Category Archives: Employment

The Hero’s Journey

we are already found; already truly, entirely, messily, marvelously who we were born to be  ~  Anne Lamont

Real bravery is not an absence of fear; real bravery is pressing on to do the right thing even though you may be very afraid.  Real heroism is putting others first, even at your own peril.  Real gallantry is showing courageous behaviour, and especially politely protecting and cherishing all women ~ no matter what.

Our modern word Hero derives from the classical Greek and Latin word Hērōs meaning “protector” or “defender” or “to safeguard”.  A classical Hero is a warrior who lives and dies in the pursuit of honour.  In ancient legend, How Horatius Held the Bridge as in the poem by Thomas Babington, and the 300 at the pass of Thermopylae.  In modern times the first responders who went into the burning Twin Towers are rightly thought of as Heroes.

The journey of an individual towards selfless heroism follows a pattern, oft-repeated in myths, legends, history, by Hollywood.  A relatively ordinary man, (heroes are almost always men), with more than his fair share of flaws and character defects, is thrust unexpectedly into an extraordinary situation.  More often than not a group of innocent individuals are threatened with serious injury and death by some very evil people, or a malevolent force of nature.

This ordinary man is forced by circumstances, and probably against his will, to step up and save the potential victims from harm.  Usually there is a woman, a romantic interest, somewhere in the background.

It will turn out that this reluctant hero has an unexpected and previously unrevealed skill, ability, and strength of character which will allow him to face down the bad guys, and thus save the day.

Our hero will probably suffer greatly, and be badly injured during his journey into heroism ~ sometimes he may die.  Usually there won’t be a romantic reconciliation with the woman he loves ~ instead he will metaphorically ride off into the sunset, nursing uncomplaining his physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.

Hollywood has innumerable examples of this hero’s journey; High Noon, Die Hard, North by Northwest, Alien, (Ripley was a heroine), Star Wars, Shane, Valdez is Coming….  More importantly, this story is played out many times over in real life.  And yet, these stories almost never have a happy ending.

Some say that true happiness is to have no ambition, and yet to work like a horse as if you had every ambition.  And that it is to live apart from the cares of another, not need her, and yet still to love her.  All I know is that true happiness is being wherever you are, and whomsoever you truly are, and not let that scare you.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

it’s not the age honey,

it’s the mileage

 

Neuroplasticity

we are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think and believe

Neuroplasticity is the ability your brain has to rewire and restructure itself according to usage and needs.  The more we use certain parts of our brain, the stronger they get.  Conversely, the less we use certain parts of our brain the weaker they get.  So, if your brain spends a lot of its time being depressed, then the part of your brain / body that is depressed, that creates sadness, melancholy, and hopelessness in you, will become stronger and larger.  You will get better and better at being depressed.

Whereas, if you fill your life with joy, companionship, and happiness, then the part of your brain / body that deals with those things will become stronger and larger ~ you will become better and better at pleasure, satisfaction, and elation.

Weird, but that’s the way it really works.

If you learn a new and difficult skill, particularly one which involves both the mind and body; golf, tennis, touch typing, knitting, carpentry, learning to drive…..  then your brain will change, enlarge, and strengthen to allow you to get good at your chosen pastime or occupation.

Because of the power of neuroplasticity, you can, in fact, reframe your world and rewire your brain so that you are more objective.  You have the power to see things as they are so that you can respond thoughtfully, deliberately, and effectively to everything you experience.  ~  Elizabeth Thornton.

The really interesting part is that we can use neuroplasticity on purpose to create and reinforce a change in ourselves.  With each repetition of  thought or feeling we reinforce a particular set of neural pathways.  These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.  Neuroplasticity offers us the opportunity to make real and lasting psychological changes in the way our brain / body works.

There are a number of exercises we can use to enhance the interconnectedness of our neural pathways, and they are both intellectual and physical.  For example, regularly only using your ‘wrong’ hand promotes left / right brain connectedness, while reading a good, difficult, and stimulating book promotes the efficiency of the intellectual and memory parts of the brain.

