Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

If there is one invention that has been equally good and bad for society it has got to be television.

“All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?” – Nicholas Johnson

Commercial television broadcasting began in earnest in 1946 and it’s success has been nothing short of phenomenal. The only problem with watching TV is that it can do us as much harm as it can do us good.

What’s good about TV?

There are many good things about TV;

# It keeps us informed and brings the world community closer together.

# It’s combination of words and images makes it a valuable and effective learning tool.

# TV helps to promote understanding and acceptance of each other’s cultures and it has done a great deal for our freedom of speech.

# It is the King of family entertainment.

# Knowledge really is power and TV has undoubtedly been a major source of learning for humankind over the last seventy years.

What’s bad about TV?

“Television has changed a child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.” – Author Unknown

“Today, watching television often means fighting, violence and foul language – and that’s just deciding who gets to hold the remote control.” – Donna Gephart

Again, the list of what is bad about TV is also virtually endless, it really is amazing that something can have so many positives and yet so many negatives.

# TV has promoted laziness in ourselves and our children. We now take less exercise because it is a much easier option to simply switch on the TV and veg out on the sofa.

# The power and influence of TV can be exerted negatively as well as positively. we are constantly subjected to unscrupulous advertising and in extreme cases malicious propaganda.

# It is human nature to mimick other people, therefor we are prone to copying things that we see on TV. Because of our obsession with bad news and shocking behaviour the programme makers are increasingly exposing us to more and more of it and this is having a self depricating effect on our own behaviour and lifestyles.

A frightening spin off of this supply and demand mechanism is that the programme content has got to become increasingly shocking in order to retain the same impact and thus we are being exposed to and subsequently copying worse and worse situations and behavioural traits.

# Finally, family interaction has certainly suffered at the hands of TV. Board games and book reading are increasingly becoming things of the past.

Is there a compromise?

Communication will always play a key part in our society and anything that enhances communication will always become popular.

With this thought in mind it would be foolish of anyone to try to prohibit these improved medias. It is wiser to embrace and understand them if only to develop the ability to monitor and regulate them.

Many people throughought history have been credited with promoting an attitude of ‘moderation in all things’ and it is great attitude to embrace.

If we limit the amount of time we spend watching TV to a reasonable level it will do us more good than harm.

“Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.” –  Marcus Tullius Cicero

“They say that ninety percent of TV is junk.  But, ninety percent of everything is junk.” – Gene Roddenberry

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

“There is nothing so strong or safe in an emergency of life as the simple truth.” – Charles Dickens

Most of us don’t like to contemplate the thought of being involved in an emergency situation, parents tend to concentrate more on teaching their children to avoid such situations rather than how to deal with them.

This is understandable, no parent likes to envisage their children having to cope with an emergency, however a few simple tips could one day help save their lives and possibly the lives of others.

What are the most common emergency situations?

1. Car accidents
2. house fires
3. invasion of home
4. personal attacks
5. severe weather
6. Bomb scares

We would all like to think that we would remain calm in a crisis because we all know that this is the most vital thing we must try to do.

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, and blaming you…The world will be yours and everything in it, what’s more, you’ll be a man, my son.” – Rudyard Kipling

The main thing that gives us confidence and helps us remain calm is knowledge and preperation. In an emergency the most vital commodity is TIME. The more effectively we act the better the outcome will be.

We should always keep important numbers written down and in a place that all the premises’ occupants are aware of. Important documents should be photocopied and kept in a safe place.

Example of simple preperation – Fire:

There are several simple things that we can learn about fire that will prove invaluable if we are ever unfortunate enough to be confronted by it’s wrath.

1. Never throw water on an electrical fire.
2. Pan fires are best dealt with by smothering with a damp towel.
3. Never give fire extra OXYGEN by unnecessarily opening doors/windows.
4. If confronted by smoke keep as low to the floor as possible.
5. Prevenative: Fire extinguishers and smoke alarms are a must.
The GOLDEN rule of emergency situations is:

Safety comes before material goods, we must never, ever risk our welfare or that of others for the sake of our posessions, they can all be replaced. The successfull outcome of any emergency situation is judged solely by the prevention of death or serious injury, anything else is regarded as a bonus.

