We was brung up proper!


This was sent to me and I thought it was worthwhile sharing…

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE

1930’s 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s !

First, we survived being born to mothers who drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes….

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle….

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn’t open on the weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy  Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because…….

WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY ,
no video/dvd  films,

No mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms………..WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
Lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time…

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

RUGBY and CRICKET had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn’t invent names for their kids like ‘Kiora’ and ‘Blade’ and ‘Ridge’ and ‘Vanilla’

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO
DEAL WITH IT ALL !

And YOU are one of them!
CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

PS – The BOLD type is because your eyes are not too good at your age anymore…

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Embracing Fear!


There are fears that are rational… like walking around blindfolded and unaided. There are also irrational fears or phobias (and there are many)… ‘Decidophobia’ or the fear of making decisions, do you recognise this one? Or how about ‘Globophobia’ the fear of balloons – now this is one that I did (note did) experience personally; not the balloon itself, or blowing them up or even popping them, what horrified me was when a fully blown up balloon over time slowly lost air and became wrinkled and weird-looking! I bet your smiling now; either because it sounds bizarre or you get my meaning! If a balloon reached the passed its life expectancy appearance and was still hanging from its place of decor, I just could not go near it… Nooooo!

There is however another fear that can cloud your vision, which wipes out motivation, soaks up enthusiasm and paralyses momentum. It is ‘self-imposed’ fear. This fear does not only go against all that you are, but is one that is arguably the easiest to change. If you think fear, guess what, you will feel fear!

Many years ago, I practiced Martial Arts – it was a real passion of mine and tremendous exercise. What went with the discipline was not only physical but mental – this particular form of Martial Art placed more emphasis on the spiritual than thud, bang, wallop!

I was told a story back then that still resonates with me to this very day; and I guess introduced me to mind over matter attitude development. It goes something like this…

A Master took on a new pupil for training. The pupil was keen to learn his new craft and made his excitement and enthusiasm clear to his wise old teacher.

The Master asked his rookie pupil to go into a yard adjoining the temple to collect a plank of wood that measured around 18 inches width and about twenty feet in length. Looking perplexed the student duly followed his teachers order. The teacher asked his student to lay the plank of wood down on the temple floor, and asked his young charge to step on to the plank and walk from one end of the plank to the other. Unsure of why he was being asked to do something that in his mind was not the expected combative Martial Arts only served to arouse the young man’s disappointment. Nevertheless he duly proceeded as asked and walked from one end of the plank to the other. Once completed the Master with a craggy expressionless face asked him to repeat the action of walking from one end of the plank to the other and to continue doing so until he told him otherwise – after a while the student finally out of a mix of curiosity and frustration, asked his teacher why he was being asked to continually walk along the plank that lay on the floor. The Master simply uttered in a deep seriously brown voice ‘training training’ and once again immediately ordered his now visibly truculent pupil to continue his ‘training’. Eventually the student snapped, stopped walking, turned to his teacher and demanded why he was being asked to walk up and down on a plank that lay on the floor which he felt was a complete waste of his time instead of learning ancient Martial Arts techniques!

This only served to prove to The Master that his young charge was not ready, far from it… to show this, and without giving a reply, The Master ordered his student to pick up the plank of wood and follow him on foot high into a nearby hill surrounding the temple. They eventually arrived at the top of the hill; a perilous place a few feet from the edge of a cliff side – what lay beyond the cliff edge was several hundred feet of sheer drop to the valley below.

Approximately fourteen feet from the edge was the nearest point of the opposite cliff edge. The Master looked sternly at his weary pupil and ordered him to carefully place the length of plank between the edge they both stood upon and the edge of the cliff side immediately opposite. Having carefully done this, the student looked sheepishly at his teacher.