The key is repetition and keeping on practicing until whatever it that you want becomes a habit and your normal way of life.  If you want to stop being jealous, then practice being tolerant, accepting, trusting and understanding.  As they say in AA; ‘fake it to make it’.

Some say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  And that once a sinner, always a sinner.  All I know is that the phenomenon of neuroplasticity allows us to be whoever and whatever we want to be.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can change and strengthen your brain / body so you could build anything

we are not all crazy

Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt

Due to a bout of insomnia I found myself listening to President Trump’ State of the Union address.  What an uninspiring speaker that man is.   Having said that, I am in no doubt that Mr. Trump will be re-elected for a second term in office.

One of his controversial standpoints concerns the building of a security wall / fence along the southern border of the USA with Mexico ~ to prevent illegal immigration, people smuggling, drugs and gun smuggling.  The Democrats / Liberal Left are especially incensed by this policy, as are the liberal left in the United Kingdom incredibly angry about our referendum’s requirement that immigration into the UK from Europe and elsewhere be immediately curbed.

There is no doubt that one of the main reasons the British people voted decisively in 2016 to leave the European Union was to drastically cut immigration of all kinds, illegal and otherwise.  This is not xenophobia, it’s common sense.  Other than very skilled individuals, where there is an immediate job waiting, immigrants offer nothing whatsoever to their new country.  In fact they are a net drain on scarce resources.  There is also compelling evidence that immigrants are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime.

Things were different before this modern technological era, and now that population pressure is a very serious issue.  In the past immigrants filled valuable roles in society, but today even ditch diggers have to be able to drive a back-hoe.

Theodore Roosevelt’s words are still applicable today.  When I travel to the Southern United States it’s noticeable how many people have Spanish as their first / only language.  In parts of England many Asian female immigrants cannot speak English.  It’s sad, but one cannot be a true member of society if you don’t routinely speak the language.  In this modern technological world, one cannot be a valuable member of society if you don’t speak English.

Some say that we should welcome ethnic diversity.  And that opposing unfettered immigration is racist.  All I know is that you’d have to be crazy to allow all and sundry to live in your home.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

immigrants do fill lots of roles in the hospitality industry.

 

The Inner Compass

You will find your true life path when your inner compass is steady.

Each of us has an inner compass deep within our subconscious mind, and this controls and regulates everything we do, each and every hour of every single day.  The snag is, sometimes our inner compass doesn’t point to the moral and ethical equivalent of North, and sometimes our inner compass just spins out of control.

We also have maps, models, and frameworks in our subconsciousness.  And these maps, models, and frameworks allow us to make sense of the world and our family, our partner, our work, and the all the rest of our environment.   These maps, models, and frameworks are what allows us to have any kind of a relationship with others because they help us to make sense of our body, our heart, our mind, and our spirit and intuition.  These maps, models, and frameworks are our inner world.  But, each of our inner maps are likely to be very inaccurate and incomplete, and have such helpful annotations such as; ‘Here Be Monsters’, and ‘Impassable Swamp’.  Our models and frameworks are often completely wrong too.

Our inner compass, and our maps, models and frameworks are most likely to be utterly and totally wrong when we are under intolerable stress, or have suffered from a recent, (or not so very recent), trauma.

Because we are the Captain of our own ship, trying to navigate our way through this complicated, complex, and dangerous sea of life, we need to put our maps, models, and frameworks in order, we need to find a guiding light ~ sometimes we just have to junk our existing picture of the world and life, starting again with clean sheets of paper.  We need to take our authority back to ourselves and ignore or reject all the authority that has been imposed upon us.  The patterns and authority imposed upon us is always negative and self-destructive.

We need to become the very best version of ourselves that we can, and take back our self-belief, self-confidence, and self-will.  We need to rediscover our truth and purpose, and we can never do that if we rely on outdated maps, inaccurate models, and broken frameworks.

