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Way To Sucess

“The surest way to success is to add value to the world. Find your calling as quickly as possible and help as many people as you can.” – Craig Ballantyne

Teach Your Way to Success

By Craig Ballantyne
Last Friday, at my 6th annual Turbulence Training fitness summit, I stood on stage at the Westin Hotel in Westminster, Colorado, and preached. My sermon taught the audience how to use the 5 Pillars of Success to change any aspect of their life and overcome every obstacles in their way.

But during my presentation, it dawned on me that I could also be doing a better job of taking action and overcoming my own limiting beliefs. It was clear I needed this speech as much, if not even more than they did. It was time to take my own advice.

As I wrapped up and stepped off the stage, it hit me. The teacher had become the student. Even though I had just taught for an entire morning, I felt like I was the person in the room that had gotten the most benefit from the content.

“While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca.

From ancient history through to today, humans have realized that when you teach lessons to others, you end up learning more than the student. That’s why the best way to develop a greater understanding of any material is to play the role of the teacher and explain it to a student.

It’s even better when your students challenge you. The more questions they ask you, and the greater their skepticism, the more you have to properly articulate your answers and justify your beliefs. It’s much better to teach actively engaged minds than passive people.

Nothing is better than working one-on-one with a cynical student. It demands that you think critically about your beliefs, and it forces to build a stronger argument for your position while also simplifying your message. The best teacher is someone that can take a complex topic and distill it to easy-to-understand principles.

Finally, you learn and become a better teach through adapting your tone and delivery based on their non-verbal responses. For example, if you notice your audience scrolling through their smartphones during a section of your sermon, you’re getting critical feedback that this part of your presentation needs work. It’s not that the audience is being rude, it’s just that you’re being boring!

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Back in my days as a personal trainer to the richest men and women in Toronto, my favorite clients were the ones that demanded to know why I was giving them a specific exercise, using a new technique, or encouraging them to eat a certain way.

If I struggled to explain something, their critical gazes would let me know loud and clear that my reasoning wasn’t sound. This caused me to put more work into my study and honing my craft so that I delivered an even better and more effective fat loss program. It also helped me improve my own body transformation results.

That’s why, if your goal is to transform your life in any way, it’s helpful to become a mentor to someone else that seeks the same goals. By explaining your new habits, you will better understand their importance, and furthermore, you will become more committed to these new behaviors. When you act as a teacher you want to maintain integrity and act in a way that is consistent with what you just taught. After all, a hypocrite is a lousy teacher… and a lousy person.

But teaching goes beyond just strengthening your knowledge. Teaching makes you a better human being, too.

I’d like to update Seneca’s quote with a dose of 21st-century personal development. To do this, we’ll turn to my friend Frank McKinney, who once said, “You cannot brighten another’s path without lighting your own.”

I believe it. I’ve experienced it time and time again. There’s not much work in the world that can make you feel as fulfilled as teaching others. Each time I step on stage to teach and preach, I forget my selfish worries and problems, and leave the stage a better man. Each time I create a video explaining fitness tips, time management, productivity or creative writing techniques, it elevates my mood and leaves me with a satisfied smile.

This approach is simple to apply in our own lives. Whatever you know, you can simply follow these two rules for becoming a wiser and better person. First, you must practice what you preach. Second, you must practice preaching it.

Try it today. Teach someone something. It could be showing your child how to tie their shoes, or it could be sharing a simple productivity tip with a colleague. No matter what you teach or preach, you’ll feel better for it.

The big lesson for you is that if you want to improve yourself, then you MUST become a teacher and mentor to more people.

The teacher always learns as much, if not more, than the student.

And the more you learn, the more you can help others, and the positive cycle continues and expands, making you better and better at what you do, and allowing you to help more and more people.

Teaching others can also lift you out of the dark dips we all experience in life.

When you’re down, and troubled, and you need a helping hand, your best solution is to become the helping hand to someone else.

When you teach others what you know, when you share your knowledge, when you add value, this can deliver you from mild depression, from a scarcity mindset, and from a lack of clarity. Teaching will give you a natural high. You’ll do something good for others, and better yet, you’ll do something great for yourself. All the while you’ll improve your understanding of the material at the same time.

That’s why you actually benefit more from teaching than the student does.

Trust me, every single time I’ve opened my expertise and shared it with others, I’ve left with new ideas, a better understanding, a clearer vision of the problem (and the solution that can be implemented), a feeling of gratitude for the knowledge that I have, and thankfulness for the ability to shine a little light into someone’s life.

As an ETR reader you know more about success, productivity, building a business, and sales than 99% of the world. You could share a tip or two each day with colleagues that struggle in any one of those areas. Not only would it boost their performance, but you’d also improve your own work habits. When you did that, you would also benefit because it would make you more aware and committed to making similar changes in your own life. And of course, it will leave you with a smile on your face when you see the light bulb go off in their eyes.

Don’t tell me you don’t have anything to teach the world. In most areas of life, you don’t need to be a certified instructor or a genius in order to impart a little wisdom to a friend, a colleague, or a mentee. You just need to pass along what you know. Everyone wins when you do that.

It doesn’t matter if you are teaching a physical skill or a mental attribute, you cannot be a good teacher without making yourself better. When you instruct by example, it leads you to live by example. The lessons become more deeply ingrained in your mind. Keep on pushing and teaching. And that will make all the difference in your life.

