Currently, I am reading a new book by Leonard Sax called Boys Adrift, 'the five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men.' Dr. Sax is an M.D. and PH.D. and has also written a book titled, Why Gender Matters.

This month's ezine will be a must read and should be passed forward to anyone you know who has young boys under age fifteen. If you absorb and heed Dr. Sax's advice and the distinctions he has made, you will be well ahead in countering the pitfalls facing young boys in our nation today. Since there is only limited space and time to put this ezine together, I would encourage anyone reading this to pick up Dr. Sax's books as a critically important resource.

The following are some of his key observations and how our society is shortchanging boys on several key fronts. I will list each point with a brief explanation.

Video Games-Some of the key points Dr. Sax discusses here has to do with how they contribute over time to lack of motivation, lack of reality in dealing with life (ie- sadly, video games become their real life) lack of physical fitness and additional challenges these games present. When you factor in the violent point and shoot video games being used by young impressionable minds, you are creating a very "toxic brew" among our males.

One of the points Dr. Sax makes that really impressed me was how there are early observations on an interesting phenomena. Many of the males who have spent time on these games end up living at home after their teen years are well over with. I know we all dearly love our children but, in their best interests, we not only want them to have roots but also the wings to go off on their own and start their lives in a healthy manner. Allowing all kinds of time on these games appears to have a crippling long term effect on the potential future independence your son may experience. Lack of good communication skills (due to sacrificed real life dealings with others) will certainly not allow your teen to be ready for the global, high speed changes we must all face competitively.

Teaching methods-Twenty years ago and before, kindergarten was kindergarten and a lot of play, hands on and movement was the name of the game. Today, kindergarten kids are expected to do what first graders did back a few decades ago. What is wrong with this? According to Dr. Sax, boys especially, do not have the development to handle some of the reading and writing expected in today's kindergarten. He thinks schools have to change and not expect the five year old boys to change. Dr. Sax also believes that starting boys in kindergarten at age six would benefit them by having another year to mature and handle school better. Too many boys are hating school because they are expected to come in, sit still and do the classwork. That is not the nature of the beast for a five year old boy!

Prescription Drugs-To directly quote Dr. Sax, "Overuse of medication for ADHD may be causing irreversible damage to the motivational centers in boys' brains." Everything I coach with my program, Success Learning Systems, revolves around the principle of long term thinking and how any action (or inaction) may effect us over time. We have had twenty to twenty five years of Ritalin and some of the other drugs used to "improve attention" and are now seeing unexpected consequences from their use.

Endocrine Disruptors- Dr. Sax says the following on the back jacket of his book, "Environmental estrogens from plastic bottles and food sources may be lowering boys' testosterone levels, making their bones more brittle and throwing their endocrine systems out of whack."

Devaluation of Masculinity- "Shifts in popular culture have transformed the role models of manhood. Forty years ago we had 'Father Knows Best'; today we have 'The Simpsons'." As someone who has observed this first hand, Dr. Sax is exactly right! The role model of an adult male and what he should be has truly taken a number of hits over the last few decades.

The combination of these five factors, he believes, has had a negative effect on the brains of boys, especially as they are growing and developing. Fortunately, Dr. Sax also lists solutions for these issues and they will be further summarized in the upcoming September Success Learning System's newsletter. In the meantime, if you have further immediate concerns regarding your sons or boys you may know, I do encourage you to invest in his book. There is a great saying that really fits here and it goes like this, "denial of the facts does not mean they go away."

If Dr. Sax's information and observations are ultimately proven, the sooner we all will be better off by addressing these challenges. I, personally, take his views very seriously and, since I work with a variety of teens and younger males as well, this may prove to be a priceless resource! Over the years teaching, coaching and running Success Learning Systems, I have made some of the same observations. Dr. Sax has further helped me connect the dots and I look forward to assisting many more parents, schools and kids overcome this issue.

Our attitudes toward life

Our attitudes are a choice and we decide how we are going to look at the world. Life is a series of choices that we make on a daily basis. Whether we view the glass as half empty or half full is a good example of expressing optimism or pessimism with our circumstances. One of the best quotes I have come across is by Charles Swindoll and it goes as follows: "The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes."

