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Oh, Bother

From Volume 7, Issue 3:Winnie the Pooh could not express the frustrations in his life with true expletives, so when faced with an unmet expectation, he would simply utter, “Oh, bother.” I don’t know what your version of “Oh, bother” is. As I’ve said before, for almost my whole life, mine has been “Goddamn!” (Pooh could never have said that.) A look at how Pooh uses “Oh, bother” is giving me a new perspective on how I can begin to change a habit I really don’t need anymore.

Trust vs. Trust but Verify

From Volume 7, Issue 3:Trust: the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.

Trust but verify, Доверяй, но проверяй (doveryai, no proveryai) is actually Russian in origin, although it is remembered as President Ronald Reagan’s modus operandi during the last days of the Cold War.

If I operate on trust but verify, do I trust? Exploring the difference between trust and verification can help you stop wasting time and energy in relationships at work and at home.

Valentine’s Day

From Volume 7, Issue 2: Let Me Rephrase That

“The more one judges, the less one loves.” —Honoré de Balzac

Love is in the air! It’s that time of year when flower shops do a booming business and chocolatiers guilt-trip us into buying sugary goodness nobody really needs. As I tend to question everything, my thoughts have naturally turned to the question of what love is. In this article, we look at the many faces of love and how we can possibly bring more meaning and clarity to our relationships with our valentines by going beyond love.

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

From Volume 7, Issue 2: Raise your hand if you’re still keeping your New Year’s resolution! If you’re sheepishly wishing that you could honestly raise your hand, you’re in good company. I’ve found that changing a habit I’ve decided doesn’t serve me well seems easy on the surface, but by now I’ve figured out it’s damned tough. With the best intentions, we resolutely announce we’ve chosen to (stop smoking, exercise more, eat less, eat better, be nicer to our spouse or boss, name your poison), and January 1, we dive in. But staying on track gets progressively more difficult. Here’s why and what you can do about it.

Fear and Hope: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

From Volume 7, Issue 1:FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real

HOPE: Heaping Optimism Predicting Euphoria

Let me guess—you’d rather feel hope than fear, right? I know I would. But when we take a closer look at these emotions, we find that they aren’t really that different. The Knower/Judger has amazing ways of taking us out of the present. Here’s a look at how both hope and fear put us in fantasyland rather than reality.

More Productive Conversations: The Power Is in Your Hands

From Volume 7, Issue 1:The concept that women just want to be listened to and not told how to fix something is legendary in the Mars/Venus counseling world. In my household, I spent years jumping in with at least three or four unwelcome solutions when my spouse came home from a frustrating day and dumped a verbal stream of consciousness. “What?” I’ve been heard to protest. “I’m just trying to help!” I now know that it’s quite easy to change these conversations, simply by changing the part of the mind I’m operating from when having them.

Make This Christmas Wonder-full

From Volume 6, Issue 12:It’s the season for wonder. And that got me wondering. How many of my loyal readers, clients, and friends are challenged by the holidays and not completely looking forward to, or even dreading, some of the upcoming events? Spending a lot of time with people we aren’t usually with can be difficult, especially when we’re related to them. We tend to walk into these situations prepared for the old battles and oft-repeated arguments. There’s where the stress of the holidays comes from. And there’s where injecting a little wonder can change everything.

Learning from My Mistakes: A Surprising Lesson

From Volume 6, Issue 12:If we learn from our mistakes, then I’m working on my third PhD. The last month has been a rush for me. I host this annual Christmas party, and my Knower/Judger usually gets me into some kind of project that just has to be completed before the first guest arrives. And they’re usually not small projects. This year, I did it again. The difference is, I finally learned something

Where Happiness Comes From

From Volume 6, Issue 11:“Happy, yes. Satisfied, no. There is a difference. I’m just not letting the latter sully the former.”

~Dennis Martin, rally driver, husband, and father

That lead in an e-mail Dennis sent me got me thinking about the functional difference between being happy and being satisfied. I had noted that when we last met at a rally in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he’d seemed happy. I was right, but I would have been wrong to assume that he was satisfied. What’s the connection between the two, and what can we learn by separating them?

Book Review – Managing Thought

From Volume 6, Issue11:Let’s face it. Everything I discuss in this blog, teach in my 3-2-1-GO sessions, or work with in my executive sessions revolves around learning to operate in the Learner/Researcher mode as opposed to the Knower/Judger mode. Being the L/R keeps us open-minded, able to see the good in things when the K/J doesn’t see any. A comment I often hear is “OK. I get it intellectually. But how do I actually do it?” Along comes Mary J. Lore with her book Managing Thought.