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Rich Guru Poor Guru, the collection of ebooks designed to raise new internet marketers and experienced marketers to the next level is finally out. Launched March 9th, 2010, this package has been the most talked about marketing guide in a long time.

But is Rich Guru Poor Guru really a must have for internet marketers who are looking for success? Let’s discuss what RGPG is and whether or not it will be of any use to you…

Rich Guru Poor Guru Review

So, what exactly is this book called RGPG (acronym)?

It is an entire course for both new and weathered marketers who are looking to move up in the internet marketing world. Norb Czufis has spent over a year developing this package with the intention of producing the most valuable guide on the market.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced marketer you’ll find loads of information in this package that can help to either kick-start your earnings or boost your online business to the next level.

I’m New & Don’t Understand Anything About This Yet, What Exactly Will This Guide Help Me Achieve?

If you’re asking yourself this, don’t worry. Many people who know little or nothing of the online marketing world will find themselves asking the very same thing.

With that said, why don’t we take a peek at what RGPG has to offer you?…

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The Rich Guru Poor Guru system is great. I picked up a copy myself. And even coming from me, an experienced marketer, this course has shed light on techniques and business models that I haven’t been introduced to. And these aren’t crappy, do this and you’ll make money techniques, this is a massive learning experience that will benefit anyone who takes the time to read it in it’s entirety. The internet is full of “internet marketing guides”. I’ve read several of them myself and what I can tell you is this… They won’t help you. Why? Because they aren’t designed to really be informative and be a reference guide that you can keep coming back to that will lead to your success. The sad truth is that they are designed for one thing… To make someone else money. Norb Czufis’ Rich Guru Poor Guru isn’t designed to make him a load of cash. It’s designed to be a guide to start you in the right direction when you’re just beginning, to develop your business once you’re off your feet and finally to further your success for years to come. If you’re looking for the key to becoming a top dog in the world of internet marketing, Rich Guru Poor Guru can take you there and beyond.

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“If the mind really is the finest computer, then there are a lot
of people out there who need to be rebooted.”
– Bryce’s Law

INTRODUCTION

In the world of writing there is something called “Writer’s Block” where the author
procrastinates on his work and is easily distracted. Hopefully, he overcomes
the problem and tackles his assignment. To do so, he needs to eliminate
distractions and engage his brain to the subject at hand. The same is true
in any endeavor, be it a carpenter, an engineer, or a programmer. The more we
can engage the brain, the more we can produce. The challenge therefore becomes
how to maximize the use of our brain. By brain power I am not referring to a
measurement of IQ, but rather to simply engage what God has given us.

LEVELS

I may not be a psychologist, but it has been my observation as a management
consultant that there is essentially three levels by which our brains operate:

LEVEL 1 – PRIMAL

This represents our basic instincts and reflex actions as we blunder through
life (I call this the “auto-pilot” mode). For example, we devise a morning
regimen where we awaken and prepare for work. At this level, we are not
at our most alert. Instead, we want to simply catch up on the news, brush
our teeth, dress, and travel to work. Similarly, at the end of the day, we
decelerate our activity as we prepare for sleep. In other words, we develop
predictable routines to go through day after day without much thought. The
brain is engaged, but far from our maximum output. In fact, we take in more
than we put out. This is where we want to be entertained or informed.

LEVEL 2 – MODERATE

This level represents an equal level of input and output. The brain is either
accelerating (at the beginning of the work day) or decelerating (at the end
of the work day). At this level we have no trouble taking instructions and
produce an average amount of work, quite often mundane or routine assignments
simply to pass the time of day. We are also easily distracted. In the normal
business day, Level 2 typically occurs between 9:00am – 10:00am (as the work
day begins), 12:00pm – 1:00pm (following lunch), and 4:00pm to 5:00pm (as
we prepare to conclude the work day).

LEVEL 3 – ACCELERATED

This level represents high achievement where we are able to concentrate
and put forth our best work effort. Here, the brain is fully engaged and our
output surpasses our input as we concentrate on the job at hand. In the
normal business day, Level 3 typically occurs between 10:00am – 12:00pm,
and 1:00pm – 4:00pm.

AVERAGE WORK DAY

Let us now consider how we use time during the average work day and
consider how much is used at the various levels. First, we will divide the
day into three equal increments of eight hours: Sleep, Work, and Personal Time.

REST – 8 HOURS

During this time, the brain is not truly engaged other than to maintain
bodily functions.