Now The Master once again demanded his previously impudent but now anxious pupil to once again walk along the plank…

Clearly then ‘fear’ is also relative, but moreover so much of its very essence can be identified in the nebula of irrationality. Overcoming fear is one of the greatest of all human liberation; the rich source of empowerment to be gained is immeasurable and without doubt potentially life changing.

Have you ever retired to bed alone in a house and thought of what might happen if someone or something were to enter your home? Suddenly you start looking at the dark corners of the room and begin hearing creaks and unusual sounds previously not noticed… you begin to feel uneasy, anxious; even scared! You are imagining and imagination is seriously powerful. By imagining dread, you can create irrational fear. What if you applied the power of your imagination and imagined success and good things happening to you regularly?

Your mind can liberate you or enslave you.

Fear too can be and if properly understood should be a catalyst for positive change. Atychiphobia or more commonly the fear of failure is an irrational fear. But getting beneath the outer layers of this particular fear and taking a positive view of it, can emerge to be a welcome self-development partner for taking affirmative life changing action.

I have reflected on the subject of Fear in the past, but very often the positive benefits to be gained from embracing fear is rarely highlighted and is not something most people can relate to, and I feel now is a good moment to share my thoughts on this area with you.

It is those that know what they are most afraid of that have the most to gain from overcoming their fears.

Think of it like this; you have a coin, on one side of your coin you have fear (something that immediately makes you say ‘I can’t!), now flip it over, take a look and on the other side there is ‘opportunity’. Opportunity is the primary key to the golden door of success – never ever turn your back on your primary key, YOUR opportunity.

To encourage more golden opportunities to come your way, you must secure your coins, then identify the fear or an action that is continually holding you back printed on them and then metaphorically flip them over to the other side and identify the associated opportunities to be gained – and you must mentally do this over and over, time after time when an invaluable coin displaying fear comes a calling. The more coins you discover, flip over and reap benefits from, the more empowered you become. This is one the most important self-development practices we can do. Absorb what you have just read, read it over if you must, but absorb exactly what it can mean to you.

Overcoming fear whether rational or not frees up ‘self’ like nothing else. The release at that very moment is inexplicable, truly awesome and incredibly self empowering. Jump over your first high hurdle, and the higher hurdles that will surely follow will become your stepping-stones to an incredibly new and meaningful life!

Trading Spaces


All of us whether we know it or not exist in our very own energy bubble.
This energy bubble is not seen with the naked eye by others, cannot be touched or apprehended or in normal everyday circumstances felt by the owner, but believe me reader it is there!

Ok ok; so what in the universe am I talking about? Let’s look at a negative and positive example of this phenomenon; this incredible unseen but real power.

There you are in an environment where there’s merriment, joy, laughter and cordial interaction – such is the air of serenity and ease that it takes something at the other end of the emotional scale to take you from out of the light fluffy clouds and dramatically hyper fast-forward you to a place so so very alien to so many of us most of the time. A commotion, a heated argument,  an unexpected disturbance of such volatility is now present that your sense of peace is shattered in an instant. You have absolutely no control on the force of energy being emitted from the core of this darkness and it slams point-blank into and through your personal space bubble drawing out the peace that once existed within it while at the same time, filling the remaining vacuum with its own destructive force.  You have now assimilated completely with this force and can feel the anger, fear and danger that now dwells all around you – and you are not the only one. Everyone within the ‘space’ is consumed by it. You have TRADED SPACE.

Here’s another example. You are walking along a busy market thoroughfare, when suddenly your eyes for some reason is drawn to and meets the glance of someone you have never known or seen before, yet there is this deep sense of ‘knowing’. It does not end there; you and this person are mysteriously both driven to engage – your personal space bubble is becoming filled with immense anticipation and erotic energy and this is mirrored by this not so strange stranger. Such is the near kinetic power in your bubble that you are no longer conscious of anything else around you, and time slows down the closer you both become! The first touch to enter the other’s bubble is nothing short of electric!! TRADED SPACE.

