You are wise to start with attention to the least sexy component to success – patience.

October 2, 2014

Patience is not a particularly interesting topic, at least on the surface of it. Though patience has a lot to do with why people we admire accomplish so much, we tend to focus only on the fruits of their patience, or their visible actions.

Patience is seen more like drudgery. But reflecting on patience, we can begin to get some traction with it, and give ourselves an advantage for having done so.

How do we get started with becoming more patient? Consciously or not,  patience always begins with a decision to be willing to endure averse emotion as it arises in an endeavor – choose pain over comfort.  So being more conscious of that mental process, or mindful, will help us get more of a handle on accessing our patience when we need it. One wave of averse emotion at a time, we can develop our patience, even as we fall off the wave and our efforts are thwarted. We are strengthening our patience just by consciously meeting the wave that threatens it. We do the best we can.

Yet we know our efforts will be thwarted. Patience is built on a foundation of failures to be patient. It will strengthen your patience if you are kind to yourself and others even as your patience fails you. Or as Idries Shah wrote, learn to …”be patient with your patience.”  Resolve to relate to yourself with heart as often as you can remember to do so.

Fortunately, not everything requires patience. In fact, there is a time to give into your impatience. It is always wise to soothe or bypass averse emotion unless doing so disrupts the focus you require to complete something important.  Putting patience aside sometimes and favoring pleasurable activities will help replenish the energy that patience requires when you really need it. Misplaced patience is an energy drain.

Nonetheless, you really can’t overdo patience in situations that require it. The challenge is deciding which situations really require it. After all, we are told that he who hesitates is lost.  Then again, we are advised to look before we leap.  Maybe better sayings would be “He who hesitates to look before they leap unnecessarily risk being lost”. or “if you don’t look before you hesitate to leap you are just guessing and are already lost”. Anyways, my playing with the wording of pithy quotes might not clarify anything. Patience does not replace critical thinking. It just gives you adequate time to engage in it.

Patience must not confused with the capacity to wait.   Patience is a tool that permits us to see and seize the moment when waiting any longer is unhelpful. Procrastination tends to be the default way we employ time. Waiting is not hard for the procrastinator in us. We put things off and distract ourselves with something more interesting or easy. But it really is more a failure of patience than ambition not to get started on something. After all, you have no problem ‘getting started’ with easier activities, no shortage of ambition or gumption there! You are simply refusing to make a decision to endure the averse emotions that getting started on the tougher challenge might evoke. Call a spade a spade, and call impatience what it is – impatience.

Patience is very worthy of our focus in enhancing our development and making progress toward our goals.  It can expand and deepen our perspective on situations and make possible the vision required to make better decisions based on a greater grasp of what is happening and how it all fits together.

But it will not insist on your attention. It is a quiet virtue, and you have to be able to still yourself to really be able to employ it.

I am sorry if this piece is a boring or dry, but that does sort of speak to the point I am trying to make.

Gratitude alerts us to opportunities. Ingratitude blinds us to them. Neither replace critical thinking.

October 2, 2014

The title of this post is for your reflection.

You can share it but please cite me.

Copyright 2014, All rights reserved.

Beware anything you do or believe that makes you feel special. Appreciate the significance of ordinary challenges

September 14, 2014

John 5:21-26

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder'; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”

Pay attention to the details of your particular life situation and make good decisions. Religious rituals and beliefs exist to support your efforts to love your neighbor as yourself. God does not need you to believe in him or your rituals. They are there to support you, to give you comfort and rest after your hard work being a peacemaker in this world. You may face some scorn and be tempted to retaliate. You will feel like you are making no progress. You will be tempted to spend too much time absorbed in religious ritual and words. Jesus is pretty clear that you will be missing the boat, in this world, and the next.

Lessons from the Vikings : The wisdom of being more honest about the role of luck to success

September 7, 2014

HAP is an old Norse word that means ‘luck’. The Vikings added it to the what has evolved into the English language we speak today, and it is the root of several words such as happy, happening, and hapless.  The Vikings put a lot of stock on luck, they even considered luck to be a part of what made up their self, much in the way we consider intelligence or strength to be essential parts of the self. But certainly, like us, they saw luck as coming about by chance. I think the advantage they had was that they saw it as something they could pay attention to and develop.  

