“I’m Gonna Use This for the Rest of My Life”

Inky Johnson lost his career in one football tackle. When he woke up in the hospital after a life-saving surgery, the doctor told him, “Son, you will never be able to use you right arm and shoulder again.” Inky responded, “You’re wrong. I’m alive. I’m gonna use this for the rest of my life.”

And he has. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cznfzIP1tTs

When I use the things that life brings me with gusto, my happiness doesn’t derail, joy doesn’t skip a beat, and I don’t multiply misery.

I want adversity to reveal my strength, not my immaturity; my patience, not my whining; my discipline, not my laziness.

Adversity will come. I will move with it (as Inky demonstrates)…deeper into my core of power.

Please Don’t Try to Help Me out or “Serve” Me If…

So, back to the dishes.

If we do them or do any other act of service with resentment, superiority, complaining, bitterness, distaste, or a judgmental attitude we are probably doing more harm than good. Kahlil Gibran compares this behavior to a baker putting poison in the bread that he bakes.

Even the “love chapter” in the Bible labels acts that are done without love, however impressive they may be, as noise, bad music, counterfeit money, and a waste of time.

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Most humans have “antennas” up for insincerity, arrogance, anger, and condescension. Nobody is really fooled by our “service.”

Maybe we should just do everyone a favor and quit kidding ourselves.

“I’m the Only One Who Ever Does the Dishes Around Here”

I whined about my workload more times than I can count. Once, when I said, “I’m the only one who ever does the dishes around here,” someone responded, “So, don’t do them anymore. I’d rather have a dirty kitchen than be around a martyr.”

Although, not the answer I was going for, he had a very good point. No one enjoys the poor-little-me martyr. Setting boundaries and agreements is a much better option.

In offices and homes all over the world, people are getting bitter about other people not shouldering their fair share of the work and carrying around bitterness about it. That bitterness infects and dismantles relationships, contributes to ulcers and illness, and sucks the fun out of any environment. I’m not advocating rewarding irresponsible behaviors, only managing them productively.


  1. Tell people what you need.

  2. Agree on a plan.

  3. Set contingencies for exceptions and failures.

  4. Follow through without drama.

Goodbye martyrdom!

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Ride It Out

Whether or not we believe this quote by historian Edward Gibbon, history and experience validate that those who survive and thrive are those who believe life happens for them, not to them.

It has certainly helped me to believe in my ability to ride out a storm while in the middle of one. Believing the wind and the waves were not on my side, that the storm was too much for me, caused me to…

  1. Sink

  2. Despair

  3. Give up

  4. Go bat-shit crazy

  5. Make other people miserable

If I had only known earlier that my thoughts and words were creating the blueprint of  my life, I would not have wallowed so long in pathetic negativity, comparing, and complaining.

Today I choose the thoughts and words of peace and success because my thoughts and words will  enable me to ride it out.

Lots of Underappreciated People

My year-end review for 2017 includes making a list of all the people who helped me get where I am today.

So far, I have one-hundred and forty names down with their specific contribution to my training, support, and development.

Yet, that list doesn’t even include all the underpaid public school cafeteria workers who put up with my constant complaining about the affordable food they prepared, or the people who had to pick up all my stinky trash, or the water-treatment plant people, or the linemen who worked to keep me from bitching about no electricity during the ice-storms, or the mechanics, road builders, and grocery stockers with invisible faces who kept things running for me.

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Appreciation routine:

  • Start the car: thank the assembly line worker

  • Drive: thank the laborer who built the road

  • Turn on the radio: thank the engineer

  • etc., etc., etc.

Scientific Self-Improvement – Flow and Grow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s brilliant research on optimizing personal fulfillment reminds us that “throwing ourselves whole-heartedly” into a task has multiple benefits, including self-expansion.

Bringing it down to earth (because we might not be excited about our work today), this means we can find joy and benefit from any task, job, assignment, or challenge no matter who notices or rewards us, or how mundane it is.

Fulfillment is all up to us! Here are some of the ways to do it:

  • make a game of it
  • sing and dance while working
  • imagine it is your last opportunity you will have to use your mind and body
  • work like your life depends on it (it does)
  • set a personal goal

No one can be bored during a chase.

Get your adrenaline up. Flow and grow.

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Want the Kiss of Death?

Believe that you are helpless because someone or something is conspiring against you.

That is “the kiss of death” for…

  • healthy relationships

  • your job

  • productivity

  • progress

  • romance

  • politics

  • mental health

  • hope

  • fun

  • happiness

  • wealth

  • or any other type of enduring prosperity

I wasted too much of my valuable time complaining about how unfair life was, about office politics, the good-ole-boy club, politicians, and random conspiracy theories instead of proceeding with confidence in an abundant universe. Now, I’m sure there was a conspiracy. Life was rigged…in my favor! 

The happiest and most successful people live life as if everything is rigged in their favor!

Your Mission, If You Choose to Accept It, Is…

What would happen if, on our birthdays, our mothers, fathers, and caregivers always reminded us of the following?

You have arrived on this planet as a mysterious gift.
You will only be here a very short time.
Your mission is to honor the miracle of your creation by…

  • loving

  • creating more joy 

  • finding something you absolutely love to do and doing it with all your heart

  • never taking your life for granted (or the life of any other living thing)

This mission will be extremely difficult at times. The difficulties are allowed by your Creator to help you discover the power and wisdom you have been given.

Remembering these words will give you the means to accomplish your mission.

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“I Just Can’t Stand that Person”

“Once you start to dislike someone, everything they do begins to annoy you.”

Although, there is a smart way to opt out of the pain of living or working around someone who annoys us to death: we can choose to think about the things we appreciate about them before it is too late.

Or, we can join the crowd and set fire to another bridge.

Wise people don’t give up on people that easily.


“Whinging” Check

An Aussie client told me that she always allowed ten minutes at the beginning of their meetings for “whinging.” “People need to get it out, you know, and if I don’t give them time, they will interrupt my agenda with it,” she said.

I was unfamiliar with the term, but deducted she meant whining or complaining. My follow-up question concerned where she drew the line between healthy venting and toxic gossiping and complaining.

“Motive.” was her very insightful answer.

We vent to release pressure, find answers, and help each other. We whine, gossip, and complain to release pressure, but, it is usually, at someone else’s expense.

The following quote by Eckhart Tolle reminds me to check my “whinging” before it begins to victimize me…or others.