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Living Lighter: GETTING OVER YOURSELF  When I defined the subject line for today’s Post, I thought, “This is going to be fun. I get to poke fun at myself.”  At the same time I can take it to my Inspiration Impulse Readers!  So, you know the proverbial words: If the shoe fits…

I have a special friend dating back to Jr. High School  Using a big swipe of buoyant color, my special friend is one who has demonstrated the  the grand ability to engage his high profile professional life with a light touch.  He is an  accomplished Super Star in his field having  spent  40* year career producing excellence at the highest level.  Doing so, he is recognized nationally.

Over the years my friend and I have done a lot of playful bantering together.   It was many years ago that I recall he said something to me which, in so many ways, characterizes the distinct difference in the way I have moved in the world compared to him.  I forget when and where he said this to me, and in what context,  but it was this: “You’re so serious, Russ”

Fast forward!  Now, with the benefit of 70-plus years, I do believe my friend could made a more crisply accurate statement which gets me to the heart of my Post, if he had said:   “Why don’t you get over yourself.”

Ouch. That sounds critical, doesn’t it.   All these years later, I observe it would be helpful for me to get over my serious self and and discover some lightening up.

So Russ, why don’t you not worry about wanting to have an authoritative opinion about…let’s say, Everything?   Why can’t you be less compulsive about others doing it your way, which, of course IS the right way?  Why do you think you must be so responsible that you think you must carry everyone on your back or the ship will go down?  Why must you put a laundry list of expectations on yourself to cut yourself the slack to take a deep breath and simply enjoy the ride?

These word images capture a man-in-motion investigating getting over himself.  No, I am not diminishing myself; I am discerning something important for my current Self.  As I aspire to pursue being a WELCOME HERE Messenger of Influence for Good, it’s healthy to clean out some clutter that might impair my Go-Forward, present purpose.

Living Lighter: GETTING OVER YOURSELF.  There is a simple message for me with these words.  I am at the Trail Head of a fresh season of influence for good. I am unpacking some stuff.   It’s vital.  It points to powerful change.   There’s a new story to be discovered and pursued.  The Old Dog has some new tricks to learn.   Yes, it’s purposeful, pragmatic and doable.  It’s welcoming   new inquiry into living lighter.

How about you? Is there something you want to get over?  Is it your time to tinker with living lighter?


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TRANSFORMING 5 TROUBLEMAKERS: Distrustful   What is the slippery slope of distrust?  What causes trust to fall off the cliff into a canyon of lost relationships?  An online article, 5 Stages of Distrust and How it Destroys Your Relationships,  Randy Conley, Vice President of Client Services & Trust Practice Leader for The Ken Blanchard Companies, identifies the slow-moving slippery slope that moves you to the edge of cliff and into the canyon.  Let’s look at the stages:

Doubt – The first stage of distrust begins with doubt. You start to experience a slight uncertainty about someone’s trustworthiness that causes you to pause just a bit. It might be that nagging doubt in the back of your mind that you can’t seem to dismiss, or something just doesn’t feel right about the situation even though you can’t put your finger on it exactly.

2. Suspicion – Doubt, if unresolved, grows into suspicion over time. Suspicion is belief without proof. You’ve started to see a pattern of behavior that may indicate a lack of trust, but you don’t quite have enough proof to make a firm conclusion. Your trust radar is telling you that something is wrong.

Stages of Distrust3. Anxiety – The third stage of distrust is anxiety, a feeling of apprehension or uneasiness, that is often manifested physically. When dealing with someone you don’t quite trust, you may may experience nervousness, a rapid heartbeat, anger, a knotted stomach, or even disgust.

4. Fear – At this point in a relationship, distrust has risen to the point where you are afraid to show vulnerability. You have experienced repeated breaches of trust and have grown to distrust another person to the point you are afraid for your emotional well-being.

5. Self-protection – As a result of the fear you experienced, you move into a state of self-protection. You put up walls in your relationship to prevent the other person getting close to you. This act of self-preservation reduces your vulnerability, but also cements the state of distrust in the relationship.

You may be experiencing right now or may have recently experienced a relationship that took you down the slippery slope of distrust.  We all have such experiences.    Stage 5, Self-Protection,  typically reveals we have a  muddy, clouded psyche…in need of healing.  Some people never heal.  They believe one wound is quite enough for a lifetime;  they will not subject themselves to the possibility of another wound.  In a literal sense, such a decision says: I shall take no risks; I shall not put myself in a position of allowing anyone to ever harm me again.  This thought that become one’s personal life doctrine of self-survival by self protection is understandable…yet tragically misguided.

It isn’t possible to thrive without trust.   I use the word, thrive; I don”t use the word, survive.   It is true, we can build up walls to protect ourselves from others; but doing so will deny us the one thing you and I came to earth to experience, relationships.

