The Turning Point Theft Program
The Turning Point Theft Program is a course I was ordered to take by the court. I later attended this course live as Mr. Turner presented it locally. While it was much better live, with drama, props and magic tricks, the written course effectively speaks to those who find themselves compulsively stealing. Mr. Turner has graciously allowed me to offer his course on this site with the following instructions and conditions.
- The course is free to print out and read, and you do so voluntarily.
- A certificate of completion will be provided to those who email Mr. Turner the answers to the questions to be graded and pay a $50 fee. (I do not receive any financial benefit from the $50 fee.)
- If you require a certificate, Mr. Turner guarantees that The Turning Point course will change your life – or it’s free.
- This course is offered live in Tulsa, OK; Muskogee OK; Rogers, AR; Springdale, AR; Bentonville, AR; Van Buren, AR; Florence, Alabama, Framingham, Mass.
- If you are court-ordered to take a theft course, it is your responsibility to make sure this course will be approved by the court. This course has been accepted by several courts in satisfaction of sentencing, but it is not guaranteed to be accepted in your court case.
- The Turning Point Theft Program is copyrighted by Russell Turner, and offered the Help for Shoplifters site with written permission from the author.
- You may contact Russell Turner directly at:
The Turning Point Theft Program
READ THIS PAGE FIRST
To complete this course, you must write a 300 word (or more) essay that answers the 20 questions below. You will find all answers by reading the outline following the questions. The answers are in the same order as the questions. Keep notes as you read the outline recording the answers when you find them. Note that some questions have more than one part. Type up your essay and save it to your documents so you can return it to me to be graded. If you miss many questions you will be required to do it again. Be sure to save your essay to your computer so you can print it off when approved as you must turn in a copy to the court or probation officer. You may return it as an email attachment.
You must also fill in the blanks to the 3 story questions found in the outline. Return these as well.
Payment must be sent to me to get a certificate. Mail it in a money order at least a week before you need to have your certificate turned in. I have two mailing address so you must call me to know which one to send it to. My Phone number is: 805/895/4198.
Let me know if you have any questions. Now read below the questions to be answered in the essay.
Do not make up your own answers; they must all come from the outline.
- What is the relationship between my thinking and my behavior?
- Thoughts can be compared to? ________ (A metaphorical comparison)
- What are the four stages of ‘theft thinking’?
- How can I control my inappropriate thoughts? (4 ways)
- (Answer all 4 questions) What is external punishment? What is internal punishment. Which is more effective? Why is it more effective?
- What is meant by a ‘license’ to steal?
- What was one of my unconscious license & subconscious license?
- What is a ‘trigger’? Give 2 examples of triggers. (These do not have to come from the outline)
- Why is it wrong to steal?
- What am I really taking from others when I steal? (you must also explain your answer)
- Who is the victim when I steal from a business? (you must also explain your answer)
- (2 questions) What is cognitive dissonance? What is cognitive consonance? (answers must come from outline)
- Complete this quotation by Gandhi. “Happiness is when…………..
14 What is it that I and everyone else wants more than money or stuff?
(other than happiness)
- What 5 things must I do to gain new hope for my life?
16 What is the ‘secret’ to loving myself?
- How can I undo the wrong I committed against myself and society. (3 actions I can take)
- What life values are necessary for a successful society? (name 3) (answer must come from outline)
- Where can I find the truth keys that will set me free from the trap I got myself in?
- What changes can I make to insure my life is more fulfilled. (Get your answers from the Lifewheel Evaluation after you complete it)
I invite you to visit my website with videos of a live class:
TURNING POINT THEFT PROGRAM OUTLINE
copyrights by Russell Turner
Opening: Did you know that in some parts of India and China, people eat monkey’s brains. That doesn’t sound very appetizing does it? They prefer to eat them fresh so they capture the monkeys alive and keep them in a cage until immediately before they kill them. But do you know how they catch them? With a monkey trap. The trap is nothing but an empty coconut that has a two inch hole on one side and a rope threaded through a smaller hole on the other side. The rope has a knot in the end so it is secured to the coconut. The other end of the rope is tied to a tree in the area where monkeys live. They lay the coconut on the ground and put a peanut inside it. The curious monkey sees the coconut and the peanut inside and reaches in to take it. But when he closes his fist, he cannot get his hand out of the coconut as it is too big to fit through the opening. All he would have to do is release his grip on the peanut and he would be free, but rather than let go of the peanut, he loses his freedom and ultimately his life. Pretty stupid monkeys aren’t they?
But as stupid as that is, haven’t you been doing the same thing? Haven’t you been holding on to other people’s things; and so you too are losing the most important part of your human existence- your own dignity, self-respect, honor, your freedom- even your own life? If so, maybe you should ask yourself: How am I any smarter than the trapped monkey?
You are here reading this because of your past. I am here because of your future; because I have the key to set you free from the trap you have gotten yourself in. This key is called ‘truth.’ The scripture says, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Vernon Howard said, “Whatever the world has done to you, the truth will undo.”
But what exactly is ‘truth?’ It is what will always be right or it will always be wrong.
So for you to be able to discover this truth key, you will have to be truthful. Not just with me- but especially yourself. Will you promise me that as you read this, you will be honest with yourself – even if it is difficult? Good, I promise you that I will be honest with you too. Also, as you read this, will you think about the realities in your life and face them? Buddha said: “All human unhappiness comes from not facing reality.” If you will promise me that you will face the realities in your life, I promise to leave you feeling a whole lot better about your life and happy with yourself. Can we agree on that? Good.
First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Russell Turner, the author of this Turning Point ‘correspondence’ course. I graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelors degree in sociology and worked for 32 years as a probation officer. I am now retired and teach this class in several locations. I am also a part-time magician and enjoy ‘bambooseling’ audiences. I am married and have 4 children; two of them are in heaven.
Perhaps you think I’m your teacher; I’m not. As Galileo once said, “No man can teach another man anything, you can only help him to discover the truth within himself”. So, I’d rather call myself an ‘assistant truth discoverer’. I am here though to reveal truths; but it will be up to you to discover them and apply them to your own life. And the fact is: “We discover truth much more from our failures than our successes; he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.” Benjamin Disraeli said that. Are you ready to make some discoveries?
Let me warn you though- taking this course may affect your life. Hundreds of others have told me that it changed their life. Here is an email I received yesterday from Bryce.
“I wanted to say thank you for the materials and the opportunity to take this class. I truly believe they have made a major change in my life and I plan to put the past behind me and move forward with my life in a positive direction. You have really made a difference in my life”
But my goal here is not just to empower you to stop stealing- but to empower you to have the best life that you possibly can. Here is another letter I received recently:
“Thank you so much for this class. It made me a completely different person and I’ve never felt happier in my life. I know if I hadn’t taken this class I’d be in the same position I was years from now. I never had a thought of quitting weed or going to school before the class but now, I flushed all my weed and I am going to go somewhere with my life because of you. Thank you so much.” Jen
Are you ready for a new life? Good! But if you read this just trying to find the answers to the questions, you will not get the whole truth that will set you free. Be sure to read it all. Perhaps the best way is to read it through and then read it again to find the answers.
I would like to begin this course the same way a preacher began his sermon one Sunday morning at a mental institution. He stood and asked the philosophical question, “Why are we all here?” A guy in the back stood up and said, “because we are not all there.” lol
So why are you here reading this course? Maybe you would answer, “Because I realize that I don’t want to live the life of a thief.” Or maybe a judge or probation officer told you to take this class. Then I would ask, “but why?” You may answer: for shoplifting, or felony theft, possession of stolen property, embezzlement or forgery (or whatever stealing crime you committed) but the next question I’d ask is; “why did you do that?” After you answer that question, I would ask, “And why did you do that; and that? By asking the ‘why’ question, we seek the source of your behavior- just as we would seek the source of a river- follow it upstream until we find where all the water is coming from.
I can tell you how it all began; but before I do that, let me make something clear. You were not destined to be a thief! You were destined to be great; and it’s not too late; in fact, you are on your way there right now. Did you ever imagine that you could be a great person? You can. Did you ever wish that you could re-live your life- get a “do-over?” Well, I have good news- you can. Its because of what today is. Do you know what today is? Its a special day. It is the first day of the rest of your life. That means regardless of the past, today can be your ‘turning point.’
- But first lets go back in time a bit and ask: “But how did your theft behavior begin?”
It all began with a thought!
James Allen said, “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the total sum of his thoughts. As the plant springs from and could not be without the seed, so every act of man springs from hidden seeds of thought and could not have appeared without them”. Imagine 2 seeds, one corn, one poison ivy; compare the end result of planting
both in soil. The seed is your thoughts; the soil is your mind. You could plant a million poison ivy seed and never get one corn stalk out of it- and you could have a million negative thoughts and never get one positive result from it. It is because there is DNA in the seed- and there is “DNA” in your thoughts to determine what they will become too. So we can say that our thoughts can be compared to seed and our mind is the soil or dirt that the seeds are planted in. The Book of Proverbs written by the wisest of men, Solomon says: “YOU SHALL REAP WHAT YOU SOW.” As you won’t ever get a corn stalk by planting a poison ivy seed, you won’t ever get something right or good out of thinking something wrong or bad.
You are reading this now because of doing something you thought about first. Thinking is a mental preparation for action. Sometimes when I ask people why they stole, they say, “I just wasn’t thinking”. But you are never “not thinking”. Go ahead- right now- stop reading this and try not to think of anything for 5 seconds. ………. 1-2-3-4-5. See, you couldn’t do it- you were thinking about not thinking. Your brain is like a TV that you can’t turn off- but you can do what…………….. that’s right- change the channel. So, keep your ‘remote’ handy- you will need it. You will need it because the “negative channel” will pop up at any time.
Obviously thoughts can be positive or negative. And whether positive or negative, there is power in your thoughts. I recommend you read the book, “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Obviously you are not here for positive thinking are you? You are here for the opposite of positive which is of course “negative.” But we will call it what it is:“theft thinking.” Did you know that the more you think about doing something, the more likely you are to do it? Yes, it all began when a thought popped into your head. Maybe it was after you heard of someone else stealing and getting away with it. We will call it “Daydreaming the Dirty Deed” It’s the first stage of theft thinking. Below are some examples.
- Eric works at a hamburger chain store at the cash register. He often wonders if anyone would know if he slipped a couple of bucks into his pocket. But, he doesn’t do it.
- Jennifer is shopping and finds some pants she really likes. She doesn’t have enough to buy them. She thinks she could try them on and wear them out of the store but she decides to wait till payday and come back to pay for them.
In each example, there was no act of theft- so what’s wrong with Daydreaming the Dirty Deed? – its only thoughts?
Daydreaming the Dirty Deed increases the likelihood of stealing by “desensitizing” your reluctance to do something wrong. When you first think of doing something that you know is wrong, there is that voice inside that speaks up loudly to remind you and says: “Hey, you know that is wrong; don’t think about it.” Now, if you didn’t heed that voice, it will speak again but in a softer voice and say: “You know you shouldn’t do that.” If you didn’t heed that voice it will quietly say: “You are about to screw up.” Now if you didn’t heed that voice it will speak one last time and say: “……………………………………..!” That’s right, you won’t hear it at all- because you became desensitized. It was the voice of your conscience. Madam de Stael said: “The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it, yet it is so clear it is unmistakable.”
To understand this process of becoming desensitized, read the following story and answer the questions.
Fred the Frog
A biologist wanted to study the level of thinking of a frog. So he obtained a live frog who he named Fred. He placed Fred into a shallow pan of cool water and observed that Fred appeared content, not wishing to change his circumstances. Then he took Fred out of the pan and heated the water to 150 degrees. He dropped Fred into the water and observed that Fred immediately jumped out, apparently being uncomfortable with the temperature of the water. To be sure, he allowed the water to cool to room temperature and placed Fred back into the pan of water. Again Fred appeared content remaining in the water. This time he placed the pan of water containing Fred onto the stove and turned on the heat. The biologist watched to see what Fred would do. The water slowly became hotter and hotter but at 150 degrees, Fred didn’t move. Soon the temperature of the water reached boiling point but Fred still hadn’t moved. Fred was now “dead Fred.”
