Sep 252010
 

Self Improvement – A Guide to Learning

Learning is a never-ending process of personal change

Part of the joy of life is the continuous wonder of learning new things. When you integrate new knowledge with what you already know, you build a deep, richly textured fabric of wisdom that can be applied to make life more satisfying and productive. In other words: knowledge is your key to success.

It’s surprising how many people lose the ambition to keep on learning once they finish formal schooling. The fact is that school (including college) teaches you HOW to learn but only gives you an initial load of facts and skills. There is so much more to know!

A Manager in Louisiana says, “I’ll be learning until I’m 90 years old and on crutches.” She understands that learning doesn’t have to end until the end. Personally, I plan to live a lot longer than 90.

“All human beings, by nature, desire to know.”
-Aristotle

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning today is young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
-Henry Ford

“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn … and change.”
-Carl Rogers

“In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn.”
-John Naisbitt

“… in the world of the future, the new illiterate will be the person who has not learned how to learn.”
-Alvin Toffler

“Knowledge has three degrees – opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition.”
-Plotinus

A brief thank you to my readers:
“To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him, and travel in his company.”
-Andre Gide (1903)


Imitate what works for others

Look for successful people and learn from what they are doing. When you imitate what they are doing, you can expect to begin having the same results.

Don’t fixate on a single individual. You can do better. Pay attention to the attitudes and results of all the successful people you admire. You can meet many of these folks in person and even more through the books they have written. Not every book contains advice that is right for you. But, as you continue reading widely you will see patterns emerge and begin to identify the things that you need to do.

Now comes the hard part. You have to change. When you recognize old patterns of response that need to be changed, make that change as hard and as well as you can. Our habits and mental patterns are real and have power. If you are going to get out of a rut, you have to invest enough energy to get fully clear.

Once you have made the desired change, you can see more than when you were in a rut. This is the best time to take a good look around, reevaluate everything, fix your sights on your goal and decide which change will take you further in that direction.

“I invent nothing; I rediscover.”
-Rodin


Don’t be limited by what others do

When you read a self-help book you can pick up some good ideas. Never, never stop there. The author doesn’t know everything. Read some more authors. Feed your mind a flood of vicarious experience. Expose yourself to a wide variety of experience. Collect ideas.

Then what do you do? Have respect for your own experience and good sense. Pick out the things that are good for you. Send problems to your subconscious to figure out and then listen when creative ideas come back. In the final analysis it’s your life; you make the choices and you stand responsible for the results.

“If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it.”
-S. I. Hayakawa

“We can be knowledgeable with another man’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with another man’s wisdom.”
-Michel De Montaigne


Everybody starts out ignorant

It’s OK to not know as much as someone else. At one time, that other person knew less than you do now. Do you get the point? You will learn if you persist. More, you can teach what you do already know. There are plenty of people who haven’t yet opened their eyes to recognize even the outline of what you already recognize as wonderful and important.

You don’t have to have everything figured out before you start. Like a journey, you don’t have to know every step ahead of time, just be willing to keep getting closer to your destination. You will learn as you go along. You will experiment. You will make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. In the end, you will be the expert.

“The work will teach you how to do it.”
-Estonian Proverb

“To know that you do not know is best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.”
-Lao Tzu

“Everyone is ignorant, only in different subjects.”
-Will Rogers


Build a library and read at least one book every month

You are going to accumulate books, magazines and clippings. All you have to do is organize your educational materials and you have a library. Books are still the best way to study and learn at your own pace. You should constantly be acquiring more knowledge about your areas of interest. In turn, this should constantly expand your areas of interest.

Building a library shows your commitment to education. It provides the means to help others to learn as well.

Set aside a budget for building your library. Subscribe to appropriate magazines and newsletters. Find books that you know add important information to your reference collection.

You don’t always have to buy books at retail. You can find real bargains in used book stores. If you have a store and you resell books, your wholesaler will save you about 40% off the retail cost.

