The Cockroach

Again, it’s the usual Saturday night;

another cold body, another lost fight.

His face is dented from hitting the curb;

blood pools from his brain – left undisturbed.

__________  .  __________

Lifting his head, he senses a trace;

of someone nearby, invading his space.

Under cover of shadows, he spies the ground;

there lies a body – making no sound.

*

As is his instinct, he knows what to do;

‘left for the taking’, that’s all he knew.

He readies to move free from mistakes;

his raw heart races – his body shakes.

*

Inching forward, he smells the death;

he sees no movement; he sees no breath.

 A gaping mouth wide as if to swear;

and blue glassy eyes – they only stare.

*

His plan now complete, he made it in slow;

then inspects the body from head to toe.

His work is done, he reaches in a pocket;

steals the man’s wallet – and runs like a rocket!

.

.

© 2012 – Kevin Collins

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RELATIONSHIP: We CAN Get Along With EVERYONE

Getting along with others in the world is probably the most difficult thing that confronts us each and every single day.

Lightning Storm of Relating With Others


For some of us, it has gotten easier over the years as we learned some little trick to help make life easier.

For many of us, it is still difficult being in relationship with others.  We may have an inkling of how things can be done differently, and some of them we use.

Still, for others, life continues to be just a string of confrontations and problems that seem to keep popping up and never going away.

Fortunately, there is hope and possibility that this can change for the better – regardless of where we fit in the above situations.  It is possible that all our relationships, from lovers to strangers, can be without the conflict that easily shows up.

By simply changing the way we see others and ourselves, it is a SURE THING to TRANSFORM your life experiences and relationships by just having better understanding of how we operate as individuals.

______  .  ______

In the last post about relationships, which is Part One to this post, I ended it by boldly stating:

It is easy to create empowering relationships

even with people that are unlikeable,
those we don’t much trust, and
people who’s lost our respect

without the head games and general feeling of
disempowerment, and/or resentment, and/or unfinished business.

.

For this post, I am bringing the conversation full circle by sharing with you my assumptions and successes that give validation to this very incredible assertion.

Here, we will look at what we can do about the never-ending conflict that surrounds us all.  I am going to make a few assumptions about getting along and how we can live with less conflict towards a more personally freeing experiences we all seek in our lives.

***

I am going to make another major assertion; this time on why we fail miserably in relationships:

We’ve been looking at and attacking the WRONG issues
when understanding and (re)building relationships.

From all of the evidence around us (politicians, criminals, armies, activists, and others), it appears we still have limited knowledge when it come to relating with each other.

______  .  ______

Family Time

Here are some different made-up named character examples and the type of relationship (to which we will refer back) of how we are inwardly being (how we think), how we express ourselves in what we  do, what is the secret threat (or the fear), what we do in our learned response to the threat (how we defend our fear), and what we get out of our relationships by hanging on to the fear (and therefore, maintaining the behaviour):

Family/Close Relationships:

  • Jim
  • Strong and the leadership type.
  • A take-charge person with family matters and is action-oriented.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Abandonment
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, tend to seek at least one ally in the family for support. Will always be right.
  • PAYBACK: Will always have a close connection with ‘family’ throughout whole life.

Business/Work:

  • Sue
  • Quiet and invisible.
  • Does not raise issues and has few friends.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Poverty
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, may often tell supervisors what is going.
  • PAYBACK: Better feeling of security and feels a bit of power.

Primary Relationships:

  • Bob
  • Docile and expressive with emotions.
  • Usually go along without sharing concerns.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Dying Alone
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, may involve pouting and whining, usually from a ‘victim’ position.
  • PAYBACK: Never give others a reason to leave, and will always have someone by their side.

Acquaintances:

  • John
  • Usually happy and fun to be around.
  • Reliable and a team player.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Loneliness
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, may get loud and boisterous sometimes leading to escalate issues.  Usually knowledge of personal details of friends that keeps a connection.
  • PAYBACK: Will be acknowledged as a respected, liked, and a trusted friend. Always have someone to turn to in times of need.

Strangers:

  • Ann
  • Suspicious and distant.
  • Untrusting and avoid eye contact.
  • THE POSSIBLE FEAR: Victim of Abuse
  • When the fear is threatened from an issue, may walk/run away or yell/scream loudly.
  • PAYBACK: Get validation for fears about other people from other people.

When considering these character traits, keep in mind that it is even possible for all of these fears to the emotional make-up of only one person.  It’s possible because we understand these kind of issues, and we can relate to them – if not in ourselves, we can see them in others (just as others would see it in us) .

______  .  ______

We can see how they act/react in such ways that
we would never know the real “deep” reason
for why they act that way.

Even more interesting,

we often don’t even know it when we do it to ourselves.

______ .  ______

So, Why Don’t These Methods Work?

In each of the people above, the pain of issues will never go away, because the real issues are not addressed. They allow the opening for more opportunities for problems and issues to arise because they will still not feel better or closer to other people.

Plain and simply:

  • First: The fears still exists – it/they have only been defended (temporarily for that instance of the fear).

Because we don’t talk about our real fears and feeling to other people, we have been trained to keep “that stuff” to ourselves – especially men; and therefore, we don’t get a deep enough understanding of other people to develop fulfilling relationships.  (Unless you want to pay a lot of money for therapy, lol.)

Because we are dealing with “what happened or is happening”, we overlook the real source of the fear. For example, maybe Sue (from above character) was born into poverty even though father was a union-man.  She witnessed a lot of violence in the workplace and came to believe management were people to fear. She developed her behaviour from the trauma in childhood and did not want to be poor again.

Another problem with this is that we then don’t get the chance to understand

we humans are all more alike than we realize: we all live and hide inside our fears we developed early on in life.

  • Second: The current methods only maintains or increases the distance we have when relating with others.

When we look at Bob or Ann, they may rid themselves of the immediate issue/threat (real or perceived) by their actions; but over the long run in their lives, they will always struggle with how they operate to get what they want.

Secretly, we know it is a ruse – or an act (headgame) – to stop feeling the loneliness, or poverty, or …

The major problem arises from the years of practice we collect to let it imprint on our memories from all our past issues. And when we look back on our lives (and be honest with ourselves), we can see links in EVERYTHING.

We can’t help what we are doing because our habits are deep-rooted.

For example, say I had an issue (fear) with feeling like people are always putting me down. I could react by arguing with people to make a point (as truth), or maybe become a loner, or by having friends below my perceived level.  I may get those feelings from way back in my childhood from, say, a mother that was always putting me down and saying I was stupid, or I lived in a community that I knew was full of poverty.

