Category Archives: Blog

The Language of Trump & Kim

Reading what Trump and Kim each said about their meeting, it occurred to me that they were using typical LAB Profile® Trigger Language.

Trump uses Toward language and Kim uses Away From language.
Take a look for yourself, from the New York Times:

“I feel really great,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s going to be a great discussion and, I think, tremendous success. I think it’s going to be really successful, and I think we will have a terrific relationship. I have no doubt.”

Mr. Kim said: “It was not easy to get here. The past worked as fetters on our limbs, and the old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward. But we overcame all of them, and we are here today.

And then later, as the two leaders reconvened with top aides, Mr. Trump declared of the nuclear impasse, “Working together, we will get it taken care of.”

Mr. Kim responded, “There will be challenges ahead, but we will work with Trump.”

Trump mainly uses language indicating what he wants to gain, achieve or get. This is Toward language.
Kim mainly uses language indicating what was a problem, an obstacle or things to be solved/avoided/prevented. This is Away From language.

What this means, as they go forward, is that even when they are talking about the same things, they are each moving in different directions, one trying to get something and the other wanting to prevent something from happening.

Let’s see what happens next.
Please leave your comments below!

How to write a book in under one minute

I was having an inspiring lunch with 2 wonderful people at a Turkish restaurant here in Berlin today and we were discussing projects.  And they mentioned a book that they are working on.

I suggested that there was a short way to write a book and they were intrigued. So they recorded me.

To be clear…. the recording is under one minute, not the book writing! (there is some background noise, but it’s very audible, and who cares? It’s under a minute.)

And these tips may help you start and finish other projects!
Enjoy!

Shelle
ps. Please post your comments below! How could you use these tips in your projects?

Oprah Winfrey’s Speech Analysis

Oprah Winfrey’s riveting speech at the Golden Globe Awards in January 2018 has been analysed by my colleague from the National Speakers Association in the US, Sam Horn. Sam is one of the most creative people I know, author of Tongue Fu and many other works. (See her bio below)

With Sam’s permission, here is her analysis, including links to the speech:

Was the acceptance speech Oprah Winfrey gave at the Golden Globes the BEST 9 minute speech … ever?

Here are my thoughts on why her talk was so masterful and meaningful. I’d love to hear what you think.

1. She showed up to serve. She was there to inspire, not to impress. This was about creating a rising tide raising all involved, not about self-aggrandizement.

2. She spoke naturally and without notes. Oprah invested the effort to memorize her talk so she could connect with her audience and speak from the heart instead of being “in her head” reading a transcript (verbatim) from a teleprompter. This freed her up to be “in the moment” and “in flow” so she could fully focus on giving the speech of a lifetime, the speech she was born to give.

3. Her content was superbly crafted and condensed. I can only imagine the weeks of preparation that went into distilling this message into an “every word matters” momentum that swept us up in its elegance and eloquence. Imagine all the things she wanted to say yet disciplined herselt to edit out.

4. There was no embellishing, no grand-standing. No try-too-hard language that rang false or self-conscious mannerisms that detracted from the message.

5. It had a reveal. Original talks delight us because they introduce something new and meaningful we weren’t aware of before. When Oprah revealed that the investigator assigned to Recy Taylor’s case was none other than … (wait for it) … Rosa Parks, there was an audible “I didn’t know that” gasp from the audience.

6. She started with WHERE. Oprah’s first words were, “In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history: ‘The winner is Sidney Poitier.’ Up to the stage came the most elegant man I ever remembered. His tie was white, his skin was black—and he was being celebrated. I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses. But … ”

By putting us in the scene of WHERE she was and what it was like watching a black man receive an award, we understood the significance of her (the first black woman) receiving this award. It fleshed out what an incredible full circle Hero Journey story this is. She put us THERE by jumping right into her WHERE.

7. The truth is in the details. Oprah’s specificity of visual details not only helped us see what she was saying, it caused us to conclude she was telling the truth. We don’t believe vague stories. We wonder if the speaker is making them up, and if the speaker is making this up, what else are they making up?

Mark Twain talked about the importance of carefully chosen words: the difference between lightning and lightning bug. She didn’t just watch Sidney Poitier receive his award, she was sitting on the linoleum floor while she did. That one word linoleum made this story real and relatable and viscerally engaged us because we were picturing the linoleum floor of our childhood.

