“Acid Rain”

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Neuro Semantics, NLP, Personal Development

I will never forget that year, 1996. It began with someone who I knew well being called a “hero” and it ended with him being “crucified”, “hated” and emotionally stoned; labeled a “public sinner” and a religious pariah. He was a nice bloke who served the church, in the full time ministry, as a priest. Enthusiastic, idealistic and motivated, he wore his heart on his sleeves and gave his heart and soul to his ministry. Folks simply loved what he was doing, the “freshness” he brought. And they embraced him with love, respect and admiration.

 

Months later he decided, due to personal reasons to leave the ministry. He informed his “flock”, hoped that they would understand his decision and made his “leaving” as transparent and open as possible. Nonetheless, in an instant, things changed; folks who had been his friends, his “flock”, turned into a frenzied derogating mob; unleashing a barrage of vicious, cruel and malicious accusations about him, his decision and character! Rumors and gossip began spreading, poisoned with lustful anger, condemnation and rage; significantly distorted by their own shadows and dark imagination.     

 

 

“He left the ministry because of a girl. God will punish the bitch.”

“He left because he had an affair.”

“He left because he had a misunderstanding with his superior, his Bishop.”

“He left because he lacked the character to carry on.”

“He is a shame to his family, a traitor to his faith and God!”

“He is a disgrace to the church and to us.”

“He was never that good after all, he was too arrogant and proud.”

“I always knew that he was a fake”, nobody can be “that good”.”

“He is totally wrong and will live to regret his decision.”

“His parents must be destroyed by his decision, God will surely punish him.”

“His is a disgrace, a sinner and a source of scandal.”

“He will be excommunicated by the church and will find no peace.”

 

“Gossip separates close friends.”

-Proverbs 16:28

 

As months moved on, these vicious rumors became the judgment laid upon his name and character. Even today, such rumblings can be heard, 15 years later. The injustice of these rumors and gossip was that they were never true. And how would I know, you may ask? Well, I’ll answer that question at the end of this blog.    

 

The point I’m trying to make is that our words carry tremendous power and we often abuse its power by spreading rumors, creating crippling gossip and ill informed judgments that destroy trust and spoil reputations. We use it with dark “creativity and innovation” to smear others with guilt, shame and ill repute: deliciously salivating between the sheer pleasure of spreading such “juicy poison” and being seen as the “preferred broker” of such information. Like “acid rain”, our words rain down destruction that ruthlessly quenches the human spirit!

 

 

“Gossip is a type of verbal terrorism. To destroy somebody’s good name is to commit a kind of murder.”

- Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, “Words that hurt, words that heal”

 

 Why do words hold such power?

 

Because we a neuro linguistic class of life; the human species uses words and its different symbols as a way to represent reality, the world out there, to itself, making “maps” of it. (But they are never “the” totality of reality or the truth!) Words, language, linguistics and semantics are the very symbols by which we think, reason, imagine, figure things out, communicate, discover, innovate, live, educate, FIND MEANING and pass on information from one person to another, from one generation to another. Being made in the image of God, who used the WORD to create the world, we share in its power to create and give life or destroy and kill, to be fresh rain or “acid rain”!

 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,
but words will make me go in a corner and cry by myself for hours.”

-Eric Idle, Comedian

 

 The gossip difference: what differentiates rain from “acid rain?”

 

Gossip is distinguished from sharing information at the level of intent. Folks who gossip often have the goal of building themselves up by making others look and exalting themselves as the broker of “insider information”. And the types of information shared by them have to do with the faults and failings of others: including potentially embarrassing or shameful details, hence the term “talebearer” or “scandal-monger”.  

 

 

“Words, so innocent and powerless…when standing in a dictionary, how potent for good or evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”

-Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

  

Victims of “acid rain”……

 

We all have been victims of “acid rain”. Need proof? Allow me to ask; don’t some of our deepest pains come from hurtful words? Words that were either directly said to us or that was spread behind our backs and which eventually reached our ears? How did it make you feel? What emotions did it create in you? What memories, thought and beliefs did it burn into your mind and body? How did it effect you spirit? Did it bring inspiration or desolation? Did it unleash you or keep you leashed to the cruelty and hurt it brought?

 

“Words have a longer life than deeds”.

- Pindar, (522 BC – 443 BC)

 

Have you not been a victim of such “attacks” from loved ones, family members and friends which have left your reputation disfigured and maimed?