Does it seem strange that Fred would remain in the water when heated slowly but he jumped out when suddenly dropped into the hot water? _____________
Does that prove that Fred was a stupid frog? _____________Why or why not?__________________________________________________________________
Why did he jump out the first time when the water was 150 degrees?_______________________________________________________________________
Why did he not jump out when the water heated slowly?_______________________________________________________________________
Do humans sometimes act the same as Fred?___________ Did you ever get yourself in ‘hot water’ and remain until it was too late?____________
Was there a point at which you knew you were about to ‘get burned’ and you thought about getting out but you didn’t? _________What was that point?________________________________________________________________
Why didn’t you get out?_______________________________________________
Has there ever been a time when you made the right decision and removed yourself from a situation that was likely to cause trouble?____________ Why were you able to do so then?_______________________________________
__________________________________________ How did you feel about yourself afterward?____________________________________________________
Explain the following quotation: “Of all thoughts which enter into the mind of man, second thoughts are the best.”____________________________
While reading Fred’s response, maybe you were thinking, ‘well, the stupid frog, why didn’t he jump out the second time?’ But the human mind is not so far removed from our lowly friend, Fred. We too allow ourselves to remain in threatening situations that we know we should remove ourselves from. But little by little we stay involved by continuing to think about it until the damage is done, never deciding its time to say “no” or go. Continually entertaining negative thoughts will finally convince you it is OK. This is what is meant by being ‘desensitized’. Sooner or later you will start thinking: “Well, if I did it, how would I do it so I don’t get caught.”
To reduce your chances of getting caught, you entered the second stage of theft thinking- it’s called”-
- Developing the Dirty Deed. You didn’t want to get caught so you Developed the Dirty Deed.
Four examples- if you do any of the following, you are Developing the Dirty Deed. (These are not the four stages of theft thinking)
- The scan- looking for employees, mirrors or cameras or to see if anyone is watching you.
- Concealment- thinking about how to hide the item. Will it fit in your pocket or purse- or the back of your truck?
- Timing- waiting for the right moment when no employees or others are close. Developing the Dirty Deed is not necessarily a well thought out plan; it may be very spontaneous.
- Escape- how to get out of the store or area.
- Deciding the Dirty Deed. The third stage – when you’ve convinced yourself you won’t get caught. You can still change your mind but if you go any further it will be too late.
- Then comes the fourth stage- Doing the Dirty Deed. Now there is a chance you will be ‘nabbed.’ But what is the point to talk about your thoughts? It is so that the next time you are in a store or thinking of stealing, and you catch yourself thinking about cameras or where to hide something, an alarm should go off in your mind saying: “Developing the dirty deed – developing the dirty deed” – then change your thoughts before your thoughts change you!!!!
- 4 methods to control your theft thoughts- before they become an action- and control you.
- Name it to Tame it- Just as we name a child when it is born, we name the thoughts (of theft) when they are born in our mind. What is a good name for these Automatic Negative Thoughts? If we made an acronym- a word using the first letter of each of those 3 words- what word would we get? Of course, it would be “ant.” So, we must exterminate the ants. We must stop, say to our self, “self, you are doing that Daydreaming the Dirty Deed stuff.”
- Exterminate to Terminate- Change the channel of your thoughts almost like changing the channel of your TV. Pretend you have a remote control, aim it at your head and click. Get off the negative channel and get on a positive one. Arrest your thoughts before you get arrested.
- Pop it to Stop it- wear a rubber band on your wrist. You can “pop” yourself at each negative thought to punish the thought. This too raises awareness. Now if it also raises a whelp on your arm, then you know you have a problem. I know a man who lost 100 pounds with this technique. This was by avoiding thoughts of inappropriate eating. Does this technique work? I received a note from a former student as follows:
“Thanks for having this class- I now have a whole new outlook on
life. I do still have some urges, but I’m using the rubber band you showed us and its working.” Anna
- Realize and Visualize- At the point of realizing the negative thoughts, imagine a big stop sign popping up in front of your face. Or as one students said she does, picture yourself being handcuffed or standing in front of the judge again. Visualize where these thoughts are going to take you if you keep thinking them.
- Lets now talk about punishment. That is what happens when you’ve done it and got caught. But, will it correct your behavior? There are two kinds of punishment. First we will discuss-
- External Punishment- That is anything that a judge can do to you. What did the judge impose on you? (fines, jail, community service, probation) What did it cost you? Do you believe that external punishment is effective and will stop you from doing it again? To be effective, punishment must be two things- both immediate and certain.
Like the child who was told not to touch the hot stove, but he did. Immediately he felt pain- and he knew it was certain that if he touched it again, he would experience pain again. That is effective punishment.
Was it certain that you would get caught? No- it was not- if so, you would not have tried it. Was your punishment immediate? Obviously not. How much time went by between being caught and being punished in court? So, can you now see that the criminal justice system cannot offer effective punishment because it is neither immediate or certain?
Maybe you stole before; but didn’t get caught; so you did it again. Now that you were caught, will you do it again? Is your punishment enough to stop you?
This course comes with a “guarantee” which is: “If the only reason you have not stolen recently is the fear of external punishment, then you will eventually do it again” The reason being that your theft thinking will convince you that this time there will be no external punishment because you won’t get caught. But sooner or later you will; and the next time the penalty will be worse. Albert Einstein said: “If we do right only because we fear external punishment, we are a sorry lot.” As a parole officer, I have heard parolees who had been locked up for many years adamantly state they will not go back to prison- but what do statistics reveal? Why do those same people go back? Because external punishment was not enough to stop their criminal thoughts. So, I hate to tell you this but all you have been through- getting arrested, going to court, paying fines and doing community service may not be enough to stop you from stealing again. That is because sooner or later you will be in a situation in which you are sure you won’t get caught. What will stop you then? So I hope you are asking yourself: “If external punishment is not enough to stop me- what is?”
- The answer is- Internal Punishment- which is self punishment. What is that? It is an ill feeling, a discomfort of the soul at the thought of doing what you know yourself is wrong. It is feeling ashamed because of violating yourself. Did you feel ashamed of yourself after the first time you stole; if not I say, “shame on you, you should have.” If you did, then be proud of your shame- for it is your soul’s way of trying to pull you back into line with your own value system. You must be sensitive to that inner voice and internal punishment system that is trying to keep you away from trouble. Read what Karen, one of my former students wrote:
“I knew it was wrong to steal and now that I got caught, I am
so ashamed. It is hard when you have to face your sin, but I’m now thankful that I did get caught. Now I’m dealing with what I made light of in the past. Thanks for helping me to see the truth in my life.”
Karen was glad to get caught rather than continuing to experience internal punishment: shame. Were you ashamed when you got caught? But what about when you were stealing before you got caught; were you ashamed of yourself then? If not I say again, “Shame on you.” Someone said: “He who hath no shame, hath no honor.” Doing nothing to rid your life of shame and continuing to live with it is associated with depression, anxiety and aggression. Dr. Brune Brown says: “If you don’t claim your shame; it will claim you.”
- Internal punishment is more effective because it is immediate and certain. But, if you have been stealing for a while without getting caught, you may no longer feel any shame or regret. If so, it is because you’ve become desensitized- just like Fred the Frog did in the hot water.
- The difference in a thief and non-thief is that a thief will not self punish the thought of stealing, a non thief will.
- So we can now say that one of the reasons that you are here reading this is that you allowed your internal punishment system to get too weak. When your internal punishment system gets too weak- an external punishment system must do what you didn’t do- that is: punish you because you didn’t punish yourself. Which way had you rather be punished in the future? By yourself before you screw up or by a judicial court system after you got caught?…………….. I totally agree. So, the way to keep the police and courts out of your life is to be sensitive to your own internal voice and follow what it is saying.
- But, before we go any further- let me ask you a basic question. Is it wrong to steal? If you think so, stand up. Go ahead- just stand up- and sit back down. If you stood, do you know what you just did? You stood up for what is right. I commend you for that. So, you know it is wrong now but did you know it was wrong when you committed the act? You did, didn’t you? So, that tells us that you violated not only society’s law but whose law? (looking for the truth here)……………….. Did I hear you say, “My own law?” That’s right- your own law. It is hard to admit that we violated our self, but you just did so I commend you for that too. Dr. Phil says, “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.” But you just acknowledged it- so now what can you do? (I’m waiting for your answer) That’s it- change it. Well, I’m proud of you- we are getting somewhere already!
- Do you know when you first learned that it was wrong to steal? Actually, you learned that as a child. Read what Robert Fulgham wrote:
“Most of what I needed to know in life I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom came not in graduate school but there in the sandbox. These are the things I learned. Share everything, play fair, don’t hit people, say you are sorry when you hurt someone, clean up your own mess, put things back where you found them, don’t take things that aren’t yours. Think some and draw some and sing and dance and play and work everyday- and when you go out, hold hands and stick together.”
Wow! So if we would all just do what we learned in kindergarten, wouldn’t the world be a nice place to live? Truthfully, do you think these are rules everyone should live by? Of course! If you would just do those things, you wouldn’t need to finish reading this. But, you may be wondering: “So if I knew it was wrong why did I not experience enough internal punishment (shame) to stop me from doing it?” Why did I violate not only society’s law, but my own law- that is; my own moral/value system?
- Before we answer that, lets make sure you know what morals/values are. They are the ‘rights and wrongs,’the ‘do’s and the dont’s’ that we all live our lives by.
Elvis Presley said: “Values are like fingerprints, everyone’s is different and we leave them all over everything we do.” Yes, everything we do is affected by our morals and values. But do other people sometimes violate their own values or are you the only one who ever did that? Read what one offender said in a public statement:
“I am the only one to blame; because I stopped living by my core values that I was taught to believe in. I’ve had time to think about it and my failure has made me to look at myself in a way that I never wanted to before.”
You likely know the person who said these words on national TV- Tiger Woods. He said them after he got caught in his “sexcapade.” But what about you? Are you here too because you stopped living by your core values that you were taught to believe in? Remember- you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Hopefully this course will make you think about yourself in a way that you didn’t want to before too, and face the truth in your life. Remember, the truth is your key to freedom.
So, keep facing and embracing reality and the truth in your life as you think about the issues presented here; even if you don’t like what you see. Yes, you must admit that you are here because of violating your own core values. Core means ‘inner’ doesn’t it. Buddha said: “
All human unhappiness comes from not facing reality.” Can you face the realities in your life as you read through this course?
- Another ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius said, “He who knows what is right to do but doesn’t do it has lost his courage.” Your courage is your power. Are you here because you’ve experienced a ‘power outage’ in your soul? This course is designed to help you get your power back on- get your courage back.
- Speaking of losing courage, I am reminded of the summer my wife and I took her 3 nieces to Universal Studios Theme Park near Las Angeles. The oldest of the 3 is Alina. She was 10 years old at the time. She is a feisty little girl; so when we got to the park, she proclaimed that she was going to ride all the rides and do everything they had to do. But about noon, we came to a haunted house. I said, “Alina, I don’t think you want to go into that haunted house, do you?” She said, “Of course I will.” But her little sisters didn’t want to so she went by herself. We told her we would wait for her to come out on the other side. When Alina came out she was shaking and crying. She came to hold onto my wife and looked up with tears in her eyes and said, “I don’t want to ride anything else.” She had lost her courage. I said, “That’s okay Alina; let’s just go get a sandwich. We sat down at a park bench and ate lunch for about 30 minutes. After Alina finished her sandwich, I looked at her; her eyes were darting around. I saw her take deep breath and clench her fist. Suddenly, she stood up off that bench and thrust both fist in the air and said, “I got my courage back; I’m ready to go ride the log ride.”
You will need courage all through your life. You will need courage to say ‘no’ when everyone else is saying ‘yes.’ You will need courage to stand up for what is right- even if you are standing alone; courage to step outside of your comfort zone; courage to overcome adversities in your life; courage to become the great person you really want to be; courage to live by your own values- and not let others influence you to follow theirs. You are going to need your courage to get rid of your fears; your fear of rejection by your so-called friends. I say never fear rejection from others- only fear that you may reject yourself. You need to get rid of the fear of dying. I say never fear dying- only fear that you may never live. You are going to need to get your courage back to live an exciting life; to go ride the log ride.
If we could have turned on the lights in that haunted house while Alina was in there, she would have seen the truth. These are not real monsters; they are just people with scary mask on. That is not blood; it is just red paint. She would not have been afraid anymore. I’m guessing that you have been through some pretty dark and scary circumstances in your life. Maybe these life circumstances have caused you to lose your courage too. But if you will get your courage back; you can turn the power back on and see reality and you don’t have to fear anymore either.
- Facing the truth will also help you to get rid of excuses and the thinking errors that are causing some bad choices you’ve been making. Let’s talk more about thinking errors- they are just mistakes in your thoughts.
- There are three kinds of thinking errors. One is verbal. Like little Timmy who went to school for the first day of his life. He came home and his mom asked him what he had learned. He said, “We learned to salute the flag.” The mother responded and asked him to recite it. He stood up straight, put his hand on his heart and said, “I led the pigeons to the flag.” Why did he say that? Because he had never heard of the word ‘pledge’ or ‘allegiance’ so he could only hear words that he already knew.
- Another type of thinking error is a visual one. This is apparent in the illusions that we magicians create. In my live classes, I show a small scarf with a picture of a cute rabbit on it. I named him ‘Hank’ but you may call him by his nickname which is ‘chief.’ So you can call him ‘handkerchief.’ lol (Get it- hank or chief) I roll up my sleeves and tuck him into my left hand. I squeeze and slowly open my hand and Hank is gone. I show both hands empty. Did Hank actually vanish into oblivion? It looks like it but of course not- he went somewhere. Of course I won’t tell you where. There is something I know that you don’t
know and I won’t tell.
