Create Your Cheese List. Focus on the cheese and capitalize on your strengths.

If there is one thing that most everyone struggles with, it is their self-concept.  During my career as a psychotherapist, executive coach, and clinician, it is incontrovertible that most everyone spends his life suffering from any or all of the following:

  • Self-doubt
  • Insecurity
  • Poor self-image
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Self-loathing
  • Feeling inadequate and/or defective
  • Feeling unloved
  • Feeling like an imposter
  • Feeling weak and afraid

It is remarkable that so many people spend their lives perpetually taking inventory of what is wrong and defective about them rather than focusing on their good qualities, value, skills, and special contributions.

When you think about it, there was a period in our lives between pre-school and elementary school when we largely felt happy, excited, pleased, courageous, and generally pretty good about ourselves.  We were happy, our family was largely reinforcing, loving, and excited about our growth.  We liked to show-off, sing, play, and dance in public.  We said things like: Read more

THE AXIOMS OF LIFE

After several decades of practicing in the human relationship and performance effectiveness business I have come to realize that there are some incontrovertible truths about the business of living. They became evident to me over the years as I began to assemble them from the lessons I learned.

Understanding these truths and then guiding your life trajectory by living by them can make your life much more fulfilling, especially if you want to be happy, successful, highly functional, and well adjusted — as most of us do.

I call these truths the AXIOMS OF LIFE©.  There are 8 AXIOMS and I will be presenting them one at a time on YouTube this summer for your viewing and for your consideration.

#1 AXIOM OF LIFE

LIFE IS AS IT IS INSTEAD OF HOW IT SHOULD BE.

You may often find yourself believing that life is supposed to be different than the way it is. You are supposed to be good looking, healthy, fortunate, born into a good family, educated, safe, privileged, smart, lucky, impressive, respected, and popular. You are supposed to be happy, brilliant, successful, and perpetually young.

While all the above is the way life is supposed to be, you will likely notice that real life is often quite different. Life turns left when it is supposed to turn right.  Sometimes you lose your job, waste your time, make bad decisions, manage money poorly, or perpetuate bad habits.  Sometimes you get sick, let down, betrayed, divorced, and get old.

Moreover, you may complain and describe the problem more than doing anything to solve it.

SO, WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT THIS?

I recently presented a recording of this Axiom #1 on YouTube. I included some ideas and suggestions on how you can much more effectively reconcile the gap between how life is supposed to be and how it is.

If you would like to see this recording, click here:    

AXIOM #2 is entitled LIFE IS UNFAIR, LIFE IS FAIR, AND IT’S BOTH.  I encourage you to take a look at that one as well. 

Be sure to send me your comments and reflections on the videos.

Many thanks for your time and support!

If you like the material, click to subscribe to my YouTube channel here!   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-7x3R1mJJg5AyatzINR5iw?view_as=subscriber

And let me know how you are doing!

The Most Powerful Key to Resolve Conflict, Reach Agreements, Persuade Others, and Engage Recovery… CREATE MULTIPLE OPTIONS

Do you notice how often it appears difficult to DECIDE WITH SOMEONE WHERE YOU WILL GO TO DINNER?  With your spouse, it may sound something like this:

You: “Where do you want to go to dinner?”

Spouse: “I don’t care.”

You: “Ok, why don’t we go to Alfredo’s?”

Spouse: “Hmmmmm. NO!”

You: “Ok then, so where do you want to go?”

Spouse: “I told you, I DON’T CARE!”  (Of course, you are now both infected with that chronic and familiar state of mind where nothing sounds good!)

You: (As you are becoming increasingly crabby and impatient and you start imagining what you now might want to say.)  Ok, so why don’t I go to Alfredo’s and you stay home!!!”         

Now both of you are cranky, defensive, and whatever appetite you may have had has evaporated!  

Does this sound familiar? 

Read more

Taking Things Too Personally

“I take things too personally” is a remark I hear frequently from my patients, associates, colleagues, and friends. Many people become hypersensitive, defensive, and full of self-doubt because of this problem.   

  • If you fail to get an invitation to lunch, a party, or a wedding, do you take it personally and then doubt yourself and your popularity?
  • If someone else gets the contract, do you believe you have failed to deliver?
  • If your boss forgets to say good morning, do you automatically think that he/she is angry with you?
  • If your spouse comes home crabby, do you feel responsible, guilty, irritated, defensive, or crabby yourself?
  • If your guests want to go home early, does that immediately suggest they dislike your company?
  • If your daughter is unhappy, do you start concluding that you have to be unhappy in order to show her how much you care?
  • If several of your colleagues are going to lunch together and you are not invited, do you worry they will talk about you at lunch?

