Author Archives: markshreffler

Update 2016!

I have all but ignored this blog for the past couple of years for reasons that would be extremely boring for you but, obviously, very interesting for me.  So I’ll spare you the details.

What might be interesting for you is that I have been touring and delivering workshops from Russia to South Africa, and in this term have made a few observations that might stir some comment.

First, the toughness of the Russian people never ceases to amaze.  I recently conducted a 7 – Day Bootcamp on Organisation Fundamentals to about twenty engaged people, and the result was extraordinary.  Going back there in August for another round.  Notable about this event was the complete absence of these fundamentals in the Russian marketplace.  It has always been my thought that these should be taught to every child before the age of ten.  To discover that there are people passing their entire lifetimes without them is just mind-boggling.  In spite of this, these people survive 40 degrees below zero winters and keep smiles on their faces.

Second, It amazes me how so many get so caught up in things of no consequence.  Of particular application over the past couple of years has been the observation that when you set out to solve a problem and the problem doesn’t solve, you’re solving the wrong problem!  The election fervour in the US, for an example, is an obvious illustration of this.  The primary issues facing the planet today are being completely ignored from the podium, while candidates for the apparently high office of President go on about the pitfalls of their opponents.  Like schoolyard kids vying for the “Best Bully” award.

Concerning the environment, noone pays attention to the number one destructive agent to the environment.  It’s not Oil.  It’s not emissions or the fact that you don’t separate your trash in to piles of organic and non-organic.  It’s Agribusiness: the business of raising and feeding cows for consumption.  You really need to google this subject for an eye-opening experience. HUGE chunks of the rainforest in South America has been turned in to grazing land for cattle that will be fed to US consumers.  The effect of this alone on the oxygen content on this planet just boggles the mind.  Without oxygen the chemtrail issues become daunting and the “global warming” things continue to alarm.  But try to bring this to anyone’s mind – as Opra did some years ago – and you find out why you never hear of this problem. Agribuisness: the number one polluter by a factor of 100.

You also never hear of the recidivism problem (people returning to jail). Since the prison system has moved in to the business world and these joints are privately run, there is no motivation to FIX these people. More convicts mean higher profits.  Of course the Encanada program some years back proved that we can eliminate the recidivism problem – which is a HUGE drain on state and federal resources.  But the program was canned due to vested interests.  Crime goes on unchecked, and we move closer and closer to the surrender of ALL human rights in order to handle these false-flag situations.

The criticism of Muslims is another issue that has rattled my cage a bit. Creating a scapegoat as the cause of these false-flags set up by moneyed interests is an egregious assault on the security of the planet.  When we start naming an entire culture as the reason for our issues, we revisit times in our past best described as psychotic.

Seeing other parts of the world has been quite therapeutic for me as these challenges are well known in areas outside of the US, and there is real hope of addressing them in less-monitored environments.

I rant.  But it feels good to at least have done something again to get this blog popping.

Tell me your thoughts!


All the best,



Categories: General | 10 Comments

A Common Pitfall

If you ever counsel or manage people, this posting will be valuable for you.
Many problems begin when we take on other people’s problems as our own.  This is a chronic issue in relationships of all descriptions.  Marital, business, government.  At the heart of this assumption of problems is the desire to help – the purpose we all hold in common – so it’s an instinct born of a very social, if sometimes misguided, impulse.

People going down their own roads can create, from the sum of their own cowardices, a unique set of problems.  One can get quite tangled in these when he moves to help.

Have you ever solved a person’s problem and noticed that he then hands you another?  And then another, and another.

“Please give your grandmother a kiss or she will be upset.”  Grandmother apparently has an issue with not getting respect  or with being rejected or some other problem she has created but not solved.  The bottom line here is that she refuses responsibility for her own problem and lays it at your feet.  If you do not take action, she will be upset and she will blame YOU!  If you are not willing to experience grandmother’s upset, you take on grandmother’s inability!

She is a spider drawing you in to her web, and you help her to trap you by your inclination to be helpful. There is no evil intention on her part, particularly. She is simply a victim of her own creation, and looks to you as a solution for this.  When you volunteer for the position you are suddenly saddled with a more permanent position than you might have expected.

