Quotes that Say Something

"Please, dad, get down and look. I think there's some kind of monster under my bed."

Life when seen in close-up often seems tragic, but in wide-angle it often seems comic. -- Charlie Chaplin

"And when the cloudbursts thunder in your ear, you shout, but no one's there to hear. And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon." -- Roger Waters, "Brain Damage"

Jan 24, 2014

Relating to Relativism (Catholic Style)

           Friday, January 24 (2014)

           A piece by John Allen, a writer for the National Catholic Reporter newspaper, caught my attention this morning. The subject: put it under the heading of teachings and religious behaviors that are clearly black and white, except when they are gray.


          All things being relative, I try to stay away from comments and declarations (by me and others) that involve traditional religion as an institution or regulated system on this blog. Yet the matter does command a lot of attention in, and sadly too often sucks a lot of oxygen from, the cultural mainstream of everyday life. So I guess there is no harm in 'going there' re: church and religion every one in a while.

          So, put your paws up -- let's get rolling.

          The trigger point for this says something about modeling church doctrine, or at least talk about the subject today. There seems to be a disagreement, spat, or stand-off theologically (all metaphors) among two Cardinals @ the Vatican. Cardinal Muller's job is to be the keeper of the faith, the doctrinaire doctrine upholder. Cardinal Rodriguez-Maradiaga of Honduras is the main guy in Pope Francis' new advisory Council. While Muller spoke this week in hard and fast terms about the dissolubility of marriage, Rodriguez Maradiaga retorted from his pastoral experience that real-world judgment calls and pastoral insight must be applied in real-life matters.

          In effect, the Honduran leader told Cardinal Muller to lighten and loosen up.

          Crossfire! As good or better than any interchange that CNN could program.

          Allen writes this interchange should get us stoked in anticipation of next October's Synod of Bishops on the family. Issues discussions here we come:

          ' . . . Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics will be on the table (sic) and both
         Rodriguez Maradiaga and Müller should be present, . . . (it) will be great theater.'

          Here's what really drew me in as I finished reading John Allen's piece.

' . . . One could argue that the two cardinals weren't so much disagreeing as giving voice to two different pieces of the Catholic puzzle, which would be incomplete without either one. When Müller published his essay in L'Osservatore Romano in October, his mission was to lay out church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage -- in other words, to bring clarity to doctrine. Rodriguez-Maradiaga, on the other hand, was speaking from the pastoral experience of trying to apply that teaching to real-world judgment calls. To extend the image, perhaps the transition from Benedict to Francis could be analyzed not so much as a shift in substance, but in the balance of power between the church's theologians and its pastors. (Those are, of course, caricatures.)'

          In case you are murmuring 'So what?' -- As Allen points out in the NCR, the pastoral side of the matter is getting as much attention as the doctrinal. 'Usually Catholicism is terrific about communicating its doctrine, not so much its pastoral nuance,' he concludes.

John Allen of the NCR


Jan 22, 2014

Successful People Avoid What?

I really enjoyed some parts of this blog piece. But I laughed out loud when I scrolled down to the hokey, John Forsythe lookalike with the laptop in the picture below. This look anything like your workspace? --  Butch

Self-Limiting Behaviors To Avoid


I’m defining “success” here as achieving what matters most to you, individually and authentically – not as some objective measure of outer wealth, accomplishment or achievement.  I've noted that people who love what they do for a living and have created tremendous success and reward, not only engage continuously in life-supporting behaviors, but also avoid certain negative actions and mindsets that other, less successful people habitually get lost in.

The 8 self-limiting, negative behaviors successful people avoid are:

Engaging in “below the line” thinking
“Below the line” thinking refers to a particular mindset that shapes how you view the world in a limiting way.  It leads to your believing that what’s happening to you is outside your control and everyone else’s fault – the economy, your industry, your boss, your spouse, etc.  Below the line thinking says, “It’s not fair what’s happening, and I don’t have what it takes to overcome these challenges. I didn’t expect this and I can’t handle it.”  Above the line thinking, on the other hand, says, “I clearly see the obstacles ahead, and I’m addressing them with open eyes.  I’m accountable for my life and my career, and I have what it takes to navigate through this successfully.  If I fail, I’ll still wake up tomorrow exactly who I am, and will have learned something critical.”


