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Ben Coker

Force of Habit

Force of Habit 150 150 Ben Coker

Just over five years ago I created a new habit. I decided, and chose, every week to write a series of ‘insights’ of which this is number 280. I didn’t write them in bulk because I wanted them to be what I was inspired (what came in to my spirit) to write at the time. Habit is a curious thing. Once formed they act as a control, even an operating system, managing what we do on a regular basis. You and I ‘get into the habit’ of doing certain things, thinking certain things, in a certain way at a certain…

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“To Infinity and Beyond!”

“To Infinity and Beyond!” 150 150 Ben Coker

Buzz Lightyear has a lot to answer for. Generations of children have grown up with the belief there is something ‘beyond’ infinity. It may seem light-hearted, but it has created a serious misconception about the universe, reflected in many science fiction stories as well. Now, I’m usually a fan of Sci-Fi but the idea of ‘multiple’ universes has now crept in to scientific or perhaps mathematical research, attempting to prove, by manipulation of numbers, they exist. There is only ‘one’ universe and it is infinite – the trouble is by using the terms ‘one’ and ‘it’, even I am implying…

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If Wishes Were Horses . . .

If Wishes Were Horses . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

Star Trek Deep Space 9 is full of parables. Episode 15 of series 1 explores the power of thought and imagination – individually and collectively. I ended last time by saying “you or I can make anything happen” and “no thing happens without the original thought”. I’m taking it up from there and considering ‘cause and effect’. It’s all very well when this happens individually and deliberately; when you or I think up something we intend to create, then go ahead and cause it to happen. I covered this last time. But what happens when it’s not deliberate but accidental,…

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It’s Not Linear

It’s Not Linear 150 150 Ben Coker

I first encountered a clear explanation of what I’m about to discuss in the first episode of Star Trek Deep Space 9, when ‘The Prophets’, which Neale Donald Walsch might describe as Highly Evolved Beings (HEB’s) explain to Benjamin Cisco, commander of the space station, the non-linearity of time. (Worth watching, ‘if you have the time’ ) I’ve already covered this – at least as regards time and it occurred to me not only is time not linear, neither is anything else. In the previous insight I talked about sequence, our lives are not passage of time but a sequence…

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Just Passing the Time

Just Passing the Time 150 150 Ben Coker

Many people seem to think ‘time’ is some sort of resource. They talk about managing it, using it, saving it, losing and gaining it, even ‘keeping’ it. Great emphasis in personal and business development training is put on the idea of ‘Time Management’. There are Time Management products and books. I was once sent on a three-day course about how I should ‘manage’ my time. And there’s another thing – the idea we in some way ‘posses’ time! All this would make sense if time were indeed a resource – but it isn’t. You see, a resource is something you…

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Big Brother is Watching You

Big Brother is Watching You 150 150 Ben Coker

In 1786 or thereabouts Jeremy Bentham working with his brother Samuel proposed a building design to improve the efficiency of management of a large unskilled workforce The ‘Panopticon’ was a circular building at the hub of a larger compound from where the managers or supervisors could oversee what was going on. Later Bentham applied this idea to prisons with the intention of reducing the number of staff required to oversee the inmates and thus the cost. The key idea being whilst the staff could see all the inmates, they themselves could not be seen. The prisoners would know they were…

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Hierarchy of Needs?

Hierarchy of Needs? 150 150 Ben Coker

I’m sticking my neck out this week to take issue with one of the most common ‘understandings’ about human psychology. I’m not a qualified psychologist and I don’t know all the answers, but this just doesn’t make sense from my point of view. Abraham Maslow in 1943 came up with a ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ which is often (perhaps too often) referred to in personal development programmes as it is said to lay out what motivates us. The theory is there are 5 levels of needs, usually illustrated as a pyramid, consisting of basic, psychological and self-fulfilment needs we are ‘automatically’…

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Sod’s Law!

Sod’s Law! 150 150 Ben Coker

“If anything can go wrong, it will!” So states the legendary ‘Sod’s Law’ of life. But what does it mean? What do you and I understand by something ‘going wrong’? Something unexpected happens Something stops ‘working’ Things just don’t go ‘according to plan’ And so on . . . But as you and I know only too well, things don’t ‘just happen’ – or not happen as the case may be. There’s another saying – “Everything happens for a reason” But this skips a step because things, although they seem to sometimes, don’t just ‘happen’ ‘out of the blue’ –…

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Result!

Result! 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I set goals, as do many people. Much thought and agonising goes into the activity of setting goals. Goals are classified in to ‘SMART’ and not SMART, A, B and C goals and so on. We talk about being specific, we talk about goals being achievable – or ‘stretch’. We set goals we know we can ‘do’ without really thinking too much about them because we already know what to do and how to do it. We set goals we don’t have the first idea of what we need to make happen for them to be achieved. We…

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The Secret of Success

The Secret of Success 150 150 Ben Coker

Much emphasis is placed in the academic, business and personal development ‘worlds’ to name just a few, on the concept of ‘success’. Being, aspiring to be, or becoming ‘a success’ are often cited as the reason many people do what they do in life. It’s difficult to fond a definition of ‘success’ as there’s more than one meaning. You or I can achieve success in a specific enterprise, but it doesn’t necessarily make either of us ‘a success’, especially if the ‘success’ was only to get out of bed in the morning! Having ‘successfully’ completed any particular mission only means…

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Time and Money Freedom?

Time and Money Freedom? 150 150 Ben Coker

There are two aspects of freedom which are somewhat different from those I discussed last time. These two are frequently referred to in the network marketing and personal development circles as ‘Time and Money Freedom’. But what does that mean? I regard them as ‘second level’ freedoms because they’re based on artificial concepts. ‘Time’ and ‘Money’ are simply ‘yardsticks’ put in place to measure what we do with and in our lives. It’s always about ‘how much’ time and money we have available to do what we wish to do within the freedom of self-determination. Time and money are also…

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I Feel Free

I Feel Free 150 150 Ben Coker

What is ‘Freedom’? There are many different kinds and understanding of ‘freedom’ – but what is it fundamentally? Freedom relates to most of what we, as humans, do, and how we live our lives but when it comes down to it in this ‘unfree world’, you and I are quite constrained in the ‘degrees of freedom’ we enjoy. Most of our cherished freedoms are restrained or restricted. Freedom of Speech – well, not really – we are ‘not allowed’ always to say what we feel – to anyone – because of ‘political correctness’ and so forth or for ‘fear of…

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One is All

One is All 150 150 Ben Coker

I’m going to bring this brief introduction to Life Mastery to a close with a couple of final pieces in the puzzle. The first comes from Henry David Thoreau’s essay ‘Walden’ published in 1854 where he states: (I’ve left this in the masculine as written, the past cannot be changed) “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to…

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One is One

One is One 150 150 Ben Coker

I’ve referred before to Neale Donald Walsch’s statement “There is only One of Us” and explained every ’individual’ person, or Soul, is an ‘individuation’ of the Universe, or ‘higher power’ or God or The Divine whatever name you wish to give it. That’s all very well, but how does it ‘work’? I think the question is answered in another of my ‘key books’ – ‘Zero Limits’ by Dr. Joe Vitale and Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len the Hawaiian psychotherapist and proponent of the practice of Ho’oponopono. It would take far too long to go into all the details of what Ho’oponopono…

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The Secret of Creation

The Secret of Creation 150 150 Ben Coker

“Everything is created twice” is a phrase often quoted by Mary Morrissey. It’s also been attributed to Steven Covey and Robin Sharma among others, but it goes back a long way. When I first heard this, I was somewhat confused. I wasn’t sure what it meant. Until I heard the whole phrase – “Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality” This is quoted in many ways but that doesn’t matter. Like most of the ‘wise sayings’ of today’s personal development community it goes way back into the mists of time. Well before ‘the Bible and…

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The Ultimate Theme Park

The Ultimate Theme Park 150 150 Ben Coker

I talked last time about Neale Donald Walsch’s books ‘Conversations with God’ and said I would cover what he says about ‘the purpose of life’ and ‘why we are here’ – questions oft asked by most people. But first I’ll continue a little about what is meant by ‘individuation’ and there being only ‘one’ of us. A common misunderstanding about this is how most people believe the concept of ‘society’ to be the realisation of the ‘one’ of us. It’s not. ‘Society’ doesn’t exist. It’s a concept, like ‘time’ and ‘money’ which (supposedly) helps us to understand how the world…

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Conversations with God

Conversations with God 150 150 Ben Coker

If you’ve been following my insights over the past couple of years, you’ll have seen references to Neale Donald Walsch’s book trilogy plus one entitled ‘Conversations with God’. Whether you believe in a God or not is immaterial, but you may have noticed most (if not all) religions are founded on various Prophets’ ‘conversations with God’; Moses, Jesus and Mohammed to name a few, and many other Saints, Prophets and ‘Holy’ men and women (such as Jeanne d’Arc) have also described these encounters. Walsch, in the form of a ‘conversation’ continuing throughout the four books explains how this works going…

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Finding Freedom

Finding Freedom 150 150 Ben Coker

One of the things I get asked quite a lot is “Can you recommend a book I should read”? That’s a difficult question, the answer is “It depends” It depends on where you are in your life and what you’re looking for. Back n the day when I first started my ‘personal development journey’ the books on personal development or ‘self  help’ as it was called were always at the back of the bookshop in a poorly lit area next to the section on ‘Occult’. I remember climbing several flights of stairs in the famous Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross…

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Forty-Two

Forty-Two 150 150 Ben Coker

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take you through a few of the fundamentals of Life Mastery to explain a little more about wat I do and where I’m coming from. First, if you wish to master you life, you need to know what you want it to be . . . Transcript Forty-Two is a magic number. If you research it, you’ll find all sorts of meanings ascribed to it, some simple and some very, very complex I found it has been used as ‘code’ in some computer programming for ‘unknown’ or ‘whatever you want to put here’…

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Practical Philosophy

Practical Philosophy 150 150 Ben Coker

So, we start the second five years of my weekly message. As I said it will be a bit different. Instead of the random insights written a few days before each Wednesday (although there may still be some of them) what I write will be based on the structure of my Life Mastery – Now! webspace. (lifemasterynow.net) Also, the email I send out will be a video rather than the text, but this can be found on my personal website bencoker.net – along with the other 260 insights started in 2015. There will also be other series based loosely’ on…

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State of the Nation

State of the Nation 150 150 Ben Coker

This message marks 5 years of weekly insights. Every week I’ve committed my thoughts, ideas and inspirations to ‘paper’ and asked you to be my witness. Thank you so much for your continuing interest in what I have to say. As you’re still here I guess it must be of some interest! Look out for some changes to the format from next week, probably shorter, possibly a little more frequent and potentially a slight change in tone and emphasis. We shall both see as I’m not really quite sure yet what it’s going to look like! I’ve been thinking, as…

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Partners in Believing

Partners in Believing 150 150 Ben Coker

This a term I first heard from Mary Morrissey, founder of the Brave Thinking Institute, but this is not necessarily about shared beliefs. ‘Partners in Believing’ may have different beliefs, different faiths, different cultural understandings: what it’s about is ‘believing’ itself. What you or I believe in doesn’t matter. We can be ‘partners in believing ‘even though our beliefs are different. This may be a little difficult to grasp, so I’ll explain – or at least attempt to! The first thing is that the majority of folk don’t really believe in anything, they may pay lip service to something or…

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“You’ll Catch Your Death . . .”

“You’ll Catch Your Death . . .” 150 150 Ben Coker

A favourite saying of the pre-baby boomer generation, tended to be followed by “Wrap up warm”. There seems to have been sone idea that cold – by itself – was responsible for many ‘seasonal’ diseases. The very name ‘common cold’ (the result of a coronavirus infection) reinforces this idea that diseases are caused or spread by ‘cold’. Because people ‘catch cold’ when the weather is cold. the idea one ‘causes’ the other is a logical connection which rapidly becomes a ‘belief’ in the absence of further understanding. The more this belief is repeated, the more it, and the conditioning that…

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Immortal Souls

Immortal Souls 150 150 Ben Coker

Last time I posed the question ‘Why are we here?’ It’s a question most people, including you and I, ask ourselves from time to time. ‘What’s the point?’ Before we can really address or understand this, we need to know who and what ‘we’ are Mary Morrissey describes us as “infinite beings undertaking a physical experience”, similar to how Neale Donald Walsch describes us in his ‘Conversations with God’ books. There are two distinct ‘parts’ to you and me, but most people only understand one side of the story. There is the ‘human’ side which is the third dimensional, physical,…

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The Value of Pi

The Value of Pi 150 150 Ben Coker

Pi or π is the symbol used to quantify the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle. It has ‘bothered’ philosophers, especially those concerned with mathematics, or number, for a very long time, and caused Pythagoras much grief because he was unable to ‘define’ it in terms of rational numbers. But it cannot be ‘defined’. Pi is 3.141592 followed by an infinite number of digits which show no repeating pattern, and this poses two philosophical problems. First it has no ‘end’ – it is in-finite; not finite, we cannot ‘see’ all of it or see it all and…

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Pay it Forward

Pay it Forward 150 150 Ben Coker

I first came across this idea in one of the books by John C Maxwell but the term itself goes back to antiquity and was popularised and explained by Robert Heinlein in his 1951 book ‘Between Planets’. It’s an interesting concept: instead of paying someone ‘back’ for what they have done for you, you use whatever you would have rewarded them with by contributing to someone else thus creating or continuing a ‘chain of reward’ moving ‘forwards’. “But what about getting paid for what I do?” Well, the concept is that you have already received – in advance – for…

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October Morning

October Morning 150 150 Ben Coker

“Oh, October morning, Whisky bottle by my bed, Bye for ever, It’s all over, See you never the lady said . . .” So wrote my friend, the late Pete Fulwell, in a song for the band ‘Childhood’s End’ which I’ve referred to before. I’m having an ‘October morning’ right now, but it was wine (never a good idea to mix the colours!), not whisky and it was about the, shall we say, ‘downgrading’ of a friendship with someone who has been very dear to me since we met in LA four years ago. She remains a friend, but I…

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“For the Avoidance of Doubt . . .”

“For the Avoidance of Doubt . . .” 150 150 Ben Coker

Something you and I hear often – it usually means someone has failed to explain something properly in the first place! Making comparisons contributes to our belief set, by a process of elimination, comparing one idea to another or considering the evidence presented in favour of one argument against another. We also create beliefs from what we ‘learn’ or ‘pick up’ from others as we ‘go about our business’ You and I have our own personal set, or framework, of beliefs. Beliefs about all sorts of things which may be long lasting or short term according to their importance or…

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Go Compare . . .

Go Compare . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

I can’t help putting those words to a tune, and the one I think of is the First World War song ‘Over There . . . the Yanks are coming . . .’ etc. I don’t know anything about opera, but the tune may have come from there in the first place, given the character in the advert. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about you obviously don’t have a TV or radio!) The title is of course the name of a ‘comparison website’ of which there are many, the ads for which are usually better than the experience…

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The Achievers’ Edge

The Achievers’ Edge 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I like to think of ourselves as ‘achievers’, even when we haven’t quite turned our dreams and visions into reality. But what is an ‘achiever’? And what is this ‘edge’? An achiever of course, is anyone who achieves any sort of goal or meets any sort of target however small, but this is really about ‘big’ achievers. Big achievers are people who realise their dreams, make their dreams come true, make their visions become real, and ‘super achievers’ are those who, in time, turn the whole ‘big picture’ of the life they would love to live into reality.…

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I’m Sorry . . .