In order to restore health and equilibrium to ourselves, to fix our broken compass, and to make new maps, models, and frameworks to help us make sense of the world we need to realise that much of what we are doing and have done falls into the realm of negativity and self-destruction.  In order to rebuild something better we need to junk the old negative ways of thinking and allow new and better into our lives.

This is easy.  This quest to become the best version of you that you can possibly be, the way to becoming the true Captain of your own ship, will just require you to work at it for every waking hour for the rest of your life.  Regaining control of your inner compass, your maps, models, and frameworks will be a never-ending story.

Some say that self-improvement and self-development books, podcasts, videos, conferences, and retreats are a waste of time.  And, some say that there is nothing at all wrong with them and the way the react to the world.  All I know is that the harder and longer I try, the better I become.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

hold true to a better Goddess

hold true to a cleaner and more positive sea

grasp your own future

Dreams do not have deadlines nor commitments…..

Hardly anyone is really in control of their own life.  This is doubly true if you happen to be an ‘average person’, who has a job, mortgage, and normal financial commitments ~ face it you have to turn up for work every day, whether you like it or not.  Add in a family, who undoubtedly will have expectations of you, and your time is not hardly ever your own.  (And, I wasn’t even thinking about the ‘average person’ who is married with children.)

The ‘average person’ can’t really have dreams and desires, unless their dreams and desires happen to fit in with what others expect of you.

Just supposing you want to take a year off, buy an old school bus, turn into a camper van, and see as much of backroads America / Europe, as you possibly can in that year.  What do you think your partner / family / friends / employer / neighbours are going to say about that?

I’ll tell you that the likelihood is that their views and words will range from incredulity to negativity, to downright hostility.  That is if you are an ‘average person’ living a ‘normal life’.  Ergo, to protect yourself you would probably not ever have that kind of empowering dream and desire.

Instead your mind will be filled with things such as; ‘what can I do about my partner / sister / brother…..?’ or ‘how can I afford to pay my bills’, or ‘how can I get a better job?’ or ‘what can I have for lunch / dinner / supper?’

None of us can do anything about our past, except reframe the way we think about it.

Most ‘normal’ and ‘average’ people can do very little about what’s happening to them in the present.  The chances are that, for them, today will be pretty much like yesterday.  If they have to work for a living the chances are that any working day will be exactly like the working day before.  Even their thoughts and conversations will have a mind-numbing repetitious banality.

However, and this is fucking damned important, we can all do something about our futures.

NOBODY has to settle for the status quo.  If there is something or someone in your life that’s sucking the life out of you, then get rid of it / them.  If your marriage is crap / abusive / boring, then get out of it.  If your job is horrible and badly paid, then leave and get another job ~ there’s nothing like being out of work to put a real edge on job hunting.

There is only one problem ~ most people will never leave their ‘comfort zone’.  If that’s you, then it’s time you grew up and grasped your own future with both hands ~ carpe diem.

As for me?  I’m a really cool guy, living a great life.  I can do just about whatever I want, just about whenever I want ~ within my own pretty rigid code of ethics, and the fact that I don’t ever want to get arrested again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

That van was in Palm Springs

Life is an Illusion

There is no such thing as ultimate truth, truth is what we make it.

Why do you think the world is so complicated?  Why are our lives so difficult?  Why do we become addicted, angry, depressed, ill, stressed?  Why do we fall in and out of love?  Why do we love those who don’t love us?

If Einstein and other deep thinkers are to be believed, none of it is real anyway.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.  ~  Albert Einstein.

Einstein’s words reveal a deeper truth.  Everything we feel, see, hear, touch, and taste is within our own minds.  All of our innermost emotions and all of our truths exist only within our own minds.  Even the deepest emotions such as fear and love are created within us.  We actually have to learn to see and hear.  We have to learn to fear fire, snakes, lions, and abandonment.  We learn to love and we learn to hate somewhere before we are seven years of age, and then we spend the rest of our lives perfecting those emotions, up to the point that they can destroy us.

