Archive for June, 2009

Another rant?

I used to love listening to Dennis Miller’s rants. I even have two of his rant-related books.  They make me laugh at their honesty but also their absurdity.

At times, Seth Godin does this too.  Right now, he and I are in a parallel situation. I have been selecting textbooks for a 9-course program I am creating and am finding the textbooks to be anything but what I want or need.  But instead of me ranting, check out his post.  I had one of those ‘heck ya, you said it’ kind of moments after I read it.

It seems that the more I review textbooks, the more I am shocked by the prices –a paperback, 9th Edition leadership book is $150. WHY??  And am equally shocked by the repetitive text. Doesn’t anyone have anything new to say based on projects that have occurred in the past 3 years? Why are we still dissecting projects from twenty years ago? No mistaking their value, but there have been some recent projects that would be more interesting to dissect if you ask me. Apparently they didn’t.

As a professor, but also a student, I can agree with some of Seth’s final statements,  “This industry deserves to die. It has extracted too much time and too much money and wasted too much potential. We can do better. A lot better”.   He’s right. We really could do a lot better.

June 14, 2009 at 11:32 am 1 comment

Homeopathy, naturally

How many of you have heard of homeopathic medicine?  Do you hit Whole Foods and check out the natural oils and medicines section?  Ever considered biofeedback, meditation, hypnosis, yoga or other means to tap into your inner abilities? Do you believe in any of it? All of it?

By way of background, it might help to know that when I was growing up, I wanted to be a psychiatrist.  I can remember this pretty far back, like 5th grade.  The only catch was the medical school component.  I wasn’t scared of medical school, I just am not a big believer in prescribing medicine.  Not then, not now.  If you opened my medicine cabinet right now, you would only find the remaining medicine from my back surgery.  Yes, I do know that there are some very necessary medicinal needs (insulin, etc.) but for the most part, even at 17, I have thought we are an overly medicated and overly dependent society.

After 2 years, a few misdiagnoses, and one unnecessary surgery, I learned that I had psoriatic arthritis in 2006.  It was nice to understand why my knee, hip, and shoulder would sort of lock up and swell, or my toes would go numb.  It was nice to finally understand why we had to drain my knee once a month due to the excessive swelling.  I was first put on methotrexate and was told I would be on this the rest of my life.  I really hated this. Then when it wasn’t working well enough after about a year, they added twice-a-week injections of Enbrel.  What a lovely combo of drugs – I won’t disparage them because they were very helpful. I could roll over in bed again, walk without my knee blowing up and grasp a pencil again. I am thankful that they gave me my life back. But they severely compromise your immune system in order to suppress the overactivity.  But remember, I dislike taking drugs, especially ones that I would have to administer for the rest of my life (and let me tell you, those Enbrel injections are no picnic and I am someone who did the daily fertility shots for at least a month in order to donate my eggs to couples wanting children).

So, after almost three years of this, my desire to find an alternative was escalating. My uncles and dad took me to see a homeopathic doctor in India in April.  He had been successful with other members of my family with allergies and other issues, so I was very nervous but excited to see him. He spent about 3 hours with me, trying to understand how my body is affected by psoriatic arthritis and how the current drugs alleviated the pain.  He sent me away with some natural pills (for lack of a better word) and told me to call him in a few weeks to tell me how things were going.  His belief was that we would try it out and adjust as needed, but all in all, in a few months, no more psoriatic arthritis.

So, here it is, the third month. I stopped taking the Enbrel injections at the end of March (my suggestion) and had stopped taking the methotrexate earlier in the year (doctor’s suggestion).  After taking the medicines the doctor in India prescribed, I have had considerable success.  My knee hasn’t swelled once, which is a huge win if you ask me.  The toe numbness, hip/shoulder pain, and other issues have steadily become less and less of an issue. There are always alternatives, always choices. It’s up to you to decide.  I am glad I did, with my family’s help. Now, I hope you will excuse me while I snoopy dance as a way of expressing my complete happiness with how well things are going!!

June 13, 2009 at 9:26 am 5 comments

What makes up attraction?

