Gary Screaton Page, M.Ed., Ph.D.


 *Under Letters Patent Government of Canada

  • Chunk Your Way to Success

    We all feel overwhelmed at one time or another. We may even get angry at what appear to be insurmountable tasks ahead of us. Sometimes we just keep putting them off altogether. Their shear size overwhelms us. Be overwhelmed no more. Here is a depressurizing strategy that will help you get that job done and make you will feel increasingly satisfied along the way.

    A colleague and business coach, James Maduk, told a story about a man who set out to eat an entire car. Really! Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me. Nevertheless, that was what he wanted to do. But, how does someone eat a whole car? They do it the same way one eats an elephant: one bite at a time.

    The 'bites' that eat away at major tasks we call 'chunks.' Break any task into manageable chunks will get the job done in comparatively short order. Suppose, for example, you wanted to do what I recently did: complete my first mini-site to market my latest book. When I first learned what it would take to make a commercial mini-site, I was overwhelmed. Then, I asked myself, "What are the steps I must take to get the site up and running and start collecting money?"

    I began by making a list of all the required steps. Those steps, that themselves were quite big, I broke down into smaller steps. Each step was a chunk of the project. Each chunk I checked off brought me one step closer to the finished product. What is more, with each chunk I checked off there came a bonus. I began to feel more and more satisfied, even pleased with myself, as I checked off each completed chunk. I could see the chunks falling one by one. Before long--far less time than I imagined--my first mini-site was ready for business.

    As I got a clear picture of the project and the steps required to complete the many chunks and sub-chunks, I could see the job was, in fact, quite manageable. I relaxed, focused, and got to work. One by one, I chunked my way to success. Now my site works as a mini-store welcoming my customers as they chunk their way to my site!

    The point I'm making here is this: every task, no matter how big, is just a pile of chunks that need to be 'eaten' before you move on to the next. Chunk the tasks that seem to overwhelm and you, too, will be able to, well, eat a car, an elephant, or simply get the job ahead of you done. And here's the bonus; every chunk nourishes your business soul, and your sense of accomplishment increases-every 'chunk' of the way.

    Chunk your way to a successful career!

    [Gary Screaton Page is the author of Pressing Your Own Buttons: How to Take Control of Your Life So Others Don't™. You can contact Gary here.]

  • Plastics in Paradise - You Can Be An Agent of Change

    The tragedy is compounded by our virtually inextricable connection to plastics now that "Pandora" is out of the box. I remember in elementary school how we were told plastics would serve the world so well and make life better than ever. And, atomic energy was to give us unlimited energy -- the cost was not counted!

    We still have little understanding of the impact of plastics of all kinds on our own health. Petrochemicals are not the blessing we once thought -- quite the contrary. Yet, we still pursue new uses for them!

    Recent studies show that there is no area of the oceans of the world that do not contain trace amounts of plastic often at a microscopic or molecular level. They are already changing the ecological system. The long-term consequences we can only imagine and only now are seeing in our human health. I was very saddened to see the amount of plastic -- especially plastic water bottles -- in the deepest, darkest areas of the ocean. Sadly, out of sight out of mind.

    Imagine the debris that is heading to Canada's Western coast from the earthquake and resultant tsunami in Japan. Perhaps its arrival will wake us up, but not likely. We are only now seeing the tip of the iceberg! Few people, I am sure, would still not want to have plastics.

    As one in "twilight years" I weep for my grandchildren and great grandchildren. You could be the one who changes all that!

  • Is There Life After A Heart Attack?

    Been there; done that! But, I didn't need a defibrilator when I had my heart attack. But what if you have a heart attack and need an AED, Automatic External Defibrillator?

    I’m not so sure that you would survive if you live in Ontario. At least I'm not sure since reading the conclusions reported in the Ontario Prehospital Advanced Life Support (OPALS) study and the Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) trial.

    “These studies, reported on the Health Quality Ontario site, examined the effect of a community program to respond to cardiac arrest with and without the use of AEDs. Their authors had reported a significant reduction in overall mortality from cardiac arrest with the use of AEDs.

    “Of the 85% cardiac arrests that occur in homes, 56% occur in single residential dwellings (houses), 23% occur in multi-residential dwellings (apartments/condominiums), and 6% occur in nursing homes. There is no program in place except the 911 system to reach these patients.

    “One model for the use of AEDs in out-of-hospital settings was examined in the OPALS study. Firefighters and police were trained and provided with AEDs. The total initial cost (in US dollars) of this program was estimated to be $980,000. The survival rate was 3.9% before implementing the AED program and 5.2% after its implementation (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.03-1.7; P = .03). Applying these estimates to cardiac arrest rates in Ontario in 2002, one would expect 54 patients of the total 1,395 cardiac arrests to survive without AEDs compared with 73 patients with AEDs; thus, 19 additional lives might be saved each year with an AED program. It would initially cost $51,579 to save each additional life.”