- But the thinking error that brought you here was a values thinking error. You were thinking that “my needs and wants are more important than anyone else’s.” Why did you think that? Because when you were born, you were the center of the universe. All you had to do was cry and a nice lady came and took care of your every need and want. You began to believe you were pretty special. But go look in the mirror- you don’t see a baby do you? By now you should have learned that you are not the only bird in the nest, you are not the only fish in the sea, you are not the only duck on the pond. That’s right- others have needs and desires that are just as important as yours, and you don’t have a right to take advantage of others for your selfish gain. So let’s be honest here- let’s face reality- the main reason you are sitting here reading this is that you have been selfish. Can you agree with me on that? …..Good- you are keeping our agreement to be truthful. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge- but since you acknowledged it, what can you do? ……………….That’s right, change it. Atta-boy (girl)
Maybe now you realize that it all began with your ‘stinkin-thinkin.’ We will call a thinking error; a ‘license’. So, the reason you stole; and violated your own morals was that you had a license to steal.
Thinking errors occur as a result of negative emotional influences in our life. Some may be from recent emotions; some are in our subconscious mind from the distant past. Basicly, we believe what we want to believe and justify it with our thinking; which may be in error.
Will Rogers said: “It ain’t what you don’t know that hurts you, its what you do know that just ain’t so”.
Anais Nin said: “We don’t see things in life as they are, we see them as we are.” It’s like the guy who went to a psychiatrist to be analyzed. The ‘doc’ gave him an ink blot test and the guy was to say the first word that came to his mind as he looked at 3 different ink blots. After each one he said, “sex.” The doc said, “Fellow you are easy to diagnose. You are obsessed with sex.” The guy spoke up and said, “I can’t believe that you said that about me Doc, you are the one with all these dirty pictures.” lol……………………….Since we are selfish, we tend to see things the way we want to see them for our selfish benefit or according to negative emotional issues in our life.
Sometimes there are things we don’t know- and sometimes there are things that we don’t know that we don’t know. These unknowns and emotional influences are the basis for thinking errors. These thinking errors develop into excuses; excuses for doing what we shouldn’t do.
- So, back to that question above: Why do we sometimes do things which are against our self- against our own values? It is because we have an excuse – which remember, we will call a “license.” Its an example of a thinking error.
A license is what gives you the “right” to do what you otherwise could not do- like a driver’s license allows you to drive. But a license to steal is really just an invalid excuse, a pardon, an entitlement at the time, a perceived right. Read what Tiger Woods said about his “license.”
“I knew it was wrong but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply to me; I thought I was entitled.”
Of course “normal rules” do apply, Mr. Woods. And your excuse too, like Tiger’s, was an invalid excuse, because it was a thinking error; a misconception of reality. Like optical illusions or a magician’s illusion to the eyes, thinking errors deceive the mind; deceiving one’s judgment of right and wrong; which is your moral-value system that is there to keep you on the right course.
But realize that if you have been stealing for a while, you no longer need an excuse or license; you do it out of habit. So to comprehend your own license, go back to the first time or two that you stole. What were you saying back to that voice that was telling you not to do it? Bear in mind that it was not that you wanted it or needed it – everyone wanted or needed what they stole. Neither was it that you thought you wouldn’t get caught- everyone thinks they won’t. So, go past those thoughts to discover your excuse at the time.
You see, you heard that inner voice telling you it was wrong but you said back to the voice, “Yeah, I know its wrong- but…………. and what ever you were telling yourself after the ‘but’ was your license. So, let me be honest with you again; another reason you are here is because you had a big ‘BUT.’ lol………………
The reason you need to know what your license was/is, is so that you won’t use it again. There are two types of license.
- Unconscious license
All are invalid. Try to identify your own license- you may have one or more; a combination of many.
If you stole from a store, one of your excuses was the same as the guy who said, “I don’t steal from people, I only steal from stores.” In his, and your mind at the time, you both were thinking, “This is a multi-million dollar company, I am not going to bankrupt the company if I take an item worth only 20 bucks.” You didn’t say these words- but you thought them on an unconscious level, didn’t you?
The second most common excuse for stealing is like Karen said: “Hey look, I am not the only one who ever took something.” Do you see how these words are expressing an excuse for her behavior? She was really saying, “If others are doing it, it can’t be so bad if I do it.” So, let me ask you, “Is it okay to steal or is it any less wrong if lots of others are doing it?” Of course not. You were not aware of your thoughts at the time because they were in your unconscious mind. But I just brought them into your conscious mind so you can be aware of them.
Below, you will find ten examples of unconscious license. Read these so you fully understand unconscious license.
The top 10 unconscious invalid excuses
- I don’t steal from people- I only steal from stores. (as if stores are not people)
- It’s not like I am the only one whose ever taken something. (others do it too so it can’t be so bad)
- It was only lipstick (It was an inexpensive item- it won’t bankrupt the store)
- I was unemployed at the time. (as if everything is free when you have no job or have a particular need)
- My friends were doing it and they wanted me to do it too. (peer pressure)
- It was my first time. (as if everyone is allowed one screw-up)
Stuff is too expensive anyway. (I’m just getting back what I was owed)
- The item I took was going to be a gift. (see, I’m not so selfish)
- I had already spent a lot in that store. (so I should be entitled to a ‘freeby.’)
- It was my birthday. (today, I am special so I deserve something special)
Another common reason is the one expressed by a former student, “I just steal for the thrill.” What does that tell you about someone’s
life who must steal to get a thrill? I’m guessing that you were getting some thrill from it too- right? Actually it is no big deal to get away with stealing- it is too easy. So I don’t get how stealing is a thrill. Would you get a thrill out of reaching into your cabinet and taking down a glass to get a drink? That is about how easy shoplifting is. Save your thrills for bungee jumping or roller coasters- but shoplifting???
Actually, stores could catch every shoplifter if they wanted to- all they have to do is put 15 employees at the door to check everyone’s items with a receipt. Why do they not do that? How would they pay those 15 people, and what would that do to the prices in the store? So, they are showing you trust and respect to try to keep the prices low, but what are you doing when you steal? Yes, you are betraying their trust and saying with your actions: “You’d better hire those 15 people, I am going to try to steal your stuff.”
Then there is another type of license which we will call:
- Subconscious license- These are excuses that lie beneath your level of awareness. ‘Sub’ means below- so these are excuses that are below your conscious level. These are a result of a subconscious attitude that life has not been fair to you or that life has taken from you which gives you the “right” to take from others. This may be a result of resentment of feeling that “the system is unfair” or physical abuse, or feeling unloved, or at the frustration of succeeding or any emotional trauma in your life. These license are not voiced, (or even realized) but are an excuse for some.
Following is a list of life traumas that can become a subconscious excuse. The more trauma you have, the more likely it will become used as a license- an excuse.
- Divorce of parents
- Being abused: (Physical, Emotional, Sexual)
- Feeling unloved by one or both parents
- Death of parent or sibling
- Parent(s) was/were drug addicted or alcoholic
- From a very poor family
- Racial prejudice
- Anything a person had to suffer for that was not their fault
I learned about subconscious excuses from a book. You may enjoy reading the book, ‘Why Honest People Shoplift or Commit Other Acts of Theft’ by Psychiatrist William Cupchik. This book is a compilation of true stories of people who began stealing after experiencing emotional trauma. Here is an example from the book.
Laura is now 42 years old. She has been stealing since the age of fourteen. The trauma in her life was that her father abandoned her the day she was born. When she was 14 she found out who her father was and where he lived. She went to visit him and knocked on his door. A little boy came to the door and asked, “Who are you and what do you want?” She replied, “I want to see my father.” The little boy left, came back shortly and said, “He doesn’t want to see you!” and slammed the door in her face. The next day, Laura began shoplifting and she has been doing so at every stressful point in her life..
Now read this story which will help you to determine if you have a subconscious license to steal.
THE DONKEY IN THE WELL
Once there was a farmer who owned a donkey who was old and blind. The farmer knew that the donkey was worthless but just couldn’t bring himself to get rid of him. One day the donkey fell into an abandoned dry well. The farmer could think of no way to get him out so he decided to just bury the donkey and fill up the well. So he hauled wheelbarrow load after load and dumped it into the well. After 30 loads, the farmer looked in the well to see how much more dirt he needed. Low and behold; the donkey was on top of the dirt shaking his tail. The farmer wondered how that was possible so the next time he dumped a load of dirt in the well, he watched to see what happened. The dirt fell on the donkey’s head and back, but he just shook it off and he stepped up on the dirt at his feet. On the 50th load what do you think happened?____________________________ That’s right; the donkey was at the top of the well and walked away unscathed.
What would have happened if the donkey had given up and not shaken off the dirt and not stepped up each time?_________________________________________________
Have you ever felt like the donkey must have felt; that life has dumped a lot of ‘stuff’ on you that was enough to ‘get rid of you’? _______ If so, choose from the following list of ‘stuff’: (place an x by all that apply and count how many you have experienced. Place that number here________)
Divorce of parents (your own or parents while you were at home)___ Physically abused by either parent____ Sexually or emotionally abused_____Verbally abused (yelled at with harsh words____ Absent parent___ Death of parent or close relative____ (count each death separately) Felt unloved by either parent_____ (count as 2 if felt unloved by both parents) Unstable home life_____ Drug/alcohol abuse by either parent_____ (count as 2 if by both parents) Physical disability_____ Learning disability____ Raised in a poor family_____ Other_____(serious long term health issues, was raped, pregnancy out of wedlock, raised in foster home, filed bankruptcy, house fire, loss of a business etc.)
Have you been able to shake all of these off so they have not hindered your life; or are there some that continue to ‘weigh you down’ today? __________________Which are most difficult to ‘shake off’ _______________________________________________________________________
Is it possible that you are using the above life trauma as a subconscious excuse (or justification) for feeling that life has taken from you; so you have a right to “take back”?_______ why or why not?___________________________________________
How can you put the past trauma in the past and focus on the future?______________________________________________________________________
What will it be like to make it to the top of the well?_______________________________________________________________________
Do you honestly believe you can?____Why?________________________________________________________________________
Does that mean that if you have emotional trauma in your life you
will become a thief, drug addict or prostitute or thug? Well, while the prisons and probation caseloads are full of people looking for excuses, the history books are full of people looking for opportunities. Which one are you looking for? You will find whichever you are looking for. Oprah Winfrey is an example among many others who could have used the emotional trauma in her life as an excuse but instead used it to succeed. So what determines which one (excuses or opportunities) a person with trauma looks for? I think I have the answer- its in this poem.
One boat sails east- another sails west- by the very same wind that blows
Tis the set of the sail, not the gale, that tells which way she goes.
One man succeeds, another man fails, as they face the toils of life.
Tis the set of the soul that determines the goal- not the storm nor the strife.
Did you know a boat can sail against the wind- its possible by setting the sails at an angle. The boat travels at a 45 degree angle into the wind. Then, the sails are adjusted at the opposite angle and the boat sails at the opposite angle. So in a zig-zag fashion, the boat finally reaches a distant shore. Maybe you are sailing against the winds of adversity in your life. You may be working on a degree from the ‘university of adversity’, but you can use that degree to reach your destination in life. Yes, it will be more difficult for you than others, and yes it may take you longer to make the adjustments necessary to overcome the adversity. However, if you focus on the positives, and not look for excuses, you will be extremely proud of yourself when you have overcome the struggles of your life.
Dolly Parton said: “You can’t stop the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”
What did I say in the poem that determines the goal? Yes, it was the “set of the soul.” But what exactly is “the set of the soul” you ask. I’m glad you asked.
- In the room or house you are in is a box on the wall that has a dial with numbers. The purpose of that box is to control the comfort level of the rooms. It has a setting that allows you to do that. What is that box called? That’s right, a thermostat. Did you know that you also have a thermostat in your soul? You have a control setting for the comfort level of your life; its called ‘the set of the soul’. Now re-read the last line of the poem above.
Is your life full of storm and strife? Is it uncomfortable? Maybe you are in your easy chair at home bundled in a quilt thinking, “it is cold in here, I should get up and turn up the heat. But if I do, I’ll have to step outside of my………….. ………… (you guessed it) ‘comfort zone’, and when I change the setting of the thermostat, I’ll have a higher electric bill.” Yes, it always cost you something to be more comfortable; and it always requires some adjustments on your part, but no one who ever achieved anything ever said, it wasn’t worth it. And you too will say it was worth it. Just don’t look for excuses- only look for…………………… (thats right) opportunities- you will find whichever one you are looking for. So if you are not comfortable with your life- whose fault might it be? (looking for honesty,
remember) Did I hear you say “my own fault?” You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge but you just did so what can you do? …………… That’s right change it. I commend you on the way you are facing the truth in your life. Remember its the truth that will… … …….!