“Show your character and commitment through your actions.” – Epictetus

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Genius

William Beaty
William Beaty, 35yrs Elect Eng, Tesla fanatic since 1973, built devices from Tesla patents

334.3k ViewsMost Viewed Writer in Nikola Tesla with 30+ answers

Vacation And Technology

 


Why You Really Need to Unplug While on Vacation

By Kim Lachance Shandrow @LaShandrow

 

Sun, sand, an iPhone in your hand. If this is your idea of vacation, something’s wrong with this picture. Sad as it is, staying plugged in — and even working — on holiday is the new norm. For most of us, whether poolside or at the beach, or tucked away in a tent or a cruise cabin, our smartphones, laptops and tablets are always faithfully by our side or in our hands. We don’t know when to quit.

Um, hello. Wake up, not-so-happy camper. In case you forgot, the whole point of taking time off of work is to recharge your mind, body and soul — not your godforsaken glowing gadgets. They don’t call it digital detox for nothing. By now you should know that you have to disconnect to reconnect.

When we do temporarily kick the tech addiction and unplug on holiday — c’mon, you can do it — we return to the office refreshed, relaxed and ready to tackle, yep, more work. When we don’t, medical and mental health professionals warn that we’re not doing a body good. And they’re right: We suffer from poor concentration, shoddy sleep patterns, eye irritation, sloppy posture and…let’s just stop there for now. Not to mention how dorky we look zombie-ing out on our phones when we should be soaking up the sights and engaging in good, old lowercase “f” facetime with our travel mates.

Before you brave a tech-free vacation, or even a staycation, do yourself a big favor — and your clients and/or co-workers — and give them a heads up that you won’t be answering email or calls. Basically, tell them to buzz off in a nice way and then banish the guilt. You owe yourself some tech-free downtime, worker bee, and you know it.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can wait, but your health and wellbeing can’t.

Wealthy

WEALTHY

The 5% Rule

By Bedros Keuilian

Get a sheet of paper. Draw a line down the center. Write “95%” at the top of the left side and write “5%” at the top of the right side. In the right-hand column list all the things that make you money and move your business forward. Selling is one of them. Marketing is another. Delegating to your staff is another. Inspiring your team to be on the same vision, to be on the same page as you. In the left-hand column, list all the things that someone else should be doing, like bookkeeping, writing payroll checks, taking out the garbage, cleaning the office, paying the office rent, changing out the light bulbs and cleaning the carpets, etc.

Following this 5% rule is what separates very successful people from ordinary or struggling people. For example, if you and I both have eight hours a day to work and we have the same knowledge base, but you’re doing 100% of these activities every day and I’m only focusing on my 5%, I’m going to be miles ahead of you. I’m focusing only on the actions that grow my business, make me more money, get more clients, and make a big impact while you’re too busy focusing on the trivial matters that should be done by someone else.

Selling

People will do anything for those who encourage dreams, justify failures, allay fears, confirm suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.” – Blair Warren

How to Leverage Human Nature to Sell More

By Jonathan Fields

We’ve hit that time of year where rumors about the next iPhone are starting to bubble about.

There’s one particular one that’s got people scratching their heads. Leaked cases show a design that looks largely indistinguishable from the iPhone 6 or 6s.

Why is it this interesting, even if you have no interest in the iPhone?

Because it’s about the dance between seduction, status, value and human nature. And, how you might explore leveraging this relationship both for well and for good.

Here’s the thing…

On a purely rational level, when we look to buy something we are looking for value. We want to either solve a problem or experience delight and we want to feel like our money is being well spent.

So far, so good. Except for one little problem.

We are not purely rational beings. In fact, we may well be more irrational than rational.

We want value. But our brains are also wired for status and seduction.

We’re led around by an unconscious bias toward status and seduction.

On the seduction side, we want desperately to be lulled and lured, teased and tantalized. We buy something not just because it’s the best solution to a problem, but because the lines, colors, sweep, aroma or even sound touches some emotion. Because it provokes a reaction. It makes you feel. It triggers a primal call and, often, a memory and a story. An association. And that deeper yearning fuels a compulsion to seek, to want, to need, to have. You don’t need a behavioral background or market research to prove this, just open your eyes. The people and things in your life very likely make the case.

Bundled on top of the near-ancestral pull of seduction, there’s another seemingly irrational compulsion that directs our actions. A wiring that leads us to measure our own success not by some inner, objective metric, but in comparison to the perceived success of others. We are status-seeking beasts.

As Alina Tugend recently wrote in The New York Times, summarizing findings or researcher, Erzo Luttmer:

“…most of us feel better if we make, say, $100,000 if the majority of our neighbors make $75,000 than if we earn $150,000 when most of our friends bring in $200,000.”

This is why living in a place like New York City, where I call home, can be, on the one hand, quite magical, and on the other, maniacally futile and demoralizing. Because, no matter how much you earn or have, you will always be able to surround yourself with those whose relative wealth, power and access dwarfs yours. And, because while a part of this unfortunate wiring is simply “knowing” you’ve got a respectable seat at the status table, the other part is a merciless yearning to “let others know” you’re “of their caliber, too.” You’re worthy. It is a compulsion that is very likely compounded, if not outright driven by another primal impulse, the need to belong.

