Yielding for Reconstruction 

Winter’s busywork of creating potholes has been highly successful this year.  Reconstruction crews are hard at work on what seems like nearly every road I drive.  One street I travel daily, was scraped bare of all of its pavement and the underlying damage to its concrete roadbed was repaired, before it was finally repaved and made like new.  

Winter’s freezing and thawing has a way of breaking up even the sturdiest of foundations.  Reconstruction means unexpected detours and delays as the road ahead is made safe and smooth again.

Trying to travel through a reconstruction zone can be maddeningly slow as traffic is backed up by the crew worker with the sign on a pole.  We all wait for the moment when the Stop sign flips around to Slow, so we can make progress again on our journeys.  When we get stuck in reconstruction, all we can do is yield and wait.

I’ve come to understand the Holy significance of yielding and waiting while life is scraped down to its foundation for repairs.  God can start a life reconstruction project without warning.  Your normal habitual route is suddenly blocked or closed.  You are forced to accept the wait and yield your progress and plans for the promise of a smoother ride or better future destination.  

Do you have the patience to yield life’s progress to allow the Creator of the Universe to strip away what is broken and make repairs?  Does your foundation need shored up and not just patched?  Maybe the road ahead is permanently closed and you are being rerouted to a new, unplanned destination.  Can we trust and yield as the work is done?  The promise is for our paths to be made smooth and straight.  All we must do is wait while the work is being done and stay alert for the signs ahead…Caution, Slow Down, Detour, Stop, Yield.

Frustration is Your Brain’s Check Engine Light


Seeing your check engine light suddenly come on can be very frustrating.  Did you know your brain has a natural check engine light?  It’s the feeling of being frustrated.

Whenever you feel frustrated, your brain focuses your attention on the fact that you feel something you value is being denied. Whenever we don’t get our needs/desires satisfied to the levels we want, we get frustrated. It indicates something is judged to be “wrong,” based on a value judgement,  using your values/needs as the standards of “right.”   Frustration provides internal motivation to change your frustrating situation in some way.  The stronger your value/need/desire is to you, then the more intensely frustrated you may feel if you believe your need is being denied or your value is being violated. If something doesn’t naturally matter to you, then it is unlikely to be a source of frustration.  No one situation will generate frustration in all humans.  We are each unique in our values/needs/desires.

For example, let’s say you are on a family vacation driving trip when you notice your check engine light has just come one.  One person might be frustrated because s/he highly values the family time and fears that the engine issue will cut down on the enjoyment of the family’s vacation.  Another person who has a high sense of honor or duty may be frustrated because s/he now feels guilty for not having the engine inspected prior to taking the trip.  A third person may feel frustrated because they desire a sense of order and have planned the entire trip down to the minute and view having to stop and have the engine looked at by a mechanic as an unwelcome change of plans.  The same thing happened to all of these people, the check engine light came on.  Each of them experienced a varying degree of frustration as a natural reaction to the situation based on his/her value judgment.  The key difference is understanding that each individuals frustrated reaction was the result of his/her own strong needs/values/desires.

Dr. Steven Reiss, PhD., is a recognized expert on human motivation and developed 16 Basic Desires Theory. He created the Reiss Motivation Profile®, which is a scientifically valid  assessment tool to measure our 16 individual needs/desires we all share to varying levels as humans.  A great way to understand more about human motivation is to read his book, “Who Am I?”

As a Reiss Motivation Profile Master, I was trained by Dr. Reiss to help people understand what matters most to them and what they need to feel satisfied with life and to avoid frustration.  By completing a Reiss Motivation Profile®, you will discover which of the 16 basic desires drives your behaviors and can be the source of your greatest frustrations.  Once you understand your frustration check engine light, you can create strategies to effectively reduce your frustration and return yourself back to enjoying the trip down life’s highway.

Frustration is a warning, just like your check engine light.  If you leave it unaddressed, then you risk being stuck on the side of the road or worse.  Your brain is not designed to tolerate long-term frustration and so it is best to know how to try to reduce frustration before it becomes a more significant issue which impacts your well-being.

If frustration is lighting up on your mental dashboard?  Perhaps a better understanding of your needs/desires and values can help you stay on the road to success, improve your productivity and increase your sense of well-being.

For your Reiss Motivation Profile® online assessment: Contact me at andy@lifematchesbook.com and I’ll arrange for you to complete a Reiss Motivation Profile® online.  Together we will conduct three 45 minute tele-coaching sessions to review your results and to discover what matters most to you and create strategies to increase your sense of well-being.

Your Reiss Motivation Profile® and three personal coaching consultation sessions are only a total of $988.00 US.

Assumptions Are Our Mind’s Flypaper

Reality is what we assume to be true.  What we assume to be true is what we believe.  What we believe is based upon our perceptions.  What we perceive depends on what we look for.  What we look for depends on what we think.  What we think depends on what we perceive.  What we perceive determines what we believe.  What we believe determines what we assume to be true. What we assume to be true is our reality.  -David Bohm

I’ve studied Nancy Kline’s books “Time to Think” and “More Time to Think: The Power of Independent Thinking” to learn her unique approach to executive coaching.  She terms the coaching experience as “Thinking Sessions” and the coach and the coachee are equal partners in thinking together in new ways to resolve issues and develop into our next best selves.  If you are a professional coach, I highly recommend both of Ms. Kline’s books.

A key concept Klien explores is the concept of assumptions.  An assumption is a thought one accepts as true or certain without proof.  Assumptions are highly effective at keeping one stuck in the present state and can form the bars of a self-created cage to prevent personal and organizational change.

Assumptions allow one to conserve mental energy by thinking of plausible sounding stories which confirm our worldview of reality.  If I am an idealist by nature, I am likely to assume this is a normal worldview and may find it odd when I meet a staunch realist.  If I assume it to be cold in January in the Midwest and dress without checking the weather forecast, I might be sweating my assumption when it unexpectedly hits 70 degrees.  If I assume everyone will abide by traffic signals, I may have a collision with someone who fails to stop at a red traffic light.  The knowledge and experience of assumptions proving to be wrong, do not seem to slow down our brain’s natural tendency to continue to use personal assumptions to guide our choices and decisions.

How often we create self-fulfilling prophecies by not challenging and testing our assumptions.  We routinely assume our boss will deny our request for a raise so we fail to give the rationale for why we deserve a pay increase.  We assume we could never afford a college degree, so we never apply to college.

The most important question we can ask ourselves about any significant assumptions we make which offer a convenient excuse for not trying something new and/or different is to simply confirm the assumption with some questioning.  Is the assumption true?  Is the assumption always true?  Is there some different way to think about this assumption which would allow us to not make it true?

One will soon find many assumptions are true and can be classified a truths or facts.  Some assumptions cannot be proven but are likely true.  Other assumptions are not always true, but are the way one wishes to live his/her life so the assumption is decided to be true to them personally.  Some assumptions cannot be proven or disproved and can be thought of as possibilities.   Beliefs are assumptions which we trust on faith and do not seek to confirm.

The sum of our assumptions become the boundaries of our thinking and living.  Comfort zones are built out of seemingly solid assumptions.  To break free of our assumptions and to allow room for growth, one must ask and answer challenging questions.

What evidence do I have which supports my present limiting assumption?

What evidence exists which refutes my assumption?

Often one key assumption is tied to many sub-assumptions.  So if this key assumption is true, what other assumptions must also be true?

Which assumptions are you choosing to accept as true which are keeping you from living a Fired Up! life? If you knew that this assumption were not true, what could you then assume to be true that would be liberating?

Assumptions are our mind’s flypaper to keep us safely stuck in the present situation.  If we seek to grow and achieve our full potential, we must inventory and confirm our limiting assumptions.  A professional thinking partner/coach can help you sort through your assumptions.

Which assumptions need challenged today?



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