Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

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Archive for the category “SAIL goals”

We have the moral obligation to make a positive difference in each other’s lives

Here is the viewpoint of a 13 year old on this topic (and more) pablo-2

Photo credti: Pablo by Buffer

It is a strong conviction I hold and there are so many outlets and opportunities to do something for our fellow people. About two weeks ago son Max held a speech at a Scouting Pacesetter event that I have copied and pasted below. He did get a speech suggestion for the event, but after reading it he asserted “ that is not me Dad” and he wrote his own version. His aunt requested that I send her the speech and along the way I re-read it again. Please take some time to read it too and scan for the sections that highlight helping community and just plain our fellow people. It also advocates for trying to learn about helping lead other people. Here is my call to action for you: If a 13 (now 14 year old) young man can find reason and outlets for providing help and leadership don’t you think we can all do that?



“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Max Weiser, and I am almost 14 years old and in 8th grade at the Avon Grove Charter School.   It’s really exciting for me to be here this evening to tell you about one of my favorite things: Boy Scouts.

I am currently a Life Scout in Coatesville. I joined Scouts 8 years ago as a Tiger Cub with a Pack in Exton. As a Cub Scout, I was able to go camping for the first time and enjoy a lot of fun activities with my Dad by my side. I earned my arrow of light award and moved up to Boy Scouts. My mother and father both encouraged me to join Scouting but I was the one who brought home the flyer and asked to go to recruitment night, since it sounded incredibly fun. I can say that I have gone on many fun adventures, made a lot of new friends, and so much more, through my experiences with Boy Scouts.

If anyone were to ask me about joining Scouts, I would encourage all boys to become Scouts.   If you have a son or a grandson who is not in Scouting, you should talk to him about joining.   He will learn things that will help him his whole life. He will make some great friends and he will go places and do things that other boys never experience, as well as develop his leadership skills and learn the importance of helping others.

       One of the biggest highlights of my Scouting career has been camping. As a Cub, I attended Camp Ware for a week with my Dad each summer. I enjoyed the games, crafts, swimming and sleeping outside the most. Once I transitioned to Boy Scouts I was able to attend Camp Horseshoe, all by myself. I will be honest, this first trip away from my family was rough at first. The first night I wrote a tear filled letter home and asked to be picked up. I am glad my parents did not get that letter until after I was home. My fellow Scouts and all the Leaders encouraged me and helped me to have fun that week. We went swimming, played camp wide games, shot rifles, climbed walls and learned many skills that allowed me to work on advancement and merit badges. By the end of the week, I did not want to LEAVE! I was tired, covered in heat rash (it was 100 degrees that week) and very dirty. But I made it! And that gave me the confidence to keep moving forward in my Scouting career. I am scheduled to go on a High Adventure Sailing Trip at Sea Base in Florida this summer with a different troop than mine. I am also signed up to go to National Jamboree in West Virginia with a group made up of Scouts from all around our council to meet up with Scouts from all over the nation. In 2018 I want to attend a National Convention of the Order of the Arrow. And in 2019 I want to join a council contingent for a World Jamboree to be held in West Virginia. I have learned to have confidence in myself and that my fellow Scouts will help me along the way if I stumble, so these new experiences will be more enjoyable.

I was asked to think about my favorite part of Scouting is, and that was tough. We do so many different things and I like them all. The best part for me is meeting new Scouts from around the nation and, soon, the world. One area I particularly like to focus on is the Order of the Arrow. Order of the Arrow is a Boy Scout Honor Society which focuses on Cheerful Service to Scouts and the Community. Our local lodge helps to take care of Camps ware and Horseshoe. Currently, I am an Ordeal member and will earn brotherhood in June or September. There, I get to meet Scouts who are as highly devoted as I am, from around the area. It’s a great way for me to be around my scout friends and provide service to my community at the same time. I am currently working on setting up a Blood Drive for the Order of the Arrow Day of Service committee that I chair. Scouting gives me the opportunity to try many different things, such as finding out what my specific interests are and to discover my strengths. Through Scouting’s merit badge program, I may even figure what I want to do with the rest of my life. So far I’ve earned 26 merit badges. Some of which have been very difficult, but Scouting has taught me that if I work hard and really dedicate myself I can do anything.

The hardest badge I have earned, so far, is Life Saving. Be Prepared is the scout motto, and one purpose of the Lifesaving merit badge is to prepare scouts to assist those involved in water accidents. This badge taught me basic rescue techniques, the skills to perform them, and the judgment to know when and how to act during a water accident.   It was a physically demanding badge. Picture me trying to drag a fellow Scout, twice my size, who is pretending to be unconscious, out of the water to safety. Luckily, I survived, and so did he!