WORK – 8 HOURS

Based on studies we have performed on time management, we have
found most people in corporate offices to be approximately 70% effective,
meaning in an eight hour work day, they are spending about six hours on
direct work assignments, and two hours on indirect activities (time that
doesn’t contribute directly to their assignments; e.g., breaks, meetings,
taking instruction or direction, etc.)

PERSONAL TIME – 8 HOURS

This represents time where we perform pet projects and hobbies,
pay the bills, run errands, attend a function (such as a meeting),
relaxation, awake, prepare for sleep, etc. During this time we
typically spend two hours of concentrated work, and six hours of
indirect activities.

SHIFTING GEARS

This means in a typical work day, we only spend eight hours to really exercise
the brain (Levels 2 and 3). But from a manager’s perspective, we are primarily
concerned with the six hours devoted to work. During this time, people will
spend approximately three hours operating at Level 2 and three hours at
Level 3. This ratio between Levels 2 and 3 will fluctuate based on how well
the worker is able to engage the brain. Some people are able to engage their
brains at Level 3 for several hours, some for only an hour, and some not at all.

At this time we have to recognize that thinking is hard work. Although Level 3
is where we want employees to perform at, we must recognize that nobody can
keep it in high gear for an extended period of time. The brain grows weary and
moderates itself, shifting from Level 3 down to Level 2 or Level 1.

We must also beware of the “cattle phenomenon” whereby we fall into
the tedium of repetitive behavior and, as such, our brains do not progress
past Level 2. Consequently, repetition often leads to laziness.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has
been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.”
– Albert Einstein

SOME RECOMMENDATIONS

It is the manager’s objective to keep employees operating at Level 3 for as long
as is practical, thereby producing the best and most voluminous work products. To do
so, the manager must minimize distractions, relieve tension, and maximize focus
on work (concentration). To this end, the manager should consider the following:

Use of Stimulants

No, I am not suggesting the use of narcotics in the work place, other than a
good strong cup of coffee (the rocket fuel of industry). However, you want to
create an environment that appeals to the human senses, specifically visual,
audio, touch, even smell. For example, a well lit and brightly painted room
stimulates human senses as opposed to a dark, dull, lackluster room. A
painting or office furnishings can add a touch of class and stress the disposition
of the office. A calm and quiet office, perhaps with some suitable background
music, can help people focus as opposed to a loud and boisterous environment.
Ergonomically designed office equipment can have a positive impact on employee
behavior. But be careful not to introduce too much comfort as it might put people
to sleep. To illustrate, I do not have a problem with hard chairs that force people
to sit up and pay attention.

Encourage mental gymnastics during the day. Perhaps some friendly debate
or the solving of a problem. It has long been known that puzzles, crosswords,
chess and checkers, and the like help stimulate the human brain. Simple, basic
social intercourse can work wonders in terms of stimulating the mind.

Consider room temperature; if too warm or too cold, it will become distracting.
But keep the room more cool than warm as it forces you to stay awake. Also
consider the amount of available oxygen which stimulates the brain.

Another area to review is nutrition. Make sure workers are eating the right
foods in the right amount. Large meals tend to put people to sleep immediately
afterwards.

Basic exercises can also enhance both physical and mental acuity. Many
companies now offer in-house facilities for such programs.

Understand this, employee breaks are not all bad. It gives the worker an
opportunity to get away from his work, clear his head, and return with a
better focus. Of course, there will be those employees who will abuse this
privilege and, because of this, the manager has to constantly monitor the
use of breaks.

Ultimately, the corporate culture has a profound effect on the stimulation
of workers. If the right environment is established, you can turn lethargic
workers into “movers and shackers.”

Motivate

It is necessary for the manager to encourage workers to rise to a challenge
and work harder. To this end, the manager must play the role of Industrial
Psychologist to understand what makes people tick, thereby providing the means
to motivate them to excel. This can be done with simple praise, rewards, and
recognition. It can also be done through constructive criticism. I have seen
instances where both a cheerleader approach and a tough taskmaster approach
have worked to positive effect. Some people respond to praise, others respond
better when their integrity is challenged. Here, the manager has to intuitively
know when and where to press the right buttons of his workers.

The manager needs to be able to create a sense of urgency, regardless of the
task at hand. This can be done either by carrot or by stick depending on the situation.
The worker must understand their work is important and adds value to their life.
If they feel their work is irrelevant, then their self-esteem will suffer and they
will put forth little effort to achieve anything. One way of implementing this is
to empower the workers and make them more personally responsible for their
actions and allow them to participate in the decision making process. By
creating a sense of ownership, the worker becomes more responsible (and active)
in their work effort.

