How Big is Your BUT?: #35 Thriveology Podcast

How Big Is Your BUT?I know.  It’s a personal question.  How BIG is your BUT?

Oh, just to clarify, I am not talking about anatomy.  I am talking about language.  Words.  In particular, THAT word:  “BUT.”

We say it all the time:  “Blah, blah, BUT, blah blah.”  or “Yes, BUT, blah, blah.”

Two overused and limiting uses of that one word.

I am the first to admit that the word does serve a purpose, AND there are times when it is very appropriate to us it.  BUT the word has the potential for keeping us stuck.  It can rob us of responsibility, initiative, and potentiality.

The power of the word is what happens in our mind.  It negates.  It may serve to negate everything you just said, or it may serve to negate everything the other person just said.

Either way, it can keep you from growing and developing.

DON’T let that one word keep you stuck.

Join me in getting rid of “but” when it serves to limit.



Moving Through Grief: #34 Thriveology Podcast

Grief is a part of life.  Keep on living.We don’t like to face loss and grief in our culture.  Yet loss is inevitable.

Unfortunately, since most people don’t want to face grief, we don’t always have the tools we need to deal with that inevitable moment of loss and pain.

In this podcast, I take a look at grief.  I name the 3 types of grief:

  1. Clean
  2. Confusing
  3. Complicated.

We can feel that pain of grief when we lose:

  1. Person
  2. Potential
  3. Process
  4. Possibility

But there is a way to move through grief.  I outline the process in the podcast as:

  1. Remember
  2. Resolve
  3. Re-Create
  4. Re-Weave

If you find yourself in the midst of grief, I hope you find this podcast helpful in your process.  Grief is a universal emotion, yet feels so personal.

Please listen and let me know what you think in the comments area below.

Missing Sunny

A few years back, I was talking to a friend of mine.  A windstorm had swept through town, knocking down lots of trees.  I decided to take a trail run to see how the storm impacted the trail in a local park.  Little did I know that the storm downed an old tree housing a substantial hornets’ nest.  Those hornets were none too happy about their abode.

That tree was just off the path.  In a rather slow moment of reaction, I failed to notice the buzzing.  By the time I did, it was too late.  The first hit was on top of my head, followed by the back of my neck.  From there, I lost count.  I told my friend, “It happened so fast, all I could do was shove Sunny down the path and keep running.”

I finished my dramatic retelling, and my friend asked, “Is Sunny your running buddy?”

I laughed.

He was, indeed, my running buddy.  And our family dog.  Sunny was a 100 pound, all-muscle, yellow lab.  He was full of energy, filled a room (with his body and his personality), and a fairly constant companion for me.

Sunny came into our lives a short eight years ago.  We should have noticed his big paws and large tongue.  He did, indeed, grow into them.

In the early days, he could crawl under my front seat and into the back seat.  One day, he found himself lodged under the seat, just a little too big to pass.  And we discovered this when I was driving down the highway with nowhere to pull over.

From then on, the very back of my SUV was his travel spot.  And except for when the car would heat up in the summertime, Sunny generally went everywhere I went.  He waited while I was in the store, waited for the kids at the bus stop, and generally bound into the car at any opportunity for a ride.

Sunny’s life ended too early today.  He fell victim to cancer.

Not an hour after he died, I found myself making a peanut butter sandwich for my wife.  I instinctively held the knife down to give Sunny a quick lick of peanut butter.  He was not there.

I had a little more water in a cup, and went to put it into his bowl.  There was no bowl.

It has been a day of discovering all the places where Sunny lived in my life. . . and I thought I was already aware.  No more walks in the mornings and evenings.  No more last looks at the sky before bedtime.  No more quiet snoring at my feet while I write and create podcasts.  Life is just a bit more empty now.

Life is like that, isn’t it?  Lots of hellos and goodbyes.

A year and a half ago, I left my clinical office, spending my time working at home.  So, for that year and a half, Sunny has been my constant shadow, 24 hours a day, for the most part.  I will deeply miss him, as will we all.

At the beginning of the summer, we discovered Sunny had cancer and knew we were on borrowed time with him.  Someone asked, “would you do it again, if you knew he was going to get sick?”  My answer?  Absolutely.Sunny at the beach.

Living a life while trying to avoid loss, is really not about living.  If I lived a life with no loss, I would have not been really living.  I would have been avoiding life — and the consequences of life!