Mistaking fantastical wishful thinking for action
Successful professionals pursue outcomes that flow organically from their current actions. Unsuccessful individuals attach to fantasies that may relieve them momentarily of their situational pain but have no basis in reality.  For instance, I’ve heard from corporate professionals who share, “Kathy, I really hate my job and desperately want to leave.  I’ve been wanting to write a book and become a motivational speaker for several years now.  What’s your advice?”  I’ll respond, “OK, great.  Are you writing and speaking?” and more often than not, the answer will be, “Uh…no.”  You can’t write a book if you’re not writing anything, and you can’t speak in public if you haven’t developed any material to speak about.   It’s critical to take bold action toward your visions, in order to create success.  Successful people develop huge goals too, but they crush them down into smaller, digestible (but courageous) action steps that they then build on, which leads naturally to the end goal they’re pursuing.

Remaining powerless and speechless
Successful people are in touch with their power, and are not afraid to use it and express it.  They advocate and negotiate strongly for themselves and for others, and for what they care about, and don’t shy away from articulating just how they stand apart from the competition.  They know how they contribute uniquely and the value they bring to the table.   In addition, they don’t wait to bring up concerns – they tackle challenges head on, speaking about them openly, with calm, poise and grace.  They don’t hide from their problems.  And they don’t perceive themselves as hapless victims.    

Putting off investing in themselves
I see this behavior over and over in those who feel thwarted and unsuccessful – they are incredibly reluctant to invest time, money and energy in themselves and their own growth.  They are comfortable only when putting other people’s needs ahead of their own.  They’ll make any excuse for why now is NOT the time to invest in themselves or commit to change.  They feel guilt, shame and anxiety over claiming “I’m worth this.”  Successful people don’t wait – they spend money, time and effort on their own growth because they know without doubt it will pay off – for themselves and everyone around them. 

Resisting change
Successful people don’t break themselves against what is or drown in the changing tides.  They go with the flow.  They follow the trends, and embrace them.  They are flexible, fluid and nimble.  They react to what’s in front of them, and improvise deftly.   Those who are unsuccessful bemoan what is appearing before them, and stay stuck in the past or in what they “expected,” complaining about how life is not what it should be and why what is feels so wrong. 

Honoring other people’s priorities over their own
Successful people know what matters most to them – their priorities, values, concerns, and their mission and purpose.  They don’t float aimlessly on a sea of possibility – they are masters of their own ship and know where they want to head, and make bold moves in the direction of their dreams.  To do this, they are very clear about their top priorities in life and work, and won’t be waylaid by the priorities and values of others.  In short, they have very well-defined boundaries, and know where they end and others begin.  They say “no” to endeavors and behaviors (and thinking) that will push them off track.  They know what they want to create and the legacy they want to leave behind in this lifetime, and honor that each day. (To get clearer on your priorities, values, and desires for the next chapter of your life and work, take my free Career Path Self-Assessment.)

Doubting themselves and their instincts 
Those who doubt themselves, lack trust in their own gut or instincts, or second-guess themselves continually find themselves far from where they want to be.  Successful professionals believe in themselves without fail.  Sure, they acknowledge they have “power gaps” or blind spots, and areas that need deep development.  But they forgive themselves for what they don’t know and the mistakes they’ve made, and accept themselves.  They keep going with hope and optimism, knowing that the lessons from these missteps will serve them well in the future.

