Three weeks ago, my life changed. My world changed. And it is possible that the next act in my drama began. I need your help to determine if this true. Please. No kidding. Read this and vote.
Since preschool, the teachers have warned us that Jason cannot concentrate, causes problems in the classroom, and so on. I didn’t realize it until three years ago, but this translates to an actual learning problem. His grades, finally put in clear context, were dreadful. My boy was in peril.
So I intensified a program begun about six years ago: a “Morning Ritual for ADD” where we sit, and focus, and I worked to implant basic habits of thought, emotional control, and strategy. Hoped that he would love martial arts, and that I’d be able to use THAT to integrate his body-mind, but he struggled with the emotional aspect: losing simply beat him down too far. Losing to a pair of girls devastated him. I just couldn’t push him there without risking chaos in his academics and home behavior. So…I limped on, banished my fear, and kept going.
Then about a month ago, Dr. John LaTourrette, a dear friend and a man to be modeled in the arenas of martial arts and success psychology, told me that his son Jack (who does most of the teaching at Doc’s Medford school) is also the head marketer, and won’t even talk with anyone who hasn’t read BREAKTHROUGH ADVERTISING by Eugene Schwartz. Although I am BURYING myself in the theories of Russell “Clickfunnels” Brunson, I took a peek, and saw that B.A. was out of print, but the comments on Amazon were slavering. Rapturous. Schwartz had written something apparently sublime. I was too busy, and the only copies for sale cost over 300.00, so I said: “ummm…maybe later.”
But…what caught my eye was that he had written other books too, and one of them was called “How to Double your Child’s Grades in School.” It had at least 4 1/2 stars, and again, the comments were through the roof. A glance at the description suggested that he had taken modern education theory and combined it with brilliant motivation insights, the same kind of practical psychology that had made him a top-level marketing genius, and created a program which could transform your child’s life in five minutes a day.
I could get a used copy for six bucks. I mean…what the hell? At worst, I waste an hour or two (I can get my money back) and at best..? At best..?
It hurt to hope. But…I did. I got it, scanned the table of contents, and the index and then the whole thing. And then read the first two chapters.
Based on the idea of “Readin’ Ritin’, and Rithmatic” Schwarz had created a five minute “Daily Achievement Check” that SEEMS to be teaching outer stuff, but is actually organizing the child’s internal world for focus, structure, problem solving, understanding, self confidence, self-love, and associating learning with pleasure. That was what I could see in the first hour of reading it. There was also a 14-Point Study Habits test, where he invited you to evaluate your child’s performance, encouraging you to evaluate again in a week or 30 days to see the difference.
Wow. Real performance measurement?
Further, he said that his teachers might notice the difference so strongly that they would ask you what had changed.
Five minutes a day, he asked. So…I said “what the hell?” and began. I took the time we’d used for our “Morning Ritual”, transplanted the Hug aspect, and then began to ask him for total focus for just 300 seconds. He made it to 90 seconds the first time. Then 120. Then three minutes. And then…
Somewhere around the fourth day, I noticed he was having fun. Starting to look forward to the sessions. More, he was able to focus more. Less tantrum behavior, less need to split his attention. And…well, let me make a list of the changes I’ve seen in three weeks:
- Finishing his homework with much less stress
- Enjoying talking about his schoolwork.
- Spontaneously asking for help with organization
- Willingness to discuss what he’s learning, and even make connections between science and religion: the first steps toward episomology and cosmology and a personal philosophy
- Far less emotional upset, even under pressure
- Willingness to accept more responsibility for chores
- A perfect math test.
- Finishing more of his homework on his own, at school, before he even gets home
- He VOLUNTARILY wants to spend more time discussing how he answered problems, actually went “into flow” while talking about math and history, telling stories and extracting information and inference from them and relating them to current events…
And…a week ago we got a note from the teacher in Learning Center that he has been more focused, non-disruptive, and finishing his work.
Almost exactly on schedule, this note came.
I’d realized that the Morning Ritual for an adult (me) was perhaps the most valuable practice I had. Had TRIED to create one for Jason, and maybe it was working, maybe not. But this…
Oh…there is no PHYSICAL component to this, but he is playing more basketball in addition to his scootering. That’s what healthy kids do. They play. They work their bodies. If they don’t…there is something wrong.
Something has changed here.
Now…what is the most basic building block of the Lifewriting system? I mean other than the concept of the Hero’s Journey and the Chakras…?
The Ancient Child, that’s what. The Five Minute Miracle, that’s what.
Holy shit. Are you seeing it? Do you grasp the edge of what has happened here?
I want to say more, but I don’t want to blather on if you aren’t on board. So…tell me, please…does this intrigue you? Shall I say more?
If you want to hear more, I’ve got more. But I have to have your permission.
Yes or No?