Observations of Life.
Maybe itís because I grew up in a small town family store that I enjoy the interactive part of being in business. As a small boy, I took my turn with my brothers in announcing "CUSTOMER" to my parents when someone walked in the front door. Until I was about 10 or 11 years old, the front door to the store did not have a bell or buzzer to let us know if someone came in. Between my two brothers and myself, we had to sit in the chair behind the candy counter in the front of the store and call back to our parents if someone came in. And when someone did come in, our job was to call back to them that a customer came in. Many times it was more of a yell which would startle the customer since we were somewhat hidden behind the candy case.
Later on, a customer who became a friend of the family suggested that he could put in a buzzer system providing a less startling indicator of a potential sale. He was into that electrical stuff and had the sensor, buzzer, relay and wire and wanted to do the favor for my parents. Bill, lived just back the alley from the store in a small apartment with his wife. I remember being there when he was hooking up the transformer back behind the old water cooled bottled soft drink cooler in the store. I was asking a lot of questions about what he was doing like any inquisitive boy. He explained what a transformer was (No, not a creature that changes from a vehicle to a robot type of creature.) and how it would provide electricity to the buzzer. The A/C current was being switched to a lower voltage D/C current to power the relay, he explained which also could work as a buzzer. Strangely enough, I understood most of what he said. I then watched as he put the buzzer over the doorway from the back gun room to our kitchen. (Our store was like a small Walmart, since we sold everything from groceries, hardware, some sporting goods, motorcycles to guns.)
The home I grew up in was more store than a living space. But for me, it was in a way all living space. The store was somewhat like a room where all your friends would come to talk. The gun room was where Dad did gun repairs and it was like his den. There was the soda bottle room where we kept the soda and put the empties for return. This also stored some of our personal stuff along with jeans that we sold, chicken and rabbit feed and odds and ends that we didnít keep in the main part of the store.
Our kitchen was where we ate, usually most of us less one parent who was taking care of customers as needed. Occasionally, we all got through a meal together, but not often. There were times when Dad would have a number of gun repair projects going on that required extra space and spilled over to the kitchen. Other times and since we did not have a heated garage, we would repair motorcycles there also.
We did not have what most would call a family room, living room, dining room, or play room. The upstairs was limited to three bedrooms and a bath. Our basement was a combination partially redone adult bar (we were not really allowed down there much until we got older) and machine shop. It also had two compressors for the cold room built on to the store to hold meats that we sold.
Our house was different than most and at times I did miss the idea of a living room, but only because I thought thatís what you were supposed to have. But those feelings faded quickly most of the time. Overall it was a great setting to learn how to meet and greet people. Starting very early on, I was given responsibility to meet new people. When I didnít have to scream, "CUSTOMER" anymore, I was at the age when I was old enough to serve them. Many knew where the groceries were in the store and could get them themselves. And if they asked for lunch meat or sliced cheese, I was eventually permitted to slice it on the slicer for them (I would never by law be allowed to do that today at that age).
I served them in every way I could, from finding items they couldnít find to ringing them up and bagging them. I took their money and made change, without the aid of a register that told me how much the change should be. I learned a lot from this, but going back to the beginning, I learned to welcome the customer in the most friendly manner I could.
As I write this I am reminded of two separate occasions over the years when two major television stars came into the store. One was one who played a television state trooper and the other I cannot remember exactly, but was along the same line doing something in law enforcement. Since we sold guns, somehow our store caught their attention and they came in. Also over the years, our humble store gained a few customers who were millionaires, and that is when a million dollars meant about ten times more than it does today. And if you saw them on the street, you would have never known that they were millionaires. I think that impressed me in a special way. We never knew who was going to come through the front door next.
So, where does this all take us this month? Well, last month I told of things that happened over thirty years ago. This month I am asking you to examine things more recent, from just a couple of weeks ago. I went to visit some friends of ours at their business recently. And as I walked in, I had to wait a moment before someone said to me, "I will be with you in a minute". It was not one of our friends, but one of their employees. I waited as he stepped partially out of sight and continued a conversation with another employee. There was no one else in the business that he could have been servicing or making emergency repairs for. But he continued his conversation which I could tell was more personal about time off and when he had to work.
I waited and I listened. Since this was our friendsí business and I wanted to see one of them, I waited some more. Finally the employee came out and asked if I could be helped. I said I wanted to see the owner. He told me he was at another office at the time. I just said that I would see him later. Even though the employee did nothing overt, I had the impression that I was interrupting his day.
