No, How? vs. Know How

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  The old skin has to shed before the new one can come.”                                      Joseph Campbell

“Pick yourself up and start all over again.”   Good grief that sounds sooo vacuous and superficial.  It disregards the cruel, intractable and unforgiving nature of life today.  The mere utterance of that expression morphs quickly into a noxious fusion of the absurd, the sappy and the contemptible.

Although it might be right, it ain’t real.   Life is tough.  It’s not just a matter of accepting change it’s more about what course of action should actually be undertaken.

When desperation is added into the equation, all that does is cultivate a breeding ground for unwise choice. Throw in distraction along with a scarcity of time and the pressure of hopefully making the right decision and voila, all components are there awaiting a crash and burn situation..

It’s the same with New Years resolutions.  There has to be some illogical rationale why most of us find it almost impossible to follow through on our proclamations for the future.

Maybe it’s the way we are hard wired.  Let’s say that most year- ending forecasts are replete with best of intentions.  OK.  But somewhere along our neural pathways, the fervor, dedication and execution of the resolutions are rendered defective, incomplete and call for mentally re-booting.

All that does is either delay implementation or, erase all memories of and the commitment to promised change.

Hey, you never know.  Perhaps, I’m wrong. I’m certainly no scientist.  But, on the other hand, maybe Elvis really is alive and well and living in Seacaucus, New Jersey.

Starting over and being 50 Plus are two compounds that don’t naturally lend themselves to compatibility.  In fact, the older we get the more hard-wired we are to the same old, same old.

Unfortunately, that state of mind is considered highly undesirable and certainly unemployable in an environment that exacts unconditional tribute at the altar of The “What Have You Done For Me Lately” sanctuary.

The past is the past and quickly disregarded by those who have no past nor experience.  In order to conceal their deficiencies, they attempt to fuse together the unstable alloys of hubris, tenacity and theory.  Believe it or not, that’s their problem.  The truth comes out eventually. We cannot let it fester within us and allow it to become a hindrance to our achievement.

We have already too much on our plate.

Author/Speaker/Broadcaster Dennis Prager is a thought leader.  If you haven’t listened to his Radio program or read any of his books, you are missing out on something extraordinary.  Prager is gifted with a far above average intelligence.  He does not pander nor does he patronize. He uses his mental horsepower in a very entertaining manner to simplify the complex and clarify the complicated.

I interviewed him for my book, “Out of the Fog and Into Focus.”  He told me about a death that occurred that had deeply affected him.  Now, it was not an actual death.  It was his divorce which at the time, he had recently experienced.

He said that divorce is like a death.  It takes time to recover.  A part of you is missing.  But, you must go on and live through the pain.

Eventually, the pain subsides, the memories recede and supplanted hopefully by more loving and meaningful designs.

The point is don’t give up.  Change takes time and change can be excruciating.  We have to shed the past to appreciate the present and revel in the expectation of a prosperous future.

And, life is fluid.  Each day is different.  We are different.  Whether we want to admit it or not, we don’t look as we did 30 years ago.

Celebrating pain, reversals and dissolution gets old.  So get with it.

Even if you are not in a particularly positive mind frame, you owe it to yourself to fake it until a more positive outlook actually becomes a part of you.

Fake it till you make it.  What’s the alternative?  There is no recourse.

If that provides but meager comfort, then be grateful for what there is right now and find solace in that.  Things could be worse.

If all else fails, forget pride and get professional and clerical help.  The obligation to yourself right now is urgent.  It’s incumbent upon you to rise above your current circumstance.

Now, let me ask, what is important to you?  What is your plan?  Do you even have one?

Commit to the realization that you are no longer imprisoned by the past.  It is time to stop “going through comatose motions” and allow yourself to be liberated by your dreams.

For too long, your dreams have been a blank state because the past possessed a strangle-hold on any meaningful vision for the future..

This isn’t fuzzy BS.  Dreams beget Aspiration. Aspiration creates Strategy.  And Strategy engenders Tactics and Tactics demand Implementation.

Right now, it’s absolutely critical to create an action plan.   This is not a New Years resolution soon to be forgotten. This is your life.  Don’t put it on hold.

What are you telling yourself?  Are you saying  NO. HOW as in NO WAY, NO HOW or are you communicating  KNOW HOW as in finding a way of taking greater control and outcome of your life?