Who has not seen the manager who is compulsively trying to solve the problems of his employees, or the over-attentive parent who tries to solve every problem his child encounters?

It’s almost an axiom that 5% of the population are trying to solve the problems created by the other 95. This percentage came about because of this social instinct to take on other people’s problems, rather than training them to solve them themselves!

This is not to say that we should not help people. It is the essence of civilization to allow and even succor the impulse to help.  But we need to help people solve their own problems without adopting those problems as our own!   This 5% should turn their attention to TRAINING the other 95 so they can resolve their own issues.

My friend Ron Hubbard once observed that there are only two reasons why any productive area goes down.  One is not choosing your people correctly in the first place, and the other is not training people on their jobs.   Get the hiring right and train people correctly to solve their own problems and the rest is progress.

Violation of these fundamentals account for the overwork of the 5%, and the onset of the welfare state.

A classic example of this would be the American government.  This is a collection of politicians who consider their job is to get elected.  They are, generally speaking,  utterly untrained and unqualified to solve the issues that they are elected to resolve. They are salespeople, not administrators.    Why are we then surprised to discover the country in a shambles? The entire show has the look of a carnival during an earthquake.

Bad hiring. No training.

There is a particular tribe in Africa that had been dwindling for many years, and when an investigator had a look at what was going on she revealed an old custom at its core:  it was considered unmannerly for a son to do better than his father.  This aberration had started some years earlier with the dictate of an arrogant tribal leader.  Rather than confront the pain of embarrassment, these people by agreement with this suppressive policy harnessed their young generations to this artificial monitor of appropriate behavior, and the youth – being trained to obey their elders at all costs – acquiesced and followed the group to extinction. They accepted their elder’s problem as their own.

It is particularly destructive when we find that a sociopath has risen to a level of power.  His staff, not recognizing his criminal nature, find their desire to help gradually harnessed to an ill wind.  I have an acquaintance who worked for one such suppressive manager for twenty years, and over this time he became, himself, quite like his former boss;  intolerant, secretly frightened, dictatorial and aloof.  It all began when he took on this boss’s problems as his own.  There was a time when he received an order that he thought was unacceptable, but out of a fear of the pain of his boss’s reprisal, he acquiesced and complied.  That began his slide to personal oblivion.

The legendary mother-in-law who dominates her children’s household only has free reign because these children “Do not want to upset mom.”  They don’t notice that mom’s upset is inevitable and continuing because they make themselves her “solution.”  It is an incorrect path that allows the problem to spread.  The children learn “not to get in trouble, ” which means avoid the pain of life at all costs.

Learning is always preceded by pain.  The pain of being rejected or the pain of embarrassment or the pain of seeing the look on Grandma’s face when you refuse the kiss.   The unwillingness to experience pain is the beginning of incompetence and stupidity. People who work to avoid pain want you to experience it on their behalf.  You do them no favor by doing so.

People who are willing to throw themselves against life and damn the pain that might ensue are those who carry the civilization on their shoulders.

But this fundamental is an important guidepost: the moment you take on someone else’s problem as your own, you lose your grip and set yourself upon a downward slide.

Fortunately, most people can be easily brought back on track by getting them to isolate the real problem and taught how to solve it themselves.

This is a change of operating basis that opens the door to a new civilization: don’t fix their problems, teach them how to fix them.  Training is the key to our future.

Here is an important clue that stood me well when I operated as a consultant:   if you set out to solve a problem and the problem doesn’t solve, you’re solving the wrong problem!  A lot of the technology of problem solving has to do with correct identification of the actual problem.

An excellent example of this was a company that wanted to hire me to solve their training program.  I had a look at the program and it was pretty good.  In fact, there were many issues in this company of a more serious impact. So I went to the steering committee and asked them why they thought their training program was wrong. They replied that they “could not get anyone successfully through it!”  I asked “WHO is ‘anyone?'”  They gave me seven names, and we tested these people and discovered that they were morons.  I mean, the highest IQ in the bunch was 85!

Corporate training programs are not designed to handle morons, though I have seen some that enhanced stupidity.  The committee’s actual problem was their hiring line, and this had been going on for so long because of the management’s inability to spot the correct source of problems.

