Education For All

A Beautiful Life Starts With You

The secret of a beautiful life is knowing who you really are. Most our lives we work at gathering thoughts about ourselves, ideas about the world, and as much knowledge as possible. We add them together, stir them up and create what we call the self–the acting me in the world. We then work to support that idea of the me by pushing out everything that is not me. We begin to push out thoughts and ideas that interfere with the idea of me so often that this happens automatically. This closes us off from new ideas, thoughts, and the potential for us to expand and become greater. At the same time the world, especially the media, is pumping in images and ideas about what the me should be, thus making the me uncomfortable and unable to apply its full attention and energies to improving life for itself or living out its own hopes and dreams. Society shows us, in so many words or examples, that is not going to happen except for the chosen few. While we work hard and struggle to hold on to the old idea of me we become frustrated. It feels that we are winning but we are not satisfied because the thing that we struggle to keep is not the real Me. It is just the earlier projections of friends, families, relatives and of course, the good old TV Set, weaving themselves into a false identity.
We discover this later in life, if we are fortunate, and our striving becomes one of letting go and peeling off the thoughts, ideas, and images that created the me so we can get back to the primal self, the originator of the idea of me, or I. When we come to this true self life begins. This is difficult though. There are many internal obstacles and external ones. The best way to deal with these obstacles is through meditation.
There are various forms of meditation, of course. All of them seem to work, if a person is patient and if a person understand why they are doing it. True meditation designed to awaken the Self takes much dedication. It may take a lot of time, or a brief period of time. If a person has much knowledge of the true Self and the truth of being in the universe it can happen in one moment. It becomes tearing away the vale between the Holy of Holies and stepping into that sacred space where no idol or representation of the Self exists, only the true, eternal being that is one with every aspect of the universe and beyond.
The Sat (Truth of Being) Yoga Approach focuses on teaching the knowledge of true Self, Atman, firstly. It works at tearing down the internal, psychological obstacles that prevent us from seeing the true self so that we, no matter what the form of meditation we choose, can realize our true Self and be awakened, or enlightened. At John Gilmore’s Healing Hands we promote Sat Yoga and Sat Spiritual Direction. We promote the idea of a strong mind and body, and cultivation of the spirit. We also provide books that do so for those who cannot afford to pay for long workshops or face to face spiritual direction with our latest being, Distant Corners in a Crowded Room: A Practical Sat Yoga Approach to Better Living.
John Gilmore’s Healing Hands provides lectures, readings, talks and workshops to create an open space within the individual that allows the awakening of the self to occur by not only grace, but by choice. Grace is always present. That is the nature of grace. The difficulty has always been being centered enough and secure enough to open oneself to the grace in the universe. It is important, therefor, to develop a sense of security, safety, and especially the desire. When we do we will awaken to the real Self. Life will change then. We will become the creators of creation, not moved by the fears, the anger, insults, or suffering, but creating hope, peace beauty and love. Another world is possible. It is right here. The key to the other world is realizing and remembering one’s true self, and then having the power to hold onto that identity by keeping all of the maladaptive messages we are presented with day after day at bay.

Education For All

The More I Know, the More I Know I Don’t Know Half As Much As I Thought I Knew!

Do you think that you know all, that you need to know in this life?
The mind is a wonderful thing.
It can soak up more information than you could possibly imagine.
Your brain is more powerful than the greatest supercomputers ever developed.
I love to obtain new knowledge, every piece of knowledge that I gain leads me to gaining another piece of new knowledge.
The more knowledge that I gain the more knowledge that I know I need to gain.
The more knowledgeable I become, the more I know that I have barely scratched the surface of what I know.
There is a huge amount of information to be gained and learned by you, and the more information that you learn leads to more information for you to learn, and so on and so on.
I pride myself on the fact that I am constantly in the search of more knowledge. I try to expand my knowledge every chance that I get.
I read books, I attend seminars, I go to workshops, I do copious amounts of research, and it never ceases to amaze me that there is always more knowledge to be gained about any given subject.
You cannot know everything about any subject, even subjects from the past, there is always something more that you can learn.
I would recommend that you gather all the knowledge that you can at every opportunity that you can.
Specified knowledge can set you free and allow you to chase your dreams knowing that you have the knowledge to deal with situations as and when they arrive.
Do not believe that ignorance is bliss.
Ignorance is simply that, ignorance.
You have no excuse not to gather knowledge at every turn.
The world is getting smaller by the day due to the latest technology.
You can access the Internet from your mobile phone, you can walk into virtually any library and get free access to the Internet, if you prefer to go “old school” you could even read a book or two while you are in the library waiting for your Internet access.
As I sit here writing this article I am struck by the fact that the more I know, the more I know that I don’t know half as much as I thought I knew.