 

Perhaps this story will make help make this point clear….

 

A man in a small village was a terrible gossiper, always telling stories about his neighbors, even if he didn’t know them. Wanting to change, he visited the Rabbi for advice. The Rabbi instructed him to buy a fresh chicken at the local market and bring it back to him (the Rabbi) as quickly as possible, plucking off every single feather as he ran. Not one feather was to remain.

 

The man did as he was told, plucking as he ran and throwing the feathers every which way until not a feather remained. He handed the bare chicken over to the Rabbi, who then asked the man to go back and gather together all the feathers he had plucked and bring them back.

 

The man protested that this was impossible as the wind must have carried those feathers in every direction and he could never find them all. The Rabbi said, “That’s true. And that’s how it is with gossip. One rumor can fly to many corners, and how could you retrieve it? Better not to speak gossip in the first place!” And the Rabbi sent the man home to apologize to his neighbors, and to repent.

(The Gossip, a midrash as retold by Marcia Lane, found in Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope: Stories, Storytelling, and Activities for Peace, Justice and the Environment.)

 

 “Acid Rain” on global proportions……

 

Today there seems to be a huge and lucrative “Gossip Economy” that thrives on the fabrication, distortion, deletion and generalization of information, professional “acid rain” makers, who sensationalize them in magazines, tabloids, newspapers and a host of other media channels. Folks who mindlessly abuse “the power of the word”, seeding clouds of deceitful and malicious “acid rain” in global proportions; ruining marriages, bring down economies, send share markets reeling, start a revolution or a war that causes millions to suffer.

 

Didn’t the US go to war with Sadam Hussein because of the “rumor” of WMD’s?

Don’t the paparazzi make a living out of “acid rain” making or cloud seeding?

Have you not jumped into your car to race to the nearest petrol pump to top up on fuel because of a rumor?  

 

Rabbis, priests, ministers, mullahs abuse this power: influencing public opinion, causing schism, starting revolutions and religious wars while embedding judgmental filters in the hearts and minds of their believers. Each proclaiming to know the “ultimate truth”, owning the road to salvation and yielding the power of their god; raining toxic “acid rain” that fragments society, divides, segregates and alienate all in the name of the SACRED ONE,  their church, sect or denomination.

 

Have not folks wrapped themselves with explosives and blown themselves up because of a rumor?

Have not religious and sectarian riots been sparked by a rumor?

Have not brother kill brother because of a rumor?

 

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.”

-Dale Carnegie

 

 The “biggest” rumor….

 

Now biggest rumor of all is that we believe these rumors, even though we have been its victim! We all are “acid rain” makers! We buy these tabloids, magazines; indulge in trash talk, and make private information public. We become master editors of information, small talk, hearsay, chitchat and news-mongering about the affairs of others, their weaknesses and shortcomings.

 

We gossip to feel good about ourselves and get an ego stroke from the “down fall”, sins and mistakes of others. We love to hear dirt on others, add on to it and repeat it. It makes us feel superior, drawing others into our own hurt and anger, jealousy and envy….unleashing “acid rain”!

 

Even if we say it’s true or “all in good fun”, it does not justify unnecessarily passing on hurtful information about someone. Gossip has never helped a victim or solved a problem because as it passed on from one person to another much like a vicious mantra; it becomes an “independent entity”, an “urban legend” or “judgment label” that is permanently burned unto the character of the person gossiped about.       

 

 

“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

- Proverbs 12:18

 

“Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul, health to the bones”

- Proverbs 16:24

 

Perhaps it is “fun” to read, listen and to gossip about others…..until of course it is about us. Have you not been on the receiving end of such rumors and gossip? Yet, why do we still do it?

 

Is it because we do not know better, have no direction or “teaching” on the destructive power of malicious talk?

 

Islam considers “back biting” the equivalent of eating the flesh of one’s dead brother. According to Muslims, backbiting harms its victims without offering them any chance of defense, just as dead people cannot defend against their flesh being eaten. Muslims are expected to treat each other like brothers, deriving from Islam’s concept of brotherhood amongst its believers. (Source Wikipedia)

 

Judaism considers gossip spoken without a constructive purpose (known in Hebrew as an evil tongue, “lashon hara”) as a sin. Speaking negatively about people, even if retelling true facts, counts as sinful, as it demeans the dignity of man — both the speaker and the subject of the gossip. (Source Wikipedia)

 

Buddhism speaks of right thought, right speech, right behavior, right livelihood and right action. 