I am sad.  And I will be for some time.

But I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have such a loving, devoted companion of a dog.

Dogs like Sunny teach us about loyalty and love.  He never held grudges, and was always ready to play or chill.

In Marley & Me, John Grogan writes:

“Never slow down, never look back, live each day with adolescent verve and spunk and curiosity and playfulness. If you think you’re still a young pup, then maybe you are, no matter what the calendar says.”

Sunny taught me about having abounding energy, followed by an earned nap, followed by more activity.  Not a bad way to stack the day!

Over the past few years, I have really begun to notice those “lasts:”  the last time you do something.  They sneak up on you.  The first time is obvious:  the first time your child takes a step or says a word, the first day of school, the first date, and all those other firsts.  They seem so obvious.

But the “lasts” sometimes sneak up on you.  You notice them in the rear-view mirror of life.  Hindsight.  The last time you speak with someone.  The last time you drive a child to school.  The last time you are at some stage of life.

My kids are growing up.  We are never sure if a vacation is the “last family vacation” or not.  Was it the last chance we will have to do that?  Jobs and other commitments can easily take that away. . . but you usually don’t know it until it happened.

So, in these last weeks, I have been very aware of my “lasts” with Sunny.  The day before he died, we took a last drive, a last walk, and a last pause on that front step before bedtime.

Sunny didn’t know it was a last — and he had a great time!  In my anticipatory grief, I dwelt on the “last-ness” of the moment.  Perhaps I gave up too much of that moment.  Perhaps Sunny had it right, to fully enjoy that moment, as if there was no moment before, nor worrying about the moment after.  This instant — perhaps that is where to live it.  And a dog can teach us that.

Have you ever seen that bumper sticker, “My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am”?  I am not quite sure I can live up to that, but I can keep on trying.

And I will always be grateful of having Sunny in my life, even if it was too short.

Your Value, Your Thoughts, Your Beliefs – Interview with Travis Sago: #33 Thriveology Podcast

We continue to take a look at how those beliefs and thoughts get in the way of discovering your own value.


That’s Travis!

This week, I had the great pleasure and honor of interviewing Travis Sago.

If you don’t know Travis, he is an internet entrepreneur and teacher.  He has taught many people how to prosper through the internet.  But more and more, Travis is helping people break through their barriers that keep them from building the life they want.

Listen in as Travis and I discuss why people fail to see their own unique value to the world (and their path to success/life satisfaction).  We note how our beliefs and thoughts (beliefs are those thoughts we keep telling ourselves) keep us stuck — and how to get beyond that.

Take a listen!

You can find Travis at the MojoPreneur Facebook Page.


4 C’s To Changing Your Limiting Beliefs: #32 Thriveology Podcast

Change your beliefs, change your results.We all have beliefs about ourselves, other people, and the world around us.  Sometimes, those beliefs help us to move forward with great success.

But many times, those beliefs hold us back and keep us trapped.

In last week’s podcast, we talked about the stories we tell ourselves when something happens to us.

This week, let’s talk about those beliefs that permeate our lives.  They are the recurring beliefs that can keep us stuck.

Maybe you believe that people won’t like you, or that people are angry with you.  Perhaps you believe life isn’t fair (and can even point to events that prove this).

These pervasive beliefs are often very limiting and negative.  They can keep us stuck, unable to grow and develop.

But what if you had a model to take on these beliefs and push them aside?  What if you could replace the limiting beliefs with freeing beliefs?

In this week’s podcast, I want to offer the 4 C’s to changing your beliefs.

(By the way, I discuss this method in my book, How To Save Your Marriage in 3 Simple Steps.)

Let me know how you use the method in the comments area below!




That Story You Are Telling Yourself? IT’S A LIE! (probably): #31 Thrive Nation Podcast

Make your story a good one!Yesterday, I told a lie.  To myself.

We all do it.  Everyday.

Here is the sad part:  the lies we tell ourselves are hurtful and limiting.  They keep us stuck and keep us feeling bad.

So why do we keep telling them?  Because they originate in some beliefs we hold, mostly about ourselves.  All we need is something to trigger the beliefs.  Some event happens and we suddenly start filling in the blanks, based on those beliefs.

Let’s say you are walking down the street and see someone looking your way.  The person is laughing.  That is the event.