8. She linked historical and current events. She referenced the true story of Recy Taylor to show that brutality has been happening for decades, and then segued into what’s happening now with Recy serving as a metaphor for all people (past and present) who have suffered abuse and have not been heard, seen, recognized or respected.

9. She didn’t call people OUT, she called them UP. Instead of throwing people under the bus and making this about race or gender, (which would only have created further polarizing divisiveness), Oprah’s goal was to bring people together and galvanize us to move forward in cooperation, not conflict.

10. It featured repeatable, retweetable sound-bites and memorable memes that will take her talk viral. Her enduring one-liners “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” “Their time is up. Their time is up.” “A new day is on the horizon.” ensure that her message will be shared on social media platforms which means it will reach even more people globally and will remain top-of-mind for a long time. And isn’t that what we want?

11. It was inclusive. She spoke of “phenomenal men who choose to listen” so this was not male-bashing. She expanded the scope of her intended audience by naming diverse industries which increased relevance and the likelihood that people from all walks of life would feel she was talking to them.

She said, “It’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers.They are working in factories, in restaurants, in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and our soldiers in the military.”

12. She created an emotional crescendo. Just as a symphony increases intensity to lead to a dramatic finale, Oprah ramped up her energy and vocal volume towards the end. Yet it didn’t feel artificial, it felt authentic. Whatever we want our audience to feel, we’ve got to feel first. If we want people to care passionately and feel empowered, we’ve got to model that by speaking with passion and power. We must launch the emotional bandwagon we want people to jump on in the final minute of our talk.

13. It ended on a note of hope.

She closed with, “I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”

The best talks have book-ends, call-backs and continuity. They repeat and refer back to what was said in the beginning to create a satisfying full-circle experience. Oprah used the words she wanted us to remember and act on in her send-off. She wanted us to believe it’s possible to feel hope when dealing with ugliness, to see a new day in the midst of darkness. So, instead of being subtle about that, she used and imprinted the exact “rally cry” words she wants us to carry forward.

In doing all the above, she delivered what I believe will become this century’s version of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech

What were your take-aways from Oprah’s speech? How did it impact you – as a person – as a leader – as a speaker?

My take-away is that EVERY speaking opportunity matters. There’s no such thing as a throw-away talk. If we’re receiving an award, participating on a panel, presenting a keynote or giving a report at a staff, board or annual meeting; we have a responsibility to honor the occasion and say something that matters.

We CAN make an enduring difference (even in a few minutes) if we invest the time and effort to craft a meaningful message – and if we put our mind to it.

The @YouTube clip of Oprah’s speech is at this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5HV79_8B8

About Sam Horn

Sam Horn, CEO of Intrigue Agency, helps people create quality books, businesses, presentation that add value for all involved. Her books – POP!, Tongue Fu! and Got Your Attention – have been featured in New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company and presented to Boeing, Capital One, Intel, Cisco and National Geographic. For more articles and to watch her TEDx talk – visit www.SamHorn.com

Thanks so much Sam!

Please add your comments below.

 

Top Ten Tips for Improving Your Relationships in 2018

I spent the holidays with my family and therefore had the opportunity once again, to think about relationships and how I contribute to what happens, what goes right and what slips off the rails.
As I began to think about 2018, I have asked myself: “How could I be a better person this year?”

And this list is just what I need!
Thanks to Stephanie Staples, David Gouthro, my brothers, children, and grand-children for your inspiration!

Please take a look and write a comment about what you think and what’s on your list.