______  .  ______

Here is my understanding of relationship, and I make the following assumption:

Serene Pathway

I figure the meaning and level of relationship is:

based on OUR expectations on how the relationship should play out, which is

based on OUR values and beliefs from what we’ve learned about relating, which is

based on OUR previous experiences of similar PAST situations, which is

based on OUR secret memories of how we felt in those situations, which is

based on OUR private fears we hold from long-held, unresolved traumatic instances.

 

***

THIS IS THE SAME FOR ME – AS IT IS FOR YOU – AS IT IS FOR EVERY LIVING BEING.

We are all the same!

______  .  ______

The 3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS to remember
to start getting along with EVERYONE:

Are you ready for what I think are the 3 key things we have to remember so it begins the process of getting along with everyone?  From the insights gleaned from above, I make these assertions about people and relationships (at every level of our interactions with people and things):

The Fawn

1

WE ALL LIVE INSIDE OUR MANY FEARS
CREATED FROM OUR MEMORIES

Let’s admit it – every single one of us on the planet
is affected by fear in some way or another.

REMEMBER THIS CAVEAT:
For the most part, we aren’t even aware how our relationships are affected so much
.

And none of us are immune to the ravages of fear because regardless of whether the fear is real or imagined, the world relies heavily on our exposure to fear and promotes it always.  We just plain cannot escape it as sure as the sun always being there.

***

 The Tigress

2

WE ARE ALL TRAINED THROUGH LIFE
HOW TO REACT TO LIFE’S CHALLENGES

The Social Norms that dictate “how we should be
are taught to us without even being aware of it!

As we know, we are taught in life to be a certain way in specific situations. All of our influences come from many sources: media, entertainment, family, friends, professional associates, financial status, etc.  We are most influenced by our primary relationships: family.

***

The Wolverine

3

WE EXPRESS OURSELVES (AND OUR FEARS)
THE ONLY WAY WE KNOW HOW

Though trial and error, we learn specifically what actions works best
when we are protecting ourselves in conflict.

Because we know this about ourselves, then it is LOGICAL to make the CONNECTION that:

“If I am this way and I am normal and average,
then other people are normal and average also.”

therefore,

“We are all THE SAME.
We just
express ourselves differently.”

______  *  ______

The Brooding Sky

So, the big question to be answered in response to the insights shared here is:

HOW THE HECK DO WE ELIMINATE CONFLICT
BEFORE IT HAS A CHANCE TO HAPPEN?

______  .  ______

If I was so bold, I would first suggest maybe consider making these 3 points a part of a conscious habit to remember.  This won’t take long, maybe a week or so before it becomes second nature and

ALL OF A SUDDEN A MIND-BLOWING SHIFT IN YOUR LIFE TAKES PLACE.

Yes, an INCREDIBLE TRANSFORMATION (NOT change) of how you look at people, see people, interact with people, and get interested in people. YES!

It will suddenly dawn on you things are different. The subtle soon becomes apparent and then sliding in your life will be this “eureka moment” or “aha!“.  So remember these 3 important things about ourselves – OUR INTIMATE SELVES – and realize we are all the same:

  1. We All Live In Fear

  2. We Are Trained/Conditioned To React Certain Ways

  3. We Express Ourselves The Only We Way We Know How

***

DID YOU KNOW: When you walk along the street and you are smiling, people are almost certain to smile back at you when you make eye contact. Try it out sometimes.

Next post on relationships, we will look at some examples of how fear rears it’s ugly head.

What Prevents Us From Getting Along With EVERYONE?

If there is a secret to living the life to which I aspire, then it’s got to be in how I relate to the world, to the people in and around my life, and to my self.

I have to be able to deal with the conflicts that come with those relationships in a healthy and effective way that empowers all parties.  There can’t be any other way.

Getting along with others has always been a constant and major topic of discussion in the world.  What I don’t fully understand is how we all know the significance of relationships in life; and yet, somehow we tend to casually (or fearfully?) overlook the critical impact they have on our ability to experience many moments of true joy, happiness, and freedom EVERY SINGLE DAY – regardless of our station in life at any given time.

I hear you chuckling in the background as you read again the above statement. True Joy? Happiness? Freedom? EVERY DAY???????

Got you wondering what new meds I am on now, or if there’s a great strain going around the neighbourhood?  Regardless of your musings, I can honestly assert – I truly and honestly experience a certain amount of zen most days. It is possible.

***

After years of experimentation and study, I’m testing a conclusion:

Any level of achievement or happiness in my life lies in every single relationship (and their meanings) and how I live and respond within them.

From a very young age, we learn to understand our relationships with different people come in many different forms on different levels.  We learn, even in early childhood, how important and complex they can be – and we even exercise it early and often.  (Do you remember, huh?)

***

I figure the meaning and level of relationship is

based on their expectations which is

based on their values and beliefs which is

based on their previous experiences which is

based on their secret memories which is

based on their private fears.

 

THIS IS THE SAME FOR ME, AS IT IS FOR YOU
and EVERYONE ELSE.

We are all the same.

 

AND, this is where conflict lurks in relationships, because it is all STORY made up in our minds and we have certain expectations on how the relationship should be.  The reactions from those stories lead to conflict because they come from the past; and for the most part, we are all convinced WE hold the TRUTH – regardless of who you are!

***

Fortunately, distinguishing how we are “being” in our relationships are not that complex to sort out; actually, it’s rather easy with a little time, some focus, and personal honesty with our self.

The best news >>>

How we deal with those relationships (the “doing”) and the conflicts that come with them are even easier still to rectify.  All it takes is a little time, some focus, and personal honesty with our self. (Sound familiar?)

Regardless of all the talk, the expert advice, and eons of knowledge we have we’ve gathered and shared about human relationships, we still don’t get it.  Proof of that is found in the exploding industry of therapy, self-help, building esteem, motivation, etc.

Yet, with all this knowledge and activity, the world still experiences violence against humans.  It’s very obvious:

We still don’t understand how to relate to each other.

Do we really want to understand?

 

We’ve learned from the world and everything around us (and from our own personal trials and errors) that there is no way we can survive in any way on our own.  There is evidence all around us that gives validity to the importance of relationships – regardless of all it’s baggage and drama.

We are constantly bombarded with the message thatthere is a better way to treat othersin religion, business, media, politicians, and social sciences among others.

To empower people, industries like film and television create stories on how people overcome their conflicts in human relationships.  The actual story issue is not that important – it’s usually how the characters act and react towards each other.  The character depth is always important in any story and we know we are interested in how others are ‘being’ under certain circumstances.  The hero always is a relationship-builder.

And STILL, we struggle.

Is the fear that crushing?

