The biggest reason we don’t have the society we know we could?

– It costs too much.

Potentially controversial conversations in the work place are not worth it. Historically speaking, attempting to mediate or develop conversation has been shut down by direction or authority. “They” usually win because violence is the most efficient means of obtaining results (not the best just the most efficient). On the other hand, if it’s not the company culture to shut down these conversations all it takes is one employ being visibly emotionally upset to an HR person that the conversation is disrupting and BAM – no more talk allowed about that subject. Period.

On the other side, if an employer wants to promote something controversial the subject matter is promoted with nonverbal passive aggressive behavior (unless they have taken a direct open approach to the controversy.) Passive aggressive behavior is extremely difficult to address and resolve. It can be done but the immediate question everyone asks is, “Is it worth it right now?”.

Even if it’s not that then the HR person simply says to you, “What does that topic have to do with you being able to do your job?”. “Nothing, stop talking about it and get back to work.” This may be said directly or INDIRECTLY to you. If you don’t go along or have master level communication skills then you are fired for some other reason.

It takes far more skill and upfront costs to foster, develop, and maintain a culture of growth and real dialogue. Most companies simply can’t afford it. Sure, those companies will eventually fail (or maybe not) but that is in the future. They have to stay in business today in order to even get to future profits.

Utopia is simply not attainable. I have spent decades working to be able to achieve a utopia but no such luck. I never found any way possible to have one. But we can get a little closer to it today. It is the cost that slows us down. Here is an example of what it would take to grow more. Far more financial success, far more free time, and more education about communication and win/win relationships. The vast majority of people simply don’t have the time, money, or opportunity to delve deeply into the levels of communication skills required to get the healthy society done today that we already know how to do.

This problem is far more difficult to achieve than most people would like to think. Even though we have the communication skills (see true dialogue as an example) readily available almost everywhere.

Just one example of what you have to do before you can even start a potentially difficult conversation is getting permission from the other person to bring the subject up. It becomes a catch 22.

Is it important to have these conversations? At certain times, under certain conditions, absolutely. But what you have to do to pull one off is far, far more than the other person that only has to say, “I do not think this is appropriate.” Because they don’t want to listen to you or hear about the problem.

If you want to bring it up, then you have to ensure the other person’s comfort to be able to listen to you. Otherwise you lose.

Goal achievement – short and sweet

Set big long term goals, small short term goals, and medium term goals.

Put an extra big reward with long term goals. Put small rewards, something extra, with short term goals. And some middlish type of reward with medium size goals.

I love the movies. It is a wonderful small reward for me. Have you been to these new electric recliner seats some places have now? You can actually lay all the way back and watch the move! I recently saw the latest Underworld movie. Everyone is always trying to save the world. People love huge climatic battles. It must be our desire for purpose or a craving to be the hero that saves everyone. I wanted to save the whole world once. I once wanted to be adored by millions. My therapist told me I had a God complex. I thought it was a compliment. Now I can enjoy just being the guy that is adored by my neighbor who’s pet rabbits I help catch when they are always getting out.

Medium size rewards are a nice dinner out for me. Sure, I could eat first then work later but I lose that extra edge. I also love the extra satisfaction I get from work. Maybe I’m weird.

But isn’t the reward of achieving a goal already reward enough?

Don’t I already get more money or more love when I achieve a goal?

Why isn’t that enough to propel us onward?

It is the extra that motivates us a little bit more. Doing a bunch of pushups and sit ups certainly helps me feel healthier. If that was enough motivation would be easy. By taking some extra time with a movie or dinner I also spend time just feeling good with myself from being physically fit. This is what seals the deal.

Spend time enjoying an extra healthy, appropriate size reward with each level of goal you reach. After all, this is all we really remember.

Celebrate your success appropriately. Next time we can talk about the fear of success.

Busy? You think you are busy? How about . . . .

Of course you are busy. Everyone is swamped. Our industrial tech society creates more and more work every day. This is exponentially increasing the work load on people. Work expands to fill the allotted time.


Unless we utilize technology better, of course. Free yourself with technology instead of becoming a slave to it.


If you work at Amazon I understand you are a grunt/slave to technology. If you email someone at midnight and they have not got back to you by 6am you are told to start texting them. Amazon will be bigger than Walmart one day if they are not already.


