Blog/Media

One Thing You Say Or Do Can Change A Child’s Life – Keynote Address

June 2009 – Los Angeles  – Audio Recording

This is a recording I of a keynote address I gave to 700 Summer Camp Staff members in Los Angeles in the summer of 2009.

While you cannot see the pictures I showed in the background, the stories alone should be descriptive enough.

I believe the most critical message we need to instill in summer camp staff is to understand and embrace fully how critical their role can be in the lives of youth – and how today’s youth need them now more than ever.

I’ve shared some of these stories with over 15,000 people at this point. They are timeless, true, and as important now as they were when they happened.

Click here to listen to the recording.

Help Save Our Kids From The “Find Your Passion” Dilemma

Help Save Our Kids From The “Find Your Passion” Dilemma

For over a decade now, Passion is in Fashion. Similar to the “Happiness” movement that swept the self-help industry, it has become ubiquitous to talk about passion as something that is everyone’s birthright and simply must be found. (If you don’t know, in the year 2000 there were only  40 books published on happiness. By 2005 there were over 4000 new books on happiness being published annually.  The pursuit of happiness is big business. As is the game of finding your passion.

As one who works intimately with youth in the vulnerable stage of their adolescence where they are emerging into young adulthood, I have seen the damage of the “find your passion” obsession that has been imposed upon them (and almost always with the best of intentions).

Here’s why I think this is bad for kids:

  1. Like most things in popular culture, something sacred has been reduced down to an oversimplified form that has little to do with anything more than something to feel good about.  If you ask most people to define passion, they tend to say something like  this: “Something you love and feel and an intense desire for and excitement about”.

What they fail to recognize is that passion actually stems from the ancient Greek verb “pashko” which means to suffer or endure. The word transcended Greek culture when it was adopted by the early Christians who spoke of the Passion of Christ. Why is this relevant? Because what passion really means is “something you love enough that you will suffer for it.”

Now if you speak with anyone who has truly found a passion for themselves, they will absolutely tell you that they suffer for it, and often immensely.

That is not how most young people are hearing this though, to the extent that they are even capable of hearing it even if it was be explained in that way.

#2: Most young people hear “find your passion” as “I need to find the thing I love doing that I want to do with my life and feel I was meant to do.”

Then when they turn out to be like most people who never find “The Thing” that they love so much they know they were meant to do it, they feel stressed, lost and even paralyzed with fear that they may make the wrong career choice. Rather than just go in a direction and let their journey unfold, they get paralyzed with fear and doubt.

The idea that they can even find one thing to be passionate about and build their life around is absurd. Most people never find the one thing. It doesn’t mean they aren’t happy and don’t find fulfillment, it just means they never find one thing that they are so passionate about it feels like they were meant to do it.

This idea has become so ingrained in young people’s heads that it is causing them stress, keeping them up at night and sending them way off track.

Let me propose an alternative, with a little help from Hollywood:

In the film Serendipity, John Cusack plays a man who spends 10 years looking for a woman he felt he was fated to meet again. The night before his wedding he finds himself still thinking of her and even though all efforts to find her have failed, he realizes that if he still feels this way about a woman he met years earlier, the he must not marry someone else. When he calls off the wedding his best friend accompanies him on a walk through Central Park. Cusack asks his friend if he thinks he’s crazy. His friend replies:

You know the ancient Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: “Did he live with passion?”

I don’t know whether it is true that the ancient Greeks did that, but I’d like to believe it is.

So, Rather than pressure kids to “find their passion”, teach them instead to identify and commit their lives to the Direction that is best matched for them, then to live an inspired life that is “Lived with passion” for a lifetime in this direction. (Helping people find the right direction for themselves is a huge part of my work – and it often takes me about 20 minutes to do with them. Mentoring them to sustain approaching life with intensity and passion often takes much longer.)

While everyone may not find something to do with their life that they feel passionate about, regardless, they can live with passion.

To live their lives, fully having gone on the journey that is uniquely theirs, open to the many surprises, wonders and yes, at times even to take in the little bit of magic that seems to endlessly find its way into the lives of those who live this way of life.