Relating with others is the most common occurrence we experience – and we still don’t get it.  Even with the knowledge that there is no way we can survive in any way on our own without these relationships – THE MOST CRITICAL PART OF MAINTAINING OUR SPECIES and our futures.

Regardless of the level of relationship we have with someone, just the fact that we’ve crossed paths with each other creates a RELATING OPPORTUNITY for us each of us to express ourselves – and it happens ALL the time.

***

Let’s look at these relationships

(for each of us, the categories have different levels of priority, so the following list is not rated):

(Please remember, these are only my observations and experiences I had over many years. This is not the truth.)
  • Family: eg: siblings, parents, extended families …

    • Blood is NOT “thicker than water”.
    • A long history in the relationship has a tendency to create long-term (and unspoken) grievances
    • The deepest form of Love and connection – creates emotions with the deepest crevasses and the highest peaks
    • Not relationships that are necessarily wanted – by default
    • Different shared memories from growing up together
    • Not based on common interests
  • Friends: eg: childhood, hobbies, volunteering, school, recreation, lovers …

    • Based on common interests with different levels of commitment
    • WANT to be together with each other due to similar wants and needs
    • Can end the relationship at any time without repercussion
    • The more often together, the deeper the relationship
  • Business and Professional: eg: co-workers, superiors, subs, customers …

    • Based on career/job status
    • Plays a role in each other’s lives
    • Can be long-term if carried beyond working relationship
    • Can have deeper implications on life due to type of relationship
    • Other than those types which are equal, relationship can be manipulative (and vicious)
    • Usually, based on fulfilling own personal needs/wants
    • Can end suddenly with termination of work relationship
  • Life Partners: eg: committed monogamous relationship …

    • Can be the most gratifying relationships we ever have
    • Very personal and deep with knowledge of partner’s secrets and fears
  • Miscellaneous Acquaintances: eg: people on street, local shops, neighbours, services …

    • Usually transient
    • Nothing at risk in the relationship – easy choice to maintain or end
    • Not too personal
    • Not based of knowledge of each
    • Develops over a long period of time
***

So many of us have a difficult time with relationships.  For a lot of us, when we enter into a relationship, we don’t know what we are getting into, and as a result, it is this void which creates the possibilities of conflict.  We have expectations.

Part of that is due to the way we see life in general; part is due to what we’ve learned about people; and part is due to our own insecurities we learned over the years about our own inabilities to have a healthy relationship (negative-based thinking).

***

Here are my general assumptions about relationships:

1

We have to accept that we are forced
to be in relationships with people.
We have no choice.

I am experimenting with this concept; so at this point, I place my trust and belief in this assertion.  As I go through my day, I keep in the back of my mind this assumption and see how I think and relate to people I meet on the street – both familiar and strangers.

2

If we don’t have ups and downs in our relationships,
then there is probably something not working.

.

Given we know that all relationships will have ‘ups and downs’ and ‘ins and outs’ as it develops over the years, we can count on a few conflicts to sprinkle over the growth; and it is absolutely normal.  Again, this is a good sign that the relationship may be waning and suffering in silence.

***

As the world is today, we know there are good people, not so good people, and downright evil people.  Because we know this (and the evidence is shown to us at 6 and 11 nightly), a good many of us realize that with all the pain and suffering perpetrated by these people, it is difficult to keep a level head when determining (in our head) what to do when someone wrongs us.

***

Why do we have difficulty getting along?
Do we want to?

We have a set of social norms (or rules) from which we play.  Acknowledged or not, they are always based on LAW, ETHICS, MORALS, and INTEGRITY.  These rules give us guidelines on what is socially acceptable in any given culture (family, local, urban, national, etc).

We learn these rules from EVERYTHING WE LEARN and EXPERIENCE.  The rules are complex, without limit, transient, specific to person, place, and thing, always changing, always created, hidden, and not usually talked about (unless in bad taste or academia).

I have an assumption why relationships fail:

There are many ways to get along with each other; but at the end of the day, we either feel like an imposter, secretly remain angry, or we don’t feel vindicated.

Here is a list of some of the ways we have been taught to deal with difficult people/situations in a healthy and respectful way (Remember, they are based on our backgrounds):

  • Forgiveness

  • Giving in/up

  • Tolerance

  • Indignation

  • Conflict Escalation

Sadly, for those same eons we’ve know about the richness of great relationships, we’ve also failed at effectively dealing with conflict big and small.

***

For part two in the next post, we will look at issues of HOW we are reacting in those relationships and what we can do to eliminate the conflict.

***

You will be amazed how easy (and non-labour intensive) it is
to understand how create empowering relationships,

even with people that are unlikeable,
those we don’t much trust, and
people who’s lost our respect

without the games and general feeling of disempowerment.

 

Matrix: Success 101 – The Very Basics

Success is a Master of Trickery and Disguise; and if it were a living entity, it would remind me of an impish and mischievous gargoyle watching over our every move and thought.  Inspecting and judging without offering comprehensible guidance towards our dreams..

Success, achievement, project management, or whatever we choose to label it, can and usually does coat our life like warm dark syrup (or hot volcanic lava, lol).  Based on my experience, we carve this path in our life that can be a slow, burning, and deliberate  journey or rat-tat-tat stinging with exponential responsibilities  – NEVER BEFORE FELT or IMAGINED!  Questioning, imagining, and wondering with sometimes psychotic playfulness..

There will be times, while on your journey to freedom and personal expression, you will not recognize yourself because you will change as you move along chasing your dream.  Consider that you’ve never travelled the road before, then most, if not all, experiences you will confront and conquer will be new and uncharted territory – especially if you are up to something completely off-the-wall or brand new.

.

The journey will at times make you feel like a hermit, and/or excited, psychotic, physically ill, questioning yourself, re-evaluating your choices and decision, scared as heck, and many, many more strange feelings of fear and loathing.

The disguise is how the journey towards success wraps itself in our life and then makes US decide what it all means.

Now, I’m talking about the meaning of your success – the perception of achieving your goal – the vision of knowing your dream – the accomplishment of fulfilling obligations and tasks the feeling of excitement waking up and skipping breakfast and a shower – the acknowledgement of your progress – and any other thing you can think of that comes to mind as you do the things that make you want to do the things.

***

Below, I provide you with four main steps or actions I consider and incorporate in my activities when I decide to take on a project.  I am a bit anal about having a procedure or plan because that is the kind of thinking I have had impressed on me throughout my life.

I believe in accepting personal responsibility for our lives.  A plan makes life easier. It makes living more fun and accessible.  It gives my life meaning.  And time and again, I’ve been told to HAVE A PLAN to get there.  This is the world we live in – we need to do certain things to get certain things.  So, I made this list of little reminders to prevent my GET-UP-AND-GO from GETTING-UP-AND-LEAVING.