Have you yet realized that life is not fair? Accept that fact! And accept that there is NO VALID EXCUSE for stealing; conscious, unconscious or subconscious.
Note: You may be inspired by reading “Invictus” by William Henley. It was inspirational to Oprah as a child. Google this poem, read it and ask yourself: “Who is the captain of my soul?”
- Now let’s talk about triggers. What are ‘triggers?’
Very often, stuff happens that will “ruin your day.” Maybe your car wouldn’t start in the morning or it broke down on the way to work- or you got a speeding ticket- or you got blamed for something that went wrong at work- or you got a call at work that your kid is throwing up at school or someone backed into your car in a parking lot and they didn’t leave a note, your girl/boyfriend cheated on you. Any negative emotional issue can ‘trigger’ or cause you to start thinking negatively and may cause you to re-offend. So, when these things happen, maybe you should avoid going in a store; just send someone else to get what you need- because you are more likely to screw up when experiencing a trigger.
- We will now discuss one of the most important parts of this class. Earlier I asked you if it was wrong to steal. I recall you saying, “yes.” But why is it wrong? (Think of your answer before reading further) Maybe you are thinking, “because its against the law”. But was it wrong before they passed the law? Yes, it was already wrong”. If you thought, “because you are taking something that doesn’t belong to you,” I’d say, “that is a good definition of stealing but that does not tell us why its wrong.” If you said, “because God said it was wrong or the Bible says it is wrong,” I’d say, “You are referring to the ten commandments. Let’s say you lived a week before God gave the ten commandments. You have two oxen and someone stole them in the night; anything wrong with it that day? Yes, it was already wrong before God said: “Thou shalt not steal!” That’s why He said it; that’s why they passed the law. So we are back to the question, why?”
It makes sense that you would steal; you did your theft thinking and convinced yourself you wouldn’t get caught, you had your license- your excuse- in hand and now I’m finding out that you don’t know why it is wrong. Have you given up on getting the right answer? Okay- I’ll tell you. The reason why it is wrong to steal is: “because it hurts people” Never forget that. Read the note that Cynthia, one of my students sent me in the mail.
“I never really thought about how I was hurting people until one day my little five year old daughter and I were ridding our bikes in the neighborhood. She just got a new bike for her birthday and she was so proud of it because it didn’t have training wheels. We parked our bikes in the garage to go in the house to get a drink. When we came back, my little girl’s bike was gone. The look on her face broke my heart. That’s when I realized how I had been hurting others too. Thanks for this class.”
- Do you know what you are really taking from others when you steal?
Imagine a personal item such as jewelry that you bought with money you earned. How much did you pay and how much did you earn per hour at the time? Then calculate how many hours of your life you worked to get it; how many hours did you trade for the item. When you were working; you could have been sleeping or fishing, but you wanted the item so you were willing to trade your time for money and your money for the item. So, the item represents x amount of time of your life. Imagine taking off the ring or watch and leaving it on a public bathroom sink as you washed your hands. You forget to get it as you leave, so you go back to get it, but when you get there, it’s gone. What did someone take from you that cannot be replaced? That’s right- your time- a part of your life. The item is replaceable but that x number of hours to earn it are
gone like smoke in the wind- you have nothing to show for that part of your life. So, ‘stuff’ in a store actually represents people’s time- from the designer to the creator to the manufacturer to the seller. That is what you are actually taking when you steal- their time or a part of their life. We all trade our time for money and our money for stuff. What is it called if someone took all of your life? Yes, it’s called murder. Its murder if they take it all, if they take part of your life it’s called stealing. Can you see now why stealing is a serious crime?
One of my students told me that if he had thought of it that way, he
would never have stolen.
- What about other forms of theft?
Like switching price tags, sneaking into a movie, returning used merchandise for a refund, such as borrowing money or property and not returning it, moving out of a house owing rent, buying stolen property, selling stolen property, not paying off a bad check, misrepresenting an item for sale, filing a false insurance claim or false workman’s compensation. What about stealing from where you work? That adds to the price of products and services too.
What about stealing property which is insured; who loses? That is another common license- that no one was hurt. Insurance premiums-which we all pay- are based on losses. So the victim may get paid for his loss but he and others have to pay more for insurance coverage in the future.
- If you don’t know who was hurt or how they were hurt- you don’t understand the hurt. But this course is being presented to help you
realize that every theft is always accompanied by a victim-someone who suffered. Never forget, Stealing hurts people. But, do you care if you hurt others? (give your honest answer) Two percent of the male population and one percent of females are what is called,“sociopathic.” That means that they do not care if they hurt others. If you are sociopathic, and don’t care, you may as well stop reading this course- and go fishing- you will get nothing from it. So, stop reading
now and ask yourself, “Do I care if I hurt others or not?”………. Now if you do care, stand up. Go ahead, don’t be lazy…………… Did you stand? If so, guess what? You just stood up for what is right. I’m proud of you- that makes twice you’ve stood up for what is right. So, then, you are one of the majority who does care; that’s good. I thought so.
How does stealing hurt others? Stealing hurts in 2 ways
- Have you had something stolen from you? How did it make you feel? It was an emotional hurt wasn’t it. Did you ever lose something of sentimental value? So why would you not care to inflict that emotion on others? That emotion is like a combination of being mad and sad and it makes you feel bad.
- To help you understand financial hurt, let me first ask you a question. If you steal from a store, who is the victim? ( choose from these multiple choice answers) The owner, the employees, the manufacturer or the stockholders? Did I hear you say, “All of the above?” Nice try- but the correct answer is; None of the above. Okay- so it was a trick question. Here’s why you are not hurting those four. The employees get their same paycheck on Friday- the stock prices are unaffected, the manufacturer just sells more stuff to the store; but what about the owner? Why are you not hurting him? Lets find out.
Imagine that you walk into Wal-Mart and find a stereo on clearance sale for $100.00, including tax. You decide to buy it so you take it to the check out and lay down the money. The clerk says, “Yeah, I know it says $100.00 but we have a problem. This morning a lady came in and stole $10.00 worth of lip-stick. An employee saw her take it but she got out of the store before we could catch her- so the boss just told me that the next person in my line will have to pay for that lady’s lip-stick.” So, you are the next one in line and she is telling you that you must pay for that lady’s lipstick. In order for you to get the stereo you will have to pay not only $100.00 for the stereo, but $10.00 more for the lady’s lipstick so the total is now $110.00.
How would you respond? Go ahead- think of your response……..Go ahead, I’ll wait………. Oh, your not willing to pay ten more dollars huh? Is that because you think it is not right that you would have to pay for the other lady’s lipstick? (give your answer) Well guess what? I hate to tell you but- you already are. You are already paying for stuff that other people steal. That is because as much as 10% of the price you pay when you buy in retail stores is to pay for theft. So now tell me who are you hurting when you steal from a store? Who are the victims? The answer is: everyone who walks into the store including yourself; everyday people just like yourself; people like Brian and Tina Smith who are struggling on a minimum wage; or Martha Jones, an elderly lady on a social security income, college students like Jennifer Stewart, trying to pay their way through school. You would not steal your neighbor’s lawnmower while he is out of town, would you? But you are stealing from your neighbors if they are shopping at the store you stole from because they are paying up to 10% more to get what they must have. Stores must make a certain profit to stay in business; so they can only pass their losses on to other innocent customers. You would have to do the same thing if you had a business. That 10% could become much higher; do you want that? I don’t think you do.
- Now be sure to read this. You are about to experience an epiphany. (or an “ahaaa moment”) An epiphany is a sudden realization of a truth. (remember its the truth that will… … ….) When you read the above, did you respond that it would not be right that you would have to pay for the lady’s lipstick? I’m guessing that you did and I agree with you. So, if it is not right that you would have to pay for other people’s stuff that they stole- then what else is not right? (give your answer) Did I hear you say that it would not be right for others to have to pay for what I steal? If you said- or thought that, then you just had an epiphany and you are getting the point to this whole course, and let me shake your hand for that. But if you aren’t getting it, it may be because you have a double standard- that is- you are saying, “I don’t want anyone stealing from me, but it is okay for me to steal from others.” People with double standards are called what? I’ll give you a hint- it starts with an ‘h’. Are you one of these? Of course it is just as wrong for you to steal from others as it is for others to steal from you.
I must explain that the above scenario is of a large chain type store- you know like Wal-Mart, Penny’s, Target or Dilliards. But when you steal from a small “mom and pop” type store, you are hurting ‘all of the above.’ That is because they cannot afford to raise their prices as customers would no longer shop there and they would be forced out of business. One third of small business go bankrupt because of customer and employee theft. That hurts everyone when that happens.
- So, by now, do you see that to avoid being a hypocrite, that you must treat others the way you want to be treated? What is that beginning to sound like when we say ‘treat others as I would like to be treated?’ Have you heard of the ‘golden rule?” What does it say? Lets say it together: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Do you think that is a good rule for others to live by? You do, huh? But is it also a good rule for you to live by? (give your answer- but think about it first because I will hold you accountable for your answer later) In fact, if you really think it is a good rule for you to live by, stand up again. Go ahead, I’m waiting……………….If you stood- congratulations- do you know what you just did? That’s right- you stood up for what is right again. That’s the third time already. Yes, you are on your way to a better life.
Did you know that every major religion teaches a form of the golden rule? Jesus said, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them likewise.” The Hindu religions says, “This is the sum of duty, wish for others what you wish for yourself.”
But talk is cheap- we will soon find out if you are actually willing to live by that simple rule that you said was good not only for others but yourself..
- How would the world be different if everyone lived by this rule? Think of how society would be different. Would we need policemen, or jails or courts or security systems, locks on our doors or this course? Of course not. Would everything be less expensive? Of course. Did you know that crime in America is costing every man, woman, boy and girl $4 thousand dollars per year? And 35$ million per day is being shoplifted from stores in America; and it is increasing at the rate of one million per day annually. Someone has to pay for it. Yes, innocent people are having to pay more for what they buy; along with everyone else.
But think about a world in which everyone lived by the golden rule.
What would that be like? Would that be a world that you would want to live in? Of course. So, if that would be a world you would like to live in, what is your responsibility to help create that world? Stop and think about your answer to this question; I’m sure you know what it is.
Gandhi said: “Be the change we would like to see in the world.”
Can you start being the change you would like to see? But don’t be like the guy in one of my prison classes who asked, “Why should I live by the golden rule, since other people aren’t going to.” So, if we all wait for others to do what is right before we do what is right- what will happen. Nothing will happen and we will continue living in a selfish world where it is every man for himself.
- Psychologist have a name for that screwed up feeling one gets when they treat others differently than they would like to be treated; or when a person knows something is wrong but continues doing it anyway. Its called “cognitive dissonance.” It means that the cognitive part of you (the knowing) is dissonant (different) than your behavior. To put it simply; it is the conflict between your inside and outside; your inner man is your morals and values; your outer man is your behavior. So if you continue doing what you know is wrong, or you have been treating others in a way you would not want to be treated, guess what? You are experiencing that ‘screwed up’ feeling and you know it. It is a very uncomfortable feeling coming from your gut. You may try taking Pepto-Bismol to get rid of it but it won’t work because that ill feeling is not coming from your stomach, but from your soul. It is that feeling of shame and the thought of knowing you are not a genuine person. Since most people don’t know how to get rid of that ill feeling, they try to numb it. Could one reason why people (maybe you too) continue stealing for the thrill, start doing drugs/alcohol, smoke, have promiscuous sex, gamble, over eat, become “spendaholics” and do other self destructive behaviors, be that they/you are trying to cover up, numb or “drown out” that ill feeling of inner conflict of cognitive dissonance? Could that be another reason you are here? (Remember I asked you to be honest with yourself) If you have been involved in any of these behaviors, I’m going to ask you the same question that Dr. Phil often ask: “How is that working for you?”
What happens is that you will then experience more cognitive dissonance for these other self-destructive behaviors that you turned to as a way to try to relieve yourself of the first cognitive dissonance- so now you are caught in a vicious cycle. It can turn into a neurosis. Famous Psychologist Carl Jung said: “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering (the original cognitive dissonance) but the substitute ultimately becomes more painful than the legitimate suffering it was designed to avoid.”
So if you now realize that who you are on the inside- your morals- is not the same as the outside- your behavior- then you are living with cognitive dissonance. You have two choices to get rid of it. You can either change your morals and values to match your behavior or change your behavior to match your morals/values. Guess which is easier to change? You guessed it- your behavior! When you do live your life
according to your values, you will experience a peaceful life- it’s called “cognitive consonance.” Consonance means harmony. That’s when you will truly be happy with your life knowing you have nothing to hide as you are genuine.