We must be brave but not wreckless:

As soon as it is safe to do so we must always call the emergency services. They are the experts and it is always best to let them deal with an emergency. All we can do is keep the situation as contolled as possible until they are able to take over.

This may involve acts of courage and bravery but these must be performed with minimal risk to ourselves and others.

“My ideas have undergone a process of emergence by emergency. When they are needed badly enough, they are accepted.” Richard Buckminster Fuller

Andy.

http://wealthnuggets4u.com

The Importance of Education

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” – H. G. Wells (1866 – 1946)

I first came across the above quotation about ten years ago when I read a book on prophets, the quote has stuck with me over the years but I must admit I had always thought it was Jules verne that said it. (Doh!)

Science fiction writers are by their very nature good predictors of the future and H. G. Wells’ words have always resonated with me. Potentially, the next twenty years or so are going to be the most critical years we will ever face.

So much is happening so fast these days that it is vital that we have the werewithall to keep up with it. Therefor the role of education is taking on a greater and greater significance.

A hundred years ago it was only the priviliged few who were fortunate enough to receive an education and reading and writing were considered great skills. Fortunately, we’ve reached a point in our evolution where illiteracy has for the most part been eradicated.

“Only the educated are free.” – Epictetus (55 – 135 AD)

There are five ways that we absorb information, in order of popularity they are; Verbal, Visual, Tactile, Kinesthetic (info manipulation) and Aural.

Personally, I think people learn better if they enjoy what they are doing. Ocassionally, people contact me and ask me things like “why are you always fooling around?” or “Why don’t you take personal development seriously?”

I always give the same answer: I DO take PD seriously, I get up at 4:30 am every morning to write my website’s daily update, now that’s taking things seriously! As for the fooling around part, well old habits die hard…

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”  – Alfred Mercier (1816 – 1894)

As parents we cannot force our children to study, we can only advise them that it’s in their best interests to do so. As a child I received zero pressure, only encouragement from my parents and their approach paid off.

Psychology is one of my passions and I’ve always appraoched the subject of success with the same attitude: ‘Try your best and then forget it’.

Why waste time worrying about things we can’t influence?

Education and schooling prepares children for life, it teaches them the improtance of discipline and routine. It’s only the fortunate few who are naturally gifted, most of us have to work damned hard for a living, so the sooner we learn the work ethic the better.

If you want to teach your children about life, get them a pet. Learning to care about something other than ourselves is a vital life skill.

I think the most important part of education is ‘vocabulary’. The ability to communicate effectively with people is one of if not THE most important life skills. Being able to express oneself is so important.

I believe a large percentage of violence stems from the inability to communicate ones true feelings effectively and the subsequent frustration that that brings. Wars have been fought in the past simply because of prejudice and a lack of tolerence and understanding of others.

The world is undoubtedly becoming a ‘smaller’ place and our understanding of each others cultures and traditions is improving. I just hope that we don’t become to reliant upon technology because I’m a firm believer in the concept of moderation in all things.

“The great thing, then, in all education, is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy.” – William James (1842 – 1910)

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

The five senses; Taste, Touch, Site, Sound and Smell are undoubtedly the greatest gifs we will ever receive but how many of us can honestly say that we make the most of all of our senses?

Most of us live our lives, at least to some degree on auto pilot, the days turn into weeks, the weeks into months and before we know it another year has passed us by.

It is possible to ‘slow’ this process down and to get more out of our lives if we chosse to and the main way to do this is by increasing our sensory perception.

“I think this is true for all artists. My senses are very important to me.” – Sharon Olds

Visualisation is a great method for bringing about desired outcomes, in fact the majority of successful people from all walks of life practice it. Rather than just wishing we had something it is much more productive to visualise having it.

Importantly though, to acheive the best results we must ‘visualise’ with all of our senses. By doing this we fully engage our subconscious mind and once we convince it that we really want something it will go into overdrive in order to deliver it to us, that’s what it’s programmed to do.

Practice fully utilising one sense at a time, you’ll be amazed at how clearer your thinking will become. With just a little practice we can double our ability to process and remember information.

“Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert.” – William Osler

Greater use of the senses promotes greater understanding, not just of ourselves but of others, we begin to exhibit greater empathy for others and empathy is one of the tools of success. People like people who understand and sympathise with them.

