Another Week That Was . . .

I chose the above picture because it symbolizes what Christmas needs to be all about. It amazes me that this is likely the busiest and most stressful time of the year for so many and yet families and good friends manage to find the time to come together and celebrate such a magical time of the year. Grand parents and great grand parents get to see and hold their grand kids. They get to witness who these little people are becoming and emotions can be over whelming. Such a great time of the year. My question then is this: ‘Why do we have to have a reason to get together especially as a family?’ Everyone seems too busy to make it happen. I love seeing pictures like the one above. I just wish we could do it more often because it is most important, now more than any time before us,  for families to stay close and relevant for more than a few days a year. My hope is that we will understand the importance of having close family ties in the face of such adversity all around us. There is such strength and re-assurance for all when we stand together.

Business slows to a near halt–as it should

Not much to report or comment on because of the buzz and that’s the way it should be. Irons remain in the fire and conversations and creativity are put on hold. New ideas are born and there will be lots of time to deal with them after all the Christmas hub-bub has happened. The affiliate program is progressing slowly but moving ahead and this will provide so many more opportunities for people who visit my site to become informed about ways to improve the quality of their lives and how to grow their relationships with their families. Information is key to growth for all of us.

 

It’s never to late to share the gift of love, knowledge and insight.

Books are a great gift to give at any time–they say “I was thinking about you the other day and thought this might be something you would enjoy.” Although they are becoming more electronic a good old fashioned soft cover book is still a great gift that can last a life time and is more portable than carrying an electronic device of some kind. Happy to say that my literary offerings are available at CavershamBookSellers in Toronto at 98 Harbord street now or you can contact me directly at jimcloughley.com (web site)  OR  jim.lifechoice@gmail.com if you have an interest in purchasing one of mine.

 

Parenting Tip For The Week.

One of our many jobs as a parent is to guide, teach and help our kids understand the ways of the world-to protect them, as much as possible, from pain and peril. However,  one  important thing that we need to be doing  that many of us miss is to just listen to our kids when they want to talk. We need to listen to him/her with ALL our attention for as long as it takes. We need to be quiet and not interrupt when he/she is talking about how the world-their world-looks to them. If we encourage them they will tell us their fears and their hopes. They will share their’wisdom’ with us regarding what is happening in the only world they have to be concerned with. The biggest mistake we can make is to correct them and tell them that they are wrong to think ‘that’ way and that we have all the answers to their problems. If you want to shut them down be critical of what they are trying to tell us. If you wonder why they don’t talk to us about the real important issues in their lives anymore it’s likely because we ridiculed or judged their words the last time they tried talking to us. We may not agree with what they say but we have to let them know that it is safe for them to say it–we need to listen. 

 

My Video Pick For The Week.

 

Anyways, that’s how I see it–all the best, Jim

Your comments are always welcomed. If you want to send along some ideas for the newsletter or particular articles you enjoyed or you found most helpful that would be appreciated. Please contact me at jim.lifechoice@gmail.com    OR     jimcloughley.com  (contact page)

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

It’s Free To Our Children But Priceless Concerning The Giver: What Is It?

Grandparents With Family

“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”–Albert Einstein

I doubt most folks have any idea of what ‘it’is. It is not a new gadget or piece of technology. Actually it is only found in people who are about 60 years old and older. It is not generated by a computer and computers can’t make it. It isn’t taught in schools but kids could benefit immensely from this and it is free to them. It is, arguably, one of the most important things that many kids of this day lack. The giver, however, spent a lifetime gathering this and in so many instances it has been found to go beyond any stated or quantified value. It is truly priceless.

‘It’ is knowledge, information and experience.

It is true that computers have done much to add to science, space travel, medicine, education, architecture and design and so on. The list is very long and very impressive. What I suggest is this: While computers have changed our lives dramatically they have also, inadvertently, created less need for what we used to call human interaction. Life has sped up considerably and many are having a hard time keeping up. Along with this diminished need for human interaction we don’t have time for the age old practice of sharing wisdom and insight through conversation. This sharing was often referred to as the ultimate education.

