Lighthouse Principles

Lighthouse shines over ocean low cloud raining and massive full moon

If Her Past Were Your Past, Her Level Of Consciousness Your Level Of Consciousness, You Would Think And Act Exactly As She Does.

With This Realisation Comes Forgiveness, Compassion And Peace’

– Eckhardt Tolle


Hello My Friend 

As always welcome to this post of the greatest significance in our search for peace and understanding. To a place where we can challenge ourselves with our need to be right and look for more beneficial ways of improving our confidence and gaining our very own, self-respect.

So let’s begin with our challenge and ensuring we have a change in perceptions

Prior to this all-important lesson let me define some words that are all important in completely comprehending what is to follow!

Perception Definition

The state of being or the process of becoming aware of something through the senses.

Perspective Definition

A particular way of viewing things that depend on one’s own experience and personality.

Paradigm Definition

A supposed intellectual perception or view accepted by an individual or society as a clear example of how things work in the world.

Paradigm Shift Definition

A fundamental change in an individual’s or society’s view of how things work in the world.

Simple Example– The discovery by Aristotle that the earth was not flat, but round.

A man strikes a lighter and we can see the earth, our home


The Man On The Train

Stephen Covey

I remember a paradigm shift I experienced one Sunday morning on the subway in New York. People were sitting quietly, some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm peaceful scene.

Then suddenly a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed.

A passenger train speeds past a station in heavy rain

The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s newspapers.

It was very disturbing, and yet the man sitting next to me did nothing

It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated too.

So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, ‘Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people, I wonder if you could control them a little more?’

The man lifted his gaze as if to come to some consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly.

‘Oh your right, I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know how to handle it either’

Hands cover the full face of a person experiencing regret

‘Can you imagine what I felt at that moment?’ My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently.

My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or behaviour; My heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely.

‘Your wife just died, Oh I’m so sorry, can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?’ Everything changed in an instant.

Many people experience a similar fundamental shift in thinking when they face a life-threatening crisis and suddenly step into a new role, such as that as a husband or wife, parent or grandparent, manager or leader.

It becomes obvious that if we want to make relatively minor changes in our lives, we can perhaps appropriately focus on our attitudes and behaviour. But if we want to make significant, quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms.

A dandelions fleeting petals sail away in the wind

In the words of Thoreau, ‘For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil. there is one striking at the root.’

‘We can only achieve quantum improvements in our lives as we quit hacking at the leaves of attitude and behaviour and get to work on the root. The paradigms from which our attitudes and behaviours flow’

The Lighthouse 

On a dark and stormy night a ship awaits intructions from lighthouse

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night


Crew member-Captain Captain Wake up please sir!

Captain– What the hell is it?

Crew member-Sorry to wake you sir, but we have a serious problem!

Captain– Well man what is it?

Crew member– There’s another ship in our sea lane about 20 miles away, and they are refusing to move!

Captain-What do you mean they are refusing to move?  Just tell them to move!

Crew member-Sir we have told them, but they will not move!

Captain– Ok I’ll tell them!

The Signal Goes Out-Move starboard 20 degrees!

The Signal Returns Move starboard yourself 20 degrees!

Captain-I can’t believe this, does he understand he is talking to the captain of this ship? Let them know who I am!

The Signal Goes Out-This is Captain Horatio Hornblower XXVI, commanding you to move starboard 20 degrees at once!

The Signal Returns-This is seaman Carl Jones II, commanding you to move starboard at once!

Captain-What arrogance, what presumption, we have a seaman commanding me, the captain, we could just blow them right out of the water right now, let them know who we are!

The Signal Goes Out-This is Mighty Missouri, Flagship of the 7th fleet!

The Signal ReturnsThis is the lighthouse

Fantasy Photo a waoman sits with her dog and looks out past a lighthouse a ship cruises close by under a huge full moon and cloud


The Village Fisherman

A boat full of tourists docked in a tiny fishing village. One tourist complimented a fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.A small catch of fish for the day

‘Not very long’ answered the fisherman.

‘So why don’t you stay out longer and catch more the tourist inquired’.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet the needs of his family. The tourist then asked, ‘so what do you do with all your free time?’