We discovered that their Human Resources exec was, herself, an idiot and utterly lacked the training required to accomplish the optimum result of a recruiter.  We replaced her and trained the new team which handled their REAL problem – the recruiting procedures – with considerably less expense than the cost of fixing a training program that did not need fixing.  In the process of doing this we trained the steering committee in how to correctly identify the source of problems, and everyone lived happily ever after!

Don’t take on other people’s problems.  You have enough of your own, and their’s won’t solve anyway until they learn how to solve them.

Help them with that!



Categories: General | 12 Comments


“Karma” is a noun that means “everything that happens to you is something you have caused.”  A close friend of mine has built a very successful international practice by helping people dissect the issues they are having in their lives and then, through a simple process, discovering in the person’s life the exact moments  when that person caused these effects.  The remarkable truth of Karma then  becomes real as the current issues in the client’s life, as if by magic, resolve.

This happened to me:

While living in India from ’72 to ’74 I was well removed from the American culture of my youth, and from time to time would be compelled to make the  40 mile trip to Jaipur just to find someone who understood English in order that I might salve my loneliness.

You must understand that I was never without people around me – crowds, in fact, who were continually fascinated with my every move.  Many had not ever seen a westerner up close – much less talked with one.  I learned in those days that loneliness has naught to do with the absence of companionship,  but with not being understood.  Hence, my frequent trips to Jaipur in those early days.

Walking through the Jaipur bazaar is always a treat, and my mission there was soon given hope of accomplishment by the presence of a young Jaipur man dressed in a short-sleeved shirt, khaki pants and sandals.  His face lit up when he saw my “English” face. He turned from his course through the bazaar to intersect mine.

With studied motions he said, “Good Morning!”

I was thrilled that he clearly wanted to practice his English, and I was only too happy to oblige.

“Good morning!” I replied.  “How are you today?”

My question went passed him unnoticed as he was deep in preparation for the next thing he wanted to practice: “Do you collect stamps, please?”

Content with my role as his practice dummy, I responded with, “No, I don’t collect stamps.”

“Thank you very much,” he replied.  With an unwavering smile he moved to the next query:  “What color is your penis please?”


I introverted so fast that it actually pulled the atmosphere in around me.  I was shocked!  I was completely taken off guard by the rudeness of this total stranger – as sincere as he seemed to me.

Privacy, of course, is a Western curse, and we guard  jealously our various customs that prevent it’s invasion.  Such an assault in the middle of the bazaar was the last thing I expected.  I felt violated and suddenly very unsure of my footing. In my defense I attempted to divert this conversation to another subject:

“Look at that beautiful building!” I said with flushing cheeks.

He glimpsed where I was pointing and then came back with the still-unanswered question:  “What color is your penis please?”

He was completely without guile, a characteristic held in common with many in this beautiful country. It is why I believe we from the West have such a hard time understanding the Indian culture. Those trained in guile cannot understand the innocent, which explained my own response to his inquiry.  I was insulted by his unknowing assault on my privacy.

I finally discovered that these were the only two questions this young man understood in English.  I was frazzled for days as I recalled the encounter, and had all but forgotten it until my next trip to Jaipur when it happened again with another person!

These two questions were posed to me on no less than 30 separate occasions by different people over the following months.  They were always preceded by a certain avian cock of the head and delivered, always, with a smile and the utmost courtesy.

It was so consistent in it’s characteristic – this assault on my privacy – that it became my custom, when confronted with that certain fix of the shoulders and angle of the head, that I would launch in to discovering how to avoid answering the second question.  I’d often not answer the first question in my zeal to dodge the second.

I never answered the second question, in fact, and had developed a tick in my cheek and a flinch in my bearing whenever someone would suddenly cock his head and fix his shoulders in that inevitable “posture of insult.”  I’d grown horns in response to this now-habitual encounter, and had come to the conclusion that the Indian people were MOSTLY wonderful – with exceptions for these embarrassing lapses in their manners.

These social collisions went on for a year-and-a-half.  I became emotionally numb to them.  I was driven by a curiosity of how it was that so many people became so grooved to such a narrow and – to my mind – insulting brace of questions.

It happened one day that I was in my own village having tea with the school master from a neighboring area.   After some time had pleasantly passed in the local language he suddenly turned on the bench, facing me more directly, and cocked his head.

