It’s All Downhill From Here

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“I think sports teaches you a lot about yourself.” She ought to know. That’s Lindsey Vonn talking about herself and her life as America’s current premier female downhill skier. Actually, that does not complete the picture of Vonn’s place in history. As long as Americans have been involved in competitive … Read More

Goals: Great for Sports, Lousy for Life – Part 1

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I have to admit that I like to make provocative little comments in casual conversations, such as the one which is also the title of this article, just to get people thinking. What does he mean by that? It works! Sometimes it sparks a friendly and enlightening debate. And that … Read More

The Right Kind of Experience (How To Be an Expert: The Aaron Trolia Way)

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Experience Is The Way to Become an Expert At Anything. Right? What does it take to become an expert at something? Well, if you talk to best-selling author and storyteller Malcolm Gladwell, he would say you will achieve expert status at pretty much anything you spend at least 10,000 hours doing. … Read More

How to Be an Obstacle Blaster

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Recently I came across the following status update posted by a Facebook friend: “I grew up with a stern and often angry parent. It affected me to the degree I’m often stern and admittedly too often angry — It has sometimes caused me, and I’m sorry to say my family, … Read More

Forgiveness Q & A – How Many Times?

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Q:           I remember a story in the Bible where Jesus was asked how many times we should forgive the same person. He said you should forgive hundreds of times. This is one of the reasons I do not believe in the Bible. How is there any wisdom or practicality … Read More

Goals: Great for Sports, Lousy for Life – Part 2

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A lot has been written about how much sports can teach us about life. We don’t hear so much about the ways in which sports are not at all like real life. In relation to goals, here are three ways sports and life should not mix: 1. When a goal … Read More

The Case Against Goals – #4

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Goals Aren’t Fluid, But Life Is – Part 1 In the delightful movie Tangled, Disney’s animated retelling of the classic tale of Rapunzel – about the girl with the magical and beautiful uncut hair – there’s a scene where Rapunzel is sharing a quandary with her new friend, Eugene. First, … Read More

Forgiveness Q & A – If This Person Could, Then You Can – Part 2

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Forgiving a Monster This, like Part 1, has the Q & A in inverse. In other words, I’ll ask the question and you provide the answer. First, another true story. Friends, I’d like to introduce you to a friend of humanity, Eva Mozes Kor (pictured to the right), the Auschwitz … Read More

The Possum and The Big Why

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I love to tell the story of the night, many years ago, I was taking a couple of young people home from a youth group activity. Tim, the teenager in the front passenger seat, lived a few miles out of town. This particular night was very dark. We were on … Read More

The Dragonslayer

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I am writing this article because I have been doing some research about a topic that fascinated me when I was a kid. The topic is dragons and dragon slayers. I know how peculiar this sounds. Please bear with me. I promise this relates to you, personally. I will explain how.   … Read More

Picture How This Photographer Shoots For Success – PART 1

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…While Helping “Average” People Make a Great First Impression   We have all been there, standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. Our eyes seem to have a mind of their own. We don’t want to look, but we do. Our gaze wanders from headline to headline, heralding … Read More

The Teacher Is the Student Series – #6

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This series contains ways that you can supercharge anything you’re learning; anything you want to internalize; anything you want to become more competent at, no matter the topic. If you do the things suggested in this series… * You will learn faster * You will comprehend difficult, new concepts more … Read More

The Teacher Is the Student Series – #5

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This series contains ways that you can supercharge anything you’re learning; anything you want to internalize; anything you want to become more competent at, no matter the topic. If you do the things suggested in this series… * You will learn faster * You will comprehend difficult, new concepts more … Read More

The Teacher Is the Student Series – #4

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This series contains ways that you can supercharge anything you’re learning; anything you want to internalize; anything you want to become more competent at, no matter the topic. If you do the things suggested in this series… * You will learn faster * You will comprehend difficult, new concepts more … Read More

Integrity Appears Out of the Unseen – Gossip Part 1

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Gossip. No one notices you not doing it. But is it possible that people see something else when you choose not to engage in gossip? I think so. However, whenever I teach on this topic, at least one person in the audience later tells me they had never realized how … Read More

Integrity Appears Out of the Unseen – Gossip Part 2

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We are right to feel horrible about ourselves when we’ve participated in gossip. In a figurative sense, we’ve thrown a rock through the living room window of the person we are talking about. We’ve spray-painted a vulgar message on their garage. We have harmed that person’s reputation by abiding the … Read More

The Teacher Is the Student Series – #3

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This series contains ways that you can supercharge anything you’re learning; anything you want to internalize; anything you want to become more competent at, no matter the topic. If you do the things suggested in this series… * You will learn faster * You will comprehend difficult, new concepts more … Read More