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So, when a new iPhone is rumored to hit the streets, devotees don’t just line up for hours to be first to get a new device because of improved utility. Sure, functionality matters, that’s the theoretically more objective value side of the equation. That’s the rational brain at work. But deeper down, we’re buying status and seduction. We want something that’s cool and sexy, however we define it. We want something that satisfies that inner comparison Jones. We want to feel like we’ve got the Benjamins to afford it and, while we might not be winning the mobile-tech comparison game, at least we’re in it. And, we want those whose approval and acceptance we seek to know we’re one of them, too. We want the world to know we have the latest device money can buy. And, we telegraph that by whipping out a phone that is observably different than the old model.

At first blush, the notion that our happiness and fulfillment is tied to status and seduction is, well, pretty messed up. We’re not “supposed” to be this way. So, we try to deny it. That doesn’t work, so we try to change it, to train it out of our conscious process. Except, the script that runs these two impulses runs deeper than conscious thought. Changing wiring on that level is a near herculean task that requires extraordinary motivation that most people just don’t have. It’s not impossible, but it requires real work.

You can practice mindfulness, cultivate gratitude and exalt generosity as benchmarks of success. You can shift your lens on what matters and why. These are all a part of my daily practice. They help. A lot. Still…

It’s brutally hard to train the sex and comparison impulse entirely out of your brain.

Are there outliers, folks who’ve learned to live from a place where seduction and status are truly not drivers of behavior? Maybe. But, often it’s accompanied by fierce and enduring effort, along with a removal from the physical and social setting that reinforces these impulses on a level very few people are willing to embrace. On the whole, most of us remain and will remain keenly aware of and fueled, at least on some level, by status and seduction.

Manufacturers and marketers have known this for years, and leveraged these dual impulses to drive consumption, and not always with regard to genuine value or benefit.

And, that’s got me thinking. What might happen if instead of denying or trying to change this quirk of human nature, we embraced it?

What if we turned the primal yearning for status and seduction into an ally?

What if we tapped it to build products, solutions, stories and conversations that leveraged these impulses for individual and societal good? To improve the human condition? Starting with the one human who decides what to do and buy. You!

What if we took more of an Aikido approach to status and seduction?

What if, instead of labeling them as “bad,” we simply saw them as a form of energy that is not only capable of driving behavior, but of being harnessed? What if, rather than pushing against our seduction and status “opponent’s” energy or trying to destroy it, we worked with and redirected it to create better outcomes, not just for us, but for those we seek to serve?

In fact, a handful of change-makers in the cause-venture and non-profit world are beginning to do just that. They’re owning and harnessing status and seduction on a level rarely seen. And, in doing so, they’re making huge strides in fundraising and expanding the impact they can have on the lives of those they serve, and those who help them serve.

Take the now global philanthropic organization, charity: water. Before founding this fast-growth foundation, Scott Harrison lived about the most opposite life you could imagine. He was a club promoter. Status and seduction were his domain, and he wielded them expertly and largely for personal gain. Awakening to a call to re-orient his life, he talked his way onto a floating hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, where he eventually came face to face with the reality of a global drinking water crisis that he saw as solvable. He felt called to do something and, so, started charity: water as a vehicle to bring water to those in need.

He also realized, drawing upon his promoter days, that there was a tremendous untapped fundraising and contribution asset that was being largely ignored in the world of foundations and non-profits; status and seduction. Actually, it wasn’t so much being ignored as it was being targeted in a way that left Gen X and Millennials, the club audience he knew so well, anywhere from unmoved to repelled.

When he decided to start charity: water, Harrison understood the need to also pay almost maniacal attention to the visual brand, the mission, the messaging, the design, the website and the way he told the story both of the people and villages he hoped to serve and of the more subtle, yet powerful benefits of being associated with this next-generation engine of impact. He effectively engineered status and seduction into the brand on a level that hadn’t been seen before. The very same impulses that he’d leveraged on a more hedonistic level in a past life, Scott now tapped to move the seemingly unmovable to a life of deeper and more public service and contribution. As I write this, charity: water reports having funded more than 20,000 water projects, providing drinking water to more than 6,000,000 people in 24 countries.

Point is this…

We spend so much time labeling the evolutionary armature of the human condition as bad, morally or socially repugnant, and trying to snuff it out. There are, no doubt, certain generations-old neural grooves or even outright pathologies that, to the extent possible, can and should be rewired or extinguished, if possible.

But, what of those quirks of consciousness that, while often expressed to the detriment of self and others, just might be capable of being channeled to serve a “higher purpose?”

What if, instead of rejecting the neural predisposition of the masses and working to rewire what most people have no interest in rewiring, we instead learned to harness this quirk of behavior as fuel for meaningful action, service, and contribution?

What if we dropped the labels and, instead, took up the quest to redirect, rather than annihilate the energy that flows through these impulses?

What if we harnessed status and seduction as a path to meaningful contribution?

Is it the best way to get there? Maybe, maybe not. But, as the Dalai Lama famously said when asked if it was okay to serve others with the knowledge that you’ll benefit as well, while the motive might not be as pure, the net effect is still the elevation of others, and that’s a good thing.

Something to ponder as we all explore how to build what we’re here to build, and tell the story in a way that taps our innate conditioning as fuel for positive action and impact.