(OH, MY, GOD! He’s going to ask “The Questions!”  Not HERE!  Not in my own safe harbor!!  This just is NOT happening!!)

In well-practiced English he asked, “Do you collect stamps, please?”

OK!  THAT’S IT!!  NO MORE WILL I BE ASSAULTED LIKE THIS!!  I’M GOING TO FIGHT BACK!!”  I was not noticing, of course, that I was not being attacked.  The only battle here was in my own mind.

In to his smiling face I replied with rising anger, “No, I DON’T collect stamps!” And waited for his inevitable reply.

Still very pleasant and not even noting my rising temper, he said,  “Thank you very much.  What color is your penis please?”

“Well,” I said to begin my own assault on HIS privacy, “What color is YOUR penis??!”

He respoded with casual and unflinching pleasantness: “It’s brown.”

I was stunned.  I mean, I didn’t care about the color of his penis.  I only wanted  to cause the same damage to HIM that he was causing to ME!

His response, after all these prior exchanges in earlier times and other places, brought me to realize that it was my own unwillingness to experience the life around me that was defeating me, and not these innocent questions. I was projecting on this culture my own insecurities, and these amazing and mannerly people were compassionate enough not to make an issue of it.

For the first time I actually – and without concern or self-protection – replied to the second question:

“Well, mine is white.”

“Thank you very much! Would you like some more tea?”

I was suddenly liberated to another level of casual observation.  I was less defensive and more relaxed in my absorbtion of the world around me. I was more at home and, more to the point, much less lonely.

Now, to the purpose of this story;  I began with the remarks about my friend who runs things to their Karmic beginnings, and so it happened with me on this tale.

I was doing this “karmic” procedure some years after these events, rolling it back through a series of upsets that began, I thought, with that first time in the bazaar when the young Indian cocked his head to the side and asked me about stamps.  I recounted the experience to my friend and even laughed a bit at the memory, but was surprised when my friend asked me, according to this procedure, if there was an earlier similar experience.  This notion had never occurred to me, and when I actually tested my memory I discovered, to my astonishment, that there had been an earlier incident.

350 years prior, on a verandah near Jaipur in Rajasthan, there sat two British Officers bored out of their minds as there were no more lands to conquer. To satisfy their cravings for constructive purpose and to fill their afternoons, one of these lieutenants conceived a prank that would target the legendary pretense of English gentry.

He and his colleague gathered all of the Indian people who were connected with their garrison and trained them en masse in the manners required to show respect to the visiting population of Englishmen and business people connected with the various trading companies that pocked the land.

They stood these Indian people at attention in groups of thirty and, one group after another, demonstrated for them precisely what was expected.  They had their willing students mimic these words and postures until mastery was achieved. Then they were charged to go out and make these  Englishmen welcome with the manners they had learned.

It was entertaining for these lieutenants to imagine the effects this would create on tourists for the next few hundred years.

Such is the British sense of humor.

To the point of our story, you may have already guessed that I was that British lieutenant who hatched this mischief.  Once I realized this as a result of this karmic procedure I felt a huge surge of relief as the mystery discharged, and laughed for weeks at the realization that I had become the dupe of my own prank.

Surely, in all of the years following that training in the Rajasthan sun,  that prank had never played out more spectacularly  on any of the gentry for whom I had intended these humiliations than it had on me. I had, in fact, caused my own embarrassment many years later.

Such is Karma.

I highly recommend, therefore, that you seek out someone who can assist you in this process to unearth the beginnings of your own condition.  You will discover how comedic is this game of life, and how such complicated and twisted emotional situations and inabilities had their beginnings in simple decisions you made some time earlier.

May you discover the source of your own travails, and make them vanish!

Happy New Year!

The Lieutenant

Categories: General | 9 Comments

The Marble

From time to time, while I lived in a small village in India, I would invite to my home westerners I’d encounter in the bazaar in Jaipur who seemed that they could use a dip in “real India.”  Such it was with a group of 5 Europeans who came and enjoyed my village for 5 days.

They were a group united by their fascination with this ancient and beautiful culture, and in that visit learned more – I’m sure – than in the rest of their travels combined.  But no education better than the Lesson of the Marble.