I’m Sorry . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

It appears I might have been confusing you. Someone caused me to think about this the other day and it’s about something I was taught by, among others, Mary Morrissey. When I first attended ‘Dreambuilder Live’ in Baltimore a few years ago we were taken through an exercise called the ‘Time Machine’ – and it’s a technique I now use and encourage my clients and colleagues to use on a daily basis. I often precede something I’m talking about with “I am” which may be confusing because it is often an affirmation, rather than a statement of current fact. The…

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“Mind the Gap”

“Mind the Gap” 150 150 Ben Coker

This phrase is always evocative of trips to London with my grandparents as a small child. I wonder sometimes if the change of this to “Please mind the gap between the train and the platform” is not an indicator of the general ‘dumbing down of the nation, but it was perfectly clear to me as a five-year-old what it meant. This phrase has two meanings Most people take it as ‘avoid’ the gap but what it really means is to be aware of or ‘mindful’ of the gap Because there is always a ‘gap’ The trouble with ‘gaps’ is that…

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The Way Forward

The Way Forward 150 150 Ben Coker

After about 15 years ‘helping out’ the UK rail industry I found myself in a contract with Metronet, project managing signalling renewal on the London Underground. Driving down from Cheshire to Tottenham on a Sunday afternoon and staying in a bedsit until driving back on Saturday morning, I began to question what I was doing. My clients felt that if they couldn’t ‘see’ me in their Holborn offices every day from 8am then how did they know I was actually doing the ‘work’ they were paying me for involving about half my time on ‘field’ visits to Underground staff and…

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Showing the Way

Showing the Way 150 150 Ben Coker

The ‘mid-life crisis’ came upon me after I turned 30. My partner Sue had left the business, and me, to pursue other interests and I was beginning to become aware that change was in the offing. I’d learnt to Scuba dive and was really enthusiastic about it and thought this might be the ‘way forward’. I ‘put my heart and soul’ into it soon becoming an Advanced Instructor and Diving Officer of the local branch of the BSAC. It’s not a cheap sport but I managed to sustain it by doing some typesetting work for a few of my former…

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‘My Way’

‘My Way’ 150 150 Ben Coker

‘My Way’ In my opinion the best rendition of this song was by Sid Vicious – well, at least the most memorable! Hear the song at funerals these days, often wonder whether the ‘departed’ chose it or someone else thought it might be appropriate. Think I might put it in my Will – to play or not to play – that is the question! Yes, I’ve done a lot ‘my way’ and usually been dissatisfied when I’ve not been allowed to. You see, my ‘Way’ or your ‘Way’ is really the only way to go, the only way we can…

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Strands of Time

Strands of Time 150 150 Ben Coker

Have you ever thought you might be going in the wrong direction? The path you’re taking might not be leading you where you intend to go? I have. Have you ever thought you might be ‘chasing shadows’, what or who you think you see ahead might not really be there at all? I have, and very recently. Have you ever found yourself following more than one course at a time, juggling two or three different work streams or interests? Have you ever thought what you ‘dp’ in life is not producing the desired effect? I have. And have you ever…

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Wrong Number

Wrong Number 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I place a lot of attention on numbers. You could say everything we do, how we live, how we choose to be governed, is based on numbers. But are they the ‘right’ numbers? You see, you can do pretty much anything with numbers. I used to know quite well two Economists, professors at neighbouring Universities in the North West. Give them the same set of numbers and they’d manipulate, sorry ‘model’, them in different ways coming up with two completely opposing conclusions and recommendations. Every time It was of course what they were paid to do, one as…

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Shelf Development

Shelf Development 150 150 Ben Coker

At the back of the bookshop – this was when the only independent sources of information were bookshops and libraries – At the back of the bookshop there was a poorly lit area signed ‘Self Help’ – just before you reached the ‘Occult’ section right at the back. This was around 20BC – that’s 20 years before computers, at least before ‘personal computers’ appeared on the scene. As a schoolboy I couldn’t really afford to buy the boos but I’d skim through the likes of Napoleon Hill and Dale Carnegie – I think one of the first that took my…

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The Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper 150 150 Ben Coker

It was the salmon mousse The dinner party scene in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life commented on death. The idea one could refuse to accept it, especially when it appeared unexpectedly as the result of something seemingly innocuous or that there was no ‘fear’ of death involved is telling. When I was young, I was terribly afraid of dogs. My mother taught me – “they’ll bite”, “you’ll get rabies and die” (this was a while ago!). I lost my fear when I acquired Amber, my Irish Setter, from the skipper of ‘British Diver’ in Plymouth, I think it was 1980.…

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What’s the Difference?

What’s the Difference? 150 150 Ben Coker

I was put in Pembroke House. I don’t remember why it was called that, only that we wore yellow badges and the other ‘houses’ were red, blue and green. The badge was a Bishop’s mitre, the school founded in 1596 by Archbishop of Canterbury, John Whitgift. There’s something about the ‘house’ system. The only ‘difference’ recognised between the boys was the badge they wore. There were pupils of different shapes, sizes, abilities and ethnic groups all randomly distributed between the houses. We never noticed the colour of anyone’s skin, just the colour of their badge. The ‘house’ bonded us, giving…

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To Be or Not to Be?

To Be or Not to Be? 150 150 Ben Coker

That indeed is the question. I could write a whole book in this, and I probably will, but not right now. Stop and think for a minute – how many times do you and I find ourselves faced with that question? Because unlike the Prince of Denmark’s case this is not a ‘one off’ event. The thing is, it’s not just about ‘to be’. “What are you going to be when you grow up?” I was frequently, and annoyingly, asked this during my childhood, by my parents, grandparents and other adult relatives. It was like an interrogation. It seemed that…

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Silver Lining

Silver Lining 150 150 Ben Coker

The song by Jeff Beck, ‘Hi ho, Silver Lining’ merits some analysis but there are a couple of key lines in it: “Anything you want is yours now, only nothing’s for free” The song always reminds me of travelling in the back of a Royal Signals Land Rover along that North African coast road which was the focus of the Desert War. As a very young Officer Cadet I was attached to the UK troops in Libya at the time, based in Benghazi, and we were off to check up on an oil installation in the Libyan desert operated by…

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Back to the Future

Back to the Future 150 150 Ben Coker

‘Past, present and future’ is a common framework that most people would consider they understand, and they think of this ‘timeline’ in terms of days, , months, decades and so on. But really, the ‘timeline’ has very little to do with ‘time’. There are many science fiction stories about people going back and ‘changing the timeline’ by accident, or deliberately, or as in H.G Wells’ classic ‘The Time Machine’ going forward to see ‘the future’. There is rather more to that novel of course than just a fantasy, it has some serious political undertones, as one would expect of the…

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Lost Souls

Lost Souls 150 150 Ben Coker

I’ve been discussing multi dimensionality and talking about different dimensions of consciousness; the next thing is to explain the journey of the Soul and how that fits in, together with the concept of ‘timeline’, something much beloved of science fiction writers. As I have said many times before (along with others such as Mary Morrissey and Bob Proctor) you and I are infinite beings existing in symbiosis with a physical embodiment. As Souls, we are not in fact ‘inside’ our body, rather we envelop it creating an aura around it. With humans this co-operative state may gone so far that…

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The Dimension Paradigm – Part 3

The Dimension Paradigm – Part 3 150 150 Ben Coker

A few people, maybe around 3% of the global population, have grown their fifth dimensional consciousness to higher levels, maybe 25% of their consciousness, and started to ‘leave behind’ the constraints of the third dimension. Most people involved in any form of energy healing, alternative therapies and spirituality (not Spiritualism which has turned into a religion) are in this category. They used to be called witches or sorcerers, but Wicca is also a religion and thus bound to third dimensional thinking. This group understand how the Laws of the Universe work and can put them into practice to manifest situations…

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The Dimension Paradigm – Part 2

The Dimension Paradigm – Part 2 150 150 Ben Coker

The Fourth and Fifth dimensions are really where we ‘live’ whilst the Third Dimension, and partly the second, are what we live ‘in’. ‘Life’ itself as I mentioned last time is essentially a highly complex ‘chemical reaction’ – more a system of interlocked reactions that allow life to ‘go on’. These complex frameworks can be ‘interfered’ with and ‘infected’ third dimensionally causing life to be disrupted and eventually to end. Life goes on for ever, it’s just the individual instances and implementations of it that have a ‘lifespan’. Although third dimensional life has awareness, it does not have ‘consciousness’ as…

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The Dimension Paradigm – Part 1

The Dimension Paradigm – Part 1 150 150 Ben Coker

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about the ‘dimensions’. There are many writers and ‘teachers’ on the dimensions. Some say there are an infinite number of dimensions, but most have put a number on it and the majority ‘vote’ seems to be for there being just ten identifiable dimensions. Now, a warning, this is going to be a bit ‘deep’, and speculative, and I’m still ‘thinking about it’ so this is not a definitive essay on the dimensions, just my appreciation (in the military sense) of the situation. Second warning – most of this…

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The Fact of the Matter

The Fact of the Matter 150 150 Ben Coker

There’s a lot of talk about ‘facts’. People claim that they have the ‘true facts’, or about something being a ‘scientific fact’ and so on. But what is ‘fact’ or ‘a fact’? Is there indeed such a thing? The definition of the word includes a ‘get out’ clause in that a ‘fact’ is something that is ‘known’ or believed to be ‘true’. There is a secondary definition that it has been ‘proved’ to be true. There is a lot here to consider and the first thing that stands out is the word ‘true’ because the definition of true is ‘in…

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Masters of the Universe

Masters of the Universe 150 150 Ben Coker

I was inspired to this hearing Queen’s song from ‘A Kind of Magic’ and the film ‘Highlander’. I’m taking a bit of a liberty as the words are really ‘Princes of the Universe’ but it, and to an extent the underlying theme of the film, relates to the same thing. We are Masters of the Universe, in fact, we are the Universe. Now this is best explained in the Neale Donald Walsch trilogy+1 (four books) ‘Conversations with God’ but it is also in the Bible, Al-Qur’an, and most other ‘Holy’ books you care to inspect. You can also find this…

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A Speck of Dust

A Speck of Dust 150 150 Ben Coker

And so it came to pass that a tiny speck of matter, smaller than a speck of dust, appeared on the planet. No-one know from whence it came and at first no-one noticed it at all, it might have been around for years. It was not alive, it had no awareness, just a few molecules of protein, lipid, and nucleic acid, totally inert – a tiny sub-microscopic speck. As with everything of course it was just an energy system, but as you and I know, everything is created twice so it must have started out as a thoughtform, but who…

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The Ultimate Answer

The Ultimate Answer 150 150 Ben Coker

I may have said before that the ultimate answer to ‘life the universe and everything’ is, as Douglas Adams suggested, ‘42’ or ‘whatever you wish it to be’. But that’s not the real answer, or the real ‘Secret’, and in her book of that name Rhonda Byrne only touched on the edges of the matter. But then I suppose, in a way it is ‘42’ after all. Wallace D Wattles in ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ (later retitled ‘Financial Success Through the Power of Creative Thought’) states: “There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which,…

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The Family Business

The Family Business 150 150 Ben Coker

Over the past few years, I’ve come across a few highly successful, ‘family businesses’ I am taking a little poetic license with the term ‘family’ as I mean a small close knit group of people who may or may not be related who have been working together as a team for a very long time. There are some businesses (which might better be called corporations) that are huge and may have one or two family members at the ‘top’. Ford as it was springs to mind as an example, but these were never really ‘family’ run. 1n 1981 Meredith Belbin…

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Culturescape

Culturescape 150 150 Ben Coker

This is a word coined by Vishen Lakhiani (founder of Mind Valley) in his book ‘The Code of the Extraordinary Mind’. He uses it as a sort of concatenation of ‘cultural landscape’ but it’s a bit more than a simple description of the different cultures we live in throughout the world. It also identifies how or why some culturescapes no longer serve us. In this insight I’m going to continue the exploration of how we might change or even reverse some cultural paradigms. I wasn’t sure whether to call this the paradigm of control or power or culture because it…

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Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift 150 150 Ben Coker

I explained the concept of ‘Brave Thinking’ last week before I posed some question to which you and I might apply this technique or discipline. Alongside and closely associated with Brave Thinking is the idea of ‘Paradigm Shift’ which Bob Proctor champions. In essence, the ‘future’ – individual future, community future and global future, will come about through you and I and others using brave thinking to shift the paradigms that currently control everything we are and everything we do. A paradigm can be summed up as a ‘way of thinking’ or a framework that we live by but it’s…

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Brave New World

Brave New World 150 150 Ben Coker

This phrase was first coined by Shakespeare but became prominent as the title of a book by Aldous Huxley published in 1932 describing dystopian a future world, one of the main themes being the dangers of giving the state control over new and powerful technologies. ‘Dystopia’ is the antonym or opposite of ‘Utopia’ – the ‘ideal state’, described by Sir Thomas More in 1516. To some extent and according to Huxley’s stated intention, his book is a parody on H G Wells’ ‘A Modern Utopia’ published in 1905. Wells discussingthe ‘bright’ side and Huxley the ‘dark’ side of humanity. There…

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Empty Spaces

Empty Spaces 150 150 Ben Coker

Over the last few years, I’ve been watching, observing, reading, what people around the world are doing and saying. There has been much focus on the past, ‘the way we were’ – or more correctly the way many people imagined ‘we were’, not actually having been around at the time envisaged. There have been many considering the way we could be, speculating on how things could be different but with no clear idea of what that would be like. And as you and I know, lack of clarity leads to resistance. Resistance to anything different. And that brings me to…

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Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For 150 150 Ben Coker

I’ve used this phrase a few times before and it’s one that rolls easily off the tongue. Most people though, have very little idea of what it really means. The best way of putting it is to refer back to Marisa Peer’s ‘Rules of the Mind’ I wrote about in detail a while ago. There are several of them but the ones that particularly apply here are: • Your mind always does what it thinks you want it to do • Your mind works to move you from pain to pleasure • Your mind responds to the pictures you create…

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Alternate Universe?

Alternate Universe? 150 150 Ben Coker

There was an article in the news a few days ago claiming that ‘scientists’ had ‘accepted’ the ‘possibility’ of the existence of one or many ‘alternate universes’. Now if ‘the Universe’ is everything and everything is energy in space, how can that be possible? There would have to be another ‘set’, another instance, of ‘everything’. And if the Universe is infinite, there would have to be other ‘infinities’ to accommodate the alternate universes. In all languages there is only one infinity – it means everything everywhere, there is no other ‘infinity’. Another word, often misused, is ‘unique’ – there is…

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The Power of Giving

The Power of Giving 150 150 Ben Coker

In the 15th century, Ignatius of Loyola, a Spanish nobleman and founder of the Jesuit order came up with a prayer that included the words “to give and not to count the cost” – I’m sure you’ve heard of it and how the rest of it goes. I have found that the meaning of ‘giving’ is something very few people really understand. Sometimes it’s seen as an obligation – something we ‘should’ do, like giving to charity and so on and more often than not this ‘giving’ is done under a level of duress, however minor. Look at the charity…

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Are We Good Stewards?

Are We Good Stewards? 150 150 Ben Coker

Throughout religious texts and especially those of the ‘people of the Book’ – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – there are countless references to ‘stewardship’ and how we should be ‘good stewards’. Much has been written and preached on the subject of stewardship, but few people really understand what it’s all about. For most people the concept of a ‘steward’ is usually someone who serves or looks after them on a ship or aircraft or helps manage a sporting event. This how ever is far, far, removed from the original concepts of stewardship and being a steward. In earlier times a…

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The Power of Money

The Power of Money 150 150 Ben Coker

“Money makes the world go around” sang Liza Minelli and Joel Grey in the 1972 film ‘Cabaret’- from a musical play written in 1960 set in pre-war Germany. The musical has a ‘dark side’ set against a background of the recovery from the dire financial straits of the country and the Nazi takeover and in a way is a warning. A warning about the connection between money and power. In David Hawkins paradigm ‘Levels of Consciousness’ (‘Power vs Force’, 1985) money is more an instrument governing the lower (Force) levels of energetic vibration. Once you or I achieve the higher…

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Routines and Rituals

Routines and Rituals 150 150 Ben Coker

Routines and Rituals You and I are ‘creatures of habit’. We are ‘ruled’ by two kinds of habit – routines and rituals – that we carry out every day or on a regular basis. We get into a ‘routine’ – a way of doing things during the day, or the week. Probably not the same routine every day but more often than not a clear pattern of how we ‘operate’. A ‘daily method of operation’ or a weekly version, not to mention the ‘annual cycle’ of ‘holidays’ and other events. Now of course, this has a beneficial effect in that…

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Proof of the Pudding

Proof of the Pudding 150 150 Ben Coker

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating” so they say. From a culinary point of view this is about how the ‘pudding’ was prepared and although it might ‘look good’ it may not necessarily be so good when it comes to eating it. ‘Proving’ in this case has a somewhat different meaning to ‘proving’ or ‘proof’ in the legal, scientific, or academic world but there does seem to be, throughout society, an obsession with this idea of ‘proof’. ‘Proof’ of something is seen as an indicator of ‘truth’ – if something is ‘proven’ then it must be ‘true’…

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“The 7 Big Mistakes . . .”

“The 7 Big Mistakes . . .” 150 150 Ben Coker

You may have noticed that there are always ‘7 Big Mistakes’ – whatever it is you or I are embarked on someone will offer a ‘free report’ describing them and of course leading up to a sales pitch. We have our ‘Seagulls’ and we may have broken down what we need to do into B goals and A goals or tasks. We will have made a plan of some sort as well. When we have something to achieve you and I do this as a matter of course and if anyone doesn’t do this at the start they haven’t ‘made…

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The Rule of Law

The Rule of Law 150 150 Ben Coker

“Ye cannae break the Laws of Physics Cap’n” said Scotty in Star Trek – frequently! Physics is all about energy and the Universe consists only of energy and space. The ‘Laws of Physics’ are the Laws of the Universe expressed from a ‘scientific’ point of view and are sometimes also described as the Laws of Nature. Variously described by different authors there are eleven or twelve ‘Laws of the Universe’ and there are two things to keep in mind: They cannot be broken – if they were then the Universe would cease to exist. They work together at all times…

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Seagulls

Seagulls 150 150 Ben Coker

There were about a hundred of us sitting in a conference room with Bob Proctor and he suddenly started talking about ‘identifying your seagulls’. What? What is he talking about? Then the slide came up and we realised he was talking about goals – C-Goals. But let me go back a step or two. This was day three of the 6-day Matrixx event that Bob runs a few times each year usually in Toronto where he lives. We’d spent a couple of days discussing success and how the mind works and one of the key things to come out of…

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Taking Sides

Taking Sides 150 150 Ben Coker

“Whose side are you on?” It might be worth applying the Steve Shapiro (‘Listening for Success’) formula to this sentence – repeat it five times with the emphasis on a different word each time – you get five different meanings. Not only is this question – whichever way you say it – aggressive, but it has implications. The first being that you and I are supposed to be ‘on’ a ‘side’, and the second that we don’t happen to be on the ‘side’ of whoever is asking. We are constantly being encouraged, strongly or gently, to support one alternative or…

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Wasted Effort?