It has been said that attitudes determine the quality of life for all of us. Understanding what we focus on and how we look at and process this information will directly impact every part of our life. For example, having an attitude of gratitude is a key component in further enjoying our life. How many things can you currently think of that you may be taking for granted but are incredible gifts? Assuming you have all your senses in reasonably good working order, doesn't it make sense to be grateful for these? How about all the other working and thinking parts of your body that absolutely contribute to the joy of our life? How about your friends and family? You probably have a number of wonderful people in your life who have given you a great deal over the years. The ability to appreciate nature and all her beauty is truly a gift of having a good attitude toward life. We all have a great deal to be grateful for IF we will FOCUS on some of these things. Unfortunately, many people have the opposite strategy and the glass is always half empty. There are so many things to be grateful for in our country regarding all the opportunities and chances to grow and improve ourselves. Freedom is one of the greatest gifts we have and we have plenty of that in the U.S. Perhaps one of nation's biggest disadvantages has to do with the huge number of choices we do have here. We can have literally anything we want in this country if we just DECIDE what it is that we want! By combining your attitude with some specific goals, you can do and become as great a person as you choose! Develop the habit of an attitude of gratitude and you will undoubtedly rapidly increase the wonderful things you are attracting into your life. Remember, it's a choice! Success Learning Systems-Making it happen!

Why high standards?


Positive modeling is doing the same things as someone who has achieved a positive result in their life. We can literally attain almost any goal in our life by following the "recipe" or strategies of another person in modeling their belief systems, actions and sequence of actions. Unfortunately, in our nation today, we are all exposed to a great deal of negative modeling that comes to us from all forms of the media. Understanding and holding ourselves to higher standards is what this newsletter is all about. The main reason is higher standards will lead to a much better quality of life for us longterm. In an age when there are so many poor examples being shown to our young people, it is the right thing to do on their behalf. It is so important to realize and understand the power of our minds and to know the key trait of the subconscious mind. It can not tell the difference between good or bad, true or false, REAL OR VIVIDLY IMAGINED, it only records and stores information. There are four main ways we all take in information, other people, the electronic media, reading material and our spiritual beliefs. If any of these are coming from a source that is negative, we will program ourselves in a way that will not serve us well in the long run of our lives. We also have to be aware of the seeds we are allowing to be planted in the minds of young people whose minds are still being formed well up into the teen years.

Setting an example for our children


Regarding our children, we are always planting positive or negative seeds by what they are exposed to. The younger the child, the more potential damage will occur if they are exposed to negative information and potential good if they are given positive models. As an example, it is no accident that Tiger Woods is the level of golfer that he is because his father (a Green Beret and Vietnam vet) had a great understanding of the subconscious mind. Before Tiger could walk, he was watching his father swing a golf club perfectly in the garage of their home. Young Tiger would beg his father to let him do this but his father held him back until he had the necessary motor skills to do this at about two-three years old. When he finally was allowed to swing the club, it was literally perfect!

Why? His dad understood the power of the human mind and helped Tiger in his very young years make incredible neuron connections in a socially acceptable field. Doesn't it also make sense if a young child or teen is exposed to violent or explicit material that they will be "hardwired" to move in those socially unacceptable directions? The Hollywood/entertainment field will try to deny this but it is denying the law of cause and effect. What is planted in the mind will ultimately bear some form of fruit in our lives and the lives of our children. When we look at it from this perspective, doesn't it make sense that we all work to increase our personal standards, self-discipline and expectations that will improve the quality of our lives? To not do so and expect a good life is truly self-delusion!

Is this quality entertainment?

Perhaps the biggest challenge we face as a nation is the "mind pollution of the young." By this I mean our kids are continually being bombarded with violent, and, or, explicit imagery from a variety of sources. This includes the television, internet, radio, movies, DVD's, billboards, magazines, etc. It really amazes me when the Hollywood/Entertainment field says "if you don't like it, turn it off." Talk about a copout on responsibility! Parents today have to be so vigilant in protecting young, impressionable minds from the "sleaze merchants" out there. It would be great to turn it off but it is everywhere we go! The people that peddle this material truly do not care about the black, white, yellow, brown or red kids, they only care about the "green" (as in money). As someone who has taught and coached extensively in three states, I have truly seen the downward slide in standards. Included in this experience is teaching in public schools, alternative schools as well a great deal of contact with private school teachers and home schoolers. What is truly sad, is how little is thought of the examples that are being set for our children. The younger the mind that is exposed to this, the worse the potential damage! Please follow along as I zero in on a particularly vile form of "entertainment" and how I have seen first hand how it has effected some of the most vulnerable in our society.