It takes focus and conviction to start over.

I remember working in Sales for a magazine.  I knew nothing about Print Sales.  I asked the owner what do I do?  He gave me the greatest advice, which at the time, I didn’t really appreciate nor fully understand.  Ah, the wisdom of the ages.

Even now, his words are so relevant and yet so simple.

He said. “just do it.”  And this was years before Nike’s adoption of the phrase.

Necessity is a Mother, and that’s used as a half word.  I needed the job and the money derived from commissions.  I didn’t say NO.  I certainly wasn’t sure HOW.  I had to improvise.  That was my KNOW HOW.

Stop with how or what or where.  Start somewhere and work your way from there.  Life does not come with an instruction manual.  So stop wasting time looking for one.

You are the architect of your life.  It is your blueprint, your brand, your self-actualization put into action without distraction.

Allow yourself to finally bring to fruition those long held concepts now liberated from self-imposed servitude, rooted in past doubt and failures.

You cannot build a solid structure with faulty construction tools.

And that reminds me of an interview I saw recently with TV’s Judge Judy.  She made an interesting observation related to blueberries.  Blueberries?  Yes.  She discussed how in a package of blueberries, you might find one shriveled up and decayed.

So, what do you do with the bad fruit?  You get rid of it.

But, if it’s not removed from the package, the next day more berries will be found to have gone bad.

If the shriveled berries are not discarded,  within a very short time, the whole package of fruit becomes decayed, shriveled and toxic.

The same is true by masochistically celebrating past defeat and fortune reversals.  That is what occurs by inaction.  We become decayed and toxic.

Sure we learn from turn downs but can’t allow those lessons to obstruct a path rich with the opportunity of attainment.

So, Is it NO.  HOW? Or is it KNOW HOW. It’s all up to you

I always reply to comments sent only to dickheatherton@outlook.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

People, Places, Things and Larry

                           “A Person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”                                                                          John Barrymore

Lately, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with MD’s; more so than I prefer.  No big deal.  I even asked for a second opinion and was told, “You’re ugly too”! (Couldn’t resist)

However, while making the rounds of specialists, I did learn about a phenomenon called “White Coat Syndrome.”

When a patient sees a Doctor, the experience can adversely affect blood pressure readings. So much so, it is now recommended that physicians furnish a second BP evaluation later on during an appointment in order to determine correct measurement.

Before I go any further, this piece is not really about aches and pains. So bear with me.

But, it does remind me of the Henny Youngman story about his grandson, Larry, who would wake up every morning with a headache.  And, every night at bed time, Youngman told his grandson, “Remember, when getting out of bed, feet first, Larry, feet first.”

We all need help and sometimes a not-so-gentle reminder can go a very long way.

If you are beyond the age of 50, you might notice something taking place within you.  It is a not- so-subtle personal transformation.  It is most conspicuous in conversation.   It is an attitude.  Call it a metamorphosis.

It’s something you don’t want necessarily happening to you but, it probably will.  And, it’s critical that you resist the temptation of becoming shackled by the condition.

It is similar to a rite of passage whose time has come.

I believe it is some inner mechanism codified by genetics that self-activates at some pre-determined time.  What it does is create a demarcation line.

It delineates the young from the old.   It divides the active from the inactive.  It separates the hopeful from the resigned.  And, this condition is not the exclusive domain of the 50 plus generation.   There are those in their 20’s to 40’s infected with……Retiring Traits and Thought.

There is an old chestnut stating you can tell a lot about a person by their topics of conversation.  Here’s the breakdown.

1).  If you’re interested in Things, you are lively and active.

2).  If it’s all about Places, you’re probably a dreamer.  That’s good and not so good.  If it’s all about the past, then you are avoiding the present and leading a life of passivity.

3).  If your dialogue is limited solely to the discussion of People, then consider yourself on the bottom rung of existence.  You are inactive.  You are in danger of becoming a Dunderhead.  What’s worse?  You are now a certifiable Bore to the Core.

Now sure,  we talk about People.  Where would we be without others in our life?  They are a necessity.  It’s part of Conversation 101.  But, that is not what I’m referring to.  If that is your prime conversational pastime, I wish you well and welcome you to a world of self-isolation and limitation.

