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Personal Responsibility

This category contains 84 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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Put It Down – Part 1

What if I told you that I have a tool that, when used, will help give you the ability to blast through any obstacle and do things with your life that you never thought you’d be able to do? Two things happen whenever I read words like that.   First, I think to myself, “Cool! I … Continue reading

My Mother-In-Law Hates Me

This is an equal opportunity phenomenon, experienced by both husbands and wives. To be sure, an article this short cannot begin to address core issues, so know that that is not what this is about. This is about one thing. If you find that you are the focus of anyone’s unwarranted hatred, venom, or just … 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

Life Lesson from My Father: The Two F’s

I am a parent. And if, from that statement, it isn’t apparent that I fret about my child’s safety even before I have any real reason to, then you probably aren’t a parent yourself. As my daughter nears the day she will have a driver’s license and backs out of the driveway all by herself, … Continue reading

Author Jim Aitkins

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