What is this form of "entertainment" I am referring to? It is gangsta rap and what is amazing to me when I discuss this with poor inner city kids of any color is what incredibly good marketers these "artists" are!!! You would be blown away if you had the debates I have had with these kids and how they try to "defend the indefensible!" The kids I talk to will literally go around incantating the lyrics, beat etc. of some of the most horrific messages imaginable!!! Some people try to say it really has no impact but they are truly delusional and in denial of the law of cause and effect! I am here to tell you it has enormous effect, especially on what I refer to as the "canaries in the coalmine." Those canaries are some of the poorest, least parented, street kids that are becoming much more dangerous to themselves and society than most people realize! Many people are afraid to address this issue because "free speech", political correctness, etc. One of the original sleaze merchants was very white Eminem who talks violence, beating women, etc. It doesn't matter if it is white Eminem or 50 cent, the effect on our disadvantaged kids is tragic! This garbage is having a terrible effect on many, many kids! I truly believe these gangsta rappers are the "MODERNDAY SLAVEMASTERS!!!" Why? They are absolutely destroying an entire group of young people's futures with the horrendous example they are setting for them! When young people are taught to be rude, crude, abusive to women, have no manners toward others, allow no one to be disrespectful to them but show no respect to others, what kind of future do they have??? Who's going to hire someone like that? How will they be able to care and feed the children they may have? WHAT POSSIBLE VALUE ARE THEY CREATING IN THE MARKET TO ALLOW THEM TO SURVIVE LEGALLY IN SOCIETY? Does anyone truly believe that we can have young, impressionable minds exposed to this and not have a very negative effect on large portions of society? These kids are growing up thinking 50 cent is great because his handle is, "shot nine times." These guys market themselves through violence, abuse of women and anyone who gets in their way! They are so good at this marketing that the "canaries in the coalmine" kids will rabidly defend this insane behavior! This is why I refer to them as the "modern day slavemasters!"

Key distinctions from the trenches


After speaking with a cousin of mine in Florida about this topic recently, we really had a great discussion. He made some excellent points on how the older generations have always had disagreements with the younger generation on their forms of entertainment. I was able to give him some key distinctions based on being in the trenches and what I have seen up close and personal with kids today as compared to when I started in education thirty years ago. My cousin I spoke to is worldly, smart and understands human nature so I had to make some solid points with him. Here are a couple of the differences compared to the entertainment of twenty or thirty years ago.  

Cable television has really pushed the envelope when it started twenty years ago. The breakdown of the family which accelerated in the 60's and70's has left many more kids vulnerable.The absolute incredible level of crudeness, cursing, abuse of women in lyrics combined with the technology advancements is unprecedented in history! When you combine these and other forces, it makes for a very toxic combination for our young people! 

Solutions to this challenge

What are the solutions to this challenge? Take charge of what your young, impressionable children and teens are being exposed to. Is this easy? Of course not! Let teens know that they are absolutely short-circuiting a great deal of their potential if they follow the route of these "slave-masters." You can not have a great and wonderful quality of life and drink in this mind pollution! I have seen far too many teens whose parents have not exercised this effort to counter these sleaze merchants and the damaging effects it has on the kids! You need to plant the seeds of success, hope and optimism in your children and teens. Take time to talk with them and express your love and belief in them. Let them know they are better than this and you value their futures and how they will raise their children (your grandchildren). Stay vigilant and let them know you are there for them. Do your best to be a better marketer than the "modern day slave-masters", the gangsta rappers!

Purifying The Well

As I have mentioned in previous ezines, I believe one of the greatest issues our society faces is the "mind pollution of the young." This ezine's goal is to understand and encourage the critical importance of "purifying the well." The well is a metaphor for our minds and the minds of our children, especially impressionable youngsters and teens. Hopefully, the information contained in this ezine will persuade more people to realize how critically important understanding and incorporating these principles will be for yourself and your loved ones. We would never deliberately poison our physical bodies by eating contaminated food or water. Doesn't it also make sense to avoid poisoning our minds?

