay out who we are on the buffet table. One is that we are conscious of, what we put on the table. This could be false, and a part of our defensive mechanisms. This could be because we are not ready to show who we really are. We could put up, what I call a “front”, trying to be all that, wanting to impress those around us. When you are comfortable with yourself, you can just lay it on the table (who you are), and be okay with that. The second way we put things on the table is subconsciously. This happens whether you are aware of it or not. It’s who you are when your guards is down. People read this all the time, it’s what you say in comparison to what you do. Humans gather more information from what we visualize, than any other method. We tend to believe what we see a lot faster than what we hear.

Understanding this principal of the smörgåsbord and the ability to take advantage of it took me pretty much the first forty years of my life. Through the process of trial and error. I remember that at the beginning of that realized all the missed opportunities I had let get by. There were times when I was so stubborn in myself; I felt my philosophy in life was the only way, and everyone should think similar to the way I did.

I rejected any other way. I was so insecure in my thinking I would not even allow other to present another view. I was ready to argue to defend my way of thinking. Have you ever met a person who would cut anyone off, from presenting another view point, and go as far as raising their voice or keep talking on and on, so no else could have a turn to speak? Their personality would come on like gangbusters and overwhelm the situation so as not to give room for any other view.

Well that was me. I felt I knew it all, as far as the way I compared life to myself. Now that I look back, there was a fear inside of me. A fear that all that I believe in would not be as true as I hoped. So I built an imaginary wall around my beliefs, and nothing was going to penetrate this wall. I even took pride in my ability to debate and argue my point of view.

What I understand now is everyone that has something of value to offer me and would not take the time to try to share what they know to someone like me who was not willing to try to be better. So if anyone would come around suggesting anything other than what I thought or believe I would not take a bite of that dish. What I’m trying to convey is, Life brings us a banquet of resources laid out smörgåsbord style. We draw from these resources through our interacting, in our environment or groups. It’s like going through a smörgåsbord buffet with an empty plate in our hand. Take this opportunity to pick out those delicious items that you can add to yourself to make you a better person.

Caution! You have to be very selective in your choices. There are going to be some items that will be inappropriate to take and to digest.

Let me give you an example; there was this young man who entered into one of my groups. Let’s call him Don for the purpose of tell this story. He was so courteous polite, with a very gentle spirit about himself. Because of his attitude, and respect for a man of my years, it drew out of me some pleasure to be around him. In our conversation, I found out that he was raised without a father, and he spent most of his young years in prison. He was looking for employment, with the desire to turn his life around. As we talked I felt that he was presenting a need for a role model in his life, in which I was more than willing to step up to the plate and be a provider for him. Especially because I could relate to being raised without a father image or male role model. I have to say I was touched with compassion because I remembered the pain of being fatherless. My hopes were to speak into Don’s life from my life’s experiences. I knew I had a lot to offer. I also figured this kid hadn’t had much of a chance to be successful in life. Maybe it’s not too late if he’s willing too take the difficult road to finding his place in our society. It would not be easy, but it is possible. I was willing walk with him through the process. As our relationship began to grow, Don shared with me his difficulty in obtaining employment. He was going to have to get out and hustle to make ends meet. At the time I thought this was an admirable gesture.

Little did I know we had two different interpretations of what hustle meant. To me hustling was like going around looking for side jobs. So when Don asked one afternoon to borrow my truck for a couple of hours, to do a job, I felt obliged to give him a hand by loaning him my truck.

After giving Don Instructions on using my truck, and his promise to follow them, I gave him the keys. He did keep his word. He returned the truck on time just as we agreed. He replaced the gas that he used. He even gave me a couple of dollars, for the favor of using the truck. This impressed me very much.

Lets talk about what just happened. When we first met, this young man put out his personality, which was full of respect, courteous and polite. In return it opened me up to allow him into my group circle. In the process of bonding, Don put on the table his need for a male role model in his life. In return I put out my need to give of myself, which was the ability to provide the role model experience. This was a perfect and fair trade. We both were getting our needs met through each other. We became a resource for each other to tap into. Needs that make us feel better as a person, and some sense of fulfillment in our inner being.