Wasted Effort? 150 150 Ben Coker

There are three key things or concepts on which most people spend a great deal of time, effort and energy which are, in fact, a complete waste of that time, effort and energy. You may be surprised to know what they are: Money is worthless. I have said this before, but I reiterate that money is absolutely useless unless you circulate it. I suppose you could melt it down and turn it into something else, light fires with it or perhaps, as during the Weimar Republic in Germany, paper the walls with it. Many people spend their lives in pursuit…

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Singularity?

Singularity? 150 150 Ben Coker

Don’t worry, this isn’t about Quantum Physics, although I might get into that someday. I’ve discussed before the idea, as put forward by Neale Donald Walsch, that, as Souls, we are all individuated fragments of the Universe. The result is that you and I see ourselves as individual beings, which means as individuated Souls inhabiting and supported by an individual physical host, which in our case is human. Other Souls inhabit other sentient physical hosts, you can’t persuade me that dogs, for example, don’t possess Souls! As a rule, only one Soul inhabits any one body although there is evidence…

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Multiple Choice?

Multiple Choice? 150 150 Ben Coker

It sometimes seems that one of the hardest things you and I are called upon to do, by ourselves or others, is to ‘choose’ between ‘alternatives’. It has been said many times by many people that whatever we do or say we are in some way ‘selling’ something and if you choose to look at it in a certain way that’s true. You could say that I am ‘selling’ right now, ‘selling’ my ideas and insights to those who are interested in what I have to say. There’s no need for money to change hands – that is not part…

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A Rock and a Hard Place

A Rock and a Hard Place 150 150 Ben Coker

Sometimes you and I find ourselves in the position where we have to make a difficult decision. Where none of the alternatives are particularly appetising. So, what do we do – well, we usually succeed in finding a compromise that tempers the effect expected from any of the alternatives we originally perceived? Now this is all very well if it’s just you or I making the decision and it primarily affects ourselves although others for whom we may have some form of responsibility may be involved. And – if it is you or I who will be responsible for putting…

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The Temporal Prime Directive

The Temporal Prime Directive 150 150 Ben Coker

Star Trek again – one of the rules of the Federation of Planets designed to prevent interference with the ‘timeline’ – in effect: Don’t go back in time and change things you didn’t like because that will probably cause you to cease to exist. Makes a lot of sense logically and existentially. Think about your personal ‘timeline’. If you had done something differently, even a small thing like leaving on a journey 10 minutes later than you did, would you be in exactly the same place and exactly the same person you are now? No, you wouldn’t. You’d be at…

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Burden of Proof

Burden of Proof 150 150 Ben Coker

A long time ago when I was at school a common retort between the pupils to any statement, fact or otherwise, was “prove it!” No idea where this came from, but it illustrates one of the key ‘problems’ we have today. Scepticism, disbelief, reluctance to take on board any new idea or even new information without some sort of ‘proof’, whether that be ‘scientific proof’ or evidential proof. It’s hardly surprising with so much ‘information’ flying around on the internet and in the media. It’s only reasonable to ‘fact check’ whatever we see and hear. But here’s the thing, What…

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Can’t teach an old dog . . .?

Can’t teach an old dog . . .? 150 150 Ben Coker

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a common ‘saying’ – well I used to hear it quite a lot during my childhood. First, dogs don’t do ‘tricks’, they decide what they want to do, or not. They may decide to go along with some types of training, but they don’t do ‘tricks’. This metaphor is really about people and is insidiously subversive. It implies that people, as time passes, do not – or should not – learn new things. It reinforces – or enforces- the status quo. Once you’ve been through school and maybe learnt a trade…

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‘Eve of Destruction’

‘Eve of Destruction’ 150 150 Ben Coker

Fifty or so years ago Barry McGuire had a hit with this song written in 1964 by P F Sloan. Much of it is still relevant today, although at the time most people were fearful of the huge threat of nuclear war and the consequent post-apocalyptic disruption. This has faded a bit although ex  Soviet Union President Gorbachev thinks it is still a possibility, warning that the whole nuclear arsenal should be destroyed. Focus has shifted in the years after the song was written to other matters, but if Sloan, who died in 2015, was still around he might come…

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The Meaning of Life – 2

The Meaning of Life – 2 150 150 Ben Coker

Knowledge is one thing and Understanding is another, but you and I can ‘understand’ something but still be a little hazy on ‘what it all means’ or still be unaware of what is going on. What’s happening? and Why is it happening (or not) are the areas where Knowledge and Understanding get put into practice. Awareness and Meaning complete the ‘big picture’ of  ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’ or even the small picture  of whatever is happening in your life today. Between us, the human species, we’ve discovered most of how physical life works, how the planet we live on…

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The Meaning of Life – 2

The Meaning of Life – 2 150 150 Ben Coker

Knowledge is one thing and Understanding is another, but you and I can ‘understand’ something but still be a little hazy on ‘what it all means’ or still be unaware of what is going on. What’s happening? and Why is it happening (or not) are the areas where Knowledge and Understanding get put into practice. Awareness and Meaning complete the ‘big picture’ of ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’ or even the small picture of whatever is happening in your life today. Between us, the human species, we’ve discovered most of how physical life works, how the planet we live on…

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The Meaning of Life – 1

The Meaning of Life – 1 150 150 Ben Coker

Title of a wonderful movie by the Monty Python team – along with ‘Life of Brian’, it’s really a very profound essay on life, we have to remember that these guys are pretty bright. They know a thing or two. Back in the day, whenever that was, the monarch or ruler always employed a ‘court jester’ whose role was to comment on the monarch’s decisions in a way that would be acceptable and not seen by the court as a criticism of the monarch. As a ‘comic’ you can get away with saying many things that would not otherwise be…

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First Impressions

First Impressions 150 150 Ben Coker

‘You have 7 seconds to make a ‘first impression’ on someone’ ‘70% of the buying decision is in the headline’ These are two of many expressions about what happens ‘first’ when you or I meet someone or read something. There is also a ‘theory’ that once a ‘first impression’ has been made its very difficult to change the perception you have of that person or subject. Personally, I’ve found this to be completely untrue as when I’ve ‘investigated’ further I’ve frequently changed my ‘impression’ – not always but frequently. Alongside this though are the situations when the first impression is…

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The Truth is Out There . . .?

The Truth is Out There . . .? 150 150 Ben Coker

A famous catch phrase from the X-Files TV series about two FBI agents searching for evidence of alien life. ‘Truth’ is defined variously as ‘the quality or state of being true’, ‘that which is true in accordance with fact or reality’, ‘a fact or belief that is accepted as true’, or an idea of authenticity as in ‘truth to self’. What all these are stating is that there is no empirical definition of truth – all they say is that ‘truth is truth’. Many philosophical books and papers have been written on this subject, but they all point to one…

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Curiosity Killed the Cat?

Curiosity Killed the Cat? 150 150 Ben Coker

This phrase first appeared in an Irish newspaper in 1868 and was later listed as Irish proverb, coming into common use in the early 1900s, being used to warn against the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation. Curiosity however is a natural function of the human condition. Without it we would not be who we are, or indeed, if you consider our spiritual nature, here at all. You or I cannot be successful in life without curiosity, without discovery, without learning and without understanding. What do I mean by successful? I suppose the answer to that could be the eponymous…

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Have You Done Your Accounts?

Have You Done Your Accounts? 150 150 Ben Coker

At least once a year you and I have to ‘do our accounts’ – or have someone do them for us. This is usually just about financial affairs – business and personal finances – but what about everything else? In our financial accounts we look at our ‘profit and loss’, our ‘assets and liabilities’, and although it’s not part of the required financial returns we might also look at our ‘cash flow forecast’ and ‘budget’ to predict, or attempt to predict, what is going to happen over the next twelve months. But despite what our Accountants and Financial Advisors would…

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Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations 150 150 Ben Coker

“I’m picking’ up good vibrations” sang the Beach Boys back in the day – but what are ‘good vibrations’? And for that matter, what are ‘bad vibrations? Good vibes and bad vibes – or as Oddball (Donald Sutherland) put it in ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ – ‘negative waves’ and ‘positive waves’. We are familiar with the idea of ‘waves’ transmitting something – radio, light, heat, sound and so on. Waves vibrate, or oscillate, at a certain frequency – how many vibrations or ‘up and down’ movements are made in a second. The time factor is not relevant, it’s just our way of…

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Too Good to be True?

Too Good to be True? 150 150 Ben Coker

How often have you heard this when explaining a proposal or opportunity to someone? Quite a lot I’d imagine. But have you ever heard anyone say “That sounds too bad to be true” when a natural disaster or some other unfortunate event occurs? I haven’t, and I don’t suppose you have either. It’s because the media are heavily focussed on ‘bad news’ – what people want to hear for some reason as they find it more acceptable than anything ‘good’. People are rarely sceptical about something ‘bad’ and even seek out the ‘downside’ or bad side of anything that happens…

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Is your Mind Set?

Is your Mind Set? 150 150 Ben Coker

Last time I discussed decisions and choices, and this is on a similar theme. We often hear people talking about ‘mindset’ and this word has different meanings. It can be a set of different thinking tools or frameworks – how you and I approach different situations or ‘problems’. Or it can be, as Mary Morrissey explains, that the mind is ‘set’ to a particular way of thinking, a specific way of looking at the world, life, or whatever is going on. This latter description is the realm of bigotry, stubbornness, refusing to see any view or possibility other than that…

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Decisions or Choices?

Decisions or Choices? 150 150 Ben Coker

If you or I are given the opportunity to choose between different options, do we make a choice or a decision? And what are the consequences of choosing or deciding? Are they the same, or are they different? And, if we make a choice, do we then need to make a decision to act upon it? Or if we make a decision, do we then need to choose to act upon it? Neither of the words imply action, that’s what comes later. Action is only implied in the secondary sense that without it the decision or choice is pointless. ‘Three…

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The Existential Vacuum

The Existential Vacuum 150 150 Ben Coker

The Existential Vacuum I’ve borrowed this from a sub-heading in Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” which came out of his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. The term though is used in discussion of more recent times. Frankl developed a technique called ‘logotherapy’ later known as the ‘third school of Viennese psychiatry’. Logotherapy essentially means ‘meaning therapy’ or the search for a ‘meaning’ behind what people do or how they present as a patient. In some ways it is a very similar approach, though different in technique, to Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) that I have been…

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Money Does Grow on Trees!

Money Does Grow on Trees! 150 150 Ben Coker

Contrary to popular belief and what your parents told you when you wanted something, it is perfectly possible to ‘grow money’. We do it all the time! OK, not on ‘trees’ but in lots of different ways. We can ‘plant’ money and watch it grow. We can grow money by turning it from one thing into another. We can ‘make’ money by managing and nurturing it. But what is this stuff that’s so important to us that we call ‘money’? The first thing to understand is that it doesn’t exist. There is no such ‘thing’ as money. “But I have…

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How to do Everything

How to do Everything 150 150 Ben Coker

I’ve been discussing goals and beliefs recently, but it’s been pointed out to me that there has been an element missing. When I was discussing goals I described A type goals as those which you or I know how and what to do to achieve and when talking about beliefs we made an assumption that to boil an egg we already had the know how so that we were able to believe we could do it. The missing link in all this is where does the ‘knowledge’ come from and indeed what is ‘knowledge’. It’s not quite as simple as…

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The Magic of Believing

The Magic of Believing 150 150 Ben Coker

This title comes from a book published in 1948 by Claude M Bristol but the inspiration comes from Napoleon Hill’s phrase “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” and Wallace D Wattles’ phrase “A thought is a substance, producing the thing that is imagined by the thought.”. Mary Morrissey summarises these in her saying “Everything is created twice”. The thing is that fundamentally, thought is simply energy vibrating in a particular way at a particular frequency. Everything in the Universe is energy and thought is merely a channel by which that energy can be transformed from one…

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‘Awaken the Species’

‘Awaken the Species’ 150 150 Ben Coker

In 2017 Neale Donald Walsch published a fourth book in his trilogy ‘Conversations with God, written some years earlier. The title was as above – ‘Awaken the Species’. We live, as the Chinese would say, in ‘interesting times’. There is much confusion going on in the world about the state of the planet, the state of politics and global ‘business’, and how people don’t seem to be able to make sensible democratic decisions based on fact now that the media in all its forms has made so many different ‘facts’ available. Walsch’s book makes the point that there is a…

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The ABC of Goals

The ABC of Goals 150 150 Ben Coker

Over the last week I’ve been in a hotel in Markham, just outside Toronto, Canada with 100 people and Bob Proctor at the Matrixx event focussing on our goals and how we can help each other achieve them. I’ve written about goals and goal setting before and you may remember why it’s not smart to set ‘SMART’ goals. One of the first things I learnt this week is that for quite a while, although I’ve been setting and achieving goals, they were the wrong kind of goals. Well not ‘wrong’ exactly, but not really ‘goals’. You see, these were what…

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Boosting the Circulation

Boosting the Circulation 150 150 Ben Coker

At the end of the road in Folkestone where my grandmother had her hotel there is a statue looking out over the English Channel. The statue is of William Harvey who was born in the town towards the end of the 16th century. Harvey was the first to describe in detail how blood flowed around the body in a circulatory system. From a very young age I was impressed by this statue and reflecting on it now I realise that this critical fact about how our bodies work has only been known for 400 years. Thinking about it further it…

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Fit for Purpose

Fit for Purpose 150 150 Ben Coker

Are you ‘fit’? Most people would interpret this question as ‘Are you physically fit?’ and to answer it would then apply their paradigm about what they think that means. They then set about comparing themselves with others and usually come up with “I’m not as fit as she or he is, so therefore I’m not fit”. Someone may be perfectly fit and healthy but believe they are not because someone else, is in their opinion, ‘fitter’. The question really is – are you and I suitably physically fit for whatever it is that we choose to do in life? Are…

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War on Want

War on Want 150 150 Ben Coker

‘War on Want’ is the name of a charity I used to support back in the ‘70s but, that isn’t what this is about. I’ve taken the liberty of borrowing the name for the title. I was going to call this ‘There is no Want’ (as in ‘There is no Try’) but that sounded better. Let me get to the point. I’m on a personal mission to stop using the word ‘want’. Why? Because it causes confusion. The charity has their name absolutely right – they are fighting a war on lack, poverty the absence of basic essentials. Their mission…

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Value Proposition

Value Proposition 150 150 Ben Coker

One of the many things that a lot of people find it very difficult to work out is what they should be prepared to accept in exchange for any offering, product or service, they are making. This is usually expressed in terms of the ‘price’ or the ‘cost’ of the offering to the prospective purchaser and there are different approaches to how that is expressed. In my view these words – price and cost – are inappropriate because they don’t tell the whole story. The ‘cost’ of a bottle of water is not what someone pays for it, especially if…

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State of Mind

State of Mind 150 150 Ben Coker

Last week I talked about balancing different areas of our lives to help avoid anxiety and stress caused by things getting out of kilter. It may sound odd, but the state of our lives is one thing, the state of our minds is another. In a way, our minds are not really part of our life – state of mind exists alongside state of life. Bear with me on this – I’m planning that at some point it will make sense (for you and for me)! Science would tell you that your mind resides in your brain; but it cannot…

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What’s on Your Radar?