- If I asked you what you want in life the most- in one word; I’m guessing that you would say: “happiness.” We all want to be happy in life; of course. Okay, I’ll tell you how. This is according to a brilliant man named Mohandas Gandhi. He said: “Happiness is when what you think, say and do are all the same.” Do you agree that those words makes a lot of sense?
So, if you agree with those words and you want to be happy, I must remind you of what you said earlier: that you think what Mr. Robert Fulgham said was true and how the world would be a better place to live if everyone lived by those simple rules. Remember, share everything, don’t hit people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, say you are sorry when you hurt someone, don’t take things that aren’t yours…… So, now that you think these are good rules to live by and you are said they are good rules to live by; what are you going to have to do in order to be happy? That’s right- do them.
You should memorize those few words- they can be powerful in your life. Think about it. Are your thoughts, words and actions all the same? If not, you will never be peaceful or happy because you will
always know that there is something “screwed up” about yourself. Your inside doesn’t match your outside- that is- your behavior does not match your morals. Or maybe your words don’t match your actions. You may have to face the fact that you are not a genuine person.
Now read this story and answer the questions.
DOUBLE RING CEREMONY
Nick fell in love with his girlfriend, Nicki; so he was ready to ‘pop the question’. Being confident, he first went shopping for a ring. He knew very little about jewelry so he went to Jared. He found a special gold ring with a large diamond and noticed that the price was $2000.00. Realizing that was more than he could afford, he looked at another store. There he found another ring that looked exactly like the $2000.00 ring but the tag on it read; $20.00. He was amazed and started to buy it, but out of curiosity he asked, “Why is this diamond ring only $20.00?” The lady explained it was because the ring was not diamond but cubic zirconium and was only gold plated, not solid gold.
Nick thought about it; in fact this ring was just as beautiful as the other expensive one. It’s the look that counts, he thought. Then he thought about Nicki and his genuine love for her. Suddenly he realized that his genuine love deserved a genuine ring; and he would not cheapen his love by offering her an imitation. So he went back to the first store and made a down payment to buy the one that he knew his bride would be most proud to wear. He also realized he would be most proud of himself for being genuine.
What does it mean for a person to be real and genuine?_______________________________________________________________________
What character traits and values do you notice in people who are to be respected for being genuine?_____________________________________________________________
Have you known others who lacked integrity and seemed fake?__________________
What revealed their true identity as one not to be trusted?_____________________________________________________________________
Have there been times in your life that you lacked integrity and hoped that an ‘outer image’ would hide what was really inside?________________
Were you able to fool yourself? Can you look back now and see that you were ‘just playing a game’ with others?________________________________
Compare the self-respect of a genuine and fake person.________________
Are you now able to be honest in your emotions and communications with others?__________ If not, what are your fears to do so?_______________________________________________________________________
What must you change now to be genuine?_________________________________
Did you know that what you did (that brought you here) was illegal when you committed the crime?_______________________________________________
Do you now know in your own mind that it was wrong?_____________________
Did you know that it was wrong the day you committed the crime?_________
Can you now admit that you violated not only society’s law but your own law (value system)? ___________________________________________________
How does that make you feel about yourself?_______________________________________________________________________
Does it make you feel like you are not genuine; that you would allow yourself to contradict or violate yourself?______________________________________________________________
How will you feel about yourself if you learn to be genuine? _________________________ How will you feel if you don’t?_______________
If your fiance gave you a wedding ring and you later found out it was not solid gold and it was a fake diamond, how would you feel? (Let’s say he/she earns $300.00 per week but spent only $25.00 on the fake ring?)________________________________________________________________
If your fiance gave you a wedding ring and you later found out he/she stole it or bought it at a discount for being stolen, how would you feel?_________________________________________________________________
What do these feelings tell you about what you really want in life?_______________________________________________________________________
Can you feel like a genuine person if you have one standard (how you expect others to treat you) and a different standard for what you think is Okay for you in how you treat others?________ Why or why not?_______________________________________________________________________
There was a story in the newspaper of an obviously genuine young man who worked at Wal-Mart as a cart pusher. One afternoon he was rounding up the carts when he noticed in the bottom of one of the carts a green bank bag. Out of curiosity he unzipped it and looked inside. He raised his eyebrows and zipped it back up. The next thing he did was to turn it into customer service; otherwise we wouldn’t even know this story.
Three days later a frantic man came in and asked, “Did anyone happen to find a green bank bag with $40.000 in it? The lady said, “We have it right here.”
If you are thinking, “Well the stupid young man, he could have had all that money,” then you are missing the whole point of this course. For that young man received something in exchange for turning in the money that was worth more than the $40.000 dollars. Do you know what he received? He received honor for himself; knowing that he did the right thing; the thing that he wished someone else would have done if he lost the money. If you are thinking that you had rather had the money than the honor- it means you don’t know what honor feels like. It is like no other feeling you can get out of life and its worth more than $40 thousand. This young man knows that he is a genuine person, the same on the outside as he is on the inside. He likes himself the way he is and
sleeps well at night being at peace with himself. He smiles when he looks in the mirror. He is happy because what he thinks, says and does are all the same. Remember ‘cognitive consonance?’
He had learned one of the real secrets of life; that maybe you don’t know yet. Earlier we talked about something called ‘internal punishment.’ There is also something called ‘internal reward.’ Its feeling like you have been a hero to yourself. That is when you give yourself a pat on the back for doing what is right. Someone said, “Virtue is its own reward.”
This young man also has integrity. Integrity is when you do the same
thing whether someone is watching you or not. The reporter asked him if he ever regrets giving back the money; do you know what he said? He said, “Not at all, for while I didn’t get the money, I got something that money can’t buy.” Even if he kept the money and spent it; he would not be proud of whatever he bought with it. It just wouldn’t have much meaning. There is no pride in possessing something that someone else worked for. And there is no feeling like the feeling of being proud of yourself for living by the golden rule.
So- finding $20.00 in the parking lot and keeping it, what have you got- only $20.00. Finding $40.000 and keeping it, only $40.000. Finding someone else’s money and doing the right thing and giving it back; “PRICELESS” Read what another student Gwen wrote in a note to me.
“This class has really opened my eyes and made me realize that there is a sense of pride in doing what is right and made me see that I need to change my life. Doing it the right way is the only way. Live better and feel better.”
- I want to prove to you that there is something you want more than money or stuff and to identify what that is. You are about to find out.
You may have stolen before and didn’t get caught. Remember those 3 underlined words. But what if you didn’t get caught this time- would you have kept stealing? And what if you could go throughout your whole life stealing but you still didn’t get caught– what would be the final result of that? Lets say you are old and on your deathbed looking back on your life; what would you see? You may see a houseful of stuff that you got free. You may have stole the car in the garage- but would you realize then that there was something you wanted more than that stuff? But then, it would be too late to get it. What is it that is more important to you than stuff or money? Lets answer that question with another metaphorical story.
- Imagine two scenarios. First, your football team is in the playoffs
and you are 4 points ahead. The other team has the ball and needs 10 yards to score a touchdown. There is 10 seconds left in the game. You are playing defensive right end. A wide receiver gets the ball and tries to squeeze across the goal line by running along the sideline. You see him coming and try to tackle him before he gets there. He sees you coming and he twist his body trying to slide past you, but he momentarily loses his balance and his right foot steps out of bounds. He saw it and you saw it but the ref did not see it. He didn’t get caught braking a rule of the game. His next step was into the end zone and the other team was declared the winner. How would you feel about that? (think of your response and remember it)
- Now the scenario is the same except now you are on offense and it’s your team needing to score a touchdown in the last 10 seconds. The quarterback decides he wants you to carry the ball with the plan to run down the sideline. You get the ball and pour it on but as you see a tackler bearing down upon, you twist your body but now you lost your balance. You see your right foot step over the side boundary by 4 inches. But the ref didn’t see it; you didn’t get caught and now your team is declared as winner. Its trophy time and they ask you to hold the trophy as the hero of the game. (imagine holding the trophy) Now as you stand there, what are you thinking? (remember your thoughts above when on defense) Are you thinking that you really didn’t win, and this trophy is really not so meaningful? A trophy is meant to place honor upon the receiver but it’s just a chunk of plastic if the honor is missing. So, “you can only win if you play by the rules.” (imagine turning the trophy around revealing the back side as burned and blackened as I do in my live classes) Yes, this is the way it looks to you because you know the truth; that you really don’t deserve it; so it lacks beauty, honor or meaning. You may receive the trophy but it’s the honor; and being proud of yourself that you really want more than the trophy.
- But we are not here to talk about football are we? We are here to talk about the game of……. (did I hear you say “life”) and life too has rules which are called……. (that’s right; “laws”) Laws are the same for us all and are there to keep us all on a level playing field. Without rules in a game- there would be no point and the game would be boring. And so it is the same in life- that’s what makes the game of life competitive and challenging and exciting. But did you know, in the game of life you are both the player and the ref- you know whether you are playing the game fairly or not and you know how much honor you deserve. And if you must lie, cheat or steal to win in the game of life, who are you hurting the most? That’s right- yourself. You are cheating yourself out of the thing you want most; what you want most in life is a sense of honor/pride for how you are living your life. So if you steal, you are actually stealing from…………….. Did I hear you say, “myself?” If so, you are facing the ugly truth in your life; but its the truth that will set you free.
Which would bring you the most personal honor in competing in sports – playing fairly, obeying the rules but coming in second, third or last place; or winning first place but knowing you had to cheat to win? Don’t you agree that even if you came in last place, that is more honorable than if you cheated to be first? That is the answer I’ve heard hundreds of times from students in my live classes.
And so you may never win in the game of life; you may never live in the biggest house on the hill or drive the nicest car or wear the coolest clothes, but you can be proud of yourself for knowing that you did your best and you did so without taking advantage of others. You
See, it’s not really an issue of whether you win or you lose, it’s a question of honor. These are not just my words but the words of a song sang by one of my favorite vocalist, Sara Brightman. The lyrics: “If you win or you lose, it’s a question of honor”. (Pull her up on YouTube and type in: “A Question of Honor.” You will enjoy hearing this beautiful song sang by a beautiful lady.)
Now if you are still not convinced, here is what the philosopher Sophocles said about it.
“BETTER TO FAIL WITH HONOR THAN TO SUCCEED BY FRAUD”
- An honorable life is a happy life. And speaking of happiness, let me tell you a story. It is about a king who was very rich but he was not happy. One morning he called for the royal psychiatrist and said, “I don’t understand it- I have the finest castle in the land, a throne made of gold and silver, my crown is laden with jewels; I even have the best royal chef who prepares the finest foods a man could eat. Yet, I am not happy. Can you tell me what I should do.” The royal psychiatrist thought a minute while scratching his head; then he spoke. “Oh King, you must find the happiest man in the kingdom and wear his shirt. So, the king called for a royal nobleman and sent him on a mission. The nobleman was given one month to search the land for the happiest man and report back at at noon with the man’s shirt. So, the nobleman set off on his journey. He went to the cities and to the country. He met with the rich and with the poor and on the 30th day he returned to the castle. At precisely 9am the nobleman approached the throne. The king asked, “So, Royal Nobleman, did you find the most happy man in my kingdom?” The nobleman responded, “Indeed, I did, Oh King. On the last day as I was returning home I looked into a field and saw a farmer planting corn. He was humming a song.” “Yes,” the king replied. And when I waived to him he stopped working and invited me in his home for tea.” “Yes,” the king said again. And then when I was leaving he gave me a loaf of bread wrapped in linen for my travels.” The king becoming anxious said,“Yes, sounds like a happy man for sure, but where is the shirt? Remember I told you to bring me his shirt.” The nobleman spoke, “Yes, Oh King, I remember; but the happiest man in your kingdom could not afford a shirt.”
The king bowed his head in silence; then the nobleman spoke again. “Oh, I almost forgot something. Before I departed from the farmer’s home, he handed me a note he had written. He asked me to give it to you to read” The nobleman reached toward the king with a folded piece of paper and the king accepted it. He unfolded it and read aloud these words: “Happiness comes not from what you can hold in your hand, but what you can hold in your heart.”
The king bowed his head in silence- wondering why that farmer would be so happy in spite of being so poor. Suddenly, he had an epiphany in realizing it was because the farmer was not a taker- he was a ………. you guessed it- a giver. And so in discovering the truth he lived happily ever after. And guess who else will live happily ever after if they discover that same truth?
What are the things you can hold in your heart? Memories? Love of others? Yes, but what about our “duty to beauty.” We can see beauty in nature, in art, in a poem, in a song, in the laughter of a child. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Behold beauty- it is waiting for you to discover it.
What about an attitude of gratitude? That means that you focus on what you are grateful for- not what you don’t have. You may not be rich but if you want to feel rich, think of all that you have that money can’t buy. The way Helen Kellar said it was:
“The best things in life are not things.”
