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Call Me Crazy, but I’m Having Fun

From Volume 8, Issue 4:Why do I want what I want? That’s a question I pose regularly on this blog. Sometimes I just shake my head at some of the things I want, but later, once I can see the situation retroactively, I find I’m able to answer that question. This month, I did something that even I thought was a little crazy to want to do, but now that I’ve done it, I see how much joy there is in just letting yourself want what you want.

Questioning Universal Beliefs

From Volume 8, Issue 4:Be perfect. Be strong. Hurry up. Please others. Try hard. Any of these beliefs sound familiar? I know I have them. I can picture my parents admonishing me to be these things, frequently adding the word “should.” I “should” be perfect, please others, etc. After all, who wouldn’t want their kid to be all these things, right?

In moderation, believing these rules of life can contribute to a higher quality of life, but when we allow them to take us over, behaviors can tip toward dysfunctional, even obsessive, and all we get is more stress. Here’s how to cast a little doubt on universal beliefs that are causing you grief.

The Fast Track to Achieving Your Goals

From Volume 8, Issue 3:Acceleration in my world of racing has two major components: power and traction. Using this metaphor, how can we accelerate to get what we want in our world?

Hunger Games

From Volume 8, Issue 3:Finding happiness can be easier than you think

“How on earth did you overcome a three-touchdown deficit with only seven minutes to play, coach?” the sportscaster asked. After a thoughtful moment, the coach replied, “I guess my guys just wanted it more.”

Why do we want what we want? How come some wants or desires are less motivating than others? It all comes down to whether we’re playing our own version of the hunger games, and playing for happiness rather than satisfaction.

Getting Off the Starting Line

From Volume 8, Issue 2:Three…Two…One…GO!

That’s the routine every competing rally crew goes through at the start of a racing section. And once the driver releases the clutch and mashes the accelerator to the floor, our world goes from calm and quiet to action and commitment.

I’ve been thinking about that starting sequence as a metaphor for things like New Year’s resolutions (or Tuesday afternoon’s decision to get this article written, or to change the oil in my wife’s car). Somehow I’m just not as compelled to stay on task with these more mundane projects as I am to stay alive in a rally car at 97 miles per hour on a one-lane gravel road lined with trees that aren’t going to move when struck.

Brian Williams and the “A” Word

From Volume 8, Issue 2:I’m a proponent of the word “reality” as opposed to “truth.” Truth is reality viewed through an individual’s filters—it’s just one version of reality. So while the concept of truth may be universal, actual truth is as individual as the person interpreting. My truth differs from your truth.

In the world of news reporting—and politics—one measure of how close we get to a picture of reality is the accountability of those who communicate it to us. And this is a standard that has been sliding.

The Benefit of the Doubt

From Volume 8, Issue 1:In our culture, “doubt” is normally considered a detriment. From the early days of our education, we are praised for knowing the answer and made to feel less than adequate if we don’t.

But I’m here to sing the praises of doubt. Doubt’s a good thing. If I doubt, it means I’m not sure. And too much certainty can be crippling.

Ferguson Facts

From Volume 8, Issue 1:The World seems to have concluded different stories from the facts that they know about the circumstances surrounding the death of 18 year old Michael Brown on August 9th, 2014.

Here is a list of all the relevant facts of the events in Ferguson, MO on August 9 that we know:

1. At 12:03 PM, Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot 18 year old Michael Brown with his service revolver, killing him.

Bah, Humbug!: The Season of Dysfunctional Dialogue

From Volume 7, Issue 12:It’s Christmastime again. The season when we all try to decompress and review the past year and vow to chill and get along.

But somehow the opposite seems to happen. I’m stressed because I can’t get it all done in time—tree, decorations, shopping, cooking. The last person I want to be cooped up with on Christmas Day is my aunt, who never smiles. And then there are all the projects, both at home and at work, that aren’t going to get done because I’m putting all the “some assembly required” toys together. Can we just skip Christmas this year?

The Real Cost of Convenience

From Volume 7, Issue 12:What happens when we choose the “convenient” option? It saves us time, hassle, perhaps travel. It doesn’t interfere with our prescribed plans. And it usually costs more, right? But many people lose sight of the non-financial costs of convenience—and of just how high those costs can be.