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”
-Isaac Asimov

“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.”
-Marcus Aurelius


Build your reputation

Studying and learning earns a lot of long term benefits. It improves your self confidence because you really are more knowledgeable and competent. You know that you know more and so does everybody else. Your reputation will grow.

Studying and learning sets you apart. Not everyone has the self-discipline to apply themselves. It’s amazing how many people do just enough to get by. Studying and learning makes you a better teacher. You will make many close friends because your students will appreciate your sharing your knowledge with them. Teaching is a very personal activity that bonds people together.

When your customers have questions and you have answers, this strengthens your position in the marketplace. Your reputation will spread and the extra word-of-mouth advertising will increase your business.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 242010
 

Self Improvement – A Guide to Learning

Learning is a never-ending process of personal change

Part of the joy of life is the continuous wonder of learning new things. When you integrate new knowledge with what you already know, you build a deep, richly textured fabric of wisdom that can be applied to make life more satisfying and productive. In other words: knowledge is your key to success.

It’s surprising how many people lose the ambition to keep on learning once they finish formal schooling. The fact is that school (including college) teaches you HOW to learn but only gives you an initial load of facts and skills. There is so much more to know!

A Manager in Louisiana says, "I’ll be learning until I’m 90 years old and on crutches." She understands that learning doesn’t have to end until the end. Personally, I plan to live a lot longer than 90.

"All human beings, by nature, desire to know."
-Aristotle

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning today is young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."
-Henry Ford

"The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn … and change."
-Carl Rogers

"In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn."
-John Naisbitt

"… in the world of the future, the new illiterate will be the person who has not learned how to learn."
-Alvin Toffler

"Knowledge has three degrees – opinion, science, illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition."
-Plotinus

A brief thank you to my readers:
"To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him, and travel in his company."
-Andre Gide (1903)

Imitate what works for others

Look for successful people and learn from what they are doing. When you imitate what they are doing, you can expect to begin having the same results.

Don’t fixate on a single individual. You can do better. Pay attention to the attitudes and results of all the successful people you admire. You can meet many of these folks in person and even more through the books they have written. Not every book contains advice that is right for you. But, as you continue reading widely you will see patterns emerge and begin to identify the things that you need to do.

Now comes the hard part. You have to change. When you recognize old patterns of response that need to be changed, make that change as hard and as well as you can. Our habits and mental patterns are real and have power. If you are going to get out of a rut, you have to invest enough energy to get fully clear.

Once you have made the desired change, you can see more than when you were in a rut. This is the best time to take a good look around, reevaluate everything, fix your sights on your goal and decide which change will take you further in that direction.

"I invent nothing; I rediscover."
-Rodin

Don’t be limited by what others do

When you read a self-help book you can pick up some good ideas. Never, never stop there. The author doesn’t know everything. Read some more authors. Feed your mind a flood of vicarious experience. Expose yourself to a wide variety of experience. Collect ideas.

Then what do you do? Have respect for your own experience and good sense. Pick out the things that are good for you. Send problems to your subconscious to figure out and then listen when creative ideas come back. In the final analysis it’s your life; you make the choices and you stand responsible for the results.

"If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it."
-S. I. Hayakawa

"We can be knowledgeable with another man’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with another man’s wisdom."
-Michel De Montaigne

Everybody starts out ignorant

It’s OK to not know as much as someone else. At one time, that other person knew less than you do now. Do you get the point? You will learn if you persist. More, you can teach what you do already know. There are plenty of people who haven’t yet opened their eyes to recognize even the outline of what you already recognize as wonderful and important.

You don’t have to have everything figured out before you start. Like a journey, you don’t have to know every step ahead of time, just be willing to keep getting closer to your destination. You will learn as you go along. You will experiment. You will make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. In the end, you will be the expert.

"The work will teach you how to do it."
-Estonian Proverb

"To know that you do not know is best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease."
-Lao Tzu

"Everyone is ignorant, only in different subjects."
-Will Rogers

Build a library and read at least one book every month

You are going to accumulate books, magazines and clippings. All you have to do is organize your educational materials and you have a library. Books are still the best way to study and learn at your own pace. You should constantly be acquiring more knowledge about your areas of interest. In turn, this should constantly expand your areas of interest.

