This lady’s a waitress and had pretty challenging times growing up.
Despite everything she now runs her own non profit in her spare time, helping people with eating disorders recover through yoga. So the team at prank it forward decided to give her the best shift ever as she gives so much to other people.

And on the PrankitFWD website is says ‘This April, Break is using its prank powers for good as we unleash a handful of positive pranks. For every 1,000 views we’ll donate $1 to the social change organization, DoSomething.org.’ What a great idea for utilising video content for fundraising. They’ve had 20M views so far so that’s £20,000 donated.

Anchoring – the power of our senses

From a very early age anchoring becomes part of our hard wiring, locked deep into our neurology. Those little neurons go crazy programming certain situations and how they make us feel. I remember being given a mixed CD from a family friend when I was about 10, Toto’s Africa always makes me feel a certain way.

Anchoring can be used to create responses, both good and bad. We can all find anchors and fire them to change the mood of ourselves and others, hopefully for the better. The more senses are engaged in an anchor (sound, smell, visual, taste, touch) the stronger the emotion. So pretty useful to be able to fire certain anchors before a presentation.

NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) can be used for personal development as a model for learning, tapping into our behavioural patterns and self-awareness, to create those positive anchors. It gets a lot of criticism and here’s a pretty good blog post about the pros and cons.

“Neuro-Linguistic Programming n. a model of interpersonal communication chiefly concerned with the relationship between successful patterns of behaviour and the subjective experiences (esp. patterns of thought) underlying them; a system of alternative therapy based on this which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective communication, and to change their patterns of mental and emotional behaviour.” – [Oxford English Dictionary]

Surely having some positive anchors can’t be a bad thing – being aware of what some of our triggers are and being mindful of them? I know certain tracks are a positive anchor for me, what are some of yours?

Pay it forward – the search to find the homeless man Ronald Davies

Chicago Redditors have managed to track down Ronald Davies, the homeless man who’s helping change perceptions about homeleness. Ronald featured in a video in 2012, as part of a series called Big Questions tackling challenging social issues like poverty and inmate rehabilitation. The video has recently re-emerged via Reddit and has since been watched 2million times, shared 117, 237 and has 67, 597 likes.

A Reddit user Gawker saw the video and made a plea to the community:

‘The guy doesn’t need money, he needs an opportunity. As a restaurant manager myself with a homeless shelter only a block away, I know my establishment has given plenty of people opportunities as a dishwasher and they’ve completely turned their lives around.

Sure, some of them turn out to be crackheads that disappear after the first paycheck, but that’s far and away the exception. Many of them have become model employees and even trainers for my staff. And besides, it’s not like you’re investing any significant amount of money on training or education if the guy doesn’t pan out.’


Ray Anderson: The business logic of sustainability

If you haven’t watched this before, it’s an understated but powerful call to arms. Ray was the founder and chairman of Interface Inc (a very successful carpet company) and ‘recovering plunderer’ (his words). Since the 1990’s he turned Interface’s ‘take, make’ waste’ model on its head, which also lead it to global dominance doubling profits.

His theory, facts and evidence justify his powerful vision for sustainable commerce – which was a ‘Mission Zero’ plan. He used the below impact equation, to transform the way his businesses were run.

His question to us or call to arms: can we reframe civilisation itself, to have more happiness with less stuff? To change the whole system of our economics, creating a ‘new civilisation a sustainable species living on a finite earth, ethically, happily and ecologically in balance with nature.’

After all ‘theft is a crime and theft of our children’s future will be a crime’ surely?

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United breaks guitars: a brand not being #kindaware

A musician named Dave Carroll had difficulty with United Airlines in 2009. They damaged his treasured $3500 Taylor guitar during a flight, very annoying. How did they damage it? The United baggage handlers were literally throwing his guitar around.

Dave Carroll spent 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages to fix his guitar, caused by their extreme negligence, seemed only fair. United refused though and Dave let them know he was left with no choice other than to create a music video exposing their lack of cooperation. The manager’s response “Good luck with that one, pal,” so he posted a retaliatory video on You Tube, which has since received over 12 million hits!

United Airlines obviously then contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Dave’s response “Good luck with that one, pal.” Doh.