This is a question I ask myself frequently.  I would love to say that it’s a recent question, but in one form or another, I have been asking myself this since at least high school.

Why are we attracted to people? Why is someone attracted to Vince Vaughn versus Tom Cruise versus Brad Pitt versus Will Ferrell?  And for the record, if I had to be trapped on an island, I would pick Vince.  Tom and Brad wouldn’t even make into my top 100, which is precisely my point!  I have never been attracted to Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt.  Shoot, when they were both in that Vampire movie, I am sure there were girls who fainted twice just thinking about it. Me, I thought they both ruined the movie.  Popularity does not necessarily equate to talent, at least not in my opinion.

So, back to the topic.  Why do these two guys leave me looking in the other direction, while other girls wouldn’t agree with my choice of Vince Vaughn?  The same I wonder about in reverse. Why do guys find some girls more attractive over another?  And more importantly than all of this, how do you maintain that attraction between two people? I am sure that is really the heart of my whole quandary to begin with.

I was recently watching The Opposite of Sex with Christina Ricci. It’s a great movie that I first saw in Maine at the Railroad Cinema. If you can get past some of the non-pc stuff and just enjoy it for it is, it’s a funny movie (gotta really listen – the jabs come fast and furious sometimes).  But there is one exchange that has continually stuck in the back of my head since seeing it about ten years ago.  Lyle Lovett’s character, Carl, is talking to Lucia (played by fantastically Lisa Kudrow) about sex.  He says that maybe the point of sex isn’t recreation or procreation or any of that stuff. Say it’s concentration. Say it’s supposed to focus your attention on the person you’re sleeping with, like biological highlighter.

For almost ten years, that has been in the back of my head rattling around.  It’s a pretty powerful little concept.  And if you really think about it, this makes tremendous sense. If you have ever had that wall come up between you and another, where the little intimacies of holding hands, kissing, cuddling, jokes only you two share stop, and the sex becomes less and less frequent, then you know that it isn’t just the act of sex that builds and develops your attraction, but all the other components.  Without that attention to him or her, or that specific concentration on the two of you, then why are you even with that person?

Biological highlighter. It’s a pretty intriguing concept.

June 10, 2009 at 5:55 am 1 comment

Do you want a flat stomach?

funny-pictures-cat-has-a-flat-stomachWell, that picture appears to have the answer (courtesy of my fave dose of daily laughter)!  All you need to do is position yourself so that you smush your stomach and all is taken care of. Ta da!

Am I the only one who thinks that all of these ads  on Google, Facebook, spam emails, etc. to flatten your stomach are ridiculous?  Hasn’t the world pretty much refuted the success of diets, quick-loss schemes, and other fads?  We are a nation that is fatter than ever. This stuff isn’t working folks! So apparently, buying into the hype is just that – buying!  Save your money and love yourself just the way you are.

Laugh more. Live more. Enjoy more.  That is what life is about, not about the quest for the flattest stomach.

June 9, 2009 at 9:15 am 4 comments

Interrupting our regularly scheduled broadcasting …

Thanks to WordPress, I can write my blog posts whenever an idea hits me and save it for later, or even schedule it to appear any time I want. I love this feature as sometimes, I will be driving and inspiration hits. Then later, I will write the blog post.  Or sometimes, I get hit with many inspirations, write them all, then schedule them for various dates in the future. Yes, I am a WordPress enthusiast! But that is another post all together.

I had actually written a few posts this past weekend for the upcoming week but right now, I must interrupt the flow and post immediately. Got a bit of a rant here that I want to share. Or at least release, because apparently, running up and down the stairs isn’t killing my thoughts!

I am sick to death of being pushed.  If you ever want me to turn around and head in the other direction, then just push me.  Push your agenda on me, tell me that you know it all, and whatever I say or know is irrelevant. That will surely turn me around. And away.  I am not asking you to agree with me, nor should I have to agree with you — it is called a conversation for a reason.

For some time now, I have been working with a coaching franchise in consideration of partnering with them.  Yes, I have my own coaching company and pleased with how things are going.  Yes, I have also lent my coaching services to another coaching organization in NYC that I am a raving fan for, as I love their values and mission. I would probably give away my coaching services to them but hey, I do need to eat.

