Category Archives: Motivational

Transferring a Winning Mindset

Somebody asked me recently, “How do you transfer a winning mindset from one person to another?”  Short answer: it’s a process.  I wish it were as simple as magically wiggling your fingers next to your head and then pointing them towards whomever you want to help…but, it’s not.

However, it can be done.  Meaning, yes, you can transfer the information, ideas, and perspective from yourself to someone else.  But, there are two sides of the equation: 1) what you give; 2) what they figure out.

To hold up you side of the bargain, you give them the tools, steps, and processes that are associated with the ideas or concepts you’re trying to pass on.  Depending on the topic or situation, you may have to model or show them by example what you’re trying to convey.

What they’re responsible for is to figure out A) whether or not they have the “want to”; B) how to internalize what you give them; C) how to use it as their own.  As they take in your information and figure out how to put it to use, they will grow in the capacity in which they were hoping to.

Teachers can talk and talk until they’re blue in the face, but students aren’t going to use any of the new information until they’re ready to make it their own.  As the old adage goes, “When the student is ready, a teacher will appear.”

Sometimes, people already have the tools or know the steps they need, in order to succeed or grow.  It’s just a matter of timing, so that the realization of having it kicks in.  You may only need to turn on the proverbial “light switch” of their understanding, or simply show them where the switch is.

“What?!  It was there all along?”  “Yep.”   …is a common conversation that people have aloud or in their heads.  So, no, you’re not alone in this thing of realization or learning.

When you give somebody else the tools, steps, and processes for how to do something, they don’t have to be complicated.  Over and over, people have told me, “Just give it to me in plain English.  That’s the best way I learn.”  So, I’ve tried to do that.  It doesn’t always come out that way, but that’s the goal.

Also, tools are just that: tools.  They aren’t meant to be the be-all, end-all.  They’re only a part of the greater recipe of success.  They’re the foundational pieces of equipment that can improve somebody’s chances of success.  The same thing goes for steps and processes.  Nobody wants dozens of steps or a complicated process.  They want it to be simple.  So, translate it in your mind and make it so.

Our minds have an amazing ability to capture information, learn new things, and quickly turn them into frameworks of “Ah ha!” moments.  After a while, those moments will become second nature to us, and we’ll expand that new framework in ways that connect with the other vast knowledge and experiences we already have.

Hopefully, you’ll get to see the beauty of that growth in others, as you transfer your winning mindset to them.

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NOTE: If you like reading Marty’s articles, please tell others about them.  He can be reached at martyjreep(at)yahoo.com.  This article was adapted from one of his upcoming books.  For ones currently published, go to www.Amazon.com/author/reep.  

Also, find more of Marty’s and his sister Janet’s work at www.RaisedByAVillage.com

 

Gift of Synesthesia

Synesthesia - picture - final

A few months ago, I learned that a mental process of mine had a long Greek name associated with it.  I set out to discover what this mental process was, who else had it, how it helped or hindered us, and how best to take advantage of what I have come to call the “Gift of Synesthesia”.

Earlier this year while walking into work, a field of rye grass and the leaves on a row of eucalyptus trees were going back and forth in rhythm with the blowing wind.  I stopped and stared because I realized that the rye heads and eucalyptus leaves weren’t just moving – I sensed vibrations coming off of them (stronger than normal), perceived lines and waves in my mind, and heard the whole as a symphony in my mind.  It was profound.

At first, I thought I was imagining things and then realized I had joined their symphony by the simplicity of my standing there.  I was swept along in the movements, riding the waves of motion.  Later that day, I checked again – yep, same sensations.  Then, I started thinking about how I used to see and sense similar things when I was a kid, a teenager, in my 20s, 30s, etc.  I realized it was the same.

In trying to figure this thing out, I researched “sensing vibrations from things you see”.  Came across some articles, which led me to others, which led me to “synesthesia”, which led me to youtube, which led me to an interview with some synesthetes.  One of them closely expressed what I was feeling.  I was so excited that I started crying.  Finally, this thing wasn’t weird!  It had a name!

Synesthesia is basically a blending of the senses.  Some people perceive colored numbers, taste colors, see the entire number line, or see a calendar that rotates in their minds.  For a more complete definition with links and references, check out: wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia.