Searching for handouts and easy answers
I can often tell from the first contact I have with someone if they’ll be likely to succeed in their new entrepreneurial venture and career, or not.  How? By the nature of their expectations, and how they set out to fulfill them. . . They: 1) understand that they have something important and valuable to offer in any situation, 2) are willing and happy to share or barter that in return for what they want, and 3) they treat others exactly as they would like to be treated. 
Successful professionals are respectful, resourceful, curious, competent, tenacious, and they figure out how to get the help they need without asking for handouts.  That doesn’t mean they don’t seek assistance when and where . . . They also know that their success is directly proportionate to the effort they put inMost of all, they understand there are no short cuts or easy answers on the road to success.


Jan 11, 2014

Don't Say These Things in 2014

Source:  27 Things to Leave Behind in 2014

A big thank you and "Namaste!" to Esquire.com for humor that has the bite of satirical truth full of amazingness. Get your laugh on, honor yourself, and chillax with mindfulness with this article for an epic, yet random, best time ever. Yay!

[Buzzwords, jargon, and hipster-isms. Really, dude. Step up your game. Get stoked up. And then give it up for Esquire for publishing this week. -- But, now, more to the point. There are simply some words and phrases that should not be used during 2014 or thereafter. Just think no. Consider this your constructive contribution to our permissive, sullied, but never dull pop culture.]

1. Liking Things Ironically

The Baby Boomers rebelled against their dorky parents. We Gen Xers, however, couldn't rebel against our parents since rebelling against your parents had been done, so instead, we cultivated irony; it was all we could do. This subtle, handcrafted irony, however, has fallen into the hands of subsequent generations who have been misinterpreting ever since, and now we have dorky a cappella singing competitions on TV. Ironically, that's what happens when you try to be ironic — you end up making things a million times worse. Therefore, all intentional irony should be abolished until everyone's clear on what's good and what's bad. It'll probably take about five years.

2. Being All Ghetto

Getting your drink on, making it rain up in here, giving a shout out, being all about things, and throwing gang signs in pictures are all about 15 years out of date and weren't that great to begin with. Classically, a ghetto is a tragic place from which to emerge, not dive into and declare fabulous.

3. Stepping Up Your Game and/or Bringing Your A-Game

Just forget about your game completely.

4. The Namaste Gesture

Many confused and pop culturally illiterate individuals ask -- what is a 'namaste?'When directed at, let's say, the dry cleaner, this abridged prayer and bow combo comes off as highly insincere. As with everything, if you can imagine Adam Levine doing it, you should avoid it.

5. Being Stoked

All too often, being stoked leads to giving a shout out. Best to avoid it.

6. Giving It Up

Times are tough. Who can afford to give stuff up? Conversely, giving it up for someone or something often succeeds giving a shout out, and should also be avoided.

7-9. Honor Yourself, Practice Mindfulness, and Manifest What the Universe Wants for You

Over. Over. Over.

10. Chillaxing

Oh, don't feel so bad. Chillaxing -- it had a good run.

11. The Falsetto Flourish

The advent of You Tube, Funny or Die, and other such do-it-yourself comedy outlets has had the odd effect of turning everyone into Jack Black. Saying something like, "I'mo get my drink on" with the "drink on" part sung in falsetto is a stylistic choice that cannot carry over into the new year. It might not seem like much now, but after a while, when things start to seem somehow better, we'll know it's because the Falsetto Flourish is gone.

12. Strong, Amazing Woman

It's become increasingly rare to hear women described without these two pat qualifiers. Maybe we could come up with two other ones, or maybe — better yet — we could let the strength and amazing-ness of women be quietly understood in a way that is truly strong and amazing. In the meantime, here's what you can say when describing a woman: "I want you to meet my friend Donna. She's really great."

13. Inventive Uses for "Much"

As in, "not so much" and "_____ much?" They may have been delightfully fresh in the '90s, but when your idioms are used to sell fast food and car insurance, it's time to abandon them.

14. Literally

Since "literally" can now mean "figuratively," we must stop interjecting it into our conversations in favor of the latter. Let's see if we now can get "figuratively" to mean "literally." Wouldn't that be great? We should figuratively do that.

15. Hey Lady

"Hey lady" has become the new "In the future" — a phrase that signifies something you don't want to hear. If I get an email that begins, "Hey lady," I delete it unread.