What’s on Your Radar? 150 150 Ben Coker

I was thinking of calling this ‘Losing the Plot’ but until you know what the ‘plot’ is it could be difficult to ‘lose it! I’m talking here about plotting your position on the radar screen of your life – more of which later. My friend and colleague of some years ago, Mike Gribble, used to talk about ‘losing the bubble’ whenever the projects we were managing started to go astray. This was more of a tactical point of view rather than the strategic positioning of the radar screen. Mike is a qualified pilot and ‘losing the bubble’ indicates losing orientation…

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Expect Miracles

Expect Miracles 150 150 Ben Coker

I borrowed this title from Joe Vitale (of The Secret) who tends to sign off is emails that way. In Bob Proctor’s book ‘You Were Born Rich’ (available from the Proctor Gallagher Institute) there is a chapter on the importance of expectation. Of expecting to receive what you desire. In a previous message ‘Great Expectations’ I was taking about the danger of expecting things from other people – this is different. It’s about the expectations you and I have of ourselves – or I should say our Selves. My ‘Self’ is what some people would call my Soul, some my…

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Not so ‘S.M.A.R.T’

Not so ‘S.M.A.R.T’ 150 150 Ben Coker

Time and time again I hear people banging on about so called ‘SMART’ goals. Mostly in a business context but this illusion is now spreading into personal development as well. In fact, the last thing you want your personal goals to be, (or your business goals for that matter) is ‘SMART’. You see, the ‘SMART Goals’ philosophy is terribly limiting. It was my colleague and coach Phil Olley who first brought this to my attention at one of his Nexus Experience days. The thing about true goals is that they should be outside, or at the very limit of your…

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Stuck In The Middle

Stuck In The Middle 150 150 Ben Coker

Last week I was in a workshop with Peter Thomson and Roger Bradburn discussing two things. The first was the difference between the offering and the offer and the second was about differentiation. Let me translate the biz-speak here. ‘Differentiation’ is as you might expect, how you make your business, or yourself, ‘different’ from all the others around it or you. People get confused with ‘offerings’ and ‘offers’. The offering (noun) is the product or service that you or your business offers (verb) for purchase, and the offer (noun) is the combination of price, terms and conditions, delivery and so…

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The Paradigm Paradigm

The Paradigm Paradigm 150 150 Ben Coker

‘Paradigm’ is one of the most misused words in the language, especially in the field of personal development. Its main definition – although there are many others is, according to Wikipedia: In science and philosophy, a paradigm is a distinct set of concepts or thought patterns, including theories, research methods, postulates, and standards for what constitutes legitimate contributions to a field. There are several other definitions, but they seem to have some things in common deriving from the original Greek meaning – pattern, example, sample. Some people see a ‘paradigm’ as an example, usually some sort of model of perfection. Manufacturing and construction companies…

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It’s All Too Much

It’s All Too Much 150 150 Ben Coker

Or perhaps I should have said that ‘All’ is ‘too much’. I’ve found from my own experience and talking with others that the idea of creating a ‘big vision’, a ‘dream’ or even an overriding goal for life is sometimes just ‘too much’ to cope with. It can become overwhelming, yet this is what a lot of personal development teachers seem to expect us to do. So what happens? Many people just don’t do it. They don’t move forward with their lives, they don’t turn their goals, dreams or visions into reality because it’s just ‘all too much’. Too much…

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Result!

Result! 150 150 Ben Coker

What do you and I look for when we make a purchase or carry out some activity? What do you and I offer to people when we would like them to purchase something from us or take part in some activity? We are continually advised, and advised well, not to focus on the ‘features’ of our products, services or activities but on the ‘benefits’ they provide. The benefits we might get from going on a particular diet, the benefits we might get from purchasing a new vacuum cleaner, the benefits we might get from taking part in a coaching programme…

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The Master Mind

The Master Mind 150 150 Ben Coker

‘Mastermind Groups’ and ‘masterninding’ are becoming part of ‘business jargon’ and people are also finding ways to monetize them by charging people to be members of what seem to be supercharged (n more senses than one) business networking groups. A ‘Mastermind Group’ (sometimes Master Mind Group or just a ‘MasterMind’) is, according to Wikipedia “a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members. The concept was coined in 1925 by author Napoleon Hill in his book ‘The Law of Success’, and described in more detail in his 1937 book,…

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Poles Apart

Poles Apart 150 150 Ben Coker

‘Whose side are you on?’ Whatever time in history, be it far distant, quite recent or even current, there always seem to be at least two ‘sides’. It’s the way we’ve set up our culture and society for reasons which are somewhat obscure and may be difficult to handle, but I’ll attempt to explain. The answer to the question above is not as simple as it might seem. Potential answers are: I’m on ‘Side A’ I’m on ‘Side B’ I don’t care, or I’m not taking sides on this I’m on my side – whatever is ‘best’ for me. There…

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Growing Pains

Growing Pains 150 150 Ben Coker

There is a huge ‘personal development’ industry, mainly in the ‘western world’ that seeks to assist individuals in their personal growth and evolution. Back in the day it was called ‘self-help’ and could usually be found at the back of the bookshops next to the ‘occult’ section. There was a post today in the Mind Valley Facebook Group asking “What is the best self growth book?” The answer to that question is ‘It depends’ – because growth, development and evolution all have to start somewhere and if you are not sure where you are then it’s difficult, if not impossible,…

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The Value in You

The Value in You 150 150 Ben Coker

I’ve borrowed this title from my good friend Roxanne St Clair who created a pack of 52 inspirational leadership cards with this title. Several years ago, when I was working as a consultant in the rail industry, I remember a quite appalling meeting that by coincidence took place after a major train crash in which several lives were lost. Some ‘actuaries’ were attempting to make an argument about cutting back investment in the infrastructure and citing a level of ‘affordability’ in terms of the number of lives that might be lost by not making further investment. Needless to say, this…

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What’s Causing the Pain?

What’s Causing the Pain? 150 150 Ben Coker

This question concerns all the domains of our lives. We have pain in relationships, one to one and one to many. Pain in our financial affairs. Pain in our physical and mental health. Pain in our longings and discontents about our lifestyle. Of course, sometimes it’s only minor, but other times it’s a real ‘pain in the neck’! It can manifest in different ways, physical pain, anxiety, anguish, frustration, even boredom. But it’s an odd thing, pain. The symptoms of pain you and I feel are usually not in the ‘right place’. If you cut yourself then the pain appears…

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The Time Machine

The Time Machine 150 150 Ben Coker

Almost everyone involved in what someone today annoyingly called the ‘transformational space’ (life coaches, therapists and so on – people who help people change), understands and often teaches this concept. It’s something I’ve referred to before and is founded on the reality that there is no such thing as linear time. ‘Tomorrow’ never comes and ‘Yesterday’ is just a file copy of ‘Today’. A file copy in your subconscious mind. ‘All our yesterdays’ are there, we just have to access them. And we do. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes randomly, and sometimes they just ‘pop up’ out of nowhere – out of…

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In The Zone

In The Zone 150 150 Ben Coker

A little phrase with a big meaning. For some this means being focused on what they are doing or working to achieve – especially in sport, but in business as well. But it has other meanings. If you live in the Transport for London area the ‘zone’ you live on can have a significant bearing on your public transport costs. But that’s not what I’m thinking of here. The ‘Zone’ I’m interested in is your ‘Comfort Zone’. Or as my friend Phil Olley puts it, your ‘Comfort Dome’, which usefully adds a further dimension to the concept. I have been…

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Changes – Face the Strange

Changes – Face the Strange 150 150 Ben Coker

I thought of this title last week but at the time I had no idea how hard ‘change’ was going to hit me. Especially as I didn’t expect it. I had no idea it was coming. I wasn’t ‘prepared’. Normally I embrace change – for better or worse – when I know it’s coming. And usually, in the long run things do turn out better even though it may not seem like it at first. “Turn and face the strange” David Bowie in the chorus of his song ‘Changes’. Because change is ‘strange’ – it’s the whole essence of it.…

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My Generation

My Generation 150 150 Ben Coker

“People try to put us down – just because we get around” So sang Roger Daltrey in The Who, back in the latter half of the Sixties. Most of us – my generation – are now in our late sixties or early seventies and many of our music heroes are now over 80 or getting close – that is if they are still around. There was a lot of ‘hard living’ going on in that era which was not conducive to long life, if you get my drift. “Hope I die before I get old” – was another line from…

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VisionPower

VisionPower 150 150 Ben Coker

Over the weekend I gave a presentation at the Best You Expo at Olympia in London The title of the workshop was VisionPower  – it was about how you ‘power’ your vision to bring it into reality. But that’s not the whole story. There are some other messages some of which I’ve written about before, but the key was that if you don’t implement something else than you will have no power to achieve your vision. The purpose of the workshop was to promote the ‘Dreambuilder’ life coaching programme created by Mary Morrissey which our team in Life Mastery –…

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Life’s a Pitch!

Life’s a Pitch! 150 150 Ben Coker

Like it or not, everything we do in life involves some sort of ‘sale’! Now you know that I don’t like ‘sales’ and I don’t like the 20th century sales culture that many people still adhere to – I wrote about it some time ago in a series of insights called ‘Death of the Salesman’. And I try very hard, when I’m talking to people about growing their business and so on not to use those old-fashioned terms like ‘prospects’ and ‘closing’ and all the other abrasive terminology that goes with it. It’s not easy to avoid using those words,…

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Memories Are Made of . . . ?

Memories Are Made of . . . ? 150 150 Ben Coker

It’s an interesting subject memory. No-one can really define what it is. Here’s Wikipedia (the fount of all knowledge – not) “Memory is the faculty of the brain by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed. Memory is vital to experiences, it is the retention of information over time for the purpose of influencing future action.” Whish is a bit like saying sight is the function of the brain which enables you to see. It doesn’t say what it is or how it works. Quite a few scientists have investigated how memory works and observed patterns of electrical…

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Two Tribes – and More

Two Tribes – and More 150 150 Ben Coker

Back in prehistoric times when we were divided up into autonomous tribes we were often at ‘war’ with the tribe next door. Usually over some argument about land or some other resource that we needed. Back then things were different. We were ‘hunter-gatherers’, we hadn’t developed even the first vestiges of ‘civilisation’ and when we found a food source or a nice bit of shelter somewhere, we needed to claim and hang on to it. Because in truth we never knew where our next meal was coming from or even when we would find it. So, we had to lay…

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No U Turns?

No U Turns? 150 150 Ben Coker

“This Lady’s not for turning” was a memorable statement made by Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister – and it heralded the beginning of her downfall. We see it time and time again in politics – especially in politics. And in sport, in business, in military affairs, in everyday life . .  . You see, for some reason ‘changing your mind’ is seen to be in some way ‘wrong’ or a ‘bad’ thing to do. When public figures do it, they are accused by the press of ‘making a humiliating U-turn’ when in fact they have usually, due to…

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False Economy

False Economy 150 150 Ben Coker

I was having a conversation the other day about how the harnessing of technology is bringing about disruption, democratization and demonetization of the society in which we live. These are three of the ‘6 D’s’ suggested by Peter Diamandis but this insight is not about that – apart from the concept of demonetization. As usual this was discussed some time ago in the realms of Science Fiction and quite recently in the Gene Roddenberry ‘Star Trek’ philosophy. (It’s amazing the philosophical and other boundaries you can break as a science fiction writer) In the ‘Federation’ we have multiple planetary systems…

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“How Hard Can It Be?”

“How Hard Can It Be?” 150 150 Ben Coker

And “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” are two well-known catch phrases used by Jeremy Clarkson on the ‘Top Gear’ and ‘Grand Tour’ motoring programmes. Everyone who is familiar with the shows knows that as soon as he says it, some form of disaster is about to happen, and Jezza will probably hit something with a hammer! But there’s another side to those questions that goes back a long, long way. ‘Some say’ – that there are lot of caveman traits in Mr. Clarkson, and they are right. They’re right because there are a lot of caveman traits in all of…

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Take Control of Your Calendar

Take Control of Your Calendar 150 150 Ben Coker

If you’ve been in the corporate world, you’ll probably be familiar with the concept of the ‘away-day’. It doesn’t always happen like this, but the idea is that you take some time out with your ‘team’ to reflect on or review what you are doing or going to do next. I’ve been to a few of these, both as a manager and as a consultant. Some have been good, some a complete waste of time – a ‘day off’ in effect. In my experience there never seemed to be any pattern to these events, they were arranged as and when…

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Guilty or Not Guilty?

Guilty or Not Guilty? 150 150 Ben Coker

The subject of ‘guilt’ came up this week and provoked an interesting train of thought. It all started with Day 12 of the Rapid Transformational Hypnotherapy for Abundance Quest led by Marisa Peer on Mind Valley. She asked, as one of the activities, for us to write down a list of things we have done ‘wrong’ and feel guilty about. And then she said that if you’ve done something that you feel to be wrong, but have understood and committed not to do it again then you are forgiven Because the only way you and I learn is by making…

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Rules of the Mind

Rules of the Mind 150 150 Ben Coker

Marisa Peer, creator of Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) defines some of the keys to achieving a life transformation as having a clear understanding of the ‘Rules of the Mind’. She defines these as: “What is expected tends to be realised Imagination is more powerful than knowledge Imagination is more powerful than logic Your mind always does what it thinks you want it to do Your mind works to move you from pain to pleasure Your mind responds to the pictures you create and the words you say to yourself Your mind learns by repetition Your mind loves what is familiar…

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It’s a Kind of Magic

It’s a Kind of Magic 150 150 Ben Coker

Roald Dahl wrote in ‘The Minpins’ – “Those who don’t believe in Magic will never find it” To which the corollary is that if you do believe in Magic then it will happen. The song Roger Taylor wrote for Queen and featured in the movie ‘Highlander’ contains these lyrics: (I’ve left out all the chorus lines) “One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal One golden glance of what should be One shaft of light that shows the way No mortal man can win this day The waiting seems eternity The day will dawn of sanity This flame that burns…

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The Art of Science

The Art of Science 150 150 Ben Coker

A friend of mine recently underwent an appraisal to give a talk at TEDx. She is an energy healer and is particularly interested in helping women in pregnancy. She was told that she would not be allowed to use the words ‘energy’ or ‘healing’ or anything else that in the opinion of whoever runs TEDx is ‘pseudoscience’. Now the techniques that she uses do actually work, and have been working for millennia, but as yet there is no-one on Earth who can actually ‘prove’ how they work. ‘Pseudoscience’, as defined by academics, relates to anything that cannot be understood or…

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‘Reach for the Sky’

‘Reach for the Sky’ 150 150 Ben Coker

This was the title of a film many years ago about WW2 fighter pilot Douglas Bader who lost both legs in a crash. He was told he’d never fly again but he wasn’t having any of that. Bader rehabilitated himself over a short period of time and was soon flying in combat again. Now we have the story of a young man called Billy Monger (Billy Whizz), a junior racing driver who similarly lost his legs in a crash. Such is his passion for racing that he repeated Bader’s achievement, rehabilitated himself, and is back pursuing his passion for motor…

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“Deaf Dumb and Blind Kid”

“Deaf Dumb and Blind Kid” 150 150 Ben Coker

Pete Townshend’s ‘Rock Opera’ “Tommy”, performed by The Who is a story about the journey taken by a boy called Tommy – played in the Movie by Roger Daltrey. The movie, the songs and the album sleeve – remember those wonderful 12” album sleeves – tell slightly different stories about how the young Tommy came to be traumatized in the first instance resulting in becoming – apparently – deaf, dumb and blind. “You didn’t hear it, you didn’t see it . . . never tell a soul what you know is the truth” This is classic. It’s what happens to…

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The Journeyman’s Grace

The Journeyman’s Grace 150 150 Ben Coker

“Oh please, journeyman, help me on my way Oh please, help me please, I won’t be afraid. Someone told me there’s a grace that leads you straight from place to place And you always leave the road behind you You don’t need your horses shod, just a dowser and his rod . . .” So wrote Dave Swarbrick and Richard Thompson in 1971 on the Fairport Convention album ‘Angel Delight’ The song is about the journey through life, death and beyond, facilitated by the ‘journeyman’. You and I are on this journey. We go from place to place. We travel…

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Making a Difference

Making a Difference 150 150 Ben Coker

One of the things many people aspire to when asked about their goals or purpose in life is to ‘make a difference’. There seem to be three levels. Some want to make a global ‘difference’ – to change the world through mass political change. Some want to ‘make a difference’ to a particular community in some way. And some want to ‘change the world, one person at a time’. All can be done, but we know the first one usually goes horribly wrong and has never really worked for those who have tried it – unless it is ‘downgraded’ into…

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More than Enough?

More than Enough? 150 150 Ben Coker

My mentor Marisa Peer in her new book ‘I Am Enough, Mark your Mirror and Change Your Life’ explains her concept or mantra “I Am Enough”. She proposes that there are two fundamental underlying causes to all our ‘problems’ and behaviors in life. They are Not feeling that we are ‘enough’ Something not being ‘available’ for us In our personal opinion or belief that is, not in reality. The idea that in some way the belief held by an individual that they are ‘not enough’ is the root cause of addictions, of weight problems, of certain sexual behaviour and so…

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Law of the Jungle

Law of the Jungle 150 150 Ben Coker

Long long ago in a galaxy far far away . . . Well not that far actually and not that long ago, people formed themselves into groups or tribes. Other sentient beings, animals, did so as well, and still do. Why did we do that? We did it because finding food and shelter and protecting ourselves was more effective as a group than if everyone acted as individuals. Different people took on different roles – the things they wee most suited to. Some were ‘natural’ leaders and organisers, others (mostly men) were natural fighters and hunters, some (mostly women) were…

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Theory or Practice?