Avoid Repetition

As indicated earlier, repetition can cause the brain to relax. Because of this,
the manager must consider ways to break up the monotony and cause the
workers to refocus. Work breaks can break up the tedium, perhaps with some brief
physical exercise thrown in. Scheduled breaks are effective but they too can face
the problem of repetition; e.g., workers work around anticipated breaks. In contrast,
unscheduled breaks often have a better effect as it disrupts worker expectations. Think
of it as a game of “Musical Chairs.”

Sometimes a simple change of scenery can help break up repetition. Instead
of meeting at the same place over and over again, try a different physical
venue to perk up worker interest.

Health

Regardless of how logical we believe we are, the brain is a physical organ
greatly influenced by human health. If we are sick or in distress (perhaps due
to the death of a loved one, a pending divorce, financial problems, etc.), it
is difficult to focus on our work. The manager should monitor worker
mental/physical health and take corrective action. For example, if someone
is sick, get them to a doctor so they can begin to mend and become productive
again. Further, the last thing you need is for someone to infect the rest of
your workers with a contagious disease (e.g., colds, flu, etc.).

The manager should also look for sleep deprivation in workers and counsel
them accordingly. A tired worker will not engage his brain properly. Further,
look for signs of drug abuse and depression that might have an adverse effect
on their work.

Minimize Distractions

One of the manager’s responsibilities is to monitor the surroundings of
the worker in order to minimize distractions and create a suitable environment
to concentrate on their work assignments. To assist in this regards, a Project
Management system is useful to record both direct and indirect activities. By
doing so, the manager can analyze the causes of worker distractions, plot
trends, and take appropriate action to minimize interference. For example,
if a manager detects excessive use of the telephone, he may devise a policy
to arrest the abuse. He may even go so far as to hold all outgoing calls.

The point is, the manager should constantly monitor and analyze
disruptions and distractions so that workers can concentrate on their
work effort.

Avoid Technology

A recent study was performed by Kings College in London for Hewlett
Packard, the purpose of which was to study the effect of technology
on worker performance. According to Dr. Glenn Wilson, the author of the study:

“Results showed clearly that technological distraction diminished IQ test performance
(mean scores dropped from 143.38 achieved under quiet conditions to 132.75 under
‘noisy’ conditions).”

“The impact of distraction was greater for males (145.50 down to 127) than for females
(141.25 down to 138.50). Putting that another way, males were superior in quiet conditions,
females were superior in the distraction condition. This is consistent with the idea that women
are better than men at ‘multi-tasking’.”

“Noisy conditions caused a striking increase in self-reported stress. Ratings on a 0-10 scale
of ‘stress experienced during the test’ increased from 2.75 to 5.5 for males and 4.75 to 6.75
for females. Note that in addition to the main effect of conditions of testing, women reported
higher stress levels than men overall.”

Basically, Wilson’s study is saying that excessive use of technology can
have an adverse effect on a person’s brain power. This is somewhat disturbing
as technology now permeates our society. As an example, while traveling through
the airports recently I observed the majority of my fellow travelers “tuned out” by
technology. The lion’s share of travelers today make active use of iPods, PDA’s,
cell phones, DVD & CD players, and laptop computers. It seems fewer and fewer
travelers read a book or engage in conversation anymore. In other words, most
travelers today are operating at a Level 2.

If Wilson is correct, and I believe he is, the manager should take notice of
this adverse effect of technology and discourage the use of such devices,
particularly at break time, and encourage more interpersonal contact
instead. Technology has its place, but I tend to believe we rely too heavily
on it. For example, using an automated calculator allows our brain to relax
while the machine performs the math. Too often I have seen people reach for a
calculator to perform a simple computation as opposed to working it out with
paper and pencil. They simply do not want to engage their brains. Further, I
have seen whole engineering departments come to a standstill when power
outages brought their computers down. Do they really lack the skills to continue their
work? Not really; their minds have simply been turned off by the technology.

CONCLUSION

The human brain distinguishes us from the rest of God’s creatures. It is
sad when we do not use it to its full potential. How the brain shifts
between Levels 1-2-3 is something we control ourselves. We can
elect to engage it and aspire to achieve, or not to engage it and
become lazy and complacent. It can also be engaged due to circumstances
and affected by others, such as our friends, family, fellow workers and
manager.

How a manager manipulates his worker’s brain power is analogous to
a mechanic fine-tuning an automobile. He is simply trying to get the
most out of it. Hopefully, we can give the mechanic something to work
with; if not, we’ll be scrapped.

