Do You Believe Your Thoughts?

DontBelieveThinkThose thoughts, they get us into trouble, don’t they?

We keep looking for that thing that will make us happy. We think we know. We think that thing, that person, that place, that paycheck, position, etc., etc., will finally do it.

Until we get it, get there, have that relationship, or whatever… only to find that it didn’t quite work.

Oh, sure, we might be happy for a brief time. But not the way we thought. That “shiny new object” just didn’t do it. And back to the drawing board we go.

Mostly because we keep thinking that that thing “out there” is going to do it.

Notice that “happy” and “happen” share a root.  Something out there needs to happen in order for us to be happy.

Which is not the path to happiness.  No matter what your thoughts are telling you.

In this podcast episode, I discuss why our thoughts trick us, and what to do instead.

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Does Everything Happen for a Reason?

Does everything happen for a reason?In recent days, I have been with people in the middle of horrific losses.  Inevitably, someone steps up  and in an attempt to comfort, says, “Everything happens for a reason.”

That comment is rarely comforting in the painful moments.

But deeper than that, is it even true?

Many people default to this as a reaction to something that happens and is outside of our capacity to understand.

Sometimes, we want to think that there is something behind it — not just some random event.  But what does that phrase mean?  Does it mean that some force is trying to teach some lesson?

For many people, the answer is yes.

But does that make it so?

Does everything happen for a reason? Given all that is going on these days, this question seems particularly important.

Let’s chat. . .

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Moving Through Grief
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How to Break Out of a Rut

Stuck in a rut?  How to break free in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.We all have times in life where we just feel… stuck… in a rut.  Life on repeat.  Another day, another week, another month, another year clicks by, same ol’ same ol’.

That is the definition of a rut, just moving forward on a path of least resistance, unable to change direction or shift focus.  A rut.

For many, this pandemic has been one big rut, stuck going forward, time passing by but little changing.

Can you get free from a rut?  Can you break out of a rut?

Yes, you can!

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I explore the nature of a rut, deciding if you are really stuck in a rut (or just resting), and how to break out of the rut.

Listen in below.

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From “If” to “Is”

Why “If” keeps you stuck… and how to shift

Are you stuck in the “If’s” of life:  What if, If only, Only if?  Shift to Is.. What ISAt the beginning of my career, I was a hospital chaplain.  One of my tasks was to help people accept what was going on… to accept the diagnosis, the outcome of an accident or tragedy, to accept the changes.  Interestingly, many times, it seemed that those wanting the person to “accept” were really looking for resignation.  Kind of giving up.

I think our understanding of acceptance has expanded since then.  But that doesn’t make it any easier.

You see, we all want some “alternate reality,” some different space where things didn’t, aren’t, or won’t happen.  Where we get to choose to undo/redo, or not do what we don’t like.  The alternate reality where things happened or happen or will happen differently.

Except they don’t.  They happened as they did.  They are happening as they are.  And they will happen as they will.

Yes, we have some control about what we do in this moment, and what we will do to move toward the next.  But not enough to create our alternate reality where we get to choose everything (we do get to choose our own response, though).

There are 3 “If’s” we play out in our mind.  One shift matters, if we want to thrive.  The shift to “Is.”

I unpack what that is about and talk about how we can make the shift in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

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5 Lessons from 55 Trips Around the Sun

5 lessons I’ve learned from my 55 years on earth. Another year has passed.  I added a year to when I answer, “How old are you?”  Well, at least in theory.  I am an unreliable narrator for reporting my age.  By accident.  But on a repeated basis.

That said, as I recorded this episode of the podcast, and write these words, I am celebrating 55 trips around the sun (and I complain I don’t get to travel much!).

I’m not sure about claiming wisdom, but I do claim some lessons from those years.  Lessons I keep learning and relearning.  Lessons I must remind myself about.  But lessons that matter to my life.

While there are quite a few, 5 seemed to be appropriate for 55 years.  5 lessons from 55 years on this earth!

I’d love to hear the lessons you’ve learned!  And I’d love to hear any questions or thoughts you might have about thriving.  But until then, listen in on the 5 lessons I have learned (and keep learning), and let me know if they are lessons you share.

Listen below.

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Beginning

Three years ago, at the age of 51, I walked into the jiu jitsu gym.  I wasn’t returning to some skill I learned when I was younger.  I was starting fresh.  As a beginner.  To be honest, I had some idea about what jiu jitsu involved… but I had no idea on how to participate.

I was a beginner!

The fact is, every accomplished person in every single field started the same way.  As a beginner.  It is an unavoidable part of starting anything and learning anything.  And at that point, you don’t even know all the things you don’t know!