People like people who are like they are.

Whenever I go on holiday I make a conscious effort to remember as much of the experience as possible. Yes, we take snapshots and video but there’s nothing like the memory of actually being there.

People that are unfortunate enough to lack one or more of the senses develop their remaining senses to compensate. Pop Star, Stevie Wonder credits a great deal of his success to his blindness.

Rather than constantly griping and complaining about all the things we lack we should concentrate on celebrating the most wonderful gifts in our posession, our five senses.

“Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and of a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.” –
Chanakya

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

We buy things for many reasons, we buy lots of things we need and lots of things we don’t need. If you have serious designs on making money it is vital that you understand why people buy.

# Necessity:

We can’t live without things such as food, water, shelter etc, so we have to aquire them. However there is a subtle difference between actual necessities and perceived necessities.

Human beings can be extremely impulsive and exposure to products and services can make us think that we cannot live without them. Furthermore we are very susceptible to the power of peer pressure. ‘The kid next door has got a new bike so our kids have to have one.’

We actually feel guilty or bad if we don’t buy our kids everything their conmtemporaries have. Thus, we as a society leave ourselves wide open to exploitation by the advertising industry.

“An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.” –  Pliny the Younger (62 AD – 114 AD)

# Emotions:

Our emotions play a great part in our shopping habits, lots of people comfort-shop, they buy things to give themselves a boost. Our mood is easily manipulated and our senses our susceptible to music, visual displays, enticing smells etc.

We buy for fun, we buy things that give us pleasure, we buy things that make us feel good, we buy to escape reality.

Mementos are also big sellers, there is nothing we like more than something that reminds us of a cherished memory – The power of nostalgia is immense.

We are all capable of greed, we all love a bargain, we all buy bulk items that we will never use.

# Real benefits:

We are fortunate to live at a time of great technological advancement, the labour-saving devices that have become available to us over the last 50 years have been astonishing.

Most of us like to improve ourselves, we will buy something if it will educate us or our children. Education is now available to a large proportion of us whereas less than a hundred years ago it was only available to a priviliged few. Furthermore the internet has made it possible for us to access information like never before.

We also buy things that we hope will make us money, we invest in all manner of things from jewellry to stocks and shares.

“To have little is to possess. To have plenty is to be perplexed.
Lao-tzu.” (604 BC – 531 BC)

# Image:

Everyone loves to look and feel good. image and prestige are both key buying motivators, if something makes us look good in the eyes of other people then we will buy it.

# Health: If we don’t have our health then we have nothing. People will pay to become healthier. Too often though we think we can get a ‘bargain’ a ‘quick fix’. Prevention is always better than the cure, moderation in all things

# Influences:

I started my career in retailing so I know a bit about sales psychology. I think the most important thing you can convey to someone in order to get them ito buy from you is TRUST.

We all like to buy from people we trust, someone that is going to make sure we get value for money, someone who is going to guide us through the minefields of their particular product or service. Trust is a key ingredient of repeat business.

Top advertisers and retailers are extremely adept at influencing our decision making when it comes to buying things, they create the right ambience for their products and services. They appeal to our ego’s, they make us think buying their goods will improve us in all manner of ways.

Personally, apart from life-saving products I think freedom and space are the most important commodities. If we can acheive these things then we owe it to ourselves to find the time to enjoy them.

“Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.” F. Rochefoucauld (1613 – 1680)

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

How to Get Promoted

When pitching to a group of people it is crucial that we ascertain as early as possible who the decision maker(s) is. A good way of doing this is to ask the group a key question and look who they all turn to for the answer.

It’s very similar when we are looking to advance our careers. Find out who the key people are in your organisation and start getting to know how they tick. Find out as much as possible about them and what you have in common with them. Nurture this common ground.

‘My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.’
Oscar Wilde.’ – (1854 – 1900)

# Empathy:

Don’t kid yourself that your boss will promote you just because they think you are a wonderful person or even because you’re good at your job.

They’ll promote you because they think you can help them realise their OWN ambitions, they want someone who will act as an extension of themselves. Thus, if you want to get promoted you must learn to live and think like your boss.