“The more you use your brain, the more brain you will have to use.”
– George Dorsey

For additional information on the use of time, see the following
“PRIDE” Special Subject Bulletins:

No. 18 – Being ‘Effective’ with Project Scheduling – Apr 04, 2005
http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/ss050404.pdf

No. 17 – Taking the Mystery out of Estimating – Mar 28, 2005
http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/ss050328.pdf

Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has 30 years of experience in the field. He is available for training and consulting on an international basis.
He can be contacted at: timb001@phmainstreet.com

Copyright © 2006 MBA. All rights reserved.

Article from articlesbase.com

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“What can I do, I’m just a mom (or a grandma…or an uncle…or one teacher)?” is a common lament. Fortunately, the resiliency research strongly challenges the mistaken belief that any single person can’t have much impact in a young person’s life in the face of the negative forces of media and peer pressure, or even in the face of child abuse, neglect, or other trauma.

I, too, used to think I didn’t have much power to make a difference when I was working as a social worker in the 1980s. I was leading “support groups” for middle school and high school students experiencing a wide variety of stressors. Due to budgetary and other limitations, the groups lasted only one school term, and met only one time a week. I used to ask myself most weeks, “What good can one hour in a group do when those kids have to go back to their environments of negative peer pressure, family dysfunction and abuse, other adults in their lives that label and judge them, or back to neighborhoods of poverty and crime?” What I didn’t understand then, but do understand now, is the potent power of protective conditions that can be provided by any and all caring adults. Looking back, I realized I instinctively filled those groups with the six primary protective conditions I have since synthesized from resiliency research. (See chapter two of Part One of my book for a detailed list of protective conditions, and a diagram of The Resiliency Wheel.) Those six protective conditions are:

o Provide caring and support; 
o Provide high (but realistic) expectations for success; 
o Provide opportunities for meaning participation; 
o Provide pro-social bonding (to positive activities, people, organizations, etc.) 
o Provide clear and consistent boundaries; and 
o Provide life skills training (such things as healthy conflict resolution, setting and achieving a goal, healthy refusal and other communication skills, study skills, etc.)

One Person Can Foster Resiliency Even In the Face of Adversity

The truth about the power of protective factors is this: Even though we as caring adults cannot eliminate all the “risk factors” in a child’s life, we can-in whatever time we have-fill that child’s life with protective conditions. Protective factors buffer and mitigate the impact of the “negatives” in a child’s life, and propel children towards resilient, healthy outcomes. This is the power that every parent, extended family member, educator, counselor, neighbor, or caring adult has in the life of a young person. We are “agents of protective factors in their lives”. Many researchers have documented the power of even one such agent to turn a child’s life towards a resilient outcome, even in the face of enormous adversity (Benard, 2004, Werner & Smith, 1992, Wolin & Wolin, 1993, Wolin & Wolin, 1994).

In my own life, that one person was an extended family member, my grandmother. Werner (2003) also notes that in her research, “Teachers and school were among the most frequently encountered protective factors for children…From grade school through high school and community college, resilient youngsters encountered a favorite teacher who became a positive role model for them.” She adds, “Even among child survivors of concentration camps, a special teacher had a potent influence on their lives, provided them with warmth and caring, and taught them ‘to behave compassionately'”(p.vii).

I had the opportunity a few years ago to talk with Emmy Werner about my personal resiliency and my recognition that I might not have had such a resilient outcome from a childhood filled with great pain and adversity had it not been for my grandmother, Mary Sue Iverson. Interestingly, she was both my grandmother and, for 50 years, a public school teacher. At the time Emmy and I talked about my grandmother, we were driving through the rust-colored Native American lands of New Mexico, exploring the ancient cultures there which, unlike many modern cultures, understood and honored the power of grandparents and the extended tribe or clan.

Perhaps more forcefully than she has written about in her research reports, Emmy offered her opinion that grandmothers (and grandfathers) are significant contributors to resilient outcomes for many, and she was very interested in the information I shared about my own grandmother.

Born in 1900, my grandmother was the strongest person I have known, yet also the most consistently nurturing person I have ever known. I am certain her career as a public school teacher, which began at age 19 in a one-room schoolhouse in Arizona, contributed to the resiliency of many students. Even after she retired at age 69, for years she was the volunteer neighborhood tutor and mentor for dozens of neighbor children. But all I knew as I child was that every week-end, I could hardly wait to get “to grandma’s.” She was the one that made sure I had the necessary clothing and school supplies, help with schoolwork, appropriate discipline, money, encouragement, belief that I could do whatever I set my mind to do, and-later-college tuition, which enabled me to become the person I am today. She was that “one caring person” that, in Emmy Werner’s words, told my brothers and I “we mattered.” She did this not so much with her words but through providing bedtime stories each night at her house, countless hours of playing games, regular meals, camping trips, hand-made Halloween costumes, science project tutoring, the safety of her ordered life. Along the way, not in one-time lectures, but in how she lived, she instilled in us the values of what was right and what was wrong. She didn’t say it every day, but my brothers and I knew by her daily actions that we were deeply loved-the most powerful protective factor of all.

