Thursday, November 13, 2014

The more you "should" on yourself, the more you pushback on your own advice. 
Dr. Mitchell Perry


Have you ever noticed how often people will talk to us about a problem, and we begin to tell them what they "should" do about it? Even after hearing our sage advice, irrespective of how practical, logical, and sensible it might be, they dig in their heels and resist what you claim they "should" do.

We also do this to ourselves. Have you noticed yourself saying, "I should do this" or "I really should avoid doing that," and then you steadfastly resist whatever it is you're telling yourself to do? Have you ever noticed how miserable people feel whenever they compulsively keep doing whatever it is they think they "should" do, rather than what they want to do?  It seems there are so many things they should do, say, think, feel, quit, start, etc., that they seldom get around to enjoying anything.

If all of this sounds familiar, you are an unknowing participant in the "should bind."  What you may have failed to consider is that whenever you encounter a "should," you have immediately created an obstacle to any progress or success.  A "should" is a put-down, designed to point out how stupid the person is who receives it.

Suppose you have a friend who is overweight and out of shape.  For a long time, you have been watching your friend overeat without exercising.  You are now concerned about his physical condition because these eating habits are jeopardizing his good health and longevity.  So, you say, with admirable intentions:  "John, you should lose weight.  You should diet and exercise because you know your current weight is unhealthy for you."  Notice how your friend handles these remarks!  He appears affronted and upset and simply refuses to heed them regardless of their validity.  Why?  What you have really told him is that he is stupid - if he was smart, he would have already lost the weight!  The "should" was, in reality, a put-down that resulted in a typical resistant stance.

You "Should" on yourself too!  You may notice too that whenever you tell yourself you should diet and exercise, you are reluctant to do what you "should" do.  List all of your own "shoulds."  They may be overwhelmingly abundant and sound something like this: 
I should lose weight.  I should stop smoking.  I should exercise. I should spend more time with my kids.  I should finish my degree.  I should call my mother.  I should be more patient.  I should listen.  I shouldn't feel guilty.  I shouldn't worry. I shouldn't take things so personally.

Perhaps your list appears endless.  Notice whenever you should on yourself out loud, you begin to feel badly, defensive, resentful and resistant?  There is a complete absence of motivation.

Sometimes, as parents, we tell our children what they "should" and "shouldn't" do, feel and behave.  Though our intentions are honorable and we have the utmost concern for their welfare, we become confused when often our children meet our advice with resistance.  Why is that?  In actuality, we have put them down rather than helped them out.  For instance, suppose your daughter is too frightened to swim and you say:  You shouldn't feel afraid.  You have really told your child that her feelings are stupid and invalid.  She will still feel afraid but now she also feels inferior and stupid because her fear has been undermined. 

More closely examined, the "shoulds" are purely guilt producers.  The feeling generated by any "should" remark is initially guilt but this is quickly turned to resentment then resistance.  I have seldom known anyone who really liked being dealt "shoulds" on a regular basis.

An even more self-defeating "should" is placed in the past tense, namely, "I should have done this," or "You should have remembered..."  To constantly berate yourself over what you should or shouldn't have done is unbelievably destructive.  Why?  Because it is impossible to alter the past!  It has already happened and is past the point of change.  To continually beat yourself up about it is reactive and destructive.  Progress and improvement are impossible leaving room only for guilt and self-hate. 

What is a solution to "Shoulding" on yourself and others? 

I heartily encourage you delete all "shoulds" from your vocabulary and substitute them with "mights" and "wants."  Remember that the first thing people will do when they feel forced is resist.  The "shoulds" are a form of force.  People resist vehemently.  Removing the "shoulds" from your dialogue will provide less force, thereby resulting in less unnecessary resistance.  There are three ways to rephrase the overused "should" in your daily conversations.  Each has a different level of intensity.  They are:
     "You might... "
     "I urge / encourage / suggest / recommend you consider... "
     "I want you to... "   
Notice if you say to your overweight friend, "John, you might want to lose weight," "I would encourage you to consider losing weight," or "I want you to lose weight."  He will feel much less resistant to your suggestion and more motivated to start losing weight because essentially he still has the option to refuse your advice without losing face or feeling stupid.  You, of course, select one of the three options depending on your style, the closeness of the relationship, and the desired level of impact.