About the Author: Jonathan Fields is a dad, husband, author, speaker, A-list blogger and serial wellness-industry entrepreneur. Fields writes about entrepreneurship and creativity at www.JonathanFields.com and interviews emerging world-shakers at www.GoodLifeProject.com. His latest book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance, was named the #1 personal development book of 2011 by 800-CEO-Read.

BLOGHER

Blogher

Each new habit will get easier each time that you take action. The more often you repeat a habit, the firmer it will be, and you will be less apt to stray from it.” – Don M. Green

The One Word Responsible for My — and Your — Success

By Craig Ballantyne and Bedros Keuilian
Whatever it is that you want to do, change, or achieve, someone else before you has done it, often starting from circumstances worse than yours.

Success starts with preparation and planning to avoid the wrong people, environments, and habits. Then you need to connect with the right people, environments, and habits.

Success is simple once you accept how difficult it is.

If you don’t believe me, listen to my friend Bedros Keuilian. Bedros came to America at the age of 4 with his family from Armenia (legally, too), but couldn’t speak a ‘lick of English’. His family was broke. He had to dumpster-dive for food. He didn’t go to college.

Yet Bedros has raised himself up into the epitome of the American Dream, becoming a millionaire many times over, helping tens of thousands of people every day, and today he owns the fastest growing fitness franchise in the world.

He attributes his success to one word. I’ll let him explain…

The One Word Responsible for My — and Your — Success

By Bedros Keuilian

Humans are funny. We do things in a ritualistic fashion. Think about your morning routine, your weekend routine, or your evening routine.

It’s likely you do the same stuff in the same order, right?

Those are habits.

And our habits are there to keep us safe and to make life predictable.

But often times our habits form by taking the path of least resistance.

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But today, we fall into habits that are easy BUT bad for us.

So if we don’t pay close attention to the habits and rituals we choose, we end up sick, fat, tired, depressed, and unfulfilled.

How to Set Good Habits…

Several years ago I started getting really bad anxiety attacks and essential tremors. After trying to deal with them myself I went and saw a doctor. The Xanax that was prescribed to me made me numb and drowsy. I lost all creativity and desire to work.

I got off the pills and tried to figure out what was causing me to have these panic attacks and essential tremors (where my nervous system would simply shut down on me forcing me to go into uncontrollable shakes).

I looked at my habits. I realized I had cut my exercise time in half in order to accommodate my business and work more. That was a big mistake.

I had allowed clients and customers to cross personal boundaries by making myself available to EVERYONE morning, noon, nights and weekends via text, email, or phone.

I had taken on businesses and business partners whose values and work ethic did not align with mine.

Turns out I had slowly given into bad habits, one by one that were causing me to fall apart, get fat, and slide into depression and anxiety.

My attempt at giving my clients, customers and business partners better service and more of me had caused me to abandon the healthy habits and rituals that made me the super power that I was.

I found myself less capable, less effective, and unable to cope.

After seeing how one small habit led to another small (and equally bad) habit I made the decision to one by one reverse each bad habit for the sake of my sanity, health, family and business.

Just one habit at a time.

That’s all it takes.

Replace one bad habit with one good habit.

I want to challenge you to better your habits and replace the bad ones with good ones, too.

Maybe it’s cutting out sugars and sweets.

Maybe it’s going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning without hitting snooze.

Maybe it’s adding exercise to your morning routine.

Maybe it’s getting back into the habit of being grateful.

Maybe it’s reading a book every month.

Whatever good habits you’ve drifted away from, get back to them one good habit at a time.

And when you’re ready for another good habit, then introduce it back into your life.

One by one invite the good habits back into your life and discard the bad ones that are causing you stress, fear, doubt, overwhelm, keeping you tired, out of shape or sick.

Just one habit at a time.

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Craig here again…

Bedros is right.

We must develop new, stronger habits that will allow us to reach our goals. Start by…

1) Setting deadlines for your new positive habits.

2) Making small changes every day.

3) Preparing for those days when we feel like doing the opposite of what we should be doing.

You can do it. You can break free from your comfort zone. If you believe in yourself as much as I believe in you, you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams. It may not be easy, but you can and will do it. I’ll be right here with you every step of the way.

About the Author: Bedros Keuilian is the embodiment of the American Dream. Arriving in the United States from the communist Soviet Union back in 1980, his family went from being broke to eventually adding value to their new community. Today, Bedros helps over 45,000 fitness experts grow their businesses. Bedros knows the American Dream is NOT dead, because he is living it right now.

Important Steps For Parents to take after an Autism diagnosis

After an Autism Diagnosis: 13 Crucial Next Steps For Parents

BlogHer Original Post

If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism, as my son was in 2003, here’s what I want you to know: Learn from me, don’t be me.

Leo Around the Time of His Autism Diagnosis

Leo, around the time of his diagnosis. Photo: © Jonathan Mandel, used with permissionWhen professionals first started suggesting that my Leo might be autistic, I reeled. I didn’t know anything about autism at the time, except as disability version of a child-stealing bogeyman. When my son’s diagnosis was confirmed, I was terrified. And then I was depressed. And then I got to work on figuring out how to parent an autistic kid. And then I made a lot of mistakes. And then I rued those mistakes and tried to do better. And then I wished it hadn’t taken me so damn long to figure out the best ways to support, help, advocate for, and express my love for my now-teen son—who has always deserved better than a reeling, terrified, depressed, confused, and regretful mom.

