Monthly Archives: October 2011

inside out

“The ”Inside-Out” approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness means to start first with self; even more fundamentally, to start with the most inside part of self / with your paradigms, your character, and your motives. The inside-out approach says that private victories precede public victories, that making and keeping promises to ourselves recedes making and keeping promises to others. It says it is futile to put personality ahead of character, to try to improve relationships with others before improving ourselves.”  Steven Covey

One of the greatest challenges people face in trying to live a better life is changing their life so that it is better rather than trying to change the circumstances.   You’ve met people who are having a bad day and are angry at the world.  “It’s your fault”, they exclaim with personal indignation, “You don’t know how bad my world is  and you are responsible for the way I feel” .

While it is true that no one can know how someone feels or know they  experience the trails of life it is understandable that there are many things make each day a challenge.   The difference is between those who wallow in their pain and those who take charge of each moment to turn pain into a lever for personal change.

When bitterness rages through the soul there is nothing that can be done to stop that flood of anger.   It isn’t until there is a realization that being bitter, angry and upset doesn’t produce the results that are desired.   As soon as one takes full responsibility for their life is the moment the scales shift in their favor.

I would imagine you know of people who have a bitter streak a mile long and in some cases it is infectious and starts stealing your joy and in other cases it pushes you away.    Who wants to be around someone who is sick of the world and everything in it?   There aren’t many people that do.

The inside-out approach to living is to first identify those things within you that need to change.   List them out and look at each one closely.  What is the most important thing to change?   What stops you from making those changes?

The next step is to set some goals to make those changes.  Get serious about creating some new habits, find a new positive habit to replace the old sour habit.   It takes a one-to-one replacement for each bad habit needs a new positive habit.

To continue to move forward, find someone to hold you accountable to making those changes.   Making changes alone is difficult and after a couple of weeks the goal my just slip by the wayside.   Allow someone to ask you the  hard questions, are you doing what you said you would do?

Finally, when the old habit is gone, really gone have someone check on you everyone once in a while to see if it is really gone.   For each new habit you create someone will notice and may even compliment you on the change.   Allow them to congratulate you and then move forward yet again, tackle another habit until all the bad ones have been replaced.


“And he, the said Wirz, still wickedly pursuing his evil purpose, did establish and cause to be designated within the prison enclosure containing said prisoners a “dead line,” being a line around the inner face of the stockade or wall enclosing said prison and about twenty feet distant from and within said stockade; and so established said dead line, which was in many places an imaginary line, in many other places marked by insecure and shifting strips of [boards nailed] upon the tops of small and insecure stakes or posts, he, the said Wirz, instructed the prison guard stationed around the top of said stockade to fire upon and kill any of the prisoners aforesaid who might touch, fall upon, pass over or under [or] across the said “dead line” ….” [“Trial of Henry Wirz,” Report of the Secretary of War, Oct. 31, 1865]

A prisoner tries to escape and crosses the “dead line” and the guards have cause to shoot the prisoner.   Crossing the deadline meant certain death.   Newspapers picked up on that term and used it to define a moment in time where what was ready to print was put into print.

Today a deadline is used to mean it must be done by this time.   The deadline to get this or that done often passes by nearly unnoticed in some domains.  A deadline merely marks the desire for something to be completed.   What deadlines have you watched go by?

In the civil war the prisoner’s didn’t have the luxury of watching a deadline go past, they knew that a deadline meant a certain finality.  At one time a deadline was enforced, now it is a term that doesn’t carry the weight or final conclusion that it once did.    You’ve reached the deadline and find that you are unable to cross it.

A deadline demarks the boundary around a prison, an imaginary line which could not be crossed.  In today’s world people feel like they are living in a prison where crossing the boundary does mean a type of death.  People are enclosed within the deadline by fear, the fear of failure, the fear of change, the fear of not being good enough, or the fear of success.   To cross the deadline means something will have changed and that fear prevents them from crossing the deadline.

The deadline now lives in our imagination rather than being an imaginary boundary around a prison.   Our boundary line which we have declared holds us back from being the kind of person we could really be.  What is your deadline?  How close is it to your prison walls?   What would happen if you crossed that deadline?

The prison that you are the prisoner of could be a prison of debt,  the prison of doubt, the prison of fear, the prison of worry, the prison of work, the prison of a relationship, the prison of time, the prison of anger, or the prison of stress.   Whatever your prison is named it is hard to escape from it.

What prison do you find yourself in?   What are you doing to cross the deadline?