Is this our only choice? clerk-female-overworked


Can we use technology to free ourselves, make more money, have a better life – a better high quality life? Yes, but only if we work together.


I just spent an hour on the phone where the person praised me as to how great I am doing and then dumped more work on me. I asked him to do it himself. He said he was too busy. I said I would not be able to be great anymore if I end up doing more and more administrative work. He said he would find someone to help me with the admin work then. I wished him luck. I need it!


Eh? I don’t understand. Oh, wait, yes I do. Why was he willing to find someone to help me (harder and longer to do successfully) than just take a few minutes a week to enter admin stats?

People will create time out of thin air to do what they want to do. That is what just happened. Finding someone to help me is not nearly as measurable as stats entered into the database. He can cherry pick at his own leisure (we all like to be in control of our own lives) about finding me help. Plus, whenever he sees me he can always tell himself he is “working” to help me. One day he will find someone for me. He feels good. I have to reinforce that good feeling with him or I lose him and the work that he is willing to do. Nothing really improves. And I am left with finding another way to get things done to grow.


See how complicated real life is? Because your boss looks like this> cat-scowling



Is there a better way? Yes, but it is a ton harder in the short term. Double your work load now, in the smart way, so you can focus on what’s important later. Learn to hold people like this accountable. Gently but firmly. If you do it well then you can end up having at least a temporary short win/win for now. At least that gives you something solid to build on. e feels


Why set New Year’s Resolutions? You won’t keep them anyway.

Honestly, taking time now to plan just enough to be effective will not only save you the stitch in time but will slowly revolutionize your life over time.

Expectation creates sorrow – expectations are not met. Better to “Act without expectation.”Image result for new years resolution

And yes, this post is five pages long. After all this is probably the longest you will ever spend on self-help this whole year. Maybe your only shot of having this year be different from last year.

And then there is the shame, later, of having not achieved your goals in front of your cohorts. Makes me wonder how close shame is to guilt. When we remember one of the great false beliefs, “I am not worthy of success and joy”. Better to look forward to the future experience with also wonder and delight as to what might happen. When I saw the latest version of the movie Tron I was looking forward to it with great anticipation. During the show it simply began to lag and become boring but because of my strong desire having been built up so much I didn’t allow myself to feel where I was at. Only after, when friends and family said it was a crap movie did I remember I also was disappointed. There are expectations but there is also quality. Or our own personal needs to be taken care of. If our needs are taken care of then we can “make the best of it” in poor situations.

It is an excellent time to remember the guilt and remorse we had if we reviewed last year. The time of year between Christmas and New Years that guilt and remorse can set it. Reflecting on the past year can bring regret. It is this pain that is vital to learning and being able to do something about it for next year.

When I was a kid I stole a Hot Wheels from a kid down the street. I was a bad kid. He had plenty and I didn’t think he would miss it. Turned out – he did. I felt guilty as soon as I did it but I did my best to revel in my new treasure instead. I was a kid – so it worked. Until his mother showed up at school. Turns out I had taken this kids favorite car. He had been crying about it all morning. It was a little tough to deny it since I was playing with it when she showed up.

This mother grabbed me by the wrist and started hauling me off to my house. It was the ‘70’s. She told my mom, who told my dad, who later beat me for it. Again, it was the ‘70’s – common for kids to get a spanking. Did I take that kids car ever again? Nope. I just got smarter and stole some place else instead. Spankings don’t work very well but we didn’t know that back then.

Now I had hatred, revenge, and the thrill of theft to compensate for my guilt next time. It worked a lot better. Good enough, anyway. Right? Wrong.

Are you seeing the complexity of emotions here? I had three powerful emotions running my false belief that I could lie, cheat, and steal to get what I wanted. Like I said, I was a bad six-year-old. If there ever really could be such a thing. If I wanted to use Gutap to shift this around I had to find three counterpart emotions to flow into this to heal it.

But here is the real trick.

This is actually a secondary false belief. The real belief was under this. That we were poor and I couldn’t have plenty of good stuff for myself. That was the real false belief powering my theft. From here I had decided that the way to get what I wanted was to steal it. It was later in my tweens that I began to go deeper to work on this one. Changing a superficial belief of whether to steal or not is simply not going to work when something deeper and stronger is powering us.

