International Institute For Global Leadership
Issue #147* March 2014
Asheville, NC. USA
The Big Question
Michael Lightweaver (USA)
Anthony Robbins also says that our lives are determined by our questions? For me the big question has always been “Why Are We Here?” What is this all about? Are we here just to experience the joys and pain of childhood; the challenges of puberty and our teen years, school – endless school – followed by the fun and fiction of relationships, family, kids, mortgage, jobs, debt, old age and death? Just a life of bouncing between ecstasy and agony?
It took me about 50 years to figure this one out, or at least to come to some conclusions that made sense and gave meaning to the whole comedy/tragedy drama of human existence. The answer that I came to was that our whole purpose of existence, over many life times, is soul growth.
If this is true, then ultimately all of our experiences are just curriculum. Some of it is pleasant and a great deal of it is unpleasant, but it is all instructive to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. It has been my experience that our curriculum falls roughly into four categories: finance, romance, our bodies and our egos. You can go out looking for a spiritual teacher, but the truth is, the Creator gave each of us these four fundamental teachers.
Lets look at money, for example. They say that money can’t buy you happiness. This is probably true, but it is equally true that the lack of money can certainly bring you a great deal of pain or stress. This I know from personal experience.
From the time you leave home as a child or youth until the time that you lose direct control of your finances as a result of an accident, illness or old age – you will be dealing with money and learning all that it has to teach you. You will have the opportunity to learn about spending, budgeting, generosity, greed, honesty, integrity, how to manage with too little and how to manage wisely with too much. Your money and how you handle it will give you an opportunity to learn a great deal about yourself, your values, your goals, your discernment, your self-image. And how you use it will give others a clear snapshot of who you are; your strengths, your weaknesses, your beliefs, what you really value in life.
And then there is romance. Well, actually this is only a tiny part of the whole relationship curriculum which began with our parents or early care givers. They become our initial teachers – not just in terms of information – but in terms of experience. Our early experience with parents can give us a good hint as to the level of difficulty of the curriculum we have chosen for this incarnation.
The more issues you have with your parents, the richer the curriculum and opportunities you have for soul growth. For a moment, step away from the blame game related to what they did or didn’t do, and pretend – just pretend – that all of this occurred as a part of the curriculum that you chose. I’m not asking you to believe it. Just pretend because this will give you a new set of glasses through which you can view the situation and open you to new learnings. As long as we are locked into the blame game and our victim mentality, we limit our vision for seeing the bigger picture.
This can also be said about our third piece of curriculum; our bodies. Like money, your body is going to be with you all of your life. You will have to deal with it as a teenager, whether it is facial blemishes, unruly hair or the dramatic changes of puberty. Your body will be constantly talking to you and seeking your attention in a thousand different ways. As you get older and wage the battle against weight, sagging, wrinkling and the gradual breakdown of various functions, your body may demand more and more of your attention. And then there are those who experience illness or accidents in which the body suddenly requires 100% of your attention. But guess what? It is all just curriculum. A great deal of it related to the body, is unpleasant but oh so instructive.
And then of course, there is the ego. I remember a talk by Ram Dass in which he said that we are all in “somebody training.” A big part of our curriculum has to do with coming to see ourselves as individuals distinctly different than others. In this piece of curriculum, the Ego becomes our guru. It likes nothing better than to feel special and it can do it in a thousand different ways. Sports, academics, trophies, degrees, the biggest house, the most expensive car, the most popular, the most bling, spiritually enlightened. All of them are egos way of making you feel special, better, or at least different than others.
So the Big Question is “What is this Earth Experience all about?” Well, from everything I can see, it’s all just curriculum.
What Our Students Are Saying
Nurelegn Zelalem Mihrete (Ethiopia)
I was reading, The Secret many times even when I am getting depressed I go through the book and to the video and I would feel inspired again. A book is not something we read once and set on the shelf rather it is something we read it again and again when we do in such away we start to make relations one with another. I was always amazed when I read such books I realized something better in life because we made in that way, on what the book say. Let me tell you one amazing story of mine with in such short period of time based one crucial topic of Psycho-Cybernetics. The sub topic was the following ”Your Built-in Guidance System” and The Success “Instinct” and I was amazed by the story of the bird and the human being I understand that all species has its own guidance system the only difference between them is for human being the goal to live means a lot not only survival. For long time I was living just for survival because I am ordinary government employee and I always think that because my salary is not enough the way I live must be just for survival but some times when I come to my mind up to when I live in such away and I lost answer for this question but after I finish this book I was amazed because I got answer for my question which stay long time with in mind immediately I recognize that I was living like a bird and for me “to live means” just to survive and my goal does mean nothing as long as I build my guidance system in the survival way, because I build my life in simple depressed was. Immediately I called to somebody who make a farm medicine and get a patent from Korea and I ask him can I be your agent to distribute the medicine in my region with some commission? He answered me in a very positive way and I contacted some pharmacy owners and some unions the welcomed the farm medicine now I am already in a business starting line and I understand that if I make my guidance system in a winning mental state, to live means a lot in life and I clearly set and start in a well-defined way my guidance system and my I arrange my success instinct in a positive and winner state. The other topic that made me amused is how stress can block the way we must think I was blocked because of the stress I build. Finally I believe that success is not a single time activity it continue until the end of our life even there is a success between in the time of life and death because if we ask apology in a critical death time for the one who disappointed in us our soul move to heaven so always there is a success and I believe this thing will continue in my life.