 

Christianity, in the Epistle to the Romans associates gossips or backbiters with a list of sins including sexual immorality and murder.

 

If someone paid us 1 dollar for every kind word we said about people, and collected 50 cents for every unkind word, would we be rich or poor?

 

“Kind words can warm for three winters,

while harsh words can chill even in the heat of summer.”

-Chinese proverb

 

Do our words lift and inspire, or do they destroy?

 

 

Perhaps this story will help us make better use of the power of our words. 

 

In ancient Greece(469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?”

 

Wait a moment,” Socrates replied. “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

 

“Triple filter?”

 

“That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my student let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

 

“No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…”

 

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?”

 

“No, on the contrary…”

 

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

 

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.

 

Socrates continued. “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter - the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?”

 

“No, not really…”

 

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?”

 

 

The man was defeated and ashamed.

 

“By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.”

- Sir Winston Churchill

 

Perhaps we all need to take the “Triple Filter Test” before ever thinking of starting or spreading rumors, gossip, belittling talk or derogatory chatter: ever before thinking of creating acid rain”.

 

Now to answer that question, “How did I know that all the accusations and malicious talk made against my friend above was not true?”

 Because that person was me. 

 

“My Name Is Gossip.

 I have no respect for justice.

 I am without killing.

I break hearts and ruin lives.

 I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.

 

The more I am quoted the more I am believed.

 I flourish at every level of society.

My victims are helpless.

They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.

 

To track me down is impossible.

The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobody’s friend.

Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.

I topple governments and ruin marriages.

 I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.

I spawn suspicion and generate grief.

 

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.

 Even my name hisses.

 I AM CALLED GOSSIP.”

- Author Unknown

  

Andy Griffith Gossip

 

 

 

Be courageous enough to THINK DIFFERENTLY, to stretch beyond convention!

 

Think RADICALLY and stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!

 

Catch new blogs fortnightly at let us know what you think below.

 

Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company in Malaysia. He has more than 15 years experience in people development from the diverse fields of Sales, Marketing, Customer Engagement and Service, Business Management and Talent Development. He is a Certified & Licensed Neuro Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Trainer from the International Society of Neuro –Semantics, USA, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS,USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner. He holds a MBA from Gordon University, Illinois,USA.

 

“Vinegar or Honey”

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Neuro Semantics, NLP, Personal Development

Last weekend I met an old friend at one of my trainings. The last time we met was about 2 years ago. She looked very much the same and as we exchanged pleasantries, she brought up an issue that we had discussed the last time we met; her difficulty and struggle in speaking English. She began telling me how hard it had been, her difficulty in understanding the vocabulary, her struggle with the tenses, her cultural background and studies that worked against her (she lived in a home that spoke only Chinese and did her primary and secondary education in the same medium), how she had faired poorly in her past English examinations and the fact that she still found it hard to “think” in English ( meaning that she thought in Chinese and then literally translate it in to English, making it “English sounding Chinese”). She concluded by saying, “I will never be able to speak English as well as you. I’m just not able.” 

 

As I listened to her, I was amused as how little things had changed since the last time we spoke about her “struggle” and devised strategies to help her improve. She seemed “frozen” in her struggle, unable to make any significant changes. What was more alarming was the self limiting belief that she had constructed about her ability to speak good English: “I will never be able to speak English as well as you. I’m just not able.”

 

So I inquire if she had carried out some of the strategies we last discussed. She said that she had initially done so but soon stopped because she believe that her “handicap” was much too “big” to over come. She felt that it had become “a part” of who she was. In such a state, there was little possibility for her to make any progress.

 

Allow me to ask, was her “real hang up” her lack of talent, her cultural and linguistic background, her “skill and strategy gap” or her weak intent to improve and speak better English? What do you think? I believe not, as there are many folks in similar circumstances who have learned to speak the language fluently. Her real problem was her unconscious habit of being problem focused: becoming an expert in her problem and all its varying dimensions and this habit produced for her the “evidence” to believe that her problem was her “permanent reality”- turning it into a self limiting belief. In other words, she made her problem part of her “life script”, a daily unconscious narrative that she told herself while every little set back became more evidence that affirmed her limiting self belief!  

 

 

“Focus on the solution, not on the problem.”