Often we become angry over our actions as well. Anger can cover our fear or also get us enough courage and strength to do something about it. In understanding anger it is helpful to know what created it. It often seems we experience a boundary violation, become fearful, seek to re-establish the boundary, lack confidence, and then overcompensate with anger. Anger can get us moving. Anger is telling us to establish our boundaries again. Only that is often lost in the “troll” side of twitter you describe. If we take time to resolve what caused the fear first when we hear the attack then we have a chance to not even be affected next time.

I was fearful and excited about those Hot Wheels down the street when I was a kid. Then quickly jealous. From there it was only a short hop to anger then some final justification. I misdirected the anger unfortunately.

The point is that what we think is going to help resolve our anger (attacking back with self-righteous vindication – Yeah, I got that guy!) is not what resolves it. Because our untrained instinct still hurts us.

Preventing anger is not quite the same as anger management.


By taking some time to find out what is happening as you describe we become much more aware of who we are. We understand more about how to proceed. But the steps we take are still only based on our experience and ability to find help. By resolving the power source of what is driving our behavior then we can have a chance to do something different. Change the core belief.


Simple is not so simple. We live in a complex and complicated world. Where we are often told that complicated is bad and only by having simplicity can we relax and enjoy life. Too bad this is just not that practical. Sure, our ability to maintain simplicity such as being in the present moment brings great joy but it is not the only source of joy. Of course it is so much easier to be in the present moment when just resting. Action and motion make it difficult. It is easy to over think it. Buddhist monks talk about when chopping wood just chop wood – ie stay in the present moment no matter what you are doing. Flow – the psychology of optimal experience takes this much farther with incredibly detailed steps to achieve it. Think of a runner’s high. In these steps struggle/work/effort is always required.

Transcending pain provides a better option. When we stop struggling so much to resist pain – to stay in pleasure – then we can go with the flow better. We become more aware. More of an adult. To be able to experience more than just the pain of this moment. Maybe just a little pain for now and return to the present moment to also experience joy, greater joy, at the same time.


We give the greatest attention to those who make us feel the best. Understanding our own needs and the needs of others offers us the greatest ability to meet needs across the board. Treat others the way they want to be treated so you can ask to be treated the way you want to be. It can even be done at the same time. This is not a zero sum game. When we are relaxed and engaged with friends we know we have their attention without having to be the center of attention. And they know it also at the same time. It’s called bonding or “having a moment”. Only when things get out of whack do we lose this perspective.

Recognize intimacy when you get there. You get to stay longer when you do.

Hang out with friends. Relax, chill. Sharing the present moment with other human beings. This is intimacy in its most basic form. Bonding. Connecting. We all get this. Knowing we are there is only half the battle. Being able to get there is the other half. But the real battle is staying there once we know it. It seems that the moment we realize we are there we congratulate ourselves for achieving it which instantly knocks us out of it. Ha! What a trip. The ego.

Maintaining intimacy in its most simple form is simply staying in the present moment and opening to connect with others. Give yourself something simple to do to keep returning to the here and now. I like to gently slow breathing to relax myself, feel my body, and slip back into the present moment.

When I do that with another human being. Wow.


Passion, living, purpose – it is far more than just doing whatever you feel like. That is called being impulsive though while still fun at times (or just needed to restore balance to our lives). Passion comes in many forms. And make no mistake – passive passion is one of my personal favorites. Resting and feeling good brings waves of serotonin that is impossible to live without. Isn’t that really why we work? To feel good?


Ignore the power of niche at your own peril. Often we get so excited we think this is the one thing that everyone wants to hear. Is exercise even really something everyone is going to listen too? Certainly not when that first guy went out jogging in the ‘70’s. He just kept getting arrested because he must be running from a crime. In that stage only the early adopters would listen to him. That was the niche then. Now the niches are so varied across the board.

Focus on your niche in order to go broad. Getting a little out of everyone is far more difficult than getting a lot out of a few. But so many still want to disagree with this.


Ambivalent – yes, we are still talking about setting goals for the new year – seems to be even worse than procrastinating. At least with putting things off you know that eventually someday you will do it. With ambivalence you just become stuck in between going nowhere. Of course if there is nowhere to go then it would be fine. But we also wouldn’t call that ambivalence.

Absolutely do unto others – means treat people the way they want to be treated. The good way. If it meant “treat people the way you want to be treated” then who’s needs would ever get met? Maybe my twin brother’s.

