Monday, May 30, 2011

Principled Counselor Technique

 A few nights ago I had a dream.  In the dream I had tied a few balloons filled with helium on strings and let them fly like a kite.  When it was time to pull in the balloons, I noticed that there was an object tied to the strings of the balloons.  As I pulled the object closer and it became bigger and bigger, the object became a white Mercedes  I could clearly see the Mercedes symbol, even though the shape of the car was different than any I had ever seen.  The car was white, with a square shaped top.  There were four people in the car and as it landed on the ground, the doors opened and they came out.  I awoke from my dream at that time.
I wondered about the meaning of this dream, as I had never “pulled anything from the air.”

When I read a few days later about the “Invisible Counselor Technique by Napoleon Hill” I took that as a hint for me to be more visionary.

I remember reading about this technique in his famous book “Think and Grow Rich.”  In the 14th chapter of the book Mr. Hill talks about the sixth sense.  He dedicates a whole paragraph on “Let Great Men Shape Your Life.”  He admits that he didn’t do it out of hero-worship; rather his admiration for the men in his counsel became so “real” that they not only became a great source of inspiration and advice for him but as he puts it, “they took on a life of their own.”  Mr. Hill conducted these counsel sessions for years to build his own character and to overcome various insecurities based on his youth.  It became a task of rebirth and contributed greatly to the enormous success he encountered later in his life.

I have since then set up my own “Invisible Counselors.”  Every night now, I envision my circle of influence:  The True Parents, Father and Mother Moon, in the center of the circle.  On the male site, I have seated: Jesus,  my ancestor Christian who lived during the 18th century and Napoleon Hill.  On the female site, I have: Mother Teresa,  and my grandmother Elisabeth who became 97.
I tell them my desire is to become a more wholesome person who wants to discover her true passion and how to apply it to serve others. 

My focus is to be more assertive (accept my feelings in the moment without getting arrogant or self-righteous), fun-loving, passionate, to better communicate (be expressive and creative) and be energetic (full of life and even take risks).  That’s quite a mouthful but in our imagination we can envision anything we want.
I will add more people to my circle as needed.  I am hoping that they can supply me with internal wisdom and guidance beyond my imagination and allow me to live a purposeful life.

Another self-help guru, Brian Tracy, suggests that when you begin to dream big dreams, your levels of self-esteem and self-confidence go up immediately.  You feel more powerful about yourself and your ability to deal with what happens to you.  The reason so many people accomplish so little is because they never let themselves lean back and imagine the kind of life that is possible for them.

This inspired me to dream again.  It also reminded me of the “Pink Bubble Technique,” which Shakti Gawain described in her book “Creative Visualization:”
This meditation exercise is simple and wonderfully effective.

Sit or lie down comfortably, close your eyes, and breathe deeply, slowly, and naturally.  Gradually relax deeper and deeper. 
Imagine something that you would like to manifest.  Imagine that is has already happened.  Picture it as clearly as possible in your mind.
Now, in your mind’s eye, surround your fantasy with a pink bubble; put your goal inside the bubble.  Pink is the color associated with the heart, and if this color vibration surrounds whatever you visualize, it will bring to you only that which is in perfect affinity with your being.

The third step is to let o of the bubble and imagine it floating off into the universe, still containing your vision.  This symbolizes that you are emotionally “letting go” of it.  Now it is free to float around in the universe, attracting and gathering energy for its manifestation.
There is nothing more you need to do.

Let’s explore more possibilities of spiritual growth and infinite learning.
WARNING:  You can look for certain outcomes but don’t be disappointed if you are focused on a specific goal and it wouldn’t appear the way you imagined.  Always allow things to happen for your ultimate good.  (Infinite intelligence – God – knows best what is beneficial for you in the long run).

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship

It was an exciting night, May 7, 2011.  The night Ohio State University (OSU) beat the team from the University of Santa Barbara (UCSB) at Penn State University.  Our son Jason #12 was part of that victory.  He has been playing volley ball for the past 4 years (his first year he had to red shirt) alongside his studies in Construction Management.  He is going to graduate this spring and will enter the “real world.”

We have been following his athletic courier over the years.  Jason has excelled in his position as Outside Hitter, playing defense.  He has also been the internal leader of his team, inspiring the team members to pray before and after games.  So, when you watch the game  you may not hear his name a lot.  He is the player who was rotated around, never leaving the court.  He was setting the ball for the other team members to get the kill or hitting that ace.