# Responsibility:

Ask for more responsibility, be honest, don’t bite off more than you can chew, but do everything well. Produce quality work that has impact, not mass output that anyone can do. Keep asking for more and more responsibility and if you keep doing a good job then eventually you will become indespensible.

*If your boss refuses to give you additional responsibilities ask why and what you have to do in order to be considered for more important tasks.

# Image:

Act as if you’ve already been promoted, not in a conceited way but simply assume the position you are aiming for. Dress smarter, walk faster, this conveys importance, stand up straight. Convince yourself and those around you that you are capable of greater things.

‘I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me.’ – John Cleese (1939 – )

# Knowledge:

Be in the know, not just about your own business but about business in general, I read the financial pages on teletext every day, it takes less than 5 minutes.

# Confidence:

Don’t be afraid to be a bit cheeky but know where to draw the line. Ask for a better car/package/salary. If they turn you down on one thing ask for another. It’s hard for people to keep saying no.

# Determination:

Don’t give up, you’ll keep improving and learning, eventually you’ll get to where you want to be and if you don’t then at least you can rest easy in the knowledge that you gave it everything you had.

# Patience:

All good things take time, rather than hopping from one career to the next, find out what you’re good at and keep doing it.

‘In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.’ – Warren Buffett (1930 – )

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” –  Adelle Davis (1904 – 1974)

Even though we all need food to survive our relationship with food goes much deeper than that, we have developed this amazing love affair with it. All animals need to eat but we have turned eating and drinking into an art form.

# The senses: Eating and drinking is one of the few things that involves using all of our senses, we can see, hear, smell, touch and taste it. A good meal is indeed a truly absorbing experience.

# Provision: Our ancestors prided themselves in hunting down their food. Feasting on the catch was considered a great celebration, a time to be happy and grateful.

# Preparation: Many people love the act of preparing food, and making a delicious meal can be extremely rewarding.

# Dining/eating out: This is a very sociable thing to do, wether it’s in a posh restaurant or at a roadside cafe. Sharing food and conversation is a very important part of our society.

‘If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.’ – J R R Tolkien (1892 – 1973)

# Diet: Obviously a balanced diet is vital for us to lead a happy life. Modern-day life has made the availability of food plentiful for many of us. The down side to this is that we tend to over eat and under exercise.

However, too much is made of dieting, the more we think about something the more we want to do it.

Food is part of our lifestyle, and as such if we want to lose weight we need to change that lifestyle. Starving the body is no good for anyone.

Small portins eaten often is the key to a healthy diet.

Modern-day lifestyles do not lend themselves to ‘not eating between meals’. Once we accept this we will also accept that we can and will eat many times a day. Thus the smaller the portions the better.

The three square meals philosophy believed in by our parents and grand parents no longer holds true.

Let’s hope we can maintain our centuries-old love affair with food because at the end of the day we should eat to live not live to eat.

‘Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.’ – Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggegts4u.com

Time is precious, we all know that. We all get the same amount of time each day, time is perhaps one of the few even playing fields in life. Thus how we utilise it is vital to our success and happiness.

We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch. – John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963)

Dashing around like a headless chickens acheives nothing, thus planning is vital in everything. If we take a relatively small amount of time to plan it will pay us great dividends later on.

I always start a task by brainstorming, just jotting down everything I (We) know about a subject, it doesnt matter how crazy the ideas are, it’s just important to get it all out.

Next add to your own ideas with a bit of research and then arrange your information into some kind of logical order.

Time is so important and non renewable that we must try to make the most of every second of it. For example even when we are doing mundain things such as queueing we can still occupy our minds in a useful way such as reciting affirmations or ‘compiling’ articles.

Rather than dashing everywhere it is more productive to build TEMPO. The earlier in the day that we can manage this the more prooductive our day will be. It is also important to pace ourselves and to take breaks for food and rest. Burnout sucks, believe me.

There is never enough time, unless you’re serving it. – Malcolm Forbes (1919 – 1990)

Once we have planned our day or task, we must then prioritise, contrary to most other PD specialists I believe in working through easy to tough, except of course when something is time critical.

The easy jobs help build tempo and as the difficulty of the tasks increases we have also gained in fluidity. Furthermore if we spend hours on our most difficult task we then find ourselves short on time to do everything else.

It’s better to have one unfinished piece of work than twenty.

