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Views: 1028
Date Posted: Nov. 29, 3:24pm, 1 Comment
My wife is fascinated by the impact of one's childhood on his or her life as an adult. 
    We'll watch a true crime documentary and invariably we'll learn the guy who shot up his workplace or the woman who killed all her kids, they all had terrible childhoods.  And then the narrator and the killer's childhood friends will talk about the abuse these murderers endured as children.
   Quite often, my wife will exclaim - without exaggeration - "Heck, my childhood was worse than that."  And she's not kidding.
   Her fascination lies in these questions... Why do some abused children put their young lives behind and move on?  Why do some victims choose to victimize others?  How is it some of us get over it and others carry it with them?
    And so, we watch a lot of true crime shows.  And I am so glad she didn't turn out to be a husband slayer.
    We do not all escape our childhoods unscathed, some emerge more damaged than others.  The key, it seems to me, is putting the bad behind you, purging yourself of the stains of your youth and moving on.  And rarely, if ever, looking back.
The following article offers a couple of tools to help. - JDW
The Power of Metaphors - and Making them Work for You by Joe Tye

We shape our buildings, said Winston Churchill, then our buildings shape us.  The same is true of the metaphors we use to simplify and explain the world around us.  When we say "the football team's new running back is a real tank," we don't literally mean the man is thirty tons of steel mounted on treads with a cannon turret on top.  It's a metaphorical image that conveys a whole range of meanings - unstoppable, indestructible, threatening - in one simple picture.  Change the metaphor to "he's a real marshmallow" and you get a whole new range of meanings.

Whether consciously or not, we rely heavily upon metaphors in our everyday conversations (especially the ones we have with ourselves).  With self-awareness, you can become more cognizant of the metaphors that you subconsciously use to define and describe yourself; changing those metaphors can be a powerful way of building self-belief.

The Magic of Metaphorical Visualization

One reason it's so difficult to manage emotions is that they're invisible - and how can you manage what you can't see?  Because metaphors create vivid mental images (and a picture is worth a thousand words), they are among the most powerful forms of human communication - including the communication we have with ourselves.  Metaphorical Visualization is a process of using mental metaphors to visualize that which cannot be seen by the human eye, thus making it easier to manage the invisible.

The first step is recognizing and eliminating self-sabotaging metaphors.  For example, to answer the question "How's it going?" with "I'm hanging in there" creates a horrifying mental metaphor in the subconscious mind - only desperate people "hang."  Saying that you're hanging sends your inner child the terrifying message that you're hanging onto the cliff's edge by your fingernails, or worse yet that you're about to pay the ultimate price for having committed a heinous crime.

The second step is visualizing positive metaphors in action, and then transferring the emotional energy from the imaginary world to the real world.  By creating a mental image of something that is real and tangible, as opposed to an ephemeral emotion, you can bring your mental powers to bear and change your thinking and change your brain.  Let's look at several examples.

Erasing Negative Self-Talk:  We all experience negative self-talk - which usually tells us lies.  One metaphorical visualization exercise is picturing this vandalous voice for what it really is - mental graffiti.  You need The Janitor in Your Attic to paint out that graffiti and replace it with self-talk that is positive and constructive.  Any time you hear that voice say "You can't do..." or "You're not good enough to..." just visualize your janitor (my janitor is named Spike) coming along with a cleaning cart, painting over that libelous graffiti, then replacing it with something positive and constructive.

Now, before you laugh too hard at the apparent silliness, listen to this.  Several years ago I called the M.D. author of a bestselling book on brain plasticity (the ability of the adult brain to rewire itself as a result of experience or even thinking differently).  I asked him if it would be possible that someone who did this consistently would actually rewire their brain to wire out negative thinking.  He said that not only would it be possible, it would be inevitable.  And in the years since, my janitor Spike has proved that to my satisfaction, and I've heard from quite a few others who tell me the same thing.

Leave Behind Emotional Baggage:  Just as a 300-pound jockey will never win the Kentucky Derby, someone who is weighed down with emotional baggage will struggle with life.  Whenever I hike into the Grand Canyon, I pick up an ugly rock to let it represent some fear, anger, grudge, or other emotional baggage that's weighing me down.  Carrying an unnecessary rock in an already-heavy pack is a perfect metaphor for the dead weight I've been carrying in my heart.

Every day, I talk to my rock and explain why I have to leave it behind....
Views: 912
Date Posted: Nov. 20, 5:03pm, 0 Comments

Excerpt from LIVING A FIVE STAR LIFE by Betty Mahalik


(I was talking to a top young pro and the conversation drifted to stress and how to deal with it.

I suggested our childhoods might have something to do with it.  And, of course, there is good stress and bad stress. There is the stress of a sick child and then there is the stress of a fly dive-bombing your mocha latte.  What is bothering you?  Is it important?  What is your best response?  And, yes, I work at being calm.  It takes work, especially in these times. - JDW)


In this day and age, we are surrounded by messages that virtually scream, "Your life would be perfect if..." My life would be perfect if I had a different job, a different house, car, nose, spouse, bank account (fill in the blank). Or my life would be perfect if I could be like some celebrity whose life appears so well-ordered and perfect-o. This week I encourage you to stop playing "my life would be perfect if," and start playing "my perfect life." What's the difference? Three things: being in the present, an attitude of gratitude, taking action with what's available now.