There is some dessert being served here also. The dessert is favor. Because of his exhibition of positive mannerisms, and character, he made the encounter so pleasurable, that I wanted to give him more. The more was favors; I wanted to go out my way to lend him a helping hand, this is what led to me allowing him the use of my truck.

Let’s get back to the rest of the story with Don, and how it relates to the smorgasbord principle. It was one afternoon when the young man came to me to ask a quick favor of using my truck for a couple of hours. This particular time I was unable to loan my truck out, because of business I needed to take care of. So he asked if I could spare thirty to forty minutes, to take him to do a quick job and drop him back off, “It won’t take long” Don said.

Out of my desire to want to help this young man, I agreed to do this for him.We did not have to go far, about a mile away. I was curious to the task he needed to perform. When I asked about what he had to do, he just gave me a vague answer. “Oh I won’t be long”, he would say. About now I began to feel a little suspicious, but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. At this point I chose to think positive. I wanted to show him some trust, the one thing he’s found so little of in his efforts to turn his life around. Maybe he did not trust me? I could understand if he is afraid of the fact that someone might move in on his hustle. I have witnessed that quiet a few times in my experiences. You know when you come up with a good idea, like saving cans at the work place. Then you tell an associate of your newly found gold mine. Then you look up the next week you see the associate that you trusted with idea of saving cans around the office also. Now he’s doing it, he’s moved in on your hustle.

Maybe this is how Don felt. Things are so tight him right now that he can’t take the chance on me moving in on his hustle. This I could understand. When we got to the place where he gave directions for me to park, I pulled over. Noticing the area where we parked, it was a nice clean area with business offices, and a few residential homes. Before I could turn the ignition off, Don was out and on the move. As he walked down the street, I could hear him say “this won’t take long”. I just scooted down in my seat and leaned back to relax, kind a looking in lackadaisical way, at people going to and fro about their business.

About twenty minutes later, through the rear view mirror I could see Don scurrying his way back to the truck. He was carrying something. I couldn’t tell what it was, it did not look to be cans. This really aroused my curiosity. I scooted up in my seat, and prepared to start the truck. As Don opened the door to get in, I notice what he was carrying.

It defiantly was not cans. He had two or three back packs on his shoulders, with some gadget in his pockets with a bunch of wires hanging out. We spoke at the same time. “Man, what did you do”? Don responded “Man lets go”. I could feel my adrenalin starting to flow, and my heart rate increasing with hard pounding in my chest. When my mind caught up with my body functions, I realized somethings not right with this scenario.

As I began to drive away, I asked again, but in a more authoritative way, “What did you do”?

This time in a calmer tone Don answered. “Man this is what I do. This is the only thing I know how to do to bring in money” he said. “I steal. I break in cars, and take whatever I see that can bring in funds.”

Immediately, my mind began to tune out Don’s voice, almost to a whisper. I began to think about the consequences of our actions. I’m just as guilty as he was, and if we got pulled over by the police, With stolen goods in my truck I would be going to jail. Even if Don for some reason got off. I would be going because of the stolen goods in my truck. I had very little grounds to stand on because all the evidence pointed to me. This could really cost me and I had a lot to loose.

After going through this mental process, I can now hear Don’s voice in the background. Still defending himself and even offering me the opportunity to join up with him. He was telling me that he could double his productivity with me waiting behind the wheel. I would not have to worry about parking or getting out of the truck, all I had to do is get the truck started and taking off. “He could see that this was not going over good with me. I replied to him saying I’m not interested in participating in any of this type of activity.

Don went on to say; how much he needed my help and that he had a plain. He had figured the whole thing out, I would be at no risk. All I had to do is just drive. He had studied how to do this crime and he had a fool proof system. No way would we get caught. . He made this offer as though he was going to doing me a favor by cutting me in on his deal Again, I reaffirmed my refusal to get more involved. As far as I was concerned the prisons are full of people who are just like Don felt they had a fool proof plan, and could not get caught.

This last encounter with Don was the beginning of the deterioration of our relationship. I later learned, of Don getting busted in the process of committing this very same crime. It also his third strike. My heart does go out to him, but he choose the path that took him back to prison.