The funny thing is, the happy photo of my family and parents you see above was taken around the time Leo was first diagnosed. Look at that cute, sweet little guy, radiating and reciprocating joy! Yet that sweetness and that joy was not my focus at the time, because I was so preoccupied by negative assumptions about autism, and also by the urging I was getting from so many sources to “fix” Leo, to hurry up and get him into various therapies so he wouldn’t miss any supposed windows of opportunity.

I wish I’d known then what I know now: that I should have given myself more time to recognize my wonderful autistic boy for who he is, rather than what people assumed autism made him. I also wish I’d been able to recognize and dismiss all that debilitating ignorance, fear, and confusion.

Ideally, I’d go back in time and advise (and pinch) my former self. But since that’s not currently possible, my next best option is to share some hard-earned wisdom with parents who are just starting out, so they can avoid some of the mistakes I made, and do right by their autistic kids.

So here it is: the advice I wished I’d been given, when my son Leo was first diagnosed with autism.

1. Give yourself time to adjust.

Negative messages and images dominate media coverage of autism, and are the main reasons autism scares the crap out of parents and parents-to-be. What most don’t realize is that they’ll be parenting the same kid they were parenting before the autism diagnosis arrived, and that diagnosis just helps steer you and your parenting approach in the right direction. So give yourself time to be cautious and thoughtful, and adjust your course as needed.

There’s no denying that autism can bring challenges for your kid or your family, no matter your child’s personality or specific needs. But please know that most problems you encounter will be due to lack of understanding and accommodation about autism from other people and society in general, and not because of autism. This is especially true when your child’s needs are less evident: if they don’t appear to have a language delay, or if they need support with filtering overwhelming everyday environments, as in processing delays or sensory sensitivities.

You also need to give yourself time to understand why those nasty and ever-present cultural messages about all autistic kids being lost in their own worlds, isolated, lacking affection or empathy, etc., are so hurtful and mistaken, so you can push back against them. Those messages are based on misunderstanding of autistic people and how they interact with and perceive the world, and are just not true. By pushing back, you can help make the world a better place for your child right now, and also for the adult they will become.

2. Give the people around you time to adjust, and keep them in the loop.

Like me, my friends and family didn’t know a thing about autism when Leo was first diagnosed. They also didn’t know what to say to us, beyond platitudes. I don’t really blame them; we were all in that ignorance boat together. But I do wish I’d been together enough to feed them lines like, “it’s okay to ask us questions, but we might not know the answers yet” and “feel free to keep inviting us over; we’ll say no if it doesn’t work.”

One way you can help your people become your team—and by helping them, help your child and yourself—is by inviting folks along for the ride. You can post status updates on private groups on Facebook, on blogs, or though periodic group emails (being mindful of your child’s privacy in the more public areas). You can let your people know it’s okay to absorb information without commenting. This way, you have less to explain when you see them in person, and the new information you’re figuring out won’t be foreign to them.

Hopefully, these efforts will mean you and your child become surrounded by people who understand and support you. (They may also decrease the number of well-meaning but insulting “I could never do what you do” comments.)

3. Give yourself time to process information critically.

There is so much bad autism information out there, especially the hawking of sciencey-sounding “cures” (there’s no such thing) or “recovery” (ditto). But there’s so much good information, too! And the more informed you become, the more your perspectives on and understanding of autism and parenting will change — ideally for the better.

Wired journalist Steve Silberman’s forthcoming book NeuroTribes*, for example, goes deep into the history of how we define autism, how who qualifies as autistic has changed over time, why there’s no autism epidemic, the dehumanizing history of Applied Behavioral Analysis, and the emerging leadership of autistic people themselves—and will change the way a lot of people think about autism. It’s a must-read.

While I’m not a huge fan of “mommy instinct,” I do think parents need to pay attention to their autism information spidey sense. If someone is pushing autism information that does not stand up to even the most cursory research—for instance, that autism is caused by misaligned energy pathways, or is avaccine injury—run away and find better information resources.

4. Give yourself time learn which organizations and people to trust.

Most people outside the communities consider Autism Speaks a trustworthy autism resource. Yet, in my experience, autistic people and their supporters tend to criticize Autism Speaks, for not including any autistic people in its leadership, and for basing their fundraising campaigns on fear of autism and pity for autistic people and their families.

Autistic-led organizations like The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) tend to focus on the needs of autistic people of all ages and abilities, and provide toolkits and other advocacy materials. When I’m looking for good information, I tend to watch what ASAN and their allied organizations are posting about.

My biggest shift in understanding happened when I encountered autistic people and their writings, and learned to trust them. Julia Bascom’s essay Dear Autism Parents felt scary and confrontational when I first read it several years ago, but now sounds impassioned and reasonable—as well as a wake-up call to parents who misunderstand autistic adults, their passion for helping today’s autistic kids, and their right to assert authority in understanding the autistic experience.

While evaluating whether an org or person is reliable, you may need to work on your own defensiveness. If you get angry at a person’s autism information or an autism org’s position, consider that you may actually be overwhelmed by the possibility that you had been getting your information from unreliable sources. Give yourself the space to walk away and think things over.

