Getting Back in the Grind

picture of Jack NicholsonIn order for you to sign up for email notifications, I had to post a new blog that will give you that option.

On the upper, right corner of this page, you’ll see a place to put your email address and then the “Click Here to Sign Up” button.

By doing that, I can send out an email to everyone when I post something new. It won’t have the content of the post – just a link to the new blog. That way, you don’t have to visit my blog site to check for new stuff. Of course, you can go to the site with this link:

www.whadayathink.org

any time and look around.  There’s info about me and a bunch of blog posts that I’ve already written.

So many of us have heard the warnings from some well-intentioned soul that says, “Don’t ever talk about Religion or Politics”.  Well, I believe that the two things that effect our lives more than anything is religion and politics.  Everything else is small talk – “Is it cold enough out there for ya?”  “Sure sucks getting old.”  “Well, what are ya gonna do?” “How ’bout them Twins.”  Blah,blah,blah…..

So, we’re going to be talking about things that will likely fit into one of those two categories.  There will be others, though, like the two posts you can read entitled:

“A Fact About Population” and “The 30 Year Challenge”. and others about personal change and human development that could be of interest to you.

I don’t get emotional with subjects about which I’m writing.  I express my opinions based on facts as I see them and debate issues calmly and kindly with those who disagree with me.  I think the reason most people don’t like to debate is that a lot of people can’t hold it together.  I have a “settled state of certainty” about a lot of things, but there are few issues about which I’m passionate. Some time I’ll write about those things. I hope that everyone can maintain a little decorum even while responding to something about which you’re passionate.

Anyway…. Here we go. Hope you don’t bail on me too soon and remember, you can join in the conversation by replying in the “Comments”.

Thanks for tuning in.

 

 

The 30 Year Challenge

picture of old man lifting weights

How many of you know someone in their eighties or nineties who is strong and healthy.  I’m not talking about the person who “keeps moving” – the ones who walk the mall or go golfing every day.  I’m talking about a 90 year old man who can bench press more than half his body weight and lift and carry fifty pounds of bird seed from the car to the garage.  Or an 85 year old woman who can put her own forty pound piece of luggage on the airport scale and jog up the stairs at home with a basket full of laundry.   Is it even possible for old people to do those things?  I think so and I intend to prove it with my own 30 year challenge.

Many of you might say – “Who cares if you can’t do those things?” “You’ve earned the right to relax after the hectic life you’ve led.”   If those are your beliefs, you’ll be in the same condition as all the older folks that I’ve known.  As they got older, they didn’t keep their strength up, so their muscles atrophied and soon they couldn’t do as much as before so their muscles atrophied even more and so on.  Pretty soon, they joined the ranks of their peers and slowly became weak and feeble.  I don’t have an example of anyone I know personally who didn’t end up in that state. Continue reading

Big Business Isn’t the Problem

Only Government Can Make You Do Anything

I’m reading a book that I really enjoy, but the author is continuously saying that  “Big Pharma” (the pharmaceutical industry) or “Madison Avenue” (the ad agencies in concert with “Big Business”) are causing us to make bad decisions that affect our lives.

It’s true that businesses want to make a profit.  It’s true that they use creative methods to advertise their products or services.  It’s true that they don’t actively advertise the possible negative effects that overuse or misuse of their product may produce, but they can’t make us do anything.

Have you ever wondered why there’s a label (required by Government) on a power lawnmower that warns against putting your hand under the deck while it’s running?  How about the warning label that tells us to not use the hair dryer in the shower?  What about the label that tells us to not stand on the top of a step ladder? We all know the reason that these labels exist, don’t we?  Some lame-brain has already either maimed or killed themselves by putting their hand under a running lawnmower, using a blow dryer in the shower, or standing on the top of a step ladder.  Some people aren’t too bright.

I’m going to be nervy, here and suggest that if you think that the government should protect us from all advertising and other persuasive methods that businesses employ, maybe you need a warning label about watching advertisements.

I hope that all of you know that the only thing that Big Pharma and Big Business can do is TEMPT you to take action in some way or another.  They can’t garnish your paycheck, put you in jail, or threaten your life if you don’t buy their product or service.  Now, you might say that they are misrepresenting their products or services.  That could be, but there are already laws that punish that behavior.  If it were true that advertising could make you do something that you shouldn’t or buy something that you really didn’t want, then virtually everyone would be susceptible to advertising about everything.