Taylor Guitars sent Dave not 1 but 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video, which has led to a sharp increase in orders. United didn’t fully appreciate that Dave Carroll was a travelling musician with opinions plus access to creative people, who would all volunteer to help him with his protest song.

It’s interesting to see the new ventures Dave Carroll has since invested in, with Resolution1 and Grapevine cloud based solutions, to help companies manage customer complaints better and be more #kindaware

Jason McElwain the autistic basketball player: Inspiration or disability stereotype?

In 2006 President Bush met Jason McElwain the 17-year-old with autism who played an extraordinary game of basketball (scoring 20 points in 4 minutes).

When I watched the footage of the game, something made me feel a bit uneasy. Jason clearly loved basketball but he had to sit and watch his peers. He clearly had the talent and passion, so why wasn’t he allowed to play before?

It’s the end of the film which is so touching though, when everyone gives Jason the recognition he no doubt deserved. In a more recent interview by CBS News from 2010 Jason said ‘it was the support and acceptance he felt that night that made him the man he is today’. And that the world would be a better place if it could be the way the gym was that night.

Here’s what Jason has been up to since.

Social enterprise in sport: Olympics Legacy

We’ve all probably been surprised by just how much we’ve got into the Olympics? I know I can’t stop watching it and have shed a few tears.

Sport has always been a big part of my life, other than at university, where I had a slight dip. I love the quote from this documentary ‘football doesn’t make character, it reveals character’. The documentary is about a coach who helps a football team everyone else had given up on and makes them believe in themselves. Sport is so important for mental health, confidence and ‘anyone can be a champ’.

‘We have worst youth drink, drugs, obesity, crime rates in Europe. Get our kids fit, competitive and occupied. #OlympicLegacyPiers Morgan

I’ll be looking out for social enterprises in sport (and the effect of the Olympic Legacy). If you know of any doing amazing stuff with youth, please do leave a comment with the details, thank you.


Riot From Wrong: youth led documentary about the london riots

One thing I learned from ‘Riot From Wrong’ is that 14 young people can get closer to the truth than 90% of working journalists”
Dan Hancox, Author of Kettled Youth, Journalist at The Guardian

Watch the documentary tailor below produced by Fully Focused, wow. Been waiting for something like this to emerge. We witnessed the biggest civil unrest in modern British history last year and most of us have been left wondering what state we’re really in and can things really be turned around?

Also check out the ‘99% Campaign’ blog written and run by young people. It’s a brilliant youth initiative that gives people a voice and involves them in decision-making processes. They work with reputable media partners like METRO, Guardian Online and Kiss FM to let people ‘have their say’.


Sunday Sermon Challenge: #Treasure Chest

Life can sometimes be shitty. Yesterday I woke up wondering if the last few weeks had been a dream, I hoped they had. I’ve had the saddest news of my life but also the best, all within the space of a week.

I’ve been trying to be positive about the sad news but am just not even close yet. Everyone else seems to be doing ok, so why aren’t I? Does this make me selfish?

Rich Sullivan kindly sent me the below. He teases me about my blog so I’ll get him back by mentioning him! I’m not religious and although my blog title has religious connotations, it’s the sentiment that’s important.

The School of Life do a Sunday Sermon and if anyone has been, they’re pretty inspirational. So today’s post is a little Sunday Sermon, a challenge in fact, after watching Anthony Robbins in the below. It’s not for everyone but do stick with it until the end, it’s 30 minutes. The Foundation he set up and background on him is here – the stats and accolades are very impressive and can’t be dismissed.

What the hell is a Treasure Chest?

We all may have times when we overreact, when things have layered up and up, so it can create an overwhelming reaction that seems disproportionate. Anthony refers to this as emotional flooding. The remedy? Build a treasure chest of your happiest memories, so you’re flooding your nervous system with positive emotions.

When I got the awful news 2 weeks ago, I went home to see my dad (my mum was over in the US sorting a few things out). Seeing my dad and brother, sitting in the garden, looking through family photo albums, helped fill my treasure chest.

We can all create a positive impact for others and getting out of our ‘self’ is something we can all train at. What’s in your treasure chest?