Posts Tagged ‘Concentration’

MKMMA Week 15-16 The Sandwich and the Latte

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

First, let me give many thank-yous to all of you who have been following the activities of the past week at our Design4Kids InFocus workshop in Guatemala. It was a tremendous success – as they always are, thanks to the outstanding Fotokids staff and the talent and motivation of the students themselves.

Due to the schedule and the technical limitations I’ve been working with I haven’t been able to post a week 15 blog until today, and was unable to tune in to the January 5th webinar or see the replay of the week 15 and 16 videos (bandwidth just wouldn’t support them). So I’m a little behind and out of the loop.

I was able to get in on the Sunday Jan 12 webinar from my hotel in Antigua, and as seems to always be  the case, the topic fits perfectly into my activities for the past week. Coincidence, of course. J

I’ve been completely faithful to my readings all week, albeit on a slightly altered schedule. I’m finding I eagerly look forward to them, and can’t finish the day comfortably until I’ve completed them.

And my sits every late afternoon after classes out by the lake, as the sun is dipping behind Vulcan (volcano) San Pedro have set a new standard for my quiet time. I may be returning to my living room in Maryland, but each day I’ll be seeing the sunset over the lake.

Likewise my morning readings of the MK and Blueprint Builder at the lake in the early morning light before breakfast.

Did I mention in the past that I’m already living some of my DMP? J

 

Giving and kindness are two qualities that are everywhere down here. It seems that 90 per cent of the “gringos”, both ex-pats and visitors, are here in some mission or NGO capacity. Working with orphan groups, building and maintaining schools and libraries, feeding the kids, extended outreach educational programs (like ours). Everyone here is under-fed and everything under-funded.

In addition to our Fotokids workshop this past week in Santiago Atitlan there were two more groups at the hotel (la Posada Santiago, sort of “gringo central” in Santiago). One was a bunch of college-age kids and adults, 20+, from the Lancaster, PA area, building a foundation for a new building at an orphanage. Another, who had come together from across the US, were working to help build a playground at the library and pre-school next door to the hotel.

The logo for Amanda’s school an library was Design4Kids’ first workshop project five years ago.

Seeing the sense of satisfaction, gratitude and fulfillment that everyone in those groups felt mirrored the feelings I experience every time I’m here. I’ve always said, and it continues to be more true with each experience, that while I may be giving my time and resources to teach and help these kids, it feels I’m receiving more in the rewarding from seeing their growth and success than I can possibly give.

 

Back in Antigua on Sunday prior to returning to the US on Monday, I was at a café on the central park for a coffee Sunday morning.

There are a number of indigenous Maya who sell all sorts of textiles and trinkets in the park. Over the four plus years I’ve been coming down I’ve gotten to know several, getting beyond the “You buy something mister?” and “Gracias, no” conversation that is the usual constant interaction. We’ve talked about each others’ families and lives – they’re actually really people, not just pestering peddlers.

This trip I met Mario, who shines shoes. There are a number of shoe-shine kids, and they’ll offer to shine your sneakers, sandals, and the shoes that the last kid just shined five minutes ago. It’s actually a valuable lesson in persistence. Sales shyness and hunger are mutually exclusive conditions. So Mario is now my go-to shoe shine guy.

Anyway, while in the café, which is open to the sidewalk, another little guy, maybe 10 or 11 years old, came up to me selling postcards. This is a little bolder as the shops usually chase them away to keep them from bothering their customers.

There’s always the line between wanting to help – this is how they eat, when they do – and just having so much stuff you can’t bring back any more.

I initially said, “Gracias, no”, but he stayed and began a conversation. He’s Antonio, from Santa Catalina, about two hours away. He comes to Antigua every weekend to sell postcards. No doubt his family in the park selling other wares.

Then he asks me “buy me a pan? (bread)”. Now I thought THIS I can do! Nothing more to try to bring back home. So I ask the waiter to get him what he likes and Antonio orders a ham sandwich. His sandwich comes, he smiles and says “Gracias, Stu” and scoots away.