Building a library shows your commitment to education. It provides the means to help others to learn as well.

Set aside a budget for building your library. Subscribe to appropriate magazines and newsletters. Find books that you know add important information to your reference collection.

You don’t always have to buy books at retail. You can find real bargains in used book stores. If you have a store and you resell books, your wholesaler will save you about 40% off the retail cost.

"Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is."
-Isaac Asimov

"Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life."
-Marcus Aurelius

Build your reputation

Studying and learning earns a lot of long term benefits. It improves your self confidence because you really are more knowledgeable and competent. You know that you know more and so does everybody else. Your reputation will grow.

Studying and learning sets you apart. Not everyone has the self-discipline to apply themselves. It’s amazing how many people do just enough to get by. Studying and learning makes you a better teacher. You will make many close friends because your students will appreciate your sharing your knowledge with them. Teaching is a very personal activity that bonds people together.

When your customers have questions and you have answers, this strengthens your position in the marketplace. Your reputation will spread and the extra word-of-mouth advertising will increase your business.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing."
-Abraham Lincoln

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 222010
 

MLM Business Building

Introduction

This series is derived from the publication Better Business Building which I wrote in 1996 while doing business as “Health Education Library Publications.” It was targeted at distributors of Nature’s Sunshine Products (NSP), a multi-level marketing (MLM) [“Network Marketing” is now more politically correct] company. The product was formatted as a set of index cards which could be studied serially, browsed for ideas, or turned up one-each-day for inspiration.

Better Business Building was a lot of fun to write (and enthusiastically used and endorsed by several senior managers), but it is no longer in print. For this site, I have removed the company-specific information and reformatted the cards into topic articles.

Disclaimer

Some of the advice in these cards is contradictory or included just for humor. Some things work for some people but aren’t right for others. If something just doesn’t feel right to you, throw the card away or mark it up and put it in the back.

This guide is packed with clichés. Some people claim that clichés are trite and don’t always apply. Those critics are throwing out the baby with the bath water. I think clichés are the distilled wisdom of our culture. So it’s up to you; if the shoe fits, wear it; but if it’s not your ladder, don’t climb it. This guide is also packed with quotes. For instance:
“The words of truth are always paradoxical.”
-Lao Tzu

This information should help you generate ideas. But, YOU are the judge of the commitments that you accept and the choices that you make. Be warned – don’t start a business without deciding why you’re in it. Any business, especially one like this, can change your life.

Ideas for using this guide

These pages do not have to be kept sorted into any particular order. I figure that some people will want to reorganize them by type of idea while others will want to organize them by personal priority or how well they apply to individual situations. You will probably have an even better idea. But I numbered the cards just in case.

This is not a good book to read straight through. I suggest that you only read a little bit at a time. It’s more like a collection of poems than a novel. Scan it first to see what’s in it, read some of the pages that look interesting and then put it down for a little while. I hope that you’ll end up reading the whole thing but I’ve got a hunch that it will digest better in small bites, chewed carefully.

* You can search for ideas for distributors who are having trouble.
* Borrow ideas for your newsletters and business meetings.
* Clip the cards to a bicycle to make noise against the moving spokes.
* If you see a good idea, use it.

“I see the better way, and approve it; I follow the worse.”
Ovid

“When one happens on a book of this kind, he is well advised to throw it away.”
Shú-an

A philosophical disclaimer

Dear Friends,

Although I have drawn from many spiritual and secular sources for the ideas and quotes included in this card set, I hold the Bible as my distinct authority and guide. In fact, I hold the Bible in such high esteem that I have deliberately held back from citing it in many instances where I recognized its influence on my philosophy. It didn’t seem appropriate to apply scripture to the secular activity of selling supplements.

I am more comfortable trying to keep a gap between the nutritional work I do for profit and the spiritual counseling done on a “receive free/give free” basis. I suppose this work falls short to the extent that my faith affects my overall thinking and the everyday conduct of life. By writing books and selling information, I expose my philosophical core.