Theory or Practice? 150 150 Ben Coker

I was once acquainted with the senior economic advisors to both the Labour and Conservative parties, they got on very well together, to the extent that one sent a message praising the other at his funeral. But they held completely opposing views on how that nation should be run from an ‘economics’ point of view. They had developed different theoretical standpoints from their research into the subject. Two schools of thought. But the thing is that this was all about theory, and although lots of testing had been done on the practicability of those theories, both claiming that if put…

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Your Necktop Computer

Your Necktop Computer 150 150 Ben Coker

I’ve been staying in London for the past couple of weeks undertaking an intensive training course. I was staying about three and a half miles away from the venue but the journey by bus or by tube was taking between 45 minutes and well over an hour, one trip was 90 minutes! I didn’t measure it but the bus I travelled on was usually stationary for at least a third of that time other than stopping at designated stops. The bus was full of people. The tube was full of people. The roads were full of people – in cars,…

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Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade 150 150 Ben Coker

I first encountered this paradigm fairly soon after I started working with Warwick Business School as a tutor for Distance Learning MBA students. I was tutoring in Market Analysis – a complex but very well understood area. So much so that there are a myriad of ‘tools’ that analysts use to help understand the market their company, or client, is operating in. There’s the well-known SWOT analysis, then there’s PEST (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological) external influences on your market, and Michael Porter’s ‘5 Forces’ reflecting internal influences, The ‘Boston Box’ analysis tool, and many more. These, and a good few…

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The High End

The High End 150 150 Ben Coker

I often encounter people when talking about marketing, referring to ‘the high end’ of the ‘market. Hmmm . . . can’t recall anyone talking about the ‘low end’ though – wonder why? They want their product or service to appeal to or attract the ‘high end’. Now most people would assume that this means people of ‘high net worth’, people ‘with money’, people whose first consideration is not the price. Or people representing businesses of that ilk. (Remember that there’s no such thing as B to B – unless it’s all carried out by robots). But of course, marketing isn’t…

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‘Working With the Law’

‘Working With the Law’ 150 150 Ben Coker

In 2008 Raymond Holliwell wrote ‘Working With the Law’ later turned into an excellent audio programme by Bob Proctor and Mary Morrissey giving their interpretation and teaching about the book and these key Laws of the Universe. You will probably have heard of the Law of Attraction, about which there are many books, notably Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret’. But you’ll probably have also heard – or even found – that the ‘Law of Attraction’ doesn’t work! Well – it doesn’t. It’s like the Laws of Physics. You cannot just apply one of the Laws of Physics. The Laws of Physics…

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Big Bang Theory

Big Bang Theory 150 150 Ben Coker

I remember astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle several years ago talking about the, then outlandish, theory that the Universe was created by a ‘big bang’ rather than somehow slowly evolving from nothing. Now it’s pretty much accepted by most of the scientific community that a ‘big bang’ is exactly what happened. And what’s more it lines up with the ‘creation by God’ explanation given by most religions. Apart from the question of timing, the main argument that religion has with science though is ‘how does evolution fit in?’ Religions would say that everything was created in a ‘perfect’ state, and that…

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Open Goal

Open Goal 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I have often heard the phrase “it’s a no-brainer” and may even have used it ourselves. It’s something that’s said when we perceive that an opportunity is staring us, or someone else, in the face. The ‘low hanging fruit’ ready and waiting to be harvested. There’s an ‘open goal’ right in front of us. So why do people (and that includes you and I sometimes) ignore it, pass it by, disregard the ‘opportunity now here’ and continue looking for the ‘opportunity nowhere’? It’s not that we consider the opportunity, evaluate it and decide against it, it’s that we…

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Losing the Plot

Losing the Plot 150 150 Ben Coker

We’ve lost the plot! As a species – as ‘the human race’ – we’ve lost the plot. (And I’m sorry to say that, mostly, includes you and I) We’ve forgotten. Forgotten why we’re here Forgotten Who We Are Forgotten What We Are ‘Humanity’ as a whole has lost the plot. Some individuals have forgotten, some were never aware that they had anything to forget. Now I could spend a lot of time explaining this but it’s all been explained before. It’s all in many ancient texts, it’s all in the Bible, its all in the Qur’an and more recently it’s…

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The Story So Far

The Story So Far 150 150 Ben Coker

“I wanna tell you a story” – was one of Max Bygraves’ signature lines (if you’re old enough to remember!). You and I are ‘always’ hearing stories, often telling stories. Stories are one of the things that identify us as humans. Other animals can appreciate music and art, but unless dolphin language actually recounts stories, we are the only story-telling species. Stories are really important. Most of what we learn and most of the decisions we make are based, one way or another, on stories. Stories we tell and stories we hear. But what is a ‘story’? There are lots…

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Personal Profile

Personal Profile 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I are familiar with the idea of ‘profiling’, usually on the basis of a ‘personality analysis’ in a business context but we also hear about ‘profiling’ being done by the security and intelligence services to identify potential threats. But what about the concept of a multi-dimensional profile? You have one. I have one Everyone has one A ‘dimension’ is just a concept. It helps us to understand the Universe and how it ‘works’ – dimensions as such don’t really ‘exist’ in their own right. The dimensions are explained in more detail in “Life Mastery Matters” which you can…

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Multiple Choice

Multiple Choice 150 150 Ben Coker

In any ‘emerging market’ a huge number of seemingly alternative products and services start to appear. Sometimes one of many implementations of the benefit requirement being served will emerge as the ‘leader’ and effectively suffocate the others. Usually because it is either does the job better or does it at lower cost, or both, or because it is, although not ‘perfect’, a better all-round solution. VCR won out over Betamax because although the latter was probably technically ‘better’, VCR was easier to produce and use. Of course, they are both ‘obsolete’ now as people have found different, better, easier, cheaper…

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Get Out of My Way!

Get Out of My Way! 150 150 Ben Coker

Have you ever found yourself ‘tripping over yourself’, stopping yourself from doing something for no apparent reason, finding reasons not to do things, or just having so many things ‘on the go’ that you end up sometimes doing none of them because you don’t know which way to turn? Sorry, but if you answer ‘No’ – I won’t believe you. From time to time everyone finds themselves in this situation, even you and I. Go on, admit it, I do! This insight is an experiment. I’m writing it at the suggestion of a very dear friend; challenging myself to see…

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Role Reversal

Role Reversal 150 150 Ben Coker

It’s all gone horribly wrong! Somehow as a species, humanity, we’ve managed to completely screw things up and lock ourselves into ways of thinking and behaving that are entirely counter productive. I’m speaking of course in general, as not everyone, and probably not you or I, is ‘bought in’ to the way things are done round here on this planet. But even then, many people’s ideas of how things should change are still based on the ineffective paradigms that society holds as truths, as ‘givens’, and the changes proposed only scratch the surface or apply a ‘sticking plaster’ solution to…

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“Settle Down”

“Settle Down” 150 150 Ben Coker

(Thanks to my mentor Phil Olley for inspiring this insight) Remember when you were at school and the teacher came into the classroom and told everyone to ‘settle down’? Remember when your parents or some other adult, or even your peers suggested that you ’settle down’? And you’ve probably told your kids at home to ‘settle down’ and maybe suggested to friends that they ‘settle down’ and get married. But what does it mean – ‘settle down’? Millenia ago billions of tiny sea creatures ‘settled down’ over time – what happened to them? They became the white cliffs of Dover…

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What’s it Worth?

What’s it Worth? 150 150 Ben Coker

Whenever you and I come to making a decision about something, one of the questions that inevitably pops up one way or another is about ‘value’. “What’s it worth?” we ask. What’s it worth – or what is the value for me in doing this or buying that? When faced with a decision you and I have to evaluate the benefit that we will obtain out of making that decision – either way. The benefit of not doing or buying it, versus the benefit of doing or buying it – whatever ‘it’ is. But how do we measure the ‘benefit’?…

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Independence Day

Independence Day 150 150 Ben Coker

Several years ago, on July 4th I celebrated my ‘independence’ from employment, otherwise known as selling my time to others to help them fulfil their goals and ambitions. Now I’m celebrating independence from something else. Something rather more sinister. Something that has been going on since I was in my mother’s womb, and for lifetimes before that. Something so powerful that it inhibits everything you and I do and everything we are. Something that causes us, and everyone else, to behave in ways, that if we ‘thought’ about it, we would never dream of behaving. Have you guessed what it…

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‘Peace of Mind’

‘Peace of Mind’ 150 150 Ben Coker

Apparently, as soon as we reach the grand old age of 50, huge stresses suddenly appear in our minds – or so some insurance companies would have us believe. Now I’ve spoken to quite a few ‘over 50’s’, and they had no idea that they were supposed to be agonising and having sleepless nights over the cost of their funeral! I’ve spoken to a few over 70’s as well and they don’t see it as any sort of priority either. Most people say something like “well, I’ll be gone then so I don’t really care”. I’m wondering if there’s some…

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Interesting Times

Interesting Times 150 150 Ben Coker

There’s an old Chinese saying “May you live in Interesting Times’. What this means is living in times of great uncertainty and usually great change – which for most people means times of fear. We have entered a new century and in doing so, as happens at the beginning of most centuries, we’ve entered an era of massive change. Change scares people, maybe not you and I so much, but for most people it scares the living daylights out of them. And it’s even worse when they don’t understand the changes that are taking place. We’re in the middle of…

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“What Will The Neighbours Say?”

“What Will The Neighbours Say?” 150 150 Ben Coker

Or “what will the neighbours think?” was a phrase I used to hear a lot from my parents and grandparents. You and I don’t hear it quite so much now, or have we just become immune to it? The thing is that this idea is embedded in our psyche. It goes along with “Keep your head down” and “Don’t rock the boat”. All that ‘social engineering’ that humans have developed over millennia to preserve ‘the norm’, to keep everything, and everyone, ‘under control’ – although it’s never clear quite ‘whose’ control we are supposed to be under. We humans had…

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It’s a Numbers Game

It’s a Numbers Game 150 150 Ben Coker

I’m not a numerologist and that isn’t what this is about. Neither is it about the ‘numbers game’ myth perpetrated about sales – I’ve covered that before. This is about the ‘numbers’ that keep cropping up in our lives. Why is it that some numbers – 3, 7, 40 and 90 for example seem to have a higher significance than others? Why is it that some things seem to demonstrate a particular ratio of numbers – 3:10:87 for example? This one was famously demonstrated in a study at Harvard University many years ago (and for those who say it was…

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“Route Recalculation”     

“Route Recalculation”      150 150 Ben Coker

Those are the words I sometimes hear from my sat-nav after I’ve taken a ‘wrong turning’. It means that I’ve ‘deviated’ from the route – the route to my objective. Taken a ‘wrong turn’ on the way. It’s great to have GPS to help us find our way geographically from where we are to where we’re going. Stopping to look at the map or relying on road signs didn’t really work that well. But we could do with ‘GPS’ for other things in our lives. We have a natural tendency to go round in circles. There’s a reason for this…

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Below the Line

Below the Line 150 150 Ben Coker

Back in the 20th Century when I was a senior programme manager at the UK’s flagship computer company, ICL (now Fujitsu Services), we used to have a weekly review of the ‘project list’ to discuss with our ‘boss’ Andrew Boswell, Director of Mainframe Systems Software, where (and sometimes what) we were ‘up to’ with all the developments being created for the mainframe operating system, ‘VME’. In essence it was a balancing act. Balancing the time and resources we had available against the priority of the hundred or so different software developments within a dozen or so ‘workstreams’ that were ‘live’…

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Childhood’s End

Childhood’s End 150 150 Ben Coker

“At childhood’s end a stranger stands . . .” This was the opening line of a song written by my friend Pete Fulwell, later co-owner of Eric’s Club in Liverpool, with whom I co-managed a student modern-folk band of the same name – ‘Childhood’s End’ (Michael, if you have an mp3 version of the album could I have a copy? I don’t have anything to play the old reel-to-reel tape on!) The band and the song were named after a book written in 1954 by science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke, of which the New York Times said – “Wonderfully…

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Zero Limits

Zero Limits 150 150 Ben Coker

I borrowed this title from Dr. Joe Vitale’s book on Ho’oponopono. Let me explain. Recently I’ve been immersed in a recording of a two-day event where Dr. Ihaleakhala Hew Len explains the process and the power of this ancient Hawaiian technique. Dr. Len was the psychological therapist who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients in Hawaii – without ever seeing any of them. He simply studied each patient’s file and then looked within himself to see how he created that person’s illness. As he improved (or as he puts it ‘cleaned’) himself, the patient improved. That doesn’t make…

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Positive and Negative

Positive and Negative 150 150 Ben Coker

You know when you (probably when you were at school) place two magnets end to end with both North or South ends facing each other you felt that they were pushing each other away but when you turned one of the magnets round they quickly joined together? ‘Like poles repel and unlike attract’. Sometimes the ends of a magnet are called positive and negative and when you push the positive ends together you can really feel the energy – but the same happens with two negatives. So why is that? And why don’t we feel the energy when the positive…

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Bridgeworks

Bridgeworks 150 150 Ben Coker

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about dentistry! Apart from that, there are three things you can do with a bridge. Build it, cross it, or burn it. And you may end up doing all three with the same bridge. Where I live we’re receiving the benefit of a beautiful and impressive new bridge across the river. It’s an important route and was much needed as the ‘old’ bridge was getting very run down and unable to handle the volume of traffic which had increased significantly since it was built around 50 years ago. But this isn’t about that…

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Data Protection

Data Protection 150 150 Ben Coker

What on earth is going on? I have a strong feeling that someone, or maybe everyone is ‘missing the point’. Data protection, freedom of information, fake news (which to my mind is anything written by a journalist), ‘privacy’ policies, cyber security and cyber ‘wars’. And so on. It’s the Tower of Babel all over again – turning into the tower of babble with everyone talking at once putting forward their opinion on how we should or should not use information. This is the ‘information revolution’. We’ve moved beyond the industrial and technological revolutions which have made this current phase of…

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Feeling the Fear

Feeling the Fear 150 150 Ben Coker

“Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” is the title of a great book by Susan Jeffers. I think maybe I need to read it again. I’ve written about this previously but recently I experienced a ‘breakthrough’ in my thinking and attitude to life which has opened up the proverbial can of worms. Some of those ‘fear worms’ are eating away at me. Irrational fears – fears about things ‘going wrong’, fears about things not happening – or not happening the way I want. The annoying thing is that I’ve been trained to deal with fear. I’ve been trained to…

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Great Expectations

Great Expectations 150 150 Ben Coker

“I had expectations of you”, someone said, “Well good for you” I thought – an effective ‘put down’ often used by my late friend the poet Adrian Henri. ‘Expectations’ are an interesting concept and can be both inspiring and highly destructive. You and I have ‘expectations’ – we have expectations of the weather (I thought it was supposed to be good this weekend!), we have expectations that if we are travelling from A to B it will take a certain time, we have expectations of how much something will cost. You and I expect a lot of things – we…

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Reframing

Reframing 150 150 Ben Coker

There’s a lot of confusion ‘out there’ about ‘goals’ and ‘goal setting’. There are big differences about how personal and ‘business’ goals are defined. There is misunderstanding about the differences between goals, dreams and visions. And what about ‘targets’ and plans and actions or activities? And all the ‘how’ questions about setting goals, remembering them, keeping on track, and, most of all, achieving ‘goals’, and realising dreams and visions. No wonder people give up on the whole idea sometimes! And lose out on achieving what they desire. Because lack of clarity about how it all works causes resistance to getting…

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Two Sides of a Coin

Two Sides of a Coin 150 150 Ben Coker

Speaking to a friend recently it came up that they had an ‘issue with commitment’, in particular committing to people in relationships, including family members. But then they revised this to say that in fact it wasn’t really a commitment issue, but a rejection issue. Not about fear or anxiety about making a commitment to someone but more about the fear or anxiety of being rejected by them. The worry about being ‘rejected’ in the short or long term makes it difficult or impossible to commit to the relationship – even in the short term. I see this as two…

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Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money 150 150 Ben Coker

Most people are obsessed with money. Having it, making it, saving it, winning it We live in a culture where money is king – everything seems to revolve around money. But the thing is, that idea is the wrong way around. Because what really circulates is money. It’s as if we’re back in the days when everyone believed the Sun revolved around the Earth and the Earth was the centre of the universe – and you’d have been burnt at the stake or at least locked up if you said anything different. Everyone (well most people) now knows that the…

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Scary Monsters

Scary Monsters 150 150 Ben Coker

As a race we seem to be obsessed with two things – ‘Bright Shiny Objects’ (more of which another time) and ‘Scary Monsters’. Of course, fear is one of our basic instincts and back in the day it really was fear of scary monsters – predators that might eat us. Fear would kick in eliciting a fight or flight response – usually the latter! But although we don’t have to face carnivorous predators on a day to day basis any more, it seems that we can’t live without some form of ‘scary monster’ to be afraid of, or at least…

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The Answer 

The Answer  150 150 Ben Coker

There’s a recent book by Allan and Barbara Pease called “The Answer – How to take charge of your life and become the person you want to be”. Now this is interesting because what they say is exactly the same as what I’ve been talking about for some time. But there are two schools of thought on this: The scientific school, and the spiritual school. The methods and techniques proposed by each group are exactly the same – what differs are just two aspects – the how it works and the why it happens. The scientists, as represented in ‘The…

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Thanks for the Memory

Thanks for the Memory 150 150 Ben Coker

Everyone has memories You and I can remember good things and not so good things from our past. But did you know that we remember everything? Everything that we’ve ever done, ever said, ever felt, ever heard, ever tasted, ever been – everything. Trouble is though, that we have significant difficulty accessing it! How many files, documents, photos and so on do you have on your computer? Probably hundreds of thousands, possibly millions. Do you know what’s there? Do you know how to find it? All of it? Probably not, and the brain, which is far, far, more powerful than…

