Sunday, 24 October 2010


By Augie Mendoza

(I have seen this in different guises before - this one really hits the nail on the head!)

"I graduated from Brazosport High School in Freeport, Texas in May 1972. Not dressed in white (honours), but I graduated.

That summer like the previous summer, I worked as a longshoreman loading corn, flour and corn sacks weighing 50 to 140 lbs. and 900 lbs. caustic soda drums on freight ships bound to other countries at nearby Brazos Harbor and Dow Chemical A2 Dock.

This was one of the better paying jobs in the area. It was grueling, hard, heavy work, but I loved it at the time. My father had been doing this job most of his life since it paid well.

Fall came around and I had already decided that I did not want to make my living as a longshoreman. Work was inconsistent and when it was there it only went to the ones with the most seniority, unless there was too much. There was very little opportunity for a better job when you got older.

I had always heard that a college education would get you a better job and decided to find out. So I went to nearby Brazosport College and set up an appointment with a counsellor.

I got to his office at the appointed time and he asked me what work or profession interested me the most. I had taken Auto Mechanics I & II during my junior and senior years in high school and asked him if Brazosport College had an auto mechanics program.

He said "no." I asked him if they had anything similar to it. He said that the Machine Tools Technology program was very similar and described the program to me.

I was very interested and asked him how long it would take if I went full time. He said "4 years." I said I couldn't go full time since I am working (whenever work was available).

I asked how long would it take if I go part time? He said "7 years." I was shocked. I said, "Man, I'll be old then, I'll be 25 years old. I don't think so!"

He asked me, "what did you say you did for a living right now?"

I told him again that I worked as a longshoreman throwing bags and manhandling drums. Then he bent over his desk and looked me square in the eye and asked me the most significant words I will never forget in my life:


These words hit me like a ton of bricks! I sheepishly told him that I would be doing the same thing.

I signed up for the classes right then and there.

These prophetic words have inspired many of my relatives and friends.

The sun will rise and fall 365 days a year. What you choose to do in between will determine many things in your life.

This story alone has inspired relatives and friends to realize an age-old truth: Time will go on regardless and it waits on nobody.

Years later, I told a co-worker this story. He got inspired enough that he went on and got 3 different degrees in computers in less than 7 years! He said afterwards, "7 years ago I would've been saying to myself, 'If only I had the opportunity.'"


I love this story!
I am born and I will die - that is a given.
Will I live or not?
Ahhh, that is up to me.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Creed to live by

Why set my goals by what other people deem important?
It is almost certainly true, that only I know, what is best for me.
I'll be careful about taking for granted the things closest to my heart.
Rather, I'll acknowledge them, as my life - without them, life has no meaning.

Creed to live by

Why potentially undermine my worth
by comparing myself with others?
It is, perhaps, because I am different
that I can find I am special.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Lite n Easy

Is a program for healthy eating in Australia where the food is pre-packaged and delivered weekly - to eat over the entire week.

I'm on it now - I might not be getting Liter, but I think I'm getting Easier......

Jokes aside, I am loving it! I was not eating properly before and the program is nutritionally balanced. I am feeling FANTASTIC!

Exercising every day as well. Great things are happening!

I have taken steps to feel, function, and, as a consequence look good - as I shine!

Martin Seligman interviewed in Australia

Martin Seligman joins The 7.30 Report - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Broadcast: 07/12/2009

Reporter: Kerry O'Brien

Dr Martin Seligman is one of the world's most high profile psychologists. His work on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression and the power of optimism has featured in many of his books, and led to ground-breaking research work in classrooms around the world. Dr Seligman is in Australia at the moment, where he was attending the Science of the Mind forum with the Dalai Lama and another conference on the mind and it’s potential. He spoke with Kerry O’Brien in Sydney.

KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Martin Seligman is one of the world's most high profile psychologists. His work on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression and the power of optimism is featured in many books and led more recently to ground breaking programs, attacking depression and anxiety, in classrooms around the globe.

But his most thorough school experiment has been at Geelong Grammar where for six months he worked and lived with the teaching staff, preparing them for a new style of teaching. That experiment is still under review, but in the meantime the US Army - concerned about an increasingly high rate of suicides, depression and post combat trauma within its own ranks - has been impressed enough with the results at Geelong Grammar so far that it has commissioned Dr Seligman to apply the same principles to its 1.1 million soldiers.

Martin Seligman, director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, is in Australia at the moment and I interviewed him in Sydney where he was attending a major global conference with the Dalai Lama on the mind and its potential.

Martin Seligman, what are the fundamentals of the program that you've been implementing at Geelong Grammar?

