Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A no-hoper?

Annie and I are in the middle of a 10 week ALPHA course and it is very enlightening. I would recommend the course. We are hearing some fascinating stories during the course, one of which I wanted to share on Simplicity Blog today.

It is about a single mother called Monica who had a troubled teenage son. He had gone astray badly in his life and had ended up in the wrong company. In a nutshell he was a ‘drop out’ and his behavior and morals left much to be desired. He was a ‘no-hoper’ in the eyes of most of the people who knew him.

Monica felt her only way of helping him - after she had tried all the traditional ways - was to pray that her son would find God. She prayed tirelessly for 9 years from when her son was aged 19 until at 28 years of age he did find God. He was later ordained and became a Bishop. He became Saint Augustine in 386 AD and has became known as a highly influential Christian thinker

There are many points to this story - not least there is always hope for anyone. You will draw your own conclusions

On the course we discussed the power of prayer. I am told by people far more educated than me about religion there are numerous practical examples of the power of praying. I have never been deeply religious and I know there are many who do not have a faith – and that is fine by the way.

It now feels like I am on a journey. I have something of a thirst for more knowledge. There is something called ‘co-incidence’ that can be used to explain away many things but when ‘co-incidences’ just keep on happening then perhaps we may wish to consider opening our minds to ‘other things’ going on.

This is a great educational journey for me.


Rocky said...

There is always hope. Learning is always a beautiful experience especially when it involves the sense of a higher power. It is wonderful that you feel so positive about the experience and that you are able to share that with another special person. keep me updated with your journey.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks for that Rocky

My own 'journey' has been stationary since leaving school 36 years ago - it is good to be back on the road and yes of course I will keep you updated. Doing the course together with Annie is the best feature of it.

Bharti Patel-Smith / Soma Moulik said...

Bharti and Soma.......
Great blog... Learning for us is opening our minds and souls thereby enlightening our spirits to become receptive human beings

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Bharti and thanks Soma - hope you are both well and surviving the NHS cahnges with a smile.

Annie will also be delighted to see your comments. We both felt so sorry for you two as the changes go on around you and not including you!!!!!!

Fabulous insights from both of you. I get fed up with those who believe they can learn no more. My greatest Guru and my academic supervisor Professor George Giarchi in Plymouth University is 75 years of age now (going on 18)- still working - and George tells me every time I see him he is still learning more from his students than they learn from him. A wonderful attitude - we can all learn whoever we are and wherever we are.

Annie said...

Hi Bharti and Soma - good to hear from you! It was a fantastic workshop in Telford - you did brilliantly in your organisation of the event.

Keep me informed of things - changes etc.

Jay Gillette said...

Thank you for the post. Caught the link from your comment on Tom Peters' blog.

Alpha course was invented in UK at HTB (Holy Trinity Brompton, London) I believe.

Influential spiritual teaching curriculum in USA Episcopal Church, which may be part of the Anglican communion, depending on whom you ask.

We appreciate what you do.

There'll always be an England.
Otherwise a far more dull world.

Jay Gillette
Center for Information and Communication Sciences
Grace Episcopal Church,
Diocese of Indianapolis, USA

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks for youor comment Jay - we are enjoying the ten week Alpha course - it is helping us.

Good luck with your work - e mail me more information if you wish

Thank you also for your favourable comments about England. I am very proud of my country and also delighted to know many new friends in America through Blogging

/pd said...

Hey trevor, we are born - naked, wet and hungry and things just get worse.

Its not how u think life is about, its about how life thinks about u !!

Its a roller cooster ride , and at they end of life, iwant to wake up say " can we that all over again ? It was a hecka good ride "

Seek not the beginning becoming, but by itself !!

Have fun dude

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Peter - I once saw it explained this way:

'There is nothig as charming innocent honest and intelligent as a three year old - we send them to school and it is downhill from then on'

Hope you are well - take care

Mike said...

(The company I'm about to plug doesn't need me to do it, they are one of the most successful organizations in the world.)

Your mention of the Alpha course got me thinking about my experience with the twelve week Dale Carnegie course last year. I thought I knew what to expect out of this course--public speaking tips, goal setting and achievement, memory enhancement techniques, etc.

But the actual experience of the Carnegie course BLEW ME AWAY! Early in the course we were asked to prepare a 2 minute talk about something we wanted to improve in our business or personal lives. I'm sitting there all prepared to talk about how to help coworkers deal with budget planning (real profound, huh?) when the first speaker shared a story about her childhood and how she is working to overcome the stigma being sexually abused as a child has placed on her life. About 90% of the students let out a collective "Holy Crap!" and threw our notes up in the air! Everything got extremely interesting from that point onward.

THE most beneficial professional development course I have ever been involved with, without exception.

The Dale Carnegie course is available world-wide and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Trevor Gay said...

Fabulous story Mike

Wasn;t he the author of 'Going the extra mile' stories?

Sounds fantastic - I must look up a course in England!

Mike said...

Trevor, I don't know about the "extra mile" stories. Dale Carnegie began by teaching English to new immigrants to the US in 1912 and he later expanded his curriculum to business and professional basics. By the late 1930s Carnegie was teaching thousands and thousands of people, from all walks of life, important and profound things--including goal setting and achievement, public speaking without fear, and many other ideas. His two best-known books are "How to Win Friends & Influence People," and "How to Stop Worrying & Start Living."

A sample of Dale Carnegie's wisdom:
(from "How to Stop Worrying...")
Break the Worry Habit Before it Breaks You
1. Keep busy.
2. Don't fuss about trifles.
3. Use the law of averges to outlaw your worries.
4. Cooperate with the inevitable.
5. Decide just how much anxiety a thing is worth and refuse to give it more.
6. Don't worry about the past.

The Perfect Way to Conquer Worry:
1. Pray

Trevor Gay said...

Love it. Thank you so much for that Mike.

Funnily enough at our Alpha course last week we discussed the power of prayer.

Carnegie was obviously a guru in his time - and needless to say I love the simplicity in his wisdom. As I get older the more I realise that simplicity underpins many effective people and their work. Wouod you agree with me on that?

Mike said...

Yes, certainly I agree with that idea. When we begin to complicate our lives we begin to show signs of excess stress, worry, and fear. I don't mean we shouldn't be busy, but we should be able to prioritize our activities (and the people who demand our time) in order to keep our lives simple. A simple life is not a life of deprivation or of denial. It just means taking pleasure in each day--a pretty sunset, the success of a good batch of homemade salsa, giving the dogs a tummy rub, being with the person you love--all simple but profound and soul-enriching experiences.

Dale Carnegie lived and taught just 30 principles. Nothing fancy or complicated. Yet those 30 simple principles have become the basis for success and happiness for people in 70 countries for more than 50 years! A few examples:

#1. Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.

#4. Become genuinely interested in other people.

#5. Smile. (Simple, no?)

#19. Appeal to peoples' nobler motives.

Good stuff, I think.

Trevor Gay said...

Good stuff Mike and not 'rocket science' -I often use the expression 'the basics are the new cutting edge' - Mr Carnegie is obvously an example to us all. Simplicity is the Key :-)

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