Monthly Web Columns

LIFE 101


By Coach Cary Bayer

You’ve no doubt heard or sang hundreds of times, the popular carol, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the two and a half minute song by John Marks that’s covered by such a diverse group as Gene Autry, the Jackson 5, and DMX, among so many others.  The title of this column is “Life 101,” intending to present what life has to teach you when your eyes and ears are open.  So here’s to seeing this beloved carol in a whole new light.
         As I see it, there are four main parts to this song: abuse, ostracism, 

purpose, and legacy.  Let me explain.  The little ditty begins with the naming 

of the various reindeer, then gets to Rudolph, who, we are told,

“Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows.”

For some reason, this point of difference became the subject of ridicule. The other reindeer refused to see his uniqueness as a good thing, but a different thing, for which he was subjected to chastisement:
“All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names.”

       The abuse then moved on to ostracisim, as the others denied him the fun 

and pleasure that came with playing with one another.

“They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.”

           The arrival of Santa Claus, however, brought about the transformation of Rudolph, because Santa realized that, because of difficult weather conditions, this particular reindeer had a unique advantage over his mates.  We hear:
 “Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
"Rudolph, with your nose so bright
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

           Because of the light that emanated from his face—particularly from his nose—Rudolph was able to become the leader, the guide, the one who could so naturally show the way.  Now that he had been transformed from the black sheep—you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor—to the special one, he was suddenly beloved by his peers:
         “Then how the reindeer loved him”
As a result of his leadership, he was now regarded as not just one who had saved that particular Christmas, but one who was hailed for all posterity:

        “ As they shouted out with glee
        ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
        You'll go down in history.’"

He became:
“The most famous reindeer of all.”
                            Rudolph & You
         Now that you see the deeper significance of this beloved carol, and of the transformation of this ostracized reindeer into a leader of reindeer we’ll see how the story of Rudolph can help you connect to your purpose.  Santa Claus’s recognition that Rudolph had an asset that he needed that nobody else saw is reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz seeing the brain, the heart, and the courage in the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion, who felt they lacked the very quality that the wizard saw in them.  Sometimes you need a guru, a life coach, or a wizard to help you see your uniqueness.  
         Santa saw how Rudolph could make a difference in his universe and perform the valuable function of navigating his team of reindeer in challenging climatic conditions.  What is it in you that can help you make a difference in your universe?  You don’t need a shiny nose that others say glows.  But you do have something else in you that glows, a light in you that makes you shine.  Bringing this unique light of yours into the world is one of the major reasons that you’re here in the first place. It’s what you’re intended to do in the world, so you can make the world a much better place.  The yogis call this dharma, doing what you’re here to do.
         Advertising legend Rosser Reeves coined the term, “unique selling proposition” (USP) in the middle of the 20th century.  Avis, because it was number two in the car rental market, positioned itself as “We Try harder.”  Heinz transformed the slow movement of the condiment out of its bottle into a positive (think Rudolph’s red nose) by trumpeting its USP as: “Too thick to win a ketchup race.” In its early days in the U.S. market, Volkwagen, which couldn’t compete with American cars on size, reversed the tables by imploring consumers to “Think small.”  
         The concept of the USP speaks to the unique benefits of a particular product or service that enable it to stand out from the crowd of competitors.  The word unique means one of a kind.  You have a unique selling proposition in that there is nobody in the world like you; even if you have a twin you’re unique.  Highlighting that uniqueness allows you to have no competition.
         Rudolph became the “most famous reindeer in the world” because someone recognized his uniqueness.  Recognizing your uniqueness, the talent or combination of talents that make you tick, can make you the most famous person you can be, whether that becomes worldwide or in just your little portion of the world.



The Wandering Path to the Career
of My Dreams
-Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D.

Most of my friends wouldn’t believe it now, but during high school and college, I was very quiet and shy, However, because I did especially well in science, I was repeatedly told “you have a talent for science – you should become a doctor!” So, I unconsciously tried to live out others’ ideas and spent 4 years in college as a chemistry/biology major and then onto graduate school in a chemistry program. The program was at USC in California, light years away from my upbringing in New Jersey. I soon discovered the program was BORING! In the middle of the first semester of graduate school, after a great deal of soul searching, I realized that my passion was in working with people to improve their lives. So, much to the chagrin of my accountant parents, I quit graduate school, became a social worker in Watts, and returned to undergraduate school for a psychology major. 
      While completing the undergraduate work, I had several brilliant teachers, and the idea of becoming a teacher of adults began to take hold. Since I was terrified of speaking in public at that time, this idea seemed quite curious to me and I pushed it to the back of my mind. However, Life has a wonderful way of unfolding a path when there is a strong desire to be met. The path to my current career as workshop leader, trainer, and author contained many different jobs and experiences, all designed to assist me in developing the skills I needed. Looking back, I can see the value of each experience. 
       Along the way I became a trainer for rehabilitation counselors, completed my doctorate in social psychology, administered worksite wellness programs (focus on stress management), taught at the community college and university level, studied spiritual topics in depth, started my own business doing private consultations (now called coaching!), and began studying with best selling author Louise Hay. 
      A weekly meeting I attended starting in the mid-80’s was called the Inside Edge. One particular morning, the room was filled with laughter. The speaker was Barbara Sher, author of Wishcraft. Barbara has a knack for finding humor in the simplest of situations. This morning her topic was achieving our dreams. Partway through her talk, she asked each person to get a partner and tell that person our dream. In my mind I planned to say, “I am a nationally known workshop leader.” Instead, what popped out of my mouth was “I am an internationally known workshop leader!” I was stunned—where did that affirmation come from? I actually looked around the room to see who said it. Little did I know then that within a few years I would be traveling and leading workshops internationally. As I look back, it’s amazing how everything came together. 
          Shortly after this meeting, Louise asked me to be one of just four people to lead the Love Yourself, Heal Your Life workshop based on her book. This request eventually resulted in my being asked to lead the workshop in the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, Greece, Spain, and even Poland! As I traveled leading this and other workshops, I knew I had found the perfect career for me, even though it took 46 years! The workshop evolved into a whole program for training people to lead powerful workshops in Louise Hay’s work. As the program expanded, teacher-trainers were authorized in other countries to spread the philosophy of loving yourself to heal your life. The Heal Your Life program has now trained over workshop leaders in 71 countries! It is a great joy to receive emails and see Facebook posts from the workshop leaders sharing about the transformations in their own groups. 
          The decision I made many years ago, to help people improve their lives, guided my path even when I wasn’t aware of it. Take a minute now – stop and take some deep breaths, close your eyes, and ask yourself – what is my intention? How can I best contribute to the world? What does my heart say? Then allow yourself to be guided on your own path of wonder. 

--Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D. studied personally with Louise Hay and, with husband Rick Nichols, is authorized to lead Heal Your Life® training programs in Louise’s philosophy. She is also the author of Ordering from the Cosmic Kitchen: The Essential Guide to Powerful, Nourishing Affirmations. and