The above two simplified examples are presented to only highlight an important but often overlooked state of existence that we carry around everyday with us; our very own bubble of unseen power and energy that can touch the lives and souls of those known and unknown to you – both near and far!

What I am stating here may be seem profound, however I believe that it must not be underestimated. Knowing that this power of unseen energy that surrounds us at all times, opens up a myriad of possibilities to positively change not only your life but the lives of others.

The key to using this power of space trading is recognising it when it happens, and using the occurrence for the positive. Once you have locked on to this hidden resource, use it to empower you and others to a new and improved level of life, whether that is through oratory, the written word or physical demonstration.

If my bubble is filled with fear and negativity, total strangers may lock on to it, space trade and become fearful and negative too. If however my bubble is filled with confidence that emits inspiration and hope, others may become POSITIVELY INFECTED and want to share my space, assimilate and trade their lack of confidence for it.

Barack Obama’s incredible rise to trade space with millions of Americans to become the President of the United States is a fine example of this incredible power. Am I registering?

So be aware of your power and I urge you to go and TRADE SPACE positively and feel empowered in doing so.

Regaining Self…


The channels of everyday information are rich with news of disaster, pain, tragedy and sorrow. Good news it seems, does not resonate with the masses. We are ‘turned on’ by sensationalism, voyeurism and dread. Bad news is often quickly replaced with celebrity gossip – ‘what the butler saw’ journalism – it is perhaps a thumb print of a society that looks upon other less information rich geographical regions as ‘third’ or developing worlds. Third behind what? Developing into what? Another topic for another day perhaps.

Sleep no longer is a refreshment oasis for the mind and body, it is more often a centre of information decoding, the next day preparation stable – we find it difficult to turn down mind activity even through REM.

It is no wonder that work-life-balance has become a key clause in HR policy among any enterprise identifying the importance of the people who drive and grow their business – ‘balance’ is the active word here.

Such is the influence of external energies, that we may find the recognition of what makes us special and unique being diluted, the confidence in what we are and what we are capable of eroded, and are somehow more sensitive to the opinions and whims of how others may regard us than ever before – this almost semi-paranoia state of mind affects many of our young.

The young may often identify with false images of what looks attractive and may go to great lengths to mimic these supposed standards. Others may gravitate to clusters of groups to find a sense of self, safety and identity, and in some cases with little regard for rules and authority. Is there a real sense of social breakdown here? I am leaving this question for you to contemplate or answer.

Throughout the haze however, is the knowledge that ultimately we can make choices. We can choose to be without a semblance of control; like pollen on the wind. Or stop, take stock and choose a different course of action. The unique key to opening the gate to ‘self’ is the one called change. The first step on the path to self is to find and acknowledge the need for personal change. It is not always easy to do this alone; particularly if self-identity, confidence and self-love is shrouded under the myriad of external nuances.

But doing so cannot be undervalued. I know how difficult it can be to rise up against a barrage of knocks, to continually hurdle over daily obstacles that are hurled into your life path.To deal with insincerity, hypocrisy and injustice – it is physiologically draining! That’s why I place great stock on Change. Change affords us all opportunity.

To break free from the norm; one needs to change the norm.

So take yourself out of what you have come to know – challenge your innate gifts (you have many!) in a different environment, with different people, doing different things. Ignore the strains and noises of trepidation and fear; suggesting that you stay as you are, on the same path, getting the same results.

Start small-scale – we are creatures of habit after all. Identify a habit and choose not to do it just this one time, and see how doing so makes you feel. Take a different route to work, do not watch that upcoming episode of your preferred soap opera, tell your special one that you love them for once, don’t drink alcohol when you go out on the town, and see if you can enjoy yourself just as much. Change the patterns of your life, and you will change the portrait of your future.

‘Self ‘ is when having made a deviation from your norm, you are able to step back and feel spatially good; not only about the decision taken, but also the predicted positive outcome. This experience is addictive, it is the fundamental basis for Self- Empowerment, the more you do the easier it gets!