By definition,  you can’t put conditions on luck. It seems like something that you either have or not. We call luck by other names now – like opportunity. The word opportunity  is one of those buzz words used by business people that has tried to render everything in terms of logic and intellectual analysis. I prefer the word luck. We have less trouble seeing luck as bad or good.  Seeing the possibility of bad or good in anything is a better motivator for us to pay attention so that whatever luck comes our way so we won’t miss out. And that’s really a way to happiness…just being open to seeing things as clearly as you can no matter what. The more you engage with life in this way, the more skilled you become in taking advantage of more and more of what comes your way. You begin to look to others like you have a lot of luck, and you have no problem admitting it if you are thinking like a Viking. Maybe Vikings were more humble than we perceive them to have been. They attributed a lot of their success just to their luck. Maybe we should too. 

Just as important to happiness is to look out for bad luck, bad ‘hap‘penings coming your way so you can protect yourself, also a skill that you develop with attention and engagement. 

So ‘happy‘ is really a mindful state where you are just paying full mindful attention to what is and what is coming, and not getting to attached to any one piece of HAP. lest you miss the next one. 

You are lucky if you are happy and you are happy if you are lucky. 

To say it another way, you are happy or confident simply because you are doing what you know will give you the best chance of success – just paying mindful attention and developing the abilities that transform you into a person who can best adapt to make the best  of the luck that comes their way, and when in abundance, share it – become lucky for others. 

Happiness is the truth. 

It seems we can’t always avoid fighting so explicit agreements to avoid throwing knock out punches are essential

September 4, 2014

Many disagreements turn into ugly fights  because people feel pressure to get a decision on a matter.  It happens at work and home.  Each party starts hitting harder and harder, or in reaction,  run further and further away from any interaction at all.  However, if both parties give each other permission to step on each other’s proverbial toes and not worry about the outcome, a lot more is going to get aired, and usually that leads to healthier decisions even in the absence of a full agreement.

It actually is fun in many cases, as long as the rules are clear – though not usually pain free. The point is to avoid injury.

Sometimes the instructions on where someone has permission to “hit” you ought to be pretty specific. A married couple cleaning out their cupboard may agree to take the gloves off when talking about what dishware to throw away but not the silverware.






I challenge you to give to a charity completely anonymously #hardestchallengeyet

September 2, 2014

You will never know if I did or not. 





Gamblers are really aspiring thieves. They become true thieves when it comes time to pay their debt. #conmen #entrepreneurs

September 2, 2014

They play while you work!

All religious language eventually falls flat in regards to what it is trying to talk about…which sort of makes the point.

September 2, 2014

Comparison is the thief of joy.  

Theodore Roosevelt

ISIS militants threaten Mosul’s female doctors

August 31, 2014

Speaking to Al-Akhbar, Dr. Salwa Mohajer said, “They forced us to wear a burqa and a niqab. Usually men are not allowed in the delivery room, but they just enter with all their guns and their filth, claiming they are there for monitoring purposes and they molest women and doctors.”
Mohajer said she was subjected to various types of molestation, especially by Arab militants.
Please read the whole thing. Imagine working under these conditions.

Work first on getting yourself to see clients’ worlds their way, not getting them to see your widgets or valuable services your way

August 28, 2014

When someone tells you no or rejects something you are offering or saying, or refuses a request you make, all it means is that they have not SEEN something.  They have NOT seen how what you bring will benefit them in the world THEY see themselves in. If you have a way to help them see it benefiting them in the world they see, you will have a chance to reverse their no. 

So your job is to discover how they see their world, not to show them what you have or want.  They may refuse to disclose how they see their world, but generally, if you are genuinely interested, and ask well worded questions, you can learn a lot. Once you have a complete enough vision of their world, you can decide to show your stuff or not. Otherwise, you are rolling the dice. 

So we offer nothing to start. We ask to see. 


Below is a script for a conversation I am planning to have tomorrow. Do you think it will help me see how they see their world? 

I‘d like to talk some with you and if you think that Karen would not have any interest in having a conversation with me, just tell me so and we can just end the phone call. If it sounds like it will interest her, then we can go from there. that sou nd ok> So you’ll tell me no if it just does not seem like anything I am interested in? ok. 

Who would kno

What challenges are you facing in expanding your reach to families? 

How do you promote the book? 

(Small bets.  Steve Jobs. Pixar) 


How much are people willing to spend on their kids to give them the best in life? to save their marraige?

What stops people from seeing that Pat’s approach to family health is the very best? 

What about innovating approaches to getting Pat’s message out there? Who is involved in the creative conversations about how to reach more people who can afford your services? 


I just don’t know. I don’t see how what I can do can help you . I don’t know anything about the challenges you face. 


I am famlly therapist who has gotten sales negotiation training and experience.But it doesn’t really matter if this is not an area yuou want to grow in. 


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 212 other followers

%d bloggers like this: