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Blaming Others

This category contains 41 posts

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

Taking Responsibility – Making It Easier – Part 5

Man Shows Up At His Own Funeral Reuters recently reported a very odd story out of Brazil. Several circumstances had to come together exactly as they did in this case in order for this uncanny incident to have happened. “A 41-year-old car washer from northeastern Brazil shocked his family by turning up at his own … Continue reading

Taking Responsibility – Making It Easier – Part 4

She is my best friend. I had said some things that I thought needed to be said. But, true to the old adage that we hurt those we love the most, I delivered my message in a way that invited the kind of reaction I really didn’t want. You know what I mean, so I’ll … Continue reading

The Vulnerability Myth

The ancient Roman philosopher, Horace, wrote that “It is the false shame of fools to try to conceal wounds that have not healed.” If I advertised a seminar titled How to Forgive and Forget, or How to Move Past Painful Problems from the Past, or How to Overcome Shame and Guilt, how many people do … Continue reading

Taking Responsibility: Making It Easier – Part 3

Ted was sexually abused multiple times over about a three year period when he was a kid. His abuser used money and gifts both as a reward and a punishment in order to get what he wanted out of Ted. Slowly over the decades since that dark time, Ted has had to discover the ways … Continue reading

Taking Responsibility – Making It Easier: Part 2

We concluded Part 1 by pointing out that we already know at a very deep level about the benefits of doing certain things like breathing. We know we have got to breathe, but because the act of breathing is unconsciously taken care of, we take for granted the benefit of doing it. If, however, our … Continue reading

It Is Hopeless

It was one of those light bulb moments. A few of us were sitting in a comfortable setting, having a discussion. The topic doesn’t matter. What matters is that some old disagreements arose and I didn’t handle the situation very well. I could point out that the other person in the group – the “main” … Continue reading

Taking Responsibility – Making It Easier: Part 1

It happens literally thousands of times every day. In the dimly-lit corner of an old gymnasium, in a musty church basement, and in the plush environs of a corporate board room. It is a meeting attended by very special people. Rare is the individual who does what these people do. Whether sitting in uncomfortable metal … Continue reading

The Last Four Years – Part 2

A friend recently shared the following quote with me from a Celtic prayer book: “The measure of our love is not what we give of ourselves, but by what we hold back.” Do yourself the favor of reviewing again the list of questions from Part 1 (shown below for your convenience). Paying special attention to … Continue reading

The Last Four Years – Part 1

Ever since the 1980 presidential election when Ronald Reagan asked Americans, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” someone has asked the same question every time the electorate considers who should be president for the next four years. Of course, the context of the question has to do with the economy. … Continue reading

How Many Real Friends Do You Have? – Part 6 – Conclusion

In Conclusion… If your current style of relating with this or that person isn’t working very well, before dumping the relationship, consider the fact that you’ve got a hard heart toward that person. You may be thinking, ‘Fact? How is he taking as a fact that I’ve got a hard heart toward the other person?’ That’s … Continue reading

How Many Real Friends Do You Have – Part 5 – The Answer

The Answer So, the question is a pretty fair one: If a person I care about fits all the things you’re describing here, what can I do about it? How am I supposed to help the other person see the obstacles in their ways of thinking if bringing it up will just get more of … Continue reading

How Many Real Friends Do You Have? – Part 4 – Ignorance

Ignorance. Being unaware of, and untrained in, alternatives to being a hypocrite and alternatives to making decisions motivated by the fear of pain, is, for purposes of this topic, how we’d describe ignorance. Ignorance also includes strategies we’ve learned – or acquired without any conscious thought – but that don’t actually fix anything; things that … Continue reading

How Many Real Friends Do You Have? – Part 3 – Pain

Pain.When pain is given permission to occupy the driver’s seat in our decision-making; when pain is given a starring role in governing how we conduct ourselves in a given relationship, we are now making decisions based upon fear-based feelings, not on an objective analysis of all the relevant facts. In doing this, we’ve voluntarily placed a … Continue reading

How Many Real Friends Do You Have? – Part 2 – Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy.  I’ve already mentioned the online duplicity represented by the way the biggest social media site has us referring to people as friends who we barely know, or don’t even know at all. That, we can chalk up to Facebook’s creators and developers. So, okay, in that situation we don’t have the option to refer … Continue reading

How Many Real Friends Do You Have? – Part 1

This article is about clearing away three big obstacles that stand in the way of having the kind of relationships we all really want to have. The desire to be loved. Relationship. It’s a universal need. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve all been hurt in one way or another, some of us more than others. And … Continue reading

The Case Against Goals – #6

Goals Aren’t Fluid, But Life Is (… Like Traffic) – #3 In the last article, I suggested that if we would simply take note of our mindset as we go about driving from place to place, we can apply some of those discoveries toward success in other areas of life. I said I’d share some … Continue reading

Do You Recycle?

There is no such thing as waste. Look at nature and you will see that this is an absolute and observable fact. Literally everything is converted into use. Everything is being recycled. Some things take longer than other things (such as in the case of nuclear “waste”) because of its complexity, but eventually, everything is … Continue reading

Forgiveness Q & A – If This Person Could, Then You Can – Part 1

Forgiveness in 60 Minutes This Q & A is inverse. In other words, I’ll ask the question and you provide the answer. First, a true story. Back in 1983, Mike Wallace did a very memorable interview for the Sunday evening CBS news magazine, 60 Minutes. He interviewed Yehiel De-Nur, a Jewish holocaust survivor who was at … Continue reading

Author Jim Aitkins

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