    Note, however, that “in subsequent years the total cost would be lower by about $50,000 per year”! That means after the first year, it would cost only $2,632 to save each additional life.

    “Results from this review suggest that the incidence of cardiac arrest in out-of-hospital setting in Ontario is 59 per 100,000 people. The mean age of cardiac arrest patients is 69 years. Eighty-five percent of these cardiac arrests occur in homes. Of all the cardiac arrests, 37% have heart rhythm abnormalities (ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation) that are correctable by delivering shock through an AED.

    “Thus,” reported the Health Quality Ontario site, “in an out-of-hospital setting, general use of AEDs by laypersons would not be cost-effective.” Special programs are needed in the out-of-hospital setting for cost-effective use of AEDs.”

    Not cost effective for whom? Certainly cost effective for the 19 people in Ontario who survived because of AED’s in 2002. Surely even more cost effective for the additional lives that would be saved now!

    The article at the HQO site goes on to conclude that, “Special programs are needed in the out-of-hospital setting for cost-effective use of AEDs.”

    I for one would like to see those programs made available as widely as possible. I would also like to se an AED in every public building and every church, synagogue, temple, etc. Who knows the life saved may be your own. 

  • Why Some people Fail to Succeed

    I believe in life-long learning. Education should be a personal matter, however. To be sure, there are real basic skills and facts each of us must know to function at all culturally, socially, economically, and personally. However, those “basic” skills and facts that prove essential are, in fact, far fewer than are forced upon us in our schools. The real issues that confront us on a personal level the system supplants with a host of curriculum offerings we will never need and never use. Much of formal schooling, therefore, is lost on the majority of us. At the same time, opportunities to seek answers to real questions we have while growing up, real interests we wish to pursue, and of the very matters that forms the careers the most successful among us live out, the school system leave for us to chase after and figure out outside of the classroom. Things like, how to secure a home, use credit, find a job that is personally satisfying and one we love to get up each day to do. Consequently, opportunities to be creativity involved in our environments, and to learn important adaptive skills and knowledge, like how to find out what we really need to know when we really need to know it, are lost to far too many among us.

    I define real education as those experiences that nurture human nature towards social, emotional, and intellectual maturity. If all humans strive to actualize their full potential then why do so many of us humans fail to do so? I believe the failure to realize one's full potential is due to a relatively few factors.

    I believe all humans strive to actualize themselves fully. Many, if not most, fail to do so because:

    1.They cannot.

    2.They believe they cannot.

    3.They do not know how.

    4.They no longer find doing so worthwhile.

    5.They believe they cannot.

    6.Someone, often a teacher or other significant adult, tells them they cannot.

    There are those in every society whom accident, socioeconomic position, or some other outside influence are significantly hindered, if not blocked altogether, from realizing their full potential. If one considers Maslow's hierarchy of needs, for example, the infant who is undernourished, abused, abandoned, or who encounters some other environmental obstacle, is not likely to reach the limits nature has set for them. The child who does not meet its most basic needs has little or no chance of having any of the other needs satisfied. Consider the child born in a repressive political regime and so dwells in severe poverty all his childhood. That child may not even live to adulthood.

    There are of course notable exceptions among us, who do successfully overcome great barriers to achievement: Opra Winfree, Albert Einstein, Jim Carry, John Coutis, Nick Vujicic, and Ben Underwood to name a few. I would also add my brother, Kenneth Edward Page, crippled with polio as a young boy, but went on to become the Co-op Education Director of the Scarborough Board of Education.

    What should we know about the individuals who only believe they cannot? It has been my experience that such individuals have either had too much or far too little support. Often children who have everything done for them grow to believe they are incapable. They tend to reason this way, "If they have to do everything for me, I must not be able to do for myself." Children who have too little done for them frequently encounter failure. What they are asked to do may be beyond their abilities when first asked to do it. What society expects them to do they may not yet be capable of doing. Adults, nevertheless may punish them for not doing it. Unfortunately, these children tend to generalize their inability to do what is expected. They frequently reason, "I cannot do these things; I, therefore, cannot do anything.”

    Both the over protected child and the under protected child truly believe they have less potential than nature provided. If you can't or believe you can't, usually you won''t! For those in these groups a superhuman effort, and relentless persistence, seasoned with considerable courage, will help them succeed.

    In a future Blog, I will continue this discussion. Meanwhile, please share your thoughts on the matter?

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