One of the funnier Scouting experiences I have had so far was when my troop camped at Camp Karoondinha for the weekend. One evening, my fellow scouts and I were sitting around the campfire. We kept hearing weird sounds coming from the woods. We were almost convinced it was Bigfoot! In reality, it was group of other scouts hitting the trees with sticks. Once we all realized we were scared the for no reason, we had a good laugh. It wouldn’t be a Scouting trip without some good natured laughs. Sometimes we provide the laughs and sometimes Mother Nature does. For example, the Valley Forge Encampment this past February, which really tested our ability to laugh in 20 below wind chills. We took classes ahead of time, came prepared, and conquered the elements until the wind blew our tents over and the Township made us go home. But now we all have a great story to tell and a greater respect for our Revolutionary troops!

It’s not hard to see that Scouting means a lot to me, but it’s not the only thing I do. Like most Scouts, I’m involved in other activities. I enjoy playing flag football, doing abstract art as a hobby, being active in art club, and participating in Odyssey of the Mind competitions. Who knows, maybe in a few years, if my love for art flourishes, I may end up being the next famous artist to come from Chester County. When you see my art in the Met, you can tell all your friends you knew Max Weiser when he was a Life Scout!

Of course Scouting has also taught me to keep my options open and to be prepared for whatever comes my way in life. Every meeting and every day throws something different at me

If I could give you a practical example of how Boy Scouting is a great place to grow up, it would be this: I am a patrol leader for my Troop back in Coatesville. But what really makes me love scouting is being a den chief. This means I attend a Cub Scout meeting every week in addition to my own Troop meeting. I enjoy watching the young boys grow from Tiger Scouts in 1st grade to Webelos 2 in 5th grade. I also help them transition from Cubs to Boy Scouts. No matter how loud they are, (and believe me they are LOUD) they still respect me as a Leader and even requested that I return this year even though Den chief is usually a one year term. They always make every experience different for me. Leading your peers is important, but leading the youth to enjoy Scouting is even more gratifying.

Even though I have already accomplished a lot through Scouts, there are lots of things I still want to accomplish; the first is finishing the requirements for my Eagle rank. I set a goal for myself two years ago that I would make Eagle Scout by the time I was 15. I am finishing the last Merit Badge and I am well on my way with my project. I turn 14 next week and I hope to achieve Eagle rank by this Fall, ahead of schedule, mind you.

Thank you for allowing me to tell you my Scouting Story and let me end by thanking all of you for doing your part to help kids like me discover the world through Scouting.

On behalf of the 5,700 Scouts of the Chester County Council, I thank you for your support. And I salute you.”

There are three types of people – which one do you belong to?

There are three types of people – which one do you belong to? pablo

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

There are people who watch what happens. Then there are people who make things happen. Finally, there are the folks who wonder what happened. Your happiness depends on knowing to which group you belong and whether or not you are content with that choice.

There is no wrong or right here although there is certainly a better / best choice here. There are too many life situations in which all three choices may have merit. In a relationship with your significant other and at work you may want to be with the folks who make things happen. Being with the other two groups of people will most likely end up with long term problems.

Have you given thought to how to make things happen? The day that you start making a difference will be the turning point for the better. Taking an active role in shaping your life is a potent antidepressant as well as a huge career advancer. Every ever so little step forward will lead to a sense of accomplishment and thus happiness. Ready to give it a try?


5 reasons why New Year resolutions are usually a waste of time

5 reasons why New Year resolutions are usually a waste of time Ralf a

How can you tell that it is resolution time at the beginning of a new year? Very simple: The ads for weight loss and smoke quitting programs are off the hook on TV. Sure, it makes sense because the end of a year lets you reflect upon the year that has passed and you ponder what you should do with the upcoming year. Before you know it you think about a resolution and come January 1st you start with it.