We can have our whole day ruined because someone else’s behavior rubs off on us and we feel responsible. We find that whenever someone else is upset, we feel great pressure that somehow we are to blame. As a result, we take their behavior personally, which makes us defensive, anxious, miserable, and insecure.

It is important to gain some understanding as to the root of this problem and look at some possible reasons why we become hypersensitive and take things too personally. With this understanding, you will gain some valuable perspective on how to handle the problem more effectively. 

Consider these roots of taking things too personally:   Read more

It’s Like Driving Me Like Crazy!

It appears that the most contagious habit that is sweeping the country today is the use of the word “LIKE.” It’s a disease that is infecting everyone.

IT’S LIKE DRIVING ME LIKE CRAZY!

I have been thinking and reflecting about how it all started… slow at first, back in the day.   Then gradually increasing the infection to young people, to these days, like today, everyone and I mean like everyone is like speaking this way.  Both genders from elementary school kids, to young adults, to middle-aged people, and even “distinguished” people, you know the like gray-haired set.

When did it like start? As far as I can remember, it started during the 1950’s with “beatniks” like Maynard G. Krebs on the TV show “Dobie Gillis” where Maynard said with cool style in the coffee house, “It’s like cool, man!”

Fast forward to the 1980’s when young girls in San Fernando Valley became increasingly infected with a speech pattern called “Valley Speak” which became a 1983 movie “Valley Girl,” followed by a hugely successful movie in 1995 called “Clueless.” “Like I’m sure…” Read more

Foundations of Common Sense

Do What You Know!

In my many years in this profession, I am continually amazed, amused, and ultimately bewildered with how often people fail to practice Common Sense.                                               

Most all of us know what Common Sense is. It is obvious, pragmatic, practical, logical, prudent, and reflecting sound judgement. It is often right in front of our face! It’s so OBVIOUS, WE KNOW WHAT IT IS.

Though we know what Common Sense is, too many of us fail to actually apply and practice Common Sense.  We drop the ball when it comes to DOING WHAT WE KNOW.

Something happens when we snatch a rationalization from the jaws of logic.  We stall and lie to ourselves that we will get around to doing it real soon.

Instead, we continually practice insanity. We keep doing the same thing again and again with the illusion that if we keep doing that same thing we will encounter a different result.  INSANITY!!!

Read more

BASIC COMMON SENSE HABITS FOR HAPPINESS, SUCCESS, AND FINANCIAL SECURITY

Replace bad habits with good ones… and add common sense

Most of us want to be happy and successful, and yet rarely do we receive any education or guidance on how to achieve those competencies.

Happiness is routinely connected with good, close, and functional relationships.

Success is often connected with having fiscal literacy and being good with money.

As you get older and continue to experience the way life is, you will learn some lessons about what is really important.  Among the lessons we learn are perhaps the two most important; how to be happy and how to be successful. Read more

HAPPY OR UNHAPPY?

Most of us want to be happy, and yet, too many of us are consumed with our crankiness, fear, depression, feeling unloved, insecurity, being miserable, feeling inadequate, feeling betrayed, etc., essentially being wrapped up in chronic unhappiness!

In addition, I am often struck with the large population of people who are persistently stuck in unhappiness. These malcontents are often whining, bellyaching, criticizing, obsessing, bleating, condemning, catastrophizing, awfulizing, and complaining. 

I believe that people will keep choosing familiar routines like this simply because they are familiar, regardless of whether they like it or dislike it.  Some examples of this are below. 

THE RESTAURANT

You go to the same restaurant and order the same item on the menu. This routine is common and it is a great habit if you really like that restaurant and that particular item on the menu. Some of us do! Read more

LEARN TO SAY “NO!”

Most of us have real difficulty saying “NO.”

When we say “YES” rather than “NO” (which is often what we really want to say,) we get caught in a bind of one of the following:

  • We have enabled the other person(s) to take advantage of us.
  • We feel conflicted because they are perfectly able to do the work themselves and yet they want to be rescued… and we accommodate them.
  • They are sometimes playing “victim,” (a very popular state of mind these days) where they want to be saved, and we save them because we feel guilty.
  • We are more willing to be nice, popular, and helpful rather than encouraging the other person to solve the issue themselves.

Read more

RECONCILING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PARENTS

LOVE WHAT YOU CAN LOVE, AND LET THE REST GO
HARVEST THE BEST, OFFLOAD THE REST

Part 1. Your new state of mind (your viewpoint).
Love What You Can Love and Let the Rest Go.

Part 2. Your new habits – (your conduct)

What is one of the most challenging dilemmas of life? It is trying to reconcile the gap between how much you love a family member and how much that same family member drives you crazy. Most of the time the targeted individuals are YOUR PARENTS; your MOTHER and/or your FATHER. Sometimes this dilemma appears to be irreconcilable!

Read more