I had scheduled a trip to Germany to spend my mother’s birthday (86) and Mother’s day with my mother.  I watched the game on April 27th where OSU beat the team from the University Lewis (Chicago) in the Semi-Final match.  By the time, they played the team from Loyola University (Chicago) on April 29th I was visiting with my brother in Spain.  I watched the match on the OSU Vision channel at 1:00 AM.
When the team advanced to the championship level, I wanted to watch it, too.  Even though, the final games were aired on national TV here in the states on ESPN, we were not able to get the channel in Europe.  Here is the ingenuity of our young people: my son-in-law who lives in Frankfurt Germany, skyped with his dad who lives in Memphis Tennessee who was watching the game.  By telephone he gave us the scores, through SMS’s and finally calling us, again in the early morning hours.  My daughter and I who were with my mother at that time (in a small country town in Germany), participated in this awkward way in the championship of our son and brother.

Do I have to tell you that I am very proud of our son Jason?  It is those special moments that create memories for a lifetime.  Although, I was not there physically, my heart and prayers were with Jason. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

My visit to the Mathematikum in Giessen/Germany

On a recent trip to Germany, I visited the Mathematikum  in Giessen.  It became a day’s trip from Frankfurt, since we were invited for lunch by some friends.

On a beautiful, sunny day, we drove on the Autobahn toward Kassel.  The countryside is very pretty during the spring season, with yellow rapefields among the lush green.  After having a delicious lunch with “Kaffee und Kuchen” at the end we arrived at the Mathematikum. 
It is a museum solely dedicated to make math hands-on. 

Going from room to room I felt like in kinder garden again because every activity represented another challenge which can be difficult even for adults.  We “played” with balls, squares, triangles and all kinds of other shapes.

There was a whole room dedicated to the Golden ratio of phi and the Fibonacci sequences.  A Roman mathematician named Fibonacci discovered in the 13th century the sequence of numbers where the subsequent number is the sum of the previous two (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 …). 
This is not only found in math, but rather all over creation in form of flower petals; or spirals and forms like pine cones, sea shells, animal horns and even in weather patterns like tornadoes and hurricanes.

The Fibonacci sequence is closely related to the Golden number (ratio) and is found in the curves of architecture and art.  Even the human body shows this harmony in the proportions of the body parts.  I believe that this is the signature of the creator God who expressed himself in nature through law, order and beauty.

We spend a couple of hours in this magic place and a wonderful sharing on the way home.  Each of us was inspired by human ingenuity and the Divine expression.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium which lives in the mucus lining of the stomach. If you have never heard of it you are not alone. But it also does not mean that you don’t carry it. Unfortunately, the immune system cannot protect us from the infection caused by the bacterium, and goes often undetected; until the carrier develops ulcers, gastitis or other discomforts.

The occurrence of Helicobacter pylori is very common in underdeveloped countries. Scientists Dr Barry J. Marshall and Dr J. Robin Warren of Perth, Western Australia, have just recently (25 years ago) discovered HP’s existence. It was accepted knowledge in the medical community that no bacterium could live in the acid environment of the stomach. Because of this important discovery the Drs. received the Nobel Prize in 2005.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most patients don’t show any signs or symptoms. Once an acute infection occurs you may experience:

• An ache or burning pain in your abdomen
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Frequent burping
• Bloating
• Weight loss

Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.

Seek immediate medical help if you experience:
• Severe or persistent abdominal pain
• Difficulty swallowing
• Bloody or black tarry stools
• Bloody or black vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds

I didn’t have any of the symptoms. My physician discovered the presence of HP through a routine blood test. He prescribed a natural product called Pyloricil  which I am taking now.

If you assume that you may have been affected by HP, either through international travel, or coming in contact with unsanitary living circumstances, there is an easy breath test which some physicians administer.

If you have any more questions about HP, please visit the Helicobacter Foundation

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Power of Asking

This is from Dr. Zimmerman's TUESDAY TIP:

*2011 Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman, a full-time professional speaker who specializes in attitude, motivation, and leadership programs that pay off. For more information on his programs ... or to receive your own free subscription to the 'Tuesday Tip' ... go to or call 800-621-7881.

"Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don't go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won't laugh at you."
Jim Rohn

Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Personal Commentary:
Comedians make a good portion of their income by asking questions. After all, questions can make people laugh.
• For example, I've heard comedians ask:
• If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?
• Is it just me ... or do buffalo wings really taste like chicken?
• I went to San Francisco. I found someone's heart. Now What?
• Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.
• What is a 'free' gift? Aren't all gifts free?
• How can there be self-help 'groups'?
If the cops arrest a mime, do they tell her she has the right to remain silent?

So yes, comedians make a good portion of their income by asking questions. But questions aren't silly. They are one of the most important communication skills and one of the most important success skills you'll ever come across. And yet very few people realize HOW important they are.

It was a lesson Tip O'Neil, the former Speaker of the House, had to learn in his first campaign. The lesson came from Mrs. O'Brien, his high school speech and drama teacher. The night before the election she said, "Tom, I'm going to vote for you tomorrow even though you didn't ask me to do it."

O'Neil was shocked. "Why, Mrs. O'Brien," he said, "I've lived across the street from you for 18 years. I cut your grass in the summer. I shoveled your walk in the winter. I didn't think I had to ask for your vote."

Mrs. O'Brien replied, "Tom, let me tell you something. People like to be asked."

How true! People don't want to be told, and people don't want to be taken for granted. They want to be asked. Asking is good for your relationships.

But ASKING FOR WHAT YOU WANT is also good for you and your business. If you ask for what you want ... in the right way're going to get a lot more of what you want. Here's HOW you do it.

1. Be direct.
Ask real questions ... not statements or manipulations disguised as questions. Martin Smith learned that. When he was driving home one night, a patrolman pulled him over for speeding. As the patrolman returned his driver's license, Smith hoping for leniency, sheepishly asked, "Officer, did you notice that yesterday was my birthday?"
"As a matter of fact, I did, because that's when your license expired." replied the officer.
Don't use questions to manipulate someone because they often backfire, like they did for Smith.
And don't hint. When you announce a staff meeting for 8 a.m. and people show up late, don't hint around and say something like, "It sure would be nice if we could start on time." That's not asking; that's begging.

A direct question would ask, "Marilyn, will you please be here at 8 a.m. sharp for our Tuesday meeting?" If she says "yes" back to you, follow-through increases about ten fold.
I'm not saying you have to be abrasive, abusive, or aggressive. Just be direct when you ask for what you want.

2. Be specific.
Avoid any ambiguity. In fact, if you ask vague questions, I can almost grantee that you won't get the results you want.
For example, if you ask a coworker to give you a certain report "later this week," what does that mean? "Later this week" could have a dozen different interpretations. But if you ask, "James, will you please give me our second quarter sales figures this Friday at 2:00 p.m.?" chances are that's what you'll get.

The same principle applies to the questions you ask at home. If you ask your kid to "clean up his room," you may not be too happy with the results. "Clean" to you and "clean" to him mean different things. So be specific. Say, "Jason, I want you to put your toys in the toy box, make your bed, and hang up your clothes before dinner. Will you do that?" With a clear statement and specific request for commitment, you've got a better chance of getting what you want.

3. Be persistent.
Richard Bach, the author of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull," asked 51 publishers to print his book before he got a "yes." If he had stopped asking at number 50, we wouldn't have his classic book, the movie, or the music by Neil Diamond.

Colonel Harlan Sanders traveled for two years, crisscrossing the country, asking 1011 restaurant owners to partner with him and his secret chicken recipe. They all said "no," but number 1012 said "yes." If the Colonel had stopped asking, he would have been a poor 65-year-old without a dime to his name.

So don't stoop to being some whiny, spineless, weak-kneed communicator. If you really want something, you may have to keep on asking. Even the Bible talks about the woman who kept asking ... and asking and asking ... the unscrupulous judge for justice ... until he finally gave it to her.

Mind you, I'm suggesting you keep on ASKING for what you want. I'm NOT suggesting you keep on nagging or pestering someone until he or she gives in. There is a difference. The first one is respectful, assertive communication while the later one is disrespectful aggressive behavior.

4. Be genuine.
If you don't really want to know the answer to your question, then don't ask it. For questions to work well, you've got to be genuine in your questioning.