In addition, removing ourselves from the tyranny of the "shoulding" on ourselves by substituting the "wants" and "mights" is a beneficial change.  If you say to yourself, "I should lose weight," it is likely you will feel badly that you have yet to do it.  On the other hand, if you say, "I want to lose weight," it is more likely you will diet because your resistance is down, and your levels of guilt and bad feelings are diminished.

Remember, ultimately you are only going to do what you want to do.  You will be impressed with how much more you can get done with less resistance when you concentrate on changing those "shoulds" to "wants."  I encourage you to take your list of "shoulds" and change them to "wants."  Then read them aloud and notice how you feel different immediately!

In summary, the "shoulds" create resistance, when either self-imposed, or levied on others.  Wipe out all the "shoulds" and consider the "mights" when speaking with others, and use the "wants" when speaking to yourself.  You will be quite surprised with the positive results. 

I encourage you to take a look at my 3-minute video on "The Shoulds."  Click here: then forward this to many in your network!

Today's Tickle

Let's face it... English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One blouse, 2 blice? First, second, third, fourth or oneth, twoth, threeth, fourth? One index, 2 indices? One kleenex, 2 kleenexes?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park in the driveway and drive in the parkway? 

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Hello All:  

Part of life means having to deal with miserable energy suckers.  Many of these people seem to be on a mission for you to enjoy their unhappiness.  Sometimes that price of admission is too high.  So what do you do?   
Dr. Mitchell Perry


 People can be difficult... and dealing effectively with people in business is crucial to your success.  When you learn how to identify people's behavior in business you are way ahead of the game, and your career (and sanity) will benefit enormously.  These skills and benefits can be of great value in the following circumstances:
  • When applying for a new job
  • Asking for a promotion
  • Maintaining balance and equilibrium on the job
  • Gaining a new account
  • Succeeding in the merger or acquisition of your company
  • Navigating through the political waters at work
  • Doing the maintenance on a difficult colleague or customer
Let's begin by identifying some popular difficult personality types.

The Hostile - This type includes:
The Bully - the boss or coworker or business contact who takes pleasure in running over you or throwing you under the bus.
The Sniper - the person who says something nasty and pretends to be innocent.
The Exploder - Their favorite line is "Don't make me mad," so you are always on guard for an explosion.
The Negative/Critical Complainer - Everything is always wrong, bad, awful, and miserable.  They are professional whiners.
The Unresponsive - They are silent, non-communicative, unemotional, and distant.  It is impossible to tell what their position is on anything.
The Indecisive - Perpetually ambivalent, uncommitted; they are afraid of making mistakes, being wrong, and being exposed. 
The Judge/Calculator - "Let me analyze this," remaining critical, pejorative, everything is slightly flawed and imperfect.
The Passive/Aggressive - Appearing compliant while sabotaging, undermining, and criticizing all the time.
The Professional Victim - Self pity, wallowing in "Ain't it awful?"  "I'm so mistreated."  "You can't possibly understand what I've been through."  "It isn't fair!"

Sound familiar?  What do you do about these types when you have to work with them, answer to them, persuade them?  

Here are some effective strategies you can use:  (Remember that different types require different tools, and it is helpful if you can use many people tools in your tool box.)
  1. Keep a smile going, remain strong, impervious to the manipulations (works well on the Negative Complainers).
  2. Remove yourself (when possible) from the difficult person, its a frustration when they lack an audience (works on the Bully).
  3. Validate their opinion before you counter with yours. They will be less difficult when they feel valued.
  4. Listen first.  Listening is the best way to get your point across.  As Dr. Stephen Covey says in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "seek first to understand, then be understood" (works on everyone, especially the Judge/Calculator). 
  5. Replace "yeah but" in your dialog with "on the other hand."  This small change will calm down escalation of contests and conflicts.
  6. Ask them to help you understand.  People are less likely to be difficult when asked for help (works on the Indecisive and Unresponsive).
  7. Reinforce their value following a criticism.  People respond to what they heard last, therefore, they will be less defensive.
  8. Engage in three or more options.  People will be less contestual when there are multiple options available. 
  9. Replace "you should" with "you might" or "I encourage you to..."  People get very difficult when they hear the word "should." 
  10. Expose the routine.  Announce your confusion with mixed messages from them (sometimes effective on Passive/Aggressive).
Above all, maintain your power and your sense of humor.  People can only wreck your day with your consent.  Though certainly difficult people often appear to want you to enjoy their misery with them, keep in mind you can always allow them to enjoy their private party by themselves.  Remember the movie, "War Games?"  At the end of the movie, the computer concluded "the only way to win, is not to play."  How true sometimes.   