You also need to learn to differentiate between those who are legitimately angry over unfair treatment, and those who attack unfairly; you should at least listen respectfully to the former. And, for the sake of all that is holy, avoid toxic parenting groups—meaning parents who at first glance appear reasonable and compassionate, but would “understand” if you hurt your autistic child.

5. Give yourself time to figure out what autism means for your child.

Autistic brains and thinking processes can be very different from non-autistic brains. If you’re not autistic yourself, learning to recognize and understand these differences may take time, as well as trial and error. What a non-autistic person might think is emotional manipulation or callousness may be logic, executive function challenges, or genuine confusion: An autistic child may refuse to clean their room not out of defiance, but because they can’t comprehend taking on large multi-step processes without a checklist; or a child may laugh when other people are in trouble, not to be callous, but out of relief that they or their loved ones aren’t the distressed party.

Autistic perceptions of pain can also be atypical—some autistic people are hyposensitive, others are hypersensitive, some are both, and some just have a hard time interpreting pain signals. Be vigilant when your child appears to be injured, because they may not be able to tell you just how hurt they are, even if they are otherwise articulate.

Sensory experiences are also different for many autistic kids. They may not be able to filter out lights, sounds, or touch—to the point where just walking into a grocery store can cause a meltdown. If your child refuses to enter large, bright, loud, or bustling environments, consider that it may actually be painful for them to do so. If they’re not doing well in their classroom, consider that they might need noise-canceling headphones, or tinted glasses, to help filter out sensory stimuli so they can focus.

A large percentage of autistic people have clinical-level anxiety, and may learn to self-soothe throughstimming or creating elaborate, predictable, and therefore safe, routines. Try to understand why your child may be behaving differently than their peers, instead of getting embarrassed by your child behaving differently than their peers.

Also: Become educated about autistic learning styles. Not all autistic kids are math prodigies. In fact, studies show that most don’t have superior math skills. Most have average or below-average skills. In addition, co-occuring learning disabilities like ADHD, dyslexia, or dyscalculia are quite common too, and can be overlooked or termed “laziness” if your child is perceived to have academic strengths in other areas, or if your child is a person of color.

6. Give yourself time to figure out what communication looks like for your child.

Everyone communicates. Even kids who don’t speak. But autistic kids who can speak fluidly may not be able to communicate all their intentions. Be very careful about this, as those seemingly fluid talkers often have their communication needs underestimated, and suffer as a result.

And for those kids, like my son, who don’t speak or are not fluid speakers: We need to be careful to presume competence, to treat them as though they can understand everything you say. But that’s not enough. As Julia Bascom writes about parents who discover that their child is more capable than they’d realized:

“…they think the problem was that they treated their child like they were intellectually disabled, and they weren’t. But that’s not the problem. The problem is that they thought their child was intellectually disabled, and so they didn’t treat them like a person.”

Your communication goals for your child should be to find their optimal communication strategy and style—whether that’s speaking, using a symbol-to-speech device, or typing—and not to prove to the world that there’s a hidden child locked away inside your actual child right there in front of you.

7. Give yourself time to figure out which supports, schools, therapies, and environments will help your child succeed.

Is an inclusive educational environment a possibility? Do you know how to differentiate between helpful and harmful therapies? Are you unknowingly subjecting your child to therapies that would never be allowed with non-disabled kids? Do you know how to write educational goals that will best serve your child’s needs?

(This is where you rely on those trustworthy resources, as much as you can.)

8. Give yourself the space to be flexible about needs, and pick your battles.

You may need to adjust your rhythms to those of a kid who doesn’t sleep much, whose limited diet means bringing their food along whenever you don’t eat at home, who thrives on medications you’d previously consider terrifying choices, who suddenly can’t tolerate certain environments and needs to leave. Remind yourself that your child isn’t doing any of those things by choice, and renew your commitment to understanding their autistic needs.

9. Give yourself time to find autistic role models for your child.

If your child doesn’t know any other autistic kids or people like themselves, they may feel alone and isolated (or even broken, or defective). Don’t let that happen if you can do anything about it. I have found good role models for my son in the blogs of autistic people, and in books about autistic people. And, of course, through hanging out with autistic people!

As much as you love your child and accept your child (and as much as those feelings may be reciprocated)—if you’re not autistic, then you’re not part of the community your child does belong to. So please help your child find their tribe.

10. Give yourself time to think about shared traits.

By this, I mean traits you might share with your child, and other family members might share with your child. Even if you yourself don’t have enough traits for a diagnosis, many parents and siblings get diagnosed with autism themselves after another family member’s diagnosis makes them more aware of what autism can mean. This is especially important for female siblings and family members, as autism in girls is different than autism in boys and is often overlooked due to gender bias in diagnostic criteria.

Having multiple people with autistic traits in a home can mean greater understanding, but it can also conflict: In our house, we have some people who like to make noise, some people who are rather insensitive to noise, and some people who are overly sensitive to noise. If the noise maker is happy, the noise-avoider is miserable, and the noise-oblivious person (okay, me) is too often wondering what the hell is going on. We are still learning to negotiate our space to suit everyone’s sensory needs.

