Posts Tagged: rationalize

Jun 12

Down the drain!


Hi… me again.

Yes, I am a day late.  I promised the blog on Monday and now it’s Tuesday.  This has been happening a lot lately, but at least I’m getting it done.

Writing this blog has been really weird the past few weeks.  I mentioned about eight blog entries back that I grabbed hold of a full speed freight train (new career) and my life has been a whirlwind ever since.

Everything is moving around so quickly that it’s a challenge to keep my nose above water.

Humm… let’s hope the swirling water isn’t the pull of the drain.  I don’t think so.

The sensation is more like that of a rushing stream than the flush of the toilet.  Thank goodness!

But I am barely keeping my nose above water none-the-less.

Now in the old days I would have been beating myself up pretty hard because I would have been feeling that I let people down by not living up to my commitment.

Or… this is the biggie… I would worry that I disappointed that person.  They were expecting something from me and I didn’t measure up.  I would get all frazzled wondering what they were thinking of me.

Yes, I know, I messed with my head regularly.  But I don’t think I am the only one who has ever done that.

But all of this brings up a point for you to ponder.

What goes on in your head that you know hinders the quality of your life?

Weird huh?  The fact that we all (this means everyone, including you) invest energy thinking about that we know hinders our quality of life.  I mean… how dumb is that?!

But sadly, it’s true.

I don’t know what your mental poison is but I spent my time (and still do to some degree) getting down on myself because I thought I might have disappointed someone – let them down.

Disappointing people may not be your poison pill but you have your own.

I could try to be an armchair psychiatrist by trying to figure out why disappointing people is an issue but that too is a rabbit hole with its own traps.

Holes like this can easily become a complex self-defeating maze that sucks the energy that could be channeled in a more productive direction.

The scary reality is this; there are a lot of things in our head that we believe to be true that are actually lies.

We act out our lives based on these lies.  And don’t even know it.

The first big step is to really believe that we may have lies in our heads.  We may not know which are lies but at least we are on the right path.

Some lies may be very subtle and take time to discover.  My recommendation is not to worry about those too much.

I guarantee you there are some big lies right in front of us like a big fat zit that we have been calling a beauty mark.

Some of these big honker zit lies are things like…

-        You’ve made too many mistakes

-        You’ve waited too long

-        You’re not good enough

-        What does this guy know… he doesn’t know my situation

-        I’ve failed before

You name it… it’s a ZIT… Pop it now.

Yes, I know it’s kind of a gross analogy.  But maybe it will drive home a point.

Thanks for stopping by.  Hopefully you will visit again on Thursday.

See you then.

Nov 11

El Yum!


Hi, thanks for visiting.

You hungry?  Looks good, huh?

I’m sitting in the passenger area at the airport waiting for my flight to board.

This has been a weird week… I have totally lost track of time.  If you read the last blog entry you know that I have been in Phoenix all week at a conference.

Side Note: The last time I went to Phoenix was when I ran into the Buddhist Monk with the blue Tiffany box.  I wrote three blogs about him last May.

It was a very interesting encounter.  If you are interested, just click on May 2011 on the right side of the page.  Start with the May 11th entry, A Scene of Contrast.


I don’t know about you, but when I am out of my normal routine I really get out of sorts.  If you don’t believe me just ask my wife.

What I find also strange about being out of my routine is that my logic gets all distorted.  It’s not that I don’t think clearly it’s just that something that’s a reality when I’m home is not necessarily applicable when I’m on the road.

Let me give you the perfect example.

When I am on the road, for some reason I tend to believe that there are no calories in food.  I can eat anything knowing that I will not gain any weight.



So I end up putting all kinds of crap in my “Statue of David” physique.


The second distortion of logic is that I think I have a “Statue of David” physique.



.Now that I am back home (yep, it’s four hours later and finishing up my blog) I clearly see that my physique is less like a “Statue of David”  more along the lines of a Homer Simpson… Doh! 

But I do have more hair.




I have come to the conclusion you can justify most anything.  All you have to do is be a bit creative and be willing to believe the lies you feed yourself.

If a person believes something, and most importantly, feels like it is true… then it is; regardless of the facts.

Then as they say, the rest is history.

Actions always follow beliefs.

Whenever you see actions (good or bad)… you can be assured that there is a belief supporting the behavior.

The belief may not contradict reality.  What I mean is, a person may be fully aware of the facts, but a belief justifies the action.

These beliefs are the subtle and insidious forms that take us down the wrong track all too quickly.

Side Note: Stick with me for a minute.  I know that the last couple of sentences are a bit obtuse, but I will try to make some sense of it.


For example, I actually know that food in Phoenix has as many calories as it does where I live.  But here’s the belief that justified the indulgence.