Today's Tickle

Dear Abby Lacks Answers to the following questions:

Dear Abby,
A couple of women moved in across the hall from me.  One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid-twenties.  These two women go everywhere together, and I've never seen a man go into or leave their apartment.  Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Dear Abby,
What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence on my VCR?

Dear Abby,
I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years.  It's getting expensive and I think my boyfriend should share half the cost, but I don't know him well enough to discuss money with him.

Dear Abby,
I've suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby,
Our son writes that he is taking Judo.  Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby,
I joined the Navy to see the world.  I've seen it.  Now how do I get out?

Dear Abby,
My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour every week for two and a half years.  He must be crazy.

Dear Abby,
My mother is mean and short tempered I think she is going through mental pause.

Dear Abby,
You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor.  Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do?

Dear Abby,
I have a man I can't trust.  He cheats so much, I'm not even sure the baby I'm carrying is his.

Remember, these people are alive and walking amongst us and brain damage appears to be contagious. 

What a prospect!  These people vote, but only if they can find the polling place!
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Every morning you wake up, you wake up YOU.  Whenever you look in the mirror, there you are!  It is insane to dislike and disrespect that person in the mirror. 
Dr. Mitchell Perry

 1. Your character, your standards, and your self-respect are everything.

Do you ever notice that every morning you wake up YOU? Even if you are dreaming... you still wake up YOU. You are always there regardless of your fantasies about being someone else. 

I like to say, "Wherever you go, there you are, so there you go!" 

This means that every morning you look in the mirror, there you are. 

Therefore, you will always be attending that meeting with yourself... so it makes perfect common sense to enjoy and feel good about what you see in the mirror. 

It is insane to routinely dislike the person always attending that party - YOU.

So, your judgment, your approval, your self-respect, your self-concept is primary. Therefore to be hostage to the approval / disapproval of others over your own is profoundly counter-productive.

2. The degree to which you get respect from others is in direct proportion to your own self-respect. The more self-respect you have... the more respect you will get from others.

Remember that being respected has a much longer shelf-life than being popular.

Popular falls in and out of fashion. People are often fickle and your being hostage to the approval / disapproval of others only makes you perpetually adjust your standards and conduct in the interest of gaining that temporary favor.

Example: you get pressure from your peers to participate in doing drugs because "it is cool, everyone is doing it, and you want to avoid being called a wimp." So to get group approval you consent, do the drugs, and then later regret it big time.

Sometimes you have to do the "right" thing because your self-respect is at stake. When you do, you respect what you see in the mirror, and then "they" will likely respect you more.

Remember, "like" follows "respect" more than "respect" follows "like."
It is more likely that people will like you after they respect you than they will respect you after they like you. I would always much prefer to be respected than be popular. 

In your lifetime, you have known someone who always chose the "popular" option and as a result their self-respect always went on the back burner... so they earned very little, if any respect from others.

3. Going forward, consider using the "SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©."

You know what a barometer measures: air pressure. And as you may know, boaters always check the barometer first before they venture out into the sea.  If the barometer indicates a "storm" coming, it might be a bad idea to go out in bad weather.

So consider this... you probably wear a watch... and you probably routinely look at your watch to check the time... that helps you make important decisions at particular points in the day.

Let's imagine that you NOW have an additional gauge on your watch... and this one is called your "SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©"... and it measures your self-respect at any time.

So imagine you are going to make a decision about a relationship, an initiative, a purchase, a reaction, etc... and this decision has some emotion attached to it... which means this next decision might be impacted by that emotion.