‘I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a nap with my wife in the afternoon. Then I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play my guitar and sing a few songs. I have a full life.

A small fishing boat leaves at dawna beautiful fishing villageA man strumming a guitar

The tourist excitedly interrupted, ‘I have a Business Degree from Harvard University and I can help you’

‘You should start by fishing longer every day! You can then sell the extra fish you catch, and with the extra money you make you can buy a bigger boat’

‘Then, with the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one, then a third, and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers’

Instead of selling your fish to the middleman you can deal directly with the fish markets, and even open your own chain of seafood restaurants.

You can then leave this little village and move to one of the big cities and from there you can control and direct your huge new businesses.

A man stands lost in a place he doesn't belong. A city

‘How long will that take?’ asked the fisherman. ’10, maybe 15 years’ replied the tourist.

‘And after that, that’s when it really gets interesting’ said the tourist laughing.

‘When your business gets really big, you can start investing in stocks, shares,  real estate and make Millions?

Millions? really? asked the fisherman excitedly

And after that, and this is the best part, explained the’ll be able to retire.

So wonderful, I’m so excited the fisherman agreed.

Yes said the tourist, you can live in a tiny village on the coast, sleep late, catch a few fish, take a nap with your wife in the afternoon, go out and have a few drinks with all your friends, play your guitar and sing some songs with your friends.Fantasy photo a girls eyes looking through an ocean wave, exhibiting perception

I love these stories, they never cease to amaze me. In a world of hidden realities, we can challenge ourselves to open our eyes in the face of our own perception of life’s daily events.

We always have a choice when making judgements in our daily lives. The need to be right, and to make someone else out to be wrong, is an ever-present challenge from our ego, but in the big picture are really not so important.

Awareness offers us a choice, to be right, or to let go of the need to be right, and choose peace instead. For a better world choose peace.

I know you will have enjoyed these short stories, and hope they leave you with something to think about. Please write to me of any similar experiences or stories you might like to share, so together we can make a small shift in our thinking, that can make a difference to this wonderful world we live in.

As Magaret Mead Reminds Us-

Never Doubt That A Small Group Of Thoughtful, Committed People Can Change The  World, Indeed It’s The Only Thing That Ever Has


With Gratitude Always Fantasy photo a woman face takes shape in the clouds




  1. Hi,

    I read your article from the first word to the last one.

    I understand what you wanted to share with us about the story of the loud children in the train.

    I understand when other people might have major challenges going on in their lives.

    The point is, just because someone is having a bad moment does that give him or her permission to behave like they need to and not care about others?

    I understand everyone needs to feel their own emotions, but how important is it to learn about emotions and live with them.

    But let us not hurt others just because I’m having a bad moment in my life.

    Thanks for your article.

    1. Hello Alejandra,
      Our life experiences leave us all with different perceptions and perspectives and thank god they do as we would all be the same, to leave us with a pretty boring world. Life’s different challenges leave us all with different feelings and emotions. When it comes to conflict and with my ego I sometimes like to ask myself the question ‘Do I prefer to be right or would I prefer peace’ Today I choose peace!
      You are a strong woman and I admire that in a woman.
      I Wish you Love Compassion and Peace Alejandra Always!

  2. Dear Paul Southam
    When somebody writes an article, post or a very nice story, you are reading it and you feel that you love the story because of the subject, it self-captures you with the full power of attraction! Having no way to escape, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. In both examples of the paradigm shifts you use two examples that are the completely opposite to each other, on the train, I feel sad like you, with the lighthouse I feel happy, You do Paradigm Shifts for your readers, great work!
    Thanks for your excellent post, keep well-doing Paradigm Shifts
    With my best regards

    1. Dear Isam,
      Thanks so much for your comment, and I am so glad you enjoyed the content. I love these stories too, so simple but so eye opening. We like to think we know everything when the truth is we really don’t know anything. I want to always be a student of this amazing world we live in. Western culture teaches us that we know everything, so ignorant arrogant and self-righteous. I let go and open my mind to the truths of nature and the universe as one with all of mankind.
      So grateful to hear from you, my friend

    1. Hey Isam
      That’s great, hope I can find some more that you will enjoy just as much.
      Cheers mate

  3. Hi, Paul. Loved your short stories on the Perceptions Perspectives and Paradigms. I especially liked the one about the Captain and the Seaman Lighthouse Keeper. It made me laugh to myself because if the Seaman 2 just said right from the start he was the lighthouse keeper, all that anguish would not have existed.
    I also don’t blame the guy on the Train. I think we have all to be more patient with other peoples plights instead of being self-absorbed with our own reality.
    What do you think about this, Paul?
    Kind regards, Jeff.