That means that we are thankful for life and everything in it. Being thankful for life in America- “where at least I know I’m free.” Thanking God for every new day and thanking others for every small kindness. But not just saying ‘thanks’ but actually returning others’ kindness. Here is an example: my wife and I recently ate at a Chinese restaurant. After we ate, there were two kids playing behind the counter. I had several magic tricks in my pockets and did a 10 minute show for them. They laughed and had a good time. As we were leaving, their father handed me a business card and on the back he had written: ‘2 free meals with drinks.’ He did not just say “thanks” – he had an attitude of gratitude. We should all look for ways to repay others for their kindness. Actually, we will be the ones who benefit the most.
What about holding in our hearts the value of our values. Our values are like the steering wheel of a car that allows you to steer it where you want to go. Imagine buying a car that had all the bells and whistles but it had no steering wheel. Would you buy it anyway if you liked everything else about it. Of course not. But haven’t you been doing that? Could it be that your life is in a ditch because you have not been steering your own life in the right direction- or you have been “letting others drive your car?” Have you been basing your behavior on what others say and do? Even if you own a Rolls Royce, your own values are the most valuable thing you own; cherish them as precious to your life and let your own values steer your life.
Can you now see that if you just live your life with integrity; that is to do what you already know is right in your heart, that you will be happy and no longer need to turn to stuff that money can buy or drugs/alcohol, promiscuous sex or pornography, gambling, stealing for the thrill, overeating, smoking and other junk to feel great about your life? You will already feel great about your life because you have gotten rid of everything fake and hypocritical about your life- you are the same on the outside as the inside, what you do is the same as what you think and say. You are happy with yourself and so you don’t care what anyone else thinks about you. You can look in the mirror and smile because you love that person you see. You will no longer be a “yes-man” because what you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you. You are standing up for what is right- even though you are the only one standing. You are becoming proud of yourself- you are becoming REAL.
- Do we want this situation in America where innocent people are forced to have to pay for other people’s stuff that they stole? Is that justice? Is that liberty? Doesn’t our pledge to the flag still say, “With liberty and justice for all?” Being forced to do something you don’t want to do doesn’t feel like liberty or justice? And who are these people that are taking away America’s freedom? Are they enemy terrorist? No, they are selfish Americans! What is wrong with this picture?
Speaking of freedom; how did America become the free country that it is? Have you ever thought about it? That’s right- young Americans fought and died for it. And we are still fighting for it. Throughout history, we have had to fight for freedom because freedom isn’t free- it cost more than you will ever know. To gain our freedom from Great Britain, it cost us 25,000 young mens’ lives. In World War 1, it cost America 125,000 lives. In WW2 it cost 417,000 American lives- including my oldest brother who I never got to meet because a German bullet got him at the age of 19. Freedom isn’t free. The Korean War cost us another 39 thousand men. Another 58 thousand came home in boxes during the Vietnam War. Freedom isn’t free. In Iraq we lost almost 5000 young soldiers and and this time in the war, 250 of the boxes that came home from war had young ladies in them. Freedom is not free. How many thousand women and men have we already lost in Afghanistan? That’s a total of three quarters of a million Americans including some wars I left out. In most of these wars, America was standing up for what was right in behalf of the freedom of other weaker countries who could not defend themselves. Freedom is not free.
How many mother’s tears (including my own mother’s)have been shed to pay for freedom! Enough to fill a lake! These young men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice for you. The only sacrifice you are being asked to make is to do what is right. Is that asking too much? While these brave young Americans are paying for your freedom with their blood, is it asking too much for you just to pay with your money? While brave young soldiers are dying in foreign countries, back in America, selfish Americans are destroying this country faster than the enemy is. What is wrong with this picture? America is now fighting a war on terrorism- and every day young men and women are going off to war and coming home in flag draped boxes because they are willing to give their life for America; because they believe America is worth dying for. What about yours? Is your life worth dying for? Think about it.
You have not been asked to die for America- but do you know what you are being asked to do? Just live for America; just live your life without depriving others of their rights; and enjoy the freedoms that so many have given their lives for. No, freedom is not free- so why should anything else be free? Why do you think you should get something for nothing when others paid the ultimate price?
America needs more soldiers. But what we need is not more soldiers in Afghanistan, or anywhere else- we need more brave soldiers here in America who will defend America here and stand up for what is right. Are you so weak that you cannot even just say “NO” to doing what others are doing wrong?
Here is a question that you alone must answer: Are you defending America or offending America? This is a personal question that you must answer for yourself.
Now go to YouTube and type in ‘America the Beautiful’ and listen to these words.
“O, beautiful for heroes proved- in liberating strife. (which means war)
Who more than self their country loved- and mercy more than life. (they were totally unselfish) America- America. May God thy gold refine.
Till all success be nobleness- and every gain divine.” (Is your “success” noble & your “gains” divine?)
Another verse says: “Till selfish gain no longer stain- the banner of the free.” (the flag)
What about you? Has your “selfish gain” been staining the American flag?
Remember the famous words of John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Are you proud to be an American? Perhaps the real question is: “Is America proud of you?
- Sometimes in our life, we just need to stop and ask ourselves, “What is most important in my life anyway. So many people have thinking errors about what they really want most. In a materialistic society like ours, it is easy to believe that “stuff” is most important. In fact, I’d like to ask you, in one word, the thing I want most from my life is: (think of your word) Maybe you said, “happiness” or “success” or “peace” or “love” or even as one guy said, “money.” Do you know what your word reveals about you? It reveals what you don’t have. But I believe there is one word which includes all of the above. Let me explain what it is- with another metaphorical object lesson.
Imagine an upside down plastic drinking water bottle with the cap removed. It appears empty but it is full; full of air. It collapses when the air is sucked out of it. Imagine doing this. Why does it collapse- and don’t tell me because I sucked the air out? It’s due to a greater pressure on the outside than the inside. Sometimes our life “sucks” and we feel like that bottle looks; we feel “collapsed” and empty; like something is missing. Yes, something is missing; and I’ll tell you what it is soon.
But we are not here to talk about air pressure, are we? We are here to talk about the pressures of what? (Did I hear you say life?) We know that life is full of pressure. If you are a parent, you have pressures to meet your kids needs, if you are married, you have pressures to meet your spouses needs, if you are employed, you have pressure to do things the way the boss wants. And now that you have the court breathing down your neck, you have to do what they expect. And then there are the pressures of meeting your own physical, social and emotional needs. Sometimes life can have more pressure on the outside than it has on the inside, so we feel like this bottle looks. (Imagine seeing a crushed plastic bottle)
Remember that external pressure is negative and internal pressure is positive. This bottle is like your life, your soul, the real you, and no one can tolerate that empty lacking feeling, so we seek anything to occupy that empty space to avoid ‘soul collapse’. We try to ‘avoid a void.’ This explains why people turn to anything to try to get rid of that emptiness, that helpless, hopeless feeling; because if they don’t, they will end their life. Yes, suicide is caused by an emptiness that doesn’t get filled. One of my students confirmed that is how he felt when he slit his wrist six months earlier.
But what are some things that people do because of emptiness; things that are self-destructive? It is like- yes- stealing for the thrill, substance abuse, smoking, sexual promiscuity, pornography, gambling, spending binges, eating disorders, hoarding, becoming physically abusive, extreme plastic surgery etc. Have you been doing any of these things trying to get rid of your emptiness? If so, I’d like to ask you again: How has that been working for you? All of these are evidences of emptiness in ones soul. And what causes emptiness? It is caused by negative emotions that like an acid eat away at the soul. I’m talking about shame and guilt and depression and anger and jealousy and stress- and feeling cognitive dissonance. So what is the solution to the emptiness of the soul? What are we all seeking?
We all seek the opposite of emptiness which is to be “filled full”. These two words turned around give us the word “fulfilled.” That describes how we want our life to be. After consuming a big meal, our tummy is filled full and we lose the desire for more food which we usually love. Likewise when our soul is full we lose the desire for harmful “junk” behavior.
So the questions to ask yourself are: What does it take to be fulfilled and can my life ever be so fulfilled that I will lose all desire for the junk stuff in life? And what are the ingredients to a life that is complete, whole, without emptiness? Let’s answer that question now.
- There are 10 basic ingredients or needs to a fulfilled life. On a piece of paper, draw a wheel with 8 spokes and a hub; this is a “life wheel”. Draw a box to the right of the wheel and draw a “road of life” under the wheel with bumps and potholes. Life can be uncomfortable with problems/difficulties. These are the emotional traumas in your life that you will identify in the “Mule in the Well” story. (In the workbook pages) These bumps in life can damage your wheel to the point it won’t roll- so you are forced to stop. You must have a strong wheel to handle those bumps. How can we fix our life wheel and get back on the road? Have you ever had the experience of traveling down the road and the fuel pump went out or you were forced to the side of the road going nowhere. You may have the same feeling about your life; that it is going nowhere. It is when you feel this way that you are most likely to do something that only screws up your life more. You may get that “don’t give a damn” attitude that will get you into trouble every time. Life is being unfair to you so why should you be fair? You’ve been there and done that- right?
So, what are the needs and parts of our life wheel? The first 8 are the spokes, there is the hub in the middle and ‘goals’ is that box out in front of our wheel as our destination.
- Physical- your body is made of the stuff you put into that hole below your nose. We must value and take care of it – never putting toxic substances into it – just as you would not put dirt into the tank of your car. Shouldn’t your body be more important than your vehicle? What are you putting in your body? Junk food? Smoke? Chemicals? Even prescription drugs have harmful side effects. How many bodies do you get in life? Learn from a book about the 59 different nutrients that your body needs and give it to your body; otherwise its going to break down on you- and you will end up with health issues. Medical treatment is not cheap. If you are only putting junk food into your mouth; what will your body be made of?
- Mental-your mind- you use it for making decisions. Learn from past mistakes. Improve decision making by reading, listening, observing; taking more time to think before acting. Re-program your mind with good information from non-fiction books. Visit your library often.
I recommend you read the book by an “Okie from Muskogee” who is today a
multimillionaire. His name is Larry Winget. The book is: “Shut-up, Stop Whining and Get a Life.” You can buy this and other books cheaply from Amazon.com or Thriftbooks online. You can also listen to Larry on YouTube. You should listen to motivational speakers everyday. If you are a parent you must check out or buy a good book on parenting and read it.
- Emotions- control your emotions lest they control you. Seek activities that generate positive emotions, dispel negative ones. (helping others, walking, talking, sports, prayer, hobbies etc) Keeping an emotional journal has shown to help manage negative emotions too.
When you are experiencing a negative emotion, you must be especially careful of any decisions you make or even what you say. Let some time pass before responding to avoid regret. Remember, negative emotions are causing your emptiness in your soul.
- Social- re-evaluate your social influences to determine if you have some negative ones. If so, get rid of them and develop new positive ones. What do you want in your relationships- being a puppet for your so-called friends; or being respected? Respect yourself and expect respect from others. Just say, “No” when others try to get you to violate your own morals. If your friends are true, they will still be your friends. If not, good riddens!You need to know who your real friends are. Maybe you are just being used. Never fear rejection from others- only fear that you may reject yourself. Steve Jobs said, “Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
- Family- seek to bond more deeply with your family by spending time with them. Make apologies as needed for past failures. Swallow your pride and learn to say the magic words: “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” And be forgiving of others too. Honest communication is so important but learn to speak without anger but with kindness and wisdom! Don’t blame your parents when you make bad choices in life. J.K. Rowling said, “There is an expiration date on blaming your parents for your screw ups.” I think you have already passed that expiration date.
Realize that your parents have an excuse for not being such perfect parents. Its because their parents were not such perfect parents either- and on and on it goes. Also read books on how you can be a better parent yourself; otherwise, you will pass on your screw-ups to your kids. Don’t let your kids get their values from the TV. And if your kids ends up taking this class or on drugs or in jail or your 15 year old daughter ends up pregnant- it wont be their fault- and it won’t be the TV’s fault- it will be whose fault?…………..Still facing reality here aren’t you? Being a good parent is life’s greatest challenge.
- Financial- develop resources. Practice proper priorities with financial responsibility. Remember the “must haves”, the “should haves”, the “want to haves” Find purpose for your money other than satisfying immediate selfish goals. Open a savings account and add to it regularly. Don’t use credit cards unless you have good self control. Save more money for your future. I suggest you read the book: “You’re Broke Because You Want to Be.” Its also by Larry Winget.
- Sexual- fulfillment comes through intimacy. Intimacy is what we
want even more than sex. Sex alone will never create intimacy- it must begin with commitment and then be accompanied by kindness and sharing emotionally all day; not just in bed. Sex without a lifelong mutual commitment will only diminish your ability to experience future intimacy. Studies prove that couples who have the most satisfying sex are the ones who have been monogamous for 10 years or more.