That’s simply not true.  Ask a life-long Vegan how much deceptive advertising it would take before they would eventually grab a greasy, hormone-injected double Whopper with bacon on it and wolf it down.   My guess is that they would tell you that no amount of advertising in the world could make them do that.  As a former alcoholic, I can tell you that nothing – financial disaster, loss of a loved one, or terminal illness, much less deceptive advertising – would cause me to drink another drop of alcohol.   The same is true about luxury cars.  Someone would have to give me a luxury car before I would own one and even then, I’d trade it in for a truck as soon as I could.

There’s a reason why the Vegan and I can’t be tempted in these specific areas.  It’s because there’s nothing in our subconscious mind that sees any value in having the burger, the booze, or the luxury car.  As many of you know, it takes almost no advertising for me to buy another handgun.  They just have to advertise a brand or caliber that I don’t already have.  Here’s a small list of things that I could be tempted by or that I’m not susceptible to be tempted by:

  • Dark chocolate with almonds – susceptible
  • Full time job – not susceptible
  • Pasta – not susceptible
  • Smoking – not susceptible
  • Tools – susceptible
  • Suits – not susceptible (but could be a legitimate necessity at some time)
  • Cowboy boots – susceptible
  • Pets – not susceptible
  • Anything my grandkids want – highly susceptible

What does your list look like.  Do you have things that you would never be tempted by?

The point is – if you’re running up credit card debt, don’t blame the credit card companies and the product advertisers.  There’s something inside of you that wants stuff that you can’t afford.  If you’re still smoking after your first drag off a cigarette that nearly choked you to death, there’s a belief inside you about cigarette smoking that most people don’t share.  If you buy a $300,000 house with nothing down, and monthly payments of $250 a month for the first two years and you don’t think there’s anything odd about that, it’s ‘cause your subconscious desire to own a house completely obliterated any common sense you might have had.  Don’t blame the mortgage company.  I had a client who was a second-generation welfare recipient with an extremely limited education who bought a house with a sub-prime loan and even she knew enough to convert it well before her payments were scheduled to go up.  If you change the meaning attached to having these things, you’ll stop being tempted to have them.

Let’s take a little personal responsibility, here. Until we challenge our internal reasoning about these things, how about if we start an accountability partnership.   You keep me away from dark chocolate, tools, guns, and cowboy boots, and I’ll keep you away from the stuff that you’re tempted by, but let’s get over blaming everyone else for the self-inflicted misery that comes from being undisciplined, uneducated, and naïve.  O.K?

 

Whadayathink?

It Could Get Ugly

Picture of an ugly manYes, it could get ugly.  I was thinking about the content of my blog posts and came to the conclusion that there was something missing.  I’ve been doing a lot of teaching about how we all became who we are and that understanding the beliefs and meanings of others with whom we associate would be  beneficial when we have disagreements.

I’ve thrown in a couple of “safe” posts about cultural things, but being safe is boring.  I’ve been told a million times, since my youth, that we shouldn’t talk about religion or politics.  As I ponder that admonition, it occurs to me that there are no other more influential aspects of our lives than government and spirituality.  The government is reaching deeper and deeper into our lives and our spirituality or lack thereof has a huge influence on how we live our lives and how we interact with others.

I just wrote a blog post about being offended.  When I open up the possibilities for new blog content, I guess we’ll see if my readers will get offended and leave or join in a debate.    So, “There’s a new Sheriff in town”.  We’ll be talking about new stuff – guns, prejudice, race, politics, religion, “rights” and responsibilities, white privilege, and the American Dream.  I think the next post will be call “Babies and Patriotism”.

Are you up for it?  I hope you are.

Whadayathink?

I’M OFFENDED!!

sign that says caution easily offended

I’m offended.  What are the odds?  Aren’t we all offended by something these days?  Last week I got offended by someone who did a little rant about being offended.  I guess the only thing left to do is figure out who is more offended.  A couple of days ago, I got offended by someone making a statement about the Dutch – my heritage.  I was furious!!  At least I think I’m Dutch. I’m not sure, but I’m offended anyway!