Jeffrey Leiken

San Francisco, CA

February 2011

An Overview of Evolution Mentoring

For an overview of Evolution Mentoring, click here: https://leiken.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Intro-Brochure1.pdf

80 Percent Of Teens Cheat. Here’s why

This is a newsletter I sent out a year ago. The issue is even more prevalent now, and it will only continue to grow.  You can download it on the next screen.                                                                                             Download here:    Lying-and-cheating

A Peek Inside The Mind Of A Bully

A Peek Inside The Mind Of A Bully

I’ve spent 25 years working with teens and young adults, helping them navigate the perils of the adolescent stage of life to grow into confident, centered adults.  Along the way I’ve heard countless stories of bullying, mostly the girl to girl verbal kind, followed by the “pick on the little guy” kind that is common in boy culture, again mostly through words and only occasionally through actions.

The most common trait we hear attributed to those who bully is that they lack empathy. They do not “feel the pain” of the victims as they inflict pain upon them, freeing them to act without guilt, shame or hesitation.  Unbound by a social, emotional and/or moral conscious, they can comfortably and easily do things that the rest of us would find unthinkable.

Are they really all virtually sociopaths, truly lacking all connection with the basics of feeling anything for others?

Not in my experience. There is actually a spectrum of bullies in that regard, only a few whom fit that category, and many of them suffer from the “I am special so the rules don’t apply to me” complex, not really from being a sociopath.

Most of those who do it though are not that extreme. The majority have developed a complex, sophisticated denial mechanism  that allows them to hurt others, and be okay with it, reinforced by a story they tell themselves that justifies behaving this way. With little prodding, they feel deeply for what they are doing and easily reveal it – at least in the early stages of doing it.

[Note: Many video games help kids becomes desensitized and less  moral. Grand Theft Auto allows kids to shoot cops, have sex with prostitutes, steal cars and get rewarded for it.  The US Military uses  the most violent video games to desensitize soldiers to killing. They find that the more comfortable they are just seeing enemies as fun targets on a screen, the more at ease they are with killing them off the screen. These games are popular Christmas presents in modern America.]

Youth culture today is far more complex and high-pressured than it was when we were our kid’s age. Most kids teens today have a sense of scarcity of resources and opportunities and their life feels like constant competition.

The school demands alone create more intellectual stress than most adults could easily manage as adults. The social pressures though, and the absurd standards that modern youth peer culture  sets for one another, are far worse than most parents truly understand.

Many teens live with a sense that they are perpetually just one wrong choice or comment away from failure or rejection. Beyond worrying about school failure (“you won’t get into a  good college and thus your life is doomed” which is flawed thinking that is endlessly perpetuated by many adults), their bigger fear comes in the form of worrying about being abandoned by the peer group, the modern equivalent of being kicked out of the tribe – especially because they spend the majority of their lives now in the tribe of their peers.

Consider this:

  • In 1950 youth between the ages of 12 to 18, spent 60 hours a week with adults and only 12 alone with peers.
  • In 2010, this age group spends 60 hours a week in contact with peers, and less than 12 with adults.
  • ·In “wired” homes in America (those where every one has their own computer), parents spend on average 4 minutes  a day of uninterrupted time with their kids.

Today’s kids are influenced mostly by machines (6 hours a day of screen time is the national average for today’s teens), institutions (kids typically outnumber adults 24 to 1 in schools and spend 7 hours a day there 170 days a year) and countless hours a day being influenced by peers.

For many of them, being accepted by peer culture, having status in peer culture or proving themselves invincible to peer culture, becomes their highest concern and greatest source of stress.

The fear of being kicked out of the peer tribe that dominates their experience of the world, essentially equates at a deep psychological level, to certain death. Its no wonder it consumes so much of their time and energy. (Have you ever heard your teen daughter say, “If any one finds out about this, I’ll die?” In their inner world, it is not just a cliché.)

Put any of us in a survival situation and all morality goes out the window. We’d do almost anything to survive. If you wouldn’t, you’d die.

Many of these bullies have a story they are living that links back to this.