So, then came the questions, “Why didn’t I understand this thing 40 years ago?!  20 years ago?  10 years ago?”  When those frustrations re-occur, my wife reminds me, “Well, you didn’t, and the past is the past.  But, now you do – so use it to move forward.”

Okay.  Now what?  How do I best use this for the next 50 years?  I’ve been asking around, learning more, and looking into some possibilities.

From what I understand at this point, my synesthesia manifests itself in multiple modalities.  There are lots of different reactions in my head to the various inputs.  Each sense evokes a unique response at times, while some senses constantly blend together multiple things.  Wednesdays are muted-green; Mondays are blue; etc.  Recently, when I was looking through a collection of pictures from a friend, I saw a pink flamingo and “Tuesday!” came to mind.  I know – it might sound weird – but there you have it.

I believe that’s where part of my intense creativity comes from.  I haven’t always known what to do with the artistic words, images, paintings, pictures, poetry, music, and lyrics that have appeared in and flooded my mind over the past four decades.  I’ve expressed some through books, songs, and teaching.  But I’ve filed away many others in my brain, waiting for the right time.  Maybe that time has finally come.

Another example that comes to mind is a car I bought from a friend who was moving out of town.  Carnell smoked a lot and used a particular gel air freshener to cover the smokiness in the red Lincoln.  Every time I got in that car, I told him that it smelled “purple”.  We laughed about it.  But he finally understood what I meant when I discovered that one of his air freshener gel cans had slipped down inside behind the glove box next to the heater core.  So, that thing was just pumping out a deep cherry-purple smell every day!  I finally got rid of the odor in the car, but every time I smell it in the aisle in a store or in an office somewhere, it immediately takes me back to Carnell’s red Lincoln…purple.

Also, if I tilt my head a certain way while looking at the computer screen, some of the letters turn green or purple.  Other words pick up a reddish or yellowish hue around them.  Now, that might just be the lighting of the screen, but either way it’s pretty darn cool.  I tell myself that the letters are all just plain black, and they won’t distract me.

Sounds are especially a hot topic for me – always have been.  So, I’ve carried earplugs with me for the past 20 years.  At parties and sports events, I wear them to take the edge off, yet can still hear conversations just fine.

I tried to talk about this “thing” with others when I was 5 or 6 years old, trying to understand it.   We were out on the playground at school, and the trees and grass across the road were blowing in the wind.  I asked one of the teachers, “Why do the leaves do that?”  “Do what?” she asked.  “That,” pointing at them moving.  She looked at me a little confused and replied, “Well, the wind’s blowing.”  I looked back at her and said, “No, I got that part.  I know that.  But what makes the vibrations come off of them?”  She grinned slightly and said, “You have a very creative imagination.”

After a couple of years of mentioning it or asking people about it when was young, they implied that I was making things up, that I was nuts, or was just being weird.  So, I kept it to myself.  But, it’s still been there every day – just didn’t know what it was.  Now I do.

Since realizing what “this” is, I’ve decided to let it run.  It’s been a very fun couple of months!  I feel like I’m finally me, again.

If you think you may have synesthesia or know someone else who does, I would love to hear about your/their experiences.  You can also find out more by answering some questions at www.synesthete.org .  The site is run by a research lab at Baylor University in Houston, TX.

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Thanks for stopping by, today.  I hope you liked the post!
For more stuff, check out www.amazon.com/author/reep

Learn Another Language!

This week at work, a couple of friends and I were talking about some of the different websites that are out there now that help you learn other languages.

It’s amazing how many sites there are and how many of them are interactive. If you’re interested in learning another language, here’s a list that may help you:

Language Learning Sites:

Language Agencies:

Articles:

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You can email me at martyjreep (at) yahoo.com.  This article was adapted from one of my upcoming books.  For ones currently published, go to www.Amazon.com/author/reep

Sanctuary of the Woods

Way down in the woods, we’d play every afternoon til it started getting dark. Then, we’d work our way back up through the trees and out into the clearing that formed the top part of the hill behind the hay barn and the metal calf barn that was painted white. Out on top of the hill, the evening light shone all around and lit up everything like it was a dying fire. Reds and oranges and yellows all leapt and jumped around with the changing of the shadows, as the sun set farther and farther into the horizon in the west.