What Our Students Are Reading
Webster’s New World Grant Writing Handbook By: Sara Deming Wason ($15)
This book walks readers through every step of the grant writing process-from defining the project and getting and interpreting a foundation’s guidelines to submitting and following up on the grant application. With clear, concise explanations, thorough coverage, illustrative examples, and expert advice, this helpful, complete resource gives grant writers all the information and guidance they need to succeed.
Students In Action
IIGL President is a 2014 Dewey Winburne Community Service Honoree
The 2014 Dewey Winburne Community Service honorees represent the best of the best of people using their talents to help others. This event is named for Dewey Winburne, one of the original co-founders of the SXSW Interactive Festival. A teacher who spent much of his energy training at-risk youth to make use of digital technology, Dewey believed that the new media revolution could help level the playing field between the haves and the have-nots in our society.
Join us on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm for the free, open to the public awards ceremony happening at St. David’s Episcopal Church’s Bethell Hall.
Curious about how we selected these honorees? Most were nominated via the SXSW scholarship program. An Austin-based committee reviewed all scholarship nominees with an eye to the qualities of community, compassion, care, education and positive energy that Dewey brought to his tenure at SXSW.
Valuable Resources for Personal & Planetary Transformation
1,537,876 people have watched the Go Gratitude movie and 271,934 people from all walks of life and from 153 countries have joined the Gratitude Experiment since its launch on Nov 21, 2005.
Since the inception of Go Gratitude and the Gratitude Experiment, we’ve witnessed a tidal wave of new Gratitude projects, inspired works of Gratitude art, and an overall increase in awareness of the role Gratitude plays in humanity’s health, wealth and happiness.
In fact, according to Google Trends, searches for Gratitude has nearly doubled over the last six years. We view this Gratitude fact as a healthy sign for the planet.
So, what are you waiting for? Join the Gratitude Experiment and watch your own life be enlivened by the effects of Gratitude.
Board Nominations Request for 2014-2015 Term
Once again it is time to finalize the 2014-2015 IIGL Board of Directors! Please watch for information on the IIGL Message Board in March if you are interested in applying to be elected to the Board of Directors. Active students working on Level Two studies and higher may be considered. Also IIGL graduates and contributors are eligible. Please email Noeline Kirabo, our current IIGL President at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Meet Our New Students
We are pleased to welcome one new active students this month. He is from Nigeria.
Oladipo Olagbenro Michael (Nigeria)
I am a listening, motivated, passionate, willing, adaptable and bilingual graduate with enviable organizational, project management, analytical and communication skills developed over the years. Born and raised by middle-class parents in Awe, a small town in Oyo State, Nigeria.
Growing up was a battle like a candle fighting for survival in the wind. Like every other poor Nigerian kid, I walked through the streets of my neighborhood barefooted with my friends myopically admiring the exotic lifestyles of the rich folks. Sadly, most of my friends could not live the dream. They became victims of the many ills in the society before passing out of high school. They lost focus. Needless to say, my childhood experiences are players in the type of life I’m championing. The shattered dreams of my friends who couldn’t stand the test of time are propelling forces in my quest towards lofty heights. Simply put, the social disorders (caused by youths) that now constitute the index of our national life in Nigeria are my motivating factors in being an agent of a world where serenity and sanity reside, a world where the bestial tendencies in man will be cultivated by love, a world where the ghetto kids like me will have equal opportunities with privileged kids, a world where youths will be guided by sincerity of purpose, a world where the pains of the needy will be felt inside the deepest part of our hearts a world that cares. These are my dreams. Who says they are unachievable? For me, making impacts in the lives of just 2 kids that will go ahead and make impact in their respective communities is enough! The Nike® slogan – just do it! – comes handy for me. For me, there is the need to see to the realization of youths that will be guided by the strength of will and foster positive changes in the society. That is the music that stirs my heart, that is the vision I cherish. Many dreams are dying!
As an agent of change, I have had a fair share of leadership roles in the past. I was a weekly columnist at the defunct TouchNaija (www.touchnaija.blogspot.com): Dialogue with my Country. That accorded me the opportunity to reach many people. The column was devoted to the discussion of socio-political happenings in the country. Also, I was the Chairman of the Audit Committee NASELS O.A.U. 2010/11 and 2011/12 Sessions. I headed a 5 man committee that audited the financial records of past executives of the association.
