Category Archives: Personal Growth

The Owl of Ignorance

DickWarrenGuest post by Dick Warn

Elizabeth Cutter Morrow (1873-1955, American poet) said, “My friend and I have built a wall between us thick and wide: The stones of it are laid in scorn and plastered high with pride.”

John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic) said, “In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes.”

Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979, Roman Catholic clergyman) said, “Pride is an admission of weakness; it secretly fears all competition and dreads all rivals.”

And William James (1842-1910, American psychologist, professor and author) said, “I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of pride.”

In the end, pride in our accomplishments is not what truly matters, it is the many ways we have chosen to deal with other people and our respect for all living creatures. We are all part of something so much bigger than ourselves, and no single person is more important than another. We are all important.

The owl of ignorance lays the egg of pride.

Dick Warn

 

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

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Anger

Guest Post by Dick Warn

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist and publisher) said, “Whatever begins in anger ends in shame.”

And Buddha (568-488 BC, founder of Buddhism) said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; when you are the only one getting burned.”

Buddha also said, “You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.”

When hit with something I dislike, my finest possible response is absolute silence. And, in that silence, I mentally step back from what just happened and ask myself, “What difference will this make in 25 years?”

It is amazing how well this works – – when I remember it.

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

Nasty Nelly

Guest Post by Dick Warn

Nasty Nelly is a miserable soul who takes her anger and frustration out on everyone. Wherever she goes a dark cloud floats over her head, and doom and gloom pour out of her mouth. She is painful to be with, and those who know her best usually sneak out of a room as she enters.

What drives Nelly to be so nasty? Bottom line, she dislikes herself. She has become so entwined in sick images of herself that her inner vision is totally distorted. Ignorance drives people to say things they don’t understand and she, from birth, has been listening to the wrong people.

One thing we need to know about Nelly is that she is not actually bad, just misled by the crap she has been sold. There is a reason we’ve been told to seek. The truth about Nelly is that she is a very frightened soul who doesn’t know how creative she truly is. All she has heard most of her life is that she can’t when, in fact, she can.

Maybe this should become one of our missions – – to help unhappy souls see improved views of who they can be, rather than reinforcing the negative views that they have already adopted. Anyone who is willing to make this a habit becomes an absolute miracle worker.

Are you ready to adopt a truly rewarding path?

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

What is Your Net Worth?

Guest Post by Dick Warn

We all have habits, some of them good and others not. Habits have a way of sneaking up on us and defining who we are.

There is an old saying that you cannot kill a frog by dropping him into hot water. When a frog first hits scalding water his instant reaction drives him to jump out unharmed. But if you place that frog in cold water and gradually increase the heat until it is scalding hot, the frog gets cooked before he knows it. In the very same way we get cooked by our own bad habits. Bad habits sneak up on us.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author) said, “The chains of habit are generally too weak to be felt, until they are too strong to be broken.”

The key for you and me, assuming we have a bad habit or two, is making up our mind to put our bad habits behind us. I was once a two pack-a-day smoker. I knew it was bad, yet continued. There is comfort in habits, the same as well-worn shoes. It is often easier to continue what we’ve been doing, even when it is bad for us, than to make a stand and do what needs to be done.

George Santayana (1863-1952, American philosopher) said, “Habit is stronger than reason.”

That is certainly true in my case. I still have habits that I should leave behind. So what should I do? Take one bad habit at a time, make it my primary goal, and then work on it until it is completely behind me; over, forgotten, and done. Then pick another habit and do the very same thing. There is nothing we can’t overcome, once we make up our mind to do it.

Why should anyone even try this? Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist) said, “Your net worth to the world is determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.”

What is your net worth?

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

Less Is More

Guest Post by Dick Warn

A Belizean Proverb advises us, “Never drop the bone to catch the shadow.”

A Belizean bone is anything of absolute value; your love of a spouse, your relationship with a true friend, and your own self-respect, happiness, peace of mind, joy and health. These things are life’s greatest rewards that we often take for granted.

The Belizean shadows are the items that can get in our way; a new car, a larger house, a jade necklace, fancy place settings to impress our guests, a large bar stocked with booze – – the list of clutter is almost endless.

Ken Keyes, American author, said, “To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have.”

What do you have? You have your life, and the quality of that life doesn’t depend on how much you have. The quality of your life depends on how much you are willing to give. Service before self is an awesome way to go, but you can’t get there dragging tons of clutter with you.

As Robert Browning, British poet, said, “Less is more.”

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

Our True Wealth

Guest Post by Dick Warn

Dorothy Canfield Fisher, American writer, said, “Some people think that doctors and nurses can put scrambled eggs back in the shell.”