Perhaps you might be dealing with impulse control issues around this decision and your emotions are impacting your impulses... SO, BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY MAKE THE DECISION, YOU SIMPLY CHECK YOUR WATCH AND LOOK AT YOUR "SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©."


And, if the answer is DOWN, then you can decide to make another decision instead. Imagine your self-respect is always the guiding light, the guidance counselor, the mentor, the internal locus of control.


Then you start trusting your judgment more.

Keep the "Self-Respect Barometer©" close by, and look at it often. You will notice that it will help you make important decisions, retain your strength of character, and self-respect.

Today's Tickle

A tour bus driver is driving with a bus load of seniors down a highway when he is tapped on his shoulder by a little old lady.
She offers him a handful of peanuts, which he gratefully munches up.
After about 15 minutes, she taps him on his shoulder again and she hands him another handful of peanuts.
She repeats this gesture about five more times.
When she is about to hand him another batch again he asks the little old lady, 'Why don't you eat the peanuts yourself?'
'We can't chew them because we've no teeth', she replied.
The puzzled driver asks, 'Why do you buy them then?'
The old lady replied, 'We just love the chocolate around them.'
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
When you ask for help from others, they will say yes;
When they give you help, you have more resources;
When they say yes, give you the help, and have more resources you are now more powerful!

So, it is insane to prevent the very thing that works best!
Dr. Mitchell Perry


Human beings need contact, closeness, and affiliation.  Connection is so important that solitary confinement is often used in prison as a means of punishment.  People are generally happier when they feel close, connected, loved, and appreciated.  

And, the most common psychological disorder in people is depression.  What is depression?  Depression sets in when the gap is too wide between how one thinks life should be vs. how it is.  And the biggest contributor to depression is loneliness, feeling rejected, alienated, disconnected, and separate from other people.


And here is a great way to make that connection!

Notice how often you can get more done with people helping.  And, notice how often you want to ask someone for help, but are reluctant either because you are afraid you may be turned down, or you will be perceived as weak.

Be reminded of the following axiom:
  1. The first impulse most people have when OFFERED help is to say NO!
  2. And, the news is... the first impulse most people have when asked for help is to say YES!

So, remember to engage the power of relationships by asking for help!  To do that, you must change the association you may have between asking for help and appearing weak.  Rather than associate WEAKNESS with the thought of asking for help, associate STRENGTH instead.  Besides, when you do get help, and the resources you need, are you now weaker or actually stronger?

People like to feel important and asking for help or advice is a great way of making someone feel valued.

So, start a new behavior pattern... associate strength with asking for help.  Then, start connecting with people and find strength in the power of the group  Engage the power of relationships and replace the "you or me" with "you and me."

Ask for help regularly!  

Today's Tickle


In 1952, Armon M. Sweat, Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whiskey.  What follows is his exact answer (taken from the Political Archives of Texas). 

"If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

However, if by whiskey you mean the lubricant of conversation, the philosophic juice, the elixir of life, the liquid that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to
build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it. 

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle. 

Gil McKinnie 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
If you routinely take things personally, you may often believe whatever just happened must be involving you somehow... so ask yourself a question, 'Am I that big a deal?  Is it really about me again?' 
Dr. Mitchell Perry


"I take things too personally" is a remark I hear frequently from clients, colleagues, and friends.

If your spouse comes home crabby, do you feel responsible, guilty, irritated, and finally, crabby yourself?

If you fail to get an invitation to lunch, or to a party or wedding, do you take it personally and then doubt yourself and your popularity?

If someone else gets the contract, do you believe you have failed to deliver?

If your boss forgets to say good morning, do you automatically think that he/she is mad at you?

If your guests want to go home early, does that immediately suggest they dislike your company?

Frequently, we have our whole day ruined because someone else's behavior rubs off on us, and we feel responsible. We often find that whenever someone else is upset, we feel a great pressure that somehow we are to blame. As a result, we take their behavior personally, which makes us defensive, anxious, miserable and insecure.  We catastrophize, awfulize and become crisis junkies.  

It is important to gain some understanding as to the roots of this problem, and look at some possible reasons why we become hypersensitive and take things too personally. With this understanding, you'll gain some valuable perspectives on how to handle the problem.