“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”  Leon J. Suenes

Inspire, “to be the cause of, to bring about”,  to be inspired, to bring about something new, a new idea, a new thought, a new action or a new self.    Napolean Hill wrote, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Inspire, “to breathe in, to take in a new air”.    When we draw in a deep breath of air we become filled with something new and fresh.   For many people the idea of taking in a deep breathe of clean fresh air only happens if they have to move more quickly than normal.   To breathe in means to take action, to take responsibility and to live fully.   It means feeling the air rush through the body with some mad purity.   The air we breathe in wants to inspire not only the blood cells but our very thoughts.

Perhaps if we were inspired we would move out of a job that no longer satisfies.   With a bit of inspiration we could create something new, something wonderful, or something majestic.   With a powerful inspirational moment we might make a change in our life that would produce meaning and significance.

What does it take to inspire you?   A bolt of lightning?

“It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ” K.T. Jong

Could we be inspired by a  colorful landscape where the wind makes the leaves dance? 

Maybe it is a quiet shore, where the waves gently tap out a magic code.  

Or could it be the  rhythmic sounds of a waterfall cascading through your thoughts.

 What inspires you?

Take time out right now, take in a deep breath and slowly exhale.   Breathe in again and this time close your eyes and let your mind just go quiet, what do you see, what do you hear, what inspirational thought did you hold in  your hand?

Maybe it takes a different perspective … take a look.  Inspired?

Take a moment and see what your mind can conceive and believe.

ADHD Aware

“Never do today what you can put off til tomorrow.” — Matthew Browne

This  week is ADHD awareness week and while ADHD may not impact everyone’s life it does impact many lives.   ADHD has been shown to impact about 10% of the population.

What is ADHD?   AD (attention deficit) with or without Hyperactivity Disorder.   It means that for some people their ability to remember things consistently can be a challenge.   It impacts the behavior of many children, those who can’t sit still for more than a few seconds  and those who just appear to be daydreaming the day away.    It is a neurological condition that impacts what is known as executive memory function, the ability to process information consistently and effectively.

ADHD is known to impact careers, relationships, and finances which are a big part of living.   People with ADHD are more likely to become smokers, abuse drugs,  have anger management issues, and take unnecessary risks and have other difficulties in managing day-to-day  events.     For many ADHD people there is a higher incidence of depression, learning disabilities and even behavioral challenges and so they get labeled and that distorts or damages self-esteem.   Challenged early in life some with ADHD are unable to complete school or require alternative schools pushing further out of the mainstream.

Children with ADHD often feel left out as it takes them longer to do simple things.  They often forget assignments or work that should be done or wait until it is too late to get all the work completed.   It isn’t that they aren’t intelligent enough do to the work, it is they are mentally scattered and that makes them appear to be less intelligent when in fact there is something else happening.

Schools are tailored to reach a specific audience.  Schools use assembly line methods to churn out a specific product in a specific fashion.   The assembly line model doesn’t work for those who have any type of learning disability and yet that is the system that is used.    Children give up learning how to read because it is difficult to remember and process the information, so perhaps other ways of conveying information is needed.   What do you think?

What do you know about ADHD?   Who do you know that experiencing ADHD?   How do you work with those who have ADHD?

We live in a society where being the same is rewarded and being different in nearly any aspect is an excuse to be pushed aside.   Labels become limiters, a license for exclusion,  a convenient method of pushing capable people to the outside.

Where can you learn more?   How can  you get involved?

ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder Organization

CHADD – Children and Adults with ADHD

ADD Resources

CDC – Center for Disease Control

National Resource Center on ADHD

NIMH (National Institute on Mental Health)

ADHD Educational Issues/Answers

Learning about ADHD and how impacts about 10% of children and many adults has value.   Understanding leads to growth and change and ultimately it leads to a stronger more vibrant society.   Greater contribution, greater results and better living and isn’t that what most people want?

ADDism’s ….

  • Can meet someone, fall deeply in love, marry, fight, hate, and divorce, all in about 35 minutes or less.
  • Can see all of your worldly possessions at one time…because they
    are all over the floor
  • Make far reaching analogies that no one else understands. Write
    them off as “Deep Thoughts”
  • The mind of a Pentium–with only 2 Megs of RAM
  • Able to tie seemingly unrelated ideas together
  • Qualify for bulk rate mail on tax returns because you have at least 24 W-2’s attached.
  • Honestly believes that anything is possible
  • Willing to “step out on faith”
  • A greater tolerance for “Chaos”
  • Proviedes job security for writers of Spell Check programs


“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have—for their usefulness.”  Thomas Merton

Much of what we are is a reflection of what we do.   Doing doesn’t leave much time for creating something new.     For so much of our lives we are focused on generating what we believe to be an image of success.  Our identity is wrapped up in what we do not in who we are.    It is easy to hide in your identity of the past or your  identity of the future.    Our identify becomes a habit, a habit we support with the accolades of those we impress.