  • If they were abused themselves, this is their way of proving to themselves that they have power and are not what their perpetrator told them they were.  They are proving to themselves that they are not worthless.
  • If they are in a socially advanced clique, they bully others to maintain their own status and value, thus ensuring their membership and inclusion in the clique. They are not feeling bad about whose reputation they trashed because they are too busy fighting for their own social survival (remember, to them this feels like life and death!).
  • If they are teasing others at the skate park or on the basketball court, it is to establish their dominance which assures their playing time in the game or status for the girls, which equates to, you guessed it, their survival in a competitive world.
  • If they are teasing kids in the halls at school, it is to demonstrate to the “in-crowd” that they are funny and ruthless, and thus meeting one of the core criteria for proving worth as a man in modern boy culture. (I just gave a talk about this last week which is available here.)

I can go on and on, but most causes of bullying behavior comes back to the same thing:

They are doing it and are okay with doing it because it is what they feel they need to do to survive, in a stressful, competitive world.

Until this changes, there is little adults can do besides continue to run around and clean up the messes. All the training in the world on recognizing the signs of bullying won’t stop bullies from bullying.

Today’s kids need to have the power taken back from popular culture, especially popular peer culture. The power these have over them trumps the power most parents have to influence their kids once they hit the middle school years.

This is not “just the way it is”, nor is it indicative of a “normal stage of development”. This is a modern creation, or perhaps better said, the pervasive by-product of the modern way of life that places so much emphasis on the things that matter least – and that demands parents be so consumed with things outside of home that they have little time or energy left to address what should be their primary concern: things going on inside their kids lives.

It takes more than 4 minutes a day to raise kids to be morally and socially conscious people.

It takes more than 12 hours a week of contact and attention from adults to influence kids to choose the values of mature adult culture over the values of popular adolescent culture.

It takes more than just parents teaching kids about right and wrong, for kids to adopt these same beliefs.

I’ve built my life’s work on becoming one of these critically needed adults in the lives of youth during their adolescent years. I hear their stories, know their struggles and “get” how complex and pressure filled their lives are. .. and how much time, repetition and time and repetition it takes to help them internalize a secure self-directed value set that frees them from peer approval dependence.

They need many more people doing this too: Teaching them real life skills, helping them construct their beliefs and values independent of the negative influences of society, giving them the reassurance that they matter, their lives count and they will succeed if they choose to live a life of uncompromising commitment towards the things that really matter. .. and giving them the real life experiences now that prove to them that they already have what it takes, far more so than they realize.

We all needed it at their age.

They need it now, more than ever.

Jeffrey Leiken, MA

October 12, 2010

Boyhood In Peril – Why Raising Boys Now Demands Serious Attention

Boyhood In Peril – The Battle To Raise Healthy, Thriving Boys Into Men in A Chaotic World

Much has been written in the past decade about the troubled inner and outer lives of boys. The positions the ‘experts’ take vary between disturbing books on their damaged and wounded inner and emotional lives written by psychologists who have risen to national prominence as they’ve become best selling authors, to articles like the cover story in Time Magazine debunking the best sellers and claiming that all is in fact well, and all that is really needed is to let boys be boys and follow the “dangerous book” they’ll find on the other shelf – a book that has also become a best seller.

What are we to believe? Here are the facts as are now well researched:

  • 1000 studies link extensive viewing of graphic violent images, with more violent behavior.
  • 50% of  video games contain excessive graphic violence. This number is growing.
  • By age 12 the average American male will have viewed 100,000 images of graphic violence. By age 18 that number doubles.
  • The US military uses video games to desensitize soldiers to killing
  • Excessive screen times inhibits sensory awareness development in the brain
  • Excessive screen times disturbs sleeping patterns
  • A comprehensive University of Alberta study found 1 in 3 boys are heavy porn users
  • 1/2 of young adult males in a recent survey preferred porn to the real thing
  • A growing number of young adult males suffer from sexual dysfunction
  • Male sperm counts are half of what they were 50 years ago
  • Males commit 95% of violent crimes
  • College enrollment for males has dropped dramatically in the past 30 years. In 1980 men represented 58 percent of the undergraduate student body. Now they’re a minority at 44 percent.
  • Boys make up 75% of students diagnosed with learning disabilities.
  • Nearly 6% of boys ages 6 to 17 are diagnosed and medically treated for ADHD
  • Nearly five times as many males as females ages 15 to 19 died by suicide. This is the third leading cause of death among teens.
  • 40% of youth in America are growing up without a father living in their primary home
  • The average American father spends 30 minutes a week of time with his kids. Half of that is spent watching TV.
  • Parents in “wired” homes spend on average 4 minutes a day of uninterrupted time with their kids
  • In 1950, teens spent 5 times as much time with adults as they did with their peers. In 2010, teens spend 5 times as much time with peers than they do adults.
  • Today’s No Child Left Behind School standards demand kindergartners be able to do what first graders were once expected to do. Most boys brains do not develop these functions – especially fine motor and capacity to sit and focus, until they are older.
  • The dominant youth culture now has replaced “Dating” with the “instant gratification, no strings attached” practice of “Hooking-Up”. Boys (and girls) are not having the critical experiences needed to develop emotional maturity and the capacity for sustained intimacy

Parents need to have:

  • Strict video gaming policies.
  • Close monitoring of online activities
  • Regular healthy challenges for boys to master
  • Strong advocating for their son’s schooling and close involvement with the curriculum
  • A system to ensure their son gets real life education and the opportunities to practice real life skills
  • A continually updated relationship with their sons
  • A community of elders – particularly men – who are closely and personally involved in their son’s lives in an on-going way.

Raising boys into men who will thrive in the 21st Century demands more than just going backwards to a simpler time and simpler approach. It demands parents be up to date, involved, in-tune with not just youth culture, but with the trends that are lighting the way to the emerging economic world. Those who do so are already noticing more popular media attention regarding alternatives to traditional college, the importance of training in entrepreneurism, the devastating impact of environmental toxins, complacency and deprivation of contact  with the natural world.

Do not rely on institutions and machines to raise your son. It is up to you as your son’s parent to ensure he grows into a young man who is prepared for modern reality, with the capacity for intimacy, the values for contribution and the skills to ensure he succeeds in leading an extraordinary life. The task has in many ways, never been more challenging.

Being a teenager is enough to make you puke!


Being a teenager is enough to make you puke

The following is a true story, with name changes to protect the guilty, and a few expletives toned down from R to PG 13, sort of.

Jeremy is a 17 year old high school senior. He is, in many ways, typical of the kids I mentor.

He is good-looking, highly social, good-with-girls, intense, athletic, witty, smart, attends a fancy private school, has the potential to be a college athlete and can become on a moment’s notice, an arrogant, stressed-out, entitled jerk with a wicked temper that has gotten him into his share of trouble both in school and out. Though it isn’t obvious on the outside, he actually thinks about many bigger life questions and is far more sensitive than people realize.

Sometime this past year, he finally recognized that something was going on in him that led him to be so volatile. He knew he needed help.

Like most teens I meet who have any honest introspection, he recognized as well, that something is seriously wrong and screwed up with the world he is living in and the youth culture he has conformed to, and he didn’t like many aspects of who he was becoming to succeed in it, even as he rose to the top of his social world.

His parents intuitively felt his issues were not due to psychological problems that a therapist would want to diagnose and treat, but rather were the critical issues and challenges of growing-up – something that is my speciality in helping teens and young adults to successfully navigate and successfully do.

He accepted his parents offer to meet me, and he quickly decided after our first session that he wanted to continue. We’ve been in regular contact since then, in person, on the phone, via texts, etc. Almost every conversation has been intense, challenging, and at times, filled with me pointing out to him all the ways in which he is taking the cowards way out and being just another excuse making, blaming, full of BS, follower.

In spite of this, he’s kept coming back – and he’s respected my opinions and insights, and asked for more even when they aren’t what he wants to be hearing.  As many of my clients do, he acknowledged that while he may not always like what the is hearing, he knows it is what he needs to hear.

>>>SKIP AHEAD SIX MONTHS>>>

A few weeks ago, he came in and shared this story:

He’d been at a party the previous weekend and agreed to be the Designated Driver. Being sober amongst a group of drunks is rarely fun, but being with his high school friends made it okay. It got even better when a group of hot girls showed up, and one of them – we’ll call her Dana – took an interest in him. At one point, they were “hooking-up” (“making-out” is what they used to call it when I was his age) and when she took it a little further, he wasn’t complaining.