11. Give your child space to grow and change.

Not just when puberty hits (boy howdy, this is where we are now, and it can be different for autistic kids—it can really scramble communication abilities, emotional stability, and coping capabilities), but in terms of autistic development being different than non-autistic development. I worry a lot about people whose families stop trying to teaching their kids skills because they’re past some imaginary development window, when autistic people actually tend to continue to gain skills throughout their lifetimes, more so than non-autistic people.

12. Give yourself time to figure out what your child really enjoys.

Surrender to that joy whenever possible. Your kid is a kid, after all. Don’t let people frame your kid’s enthusiasms in pathological terms like “special interest” or “splinter skill.” If your kid likes something, and they’re not hurting anyone, let them like liking it.

13. Give yourself time to plan for your child’s future without you.

For kids who do not have life-threatening health conditions, there’s no reason to think your child won’t outlive you. And that’s how you need to plan for their future—as one without you in it. Denial helps no one here, and could actually really imperil your child. So start figuring this out now, and then you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

I realize this is a lot (a lot!) of information to digest. Give yourself time to think it all over. If I just made you feel like you stepped into autism parenting information quicksand, come back later, or try to portion it out and think over various bits of advice as needed. Know that, even though I’ve been writing about parenting and autism since 2003, I honestly learn something new every day. I know I haven’t learned nearly enough yet—but I also know that my son and I both benefit whenever I learn something helpful. So keep on learning and loving, and let me know if I can ever help.

Note that I could put in a link for every assertion I made above, but then this would look even more like a research paper. If you want background on any unlinked topic, just ask. Please also know that this is a brief overview, and that I could write a separate essay on each point above.

*Disclosure: Our family was consulted in the writing of the book.

“>AngieDiazCervo

Your Diet and Your Body

Obviously, your body type is closely related to how you look.  But did you know that which types of foods you eat and your ability to excel at athletic activities are related to your body type?  Don’t worry, there is no “right” body type and each one has its positive aspects.  Also, we want to note that whichever body type you have does not mean how you look now will forever be the way you look.  Sure, drastically changing your body type is a challenge, but provided you’re willing to work hard enough, you are actually in control of your own destiny.

Before we get to that, let’s first go over the three primary terms used to describe body types and what characterizes each of them.

ecto

1. Ectomorphs

Ectomorphs are generally identified as having thinner limbs and thin bone structures. They tend to have fast metabolisms and the immensely frustrating ability to eat plenty of carbohydrates without showing it. If you’re trying to visualize what an example ectomorph looks like, think of most long distance runners – long, thin, and lithe.  Ectomorphs tend to constantly burn calories.  For them, putting on muscle mass is a constant struggle.  They have to force feed themselves and oftentimes eat far more than they have any interest in doing (while this may sound like a blessing to some, for many ectomorphs, it is a point of constant frustration).

meso

2. Mesomorphs

Think of M to stand for in this case Medium as Mesomorphs have a medium bone structure and fall in between Ectomorphs and Endomorphs. Generally, this body type is characterized as an athletic build with a naturally higher percentage of muscle mass than ectomorphs.  This body type is ideal for explosive sports.  In sticking with the Olympian analogies, you can think of Mesomorphs as your thickly muscled sprinters – not built to go long distances but rather built to generate a lot of power in a short amount of time.  Also, people with this body type tend to have higher testosterone and growth hormone levels, which as a result allows them to maintain low levels of fat.

mendo

3. Endomorphs

At the other end of the spectrum, endomorphs have larger bone structures as well as naturally higher levels of body mass and fat mass.  Exemplary endomorphs are the shot-putters on the Olympic field. In stark contrast to ectomorphs, endomorphs tend to have a harder time burning excess calories and therefore, are likely to carry both more fat and muscle.

Once you’ve identified which body type category you belong to, how should you eat? The following chart shows in simple guidelines to follow:

 

% of Calories from Dietary Sources
  Ectomorph Mesomorph Endomorph
Carbohydrates High (~55%) Medium (~40%) Low (~25%)
Proteins Medium (~25%) Medium (~30%) Medium (~35%)
Fats Low (~20%) Medium (~30%) High (~40%)

Important to note is that when you eat is almost as important as what you eat.  If you’re exercising frequently, then your overall ability to eat high carbohydrate foods regardless of your body type will go up – especially if you eat carbohydrates within a short time period before or after exercise.

To be clear, this is not how to eat for one specific goal but rather a general methodology to work toward moderate muscle gain or weight loss – what will change is simply the amount of calories consumed. For someone who is trying to put on muscle (be it an ectomorph or endomorph) these general dietary splits remain true, however, the amount of calories consumed needs to be increased.

Lastly, it can’t be stressed enough that these are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Put these guidelines into practice as a starting point and start watching how your body responds. Use your results to iterate to achieve the desired goals.  No two people are alike so no two responses to a diet will be exactly the same.  Test, learn and adjust your way in order to achieve your goals.

While eating for your body type will help with staying healthy, you will probably still have gaps in your nutrient intake. Find out how WellPath can help fill your nutritional gaps and help you reach your health goals.

Steps To Become Wealthy

“While we are postponing, life speeds by.” – Seneca

How to Become Independently Wealthy

By Mark Ford

We recently received an e-mail from Jorge Izquierdo, Jr., a subscriber who complained that “all the material being covered [in The Palm Beach Letter] is for long-term investing. What about short term? I’ve been trying to free my family and myself from the chains of slavery for far too long now. Show me the truth.”

