Posts Tagged ‘life’

My 6 World Vision kids keep me grounded.
They make me realise I am useful.
Each letter I open shows me I am valuable.
Each picture reminds me I make a difference.
I also advertise the difference I am making by telling my clients that they are making a difference every time they pay me.
Here is the last letter:
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This is Amily Sun. She is one of six World Vision kids that we have in our martial arts school.
Firstly, please tell your kids that your family helps pay for her education and some medical supplies. Just by mentioning this and showing the photo, it will plant a seed that ensures everyone helps everyone else. It also reminds kids how lucky they are to live in the best corner of the best state of the best country in the world.
Now, I post this for a few reasons.
Mainly, I believe in altruism and want to show the young members of MRMA that that is what our duty is. I chose World Vision because we can put a face to our contribution. It hits home for us.
I could have chosen an organisation where more of the money goes direct to the person that needs it. (82% of World Vision fees go direct to the person in need.)
But everyone knows World Vision and the reporting process. Photos that are sent and personal notes mean there is a connection made. Your money doesn’t just seem to disappear into a black hole every month.
My second reason is a personal one.
I read a book about The Killing Fields. The author is the same age as me. When he was 15, Cambodia was embroiled in a war where huge numbers of people were slaughtered. The author’s teenage years were spent witnessing bloodshed that is the stuff of nightmares.
As I read the book, I realised that at the same time, I was in Years 10, 11 and 12.
At that age, my main focus was on doing the minimum amount of schoolwork, surfing, and the opposite sex. This realisation and subsequent embarrassment moved me to do something for those less fortunate. Maybe 40 years too late but I was unconsciously incompetent at the time.
I have told this story many times to the kids in the martial arts school in the hope that, by example, they will realise that it is their civic duty to do what they can.
I implore you to show your child the picture and explain how we are helping her.
Sean Allen
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So, that’s it.
Simple acts repeated add up.
Read that again. It works in all areas of life. Positive or negative.
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What I think happens in life and thereafter.

There is no supporting evidence for this. None. But I think this photo depicts what happens to us in our life and afterwards.

Firstly, the sign.
The concept that life ends when we die is a man-made concept. Take that away and the picture takes on a different meaning
In the foreground, the road and painted line shows the direction that has been mapped out for us. We may have painted the line or we might be following a line painted by others. It’s still a direction we follow. Life is reliable if we walk this way. No surprises.

The end of the painted line.
Notice that the line stops but the road continues. At some point in our lives we don’t need to follow a direction. We just know which side of the road is the safest and the direction we should be travelling in. It’s still a direction followed by most but we don’t need as many rules to guide us. We brush our teeth, save some money and have the weekend off without thinking about it. Admittedly, doing these things does save you some heartache later but really it’s your choice. There are consequences for everything. Even if you stop in the middle of the road there is a consequence.

The gravel.
The end of the road and start of the dirt shows our partial return to the way things should be as we age. We can start to connect with the natural way of life and appreciate the little things. Like being outside. Feeling the wind. Listening to our own thoughts. All these experiences becomes more comfortable as we realise that all things pass. We end up walking our own path regardless of others. The realisation that happiness and contentment is up to us makes it much easier to live.
The decisions we have made, passage we have taken, and where it has lead us finally shows what really matters. Material gain and credit for our performance loses its lustre. The knowledge that others are struggling now seems to drive us to a point where we are rewarded with a deep contentment that only service to another living being can give.

The sign.
It may be the latest theory to explain death but it really just shows a transition. In science, nothing disappears, it changes state. Ice melts and become water; water boils and becomes steam; the steam seems to disappear but really spreads out to become, well, everything.

Afterwards.
Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. There is a continuation of us but as the picture shows, things change.
It seems to me there is a natural beauty thereafter. No roads, no directions, no hazards. Still in existence but a more natural one that allows us freedom that we haven’t experienced beforehand. Whether we continue into the trees or the sky is up to you. All we do is move forward into a new experience.