When a Barrier Is Not an Obstacle – Part 3

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The addition of sound-absorbing curtains in the dining room at Salty’s, a popular out-of-the-way waterfront restaurant near Federal Way, Washington, has been popular with both Salty’s guests and the staff. Very smart. There are two great life lessons we can apply from the stroke of marketing (and pragmatic) genius described … Read More

Tim’s TV

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My good friend, Tim, attached his flat screen television to a wall mount – the kind that allows the screen to be turned to the right or left – and installed it on the wall. He then sat down and watched a movie. It worked just fine. Then Don came … Read More

The Teacher Is the Student Series – #2

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This series contains ways that you can supercharge anything you’re learning; anything you want to internalize; anything you want to become more competent at, no matter the topic. If you do the things suggested in this series… * You will learn faster * You will comprehend difficult, new concepts more … Read More

When a Barrier Is Not an Obstacle – Part 2

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Salty’s at Redondo, a popular waterfront restaurant in a small beach community between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, created dining/meeting space for private groups by simply installing heavy curtains in the dining room that can enclose enough space for groups. As I said previously, I went to the management at Salty’s … Read More

Irresponsible People Are Most Responsible – Part 2

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I am not good at fishing. I predict I never will be. I don’t have a fishing pole. I don’t want a fishing pole. Oh, and I also don’t have any desire to be good at fishing. So, there you have it. I’ve just given the summary of this article … Read More

When a Barrier Is Not an Obstacle – Part 1

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If any part of what you are about to read seems like a commercial, it is not intended as such. I was not paid or compensated in any way to procure my endorsement of the restaurant discussed. I just love what this particular establishment has done. There happens to be … Read More

Start With Heart

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“Look, I didn’t mean to start an argument. And I don’t know why you’re all offended. I merely said that I think you are an idiot, so I don’t see what the big deal is.” This is something you will probably never hear in the course of a high stakes … Read More

The Teacher Is the Student Series – #1

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This series contains ways that you can supercharge anything you’re learning; anything you want to internalize; anything you want to become more competent at, no matter the topic. If you do the things suggested in this series… * You will learn faster * You will comprehend difficult, new concepts more … Read More

Getting Sucked In To Office Politics at Work; How Not To

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Invitations. That’s all we’re talking about. As we go about our daily lives, relating with others, we are – all of us – constantly sending and receiving invitations. A controversial remark is often an invitation to argue, A status update on Facebook that says, “I am very sad today… ” … Read More

The Case Against Goals – #6

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Goals Aren’t Fluid, But Life Is (… Like Traffic) – #3 In the last article, I suggested that if we would simply take note of our mindset as we go about driving from place to place, we can apply some of those discoveries toward success in other areas of life. … Read More

It’s On Your Bookshelf!

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We generally buy books we want to read; books that we believe will make an impact in some way. And those are the books we keep on the bookshelf after we’ve read them.  The non-fiction books we buy in hopes that they might help solve a problem or help us … Read More

The Case Against Goals – #5

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Goals Aren’t Fluid, But Life Is – Part 2 In order to get from place to place in America, we drive. Although millions of people ride a subway to and from work… or take a train, or get on a bus, or a bike, or walk, driving is the predominant … Read More

Taking Responsibility – Making It Easier: Part 1

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It happens literally thousands of times every day. In the dimly-lit corner of an old gymnasium, in a musty church basement, and in the plush environs of a corporate board room. It is a meeting attended by very special people. Rare is the individual who does what these people do. … Read More

Forgiveness Q & A – Why Should I Forgive?

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Why Should I Forgive?  Q:           Whether or not the person who hurt me deserves to be forgiven by me, or whether or not I really should forgive them, honestly, I don’t even think about those kinds of questions. I have moved on. I am able to be a successful … Read More

Do You Recycle?

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There is no such thing as waste. Look at nature and you will see that this is an absolute and observable fact. Literally, everything is converted into use. Everything is being recycled. Some things take longer than other things (such as in the case of nuclear “waste”) because of its … Read More

A Room With a View

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One of my favorite activities in life is sitting down with my best friend and discussing good, quality questions. It is always fascinating to hear someone answer a question from an angle that never would have occurred to me, inserting perspective that gives me pause to, and causes me to, … Read More

Forgiveness Q & A – If This Person Could, Then You Can – Part 1

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Forgiveness in 60 Minutes This Q & A is inverse. In other words, I’ll ask the question and you provide the answer. First, a true story. Back in 1983, Mike Wallace did a very memorable interview for the Sunday evening CBS news magazine, 60 Minutes. He interviewed Yehiel De-Nur, a Jewish … Read More