- Jim Rohn

 

Are we not in some way like my dear friend, experts of our problems, difficulties and struggles? Unconscious of our “unconscious competence” of being problem focused which produces the “evidence” needed to from limiting self beliefs? Habits that keep us tapped in our “problem focused – ness”, making us experts in creating our very own pungent “cognitive emotional vinegar”;   and then soaking in it our heart, our potential, our abilities, possibilities, talents and very future, believing the lie that “I’m just not able”!

 

 

“The way we see the problem is the problem”

-Stephen R. Covey

 

We developed such “competencies” simply because we live in circumstances, a culture, where “problems” have always been the main focus of attention, not necessarily the solution. We may have been brought up in a family where, on one hand little emphasis was put on reinforcing our strengths, gifts and talents and on the other, major emphasis on our weaknesses, “failings”, “oddities”, “inabilities”, insecurities and handicaps: a culture of “insecure comparison” which influenced our habits of thinking and perceiving .  Thus turning us into “problem focused” magnets, experts of our struggles, weaknesses and limitations; being seduced by its endless and exhausting destructive mental loops that drive us “insane”!   

 

We read books by “experts” on how things “should be” or are suppose to work, literature that highlights the lacks and gaps and which “over powers” us into passively accepting their explanations of “what is wrong” with us: nailing us shut in a passive and helpless role, locked into a problem narrative that we learn to rehearse over and over again, enhancing our problem focused competency!

 

“We were trained to look at the grades on our report card, rather than focus on the image of the grade we desired. We learned to let our results control our thinking instead of the other way around.”

-The Law of Attraction

 

Consequently, we developed the “unconscious competence” of focusing on what’s lacking, missing, absent, loss and wrong. We become experts on what we suffer and struggle with; we imbibe their negative presuppositions and then form limiting and toxic self beliefs which keep us locked in our own “troubled little world”. Highly skilled practitioners of our very own “cognitive emotional terrorism” and sabotage, proficient in knowing what is wrong with us, why we will most probably remain “wrong” and how, no matter what we do, our efforts will “always” remain futile; turning us into emotional zombies!

 

 

“Without the discipline of guarding the mind, what use are any other disciplines?”

-Nagarjuna

 

 - Are you faced with similar issues? What is one of your pet “problems”, weakness and the limiting self belief(s) you have created behind it?    

- Do you have lots of “cognitive emotional vinegar” in your life, soaking up your potential and the possibilities for the future: keeping you leashed?

- Are you an expert in making your very own “cognitive emotional vinegar”?  

 

 

So what’s the solution? Being solution minded and developing a solution frame of mind. And how does one do that? By learning to focus on the “honey”, on what we WANT and PASSIONATELY DESIRE, not on what we don’t want or want to avoid!

 

Yes, it’s really quite simple, knowing what we want and learning to focus on what we want: soaking ourselves in its “honey”. This can be a pretty uncomfortable thing for many of us to do; nonetheless it’s a competency that we can develop, a competency that pays dividends in unleashing our highest and best, transforming us into what we truly desire to be, do and have.

 

The theory that we have to know our problems fully and entirely before we solve them is not true. In fact, on the contrary, when we delve too much on them, we become stuck in a “problem focused” mindset. Being solution focused, on the other hand, even if does not look like a fit to resolve the problem, is sufficient, as a small enough change is all that’s needed to send our negative way of thinking into a new and different direction.

 

 

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.”

-Anonymous

 

The transformative power behind such “focused-ness” lies in these 3 simple facts:

 

- It switches our focus off of what’s wrong and onto what’s right, stressing the resources and skills that we already have. It’s not about what’s missing and causes woe, but what’s present and can lead to happiness. This releases a different kind of energy within us, one that’s positive and embracing.

 

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.”

- Anthony Robbins

 

- With a solution focused frame of mind, our entire neurology becomes “solution focused”; positively effecting our self beliefs and meaning frames, our internal dialogue which shapes our inner emotional states and our thinking patterns, unleashing creativity and possibility thinking.

 

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.”

- Denis Waitley

  

- It maintain a future “ focused-ness”, enabling us to see with solution-seeing eyes, hear with solution-hearing ears and feel with solution-feeling emotions. This simply means we being to live with a new sense of enthusiasm, energy and passion, living for WHAT WE WANT that induces change with in us without activating the forces that prevents this change or triggering thoughts that may nullify it.          