In order to grasp the importance of what we are discussing here, it is necessary to learn that we humans are primarily deletion creatures. On a conscious and unconscious level we literally are bombarded with much more information and stimuli than we can possibly handle. Some experts say it may be as much as two million bits per second! Whatever amount it is, our minds have to delete 99.999% of it continuously or we would not be able to function. This deletion "skill" allows us to accomplish certain things we put our focus on. The challenge then, is how do we direct our minds to focus on things that will assist us in improving the quality of our lives longterm? Additionally we should avoid convenient short-sighted thinking that interferes with true prosperity and achievement. We should be involved with activities that are goal-achieving, not tension relieving! In other words, entertainment should be life's dessert, not the main course. What does the entertainment industry preach to all of us, particularly young people? They teach the idea of being entertained all the time! IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO REACH OUR GOALS AND BE SUCCESSFUL IF WE BUY INTO THIS NONSENSE!!! We can not spend our entire day searching to be amused and entertained and then wonder why our life is not progressing. Purifying the well should become a daily discipline in order to overcome those forces who would profit on selling us very low standards. Your lives and the lives of your loved ones have enormous value! Always value and care for your precious mind, purify the well!

Your success ticket, the reticular activating system! What is the r.a.s? It is the part of the brain that allows us to focus on what we are primarily thinking about and then bring more of this into our lives based on the law of attraction. This small portion of the mind exerts enormous influence over our lives and you will see what some of the advantages of using it productively can do for you or against you if you choose to use it negatively. The veil of secrecy is being lifted here to help you create tremendous opportunity and good for your life, if you will "purify the well." By this I mean, using our minds to focus on what we want (and what is truly good for us in the long run) and keeping our minds off of what we don't want (ie-what is truly bad for us in the long run).

The Law of Attraction says we are a living magnet. We inevitably attract those people, things and circumstances based on our dominant thoughts. There is an excellent program on DVD called "The Secret" and it goes into incredible detail on this law. (You can access it by going to www.thesecret.tv I very much encourage you to invest in this program. For thirty dollars you will discover something you will find to be life-changing!) One of the key speakers on The Secret tells how whatever we are saying or thinking is the same as putting out an order to the universe. She characterizes this as similar to placing an order in a restaurant. As we think, so we attract! How good is it for kids to be immersing themselves in the seamier side of the entertainment industry? Are the seeds of these no-conscience performers something we really want our children taking into their minds and attracting the corresponding misery over the long run?

Let me be very clear and concise on exactly what I am referring to in purifying the well. They are ideas and efforts that move our lives forward toward our long term goals and provide value for society and ourselves. Setting positive goals in the areas of spiritual, family, physical, mental, financial, social and career should be priorities. The two main ways we feel good about ourselves are in our personal accomplishments and improving and using good interpersonal skills with others. What should we be avoiding? A diet of violent, explicit material from TV, movies, internet, etc. Nonstop entertainment is a huge time waster and needs to be reigned in if we are to make true progress in our lives. Protecting young children from the previously mentioned material is critical! Planting positive seeds is so important for the healthy development of children! Don't buy into the ridiculous notion (spouted by the greedy entertainment industry) that kids have to learn about life sometime. No, they need the opportunity to go through very important child development stages and be shielded from much of life's harsh realities for as long as possible! Anyone who thinks differently is invited to accompany me while we visit any number of alternative skills, juvenile lockups, etc. I have had the chance to personally work with some very challenging young people and I can show you the enormously damaging seeds that were planted on this portion of the population as children. I am not talking theory here but hands on experience! Trust me, you do not want young people under your care exposed to these devastating seeds that have destroyed many young lives!!! Any questions about "purifying the well."

Accelerating Your Learning Curve

In the last newsletter, a couple strategies to assist you in accelerating your learning curve were listed.The main one encourages long term thinking in our instant gratification society.If you gear your life to think long term, you give yourself one of the very best edges toward success that I have ever researched!

Back in the late 1980's, there was a social psychologist whowas roundly criticized by certain elements of our society for proposing the following idea.He said that people who are moving ahead in their lives tend to plan and think in terms of the long view of life.People who are going backwards in life tend to be short term thinkers and very much into instant gratification.This man took a lot of heat but as I continually applied his template, it truly made sense!