When we're caught up in the "my life would be perfect if" trap, we've lost touch with the present. And the moment we detach from the present, we can no longer practice gratitude. Think about it:  it's difficult to be grateful for what you don't have...and what you don't have is always somewhere out in future-ville.

Look around you right now. Think of 10 things you're grateful for. Do you have a roof over your head and food to eat? I'm guessing the answer is yes. Do you have at least a few good friends or close relationships? Then appreciate them too, right now. Keep going, and practice being in the present and being grateful for what is here and now at least a couple times a day.

You're also probably sitting there thinking "yes but." Yes, but I want more money, a better relationship, more time to travel, to be thinner, happier or whatever. It's one of the great mysteries I'll never figure out. The minute you stop focusing on what you lack, start focusing on what you've already got, and add the "magic" ingredient of action, you actually begin to attract more of what you want. It's an amazing formula for really living your perfect life!

Let's say you want to lose weight or get in better shape, but you don't have an hour a day to spend exercising at the gym. Therefore, you've pretty well resigned yourself to not losing weight or getting in shape. What if you had five minutes though...just about everyone can find five minutes to exercise, stretch, walk around the block or walk the dog. Would you be willing to be grateful for five minutes and make the best possible use of it? Therein lies the beginning of your perfect life!


A simple formula may help you remember how to apply this principle:

  • The present
  • + an attitude of gratitude
  • + positive action
  • = my perfect life.

Try it for a day.


Each time you start dreaming about how perfect your life would be if...come back to this moment, give thanks for what is, and do one thing to perfect what you have and who you are right now. There's a saying that "when the student is ready, the teacher appears." If you're ready to start perfecting your life, your teachers are all around you.

What are you waiting for?

Views: 903
Date Posted: Nov. 13, 10:31am, 1 Comment
Think of the following tale as a puzzle.  Ask yourself, 'how can I use this story and the wisdom therein to improve my game?  Or my life away from the table?' - JDW



An excerpt from
You Can't Send a Duck to Eagle School
by Mac Anderson

Not long ago, a friend sent me the story of "Old Warwick." It brought a smile to my face, and I think it shares a wonderful lesson for every leader to learn.

A man was lost while driving through the country. As he tried to reach for the map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Thought he wasn't injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help. "Warwick can get you out of that ditch," said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the decrepit old mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating,

"Yep, old Warwick can do the job." The man figured he had nothing to lose. The two men and the mule made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins, he shouted,

"Pull, Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!"

And the mule pulled that car right out of the ditch.

The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all of those names before you called Warwick?"

The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he's part of a team, he doesn't mind pulling."

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to obtain uncommon results.

Views: 419
Date Posted: Nov. 8, 4:37pm, 1 Comment
I live in Florida.  It is a dangerous place.  We have 20-foot pythons battling 15-foot alligators in our parks. Man-eating sharks patrol our coastlines.  Every couple of years one of our towns disappears in a hurricane with 150 MPH winds. The incoming governor campaigned on his business background, which included a $1.7 billion fine for fraud against the U.S. government.
A Tampa couple searching for just the right Halloween decoration purchased an actual human skeleton for $8 at a local estate sale. Which I personally think is quite a bargain.
The first recognized female serial killer was a Floridian. On the other hand, Floridians killed Ted Bundy.  Scarface, aka Tony Montana, was a Floridian.  We take our crime quite seriously here.  Unless it's a politician committing it.
Not that we have completely lost our sense of the absurd.  25-year-old Raymond Roberts in Manatee County was pulled over for a routine traffic stop.  The strong smell of marijuana aroused the officer's curiosity, which led to a thorough search of Mr. Roberts.  He admitted the bag of weed found between his buttocks was his, but he vigorously denied any knowledge of the cocaine found in the same location.
Here's a note from Saturday's paper: A Florida man shot at an alligator to free his dog.  Tom Martino and his Jack Russell terrier were walking along the Hillsborough River when the alligator wrestled the 15-pound dog into the water. [In Florida, your dog is part of the food chain.]  Martino started shooting into the water around the alligator to scare it into releasing the 9-year-old dog.  He performed CPR on the dog until it coughed up water and started breathing again.  Lizabeth is now being treated for alligator bites and lung injuries from being underwater.  A state trapper captured the 6-foot gator that night.  Martino has a concealed weapons permit.
Of course, he does.  We all do.
The final table of the WSOP Main Event, heads-up now, gets started tonight (11/8) at 8 p.m. (PST).  Floridians John Dolan earned $1.77 million in 6th and Michael Mizrachi, finishing 5th, garnered $2.33 million.  In Florida, the tough survive.
Before the November Nine sat down, John Racener, the 24-year-old from the Tampa suburb of Port Richey, said, "they're going to be afraid of me...." Mano a mano, I like the Floridian's chances, despite a 6-1 chip disadvantage.  A couple of double-ups and Monsieur Duhamel will have his hands full.
On the other hand, second place pays $5,545,855.  Most than enough to purchase a waterfront home on the Gulf.  And a yacht.  In Florida we don't have a sales tax for yachts.  The state legislature thought yacht purchasers needed a break.
Views: 707
Date Posted: Nov. 4, 2:17pm, 1 Comment