It took many years and a journey into adulthood for me to understand the seriousness of the abuse my brothers and I experienced from our parents, not because they didn’t love us, but because of their own problems and illnesses. And until I encountered the resiliency research, I wondered how it was I had not ended up like them. But after studying the resiliency literature, it all made sense: First and foremost, my resilient outcome was due to the power of the time I had with my grandmother. True to Werner and Smith’s (1992) research, the “buffers’ of that “protective-factor rich” relationship, made “a more profound impact on [my] life course than [did] specific risk factors or stressful life events.” (p.202).

The Grandmother (or Grandfather, Aunt, or Uncle) Brigade

Jonathan Kozol (1997) wrote in an article, “Reflections on Resiliency,” published in Principal magazine, about the “spiritual and moral” power of “grandmothers, sometimes grandfathers, and even great-grandmothers–a powerful weapon that has gone largely unnoticed by our public schools.” He called this weapon “often the greatest source of …strength” in inner-city neighborhoods. “I don’t think the public schools have made enough use of these women,” nor have school principals recognized their value, he wrote. He recommended forming “grandmothers’ brigades” in schools, and putting the grandmas in the school buildings to teach “the children and the school”, not necessarily about academics-though many, like mine did, do provide the homework help-but “a good deal about respect and moral authority and simple decency” (p 6).

Whenever I am invited to speak to educators about involving parents in children’s schooling, a popular topic these days, I encourage schools to be aware of the lesson I learned long before I read the academic research that supports it: It is important to recognize that for many children, grandparents (and/or aunts and uncles or other extended family members) are the ones that are providing the primary source of care giving. Every effort should be made to reach out and partner with these often unnoticed and unrecognized sources of support, which are in many cases making the difference between a problem-filled and resilient outcome.

One of the myths of our culture, too easy to buy into, is that whatever any of us have to contribute to the well-being of children is not enough. Philosopher and theologian Wayne Muller (1996) addressed this in his book, How, Then, Shall We Live?

 

We each have something to offer….

The gift of many [people]…[is] quietly building and preparing so children will do well. So many…decisions made and offered without children even knowing what was given, or that there was anything given at all. Still, the gift remains, embedded in the lives of countless children who were sent forth with love [and] caring….

These people I [am speaking] about are not saints-not in the traditional sense that they are somehow better or more holy than we. Rather, they are ordinary people following the natural impulse of kindness that rises within them. Each of us has a gift to offer to the family of the earth. While the size, shape, flavor, and texture of the gift changes from person to person, the certainty of that gift is, in my experience, undeniable (p. 243-244).

 

“But What About the Fact I Don’t Have Much Time!”

“But what about the fact I don’t have a lot of time?” is another common question from both family members and educators. Resiliency research supports that even small acts that take very little “clock time” have a powerful impact. As Gina Higgins (1994) reports in her book, Resilient Adults: Overcoming a Cruel Past:

Several subjects in this study…strongly recommended that those of you who touch the life of a child constructively, even briefly, should never underestimate your possible corrective impact on that child….You do not have to pull a dove out of your sleeve to make a difference….So many of the resilient emphasized that their hope was continually buttressed by the sudden kindness of strangers….Remember, too, that the surrogates [those caring adults who positively impacted the lives of subjects in this study] of the resilient were generally available for only small amounts of clock time, and some faded after a limited developmental exposure. Yet there positive impact persisted for life (pp.324 – 325).

The problem with believing we must be able to “pull a dove out” of our sleeve to make an impact is that this mistaken notion keeps us from providing little acts of caring and kindness. Often, for children who don’t have a consistent relationship with a grandmother, other family member, or long-term mentor, it is these little acts that add up over time and integrate into a [larger] broader fabric of resilience that, woven thread by thread, support a child’s overcoming (Higgins, 1994). I tell my audiences, “Be that person that provides caring and support in the life of a child. Use whatever time or other resources you have. Don’t tell yourself you are not enough.”

Over and over again, young people have told me stories of a single comment, a single act of kindness from a family member, a teacher, a “neighborhood mom or dad”, a mentor of some kind that made a huge impact at that moment of need. Often the young person didn’t even recognize its power at the time; they thought about it years later, and realized its potency.