1. Setting up a crisis to look for approval.

Most of us have a great need for approval and validation from others. We want to get strokes and reinforcement on a regular basis from just about everybody. Sometimes, we will deliberately set up situations in order to receive reinforcement. When we take things personally, we are invariably upset by feeling responsible for another person's mood or behavior. Often this creates a crisis whereby other people now have to reinforce us and give us the approval that we're okay.

2. Obtain insurance for belonging to others and against having to be alone.

Many of us have a great problem with the thought of being alone. Moreover, many of us have spent our entire lives without ever having been alone, so the prospect of being alone creates great panic and anxiety. We'll strive consciously and unconsciously to connect and belong with other people. Taking things too personally is a device to ensure "belonging" with others. When you feel responsible for another person's behavior, you get to belong to that person's situation and therefore can avoid feeling alone. You may find that if you have a great need to take care of other people and belong to them, you will also tend to take personally many of the moods and situations that they own. In this way, hypersensitivity becomes a device which allows us to avoid being alone and promotes the feeling that we have a place of great significance - we get to be responsible (for someone else's behavior!)

3. Obtain insurance against maturing, growing up, and being an adult.

When taking things very personally, many people exhibit childish and infantile behavior. Sometimes they pout, behave in a socially inappropriate way, become very silent and cold, or become dramatic and explosive. Much of the time, this kind of behavior is both childish and counterproductive to progress in relationships. In addition, when people take things too personally, they fail to distinguish themselves from the behavior of others; they are unable to differentiate between what is inside or outside of them. They tend to lose track of whose behavior is whose! This condition, referred to as over-generalizing, occurs when an individual thinks that he/she is always, in some way, connected to the behavior of others (much the way children think). By taking something too personally, you have ensured that you can behave childishly because you think you must have something to do with another person's mood or behavior. Consequently, the process of maturing, growing, and being adult is retarded.

4. We get to enhance our narcissism.

Narcissism is the tendency to be wrapped up in ourselves - thinking the world revolves around us. Most adolescents feel this way. They are obsessed with their clothes, activities, social groups, fads, language, and their impact on others. They delude themselves into thinking they are necessary and central to the progress of everything. Narcissism is the need to be significant and important to everyone about everything.

Taking things too personally enhances narcissism because if we think we must be responsible for external events, then we've just reinforced the delusional need to be important and significant to everything and everyone around us. Certainly the tendency to take things too personally is quite common and extremely counterproductive. Hypersensitive people are always ready to react to others around them and are rarely, if ever, in a proactive control position. In addition, the thinking focus is geared toward outcome rather than process. For these types learning is absent and is unfortunately replaced by observing, agonizing, and obsessing about themselves.

What can you do? When you observe distressing behavior in someone else and find you're taking it too personally, it will help to consistently consider the following three questions to recover faster:

1. "Am I responsible for what has just occurred?"
When a loved one, friend, or business associate is in a bad mood, seems irritable, pouty, depressed, impatient, defiant, etc., ask yourself the question "Am I really responsible for this person's behavior?" Often you will realize that you are seldom if ever responsible, and the other person has chosen to behave that way for a myriad of reasons unconnected to you. Further, if the person refuses to tell you what is wrong, avoid fretting over the problem and feeling anxious about it yourself. Just let the person be miserable and give him/her permission to explain whenever he/she is ready.

2. Is this my problem?
This question is critical. There are times when "yes" appears to be the only answer. Even when the other person's behavior has absolutely zero to do with you, it still appears to become your problem. However, it is important to remember that the problem only becomes yours when you choose to make it yours. It is much more likely, after some serious evaluation, you will conclude that the problem is in fact owned by someone else. So the answer to this question often typically will be a very reassuring "no".

3. Do I have to get upset?
Certainly you can get upset if you want. You can become anxious, worried, and lean toward crisis junkie catastrophizing, yet do you really have to? Is it a necessary obligation that you must be upset? Remind yourself that being upset is a choice, and that you can choose to remain calm and unaffected by the other person's behavior. Further, it is important to renounce the thinking that becoming upset is a way of showing you care about another person. There are other numerous and appropriate ways of showing high regard. Caring is typically unrelated to self-thrashing.