  1. Look at beautiful nature around you, and notice how it makes you feel. Research shows this will lower your stress level and make you feel good. And when you feel good, you make your relationships better.
  1. Imagine how you want your key relationships to improve this year. See an image in your mind’s eye of being with each person you care about, listening to each other, being open to each other, laughing and sharing fun activities together. Find examples in the past of when you already were just like you want to be now with them.
  1. Create an anchor (association) for each key relationship, when you see how you want to be with them in your mind’s eye (from 9. above), to recall this image and the feeling it gives you. You can sigh in a wistful way, touch a finger, smile, and feel the smile on your face, or just picture the person and you.
  1. Think about who you need to forgive, and forgive them fully for whatever happened. A new year is a great time to start with a clean slate, and a re-opened heart.
  1. Think about to whom you need to ask for forgiveness; apologize, ask forgiveness, and make amends. There are probably some people, with whom you have been inpatient, dismissive, irritable, cranky, unfair, angry etc. Start with a clean slate by reconnecting, taking responsibility, apologizing and do something meaningful to them to make amends.
  1. Tell and show your favourite people why you appreciate them. Make it short and sweet and true (of course.) Why are you grateful that they are in your life?
  1. Tell and show someone who needs a boost what you respect, appreciate, and love about them. Your words can make a huge difference.
  1. When someone annoys you, breathe deeply, touch your anchor and remember what you appreciate about them. It makes it easier to listen and find out what is happening for them.
  1. If someone is aggressive with you, breathe deeply, touch your anchor, looked concerned and say tell me more! Be in a curious state and seek to understand their point of view. When you delay reacting, and go for understanding their point of view, you are more likely to get their point, even if you don’t share it!
  1. Speak your truth, be kind and helpful. The people you care about will eventually thank you for your candour!

1.a Open your heart and be full with inner strength. Relationships aren’t as difficult as they seem and they are so much more rewarding that we ever thought.

4 Anti-dotes to stop you from giving up

As we head into 2018 many people are doing their annual planning, goal-setting activities. (Notice I didn’t say resolutions – be it resolved that….. bleh!)

A lot people I know confess to being way too busy and that shows up by not keeping their own commitments to themselves and to others!


Here are 4 anti-dotes to giving up to help you achieve what is important to you!

  1. Say-Do Principle: If you want to have long term credibility with others, apply the Say-Do Principle.

Only say you will do something if you ARE going to do it, WHEN you said you would. Hold your breath and count to 10 before spouting any ill thought-out sentences that others will take as a commitment on your part.

Make this a rule that you follow. If you have to miss a deadline, communicate a new deadline as soon as possible. This will earn you much respect and trust from everyone you care about.

  1. Detail/Big Picture: One of the most important gifts you can give yourself if you want to be successful, is to identify where to place your attention. Often people get lost in the detail when trying to make a decision and lose sight of the larger stakes.

Recently someone I know was stuck about deciding whether to take a job that would mean a move to a region where she wanted to live, because her husband had not yet found a job in this region.  She was bogged down in the logistical details, forgetting that they had decided as a couple that the big goal was to live in the new region.

When she and her husband zoomed out to the big picture, and their overall goal, her next steps were obvious. Take the job! Interestingly when she kept her commitment to their goal, her husband was offered a job almost immediately after she said yes.

  1. Options/Procedures: When people are focused on options, alternatives and possibilities, they have big struggles completing commitments. We call this the Options Pattern from the Language and Behavior Profile (LAB Profile). These folks tend to be very creative but often do not follow through on what they say they are going to do.

If someone has a preference for a step by process when they do things, what we call a Procedures Pattern, they are more likely to follow through with their commitments. In fact, when you hear Procedure language, such as “the next step, then, after that, process, how to get to the end goal”, etc., it may actually indicate that the person IS committed to doing what they said they would do.

To improve your ability to follow through and actually do what you committed to doing, get yourself into a more Procedures mode. An easy way to do this is to schedule WHEN you will do the steps needed to fulfill your commitment right in your calendar. And be a slave to your calendar. Ok, not really a slave as such — but use your calendar to guide your actual work activities, and not only your appointments with others.

  1. Delegate: If you still suck at doing what you said you were going to do; hire someone and give them the task. I do this in my work by hiring freelancers on elance.com to do many of the tasks I don’t have time for. Obviously, if your commitment was about making time for looooove with your partner, delegating this task may lead to some undesired consequences. J

The Power of Commitment

When you only SAY the things you will actually DO, suddenly you have a super power! Others trust you and treat you with respect. You get the things you want from life because you have made the commitment to do what is needed, when you said you would.

A simple commitment: Say-Do, and create whatever you want!

Comments welcome!

I was a special “secret guest”.

The last time I did that was when I was born. No one knew my Mum was going to have twins until I showed up!

Shockers, eh?

