Archive for April, 2019


“We cannot, with integrity, deny our responsibility for stewardship of every part of the whole.”

Scott Peck


We Cannot Deny Our Part


My book, Your Survival Strategies Are Killing You! is about the eight principles you must follow to thrive in life and at work. Today, I’d like to share some of my final thoughts found on the last page:

“Conscious members of society now realize, If we keep doing what we’re doing in this world, we’ll continue to have what we have.” Given the current state of our human affairs and the condition of our fragile planet, this is concerning news. Operating with our current context of “kill or be killed – it’s a jungle out there,” we are doomed to extinction. To create different results, we must think and act differently. The time has come to fully utilize our God-given, inborn power of reason to elevate our thinking to a higher plane.

I ask you to carefully consider these questions:

If each of us embraced the eight principles (contained in my book) and committed ourselves to live and express the beliefs and behaviors of honesty, integrity, accountability, win/win, acceptance, commitment and agape love, would we have a different workplace? Would we operate differently within our families, neighborhoods and communities – and would that make a difference?

If we realized commerce and a commitment to conscious awareness aren’t mutually exclusive, would this affect our state, our country, our continent? If corporations, government leaders, and we, as individuals, took responsibility for our environmental footprint and the health and well-being of the community in which we live and work, is it possible we could have a different world?

Can we afford to sit back and shake our heads at the state of affairs around us when we are capable of making great change?

Reflect on those who didn’t. Think of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa – just to name a few. Better yet, think about Rosa Parks who defied the rules of segregation and launched the civil rights movement in America. Consider Candy Lightner who founded MADD when her thirteen-year-old daughter was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Bring to mind the heroes of Flight 93 whose courageous sacrifice likely saved the lives of countless numbers of people.

Remember your favorite high school teacher or coach or someone in your personal past whom you admired and respected. World famous or not, they were all just people – like you and I. The reason they stand out, however, is because they played a bigger game than most. If you examine their lives carefully, you will see that their thoughts, actions, and deeds exemplified the eight principles.

If we are to truly survive as a species and thrive as a society, we must shift from a Survival of the Fittest context to one that supports Survival of the Wisest, because

 Only the Wise will Thrive

When published in 2007, Your Survival Strategies Are Killing You! placed #3 on the amazon.com Best Seller list (two places under Harry Potter). For 10 years straight, it never left the Work/Life Balance Best Seller list.

If you would like a copy, click here. If you would like an autographed copy, click here.



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“Do you want it to work, or do you want to be right?”


POV: None of us own the truth, we tend to think our reality is THE reality, but if we really look at it, I don’t own the truth and your reality isn’t THE reality, you simply have your own perspective and I have mine. You have your reality and I have mine and neither is more real than the other. Instead of thinking in terms of being right or wrong about an opinion, idea, or point of view, may I suggest a new approach? Let’s think in terms of “workability”.

By “work” what I mean is:

 1) Does it produce the results you are looking for?

2) Does it generate the experience you are looking for?

When we come from a framework of thinking of “right” and “wrong”, we get positioned, take sides, get resistant and stubborn and the fight is on! Does this approach to discussing differences or even heated disagreements, work? Does it produce effective results? I think not. It creates stalemates, animosity and separation and the problem is not resolved. So rather than identify a person or an idea or a point of view as right or wrong, let’s ask, “How can we communicate in a way that will work?” “How do I need to think and operate differently so it works for both of us?”

If an attempt to do something doesn’t work, then it’s not considered a mistake or a failure. It doesn’t make the person “wrong”. They simply did something that didn’t work. There is no critical judgment about it, but rather, there is a practical judgment about it. That’s all.

It isn’t good, it isn’t bad, it simply needs to “work”. Most of us want a climate of creativity and cooperation whether it is in the workplace or at home, where people feel free to explore, express ideas, try new things and be heard without any concern for criticism. The only criteria we need to look for when entertaining an idea, a point of view or a suggestion is, “Will it work? Does it make for a better relationship, smoother functionality at work and produce the result we are looking for?”

If you are bothered about the way something is being done or if there is a problem with an individual or a performance or a communication, or if something is annoying you about a family member and you are feeling uncomfortable, unhappy frustrated, or angry – that would be considered as something that’s “unworkable”. It’s not right, not wrong, it simply “doesn’t work for me (for the company or for my relationships).” Let’s not slip into moral judgment because all that does is create resistance and defensiveness and besides, who are we to morally judge another anyway? All we want is workability.

This point of view can also be applied to one’s own behaviors. If I find myself feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts and maybe complaining a bit, I stop, look in the mirror and ask myself, “How’s this working for you, Martha?”