These three questions are immensely helpful in controlling the natural knee-jerk reflex of becoming hypersensitive and taking things too personally. Whenever you start to automatically feel responsible for situations happening around you and begin doubting your own adequacy, these questions can help control that temptation.

So again, remember to ask yourself:
1. Am I responsible for this person's actions?
2. Is this my problem?
3. Do I have to get upset?
When one or more of the answers is "no"; you will begin to notice rapid growth and recovery in yourself, and waste less time on unnecessary conflict, anxiety, or hypersensitivity.

In conclusion, ask yourself the following:
1. What am I noticing about my tendency to take things too personally?
2. What are my options?
3. What am I learning about these options?
4. What will I now do differently?
You will see rapid growth in yourself and spend far less time consumed with unnecessary conflict or anxiety.

Check out my three-minute video on this subject:

Today's Tickle

Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash in Alaska with bush pilot Wiley Post, was one of the greatest political country/cowboy sages . Some of his sayings:

1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.

2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works.

4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

5. Always drink upstream from the herd.

6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into your pocket.

8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.

12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.
The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.   
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
When you become hostage to fear and then deliberately choose to be dependent, you stay in an emotional prison that makes you miserable and weak.
Dr. Mitchell Perry


The fascinating thing is how many people deliberately opt for a dependency existence either personally, professionally, emotionally, and/ or financially... then they spend their lives complaining and remaining hostage to the very condition for which they opted.

Some examples to consider:
Government Workers (the Public Sector) - They often tend to go down a path that is often predetermined.  They trade in their control over destiny for the illusion that job security is worth it. Then they are mostly rewarded by how LONG they have been working, rather than how WELL they are working.  Many often remain miserable people and expect a predictable pay grade, lifestyle, etc., all the while remaining malcontents simply because they choose to remain hostage to a situation that keeps them dependent.  Moreover, since it is often impossible to get fired in the public sector, their commitment to excellence is eroded, because of the group pressure to join the union of the mediocre.
Good-looking Women (sex objects) who seek out rich men (success objects) - Many of these women often go after men with money to gain the dependence on financial security (an illusion of safety), however, once they get the commitment they want from the man, many tend to change and treat the guy badly... they become critical, demanding, disapproving, and pejorative simply because they are dependent and are now "hostage" in their heads, to the man.  The very dependency they wanted is the very situation that now reminds them of their own weakness.  Therefore, they blame the guy, spend his money, and treat him badly.  (The more you give up responsibility for yourself, the more it makes you continually blame others for your condition that you chose.)  
Healthcare Workers, Shift Workers at the Company Plant, and Retail Service Representatives.           For example, thirty years ago, being a flight attendant was a glamorous job with great pay, perks and benefits.
Over the years things have clearly changed... working conditions, passenger behavior, grooming, standards of conduct, physical condition, and the entire traveling experience.  I think this job is the last thing many flight attendants thought they would be doing thirty years later.  Clearly many of them appear to often feel hostage to the job because of seniority, vesting, or they are clueless as to what else they would be doing.  This has made many of them bitter and filled with TDC (Thinly Disguised Contempt).  Therefore, it appears many often want the customers to enjoy their unhappiness.  Once again, the very dependency they opted for has made them hostage and therefore, weak, powerless, and unhappy.  
Divorce Agreements - It is clear that couples who are unable to reach agreement in divorce settlements are often very unhappy and complaining when the final disillusion decision is made by the courts.  The more the couple is dependent on the decisions of the judge, the more it creates anger and complaints.  On he other hand, couples who take responsibility together to arrive at acceptable divorce settlements tend to accept the results and move on with their lives with less complaining and going back to court.  

The Fabric of Society
As so many more people continue to adopt the ENTITLEMENT attitude where the "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?" perspective becomes ubiquitous, I expect that more and more people will give up control over their lives to government, disability support, workers compensation fraud, dipping into the public treasury, unions, welfare, entitlements, etc., which simply continues to insure their unhappiness/misery as a consequence of wanting to be dependent.  As more people opt to be dependent, they want to be taken care of, and therefore, their initiative, self-respect, performance, and control over their lives evaporates.  Thus the omnipresent dependency addiction simply sucks the life out of society.  