Grandparents, who are our true teachers, used to be treated with reverence and respect for what they had experienced and for what they had survived. Many of our 20th century cultures revered their elders and respected their wisdom. Our elders knew and understood how to live in harmony with others. They understood the unwritten guidelines that kept us functioning as a large community. Today we seem to lack that same clarity and our vision has changed. Interestingly enough that has been coincidental with the lack of respect paid older folks and the messages they bring from another time. Where their words meant much they mean little today. Families don’t seem to have the time to spend with their elders anymore. More than many are in a rush to put good old dad or mom or both in nice comfortable homes for their own good. They tell us that it is in our best interests and that we can be with others of like circumstances. We are not seen or known for our learned wisdoms and our experiences are no longer sought or valued.

The seniors of this day understand the intricacies and the nuances of human life and what it is like to love, to hurt, to witness joy. They get the inner value of rolling up your sleeves and hard work. They learned how to adapt to an ever changing world filled with hardship because they had to or perish. They know about the lessons connected to being successful or not being successful and how to deal with disappointment. They didn’t run to the doctor’s office looking for a script. They learned how to deal with this stuff. They internalized the idea that you had to work and sacrifice for all you wanted and needed but the rewards were great and built character. They didn’t trade their future for their want in the present. They are the living proof that human beings can survive almost anything including loss and tragedy which are part of life. Todays’ computer cannot help us with these events because it cannot feel.

As important as seniors are we are allowing them to slip away from us in the trade off that is called progress. Parents used to live with their families in their retirement. They could share their wisdom with grand kids around the dinner table and on the porch. Now families don’t invite mom and dad or grandma and grandpa to come live with them-at least not often. Not many have time for us now. Not only have we become irrelevant but so has our message and so we are placed with other ‘old’ people in assisted living communities. The tragedy to that is all our knowledge,information and insights we have gained are never shared with those who need them the most. Those would be our grandchildren. They have become or are in the process of becoming Einstein’s greatest fear and concern–‘a generation of idiots’. Granted many of our grandchildren have become extremely good at utilizing their technological skills but that’s a one-trick pony. Outside of that realm they seem to demonstrate little in terms of ‘living in community and harmony’ with others. I believe that is what Einstein meant when he spoke about ‘idiots’. They are not stupid but rather ill-informed and ill-prepared to live amongst their peers in harmony and a sense of community.

Computers and technology have enriched our lives. We have built amazing things and discovered many more. But in doing so they have created a society that requires or encourages less human interaction. At a time when so many of our kids are struggling with hopelessness, fear, depression, suicidal ideation and a lack of direction regarding their futures I would think that this information and potential leadership would be sorely needed and sought after. I am concerned that this oversight will cost us much if we don’t tap into the treasure chest that is filled with our seniors experience. Our children need to re-evaluate the importance of learning what we seniors know about life and living. This is the stuff that can’t be taught in schools. It is up to our children to help our grand children understand that not everything of value comes out of a box that has no soul. These are the important messages and lessons concerning life and what it is all about. The circle of life isn’t about stages we go through. It is about the decisions we make to pass on the knowledge we have gained so that the next generation can benefit and do the same for their kids. This is the circle of life as I understand it and it is or can be infinite.

Anyways,that’s how I see it–Jim

Comments are always welcome pro or con. You can connect with me by email at: jim.lifechoice@gmail.com
OR
through my web site at: jamescloughley.com

2 Lists That Could Change The Course Of Your Life–Forever

Two OCeans Meeting.Gulf of Alaska

Two Oceans Meeting Each Other–Photographer Unknown To Me

I’m a guy who doesn’t believe in coincidence. I believe that things happen for a reason and that they are opportunities I can learn from to use at a time to come. I meet particular people at particular times because they have something to tell me or I have/know something that they need to learn from me. We either stay connected or we each move on because the contact and exchange has been made.

Such is the case with relationships which can be either spiritual, personal or professional. How successful they are depends on how open we are to learning or hearing new information.

I have come to understand that the world is governed by two basic means. Those means are either by macro management or by micro management. Macro management would be undertaken by world forces, political groups, movements directed by a critical mass of people for a common cause–Greenpeace comes to mind or the opposition to the Vietnam War and how a critical mass of anti-war folks were able to change the course of the US military involvement. Micro managing, then, recognizes what we each do each day to exist, to produce, to continue the species–basically to ensure that the world keeps turning so that the macro guys can keep doing what they do. Is it ideal? I don’t think so. Is there a better system or way? I’m sure there is but we have not figured that part out yet.