The waiter and waitress smiled as he left. It cost me about the same as a second cup of coffee. It may be the only thing he eats that day. Or weekend.

I felt so much joy the rest of the day I thought I would burst. I didn’t tell anyone about the episode – I didn’t feel right, thinking I would sound like I was boasting. I’m glad that Mark has sort of given “permission” to share this sort of thing here. Not to tell you how great I am, but in the hope that I can in some way give you some of the joy I felt that day, still feel. There is far more than one person can hold.

Early Monday morning before going in to the city and the airport I went back to the same café for a coffee. Now a normal work day, and the square is much quieter than on the weekend at this hour.

The same waitress/”barista” who was working on Sunday when I met Antonio was there. She smiled at me and took my order. This time I ordered a latte for something a little extra.

I imagine you’re familiar with the “latte art” that creative baristas make in the foam on top of the coffee. She gave me my latte.

In the foam was a heart.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

MKMMA Week 14 – With Apologies to Gene Siskel

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

During this “holiday break” week we were tasked with watching one (or more) or four movies – October Sky, Cool Runnings, Door-to Door and Rudy, looking for the classic “Hero’s Journey” characteristics in each.

Interesting how even Napoleon Hill and Haanel before him recognized the epic saga of human accomplishment in the same way, if not in the same words. The characteristics we are to look for: a Definite Major Purpose, a Positive Mental Attitude, a Plan of Action and a Mastermind Alliance.

I’d seen Cool Runnings back when it was relatively new and though hadn’t watched it since, can still remember the presence of all of those characteristics in that story, if not the details.

The other three were new to me, and Door-to-Door appears to be nearly out of print, so I opted for October Sky, easily available for rent through iTunes and Amazon.

Our hero in this story is a high school student in a West Virginia coal mining town in the mid-1950’s. The classic “company town” where everyone was born into mining families, grew up to work in the mine and eventually, one way or another, died there, he is inspired by the notoriety of the launch of Russia’s Sputnik to become a rocket man.

Predictable he’s met with cynicism and sarcasm by friends and family who want to “keep him in his place”. Predictable not only as a movie plot but as the common reaction we all face when we try to leave the status quo of mediocrity and seek something more, something better. The fears and jealousy of those around us try to hold us back, to reassure themselves least we invalidate their existence.

None the less he focused his desire and built into a burning purpose of his life, and became determined that he would succeed. He created a Mastermind Alliance, gathering his friends and making new ones to surround himself with a group of like minded individuals. He also employed Hill’s “Invisible Councilor” in his correspondence with Werner von Braun.

He created a clear Plan of Action, learning everything he could about rocket-making and soliciting the help of his Mastermind group to fill in the gaps.

Though facing numerous setbacks and obstacles he never truly lost his Positive Mental Attitude, persevered and succeeded.

The underlying “Hero’s Journey” that defines this story is that which truly defines every endeavor in our human existence. Weather factual (as this story is) or fiction, we all seek the meaning and fulfillment of the hero who sets out to rise above the rest and return successful.

Some will always seek the achievement vicariously, through movies, sports, novels, while a few of us at some point decide to embark on our own Hero’s Journey and discover the greater meaning in our lives.

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

MKMMA Week 13 – Where Am I?

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Mark and Davene were straight in when they cautioned us about having our focus disrupted over the holiday. I imagine those of you who like me traveled to visit others may have experienced similar challenges.

It’s not that I got off track with my readings and exercises – I made sure to be faithful to that. It wasn’t always easy and the schedule was pretty irregular much of the time, especially the mid-day sessions. But I made sure to do them

In fact if you haven’t already realized it, the “NARC” exercise that Mark introduced – maybe I should say “formally introduced” – on our last call is actually something we’ve been learning to do all along. He seems to enjoy that sort of thing. Kind of sneaking it in there unnoticed.

We’ve been anchoring doing the small services with keeping our promises and feeling good, so that when we miss by a bit or are unable to do everything we’ve promised due to things like schedules and unforeseen interruptions – ours and other peoples – we feel bad. And I kind of like that. Helps keep me on track.