As you can see what was put on the buffet table by Don was respect, courtesy and politeness, which I did take a portion of. He also had on the table some dessert to offer, which I call favor. In this case with Don, what he offered as a favor or dessert, which was disguised as something sweet. But it turned out to be very bitter to my taste. It was like going to the dessert table and a delicious pie catches your eye. You’ve never tasted this particular type of pie before, but it looks very delicious. When offered a taste by the provider, you jump at the opportunity to sample this tasty looking pie. The provider hands you a small bite sized portion to sample. Because of what you visualized, your mind is already ahead of your taste buds. As you the bring portion of pie close to your mouth in anticipation of the exploding flavor, your mouth begins to water. “Umm” you say to yourself, as the small piece lands on your tongue. After the landing, immediately your tastes bud sends a message to your brain. “Hold on, hold it”. There’s a conflict going on. What the eyes saw is not what the mouth is tasting.

What has happened is instead of a sweet flavorful taste of pastry, you have bitten into a meat pie. This will not quench the longing for something sweet and fruity. This is far from the anticipation of dessert. You then turn down a larger portion of this dish.

This is how I felt when Don offered me the opportunity to join in with him in his criminal behavior. I did have a taste through deceit, but once my senses reviled what was really being offered. I spit it out, and moved back from the table.

So be very choosy in your selections of what’s being offered to you at the smörgåsbord.

Remember you trying to choose those items of quality that will make you a better person.

Things that you can add to yourself, on your life’s journey.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Communication