Believe me, I have to follow these steps because I am human and I live with all the same frailties everyone else; So this is not always easy for me as well.

Over the years, through a lot of searching, training, and experimenting with success planning, I have developed this very BASIC Plan to get things done.  It’s not the end all to planning for achievement; rather, it is just a simple list of reminders to keep me moving along the journey of achievement.

I hope you enjoy my suggestions and would be interested in hearing any feedback you may have.  (This is not a perfect list, so I am always on the look out for new suggestions and ideas.)

.

***   ***   ***

1

PICK YOUR DREAM

Ask anybody – they’ll tell you their dream.
  • “Admit to Yourself” HONESTLY and “Don’t Pretend”

    • We have our story we show and tell the world; and we have inner secret truths about ourself we don’t share – our fears, dreams, joys, loves.. We’re not bad, just without the esteem we need and want to get to where we want to get.
    • It’s easy to hide because then we feel better.  Nobody is perfect – and we are ALL human, warts and all.
    • We all live with the same fears, desires, and human conditioning – so you are not a freak.  The more honest with yourself, the more success you will have in a shorter period of time.
  • Peel Away the Excuses

    • There is a reason for everything we do and DON’T DO.  This includes our dreams and goals. Some are real, and some are imagined.
    • This is the most natural part of chasing dreams – most of us do it so we can separate the fact from the fiction.  And, it is a very freeing and logical event to show yourself the ease of going for it.
    • Once you strip down to your REAL SELF and the true person who you would like to express; you will feel the excitement returning.
  • Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • YOU WILL!  It’s just a feeling – read my posts on fear.
    • Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Look back on your history when you’ve investigate a possibility of stepping out of your box.  Does it remind you of previous sabotages?
    • Stop – Breathe – Think – Get Fresh Air.
  • Take a Chance and Believe Your Dream

    • Ask yourself: “If money and time wasn’t an issue, what would I rather be doing?”  Don’t rely on your memory of past attempts – consider this question: What if …?
    • You know you CAN – it may be just that you don’t know HOW.  In this day and age – finding the HOW is the easiest thing you can ever do.
  • Anything Is POSSIBLE!

    • Everything we see, experience, own, and use was first dreamed up in someone’s mind.  It had to start somewhere – and the person just said to her/himself – WHY NOT?
    • TRUST YOURSELF!

    • Chances are, if you haven’t been FORMALLY educated in the arena of your dreams, you are probably ahead of the game.  Formal education dampens the spirit and turns dreams into jobs.  If you are self-educated – all you need help with is the technicalities.

2

GET AN ALLY

Much respect for the straight-shooter
who whispers in our ear with love and without fear.
  • We Cannot Achieve ANYTHING Alone

    • I guess if there was a truth in life – it may be this. History is filled with overwhelming evidence that we need other people in our dream with us to make a difference in OUR life and the lives of others.
    • Bringing someone else into our dream takes a bit of courage.  It also takes trustIt’s still worth sharing.
    • There is someone out there who shares the same goals, values, and dreams as you.  They just may not have the skills you have – or the joy, or the desire, or the motivation, etc.
  • A Mentor/Coach Loves the Honour

    • You don’t have to re-invent the wheel.  Someone’s been on this road before you.
    • You won’t have a difficult time finding a Coach because people who are already working in the business love to be around others who have the hunger and desire to succeed and express themselves.
    • Depending on your dream – the more groundbreaking or new – the better chances to find an excellent Mentor.
    • It will take time.
  • Remember – Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Even at this point you will get restless.  Thoughts of worthiness and personal value will creep in FROM YOUR OWN MIND.
    • We are our own worst critics.  Don’t believe the voice in the head – it loves to scare the heck out of you.
    • AND, by the way, THIS IS NATURAL.
  • Be Kind to Yourself

    • Make a list of your accomplishments – all of them from your childhood.  You will be able to see you can achieve things when you put your mind to it.
    • You will also notice how things you have done in the past all MYSTERIOUSLY fit in with the dream you want to fulfill.
  • Build An Extended Team

    • Besides having your Mentor/Coach, you will need to have trusted people in your life in other areas as well.
    • Bring together a “TEAM” that can support you on different levels in different areas.  You may want to have someone be a sounding board, someone to help with a proposal or business plan, some to help with money management, someone for mental health upsets.
    • Try to avoid people who are closest to you for guidance or advice unless they are truly impartial.  Otherwise, they either won’t understand what you are really up or they may not like the changes they are seeing..

3

MAKE A PLAN

There can be no conflict if you are awaiting it’s arrival.
  • Get an Outline for Your Dream/Idea/Project/Business/Craft

    • As I previously mentioned, information is available everywhere – and most is FREE.  Online, you can get some kind of organizational assistance on ANYTHING you are interested in pursuing.
    • Your Coach/Mentor will be a good source in this area.
    • Remember, to enroll anybody in your dream – they want EVIDENCE to know if you are chasing a DREAM or just a PIPE-DREAM.  This will show them you are serious.
  • Understand it is ALSO a Business (even if not intended or as planned)

    • I heard a saying years ago (I’m probably paraphrasing because I can’t remember who said it): “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you got there?”
    • Your dream will need MONEY.  In today’s world that’s an unavoidable fact.  But you need to know how much financially your dream will need so it doesn’t become an issue later on – especially if you are just about to get on the CREST OF GREATNESS.
    • Your dream will need TIME.  This is important because people in your current life will still want your time and attention
    • Your dream will need EFFORT. Are you up for the CHALLENGE? Is it in you physically and emotionally?
    • Having a plan will take away a lot of surprises.
  • Know Yourself HONESTLY and Don’t Pretend

    • See (in your mind’s eye) how the achievement will look when you get there.  From the exercise you performed at the beginning, since you know what REAL skills and talents you possess, you will be able to see what you have to do.
    • Is more education required?  Do you need to save some money?  Where do you lack the understanding?
    • Creative people especially, are more prone to have difficulty in this area because it’s difficult to separate the EMOTIONAL from the RATIONAL when making a plan.  It’s not a part of the mental makeup when it comes to fulfilling DREAMS.
  • I’ll Say It Again – Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Planning is probably the MOST VOLATILE AREA OF DREAM DEVELOPMENT for the dream chaser.

    • A lot of stress, miscommunication, and effort will be created because of the differences between dreamer and the people brought in to help with the dream.  Different sides of the brain is used between the relationships; so there will be clashes many times because of a deep misunderstanding of the needs required to perform roles.
    • THIS IS VERY NORMAL.

