How Successful is Your Communication?


Something we all realise from time to time is that what we say does not always perfectly convey to someone we are communicating with exactly what we meant.

There are two main reasons for this:

1. Our mind is not constructed in exactly the same internal way as that of any other person making a ‘perfect’ exchange of ideas from one mind to another problematic. ( difficult to do just right 😉 )

2. The problem of language. That is trying to find a way of transforming our thoughts into a medium (such as the English or any other language system) that someone else can understand and agree with in order to ‘see’ what we mean.

There is not all that much we can do about either reason: we cannot all think exactly the same way because we have all built up our mind by experiencing many different things since we were born. What we can do is try to remember this when we offer our ideas, words, thoughts to anyone else and do our best to make things as clear and as not open to different interpretation as we can. This requires constant conscious efforts on our part and a realisation that people are going to take what we say slightly differently to what we meant.

This is true for all forms of communication, written, spoken, non-verbal (body language/facial expression) or if we use visual forms to communicate ( movies, sign-language, etc)

The second problem though, language has problems built into it – problems we might rarely think much about.

This was brought home to me most clearly in a course i took on communication with a very simple demonstration i would like to share now.

I didn’t say he killed his wife.

A simple easy to understand sentence of just 7 little words – how difficult could it be to understand something like that? We all understand what each word means – there is no confusion about any single word – right?

But what exactly did i mean when i said that?

To be clear here, try emphasising one word out of the sentence… then do the same for a different word, do it for all words separately.

eg. EYE didn’t say he killed his wife – meaning either: i never said he did even if i thought it, OR, i might have repeated it but i was not the FIRST one to say it – someone else was.

i DIDN’T say he killed his wife – meaning i never said or thought it, or, i don’t currently recall saying it.

i didn’t SAY he killed his wife – meaning either i ‘implied’ he did without actually saying the words, or, i may have written it or given the impression that was my belief in a way that did not use spoken words.

For each word you emphasise you can put a different meaning to the sentence. There are at LEAST 7 different meanings to those seven words in that order!

Often we can determine the intended meaning from the context around it. Context is very important and is one reason why say quoting a single verse from the Bible may not give all people the idea you intended. People need more than just the words said to get the whole idea behind a thought.

More often, if we don’t, people will put their own individual interpretation on what is said. or easily discount it totally.

This is particularly true of the written word – blogs, letters, emails, and even moreso in SMS where context is usually not present.

The reason for this is that of all the things we communicate to another, which used to only be face-to-face, before people learned to read and write and before the telephone the actual words we use comprise just 9-10%.

The tone of our voice transmits around 40% of our meaning and the rest – a whopping 50% – is transmitted by our body language, our expression as we say something or our physical stance, tapping of feet waving of arms etc.

Quite obviously the 90% of our communication that is non-verbal cannot be transmitted via the written word alone.

Emoticons were developed to help improve the ‘interpretation’ of our words by aiding our ability to transmit our emotion along with the words we write.

Something to remember whenever we write.


Gotta Serve Somebody

Well it may be the Devil, or it may be the Lord – but you’re gonna have to serve somebody ( serve somebody).

Bob Dylan – ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’ lyric from his 1979 album: Slow Train Coming.

In a culture where greed and the desire to have, to get, is pre-eminent the idea of service is not an attractive one to all that many. Serving for the greater (or individual) good is a concept that has to contend with increasing numbers who have become indoctrinated with self-needs and wants. Today the trend seems to be: what can i get for myself? more than what can i give to others?

People want their governments to give them things in return for their (reducing) taxes while not realising that as populations increase ( especially the elderly population) the costs of government services have to increase, even though their total income may not.

The media does little by way of intelligently informing their readership but prefers instead to highlight the fears that leads to a ‘greed’ society – to a moving away from a selfless life and ever more towards a selfish one. Because fear sells more than does contentment or benevolence.

In Australia today it is an undeniable fact that the majority of us are financially better off than we were under the previous Liberal govenrment – the average wage is higher, unemployment is lower, mortgage rates are lower, home ownership is higher, education is better, our living standard is one of, if not the best, in the world today and yet..

The vast majority of Australians despise our government, believe they are worse off than they ever were and see largely only negatives about their society in general.

Virtually all of that sentiment is down to the mass media who seek nothing but their own survival and profits, in a world that is beginning to learn it can well do without them.

But i digress.

Service: simply put: the giving of something of yourself to the benefit of another.

Actually this is not strictly true. Benefitting others is the purpose, but those who do it best know that they get as much, if not far more, from serving others as the others get from us serving them.

It is a selfless act that gives outwardly to those we see in need, while giving back inwardly something of greater value to us than simply our time, our labour or our money.

We give (from the heart) outwardly and in return are filled inwardly, with love, compassion, joy, self-esteem, tolerance,  understanding. Things money can not buy and that contribute greatly to our fulfilment and contentment.

In giving to others we give to the community we live in and so ultimately we improve our community and in doing so improve our own selves, directly and indirectly.

While each of us is a different individual with differing skills, abilities, talents and gifts, we can all give service of one kind or another. It takes but a moment to look around you and see those who are worse off than you in some aspect and but a few moments more of sincere searching for ways in which you are best qualified to help.