Education For All

Gaining Knowledge – How We Use All of the Resources Available to Us to Scale the Heights

There are three kinds of knowledge available to us: through other’s experience, through our own experience, and through our innate intelligence and experience. When we climb mountains, we need to use all three.
Through other’s experience, we gain knowledge that prepares us for the journey ahead by gaining greater awareness about it; insights and knowledge about the mountain will help us to make correct decisions when we encounter the mountain. Through our own experience, we gain knowledge about what works for us, what enables us on our actual quest and the nature of that quest. Our innate intelligence and experience – instincts – helps us to make decisions when neither the knowledge we have gained from others nor our own experience seems adequate. What if something we encounter on the trail that we did not learn about and have never experienced confuses us? What do we do then?
This is where we learn to trust ourselves, to have faith in ourselves, our innate abilities and intelligence. If we have the time and have brought resources – perhaps other people or information – with us, we can stop and consult these resources. Even though we have these resources, we may not find information and solutions that make us comfortable. Sometimes we need to decide what’s best for us by consulting our innate, inner resources.
What exactly are these inner resources? We know we have resources within us by the fact that our hearts pump, our lungs breath, our blood circulates. These physical resources sustain us, they keep us alive. We know they operate through their own intelligence. That is, we do not consciously direct them; they are either self-directed or there is an intelligence within us – a subconscious one perhaps – that does. If they are self-directed, then contained within their function, their cells, is the intelligence that does. Whether this intelligence is automatic doesn’t matter. Intelligence is not necessarily a reflection of conscious choice. We have all witnessed conscious choices – perhaps our own – that have been anything but intelligent. When birds fly south for the winter, it is what we call an instinct; we understand that the bird is not making a conscious decision – weighing the pros and cons – about flying south. It just is and does, and we don’t think the decision is any less intelligent because of this. In fact, remaining up north for the winter, freezing and dying, would be a pretty stupid thing to do.
Our heart may react to our circumstances and pump faster or slower enabling us to perform an activity to our greatest physical capacity. Like the bird, our heart just is and does, making innate, instinctive decisions. Like the bird, these decisions are not any less intelligent because they are innate. If our heart didn’t pump faster, we would faint, drop from exhaustion, or die. So not pumping faster would be a pretty stupid thing for our heart to do.
Where does this innate intelligence come from, what is its source? Does it reside within us each individually or does it originate elsewhere? Now we’re again talking about the big picture. What we believe about the nature of the universe is not initially important. However, gaining an awareness of this innate intelligence within us that guides and is capable of guiding us is important. As we get in touch with this ability, this intelligence, we can make up our own minds about the big picture, about the nature of the universe. We will be able to do so as we learn to believe in and trust ourselves. We can make that decision independently from our own knowledge and experience.
If we believe a source of intelligence lies within us, then our heart may know to beat faster because of information, knowledge, imbedded either in its own cells, cells somewhere else in the body, or a combination therein. An event occurs and information stored in the cells triggers an intelligent response by the heart. Our heart has an innate, intuitive, instinctual intelligence.
Could our heart be a microcosm of a macrocosm, representative of the whole? We understand that other organs of our body may operate in the same way. But what of our total body, including our brain? Could there be information stored in the cells of our body and brain that could help us to decide whether it’s better to go north or south when we are climbing a mountain, when we are unsure where in the world we find ourselves? Is there an innate intelligence that could aid us in these situations? If so, how do we get in touch with it?
Most of us have heard popular words to describe innate intelligence. We may have been told to trust our instincts or follow our intuition. We may have some experiences which validate a belief in these concepts or we may feel it’s a lot of hocus pocus. Again, we must each decide for ourselves. But we should keep an open mind, allow for the possibilities, or we shut down to opportunities for growth.
Personally, I have come to believe in innate intelligence. It is what I have come to call self-knowledge. It is knowledge of the self, gained by the self. That is, we learn about ourselves, and the knowledge that enables our learning resides within us.
I have found that I can access this knowledge, this guidance, by asking questions of myself. When I am confused, unsure, upset, or sad, I can ask myself a question, pause, and wait for an answer. I have done this verbally, in my mind, and by putting pen to paper. Some may say the answers are my imagination, my conscious mind answering itself. Whatever the source, I have found these answers insightful and sometimes inspiring. When I have trusted them, trusted myself, I have found my viewpoint expanded and my ability to act positively in the world empowered.
To specific situations I may ask, “What is a greater understanding about this, what should my response be, what can I or do I need to learn from this, how can I make this better, how can I help, what do I need to know to enable my decision, why am I feeling this way, how can I feel and perceive the situation differently?” I have also asked more profound questions regarding the big picture and my relationship to it. I have learned to trust these answers and in turn, myself. Acting upon them in the world, I have seen their truths to be self-evident. Each of us needs to give ourselves the opportunity to discover our intelligence, our truths within.
The ways we discover our innate intelligence can be different for each of us. It may be through our passions, interests, avocation, loving actions, or contemplative, supplicative, and meditative states. When we are open to it, when we believe and seek its expression in the world, our innate intelligence can be reached. It may be in the form of insight, of spontaneous right action, inspiration, a feeling in the body, a creative visualization, or a conviction as to the meaning of something. Whatever its expression, we know it when it happens, we just need to allow it into our lives by trusting ourselves.
When we trust ourselves and allow this innate intelligence into our lives, we can help our children develop it in theirs. We do this by making them aware of it. We can discuss it with them, what it is, how it works, and give them examples in our own lives. Again, when we do this we are human, sharing our lives with them and giving them opportunities to learn and grow. By our example and through their own innate intelligence, our children will learn to make the best decisions for themselves.