    • Just be PATIENT – Don’t end RELATIONSHIPS – Don’t walk away – and DON’T QUIT!!
  • Create a BALANCE in your activities

    • Dream chasing takes a lof of our time – sometimes too much.  People (and maybe yourself) will wonder whether it is becoming an unhealthy obsession or addiction.
    • Your health will be affected, your relationships will change, your time will disappear, and, at times, nothing else will matter. (Sometimes, this kind of personal selfishness will be essential.)
    • In your time management plan for your dream, make sure you include ALL areas that make up our lives: exercise, entertainment, socializing, EATING, going outside, etc. You get the picture and probably know what I mean if you’ve ever chased dreams in the past.

4

KEEP GETTING UP DON’T GIVE UP!

The Only Lifeguard That Saves Us EVERY TIME
  • The Bigger the Plan, the Bigger the Challenge

    • Like everything in life, you get out of it what you put into it.  When we are creating dreams, we are putting out a lot of negative influence on your OLD life – so your OLD LIFE will push back – and not always nicely.
    • Think of the computer acronym GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out.
    • Chances are, you are going to be taking on the biggest challenge in your life as you chase your dream.  Just think of this: if you have to rationalize going after your Dream once again, then you have to have all your bases covered.  That means having the answers to all the difficult questions as well.
    • If you have really BIG CHALLENGES – then you are pushing your plan – good for you!
    • No matter how big the problem/challenge, everything can be overcome
  • Keep the End Result (of your first goal) in Front of You

    • When the frustration starts to set in, just remind yourself why you are doing all this work.
    • I use displays and symbols to help me.  I always have some kind of visual reminder on my wall, in my pockets, pictures on computer, etc. so I can quickly remind me what kind of freedom I will have when I accept I am realizing my dream.
    • Use clippings from magazines, photos of people you admire, quotes and anecdotes, etc.
    • Don’t forget to use your team – they expect you to reach out to them.
  • It’s natural that everything goes up and down – so will you

    • If you have at least 25 years of life under your belt, then you understand by now that life is a funny thing.  It is unpredictable, fun, scary, sweet, angry, enlightening, and so much more.
    • LIFE forever changes from moment to moment.

    • Like everything else, your moods, successes, and moments of elation will also change.
    • EVERYTHING IS NORMAL!

  • Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Once again, and I can’t say it enough, you will!  Something will happen that will knock you off your feet and kick you between the teeth.  THIS IS NORMAL and happens more often on a daily basis as you PROGRESS along your SUCCESS JOURNEY.
    • When things get overwhelming, watch some videos by Les Brown.  He is a great motivator who can get you out of your funk of feeling down, or stressed, or just plain tired.
    • DON’T DECIDE TO GIVE UP – IT’S NOT WORTH GIVING IN!

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So, that wraps up this installment of my understanding on achievement.

When Success is appearing to engage in Trickery and Disguise; remember that the journey will be difficult AND it will be fun and exhilarating. 

Consider these suggestions when chasing your Dream and PICK YOUR DREAM; then ensure you FIND AN ALLY; make sure you have at least some kind of PLAN; and finally, KEEP GETTING UP.

You will reach every goal to which you’ve ever aspired to achieve and excel.

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Fear: Time to Tell the Truth – Ending Fear

The first time (many years ago) when I attempted suicide, I knew then without a doubt, removing the Fear of Death from my life was the most freeing and transcending experience I could ever expect.  (I implore you though, do not consider an attempt just to see if it is true!)

Gladly, because I wasn’t successful in my goal (and the final three that followed, again many years ago), I am able to re-discover and experienc the greatest joys we always read and hear about when it comes to enjoying life to the max.  Sadly, while I assume not too many people get this – but, I’ve come to realize that humankind is fooling itself when it comes to fear.

We THINK we KNOW, and we tell others about what we think we know, and that is based on misinformation and double-talk passed down from a time when we didn’t know.  Actually, those who do know about fear make lots and lots of money from that knowledge.

Here are some of the ways I noticed Fear used against us everywhere and we accept it’s use against us:

  • Business – to sell to us

  • Organized Religion – to save us

  • Government – to protect us

  • Media – to inform us

  • Family – to train us

  • Social Oganizations – to delude us

  • Entertainment – to titillate us

  • Money Markets – to free us

  • Medicine – to study us

  • Politics – to confuse us (haha!)

  • Big Pharma – to medicate us

  • Education – to prepare us

** I’ll explain in further detail in future posts on Fear.

Since having this awareness about Fear, this is not to say that life has been one of leisure and comfort; rather, I’ve never worked so hard in my life to suck everything out of my experiences and to fully appreciate how life is lived – in all it’s beauty AND ugliness.

And this is not to say that I have my life all together and face every situation without concerns as I walk about as a beacon of inspiration.  On the contrary.  I am human, so I have ‘things I am working on’ all the time.  I have natural reactions, and anger, and pain, and …

So, from my vast experiences, wide and varied education, and with hundreds of interactions with people since, I feel I can confidently assert that:

_________

Fear is the Greatest Abuse
we inflict upon ourselves and others.

_________

We are in it every day, we see it every day, and it is used against us every day.

We run away from it, we fear it, and we breathe every moment hoping we are prepared against some kind of impending disaster (insurance?).

When I really opened my mind to this and saw the ugliness of the world, I became disempowered and unwilling to play the Fear Game.  I couldn’t come to terms with the morass inflicted upon us by using Fear as a weapon against the masses.  But sometime within the last few years (maybe when I turned 50, and not an “aberrationed” experience), I began to see and experience first-hand why the world needs compassion and understanding.  I now share in genuine moments of true relationship – and not always comfortable for us. But each of us know at least the relationship is real.  And our love grows.

______  .  ______

As I study and learn more about Fear, I am able to understand that I can rid myself of Fear and live a life that is more wonderful and adventurous and fun than ever before imagined or dared..

Now, even when things appear to seem hopeless and desolate, I live more in Freedom than ever before.  The Freedom comes in the understanding that Fear is the controlling force – and in that understanding, I let go of the Fear.

It isn’t always easy – after all, even science tells us that any force against nature has an equal and opposite force,  Therefore, if I’m up to good things that are taking me out of my ‘nature’ and pushing the limits of possibility, then I have to be prepared to expect nature to push back with the same force of opposition (economy, politics, family, social standing, finances, etc).

______  .  ______

To summarize from the last post on Fear and how it happens to us:

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  1. We take in the information, then

  2. We INSTANTLY warn ourself from being startled by automatically and normally setting off phyical reactions like adrenalin (as in all animals), then

  3. Believing that feeling, we INSTANTLY search our memory for past feelings, then

  4. Believing that memory, we INSTANTLY give the feeling meaning, then

  5. Believing that meaning, we take action based on the meaning that we automatically EXPECT to remove the problem.

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**  It doesn’t have to be this way.  **

We can eliminate all the problems and avoid the distress.
Read on …

______  .  ______

*** A strong reminder: these are only my observations – they are not the Truth.  I will add though, the insights I’ve shared are common in most societal institution in every culture.