Right now, you are the sum of the experiences you have had in your life and the decisions you made about yourself afterward.

Actually, the decisions you made about yourself are more important than the event itself.

But first, a story.

Soon I am being interviewed in a podcast on iTunes. In the initial process, I sent in 10 stages of my life that had brought me to where I am now. I only had a few minutes so this was a good way, I thought, to give the interviewer a snapshot of me. They are mainly associated with martial arts business but it sort of morphed into a personal journey.

Here they are:

10 Sean

It was quite interesting to read so I shared it with some friends. One friend, a lady in her early 40’s sent in her stages of life.

They are:

Innocence

Breaking free

Falling in love

Discovering the world

Committing

Unconditionally falling in love

Juggling

Supporting

Breathing

Smiling

What would your 10 look like?

Remember that your emotions about any event in life depends on your perspective.

As I stood still for the picture to be taken in Washington DC, I remember thinking how Wash DC 2000realistic the statues were and I could imagine them walking. If I was older it may have moved me to tears. But the point is that the value is in the exercise of deciding what the ten stages of your life have been. Do you mention an experience as making a profound impact on you? Or do you mention a time period that shaped you? It can even be a decision that was made after an event.

Remember the process has value as it makes you judge how you reacted to an event.

In the comments section below post your ten and follow this blog to see every time more are added. Remember we will defend ourselves by saying, “But I am the result of more than 10!” Yes you are. But limiting us to 10 makes us prioritize the most important. Good exercise.

Go on, join in.

Last week I got a day’s work in a primary school teaching sport.
Grade fours.
At one stage I sat them down as they were making mistakes with a drill we were doing and I explained the meaning of a turnover and a turnaround.
A turnover is when the other team gets the ball and a turnaround is when a match turns around in favour of the other team.
Later on that day I explained the meaning of the Aussie rules “hospital kick.” A hospital kick is a kick that sits in mid-air and leaves the player standing underneath, waiting for the ball. Basically waiting to go to hospital.

Life lessons
A turnover is when you give power to someone else. A turnaround usually occurs after this. Knowing what you want from life helps. The only turnaround we should all be interested in is a positive turn around.
From bad to good.
A hospital kick in life is a decision made and action taken that ends with a bad result. The second you deliver a football you know it has turned into a hospital kick.
In life you know when you have made a bad decision. Life hospital kicks are inevitable but it becomes easier to recognise them after a while.

The intelligent player enjoys the game, never does a hospital kick, never experiences a turnover of control to anyone and consequently never experiences a turnaround.

Lessons all around us.

I recently submitted an article about the fact that my family had a brush with death in the early 1960s.
The article entitled, “The Personal Side Of A Serial Killer” can be found at infobarrel.com.
It follows the last hanging in Western Australia.
Eric Edgar Cooke was a serial killer who was not captured for many years as his killings were random and without motive. After a killing spree he would calmly walk back into his life of being a husband and father. His family and friends knew nothing of his other side.
In 1963 he stood at the foot of my grandmother’s bed, decided not to kill her or her sister then walked outside and shot a boarder sleeping on the verandah.
He then continued his slaughter nearby.
Having said this, I need to add that Eric Edgar Cooke was a psychopath and serial killer largely because of the violence inflicted on him as a child.
His story is sad and moving.
It may be the reason behind the maniac but not the excuse.
I say this because there comes a time that you have to stop wearing your past on your shoulder. As adults we have a choice as to whether we’re going to become an extension of the trauma that we have endured or walk a different path.
Take Billy Connolly for example. His upbringing is surely a recipe for disaster. If anyone has an excuse to be violent and seek retribution on the world, Billy does.
Not so. He made a choice to forge a new path.
As an adult we have a choice how we are going to end up.
Do we let the events of the past shape us or do we define ourselves?
I say ultimate control lies deep inside of me. Not in the hands of someone who hurt me years ago.