Doctors and nurses may facilitate healing, but the mainline driving someone’s health is what they have been thinking, eating, and doing. Some silly souls, after 40 years of abuse, expect miracles that will never happen.

Rona Barrett, American actress, said, “The healthy, the strong individual, is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he has an abscess on his knee or in his soul.”

No one is an island. No one can achieve much without help from others. To get where we want to go we must be willing to admit that we don’t have the right answers and we must be humble enough to truly listen to the people who have gone before. The greatest gems are found in the oldest sayings.

And Isaac Bickerstaffe, Irish playwright said, “Health is the greatest of all possessions; a pale cobbler is better than a sick king.”

True wealth is not in silver and gold. Our true wealth is in our health.

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

Universal Guidance System

Guest Post by Dick Warn

Golda Meir, past Israeli Prime Minister, said, “I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.”

She made me think of the vast number of times I felt something was wrong, yet I did it anyway. This was certainly true with my abuse of alcohol. I wanted to party hardy and fit in. I ignored my intuition, that same feeling that guided Golda Meir. Intuition is a universal guidance system that anyone can follow. People wiser than I say our intuition is never wrong.

This is not new. In 300 BC, Chinese philosopher Mengzi Meng-tse said, “Let a person not do what his own sense of righteousness tells him not to do, and let him not desire what his sense of righteousness tells him not to desire; – – to act thus is all he has to do.”

In the grand scheme of things we can’t alter the truth and we can’t outrun reality. The very best we can do is follow our sense of righteousness like Golda Meir did.

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

Finding the Right Answers

Guest Post by Dick Warn

Searching for the right answers isn’t easy. It seems as if we are living in minefields of myths.

Confucius (BC 551-479, Chinese philosopher) said, “The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.”

William Penn (1644-1718, British religious leader) said, “Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.”

We, the thinking, well-meaning people of the United States, have been sold so many silly myths that our nation is falling apart at the seams. The true value of any law, statute or program can be found only in the results of its application. Our public schools, compared with others in the world, are truly failing to provide a quality, competitive education for our young, and our long list of welfare programs are actually expanding the number of poor, while the fat cats who create new rules fill their pockets with other people’s money. 

Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author) said, “The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.”

So many self-centered people have been elected to positions they cannot fill that our political system is totally broken. From where I sit, it’s like watching a train-wreck.

What can be done? The most impactful solution demands that each of us adopt West Point’s original code of honor as our own personal creed: “I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”

The primary causes of our political problems are ignorance and greed. Truth, and only truth, will set us free.

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

Looking for a True Friend

Guest Post by Dick Warn

Not everyone can be your friend. What people say, how they say it, and what they believe seeps into your own beliefs. This becomes a “birds of a feather flock together” thing. Eagles never hang out with chickens.

Assuming happiness, joy, and peace of mind are among your wishes, you would be wise to select your friends the way highly effective business leaders pick employees. On a scale of “must-have-characteristics,” wise leaders look at someone’s character first. Character is more important than experience and talent. Highly experienced and gifted people who cannot see the big picture throw firms off when their flawed beliefs get involved.  

Character results from someone’s beliefs, and character acts the same as a governor on a well-oiled machine, controlling actions and reactions.  When asked about their past, near-sighted, unaware people often puff up the positives, eliminate the negatives, and sometimes even lie. Someone who believes the world owes them a living might claim they want to learn, yet continue blaming others for their mistakes. And, self-centered individuals often believe they have the right to walk on backs of others to get what they want. None of these unaware souls understand the value of being real, nor do they have a clue about the benefits of sharing and caring.

Stephen Covey gave us a key to building strong relationships when he said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Knowing, caring, sharing, and being real are qualities well established within the character of someone capable of being your true friend. Therefore, look for these qualities first, while remembering that true friends help you grow.

Dick Warn is the author of The Miracle Minute, a weekly email sent free to readers around the world. www.TheMiracleMinute.com His latest book, Mystical Mentor can be previewed at www.MysticalMentor.com

Facts About Secondhand Drinking – the Impacts of a Person’s Drinking Behaviors on Others

Guest post by Lisa Frederiksen

We generally do not think much about what happens to people whose paths cross with those of a person who misuses alcohol[1] beyond the obvious, such as an auto accident caused by a drunk driver. It is unlikely most of us have ever encountered the term, Secondhand Drinking (SHD), although, now, reading it, we may draw a comparison to that of Secondhand Smoke.

Yet, secondhand drinking can forever alter these people’s lives. This is especially true if they are the family member or close friend who, over the course of their ongoing exposure to SHD, become victims, suffering their own consequential physical and emotional impairments.