Behind Jorge’s question lies the assumption that it is possible to acquire wealth through some “short-term” investment strategy.

As I’ve explained before, it’s simply not possible to quickly turn, say, $25,000 into $1 million by investing in stocks. But I have good news for Jorge. He can unshackle himself from “financial slavery,” as he calls it, in a relatively short period of time.

Jorge – or just about anyone for that matter – can achieve freedom from financial slavery in just a few years. It does not have to be a lifelong process.

If you are in this situation, here is what you must do:

First, you must ask yourself if you are willing to give up the hope of getting rich quickly by investing. Are you willing to accept the fact that you won’t go from broke to being a millionaire by investing in the next Microsoft? If you can’t honestly and completely answer “yes” to that question, you might as well go read another analyst… one who will tell you what you want to hear.

But if you are ready, the next thing you need to do is think about what you mean by “financial slavery.”


What does that term mean? Most commonly it means two things:

  • You earn less than you spend.
  • You owe more than you own.

If you earn less than you spend, you are in a constant state of stress. You must put off or partially pay your bills. You must appease creditors. And all the while, your debt is mounting.

If you owe more than you own, you can’t buy a house or lease a car or get a loan from anyone other than your parents. (And what if they are dead or tired of helping you… or don’t have the money?)

Because you are in so much trouble, you can’t even think about taking nice vacations or retiring someday. Instead, you have to worry about losing your job. So you keep working and reading investment newsletters. But as each month passes, your financial situation gets worse.

It’s a miserable existence. But it doesn’t have to last. You can break the chains you feel attached to by simply recognizing and reversing the two “facts” mentioned above.

**********SPONSORED LINK*************

From the co-founder of EarlytoRise.com…

Mark Ford wants to make his readers a little bit richer every day. More than 100,000 readers joined this mission so far. More than 1,000 even wrote in to rave…

Problem No. 1: You earn less than you spend.

Solution: Spend less and earn more.

You can’t break the chains of slavery without hitting them hard with a big mallet. You won’t be able to gain the independence you want in a few years or less by cutting $10 here and $50 there.

My recommendation is to cut your expenses by 30% to 50%.
I know that sounds crazy. And it may be impossible in your case. But don’t dismiss the idea until you hear me out.

The primary factor in how much you spend every month is the neighborhood you live in. Your neighborhood creates the financial culture that presents the spending choices you make. If you live in a community of million-dollar homes, you will be looking at new BMWs and Audis when it comes to buying or leasing a car. When you go out to dinner, chances are, you’ll be spending more than a hundred dollars per couple.

Unless you live in a working-class neighborhood now, you can radically reduce your spending by moving into one.

I have friends and family members in this situation. They live in $350,000 homes in beautiful neighborhoods and drive luxury cars. But the reality is they are broke and getting poorer every month. They refuse to even consider the idea of downsizing because they are simply too ashamed to do so. What they don’t realize is every month they try to “hold on,” it is making them poorer.

Moving to a less expensive neighborhood would be the quickest, biggest, and surest way to bring their spending down by 30% to 50%.

The other thing you must do to improve your situation is to earn more money. You should take immediate steps to increase your income by 20% to 50%. Again, I know that seems radical, but if you want a “short-term” solution out of financial slavery, this is just as important as radically cutting expenses.

Problem No. 2: You owe more than you own.

Solution: Start owing less and owning more.

If you have accumulated a lot of debt, it means that you don’t see debt as financially dangerous. You must accept the fact that most debt you have is bad for you. There are only a few exceptions: mortgage debt when interest rates are low, and business debt when the business is sound and you are not personally liable.

The first step toward debt management is to get rid of every credit card you have, as well as any credit you have with your bankers. Use cash or debit cards for your shopping. Yes, that means there will be lots of things you can’t buy every month. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.

If you have a lot of existing credit card debt, you need to consolidate it. Then work with a professional to pay it off at reasonable interest rates.
If you are lucky enough to have equity in your home, trading it for a cheaper one (see above) will accomplish two important goals: it will reduce your monthly expenses, and it will give you a chunk of cash that you can use to pay off debt or put aside as savings.

You must also increase what you own. And by that, I do NOT mean cars or boats or furniture or toys. I mean tangible assets that are likely to appreciate. Gold coins, income-producing real estate, and safe stocks belong in this category.

Every extra after-tax dollar you make by taking on extra work or starting a side business should be devoted to increasing your ownership of such assets. None of it should be spent.

Being financially independent is not about having a big house or driving new cars or taking fancy vacations. There are tens of thousands of Americans in that situation today who are financial slaves, just like you. They are in chains because they spend more than they make and owe more than they own. Their stress is just as great as yours, even though they may make more money or have more toys.

Being financially independent means having more income than you need and owing far less than you own.

It means knowing that you won’t be harassed by bill collectors or embarrassed at the supermarket. It means you have money put aside to take care of any emergencies that come up, and it means a savings account that gets substantially bigger every year.

Becoming a multimillionaire takes years. But breaking the chains of financial slavery can be done relatively quickly.

The hardest part is recognizing the chains that are binding you – earning less than you spend and owing more than you own – and deciding to do something serious about them.

Jorge, you have the plan in front of you now. It’s up to you whether you follow it.

Let us know what are you going to do today to get on the right path to become independently wealthy in the comments section below.

Ed Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.