Sometimes people want what I want. Usually they don’t.

Of course, in a pinch, if you just were good to people the way you did want to be treated – I’m sure people would still thank you. But to truly connect with other human beings it takes understanding who they are and what they really need. Learning what they desire.

What does intimacy even have to do with achieving your goals? Rejuvenation and resting gets us refreshed enough to keep going. All work and now play does not make Jack a dull boy. It gives him hypertension and a heart attack. What good is having all the money if you are dead? Not much I would guess but I am sure there is someone who will argue me on this point.

Help others to help yourself.

Whew, at first I was looking to see how giving everything away was possibly ever going to help me. Then I saw – “Give to yourself” as the first thing listed. Things like emotion – caring for others are easy to do. Money and work? That’s a whole different ball game (or maybe I got that backwards). Real success involves healthy appropriate boundaries. Maybe even asking for another to give back. Seems to work out best when clear and direct communication revolves around who we are and what we want. When more and more people are getting their needs taken care of.

Just being aware of what needs to happen to get back on track is the key. Most of our time is spent just getting back on track.

Noticing what we think leads us into noticing what we believe. Keep it easy. This allows us to listen to what is going on without creating any false memories.

Like the sociopath who never goes into counseling. That would mean that the people that are reading this are the ones looking for the way to get their “problem” person some help. I suppose that is different than changing them. Funny how we say things like, “You can’t change other people”. But then turn right around and talking about how we can get them help. I guess it really just boils down to how much influence we can create and wield in another’s life to help them. Seems like most times there are plenty of ways to influence another person.

It is the limiting belief of not changing another person – it’s not possible or allowed. When they truly do need to change. Or they will lose out in life.


Control – such an intriguing word. It seems like controlling anger is really just trying to ride the bronco. A wild stallion almost completely out of control that will always eventually throw you – one way or another.

But if we feel our feelings we have a chance to change them. A different form of control. There must be a way to control feelings, after all, if there wasn’t then we would be mad at age two and still be angry today.

Setting goals (self-help) makes you feel worse. Yes, it is supposed too. In a good way. That pain helps us to change. Especially since nobody wants to change. Yeah. Let’s be honest here. If given the choice of whether to change or remain constant – even Newton’s Law says – people will remain in their current state. Change is hard and painful. It takes work. So until the pain of not changing over shadows the pain of changing – PEOPLE WILL NOT CHANGE. See how feeling worse helps us? See how the first step of gutap – feel your feelings – now helps us?

What you focus on expands. If you only focus on what you feel without helping yourself through it then the depression only just gets worse. Focus on feeling your feelings to do something about it instead. Then you get through it.

Now you can set some goals. Create some pain. The good kind of motivating discomfort. Pay the price now to have a much better life later this year.

The lull between Christmas and New Years

“In recognizing and accepting the hopelessness of your condition, at the same time you transcend it.” Zen Buddhists talk about this. To be aware of what is happening is to be able to change it.

Yearlong wrap ups are coming out. You know, the best of 2016.


I’ve already read those during the year. Plus, if I’m worth my salt at all I would already know them. (Or at least just google them up when needed.)

Now actually doing it? Well, that’s another story. Knowing what to do is not the same as doing it, is it?

Here is a thought>

Use this time right now between Christmas and New Years to reflect on what you have learned this past year. DO NOT set any goals for next year though. That will happen later. Now is the time to revel in your successes and what you learned from your failures.

You are tired and exhausted from the holidays. This makes it an excellent time to be relaxed and honest with ourselves about who we are and what we did this past year. You are too tired to lie to yourself. And remember, if you are honest then you have a starting point to do something about it.

What worked for you? And what could you have done better? What did you learn?

Write it all down. It helps to keep it straight. I write constantly.

Now. How would you like next year to be different and better?

Go ahead and start writing your New Year’s resolutions. Never mind about realistic or achievable right now. That will come later during implementation.

Hopefully it will be one of mine to write a blog about that but if I don’t then just go ahead and write yours anyway.