Don’t waste anymore time, do it today.

Summer clean your life!


Many of us will make changes to our home, music collection or appearance, yet so very few us take the time to make any real alterations to our actual lives!

If we’’re really honest with ourselves; we take little opportunity to sit back, self-reflect and weigh up exactly what is going on around us. We rarely pause – in order to LIVE!

What is going on around us invisibly effects how we feel about ourselves and others; yet most of us do little or nothing about it. To be fair, our 100 mph society is not helpful in this regard, and neither is the daily routine; that most of us accept more often than not with little relish!

We seek that annual break in the sun, by the beach, away from the 9-5, switching off our mobiles and online access (with difficulty for some of us) for good reason – in short, static-life-overload is NOT good for us.

How many of us keep material, documents, files of useless bumph, connections and ‘friends’ that offer no real value whatsoever?

I too am just as guilty; but I told myself – John, all this useless stuff around you is a source of BLOCKAGE; it’s hindering and diluting your real spirit, your instinct to laugh and be jolly, to explore and be adventurous – your natural born desire for the NEW!

Think about it… How many of us go to sleep after a long day, in our ‘chosen’ place of work, giving thought to how many hours remains until we wake up for more of the same? I tell you this is not being ALIVE, we are merely living until we can’t live anymore.

The fact is, in the same way we need to daily drink up to two litres of water to remove the barrage of toxins within our bodies (most of us don’t), we should be taking the metaphoric broom in our hands and begin sweeping out all the toxins from our lives too!

So here’s my message… it may be a cliché, but ‘live each day as if it was your last’ (if you can!).

Turn down the volume of useless static, sever the hangers-on, invest in yourself, realise your true worth – and summer clean YOUR life!

the POWER of choice…


I was told many years ago as a boy, that the difference between man and beast, was our power to choose. Yes, free-will ladies and gentlemen!

Leaving out natural phenomena, all else around us and often within us stems from a deep-lying source called choice. Choice is the younger submissive cousin of thought, and choice will not do anything unless thought issues the command to choose. What choice decides on doing, depends on what big cousin was thinking! There is no missing link from thought to choice, it is seamless. For many of us it goes undetected, happens instantly; way too quickly to be discerned.

The difference between those who are ultimately successful in life, and those who are not, is not just being aware of this important link between thought and choice; though life-path critical, but also turning this awareness into a good habit!

Let me play out the importance of this equation to make it profoundly clear!

If big cousin (thought) sets in motion ‘I will step out in front of a fast-moving bus’… little cousin (choice) needs to act one way or another – there is no escape. Little cousin cannot unplug its big cousin, wipe the sweat from its brow, and breathe a deep sigh of relief. It is at the total and relentless mercy of his big cousin’s whim.

It knows something has got to give, and it is now becoming unbearable. Little cousin is now carrying the baton of immeasurable power and responsibility, what it does with this extraordinary power, is literally the difference between life and death for its big cousin’s host!

The host is in fact YOU, and YOU must be aware of your little cousin with the immeasurable power. Choice can deliver mass destruction or mass production. It can enable you to be all you want to be, or someone you will struggle to live with or face up to for the rest of your life.

New book excerpt – ATTITUDE


Chapter One: ATTITUDE

IDENTIFYING

How are you feeling right now? Are you feeling motivated, tired, emotional, bored, amused or perhaps sensual? Are you reading this alone or with company? If in company, look around and focus your attention at the people or person and try to gauge if you can, what he, she or they may be feeling. How often do you make a practice of tuning into the mood, mind-set or energy of a friend, family member or stranger? Do you know through practice of this simple exercise that you can become skilled at being one step ahead in choosing the right action or word to change a relationship outcome?

Attitude is not confined within, on the contrary it is sent through the air like throwing confetti at the bride and groom at a wedding, whilst also landing on anyone and anything within its floating path!