You may think to yourself, “Isn’t that cool?  That person is having a good time and found something funny!”

Or you could say, “Why is that person laughing at me?  Is my hair looking funny?  Do my clothes look bad?”

Unless you go and ask the person why the person is laughing, you will never know which (or even another) story is right.  But the first story will leave you feeling upbeat, perhaps even looking for something humorous.  The second story will have you running to a mirror, feeling insecure, and wondering why that person is so mean.

The stories we tell impact how we feel, which impacts how we act.

Fortunately, there is a simple exercise you can do that will help you challenge your story, change your beliefs, feel differently, and have a different response.  That exercise is as easy as ABCDE.

Learn about this exercise in this week’s podcast — and let me tell you about the story I told myself this weekend!  Ouch!

Let me know what you think.  Leave a comment below!

Damaged, Resilient, or Thriving? #30 Thriveology Podcast

Are you damaged, resilient, or thriving?For a century or so, our culture has become increasingly “psychologized.”  Something bad happens to you, your psyche is injured, and your option is to realize what happened to you.  That is, generally, the topic of therapy:  discovering the roots of your injury.  In fact, perhaps on a bad day, Sigmund Freud said that the goal of therapy was to move from neurosis to common, ordinary, everyday unhappiness.  Not a particularly lofty goal!  This is a deficit model.

More recently, the model of resilience has taught that some fortunate people can have the same injury, but manage to make it back to “normal.”  Somehow, the trauma does not affect them in a negative way.  This is a “break even model.”

There are a small number of voices that have realized that every injury is truly a challenge — an opportunity for growth.  It is possible to take a hurt, pain, tragedy, challenge, or trauma, and use it as a springboard for growth.  This model is the “plus model,” a thriving model.

Which model captures you?  Can you move to (or even more into) a thriving model?  Join me in this week’s podcast to learn about the 3 models and how to move into a thriving model.

Suffering from PPM Syndrome? Why it is Dangerous to You!

Is Poor Pitiful Me Syndrome holding you back?PPM Syndrome is rampant in our society!  Do you suffer from it?  Do those around you suffer from it?

Chances are good that you are infected, and so are those around you.  PPM Syndrome is not regularly diagnosed, but can keep you stuck.  This one thing can keep you from thriving.

The first step is in determining whether you suffer from this syndrome.  The second step is learning about the antidote.

And the antidote is simple enough — but only if you know whether you have the syndrome or not.

PPM Syndrome infects many of us.  Some learn to move beyond it.  Others live with it, unnecessarily, for a lifetime.

Learn how to diagnose and treat this disorder!

Built For Impact: #28 Thriveology Podcast

You are designed for impact.Do you wonder why you are here?  Are you wondering what purpose you have in the world?

You have something unique to offer to the world.  It is something only YOU can do to impact the world.

Life satisfaction comes from being a person of impact.  Change in your own life and in the life of those around you only comes from being a person of impact.

As humans, we are designed for impact.  We are designed to create an impact in our own life, the lives of those around us, and in the lives of others.

What?  You don’t think you are impacting the world?  You don’t think you have anything to offer?  Let me prove you wrong!

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I tell you several reasons why you may not be making an impact.  But more importantly, I give you several ways of becoming a person of impact.

Let me know what you think in the comments area below!

Life, Liberty, and “Having Fun”: #27 Thriveology Podcast

Meaning of pursuit of happiness.We seem to be in “pursuit of happiness,” just like the founding fathers of the United States promised!

Or did they???

July 4th, Independence Day in the United States, often ends up being one more excuse to party and have a good time.  No problem there. . . unless that becomes our only real pursuit.

I was chatting with someone last week and asked, “what are you doing this weekend?”  His answer, “Pursuing happiness.”  Then, he reminded me this was a promise in the Declaration of Independence.

I just wonder, was Thomas Jefferson really putting together the idea of Life, of Liberty, and of “Having Fun” as the three guarantees of being human, protected by government?

Or have we just made the meaning too easy, too cheap, too hedonistic.  Sure, there is a place for a good time, but it is likely not important enough to be protected by the founding of a country.

So, what is the real meaning of “pursuit of happiness?”  I examine this in the latest Thriveology Podcast.  And I discuss how the pursuit of happiness, as originally intended, can help you thrive.

Join me as we find better ways to thrive!