Problem is that they typically do not work in the long run. The vast majority of folks barely make it through a week or two before they light up again, or they end up gaining weight and quit regular exercising. It happened to me, and I am certain it has happened to you as well. In fact I no longer believe in making New Year resolutions (mind you that is different from goal setting). Here are a handful of reasons why they do not work in the long run:

  • It is not organic. So you wait around for the end of the year to roll around and then all of a sudden you come up with a completely new pattern you want to establish overnight. Good luck with that. Most changes in culture take time – a lot of time and certainly more than the weeks or months you have dedicated to reach your short term goal.
  • Guilt is not a good motivator. Most resolutions are based on “guilting” you into staying on course while you are implementing your new behavioral pattern. What happens when you are sick and tired getting stressed out about your personal guilt trip? It’s stress and neither body or soul like that stress.
  • Peer pressure isn’t powerful enough. You put yourself out on Facebook and perhaps you are brave enough to fess up to your family and friends what you promised you would do to get to your desired goal. So what? Most family, friends, and even co-workers are too polite to ever say a word to you. What is the point then? I do stand corrected with one measure that I have recently come along. Having an accountability partner has been fun and may prove to be the only worthwhile peer pressure tool though.
  • It does not deal with the triggers. Your patterns and habits all have certain triggers why and when you do things. You do not deal with the triggers and of course you will go down the old comfy ways – it’s like you are going down a beaten path with the know reward at the end.
  • Rarely is there a plan for what comes after reaching your goals. If you are part of the group of people who are successful at sticking to their resolutions and reach their goal, you may end up running through open barn doors. Meaning, that without the pressure and end goal on your mind, your mind will most likely fall into the same habits again eventually as the triggers and rewards will still be around and you just blindly follow them again. Ouch!

Sound familiar? If it does, there is a different way of dealing with changing your bad habits. How do habits, good, bad, or indifferent work? You need three key elements:

  1. Trigger: Habits have a trigger that is so engrained into your brain that it initiates a certain behavior / action anytime that it comes along. Keep a log of what is leading up to a habit that you want to change. Raise your own awareness about what happens and when. Do not worry that it happens; make sure that you know when the triggers come your way.
  2. Action: Any trigger sets off a certain behavior that follows it. This is the behavior that you want to make a lasting change to. Log your behavior again and keep this in the back of your head for the time being.
  3. Reward: Any action has a reward. This is why addicts become addicts. The reward can be so powerful and all but intoxicating you with positive endorphins. This is a drug like substance your body produces and it provides you with a sense of intense well-being – even if the activity is super bad for you.

Now you have 3 key areas where you can make a lasting change. Amend any of the three and you will get to have different results. Instead of telling your brain constantly what you do not want to do, you tell it what you should be doing in order to get a reward. Now you need to define what the reward is. That is the tougher part as you want to come up with something that is fun, or exciting as the bad stuff you want to get rid of.

Do not get me wrong, I am not telling you to not making resolutions. If it works for you, the better. I am asking all the others of you to make sure that you do this with the right reasons and end in mind. Overall I still think that resolutions are the telex and telefax of yesteryear and even e-mail is too slow anymore. Dinosaurs. They are also not around anymore. Take a look at your old dinosaur behavior patterns and think about how you can alter trigger, action, or reward in your favor.

And when you fall off the wagon, do not worry. We are all humans and stuff happens. We will love you the way you are anyway.



The reason why SMART goals are stupid

The reason why SMART goals are stupid Puzzled

I am going to get a lot of hate mail from life and business coaches about this one, but to me it is self-evident that SMART goals are so old school. SMART stands for the goal to have the following characteristics:

  • Specific: Is the goal stated specifically enough that you will know you have reached it?
  • Measurable: Is the goal able to be evaluated, either qualitatively or quantitavely?
  • Attainable: Can the goal be achieved?
  • Relevant: Does the goal align with the goals of your company of function?
  • Timed-based: What, specifically, it the target date for its completion?

They do have a place in business, although they should be used sparingly. What is the problem with them? SMART goals are stupid because they are result based and focused and very rarely if ever people-focused. People are the ones working on the goals though.

So here is my peace offer to everybody who staunchly insists SMART goals are a must. Because SMART goals are like a boat with no sail, kick your game up with adding a SAIL component to your goals. I recently read about this in Tasha Eurich’s book “Bankable Leadership. In short you help include the people side of your goals like this:

  • Stretch: Is the goal challenging enough to make the person raise their game?
  • Ability: Does the person completing the goal have the ability (or reasonably learn to accomplish it?
  • Importance: Does the goal feel personally important to the person blessed with this goal?
  • Learning: Does the goal help grow their skills in a way that they want to grow them?

Now we have a really powerful goal set because you made it personal to the folks having to worry about executing them. The business of business is business. That is unlikely to change, but businesses cannot function without people. It cannot be ignored that people do business with people. Humans have needs, wants, desires, dreams, and their own goals. Kick up your stupid SMART goals with blowing some wind into SAIL goals.


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