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The Big Secrets About Fear
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  • Fear is only a feeling

  • There is a difference on whether we see or imagine the source of Fear > FEAR IS TIME-BASED

  • The feeling we get when we label it Fear is the EXACT SAME FEELING WE GET WHEN WE ARE EXCITED.  Yes, Fear feels the same as excitement.

  • Fear is the label we give the feeling

  • – we have 4 distinct opportunities to feel Fear and still not be afraid

  • – How we react when faced with a fear is only a “conditioned response

______  .  ______

The Four Opportunities to Eliminate Fear

>> Keep in mind that the focus of this discussion is on our PERCEPTIONS of threats (imagined) and not REAL threats that affect our lives or of those we love.

***

The first thing that happens when we are caught off guard (to start the process):

1 – We Warn Ourselves

  • The adrenalin rush we feel is only a natural biological effect

  • The feeling happens no matter what – we cannot control it

  • The feeling has the same purpose and is common in all life

       DOWNSIDE:

  • It is too easy to automatically think the worst about the feeling

       UPSIDE:

  • The chaotic jungle of life on this planet gives us a great internal warning system for real reasons to be fearful

1st OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST CONCLUSION

  • WE CAN consciously acknowledge the feeling of the adrenalin and logically understand it can be a misread feeling

  • Opens up the mind to further inquiry of the “real” threat that scares us > more possibilities for understanding

Here is a personal example from my life that can illustrate my assertion:

When I was playing piano as a young boy, I was always encouraged to play well.  My piano teacher taught me to learn and express my talents through my inherent love of music (which I still hold today).  My father taught me to learn through the fear of losing the music because “it costs a lot of money to put you through this!” 

I can remember feeling scared and nervous before a recital (I used to play recitals at places like the old Eaton store in downtown Toronto for old rich people).  My teacher helped me quickly overcome fear of performing in public after a couple of performances.

This is what happened:

After I shared with my teacher how I was feeling (the adrenalin, hands sweaty, pacing, breathing), she told me I was wrong about my feeling.  Here it comes, I thought, now I am REALLY going to feel bad.

What she said to me was this:

“Kevin, for whatever reason you think you are nervous, it is not true.  The real reason you feel this way is because you are EXCITED about performing.  You know your stuff.  The feelings you get before you perform are EXACTLY THE SAME as Fear – and you know you are scared.  So it’s got to be excitement.”

After about three times of being reminded, I have never, ever been nervous about performing in front of people.  I’ve performed in theatre, TV, movies, music, training, and public speaking, and I’ve always excelled in this area of life.  And when I see an opportunity to perform something, I GET EXCITED!

______  .  ______

The next thing that happens after we get the physical sensation caused by some unexpected event (whether real or perceived):

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2 – We Search Our Memory for a Similar Event

       DOWNSIDE:

  • We are limited to our memories of events AS THEY HAPPENED AT THE TIME

  • We remember details as if we were still that age

  • The more trauma to our psyche > the more embedded in our memories

  • Our memory changes because of later events, more knowledge, health, etc.

Our memories are selective > it will search ANYTHING to match the feeling (depending on the current event when we get the feeling of the adrenalin rush).

        WORST DOWNSIDE:

  • once the feeling is felt, our memory USUALLY STARTS AT THE WORST explanation and works it’s way down

  • we are conditioned by civilization to start with BAD memories because we all live in Fear

 

2nd OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST MEMORY that comes to our mind.

  • We know the memory is untrustworthy because the memory is an automatic  random event from our brain.

Here is another example from my life:

When I approach an older man who reminds me of my late father (ie. Size, looks, sound, walk, or smell > I know that he is not my father, he just appears to me like the memory of my father.

Those memories of my father go back to the brutal childhood I endured.  There was much physical, psychological, and emotional abuse from him.  There was absenteeism, unexplained punishment, and never, ever a conversation with him in my first 17 years knowing him.

I learned over time that I didn’t have to fear male authority figures solely based on a memory.  Close to twenty years later when I saw him again, I grew to understand how memory taints our feelings.  By then, I came to understand that he wasn’t as big as I remembered; he was really just a broken man and bully; and he only did what he did out of his own fears.

This didn’t forgive his treatment of his eight children; but it did help me come to terms with my unfounded fears of older male authority figures.  I learned to change my behaviour because I knew I didn’t have to experience being with them and living from a misplaced feeling that I had to cower in secret fear and try to impress in order to achieve my/our goals.

______  .  ______

After the feeling and memory has arrived, then:

3 – We Tell Ourselves What the Feeling and Memory (together) Means to us.

It has been dissected and discussed over eons humankind’s eternal and most individual personal search (whether we acknowledge it or not).  That inquiry is about our search for meaning.  It is THE crucial element in civilization because it helps us all to connect with one another by creating a common understanding.

This happened because … or she’s like that because … or this symbol binds us because … 

DOWNSIDE:

  • Since our initial and natural reaction to an unexpected event is to protect ourselves, we tend to automatically think the meaning of the feeling represents doom.

UPSIDE:

  • By giving things/events/behaviours meaning, it gives us reasons for why things happen and can create safety for us (from such things as possible real physical danger).

 

3rd OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST MEANING we automatically attach to the memory

  • we know the meaning is untrustworthy because the mind will attach anything that sticks

Another (boring?) example of how this can work:

I am involved in a lot of projects and I always have from my earliest memories as a boy.  I love them because they satisfy my need for constant change and variety, and I completely hate being on a clock and having a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke).

As I got older, my ability to achieve some of my goals was becoming more difficult.  I was becoming frustrated because things weren’t just getting done and I couldn’t depend on people.

The first thing I did was start going back through my memory to all my FAILED projects and started making checklists in my mind.  It wasn’t long before I found enough reasons to make myself feel bad.  Soon, I became fearful of sharing my ideas with others because I began doubting my skills and abilities.  That invoked my deep-seated fear of looking stupid.

One day, I decided to make a paper checklist of my ideas and projects (for a different project I’m working on right now).  Wow!  When I started to acknowledge the achievements I accomplished, I began to see patterns (as well as to feel better in knowing I wasn’t stupid after all, lol).

When I discovered I was selecting partners to work with me, I was choosing people who easily bought into the idea or were looking to impress me with their interest.  Not a good reason to select a working partner.