They Don’t Want You to Succeed – Part 2

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And speaking about banking… The Banks. Do the banks and credit card companies make less money or more money when you get out of debt? Of course, less money. Therefore, they have a vested interest in “helping” you get into debt – and more of it – and in staying … Read More

Put It Down – Part 3

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Painful childhood events are among the things we can understand people taking, well, personally. But events like World War II, the Great Depression and other such things can similarly leave a lifelong mark. When I was a boy, two or three days a week during the spring and summer months … Read More

Put It Down – Part 2

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The fact is that we have a choice as to what we carry around with us in life. We act like we don’t, but we do. To explain dysfunctions (any of the myriad of ways our dysfunctions are manifest), we use excuses that put the onus of responsibility (blame) upon … Read More

They Don’t Want You to Succeed – Part 1

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There are some people who aren’t happy when you blast through life’s obstacles. Conversely – and I know it sounds crass to say this – these same people make a very good living off of the status quo of a society full of people who aren’t Obstacle Blasters. So, if … Read More

The Case Against Goals – Part 3

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The Case Against Goals Why hasn’t anyone come out with a book that makes the definitive case against goals? Perhaps part of the answer to that question is found in the comments written by goal-setting proponents online. Anywhere that an article is written in a blog that identifies how and why … Read More

Put It Down – Part 1

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What if I told you that I have a tool that, when used, will help give you the ability to blast through any obstacle and do things with your life that you never thought you’d be able to do? Two things happen whenever I read words like that. First, I … Read More

The Case Against Goals – Part 2

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In The Case Against Goals series, we are dealing with the same question others have pondered and answered. Remember the question? Why do some people achieve their goals, while others flounder in procrastination, self-doubt, and fear? ‘But, Jim!’ you may say, ‘you already said that PJ McClure and Noah St. John have … Read More

Waaaay Too Much Lemon

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I make guacamole pretty regularly. (It’s important for me to mention that because I need to establish that I do know how to make it!) That’s why what I recently did when making a bowl of “guak” was so irregular: I put in waaaay too much lemon! I squeezed an … Read More

Four Questions to Make Things Work Better at Work

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I have long been a promoter of asking questions. [My first book – Tough Topics – is just that; a book of 600 questions intended to stimulate conversation and thought.] What an answer to prayer it would be for wise people everywhere to begin asking powerful, wise questions. For whenever … Read More

My Mother-In-Law Hates Me

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This is an equal opportunity phenomenon, experienced by both husbands and wives. To be sure, an article this short cannot begin to address core issues, so know that that is not what this is about. This is about one thing. If you find that you are the focus of anyone’s … Read More

The Case Against Goals – Part 1: Intro

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  Words produce mental movies.  You are the director. Allow your mind to speak in the language of words that provoke negative imagery full of limitations and boundaries, and you will instruct your subconscious accordingly, which, in turn, will produce predictable results. This is not a ground-breaking new concept. The … Read More

Planes and Ships and You – Influence Made Easy

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The sound of tires spinning on ice preceded my alarm by five minutes. Outside, about a hundred yards from my bedroom window, my neighbor was unable to fully back his BMW out onto the street. Once he backed a few feet onto the road, the car started sliding backward on … Read More

Forgiveness Q & A – I Don’t Ever Want to See Them

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Q:           I don’t even want to see this person, not ever, let alone resume a relationship with them. If I were to forgive them, it would be like saying to them, “What you did was okay. Come on back into my life and hurt me all over again!” What’s … Read More

Free from Independence – Part 2

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Freedom isn’t free. It is a struggle. But we all, especially those of us that bristle at the idea of someone else controlling us, need to be clear about what we are fighting in favor of and what exactly it is that we are resisting. From the age of about … Read More

How to Be Happy (All the Time)

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Words mean things. Sometimes lots of things! This is to say that practically every given word in the English language has a meaning that may be different from, sometimes very different from, the meaning you may have attached to it. And when I say meaning, I am not just talking about … Read More

Life Lesson from My Father: The Two F’s

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I am a parent. And if, from that statement, it isn’t apparent that I fret about my child’s safety even before I have any real reason to, then you probably aren’t a parent yourself. As my daughter nears the day she will have a driver’s license and backs out of … Read More

Do You Know? – Part 2

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Well, let’s be honest (this is a test of your integrity and credibility): isn’t it true that we all have an “inner spoiled brat”? [The part of you that is screaming out at me right now, “Speak for yourself!” that’s the voice of your inner spoiled brat.] The inner spoiled … Read More

