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Life Skills Institute
IMA Article

Info-Marketer Taps His Personal Experiences To
Help Others Overcome Illness, Disability

Life Skills Institute was born out of Marc Lerner’s personal struggle with multiple sclerosis. Since there is no cure for MS yet, Marc decided he needed to take responsibility for how he dealt with his condition. He soon found that every struggle in life demands the same life skills: a positive self image, self trust and an ability to connect to the wisdom of one’s own body. He also discovered that others could benefit from his Life Skills Approach to managing intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical needs to achieve a sense of wellness, and so he began conducting seminars about his approach.

According to Marc, everyone has these qualities of positive self image, self trust and an ability to connect to the wisdom of one’s own body within them already, but conditioning has created habits that block them from manifesting. Since we have the power to consciously condition our minds, we have the power to unleash these qualities and make them a part of our character, especially when we face a health crisis.

“Death is an amazing motivator, but so is life. If you really want to better your life and how you deal with your health challenge, develop these life skills and you will naturally develop a conscious perspective that will serve you,” says Marc.

Life Skills Institute’s first product was seminars presented to three main groups: 1) combat veterans with post traumatic stress disorder; 2) people facing life threatening illnesses like cancer or AIDS; and 3) the mentally ill homeless. Marc’s info-business grew out of these seminars as he developed handouts for his techniques and began writing e-books to increase the reach of his life-changing approaches to dealing with illness and other struggles.

Marc has grown his business by connecting with people in their individual struggles. “By not over explaining my techniques, but giving the participants an experience they can identify with, it is hard for them to deny what I share. People in a health crisis demand practical experiences that help them in their struggles. If what I share with a person in a health crisis doesn’t connect to them on that level, they just walk away from it,” explains Marc. “I also saw that by empowering patients to connect to their inner resources they can better participate in healing with a positive effect. People appreciate being empowered; and it is also good for their work, their health insurance company and their family life. You could say the nature of peace is that both sides win. We need to find that peace in a health crisis and make it work for us.”

Marc is legally blind and has several other handicaps, so performing functions like computer programming on his website is difficult. He has created partnerships with others who can keep his website up to date and market his books. This allows Marc to concentrate on giving seminars, creating new products and adapting the Life Skills Approach to different companies and struggles. Through it all, Marc has relied on what he calls the “Wisdom of the Body.” This is the part of a person that operates every function of the body with incredible precision. “From the complex functions of digesting one’s dinner, healing and spiritual experience, to the simple act of being creative, we need the Wisdom of the Body,” says Marc. “Being able to connect to that part of you directly is an amazing tool to better the quality of one’s life.”

Marc is distributing his Life Skills Approach through e-books that are downloaded from his website and Amazon.com. He is adapting these e-books to HMOs, health insurance companies, corporations and large businesses that empower people to take an active role in healing. The same life skills that empower patients to be active in healing are the same skills required to be effective in the business world. “Imagine empowering the workers of a company so they can better deal with their health challenges and at the same time those skills help employees be more effective in their work; that company benefits on two levels, and the employees improve the quality of their lives in the process,” Marc explains.

In addition to his e-books, Marc is conducting seminars for those who work with people in a health crisis or who have disabilities. He will use the appropriate e-book as a handout for each seminar and believes every group will have a person who can be trained to lead people through the e-book to empower them to better deal with their struggles. These seminars can also be geared to staff development, where employees learn to become active in healing and develop skills to improve their work.

Marc is also starting a blog that helps people get benefits from their health struggles, instead of only seeing them as negative events. “I have had MS for over 25 years. Relating to my illness from a negative perspective is very easy and doesn’t create any positive benefits. When I look at how I was forced to deal with poor vision, memory problems and several other handicaps, I can see I have been on a journey that has taught me incredible lessons. Our awareness is like watering plants to a gardener; what we are aware of grows. I want to become aware of the benefits of MS instead of only my complaints. I believe this will help me switch to a positive perspective and may help others in a struggle to do the same,” comments Marc.

Marc’s current focus is on compiling 20 years of seminars into a package that can guide people through health challenges, even if they are unable to attend a seminar. With his disabilities, it is difficult for him to do what is necessary to market his products; however, he has developed several tools and he is open to exploring how he can interact with other info-marketers to implement them.

  • Life Skills Inc. has been awarded an 8(a) rating by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Each agency of the U.S. Government is required to do 5 percent of its business with 8(a) companies. Life Skills’ rating is based on disability discrimination. So far, Marc has been unable to take advantage of this opportunity because of his limitations. He is seeking to partner with people who can do the following:
    • Write grants for government contracts directed to help people in a health/disability crisis. Marc has written two books that guide people experiencing health struggles to become active participants in their care. “If patients would become active partners with their doctors, this would help the government’s services to become more efficient,” says Marc.
    • Provide social services. Marc is open to exploring how other companies can interact with Life Skills Inc. to work in the area of providing social services, which is the area for which he was awarded the 8(a) rating.
    • Research government contracts. Marc needs to write a grant for the Department of Health and Human Services. Several other government agencies deal with people who have disabilities or health struggles, and proposals must be developed for each one. Each government contract requires support systems to carry out each function, and Marc is seeking a partner to help set these up.

2.   Life Skills Institute is a 501(c) 3 tax deductible organization. Marc needs grant writers that can present his products to foundations to raise money to support people who use his books. This is an area in which other info-marketers can get involved.

Marc Lerner may be contacted at Life Skills Inc., 323 Marine Street, #20, Santa Monica, CA. 90405, 310/399-6829. His email address is marclerner@lifeskillsinc.com. To contact the Life Skills Institute, email lsinstitute@lifeskillsinc.com. If you are interested in partnering with Life Skills, email partners@lifeskillsinc.com, or if you want to adapt the Life Skills Approach to specific needs, email adaptebook@lifeskillsinc.com.

SIDEBAR

A Practical Example of a Life Skills Technique
by Marc Lerner

The self image has an amazing effect on how we think and process information. We direct our thoughts to our self image, and we receive our responses from our self image. Self image is developed by the way people relate to us as we grow up, so if your interactions with the significant people in your life related to you as though you were a worthless character, your self image would reflect that. Conversely, if the significant people related to you with love and respect, that created a positive self image.

In my main technique, I connect people to their Positive and Negative Selves, and then I have them create nicknames for each character.

I remember an AIDS patient who named his Negative Self “Doomed” and his Positive Self “Loved.” When his thoughts were directed to Doomed, his reactions would have a hopeless response and his will to live wasn’t so strong. When those same thoughts were directed to Loved, his responses reflected a strong will to live. I realized that in many situations it was easier to change where thoughts were directed than it was to psychologically change the person.

Our self image is created through habits, and we have the power to create conscious habits that connect us to our Positive Self so we deal with our struggles from that perspective. Our Positive Self is connected to our inner resources while our Negative Self is connected to our past conditioning. For us to better deal with our health issues, one of the most important things to do is to connect to the best part of you. You can download a free e-book that has this technique from my website at http://lifeskillsinc.com.


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