Since then, I realize that I don’t have to misjudge my ideas or the people working with me because I’ve changed my habits in the process.  Now when I embark on a new project, I may not have succeeded in the goal in the past, but that just means I learned something new to help me become better as a person.

______  .  ______

Then finally, after the brain INSTANTLY takes the event, and notices the feeling, and attaches it to a memory, and gives it a meaning, then

4 – We Take Action based on the Meaning We Gave to the Feeling

The classic theory on Fear tells us either we stay and defend or we run away called “fight or flight”.  This is typical whether the feeling of the Fear is real or perceived.  It is a conditioned reaction we are taught and affects every one of us (as animals).

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4th OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to REACT TO THE FIRST MEANING we automatically attach to the memory

  • we know everything has been untrustworthy so far, so a ‘second thought’ is required

When the Fear is real, such as someone is driving at us, the action is very apparent.  The person either jumps out of the way immediately or decides to take action head on.

When the fear is perceived, such as a Fear of Failure, it may not be so obvious.

An example of perceived fear such as above, the person may choose to never take courses to get promoted in the company.  If a person has a Fear of being Late (which would go deeper than that with further inquiry), they may act out by screaming aggressively at someone who slows them down or gets in their way.  Other examples of ways people react out of fear may appear as:

  • crying every time the person fears the other is leaving, or

  • physical fighting to avoid the fear of feeling embarrassed by another person, or

  • giving false compliments to overcome the fear of not being liked, or

  • becoming well-read to avoid the fear of looking stupid, and on and on …

The person may get stressed out at people just being themselves.  Someone standing on the escalator as they ride or someone fumbling around for change may be perceived as an enemy and then anybody in your way (which ends up being everybody) catches your derision.  The actions out of fear show up in many, many ways.

______  .  ______

To Recap …

In a nutshell to bring this conversation to close for today, here are the main points I’ve brought forward:

  1. Fear is not real

  2. Fear can be changed

  3. Fear is based on past memories

  4. We can live without Fear

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Awareness: How The “Lobster Effect” Holds Us Back

  I rationalize non-completion – that’s what I call it when I let a project die on the table.  This doesn’t mean that I accept the label of “failure”.  What I do is give myself permission to let the idea go without going to pieces.

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I still get depressed because of another lost opportunity (at least I believe so).  And sometimes I know I am just making excuses because I know another idea is coming down the pipe waiting for me to act upon it.  But it sure leaves a trail of ‘dead carcasses’ along this trail I leave called life.

Over my lifetime, I can assert with confidence that I have had several hundred ideas that were (and still are) marketable and possible.  Be it music, business idea, product invention, or service methodology – I have lots of ideas.  Even with the mere fraction that I’ve acted upon and completed, I still have a long record of achievement. I’ve even put together file folders together (hard-copy before computers) just to keep track of them.

***

For many of the inspired and motivated, we are NOT a part of the so-calledOne Percent” crowd with resources readily available at our fingertips.  We tend to face a lot of challenges (problems) and growth opportunities personally during every stage of our idea/career/life/dream development that money could otherwise buy, rent, or hire by the wealthy to make the problems go away.

As the One-Percenters see it: Don’t worry about the business plan – hire an expert.  Or how about selling your art – rent a small space in the village.  Trying to break into a close-knit industry – no problem, just headhunt someone who is already successful.  You would figure they’ve got it made.  Easy street paved with opportunities.

Yet >>> we see examples of missed achievement all the time from all across the spectrum of society.  Even when someone can literally buy his or her own (perception of) success, they miss the target.

***

Why?

Regardless of where we grew up, the personal culture of our families (an off-shoot of the greater culture) was from where we learned about life. Those life lessons were imprinted into our brains and created the foundation from where we would seek to live our lives through these values and beliefs we learned.

So, for example, if you grew up in poverty like myself, the chances are you will be taught beliefs about money that represent power, oppression, and opportunity.  Money represented the answer to problems.  Education meant getting a secure job.  Security meant swallowing your pride.

Likewise, someone born from wealth (to which I’ve been exposed), s/he may hold beliefs about people as tools, automatons, or collateral damage.  Money is a tool to create more money.  People will do anything for a price.  Most people are weak and insecure.

***

Regardless of our social location in life, the values and beliefs learned and held are skewed because they came via values and beliefs borne out of experiences and opinions from another time, place, and person.

The saddest and greatest injustice of it all
is that most of the time; we are the last ones to see it
.

Yet, we don’t often see the emotional and psychological effects that stain and blot our actions in our everyday lives. And because we practice our biases every moment, there are always plenty of examples from which to choose in order to validate our hurtful thoughts and actions towards ourselves and others.

Actually, we are taught/conditioned from all our social influences (education, media, family, friends, etc) to NOT see it.  A fantastic example of social values and beliefs gone awry is the television show from the 1970’s.

It was a sitcom about the challenges between living in the past with biases and prejudices and how it conflicted with more openness to human dignity.  If you are North American and over 40, you will still vividly remember “All In The Family”.  Check out some episodes by clicking here.

Oh yes, the “Lobster Effect” …

***

I use the following example of cooking lobsters to illustrate how we are caught in the trap of denial and lost opportunities.  When a lobster is prepared for human consumption:

  1. We find a large pot suitable for holding several lobsters.

  2. We fill the pot with water and heat to boil.

  3. When ready, we put the lobsters in the boiling water while still alive.

  4. As the lobsters get boiled to a slow agonizing death, the ones closest to the surface try to escape the deep pot.

  5. The other lobsters underneath, knowing they cannot escape, pull the lobsters at the top back into the boiling water.

  6. Eventually, the top lobsters give up resisting the others and accept their fate.

As humans, when we are up to making changes in our lives, the same thing happens.  Let’s substitute the objects in this analogy:

Lobster at top              =            you, me

Other lobsters             =            society, family, friends, media

Boiling water               =            the challenges/problems/issues you/we face

Pot                                =            project, dream, idea, personal change, etc.

When we prepare ourselves for personal achievement:

  1. We discover our goals and dreams and decide to go for it (the pot).

  2. We prepare our lives for the changes that will happen (the water).

  3. When ready, we dive in and start to fulfill our dreams.  We have no idea how dangerous or painful it will be, but what the heck …

  4. As the dream starts to develop, we are confronted with issues, challenges and problems.  The plan is delayed; need more training; money is not there; etc. (boiling water).

  5. The people and influences in our lives begin to notice changes in us as we try and escape the bonds of our current life.  For whatever reason, they relentlessly tug at us to stop putting ourself through all this pain (the pulling-back).

  6. Eventually, we (the top lobsters) give up the struggle and accept our fate that maybe everybody is right (the slow death).

***

So, how do we let this happen to ourselves?