Please do not conclude that the things I have written belong to some economic, political or popular religious school of thought. Although it is obvious that I subscribe to an ethic of personal responsibility, I also recognize that “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” -1 Corinthians 3:19

Additional quotes of interest

“Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.”
-Herbert Otto

“Can it really be said that before the day of our pretentious science, humanity was composed solely of imbeciles and the superstitious?”
-R. A. Schwallerde Lubicz

“One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.”
-Joseph Campbell

“The heart has its reasons that the mind knows nothing of.”
-Blaise Pascal

“Without love the acquisition of knowledge only increases confusion and leads to self-destruction.”
-J. Krishnamurti

Commitment

Commitment means that progress occurs over time and that you need to stick with your goals in order to achieve them.

“Far away, there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
-Louisa May Alcott

Courage

“Moral courage and character go hand in hand – a man of real character is consistently courageous, being imbued with a basic integrity and a firm sense of principle.”
-Martha Boaz

Conscience

When you do what you know is right, you are at peace with yourself.

“Cowardice asks the question, Is it safe? Expediency asks the question, Is it politic? Vanity asks the question, Is it popular? But conscience asks the question, Is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
-Martin Luther

Spirituality

We should be aware of our spiritual need. Recognition of our relationship to our Creator keeps us balanced and secure. This respect and affection for the divine wisdom of our Creator makes us want to imitate His qualities and gives us appreciation for His creations.

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 212010
 

Mother’s Favorite Brownie Recipe

by David Satterlee

One day, it occurred to Mother to make brownies for her family. We all loved her brownies; Father, Mother and all four children. We would nab crumbs from each others’ plates, and complain if another received what appeared to be a larger portion. Yes, this would be a fine desert to offer as a treat after our supper.

After retrieving the pan from the oven, letting it cool, and applying a glaze of extra chocolate across the top, Mother stopped to admire the product of her labor. Surely she deserved a small reward for her efforts on this and many other days. Besides, it would be best that all portions be as close to equal as possible. So thinking, she trimmed the edges from all four sides, and while watching the wrens sport in the yard outside her kitchen window, she treated herself to these few modest trimmings.

Returning to her work, she carefully divided the remaining bulk of the pan into twelve equal squares; six for tonight’s supper, and six to be reserved for the morrow. Noticing a piece that was slightly oversized, she shaved a small bit from one side and popped it into her mouth. In this manner, she consumed the entire pan.

Copyright 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 202010
 

A Small Collection of Limericks

Written for Dianna Satterlee’s 5th grade Language Arts class as a contrast to the cinquains that they are studying.

I see you’ve a very nice playground
with swings and a ball field and go-round.
But I’d prefer recess
If someone could posses
A nice little puppy blue tick hound.

There once was a school in the mountains
That added some pretty new fountains.
They put in some fishes
And threw coins for wishes,
That they wouldn’t see any shark fins.
     [This one was hard because mountains and fountains are the ONLY two “-ountain” words in English and I needed another one for the 5th line. So, I settled for a one-syllable match with ‘-ins” and actually managed to make it humorous … and led to two more:]

I think I saw sharks in the fish pond;
A shark fin just flashed ‘neath a fern frond.
If I splashed in that place
I’d be gone with no trace
‘cept a yelp that just lasted a second.

There once was a princ’pal named Clark
With hair that glowed red in the dark.
She’d even breath fire
If she found out a liar
And feed them to her captive shark.

Copyright 2009 by David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 192010
 

A Small Collection of Cinquains

Written for Dianna Satterlee’s 5th grade Language Arts class

A cinquain is a poetic form written with 5 lines having 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables respectively. The first and last lines are complementary. The second line may have two words in contrast.

About the beauty of North Carolina

Misty,
Rocky, cascades
Dancing waters falling;
Gleaming in the early morning
Sun light.

About The Teacher

Teacher.
Happy leader.
Guiding her new children;
Making learning fun because she
Wants to.