Ingrid Huttary, a German NLP trainer, invited me to participate in an Online German-language NLP Congress. She asked if I could do it in German, and I’m reminded, of course, of my favourite dialogue from The Matrix:

“Can you fly this thing?”
“Not yet.”

“Noch nicht!”
That was my answer. So she graciously interviewed me in English and went to the trouble to add subtitles in German.

The interview is about the latest developments and applications with LAB Profile(r) and my upcoming new online programs.

And you can see the interview and if your German is better than mine, you can also get free access to the video interview with top German NLP trainers.

The interview is available free from this Sunday at 6pm Central European time until Monday 6pm CET. (12 noon Eastern time Sunday to 12 noon Eastern time Monday, 3am Monday Sydney time to 3am Tuesday Sydney time)

Get access to the inappropriate snippets below and register for the free full interview:

Vimeo

Facebook

I’m wondering why Ingrid chose the snippets of the interview that she did. Or maybe I’m just getting weirder!

Enjoy!

Shelle

Meta Programs and the LAB Profile®: What’s the difference?

There are now over 550 LAB Profile(r) Consultant/Trainer Certification graduates from around the world.
“How strange,” I thought, given that NLP is used so much by trainers, facilitators, consultants and coaches, even if they don’t mention NLP.

Why haven’t more people been using the LAB Profile and contributing to the ever-increasing knowledge base, especially since the LAB Profile has become the accepted way of teaching Meta Programs in many countries?

So I asked some questions and here is an unscientific sample of what I heard on some NLPers’ beliefs about Meta Programs and the LAB Profile(r):

* Meta Programs are the same thing as the LAB Profile(r). * I already studied them and know what I need to know. * They are just filters and who needs more filters? * Nice to know but there are no practical uses for them.  What!? I was shocked!

And all these years I have been using the LAB Profile(r) along with my NLP skills to create a very lucrative practice helping organizations and people.

Since 1998 I have been certifying consultants, trainers, coaches and executives from around the world to use the  LAB Profile(r) (Language & Behaviour Profile) in business and other organizations. Highly-skilled people attend this program because they know it will dramatically increase their ability to help clients solve difficult problems as well as create a unique opportunity for their careers.

Learn more about the LAB Profile(r) »

Some Examples from my consulting business:  

  • Assisted a manufacturer to avoid a strike and get the first 5 year contract with their union in the history of the company;
  • Decoded specialized LAB Profile market research to develop successful advertising strategies;
  • Transformed entire call centre representative behaviour to stop the bleeding of customers from an insurance company;
  • Helped negotiators to increase revenue by millions of dollars by changing their behaviours with their customers.
  • Appeared on national television using the LAB Profile(r) to decode election strategies for the general public.In short, my NLP and LAB Profile skills have made my fee irrelevant in the market place. My customers are willing to pay whatever it costs to take advantage of the insights and skills afforded them by these skills. Perhaps the information has not been getting across to NLP-based trainers and consultants, so I would like to correct some misunderstandings.

What are the Differences between Meta Programs and the LAB Profile?

Meta Programs, originally developed by Leslie Cameron-Bandler (now Lebeau), describe what information a person takes in or gives out. Are they filtering for information, place, person, thing or activity? Do they notice sameness, similarities or contrasts? And many, many more filters.
When I learned these patterns in an NLP Master Practitioner program in Paris in the 1980’s, they are rarely connected to how to detect them and what to do once you know the patterns. I did learn however that some patterns were better than others; it was better to be internal than external, better to approach than avoid etc., a belief I have since rejected.

I was fascinated by the information at the time, but also thought there was nothing one could do with the information. In 1984 I translated Rodger Bailey’s LAB Profile(r) manual into French when I working in Paris.

I was immediately struck by the differences between his model and the standard NLP Meta Programs. I chose to use and develop the LAB Profile rather than any of the other psycho-metric profiling tools because of its simplicity, accuracy and usefulness. While the LAB Profile was based on the original Meta Programs and Noam Chomsky’s deletions, distortions and generalizations, only the LAB Profile consists of:

  1. A reasonable number of patterns to learn,
  2. A methodology for detecting the patterns, and
  3. A specific set of Influencing Language to match each pattern.