Note to gals: Never think that letting a guy into your body is going to gain your entrance into his heart. Leave the sex out of the relationship to find out if he loves you, or just your body. The way guys look at it is: “Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk free?”
Note to guys: A woman will find you the sexiest when you are doing housework- ask any woman. Remember: “Sexual fulfillment begins not when she sinks into your arms but when your arms are into her sink” lol
- Recreational- finding fun and excitement from sports, a hobby, arts, music or creative activity that relieves stress. Review the list of activities in student packet, (or attached) and follow up with items checked. Turn your time into a talent. Boredom is emptiness, don’t let it happen. Find ways of getting a thrill out of life without violating your self- do things that make you proud, not ashamed. Look at the word “recreation.” It means to re-create- to restore the spirit in life. If you like something that gets your adrenaline flowing, try rappelling off the side of a cliff or exploring a cave or mountain climbing. These things are perfectly legal and do not take advantage of others.
- Goals – (the box out in front of the wheel) Consider past goals that may have become hidden by recent life circumstances that caused you to ‘lose sight’ of previous goals. Write down your goals and a strategy to achieve them. Be specific, be realistic and be flexible. Have both close range and long range goals. Without goals you are like the guy who was driving in circles in the parking lot; he was moving, he just wasn’t getting anywhere. Goals will get you out of bed every morning with a sense of purpose for your life. And you will be more excited just knowing you are getting closer to a goal.
- Spiritual (this in the hub of the life wheel) What does it mean to be spiritual? A French Rabbi said: “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey- we are spiritual beings on a human journey.” Is it possible that another reason you are “broke down on the side of the road” in life is that you have not been greasing the hub of your wheel; that is you have not been maintaining your spiritual life?
Spiritual relates to three four letter words: hope, love and help. These are things that have been missing in your life- right? Hope is absolutely essential in life; both a hope of eternal life; to see our loved ones again and a hope of a better life while on earth. One of the reasons you committed this dirty deed is that you lost hope for your life- so you decided to take a shortcut.
- How did you lose hope? It likely started when you were a child. Maybe you were shamed and blamed by others early in life. Maybe you tried and failed a few times. Let me tell you a metaphorical story that will help you understand this process. In India, elephants are used to remove unwanted trees and to lift heavy logs. But before they can be trained to do such hard work, they must be trained to believe that they
are powerless to get away from their masters. So as a baby elephant, one of their legs is tied with a rope to a stake driven in the ground. The little elephant soon learns that he is hopeless to try to get free. As an adult elephant, of course he is very strong and could easily pull the stake out of the ground or break the rope; but he has never unlearned what he learned early in life and so he is doomed to a hard life in captivity because he has given up trying to be free.
Are you like that elephant? Have you too met with resistance early in your life and today, you still believe that you are not free and not capable of achieving more? Tell your self right now: “I am now a big strong elephant and I can do better.” As Henry Ford said. “If you think
you can or you think you can’t, your right.” Remember the power of positive thinking that we discussed earlier? Take it to the next level and begin not just positive thinking but positive ‘picturing.’ That means that you get a mental image of yourself succeeding at whatever you wish to.
If nothing else, I hope to give you hope for your future life. And if you have a tomorrow, you have hope. Do you know what tomorrow is? It is the first day of the rest of your life. Regardless of your past, tomorrow is a brand new day, a chance for a new beginning in your life; to break free from the restrictions of the past. But you are the only one that can determine what your tomorrow holds. You are in the driver’s seat of your life. You can drive it in the ditch or you can drive to the top of a mountain.
To find new hope in your life- read these words: “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.” Does that make sense to you? I agree. Albert Einstein said something similar: “Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.”
So, if that makes sense, then what about this? “If you stop doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll stop getting what you’ve been getting.” Does that too make sense? Okay, what about this? “If you start doing what you haven’t been doing, you’ll start getting what you haven’t been getting.” Ta-daaa!!!There you go- you have found your starting point to get back your hope! You just need to do what? Start doing what you haven’t been doing. And what have you not been doing? I’ll tell you five things you haven’t been doing and you echo back and tell me what you are going to start doing….okay. Ready? First, you haven’t been living by the golden rule- have you? So what are you going to start doing? …………..Did you say ‘living by the golden rule?’ And you haven’t been respecting others, have you? So what must you start doing? …………. you haven’t even been respecting yourself, have you? So what must you start doing?………. You haven’t given up using lame excuses, have you? So what must you start doing?……….. You haven’t been thinking, saying and doing everything the same, have you? So, what must you start doing?…….If you will start doing these five things, I guarantee your life will become better and you will have new hope for your life. Yes, I promise it! I have had too many other students to tell me it worked for them. Yesterday, a young lady called me to tell me that her boyfriend wanted to tell me “thank you” for helping her to become the best she can be. A letter in the mail from another lady in Arkansas says: “I don’t have any temptations any more because I got rid of my excuses and I love my new self.”
- Speaking of love, another vital part of being spiritual is love. To be very honest with you, the number two reason you are in this trap is that you don’t love your self enough. Think about it- if you really loved yourself, would you have done something to make yourself suffer? And why do you not love yourself enough? The main reason is because of the number one reason you are in this trap. Remember what that was? Because you were selfish, right? Well, think about that……..would you love someone that was selfish; someone who often does things that
make you give up your time, energy and money; someone who goes against what you really believe in? Who is this person? Could it be that guy/gal whose image reflects back at you every day in the mirror?
So, what can you do about it? Can you go to the bathroom, look yourself in the mirror and say, “Self, I am going to start loving you more?” Yes you can, but do you know what will happen? Nothing will happen, because you must deserve your own love. Others must deserve your love- so must you deserve your own love. So, how can you deserve your own love? Well, its a process. Have you ever heard it said that until you love yourself, you can not love others? Well, I am here to tell you that just the opposite is true- you can not love yourself until you love others first. You must have a reason to love yourself just as you must have a reason to love others. What would be a good reason to love yourself? If you demonstrate love for others with acts of kindness and respect, then you will begin to see yourself differently. You will begin to see yourself as a good, worthy person who deserves respect and a good life. And never forget these next dozen words:
Your life will never rise any higher than you think you deserve! The things we say “yes” to in our life are the things we think we deserve in our life. But if you know you have treated others badly, you accept (or settle for) bad things in your life as what you think you deserve. Hear what a female student said in my class said:
“A lot of crap happens to me- but I accept it as repayment for all the crap that I’ve caused others.”
Plato said: “The soul will run eagerly to its judge.”
That is because we all seek justice. Justice means getting what is deserved; especially for our self; both good and bad justice. If you show respect to others, guess who else you will show respect to? If you show disrespect to others, guess who else you will show disrespect to? I guess you know the answers to these questions.
And so it should be clear that you will respect yourself at the same level as you respect others. If you think that you deserve a good life, (because you are a good person) you will begin being good to yourself by taking better care of your body, you will be more careful of how you spend your money, you will be more picky about who you hang out with, you will think before acting and make better choices in life, you will become closer with your family, you will have better control of your emotions, you will start having more real fun- even your sex life will improve. You will lose the desire for the “junk” in your life that is only screwing up your life. You will begin to feel like the words to the old song, “I am too sexy for this shirt, I am too sexy for this car, I am too sexy for these friends.” Yes- your self-respect will affect every area of your life. That is because you will live your life under the premise that good deserves good and bad deserves bad.
So we must jump start our self respect (which is the same as love for our self) by making a deliberate effort to show respect, consideration and love to others. But remember; love is not just something you feel or say; it is something you do. The third spiritual word is ‘help.’
It’s not a bell until you ring it
It’s not a song until you sing it.
It’s not love when it’s in your heart to stay.
It’s only love when you give it away.
Think of the last time you demonstrated love. Go ahead and think of a time you did something kind or loving to someone. It was when you helped someone expecting nothing in return, wasn’t it?. How did you feel about yourself? I asked this question in one of my classes. A young man said he stopped to help a family whose car had broke down on the side of the road. He was able to get them going again. I asked him how he felt watching them drive away. With a shy grin he said, “I felt that warm fuzzy feeling.” I asked him, “Did you then think, “Okay, I changed those people’s life; I think I’ll go down to Wal-Mart now and steal something.?” He laughed. Do you know why? It does sound kinda funny, doesn’t it? Because the thought of it was ridiculous. You know why it was ridiculous? Because he would not do that then. Do you know why he would not do that then? Because at that moment he loved himself, he felt fulfilled and he did not want to spoil that good feeling about himself.
And so- we have just discovered an important secret for a happy life. We just all need to drive around looking for stranded motorist. Well, I’m being both facetious and serious at the same time. Because in fact, the world is full of people who are broke down on the side of the road- figuratively if not literally. Look around- they are not hard to find. Just remember what George Bernard Shaw said:
“One of the most beautiful compensations in life is that the more you help others, the more you help yourself.”
In fact, here is my challenge to you. If you will find someone to do something for expecting nothing in return but a smile and a thank you- and if the thrill you get is not far better than whatever ‘thrill’ you were getting from stealing, you call me and tell me and I will reimburse every dollar you spent for this course in double. Yes, I get some calls alright. But they all tell me I was right- so I haven’t had to reimburse anyone yet. You try it yourself and see what happens.
Yes- I am asking you to go from “taking something for nothing” to “giving something for nothing.” The world is full of people in need. One of my students called saying she gave her whole paycheck to her grandparents who helped to raise her. Another lady bought some friends a weeks worth of groceries because they were unemployed. Another student volunteered to talk to lonely old people at a nursing home, a juvenile helped her elderly neighbor do house work and refused payment. Another lady bought a dress for a stranger- a little girl in the Dollar Store who was begging her mother for the dress but her mother kept saying, “I’m sorry honey, we can’t afford it.” It made the little girl’s day. But guess who else’s day was made? Yes the world is full of needy people. And as you meet others’ needs, guess what happens? That’s right – you meet your own need. Wow! That is a truth in life that you can count on. Do you see now that you had a thinking error? You were thinking that in order for me to be happy, I need to “get” but now you are learning that to be happy you must “give.” I know- it seems backwards- but again I say: “give it a try” and tell me if I was right or wrong. Winston Churchill said: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Soon, you will find The Lifewheel Evaluation which follows. Considering all of the above parts of your life, sit in a quiet room and be honest with yourself in evaluating your life as you score it. This will become a tool for you to use in identifying what is missing in your life so you can fulfill (fill full) your life.
But even if you have a very low score and your life is almost empty, remember you are in America. So stop looking for excuses and start looking for what? Remember: Opportunities.
- There are four ways to undo the wrong you committed against yourself and society that will restore your self respect which was lost. First of all, do what Michael said he was going to do in a note he left after a class.
“When I came to this class, I didn’t care about anything. But sitting here, I realized I was here because I screwed up and I must take responsibility for that. I can’t blame anyone else, but I can do something about it to see this doesn’t happen again.”
- What did he say he must do? You too must take responsibility for yourself that you ‘screwed up.’ Look yourself in the mirror, tell yourself you screwed up. What does it mean to take ‘responsibility?’ Look at the word: response- ability. Yes its two words put together which mean that you have the ability to respond. As I said before, you were not destined to be a thief or a criminal- you were destined to be great and its not too late. As you embrace the truth in your life- you get closer and closer to becoming great.
- Then forgive yourself and move on. Tell yourself that is not who you really are and prove it by doing the two things below.
- Look around your place to see if you have anything which was stolen. If so, determine the original value and take or send that amount to the person or store where you stole it, with an apology. Then you no longer stole it; you just bought it on a “layaway plan.” So what will happen if you do this? I received an email this week from Gerry telling me what happened to him.
“I started my week off by returning to Wal-Mart Monday morning and paying for the items I stole and deeply apologized to the management team and some employees. They said that had never happened before but they were amazed that I did it. That was definitely an exciting moment for me- I felt like I had scored the winning touchdown in a football game. This has been the start to a much more HONORABLE life and I thank you. I was not supposed to go back in that Wal-Mart, but now I am very welcome”
Maybe you think that would be difficult for you to do; maybe so. But so what? But if you truly want to get rid of the guilt, do what is hard; pay for all items that you ever stole and you will feel great too. Man up (or woman up) and just do it. I promise you will be proud of yourself. If someone else stole something and gave it to you or sold it to you at a discount, return it to them or donate it to the Salvation Army. Do not have anything in your house that reminds you that you have been a thief.
d.Do something good for someone. If doing something bad made you feel bad, then doing something good will make you feel good. Any act of love or kindness to a friend, relative or total stranger will restore your self-esteem. As I said before in a different way; doing something right will help you to be able to forgive yourself for doing something wrong.
- What are the most important character values for a successful society? If we are not honest and can not trust each other, society will fall apart. That is one of the reason’s that America and other countries are struggling financially- there are people in authority who have not been honest and trustworthy. They have become greedy and think selfishly- thinking in terms of their own political gain without considering what is best for the most people. Do you expect our leaders to do what is right and be honest and trustworthy? Of course, you too must be honest and trustworthy. A third character trait that is important for our self and society is to be hardworking.