I thrive as I let others into my life.  I thrive as I love others and allow others to love me.  I thrive learning to become less exclusive and more inclusive. Thriving is Life’s vital, secret impulse.  I am hardwired with this impulse.  The impulse, as the wisdom teachers of all Traditions reveal, is the place where I find the heart of trust, my life in the life of God, that gives me courage to reach out in trust.


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Are You A Thinking Success? I have followed John Maxwell’s leadership career since the 1970’s when I began my professional life in church ministry and he was a Leadership voice to the church growth movement.   Forty years later, Mr. Maxwell has proved himself to be a worldwide leadership voice in every pathway of professional life.

Forty plus years later, “Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 24 million books in fifty languages. Often called America’s #1 leadership authority, Maxwell was Identified as the most popular leadership expert in the world by Inc. magazine in 2014. And he has been voted the top leadership professional six years in a row on  He is the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 180 countries.”

john-maxwell-book I wanted to pass along a fast-paced, inspiring read from Mr. Maxwell’s exploration of thinking as multi-dimensionalHow Successful People Think covers Thinking on several fronts:

1. Focused thinking.   2. Creative thinking.  3. Realistic thinking.  4. Strategic thinking.  5. Possibility thinking.              6. Reflective thinking.   7. Question Popular Thinking.  8. Shared thinking. 9. Unselfish thinking (get outside yourself!) 10. Bottom-Line thinking.

The Wallstreet Journal wrote, “HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE THINK is the perfect, compact read for today’s fast-paced world.  You’ll learn how to capture the big picture while focusing your thinking. You’ll find out how to tap into your creative potential, develop shared ideas, and derive lessons from the past to better understand the future. With these eleven keys to more effective thinking, you’ll clearly see the path to personal success.

CONFLICT AT HOME: Renewing Communications

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CONFLICT AT HOME: Renewing Communications.  On Day #4 of our workweek Inspiration Impulse mini-seminar on Conflict, we’re using information from Days 1, 2, and 3 to explore an example of managing conflict in our personal life.

Parent-teen communication breakdowns can become painfully toxic conflicts that suck out the vitality of home life when left unattended.   It is true that unaddressed conflict in the home creates short term stress and long term dis-ease.  Thus, every story of conflict management works with a Time Principlemanage the conflict sooner than later!  What can we do when we have ignored the important message of managing conflict in a timely manner and now we are sitting on days, weeks, months or even years of unresolved conflict?

Here is a snapshot of the first 3 days of our mini-seminar about CONFLICT:

  • Day 1 revealed: The Seer heals his/her seeing.
  • Day 2 revealed: Needs are recognized and met.
  • Day 3 revealed: Taking positive action(s) transforms tired, unconscious communications with fresh, healthy  communications

DAY #4 /The Conflict: Jim and Mary have a teenager, a sixteen year-old son, Kevin.  The past six months have been tense on the Home Front as Kevin has violated his Friday/Saturday night curfew on several occasions.  Jim has gotten angry; there’s been yelling.  Mary has played referee between father and son.  The pattern is set: Curfew abuse; blow up, protection, silence.

Last night, Kevin called after curfew to say he was staying at his friend’s house.  Jim said, No way!  Mary interceded.  Jim gave in with the pronouncement that it was time for things to change.  Tomorrow, there will be a family meeting.

There’s the Conflict!  I want you to think about Tomorrow’s Family meeting. Three issues are in play for there to be a healthy outcome of this conflict.  Do you have insights you want me to communicate in tomorrow’s POST about the Family Meeting?  Reply to this Post and send me your input about:

  • The Seer(s) heal.  There are 3 Seers:  Jim, Mary & Kevin.
  •  Needs are recognized and met.   Jim, Mary & Kevin address competing needs.
  •  Positive actions, new behaviors, are initiated by  Jim, Mary, & Kevin.

Tomorrow, we will complete our 5-Day Inspiration Impulse Conflict Mini-Seminar.   I  welcome your input for tomorrow’s Post!


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ENGAGING YOUR CANDID COMMENTS.  I have a genuine question and seek a moment of your precious time to give me some feedback. My question?  Why do you value reading the Inspiration Impulse Blog?

I have been presenting the work-week offerings since May, 2015.  Periodically, in a Post, I have asked for your feedback.   My question, today, is not to ask for your input about a particular post.   Rather, I am seeking your words that convey your 30,000 ft. Fly-Over viewpoint about  WHY you open the Daily Post on a regular basis.

I know, simply by being able to monitor the daily opens of the Inspiration Impulse, that there is a Faithful Following of those who do just that!  They open. They read.  Some people who open regularly will periodically  forward the Post to friends.  There are times when a Post really grabs the attention of Faithful Followers and they share it with many.  Then, there are the majority of Faithful Followers who simply open and read daily.