I was fixing tea the morning of their second day as they busied themselves for the project I had assigned them.  My heavy door came open suddenly and standing there with a sad face was my close friend and mentor to the Brahman community, Parbati Sharma.  She was 5 feet nothing and weighed maybe 80 lbs, and the wrinkles of her 70-odd years played their own history across her face. Of course I was very accustomed to her walk-ins because in India there is not a concept that reflects the idea of “privacy.”  Privacy is a product of the West, and it takes awhile for a westerner to become acclimated to a people who have nothing to hide and nowhere to hide it.  Why would there be privacy in a land where every thought in your head is public knowledge?

Parbati put on her usual show of sadness that she had a pain and needed my ministrations, as I also performed the doctor functions in Rhani Khawa, inherited thanks to the miracles of a bottle of aspirin – which is another story.

This pretense fell by the side when she observed that one of the girls in this group was walking across my main room with a book balanced on her head, trying to get some physical experience with what the ladies in this land have done so effortlessly with water pots and firewood and whatever else they need to carry.

Parbati’s face lit up, her amazing smile revealing a few gaps, while she charged past me in to the room.  She went straight to my top-secret stash of marbles that I held for village kids and for which I had told no one their hiding place.  It was a hole in my wall behind a mirror I used to talk to myself in the lonelier times.

She got on her tiptoes and, moving the mirror to the side as though she had done it a thousand times, reached in and grabbed a marble.  She turned and went to my kitchen corner and picked out a round steel bowl, 3 inches in diameter and about 2 inches deep with a flat bottom.   She went back to the center of the room where everyone was, by this time, completely captivated by her actions – including the one with the book, who now stood facing Parbati at 3 feet.

Parbati turned the steel, flat-bottomed dish upside down and placed it on top of her head, the bowl now serving the purpose of a miniature table.  She placed the marble on the center of this flat surface, let it go, and began to dance around the room, swooping and turning and singing, “Ahhhhhh, bana tuget a muti barti, Engereg a ki gardi!”  (Which means don’t sit in the English sky carriage as it must soon come down!! Airplanes were a complete mystery when they flew overhead.)

She danced for several minutes, the group – including myself – spellbound by the fact that the marble on this flat, steel surface never moved from its center.  Every swoop and twirl was like a fast turn at La Mans when the stomach tightens and the threat of disaster looms, only to be replaced by the recognition that this woman was in complete control of this entire elegant expression of a spiritual being at play.

She came to a sudden stop right in front of her protege,  whose eyes were still riveted on that marble.  I was watching Parbati’s face as she gazed in wonder.  At what, I cannot tell you, but suddenly the ball, with no apparent coaxing, rolled off of the dish, hitting Parbati’s forehead and careening off her nose and in to the young woman’s shirt pocket.

Parbati’s smile did not change as the young women looked from her pocket to Parbati’s remarkable face – and burst in to tears.  Parbati reached out and cleared the hair from her face and patted her on the head, and gave a mischievous glance my way as she walked out of the room.

The State of Grace affects people differently.  Sadly, most miss it when it stands in front of them.  It was my great privilege to witness the effect it had on this young woman, who’s life was forever changed.  Her friends were puzzled why she cried, and remarked about the dance and the marble for the next several days, but she never said a thing about it.

It wasn’t about the marble.

Categories: General | 6 Comments

The Smartest Thing I Ever Saw

I was sitting on the back porch of Peter Miranda’s house in Queensland, Australia, having a few beers as we peered out towards Alice Springs a thousand miles away, across land only an Aborigine could understand.

The stars were a smear of tiny sequins across a moonless sky, but the air so crisp that new meaning was given “starlight.”

The only interruption was the area lamp that would come on for a few minutes and then turn off again, right through the evening. Each time it came on I would expect some creature to wander around the corner of the house, wondering what caused that light to come on!

Nothing ever showed up, and I finally suggested to Peter that we make our time more constructive by actually repairing his lamp.

“Seems to wurk oll raight to mye, mait. Whot makes you theenk it’s buggud?”

“Well, it comes on and nothing appears, and then it shuts off.  I would call it a short circuit except it’s too regular. You reckon it’s OK?”

He smiled. “Cum with me, mait.”