About Myself

Learner.
Constant reader.
Always gaining knowledge;
Seeking wisdom and to be a
Teacher.

Copyright 2009 by David Satterlee

 

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 182010
 

Where there was once a clean-cut young boy with a lot of promise, there now dwells a rascally old curmudgeon pondering the nature of promises, life, the universe and everything.

David buzzcutdws bushman

David holds the posture that nothing is sacred while holding faith that everything is sacred. His stories tend to carry you into the musical rhythms and harmonies of language while exploring the tender frailties of our nature… before dropping you on your head.

You are urged to never trust the gods at play, never trust a writer, and never eat yellow snow. Blessings to you and blessings to all. Thank you for your kind attentions.

Copyright 2010 by David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Jan 122010
 

Source: “Pursuing Human Strengths,” Martin Bolt, Introduction

“The stream of causation from past to future runs through our present choices.” —David G. Myers, 2002

Individuals and groups have shown an astonishing capacity for both great good and great evil. World War II produced unprecedented levels of national violence. Individuals who risked themselves to help others escape from certain extermination are our modern heroes. Caretakers of the gravely disabled sacrifice large parts of their own lives in service to others. We honor those able to demonstrate a common levels of virtues such as compassion, commitment, and self-control.

It would be tragic if we did not attempt to understand the source and foundation that produced and sustained these virtues. Surely, we should be able to cultivate such human strengths in ourselves and others. This is the purpose of positive psychology. Martin Seligman states: “The main purpose of a positive psychology is to measure, understand, and then build the human strengths and the civic virtues.”

Although we easily form opinions about purpose and motivation based on personal observation and anecdote, we produce hugely divergent explanations. We embrace beliefs ranging from predestination and genetic predisposition to environmental influence and total personal responsibility for individual choices. A careful study of why people behave in the ways they do admits most of these influences on our behavior. Most importantly, our opportunities and capacities to make choices and control the direction of our lives, validates the efforts of positive psychology to build human strengths and foster civic virtues. In short, the study of goodness is a good thing.

Dec 222009
 

image Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist, co-founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom

“Hanson and Mendius successfully answer the question: How can you use your mind to strengthen positive brain states and ultimately change your life?

Arguing that our ancestors brains, flooded with adrenaline and cortisol, were wired for survival, the authors reveal how this neurological propensity for high arousal contributes to our present-day chronic illness, depression, and anxiety.

Using Buddhism s eightfold path as a model, they illustrate how meditation and relaxation can change our brain s natural tendencies. Pictures illustrate the brain s functions and practical meditation exercises are found throughout. The authors also discuss the importance of diet and nutritional supplements.

Arguing that our ancestors brains, flooded with adrenaline and cortisol, were wired for survival, the authors reveal how this neurological propensity for high arousal contributes to our present-day chronic illness, depression, and anxiety. Using Buddhism s eightfold path as a model, they illustrate how meditation and relaxation can change our brain s natural tendencies. Pictures illustrate the brain s functions and practical meditation exercises are found throughout. The authors also discuss the importance of diet and nutritional supplements. “

Shop at Amazon for:
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
by: Rick Hanson Ph.D.

“A wonderfully comprehensive book. The authors have made it easy to understand how our minds function and how to make changes so that we can live happier, fuller lives.” —Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness

“Solidly grounded in the latest neuroscientific research, and supported by a deep understanding of contemplative practice, this book is accessible, compelling, and profound—a crystallization of practical wisdom!" –Philip David Zelazo, Ph.D., Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota

“This is simply the best book I have read on why and how we can shape our brains to be peaceful and happy. This is a book that will literally change your brain and your life.” —Jennifer Louden, author of The Woman’s Comfort Book and The Life Organizer

Dec 032009
 

Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

David Kerrigan, PhD, LCSW, serves as Executive Director of the Center for Spirituality and Integral Social Work at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He works as a clinical social worker at Adoption/Attachment partners in Northern Virginia, a psychotherapy practice specializing in helping children and their families with attachment problems.

Article PDF: An Introduction to Integral Social Service (2004)