DR MARTIN SELIGMAN, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Positive psychology and positive education have four basic pillars - one is the teaching of more positive emotion, the second is the tuition toward more meaning and purpose in life, the third is what we know about better human relationships, and the fourth is very allied to traditional schools, which is accomplishment, achievement and mastery.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And this is woven through the whole kind of culture of the teaching.

MARTIN SELIGMAN: Yes, well the idea behind it, if you think about what you most want for your children, what Australian parents say is happiness, fulfilment, civility, balance.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Independence from our purse.

MARTIN SELIGMAN: When I asked them, "well, what do schools teach your children?" They say discipline, conformity, literacy - there's no overlap between the two (happiness, fulfilment, civility, balance). So the idea of positive education is to take the things that we have been finding out about building positive emotion and life satisfaction and merging that with the traditional education towards successful work place.

KERRY O'BRIEN: So what have been the results so far?

MARTIN SELIGMAN: Well there are 21 replications across the world in which we taught teachers the skills of positive psychology, and then we measure how the students do on anxiety, depression and life satisfaction. So the results are that teaching teachers in large groups these principles - you first learn them as a teacher in your own life and then you learn to apply them to your students - lowers the probability of anxiety, depression, conduct problems, raises satisfaction as kids go through it. Geelong Grammar is a special case that is we got the whole school.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And you're convinced that this will represent a genuine revolution in education? That this is actually going to spread and be effective?

MARTIN SELIGMAN: No, I'm an eternal sceptic and pessimist so I'm not convinced of anything. I'll tell you what I believe as opposed to being convinced; I think there's quite good evidence that when children learn the skills of positive psychology, in tandem with learning the usual workplace skills, that they, as they go through puberty they have less depression, less anxiety, and they do better in school.

And I think as a parent that's what we want. So the hope is, and there's reason to think it's catching on, that more and more schools and government will say, hey, wait a minute, let's train our teachers not only in how to teach mathematics but how to teach good relationships.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Now this is pretty much the same program, the fundamentals of the same program that you're applying with the US military, starting with, I think, 150 crusty sergeants.

MARTIN SELIGMAN: First I started with a group of 30 drill sergeants, then 60, and then when I just left there was 150 drill sergeants - who are nothing like your image of drill sergeants. They are not these grizzled, mean, obsessive compulsive people, rather they're, for the most part, 40-year-old black and Hispanic kids - they were kids - who were war heroes; who worked their way up through three deployments and their highest characteristic is capacity to love and be loved.

So we've been basically changing the curriculum, not too much from Geelong Grammar. We thought we'd have to do it about combat and they said no, you know, when our guys fall apart, they've got cell phones and right before battle they call their wife in St Louis and have a fight about the kids. And that's so a lot of our examples...

KERRY O'BRIEN: So modern warfare is a dramatically different...

MARTIN SELIGMAN: Modern warfare is you're arguing with your spouse about the dishwasher right before. So yeah, it's really quite astonishing it never happened before. And a lot of the demoralisation is about stuff that's happening with the family on the home front in addition...

KERRY O'BRIEN: So your life is no longer in the capsule of at home or at war or on leave. It's all with you wherever you are.

MARTIN SELIGMAN: Right so it's not like being on a whaling ship anymore in which you don't see your spouse for three years. So as a result of that, to my surprise, as I carefully measure teachers' reaction to this course, they like this course. The Geelong Grammar teachers gave it about a 4.7 out of five. The drill sergeants give it a five out of five.

Just before I came here Kerry, I was walking down to do instructions and this drill sergeant came to me and said, you know, Dr Seligman, I really have to thank you. If I had had this training three years ago I wouldn't be divorced now. From the subjective reaction of this, we've done about 200 drill sergeants now, they believe they can teach it, they like the material and they think it's just what their soldiers need for resilience.

KERRY O'BRIEN: But this could be a five year exercise before a very clear picture emerges?

MARTIN SELIGMAN: Well they've got a different time scale. So what they're doing is they're, we're, now simulcasting it to different forts. So there'll be training probably at the University of Pennsylvania once a month of 150 with my faculty and then this will be simulcasting to several forts.

And at the same time, if we do 150 drill sergeants we identify the 15 best ones and then we bring them back and make them master trainers. So my hope is, just as with Geelong Grammar, that we just, get rid of the University of Pennsylvania very soon - they'll have this within a couple of years.

KERRY O'BRIEN: You've been at the forefront of psychology for decades now; an outrageously general question I know, but in your assessment are people happier today than they were 30 years ago, or to put it differently, is there more or less happiness?

MARTIN SELIGMAN: There's more depression now than there was 30 years ago. So that's really quite a negative, particularly among young people. There are 52 nations in which there's been a measure of happiness at time one and then time two. Forty-six of them went up slightly in happiness, nothing like the way, say, the economics have gone up. Five have gone down, and one nation has stayed flat. That nation is Australia.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Any rationales developed as to why?

