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Motivation By Consequences
In 2004 seven badly behaved teenagers were sent to a brat camp in the USA by desperate parents whose lives had been made hell by their own offspring. All seven were from the UK.
At Turnabout, the Brat Camp in Utah, the brats started the rehabilitation process by sitting in a stone circle for three days on their own to reflect on their lives and why they had been sent to the camp by their long suffering parents.
They needed to understand that their poor behavior had already had consequences. Why else would they be stuck in a desert in Utah? Because consequences do not always arrive quickly both adults and youngsters often fail to be aware of them and need time to become aware.
Sitting in the stone circle was a rite of passage for Indian Braves. One of the girls argued that she was not a Red Indian and was not a man. She had missed the whole point of the exercise.
Four girls from the UK group were given an extra day in the stone circle for smoking at night and then for refusing to tell on whoever brought the cigarettes in. Grassing was regarded by the camp leaders as simply being honest.
The boys got a decent meal and a day off the stone circle. They were learning that good behaviour usually produces rewards while poor behaviour usually results in some kind of uncomfortable, boring and even painful experience.
For the first time, the kids felt the need to behave themselves. Some started to think: "We are going to stay in line and get some good food."
They also began to realize that not every one in the world would treat them as indulgently as their parents. Alex was told her hair would have to be died its natural color. She said: "It won't happen."
Four hours later it did happen. There was no getting round the staff. She learned that some people could not be manipulated to indulge her whims.
Eventually the brats moved on to level two of their training but there were still rules to be obeyed. On level two youngsters had to be neat and tidy and ask permission for everything.
Jenny struggled with tidiness. Wayne, the camp leader, taught her to put things away:"I'm not your ma. I may be as pretty as your mum but I will not put things away for you."
He told Jenny to walk around the cabin shouting "I will put my gloves away."
At Turnabout they never ignore a problem. They face up to everything fair and square. Jenny ended up back in the stone circle.
Jenny then pretended that her wrist had been badly sprained but this did not wash with Wayne. There was no escape from the consequences.
Idle chatter was off the menu. Complaining about the food was also against the rules. The brats had to learn that negative talk has bad consequences.
More were beginning to get the message. Jemma commented: "You've got to be good all the time."
One of the boys had also got the message:"Every rule here, no matter however small, you get consequenced for."
Many adults never get this message. We keep doing silly things and are still surprised by the bad consequences. We all need to learn that the Universe is not an indulgent parent who will let us do whatever we feel like doing and then will protect us from the harmful results. We need to learn that every action we take, no matter how small, has good or bad consequences.
We are even surprised when good things happen when we follow the rules of the universe. Fortunately the universe is impartial. If we start eating right we will be amazed at how much better we feel. Eventually we will realize that the remorseless law of consequences is something we should be grateful for. It can work for us or it can work against us.
Maybe we should all sit in a stone circle every day and reflect on the power of consequences. A few weeks in Utah would do us all some good.
About the author
John Watson is an award winning teacher and martial arts instructor. He has recently written two books about achieving your goals and dreams.
They can both be found on his website http://www.motivationtoday.com along with a daily motivational message.
The title of the first book is "36 Laws To Ignite Your Inner Power And Realize Your Dreams Now! - Acronyms, Stories, And Pictures...Easy To Remember And Use Everyday To Grab Your Life And Soar With The Eagles"
The book can be found at this URL http://www.motivationtoday.com/36_laws.php
The book uses acronyms, stories and pictures to help readers remember 36 laws that can gradually transform your life if you apply them.
You are welcome to publish the article above in your ezine or on your website so long as you do not alter it and keep in the words about the author and the 36 Laws.
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