Yes, you must live by the same standard as you expect of others. So, to live by the golden rule; that is your responsibility to help create a successful society.
- Now read the following metaphorical story which you will think is strange.
A woman came home after dark and found her elderly husband in the yard under the street light looking in the grass. She asked, “Elmer, “did you lose something?” He said, “Yeah, Eloise, I lost my keys.” “Where did you see them last?” Eloise asked. Elmer replied, “Well, I last had them in the house.” The wife stopped looking in the grass and asked, “So why are we looking out here in the yard?” Elmer replied,
“Because the power is off in the house and it is dark in there; so I came out here under the street light where I can see much better.”
Does this man seem rather strange? It seems the guy may have lost not only his keys but his mind. But as strange as he seems, many people are doing the same thing and you may be one of them. You have been trying to find your keys too- your keys to happiness; but it seems you too are looking in the wrong place; looking outside yourself where the lights are bright- where you think the action is; to external things like money and material things, to clothes, to music, to celebrities, popularity, to fitting in, to eating junk or smoking or sex or pornography or gambling- maybe even drugs or alcohol; anything that makes you feel better for the moment- even though it is damaging your life in the long term. All of these things are outside of yourself. You are ignoring what is on the inside of you; your inner man who already knows what is best for your life. Remember those core (inner) values that you (like Tiger Woods) were taught to believe in when you were in kindergarten? Those are your keys to happiness. Yes, your morals and values and things that you can hold in your heart are the keys to happiness. So, you already have the keys to live a fulfilled life- its all inside of you.
But maybe the reason you haven’t been looking inside yourself is for the same reason that the old man in the story didn’t? Maybe its dark inside your soul because you’ve lost your power too. Have you had a power outage in your soul leaving you dark and cold? Remember, your power is your courage. It a good time for you to regain your courage, restore your power and turn up your inner light and re-discover your inner light.
Dr. Brune Brown said, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness in our own soul will we discover our own inner light.”
You have focused so much on the external things, you forgot about the internal things. Can you admit to that? Good- you are still being honest with yourself aren’t you. Yes, you have allowed the inner light of your core values to grow dim. So you just need to take an honest look at who you really are- face the truth of your life- and turn up your inner lights to reveal the keys to your own happiness and how to get where you want to be in life.
Remember what we learned in kindergarten: “Share everything, play fair, don’t hurt people, put things back where you found them, clean up your own mess, say you are sorry when you hurt someone, don’t take things that aren’t yours…….. They too are right where you left them; on the inside.
Have you noticed a them to this course? It would be the word ‘inside.’
Remember in the beginning, I quoted what Galileo said: “No man can teach another man anything- you can only help him to discover the truth within himself.” Then we found out where Tiger Woods went wrong; he stopped living by his own core values. Then Oprah told us that we all have a voice inside; we just need to listen. We learned that internal punishment is more effective than external. The poor farmer told the king that its not what you can hold in your hand but what you can hold where? In your heart. Steve Jobs said, “Start listening to your own inner voice. ”Here are some other quotes. Phillip Brooks said, “He who learns to live more seriously within learns to live more simply without.” Famous author Robert Louis Stevenson said, “The greatest treasure on Earth are not to be found in foreign lands but in the heart itself.”
I said I would help you to get free of the trap that you’ve gotten yourself in, didn’t I? I said that I had the key too didn’t I? And what is the key? It is the “truth.” So where can you find the truth? I will let a brilliant author named Lucia Capichinone tell you:
“Truth is within you; it is never any further away than your beating heart. You don’t have to go outside searching for it; go inside and find your true self. It will be there, where it has always been, waiting for you to recognize the truth of who you truly are. Then you will see the wisdom that resides within you. It is the real you- your true self reminding you to wake up to the joy of your inner self.”
Do you know what wisdom is? It is the knowledge of the truth. That is your key. And you already have it residing within you! It has been there all along. But you left it; it didn’t leave you. Did you ever lose your car keys and search and search and finally found them? Where did you find them? You always find things right where you left them, don’t you? It is the same for your key to happiness.
Yes, you became distracted by the opportunity for selfish gain because you came up with some lame excuses to do so. No, they were not valid excuses but they were good enough for you to use, so you did. That’s when you lost your truth key- huh? So- you just need to look inside again and there it still is- your key to getting out of this trap that you are in. So, now that you know where your key to freedom is; it is up to you to get it and use it, and you are free. Read one last note that was left in a chair after a class.
“I was a habitual thief. Even though it made me feel bad and guilty I did it over and over. After listening to you and seeing the truth in my life, I could hardly wait to go home and start living my life right. One day I hope I can teach others what I’ve learned from you!”
At the bottom she put in big letters: “FREE AT LAST!”
I think you have been facing the truth as you’ve read through this outline. So, now are you ready to take back your courage and restore your power so you can be set free at last too? Read the following out loud slow enough to think about the power in these words.
- RESTORING MY POWER
I now know that my courage and my power are one and the same. I also know that to get my courage back I must face the truth in my life. I am now ready to do just that. And the truth that I must face is that nobody owes me success. What I achieve or fail to achieve in my life is directly related to what I do or fail to do. Nothing is carved into stone; I can change anything in my life if I choose to. Many of the things that brought me down were of my own choosing. I chose them because at the time I thought there was nothing better. But now I know there is always something better. Some of the things that brought me down were just old habits that I didn’t break. I assumed they were a part of me; but they don’t have to be. No one chooses his parents or his childhood; but I can choose my future direction. Everyone has problems and obstacles to overcome- but I must be careful not to use mine for excuses- excuses are for losers. The real winners in life are those who take responsibility for their actions and meet challenges head on knowing there are no guarantees in life. So I must give it all I got. Sure it takes effort to find and make better choices; yet they are there. Once I find a few, a lot more will come into view. Overcoming old habits may take a commitment, but once I do it, I will feel like I can take on about any challenge- and I’ll be right. I just need to think about who I really am, and who I truly want to become in life. I will let my best vision of myself and who I can be guide the choices that I make at every moment of my life. My life can be easy, haphazard and empty or it can be focused, directed and full. The choices I made yesterday made me who I am today. The choices I make today will determine who I am tomorrow.
I will take control of the steering wheel of my own life and value my inner values as my most valuable possession. I will use these values to guide my life and to empower me to stand up for what I already know is right- even if I am standing alone.
It’s never too late to begin; time plays no favorites and will pass whether I act on it or not. I will take control of my life, daring to dream and take a risk. Even if I fail, I’ll feel better about myself knowing that I tried and failed rather than failed to try.
WOW!!! Don’t you feel better already? I’d suggest you print this “Restoring My Power’ page off and hang it on the inside of your closet door and re-read it at least once per week.
- The poem which follows describes the essence of this whole class. I hope you will take it to heart. It was written by Dale Wimbrow in 1930. I added one of the verses with permission from Mr. Wimbrow’s son. I’m sure you can guess which one. It’s called, “The Guy in the Glass”.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self and the world makes you king for a day.
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself and see what that guy has to say.
For it isn’t your parents, your boss, the judge, your friends or your wife, upon whose judgment you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please, never mind all the rest, for he’s with you up till the end.
And you’ve passed your most difficult challenging test if the guy in the glass is your friend.
Some people might think you’re a straight shooting chum, they might call you a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum if you can’t look him straight in the eye.
But maybe you never got caught when you lied cheated or stole but the record is there in your mind.
So you can’t escape without paying the toll, for the guy in the glass is not blind.
You may fool the whole world down your pathway of years; you may get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears if you’ve cheated the guy- in the glass.
- At the end of all of my live classes, I have a student to read a poster which states: “Stand up for what is right- even if you are standing alone.” I am going to ask you to do what I ask all of the students in my live classes to do- that is to do what that poster says. I tell them what I am telling you- it is time for an important decision in your life. Are you willing to do what that poster says? In one minute I will count to 3. You will either remain in your seat, signifying that you are not ready to make any commitments; or you are willing to stand up- signifying that you are willing to commit to yourself that you will commit to live by the golden rule that you told me earlier was a good rule for you to live by. Of course that goes without saying that you will never steal again. So, it is time to do some soul searching and decide what you will do………………….
“One, two, three.”
If you stood up, I commend you- I am proud of you for taking this stand. If there are others in the room, tell them why you stood up. If not, go look at yourself in the mirror and say: “GOOD JOB! But does that mean that you will never be tempted to steal again. Probably not. But if you are ever tempted, I hope you recall this moment of your life that you made a commitment- not to me or anyone else but yourself. Will you honor your own commitment?
Of course its easy to say “no” when you are within the security of the walls of your home. But the real world for you is down the street at Wal-mart or JC Pennys. That will be the ultimate test- will you still be able to stand up for what is right there? Time will soon tell.
Now, you have kept our agreement to be truthful. Did I keep my agreement to leave you feeling much better about your life? Let me know.
Below write any comments you have regarding the impact this course may have had in your life.
- Now write your 300 word essay answering the 20 questions on the first page of the student packet. Make sure you also answered the questions in the metaphorical stories found in the outline. You will also be asked to provide the point of some of the previous stories and poem on the page that says: What is the Point Of the following?.
- And so, I leave you with the words of Shakespeare in his play, Hamlet. There is a scene in which a father is saying good bye to his son: His final words shall be my final words to you:
“This above all, to thine own self be true. And it must follow as
night the day, thou canst not be false to any man. Farewell my blessing season, this in thee.”
Answer the following questions in narrative
These can be found in the outline.)
What is the point of the football game metaphorical scenarios?_______________________________________________________________________
What is the point of the true story of the Wal-Mart cart pusher?
What is the meaning of the poem, ‘The Man in the glass?’______________
Describe how you can apply what you read in ‘Restoring My Power’ to your life.
From the outline, answer this question: If its not right that you would have to pay for what others steal, what else is not right?
Life Wheel Self-Evaluation
Give yourself a score from 0 to 2 (2 is best) beside each factor
1.Proper weight 1. Adequate financial resources
2.Physically active 2. Effective use of resources
3.Mindful of nutrition 3. Positive attitude toward job
4.No physical limitations 4. Hope of better job/pay
5.Self-concept of looks 5. Excessive debt
MENTAL SEXUAL (juveniles omit)
1.Positive decisions 1.Have intimate partner
2.Seek guidance/others 2.Level of intimacy/romance
3.Can delay gratification 3.Positive self-image of body
4.Think before acting 4.Quality not quantity
5.Use common sense 5.Receive affection/outside sex
1.Positive peers 1.Self-entertained
2.Positive social activity 2.Hobby, sports, arts, etc.
3.Can say ‘no’ 3.Be creative, use talents
4.A leader, not a follower 4.Too much TV
5.At least 1 close friend 5.Can enjoy being alone
1.Rarely depressed 1.Communication with deity
2.Response to stress 2.Practice religious principles
3.Feel needed by someone 3.Hope of eternal existence
4.Feel love for someone 4.Live by moral standard
5.Can control temper 5.Treat others as I wish to be
1.Frequent communication 1.Have long term goals
2.Shared activities 2.Have short term goals
3.Bonded with parent(s) 3.Detailed plans to achieve goals
4.Common goals with 4.Hope to achieve goals
5.No past family strife 5.Level of ambition
Add the totals of both columns (50 factors) and place total here.__________
This number represents your present level of fulfillment in life.
Now estimate the minimum level of fulfillment you expect from life considering all 50 factors.100 would represent total fulfillment. Place that number here._____________% Expected
Subtract your actual number from your expected number to find the percentage of your life that is unfulfilled or empty.
% Expected_________ – % Actual_________ =% Unfulfilled__________
What Can I Do To Fulfill My Life?
Review each of the 10 parts of your life from the LIFEWHEEL SELF-EVALUATION. Identify each factor in which you gave yourself a ‘0’ or ‘1’ & record it next to each of the 10 categories. Then write your plan on the action plan line in order to raise your score to ‘2’.
Physical Action Plan__________________________________________________
Mental Action Plan__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Social Action Plan__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Emotional Action Plan__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Family Action Plan__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Financial Action Plan__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Sexual Action Plan__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Recreation Action Plan__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Spiritual Action Plan__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Remember: Emptiness is your enemy. Being filled full is your goal.
Refer to this page often as a reminder to push yourself toward a more fulfilled life.
Return both your essay and these workbook pages to me as an email attachment so I can grade them. If you missed some questions, we will talk about it. If you haven’t done so already, mail your money order to me. Call or email me to get the right address as I have two residences and it will depend on where I am at the time. My number is: 805/895/4198.
I can send you back a certificate or email it to the court that sent you. Either way, you must turn in the essay to the court clerk or probation officer if you have one.