“Big Regret” Therapy

Image result for cutting for stone abraham verghese

“You live life forward, but understand it backward. It is only when you stop and look in the rear that you see the corpse caught under your wheel.” – Abraham Verghese

This quote craftily describes that sickening, sinking feeling that comes with the awareness (or the memory) of having made the wrong decision.

 If I had only…is the plague and the gaping wound of our human condition that will not heal…unless…we grab the tourniquet of today, wrap it tightly around the bleeding past, and step with resolve into tomorrow.

I can only do that when I remember:

  • It is no crime to be fallible.

  • Redemption dwells in strange places.

  • Power belongs to the present, and

  • If I have been given breath, there is hope for tomorrow


(Initially  posted in 2012. If you haven’t read the book, it is quite enlightening.)

Harry and Snowman

“Don’t trot, but gallop to see this movie…” the critics said.

I saw it on an American Airlines flight and so glad I did. And so glad it is available on YouTube and Netflix.

Watch it only if you want to be reminded that everything counts, that life happens for us not to us, that flat tires are part of a bigger plan, that those who are kind to animals win, that horses are more than horses, and that miracles happen.

On so many levels, this movie gives hope; hope that there is meaning behind our existence and that horrible tragedy can transform into strength and yield good for our future and for others.

Obliterating the Fear of Falling

This is definitely (radical) forward thinking.

It is also merely realizing that we have already survived countless times when we thought we wouldn’t.

Remembering that seems not to come natural. Each new challenge can send us whirling into despair or anger because we don’t naturally call up a past experience as a reference point.

When I do remember, I can rest in the insight that I do not have to handle tomorrow’s problems with today’s resources.

Got a Chaos Management Plan?

Do you have a chaos management plan (CMP)? Not just for North Korea but for the other times when your life is “nuked” by relationship, financial, or circumstantial violence.

We can’t be lulled into thinking we don’t need one, especially if we are currently quite impressed with ourselves and our “cool.”

It doesn’t take much for the props that make us feel cool to fall away and our inner deficits to be embarrassingly exposed.

My simple CMP:

  1. Accept what is.
  2. Forgive myself and others for the chaos.
  3. Invest in inner strength more than props.
  4. Expect chaos and smile at the future.

What Difference Does It Make?

Craving significance is a huge part of our human condition.

When we understand how our work matters, everything changes. We have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. We have a reason to overcome obstacles. We have a reason to keep going when pain is unbearable.

One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is to acknowledge the difference we make. Great managers do this. Good people do this.

“If it breathes, it needs encouragement.” -Charlie Chaplain

Solid and True Kindness


I’ve always loved this quote and have long used it as a measure of authenticity and genuine kindness in a person.

(If you are dating online, watch what they do and say to {or about} someone they are not trying to impress.)

Until recently I thought Samuel Johnson was just a really smart guy, prolific writer, and author of the first English language dictionary. He was so much more; blind in one eye, barely able to see out of the other, deaf in one ear, scarred and disfigured from childhood diseases, poor and unrecognized until late in his life, he was a man who became generous by way of pain.

“Samuel Johnson fervently believed in each individual’s mysterious complexity and inherent dignity.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

Two-Minute Tune-Up 4.28.12 Adjustment Before Judgment

It occurs to me today, while lying flat on my back, that I am actually privileged to be here. I am able to completely concentrate on writing without any other responsibilities tugging at my consciousness… simply because I am unable to complete any other task.


I have been forced to become aware of  my fundamental need for patience when I am faced with change. How important it is for me to reserve judgment of my circumstances until I have had critical time for psychological adjustment! What agony this buffer zone would mitigate if I only had the patience to wait.

A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else. – George Savile  

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. – Emerson
Stop the madness.


Two-Minute Tune-up 2.15.12 Power to Spare


Today, please don’t underestimate your power to overcome all the challenges of your life.

You were created to be a contender and a champion!

You don’t have to live vicariously through the lives of celebrities or sports heroes.

You are programmed to be a victor.

You are up for the task.

You are an inspiration and your story will be a legend.

Women, men, and angels are watching you and cheering you to victory!

You can Live the big LIFE you have imagined.

Your life matters more than you ever dreamed.

Never give up.

Don’t settle for the small life of defeat.

You have power to spare.

Two Minute Tune-up 6.3.11 100% Valuable

Yesterday, Melissa, a seminar participant, told me that she had overheard a coffee shop server being yelled at by a customer, so she went over to the server and said, “Don’t let this incident get you down. YOU ARE 100% VALUABLE RIGHT NOW!” The server brightened up and was very grateful for the kind and timely words.

Melissa had just heard those words during the morning session of our seminar. She made a point to tell me that the class had immediate value and usefulness for her.

Melissa was a conduit of good…and reminded me that I had been a conduit as well. I will have to tell Debbie how she had been a conduit when, last week, she told me that I was 100% valuable!