By looking at what he had said and applying a teaching method I have employed with lots of students, I was convinced he was on the right path.

That method is dealing in extremes to make a point and it fit his view very well!The example I use of extremes has to do with someone who is working and studying to become a medical doctor (or any high level professional) vs. an individual who believes that using street drugs is the way to go through life.It does not take a genius to figure out that these two individuals are on very different pathways over the long run!It is not even debatable and truly a no-brainer!!!!

Granted, many of the choices we make are not to this extreme level but we need to ask this key question.How will this action or inaction effectme long term?Too many people will opt for the short term feel good but over time, that will lead to long term pain.Understanding this, we need to reverse our "natural instincts" and work toward realizing that good short term pain (ie-working out, eating less, staying patient under trying conditions, etc) will allow us to move toward long term gain.

This being said, another key idea in this month's ezine has to do with understanding and facing the fact of the "iron law of the universe" and that is CAUSE AND EFFECT.This law basically says that for every effect we are experiencing in our life there is a specific cause, WHETHER WE KNOW ABOUT THAT CAUSE OR NOT!What this means is the law is neutral.It does not matter if you are male or female, a particular race or religion, it operates for all of us.For example, if you jump off a tall building in New York or Mexico City, the results for all of us will be the same.By the way, it's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop!(I know, I know that's an old one!)

Many people go through life thinking the Law of Cause and Effect has no impact on them.Talk about self-delusion!!!It impacts all of us equally.Always ask yourself, how will this action or inaction effect me long term?There goes that darn long term thinking thing again!!!

It basically boils down to the development of good habits becauseif we groove good habits over time, it will lead to a much higher quality of life and if we groove bad habits, well, you get the point.  People put way too much stock into good luck and bad luck.Put your stock into good habits and watch your life truly take off in a very positive way!

Accelerating Your Learning Curve:An Initial Solution

With everything that is coming at you on a daily basis, have you ever felt you are trying to swim up Niagara Falls?  The following ideas will help you cut through the information explosion we are all experiencing. 

What if you could learn a few techniques that would allow you to accelerate your ability to effectively absorb key information? What you are about to learn can make that difference--today.

This article will cover a key success principle and will make a huge difference in your life as you apply it.  Some of these ideas you may be familiar with and some you may not. The initial thought has to do with understanding how our culture in the U. S. has progressed over the last three decades. What truly is astounding is how quickly all the information is doubling! With Google, Microsoft, MacIntosh and others leading the way, we are literally being pulled faster and faster into the future.

I am part of the baby boom generation (those individuals born between 1946-1964), and the changes already have been amazing.  As far as our childhood goes, our generation has more in common with how our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents grew up than with the kids born in the 70's, 80's and 90's! Think about all the different forms of technology that have exploded since the mid-to late 1980's and what this younger generation has become accustomed to.  They take to computers, video games, and electronics in general like fish to water. This generation has taken over the role of teaching us older folks how to work our cell phones, ipods, computers, etc. Never before in human history has the younger generation taught older people all the things it does today.  It's astounding.

How do we successfully navigate these multiple changes for our peace of mind, prosperity and time management?  The idea I will discuss here is the opposite of our instant gratification, quick-fix society, and that is the principle of. . . LONG-TERM THINKING. Why is this so important? Anything worthwhile in life will take time to grow and develop. Would you want your personal doctor to shortcut through the training you expect her to have? How about the farmer who grows our food? Does he merely throw seeds on the ground and get an instant crop? Both scenarios are ridiculous, aren't they? Until we recognize how the media, Internet and computers, etc., cultivate and encourage short-term thinking, we will continually be caught in the "I have to have it now" trap.

Always ask yourself this question when looking into making any  choice in your life:  "How will this affect me long-term?"  If you are honest with yourself in your answer, you will begin to make much better decisions and choices in your life. Avoid the trap of instant gratification that the masses in our nation have been pulled into. Set your personal standards higher and expect more for yourself. You deserve the best life has to offer!

Next month: An additional tip on accelerating your marketing learning curve.

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Tim Law has a business known as Success Learning Systems which is designed to help teens and young adults "crack the code" on prosperity, success and achievement.He is very open to working with others with joint ventures, aka, strategic alliances that will help this group and also be beneficial financially to those who assist is this process.  His contact information is at: www.successlearningsystems.com