The Wizard of Oz moves us closer to utopia

The Wizard of Oz is one of those movies with lasting appeal because it teaches us while making us feel good. Maybe that is why it is Oprah’s favorite movie of all time. I like to think people love it because it has all four areas of life instead of just good and evil. To me the four characters: Dorothy, Lion, Scarecrow, and Tinman represent the four areas of our personality like in DISC or Meyers Briggs. Bringing out our true inner desires in a way that works is simply what everyone wants to do to enjoy life. Was it the pain or the adventure that helped each character at the end suddenly realize their potential. Or maybe it was the truth of their nature delivered with empathy that lead to their shift.


Whatever it was it is time to get rid of limiting beliefs. Let’s go with that. Only without denying or trying to force our way out of it. Staying cool, calm, and collected as Dorothy and the Tinman often did, is vital.

Sometimes we forget to simply look on the bright side. Maybe we get busy, then tired, then easily affected by anything. And by anything I mean susceptible to whatever passing fancy negative event. Then we are too tired to realize and definitely too tired to do anything about it.

We also often just simply misunderstand another’s point of view because they are a different person.

Often we turn to authorities to tell us what to do, what to think. Sometimes I am honestly not sure about these specific definitions saying colors always do (blank) to us. You know, like red means vibrant life or passion, or energizes us. I guess I go more with Living Your Dreams: The Classic Bestseller on Becoming Your Own Dream Expert by Gayle M. Delaney. She goes more into listening to what the “colors” (dream images in her case) mean to you. What do you experience when you see the color red in different circumstances? How do you notice other people react when they see the color red?

We can even see in our workplace how people react to life. Here it is important because we see how people truly are when they are under pressure. The work place or as I like to think – Utopia in Training. So how close can we come to utopia? Not really a pertinent question because often I don’t think real, true, lasting utopia is even possible. Then sometimes I do get glimpses of it working. All I really want to have is just achieving the next few steps towards utopia this next week. We all know that is possible. And would it not be grand to have help to get us there?

Boundaries are important in a utopia. Some say that “no” has no place here. But what if all “no’s” were simply seen as helpful instead of painful? All problems are only opportunities.

The soft ways of saying no are wonderful – “I’ll get back to you on that”.  Or even better is let’s look at when we can do that together. And then too – how can we do that and still do all the rest I need to do?

Utopia must mean there are no “no’s, no boundaries needed, no death. It is more than closure that we seek in times of death. It is also more than completing the grieving process. It is to feel whole not just be able to move on. To bring together or past and future in a way that brings out the best in us.

Coming together without being needy or passive aggressive. That is the key. I love these two comparisons Diversity and Inclusiveness because it is almost like having opposites or living by embracing the paradox. Of course as the human family we relate far more to community than to autonomy. By coming together we have a far greater chance of survival so those people end up having more children than autonomous people. Which means more human beings having children who need to be part of a community. Only we still have a need for variety. Or as is said here – diversity. Funny how diversity is so close to the word adversity, isn’t it?

Often I have heard that all perception is projection. That there is no one else out there. I am not even sure what that means, to be honest. I just know that the moment I have taken care of myself well I automatically become curious about others. And then can easily move into taking care of another person, even if, sometimes I have to take care of them before me. And I was amazed at a new level of existence of having more for myself by taking care of another person first.

Compassion coupled with accountability seems to be key to helping resolve serious problems such as addiction. It is a fine line with the abuse and boundary violations that seem to come hand in hand from an addict. How difficult it is to keep reaching out to them when the lies, anger, and pain seem to be all that comes from them to hurt us. But this is exactly what an addict needs. Too bad we have to keep taking time for ourselves to heal, recuperate so we can come back to helping otherwise we would have resolved this long ago. But at least we can come back. That is what matters. Dorothy stood by her friends even when they were off kilter most of the time.

Honestly, more than a silver lining. More than choosing to look for the brighter side. But to truly be able to have light come from darkness, to have pain turn into pleasure. We have all done it. Runner’s high in exercise, being in the flow while writing that mid-term paper we have neglected all semester. But how do we actually do it instead of just fake-it-‘til-you-make-it or act as if? What actually happens in that moment when negative transfers into positive. After all, there has to be a way, according to what is observed in science. A battery has positive and negative polarity incased within a single unit. Are not human beings just the same – in a way? What a better way to put (negative turns into positive) rather than just picking up the pieces lost when companies downsize.

Holding onto the past can be even worse than we think. It is the feelings we have associated with the past that causes the holding onto it. It is emotion that drives our views. Change your programming and you change the world.