Eventually Dana asked him to give her and a few of her girlfriends a ride home and he agreed. She was stumbling drunk. After a few minutes in the car, she felt nauseous. He stopped the car and went around to her side. When he opened the door, she literally fell out onto the sidewalk, complaining of being dizzy and wanting water.

Her friends just sat there and did nothing. He couldn’t believe how unwilling to help they were; not just unwilling, but seeming to be entirely uninterested and unconcerned.  It suddenly seemed sad and even pathetic to him that these were Dana’s best friends and this was the best they would offer her.

As Jeremy then walked to a nearby store to buy her a bottled water, he began thinking about how many times he’d seen teenage “friends” treat their other “friends” this way. He knew that even he had been guilty of being so self-absorbed and unwilling to be inconvenienced. He didn’t like realizing this about himself. It bothered him even more to realize how pervasive the attitude was amongst so many people his age.

When he returned from the store 10 minutes later, Dana was still laying on the side of the road next to the car. The other girls in the car, still hadn’t helped their friend.

He gave Dana the water, helped her back into the car and kept driving.

It only took a few more minutes before Dana then started puking out his car window, onto the side of the car and eventually inside the car as well.

Still the other girls didn’t help. They just started laughing and making fun of her.

He couldn’t wait to get all of them out of the car.

He was disgusted not just by the puke in the car, not just by the way these friends had treated one another, but the fact that he had “hooked-up” with this girl who was clearly totally drunk.

He felt disgusted with them, with himself and in a way, with his whole teen culture.

He was beginning to see it all for what it really is, for the first time.

The realizations kept coming almost by the hour since then… He couldn’t stop thinking about how many stupid things he’d said and done over the past few years, including not appreciating his parents, not being a good brother to his siblings, not really being a great teammate to the guys on his lacrosse team, even when he was a captain. He thought about the teachers who’d tried to connect with him, who he had just mocked. The kids who were less popular than him who he’d had so many laughs at their expense over the years, and all the grief he’s caused them…

He couldn’t wait to meet with me to tell me this in person.

“I almost called you the other night but then I decided I really wanted to tell you all this in person,” he said. “And I realize that I wouldn’t be realizing any of these things and seeing my life for what it’s been without everything you’ve been saying to me this past year. I’ve really been such an a##hole to so many people, especially my dad. I am so amazed by how much has been right there in front of me and I just couldn’t see it… Even though it is all so f#c%ed up, it feels so great to finally be getting it… You have no idea how much what you’ve offered me is meaning to be and doing for me right now…” and then he repeated again, “And I wanted to tell you this in person.”

Jeremy has a lot of work still left to be done. A lifetime of it in fact. But on the path he is now on, he can be certain that the lifetime of work he’ll do, will build a life worth living and a legacy to be proud of.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

I have plenty of similar stories with my clients, but sadly, far more kids out there have stories that start the same but are not ending the same.

There are countless teens out there who need this kind of relationship in their lives, and the earfuls of ideas, insights and wisdom they get here. Parents like Jeremy’s realize that it takes far more than tutors and SAT prep classes (and he has plenty) to raise  a child to be ready for life.. and it takes far more than parents alone to be offering their teens this kind of training and this kind of mentoring.

I couldn’t agree with them more.

My three cents: Don’t rely on institutions, academics and conventional help alone to provide the guidance your kids will really need when they face the realities of growing up. Surround them with the right resources, the right adults and fill their lives with the right experiences. Both they – and the people whose lives they’ll impact – will one day thank you for it.

ARE YOUR PARENTS NAGGING TOO MUCH?

The following is a newsletter I recently wrote for the HeroPath For Teens™ Program that I run in the UK. Though it is written to teens, the message is relevant for all. .

Are your parents nagging you too much?

We can help.

Occasionally, but not infrequently, we receive calls from concerned parents who share a common dilemma. They’ve read our website, perhaps spoken with others whose sons and daughters gave us raving reviews, and really know that their son or daughter would benefit from attending our program too.

