Category Archives: Spontaneous Thoughts

A New Year

2015_calendarAs a holiday, I abhor New Years; but I always embrace the new year.

I’m not a New Year celebration guy. I don’t enjoy parties. I have no interest in watching the ball drop and will hopefully be sound asleep before it even happens.

But the new year is something else entirely. I have always looked forward to the new year as a chance for new beginnings and new chances. I don’t actually make resolutions, as much as I perceive the new year as yet another opportunity to do it all better.

Whether you are actually celebrating New Years or just hanging out at home, pause a moment, reflect, and realize that come January 1, we have yet another chance to do it all better, with renewed energy, hope, and effort.

No More One Liners

Yes, I hear you but…senate_photo

I just read a New York Times article about the trauma over passing the spending bill and the “Demise of Compromise.” One of the more telling pieces of the article was the following paragraph:

“With both parties increasingly playing to their base constituencies and their sometimes absolutist positions, many lawmakers are apt to oppose legislation that does not meet their demands in an all-or-nothing approach, making bipartisan measures like the $1.1 trillion spending bill extraordinarily difficult to achieve.”

I see so much of what is happening, be it in politics or the streets, to be a reflection of so many peoples’ inability to really understand and process information. We have reached a point where we have enough people only processing the “one liners” that they are driving what is happening to us socially and politically as a nation. If you cannot or are unwilling to process that incredibly important word “but” we are in big trouble. Very few issues are simple or just black and white; and chances are if you can put it on a bumper sticker or on a placard that it is a gross oversimplification of what is. We cannot build and direct our society or our nation based on gross oversimplification of important and complex issues.

Do our people in office represent us? Sadly, they possibly do; but they don’t represent me very often. They are trying to keep their jobs and represent all the folks that believe the “one liners” that have been created by the advertising folks who come up with them for the political parties in the first place. Unless those running our country are free to process and communicate a “but” and really represent the complexity of issues, there will be very little compromise, progress, or representation of what is.

Perhaps we should pass a new law outlawing “one liners” and create bumper stickers and placards with: “No More One Liners.”

Oh, but what about, “Don’t cross the street without looking both ways”? “Brush your teeth after every meal.” “No taxation without representation.” There are some good ones. Ain’t nothing simple.

We simply need to be smarter.

Good Morning, World!

IMG_7084I started my day with a double shot. When I get it I’m off and running, and when I don’t something is missing. My drive thru coffee shop of choice here in Ogden, The Daily Rise, starts my day off with a double shot of energy. The Daily Rise is not on my way to the office, but it’s well worth the extra few minutes of driving time and the wait (often there are half a dozen cars waiting at each of their windows). The slogan on the front of the building says, “Promoting Positive Energy, ” and they do know how to do it right. The building has drive thru windows on both sides, and as you drive up to the window you are greeted by each of the two, three, or sometimes four young energetic people making the coffee. With my travel schedule and days working from home, I’m a rather infrequent patron; but each and every time I drive up to the window I’m greeted by every employee by name, then one generally shouts out, “Bob, large house blend, two shots and cream.” And another shouts out, “Bob you’re looking good!” “How you doing today?” “Wow, I sure like that car.” They know my name, they know my drink, and they start my day on a high note and certainly promote positive energy. Today when I opened up my email I had a super email thank you card from one of our families and got another shot of positive energy.

Tough to beat positive energy—let’s all try and start our days with as much of it as we can.


Strategies won’t work if you don’t believe that the outcome is really possible.

In my last post I introduced you to Lia, an exceptional young lady with an exceptional mom who believes that her daughters can do exceptional things. When Ashly works with her girls, she does so with the expectation that they can and will do exceptional things. As obvious as this sounds, the lack of such intention presents one of our greatest challenges.

Strategies won’t work if you don’t believe that the outcome is really possible.

Whether I’m giving a parent yet another strategy to address their child’s behavior, or a motor development program for their developmentally delayed child, or you try another diet or a new exercise program, or as a nation our government is trying yet another approach to solving some international issue, our intention, which is a reflection of our belief, can determine or undermine all of our efforts and strategies, affecting the results. As an example: Mom says “no” for the five thousandth time to Johnny for an inappropriate behavior; but her expectation is that he is going to do it another five thousand times and that he really can’t help it, or that she can’t really stop it. Her intention is to do her job and give him the feedback that his behavior is wrong; but Johnny reads the part of her intention that is that she really doesn’t believe that it is going to stop. Whether she has a consequence that goes with the “no” really doesn’t matter, because her intention will affect her behavior and Johnny’s. And to compound the issue, Johnny is going to fight and resent the consequence because he knows it is really only punitive and that mom doesn’t expect him to stop regardless of the consequence.

A number of years ago I created “Visceral Response Technology,” a system/protocol to change perception, increase awareness, and change responses and attitudes by changing a person’s visceral/gut response. Education alone often does not significantly affect our visceral response, attitude, belief system, or expectations. Changing all of that requires creation of a new perspective, a new conceptual construct.

Bottom line: if you don’t really believe you can do it, you probably won’t.

Believe it and make it so.

Stuck in a Rut

It’s still snowing in Utah—it’s April, what happened to spring?

I recently had the opportunity to teach a friend visiting from the warm climes of the south how to drive in our Utah snow. To be honest, I’m not sure there was a lot of teaching; it was more like a lot of shoveling, and with the aid of some helpful ice fisherman, a lot of pushing and pulling to get the car out of a ditch.

For her first snow-driving lesson, I decided to pick a place without other vehicles, buildings, or people to run into. So we went up to a nearby lake and used the road leading to the boat ramp. It had just snowed and there was about a foot of new snow on the road. The road to the ramp looked perfect. Only a few ice fishermen had driven on it, so the snow was still rather pristine and there was not much of a tire path created in it yet. When I put my friend behind the wheel, my instructions were for her to get a feel for the snow, experiment with a little acceleration, stopping, starting, little movements right and left—to just get a feel for it all, but to stay in the center, watch out for the ditches on both sides, and drive to the end of the road. She did really well. Actually she did really well for about 10 seconds. Without any real ruts yet in the road, and with only a couple squiggly pickup tracks, it only took a tiny turn off center and a little acceleration to put us in the ditch. It would have been a whole lot easier for her if there had been good ruts in the snow. Once she was stuck in the rut, she could have easily moved forward and reached our destination.

The idiom “stuck in a rut” is all about negative connotations, but I think we need to reexamine and perhaps change the meaning to something like: to establish a path, a direction, develop a plan, and stick to it.

I had about eight months last year when I was stuck in a diet/exercise rut. I established a really good diet and exercised and lost about 25 pounds and felt great. As long as I was stuck in my rut I was super. Unfortunately the holidays came, lots of entertaining folks at home and in restaurants while on the road and just a bunch of stuff. I kept wiggling out of my rut, then lost it altogether and gained most of the weight back and lost the corresponding health benefits. I haven’t been in a rut, I’ve been out of the rut and need to get back in it. Hopefully I think I am back now.

Think about changing your perception. Create a path for your children, for yourselves, and work hard to find and get stuck in your rut. You might get to where you want to go a whole lot faster.