According to an article in the journal Paediatric Child Health called The Impact of Poverty on Educational Outcomes for Children', a range of studies has shown that children of lower socioeconomic status tend to achieve poorer results academically. <a href=''>They</a>score lower in communication and vocabulary skills, knowledge of numbers, ability to copy and recognise symbols, concentration, and teamwork and cooperative play'. Additional research conducted by the Society for Research in Child Development also found that children from low-income families received less positive parenting and had higher levels of cortisol, which has been associated with lower levels of cognitive development. Much of this contemporary research echoes the findings made in 1966 by Johns Hopkins University sociologist James S Coleman in his Equality of Educational Opportunity report. What these and other studies exploring educational outcomes are suggesting is that an uncertain family and home life dramatically affects academic performance in children. This is not entirely surprising, as a child forced to negotiate survival needs has rather more important things on their mind than trigonometry. Something all of us can relate to. If we are experiencing stress or duress it is harder to concentrate on daily tasks. Most Amish live at home until they marry, so grown sons and daughters continue to help the family. They call themselves the plain people, and simplicity is what they say they desire. The children go barefoot in all seasons except winter. Clothing conforms to the practices of the church: men wear denim overalls and hats; Some more liberal Amish groups allow men to wear straw hats and women to wear green, purple, or blue dresses and white caps. Their houses have no electricity, they use horse-drawn buggies and wagons for travel, and they do not serve in the armed forces. Most do not vote, although some do. The church began in the seventeenth century in Switzerland when their group, named for Jakob Ammann, broke from the Swiss Brethren, part of the Anabaptist Movement begun by liberal Protestants who wanted to eliminate all vestiges of Catholic practice from their churches. The Anabaptists eventually divided into three groups--Brethren, Mennonites (named for the Dutch priest Menno Simons), and Amish--whose differences with the others stemmed not from belief but practice. All Anabaptists were persecuted by Catholics and more conservative Protestant groups, causing them to move to the hinterlands and take up farming for their livelihood. What are their results? I was confronted with the unreliable guru phenomena once again when I bought a relationship teacher's articles and tapes from an infomercial.

Years later I found myself with her, backstage in the green room. For those not familiar, a green room is a TV show's waiting room for the guests to sit in until they are called onstage. I tried to make small talk with her, but for whatever reason she was not receptive to me. I resigned myself to just listen to her talk to one of the other guests. I overheard her talking about her first marriage. Then she was talking about her second husband. She then mentioned what her third husband was like. She had been married a total of five times! Pile fresh fruit into your drinks, kiwi slices and pieces of cantaloupe, and wild blueberries picked that morning. We can make flower Popsicles to dip into our passion-fruit lassi. can throw rose petals on top of a zero-proof cocktail, or scatter flowers over a punch bowl, or toss them in a silver ice bucket. An orchid in a goblet is especially cinematic--once you've sipped your drink, you can tuck the sticky, wild, tropical, redolent blossom behind your ear. What do we want in an autumn drink? The sparkle of a dark rain, mysteries stored in dank, shadowy piles of leaves, a pale sun, tweed coats, orchards, being chilly on a screened-in porch, collecting firewood, polishing leather boots that have been in the attic all summer, coziness, sap, cashmere, spice, comfort, love. Here's a little cabinet of ingredients: apple cider, ginger, cranberry, peppermint, fennel, pomegranate, saffron, maple, quince, chai tea, thyme, cinnamon, pear, anise, pumpkin spice, cardamom, fig, rosemary, cloves, orange wedge, turmeric, ginger beer, Earl Grey tea. Cinnamon variations alone are worth exploring, since this barklike spice can taste different depending on if it came from Indonesia or Sri Lanka or China or Saigon. Ginger beers have proliferated in the last decade, so there's a spectrum of heat and tang to them, and they're always an easy base to have on hand. Cider is a good base, too, hot or cold. Of course, this also shows up in our businesses and organisations, as teams and employees gravitate to leaders who convey the most certainty, customer buy from salespeople with the greatest conviction, and cultures that embody a sense of certainty about their vision and mission attract and retain more motivated and higher performing team members. In other words, order has its origins in the creation of certainty.

