February 2011

I Don’t Wanna…!

“I don’t want to!”

“I didn’t say I would…”

“Something else came up.”

“I don’t feel like it!”

Have you ever had any of those thoughts? Ever said any of those things out loud?

Has any of the above ever seemed to directly prevent you from fulfilling on important commitments? Maybe repeatedly, even?

If so, welcome to the club! You are like the rest of us: challenged to do what it takes to fulfill on all of your commitments. While it is very tempting, and easy, to generalize as such, this difficulty is not the result of being lazy, irresponsible or incompetent. It is, however, an expression of, and an indicator of, your relationship to 1) that to which you’ve committed yourself, 2) the nature of commitment itself, and 3) integrity.

Said another way, the source of the problem isn’t what we know or don’t know; it isn’t in what we don’t know about ourselves or about a particular commitment. But it does lie in the usually unexamined and hidden network of interpretations, beliefs, and assumptions that constrain and shape our viewpoints, thoughts, moods, and actions.

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Top 3 Ways to Kill a Relationship

“Existential analysis has the character of doing violence, whether to the claims of the everyday interpretation, or to its complacency and its tranquilized obviousness.” -Martin Heidegger

February is upon us, which means for most of us that we have been immersed in and surrounded by Valentine’s Day and all its trappings. This has been a time for many to buy cards, flowers, candy, dinner, and so on, while others resist and condemn various qualities of the holiday and even the holiday itself.

Either way, I’m guessing that no matter which group you’re in, your attitude and actions around Valentine’s Day are the same as they were last year. I bet that you could explain the background and reasons for your position, maybe even relate a compelling story of heartbreak and disappointment, or of true love and serendipity.

I dare you to risk everything, and file all of that under “everyday interpretation” and “tranquilized obviousness.”

Today, let’s do some Heideggerian violence to what seems so obvious. Rather than explore an abstraction, stand or ideal, let’s reveal what’s probably already happening now. In all our “complacency” we are probably, right now, killing off our relationships, and therefore our possibilities, opportunities and fulfillment.

How do we do such things? Well, I can tell you how I do it, and how thousands of people I’ve had the opportunity to coach, support and intimately interact with do it. If you have a willingness to be authentic, and a sense of humor, I think you’ll see yourself here as well. If not, you may want pass this by for now…

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