You become the person who, when asked “How are you doing” misinterprets a friendly acknowledgment salutation as a conversation opener that allows for monotonous and non-stop babble dealing with aches, pains and doctor visits.

We all know this but need to be reminded.  It’s all too easy to go into retirement mode especially when life has kicked us hard.

But “Perpetual Wound Licking” has not yet been determined to be an approved medical classification; even under the tenets of Obamacare.

What’s worse is when talk is only about People and Health, it leads to negativity.

Negativity is a time-killer, an opportunity saboteur, a life-force exterminator.

Ever been to an “over 50” Planned Community?  Everything is set out perfectly. It looks beautiful; filled with people playing golf, swimming all day and basking in the hot sun.  Sounds great!

But, there are two groups that populate these areas:  The active and the inactive.  They don’t get along.  They have little in common.  That’s what I’m talking about.

Get “Things” going in your life.  You are too young to be old and, most important, you are NEEDED!  You are needed right now!

Listen to me.  Two of the many attributes of being over the age of 50 are: Most of us have been blessed with the gift of gab and secondly, we know how to write.

Recently CNBC reported that Business is hurting.  They can’t find college graduates with good communication skills.  Oh sure, they can Text.  They are great with 140 characters and are masters at short hand.  But they are totally illiterate when it comes to long form writing skills and verbal articulation.

What I’m saying is there are people much younger than you and me with beaucoup brilliance but lacking proficiency in communicating intelligent thought.

So, stop with the People Talk or the latest Doctor visit monologue and get going.

Now, at first, it could be rough.  You are out of practice.  Work with someone or contact me.  I am a Coach and Trainer.

Being out of practice in presenting yourself is similar to the “White Coat Syndrome.”  Get back in the game and rehearse.  Do some trial runs with like minded active people.  You are easing the pressure.

Get off your butt, get the mind in gear.  And, most importantly, remember the advice offered by Henny Youngman to his grandson “Feet first, Larry, feet first.”.

I respond to all emails sent to dickheatherton@outlook.com

Sellouts, Sycohphants and Shaddenfreude

                                  “Don’t give up.  Don’t lose hope.  Don’t sell out.”                                                                                          Christopher Reeve

Am I the only one seemingly imprisoned in some vile and eerie state of surrealism where Sellouts and Sycophants have ensnared, outmaneuvered and subjugated the custodians of common sense?

It’s a field day for eunuchs, quislings and the narcissistic.

Now, we all need financial relief and recognition for a job well done is greatly appreciated.  Plus, it’s getting cold.  So, there is immediate need for making provision for winter’s unrelenting disposition.  We do what we need to do.

But, what the hell is going on?   It seems what’s wrong is right and what’s right is meaningless.  It’s as if some ominous pathogen has quietly but deliberately infected our basic sensibilities and caused a seismic shift in what is considered basic Values.

We all know the adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  Sure, that’s true.  But, volume is an imprecise assessment of substance.

This is not a political rant.  In fact, may a pox befall most elected officials.   Generally speaking they are Sellouts and Sycopchants beholden only to “others.”  Most times, the agenda of “others” is in sharp contrast with the concerns directly affecting you and me.

Politicians can be so megalomaniacal that it puts into question their mental soundness.

Perhaps I’m wrong but when it comes to most affairs of state, the only winner is the holder of the cards in a game of “3 card monty.”   And, guess what?  That ain’t us.

Enough said on that front, but it does shine the light on Sellouts and Sycophants.  They will do all they can for the sake of power and control.  It’s not just personal power.  It’s the capacity of lording over others.

It reminds me of the old Show Biz line, “Enough about me. Let’s talk about my show.”

Look, we all need a paycheck and life in the early 21st Century isn’t all angel cake and tinker bell on gossamer wings.  So, it is imperative we make mid course corrections and then move on so we’re not left behind.  .

Unfortunately, there are those who inflict as much pain as possible on others.  I’m not a psychiatrist by any definition of the word but life experience and a bit of research have shown me that there are individuals who relish “shaddenfreude.”   Shaddenfreude means gloating with glee over the gloom or discomfort of others.   These are people who like to manipulate and inflict distress upon others.  Call it whatever you want, but it is sadistic in nature.