Their dilemma?

They know that the moment they suggest attending a HeroPath For Teens™ program, their teen will reject it simply because it is a suggestion coming from their parents! Their teen will feel their parents are putting too much pressure on them to change. Some will feel their parents are nagging, overprotective and/or over-involved and will resist just to feel powerful. Some will feel judged.

We’ve had a number of teens who’ve attended our programs also ask for help with this. “How can I get my parents to stop nagging me? How can I get them to give me more freedom? How can I get them to just let me make my own choices?”

This newsletter will address both sides of this, and why it is that what we offer has helped so much for families who’ve struggled with this dilemma.

First of all the primary reason most parents get concerned about their teens, is that they sense they are not prepared for the challenges that they’ll soon be facing as adults. They sense their teen lacks some critical piece or pieces of development such as direction, motivation, discipline, confidence, decisiveness. They fear that lacking these, their teen will be in for lasting struggles and disappointments.  There is nothing more painful to parents than to see their kids struggling and having to settle for less than what is possible for them.

Sometimes, they are right to be concerned. Sometimes, they aren’t.

Here’s the real challenge to this:

Every one develops at their own pace and, to a large extent, in their own way.

Our school system and cultural norms though expects that everyone measures up to a standard that is unrealistic for some and totally inappropriate for some others. They place benchmarks like achieving certain test scores, demonstrating an ability to manage coursework and knowing what you want to do with your life as the measure of readiness to move on to the next stage of life.

It’s hard for parents not to get caught up in doing the same.

In reality though these things have little to do with what it really takes to be prepared for the next stage of life, and even less to do with what it takes to thrive.

While the MythoSelf® Process that we teach at the HeroPath For Teens™ workshop inevitably helps teens to do better and have more certainty in all these areas – school performance, career direction, personal confidence – it offers something even more critical, something every hugely successful and personally fulfilled person shares… It is, you might say, the magic at the core of this work. Let me tell it to you through a personal story:

I was 28 when I first encountered this work. I was bright, confident and well-educated, graduating Valedictorian of my University class. I could easily get jobs as I knew how to impress the hell out of potential employers. In fact, I’d been offered every job I ever applied for (and I’ve taught many of these skills to countless clients).

My problem was that I didn’t just want a job. I wanted to do my own thing, my own way. There was a way of life that I’d seen others live and that I wanted for myself.  I wanted to be well compensated for doing the work I loved. I wanted to be free to set my own schedule. I wanted to be in a relationship with someone who shared my values and had a similar desire for living “outside the system”, and who was also equally as excited and positive about life and life’s possibilities.

I’d purchased countless books, attended countless programs and spent thousands of Pounds on consultants, all in the hopes that this would help me to have this life.

Yet, in spite of all my education and academic success, I was missing a fundamental piece. I knew what to do, I just wasn’t doing it. I wanted it, but couldn’t seem to make it happen.

Rather than having that success and that relationship, I was nearing 30 years old, was soon to be bankrupt and was alone.

Secretly I knew why I was failing to achieve my dream. What I needed wasn’t more information about “how to”, what I needed was to become the kind of person who actually lives it. Though I had the potential to be that person, potential alone is not the same as being that person.

I’ve seen this countless times now in my work. My clients often come in knowing what they need to be doing, they just can’t seem to get themselves to do it consistently enough to get the results.  They have moments of true confidence and direction, but the moments fade. They have moments of maturity and discipline, but they can’t seem to sustain it.
They have the potential, but they are not fulfilling it.

The reasons they aren’t fulfilling their potential vary. Some are too lazy. Some have become steeped in bad habits. Some have deep seated insecurities that compel them to continually settled for less than their best. Some just haven’t lived enough life to have found “their thing”. Some have succumbed to an attitude of indifference that many teens find appealing because unlike school, it is stress free and places no demand on them.

There are plenty of other reasons, but all come down to the same thing: they are not yet being the full person they have the potential to be.

Parents sense this. It is their greatest concern and as I said earlier, nothing pains them more than to see their kids struggling to be happy, fulfilled and inspired.