I always want to be informed about the things I intend to share, so I went to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and looked up the word – offend.   Here it is: Continue reading

What’s The Matter With People? Pt. 1

What’s the matter with people? Part 1Pidture of a couple back to back

I was talking with a client of mine about the last blog (Just Doesn’t Matter 10/12) and he mentioned that he and his spouse had been bickering more than normal the last couple of weeks and that the last blog post was helpful.

Well, that’s a good thing – BUT… Knowing why the conflicts generally occur would be even more beneficial.  Then, we would understand other people and possibly avoid most of the conflicts ahead of time.  When I use the word partner in this post, that could include any kind of relationships you might have.

You may have picked up on an underlying desire of mine to have you all experience peace and joy more often than you do now.  I find that the more I learn about people, the more I can coexist with them in peace.

So, now we’re going to learn about “Sorting Systems”.  I won’t try to explain the origin of the term. We’ll have to let it go and just know that Sorting Systems define how we do life in some specific contexts.  I’ll talk about one Sorting System in this blog and continue with others in the next few blogs.

The first Sorting System is:

Sort by Self – Sort by Others

In each of these Sorting Systems there is a continuum that goes from one extreme to the other.  Keep in mind that most of the time we will fit somewhere in between the two extremes.  I’ll give examples at the extremes, because the concept is more vivid when you present a marked contrast from one side to the other.  Every area of every Sorting System can and should be managed so that we have balance in our lives.  Even though we can’t change our orientation in any give Sorting System, we can move away from the extremes of the continuum which will improve our relationships and reduce our personal struggles, as well. Continue reading

Just Doesn’t Matter

It Just Doesn't Matter

After we’ve determined for ourselves what the meaning of words and concepts will be, we will view every new piece of information through these filters and weed out anything that doesn’t match our meaning. That process comes to us naturally.  Unfortunately, most of our beliefs and meanings were established at an age long before we had the intellect and maturity to make wise choices.  Even so, our filters are then held at a subconscious level and we’ll keep using them until we make a conscious effort to change them.

We’ll have many filters through which we view life in different contexts. We’ll have a filter about the opposite sex, relationships, success, spirituality, our self worth, etc. We call these filters “Global Generalizations”.  We’re used to using the term, “Stereotypes”.

When a Global Generalization has become problematic for us – causing us emotional pain from loss of relationships, loss of financial security, or loss of spiritual wellness – we have to go through a difficult process of changing our thinking about something we’ve thought was true for a long time. Continue reading

Breaking Patterns

Picture of Broken Chain

I took a little break there for awhile, didn’t I?  Sorry. Once a pattern is broken, it’s hard to get going again.  That’s a lesson to be learned about life.  Our entire life is a conglomeration of patterns into which we’ve settled.  Each pattern is a recipe for how we act and react to things going on around us.  The patterns are actually strategies for behaviors that are based on the meanings we’ve attached to words and concepts and the beliefs we’ve adopted about people and ideas. Continue reading

Good Moms – Bad Rap

Boys

There’s a side-effect that comes with being a good mom that nobody anticipates and few people understand.  I’ll be writing about mothers of boys, since this side-effect is more common and more pronounced with boys than it is with girls.  Considering the amount of time stay-at-home moms spend with their children and how much opportunity they have to manage their kids’ behavior, it’s logical that this side-effect is experienced much more quickly than with working moms.

If a woman wants to be a good mom, she’ll accept the responsibility of teaching her boys about hygiene, manners, nutrition, safe play, balance between video game usage and school studies.  Those are the basics.  Then, you have the values and principles specific to this particular set of parents.  Added to the basics could be spiritual awareness, charity, industry (working for money), saving money, volunteering, etc.

Let it be known – RIGHT NOW – none of these things comes naturally to a human boy, much less two or three of them living together. Continue reading

Good At Being Bad

Bully2How did we get so good at doing stupid, angry, driven, fearful and all the other dysfunctional behaviors that we sometimes or oftentimes exhibit?  The process for becoming the best at dysfunction is the same as becoming the best at anything else – guitar player, public speaker, Mom, counselor, bricklayer or athlete.

I know a guy who says he doesn’t want to participate in anything unless he can do it well.  Doesn’t that sound like a “Catch 22”?  He can’t do something well until he participates in the skill for a long time, but he won’t participate because he can’t do it well right away.  Suffice it to say, he doesn’t try out new skills very often. Continue reading