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” - Confucius

"The most soul-crushing moment of the summer," - according to Cardplayer magazine - belonged to 23-year-old Matt "mcmatto" Affleck, making a deep run in the World Series Of Poker (WSOP) main event for the second consecutive year. With just two tables still alive, the youngster from Seattle was cruising along, "seeing a ton of flops", rather carefully, it seemed, when he suddenly found himself involved in the tournament's largest pot.
Fellow big stack Jonathan Duhamel bet 550,000 from the cutoff position.
Affleck raised to 1,550,000 from the button. Action was back on Duhamel, who four-bet to 3,925,000.
Affleck flatted. "I was 90% sure he had kings," Matt admitted. 
"I wanted to shoot myself for not 5-betting." 
But he was in "a dream situation" and looking to get another bet out of his opponent.
Watching on television, we can see each man's hole cards....
The flop came 10d 9c 7h and Duhamel checked. Affleck bet 5,000,000.
Duhamel called and the Qd hit on the turn. Duhamel checked again.
Affleck moved all in for 11,600,000. Duhamel tanked for five minutes, thereabouts, before finally calling. 

Duhamel - who later admitted he made a bad read - tabled Jh Jc, while Affleck turned over Ac As.


Watching, I wondered if Duhamel should've played the hand differently.  But was he ever getting away from a pair of jacks?  In that situation?  Against "mcmatto"?


Just one card away from the tournament chip lead, a stone-cold lock for the November Nine, Affleck was approximately a 4-1 favorite to capture a pot worth 41,710,000. He just needed to avoid 10 outs. Just 10.

"All I was saying in my head was 'red deuce, red deuce, red deuce," Matt recalled.  A minute or more passed, far, far, far slower than seems reasonable, as ESPN got their cameras in place.


Eventually, the red river card hit the green felt. Affleck, who had lost his glasses the night before, tried to make out the number of spots on the card. "I squinted, hoping for 9 spots.... 'Shit'," Affleck recounted. "'Oh, my God.  Did that just happen?  It feels like my heart got ripped out."


Duhamel's suck-out took down the pot and he was now the overwhelming chip leader with 51,000,000.  Which almost seemed somehow less important.  Matt Affleck was the story.  Affleck was gone.


"I was stunned," Matt concedes. "I was speechless."  He buried his face in his hands, elbows on the table's edge.  He stood and covered his face with his ball cap.  "Everyone in the crowd was like sad for me."


Stifling away tears, the young man made his exit. His Mariner jersey - Griffey #24 - fading.

"I was trying to hold it back, stay composed," he said.  "I thought I held it together pretty well." 

Just into the hallway, he slammed a water bottle to the carpet and then leaned against a wall, as if to hold himself up against the weight of that river card. "I was obviously pretty pissed off, not in a good mood."

As Affleck is fighting back the anguish, "some guy comes up to me with a hat and a pen and asks for my autograph.  My first autograph request."


The glare of celebrity can be like that. "I wasn't too happy ESPN followed me into the hallway," Matt says.


Watching on TV, I was happy about it, because - five minutes or so later - the cameras followed Affleck back into the tournament scene.  Where he exchanged heartfelt handshakes and hugs with his competitors. After losing a hand "worth $3-4 million in equity," Affleck estimates.


This is the way a man handles a bad beat. Waves of applause were offered from an appreciative crowd. A "bad beat" doesn't begin to describe it.  More applause - warm, respectful - followed him back out of the room.


Back upstairs in his own room, there are no cameras.  Affleck says after an hour, a double Jager bomb and a light beer, he was feeling better.


Still better a week later, after a week away from the game.  "Everything happens for a reason," Mr. Matt Affleck suggests, "so maybe it's for the best. The positive I have taken away from this... I have proven to the world - especially my parents - I can do this.  I am really motivated. I am excited to play again."


I cannot imagine any young man has ever been less happy about winning $500,165.  And yet?


And yet, what did he teach us?  He taught us...


If you want to be first, you have to be willing to lose in 15th.

Ask for the card you want to see, don't talk about cards you're afraid of.

The camera is always on you.  And, even if it isn't, act like it is.

Sometimes, a couple of stiff drinks can help.

It's not just what happens, but how you deal with what happens that matters.

Calling your parents on the break doesn't make you any less of a man.  Quite the contrary.

A week away from the table can make you stronger at it.

"The most soul-crushing moment of the summer" is not the end of the world.

Sign the guy's hat.    -   JDW


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