The amazing thing is that every parent I’ve ever worked with, knows when their kids have found this missing piece… when they’ve overcome their limitations and are steadfast on their path to true personal success. When they see their kids have it, they relax. They stop micromanaging, they stop pushing…. They stop nagging!

The most effective thing that teens can do to stop nagging parents is not to become the person their parents may be pressuring them to be, but rather to become the best person they themselves know they can be.

That is the power of what we do. That is the power of the MythoSelf Process. That is the power of the HeroPath For Teens… We will guide you to make this critical connection in yourself that you need to make to ensure you truly live your life fully, uninhibited, empowered with everything you will need to achieve the success you want, have the experiences you want and ultimately, to live the life you most want.

It did it for me. It has done it for hundreds of others. And it will do it for you too.

In the years since the moment I made the choice to find out what this work was (and I assure you no one whose ever come to one of our programs has come close to being as skeptical as I was when I first agreed to come!), my life has not only changed dramatically – my life has finally really happened. I’ve traveled over 1,000,000 miles doing the work I love. I have clients all over the world. I am married to a remarkable woman who shares my sense of adventure and joy of life, and we are raising a family of our own.

It is not always easy, nor is our life free from challenges. Having made this critical connection inside though, we know that we have what it takes to thrive, to achieve dreams and to be fulfilled, even when times are tough – and we consistently are.

I am so confident in what I am promising, that we offer a 100% Guarantee that we will deliver. You will leave this weekend with everything we say you will, or you do not pay.  This is not your parents trying to coerce you to do something you don’t want to do. This is your future calling you and saying it is time to step up, grow up and really start living.

The choice is yours. The opportunity to attend though won’t last forever. Decide now and make 2010 the year you finally said enough to settling for being less than your best, and finally started living and being the you, you’ve always sensed was possible. One weekend of your life, that’s all it takes. One weekend.

So which will it be? A weekend of parties, video games and predictable boredom, just like last weekend, just like every weekend? Or a weekend that kicked your life into high gear?

Decide now. Join us. Show up. The toughest part is this decision. The rest is the good stuff – and it is damn good stuff.

[Click here to read this on our UK website]

© Likone Corp/ Jeffrey Leiken 2010

Articles in Camping Magazine

This page is filled with links to articles I’ve published in Camping Magazine. Including my Award Winning series on 13 year olds in camps, and camps that dared to be different.

As you read through these, you’ll notice they go the range from some  “how-to” for training counselors, to exploring ideas that speak to Camp Leaders who are confronted with the larger sociological and philosophical considerations as we emerge further into the 21st Century and away from a world that values what camps do in the way they once did.

Camp Counseling in the Twenty-First Century: Connecting the Disconnected

Teens at Camp, Camp and Teens – Camp Programs that Dare to be Different! – Runner-Up Golden Quill Award

Teaching Thirteen-Year-Old Girls a Whole New Way of Life – Winner Golden Quill Award

Exploring the True Potential in Thirteen-Year-Old Boys – Winner Golden Quill Award

Making Ordinary Moments Extraordinary – ** Recommended for staff training **

The Hidden Motivator for Today’s Staff

Seven Absolutes of Camp Counseling ** Recommended for staff training **

Everything You Say and Do Matters – Teaching Staff To Put Campers First ** Recommended for staff training **

Creating Your Ideal Camp Culture co-authored with Joseph Riggio

Eliminate Gossip and Rumors . . . and Create a Fully Unified Staff

The Difficult Bunk Meeting ** Recommended for staff training **

Bringing Out The Best In 8th Grade Girls

Bringing Out The Best In 8th Grade Girls

© Likone Corp 2005

There is arguably no more challenging, unsettling life stage than that of the budding adolescent girl growing up in our culture in modern times.

They are inundated with messages of how their self-worth and place in the pecking order is based on their bodies and how their bodies compare not just to their peers but to the top supermodels on earth. They are inundated with messages about how what they wear can make or break their even gaining consideration to the next level of social acceptance. Whether they are “in” or “out” is often determined by other girls, usually without them knowing anything was wrong.

To Read the entire article, click:8th Grade Girls

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