  • “You’ve worked hard and you deserve it.”
  • “It won’t make any difference.”
  • “I will cut back next week.”

The coup de grâce is…

  • “You’ve already blown it, go ahead and enjoy that dessert.”

Now I know that I’m not the only one that twists my thinking to justify my behaviors.

Wow, what started out as a fun little blog got pretty heavy.

Humm… maybe this blog is for someone more than me.  What do you believe to justify what you do?

Later.  See you Monday.

Sep 10

Death by Neglect

Hola Amigo.

I just thought I would try my hand at Spanish today.  Hopefully it didn’t throw you off too much.

I almost talked myself into not writing a blog entry today.  It was tempting.  But I couldn’t let myself stop.  This blog journey is too important to me.

Historically I have started far too many personal initiatives in life to have them wither and slowly die… death by neglect.  It’s easier to let things die that way.

A decision to stop requires acknowledgement of failure and announces one’s lack of resolve.  And since we don’t want to look bad the pill is less bitter if we ignore something to death.

Starting and not finishing wears on you.

I do have a helpful hint.  If you are starting a personal initiative you need to choose something that doesn’t leave monuments.

Monuments to unfinished starts:

  • The dusty exercise machine in the basement
  • The cob web covered skis in the garage
  • The hobby kit that has never been taken out of the box
  • Unused cookbooks
  • Unused lessons
  • Half painted house
  • Credit balance left with Weight Watchers
  • Clothes too small with tags still on
  • Add you own monument

It is a bit embarrassing to talk about my starts and stops.  I also know that many of you can relate.

Here’s the sobering truth if we are not careful.  The starts listed above transform into monuments of failure.   They stand as a symbol of our shortcomings… and, if not careful, we believe it.  If we believe it, we give up trying.

Here is my point for today.  It doesn’t matter the number of starts we make, or the lapse of time to the finishes.  Are we willing to try again?

I am so thankful I am not where I used to be.  A few years ago I would have given in to the whim of blowing off writing this blog.  I am very good at making excuses for non-action… lots of good reasons in my repertoire.

I ran across this video that encourages me to start again, to get back up after I have fallen, to persevere.  Take a look.

YouTube Preview Image


So, I will be here next Monday.

See you then.

Sep 10

Future Tense or Tense Future

Yep, me again, good to see you.

I must be in an ornery mood because I will probably tick some people off today.

Side Note: If I were really in a testy mood I would have probably said “pissed off” some people today.  Humm… maybe I should rethink my wording. Ticked off doesn’t have quite the panache as “pissed off” does it?


Seriously, I may offend some folks today.  I don’t particularly enjoy making people angry but the future is too important not to address some of the hard issues.

Today I felt the need to tackle the prickly negative problem of prickly negative people.  Just so you know, if you were bothered by the term “prickly negative people” then today’s blog may be for you.

NOTE:  The Clue Phone rang and you answered.


Here’s the piercing point of today’s blog.

Some people corrupt the future before it even happens because of their attitude.  They don’t even give it a chance to be crappy before they make it crappy because of the way they think.

I see this happening with two types of people.

The first group is made up of people who are good happy individuals but their perspective of the world is from a negative standpoint.  They would call it realistic, but in reality NEGATIVE.

These are people who naturally default to the negative vs. the positive.  They do eventually get to the positive but unfortunately the luster has been rubbed off due to their “realistic” observations.

If not careful they can corrupt the future but can easily avoid it if they are aware of their tendencies.

Now the second group of people are a different matter.  They can be the most disturbing and challenging.  There are a few people in the world who are just plain sour.  Nothing is good or can be good.  They are sour, their life is sour and they inadvertently make their future sour.

There may be some very legitimate reasons for their state.  Bad things happen to no fault of their own and it taints every aspect of their life.   The saddest part is that they allow it to taint the future.

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.

– Sydney J. Harris


There is no rationalizing with a sour person.  They have no desire or ability to consume encouragement or embrace positive statements.  Death comes quickly to such things because they are overwhelmed and cannibalized by the sour nature.  Then it burps with satisfaction having thwarted another attempt to be sweetened.

I know this is heavy and seems pretty hopeless… but it’s not.  Sour people who reject sweetness tend to respond best to a knock across the forehead (gotta get their attention).  It is best done by a stranger because there is no baggage.  So, if you are sour… lean forward… a little closer… WHACK!!!

Side Note: The whack has to be out of genuine Love not frustration or anger.  The future is too sacred to destroy it before it starts.


Now that I have your attention, sour people tend to see nothing better in their future.  I have no sweet words just one assignment.