    1. Hello Jeff,
      Thanks for your reply, I think maybe the able seaman might have been having a bit of fun with the’ Mighty Missouri’s captain. It’s a true story though, and with a name like Horatio Hornblower, it has to be. The Man The Train story, was one that I read many years ago, and I know at the time very much struck a chord with me, as I remembered being guilty of a situation similar to this before, and I’m sure I will again, but it is a great reminder that we never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives.
      As you mentioned Jeff, I think yes we all need to be a little more compassionate in our relationships with others. Being self-absorbed with ourselves is not healthy if we want to have new, and strengthen current relationships with others. So yes Jeff I’m on your team with your reply and I hope we can both be a little more aware of situations because of this short but profound story.
      Warmest Regards Jeff

  4. I think this post is extremely beautiful and important. I think so many people spend time trying to point out what someone else is doing wrong not realizing that they themselves are not a perfect person. Instead of attempting to act rationally, or trying to understand, we tend to jump to conclusion or look for a reason to attack. A little bit of humanity – compassion for one another – goes a long way.

    1. Dear Kyanna,
      Lovely to hear from you and your understanding of my article on perceptions. We have all been guilty of jumping to conclusions about something or someone and make a judgement that is totally incorrect.Often we are left to pick up the pieces and face the regret. I have found a simple remedy and that is to keep my opinions to myself and I have made the decision to choose peace over the need to be right regardless of my perception. Not easy to do but is a source of confidence and oneness with my fellow man. We are all simply doing our best in relation to the level of our consciousness and we have no right to judge. I love this post and read it frequently to bring more awareness about how I choose to live my life. As you mentioned so elegantly compassion for one another is bliss.
      Thank you Kyanna
      Love, compassion and understanding for you always

  5. I really enjoyed reading these 3 short stories on paradigm shift. We sometimes get too self-absorbed that we are unmindful of other people’s plight in life (in reference to the man and his kids on the train). As for the fisherman and the Harvard grad, its amazing how, after all the searching, that we can end up choosing the life we already have. Thanks for the great post! I’m sharing it with my friend.

    1. Hello Louie,

      Glad you enjoyed the read, the man on the train is a really great example of how we just never know what’s going on in other peoples lives (as you mentioned). It’s never obvious that everybody is just doing their best with what they have and who they are.

      Compassion is always easy when we become aware of another persons situation or struggle, as we all experience times of hardship. The fisherman well he was miles ahead of the Harvard. grad who not realizing it tried to convince him to work so hard to attain what he already had with only minimal effort. I love these stories and are a constant reminder to have kindness to others as a priority

      Thanks again Louis


  6. Thank you for the stories you have shared Paul. Each one of them moved me in a different way and challenged me to not jump to conclusions but to try and put myself in the other persons shoes. It seems to be in our human nature to judge people and situations before we take the time to find out what is really going on.

    Please keep sharing these insightful messages as they help make us better people.


    1. Hello John,

      Thanks for the comment and I’m so happy that they got you thinking. We all have different perceptions simply because of different upbringings and experiences. This being the case we often judge way to early without knowing the truth of the circumstance we find ourselves in.

      I will endeavour to keep these insightful stories going as a reminder that all is not what it seems. The simple face that we can all become more compassionate and understanding is all the motivation I need 

      Thanks again John. Join me here again soon

      Best Wishes Always


  7. Hi Paul, 

    Thank you for this really wonderful read. I so enjoyed it, didn’t want it to end. So many lessons to learn.

    Let me tell you a little story about my Dad. He worked in a factory and had a packet of toffees in his pocket. He ate one and then gave one to the worker who was helping him on the job. The worker really made a meal of it, chewing loudly and with his mouth open. When Dad asked him why he ate it like that, the reply was, ” Well sir, if I did not, you would not think I wasn’t enjoying it and would not give me another.” 