MARTIN SELIGMAN: No, but I think it's a paradox. Last time I looked at your economic statistics, Australia had had something like 14 or 15 years of unbroken growth.

KERRY O'BRIEN: It's about 17 now.

MARTIN SELIGMAN: If one has a belief that happiness is a function of economic growth, people in Australia ought to be out there leading the world, but they're not. That tells us that notions of happiness and depression are something much more than material growth.

KERRY O'BRIEN: And having said all that, and having written a book on learned optimism, you're actually a pessimist yourself.


KERRY O'BRIEN: After all these years...

MARTIN SELIGMAN: Actually I'm better than I was the last time you interviewed me.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, so after all these years how well have you been able to train yourself to see the glass half full rather than half empty?

MARTIN SELIGMAN: I measure these things in myself and I actually take my own medicine. So the way I work on exercises, like creating more meaning in life or strengths, is I first do it on myself and if it works then I give it to my wife and seven children. And if it works with them, then I start to do controlled experiments on it.

So I actually use these techniques on myself and, you know, I know you're not my age yet, but I think there's really hope even for people in their 60s, that I am, to my surprise, a noticeably happier person than I was and it's by using techniques that have been developed psychologically.

KERRY O'BRIEN: I think that's a very good note to end the interview on.

Martin Seligman, thanks very much for talking with us.

MARTIN SELIGMAN: You're welcome Kerry. Good to see you again.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Psycho-Cybernetics - Maxwell Maltz - BOOK

Ideas from the book: -

THE PROBLEM: - Maltz observed that when he did Plastic or Corrective Surgery on people, 90% were transformed and exploded forward.

10%, however, even though their facial features were dramatically altered, could see no difference. They stayed the same as people!

He went on - in some cases who came for surgery - to change his patient's attitude about their physical appearance, alter their self image, and transform them WITHOUT surgery.

Page IX - "The Self-Image is the key to human personality and human behaviour. Change the self-image and you change the personality and behaviour.

'Positive Thinking' does indeed 'work' when it is consistent with the individual's self-image. It literally cannot 'work' when it is inconsistent with the self-image."

Page XII - "Experimental and Clinical Psychologists have proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that the human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an 'actual' experience, and an experience imagined vividly and in detail."

Page 2 - "(1) All your actions, feelings, behaviour - even your abilities - are always consistent with this self-image."

Page 3 - "(2) The self-image can be changed. Numerous case histories have shown that that one is never too old, nor too young, to change one's self-image and thereby start to live a different life."

Page 4 - "And numerous experiments have shown that once the concept of the self-image is changed, other things consistent with the new image of self, are accomplished easily and without strain."

Page 11 - "If a scar on the face enhances the self-image (as in the case of the German sword fighter), self-esteem and self-confidence are increased. If a scar detracts from the self-image (as in the case of the car accident injured salesman), loss of self-esteem and self-confidence results." Same scar - different beliefs and affects.

Page 13 - "Our self-image prescribes the limits for the accomplishment of any particular goals. It prescribes the 'area of the possible.'"

Page 19 - "Servo-mechanisms are divided into two general types: (1) where the target, goal, or answer is known, and the objective is to reach or accomplish it. (2) where the target or answer is not known and the objective is to discover or locate it. The human brain and nervous system operate in both ways"

Page 26 - "If you really mean business, have an intense desire, and begin to think with a joyous intensity about all angles of the problem - the scanner we spoke of earlier begins to scan back through stored information or grope it's way to an answer."

Page 28 -
"1) Built in success mechanism must have a goal or a target.
2) Think in terms of the end result - means whereby will take care of itself.
3) All servo mechanisms operate by going forward, making errors, implementing changes of course, going forward. Negative feed back is goal achieving feedback.
4) Corrections result in successful movement, motion or performance. After that continued success is accomplished by forgetting the past errors and remembering the successful response, so it can be imitated.
5) One must learn to trust one's creative mechanism to do it's work and not 'jam it' by becoming too concerned or too anxious as to whether it will work or not, or by attempting to force it by too much concious effort. One must 'let' it work rather than 'make' it work."

Page 31 -
"A human being always acts, feels and performs in accordance with what they imagine to be true about themselves and their environment."

Page 34 -
"Why not imagine yourself successful?"

Page 35 -
"It has been shown, time and time again, that one's nervous system CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE between an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined."

Use mental role play. Imagine oneself succeeding. The purpose is to allow one's TRUE SELF to be expressed - to be free. To allow one's creative constructive self free rein in one's world, by seeing and living into what can be.