Presently, according to a recent article, 48% of all families in the U.S. today are dipping into the public treasury somehow.  This means that approximately half of the population is opting to be dependent on the other half... all while complaining and whining.  And, certainly the half that is paying is getting really tired of enabling the dependent people to remain dependent and whining. 

It also appears curious that the half that is paying is called "greedy" while the receiving half is called "entitled."
So it seems that people with dependency addiction have three options:  
  1. Continue as they are, expect to be dependent, play the victim, avoid responsibility for their lives, and keep complaining / whining. (Remember, when you choose the dependency, you choose the consequences.) 
  2.  Continue the dependency behavior, except quit the complaining and whining.  Simply accept the security and keep quiet.
  3. Decide to take more responsibility / control for their lives and future, act more independent, take more initiative, and be more proactive.  Spend less time describing the problem and more time solving it.

As Abraham Lincoln said, 
  • You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.  
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  
  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  
  • You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.  
  • You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.  
  • You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.  
  • You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.  

It is time for us as a large group of citizens to grow up, establish more backbone, take responsibility for ourselves, appreciate what we have, put a premium on self-respect and quit demanding to be taken care of.  

Further, if you choose to remain dependent, then quit complaining about the very condition for which you opted.  

Only when you take responsibility for your life, the cards that are dealt, your behavior, your decisions, and your future can you develop some real solid self-respect.  

And, self-respect is critical if you want to feel good about what you see in the mirror.  


IT'S COMMON SENSE... And remember, Common Sense is very uncommon!

Today's Tickle

Dating Ads for Seniors found in a Florida Newspaper. You can say what you want about Florida, but you rarely hear of anyone retiring and moving north. These are actual ads seen in ''The Villages'' Florida newspaper.  (Who says seniors lack a sense of humor?)
FOXY LADY: Sexy, fashion-conscious blue-haired beauty. 80's, slim, 5'4" (used to be 5'6"), searching for sharp-looking, sharp-dressing companion.  Matching white shoes and belt a plus.
LONG-TERM COMMITMENT: Recent widow who has just buried fourth husband.  Looking for someone to round out a six-unit plot. Dizziness, fainting,shortness of breath not a problem.
SERENITY NOW: I am into solitude, long walks, sunrises, the ocean, yoga and meditation.  If you are the silent type, let's get together, take our hearing aids out and enjoy quiet times.
WINNING SMILE: Active grandmother with original teeth seeking a dedicated flossier to share rare steaks, corn on the cob and caramel candy.  
BEATLES OR STONES? I still like to rock, still like to cruise in my Camaro on Saturday nights and still like to play the guitar. If you were a groovy chick, or are now a groovy hen, let's get together and listen to my eight-track tapes.
MEMORIES: I can usually remember Monday through Thursday. If you can remember Friday, Saturday and Sunday, let's put our two heads together.
My favorite...
MINT CONDITION: Male, 1932 model, high mileage, good condition, some hair, many new parts including hip, knee, cornea, valves. Isn't in running condition, but walks well.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
People need to get fed. They want to know what they are doing that is good. So, regularly catch them doing something right... AND TELL THEM!

It is insane for them to finally find out how good they are at their funeral... so tell them now!

Dr. Mitchell Perry

Practicing Reinforcement:  Catching Others Doing Something Right!



Think about what actually nourishes and encourages you to produce and perform well.

Usually it is mostly about others being impressed, dazzled and proud of you.  You are often driven to do well because of:
     Your own self-concept
     Your values, and
     The regard, respect, cheering, and reinforcement you receive from others.

In company cultures, community organizations, marriages, and families (and just about any important relationship with others) there are usually 3 ways in which people find out how they are doing in the minds of others:
  1. Criticism, pejorative remarks, "constructive advice"
  2. Silence, absence of any reaction, indifference
  3. Reinforcement, encouragement, compliments, appreciation
Most of the time people receive lots of #1 and #2.  Criticism and silence, they even say with relief... "no news is good news!"  However, the price on long-term performance is huge.  The result is most of your people end up severely EMOTIONALLY MALNOURISHED.  They eventually run out of inspiration and emotional reserves to keep producing at high levels. 