I once held a training session on what was required to become a successful sales professional. I asked my audience to put on the white board all the qualities they felt made up the ingredients of a top ranked sales person. I drew a line down the middle of the board and on one half of the board I put the header Attitude, and on the other half Characteristics. One by one each rose, approached the board and wrote their one word answer. I must tell you that there was an overwhelming column filled with a list of qualities, whilst the other was conspicuous by the lack of ink!

Your turn:

Apply the same model I presented in the training session example and see the results for yourself. Perhaps if you are in a family, classroom or open plan team office environment it may be more interesting or fun, but you can also do so alone; use a board, sheet of paper and observe the outcome. Try and think of as many words as possible and though I used the sales person as a topic, you could simply use what are the qualities for success if you wish. You must decide against each word, whether it represents and attitude or a characteristic. It will open up a channel of thought for you hopefully and in a group, discussion. Use the results, apply them in your life everyday and experience the success you will obtain.

Attitude is crucial. Let’s consider what ultimately this book is attempting to do for you. Through my writing I am using my chosen medium to be the instrument for change. Change is in my opinion everything – the world and everything in it, even the inanimate objects like stone and metal, change over time. Prior to and from the day we arrive in this plane called earth, we’ve been experiencing change. Much of our change happens with us being blissfully unaware. Let me explain what I mean in more detail.

Each micro second of each minute our body and mind are going through rapid and consistent change. It is needed to enable a child to learn to lie in control on its tummy, then to raise its head, then to shuffle around, then to attempt to crawl, then from crawling the incredibly bold step to stand up by grasping hands, sofa seat cushion, chair; anything that will improve and steady its balance. The miracle of change goes further still; powered through a natural acceptance of change and discovery. The child will attempt standing up precariously unaided… then oh my! The incredible delight – the first foot step forward, then backward, then oops and a sudden but joyful tumble to the floor!

But recognising what an amazing accomplishment change can do for a young child is one thing, imagine what recognising and accepting change can do for you!!

The source for change does need some encouragement however, not all of us can hit the ground running. Change for many invokes a sense of fear and trepidation. We all get used to living a certain way, being in a certain place perhaps with a certain person. Let’s face it for many of us, leaving as-is may be truly comforting, and provides a steadying effect. Stability for many is crucial for their way of life (it is for this writer).

If you choose to ignore your birthright that consists of many qualities that through time are diluted and even ignored, you are choosing to regress not progress. Not embracing change is putting it mildly ‘standing still’. No one in entering this earthly plane deserves not to live a life of self discovery and experience, no matter how insignificant it may seem to observers. As babies we embraced the wonderment of life and its many challenges, and somewhere along the line for some of us; it has slowed down and for some, vanished altogether.

To be in a position to sow the seeds of change, you may need first to alter your mind-set; yes one’s ATTITUDE.

Everything we experience and the life we lead stems from a single thought. So with this in mind, it is clear then that the thought needs to be right to help you and others, to deliver a life of fulfilment, love, spiritual enrichment and social acceptance.

Your turn:

Write down 5 key goals that you would like to achieve and while writing them down; for each goal or objective say what it is out loud! Don’t think you are being silly, you are not. Ensure that each goal is attainable, and that a realistic timeline is added to make sure your plan is measurable, plus – this is an author tip; make sure that each goal creates an internal positive mood and passion within you, you must feel strongly about what you hope to achieve and so this emotion will be amplified as you say your goal out loud. Now under each end goal, write what you honestly believe is required to meet that goal. Once again say what that process is out loud and do so several times. Keep your list close at hand, and each day for at least one week read both the goals and the process for achievement out loud at least five times for each goal and process. On the seventh day if you have applied yourself thoroughly (and I must believe you will have), you will be experiencing a discernible change in your mind-set, energy and motivation for goal attainment. As you feel the change within you, throw your energy into realising your aspiration each day – each goal will transpire!

Reflection : Change : Growth : Truth