Interview with Tom Vanderbilt, journalist and author of the book, Beginners.This is the first discovery of mastery.  The NOT knowing of everything.  So that you can start learning.  It is what the Zen masters refer to as “The Beginner Mind.”  It is the natural state of beginning, and a good mindset to nurture throughout life, even as mastery comes in other areas.

Which is why it is interesting that many adults hit a point in life when they are unwilling to start new, to become the beginner.  And unfortunately, that cuts off the path of growth.  It holds us back from new experiences and new learning.

My guest on this episode is Tom Vanderbilt, accomplished journalist and author, and intentional beginner.  His recent book, Beginnings, recounts Tom’s decision and path on learning some new skills and interests.  He decided to learn to play chess, draw, sing, juggle, and surf.  He even learned how to make a titanium wedding band to replace the ones lost learning to surf.

In this episode, Tom and I discuss the process of learning, the Beginner’s Mind, why we struggle to reengage with beginning, and how to do it anyway.  We also discuss the powerful advantage to the learning process, straight through adulthood.

Tom’s book is a must-read, since growth and learning are Thrive Principle skills for thriving people.

Listen in below.

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>>Tom’s Website and Book Info<<
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When to Act, How to Accept

ActOrAcceptI always find it helpful to have some “rules” to live by.  Short statements that help keep me pointed in the right direction, ready to handle the challenges of life.

And let’s be honest:  challenges are an unavoidable part of life.  Those who tell you that having struggles, challenges, or illnesses is an indication that you are doing something wrong?  They are wrong and misguided.  Life is going to challenge each of us… right up until we die.  Which every one of us will do.

So the question is how we live our lives.  Today.  Right now.  Regardless of what life is throwing your way.

What we often do, in the face of a challenge:  Worry, Complain, Avoid.  All three keep us stuck, frozen in place and to the challenge ahead of us.

So, I have decided instead, to adopt the rule of “Act or Accept.”  I will either act toward resolution, or I will accept where I am.  And the acceptance?  It need not be permanent.  It is about where I am right now.  It may be waiting for a possible action.

Let’s talk about this rule and how to apply it.  Listen to the podcast episode below.

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Getting Unstuck
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Giving Thanks: Gratitude and the Season

Thanksgiving, the holiday, is often lost in food and family.  What is lost?  Our opportunity to experience gratitude.  The chance to really give thanks.

Many times, it can feel like an obligation.  Instead, I suggest we see it as an opportunity.  Even in tough moments (actually, especially in tough moments), we can make a shift from fear to thanks, from lack to sufficiency.

Over the years of my podcast, I have repeated this theme, both on Thanksgiving episodes and elsewhere.  Below is a list of the various episodes around thanksgiving and gratitude.  Just click each one to listen to the episodes.

Why Thankful?


Why Being Thankful Matters


Giving Thanks: Thriving Through Gratitude


What Thriving People Know About Gratitude And Appreciation


Living Your Engagement



And if you want to find my books on thriving, CLICK HERE.

Find Hope or Build Hope

Do you find hope or do you build hope?  We discuss it on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.Where does hope come from?  Does it come upon us?  Do we discover it?  Or do we build it?

I believe that hope is an important ingredient in thriving.  If you have no hope, it is tough to thrive. Finding hope often helps us find thriving.

Oh, and thriving is not about having an easy life, always exciting and happy.  A thriving life is built on taking on the challenges of life.  Not avoiding them, but taking them on, learning from them, and thriving because of them.

2020 has been the year of challenges.  So, it has also given us lots of opportunities to work on thriving.  How has it been for you?  Hopeful or hopeless?

What if hope is built?  What if all you have to do in order to find hope is follow a formula?

As is true for many things in life, the formula is pretty simple.  But that is not to be confused with easy.  Do remember that thriving is rarely built, though, on the easy.  Taking on the simple, but important, is often the path to thriving.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we take a look at hope.  Where it comes from, how you can find it, and how you can live it… both for yourself and the world.

Listen below.

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Stuck in Self-Splain

Have you noticed that story you are telling yourself (and others) that is running through your mind?  It is the one about why you did (or didn’t do) what you did (or didn’t do).  You are trying to explain yourself — to yourself and others.

You are Self-Splaining.

And it is a story.  Not necessarily a lie.  But also not necessarily the truth.

Humans are story tellers and meaning makers.  The stories we tell are to make meaning.  It helps the world to make sense, and helps us give reasons for what we did.

And it can keep you stuck.

Your self-splaining keeps you stuck because it “helps” you to make your actions/inactions reasonable (to yourself).  Reasonable, as in “Able to Reason.”  You can give a reason.  One that makes sense to you… even if not to anyone else.  You can just keep telling yourself “why” — self-splaining.

In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss how we self-splain, why that can get you stuck, and what to do to get un-stuck.

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