Why Are We Drawn To Danger?

Posted in Thinking Patterns, Uncategorized, travel on February 3rd, 2013 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

My New Friend

I am in Cape Town now, an exquisitely beautiful city at the tip of Africa. Yesterday we ventured out to a wildlife reserve. Aside from riding around in a partially open vehicle through areas with lions, elephants, Cape Town buffalo and rhino you could for an extra fee go spend time with the cheetahs.

I learned that cheetahs are capable of being domesticated and they were the cats of royalty. Yet, they are wild animals, with killing for survival built into their DNA.  So on the one hand I was attracted to this experience and on the other hand, I realized that this animal in a nano second could do a great deal of harm. I calculated the risk and decided it was worth it. Why? My mind had decided that they just couldn’t be offering this experience if there were casualties strewn about, yet there would always be that chance of  startling or touching in the wrong way, and paying a severe price.

I found it exhilarating to find my arm being licked by this incredible creature, a powerful cat capable of accelerating from zero to sixty miles and hour in three seconds. As the tongue,  courser than any sand paper I have ever touched, worked its’ way up and down my arm and leg, I realized how vulnerable  I was; but also how exciting it felt. It was the thrill of a new frontier, of extending my own personal boundary.

I felt like this experience is the metaphor constantly in front of us for reaching out of our comfort zones and trying something new. It doesn’t matter what it is. It is the idea that we just find that comfort edge and consciously go a little further.

There is the resistance in our minds,  that voice that finds all of the rational reasons not to take a chance. Then there is the countervailing voice that says, “What if you do? How good will you feel for having tried something new.” Better yet, after such an experience, how did you feel?  I must admit that as  I rode home, I thought of how unusual this experience was, it was a first,  and how empowering it made me feel. And perhaps that is why we are drawn to a little danger. If we face it and get through it, we feel stronger and more alive. I am not talking about recklessness  such as riding in a speeding car with a drunk driver: I am talking about a reasonable return on one’s apprehension.  It is related to the fear of embarrassment. The idea that we will look foolish if we fail. But as a friend of mine once said, “Be embarrassed once a week, for you will know you are truly alive.”

Is there  something you’ve been wanting to do, but have  felt resistance.   Ask yourself how good you’ll feel if you do it , and you succeed. Maybe it is time to pet the Cheetah.

Why Are So Few Paying Attention To These Crop Circles?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25th, 2012 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

crop circles makers

I know this is a bit tongue and cheek, and no doubt lots of crop circles are made by people with planks, some openly taking credit for them. But a large number of them simply defy any logical explanation.  I find so many people even those living in the heartland of Wiltshire, willing to accept the idea that these are all made by people. I can say one thing definitely. I would like to meet the people responsible for some of the complex patterns. I used to run an ad agency and anybody familiar with  design knows that even with a perfect design, how to actually get it made on the ground would be a logistical feat, and in some cases, pure genius. not to mention the complication of doing it at night. Many of these patterns are extremely large. We are talking in the hundreds of yards.

So what’s the answer?  I think you will find that those following the phenomena seriously have come to the conclusion that for some of the designs, “we just don’t know.”

People usually don’t want to think about things that are unexplainable. In a way it interferes with everyday life.  I say it is good to be curious, to ask the questions of who and why. By engaging in the process we begin to attract the answers: maybe not right away but we have put the process into play, and if enough of us do it with intent then we may all be surprised. The very act of being drawn in this direction may in itself  a form of communication that we simply do not understand.  Yet, but may be be a higher intelligence gently drawing us towards something we need to find out about.

For example if you want to see one explanation go to  this site on You tube. You will find the light balls  fascinating.


Walking in the "Wormhole"

Absorbing the energy

Where is the interface between what we plan and create and what we allow?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21st, 2012 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

I find this one of the most perplexing of all challenges. On the one hand there is a case to be made for staying extremely mindful and simply allowing our impulses to guide us.  These might be training wheels for the idea that as time appears to speed up we have to trust and field what comes our way. Then we use our creative juices, and mind, to deal with what is in front of us.

I find this perhaps one of the biggest challenges. Drives me crazy.

If you know what you need, such as a source of income, or better health, or improved relationships then of course set your mind on seeing this happen and then pay attention to your intuition to help you make the choices that present themselves. Yet if it all is a bit hazy, then the exercise gets really challenging.

I once spent several weeks with Peter Caddy, the co-founder of the Findhorn Community in Scotland. At the time he was travelling and was absolutely penniless, simply depending on intuitive guidance to get him through each day. I asked him how that was. He said, “ Maddening.” I felt that what Peter was practicing was the extreme case of simply being 100% in the flow for everything, a truly difficult space. For most of us we have a bit more luxury. We know where our next meal is coming from and a good bit of how the day will be structured.

Yet for those who have the luxury of not worrying about money this is the ideal time to mindfully set yourself up to be much more in a state of allowance, noting what comes up and what then you are using your energy to accomplish. I don’t say that this is actually easy, because we are used to a high degree of structure in our lives.

I just spoke to a friend of mine today who needed $35,000 to pay taxes. He is a day trader but normally does not expose himself to that many contracts, meaning that usually he makes or loses $2,000 to $3,000 during a day.  He told me that for some reason he just decided to take a much large exposure. He allowed that feeling to guide him.  He earned the $35,000 he needed. He said he even thought about more and asked me how I thought it would have gone. My thoughts were that he needed the $35,000. Beyond that I feel the deck might have been stacked against him.

What do you think?

If You Want To Be Really Selfish Learn To Forgive

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10th, 2011 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

"Hell no. Forget about forgiveness"

If ever we needed to muster creativity in our decision making posture this might be it.

I know this sounds kind of crass, but you’ll see what I mean in a second. There is a very good article by Judith Orloff dealing with forgiveness on the Huffington Post. The only real problem with the article is that it is too subtle. It is like being young and going to church when you really didn’t want to be there and hearing a sermon on forgiveness. I feel like one needs to put it into the proper perspective.  When you really feel done in by someone revenge or getting even can be an all consuming thought. In fact it can be so consuming that it produces a cascade of chemicals, the kind that you can feel just churn in your gut. The problem in a nutshell is that these chemicals just keep flowing and you can feel the toxicity just building. Deep inside you know there is damage going on, kind of like being fire bombed, but still the anger prevails. I know I have been there and I bet you have too. Having said that  I am saying that you have to detach from that state just long enough to see yourself poisoning yourself. In that detached state, and I think this is really where you have to be, you can say to yourself, ” I really need to turn the tap off on these toxic chemicals. What do I do to stop it? This is the forgiveness portal. It is really about you, not the person who has done you wrong.  Once you  can forgive then the toxins stop flowing. The hat trick is to really understand that. And this is the reason I say you have to be want to be really selfish, but how? read more »

What To Do If A Big Idea Is Tugging At You: The Two Edged Sword.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 16th, 2011 by Sandy – Be the first to comment
What to do if A Big Idea Is Tugging At You

Peter French photo of Wright house in Hawaii

This is often one of the biggest decisions we have to make from time to time. It calls for all of our creative and intuitive decision making courage.

Often it is a very powerful urge to go and do something like be a teacher in a foreign country or pursue a  compelling idea that you have no idea how to pull off. You know deep down inside that this is important  and if you let it go you know you will feel empty for not having tried.

This is what some refer to as a “Calling” or in Joseph Campbell’s terms “The Hero’s Journey.”  This is a pattern that its proponents argue is found in many narratives in one sense meaning that it is a deep seated archetypal pattern that repeats itself in many cultures.

The elements of the call are set forth in the diagram above. Basically there is the compelling idea and draw, the fear of  the unknown, the willingness to jump into the void, the challenges as you move forward, helpers who show up, some kind of transformational experience and the return with some boon of knowledge and wisdom.

But why do I call this the two edged sword?Because if you hear the call then there is the equally important flip side referred to as “refusal of the call.” Mythology is rife with examples of what happens to those who refuse the call too long or do not take it seriously.  According to Campbell refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative-walled in boredom, hard work,  disappointments etc. The subject loses the power of significant affirmative action, becomes a victim and his world becomes a wasteland and meaninglessness.

I am writing about this  because it has happened to me several times in life and  was triggered by the recent blog by life coach Tora Mohr entitled “7 Ways to Discover the calling Oprah Told You To Find.”

In other words if you respond to Oprah’s inducement and search for the call then you must also be willing to answer it.

So in one sense there is a reward for venturing out even if you have no idea how it will all come together, but  there is a penalty for refusing the call once you hear it.

Sometimes we receive a number of calls. Not all big, but nevertheless still meaningful and rewarding. For example I knew from the moment I got off the plane in Honolulu, having been sent there by the military, that I would move heaven and earth to make that my future home.  It was my idea of paradise, one that most people only thought about as that once in a life time vacation spots. I knew that if I could gain a foothold there I would feel eminently successful no matter what I did. I bought a one way ticket after grad school and did exactly that.

I have written a recent book about my own callings and of course one is embedded in the title, “How Frank Lloyd Got Into My Head Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking.” I had a big idea with no real qualifications to consummate, but began the journey.

Perhaps in these times of significant change when all looks uncertain it is precisely the time to discover your calling and go for it.  There is magic in the process. It is the kind of decision making that promises to usher in a richer and fuller life.