The Good News that Goes Unreported

I’ve become convinced that the good news that goes largely unreported is that our children are supported by an army of “single individuals doing what they can.” A parent, a neighbor, a teacher, a mentor, a youth pastor, a grandmother, or uncle-any or all of these people in the life of a child make a huge impact towards resiliency that goes unrecognized and unsung. Does this mean we don’t need to fund programs of caring and support for children and youth in schools and communities? We absolutely do need such funding! Professional caregivers need means of financial support, and it is not possible to put too many protective factors in the lives of children. What I am saying, though, is that every one of us can take advantage of momentary opportunities to provide kindness, listening, encouragement, and other expressions of love and caring–the most powerful resiliency builders of all. All of these are delivered by a single person who in a single moment makes a huge impact on the life course of a child.

References

Benard, B. (2004). Resiliency: What We Have Learned. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.

Higgins, G. (1994). Resilient Adults: Overcoming a Cruel Past. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kozol, J. (1997). Reflections on resiliency. Principal, 77 (2), 5-7.

Mueller, W. (1966). How, Then, Shall We Live? Four Simple Questions that Reveal the Beauty and Meaning of our Lives. New York, NY: Bantam.

Werner, E. (2003). Foreword. In N. Henderson & M. Milstein, Resiliency in Schools: Making It Happen for Students and Educators.

Werner, E. (1998). Resilience and the life-span perspective: What we have learned so far. 
Resiliency In Action, 3 (4), 1,3,7-8.

Werner, E. & Smith, R. (1992). Overcoming the odds: High risk children from birth to adulthood. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Wolin, S. & Wolin, S. (1993). The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity. New York: Villard.

(This article is adapted from the book, Resiliency In Action: Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities, published by Resiliency In Action, resiliency.com. Copyright 2007 Resiliency In Action, Inc., all rights reserved.)

by Nan Henderson, M.S.W.

Nan Henderson, M.S.W. is an international speaker, writer, and president of Resiliency In Action, a publishing and training company in Southern CA,, which she cofounded in 1996 to “redirect the national obsession with risks and weakness to embracing the reality and power of human resiliency.” She has authored several articles and coauthored four books on fostering resiliency, including Resiliency In Action: Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities and Resiliency In Schools: Making It Happen for Students and Educators. She can be contacted at nhenderson@resiliency.com or at by calling 800-440-5171. More information is available at http://www.resiliency.com.

 

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“What can I do, I’m just a mom (or a grandma…or an uncle…or one teacher)?” is a common lament. Fortunately, the resiliency research strongly challenges the mistaken belief that any single person can’t have much impact in a young person’s life in the face of the negative forces of media and peer pressure, or even in the face of child abuse, neglect, or other trauma.

I, too, used to think I didn’t have much power to make a difference when I was working as a social worker in the 1980s. I was leading “support groups” for middle school and high school students experiencing a wide variety of stressors. Due to budgetary and other limitations, the groups lasted only one school term, and met only one time a week. I used to ask myself most weeks, “What good can one hour in a group do when those kids have to go back to their environments of negative peer pressure, family dysfunction and abuse, other adults in their lives that label and judge them, or back to neighborhoods of poverty and crime?” What I didn’t understand then, but do understand now, is the potent power of protective conditions that can be provided by any and all caring adults. Looking back, I realized I instinctively filled those groups with the six primary protective conditions I have since synthesized from resiliency research. (See chapter two of Part One of my book for a detailed list of protective conditions, and a diagram of The Resiliency Wheel.) Those six protective conditions are:

o Provide caring and support; 
o Provide high (but realistic) expectations for success; 
o Provide opportunities for meaning participation; 
o Provide pro-social bonding (to positive activities, people, organizations, etc.) 
o Provide clear and consistent boundaries; and 
o Provide life skills training (such things as healthy conflict resolution, setting and achieving a goal, healthy refusal and other communication skills, study skills, etc.)

One Person Can Foster Resiliency Even In the Face of Adversity

The truth about the power of protective factors is this: Even though we as caring adults cannot eliminate all the “risk factors” in a child’s life, we can-in whatever time we have-fill that child’s life with protective conditions. Protective factors buffer and mitigate the impact of the “negatives” in a child’s life, and propel children towards resilient, healthy outcomes. This is the power that every parent, extended family member, educator, counselor, neighbor, or caring adult has in the life of a young person. We are “agents of protective factors in their lives”. Many researchers have documented the power of even one such agent to turn a child’s life towards a resilient outcome, even in the face of enormous adversity (Benard, 2004, Werner & Smith, 1992, Wolin & Wolin, 1993, Wolin & Wolin, 1994).