Life Lesson from Willing Bowling Couple

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Meet Dave and Kathleen. They are two genuinely nice people. Married for almost seventeen years, if you take a surface look at the ways in which they are very different from each other, you might wonder why they are even a couple, let alone thriving in their relationship for so … Read More

Free from Independence – Part 1

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Have you seen the bumper sticker that says “Freedom Isn’t Free”? Mankind was into independence long before Americans fought for it in the Revolutionary War. So strong is our desire to be independent, many of us struggle for it for most of our lives. Teenagers slam doors. College students protest. Couples … Read More

Moving Up Versus Moving On

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A powerful little phrase came to me during a recent coaching session. I was working with a person who is coping with a great deal of pain involving the choices of her significant other. In talking about her life and the troubled state of the relationship, she kept saying that … Read More

It’s Not Personal!

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WARNING: Some of the following may, to some readers, come across as politically incorrect and, thus, insensitive and even unkind. Also, be prepared to read a couple, possibly obnoxious, generalities. I won’t apologize for either. Just letting you know. Let’s begin… When I was a sophomore in high school, I … Read More

Rosa Parks and the Positive Power of Intolerance

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UNESCO is an agency of the United Nations. It was formed to “promote the exchange of information, ideas, and culture.” Sounds good, right? Go online to learn more about UNESCO and you will find out that in 1984 the US withdrew as a member of that body to “protest its … Read More

Do you know? – Part 1

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Someone said something to me recently that I really struggled with. I actually got irritated at the audacity of these words. Although the remark didn’t initially sit right with me, I withheld expressing my disagreement with it, but I know my body language signaled how unnerved I felt about someone … Read More

How To Avoid Not Practicing What You Preach

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“Practice what you preach!” Those are tough words. It is a phrase that is used both as an admonishment and as an accusation. No one wants to be thought of as a hypocrite or two-faced. Thank God there’s a simple solution to the dilemma of knowing that there will be times your … Read More

Forgiveness Q & A – Bad Beliefs and Ridiculous Relationship-Killing Rules

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Q.            I have a cousin who generally doesn’t forgive, but he also generally doesn’t ever apologize either. He’s a pretty likeable person. But instead of forgiving someone, he just writes them off and doesn’t speak to them, and he also does not take correction very well at all, and … Read More

Forgiveness Q & A – I Can’t Forgive

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 Q:           I know I am supposed to forgive, and normally I am a very forgiving person, but there is someone who hurt me and I just can’t forgive them. So, what can someone in my situation do? A:            For starters, you might consider the answer to the following question: … Read More

The Vulnerability Myth

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The ancient Roman philosopher, Horace, wrote that “It is the false shame of fools to try to conceal wounds that have not healed.” If I advertised a seminar titled How to Forgive and Forget, or How to Move Past Painful Problems from the Past, or How to Overcome Shame and … Read More

Taking Responsibility – Making It Easier – Part 5

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Man Shows Up At His Own Funeral Reuters recently reported a very odd story out of Brazil. Several circumstances had to come together exactly as they did in this case in order for this uncanny incident to have happened. “A 41-year-old car washer from northeastern Brazil shocked his family by … Read More

Heterogeneity in the Workplace

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And now for the most obvious thing you’ll read all day. Ready? Here goes: unless you’re self-employed, have no employees and generally work alone, you work with others. Or do you? If you don’t work alone, do you really work with others? Doing your job in the same workplace as … Read More

Taking Responsibility – Making It Easier – Part 4

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She is my best friend. I had said some things that I thought needed to be said. But, true to the old adage that we hurt those we love the most, I delivered my message in a way that invited the kind of reaction I really didn’t want. You know … Read More

Don’t Stop

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Perhaps the best advice I ever received: Don’t stop. Winston Churchill made famous the phrase “Never give up!” But when I say Don’t stop, I am not referring to the importance of persevering. Though being determined and resolute and tenacious and unrelenting and tireless and purposeful and persistent are all … Read More

Taking Responsibility: Making It Easier – Part 3

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Ted was sexually abused multiple times over about a three year period when he was a kid. His abuser used money and gifts both as a reward and a punishment in order to get what he wanted out of Ted. Slowly over the decades since that dark time, Ted has … Read More

Taking Responsibility – Making It Easier: Part 2

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We concluded Part 1 by pointing out that we already know at a very deep level about the benefits of doing certain things like breathing. We know we have got to breathe, but because the act of breathing is unconsciously taken care of, we take for granted the benefit of … Read More