Favor finding you! Because of whom you are. By Anthony Chapter one Communicating We all have experiences in being effective in our communication or using the positive part of our personality in exchange to get what we want or need. I’m not talking about manipulation or brown nosing. What I’m talking about is honing in on the positive, courteous, polite part of your inner self, to put favor and odds in your corner to receive what you need, and more. Favor is: “an accommodating or obliging act that is freely granted by another person” It also causes the positive odds not to be available in your corner. Positive odds are “the odds of positive energy and input from others and the universe, to be on your side”. Another older term is: “What goes around comes around”. The “more is” when a person dose a favor for someone else and then goes beyond expectations to enhance the favor that is provided. Life brings us many experiences in which we exchange the positive parts of who we are, to get our needs met and more. In most cases not even realizing it. That’s the concept I want to convey. By using this phenomenon to achieve maximum potential favors on your side, to receive what we need and more. We have received it in most of our relationships, whether it’s intimate with our significant other, in our families, friends, and associates. It can be at the grocery store, on the job, or wherever you go to get a need or needs met. Especially when you are helpless to get what you want and you need a third party which is an outside source to get your needs met. This book is not on how to achieve your needs by manipulation. Let’s discuss the terms of manipulation. One of the definitions of manipulation is: “to influence or manage shrewdly or deviously.” Manipulation may work at the beginning, but it’s only a matter of time before people recognize what you are doing. This in exchange will bring into the situation irritation and distrust. You may be able to get your needs met at the beginning, but once you are found out, you can expect rejection and resistance. This causes potential favors to flee from you. Favor is: “an accommodating or obliging act that is freely granted by another person” It also causes the positive odds not to be available in your corner. Positive odds are “the odds of positive energy and input from others and the universe, to be on your side”. Another older term is: “What goes around comes around”. This book is not about brown nosing or in slang terms, a “kiss ass.” Brown nosing is instead of being a manipulator; you are the one who is being manipulated. This is disrespectful of who you are as a person. This happens with total disregard of your character and individuality. In return there is no personal or very minimal gratification, along with no sense of inner fulfillment. When you are being used in this manner the manipulator will in most cases throw you out kibbles and bits to ensure that you are depended on them, or use the “dangling carrot in front of the mule” method. This will be the only trade for your efforts. I must say again manipulation and brown nosing are contrary to what this book is about. I want to focus on communicating to get what you want. I believe that it’s not only through words, but through who you are as a person and how you express yourself through your personality and character. You want to make people as comfortable as possible in order to make the encounter as pleasant as possible, this way you ensure the maximum possibility to attaining what you need, and more. For example, suppose you are in a long line to receive a particular service. You can see the clerk is overwhelmed and frustrated with everything that is going on and you are not even sure if you are at the correct place. It gets close to your turn, and the person in front of you goes to the counter to get served, you are next. The person in front of you is having a conflict with the clerk. The person begins to raise his or her voice as they find out the service offered is not sufficient to meet their needs. So the person tries to force the clerk with (negative manipulation) to their get their needs met. This only irritates the clerk more, who in turns shuts down from being helpful. You can see now that the clerk is just trying to get rid of this irritating pest. I didn’t mention the person in front of you, looks similar to you. The race is the same along with the dress style. As the guy in front of you leaves, he notes verbally in an irritated voice, “They need to hire people who know what they are doing”. As he passes by you he states, “Good luck” in a sarcastic way. The clerk also hears this. So when you finally walk up to the counter you notice the clerk has become defensive and frustrated. He’s also very heated from his last encounter. All he sees in you is another person who’s going to cause him more grief. You also are flustered from the long wait in line. You are unsure if you will be able to get what you need wondering if you are going to be embarrassed by even being in the wrong place. This is very uncomfortable for you. So you have a choice, whether to let your insecurities take over and you go to the counter in a defensive mode ready to pour out your frustrations in a bucket of negativity all over the person in front of you. This could possibly be how you have handled past encounters. Or you could choose to reach down into your inner self and allow your positive personality to take control and override your frustration. You have to know that right now the clerk is out of pleasantries. In the need of something outside of himself which will bring some kind of comfort. You may have just what he needs. Some appreciation for his position is what he needs because the person in front of you left him feeling unappreciated, and frustrated the first thing you want to do is to defuse the clerk from expecting the same type of experience that he just had with the other guy. Even though you have already recognized the state of the clerk is in, it’s still nice to ask “how are you doing today”? You may get a cynical stare back from the clerk, because it obvious he’s not doing well. What you are attempting to do is break the ice with showing some thought of how he’s feeling. The clerk may want to be courteous and polite at a minimum and say I’m doing fine, thank you, but we know differently. Or else the clerk may want to be defensive and vent a little, and give you a little of his side of the story about what just happened to him. Once he’s finished he may or may not want to hear any response from you, for fear of what you may say, and will go right into asking you” What can I do for you”?. Now is the perfect time to allow that positive part of you are to shine. Your response should be something like this. “Man you have a tough job; it takes a lot of energy to deal with people in a job like yours. That statement brings a breath of fresh air to the situation. He looks up at you with new light in his eyes, because his first impression of you is changing. In this you have affirmed his importance and value. It’s like pouring cold water on heated coals. Now you have defused the situation as much as you can. It’s time to see if you are able to get your needs met. The clerk can only provide a portion of what you need. The clerk really wants to help, but it’s outside the service he provides. But because of the positive encounter he has experienced with you