In my own life, that one person was an extended family member, my grandmother. Werner (2003) also notes that in her research, “Teachers and school were among the most frequently encountered protective factors for children…From grade school through high school and community college, resilient youngsters encountered a favorite teacher who became a positive role model for them.” She adds, “Even among child survivors of concentration camps, a special teacher had a potent influence on their lives, provided them with warmth and caring, and taught them ‘to behave compassionately'”(p.vii).

I had the opportunity a few years ago to talk with Emmy Werner about my personal resiliency and my recognition that I might not have had such a resilient outcome from a childhood filled with great pain and adversity had it not been for my grandmother, Mary Sue Iverson. Interestingly, she was both my grandmother and, for 50 years, a public school teacher. At the time Emmy and I talked about my grandmother, we were driving through the rust-colored Native American lands of New Mexico, exploring the ancient cultures there which, unlike many modern cultures, understood and honored the power of grandparents and the extended tribe or clan.

Perhaps more forcefully than she has written about in her research reports, Emmy offered her opinion that grandmothers (and grandfathers) are significant contributors to resilient outcomes for many, and she was very interested in the information I shared about my own grandmother.

Born in 1900, my grandmother was the strongest person I have known, yet also the most consistently nurturing person I have ever known. I am certain her career as a public school teacher, which began at age 19 in a one-room schoolhouse in Arizona, contributed to the resiliency of many students. Even after she retired at age 69, for years she was the volunteer neighborhood tutor and mentor for dozens of neighbor children. But all I knew as I child was that every week-end, I could hardly wait to get “to grandma’s.” She was the one that made sure I had the necessary clothing and school supplies, help with schoolwork, appropriate discipline, money, encouragement, belief that I could do whatever I set my mind to do, and-later-college tuition, which enabled me to become the person I am today. She was that “one caring person” that, in Emmy Werner’s words, told my brothers and I “we mattered.” She did this not so much with her words but through providing bedtime stories each night at her house, countless hours of playing games, regular meals, camping trips, hand-made Halloween costumes, science project tutoring, the safety of her ordered life. Along the way, not in one-time lectures, but in how she lived, she instilled in us the values of what was right and what was wrong. She didn’t say it every day, but my brothers and I knew by her daily actions that we were deeply loved-the most powerful protective factor of all.

It took many years and a journey into adulthood for me to understand the seriousness of the abuse my brothers and I experienced from our parents, not because they didn’t love us, but because of their own problems and illnesses. And until I encountered the resiliency research, I wondered how it was I had not ended up like them. But after studying the resiliency literature, it all made sense: First and foremost, my resilient outcome was due to the power of the time I had with my grandmother. True to Werner and Smith’s (1992) research, the “buffers’ of that “protective-factor rich” relationship, made “a more profound impact on [my] life course than [did] specific risk factors or stressful life events.” (p.202).

The Grandmother (or Grandfather, Aunt, or Uncle) Brigade

Jonathan Kozol (1997) wrote in an article, “Reflections on Resiliency,” published in Principal magazine, about the “spiritual and moral” power of “grandmothers, sometimes grandfathers, and even great-grandmothers–a powerful weapon that has gone largely unnoticed by our public schools.” He called this weapon “often the greatest source of …strength” in inner-city neighborhoods. “I don’t think the public schools have made enough use of these women,” nor have school principals recognized their value, he wrote. He recommended forming “grandmothers’ brigades” in schools, and putting the grandmas in the school buildings to teach “the children and the school”, not necessarily about academics-though many, like mine did, do provide the homework help-but “a good deal about respect and moral authority and simple decency” (p 6).

Whenever I am invited to speak to educators about involving parents in children’s schooling, a popular topic these days, I encourage schools to be aware of the lesson I learned long before I read the academic research that supports it: It is important to recognize that for many children, grandparents (and/or aunts and uncles or other extended family members) are the ones that are providing the primary source of care giving. Every effort should be made to reach out and partner with these often unnoticed and unrecognized sources of support, which are in many cases making the difference between a problem-filled and resilient outcome.

One of the myths of our culture, too easy to buy into, is that whatever any of us have to contribute to the well-being of children is not enough. Philosopher and theologian Wayne Muller (1996) addressed this in his book, How, Then, Shall We Live?

 

We each have something to offer….

The gift of many [people]…[is] quietly building and preparing so children will do well. So many…decisions made and offered without children even knowing what was given, or that there was anything given at all. Still, the gift remains, embedded in the lives of countless children who were sent forth with love [and] caring….