The deepest feelings we build within ourselves can destroy us, just as Dr. Frankenstein was destroyed by the monster he created.

There is a truism heard within 12-step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous;

Most folks are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.  ~  Abraham Lincoln, (allegedly).

Thus it follows that most folks can be just as addicted, angry, depressed, ill, stressed….. as they make up their minds to be.  For sure most people can be just as in love, or not in love as they really want to be.

But, and as Shakespeare said; ‘therein lies the rub’.  Reality is a habit, it’s what we accept, it’s what we’re used to, it’s what works for us right now.  So, if you’re an alcoholic it really is just a habit, albeit one that’s killing you, and something about that habit works for you right now.

Changing a deep-set habit is fucking damn difficult.  In fact your whole life is a set of deep-rooted habits, and changing all those really is fucking difficult.

But I’ve done it.  I changed my whole life and all of my ways of thinking around by believing these few words I said to myself; ‘I am a really cool guy, living a great life.’

If you are prepared to do whatever it takes you can change your whole life, including what is true or false.

Your reality is what you make it

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the value of money is illusory

cash has no real intrinsic value other than that which we give it

 

Vacation Introspection

If you do what you always did, then you’ll get what you always got.

As I don’t need to earn a living these days, some may say that my whole life is just one long vacation.  Actually it doesn’t quite work like that ~ when I’m at home in the garret my time seems to be filled with lots of ordinary and everyday stuff.  Whereas, now I’m here holidaying on Lanzerote I seem to have much more time to just sit in the sunshine and let my thoughts drift where they will.

It seems that I needed to resolve some issues, to reject the things that have blocked me in the past; the people, the choices, the mistakes, the material possessions I thought were so important…..  It seems that I need to move away from the material world towards spiritual and emotional growth, and that I need to place less importance on relationships that do not, and perhaps never will, provide what I need and desire.

I need to awaken the strength within me, the spiritual self, the masculinity, ready to fight back against all the negative influences, the misleading promises, the illusions and delusions about what real happiness looks like for me.

There are some dreams and personal ambitions I want to fulfil, particularly in terms of interpersonal relationships, and particularly sexually.  I need to fully assert myself to reconnect with my own internal courage, fortitude, and drive.

This vacation has allowed me to see that I need to progress, for the physical desires I have allowed to be unfilled to really come to fruition, that it’s time to leave behind negative people and influences, even if those people have been very close to me in the past.

It’s time I told people exactly what is on my mind, and it’s time for me to take charge and stop shying away from speaking the truth of my innermost wants, needs, desires, and dreams.

Some say that you can get 80% of what you want for just 20% of the efforts you’ve been putting into a relationship.  And that if you give some people an inch they will take a mile.  All I know is that if people don’t like the truth they can live their lives without my help.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Lanzerote is pretty nice

Have a Dream

If you can dream, and not make dreams your master…..

The day that we stop wanting, needing, wishing, and dreaming is the day we stop walking the warrior’s path, and begin to take that long dark road towards disappointment, despair, and death.  I know some people who seem to have no dreams, and I know a few people who are living in a dark nightmare. People with no dreams often also seem to be hell-bent on self-destruction through drink, drugs, gambling, self-harm, unsafe casual sex, suicide attempts….. I can recognise those people because I used to be one of them.

Some say that being negative, depressed, filled with character defects, is a condition to be pitied and that we should try to understand without condemning or blaming.

You know what?  I don’t agree with that idea at all.  Unless Life has thrown at you some terrible calamity, like having to live in a war zone, then if you’re an addict, an alcoholic, a hopeless gambler, chain smoker, depressed, suicidal, and hell-bent on being unhappy on the road to self-destruction ~ it is mostly your own fault.