But beyond the readings and exercises, I found myself feeling unfocused, a bit confused and a bit uncomfortable.

We’ve been creating and living by the habits of doing our exercises at specific times, in the same locations, anchoring that to being our normal way of doing things. Being in a different environment with all sorts of different and unfamiliar sensory inputs threw everything off, leaving me feeling a  bit dazed and drifting.

Good to realize this – to realize that the habits and routines are working, and to realize that I need to be prepared for the changes of breaking those routines so that we’re more flexible and more quickly and easily adaptable to new situations, while maintaining our focus.

Good to realize too that we’re becoming more and more able to recognize and learn from situations that don’t go quite as expected as we are when everything goes along according to plan.

Nonetheless, I’m finding I’m having to concentrate to regain my focus that was so clear a week ago. As I was traveling – driving – to my holiday destination my head and ears were full of clear business plans and thinking By the time I drove back – maybe a good analogy is that feeling when you suddenly wake up from one of those weird dreams that don’t make any sense (you do have those too, don’t you?) and you’re trying to regain your bearings.

And it’s only just begun.

Happy New Year!

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

MKMMA Week 12 – R2A2: It doesn’t Matter Whether or Not You Believe …

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

… In the Law of Attraction; it believes in you.

For the past couple of months I’ve been closely involved in a good friend’s quest for a new home. She learned that the house she is currently renting was going to be sold at some point in a few months, and would eventually need to find someplace new to live.

While the sale of the current house is not imminent (due to a variety of factors regarding this particular property), she immediately went into frantic “gotta find a house” mode.

At this point I should mention that we’ve had – or at least have begun – conversations about the underlying concepts we’re all learning and hoping to master here in our Master Key Master Mind Alliance program.

Her response: “Oh, you believe in all that foo-foo attraction stuff…”

Yeah. Okay. So …

She put into her head that she had to find a house. Took action – found a mortgage broker, got pre-approved, found a realtor, began looking at what was available.

Trouble was, everything she saw that fit her ideas was about 30-40 percent higher than what she could afford. And everything in her price range was either too small, already under contract, or both.

Her reaction – her “affirmation” – “I don’t think I’m going to find the house I want, everything I can afford is too small.” Hmm, the wording could use a little work there.

BUT, she kept looking. Not with conscious “intention” because, remember, she doesn’t believe in all that stuff, but nonetheless, with a driving, focused desire that she wanted to find a house that met her needs and wants, in her price range.

At this point somewhat dejected she kept looking, and went to see one more house she’d heard of.

Came back and said “I think I just looked at the house I’m going to buy. It’s a little small, but I’m not going to find anything better in my price.” It was still $20K higher than her top-end approval.

She went to look at it a second time, and brought me along.

“Hmm, this is actually larger than the way you described it, and you can do this, and this, and it’s in a great location. It’s actually a pretty nice house.” But of course there’s that price thing. I’d gone with her before to look at others that were well over her limit, and of course they came to naught.

Now she was dead-on focused. She WANTED this house. It was an all-consuming desire. (It almost sounds like it had become a DMP, but of course, she doesn’t believe in all that stuff.)

This one was a FSBO, so the owners were there when we looked at it. We all talked as much as we did looked at the house, and the four of us seemed to hit it off, to create a good energy, a good connection.

So at her realtor’s suggestion she put in an offer about $7K under her limit, about $27K under the asking price. He reasoned it’s a FSBO not in the MRIS so nobody knows about it. It’s actually well under what other houses in the area are valued at, so it’s a good price.

There was one other person looking later that day, otherwise, no offers on it yet.

She put her offer in Monday; Tuesday she heard back: the other person had put an offer in also, just $10K under the asking price.

Hmm. She countered with an offer at her max – still $10K under the other offer. “I’m a little sad, I don’t think I’m going to get the house.”