We got up and went around the corner, beer in hand, and commenced upon what came to be one of the more interesting safaris of my life.

Half way down the length of the roof and hanging from the rain gutter was the lamp in question, fully illuminating the back yard and what parts of the Outback it could reach. Nothing moved there but us.

We walked up and stood under it, out in the yard. It was a bright bulb about 4 inches in diamater with a shade that directed it’s beam. Under the lamp was a huge spider web that had somehow fixed itself in midair with anchor points to the edge of the roof and to the supporting wall underneath. It was the size of a small trampoline and looked to be positioned to capture anything falling from or flying around that light.

To one side of the web a sentinel was lurking – a brown spider the size of my palm.

Peter said, “Hold real still and don’t look at the light.  When it shuts off, watch that spider.”

Minutes passed. The lamp turned off. The spider went in to action. It climbed the web to the roof and then, as a shadow in the night, made its way down to the corner Peter and I had come around a few minutes earlier. Easily 60 feet, which for a spider must be a mile or so.

On the corner of the house and projecting out from the edge of the roof was the motion sensor which I only now noticed for the first time. The spider walked down the length of this sensor and rappelled from its tip on the web spinning from his backside to a point a foot below the end of the sensor.  He began to swing.

I swear to God.

The lamp came back on. The spider climbed his short web and back up the sensor to the roof, down the length of the gutter and back in to his web, now armed again from the attractive light of the lamp.

I was a bit creeped out by the notion that this spider was smarter than I. I have always fancied that man is the most intelligent creature on the planet, when in fact he is the third.


Categories: General | 10 Comments

Meeting the Madonna

It was a beautiful spring day, late morning as the shadows told. We were winding our way on a very old public transport bus to the village if Simla, then a tiny if capital city of Himachal Pradesh in the north of India, backed up against the the foothills of the Himalayas.  The elevation in this small town went from hundreds to many thousands of meters. The British Raj summered there to get away from the oppressive Rajasthan heat, but that’s another time and another story.

This day was crystal and the sky was clear.  I saw through the front window a woman making her way up the road with a huge bundle of sticks on her head.  I jumped forward and told the driver in my broken Hindi to pull over and pick this woman up. The next village was a mile further up this climb and we could take her that distance.  A short argument ensued but with my assurance of payment he pulled over and we climbed out of the bus and greeted this woman.

I was astonished by her face. It was old. Ancient, in fact, with lines like the crevasses of these many canyons. She was casual, even as she stood under this pile of wood, stacked three-quarters again as tall as her height. The smile on this face was effervescent. She was glowing out to a couple of feet, and I was stunned by the stillness that surrounded her.

With my best Hindi and the driver’s best whatever-it-was-he-was-was-speaking, we managed to get her to understand our offer of a ride to her village.

In a very sing-song voice that came from everywhere she laughed and garbled a response that embraced me.   She nodded as she spoke and we knew that an agreement had been made. We all walked to the back of the bus and she casually set her sticks on the ground.

I directed the driver to climb the ladder up the back of the bus, explaining that I would hand the sticks up to him and he would lash them to the luggage rack with the other baggage.  Up he went, while Madonna looked on with her incredible smile and crinkly eyes.

God, she was lovely.

He was in place and I took a grip on the bindings of this bundle and gave it my best weight-lifter’s move.   I probably tore every muscle in my body and cracked a few bones. For sure I pushed out a hemorrhoid. The pile did not BUDGE off the ground.

I recoiled from this simple assignment in astonishment. I thought I had simply gotten hung up on the bus’ bumper, and thus could not budge the load. I looked and did not see the binding spot.  Nevertheless, certain that my explanation was the most obvious and therefore correct reason for the problem, and not willing to deal with the notion that I could not handle with ease a bundle that this tiny woman had carried for miles, I took another grip and gave it a heave.

I saw stars. I had now a family of hemorrhoids. I was confused. I looked over at this five-foot-nothing granny and she  smiled back, completely unconcerned with my incompetence or my frustration. I told the driver to come down and hand the bundle up to me. Down he scrambled, and up I went.