There seems to be something in the subconscious mind of most people that says; ‘if I am really suffering I will get attention and love…..’  This is understandable because when we were at our most impressionable, young and vulnerable, then if we were suffering we would most likely get extra attention and love from our parents / principal carers.  Angst and shelf-harming practices such as alcoholism are learned behaviours.

On the other side of the coin, if as a child we were always bright, happy, full of inventive play and dreams, then mostly our parents would leave us alone.  They would leave us alone except for their own horrible negativity when we told them of our dreams, and they said; ‘you can’t possibly do that…..’

Dreaming of doing bigger, better, more exciting and more adventurous things, of meeting the partner of our dreams, or dreaming of having a wonderful life, is often driven from our own subconscious mind by the things we were told as an innocent child.

I know all this because it all happened to me, up to and including until a few weeks ago, when I had one of those revelatory moments we sometimes have in life, and I realised I could dream, and make my dreams come true.

So don’t give up on your dreams.  Don’t think you are a hopeless case.  You can be who you want to be and do whatever you want to do ~ stop believing that you’re trapped, and start wishing and dreaming again.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I’m dreaming of sunshine this Christmas

Being Emotionally Intelligent

Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it. ~ Charles R. Swindoll.

I wanted to share with you something I learned on a four-day retreat in the high desert of New Mexico.

When we just react, mostly we react unconsciously, without thinking about things at all.  That isn’t at all surprising because for 90% of the time our subconscious mind is running the show, meaning that our consciousness is only in charge for 10% of the time.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, because our unconscious mind never forgets anything.  Therefore, when we just react, our subconscious is using behaviours that we learned before we were about seven years of age.  All the negative stuff we learned from our parents, older siblings, teachers, and other adults is deep down in there, and it will come out when we least want it too.

When you feel threatened, judgemental, jealous, envious, angry….. you will probably react in ways you learned as a child.  It’s not you that’s having an argument with your husband / lover / boss, it’s the 7-year-old child arguing, using negative behaviours you learned before you knew any better.  It’s worse than that, because it seems that our subconscious mind has very little self-control.

Our subconsciousness / unconscious mind, which runs the show for 90% of the time, is really a pretty stupid, non-selective, totally emotional, feminine autopilot, (that’s not sexist ~ the conscious mind has mostly male characteristics and subconscious mostly female).  The subconscious will accept ideas as truth, no matter how negative or destructive, and never fails to express ideas that have been impressed upon it.  It’s our subconscious that will let us drink too much, use drugs, have casual sex…..

But, and here’s the good thing, our conscious, objective male mind can dominate our subconscious mind, if only we truly know what we need and desire  We also have to learn to talk to our subconscious and knowingly impress feelings onto that part of our brain.

If you can meditate, then you’re half way there.  If you know how to achieve heart ~ brain harmony, then you’re just about all the way there.  Talk to your heart and your words and feelings will reach your subconsciousness.  But, use very simple, positive and unambiguous phrases.  Don’t say; ‘I want to be a really charismatic guy…..’  because your subconscious mind will accept the thought that you want to be, and do nothing about that thought / feeling.  Instead say to your heart; ‘I am a really charismatic guy…..’ and suddenly you are charismatic.

I turned my whole life around by saying and believing; ‘I am a really cool guy, living a really great life…..’

Honestly, our subconscious has a very emotional and unintelligent way of controlling our lives, mostly by reacting without there being any conscious or selective thought in the process.  Therefore, to have an emotionally intelligent subconscious, we must first turn to our consciousness and impress its intelligence upon our inner mind.

There are a hell of a lot of books and stuff on the internet about all this, so the thing to bear in mind is to keep things simple, because 90% of our minds is quite stupid really.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe

Desire is the history that drives the engine…..

In Albuquerque I went to see an old railway locomotive being restored by a bunch of unpaid enthusiasts ~ older and interesting guys.

It turned out that the massive 450 ton engine ran on the AT & SF, and how cool is that?

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

go to New Mexico and see this

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