he is willing to go an extra mile to get you as much help as he can. So he tells you to wait a moment and he will see if he can find out more for you. He might go in the back where others are working, and ask around, gathering information. When he comes back, he may not only tell you where you can get the remainder of what you need. But also gives you the short cut way to attain it. By allowing the positive part of who you are to shine, you not only maximize the potential of the clerks’ ability, but the clerk became a resource to find the remainder. We all have these experiences that have worked for us in the past. It may be as little as a pat on the back or as huge as a monetary work bonus, this is what we want to build on. You have to be okay with the times when you may not receive the outcome you are looking for. And it is okay if an encounter does not produce a positive ending. The fact that you gave the situation all the positive energy that was available from who you are, has to be your gratification. The trick to this is pouring in positive energy without any expectations. We often find these principles easy, when the task is within our comfort zone and we are in familiar areas. But what about the times when we are in strange waters and in intimidating circumstances? This is when we break down through our insecurities we get defensive and out of nowhere we produce a negative force which can overwhelm those around us and we can get caught up in a defensive mode and lose focus on what we really are trying to attain. Most of the time we leave with our needs not being met to the fullest. The worst thing about this is that we end up settling for whatever is handed out. Of course you may get what you want some of the time, and the rest of the time we just settle for minimal or even less. The problem with this technique is that you may need to come back for another problem. The question is how will this provider respond this time? Will the person be pleased to help you the second time. Or will the person be hesitant and reluctant to serve you? Maybe you left them with a bitter taste. I want to talk about communication that’s just not to get you what you want, but makes the provider happy to give you what you need and more, and in turn they feel good about serving you. I’m talking about getting more without even asking. There’s a way to communicate effectively to get what you need. We all have what it takes already; in most cases it goes unrecognized. We just chalk it up to, “at least I tried” whether the encounter was successful or not. What I’m writing about is having favor on your side as a way of life. Don’t you want to have the odds on your side to achieve everything you want in life? You have to be willing to trade the positive part of you to get what you want. In other words be willing to give the provider something they need. Something that makes them feel pleasant and fulfilled. You can do this without them even being aware; to me this is perhaps the most efficient way. Let me give you an example out of my life’s experience . In the 1980s I worked for a major public transportation (bus) company in California. I started at the entry level as a service employee. Basically my duty was to work graveyard shift and holidays, cleaning out fifty buses. You can’t imagine some of the things people discard and leave on buses. It would literally turn your stomach. I was young and arrogant in those days I had little respect for any authority. As a young man I knew that the life principles I chose to live by would cause me a harder road to travel in the work place. This was a price I was willing to pay. So I became known in the work place as a rebel and I worked hard to live up to the label. Oh, I did my job and did it well, but I would not be flexible or willing to give my employer any pleasure or satisfaction with my presence. I was not willing to change my character to fit my future positions with the company. I did advance in the company, but at a slower rate than my ability. I chalk this up the lack or unwillingness to give my employer pleasure from my character or personality . Now I look back in hindsight and see. With all the training this company provided (which I did take advantage of), I could have moved into management positions with ease and possible into upper management. I was such a rebel as I moved up the ranks from a service cleaner to the classification of Double ‘A’ mechanic/technician. This is the highest level of pay you can reach as a union member. I irritated my superiors to the point that they would send me at every opportunity to outside training just to get rid of me for the six to eight weeks the course took. My superiors felt I had an undesirable influence on the rest of my peers. Now that I look back, I have to agree with them. I guess I probably spent 6 months out of most years in special training. I believe my superiors wanted to use the training as a type of punishment. In those days most mechanics did not like the idea of studying or going back to school in a sense. But what actually happened is that I became well educated in all areas of diesel mechanics, electrical, transmissions, engines, and hydraulics. My specialty was in the repair of the newly acquired wheelchair lifts, and there were only six others certified to repair, out of about 200 mechanics. I was more knowledgeable than my superiors. This in a sense gave me a lot of “say so,” in the jobs that I assigned to myself, and I was able to choose my working hours. They even gave me my own shop with my own telephone. These things were unheard of in those days. I worked for this company for close to 13yrs. You might say that I had some successes and a lot of achievements. I remember when it infuriated my boss when I won the Mechanic of the Quarter Award. This was only because the operators (bus drivers) turned in a signed petition with over 70 names, recognizing me as one of the best mechanics that ever worked in the San Francisco bus terminal. Although it was not until years later that I realized that this award was not because I was the best mechanic ever or because I worked harder than anyone else, it was the very opposite. What I gave the operators was a sence of importance, pleasure, and fulfillment. This was totally contrary to what I gave to my bosses. I gave the operators a positive part of myself, my character and personality—this is what this book is about. In return, the drivers gave me more than I expected without having to ask for anything. Right now I bet you can look back on scenarios in your life, where you may have had similar experiences in your life. You may also relate to trading negativity from your personality and in return getting more negative responses, like I did with my bosses at the bus company. First you must try to understand yourself, who you are on the inside. What are your good points and bad points? Areas that are strong, areas that are weak. None of us is perfect. You have to keep in mind that always improving one’s self is a necessity. The desire not to improve will always be a very large barrier to hide behind, and a place for you to stumble throughout your life. Trying to force who you are on people will only bring them irritation. The irritation that you trade off will only put odds against you receiving positive flow in return. In fact, sending out negativity will only repel positive energy away from you.