Meta Programs

Development

LAB Profile

Benefit

60 patterns

Summarizing, concentrating on essentials

14 practical Categories

Easy to learn and remember

No methodology

Structured approach

Questionnaire for

eliciting patterns

with clear indicators

Easy to use for research

with groups, & in casual conversations

No specific language

Research and

development of

language structures

Matches the Motivation Trigger and Influencing Language for each pattern

Dramatically increases ability to be persuasive  because it  fits language to internal mental structure

No practical

applications

On going research and development

Used for mass & interpersonal communication, self-knowledge, psycho-metric profiles

Incredible potential for creating new and rigourous applications

Rodger had also discovered some practical applications. This was something I could actually use. At the time we included the LAB Profile(r) in a program called “Managing High Performance Teams” and I began to explore what else could be done with it.

On top of this several people have used the LAB Profile(r) as a research topic for their Master’s or Ph.D. theses. Several psychological profiling tools have been developed using the LAB Profile(r) to use with individuals and teams.

(See Jay Arthur’s NLP Personal Profile, Patrick Merlevede’s IWAM, Arne Maus’ Identity-Compass and Jaap Hollander’s MPA Mind-Sonar)

All of this information on what uses trainers, consultants, facilitators and coaches are doing with the LAB Profile is irrelevant if people won’t give it a try for themselves. I wrote the book Words That Change Minds quite a few years ago to describe the Patterns and give information on how to use them for a few practical applications. But that was only the beginning.

Since then, we have discovered many more practical applications for consultants and trainers. Imagine being able to understand, and predict people’s behaviour using a rigourous, empirical and scientific method for motivation. The LAB Profile is an exciting alternative to standard problem-solving approaches which our customers have all heard before.

But don’t believe me. Check out my books Words That Change Minds and The Customer is Bothering Me at www.theShellestore.com

or have a look at the LAB Profile Consultant/Trainer Certification Program at www.LABProfileCertification.com

Please email me at shelle@successtrategies.com and visit my website for more information www.WordsThatChangeMinds.com

Here are some examples of the LAB Profile practical applications many of us have created over the years:

  • Marketing Research: Since these patterns vary by Context, several methodologies have been developed to empirically determine the different below-conscious motivations customers have for competing products and services. This is used to create whole mass communication strategies.

  • Coaching: I developed a methodology using the LAB Profile called Conversational Coaching, whereby the coach elicits conversationally the LAB Profile patterns of the present and desired state and casually overlaps the Influencing Language to enable the client to experience the desired state and develop his or her own solutions.

  • Training for Behaviour Change: Using the LAB Profile you can choose activities which will create the desired behaviour changes for any target group, first by decoding the Motivation Patterns for the group and then understanding which LAB Profile patterns are addressed by any given activity.

  • People Management: You can train managers to identify the LAB Profile Patterns and thereby the strengths of their team members, so they can adjust assignments to suit what staff members naturally do best at work.

  • Recruitment: You can do a LAB Profile for a position and corporate culture to create an advertisement that will be irresistible to those who fit and turn off those who do not fit. You can the screen the selected short-listed candidates to find the best match. (Note: The LAB Profile does not measure skills, knowledge or attitude; rather it measures whether the person has the Motivation Traits and Internal Processing to fit the tasks and the environment; in other words “fit”.)

  • Skills Training: Learning the LAB Profile will enable people to develop finely-tuned abilities in the following areas: Influencing & Persuading, Negotiating, Leadership, Conflict Resolution, Sales and Customer Service.

  • Consulting and Problem-Solving: I developed an easy to use LAB Profile methodology to diagnose and develop solutions to any communication problem. This is a favourite amongst business leaders and consultants.

  • Implementing Organizational Change: You can diagnose the present and desired organizational cultures in LAB Profile terms and determine the appropriate change methodology for maximum sustainable results.

  • Team Building: When you do a team LAB Profile, you can determine the team’s strengths and weaknesses with regards to their mandate. You can also identify communication patterns within the team and between this team and others, as well as determine the patterns of the next person to add to the team.

  • Teaching and Learning: Teachers and students can easily identify the LAB Profile Patterns which facilitate or cause difficulties in learning for individuals and whole groups. Minor adjustments can then be made to the teaching/learning methodology to correct any problems. I gave a workshop to the National Indian Education Conference in Canada (for teachers on Native Indian Reservations) on how to prevent drop-outs using this methodology.