Education For All

Sales Training Mistakes – Only Teaching Product Knowledge

When my son was young, he was fascinated by sports cars. Like a lot of boys his age, he liked to look at the models of the shiniest ones in the toy store, or point them out when we would see one on the street. Over time, he started to pick up assorted facts and statistics: this one went from zero to sixty miles an hour in so many seconds, another one had an engine with this many horsepower, and so on.

Now here’s a question for you: How successful do you think my young son would have been at selling sports cars at that age?

The obvious answer is that he wouldn’t have been able to do that job – children are usually better in the door-to-door cookie and candy type industries – but the truth is that he was almost as qualified as many salespeople that some big companies send out into the field. Granted, he didn’t know anything about sales, but he sure had plenty of “product knowledge.”

And that, of course, is the problem I want to highlight here. To many sales managers, training consists largely of getting the sales staff together in a room and forcing them to memorize marketing brochures and technical specifications. So long as the sales team knows all about the great things the company sells, and can explain all the ins and outs, the rest will take care of itself – or so the thinking goes.

Those of us who have worked as professional salespeople for a while know better. Being able to explain specific features is important, but it’s not nearly as critical as understanding the sales process, knowing how to read and react to different buying personality styles, and qualify potential customers. In fact, I would go as far as to say that product knowledge accounts for only about a third of a salesperson’s success – and sometimes even less.

Besides, product knowledge is more about memorization than it is skill. For that reason, it makes sense to do it in smaller increments, like morning or weekly meetings, rather than all at once in a sales training session. We all know the feeling of being overwhelmed by too much information, so don’t try to cram too many facts and details into your producer’s minds at once.

Key Sales Management Point:

Try to integrate the facts and details of what your company sells into regular sales meetings.

Use your training time to teach skills that will help your staff turn what they know into sales.

Product knowledge is critical to sales success, but sales skills are more important.