It Is Hopeless

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It was one of those light bulb moments. A few of us were sitting in a comfortable setting, having a discussion. The topic doesn’t matter. What matters is that some old disagreements arose and I didn’t handle the situation very well. I could point out that the other person in … Read More

Kids Know How to Succeed

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Spend enough time around little children and you will see them misperceive something they have heard or been taught. Sometimes it is pretty funny. A few examples … Example #1 A nativity play performed by seven-year-olds. The young actors are positioned for the iconic gathering around the manger. The first … Read More

New Light

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When someone sheds new light on something, do you usually feel better or worse? Of course, we feel better. Light always brings about a better feeling.  Even when we are the recipient of bad news, the fact that we now have a better grasp of the situation; the fact that … Read More

A Life Lesson from the 6th Grade

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I was twelve years old. It was springtime and the school year was winding down. I remember the day very clearly, and the moment in the particular day I’ve got in mind. We were back from the afternoon recess and no one in the noisy classroom seemed to be in … Read More

Forgiveness Q & A – Misjudging

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Q:           Why do so many people struggle with letting go of the past and forgiving others? A:            Most of the time, when we struggle with forgiving someone, it is because we are misjudging two people. We are misjudging the person we are having a hard time forgiving… but … Read More

Overwhelm Be Gone – Part 2

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Okay, so we want to never again be tangled and tied in a knot of mental and emotional overload, right? Feeling overwhelmed is a big obstacle to moving forward. It’s like trying to drive to XYZ destination across town when a sudden snowstorm, hailstorm, and kitty litter storm hits all … Read More

Overwhelm Be Gone! – Part 1

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It’s just another day in the mind of… a mind. The average mind. There’s a knock on the door. Trying to be very quiet, Conscious nervously looks through a tiny slit in the blinds. “Oh, crud! It’s Overwhelm,” Conscious whispers, “Probably here because I’m getting a slow start this morning, … Read More

The Last Four Years – Part 2

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A friend recently shared the following quote with me from a Celtic prayer book: “The measure of our love is not what we give of ourselves, but by what we hold back.” Do yourself the favor of reviewing again the list of questions from Part 1 (shown below for your … Read More

The Last Four Years – Part 1

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Ever since the 1980 presidential election when Ronald Reagan asked Americans, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” someone has asked the same question every time the electorate considers who should be president for the next four years. Of course, the context of the question has … Read More

Here’s Why You Don’t Fit In

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Do you ever wish you looked like everyone else? Perhaps you’ve wished you were like everyone else in some other respect. The truth is, you are different. You know you are. You sometimes (maybe all the time) worry that everyone else knows it too. In the fall of 1960, The … Read More

My Plan Be

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Her name is Jennifer Nachshen. She beat me by at least two years. I had what I thought was a great little idea. Nothing earthshaking; just a clever, pithy little concept for the name and topic of a blog article. The one you’re reading right now, as a matter of … Read More

Picture How This Photographer Shoots For Success – PART 2

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My interview with Corey Schatz of DigiShotz of Lakewood, Washington continues. Jim: So, as a professional photographer, what problem would you say you are you solving for your clients? What obstacles do you help people overcome? Corey: Everyone wants to be seen, literally, in the best light. That one day … Read More

FREE Download of Pull Your Head Out!

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Scroll Gallery

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus placerat risus eu augue rutrum, eu elementum elit semper. Nam et hendrerit ex. Phasellus quis mi in ligula facilisis laoreet sit amet ut enim. Nam magna turpis, rutrum at finibus sed, luctus ut ex. Duis tempus pharetra lacus vitae luctus. Pellentesque … Read More

Gallery Grid

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus placerat risus eu augue rutrum, eu elementum elit semper. Nam et hendrerit ex. Phasellus quis mi in ligula facilisis laoreet sit amet ut enim. Nam magna turpis, rutrum at finibus sed, luctus ut ex. Duis tempus pharetra lacus vitae luctus. Pellentesque … Read More

Gallery Slider

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Standard Post

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus placerat risus eu augue rutrum, eu elementum elit semper. Nam et hendrerit ex. Phasellus quis mi in ligula facilisis laoreet sit amet ut enim. Nam magna turpis, rutrum at finibus sed, luctus ut ex. Duis tempus pharetra lacus vitae luctus. Pellentesque … Read More

Video Post

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My Forest Exploration

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus placerat risus eu augue rutrum, eu elementum elit semper. Nam et hendrerit ex. Phasellus quis mi in ligula facilisis laoreet sit amet ut enim. Nam magna turpis, rutrum at finibus sed, luctus ut ex. Duis tempus pharetra lacus vitae luctus. Pellentesque … Read More

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