Now, what are the rules? It sounds like a line from a Marx Brothers film, and yet versions of this conversation play out in all aspects of our lives: in schools, in families, in organisations and even in personal relationships. If we want to establish codes of conduct and behaviour, clarity is critical. Ben Hunt-Davis tells the story of the Great Britain Men's Rowing Eight winning gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in his article Will It Make the Boat Go Faster? To us, the article's title is a perfect example of what we call a guiding question'. <a href=''>A</a> guiding question is outcome-focused and delivers a ruthlessness of clarity around behaviour and action. <a href=''>Importantly,</a> people can answer a guiding question for themselves and adjust their actions and priorities accordingly. <a href=''>Not</a> only is the objective -- speed -- pretty obvious from this guiding question, it also sets up a framework for success that removes doubt and ambiguity. <a href=''>Eventually</a> the Dutch Mennonites were tolerated, while the Swiss Brethren were persecuted for centuries. <a href=''>Large</a> numbers immigrated to other countries, particularly the United States. <a href=''>The</a> largest Amish settlement in the world, numbering over two hundred thousand, is in Holmes County, Ohio, and many live in the surrounding counties of Wayne, Ashland, Richland, Knox, and Tuscarawas. <a href=''>There</a> are sizable communities in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and other states and countries, including Canada and Belize. <a href=''>In</a> America, both Brethren and Amish broke into smaller groups, the Brethren splitting into the Church of the Brethren, which remained pacifist, and the Brethren Church, which abandoned pacifism after the Second World War. <a href=''>The</a> Amish divided themselves into even more groups, each based on practice--what kind of clothing they wear, what color buggy they drive, or whether they worship at home or in church. <a href=''>There</a> are wide-brim Amish and narrow-brim Amish; <a href=''>Just</a> as many non-Amish mistakenly believe that all Amish belong to one order, the Amish refer to those outside their community by all-encompassing terms--anner Satt leit (the other kind of people), or the English. <a href=''>Even</a> recent immigrants from Mexico or Asia are called the English. <a href=''>What</a> unites the Amish is their literal interpretation of the New Testament injunction of separation from the world, especially Romans 12:2 (Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God) and II Corinthians 6:14 (Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? <a href=''>No</a> wonder my marriage was falling apart. <a href=''>I</a> was studying the wrong plan, and obviously so was she! <br /><br /><a href=''>I</a> bring up these examples to show you that I'm not perfect--no one is infallible. <a href='[]=<a+href=http://></a>'>I</a> have been misled by well-meaning, and not-so-well-meaning, people throughout my life. <a href='[]=<a+href=http://></a>'>But</a> never once did I stop looking for the answer I wanted and knew I deserved. <a href='[]=<a+href=http://></a>'>I</a> don't consider myself a guru and want to move as far away as I can from cultivating that type of image. <a href=''>No</a> matter what, I am still that hardworking factory girl who took an opportunity by the horns. <a href='[]=<a+href=http://></a>'>That</a> helps me understand where you are. <a href=''>It</a> gives me the ability to help you pull yourself up, and at the end of the day I have checks to prove it. <a href=''>My</a> advice throughout these articles is meant to do one thing and one thing only--empower you to be who you are meant to be. <a href=''>The</a> beauty of heating it is in making the home smell like heaven. <a href=''>Fall</a> drinks can be complex and botanical, with homemade thyme syrup and a dollop of persimmon paste stirred into seltzer and garnished with pickled blood orange, or they can be simple: cardamom tea steeped then chilled over ice. <a href=''>Fall</a> is a time of transition, as every season is in its way, but here we see things falling, burning out, becoming ash, going to sleep. <a href=''>These</a> drinks are a way to savor the taste and memories of this season, to hold that moment in time on our tongue, to be part of the metamorphosis. <a href=''>Mineral</a> water, tap water, sparkling water, glacier water, purified water, cold water, ice water, alkaline water, spring water, distilled water, water infused with cucumber or mint or lemon or pineapple or basil or ginger or thyme or kiwi or strawberry, Pellegrino, Perrier, Voss Sparkling Water, water in a crystal glass, water from a garden hose, water in a Dixie cup, water scooped up in your hands, water after running, after walking in the sun, after skiing, after a sauna, after waking up, water in the middle of the night, water after sweating, after crying, after sex, water on the airplane, water in the car, water coolers at work, water fountains at parks, Topo Chico, Adirondack Seltzer, Waterloo Sparkling Watermelon, Vittel, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Evian, Dasani, water on your lips, water down your throat, water through your whole beautiful body to flush it out and protect your spinal cord and help you think and stay cool or warm and be well, BPA-free plastic or no-break glass or stainless steel bottles to carry everywhere so (mwah ha ha! <a href=''>Or</a> she loves two or three sips of it every December, and then she has to lie down in a fetal state and live out her stomachache. <a href=''>It's</a> some weird stuff. <a href=''>A</a> goopy drink that's sort of the pale thick creamy yellow of a Texas sky in winter. <a href=''>But</a> that's talking about store-bought, and this is one of those drinks that can take many forms if you do it at home. <a href=''>It</a> can be the airy fluffy creamy stuff of angels, or a vegan ambrosia with coconut milk and Medjool dates and ground cloves. <a href=''>What's</a> also interesting about this article is Ben's idea oflayered goals'. It's not just one thing that will make the boat go faster' (or your business grow or your fitness improve -- feel free to add personal ambitions as you see fit), but rather that everything they do, every bite-sized goal or task, must contribute to making the boat go faster. <br /><br /><a href=''>What's</a> critically important in this observation, and what makes it more than another poorly transferable sport metaphor, is that it encourages self-correcting behaviour. <a href=''>With</a> a clear guiding question, I don't need to check in with management, Mum and Dad, theauthorities' or my peers to know if I'm doing the right things or not. It's in the title! We have to make the parameters around desired and acceptable behaviour clear. We must remove doubt, absolutely. When we do this we reduce the need to micromanage or police every aspect of behaviour. We allow people to control themselves in accordance with the goal. When you think of business case studies about establishing clear metrics and measures to monitor performance and drive accountability, you don't often think of the flamboyant frontman for Van Halen during the 1970s and 1980s, David Lee Roth. They base their pacifism on John 18:36: My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight. Even their philosophy of life, seemingly so attached to the earth, is otherworldly: they view themselves as strangers and pilgrims in the present and emphasize obedience and self-denial over the notion of grace by faith alone as some Protestant groups do. None knows until the Judgement Day of his or her salvation. One of the greatest of all sins is that of pride, either of knowledge or personal display. Weddings are simple affairs, usually with no names attached to wedding gifts. Photographs are forbidden as evidence of vanity. Some Amish believe that even keeping themselves, their children, or their farms clean is evidence of the sin of pride, while others believe that cleanliness is their duty, and so many non-Amish neighbors incorrectly distinguish between only two types, the dirty and the clean Amish. One controversy between Amish and Mennonites included the practices of shunning those who departed from Amish custom and excommunicating women who spoke falsehoods, and the conviction that noble-hearted non-Amish people could be saved. Believing that one's own sect had the only answer to salvation was nothing new, of course; The most liberal of the Anabaptist sects had become the most conservative. You don't need a guru for that, you need a friend. Hopefully, that friend can be me.