We listen to others and their opinions on what we are up to.  Worst thing – often they are uttered with the best of intentions and love towards us.  People who love us don’t want to see us fall.  Worse still, we listen to and trust them when they tell us (not usually as blunt):

  • I am making mistakes – not enough education.

  • I can’t do it – not enough experience.

  • I don’t have past evidence of your expertise.

  • It’s already been done before.  Try something else.

  • It will make me different – I’ll end up being an outsider.

  • I will get hurt because there are a lot of cheats out there.

  • I’m setting myself up for failure – it happens all the time.

  • I’ve tried before – just get a secure job.

  • Money is tight and the economy is rotten.

After being bombarded with negative influences from everywhere over time, we begin to question ourselves.  We look at the normal and natural challenges that come with change, compare it with what people are saying, and measure the results with our goals.  Here are some of the things we usually do by this time:

  • I begin to doubt myself – “what if they are right and I am just fooling myself?”

  • I become afraid of the risk (I knew what was involved) and start to grow the concerns to justify my fears.

  • I become afraid of change and only look at the negatives of the work of chasing dreams.  “Short term pain for long term gain”.

  • I begin to look at my previous attempts and start making “checklists of futility”.

  • I can become angry at the world for conspiring against me to achieve happiness.

  • I get depressed from thinking that maybe I just wasn’t destined to be happy“.

Then … well, you know what happens next …

We return to our safe world

and accept that we will

DIE a Brutal and Slow Death

waiting willingly each day

for change to happen

TO our self

instead of

making change happen

FOR our self.

Then, after 50 years and several attempts to reaching for our dreams; we realize we are living a world of “should-have’s, would-have’s, and could-have’s”.  And we eventually die realizing the world has missed an opportunity because of our own mistaken fears, values, and beliefs.

***

What to do?

Here are some thought patterns I’ve created and practice for myself so that I can continue on the road of dreams.  They are not mind deceptions or games I play with myself in order to carry on.  That would be unfair to me because I’d be just living in a false world.  Instead of chasing a dream – I’d be chasing a pipe-dream.  These are the things I remind myself about when I’m working on a project or idea to keep myself on track:

  1. Regardless of what happened in the past, it is the past.  It has no relevant bearing on my current dreams.

  2. Whatever I erred on previously were learning experiences towards getting it right.

  3. People don’t mean to be negative – they just don’t want to see me ‘fail’ because they care about me.

  4. People don’t know any better.  They’ve had their own setback and challenges in the past.  They just want to impart their knowledge to help.  As well, they are conditioned just as I have to just play it safe in life.

  5. There is a path to everything.  If it’s never been done before – then I’m the first.

  6. If I feel uncomfortable as I do the work – then I’m on the right track.

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Awareness: The Social Misjustice of Prostitution

“We say that slavery has vanished from European civilization, but this is not true.
Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution.”

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

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Drug abuse, violence, coercion, and disease.

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These are not exactly working conditions that summons one to aspire to a career in prostitution; yet, there is never a shortage of new candidates entering the “world’s oldest profession”.  This beckons the question:

  • Why does someone use their bodies to trade sex for money,

  • When all the evidence of this lifestyle proves it as being dangerous and life-threatening?

The pimp’s only aim is to make money off the sex trade of women.


***

In her book “The Prostitution of Sexuality, Kathleen Barry describes how the pimp targets women who are vulnerable enough to create an emotional dependency.  Once contact is made, the pimp must:

  • first ensure the woman is influenced by the enticement of substantial financial gain; and then,

  • she must learn to shed any moral objections to prostitution work.

Bill Shackleton in his book Protecting Prostitutes wrote,

“A pimp would use an effective and orderly method of gaining the services of women.  He would first display affection and generosity, and then carefully move to establish a sexual relationship”.

During this stage of recruitment, the woman has never been a prostitute prior to the relationship; and therefore, she needs to learn previous unknown behaviors.

***

In progressive steps, the pimp:

  1. rewards her by telling her she is special and beautiful,

  2. she has worth, and

  3. he can help her overcome her difficulties.

Until she becomes skilled and exhibits the changed behaviour he requires, he would increasingly reward her until he gains her trust and cooperation.

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Annette and Graham Scambler discovered that for the prostitute, the most pervasive form of enticement is financial gain.  When she is living the “lifestyle:

  • the payoff is immediate,

  • payday is every day she is willing to work, and Immediacy becomes a way of life.

When the pimp has the prostitute under this control, he ensures Positive Reinforcement is employed through the constant and immediate rewards of getting paid for services rendered.  Free from their poverty lifestyle, he understands she will like having money in her pocket at all times – and for so little effort.

As the relationship develops,
the pimp becomes the prostitute’s father, lover, and friend.

***

In her book Of Vice and Women: Shades of Prostitution” Margaretha Järvinen describes how she must work very hard to earn his respect, his love, and to keep him achieving the best in material possessions.

At this point, the pimp understands that he has her under his control. The pimp no longer needs to provide continuous immediate rewards using positive reinforcement because the prostitute is already performing; rather, he changes his tactics:

  • the pimp would reward her intermittently so she can then work even harder to achieve his financial goals, and

  • he rewards her just often enough continue the improving performance of developing into a productive object for him and to keep her satisfied.

The pimp reaches a point where he will use Punishment to maintain control over the prostitute.

He wants her to learn that he is the boss, and she is subservient to him.

He realizes that just punishing her will eventually not bring the desired result he wants (which is obedience) because she will just rebel and move on or become aggressive with him and cause him problems.  Instead, he will use punishment infrequently, and use it in conjunction with other types of rewarding reinforcement.

Prostitutes have to earn the respect of the pimp.

The pimp knows his success is dependent on fuelling two emotions in a woman:

  • love and

  • fear.

To many women,
the lifestyle can be socially fulfilling and psychologically addicting.

By the time women are ready to leave prostitution, they realize that what they have accumulated as a result of their financial dream amounted to little but:

  • a collection of arrest records,

  • a blur of experiences, and

  • a path of abandonment by those they cared about.

The woman has come to the realization there is no rewards left in the trade.

When this time comes, the woman has come to this realization: there are no rewards to be won; therefore, no reason to continue the behavior.

From the beginning to the end of a prostitute’s career,
it is clear the relationship of dependence between the woman and the pimp.

He is always in control, and for the most part is always the one with the power.  He uses every conditioning principle to manipulate the woman into changing her behavior so he can gain maximum benefit for himself alone.

Although the main goal for both parties is to make as much money as possible, his investment in the woman pales in comparison to the cost to her mind and body.

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Victor Hugo called prostitution slavery.
His words are no less valid today as they were two centuries ago.

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