Showing posts from February, 2007

in the interest of full disclosure

This will be the first in a short series that will let you know something about how we conduct ourselves and where it differs from what we teach or what you might expect us to teach. This first is about goal-setting and state management.

Chris and I begin our processes for both goal-setting and managing our states with prayer, often supplemented with reading our Bibles. We do not teach this: we teach processes that offer some of the benefits of prayer within a completely secular model. We know that the processes we teach are highly effective. They work for people of many different beliefs.

We define our own strengths and integrity around our Christian faith. For us, the process of gathering ourselves and our resources is a process of connecting with God through Christ and through Scripture. Typically, when faced with a choice point, I will open my Bible, then pray, then check to see what has shifted. Typically, I will use states of focus to quiet my mind so that I can be open in praye…

Being what you want to be

Are you the things you have or the things you do? Or are you something more - is the person who acquires things and experiences things somehow more than the things that person wants?

Knowing yourself is a lifelong endeavour. Most of us get glimpses of who we want to be - sometimes in an achievement and sometimes in a quiet moment alone and sometimes in the reflection we see when someone looks at us. I have been blessed with someone who frequently holds a mirror up so that I can see things I would otherwise have missed about myself. Those things do not always make me comfortable. They are always the beginning of making me stronger.

The poet Yeats once said that people have to choose between creating perfect lives and creating perfect work. Most of us do not make that kind of choice. We choose imperfection in who we are, in what we acquire, and in what we do. We choose imperfection because it is inevitable and because it sometimes surprises us. It sometimes offers us the view in the mirro…

reality checks

What if you can attract whatever you want just by believing that you can have it? How precise is the universe in handing you what you want? There are lots of stories, in lots of cultures, that whisper "be careful what you ask for."

Imagine that a large cheque arrives in the mail. Sounds great, doesn't it? Now imagine that the cheque is part of settling an estate for someone you loved dearly. Or maybe it's a critical illness insurance cheque. That doesn't sound nearly as great. Be careful what you wish for.

Imagine that you move into your dream house. It's the right size, the right location, the furniture you have always wanted. Imagine that you move into it alone. Be careful what you wish for.

Imagine that you shift it up several notches and acquire the taste, the luxuries and the status you have always wanted. You are suddenly exactly where you knew you should be - and everyone who was once important in your life is back where you left them. Be careful what …

Scientifically proven

What happens in your mind when you read a phrase like "scientifically proven?" This morning, I was reading a book that is currently the subject of lots of buzz (yes - it made it to Oprah). It contained a statement that it has been 'scientifically' proven that an affirmative thought is hundreds of times more powerful than a negative thought. No reference was given to the study or studies that "proved" this hypothesis.

I wonder when the notions of affirmation and negation were operationalized so that they could be tested experimentally.

I wonder what units of power were used in quantifying.

I wonder how many hundreds of times more powerful. Since this is science, I assume quantity matters.

The book made it to Oprah. The people involved with it are going to realize their own affirmations - they are going to make lots of money. Probably not as much as a the quiet single mom who wrote a children's book while sitting in coffee shops with her baby. But still. Lot…

sad old songs

Driving home from work last night, I listened to Jann Arden talking about the songs she had chosen for her new album. Many of them were songs that I remembered from the back seat of the car, or the radio in the living room. Not the songs of my teens, but the songs from that desperate, confusing time in between, the days of middle school.

Thanks to iTunes, I was able to download both Arden's covers and a collection of the Carpenters' Greatest Hits. I was too young to have anything but sideways memories of Karen Carpenter, a too-thin presence with a rich and wonderful voice. Tragic and perky at the same time. The songs pull me back so strongly I couldn't do much except to listen to them this morning. Pulled back, not into a particular time and state, but into the psyche of a twelve year old singing Rainy Days and Mondays with a voice that caught on the edges of childhood.

As I listen to those songs again, I notice the shadows under the baby boom myth. Very young, boomers (li…

Attention, Attraction, Achievement

Have you heard about The Secret? I will confess that I have not yet read the book or watched the DVD but I did sneak a peak today in the bookstore. The Secret is, apparently, that we can attract things into our life by paying attention to them. This is not quite as big a "secret" as how they get the caramel into a Caramilk bar. Some people attract success by knowing what they want, paying attention to opportunities, and working hard to make their vision real.

The advantage of a secret that is well-known is that there is considerable evidence that it works (which is not quite the same as it being true). The disadvantage is that you have probably already heard some version of this secret without becoming as wildly successful as you would like.

I have been reading a book about a different kind of secret. It's a book by Milton Erickson's family and friends about the "secret" to Erickson's success. That secret is apparently that Erickson was able to be inte…