“It’s NOT WORKING for me!!” I say. I’m not getting the results I want, nor am I having the experience I am looking for. At that point, I need to stop my actions, reactions or inactions and ask myself, “What will work?”

I then need to make the appropriate changes. Nothing to be right about, to defend, hold on to, no agenda to prove, simply let go and do what works. That’s all.

To achieve this, we need to check our egos at the door. Self-righteous ego protective actions can throw a wrench into the best laid plans. Let’s rise above our egos and show the world how mature adults conduct themselves while achieving a goal, producing phenomenal success and communicating effectively. Let’s not sink into judgmental “right” and “wrong” thinking.

Let’s simply ask ourselves, “What will work?” And then go do it.

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“The obstacle is the path”

Zen Koan

Many years ago in ancient times, there was a king who was afraid his kingdom was in decline because of the attitude of his people. He decided to test their resolve, so he had a giant boulder placed in the middle of the only road into the city. Then, hidden and perched on a high hill, he waited to see what would happen. First to come along were some of the King’s wealthiest merchants. Annoyed at the inconvenience this caused them, they simply walked around it and blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the boulder out of the way.

Next came a group of the King’s courtiers who saw the boulder was blocking their path so they readily gave up. Declaring there would be no work for them that day, they turned around and went home.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the giant stone off the road. He pushed and strained, but to no avail. Then he found a long wooden pole and placed it under the rock. Using leverage, he was able to move it slightly. He repeated this tedious process until the boulder was completely off the road, which made it possible for him and others to easily pass through. He was about to proceed down the previously blocked path when he noticed a leather pouch where the boulder once stood. Opening it, he discovered it contained many gold coins and a note which read, “This gold is for you as you are the only one who realized the obstacle is the path.”

As we travel down the path of life, we often encounter obstacles. When we do, we frequently get frustrated, annoyed, discouraged, upset with others, and sometimes, we even give up. All too often we wish our lives were easier and that our relationships were smoother. We dream of living without trouble or challenges. But that is not what happens when one fully participates in living life. There are troubles and tragedies, mistakes and misunderstandings, dilemmas and disappointments. How we deal with these obstacles is as much a part of life and living as anything else.

We tend to caste obstacles in a negative light and complain when they show up. Sometimes we pretend they aren’t there, but if we don’t deal with them, they will never disappear. As this Koan so wisely teaches us, the obstacle IS the path, just as much as the path is the path. They are one and the same. Whatever we encounter along life’s journey, be it something we perceive as positive or negative, it is what life is all about. Therefore, the path is whatever is in front of us . . . not good, not bad, not to be avoided or ignored.

The only reason we get upset when we are met with an obstacle is because the path is not looking the way we think it should. When in reality, the problem is not that the path is blocked, the problem is your desire to go down the path with no obstruction. As soon as we understand the obstacle isn’t something standing in our way, but is indeed the way itself, is the day we free ourselves of all our upsets.

You want to meet people, but your shyness is an obstacle. You can act like the King’s courtiers and give up and stay home, or you can learn how to deal with your shyness. Do a deep dive into it. Find out what you’re afraid of and work through that fear. Handle that obstacle and the path will be clear.

You are overwhelmed and stressed at work or at home. Like the wealthy merchants, you can complain and blame someone else – your boss for not understanding or your spouse for not helping (but the obstacle will remain in the middle of the path). Or, you can deal with what is interfering with your balance and identify the root of your stress and overwhelm. Maybe you have unrealistic expectations or take on too much or don’t say no when you should. Once you do the self-exploration and deal with the obstacle (weak, personal boundaries) the path will be clear.

Perhaps you and your spouse are having a communication breakdown. You can spend days in silence or fighting, arguing and blaming, or you can realize there’s an obstacle in the way of your path of happiness and look deeper into what is causing the communication problem. Maybe you aren’t listening well, or you’re not seeking to understand, or you’re trying to be right. Whatever it is, it is YOUR obstacle you need to identify and deal with. Doing so is as much a part of what it means to be in a relationship as is the walk in the sunset together.

What is your obstacle? What/who makes you angry or sad? What fear tends to stop you from having what you want? What upsets you, makes you feel weak? When are you frustrated or jealous? You can deal with all these obstacles when you become like the peasant who found a way to deal with the obstacle in his path. Don’t go around it, or run from it. Go into it, work with it…explore it. Identify what is at the source of it. Be creative and find ways to manage it. Then take steps to move it out of the way. Doing so IS your journey. Identifying and removing the obstacle is as much a part of your journey as is the path itself.

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