But before all of that, we were in the woods. That’s where the most glorious music was played, the most pungent and wonderful smells were produced, and where the most intricate of interlacing details could be seen wherever we walked or stood. Ants crawled all over the ground and exposed themselves here and there in the form of a red clay hill to signify they had made a huge undertaking underground. “Hill” was a relative term compared to the towering pine trees and oak trees in the immediate vicinity. However, to the ants, their hills were gigantic.

The creek constantly gave off its melody that wound up being the background tune for the rest of the woods. As the stream of water walked across the rocks and sand underneath, it splashed and dashed, adding to its travels an occasional brushing up next to the tall grass that grew along the creek bank. Dragonflies, water bugs, and butterflies flitted around in search of their own particles to eat and enjoy. Their color added flavor to the eyes along the stream of water, as it meandered its way from the bottom land of the pasture and into the area we claimed as our sanctuary – the woods.

God had given us those woods in order to show us that he was still very much in charge, although our home life was hectic at times. Growing up can be challenging for anyone at times, and we were no exception.

The peace and solitude of the tree-covered area was our home for a few hours each day, enough that it gave us respite from the craziness. When we entered the woods and the tall grass surrounding the creek, we knew we were safe. Sure there were lots of critters around, but we knew none of them would hurt us.

How did we know? Birds singing was one of the signs. If the birds were singing, then nothing was around that they were bothered by – and they were always singing, so we were always safe.

Of all the birds in the woods, one of the most amazing ones was the mockingbird. It had the ability to be a one-man-band. It could hear a new bird and after a little practice, it could take the other bird’s voice as its own. At the time, we didn’t understand all of the details – we just knew it sounded beautiful.

The wind joined in on the symphony that God had going on in the woods. As it blew across the tall, green grass and through the dark pine needles in the treetops surrounding us, we could feel the presence of something incredible passing through our midst. It was almost as if the stars and clouds had come down and were invisibly brushing us on our cheeks.

Today, I still love the breeze.

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This article was adapted from one of Reep’s upcoming books.  For ones currently published, go to www.Amazon.com/author/reep

Mind Over Matter

When responsibilities, deadlines, and things around you are tough, life can appear difficult. It is at those times that you may start wishing you were elsewhere: on a beach, in the mountains, at the park, or in another life.

Does that mean in those situations you are letting the surrounding conditions control your emotions and reactions? Yes, probably so. Is that the best way to react? No, probably not. So what to do?

To not let them control you, make a conscious decision to be indifferent to them. Surrounding conditions are a lot of times only innate objects or imposed beliefs. And if they are innate objects, they may not even be real. They may simply be conditions that you perceive as real and attach emotions and reactions.

Sometimes, the best thing to do is employ the idea of mind over matter. That is part of the perspective where genius comes from. Mind over matter is part of what gives you super-abilities in times of need.

The more you dwell there and see your surrounding conditions from its vantage point, the more you will have it as your confidant. You will be able to harness and actively use its power to overcome in life, moment-by-moment.

Likewise, all thoughts, actions, and reactions are seeds that get released into the physical and metaphysical planes of the universe. There, they get planted and grow into fruition. So, nothing is just in and of itself. There are always more things connected to the action or thought than are evident.

The mental approach you take to overcome a particular situation can actually lay the groundwork for success and progress in future areas of your life. By taking the time to positively plan your approach to utilizing your ideas and brilliance to succeed, you are investing in your own future.

Over the years, life will take some interesting turns. Many aspects will mesh into an interesting tapestry that continuously grows. Keep yourself at the point where you look forward to how each new day will unfold. Visualizations will come true, and then more will take their place in the future. It’s always interesting to see how visualization will materialize and when.

You don’t have to figure out your whole life all at once. Enjoy life as it is, moment by moment. When you do, you’ll be amazed at how simple it is and how much more at ease living becomes.

“Mind over matter” works.

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adapted from my book An Agreement with Life

Lightning Storms in the Field

Every other weekend during the school year, it was our turn to milk. My brother and I would help Daddy milk Saturday evening, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening. We also fed the cows Saturday and Sunday, midday. Sometimes when people were out sick or on vacation, we helped during the week – but mostly every other weekend.