    We all see things differently, but need to understand what others feel.

    1. Hi there Jill,

      Thanks for joining me here today. Indeed we do all see things differently and be aware that different doesn’t mean wrong.

      I simply love your little story, it is so simple but profound in making a very important point. Judging people before we know the full story is detrimental to all our relationships and can deprive us of new and wonderful relationships just because someone acted differently to our expectations, depriving us of so many wonderful experiences and friendships.

      Please feel free to follow up with any other stories you might have so we can share with the world

      Much appreciated Jill,

      Love and best wishes


  8. Hey Paul, how are you?

    OMG, I read, like I was eating, the more I bit, the hungrier I got. The more I read, the more wonderful I felt and made me want more.

    At first, I was thinking the kid was too hyper and needed discipline, but after learning what had really happened, I transformed my way of thinking, my judgment became different. The pain of the dad was so big that I wanted to help him, the kid’s pain was also great, that made me to  want to buy him a toy, a candy or an ice cream. Take him by the hands with a warm calm smile, and help him, talking about others things so he could be relieve him of his pain. Some bad behavior is the only way he knows how to react having such a huge loss.

    With the second one the captain was so stubborn, seeing  only his position, thinking the other was too small to talking with him and give him orders. All this aggravation could be avoided if the captain was more humble.

    The third one was the fisher man who had chosen a simple and peaceful life; he do not need more, he was happy. Why would he have to do so much to end up at the same place? For what? Money, position, material things? He already had it all, the tourist is the one that needs to understand, the tourist is the one that needed to calm down, relax, enjoy life more; that there’s nothing wrong. It is he who want’s more out of life, but peace and happiness we can’t buy even with all money in the world, we conquer, we choose.

    Please bring some more this Articles, they are so helpful, so beautiful, so amazing!

    Cheers to our success.


    1. Hello Telma,

      So glad to hear from you and I can really tell you enjoyed the post.Your breakdown of the 3 stories explains exactly how wrong we can be when it comes to other people and the circumstances. These stories are thought provoking simply because we have these experiences previously on both sides of the coin.

      It never ceases to amaze me how all of us are seen to judge so quickly something that may not be to our liking. We are missing out on so many wonderful experiences and opportunities th make everyone and anyone simply our brother and our sister.

      Cheers to you Telma and because of your s and the many other readers who have requested more stories I will have a new one soon.

      So look forward to hearing from you again soon.

      Many cheers to our current and future success my friend,



  9. I thoroughly enjoyed your site!  I have read several of the books you referenced so many good thoughts and memories flooded my mind.  I am anxious to read several of the other books you referenced as well.  

    I truly believe in the power of positive thoughts and affirmations.  Is it really any wonder our children today are so unhappy and disturbed?  Video games and TV cloud their young minds with violence, negativity, and lack of respect for others.

    Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Stephen Covey, Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, Gary Chapman, Mitch Albom and Rhonda Byrne are among my favorite authors.  One of the most inspirational movies I ever saw was “Freedom Writers”.  The video clips you included are valuable in that one can feel the passion and intensity of these great leaders/speakers/authors.  

    Your site has rejuvenated my soul at the perfect time.  I will be reading through the archives for ongoing spiritual and mental growth.  Thank you for the extensive work you put into this site.  You have provided an excellent overview of so many wonderful resources.

    May God continue to bless you abundantly,


    1. Dear LeAnn

      Thank you so much for your comment, it has truly made my day and I am sincerely grateful for your words. I can tell by the many authors you mentioned that you are a seeker of the truth and we are together on the journey called life.

      You mentioned the children of today and it saddens me thinking of the lives they will lead and even pass on through the generations. The world sometimes seems to be going in the wrong direction as we search for a happy contented life. The families importance seems to be unimportant as we try to accumulate more and and exclude everybody if they stand in the way.