 

“The past doesn’t equal the future.”

- Anthony Robbins

 

 So, what do you prefer: the vinegar or the honey?

 

 If it’s the “honey” that you want, then the following pattern can help you cultivate a new and empowering competency: the ability to know what you want, focus on it and to behave in ways that actualize it, one small step at the time. It’s about developing a solution frame of mind and behavior.  Here we go…

 

 

- What is it that YOU WANT? Answer this question in the positive, by stating what you want or want more of in your life and not what you don’t want or has stopped us. What we focus on increases in our life, that’s the power of this question, so become an expert on what you want!

 

“Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy.”

- Denis Waitley

 

- How will you know you have got it? Make it specific and measurable: what will you be seeing, hearing and feeling when you have got what you want? The answer to this question places us in the very place we want to be, “going there first” is what positive visualization is all about. Remember, make it specific and make it a “knowing” and get those details in.

 

- Can it be initiated and maintained by you? This is critical because if what we want lies in the powers, opinions and decision of other, we’ll be caught in a helpless pool of futility. We are more likely to achieve what we want when we ourselves can initiate and maintain positive action and steps towards it. Empower yourself by taking responsibility and ownership of what you want! You are worth it!

 

 

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

-Albert Ellis

 

- Where and when do you want it? Ensure you know this so that you keep what you want real. Put a time line on it, tie it down and make it target! Anchor it!

 

- Does it keep the positive aspects of your current situations? If what we want somehow robs us of something which our current situation gives us, something that we value, we will unconsciously sabotage our efforts. So ensure it provides the “key empowering benefits” that your current situation delivers but do not make excuses to remain in your comfort zone. 

 

- It there anything you might loose as a result of getting what you want? This simply means that its positive consequences, of what you want, far outweighs the current negative consequences and is alignment with your sense of self and of who you really are. Create alignment and remain congruent with your higher values, beliefs, identity and mission.

 

- How does it effect your wider system?  This simply means if it’s appropriate with all the other aspects of your life, your relationships and socio- emotional- spiritual reality. If there’s a misfit, we will again unconsciously sabotage our efforts. We are social animals and what we want effects the “social and cultural” we live in ecology; so take account of it and if it ecological, move on.    

 

- What will you do? Make it specific and simple; outline a map of specific actionable steps. Make these sets achievable, simple and realistic, if they are too difficult and intimidating, we’ll procrastinate. Remember, simplicity is the key. Then turn these steps into new behaviors, new habits of acting.  

 

“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you.
If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you.
Whatever good things we build end up building us.”

- Jim Rohn

 

- Is there any resources and skills that we may need to achieve our want? Access what you already have and take concrete steps to access what we need. Over and above this, you have to believe and act as though you have the necessary resources to get what you want: this empowers you to perform in the NOW as though you have already achieved what you want.

 

- Act, act, act! This is really simple, just act on what you have planned above: act on what you want with an intense focus on what you want! This is what having unlimited power is all about and living with a solution focused mindset! Do you not want what you want?

 

“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.”

- Tony Robbins

 

   So, what do you prefer: the vinegar or the honey?

 

Your potential to actualize your highest and best; to express the purpose you were created for, depends on the answer to this question above. We may have become proficient in developing the “unconscious competency” of being problem focused but the price we pay for such habits is way too high and painful. Developing a new and empowering competency; focusing on what we WANT, on being SOLUTION focused, may take some effort but the payback it offers is phenomenal. It is how the “giants” who have gone before us became “giants”!       

 

 

“Many are stubborn in the pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in the pursuit of the goal.”

- Nietzche

 

“Focus your energy on greatness.”

- David DeNotaris

  

Be courageous enough to THINK DIFFERENTLY, to stretch beyond convention and soon, you’ll be among the few who have behaved differently and made the world a better place; a place of grace, where the impossible is made possible! THINK RADICALLY!     

 

May you be inspired by the examples that these “giants” left us! Enjoy!

 

Motivational video “Change your mind in just 2.50 mins”

 
 

Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!

 

Catch new blogs fortnightly at let us know what you think below.

 

Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company inMalaysia. He has more than 15 years experience in people development from the diverse fields of Sales, Marketing, Customer Engagement and Service, Business Management and Talent Development. He is a Certified & Licensed Neuro Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Trainer from the International Society of Neuro –Semantics,USA, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS,USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner. He holds a MBA fromGordon University,Illinois,USA.