These impairments are due to the brain changes caused by the chronic activation of the fight-or-flight stress response system, a system that engages when confronted with stress – danger – fear – anxiety. As a result of these brain and physical changes, family members and close friends repeatedly exposed to SHD often suffer anxiety, depression, stomach ailments, skin problems, obesity, sleep difficulties, migraines and a whole host of other conditions. They experience quality-of-life changes that are beyond a “healthy” person’s comprehension.  Not only this but the consequential physical and emotional impairments a person repeatedly exposed to SHD experiences changes them in ways that extends SHD impacts to those within their sphere of influence. This can include their co-workers, fellow students and relatives of family members. As will become apparent, SHD’s influence can touch most of us in one form or another.

These innocent sufferers have no idea that secondhand drinking is the cause of their symptoms, relationship problems or work/school performance issues. Rather they blame some other issue or just assume it’s “them” or accept the diagnosis, “migraines with no known cause” or “migraines due to stress,” for example (the latter of course being true but often the stress source is identified as the job, the kids or troubles at home). They don’t think to associate it with another person’s drinking behaviors because they’ve never had an awareness of the concept of secondhand drinking.

There’s a wonderful analogy describing what happens to these sufferers, and it is of the frog placed in a pot of cold water that is slowly brought to boil. By the time the water is finally boiling, the frog has no sense it’s in danger and boils to death instead of jumping out.

Secondhand drinking is what happens to the husband whose wife repeatedly promises to stop or cut down but every night can’t keep her promise. When he confronts her, she starts her offensive attacks on something he has or has not done as the reason for her drinking, causing him to go on the defensive and engage in the crazy, convoluted arguments that ensue. He rehashes these arguments over and over in his mind the next day while at work, unable to complete the task at hand, which holds up the next stage of the project on which his team is working.

Secondhand drinking is what happens to the boss whose life and the life of his daughter and the lives of every member of his immediate and extended family are shattered when his daughter is paralyzed in a head-on collision caused by a drunk driver.  As you can see, SHD can be a one-time event, but its ripple effects will last a lifetime causing physical and emotional outcomes unfathomable to most.

It is what happens to the wife and children of the veteran who turns to alcohol after his tour of duty ends – alcohol to relieve his untreated PTSD,[2] fears he’ll never find a job and confused feelings about returning to civilian life. His abuse of alcohol, untreated PTSD and the combination thereof changes his behaviors drastically. This throws his family into a tailspin as they all jockey for what to do to make him want to stop or get help. It’s what happens to that veteran’s son at school after a particularly rough night of parental arguing about the drinking, when he can’t concentrate in class and is embarrassed by his schoolmate’s snicker when he fails to answer the teacher’s question. He’s fuming by recess and tracks his classmate down, punching him in the face. For that he’s sent to the office, only to have his parents called because he’s a behavioral problem – again.

Secondhand drinking is what happens to the college roommate whose Friday and Saturday nights are spent watching out for her best friend who always gets drunk – making sure she doesn’t wander off with some guy, wrestling her car keys from her under a barrage of expletives, and once again holding her hair while she pukes, between sobs of, “I’m so sorry….”

Secondhand drinking is real. It hurts. And it changes lives. The heartening news is that understanding its causes is helping people (especially family members and children) learn what it takes to protect their emotional and physical health, including protecting their brains from the consequences of secondhand drinking.  For more on what to do to prevent and your recover from Secondhand Drinking, please consider these articles: Secondhand Drinking Prevention http://www.breakingthecycles.com/blog/2013/02/23/secondhand-drinking-prevention/ and Protecting Yourself From Secondhand Drinking http://www.breakingthecycles.com/blog/2011/01/27/protecting-yourself-from-secondhand-drinkingbeingb/

For frequent updates on secondhand drinking and other substance misuse related issues, please follow Lisa Frederiksen’s blog at www.BreakingTheCycles.com or her Facebook Page, BreakingTheCyclescom <https://www.facebook.com/BreakingTheCyclescom&gt;

 


[1] Alcohol misuse refers to binge drinking, heavy social drinking, alcohol abuse and alcoholism. These drinking patterns cause brain changes – especially in areas of the brain responsible for judgment, memory, coordination, pleasure/reward and reasoning. Alcohol misuse drinking patterns begin with “At-risk” drinking, which NIAAA identifies with a single question: For women: How many times in the past year have you had 4 or more standard drinks in a day? For men: How many times in the past year have you had five or more standard drinks in a day?  

These brain changes cause drinking behaviors as described in the sidebar above. (See Image Showing Brain Changes at conclusion of this Summary.) For the person experiencing secondhand drinking, the label does not matter. It’s the drinking behaviors that are of concern.

[2] Untreated PTSD and other mental illnesses often “cause” a person to drink. The alcohol helps them self-medicate the symptoms of the mental illness because it works on the brain’s dopamine pleasure/reward pathways.

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