Og Mandino writes, “the point is to learn to find  those things that let your feel exhilarated and alive”.    The point is at some place in our life we stopped taking risks, stopped putting in that extra effort and stopped living.    Stepping outside of habit requires us to:

1. Be creative

2. Be concerned

3. Be courageous

4. Be caring

5. Be alive

6. Be passionate

7. Be enthusiastic

Define your identity in terms of your “being”.   What would your identity be?   Choose the words that state boldly who you are.   Leave the words “hope” and “if” by the wayside and choose powerful words that describe who you will be and who you are.

Don’t ask permission to “be”, just start being.

“I believe life is to be lived, not worked, enjoyed, not agonized, loved, not hated.” Leland Bartlett

3 secrets

” The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”   Mark Twain

The doorway to success

What is the secret to success?    It is doing three simple things.   By doing these things you have more vitality during the day.    You’ll feel alive and be able to think clearly.    You’ll be able to feel the air pulse through the body.   You’ll be able to focus and stay alert.   You’ll feel happier and more grateful.

So, what are the big three.

1. Exercise – as simple as it may seem exercise increases the production of dopamine and serotonin in the body.  These hormones increase the sense of well-being and can improve focus and alertness especially for those with ADHD/ADD.    Exercise is something most people lack.  In today’s fast paced world most of the work is done sitting down with little physical activity.      Taking breaks to energize the body by increasing the respiratory rate and heart rate is a good practice.   Better physical conditioning helps improve immune function.   Exercise is a win-win proposition, a win for the mind and a win for the body.   What is stopping you?

2. The second big secret and it appears to be a secret because it isn’t done nearly enough and that is eating a balanced diet and drinking the right amount of water.  Drinking water, it’s cheap and available yet we spend a lot of money purchasing other drink alternatives.    Save money and drink more water.

Diet in America is poor.  Obesity rates are climbing quickly and all states exhibit obesity rates of 20% or more.    The availability of cheap high calorie food might be to blame but so is the fast paced society we live in where preparing healthy meals has given way to meals that can be prepared in a few minutes or seconds.

Health issues increase dramatically as the weight  increases.   There is a greater risk of diabetes, a disease that can be controlled by diet and exercise and yet as a society more and more people are becoming diabetic.

The secret, eat less and eat better.  Drink more water stay hydrated.   Headaches are often a result of not drinking enough water.

3.  The final secret even though there are hundreds of studies on this topic is getting enough sleep each day (7-8 hours).   High performers get the sleep they need to continue to perform well.   It is possible to get results on a few hours a sleep a night for a short period of time but for the long-term, the right amount of sleep is critical.

The formula for success is living an active healthy lifestyle.    If the body isn’t healthy the mind isn’t as healthy as it should be either.   Living a lifestyle of positive choices improves longevity, improves overall well-being and reduces the chances of having expensive medical care.   You would think those would be great things to have but many people are making choices that push the responsibility of their health to the medical field.   Why?

What are you doing to live a positive healthy lifestyle?


“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now. ”
Denis Waitley

“Learn from the past” …. wisdom

“detailed goals for the future” … intention

“live in the moment” … action

Use the past to learn, understand and grow.  Let the past be the soil for growth.   Use the future to dream, to  hope,  to plan and to aspire to.   Let the future be the energy for success.   Use the present to gain strength, confidence and a sure footing.   Let the present be the moment you act.

So often the past is only filled with regret and anger.   Take a few minutes and listen to the words others speak.   What are they really saying?   What are you hearing, listen closely and don’t speak, just listen.    What do you hear?   “If I”, “I could have …”, “I should have …. “, “I would have …”, those are the words of dreams that were put in a box and never allowed to live.    The words “if”, “could”, “should”, “would” leave a person powerless to change the present to live in a better future.

The future is filled with hope, with dreams and with desire.   The future is also filled with unkempt promises and commitment.    The future is a place called “tomorrow” and while it holds the dreams of every man it also holds captive the action required to make those dreams alive.

Now, this very moment,  is a time for action.   It is a place where dreams unfold and color takes the place of black and white.   It is a place where magic can happen if action is taken.   Now is a point in time where dreams unfold and become real.    The present is a time of movement, a time of choice, and a time of responsibility, it is a place where a person isn’t held captive.