I would love to hear about your opinions and experiences on this subject.

I have also just posted for free 21 ideas that will profoundly change your life. Just click on the information column to the right of this p0st.

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 5:41 pm and is filed under Architecture, Discoveries, Thinking Patterns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Edit this entry.

The Pursuit of Happiness. Did our Parents Have It Right?

Posted in Discoveries, Health, Living Abroad, Thinking Patterns, Uncategorized on July 9th, 2011 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

The Happiness Rug

Most parents at some level want their children to experience a life of happiness. It was so important that it was part of the American Declaration of Independence. However the decision making process around pursuing happiness has been changing. Perhaps we need to apply more open-mindedness and  creativity to the way we think about it.

When I was growing up, my father would take me for those father and son drives and when we passed somebody digging a ditch, he would say, “ If you don’t continue with your education that’s what you will end up doing.” It did scare me and was more of the stick than the carrot. Yet, I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask my father whether he thought the ditch digger was happy or not. My dad’s assumption was that that man’s life was miserable, limited, and with no real choice. At that particular time the idea was that becoming all that you could be would give you the material wonders of the emerging world and a correspondingly better life. Is that true today? read more »

How Can The Global Economy Make My 201 K Act And Feel Like A 401K With A Bonus To Boot?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11th, 2011 by Sandy – 1 Comment

Street life in Guanajuato

True,  this is a tongue and cheek expression. However it is meant to address the sad fact that many people in their early 60’s and beyond saw their savings dwindle by 40 to 50% may have gotten some of it back, but are not facing bright prospects. Perhaps you  are retired and have had to face the dim prospects of finding part time work. To make matters even worse what savings you do have maybe tied up in low yielding interest bearing accounts or worse yet in really risky high yield returns that could go south if a number of events were to happen. I have been writing about creative thinking with the idea of becoming more open minded to the larger possibilites.

The fact of the matter is that we are in the midst of a huge structural change. Much of the work force is losing their jobs to the international market, because we do live in a global  environment.  Hourly rates of $50 to $60 are being replaced at $10 to $20 or less in emerging economies, and these jobs are not coming back.  In the local markets what fewer jobs exist have greater competition.

So what does that have to do with my making my retirement or income work harder? read more »

Mindfulness 101

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5th, 2011 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

Watch that step

The area of decision making is a constant process in our lives and one of the best decisions we can make is to practice being mindful. What do I mean?

I had a friend just the other day here in San Miguel step out in front of a bus slowly making a turn. She was knocked down, but fortunately just got bruised.  She said, ” I just wasn’t present, daydreaming or whatever. What a close call!”

Then I was in Mexico City a few days later and handed the cab driver a 200 peso bill. He gave me back change and folded inside of the change were a couple of old bills that were worthless.  Instead of looking at my change I just stuck it in my pocket, only to discover the ruse a short while later.

Then there are the misplaced keys and glasses that I personally have spent cumulatively too much time looking for  to want to admit.

So, what’s the answer? read more »

Just How Hard Should I Work?

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20th, 2011 by Sandy – Be the first to comment

Is there a better way to do this?

What kind of decisions do we make around time spent at work Too often we forget to be mindful about how we are spending our time and how our minds need rest to be effective.   When I ran my ad agency, I was so compulsive that I would take work home  and work on proposals  often while watching television to stay current on the commercials.  In a way I felt like I was getting ahead. Also it helped me to relax. When I looked at the quality of the ideas and work the next morning it was frequently dull and unimaginative: that  three hours spent  in the evening I could have  covered the following morning in twenty minutes with much better results.

I also found that I would go to the office on Saturday thinking that the time there would somehow propel me further along. Rarely did I really accomplish anything. Often I would scan magazines or make calls to friends which I could have easily have done at home.

Then I found that too frequently I was scheduling meetings in the morning when my brain was freshest and should have been tackling critical thinking and proposals leaving the meetings for the afternoon when I could have been just as effective on less brainpower.

So what’s my point? read more »

The Kind of Decision Making That Kills Creativity

Posted in Inspirational Quotes, Thinking Patterns, Uncategorized on April 5th, 2011 by Sandy – 1 Comment

Yep, suffering from lack of creativity

“The Worst Career Advice: Do What You Love”

I saw this headline on an article on Business Net and could not help but think how much it can cut the creative process short.

“It is  one of the worst pieces of career advice that I bet each of you has not only received but given,”  says author Penelope Trunk, “ Forget that. It’s absurd. Career decisions are not decisions about what do I love most. Career decisions are about what kind of life do I want to set up for myself. After all , how could you possibly pick one thing you love to do?”

Well, here’s another way to think about it … read more »

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