I think that routine gets a bad press, routines can be very beneficial to us and are an integral part of success, we should always try to become quicker and more skilled at all our daily tasks and eventually we will be able to do more and more in the same amount of time and with the same amount of effort.

If something saves me 20 seconds then I’ll do it.

Leisure time is vital, not only do we all need time to re charge our batteries but rest and play gives the subconscious mind time to mull over all our goals and problems.

It is possible to ‘stretch’ time by being more aware about what we are doing not just going through the motions of life.

Time is infinite, it will still be around long after we are gone. If we all achieve emotional happiness our time here will have been well spent.

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend. – Theophrastus (372 BC – 287 BC)

Andy.

http://www.wealthnuggets4u.com

There are essentially six basic things that all human beings NEED. These are: Air, Food, water, clothing, shelter and sex. Everything else is a bonus. Unfortunately, the more we attain the more we tend to want and this if we are not careful can become extremely self damaging.

“Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.” (Henry George)

Although all our tastes vary, generally speaking we all want the same things.

If we can identify what these core things are not only will we improve our own quality of life but also that of others. Furthermore, we are paid in proportion to the amount of value we add to society. Therefor, the more value we add the more we will get paid.

Here is a general list (in no particular order) of what I think most people want:

To be loved, financial freedom, happiness for their children, a good partner, a nice house, friends they can trust, a career, a car, to be happy, regular holidays, recognition, to be needed, pets, hobbies, excitement, laughter, to help others, good food, challenges, status, to look good, to feel good, security, comfort, freedom, sport, entertainment, choice…

I suggest that you draw up your own personal list of what YOU want and then prioritise it, I guarantee you’ll be surprised by it. You have to be really honest though because much of our early lives are spent being pre-conditioned. From an early age we are told what we should and shouldn’t like, we need to strip away this pre-conditioning in order to get to the truth of what it is we really want.

Once you know what it is you REALLY want you can start to go after it.

Most elderly people don’t regret the lack of material goods in their lives they regret the lack of emotional fulfillment. They say things like they wished they’d laughed more or stayed in contact with their old friends or cared about people more.

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the acheivement of one’s values.” (Ayn Rand)

Money and material goods are important, particularly if you suffer from a lack of them but we should always keep them in perspective and moreover be grateful for what we DO have. Instead of always chasing the rainbow we should concentrate on FEELING HAPPY NOW.

“The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp.” (John Berry)

If we can acheive true happiness for ourelves and those around us I think we will have acheived our main purpose in life.

Andy.

No matter what we think about money it is vital to everone’s existence. Money often gets a bad press but placed in the right hands it can do amazing things.

Money is meant to be fluid, to flow from one person to another, it is not meant to be horded.

“Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer” (Author unknown)

Many people prevent money from comming into their lives for a variety of reasons. Some people don’t think they are worthy of it, it’s not the money they cant handle it’s themselves. To allow more money to come into our lives we have to believe we are worthy of it.

How do we do that?

We must practice what it is like to have lots of money, get used to the ‘feel’ of being rich. In fact if we want to be good at anything we must practice how to do it. Hang out where rich people do, save up and buy quality clothes and products. Start dressing, acting and thinking like a wealthy person.

Ignore your shortcommings:

Too many people get hung up on their weaknesses instead of concentrating on their strenghs. Just because a person has a limited education, comes from a poor background, speaks with a common accent etc doesn’t mean that they cannot become wealthy. On the contrary most rich people have major shortcommings in other areas of their lives.

“Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, it comes in handy.” (Groucho Marx)

Money can come to us from many different sources.

Too many people think they can only get money from their jobs. This is such a limmiting belief. Money can come to you from everywhere if you let it. Start thinking positively about it and it will start to flow to you.

Right out of the blue last week I got a cheque from the taxman for over £1,000, the week before my wife found a £20 note whilst clearing out a drawer, the week before that we received an insurance cheque for £850.

Start expecting it, asking for it, wanting it, thinking positively about it, stop moaning abouty the lack of it, being grateful for it and it will start comming to you.

Yesterday, I dropped a penny down the side of my car seat and spent 15 minutes retrieving it, not because I’m a skinflint but because I respect money and what it can do for us.

Andy.