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Prepare the Child

From Volume 11, Issue 1:Prepare the Child for the Road, not the Road for the Child. —Native American proverb

This article is basically an op. ed. piece. And it’s “parent-y.” It’s totally my opinion, and I’ll take any heat and commentary on it as productive.

It’s been my (and most transactional analysis psychologists’) premise that the experiences of our youth, from about two years old through about six, form our Knower/Judger persona. It is thought that through that age period we make decisions about how the world works and how we fit in it. We create our concepts of right and wrong, persuasion, self-worth, and thousands of things that we’ll compare ourselves against for the rest of our lives. We may even have a concept of the type of spouse we’ll marry, and, if we grow up in certain environments, even how often we should beat him or her.

Change and the New Year’s Resolution

From Volume 11, Issue 1:By the time you read this, you may have already blown your New Year’s Eve Resolution(s).

Why do we even bother to make them? Over the years I’ll bet I’m zero for fifty. I’ve discovered several possibilities as to why they don’t work, at least for me.

Letting yourself learn

From Volume 10, Issue 12:Remember American History class? Blah, blah, blah, Lincoln, blah, blah blah, Gettysburg, blah, blah, blah….

Unless you’ve suddenly decided American history is now interesting, your retention of this material is probably minimal or limited to being proficient at Googling such topics.

The value of maybe

From Volume 10, Issue 12:There are tons of situations in which “maybe” is a non-productive response. Salespeople know “maybe” as a time-waster, indefinite, kick-the-can-down-the-road answer. Very non-committal. And salespeople live and die by commitments.

“Maybe” can be infuriating. I use it when I simply want to keep my options open no matter how badly the other person wants or needs a commitment from me.

Wanting

From Volume 10, Issue 11:Can you define something that you feel you want that isn’t tied directly to your Knower/Judger? That wouldn’t be satisfying some ego need? It’s tough, isn’t it? Money? Car? House? Relationship?

No cheese, please?

From Volume 10, Issue 11:How many times have you turned on a fake smile? Chances are, you’ve done it a lot, with colleagues, prospects, family, and friends—perhaps when told to “Say ‘cheese’.” Research on the sincerity of smiles (the spontaneous one vs. the one you try on when you’re offered broiled armadillo bites at a cocktail party) indicates there are good reasons to understand the value of a smile.

Universal Truth: Fact or Myth?

From Volume 10, Issue 10:There seems to be a lot of angst these days over “fake” news. In our American culture, news (as presented to us by our media outlets) is presumed to be “true.”

Altruism

From Volume 10, Issue 10:According to Scott Farrell, MD, altruism is “the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the wellbeing of others.”

In contrast, egoism (a.k.a., egotism) is “an ethical theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality.”

These two terms are about as polar opposite as two words can be. Black/white. Good/evil. Angel/devil. Altrusim/egoism.

Not to be a pessimist, but I believe I see the world that I know gravitating FROM altruism TOWARD egoism.

Habit or addiction?

From Volume 10, Issue 9:Reach for that bagel. Tell myself I’m unlucky. Follow a strict tooth-brushing routine. Judge others by their:

o Intellect
o Weight
o Attractiveness
o Skin color
o Political philosophy

Make the toilet paper come off the roll:

o From over the top
o From underneath

These repeated patterns we exhibit, I believe, are simply manifestations of our Knower/Judger—that “keeper of the rules” we carry around with us that makes getting through the day easier. After all, we don’t have to stop and think about things we already have an answer to, right?

Kryptonite…

From Volume 10, Issue 9:“If I go crazy then will you still
Call me Superman
If I’m alive and well, will you be
There holding my hand
I’ll keep you by my side with
My superhuman might
Kryptonite” ~ Three Doors Down
It’s midnight, December 31st. While those around me are carelessly carousing and chanting and singing and falling asleep, I’m honing my list of things I’ll do better starting the next day. No craft beers. Work out every day. No sleeping past 6 a.m. Train for and run two half marathons… the list goes on. They’re called New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all done them.