For example, you've probably had someone ask you, "How's it going?" Thinking he really wanted to know, you started to share a recent success. And then, all of a sudden, in mid-scenario, he jumps in and blows you off by saying, "You think that's something? Let me tell you about ..." He's off and running, right over your deflated ego, and you wish he'd kept on walking when he first spotted you. You had hoped he might have said something like, "That's wonderful. Tell me more." Instead you got treated to a litany of his opinions and achievements.

You know how it feels when you get asked a fake question, so don't you dare do it to anybody else if you expect to use the power of questions for good outcomes. As Jim Meisenheimer, one of the country's leading sales trainers, advises, ask the other person to talk about himself ... and then LISTEN.
In particular, he says, "Entrepreneurs and professional salespeople can increase their business significantly by asking intelligent, provoking, probing, and open ended questions ... questions that get people talking about themselves." And that, Meisenheimer concludes, "is much more important than talking about yourself."

Practice saying, "Enough about me. I want to hear about you. How's your business ... wife ... health ... church?" Stifle the urge to interrupt; just listen. Listen with your ears, your eyes, your mind, and your spirit. Try to understand the feelings behind their words.

Of course, not all prospects will say "yes" when you ask them to buy. But one of the keys to getting a qualified prospect to say "yes" instead of "no" depends less on what you say and more on what you ask ... genuinely so.

5. Be positive.
In other words, expect the other person to say "yes."
As strange as it sounds, people sense your state of mind. If you ask someone to do something, thinking they're going to say "no," they probably will say "no." But if you approach someone with confidence and optimism, expecting them to cooperate with you, you'll be delightfully surprised at how many more "yes" responses you're going to get.

6. Be firm.
Don't apologize.
If you preface your request with such comments as "I know you're really busy ... I hate to bother you," the other person may feel like, "That's right. Leave me alone." Just ask, but ask firmly.

An old Danish proverb says, "Better to ASK twice than lose your way once." In other words, don't be afraid to ask, and ask again if necessary. That's far better than losing your way or not getting your way.

7. Be polite.
Even though you should be firm in the way you ask, you still need to be polite and kind. In most cultures, people have been taught to respond more favorably when they hear the words "please" and "thank you." So don't forget to show the utmost respect -- in your tone of voice and the words you choose.

In one whimsical story, a little boy knew about the power of politeness. He used the pay phone in the local hardware store to call the home of the wealthiest person in town ... living in the best house in town. He asked if she needed a gardener as he would like to apply for the job. The rich lady answered no, that she already had a gardener.
Then the boy asked, "Please, if you don't mind me asking, how is your gardener working out?" The lady said, "Oh, he's wonderful. He's hard working and always on time. He cuts the grass and weeds the gardens so well that everything looks great." The boy replied, "Thank you, mam," wished her well, and said good-bye.

Overhearing the whole conversation, the store clerk told the boy he was sorry he didn't get the job. The boy answered, "No problem, sir. I already have that job. I was checking on how well I was doing."
He was polite in his questioning and he got the information he needed.

8. Ask for commitment instead of permission.
Art Sobczak writes about that in his book, "Smart Calling." Get some kind of honorable, professional commitment rather than some kind of wimpy permission.

For example, if you were in sales and talking to a prospect over the phone, you're asking for permission if you ask, "May I send you some information?" It would be far better to ask for some kind of commitment, such as, "If I send you some information, will you look it over and we can talk again in a few weeks?"

If the other person is too busy right now -- or their budget monies are coming in next month -- "Will we be able to talk more about this when I call back in a few weeks?" is asking for commitment. It implies that they need to be ready for that conversation when you do call back. And then you do have a reason to send them material.
On the other hand, "May I call you in a few weeks?" is simply asking for permission.

As Sobczak has learned in two decades of research, "People like to honor their commitments. If the call ends and they have only given you permission, why would they care what happens next? The ball is not in their court. But, if the call ends and they've committed to doing something, odds are good they'll do it. And, if asking for that commitment doesn't feel right, then it probably means you've got more work to do in building interest."

Make it your goal on every call ... or every conversation where you need something ... to ask "Will you" questions instead of "may I" questions.

You see ... time is flying by. Don't waste it by waiting for the good things to come into your life. Go out and get them by asking for them.

Action: Practice your asking skills this week. Using the guidelines noted above, ask 3 people for what you need. The better your asking, the better the response you'll get. Make every day your payoff day!
Dr. Alan Zimmerman - Tel: 800-621-7881  E-mail:

I appreciated this article so much that I reprinted here in its full length.  Enjoy