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Deep Thought – Beyond the Fifth Dimension

Deep Thought – Beyond the Fifth Dimension 150 150 Ben Coker

‘Deep Thought’ was the giant computer in Douglas Adams’ ‘Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ that was tasked with the question of finding the answer to ‘Life, the Universe, and Everything’ Well, I can tell you, it’s not 42! It’s beyond the 5th Dimension. Now everyone ‘knows’ about the first 3 dimensions ‘Length’, ‘Height’ and ‘Depth’. The dimensions which meet when three lines each intersect at a 90 degree angle. But that gives away the secret doesn’t it? These three dimensions – the ones taught in school as being the foundation of everything we see and touch, are not real.…

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Command and Control

Command and Control 150 150 Ben Coker

There are two key levels of activity that have to be exercised to successfully carry out any plan, action or even routine. ‘Command and Control’ are usually applied in a military sense but in fact they apply to pretty much everything else as well. Most people like to think they are ‘in control’ of their lives, their relationships, their careers, their health and their lifestyle. But who is actually ‘in command’? In the military, the ‘command’ is given by a senior officer, and the junior officers control the execution of that command – by giving commands to their subordinates who…

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Once in a Blue Moon

Once in a Blue Moon 150 150 Ben Coker

Well, this is it, it’s finally arrived. The ‘blue moon’. The third in a series of ‘super moons’ that have occurred in the last three months. Dec 3rd, Jan 1st, and this one coming up today Wednesday 31st Jan, which will also be a super blood blue moon eclipse (the last time we would have experienced this one would have been 150 years ago). (Unfortunately the full super moon won’t be visible in the UK as it occurs at 12:51pm during the day when the moon is below our horizon – but take a look if the sky is clear…

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Energy Bills

Energy Bills 150 150 Ben Coker

Don’t worry – I’m not going to start talking about my favourite multi utility company! This is about an entirely different kind of ‘energy’. Except of course that everything is energy, but I’ll come back to that. “I don’t have the energy” – “I feel really energetic” “I just feel drained” – “I’m ready for anything” Phrases that you and I use from time to time according to our ‘mood’ are indicative that we are aware of our own ‘energy’, and it’s the same with everyone else. But not many people know what this really means or how our ‘energy’…

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Sickness and Diseases

Sickness and Diseases 150 150 Ben Coker

“Sickness and diseases pull you down, pull you down” So wrote Dave Swarbrick and Richard Thompson in the Fairport Convention song of the same name. There’s been a lot of it about recently, and I suppose that there is all the time. But there are some times of the year and some occasions when it seems that more people get ‘ill’. I remember when I was young that my Dad was always, or more often that not, ill in bed over the midwinter ‘holiday’ season and it seems a lot of people are the same. When the ‘work pressure’ comes…

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Waiting for a Sign?

Waiting for a Sign? 150 150 Ben Coker

I’ve been prompted by a few incidents this week to be very aware of ‘signs’, ‘signals’, ‘indicators’ and ‘inspirations’ advising me in various ways. Whether or not to follow a particular path, go in a certain direction, or not, visit a certain place, or not. The thing is that you and I receive a multitude of all of these indicators all the time – and that doesn’t include ‘sat-nav’! Which ones should we pay attention to? And which ones are pointing in the wrong direction. I suspect sometimes that the Universe plays tricks on us by, as was done during…

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Parallel Lives

Parallel Lives 150 150 Ben Coker

For some reason I’m encountering people who seem to operate ‘parallel lives’ just now. It shows up when people go ‘off the grid’ for a few days for no apparent reason. I understand that this can happen when people go on vacation or are maybe on a training course but not when it just ‘happens’. It usually turns out that they were focusing on ‘something else’ and weren’t answering the phone or replying to messages. Unless they were from people who were involved in the ‘something else’. And if normally quite ‘active’, they’d also go ‘quiet’ on social media as…

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Clear the Decks

Clear the Decks 150 150 Ben Coker

At the end of a year and the start of a new one, you and I often think about change. Changes we want to make in our lives, or our businesses. Doing things differently, starting something new, making our lives ‘better’. At first sight it looks easy, but when we start to make the changes we desire, things don’t always turn out right. We find it ‘harder’ than we thought it was going to be. We find that there are all sorts of other things about our lives and businesses that implementing a ‘change’ affects. When we ‘make a change’,…

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Judgement Day

Judgement Day 150 150 Ben Coker

For some reason the topic of judgement or ‘being judged’ has cropped up several times this week. There seem to be two ways of looking at it. It’s either something that you and I ‘do’ or in a different way it’s something that is done ‘to’ us. Sometimes ‘judgement’ is used as a tool for making decisions and sometimes it (or the fear of it) is used as some sort of ‘weapon’ for controlling others. Most religions, ‘Western’ religions in particular, have this concept that people will be ‘judged’ during or after life and that depending on that ‘judgement’ they…

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Balancing Act

Balancing Act 150 150 Ben Coker

I was told by my Tai Chi instructor that I should be able to balance on one leg for as many seconds as my age. Cool, I’m happy to take 32! Balance is key to everything you and I do. We ‘balance our books’, we maintain a ‘work life balance’ (sometimes!), the same goes for our ‘bank balance’, and we take a ‘balanced view’, and so on. Then there’s the delicate ‘ecological balance’ of the planet, the ‘balance of payments (or trade)’ for a nation, maintaining chakra and energy balance, and more. To be in balance is to be in…

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Supporting Attraction

Supporting Attraction 150 150 Ben Coker

“I need your support” “I’ve been supporting you” “Our cause has many supporters” “Can you support your argument?” You and I hear a lot about ‘support’, and from the way we use the word it seems to have many meanings. In the dictionary as a verb to ‘support’ means to ‘hold up’, ‘bear weight’, ‘give assistance’, especially financially; and as a noun ‘material assistance’ or the thing that holds something up physically. Indeed, in the Oxford English Dictionary there are no fewer than 19 meanings for the word. No wonder we get confused! ‘Support’ is a very useful word, a…

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Peace in Our Time

Peace in Our Time 150 150 Ben Coker

In a recent survey asking people the three things they wished for most, a consistent response was “Peace” or “World Peace”. Most people would consider ‘peace’ perhaps to be the absence of conflict, and that might be in any context from personal to global, but the absence of all conflict on the planet would seem to be a very difficult state to attain. But then there’s internal peace, peace within ourselves. Most people find this very difficult again to achieve as most religions and faiths seem to have a vested interest in maintaining adherents internal conflict so that they turn…

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Passing Ships

Passing Ships 150 150 Ben Coker

Have you noticed the ‘ships’? The ships that denote how people relate to one another. “I don’t want a relationship” someone commented recently. Well, that will be hard – because unless you’re living alone in a cave on a desert island, completely ‘off the grid’, out of touch with the world, the you really cannot avoid relationships of one kind or another. And even if you are completely alone you’ll still have a ‘relationship’ with yourself! You and I have ‘relationships’ with everyone else on the planet – and even with those who are on a higher plane having departed…

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The Generation Game

The Generation Game 150 150 Ben Coker

I never paid much attention to it, so I don’t remember how it worked but ‘The Generation Game’ was a long running part of one of those extremely popular weekend TV spectaculars hosted by people like Sir Bruce Forsyth and others. But this insight isn’t about a game, well, not a game as such but perhaps it is a ‘game’ that continues to be played out between successive generations – at least for as long as I can remember and probably for centuries before that. What is a ‘generation’? Roughly speaking, very roughly, it describes the 20(ish) year gap between…

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People Watching

People Watching 150 150 Ben Coker

Many folks I know say that one of their favourite occupations is ‘people watching’. I’ve been doing quite a lot of that myself over the last couple of weeks. It seems there are two kinds of people in the world – those who ‘watch’ and those who are watched. That’s excluding those bodies who seem to be totally oblivious to anything that’s going on that doesn’t immediately concern them. Like the ‘dangerous walkers’ who ‘middle lane’ the pathway so you can’t get past on either side or ‘tailgate’ you, walking so close behind (without malicious intent) and either collide with…

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At Your Age?   

At Your Age?    150 150 Ben Coker

“Act your age”, “I was looking for someone younger”, “What do you think you’re doing – at your age?” I been hearing these comments a lot recently addressed to me and others around my ‘age’ This may sound like a bit of a rant, and I suppose it is, because as a ‘victim’ I find this stuff very ‘ageist’. It would be considered at least politically incorrect (an attitude I don’t subscribe to by the way) or actually illegal, to make comments like these on the grounds of gender, religion, ability or race – or pretty much any other parameter.…

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The Prisoner

The Prisoner 150 150 Ben Coker

In a pseudo sequel to his role in Danger Man, Patrick McGoohan plays ‘No. 6’, held ‘prisoner’ in ‘The Village’ (Portmeirion actually – I can think of worse places!). He can’t escape as various surreal devices continue to prevent it. This classic TV series ends when as a result of a conspiracy, the Village culture ‘breaks down’ and McGoohan gets out – or does he? As a keen RNLI supporter, I’ve been watching a current documentary series about various rescues taking place around the UK. A group of divers are marooned on a large rock off Anglesey because the weather…

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Kissing Frogs

Kissing Frogs 150 150 Ben Coker

The saying, developed from the fairy tale ‘The Frog Prince’, goes that – “You have to kiss a lot of frogs” . . . before you find what (or who) you’re looking for. Similarly, “It’s a numbers game” – you have to make a lot of calls, knock on a lot of doors, talk to a lot of people, send out lots of emails, place lots of ads – before you find buyers for your offer. Well the thing is that it is, but then again it isn’t. You see, you have to kiss the right kind of frogs. Not…

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Without Prejudice

Without Prejudice 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I have seen this phrase in many situations, but what does it actually mean? Well, legally it’s effectively a ‘get out’ device. It means that no pre-judgement or final decision has been made about the matter being discussed so using this phrase means that ‘I can change my mind’. But that’s not what most people understand. Most people find this, at the top of a letter, a bit scary. It looks ‘official’ and ‘legal’ and usually causes them to pay more attention to whatever it is heading up than they might have done. But if you think about…

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Breakthrough!

Breakthrough! 150 150 Ben Coker

Over time you and I have experienced quite a few breakthroughs. We’ve moved from one stage to another in our lives and our businesses. Sometimes these breakthroughs have been a consequence of naturally moving on, but what we usually consider to be a ‘breakthrough’ is when you or I overcome some sort of ‘obstacle’ that we perceive to be blocking our progress to where we want to go. You and I can ‘see’ and perhaps understand what that obstacle is, we can see the ‘brick wall’ that’s preventing us from moving forward, and we can see that we have to…

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The Power Within

The Power Within 150 150 Ben Coker

You can get a ticket to see Tony Robbins’ 3 (and a half) day ‘Unleash the Power Within’ event in Palm Beach in November for $795, or $1195 if you want to ‘do the firewalk’. It’s a great event and I know many people who have ‘seen Tony Robbins’. Trouble is, very, very few of them have done anything about putting all the good stuff that Tony teaches into practice. Robbins is really very inspirational, but most people never turn that inspiration into motivation or subsequent action. Most people do nothing, other than perhaps to book to see another inspirational…

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Love Is . . .

Love Is . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

Back in 1968 my friend Adrian Henri wrote a short poem entitled ‘Love Is’, often performed by him as part of the Liverpool Scene poetry rock band. The poem was about romantic love, but also about erotic love – it depended on how he read it. But here’s the thing. The word ‘love’ is used by you and I to mean lots of different things. There is a difference in the first place between romantic and erotic or perhaps carnal love and there may be a gradation between the three. The Ancient Greeks had several words for love but even…

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The Law of Wires

The Law of Wires 150 150 Ben Coker

Have you ever noticed how, when you look behind your computer or your TV, there are a whole lot of wires that are all tangled up? Even though when you connected things they were all laid out separately. That’s the ‘Law of Wires’ – they will get tangled up! Now of course, from time to time you and I disconnect and reconnect things perhaps in a slightly different way without ‘reorganising’ the wiring, but nonetheless, even when we’ve left it alone, the wires still seem to get tangled up. I’ve even found wires in the mix that have been disconnected…

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“History is Bunk”

“History is Bunk” 150 150 Ben Coker

What Henry Ford actually said was “History is more or less bunk” and it turned out that he was really referring to the way, at the time, history was taught with, he believed, an over emphasis on politics and key people. Ford went on to found the Greenfield Village historical centre just outside Detroit celebrating more the ‘way of life’ of people from different times and different countries rather than ‘key events’, although it does include replicas of The Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop and Edison’s laboratory. One can’t help thinking that Ford was probably quite right, certainly if he was…

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En Retrait

En Retrait 150 150 Ben Coker

The French for ‘retired’ means literally ‘in retreat’. But retreat from what? Not from ‘life’ because life goes on, and on. Life expectancy this century is likely to increase, probably to around 120, which is a long way from the ‘allotment’ of years quoted in Psalm 90. “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” This is the King James version translated over 400 years ago. There are a couple of key points here which other versions…

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Lock and Load

Lock and Load 150 150 Ben Coker

In the military sense, this means to lock your sights on the target and have your ammunition ready to fire. In other words, create a link with what you want to achieve and be clear about what you need to do to achieve it. You and I create links or connections all the time, with our phones, with our broadband, with the mail, and face to face. To communicate with our ‘target’, the person or group with which we want to communicate, we need some form of connection. And then we need to ‘lock on’ to that ‘target’ through the…

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Outside In

Outside In 150 150 Ben Coker

Those of us in the coaching and consulting industry sometimes get just a little frustrated. And the same applies to project managers, information consultants, IT experts, HR experts, management consultants and everyone else who has professional skills, even sometimes accountants and sales professionals! You and I know that we can help people by using our ‘special powers’ gained through our knowledge and years of experience in our particular field. We know exactly what to do to help people and organisations, and we know exactly how to do it. So, when an individual or organisation is looking for help it should…

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“I’ll try”

“I’ll try” 150 150 Ben Coker

“Do, or do not, there is no try” said Yoda to Luke Skywalker when Luke answered “I’ll try” on being told to levitate his X-wing fighter out of the swamp. People often use this answer, “I’ll try” when asked to do something they don’t really want to do or aren’t sure about . . . “I’ll try to get back to you this week” “I’ll try and do what you ask” “I’ll try and do those things I need to do” “I’ll try and remember” Although this is correct usage of the word try in the sense of intending to…

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“Act Your Age”

“Act Your Age” 150 150 Ben Coker

I’m hearing this more frequently now, but instead of coming from people older than me when I was young, it now comes more often from people who are younger than me. What does it mean? And what is my ‘age’ anyway? Apparently, you and I are supposed to ‘behave’ according to some sort of ‘template’ laying out how people ‘of a certain age’ and indeed of any age should behave. It would seem that at younger ages one is ‘supposed’ to do things and behave in certain ways, we’re supposed to ‘grow up’ and act our age. And at later…

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Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision 150 150 Ben Coker

The other day I was driving along the motorway wearing my sunglasses. I became aware that I was not fully conscious of vehicles alongside me. Forward and back were OK but that bit where a vehicle alongside is out of range of the mirrors and not quite in front, I was losing. My sunglasses have thick side-arms which blocked out that sideways peripheral vision – a problem I don’t have with my normal glasses. I was driving along in a ‘tunnel’ – aware of where I was going and where I’d been, but not aware of what else was going…

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Knowledge Is King?

Knowledge Is King? 150 150 Ben Coker

There’s plenty of ‘knowledge’ around. After all, most of the effort deployed by the education system up to and including the first degree level of ‘higher’ education is all about acquiring knowledge. There are millions of books out there (maybe billions) all containing information and ‘knowledge’. But what is ‘knowledge’? Wikipedia defines it like this: “Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as information, facts, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning”. There are some interesting words in there, about what knowledge is and how it is…

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Smart?

Smart? 150 150 Ben Coker

I’m constantly meeting people who are very ‘mixed up’ about what they’re supposed to be doing. From their point of view, to achieve the things that they want. You see, they have a few things ‘mixed up’. They’re motivated but not inspired. They have too many goals, some of which are in conflict with each other, or their mindset. None of it seems to ‘add up’. In other words, although they ‘carry on regardless’ doing the things they think they need to do, they never ‘get anywhere’. They never seem to achieve what they want to achieve, and when they…

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The Daily Grind

The Daily Grind 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I know many people who are ‘trapped’ in a daily ‘routine’. Every week is the same, every month, and every year. Only briefly interrupted by ‘holidays’. (Which should be called ‘vacations’ because ‘holidays’ means ‘holy days’ – for once the Americans get it right!) But then I guess many people do think of their breaks from the hamster wheel ‘holy’. You and I know only too well how difficult it is sometimes to make an appointment with someone or to set up a meeting, or to get someone to attend an event, even watch a broadcast of some…

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Root Cause

Root Cause 150 150 Ben Coker

I was once lucky enough to be employed by the British computer company ICL. Now Fujitsu Services, (who continue to pay me a good monthly pension), they were a remarkable company to work for. Unlike all the other companies and organisations, large and small, that I’ve encountered. You see, when something ‘went wrong’ they behaved in a way that is very different to business and popular culture today. It seems the first reaction of everyone, when something ‘goes wrong’ or something ‘bad’ happens is “Who is to blame, who can we make ‘pay’ for this? They then go into ‘seek…

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Go With The Flow 

Go With The Flow  150 150 Ben Coker

You and I often hear this expression, and we may sometimes use it ourselves. It can be used in a number of contexts: Just ‘go along’ with whatever is happening, whether you agree with it or not. Don’t ‘make waves’ Follow the ‘crowd’ The thing is that ‘going with the flow’ is not always such a good idea. You see, if you and I just go with the flow we tend to lose control over whatever is going on at the time and be dragged off in a direction we didn’t really want to go. Follow the crowd of lemmings…

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Switched on?