The realtor was describing to me the conversation at the counter offer presentation. He had begun trying to work on the price issue, but every time the husband pointed out that the other offer was so much higher, the wife replied “but she really LIKES the house!” So the realtor changed strategies and worked on the relationship aspect, and how we’d all really seemed to liked each other. At the previous meeting with all of us they had mentioned that their own home was just up the street (this one had been an investment property), and they really liked the idea of her being their neighbor. And how that was important.

So he left them with her offer, letting them know that it was her absolute best.

The next day the news came back. The house was under contract.

 

Hers.

She settles in February.

So it would seem that even though she did not “believe” in consciously applying the steps in attraction what she wanted, she “inadvertently” fell into the middle of it, with a white-hot focused burning desire, excluding everything else.

And yes, she expressed doubt a few times. But she also spent endless hours thinking about “her” house and how much she wanted it.

And what she thought about with focus and passion manifested.

 

Makes you wonder what somebody who DOES believe in all this foo-foo stuff, and does INTENTIONALLY create that desire, that focused image, and concentrates on it with burning hot emotion, could accomplish …

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

MKMMA Week 9 – Metamorphosis

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

As we’re nearing the completion of week nine of the Master Key Master Mind Alliance, the instructions in chapter nine have us visualizing the growth of a plant, from seed through development to  fully formed and flowering.

As we come to approximately the first third of the course, I’m realizing a metamorphosis in myself as well.

Not a showy, extravagant rags-to-riches overnight success extravaganza, but a quiet internal awareness that I am calmer, more peaceful, more at ease with my world.

When things need to be done, as they always do, I’m no longer as edgy with anticipation and concern. Certainly things need to happen, and they are happening, and I’m at ease knowing that they’re proceeding at just the right pace and in just the right direction.

I’m doing the work when there’s work to be done, and at full throttle, eagerly, tirelessly, and more and more, effortlessly. And when it’s time to rest I rest, peacefully, without the agitated feeling that I need to hurry to the “next thing”, to try to mentally create it.

I’m more focused on the results; not the outcome, but the results that the outcome will achieve. And rather than insisting on being “in control” and desperately concerned with designing the process, often a process I don’t currently know how to design, I accept each step and the path as it is revealed to me, comfortable and confident that each new step will be shown at the right time.

The more I experience receiving what I need when I need it, the more confident I am in focusing on the results and trusting that I will continue to receive what I need.

And because of this peace and confidence, rather than constantly worrying if this or this or that is the right thing to do, paralyzed by uncertainty into doing nothing, I take action instantly when the steps are revealed, eagerly and willingly because I’m confident that they are the right steps I need to take.

Realize this is only the beginning. I’m nowhere near the grand “there” yet, wherever “there” may be, if there really is an ultimate “there”. In fact I’m becoming more aware that “there” is actually here, now. And the more I appreciate each now and here as being the right place to be at this moment, the more I fully embrace that the process is the true “there”, that fully appreciating the experience is worth much more than arriving at the destination.

What’s really exciting is that this is week nine of twenty-six. We still have nearly two-thirds of the course to go. I have a feeling this is going to get really interesting …

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

MKMMA Week 8 – Thank You

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

It is truly amazing how a mastermind helps you reveal things you just can’t seem to figure out on your own.

I wrote last week about my dissatisfaction with my DMP, of not having the “feeling” form it that made it play to my soul.

I wrote of trying to analyze it to “determine” the true meanings behind each part – more of attempting to use my analytical objective mind to solve the issue.

But it was when I read Tommy Gun’s blog post (I love you, Tommy – Thank You!) about their cruise and their actually living their DMP NOW on one level, that it smacked me in the face like a wet tuna.

Well, what I envision being smacked in the face with a wet tuna might feel like. I don’t actually have any first-hand experience with the sensation of being smacked in the face with a wet tuna. Mark, any insights, fell free to enlighten.

I’ve been approaching my DMP and PPNs as things I’m aspiring to achieve, that I don’t have now. Yet nearly everything I’ve written is something I already have in some degree – my desire is to have MORE of it!

I’ve always heard that murmur in the background that “money isn’t important – it’s not the real thing” that you want. An true, the physical experience of just having more money sitting in a pile in front of me (or a bigger number on the bank balance) isn’t the true desire.

