Monday, September 14, 2015

Just hold my umbrella while I have a midlife crisis.

Just hold my umbrella while I have a midlife crisis.

I have a client who recently said to me that they felt washed up and unable to compete. He is an industry leader in the entertainment business, however his particular area of the business is somewhat technical, and as a result he feels that the technology has moved, and he's been left behind.

He worries that he'll be marginalized, fears the obscurity that all in the entertainment world have to battle almost daily, and sees this as a mid life crisis that will end his career.  To be yesterdays news is to be no news at all.

In an act of desperation he found himself in a car showroom being sold a bright red sports car, in an effort to recapture his youthful glory. Hence the picture. Pictured beside the Ford GT, if you can draw your he car for one moment, is Bambie, one of our therapists specializing in psychology of mid life changes. She's working on her Phd at present, and supporting her sick baby brother in Prince Edward Island. Honest!

“How can I go back to scratch and start all over again?” he asked me.

“Well, you don't need to,” I replied.

“It took me years to get up to the top. I can't face doing that all over again! The new software is baffling to me. How can I compete?”

“That's probably what everyone else is saying about now, as well,” I pointed out.

My client was distraught at the thought that he'd be just where he was twenty years ago, but with a wife, a mortgage and a labrador. Of course, he won't be. However, in the immediate light of panic, it can seem that way. Time to step back and take a moment to breath.

The reality is that in the intervening twenty years of working in a highly competitive field, my client had learned a heap of skills he had no idea he possessed. The very skills that propelled him to the front of a tough business all those years ago would be the ones that would lift him further still.

Anyone who's worked in a field for more than a few years starts to assimilate knowledge and experience very rapidly. Much faster than someone starting out for the first time. For example, you'll know which people in the industry are worth paying attention to, you'll know which employers or suppliers to cultivate. You develop a nose for success.  Perhaps you'll face some changing technologies, but in the end it's the fundamentals that win out.

The original skills of creativity, tenacity and being committed to excellence are the skills that take people to the front of the pack.  Those are the skills that got him to the front originally, and will be what keeps him there in future. You can change the program, the technology and the logo, but in the end the fundamentals are what really count. Whether you hire the skills in, learn them yourself, or simply delegate the work out, the fundamentals are the wellspring from which brilliance emerges.

As they say, “Quality never goes out of style.”

RH 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

ADHD, Education and Children - How hypnotherapy can help.

We see many children that struggle with ADHD. At Vancouver Hypnotherapy minors always work with a female therapist and we give particular care relating to the way in which the challenges are defined.
While ADHD is a good description of a character trait, at Vancouver Hypnotherapy  we do not look at it as disease to be managed by a doctor. The reality is that some children simply learn differently. As a father of three, I have seen the challenges of our learning institutions rather than my children. I find it a little too convenient that in some cases educators who have no medical training whatsoever can label a child ADHD, while few will actually agree on a definition of the condition and fewer still work successfully with those same individuals.
Placing a child who learns in a different manner in the care of a doctor, rather than a teacher, is something I simply do not understand. One of my children, when challenged by a teacher who trotted out the ADHD label, went from the standard schooling method directly into Montessori learning. The inability of standard education systems to address the manner in which she required to be taught was avoided, and her experience of Montessori was wonderful.
One of my children used the Kumon Math method, a very different approach to learning math. Kumon is at the other end of the education spectrum when compared to Montessori. This also was very effective, being the right thing for that particular child.
The reality is, some children simply learn differently. Our education systems are set up to serve the middle 75% of children, and in Canada they do so very well. In the Ted Talks below Sir Ken Robertson defines the challenges very well. Parents of children who have been labelled ADHD are well advised to take a closer look not at their children, but at the source of the label. Questions that should be asked are:
  • How qualified is the individual to put what amounts to a psychiatric diagnosis on the child? If they are not a psychiatrist or psychologist, it should be questioned. I need hardly point out that school teachers are not medical staff.
  • Does the individual have a vested interest in the label? If they are running a learning centre and you are writing the checks, put away your check book and ask them how many children they have ‘diagnosed’ ADHD this week? It’s probably every single one that is enrolled in their system, and business is doing very well!
Ask them for a definition of ADHD. By this I do not mean a description of the way an ADHD child behaves, I mean an actual medical definition. It should sound something very close to: “childhood mental disorder with onset before 7 years of ageand involving impaired or diminished attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.
Some children simply learn differently. We’ve helped many children who do so, and had some tremendous success with them. they have gone on to extraordinary success. While this is not the case with every child that struggles in school, many are simply not being taught in a manner that works for them. Our task is to find those things about which the child is passionate, and frame the educational tasks in reference to this.
One of our young clients had difficulties learning physics and math. We found they had an interest in aircraft – many 13 year olds do. The result of working with us led to the young man enrolling in ground school and studying for his private pilots licence. Our client graduated with A grades and completely turned his outcome around, simply by putting his learning in a context that worked for him.
At Vancouver Hypnotherapy we find solutions for your child – we help create the healthy and motivated adult. It’s not a small task!
Watch the following videos to get a thorough understanding of our approach. As for me, I was expelled from school before completing grade 10. I should add, I’ve picked up a thing or two since then. I’ve also written and had published several books, worked for Associated Press for many years in Africa, as well as BBC World Service, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and owned numerous publications of my own. This after being labelled dyslexic at 10. As for my children – 2 are completing Phd’s and the third is likely to make the others look backward.
I say that not from a position of arrogance. I say it simply to illustrate that the education systems do  not serve every child equally. Why would we expect them to; not all children are born the same shape. Some are simply different and require a different approach – through no fault of their own.
Our children look to us for leadership, and we should bravely pick up that mantle. It’s an enormous responsibility, but one we as parents must shoulder, making hard choices. To quote W.B. Yeats:
Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W. B. Yeats
Our children spread those dreams beneath our feet, and so we need to tread softly.
The following videos will help illustrate our views and approach more clearly.