Switched on? 150 150 Ben Coker

Are you switched on? Are you connected? How’s your ‘energy bill’? That is, your ‘personal’ energy bill – the amount of physical and mental energy you need to be able to do all the things that you do. Many people, including you and I, find from time to time that they start to ‘run out’ of energy towards the end of the day. Or worse, wake up in the morning feeling already short of ‘get up and go’. There’s a lot of talk, and rightly so, about saving energy, but that’s not about personal internal energy it’s about conserving the…

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Mindset

Mindset 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I hear this word often, along with ‘ideology’ and perhaps ‘philosophy’. Someone for example has a certain ‘mindset’. But what does this mean? We often gloss over this word as most people do, thinking that they understand its meaning. Our ‘mindset’ is really a way of describing the way that you and I interpret all that’s going on around us – how we see ‘the world’ or just a part of it. You see, you and I create our ‘mindset’ from all the beliefs, ideas, philosophies and so on, to which we subscribe. It also includes elements of…

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I Want . . .

I Want . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

For a couple of weeks, I’ve been struggling with a word. That word is ‘want’. You and I use it a lot, as does everyone else. But what does it actually mean? And how does this screw up our affirmations and our communications with our subconscious mind, and the Law of Attraction in general? You see, ‘to want’ means both a desire for something or to lack, or be without something. And as a noun it means much the same, a lack or absence of something, or a desire or wish for something. The thing is that the subconscious always…

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“Life Happens”

“Life Happens” 150 150 Ben Coker

I’ve hear that phrase a few times this week. But I don’t buy it. Everything happens for a reason. And everything happens when it happens for a reason. And then there’s that ‘Work Life Balance’ thing. Now, I’ve never actually met anyone who wasn’t actually living while they were ‘at work’. Well apart from the ‘working dead’ – you know, those people who hate their job, can’t wait for the time when they’re ‘allowed out’ and are usually thinking about something else while they’re supposedly ‘working’. I’ve met quite a few of them in my time! But even they were…

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Finding The Way

Finding The Way 150 150 Ben Coker

Before Christianity was ‘rebranded’ by Paul (formerly known as Saul of Tarsus), the Jewish sect who followed the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth were known as, and called themselves, followers of ‘The Way’. This of course was ‘the way’ to a better life, to a life they would love to live, and although this was perceived to be an ‘after-life’ these teachings were, and remain, valid as a behavioural code and set of universal ‘laws’ – including the much maligned ‘Law of Attraction’. (You’ll find it in Matthew, chapter 7, verse 7) All other religions have pretty much the same…

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You Got the Power!

You Got the Power! 150 150 Ben Coker

I was recently prompted to consider the concept of ‘power’. And I came to the realization that it is very much misunderstood by most people. I don’t mean things like physical power, steam power or electrical power and so forth; what I’m thinking about is perhaps best described as psychological or personal power. The power to make decisions. You and I make decisions all the time, on a second by second basis. Our lives are a series of continual decisions – especially if we include all the unconscious decisions we make while we’re asleep. But power, real power, is more…

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One Way Street

One Way Street 150 150 Ben Coker

“Don’t speak until you’re spoken to” And “Children should be seen and not heard” Two of the favourite sayings of my mother and both grandmothers as I grew up. And then at school it was “Don’t speak out of turn” and “Wait for permission to speak”. Obviously ‘permission’ was granted (or might be) when I ‘put my hand up’, but I could never quite figure out when it was my ‘turn’. Then there was “You should keep your opinions to yourself” and “Be careful what you say”. And of course “Mind your own business” and “Don’t be nosey” (or words…

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Need to Know

Need to Know 150 150 Ben Coker

I spent 20 years working as a distance learning tutor for MBA students, helping them to get the best out of the programme by reviewing their assignments and so forth. There were two key concepts that most students, of all ages and experience and from many countries, had difficulty grasping. Most were used to the idea of ‘exams’ where they were expected to reiterate the knowledge that they had been taught, at school or university, and perhaps apply a little extra insight from reading and research outside the curriculum. What they didn’t ‘get’ was that the ‘masters’ level of degree…

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Something Better

Something Better 150 150 Ben Coker

Most personal development and business development books, speakers and coaches talk a lot about ‘goal setting’. And they also talk a lot about creating a ‘vision’ (or a ‘dream’ in American parlance), behind which there is a ‘purpose’ or a ‘why’. And then there are ‘missions’ and ‘targets’ and ‘objectives’ – all very ‘military’. The trouble is that there are a whole set of conflicts and inconsistencies in this commonly used language, and indeed, in the practices that surround it. You see, A goal is not a dream or vision. A target is not a goal And a mission is…

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Personal Re-Development

Personal Re-Development 150 150 Ben Coker

Back in the day, when I first started looking at what is now commonly called ‘personal development’ it comprised a few obscurely titled books that could usually be found in the ‘Occult’ section of the bookshop or public library. This of course was in the BC age – ‘before computers’ – which probably now makes the year somewhere between 40 and 50 PC – and you can use that acronym any way you like! The idea that you and I could actually ‘change’ ourselves outside the formal education system was considered a bit far fetched to say the least –…

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Coming of Age

Coming of Age 150 150 Ben Coker

Today is my 70th Birthday and I feel drawn to reflect on ‘age’ What do we understand by ‘age’ as it pertains to you and I, and to other people in the world? Primarily people see it as a measure of time passed – of how many years or planetary circuits of the sun, one has been ‘alive’ in the form of a corporeal human being. (That may of course not be the same as how long you and I have been – and will be –  ‘alive’ as spiritual beings but that’s another story.) People also see a person’s…

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Value for Money?

Value for Money? 150 150 Ben Coker

Over the last few weeks the subject of ‘sales’ and ‘selling’ has kept cropping up at various events I’ve been attending. It’s a thorny subject, or at least seems to be for a lot, probably the majority, of people. And there’s a lot of confusion about what activity actually constitutes ‘selling’. Many people get mixed up between selling and marketing, but for the moment hold that thought. You and I buy stuff. We like to buy stuff – even things like fuel for our cars, insurance, gas and electricity, things we need but may not think we want. But really,…

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How Long Is A Piece of String?

How Long Is A Piece of String? 150 150 Ben Coker

I once spent a week in San Francisco advising a software company as to how to answer that question in terms of an asset management system they were developing for the rail industry. The question was around if you have a piece of railway track, between say London Euston and Glasgow Central – ‘where’ exactly is it? And this is compounded when there’s a train travelling along that track, you have to answer, in digital terms that a computer can ‘understand’ – ‘where’ is it ‘when’. As I write I’ve just seen a plane coming into land at the airport.…

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Chaos Theory

Chaos Theory 150 150 Ben Coker

This isn’t about butterflies in Brazil but about things much closer to home; much closer to you and I. You see, sometimes, and sometimes too often for many people, lives are thrown into chaos and disorder by something ‘unexpected’, that happens to, or around them. You and I of course, being more aware of what is going on around us and more aware of the potential impact of the things we do, tend to suffer from this ‘affliction’ far less often than most. But we cannot say that nothing ever ‘goes wrong’. Because we are aware and because we notice…

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The Secret of Success

The Secret of Success 150 150 Ben Coker

I was prompted this week to think about ‘success’ and why it is, or seems to be, so important to many people. Many people, when asked about their goals, will say “I want to be a success” or “I want to be successful”, and they may clarify this to identify the field in which they want to achieve this ‘success’. Or they may just have a desire for success – any success! But what is this thing called ‘success’? And why do many people want to be ‘successful’ quicker than others as if there is some sort of race going…

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Two Schools of Thought?

Two Schools of Thought? 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I often hear the phrase that “there are two schools of thought on this question” or something like that. Sometimes there may appear to be more, as different people hold different opinions, but it does really boil down to two. These are often identified as ‘pessimistic and optimistic’, or ‘positive and negative’ which really amount to the same thing and don’t tell us much. Wallace Wattles, in Chapter 11 of his book ‘The Science of Getting Rich’, originally published in 1910, provides what I think is a much better insight. He proposes that the ‘two schools of thought’…

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Hope for the best . . . ?

Hope for the best . . . ? 150 150 Ben Coker

“Hope for the best and prepare for the worst” I was party to a discussion the other week about this maxim. I dropped out fairly quickly and just listened because it was obvious that I was in the minority on this one. You see, most people believe this is a really good philosophy! But it isn’t. In fact, this is one of the worst paradigms that society has ever come up with. It might sound good but it’s totally counter-productive. It goes along with – “I’d like this to happen but I won’t think about it too much because I…

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Goal!

Goal! 150 150 Ben Coker

“It’s a goal!” The object of a soccer match is always to score goals, to evade the opposing team and get the ball over the line into the net, whilst preventing them from getting the ball into your net. But what happens when the goal is scored? A ‘goal’ has been achieved, so what next? In sport, it’s simple – just do it again – score as many goals as you can during the time allotted for the game. Of course, your team, and your manager, and your fans will have a vision of winning the game, which means scoring…

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The Kipling Six

The Kipling Six 150 150 Ben Coker

My mentor Peter Thomson has framed ‘six seemingly simple questions’ which are perfect for analyzing any specific situation, problem or circumstance that you and I may encounter in business or in life. (That is of course if we choose to separate those two contexts). Those questions are: Where am I now? How did I get here? Where am I going? Why do I want to go there? What are the obstacles? What am I going to do next? I’ve found these really useful when dealing with specifics and challenges but they aren’t as effective when it comes to answering the…

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What You SAY Is What You Get   

What You SAY Is What You Get    150 150 Ben Coker

“In the beginning was the Word” (from the Christian Bible the gospel according to John, Chapter 1, verse 1) this phrase or something similar appears in many religious texts. You and I have frequently visualised those things that we want to be, do or have. We’ve ‘created’ those pictures ‘in our mind’s eye’, and maybe we’ve put together a ‘vision board’ or a ‘mind movie’. You and I may have personal ‘affirmations’ – short phrases that embody the vision that we have for ourselves. But do we actually say them out loud or do they become a ‘silent prayer’? All…

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Imagine . . .

Imagine . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

You may not be aware of this, but you and I have ‘superpowers’. You and I have powers seemingly beyond those of other inhabitants of this planet we live on. There is a small amount of evidence that some cetaceans and primates and possibly some ‘lower’ forms of life may also possess some of them or something like them but really, no-one knows. But all humans possess them. The thing is that although most people use them, very few make best use of them, or worse employ them as a hindrance rather than a help to their lives. Some people…

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The Meaning of Life . . .

The Meaning of Life . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

In conversations I’ve been having recently I’ve observed a lot of ‘conflict’ in peoples’ lives. Apparently, there’s this thing called ‘work life balance’ that many people seem to struggle with. And there’s another thing; many people want to keep their ‘personal’ and ‘business’ lives ‘separate’ – a sort of self-imposed schizophrenia. But you and I know that our ‘life’ is our life – we only have one; and we also know, often from bitter experience that attempting to compartmentalize our existence always leads to confusion or maybe worse. Of course, the ‘normal’, ‘employment’ paradigm encourages the idea that life and…

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Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions 150 150 Ben Coker

Decisions, Decisions You and I are always making decisions. Big decisions like moving house, smaller decisions like where to go on holiday and a myriad of tiny decisions like ‘is it safe to cross the road now?’ Some of these decisions are ‘important’ and some not so – and some of the ‘tiny’ decisions can be more important than some of the ‘big’ ones! But what is a ‘decision’? When you and I ‘make a decision’ we attempt to evaluate or ‘weigh up’ the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ the ‘for’ and ‘against’, the positives and the negatives and come up with…

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“In two minds?”

“In two minds?” 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I often hear this phrase, and maybe sometimes use it. “I’m in two minds about that” Which means, usually, that they can’t ‘make up’ their mind, or that they can’t decide between two alternatives. Of course, you and I and everyone else, most of the time, have a ‘conversation’ going on in our heads. Or is it in our brain, or our ‘mind’? And what is this ‘mind’ thing anyway? A dictionary definition is – “the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the…

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The Helping Business

The Helping Business 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I are often, sometimes more often than others, asked this question. “What do you do?” It’s a great question to be asked for more reasons than one. But what’s the best answer? “I’m an accountant” – or “I help people, I help people look after their money” (pause) “How about you?” “I’m a police officer” – or “I help people, I help people stay safe and secure” (pause) “How about you?” “I work for Tesco” (other supermarkets are available) – or “I help people, I help people find what they’re looking for when they’re shopping” (pause) “How about…

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“Resistance is Futile”

“Resistance is Futile” 150 150 Ben Coker

So said the Daleks in ‘Dr Who’, and the Vogons in ‘Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and the Borg in ‘Star Trek’ all said something similar. This week I ran into a (metaphorical) brick wall in my personal life. Well, I didn’t ‘run into it’ as such, it suddenly appeared in front of me – out of ‘nowhere’. (That by the way is a different place from ‘the blue’ – out of where ‘good’ things appear!) I spent a couple of days ‘banging my head’ against this ‘brick wall’ trying to break through the obstacle that had been placed…

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“I Just Don’t Have the Time”

“I Just Don’t Have the Time” 150 150 Ben Coker

How often have you and I heard that phrase when we’ve brought someone’s attention to the opportunity to meet with someone, attend an event, look at a way of improving their income, or even a free holiday or break? Well, what they say is absolutely right and completely true. No-one has time. You see, time doesn’t exist. Time is just a concept, a figment of our collective human imagination. (Although I believe there are some tribes in very remote places who don’t share this idea – yet). No other species has any concept of ‘time’. Certainly, they recognise day and night…

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Decide to Decide

Decide to Decide 150 150 Ben Coker

Yesterday I met someone who was really nervous. Granted he was giving his very first two minute impromptu speech at a Toastmasters meeting but that wasn’t really the reason. The question was about describing your greatest fears or dreams. You see, his greatest dream is also his greatest fear. Now you and I know that its quite easy and even common to put these two things together – we can even find ourselves doing it – sometimes! Sometimes you and I may have a big ambition or a dream that we have no idea how to achieve – and that…

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Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap 150 150 Ben Coker

“Everything is created twice” I’m not entirely sure where this saying originated from but it is certainly alluded to several times in the Bible and probably goes back in philosophy even further than that. The thing is that before anything can exist as a physical or even virtual reality, someone must have an idea. Someone had the idea about creating the chairs you and I are sitting on right now. It was an idea, a thought, before it became a thing. But there’s a problem. Sometimes, perhaps more often than you and I would like, things get in the way.…

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“It’s the way I tell ‘em”

“It’s the way I tell ‘em” 150 150 Ben Coker

You know when you read an email, a text, a social media post, or even a letter? And you get ‘upset’ or annoyed And feel that a ‘response’ is needed – right now? Well, just try reading it again – but this time – try it out putting the emphasis on different words. The late, and much missed, Steve Shapiro explains this really well in his audio ‘Listening for Success’. He uses the phrase – “I didn’t steal Bill’s wallet’ Which could mean – I didn’t steal Bill’s wallet I didn’t steal Bill’s wallet I didn’t steal Bill’s wallet I…

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“From My Point of View . . .”

“From My Point of View . . .” 150 150 Ben Coker

There was an experiment where two people sat on opposite sides of a desk looking at a ball suspended between them. They were asked to describe the colour of the ball. One said “blue”, the other said “red”. They were then asked to reach agreement on the colour of the object. The argument progressed for some time and became very heated. Neither side giving way on their stance. At no time did either of the protagonists offer to come around to the ‘other side’ of the desk and see the problem from the other person’s point of view. If they…

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Death of the Salesman? – Part 3

Death of the Salesman? – Part 3 150 150 Ben Coker

The death sentence on traditional 20th century transactional ‘hit and run’ sales was pronounced soon after the millennium fireworks were over. Admittedly the ‘trial’ had been going on a long while and the sentence is still subject to appeal by those companies who are unable to grasp the inevitable demise of their tenuous grasp on control of the sales process. The fact is that the control has shifted to the ‘0ther side’. The buyers, purchasers, potential customers and clients, who old school sales people loved to give the demeaning title ‘prospects’, have finally been given the tools that put them…

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Death of the Salesman? – Part 2

Death of the Salesman? – Part 2 150 150 Ben Coker

Whether they are employed working for someone else, self employed, have their own business or just invest money in other enterprises everyone provides something that other people want or need. You and I are in the business of providing – providing something, a product or service, that someone else wants or needs And they, in return, will provide something that you and I need or want. ‘Back in the day’ this used to be quite simple. I might keep chickens and provide you with foodstuffs in exchange for you providing me with cloth that you’d woven. Or you might be…

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Death of the Salesman? – Part 1

Death of the Salesman? – Part 1 150 150 Ben Coker

‘Lists’ (or ‘Traffic’), ‘Leads’, ‘Pitches’, ‘Prospects’, ‘Closing’ . . . These are all terms from the world of ‘transactional sales’. Or perhaps I should say 20th Century sales. Are you ‘traffic’? Do you like being thought of as a ‘prospect’? How do you feel about being ‘in the sales funnel’? What about being ‘closed’? Whatever you and I may think about this, and I for one am not too keen on being at the receiving end of it all, we are involved. And there may be times when you and I fall into the trap of this type of sales…

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“I Can’t Afford It . . .”