These people are ingrates.  They present themselves as better and smarter than most of humanity.  Privilege is due them. They are the “squeaky wheels” driven by an abundance of arrogance and a delusional sense of entitlement.

What they don’t realize is something once said by Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”   Actions really do speak louder than words.

In reality, the crux of the matter is most of these people have very little self-regard.  In fact, they use their arrogance as a shield.  The shield pushes away others so their deceit is secure and their fraud remains undetected.

However, they live in fear of being “found out.” They can’t bear the thought of being discovered for whom they really are.  That’s why they are so thin skinned.  They can’t take criticism.

And, since they can’t control their own lives, they set out to control the lives of others.

That’s the real issue: Control.

Years ago, in my DJ days, there was a Radio Manager who was considered a programming genius but a total S.O.B.  He put the fear of god into those who worked for him.  He made life miserable for many people in Radio.

Jump cut 20 years later and I had the chance to meet him.  He turned out to be a really great guy and was very helpful to me.  In our time together, he was totally honest and explained why he took on that S.O.B persona.  The reason:  He didn’t want anyone knowing how little he thought he knew, so his safety net was total control.

Those of us over the age of 50 know a phony when we see one.  We still have to deal with them, especially in a professional work setting.  But, it doesn’t mean emulating their controlling demeanor.

People who have no control over their own lives have a tendency of wanting to dominate the lives of others.  Psychiatrists refer to it as Displacement.  Since they can’t control their lives, they look for a source outside themselves to control.

On the other hand, those who have self-control have little or no interest in dictating how others should live and breathe. They will guide and mentor.  In the work place, they can even be rough at times, but they will be fair.  They are confident enough in their own talents and abilities.  Domination is a classification so remote from any personal character analysis.  .

These are uncertain times and, in order to get ahead, it’s very easy to mimic the behavior of Sellouts and Sycophants.   We all want more.  And, many of us are panning for gold by exploring and considering the latest secrets to success.  Sometimes, it’s all too tempting to adapt behavior alien to our core values.

And, by doing so, we take on the characteristics of what we find so alien.  We assume the identity and behavior of a sellout and sycophant.  And, that’s crazy.  It’s not who we are.

Here’s a warning:  Be careful.  Replicating fabricated identities, you do so at your own peril.

You see, living a lie means a lack of” Ease.”  And, when taken out of a position of ” Ease”, it creates an environment ripe for the incubation of Infection and Disease.

Now, let me take this one step further. We know when we are out of sorts.  We feel it when we see it.  The same holds true even in the most unexpected sources.

In the book, “The Hidden Messages in Water”, Author/Photographer Masaru Emoto took pictures of ice crystals.

So, what’s significant about that?

Well, through highly advanced micro-photography, Emoto captured amazing transformations.  He observed when someone with a positive disposition approached the ice crystals while being photographed, the configuration of the crystals turned totally white and beautifully shaped.

However, when someone troubled and negative came within proximity to the crystals, they turned ugly, shapeless and grey.  Check out those pictures in Emoto’s book.  They are amazing.

So, if something as minute as ice crystals can be affected by positive and negative energies, then you must consider how Sellouts and Sycophants influence you.  Their effect can be be nothing short of amazing or destructive.

What I’m saying is don’t allow yourself to be seduced and drawn into a vortex of ethical ambivalence.

Until proven otherwise, don’t jump to mirror the appearance of strength.  It might be hiding a host of inadequacies.

Look, we all need a paycheck and life in the early 21st Century isn’t all angel cake and tinker bell on gossamer wings.  In life, we all make certain realignments but then move on.

But, there are those who inflict as much pain as possible on others.  I’m not a psychiatrist by any measure of the word but life experience and a bit of research show that there are individuals who relish “shaddenfreude.”   Schaddenfreude means gloating with glee over the gloom or discomfort of others.   These control freaks manipulate and inflict hardship on others.  Psychologists refer to it as a form of displacement. It is limiting, debilitating and sadistic in nature.

These are strange and unsettling times in which we live.  It’s incumbent upon each and every one of us to be true to our own moral and value compass.    Today, it’s our safety net in today’s 3 ring Circus that we call life.

We can start by not ceding Control of our lives to Sellouts and Sycophants.  If they can’t control their own lives, what the Hell are they doing trying to run ours.

I always return replies that are sent to dickheatherton@outlook.com