Then utopia is another step closer.

From successful business entrepreneurs

“I’d love to pursue a career in the arts, or try and start my own company, or travel for a year.  I’d love to really learn about things outside of the sustenance lifestyle that we must live if we aren’t wealthy.”

This what healthy, vibrant people do. It’s called growing and developing as a human being while continuing to add to the development of humanity.

“I want to clarify that I don’t want to stop “working” per se.  I just don’t want to be stuck in the Silicon Valley grind that my parents had to go through while raising me just for the sake of “paying my dues”.  Life is short.”

That is what leaders do. That is what successful business entrepreneurs do.

It can be addictive though.

Here is a cycle I often see in business. Struggling immigrants work night and day to become successful. Once achieved they then proceed to spoil their children with the things they never had – thinking this is good. Spoiled children become lazy and entitled. The grandchildren are even one step more removed, having never really even been around hard working people. By the time the business gets to the fourth generation there is no connection to reality at all anymore. The business is then destroyed.

If you think your parents really want you to go it alone then talk to them directly about that. That is a hard hoe to row. Nobody has ever really gone it alone. But to convince them that your way of living life is better is going to be hard. It is supposed to be hard. Talk to starving artists, broke entrepreneurs, and dead ended dreams. If you can’t convince your parents to fund your (fill in the blank) then you would probably not make it anyway.

Your parents sound strict (that sucks) but fair. Go for it though. Convince them. Actually pursuing your dreams without that help is going to be incredibly far more difficult. Your parents are trying to protect you from the pitfalls of being a spoiled child. Maybe overly so. But that falls on you to honestly show them otherwise.

Having a purpose is far more important. Work is only a byproduct at that point. Without a purpose we lose fulfillment in life, especially more so for men. Follow through, enjoy what you do, become fulfilled with passion, purpose, and vision. This is what work is meant to become.

Make sure you get everything you need NOT everything you may want.

Life lessons learned from an unusual source

When I was a kid reading these wonderful comics (at least the few I could get my hands on) I was a little bit scared of Batman. That was a dark world he lived in. On the other hand, I loved Spiderman and Superman. Spiderman was someone who gained superpowers so maybe one day I could fantastically gain superpowers as well I secretly hoped. While Superman was just loved by everyone and had, it seemed like, every super power imaginable.

Batman was so stoic and fought evil so well I never really noticed that he didn’t have super powers – a combination of great marketing and me just being a kid I guess. The villains he fought viciously and effectively. I always thought he was the dark knight because he always seemed to be fighting those villains at night. Stupid right?

Well, now that I think about it I can see how it adds to the dark temperament of Batman. His whole world is dark not just that he fights at night. He lost his parents whom he loved deeply only to be filled by a cold, dark world of wealth in a city of corruption. Eventually realizing the difficult lesson that money can’t replace a parent’s love.

These things only add to the dark mystery of the dark knight. The best life lesson I have learned from Batman is that you become that which you fight against. His greater struggle beyond elusive happiness, anger, and frustration is that of what you resist persists. He hates the evil filth he has to fight against. Struggling daily to reach some sense of a peace of mind to deal with a corrupt world, he continually asks himself, “Why not just surrender to the temptation and become Ra’s al Ghul?”.

That is the greatest life lesson I have taken from Batman. He is called The Dark Knight because his Dark potential is seen by so many that desperately support him to remain a true Knight. He is the knight of continual downfall only constantly having to rise again. A knight of the greatest magnitude who we can relate to because the greatest among us still have their own personal problems as well. He reminds us of our own internal struggles and temptations. He reminds us we are still human. Human beings who are only striving to still being human. I am more than a human being. I am simply being human.

It is the corrupting nature of power – some say absolute power, absolutely corrupts.

This all comes hitting home on a personal level when we are working on our own personal problems. Batman allows us to do this safely from a distance. As an adult, now I get to do this by seeing this life lesson in a cartoon. I am then easier on myself. I mean, if Batman is having a problem . . . .

It is the fight to keep his honor that we admire because we all suffered this same struggle with the temptation of power.

Intense dedication to eliminating evil causes us to become evil. Remember Queen Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings? This is the feminine version of Batman’s struggle. In The Lord of the Rings is happened in a moment. When Galadriel was offered the ring by Frodo. There the case is made that absolute power absolute corrupts. And it is a lesson best learned in vulnerability.