During the summer, though, it was a different story. Any morning or evening was fair game, depending on what was going on. If hay needed to be baled, then somebody milked while somebody else baled. If it was a silage-cutting time, one guy cut silage, one drove wagons back and forth to the field, and another packed the silo with a front end loader. Two others milked.

Of course, the wild card in all of that was the weather. If it was sunny and warm out, life was good. But if it was stormy or overly hot, that was a different story. Likewise, rainstorms were something amazing to watch. It was always interesting to see just how close the clouds would get before they unleashed their water from above.

Sure, most people look at rain clouds and think, “Oh look…how pretty.” But if you’ve ever been caught out in a storm, then you probably don’t automatically think that anymore. I can’t tell you how many storms I’ve gotten caught out in. A lot of times, they would come up so suddenly that I didn’t notice they were blocking the sunshine until they were already upon me. By then, it was too late. The big fear always seemed to be about getting struck by lightning.

We could be out in the field on any given day, and Daddy would come check on us periodically. He was usually easy-going and laid back – driving slow and rarely a worried look on his face. But baby, let the sky crack loose a couple of wicked, shimmering bolts of electricity and everything changed!

That blue pickup would come flying across the fields to snatch us off the tractor quicker than a rabbit running away from a combine in second gear. Depending on which field we were in, we’d wind up going to Mamaw’s house or to our house for the duration of the heavenly electric show.

I actually liked it when that happened, because going to Mamaw’s house meant getting to eat some of her pound cake and drinking cool well water from the kitchen sink. On the other hand, going home to wait out the weather meant peanut butter and crackers and sweet tea. So, either was a win.

Either way, though, it meant that the tractor seat was going to be wet when I got back to the field. Some things just couldn’t be avoided. Sure, in a perfect world, I would have known the storm was coming and was going to have lightning in it that time – meaning we would be leaving the field for a while. But also in a perfect world, the silage would have cut itself, and we wouldn’t have had to be out there in the first place. But, that’s not how it happened. We had to cut the silage to feed to the cows – just like we had to drive the tractors that got the job done.

I’m grateful that I had the chance to get wet, driving the John Deere in the rain. In a lot of ways, it made us better kids then and better adults now. None of us take dry clothes and hospitality for granted. We’re grateful for them all the time.

Once in a while, I’m guilty of complaining about something as simple as getting my sock feet wet in the kitchen if there’s something wet on the floor. But then I’ll stop, shake my head, remember the storms in the field, and smile because I’m not soaked from head to toe. It really is amazing how things in life shape who we are and how we react to them.

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This article was adapted from one of Reep’s upcoming books. To read ones currently published, go to Amazon.com/author/reep

Positively Impacting Community

Hopefully, part of your agreement with life involves improving parts of your community that need help. One of the best ways to positively impact your community is by showing people (of all ages) how to get involved in it.

By helping them understand how a particular community works, who the key players are, and what the current processes are, they’ll be able to see which parts are effective and which parts aren’t. Understanding those things will help them to see how they can help continue moving the good parts forward and fix the bad ones.

Lead by example, and encourage others to get out into the highways and byways of the community and become an excited part of it. Whether it’s through traditional ways or through creative ways, positively impacting your community is always a good thing.

“Fresh eyes” will see things differently than eyes that have looked at the same situation for a long time. Infusing your community with “new blood” will also invigorate other people to stay involved and improve at multiple levels. It’s true that the people who are involved in the community in one way or another are people who really care. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t be involved.

A way to help others care is to help them see a need. At first, you may have to point out some needs to them (but probably not, since many needs are obvious). In time, they’ll see other needs on their own.

Once they see a need and have a desire to do something about it, help them design a plan of action. Action of some sort is necessary to convert their good intentions into positive changes. Their plan of action needs to include both short-range and long-range goals. Then, help them get to work.

Rolling up your sleeves alongside them will help them see that your own desire to positively impact the community is as real as theirs is. Together, your combined efforts will be amazing!

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[…adapted from Marty’s book An Agreement with Life]

And check out www.amazon.com/author/reep for more of my books.
Enjoy! – Marty