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Views: 919
Date Posted: Mar. 29, 8:05pm, 0 Comments

My biggest, most recent A-Ha! moment came when I stumbled across the Nedlog Rule. 

Never be afraid to ask for the help you really need.  That's not weakness, that's intelligent self-awareness.


On second study, the Nedlog Rule is a variation on Give to Get. 

But you must always operate without expecting anything in return.

Except the satisfaction of doing the right thing. - JDW


We are all familiar with The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  And there's a reason that, in one form or another, it appears in the scriptures of every major spiritual tradition - it's the right thing to do.

The Nedlog Rule is The Golden Rule in reverse:

Be willing to ask others to help you in whatever ways you would be willing to help them.

In healthcare we ask "who cares for the caregiver?"  It's an important question because, as is often said, you cannot pour out of an empty pitcher.  It's wisdom as ancient as the I Ching: every now and then, the pitcher needs to be taken out of service and refilled.

In our Lone Ranger culture, we are often reluctant to ask for the help we need.  We mistakenly think that it's a sign of weakness to ask for help.  But actually, the reverse is true.  It takes a strong person to ask others for help.  Paradoxically, when you ask someone else to help you, more often than not both of you benefit - isn't it true that most people feel good about being needed and about being able to help someone else?

Think of how much more positive and productive our organizations - and our families - would be if everyone were to practice the Nedlog Rule:

Passive-aggressive behavior would be replaced by people openly and honestly confronting the issues and discussing their differences.

Martyr complex would be replaced by people asking for help before they become overwhelmed, and asking for a break before they reach the breaking point.

Chronic complaining would be replaced by people asking for help to fix the problems that can be fixed and to cope with the predicaments that are beyond immediate solution (obviously a restatement of the Serenity Prayer).

Burnout would be replaced by the sort of collective spirit one sees in a support group, where people who are facing intractable problems reach out to one another to share hope, inspiration, and courage - and a culture where it's almost impossible to distinguish between helper and helpee.

At the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) in San Antonio, caregivers work with some of the most grievously injured soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - typically men and women who have been horribly disfigured and/or lost one or more limbs.  The work is as physically and emotionally demanding as any job in healthcare, yet people on the CFI team are incredibly positive, committed, and creative.

CFI's caregivers practice the Golden Rule, treating these wounded warriors the way that they themselves would want to be treated.  But they also encourage these soldiers to get into the discipline of consistently practicing the Nedlog Rule by having the courage to ask for the help they need now, and in many cases will need for the rest of their lives.

In their book of the same title, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen say that "The Aladdin Factor" is asking the right question of the right person at the right time.  Internalize the Nedlog Rule and you will find yourself, like Aladdin, finding help coming from unexpected places.


Don't forget to check out my other writings at

Views: 911
Date Posted: Mar. 19, 4:12pm, 0 Comments
He was bringing his puppy to the vet’s for the dog’s first checkup.  I was bringing my wife’s dog to be put down, although I didn’t yet know that.  His dog was eight weeks old, mine was over 12 years old.  I was impressed with the differences but cognizant of the similarities.
“Your dog is one of the greatest gifts in life,” I told the boy.  “To have a good dog is a blessing for both of you.”
“I know, sir,” he assured me.  “Is your dog sick?,” he asked.
“Terribly,” I responded.  “Terribly.”  In fact, the vet later used the word “grave,” a term which quickly took on a double meaning.
And so we changed the topic.  I don’t know how we got there.  Probably because I was so sad.  We started talking about my own childhood.
“Times were hard,” I told him.  “There was no cable TV, no video games, no interstate highways, no computers, no cell phones, no microwaves, no rock & roll.  Jews played pro basketball and the only Hispanics who played major league baseball were four brothers named Alou.  There were no drugs and we went to church about four times a week.  We were forced to read books and play sports and hike in the woods.  It was tough alright.”
“Wow,” was all the kid could say, glancing at his mother in amazement, like I was telling a tall tale.
“But we always had a dog,” I explained.  “There was always a dog who never left our side.”
We put Dixie down this morning.  Peggy held her as the morphine took away the pain.  We were crying.   The little dog was smiling.   And snoring.
It’s so strange to sit in my recliner and watch ESPN with an empty lap.  -  JDW
Check out my new website -
Views: 910
Date Posted: Mar. 16, 10:55am, 3 Comments

If everybody you love is in trouble, are you okay? 


I have been giving this question a great deal of thought lately.  The answer seems like the solution to at least one puzzle of the human condition.  I am fine.  But there is divorce, unemployment, illness.  Now - speaking personally - I am happily married, comfortably retired and as healthy as an old battered athlete can be.  But I can't help feeling somewhat sad about the trials and tribulations of some loved ones.  I wish life was easier for them.  I truly do.


The front page of today's newspaper proclaims JOBLESS ARE IN THE CROSSHAIRS  To pay for a tax cut for businesses, A House bill would cut benefits.  Florida - The Banana Republic of the USA - already ranks 46th among the 50 states re the most anybody can receive at $275 a week. Only 23% of the state's unemployed even receive benefits currently.  It's already more than twice as difficult to even qualify here. 


The rich and the powerful are doing just fine, I might add.


My aged mother has been in re-hab for 15 weeks.  Yesterday, she had her third operation in three months, bringing the number on that one leg alone to 10 or 11.  So many we have lost count.  This morning, she awoke with a new knee.  She hopes it's good for "at least two or three years."  I feel the same way about her.


If  people you don't know are in grave danger, are you safe?  Perturbed by the state news, I turn on MSNBC and, lo and behold, there's live footage from Japan as a Tsunami of biblical proportions washes away countless lives and billions of dollars.


A bad card on the river?  A lost internet connection?  You ran out of beer?  Puhleeeze.


The next time you are feeling low, down on how tough your life is, take a look around you.  A long look.  A distant look. 


Put your problems in perspective and - more often than not - they won't really seem like problems.  A traffic bump perhaps for today, but nothing upon which to squander energy.

Views: 459
Date Posted: Mar. 6, 2:05pm, 0 Comments

The day PokerHeadRush launched, my computer exploded.  That's how I roll.  After returning from the computer emergency room, I used my down time to tidy up my office.  I came across a note I'd made almost 40 years ago.  Gives you some idea of the condition of the room.  And the saintliness of my spouse.   The note quoted Ray Kroc, chairman of McDonald's, referencing his favorite homily.  Which goes something like this.   Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.


Below the quote, written by a skinny kid who might just benefit from such words, were a few words of his own.  Here's what I wrote four decades ago.


Of course, the question which rests so heavily is...what is success?  Money, happiness, prestige, power, love...? all of these, or none, or some, or even just one.  America seems to think money is all of the others.


We're talking about the days before the Quarter Pounder.  I didn't have a computer in 1971, so I didn't know then who actually voiced that dollop of wisdom.  I didn't know the next line of that homily.


The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. - Calvin Coolidge   In 2011, old and unskinny, I know, I think I know, a few more answers - there's not just one - to the question.  Money is definitely good for paying the bills and providing much freedom.   But, primarily, it's best understood, money is just a tool.  Nothing more Talent is a gift.  So, too, is genius.   Education is a ticket to ride the life train.            You can train yourself to have persistence and determination.  Think about that. Omnipotence - at some level - is within your reach....


Check out my new website  Thinking Poker.  Mindful Life. - JDW

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