Jim Aitkins

Jim Aitkins has written 103 posts for Obstacle Blaster

There’s No Such Thing As Balance – Part 3

When we were last together, I said that you and I spend the majority of our time and energy focused on our priorities. I probably should have put quote marks around the word “priorities” (like I did just now). That is because our self-talk is very persuasive and we can justify pretty much any behavior … Continue reading

There’s No Such Thing As Balance – Part 2

If you ever feel like you need more balance in your life, you could be on the lighter end of the “chaos continuum” where your life seems to be a little off kilter… … or you could be on the other end of the continuum because you are in a season of your life where … Continue reading

There’s No Such Thing As Balance – Part 1

Many people who are obsessive-compulsive say that they are constantly striving for the perfect state, whatever that is. It is not surprising that those same people say that they are almost never satisfied. One’s hands can never be germ-free enough. One’s countertops can never be clean enough. Something is always not quite right. The OCD … Continue reading

Integrity Appears Out of the Unseen – Gossip Part 2

We are right to feel horrible about ourselves when we’ve participated in gossip. In a figurative sense, we’ve thrown a rock through the living room window of the person we are talking about. We’ve spray-painted a vulgar message on their garage. We have harmed that person’s reputation by abiding the spread of information that they … Continue reading

Integrity Appears Out of the Unseen – Gossip Part 1

Gossip. No one notices you not doing it. But is it possible that people see something else when you choose not to engage in gossip? I think so. However, whenever I teach on this topic, at least one person in the audience later tells me they had never realized how powerfully wrong it is to … Continue reading

When a Barrier Is Not an Obstacle – Part 3

The addition of sound-absorbing curtains in the dining room at Salty’s, a popular out-of-the-way waterfront restaurant near Federal Way, Washington, has been popular with both Salty’s guests and the staff. The curtains were put in place to deal with an obstacle. The obstacle: booking groups was not happening as much as they wanted because the … Continue reading

When a Barrier Is Not an Obstacle – Part 2

Salty’s at Redondo, a popular waterfront restaurant in a small beach community between Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, created dining/meeting space for private groups by simply installing heavy curtains in the dining room that can enclose enough space for groups. As I said previously, I went to the management at Salty’s to ask for comments about … Continue reading

When a Barrier Is Not an Obstacle – Part 1

If any part of what you are about to read seems like a commercial, it is not intended as such. I was not paid or compensated in any way to procure my endorsement of the restaurant discussed. I just love what this particular establishment has done. There happens to be a great application for us … Continue reading

Twelve Coaches

If you’ve ever thought about getting some coaching, but didn’t know where to start, you need to go to Twelve Coaches (at where, for less than eight bucks a month (for the first two months), you will have access to about 60 new videos a month produced by twelve of the nation’s top coaches … Continue reading

Moving Up Versus Moving On

A powerful little phrase came to me during a recent coaching session. I was working with a person who is coping with a great deal of pain involving the choices of her significant other. In talking about her life and the troubled state of the relationship, she kept saying that her friends are telling her … Continue reading

The First Obstacle Blaster Branded e-Book

Click HERE to check out Readers’ Remarks for my first Obstacle Branded e-book. Since it first came out in the summer of 2012, I have sold a few hundred for $7.99, but a friend recently asked why not sell a few thousand for $3.99. I thought that was a great idea. So far, so good! … Continue reading

Kids Know How to Succeed

Spend enough time around little children and you will see them misperceive something they have heard or been taught. Sometimes it is pretty funny. A few examples … Example #1 A nativity play performed by seven-year-olds. The young actors are positioned for the iconic gathering around the manger. The first Wise Man steps forward with … Continue reading

The Present is a Gift – Part 4

Grady smiled and put his hands up. “That’s all I have to say. Let’s have a good time tonight!” He started putting the microphone down while his colleagues applauded and cheered. Then someone yelled, “What’s in the boxes?” Grady rolled his eyes as if to say ‘Where is my head?’ “Thank you! I almost forgot … Continue reading

Rosa Parks and the Positive Power of Intolerance

UNESCO is an agency of the United Nations. It was formed to “promote the exchange of information, ideas, and culture.” Sounds good, right? Go online to learn more about UNESCO and you will find out that in 1984 the US withdrew as a member of that body to “protest its growing politicization, anti-Western bias, rampant … Continue reading

Planes and Ships and You – Influence Made Easy

The sound of tires spinning on ice preceded my alarm by five minutes. Outside, about a hundred yards from my bedroom window, my neighbor was unable to fully back his BMW out onto the street. Once he backed a few feet onto the road, the car started sliding backward on the pavement’s slight decline. At … Continue reading