Sometimes it is as simple as helping out with a local school, sport or church activity; Perhaps enquiring at a nearby volunteer centre what is needed in your region; those who can afford it may prefer making a donation, be it money, time or of goods.

It can be as simple as being a friend to a neighbour who has few or none at all. Or you can establish your own foundation to help out a disadvantaged part of your society – or one in another country for that matter.

Service is it’s own reward, but only those who experience it will get it.

Can there be any greater service one can give to another than Service to God? – personally, i believe no, there is not.


You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You might be a rock n’ roll addict, prancin’ on the stage
You might have drugs at your command, women in a cage
You may be a business man or some high degree thief
They may call you doctor or they may call you chief

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes you’re
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a state trooper, you might be a young turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be livin’ in another country under another name

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes you’re
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a construction worker workin’ on a home
You might be livin’ in a mansion, you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Yes you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman takin’ bribes on the side
You may be workin’ in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody’s mistress, may be somebody’s heir

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Yes you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleepin’ on the floor, sleepin’ in a king-sized bed

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

You may call me Terry, you may call me Timmy
You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy
You may call me R.J., you may call me Ray
You may call me anything, no matter what you say

You’re still gonna have to serve somebody
Yes you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody


Wikipedia defines Unity as:  Unity is the state of being undivided or unbroken.

Many of us have trouble identifying with Unity – we instead identify more with/feel disunited, broken, separate, apart from others.

The Union of everything requires Common Union or Communion.

We have a place inside of us that makes us ALL ONE.

The trick to Life is to learn how to make our ‘self” fit inside that one place – or to live our life only from within it.

Thanks must go to  Cre8love for the inspiration to this post.

All thanks must go to God, through Jesus Christ, for the inspiration of me.

Bob’s Quotes: #6

Bob Says:

ONE who goes in TWO minds, is but HALF-Hearted.

Bob’s Quotes #5

Bob  Thinks:

ME centred; makes us stand apart of all else. (we fail).

MAN centred; makes a stand – a part of all else. (we feel).

GOD centred; makes us Stand Up, part of, or else – (we fall).



Bob’s Quotes #4

Bob Says:

In order to properly utilise the power of the mind, it is necessary at some point, to ACT consistently for a period of time!

Physicists have a very good equation for the same thing:

Power multiplied by the time spent equals work done:    P x t  =  W.


It is important that we enjoy our work…. and remember to take a break sometimes to recover!

Bob’s Quotes #3

Bob Says:

The Awesome power of our mind, properly directed, is able to change our world. If we change our world, we change The World around us.


Power of the mind

Bob’s Quotes… #2

Bob says:

To bring forth good fruits from the power at our disposal of a well-disciplined mind, First  we are required to have a Loving, Pure and Faithful heart.

Bob’s Quotes…… #1

Bob Says:


The most powerful tool a human being can ever possess is a well-disciplined mind.

10 Great Quotes on (Self) Discipline

“True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.”
― Mortimer J. AdlerHow to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

“When an individual is motivated by great and powerful convictions of truth, then he disciplines himself, not because of the demands of the church, but because of the knowledge within his heart”
― Gordon B. Hinckley

“Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.”
― ThucydidesThe History of the Peloponnesian War

“Why is discipline important? Discipline teaches us to operate by principle rather than desire. Saying no to our impulses (even the ones that are not inherently sinful) puts us in control of our appetites rather than vice versa. It deposes our lust and permits truth, virtue, and integrity to rule our minds instead.”
― John F. MacArthur

“Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.
― Dalai Lama XIVThe Art of Happiness

“football is like life – it requires perserverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.”
― Vince Lombardi Jr.

” The impossibility of an actual democracy is due to this fact of mob-psychology. As soon as you group men, they lose their personalities. A parliament of the wisest and strongest men in the nation is liable to behave like a set of schoolboys, tearing up their desks and throwing their inkpots at each other. The only possibility of co-operation lies in discipline and autocracy, which men have sometimes established in the name of equal rights.”
― Aleister CrowleyMoonchild

“If you dedicate your attention to discipline in your life you become smarter while you are writing than while you are hanging out with your pals or in any other line of work.”
― Russell Banks

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.”

― David Foster WallaceThis is Water

“Discipline isn’t a dirty word. Far from it. Discipline is the one thing that separates us from chaos and anarchy. Discipline implies timing. It’s the precursor to good behavior, and it never comes from bad behavior. People who associate discipline with punishment are wrong: with discipline, punishment is unnecessary.”
― Buck BrannamanThe Faraway Horses: The Adventures and Wisdom of One of America’s Most Renowned Horsemen

Discipline is one of those words that can be quite polarising when it comes to people’s personal experience.

It can have strongly negative connotations for those who have suffered from physical and mental abuse by those charged with ‘caring’ for us, be it a parent, relative, teacher or jailer. It can also have strongly positive connections for those who have learned the value, and the art of succesful self-discipline.

In my experience most people are only too happy to have nothing more to do with any form of discipline once they leave high school, or for those who are able and choose to, leave a University or College.

I believe we would have a better and happier society if this was not the case. It is never too late to learn the benefits of Discipline.

Discipline requires the best from us: Courage, Sacrifice, Effort (often the more we work at it the better we become) Patience and Perseverance. The rewards outweigh the cost.