Walking The Talk

Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it!

Are You Trying To Buy A Stairway To Heaven?


Walking The Talk @ Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

4th November 2021

This article is about walking the talk, taking stock of where this site is now, how it got here and where it is going next.

I launched this website in 2011 as a way of recording and sharing a lot of the teachings and experiences that I had received  and benefited from over the previous 10-15 years with zen practices.

For many years this was a small site with about 50 pages posted.

This site has no commercial agenda. I have rather strong feelings about this.






Walking The Talk Or Fleecing The Flock?

The world of self-improvement, self-help and personal development is full of people making money out of their websites and blogs, it is a multi-billion dollar business. Whilst on the one hand I can understand why people will charge for training course and associated services and I support this - to a point.

But, all too often this can become exploitative. Why? Because of 4 inter-connected reasons which are well known to, and skillfully exploited by, the purveyors of self-help material:


[1] The Sun Tan Effect

You spend your money and go on these courses, attend the events, and watch the videos and in the short-term it seems to make a difference and you feel energized and motivated to change. But after 10-15 days it all starts to wear off and after a month or less you are back to where you started - with no lasting change.

In the self help industry this is known as the "The Sun Tan Effect". This suits the sellers of self-help material because they know that another factor will now kick in.

[2] If Only I Could Find The Missing Piece...?

The upsell in so much of the self-help industry is deliberately designed to exploit this innate and increasingly desperate desire to find the missing piece, and of course this involves spending more money so like the lady in the song you're buying your stairway to heaven...

Except there's one unstated and under-recognised factor at play which is that you can't change because at a very fundamental and unconscious level you don't really want to change.

[3] Immunity To Change

Your immunity to change is an unconscious resistance that  can be defined as a "hidden commitment" with an underlying root cause, that competes and conflicts with a stated commitment to change.

So, your failure to achieve a personal change goal isn’t the result of a lack of will-power, it’s your "emotional immune system" trying to protect you.

This is why you find it hard to impossible to stick to New Year resolutions, why you don't do those things you know you should do, and why you will likely stay stuck and trapped in the thought processes and behaviours that you are trying to change - because despite your best intentions you fundamentally don't want to change.

[4] Instant Success

You can achieve a very quick relief to stress symptoms and you can make powerful changes to how you think and behave but lasting change take time, hard work and the formation and application of the right habits.

Contrary to what so many of the self-help gurus tell you there is no instant success.

They tell you what you want to hear and they over-promise what they can not deliver.

Success in most areas of life is the result of persistence and consistence in taking the series of small daily steps that will deliver your goals.

This is known as the long game.



    In the competitive world of self-help "smoke and mirrors" always watch the other guy's feet to see his true intentions.

    When there is a disconnect between someone's words and actions, always pay close attention to their actions.







Walking The Talk And Shepherding The Flock

The Good Shepherds Take Care Of Their Flock



    "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me." [Bible: John 10.14]


In my view, if you have something to offer people who are having a hard time the very least you can do is to provide them with free, quality teaching, advice and support.

The reference point on all this is the Buddha, Jesus Christ and Mahatma Ghandi and not Esther Hicks, Rhonda Byrne and Tony Robbins.

Good shepherds lead their flock in the right direction and do their best to take care of them, and they don't charge for the privilege of doing this.









    Just because someone looks the part doesn't mean they are...







Starting To Hit The Spot

I made no real attempt to promote the site, and in the natural order of things with Google this site found its own level at around 1,500 visitors and about 6,000 page views per month.

Aside from launching a couple of free email series I did nothing further to the site and added no new material.

One of these email series has now been incorporated into the Zen Thoughts page on the site. The emails ran over 2 months and were written as a conversation with a friend who was going through a tough time.

The second email series was called Zen Tools now available of the site as free, indexed Zen Tools Ebook comprising 16 sections, all based on themes covered on this site.

One key thing that did become quickly apparent was that this material really did seem to hit the spot with a wide range of readers who were kind enough to contact me with some very moving and appreciative emails.





Building Up This Site During Covid Lockdown

Fast forward 9 years and the world was in the grip of the Covid pandemic. In common with most other people, my business was flat-lining, and I was unable to travel and facing an indefinite period of lockdown. I decided that I wanted to do something constructive with my time so I decided to dedicate the next 12 -18 months to building up this site.

At time of writing in November 2021 this site has increased to over 250 pages and now attracts over 10,000 visitors and 30,000 page views per month and rising.

This month I have just launched a Facebook page Zen-Tools.Net with the aim of reaching out to a much wider audience and drawing them into this site as regular visitors.

I have a number of other things planned to develop the reach of this site to a far wider audience, and also to develop the ways in which the material on this site is presented and applied.

I will be launching a Zen Tools on Instagram and possibly on Twitter. There will also be a YouTube channel featuring a series of videos based on the material on this site showing you how to apply it in your daily life. These developments will take time and I am aiming to accomplish this over the next 12 - 18 months.







Walking The Talk Freestyle

This is a website and not a blog. A blog presents pages in reverse chronological order, so newest content appears first whereas a website is static in nature and pages are indexed in a hierarchical structure.

The easiest way of thinking about this is to view a blog as a published journal and a website as a book with an index and chapters.

Another key feature of a website is SEO.

95% of the articles on this site are search engine optimized [SEO]. This means that these articles are written in a style and format that will be attractive to search engines, who will in turn present this site's content to their users as the best solution to their search enquiry.

A core component of SEO is the use of carefully selected in-demand keywords and optimising them on the posted pages.

Whilst there is a strong discipline in this approach in that it leads to very focused and "on subject" material, it is also constraining.

For example, if I choose to write about a subject, then to meet SEO criteria I have to find the exact in-demand keywords and use them in a carefully prescribed content-format and page-structure.

Whereas a blog style of writing offers a much more freestyle approach, and I would not give any thought or consideration to keywords and SEO.


Freestyle

All of the upcoming articles I am going to write and link to this page are going to be freestyle articles, that is to say, blog style articles presented in a website structure.

All articles will be fully indexed to this page and cross referenced to relevant material on this site or third party resources.

The focus of these articles is about living with, and applying, the extensive materials and resources that are already on this site.

Most of the pages on this site are very content rich, and this is deliberate. I try to cover as much ground as possible in each article paying attention to the complexities of the subject matter whilst attempting to present the material in an easy to read format.

In these freestyle articles I am attempting to adopt a more informal, relaxed and conversational tone with a narrower focus to each article and with a key point takeaway section at the end of each piece.

Comments and feedback  are always welcome.








    "Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know, your stairway lies on the whispering wind...?" [Page & Plant]






Further reading from articles referenced on this page:






Walking The Talk Articles

Nov 21

Dunbars Number, More In Common And The Narcissism of Minor Differences

Give Thanks In Everything

Recognising Limbo As A Stage Of Transition

On Becoming The Ferryman

Things Of The Spirit

Mind Games & How To Free Yourself From Them

Just Do It - A Call To Action And Getting Started

Self Dialogue - Dealing With Your Many Selves

The Transformative Power of Acceptance

Stop Thinking - Discover The Benefits Of Having Space In Your Mind

Are You Waiting For Change?


[More to follow soon!]










Walking The Talk - Resources



All of these resources are tools, processes and techniques that I have used. These are powerful tools and I recommend them to you. [I have no commercial interest.]








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