To Strive, to Seek, to Find, and not to Yield (Tennyson)

I watched ‘Skyfall’ last night and the poetry of Tennyson read by M during the hearing touched me.

I think that Apple’s ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’ is very much related too.

All I can add to this is that I agree whole heatedly. If we will never stop trying to improve, if we will never stop questioning and asking ‘why’ things are as they are, we will grow in freedom and development, and reach unseen heights.

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Being Erdkinder – in relation to politics

Some of the psychological based arguments on why it is that the voice of the people chooses the irrational political options, that edge us toward Max Keiser’s prediction of a neo-feudal state.

Chris James Barker

I’ve been observing the continuing changes that are taking place behind the scenes to the British economy. That being the sale of many of our public and private services to foreign investors. For example, our train operator Arriva now belongs to Deutsche Bahn and if anybody wonders what EDF energy stands for, it’s Electricite de France. India owns Jaguar Land Rover and goodness only knows where the royal mail will end up.

And then I found it really interesting this week when I heard Max Keiser describe the British enomic climbate as turning to a ‘Neo-feudal’ state. Where you have the wealthy capitol holders and all the proles pay rent for the privilege. It wouldn’t be the end of the world to reach that point, especially since with the advances in medication, technology and greater spread of ownership of capitol goods among the working man (a British man’s home…

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Let’s return to the Playground. I need to do some work…

superlambbanana

A fellow one day had inspiring ingredients for lunch and thus…

Recently I have been studying about babies. Now please understand just what I mean about that. Developmental psychology is the title of the module, and while we spent an age initially looking at how babies grow up in the womb, we eventually did come to learn some actual psychology.

And what we basically learnt was this: if a baby is to grow up well, into a responsible, capable, sociable adult, it needs a stimulating environment to grow up in, that is, it needs interesting toys, colourful furniture and someone to look closely at their face going “who’s a pretty baby.” And the idea is that this helps them have a balanced development, to learn to recognise what’s good, which will turn in to social skills.

And it seems that this doesn’t just apply to babies! The Bangor university library looks in parts like it has been made out of duplo and lipstick. Lots of chunky contemporary furniture in bright red, contrasting from a contemporary grey surrounding.

At one point I was not a large fan of all this fashionable art that we see all around us these days, what with brightly coloured tower blocks and abstract art filling city centres, and I’ve often approached anything with caution if it looks like the queen or James May wouldn’t approve of it, but it has dawned on me recently just how important it really is to keep a stimulated mind.

Just a short time ago, I went to Liverpool for the first time. A lot of the people who I told about the trip asked me if I was looking to find a way to get myself killed, and I’m sure if that had been my goal I could have managed it, but it wasn’t. We were there to explore, and boy did we! They have interesting looking buildings, classy docks, cultural displays, museums and super lamb banana’s (oh, and something about a few guys who called themselves the beetles… Anyone know anything about them? No? Ok…). I always used to think of Blackpool as Britons playground, and I guess it is if you want to spend all your money and hide from your morals, (and maybe even get killed), but slide south down to Liverpool, and you are in that amazing adventure playground you remember from when you were a kid.

 Have you ever noticed that when you’re with company, it may be hard to get quantities of work done, yet some of the best ideas come when discussing or chatting with others? Or that a bit of music and a pumped mind can go a long way, while at other times it may be distracting. Sigmund Freud took cocaine in order to work more avidly to develop psychological theories. Does not our body already produce some natural stimulating chemicals when given the right circumstances? And do we not note that such environments do not usually resemble hours in the study of Lord Henry Stewart Dimble of Winchester?

 It’s always good to take a rest, but what are you going to do for it? I think I’m going write my next blog post from the sandpit. 

Delivering the Best Keynote

The following article was written by me for practise writing, and as an idea for a potential publication. Before I begin, I am not a teacher, though I have some experience teaching, I do not claim to be an expert, and the following article is posted from no real position of authority. All the same, do please read it, you never know, you might like it!

You’re standing before a crowd, preparing to give an address, and it’s important to do a good job. That is, it is important to stand confidently and deliver your address, extending the invitations, and providing those present with evidence to back up and reinforce your message. A less prepared speaker runs the risk of being unsure what to say, panicking and presenting a not as good of a keynote. So, what do you do to fix that? I have spent a lot of time observing how people across the world deliver addresses, present T.V. programs, or put across other information, from Steve Jobs representing Apple in California, to Jeremy Clarkson doing Top Gear, to my Church leaders giving addresses as a General Conference or other meeting. I am impressed at how these people do such a clear, appealing job at putting across words to us, and have always thought about how to achieve this myself.

Some may use a script, which may work. Those we see on television often use a teleprompter, others will improvise (a nice way to say B.S.) it, which in my observation has but a partial success rate. The critical factor, is being able to approach all the potential obstacles in a manor that you can confidently work around them, in other words, not loose your ‘cool’ when Bryan the slob hurls abuse at you.

From my observations and conclusions, I want to offer 4 tips for good speaking to people.

1. Quite honestly, the best way to sell your point is to know what you’re on about.

Know what you’re on about. Know your topic, know it inside out, it’ll boost your confidence, especially when questions come, when you know it, you can and should answer in your own words and you wont need to worry about how you do it. Be calm, and answer questions as if you were talking to just one person in front of you. You’ll also eliminate the chance of repeating yourself for the want of something to say.

2. Use notes effectively

It’s very pretty to have a page of notes, but not that good if those notes are simply a script of what you want to say. First of all, why are you speaking? What’s your purpose? Are you selling something? Or persuading others to your point of view? Use your notes to set your objectives, and remind yourself of the things you want to say to show listeners your viewpoint, and to communicate to listeners what action you want them to take.

3. Keep it simple

People may judge you by the elegance of your words, so it is important to deliver them as maturely, confidently and perhaps even as sophisticatedly as you can. But volume and sophistication are not directly proportional, one with another. If you feel like you have to fill time, the chances are you’ll end up talking gibberish, and probably panicking too.

Take a look at this quote from John Taylor:

“It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it.”

Speak in dignified clear sentences, for that is how the audience will understand, and, if what you have said has done the job, then to say any more will simply detract from it. Simply close your remarks and finish. To do anything else would really be quite silly.

4. Deliver it conversationally

I referenced this point briefly, under the first section about knowing your topic. Picture yourself conversing with friends. Most of us have plenty to say when in the presence of friends, and we usually do it very tactfully and effectively. There is no mind blank, no script, and a quality conversation. It need not be different when speaking to a crowd. Try to see your audience, as you would your close friends, in others words, speak as you would conversationally; pause to take a breath, to think, to reorganise your papers or to have a drink.

You will be able to give confident, purposeful addresses, as you learn your topic, prepare for what you want to achieve, and use simple statements to communicate. I leave these thoughts and suggestions with you, with best wishes in what ever you choose to do with them.

Welcome to the Blog

At the Mission Office

At the Mission Office

This is by no means my first attempt at a blog, but this time my work will be successful.

The purpose of this blog, is to publish my thoughts, experiences and ideas, which I intend to be amusing, at least to some.

Over the longer term, I will go to university, and will be studying Psychology, a topic which I am passionate about. I hope also that what I learn I can provide a commentary on, which will be of interest to other keen psychology enthusiasts.

I have just recently returned from north Germany, where I served as an ecclesiastical Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) church. I am currently getting back in to the “swing of things”, an experience that many missionaries have to go through at the end of their service.

I am currently building up the site, at my own pace, so progress may be slower at first, however I intend in the not too far distant future to have the site ready for full service.