So, why did I explore another partnership? Because I love coaching that much and if could be coaching 50 hours a week, I would be in heaven.  I know this is a dream for now, but if I can take steps so that these dreams come to fruition in 10, 20, or 30 years, so be it.  However, the more I learned of this partnership, the more I dislike the aggressive, pushy, “we know it all”, we are THE NUMBER ONE SUCCESSFUL COACHING company in the world (ye gads, if you have to repeatedly shout it at me, then I have to doubt it), and we know what we are doing more than anyone else. Really, ever hear of Marshall Goldsmith? I very much beg to differ on that one Mr. Know It All. But hey, no one hears Marshall Goldsmith touting how great he is and to me, that makes all the difference in the world.

This person talked about learning styles, then violated the basic idea of this moments later when I brought up verbal overshadowing.  Then he talked about trying to get clients to stop thinking “I know” and to start thinking “that’s interesting” but when I tried to share what I thought was interesting, I got back more of his own “I know”, which is again, hypocritical of his company’s message. Interestingly, he started the session over twenty minutes late and said that since we had had conversations prior, the session would be more conversational. Again, not accurate.  I could barely get in any comments or thoughts, without being interrupted.  I should have been prepared for that when he continually interrupted his own peer, the very person I would actually partner with.

How does that saying go by Ralph Waldo Emerson  — What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.  Well, all the things he was doing told me all I needed to know about my desire to continue the conversation, which was to not continue it.  As a coach, regardless of niche, this is NOT the way I want my profession to be reflected in the marketplace nor a company I ever want to be associated.   When you are presented with situations like this, do you hold firm to who you are?

June 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm 1 comment

Naturally you ..

I came across some old files the other day from undergrad days.  I read some of the essays I had written for both the graduate program and assistantships I was in the midst of applying  to at the time.

What struck me was my emphasis, even at 22, on positivity, feedback, coaching, and serving others when it came to my style of leadership.  I actually used the words positivity and building positive organizations.  It doesn’t happen too often that I shock myself, but I was pretty astounded to find evidence that I have long since thought this way as a leader and my examples in the essays reflected it.

As I have learned more about the various styles of leadership that exist and learned more from leaders I have come into contact, I am grateful for this insight into my natural belief of what makes a great leader and how I fit into it.   I still haven’t learned how or when I became this type of leader or if it is just a natural extension of my personality. Regardless, my validation of myself as a leader of merit, despite my giving nature in the workplace, has become cemented.

As a person and leader, I think it important to share your appreciation of others’ work, give feedback whenever you can, coach others to greater heights, be fun, and create a positive environment. In essence, if you aren’t successful, than I cannot be. Now, knowing that this is something I have practiced and believed for the better part of twenty years, I don’t feel like I am just jumping on the positivity or positive psychology bandwagon of late. I am just being my natural me.

Who or what is your natural you?  Are you still living it?

June 8, 2009 at 7:14 am 2 comments

Do you ever wonder why …

  • life can’t be easier?
  • people don’t smile more than they do?
  • opening a door for another isn’t very common anymore?
  • men feel the need to NOT walk through a door that a woman has opened for them?
  • people can’t just say thank you when you compliment them?
  • love is battlefield?
  • all’s fair in love and war?
  • time goes by so fast when you don’t want it to but is slow as molasses when you do?
  • forgiving is so hard but it’s so beneficial?
  • we forget the happy things but more easily remember the negative?
  • there are debates over man’s best friend?
  • people just can’t get along?
  • someone uses information against you when they claim to be your friend?
  • others don’t take responsibility for their actions?
  • people gossip?
  • we become our parents even though we swear we won’t?
  • people hurt animals? or children?
  • there are so many choices for everything?
  • more people don’t live a life they want?
  • some people are so argumentative?
  • reading isn’t more popular?
  • we talk about the weather so much?
  • we all can’t just love and appreciate each other EXACTLY as we are?
  • we ask why so darn much?

June 4, 2009 at 8:02 pm 3 comments

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