Also, I’m a co-founder and life member of Impact Makers, O.A.U. (2008- present). It was co-founded with the renowned Nigerian capacity builder, Dayo Nigeria. This is a group of young minds from all over the countries. It is a body that is after the total good of all youths in the country by organizing competitions and engaging in round table discussions. As part of our efforts, we also preach cultural, religion and gender tolerance.
Being a linguist, I love creative ventures. My interest in creative endeavors made me a campus journalist for a good number of the national dailies. My articles have been published in The Nation, Nigerian Tribune, Punch, etc. Apparently, to be a good writer, one should be a consuming reader. So, for me, I get my mind illuminated by reading the timeless works of Shakespeare, and some other African writers. Dialogue with my Country by Niyi Osundare is collection of articles on the socio-political happenings in Nigeria that I always find illuminating. Because of my sheer admiration of Niccolo Machiavellis The Prince, I wrote my undergraduate long essay on the “Ideological Projections in Niccolo Machiavellis The Prince.” As a Christian, the Holy Bible is a light to my path. Also, Invictus by William E Henley is a poem that hangs firmly on the wall of my room because of the richness of its themes. In spare times, I love sleeping and I support Manchester United. Also, once in a while, I go to the cinema with friends.
To view their complete profiles, Click Here.
We had 12 students from 7 countries complete a total of 18 books in February. These students were from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Kuma, Emmanuel Fangyong (Cameroon)
* Nonviolent Communication
Nurelegn Zelalem Mihrete (Ethiopia)
* The New Dynamics of Winning
Vivian Muciri (Kenya)
* Goal Setting 101
Elnura Emilkanova (Kyrgyzstan)
* How to Win Friends and Influence People
Joseph Philip Abue (Nigeria)
* You Just Don’t Understand
Emmanuel Iziomoh (Nigeria)
*The Law of Attraction
Offor Kennedy J. (Nigeria)
* Communication Miracles for Couples
Ocheja Linus Lawrence (Nigeria)
* Leadership for Dummies
* Maximum Achievement
* Unlimited Power
Oladipo Olagbenro Michael (Nigeria)
* As A Man Thinketh
* Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Okorie, Eusebius Tobechukwu (Nigeria)
* Giant Steps
Noeline Kirabo (Uganda)
* Principled Centered Leadership
Busani Sibindi (Zimbabwe)
* Maximum Achievement
* Nonviolent Communication
* Unlimited Power
Busani Sibindi (Zimbabwe) completed Level Two
4 enrolled in February
7 enrolled in 2014
18 in February
39 in 2014
0 in February
14 in 2014
Cost of Books
$0 in February
$309.48 in 2014
You Make It Possible
We extend a special thanks to the following individuals and/or organizations who contributed to IIGL last month. Your ongoing support makes this work possible.
Deb Silver (Israel)
Edmee DiPauli (UK)
Wanda Gail Campbell (USA/AL)
DM Tilley (USA/AL)
Charles Betterton (USA/AZ)
Lynne Murguia (USA/AZ)
Corine Wilson (USA.FL)
Lily Ann (USA/GA)
Margie Tice (USA/HI)
John Hornecker (USA/NC)
Michael Lightweaver (USA/NC)
Janis Thayer (USA/NC)
Janae & Barry Weinhold (USA/NC)
David Banner (USA/WI)
Deb Rosen (USA/WI)
Make A Difference
Dream Team 22
In January 2009 we launched a new idea which blends two previous endeavors: The Master Mind Group and the 22 Experiment. We are calling this Dream Team 22 and our goal is to have 220 people contributing $22 per month. We understand that money is energy and that to sustain and build IIGL we need a lot of people pouring their energy into this endeavor on a regular basis. We also know that not everyone can afford to commit $22 a month – especially our students, who live in countries with economies in which this amount can be equal to a weeks’ salary. So we are offering two options for those who wish to become a part of the Dream Team. One can commit to a $22 a month contribution or to spending 22 seconds each day holding the vision of IIGL becoming financially sustainable by the end of 2009.
Will you join the Dream Team and help us create an energetic foundation to support the transformational work of IIGL? You can really make a difference in the world by making a modest contribution of time or money. To make the $22 a month commitment or a one time donation, click the link below. To become a member of the Dream Team 22 by committing 22 second a day to help us hold the vision, contact Deb for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Checks on US banks, payable to the International Institute For Global Leadership, can be mailed to PO Box 18909, Asheville, NC. 28814, USA. Contributions may also be made by credit card by clicking the link below. Contributions are tax deductible under the 501 (c) 3 tax code of the United States Internal Revenue Service.
To Contribute By Credit Card, Click Here
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