I posted a short video in an earlier blog that is perfect for you.  On the right side of the page are the archives for previous blogs.  Go to the March blogs and find the one titled A Sack of Rocks.

Take a look and let me know how you’re doing on Thursday.


Feb 10

Our Quirky Side

Wow!  It has been a month since I launched the blog.  Kinda cool, but in the bigger scheme of things not that big of a deal.  The bigger question is will I still be actively posting my mental meanderings a year from now?

Frankly I can’t and shouldn’t let myself worry about that.  All I have to do is to be willing to post an entry for today.  And then a couple of days from now be willing to post another.  For too long I put too much pressure on myself to accomplish lofty goals.

The majority of people I know are really motivated by goals.  They set personal and professional goals and then create a plan to accomplish them.  It becomes a strategy game that motivates, focuses, and the reward is attaining the goal.

What I am about to say is very strange.  Me… I’m different.  In fact I feel sort of embarrassed sharing this but I tend to be demotivated by goals.  Yes, I know… weird.

Now I’m going to sound weirder… I have destinations but not goals.  See I told you it would be weird.  I don’t know if I should be worried or not but the statement makes sense to me.

For years I was really bothered by this.  I self analyzed, examined and figuratively speaking, beat myself up.  I’ve got a pretty good handle on all of this now but I am curious what you may think.  Why do you think a person can be demotivated by goals?  Any thoughts?

That’s why movement and direction are so very important to me.  If I keep putting one foot in front of another then I’ll get there.

You may be wondering, what does this have to do with our journey up the mountain?  Everything!

All of us have quirky, weird, unique things that have made our own personal journeys more challenging.  Usually this stuff is more in our heads than reality.  Yet we empower the dumbest things.

The solution… start walking, keep walking, move forward… thus the journey.  I have found that there will always be clutter in and around that will continually compete for our time, energy and most importantly our resolve.  The resolve to place one foot in front of the other and decide not to entertain thinking that distracts.

I will work hard not to be redundant in this blog but there is something I wrote in entry # three “The Wall” worth repeating.  Usually the things that distract seem very rational.

My definition of RATIONALIZE:  Rational Lies

Ciao… Thursday.

Jan 10

The Wall

Hi there… welcome back.

I hate to start off with bad news and be somewhat discouraging but…  we haven’t even started yet and we have our first challenge… the wall.

I finally decide to go on this adventure of discovery and wouldn’t you know, I ran smack dab into the garden wall.  Yep, and I hit it hard.  Bruised myself up a bit.

Facts about walls:

  1. They hurt when you bump into them.
  2. Everyone has them.
  3. Walls are not accidents.  Walls are intentional… built for a purpose.  They are created to keep things in or to keep things out.
  4. Here’s the scary one.  If not careful, the garden walls intended for good (protect and defend) subtly transform into the walls that trap rather than protect.  Without our knowledge we become imprisoned and we don’t realize our fate until we try to step beyond the parameter.
  5. You don’t go over or around walls… you go through them (more about that at another time).

Making the decision to step beyond the safety of the familiar is one thing, but actually taking a few steps is another.  I wrote the first two blog entries over five weeks ago and POW – I hit my wall.  The idea was to get six to ten blog entries in queue, release them on a schedule and this would allow me to get in a rhythm of writing.  Good plan huh?

What I didn’t plan on was my progress being hindered by the very walls I mentioned in the last blog entry… “what will people think?  will this be interesting? etc. etc. ad nausium.

It was easy to use the excuses such as the time consuming discipline needed to write and the commitment required to launch an ongoing blog.  Good excuses but in reality, it was the putting of my self at risk which stopped me.  I was rationalizing.

My definition of RATIONALIZE:  Rational Lies

But thank goodness, through the malaise the persistent soft piercing voice from beyond the wall (blog # 1) broke through.  I came to the realization that the fear of losing out on what is awaiting me is greater than the fear of the prison wall of what people think.  That is an awesome point of awareness.

Side Note:  Fear is an interesting paradox.  There is fear that debilitates and fear that motivates.  If not careful, fear becomes a seductive voice for non-action.

I bounced around in the confines of the wall far too long in my life.  Now that I am finally getting through my wall we can now proceed.

Ooops, I forgot… what about your walls?  Have you addressed the walls you have?

You can still walk along if you like but you’ll never really get to where you are going until you deal with your walls.  I don’t know the answer for you but I do know what I needed to do.  I needed to finally identify them for what they are.   A point of “Marking the Wall”.

This is what I needed to do.  If you are daring, I encourage you to mark your wall.  You can do it any way you want but you might want to consider posting it on the blog.  No one knows you… so think about it.

Rest well.  You’ll need it this Thursday for the next step of the journey.