He got a grip, and with an impressive grunt  and his neck thick with bulging veins and quivering muscles, he actually managed the herculean accomplishment of raising the bundle off the ground for a shaky two seconds.  He dropped the sticks and stood back and spewed a few expletives with which my Hindi could not keep pace.

The Madonna stood forward and calmly motioned the driver up the bus. She leaned over and grabbed the straps on the bundle and handed it up to us like yesterday’s laundry.  We were stunned at first and just looked at each other, and then reached down to grab it by it’s ropes. We were powerless to move it – both of us together pulling with all our might.

Madonna climbed on to the rear bumper and climbed the ladder, holding on with one hand and pushing the bundle with her other.

Once on top,  the driver lashed it down – an unnecessary precaution as I’m sure the dent it was causing on the roof was sufficient indication that it was going nowhere.  We scurried down and ushered Madonna inside.

The smile never left her face. Her sing-song voice never stopped its happy serenade, and we rolled up to her village in wonder. We got out and went back on top of the bus and rolled it to the edge. She caught it with one hand and walked down the ladder supporting the bundle until her feet touched the ground when she effortlessly shifted the load to her head and walked casually away in to the morning.

The driver refused payment for her fare.


Categories: General | 20 Comments

On Public Speaking

I have spoken to 10’s of thousands of people in seminars and workshops around the world, so public speaking is something about which I have some familiarity.

There are probably many things to know about it, but it’s really a very simple thing to do if you can remember the simple tip I’m going to describe below.  This simple piece of advice will help you in audiences with your own staff or with rooms filled with people, or with radio interviews or presentations of about every description.

To grasp the simplicity of this pointer requires a prior understanding that I’m sure you already have – but it serves our purpose to be thorough so I will review it.

Mr.  Hubbard made a complete study of the subject of communication and observed that there is a thing called a Communication Formula.

There is point “A” and point “B”.  The line connecting them is a “communication line” and is comprised, believe it or not, of admiration.

Have you ever noticed, by the way, that when you genuinely admire someone, your communication is better received by him or her?   The communication line itself, it’s very substance, is admiration, and the more admiration you create, the better your communication!

But that is not the tip I want to tell you about – though that’s a pretty good one.

I was talking about the Communication Formula,  an important part of which is CAUSE – DISTANCE – EFFECT.   It always occurs between two “terminals.”  (A “terminal” is a point  that gives or receives communication.)

One person is CAUSE.  He conceives an idea and sends it across a DISTANCE to a person who is willing to receive the communication.  This receipt point is EFFECT.  CAUSE-DISTANCE-EFFECT.

Again, this is a very important fundamental:  Communication occurs between TWO terminals.

Have you ever been nervous in front of a group?  Have you ever tried to talk to a group and felt dispersed or confused?  Here is one reason why:

You violated the Comm Formula.  The Comm Formula is NOT CAUSE-DISTANCE-EFFECTS!  (Plural on the “effects”).  It is “CAUSE – DISTANCE -EFFECT.”

In other words, ONLY TALK TO AN INDIVIDUAL.   Talking to “Groups” will disperse your communication and no one will get it.  Talk to ONE PERSON AT A TIME and everyone in the room will get it, even if there are 2500 people present.

Talk to the lady on the third row, and the man on the back  row.  Talk to the kid in row seven, and now with the the guy in the bowler half way back.  CAUSE – DISTANCE – EFFECT. Everyone else will happily eavesdrop!

In interviews on radio and TV, TALK TO THE INTERVIEWER.  With studio audiences, talk to one member of the audience at a time.

Don’t rush.  You’re having a conversation with a person you really admire, and you have all the time in the world to do it.

ENJOY YOURSELF and admire these individuals and you’ll be a smashing success!

Does this help you?


Categories: General | 15 Comments

“Never use what is done to one as a basis for hatred.  Never desire revenge.

“It requires real strength to love man.  And to love him despite all invitations to do otherwise, all provocations and all reasons why one should not.

“Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate.  To hate alone is the road to disaster.  To love is the road to strength.  To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness.  And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.”   Ron Hubbard

“Your self-determinism depends upon your ability to tolerate the actions of others or to direct them at will, depends upon your ability to have charity to your fellow man, depends upon your ability when in a position of trust to demonstrate mercy.”  Ron Hubbard


Categories: General | 27 Comments

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