So, my question today, WHY do you value reading the blog regularly, is directed to the Faithful Followers.  I don’t ask you to write an essay.  It’s not necessary that my question encumber your already busy day.   The easiest way to  engage your Off The Top of Your Head reply to this question is to quickly ask yourself: How does the Inspiration Impulse affirm your own daily self-dialogue?

I do trust you will help me out with this WHY question.  I promise I will do a Post offering  some readership feedback from the responses I receive.  Likewise, I will tell you about my WHY and an interesting clarification I have just recently experienced about my WHY.

So, there you go.  You know if you are one of the Faithful Followers of the Inspiration Impulse.  I know you are a busy person.  Take a minute, 2 max.  Keep it simple and focused.

Thank you, in advance, for your input.  Now,  click Reply and communicate your WHY

PS: My request is not a request for lavish compliments.  Your continuous readership is the compliment.

9 Questions: What Makes You Happy?

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9 Questions: What Makes You Happy?  One of my favorite radio Talk Show Hosts is Dennis Prager.   He devotes one hour each week to the theme of happiness.  He has done so for many years.  He has written a book, Happiness is a Serious Subject.   He goes so far to say, Your happiness is your responsibility!  He knows that happy people are who others want to be around.

Tell me:  What Makes You Happy?  That is a great question!     The focus of the question is  on You!   When I googled this question, I found plenty of online literature.   One article leaped out at me: 9 Questions: What Makes You Happy?    I was taken to an online article that presented the 9 questions and the multiple choice selection of answers related to the 9 Happiness Questions.

Once I completed the 9 questions, I was taken immediately to a Results Page which revealed  the animating force that drives my personal Happiness barometer.   I would never have guessed that the nine questions and my responses would reveal such a Right On the Money outcome about my personal journey with happiness.

Is  your curiosity bubbling up inside you?   If so, great.  This is your day for Inspiration!  Below is the online link to the article with the 9 interesting happiness questions.  Scroll it and load it into your browser.  Then,  I encourage you to take 2 minutes to explore your happiness story.  If you find it right-on-for-you…let me know.  If not, don’t blame me for the happiness test causing you stress. Ha! Ha!

PS: if your personal Happiness story is confirmed in a meaningful way based upon the feedback you got, ask yourself: How can I  put my personal  happiness  into action this day  with choices I make at home, at work or  in the communities of your influence.   Who knows, you just might have a wildly wonderful Thursday!


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FAST APPROACHING 48 YEARS OF MARRIAGE.  I asked my Bride, Judy, where she’d like to go out to dinner next week  to celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary…”Anywhere near the water!”  she blurted out immediately.  So, we’ll find a special spot along the beautiful OC coastline on Tuesday evening and ask once again,” How have we gotten down the road so far…as a dynamic duo?”

Happily married men talk about marrying up.  It’s a simple way of stating the obvious, “We, men, get blessed having that special woman in our life who constantly steadies the course and makes the music of the heart ever-present and alive.   Oh, yes, men, like me, are serial Romantics-at-Heart… never forgetting That Most Special One chose to come alongside us and walk with us.

Over the  years I have loved telling the story…which you now get to hear…about setting our wedding date for August,1968, following our engagement in December, 1967.   We had already been in a 3 1/2 year relationship dating back to my Senior year  and Judy’s Sophomore year in high school, when she was just 15 1/2.   So, when it came time to discuss the date with her mom, we wanted an August wedding but the only church date was a week before her 20th birthday….which translated into Judy being married as a 19 year-old teenager rather than finding later date that would allow her to be married as a 20 year-old.

Although we ultimately prevailed on an August 16th wedding date, Judy’s mom really pushed back on us to wait…to choose  a different date …fearing Judy might become a Teenage Divorce Statistic…which as I have shared with everyone over the years who has heard this story… my mother in law’s concern was no ringing Vote of Confidence for the staying power of the young man her daughter wanted to share the rest of her life with.

So, all I can say is, I am proud I proved Judy’s mom wrong and that things do continue to work out!  Oh yes, her mom’s concerns ultimately disappeared…20-25 years later…HA! HA!

It’s crazy to think that those two young adult Boomers of the late 60’s are now members of the Elder Generation of our  American society.  It’s impossible for my mind to grasp that nearly 50 years have vanished into the rear view mirror of wonderful memories living my life with such an incredibly special woman.   There is no one I know who carries the grace of a joyous, serene smile as well as my bride, Judy.

So, we will make it a nite of celebration  next week…and, once again, feel and know a shared heart of gratitude that we became a productive team of influence for good…born of our mutual life-in-God….for each other…for our adult children… for our growing Brood of grandchildren…and for friends and colleagues.