As I left, I thought about what just happened. This was not the first time this has happened to me at our friendsí business. It has never happened when either of our friends met and greeted us as we came in. They always had smiles and made us feel welcome, whether we were buying something or not. But almost every other time when one of their employees were first to greet us, it was a very sober experience and they made it seem like they had better things to do.
Obviously, this does not make a very good impression. Maybe I just hit it wrong all those times. Maybe I was a little scary looking to them. I am kind of big. Maybe I didnít look like I was worth their time.
Our friendsí business is doing OK as far as I know. It could do better, or it could do worse. I do know that there are probably some people who will look elsewhere to be served if treated like that. I donít know if their business has suffered because of this. My guess is, it probably has. Like many employees, yes, they can be friendly with people they know. They can be helpful and courteous when they want to be. But it also appears that they can be the opposite too, when they want to be.
I also know other business owners who can be just like that themselves. They treat customers at different levels based on prejudices, appearance, and their mood of the day. Most of the time it will reflect on the success or failure of their business. I have seen them treat people badly, then complain how business is not good.
I also see people in their everyday lives do the same thing. Given the opportunity to meet new people, they refuse to smile and offer friendship. Then they complain that they never meet any nice people or they never have opportunities like other people do. Jobs go to other people and not them. Other people get the breaks and not them.
Today there are jokes made about Walmart greeters. But if you think about it, being a good greeter can be one of the most important traits you can ever have. The next person you meet could be the love of your life (if you are single), the person who will offer you the job of a lifetime, or the person who can be the answer to your prayers. But what if you disrespect them or make them feel unimportant? All that could be gone. So remember the Walmart greeter because what he/she is doing is so simple, but so important.
Quotes we liked.
"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out."Baron Thomas Babington Macauley, English historian and statesman (1800-1859). I heard this put another way a long time ago. Your character is determined by what you do when no one is looking. When I first heard it, I did think about my past. Being human with imperfections, it is can be a struggle to maintain oneís positive character. Hopefully we will learn sooner rather than later the value of this. It may seem more like an intellectual question than a basis to guide oneís personal life. But if one thinks about it, and truly desires to be a man or woman of character that others look up to, it can be the yardstick to which we can judge our actions as we go through our daily lives.
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What to expect.In hypnosis, we use a lot of words that are not really accurate for what we do. When we say sleep, we mean go into hypnosis. Most of the purists of hypnotists will insist that you never use the word sleep, but many times it is the best word for what we want to do. I will give an example later.
Another word is induction. This comes from the word induce as in to induce someone into hypnosis. This means to lead or move by influence or persuasion. It implies that we cause someone to go into hypnosis by our power of some kind. This is not the case. In reality a better word would be guide. As said before many times, all hypnosis is self hypnosis. My job as a hypnotist is to guide people into hypnosis, but only because they are willing to be there.
So when I say we use an induction into hypnosis, I use words and sometimes actions to guide a client into the state of hypnosis. And there are many kinds of inductions. Just some of these are called; relaxation, fixation, confusion, shock, misdirection, loss of balance, and non-verbal.
One type of induction that surprises many is a rapid induction which is also a confusion induction and all we seem to be doing is saying sleep, quickly and loudly and the subject goes into hypnosis. Remember I said how it is not really sleep, but there is no other word that is more acceptable for this purpose when properly used.
Recently I had a client who came to me for some personal issues. As we were talking about him at one point I asked him to close his eyes and to continue speaking. Eventually, and just by our talking back and forth, he went into hypnosis. To the average person observing this, it would have appeared that I did not use any induction at all. But I did guide him into hypnosis. By focusing, or fixing his thoughts on certain things, he let himself be guided there.
The session itself was typical of most sessions in that while in hypnosis, the client and myself were able to discover some underlying events in his life that were affecting his daily life. And since it was just the first session, it was one of learning how well he could go into hypnosis, how deep and what kind of things we might learn in future sessions.
In future sessions, I may or may not use different inductions on him. It will depend on his state of mind at the time and how I think best to approach that session. But he will be guided (or induced) into hypnosis and I may even say once or several times the word sleep to be more effective. And once there, we will discover together what lies inside his subconscious mind, and only because he wants to, make rapid and long lasting changes where he wants to.
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of Enlightenment. The time we spend writing and rewriting it helps to remind us why we do what we do, which is to be in service to others both professionally and personally. By also sharing these observations, ideas, and information, we also learn new things. Please share this newsletter with others who you feel would enjoy and/or benefit from it. If you are receiving this newsletter secondhand and want to receive your own copy, just send us an email and we will put you on either our snail mail list or email list. So until next month, best wishes to all.
Roger & Patti