One of the most important micro managing undertakings is learning how to, effectively, communicate with each other. How do we get our individual needs met in a relationship and be sure that ‘the other person’ is getting their needs met as well? The 2 lists I mentioned above are specifically intended for the use of people who are in a personal relationship and may be struggling a bit to try to understand the ‘other person’ so that a state of harmony is more of a reality than an expectation. The health, well being, stability, strength and prosperity of our families, homes and communities is at risk here and we need to get this right.

So the two lists that I have posted below are here because I feel they represent the essence of what we need to understand about each other. Wouldn’t you rather get along with each other and exist in some sort of state of happiness, satisfaction, understanding and peace? I take no credit for the first one. I came across it quite by accident. Actually I wrote a post previously about this one but have had folks ask me to publish it again and it fit perfectly with the theme of this article. The second list is one that I put together from things I have learned along my way from important others who passed in and out of my life for the sole purpose of giving me their wisdoms.

This list was written primarily for the benefit of men. As men in an ever-changing world we need our counterparts to say what they need to say in clear basic terms. The more words that are spoken the more confusing it becomes which leaves us wondering how to respond.

‘Nine most important words or phrases spoken by women’:

1. FINE-this is used to end a discussion or argument when women are right and need us to shut up and move on.
2. FIVE MINUTES–we need to understand that five minutes is never five minutes and no matter how long it takes–that’s how long it takes. This is true especially if she is preparing to go out somewhere special. Not always true, however, if there is 5 minutes left in a playoff game that you had wanted to watch all week and she would like you to do something that is important and time sensitive.
3. NOTHING–Look out here gents. Something is building or about to happen and you may just be the target here. NOTHING usually ends up with FINE.
4. GO AHEAD–This is a dare and not permission. The only rational suggestion here is DON’T DO IT
5. A LOUD SIGH–Although is doesn’t sound like a word it is. This is a type of non-verbal communication that basically says she can’t believe what an idiot you are. She just doesn’t get why she is still standing there arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing).
6. THAT’S OK–This is typically one of the most dangerous statements that she can make. It means that she will think long and hard about how and when you will pay for your mistake.
7. THANKS–She is thanking you for something you have done. Don’t question it–just say “you’re welcome” and move on quickly. If, however, ‘thanks’ is followed by ‘a lot’ then you are in deeper than you want to be and don’t, under any circumstances, follow that with’you’re welcome’. If you do you will likely find out quickly’ what ‘whatever’ really means–that’s #8.
8. WHATEVER–This one is easy to get. It means–‘just take a freakin’ ride’
9. DON”T WORRY ABOUT IT, I’VE GOT IT–After repeated attempts to get you to do something and you have yet to get started, this is she saying she’ll do it herself. If you get here and ask her what’s wrong you will find it is not far to #3 and you know how the rest is likely to go.

This list is written primarily for women hopefully to help them understand a bit more about us (men) and why we do/think/say what we do.

1. If you don’t want to hear the answer then please don’t ask the question.
2. At the very least, try treating us as well as you treat your friends.
3. If you feel you really need to know then ask but remember #1 is still in play
4. If we walk away, it’s because we need time to think and not because we don’t care. Leave us alone and we’ll get back to you.
5. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Let’s keep it simple.
6. If you want the friggin’ seat down then learn to put it up when YOU are done.
7. If we ask ‘what is wrong’ and you say nothing, that’s good enough for us–see #5
8. Please. If you feel you are carrying a couple of extra pounds you probably are. Don’t expect us to lie if we are asked and then question our honesty.
9. If we are going to have words, let’s be sure that we both get to use them and not at the same time.
10.We think of hair rollers, fuzzy slippers, old terry cloth house coats and knee-highs as natural birth control devices.

I recognize that these lists don’t take into consideration all the things that we may want or need to enjoy a satisfying relationship but it’s a good start. Besides, two things are likely to happen if our relationships are strong and healthy: our children will learn from our example and we are likely to have fewer single parented homes.

Anyways, that’s how I see it

All the best, Jim

As always your opinions and comments are most welcome. Please contact me at jamescloughley.com OR jim.lifechoice@gmail.com

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