“And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!”

She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.

“I pass the test”, she said. “I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel.”

LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring – Galadriel – All shall love me and despair

It is the last part that is often overlooked. She was grateful and relieved to diminish from the previous moment of absolute power. She was just able to be herself again. She was a noble human being, another example of incredible wisdom, personal control, and an example to be learned from.

Fiction gives us such an incredible opportunity to see universal truths that transcend politics and business and religion and psychology and philosophy and science which are often still bickering over their own methodology.

When lessons are told in a story it is fun to learn. We are led gently along the path to realizing our own internal war that connects us together by realizing the raging war within Batman ourselves. As he holds it together we realize . . . it was what his parents would have done – helped people.

Batman knows he could take over Gotham. He has the physical power to kill all the bad guys and the financial money from the Wayne empire to control the city. This disturbs him. It disturbs him because a part of him actually wants too. It is the temptation we ourselves want to be faced with one day and so we are, on a smaller scale, every day. The Batman give us this in a softer way to not scare us away from beginning to understand ourselves and our influence in this world. Some of the most difficult life lessons can begin to be handled as children and The Batman can ease us into this.

The character of Batman draws on that part of us that desires purpose in life. We want to either be The Batman or be protected by him. We want someone with the ability to achieve absolute power and the character not to take it. The temptation takes its toll though. It is brutal work and often under appreciated. It is our support of good wherever we may find it that helps us live life better. Then we may be empowered and be able to live life ourselves.

May we all continue to “pass the test” and help other people to pass it as well and remember the lessons found in The Dark Knight well.

America’s Got Talent – Howie Mandel – hypnosis worked then stopped, why?

Hypnosis is so fascinating and so much fun. I have seen some of the most incredible things done by people but as soon as they come out of it all the change, most often, just melts away.

For example, I was just watching the new season of America’s Got Talent. A hypnotist came out and hypnotized Howie Mandel. I got my hopes up when they had a disclaimer and cut away so we, the audience, did not see what he did to hypnotize Howie. Was it good TV or really necessary?

I would say probably both. Very smart.

The meat of it though? The hypnotist delivered. And quite well. For those who don’t know Howie Mandel suffers from OCD (something I could certainly get him through given the chance but that’s another conversation for later). With this OCD I believe he’s also a germaphobe? (Yep, could get him through that too.) Anyway, under hypnosis Howie shakes the guy’s hand. Amazing! Absolutely incredible. Plus the hypnotist even demonstrated before that Howie doesn’t like shaking hands. Asked him about. All the other judges saying, “Yep, he never does it.” Pretty well known. Only does fist bumps.

But the hypnosis didn’t deal with the issue of OCD or germaphobe directly. It was only a misdirection. The power of suggestion that distracted people. People love distraction. It is so much fun. I love it too. And even just talking about it I want to go off on some camping trip rant right now. Stop. Stop it Toby.

Ok, I’m back. Howie was shaking this guy’s hand. Amazing. He comes out of it and does not even remember he was shaking hands. Not a good sign for long lasting results.

Then MelB asks the most profound question.

Simply shocking.

She was moved. Plus she also believes in psychics and stuff like that too. She desperately asked the hypnotist to make it permanent. If he can do it under hypnosis please make it last when he comes out.

The hypnotist could not do it. He did not even try. What he did was put Howie back under and had him shake hands with the other judges. It was such good showmanship. Really well done. An attempt at appeasement but again when Howie came back out he didn’t remember. And he still would shake hands with the other judges.

Oh, how I wish I could see the look on Howie’s face when he watches the playback. But I truly do feel bad for him though. He is also going to be so hurt too. Why couldn’t he shake hands now when he so easily did it under hypnosis?

Too bad he didn’t come to see me. I could have gotten him through it. And not through hypnosis either. This is exactly why Gutap was created.

The best leadership lessons you can learn from Game of Thrones

True leadership comes from sharing power. Even though it slows down progress this practice of leadership allows you to stay in power.

I have not read the books and have only watched the series.

Power is complicated.

I also think that is one of the reasons people like the show. Incredible contrasting characters to really watch various forms of leadership being displayed.