  • Modelling: The LAB Profile Patterns can be used to decode any strategy or any skill, simply by identifying the behaviours (internal and external) used. This is an essential part of the modeling demonstrate this methodology to help students with their modeling project.

If you are interested in booking me (Shelle Rose Charvet) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me at shelle@wordsthatchangeminds.com.

Achieve goals using your own success strategies

Happy new year to you! I wish you all the best!

Here are some quick tips to help you have a successful 2017,
based on your own success strategies!

Find out what your unconscious mind already knows.

If you like what’s in this video, check out my mini e-book,
Wishing, Wanting and Achieving, only $9.99
Read transcript.

How to have a dynamic opening to your presentation

You compete for your audience’s attention. Every 5 to 15 seconds, they decide
if you are more interesting or if what’s happening on their phone or computer is more attractive.
Don’t lose the battle! Here’s how to have a dynamic opening to your presentation.

What do you think? How do you open your presentations to get and keep your audience’s attention?

Why this probably isn’t the end of the world as we know it.

If you are getting the news, hanging out on Facebook, or just having conversations about current events you’ve probably noticed that the tone has changed dramatically. Depending on one’s point of view, people seem to be elated, panicked or have gone into hiding as a result of the 2016 US elections. There is a lot of shouting going on.

Protests in the US went on for days after the election. Many of my friends on Facebook are predicting dire consequences of a Trump Presidency. Media from around the world has been alternately between blaming Clinton campaign strategy, the FBI director, third party candidates for this election result and engaging in hand-wringing or panic-based predictions.
As I’ve been in Berlin for a little while, I caught the cover of Der Spiegel, Germany’s weekly news magazine with the title: spiegel-trump

The End of the World as We Know it” from R.E.M.’s famous song.
(Transparency alert: I would never have voted for Donald Trump and have been an ardent Hillary support, but I’m Canadian and British, so it is irrelevant.)
BTW for a completely different explanation of the result,
check out my niece Jessica Rose’s piece posted on the Berkeley School of Law Blog.

I think we all need to chill out and accept the result of the US election. Why? Because it is just possible that this is not actually the end of the world as we know it.

These events have been going on right when I am in the middle of
putting myself through Byron Katie’s self-inquiry process.

And if there is one thing I am learning about from this psychological cleansing process,
it’s that whatever is happening,
IS the current reality
and that
we make ourselves miserable by thinking
about what should have happened instead
,
bemoaning the lamentable current state of affairs,
and whining about how we want it to be – but it isn’t.

These are hard lessons to learn. Many people really believe that this result shouldn’t have happened. Maybe they are right – but it’s irrelevant. It did happen.

Here are some of Byron Katie’s inquiry questions
that force us to face reality as it is,
instead of suffering because of our thoughts and beliefs about it.

So if you’ve been thinking as I did:

“This is a terrible outcome for planet earth in general and the good American people specifically,”

Byron Katie would ask: “How do you react when you have that thought?”
I feel worried, anxious, and stressed out about all the terrible things that could result from a Trump presidency – naturally.

Then she would ask: “Who would you be without this thought?”
I would be more relaxed and able to see all the positive events that are happening in the world to make it a better place, and not only the events that I believe are depressing.

I’d be able to remember great things that are happening such as:
– advances in our understandings of how people function and what they need to be fulfilled,
– people who have been isolated from the world, getting access to broad band internet, enabling them to connect, earn a living and more fully participate,
– women more fully taking leadership roles in key corporate and government positions,
– greater awareness of how our habits affect the environment and what we can do about it
– being able to keep in touch with people I love all over the world, whenever I want.

Once I got to this place – one of being able to see what else of a more positive nature is going on in the world – I suddenly realized that when I was participating in the growing awfulizing, I was completely denigrating the capacity of people to be creative, resilient and forward-thinking.

Now that I think about it, this planet has more potential than problems. Every time one of us makes a real connection with another, we improve something. When we communicate online to many, we have the possibility of making a positive difference.

As the late Canadian politician Jack Layton said in his last letter to Canadians:

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.”

We can do this!