So, remember the following axiom:
If someone with whom you have any relationship is behaving in a way you become impressed and appreciative, and you reinforce that very behavior you like, you are likely to receive more of that behavior!

Most everyone believes that, and yet we only practice reinforcement with two populations: small children and dogs!  If it works with them, then will it work on GROWN -UPS?  Of course!

Here are some general guidelines when practicing reinforcement at work:
  1. Be specific about what they did or are doing.
  2. Share with them what value their behavior has for you.
  3. Tie in what value their behavior has for the team / organization.  
  4. Make a point of practicing reinforcement at meetings.   
  5. Get into the habit of reinforcing more than you criticize.
  6. Send "thank you" notes in email or preferably through snail mail.
  7. Send group voice mails or emails showing reinforcement for someone or several people.  This increases the expectation that good news can be shared and recognition is very acceptable.   
  8. Relax your concern that you will be at risk to reinforcing too much.  Most likely, people will keep producing well with new expectations of receiving validation and recognition.   
  9. Practice telling people what impresses you.  You will finally get comfortable with it, and they will get comfortable with receiving it.   
  10. If people discount your compliment, simply repeat it again until they say "thank you."
  11. Practice accepting compliments:  say "Thank You."
You will notice people will be happy to tell you more and you get fed!

You are at a very low risk of reinforcing others TOO MUCH!

Remember, life is about two things:
Touching peoples' lives and
Having your own life touched in return. 

Therefore, what touches people's lives MORE than reinforcement and appreciation?  

Today's Tickle


First ~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Second ~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Third ~ Some people try to turn back their odometers. For me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.

Fourth ~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

Fifth ~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

Sixth ~ It's unclear how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

Seventh ~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it's such a nice change from being young.

Eighth ~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Ninth ~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable and relaxed.

Tenth ~ Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft. Today it's called golf.

And, finally ~ If you learn to laugh at trouble, you will have something to laugh at when you're old.
Friday, January 31, 2014

"If you can't do it right, don't do it at all."  Does this sound familiar?  Do you ever notice that when you hear this, you simply want to stall?  And before you know it, your life has passed you by and all you do is COUNT moments rather than LIVE them. 

So, get off your backside and get going!  Remember, "DOING IT RIGHT IS SECONDARY... DOING IT IS PRIMARY!"
Dr. Mitchell Perry


Let's wait and see what happens, this isn't a good time. I want to think about it. I need more time first. I might do it wrong... I might make a mistake. I just don't want to right now. I wish something would happen. I'm not quite ready to do that. I don't want to talk about it. 

Stalling, waiting, marking time, holding steady; does this sound familiar?

All too often, most people would rather describe a problem than solve it, react more than pro-act - passive more than active.  The result... just more time rehearsing and refining their problem description skills without taking any action. 

Do you want to get a new job, get a college degree, learn a language, lose weight, get in shape, fix your marriage, or play the piano?  Well, do you REALLY want to, or do you just want to talk about... or whine about it? 

You must always ask yourself a fundamental question whenever you want to do anything! 


Will you pay the money, spend the time, expend the energy, learn how, risk failure, etc. to reach your goal?  Because your goal can only be achieved if you PAY THE FREIGHT!

The key is to TAKE ACTION.  Do something, anything, any kind of action... and get the momentum going.  It's so much easier to turn the sailboat when the boat is moving! When you do, you have movement, which allows course correction along the way.  But, stalling and describing, rather than moving and solving, simply allows you to pass your life with time, rather than passing your time with life.  You end up having years in your life rather than having life in your years.  

So, TAKE ACTION!  Confidence comes from DOING!  Mastery comes from learning, from discipline, from trusting your instincts and just digging in and doing it!

Make "Take Action" a habit and spread it around. 

Today's Tickle

1. You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
Alan, age 10

2 No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
Kristen, age 10

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
Camille, age 10

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
Derrick, age 8

Both don't want any more kids.
Lori, age 8

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

7. On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
Martin, age 10

When they're rich.
Pam, age 7( Love her )

9. The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
Curt, age 7

10. The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
Howard, age 8

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
Anita, age 9 (bless you child )

There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
Kelvin, age 8