What are you doing now to pursue your dreams and goals?   If you are holding on to the pain of the past you aren’t growing.   If you are tied to the  hope of the future you aren’t moving.     Only in the present can we adjust the sails of the ship.  Only in the present can we experience the wind in our face.  Only in the present can we take steps to live the life we want to live.

What are you doing right now, right now, to live the life you desire to live?   What choices are you making that will allow you to live that life you hold captive in your dreams?    What is stopping you if you aren’t taking the steps that lead you closer to living a full life?

resilience …

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed.”  Michael Jordan

Top performers have learned something that many potential top performers haven’t learned yet.   They know how to bounce back from disappointment, loss and great challenges.

Resilience is the propensity to bounce back from a fall.    As a ball contacts a surface it compresses and that stored energy rebounds and causes the ball to bounce back.    When we fail or make a mistake we also need to find a way to bounce back.    Resilience is the story of winners not whiners.   Winners find a way to come back and finish strong.

Those who have found a way to bounce back.   When Jack Canfield got rejected time and time again before getting his “Chicken soup for the soul” published he could have let the first rejection stop but he didn’t he kept pressing ahead not after 1 or 2 or after 50 but closer to 100 rejections before a publisher printed his book.

Fred Smith could have turned thrown his dream into the wastepaper basket after his professor gave him a “C”on his idea for Federal Express.   SouthWest Airlines could have folded before it started if it weren’t for the resilience of Herb Kelleher.

Winners find a way to bounce back and achieve their goals.   When they do they have success stories that can be told and used in case studies about business success.   When Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with cancer he didn’t let the cancer define him, he used it as a stepping stone for greater success.   He bounced back.

How are you at bouncing back?    Do you feel like a setback is a reason to quit?   Do you feel like you aren’t good enough and you’re not the right person to take up the challenge?

People who are resilient take charge of their life rather than letting the circumstance take charge of their life.    If you are having a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, or a bad year, step back and assess your situation.  Are you taking charge or are you letting the circumstance dictate your next step?

If you’re ready to make a change and become resilient and you don’t know how … contact a coach, work with someone and become a resilient person.

journey …

“‘Time’ doesn’t pass.  We human beings have enormous difficulty focusing on the present; we’re thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have.  Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take,  what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we always dreamed of. ”  Paulo Coelho  from “Aleph”

Many years ago it seems I took a bike and rode from Colorado to Connecticut a journey of 2500 miles.   It was a dream to ride across the country  and we did it in 36 days.    The people we would meet along the way would be weary from living a life that thought they “had” to live.   We heard things like “if I were younger ….” and their story of a life that had passed them by would float out into the air.   What was their journey going to be like?    Was it going to be a routine of living a hard life and not a life that was designed but a life that was handed to them by the hands of others who did the same thing.    They were living a life, a life of existence, a set of patterns that were ingrained into them that limited the life they could really live.

Many people spend their lives chasing something and not being sure what it is or why they are chasing it and some people chase nothing at all and wonder what or if anything life will offer them.

Journeys start with a goal in mind,  a place to arrive at, and that  gives purpose to the journey.   A goal provides direction and acts like a compass guiding the traveler to a place.   The journey in between the starting place and the destination is the place where growth takes place.   The journey is the hard work to realize a goal.

Riding cross-country on a bike built for two allowed us to experience what many people fail to experience, to live in the present, to live in the moment between the past and the future, there was nothing else.   Turning the pedals for hours on end and experiencing the wind, the sun,  and each breath was being able to live in the journey.

What goal do you have that is powerful enough to allow you to experience the journey?   The journey where you can feel the heartbeat of each day and you can hear each breath and feel the sun, when are you going to start living in that journey?

“Leave your comfortable life and go in search of your kingdom”   Paulo Coehlo from Aleph





… now is the time …

Have you ever experienced a profound sense of peace and joy that came together at the same moment.   Some would call that a state of bliss, or presence.  A moment when time stood still, the past wasn’t calling you back and the future wasn’t pulling you forward, you were in the present.

Being in the present is a time when life is filled with  purpose and feels magical.  Sometimes those moments last only a few seconds,  a few minutes and then disappear as worries about the future creep back or anger about the past drags you down.   Where are  you?

When have you experienced a magical moment where time stood still, where time didn’t press you backwards or forwards, but just stopped?

Authentic living is living between the past and the future.   It is a place where so many people want to be and somehow they have seem to have lost the ability to live between the past and the future.   Where are you living?   Are you living for the future, a place of worry,  or are you tied to the past, a life of regret and anger?  What is your answer?