These people I [am speaking] about are not saints-not in the traditional sense that they are somehow better or more holy than we. Rather, they are ordinary people following the natural impulse of kindness that rises within them. Each of us has a gift to offer to the family of the earth. While the size, shape, flavor, and texture of the gift changes from person to person, the certainty of that gift is, in my experience, undeniable (p. 243-244).

 

“But What About the Fact I Don’t Have Much Time!”

“But what about the fact I don’t have a lot of time?” is another common question from both family members and educators. Resiliency research supports that even small acts that take very little “clock time” have a powerful impact. As Gina Higgins (1994) reports in her book, Resilient Adults: Overcoming a Cruel Past:

Several subjects in this study…strongly recommended that those of you who touch the life of a child constructively, even briefly, should never underestimate your possible corrective impact on that child….You do not have to pull a dove out of your sleeve to make a difference….So many of the resilient emphasized that their hope was continually buttressed by the sudden kindness of strangers….Remember, too, that the surrogates [those caring adults who positively impacted the lives of subjects in this study] of the resilient were generally available for only small amounts of clock time, and some faded after a limited developmental exposure. Yet there positive impact persisted for life (pp.324 – 325).

The problem with believing we must be able to “pull a dove out” of our sleeve to make an impact is that this mistaken notion keeps us from providing little acts of caring and kindness. Often, for children who don’t have a consistent relationship with a grandmother, other family member, or long-term mentor, it is these little acts that add up over time and integrate into a [larger] broader fabric of resilience that, woven thread by thread, support a child’s overcoming (Higgins, 1994). I tell my audiences, “Be that person that provides caring and support in the life of a child. Use whatever time or other resources you have. Don’t tell yourself you are not enough.”

Over and over again, young people have told me stories of a single comment, a single act of kindness from a family member, a teacher, a “neighborhood mom or dad”, a mentor of some kind that made a huge impact at that moment of need. Often the young person didn’t even recognize its power at the time; they thought about it years later, and realized its potency.

The Good News that Goes Unreported

I’ve become convinced that the good news that goes largely unreported is that our children are supported by an army of “single individuals doing what they can.” A parent, a neighbor, a teacher, a mentor, a youth pastor, a grandmother, or uncle-any or all of these people in the life of a child make a huge impact towards resiliency that goes unrecognized and unsung. Does this mean we don’t need to fund programs of caring and support for children and youth in schools and communities? We absolutely do need such funding! Professional caregivers need means of financial support, and it is not possible to put too many protective factors in the lives of children. What I am saying, though, is that every one of us can take advantage of momentary opportunities to provide kindness, listening, encouragement, and other expressions of love and caring–the most powerful resiliency builders of all. All of these are delivered by a single person who in a single moment makes a huge impact on the life course of a child.

References

Benard, B. (2004). Resiliency: What We Have Learned. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.

Higgins, G. (1994). Resilient Adults: Overcoming a Cruel Past. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kozol, J. (1997). Reflections on resiliency. Principal, 77 (2), 5-7.

Mueller, W. (1966). How, Then, Shall We Live? Four Simple Questions that Reveal the Beauty and Meaning of our Lives. New York, NY: Bantam.

Werner, E. (2003). Foreword. In N. Henderson & M. Milstein, Resiliency in Schools: Making It Happen for Students and Educators.

Werner, E. (1998). Resilience and the life-span perspective: What we have learned so far. 
Resiliency In Action, 3 (4), 1,3,7-8.

Werner, E. & Smith, R. (1992). Overcoming the odds: High risk children from birth to adulthood. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Wolin, S. & Wolin, S. (1993). The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity. New York: Villard.

(This article is adapted from the book, Resiliency In Action: Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities, published by Resiliency In Action, resiliency.com. Copyright 2007 Resiliency In Action, Inc., all rights reserved.)

by Nan Henderson, M.S.W.

Nan Henderson, M.S.W. is an international speaker, writer, and president of Resiliency In Action, a publishing and training company in Southern CA,, which she cofounded in 1996 to “redirect the national obsession with risks and weakness to embracing the reality and power of human resiliency.” She has authored several articles and coauthored four books on fostering resiliency, including Resiliency In Action: Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities and Resiliency In Schools: Making It Happen for Students and Educators. She can be contacted at nhenderson@resiliency.com or at by calling 800-440-5171. More information is available at http://www.resiliency.com.

 

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I used to believe 100% in my company’s marketing system until a 26 year old punk kid online showed me how he recruited 95 people into his network marketing business in 3 days without picking up the phone. Learn More

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