There are many things you see in The Game of Thrones leadership that simply makes you want to throw up but it is more important to stay alive and protect those in your kingdom than it is to do what is morally right or helpful. Those are the types of people that rise to power in our own society as well. It is not the skilled, intelligent, or competent people who lead. Leadership is done by those who can take a position of power, by whatever means, and keep it. Might still makes right. But it is good to see that changing even if it is slowly. The top leaders are simply not as powerful as in the past. And we see that decentralization in the Game of Thrones. Those leaders who share are moving ahead. Being fair allows you to be able to get things done.

There are several forces of power in the show. While the ultimate power (the bankers) have not even really been seen. There is the public display of power. Then we see the influences of hidden power of the bankers as well as the spies and the politicians.

Different conditions call for different types of leadership. Running the ice wall is a far cry from the southern cities.

Religious power – believing you are chosen of God. Never underestimate the power of inspirational leadership. Currently on the down turn in our own society now – even Tony Robbins has shifted his delivery away from being inspirational – people want more real, lasting relationships.

How it helps us in our world today. The cause of the little people has been advanced further than anything I have ever seen by the dwarf. Not just in this show but the stand Peter Dinklage has taken in real life to not do any acting jobs that are demeaning to little people. He is simply incredible in his roles. First listed actor on IMDB for The Game of Thrones as well – if that means anything at all about power. It probably doesn’t, just throwing that in for fun. The respect and admiration he elicits from me is outstanding. It is easy to forgive him for his failing to sell me on his performance of being ashamed when his character is ridiculed for being a dwarf. I just don’t buy it. I simply shudder at the amount of moral fortitude he has to maintain to display shame on camera while keeping his own personal honor grounded by knowing there is simply no shame whatsoever in being a little person. I just churn on the inside with him when I see it. It makes me appreciate the nobility of the acting profession beyond what I thought was possible.

The power of HBO. With the decline of the power of record labels and movies as well because of piracy HBO is getting a two-for here. They are making more money from TV (the often seen “lesser than” movie industry) making it even more powerful. Powerful enough to gain serious respect which may even lead to being more powerful than the movies. Something unheard of a decade or so ago.

The power of influence with people after the show is over. People are talking about this show. That is power. The good, the bad, the ugly. And it is because it is being well done. (I often wish The Hunger Games had been a chapter an episode on HBO even though the silver screen still holds its own power.)

I know people who do not watch tv who have tuned in just to watch this show. It may even just be the best show on tv right now. It is true leadership when someone changes their behavior through positive reinforcement rather than the easier manipulation of pain to garner movement. People simply don’t vote with their money out of pleasure nearly as often as out of pain avoidance. To get people to do that is real power.

The Game of Thrones had the power to change writing.

This is the first series I have even seen that production of the show has surpassed the actual written material. George R R Martin is having to finish the books through the TV show before the books themselves will be written and published. When was the last time we saw such an incredible series be able to finish for us before the writer passes? So many good authors that were not able to finish their work. It just takes too long to get good enough at your craft. Robert Jordan or Frank Herbert just to name two.

We really lucked out that Harry Potter was finished.

It is the power of the written word. Writing can hold its own with music, shows, politics, and banks. The moments. That is what matters. Less is more. The influential power of a picture.

The power of real life cultural influence. How varied the power of women are in the series is astonishing. When leadership is wielded well all answer its call – regardless of who is calling. And to see women using power in feminine ways is good. Power is being used through the development of relationships. Viewers are not stupid. We see the appropriate use of power used by some over others.

Lawyers have only barely made a dent in this world. That title really belongs to the bankers. They know to share power. The bankers understand that.

The Game of Thrones seems like a simpler time where decisions are easier because we are aware of the different forces at play. But remember, these characters do not know all that we do. We watch decisions being made and cringe or rejoice based on our additional knowledge. We have the unfair advantage in that arena.

Leadership of the arrogant boy king, seems to have gotten all the bad traits from his father and none of the good ones. Vying for power, like moths to the flame. Drunk with leadership.

Leveraging resources: sex, money, opportunity. They are all at play.

We see two sides of leadership: brute force displayed through war and negotiating displayed through politics.

Absolute power absolutely corrupts.

Power is complex so it ought to be shared to appreciate it fully.

Contact Toby

Toby Jensen, Master Life Coach
Park City, UT
(801) 484 - 3484

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