The Possum and The Big Why

I love to tell the story of the night, many years ago, I was taking a couple of young people home from a youth group activity. Tim, the teenager in the front passenger seat, lived a few miles out of town. This particular night was very dark. We were on a long straight stretch of … Continue reading

Free from Independence – Part 2

Freedom isn’t free. It is a struggle. But we all, especially those of us that bristle at the idea of someone else controlling us, need to be clear about what we are fighting in favor of and what exactly it is that we are resisting. From the age of about eight, most of us were … Continue reading

Free from Independence – Part 1

Have you seen the bumper sticker that says “Freedom Isn’t Free”? Mankind was into independence long before Americans fought for it in the Revolutionary War.So strong is our desire to be independent, many of us struggle for it for most of our lives. Teenagers slam doors. College students protest. Couples often argue about issues that … Continue reading

Picture How This Photographer Shoots For Success – PART 3

My interview with Corey Schatz of DigiShotz of Lakewood, Washington continues. Jim: One final question. How have you been able to overcome various obstacles in your life, especially in your business, toward greater success? Corey: That’s easy. Knowing my “big why” fuels a huge passion for what I do. When I realized that my talent … Continue reading

The Present is a Gift – Part 3

Finally, the applause began to taper off. Most of those who had been seated remained standing, wiping away years. Grady continued, “Here’s a funny thing. There was this old guy sitting there by my bed when I woke up. He’s smiling and he says something like, ‘There’s still plenty of time.’ I am a little … Continue reading

The Present is a Gift – Part 2

Grady’s Speech An unspoken curiosity inspired a high turnout for this year’s holiday gala and the hushed tones of some of the conversations underscored an air of anticipation of what would happen. No one but the brothers had seen Grady since his heart attack and recovery. This is to say no one but the brothers … Continue reading

Picture How This Photographer Shoots For Success – PART 2

My interview with Corey Schatz of DigiShotz of Lakewood, Washington continues. Jim: So, as a professional photographer, what problem would you say you are you solving for your clients? What obstacles do you help people overcome?   Corey: Everyone wants to be seen, literally, in the best light. That one day when your hair was … Continue reading

Picture How This Photographer Shoots For Success – PART 1

We are all in the business of helping others solve problems. The Madison Avenue media machine uses the tool of digital photography to bombard us with the glossy results of this advanced technology. It includes touched and re-touched breasts (yes, I just wrote that), eyes that look brighter and younger, and bodies that look more … Continue reading

The Present is a Gift – Part 1

A FICTIONAL SHORT STORY All the rumors about Grady were true. He really was horrible. He used to be disliked by everyone in the company, except the owners. The three brothers who shared ownership of the rural insurance brokerage – each managing one of the company’s three offices – liked and appreciated T.R. Grady for … Continue reading

Put It Down – Part 3

Painful childhood events are among the things we can understand people taking, well, personally. But events like World War II, the Great Depression and other such things can similarly leave a lifelong mark. When I was a boy, two or three days a week during the spring and summer months I rode my bike down … Continue reading

Getting Sucked In To Office Politics at Work; How Not To

Invitations. That’s all we’re talking about. As we go about our daily lives, relating with others, we are – all of us – constantly sending and receiving invitations. A controversial remark is often an invitation to argue,  A status update on Facebook that says, “I am very sad today… ” is an invitation to others … Continue reading

Originally posted on Obstacle Blaster:
Well, let’s be honest (this is a test of your integrity and credibility): isn’t it true that we all have an “inner spoiled brat”? [The part of you that is screaming out at me right now, “Speak for yourself!” that’s the voice of your inner spoiled brat.] The inner spoiled…

Originally posted on Obstacle Blaster:
Someone said something to me recently that I really struggled with. I actually got irritated at the audacity of these words. Although the remark didn’t initially sit right with me, I withheld expressing my disagreement with it, but I know my body language signaled how unnerved I felt about someone…

Put It Down – Part 2

The fact is that we have a choice as to what we carry around with us in life. We act like we don’t, but we do. To explain dysfunctions (any of the myriad of ways our dysfunctions are manifest), we use excuses that put the onus of responsibility (blame) upon things well outside of our … Continue reading

It’s On Your Bookshelf!

We generally buy books we want to read; books that we believe will make an impact in some way. And those are the books we keep on the bookshelf after we’ve read them. The non-fiction books we buy in hopes that they might help solve a problem or help us blast through an obstacle or … Continue reading

Author Jim Aitkins

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