      There will be a breaking point at some stage where we will all need to have a good look in the mirror. I welcome you here anytime LeAnn. It has truly been my privilege and I look forward to hearing from you again



  10. I love these sorts of tales with a twist because they serve to remind us that we only see things from one perspective most of the time and we have to really concentrate in order to realise that things are not always what they seem. Other people bring their own life experiences to a situation and may have a very different take on things and you’re right to highlight the importance of trying to step out of our own heads and see the world differently. Great article, thanks for sharing 

    1. Hello there and you describe here exactly what perception and quite often to wrong perception is all about. We have all experienced these situations and they always seem to be so obvious in hindsight. Changing and realising our beliefs are shaped by our past and that everyone has a different past is a simple truth that can allow us to hesitate before judging anything or anyone 

  11. Hello there,

    I studied this amazing article from the very first word to the very last one and I would say it’s amazing. I understand the picture you were trying to paint about the loud session in the train and I now understand not your situation or current predicament does not give you the right to behave rudely to others and especially children. Thanks very much for your article

    1. Thanks David, These stories represent a very subtle but profound message to all of us. Everyone has been caught out by judging to quickly without the understanding of what’s really going on. I for one am guilty, but forever trying to sharpen by my awareness and perceptions

  12. Hello Paul, thank you very much for writing a post that might have givej me my own paradigm shift. I like the fact that you could share this post with so much intelligence and you could also go as far as sharing a real life experience. Even though you didn’t add anything to the end of the story of the light house, I’m sure the captain will have to move the ship because he wouldn’t want to crash into the light house. Nice one

    1. Hello again Henderson, It’s always my pleasure to share these types of stories and the wonderful is that we can all relate and they can bring to us an awareness for change. A shift towards the truth never hurt anyone. Cheers mate

  13. Everyone gets the paradigm shift at some  point in their lives. Some people have a couple and some others have multiple. The point is to understand that there is a difference between what one thinks before and the new concept. The true story of the man and his kids is very understandable. Unlike you, I am very sure that the other passengers in the train would have still been irritated without knowing what exactly happened. Its good to see this post you have done. very inspiring

    1. Hi John, The man on the train is so simple yet profound and we have all dealt with judging before knowing the full story. It’s a habit of the mind. we can all learn a little acceptance which is key to many of our false sense of perceptions. Cheers John

  14. Hi Paul,

    Thanks again for another thought-provoking article.

    Currently I am reading the book “Biology Of Belief” by Bruce Lipton. In that he talks about the importance of Belief and perception “A person’s perception, not genetic programming, is what spurs all action in the body: It’s actually our beliefs that select our genes, that select our behavior.”

    When I read your post it’s a double confirmation for me. As always I am really really really interested and excited whenever I see one of your post, I mean it.

    I watched Bob proctor’s video on Paradigm Shift which was an eye-opener for me.

    The incident you shared about the paradigm shift is an eye-opener. No words to describe the situation! We need to work on the root!

    Wow! This is the lighthouse!

    Thanks a lot for these amazing stories and I got great insights from it.

    1. Hi there Paul, Always so gratifying to get a comment from you. You do as much to inspire sa all the words in my posts. I mean it. Like you I am excited to see a comment from you. I mean that too. I shall be putting some new stuff out shortly and look forward with great pleasure to hearing from you again. Blessings my friend

  15. Good Morning Paul,

    I read your stories carefully and it is true they made me think.

    The story of the man on the subway with his unruly children really touched me. We judge too often and quickly without any knowledge of that person’s situation.

    The lighthouse is a famous one and it is said to be a true story. The lighthouse is on the north coast of Spain and the ship was one of those huge U.S. warships. There was a video circulating on the media. It shows that thinking you are superior does not always function.

    Then the story of the fisherman, what a blessed life to not be caught up into the rat race. To be content with less will make you lead a happier life that is for sure.

    It is always good to be reminded we are all humans with our wishes, dreams, and problems. Let us be kind to each other.

    Regards Taetske

    1. Hey Taetske, Yes let’s all be kind to each other. We’re all in the same boat so to speak, it’s just some of us are riding bigger waves than others. It’s sink or swim, so lets all swim together.Peace my friend

  16. Hi, Paul.
    Thanks for sharing your views on the life-changing awareness. Yes, I agree with you. It is just in our mindset how to reciprocate any situation with resistance or the positivity. It is the paradigm shift that needs to be learned and flourished. A very motivating post to change the perspective of life and self-assessment.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

    1. Hi there and thank you, I really appreciate your thoughts and yes our perceptions are shaping our lives, so let’s get them right. All the best mate

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