Certainly the “dollars” count. But that’s because they allow me “more” of everything – more freedom, time, resources to have and do and be “more” of all the things I have now and do now and am now and want to expand and fill my life with.

It wasn’t my DMP that wasn’t resonating with my soul, it was the purpose behind it, the reason for wanting all those things.

I was thinking I needed to strive for something I didn’t currently have.

In reality, and what caused the shift in feeling and belief, is that I already enjoy many of those things, and my desire is to expand and grow the abundance that I already have.

Through my journey of Spiritual Growth, I am able to Help Others more – with their financial and True physical Health through USANA; through helping young people living in an environment that doesn’t instill much hope and belief in the future to learn to see their world creatively with photography and thereby realize and extend their innate creative abilities to all aspects of their lives.

In so doing I create a Legacy, of results that continue on well beyond my own current endeavors. I realize the Reward for my own Creative Expression, both from the things I create directly and those I help others create.

I ‘m developing the Liberty and Autonomy to continue to experience and expand all those things, and the True Health to continue doing so for many years to come.

Since realizing, with Tommy’s help, that I’m already living my DMP to some degree, I am continually consciously grateful for want I already have, every day.

So while I’ve made a few (very) minor adjustments and rearrangements in wording in my DPM it remains essentially the same. I’m now experiencing it with an entirely new and more intense level of emotion, through gratitude.

I’ve written the words before and believed them, but they ring especially true today:

Life truly is an amazing place to live.

Thank you. I Love You.

 

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather

MKMMA Week 7 – Picture This

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

This week’s Friday MKMMA blog deadline finds me immersed in a work – a rework – in progress.

It seemed like a simple enough task. Week/Chapter 7 of Haanel’s Master Key System charges us to apply Visualization to our thoughts.

Well, this should be a gimme for me. I’m a flat out “Visual” on the VAK scale (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic).

Heck, I’m a photographer! I “see” the world in pictures all the time. I look at things and picture them in ways that make people say “dang, how’d you see THAT?”

I see things that aren’t even there!

Okay, that’s probably a topic for another story.

So Visualizing my DMP should be a no-brainer, right?

Well, yes. And no, not quite.

Maybe because I respond so strongly to visual images, this week it really became clear that as grand and lovely and emotional-sounding as my DMP was, the true, core feelings and emotions in me aren’t happening.

It’s written well. Lots of emotional sounding words. Lots of noble sounding thoughts. But it still isn’t igniting that burning fire that will cause me to push through any barrier to get to it.

As good as it reads, it’s still features and benefits, not the core emotions, not the true criteria.

So it’s more sitting. And walking. Not that I haven’t been sitting and walking before.

I’ve done plenty of sitting, looking for answers in its embryonic stages, working to come up with what seemed like just the right DMP.

Heck, it seems like there were days when the only time I wasn’t sitting was when I was laying down sleeping. I’m becoming the Forrest Gump of Sitting.

“Sit, Stu, Sit!”

And walking? Ha! I’m doing plenty of that. Why, if I stopped walking “in circles”, starting and coming back to my front door, and just set off walking in one direction, I’d probably realize one of my DMP goals of “Seeing the Entire World”, just walking to figure out this DMP thing.

“Walk, Stu, Walk!”

So I’ve decided to approach it quasi- Ben Franklin style, but with different column subjects. I’ve taken all the goals in my current DMP and listed them in the left column. Realizing that they’re mostly “features”. Then a center column, which lists the “benefit” of that feature.

And then, on the right is the true criteria column, the “what’s important about that” column. And in some cases maybe another column, “what’s really important about that?

I know how to do this in conversation. Time to look inside and have that conversation with myself, and get to the true core of what I really want, what it’s really all about.

So that’s where I am. It isn’t there yet. Won’t be tonight. Maybe not for a few nights. Like I said, a re-work, a work in progress.

But then again I guess that’s what we all really are, all the time.

I’ll get ‘er done. I’ll see it through, and create that true image. And when I do I’ll show you what it looks like.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutubeby feather