16. Being a Hater

Feel free to do it, just don't say it.

17. The Baby Clap Gesture

This stiff-handed, largely silent, staccato clap gesture that is often accompanied by a soft "Yay" (see below) stands in direct contrast to everything a clap should be. It's really goofing up clapping, and once clapping goes, we're doomed.

18. Right Now 

As in, "Are you kidding me right now?" and "Are you serious right now?" A totally unnecessary utterance that takes time away from constantly saying "figuratively."

19. Awesomeness

The unauthorized noun-ification of a dead adjective. Lose both.

20. At the End of the Day, It Is What It Is.

Across this great land, roughly 500,000 times a day, one person says this to another person, who nods in agreement, neither of them realizing that they've just participated in the emptiest experience two people can have. No more.

21. Gamechanger

As previously stated, please delete all references to one's game.

22-25. Wheelhouse, Random, Bow Chica Wow Wow, and I Know, Right?

For obvious reasons, in each case.

26. Yay!

Perhaps it's because everyone's so thrilled about everything that this once vibrant exclamation has grown feeble. If we're going to talk like children, I propose we say, "Goody goody gumdrops!" It's just as dumb, but at least it's different.

27. Calling Something the Best _____ Ever

You can still do this as long as you only do it once in your life. Only one thing can be the best thing ever, so you'd better think long and hard about that scone before you open your mouth.

Ed. Note --  Yay! Bow chica wow wow -- This is so over, you know right? At the end of the day, it is pure awesomeness that is literally a gamechanger. Reading it, I got so stoked. Namaste!

Jan 6, 2014

Play by the Rules?: Re-Invent Yourself Instead

I noticed this piece on the website for Entrepreneur magazine. It's a straightforward recipe that you might want to keep. -- BE

Why Play By the Rules? Reinvent Yourself.

By Lewis Howes

          One day a number of us will realize that the current position we're in is not suited for us (or for our talents and expectations). Many individuals will find themselves in a place where they must make a change to prosper.

          For some people, this is when the entrepreneurial spark comes to light. It's the moment you realize you need to make drastic changes at your company -- or personally.

          If you are looking to make a major change in your life -- quit your job, or start your own company, or just make some personal changes -- these three principles can help you find the path:

1. Push past points of resistance.

When coming to a point where we know a path must be created there will be mental blockades, obstacles and circumstances that arise. This will put your back against the wall and force you to make a decision on whether the reward you're seeking will be worth the pain . . . Don't fear change. Consider opposition as fuel igniting your ambition and drive. You need to recognize your vision – no one else. Channel your energy from within and push past resistance, and the status quo.

2. Trust your guts and be a self-starter.

No college course will prepare your mind for the transformation you are seeking in the real world. Instead of viewing this as a negative, take a determined and optimistic approach. For the interests that spark your curiosity, you must dig deep from within and question what you are striving for. Embrace the moment and visualize that every day is an opportunity to reinvent yourself.

For the direction you are headed, it's wise to seek a mentor who's a master of the craft you want to immerse yourself in. Read books in your field of interest as a short-term solution until you've built a mindset to move onto the next level of your craft. Leverage online resources, like podcasts, video's, articles, even online courses and programs. When you're persistent and passionate about your life's work, the right people will cross your path. This is known as the law of attraction.

3. Take action -- now. 

Avoid the regret others have suffered for not taking the leap of faith -- in yourself. Once an epiphany has presented itself in your mind, don't ponder on it. Move now. Fail early and often as this is where you will learn invaluable knowledge from your mistakes. Others around you can pinpoint small improvements, but through your eyes you'll see the adjustments that must be made.

Action can cure fear and hesitation and doubt. Remember, we are granted the limited resource of energy and time in our existence, so keep your mind focused on the end goal: growth and progress.

Author:  Lewis Howes is a former professional athelete and Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.

Go for it:  http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230076#ixzz2peTwwa8E