“I Can’t Afford It . . .” 150 150 Ben Coker

How often do you and I hear, or even use, that well-worn phrase? Sometimes it’s a response that comes when you and I are offering services or products to other people. But sometimes it’s a response that we make, although not always out loud. And, when operating as a consultant I’ve had this one from a large corporation – “We think you’ve come up with a great solution that would solve all our problems – but we can’t afford it”. That company no longer exists. And they weren’t the only company, organisation, or even nation, that has made this mistake.…

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Go With the Flow . . .

Go With the Flow . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

Someone said to me a few days ago “Why don’t you just go with the flow; why do you have to make things difficult for yourself?” I don’t remember what it was in relation to but may have had something to do with the concept of ‘retirement’ – an idea to which I do not subscribe! The thing is . . . So many people, unlike you or I, do live their lives just ‘going with the flow’. The ‘mainstream’ flow is the ‘get an education, qualifications, get a job, get another job, watch TV, retire’ and so on type…

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Off the Clock

Off the Clock 150 150 Ben Coker

‘Time’ doesn’t actually exist. There is no such ‘thing’ as time. It isn’t physical, having no substance. It isn’t energy, having no force or power. It’s simply a pure concept that humanity has invented to help understand our existence. It’s unlikely that any other life form on this planet understands what we mean by ‘time’. Yes, animals and plants recognize the daily and seasonal cycles that are a function of the planet’s rotation but none of them carry watches or live by the ‘clock’. They simply react naturally to day and night and summer and winter. They grow old and…

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On the Edge . . .

On the Edge . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

Psalm 119 verse 105 says – “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” In ancient times in the middle-east people used to travel, on foot, by night, as it was too hot and exhausting to travel far by day. In the wilderness, the moon and stars were not always available and even when they were the shadows cast did not always give the detail on the ground needed for safe walking. So people would attach small oil lamps to their feet. They travelled slowly, carefully, heading forwards into the small patch of ground…

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“I’ll Think About It . . .”

“I’ll Think About It . . .” 150 150 Ben Coker

Don’t you just hate it when people say that? And although you I probably wouldn’t say so we might be thinking “what with?” Many people in sales will immediately mark this down as a ‘no’, or at best a ‘no for now’ and not even bother to follow up. I know, I have to admit that I’ve taken advantage of hundreds of those ‘failures to follow up’ and gained customers where someone else (who they can’t remember) has done all the work. But what does ‘I’ll think about it’ really mean? When someone comes up with this response it really…

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A New Beginning?

A New Beginning? 150 150 Ben Coker

“You cannot can go back and start a new beginning, but you can start today and make a new ending.” C S Lewis And it has been pointed out, frequently, by the writers of Star Trek and in the ‘Back to the Future’ series, that if you could go back, and did go back, then there would be an extremely high probability that everything would go horribly wrong and you would most likely cease to exist ‘in a puff of smoke’. Once something has begun it’s done, it’s over and it can’t be undone. Whatever it is, a thought, an…

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A Bit Risky?

A Bit Risky? 150 150 Ben Coker

A Bit Risky? You and I live in a society obsessed with ‘risk’. There are a few definitions of risk which seem to boil down to some sort of measurement of the potential result of some type of interaction with uncertainty. In other words, if we don’t know what’s going to happen next, then the situation is uncertain, so entering into it presents a ‘risk’ relating to how things might turn out. For good or for bad. Usually people think of risk as something to do with the possibility of something ‘bad’ happening – except perhaps in gambling when the…

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 “We’re gonna Win”

 “We’re gonna Win” 150 150 Ben Coker

Remember Cassius Clay/Mohammed Ali? He always said “I am the Greatest” – well before he won the heavyweight boxing championship. No-one challenged this statement, no-one else said “No you’re not, I am” – at least, not at first . . . So he won – it was inevitable. There was never any doubt in his mind that something ‘might go wrong’, and no thoughts like ‘it’s not the best conditions for us’ or ‘someone else is better than me right now’ that you and I hear from so many sports people from time to time. You and I can see…

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Feel the Fear . . .

Feel the Fear . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

“Feel the fear and do it anyway.” So wrote Susan Jeffers in her book of the same name. Fear is a very basic human instinct. Without it we wouldn’t survive. Fear is there to protect us from predatory animals and to keep us safe in the cave when the storms are raging. Fear is there to help us out when we’re in a precarious situation. To slow us down, or speed us up when the forces of nature are not in our favour. But now, you and I rarely have to cope with an attack by a predatory animal and…

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Up the Garden Path . . .

Up the Garden Path . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

Are your goals leading you ‘up the garden path’? In the wrong direction? Are you actually doing what you need to do and thinking what you need to think in order to achieve your ultimate vision or dream of what you want to be, do and have in your life – what you would love your life to be? Or are you taking actions to achieve short term goals – which may seem important and may seem to be contributing to the ultimate vision but . . . Are leading you on a detour – on a ‘short cut’ (and…

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How’s your Earth-Suit?

How’s your Earth-Suit? 150 150 Ben Coker

There’s a continuing theme in many Science Fiction books and movies about aliens who, when exploring (or invading) other worlds, wear, not a protective ‘space suit’, but some sort of functional ‘bio-suit’. Usually, as in the movie ‘Independence Day’, this is depicted as an external bio-body inside which is another, rather different looking physical entity. Sometimes authors have depicted the inhabitant of the bio-suit as a non-corporeal being. This idea appears in ‘Star Trek’ a few times but was more often described by earlier SF writers. Taking this one step further, authors have depicted a non-corporeal entity inhabiting a human…

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Whose Idea Was That?

Whose Idea Was That? 150 150 Ben Coker

There’s a quote – “Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality” which has been attributed to a number of authors including Steven Covey and Robin Sharma in the current era. However, in the latter half of the nineteenth century the ‘New Thought’ (‘new’ thought is now over 200 years old now by the way) writer Wallace Wattles in his book ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ wrote: “There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe. A thought, in…

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Brave Thinking

Brave Thinking 150 150 Ben Coker

You know that ‘voice’ inside your head? You know, the one who never stops ‘talking’. Well the thing is . . . and this may be a bit scary – There are a whole bunch of them, continuously debating. What’s right and what’s not right, what to do next and what not to do, why and why not. ‘Oh no you can’t’, ‘Oh yes you can’, and so on . . . and on. The trouble is. They all sound the same, they all sound like your voice, they all claim to be you. You and I are constantly besieged…

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Brules of Life

Brules of Life 150 150 Ben Coker

In his latest book, ‘The Code of the Extraordinary Mind’, Vishen Lhakiani explains his concept of ‘brules’. Brules he says, are ‘BS-rules’ that exist in the ‘culturescape’ in which you and I find ourselves and that people adopt to simplify their understanding of the world. The ‘culturescape’ is his word for the cultural landscape, and like real landscapes different culturescapes can be found in different parts of the world. The people who live in these different culturescapes have invented millions of ‘rules’ or conventions that govern the way they live, operate and co-exist. Some of these conventions/rules are quite sensible,…

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State of Independence

State of Independence 150 150 Ben Coker

In 1988, Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway, declared a new independent nation state. The Kingdom of North Dumpling After consulting an expert on constitutional law, Kamen found a means for the island he owns and where he lives, just off the coast of Connecticut, to secede from the USA. He created his own island nation with its own constitution, anthem, flag, and currency (the Dumpling of course). He even persuaded President George H W Bush to sign a non-aggression pact with North Dumpling. All this arose because the State of New York who administered the island refused permission…

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Opportunity Knocks . . .

Opportunity Knocks . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

Occasionally you and I are faced with something unexpected. It could be a change in environment, a change in circumstances, or something that happened in a way that we didn’t expect. It’s often a change, the consequences of which are unclear or uncertain and you and I know that such lack of clarity usually leads to resistance to whatever has happened. You see . . . There are three ways in which most people choose to deal with this sort of thing. ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ – stick head firmly in the sand – “la la la la la…

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Common Hours

Common Hours 150 150 Ben Coker

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) the transcendental American philosopher wrote: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” Let’s ‘unpack’ this statement made nearly 200 years ago Of course Thoreau wasn’t the first to expound this principle, it appears in Greek and Biblical philosophy as well and also in many Eastern philosophies. The thing is, it’s very important for you and I to understand how this works and that it does work. The first word is ‘If’. In order…

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Pay Attention!

Pay Attention! 150 150 Ben Coker

Who is it within me that can ‘notice’ what’s going on in my body but isn’t my body? Who is it within you that does that? Who is it within me that can ‘notice’ my thoughts, comment on my thoughts, decide to stop or continue my thoughts? Who is it within you that does that? Who is it within you and I who comes up with spontaneous ideas – ‘out of the blue’? (Where or what is this ‘blue’ by the way?) And who is the other guy within you and I, who discards those ideas and dismisses those observations?…

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The Dream Test

The Dream Test 150 150 Ben Coker

It’s that ‘dream’ word again and this week I’m using it according to Webster’s Dictionary of American usage where a ‘dream’ can be defined as something tangible and achievable – almost, but not quite, synonymous with a ‘vision’ or ‘ambition’. The point is that for the purpose of this insight your ‘dream’ is something that you intend to come into being and believe will come into being. Something that you want to achieve, and part or all of your personal vision for your life. Whatever you and I describe this as, we all have thigs that we ‘want’ to do,…

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The Sword and the Trapeze

The Sword and the Trapeze 150 150 Ben Coker

In his ‘Daily Dynamite’ message yesterday morning my friend Phil Olley reminded me about what happens when you and I decide that we want to move on, or forward, or up – whichever way you look at it. You see, despite the fact that you and I have a vision about where we want to go and have goals, targets and plans supporting it, sometimes things just don’t go as we expected. Sometimes it’s a diversion or delay caused by ‘roadworks’ in our path over which we have no control. Sometimes you and I get stuck in the mud of…

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Your Mastermind Group?

Your Mastermind Group? 150 150 Ben Coker

In the Christian Bible (Matthew 18:20 KJV) it says: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” What this means in ‘secular’ terms is that when small groups of people gather together, when you and I meet together, there is a ‘third party’ also present. This ‘third party’ has many names – the Force, the Holy Spirit, God, the ‘Power of the Universe’, ‘Nature’ – the name doesn’t matter – ‘something’ more that the people involved is there. Now you and I can choose to involve or make use of this other participant in our…

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Rich Man, Poor Man . . .

Rich Man, Poor Man . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

I recently came across a list from T Harv Ecker’s book “The Millionaire Mind” It’s a list of ’17 Different Ways Rich People Think Differently’ and the last item in the list struck a chord. It says “Rich people constantly learn and grow; Poor people think they already know” That got me thinking about what I’ve ‘learnt’ over the past nearly 70 years. For a start, just over half my life ago I realised that I didn’t ‘already know’ and ever since then I’ve been hungry to learn new things. You see, between my late teens and my early thirties…

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Fear and Greed?

Fear and Greed? 150 150 Ben Coker

When I was a consultant in the UK rail industry, one of the people I used to work with, a very pragmatic ex IBM man, used to say (a lot) that there were only two reasons why anyone did anything or why anyone bought into anything. Fear, and Greed His terminology may be a little harsh, (but he’s like that, very much ‘no nonsense’ and to the point) but he’s probably right. You and I most often do things for one of two reasons – and we sometimes do things for no reason at all! Those two reasons are either…

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Design or Default?

Design or Default? 150 150 Ben Coker

Do you live your life by design or by default? What do I mean by this? Within any given culture ‘most’ people behave in the same way. They follow the same routines; they do the same things. They ‘default’ to whatever is considered ‘normal’ in the culture in which they exist. Along with most people you and I were taught when we were very young, how to ‘behave’ in our society. What we should do, what we should not do. Everyone is ‘conditioned’ at an early age to respond in certain ways to different stimuli. And I’m not talking about…

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Onward and Upward . . .

Onward and Upward . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

To go forward, to take the next step, to ‘move on up’ are ‘the ‘way to go’ for most people, especially you and I. But we all often find this really, and I mean really, difficult. There are always hesitations, always ‘what ifs?’ and always fears, or at best concerns, about what will happen when you or I do take that next step. Because sometimes that step is significant. Like the Israelites entering the promised land or Caesar crossing the Rubicon there is sometimes no way back. In the case of the promised land, this was ‘the destination’ – they…

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Silent Applause . . .

Silent Applause . . . 150 150 Ben Coker

My friend Peter Thomson has a saying that “Money is the silent applause for a job well done”. What does this mean? I believe it’s an enlightened way of looking at money and how we use it. Instead of believing that we have to have money in order to ‘pay’ for the things we want, and seeing ‘having to part with our hard earned cash’ as some sort of penalty for obtaining the basic needs of life or the additional ‘upgrades’ that we desire, this way of looking at money it that it is an expression of appreciation for the…

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Forgive and Forget?

Forgive and Forget? 150 150 Ben Coker

So goes the saying, but what does it really mean. What do we mean by forgiveness and do we really forget someone we’ve forgiven? To forgive someone is often difficult. We feel that there is something that they should do to earn our forgiveness but the thing is – they most often don’t understand that they actually need to be forgiven. In their mind they may not have done anything worthy of, or requiring forgiveness. Sometimes they do, but more often they don’t. More often than not when we forgive someone, we are doing it for our own benefit. You…

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Happy or Successful?

Happy or Successful? 150 150 Ben Coker

This may perhaps be a generalization, because I know some people whose aim in life seems to be to be miserable all the time, but ‘everyone’ desires to be ‘happy’ and ‘most people’ desire to be successful. And, there are some people who don’t seem to want to ‘succeed’ in life but prefer to ‘keep calm and carry on’, ‘keep their heads down’ and ‘hope for the best’. In his book ‘Questions Are the Answers’ Allan Pease proposes a set of alternatives from which people can be asked to identify their ‘top priority’. I won’t list them here but perhaps…

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It’s All an Illusion

It’s All an Illusion 150 150 Ben Coker

I’m writing this on my birthday, 29th March. It’s one of those ages that you can turn upside down and the numbers are the same. Some of these occur when we’re quite young, other when we’re quite old. I’m somewhere in the middle. Perhaps because of this I’m prompted to look at things in different ways. There’s an experiment where two people on opposite sides of a table are looking at a ball suspended between them. They are asked to discuss what they see and decide on the colour of the ball. A fierce argument ensues as one states categorically…

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What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

What’s the Worst That Can Happen? 150 150 Ben Coker

You know when you’re having a conversation with someone close to you about your goals or you’re trying to explain what you want to do to your ‘nearest and dearest’ –  and they say: “You can’t do that” – or “How’s that going to work then?” – or “What do you know about? . . . (whatever it is you’re proposing) As if you and I didn’t have enough trouble with our own limiting beliefs and not being certain that what we were planning to do would actually work. To have your closest family and friends put down your ideas…

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What you see is what you get – or is it?

What you see is what you get – or is it? 150 150 Ben Coker

One of my MBA tutors used to say that if the answer isn’t clearly yes or no then the best response is always “it depends” It depends on how you and I ‘see’ things. But it’s not just about sight. When you and I see something a whole lot of other things kick in, Like memories – and feelings. When we see something we reference something similar – or different, that we’ve seen before and this summons up a feeling about what we’re looking at. When you and I see something we might feel scared, or happy, or disgusted, or…

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‘Groundhog Day’

‘Groundhog Day’ 150 150 Ben Coker

“You can’t start the next chapter in your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” No-one seems to know where that quotation came from. A shame as it’s very profound. You and I and everyone else spend a lot of time thinking about the past – or re-reading the current or previous chapters. But you and I also want to move on. Either to start the next chapter straight away or to ‘finish’ the current one. A friend of mine who is the same age (and we’re both drawing a state pension) recently wrote his “25-year plan” for the…

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Too Much Information

Too Much Information 150 150 Ben Coker

You and I are all constantly bombarded with more and more ‘information’. Some of this may be useful information that we want, but the rest of it is often irrelevant to us or simply rubbish or even harmful. It’s all a bit like the rays bombarding us through the atmosphere – light, cosmic, ultra-violet and so on – some of which we have to protect ourselves against. You and I do of course from time to time seek out specific information – to help us in achieving our goals but many people also seem to have a craving for as…

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