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You Already Know This Stuff

There is not too much new information in the universe - what's different is how it's packaged, and especially what we DO with what we KNOW. Get fresh perspectives on stuff you already know that will help you get from KNOWLEDGE to ACTION! To get more infor

Updated: 2017-11-18T15:11:46.445-06:00


We're Moving!


(image) After 6 years at this location, You Already Know This Stuff has a new home!

We've done our first actual branding campaign and have moved platforms, so this blog will be continuing, but just at another location.

So check us out at

Thank you so much for visiting and commenting here. Hard to believe it's been 6 years!

Happiness is a Summer Morning in North Dakota!


(image) Seriously.

Sometimes it's just the smallest things that make me happy.

I was taking out the recycling this morning in my jammies (well, the shorts and T-shirt I slept in, which were OK for public, at least in my neighborhood early in the morning, or so I say!) and it occurred to me how happy I was in that moment.

As I loaded up the glass, newspaper and plastic bottles (I know, I'm working on eliminating those bottles, too!), I looked at the eastern sky with the sun coming up and the dew on the grass and the birds chirping away and in that moment, it just didn't seem like life could get much better.

And I noticed that feeling.

That's the key.

Are you aware in any given moment exactly how you are feeling? Do you ever just check in at random times to see?

I wonder what we would notice if we did that more often. What do you think you'd find? More moments of happiness or more moments of frustration, anger, upset, stress?

I found this on a blog this morning (the same place I found the photo above). Makes you think.When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life.

When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when i grew up.
I wrote down "happy."
They told me I didn't understand the assignment
and I told them they didn't understand life.

What are "they" telling you that just doesn't matter anymore? Who are "THEY" anyway?

Feel happy today. Remember what that feels like and recreate it. Anytime. Anyplace.

I know you can do it!

I Want Something New


OK, I admit it, I'm typically an early adopter. When something new comes out, I want to be one of the first to get it. Whether that's a new book or a new gadget, I want to be a trendsetter.

However, I've begun to rethink that trend, most recently with the launch of the iPad (which I don't have).

I wasn't on the whole iPod kick because when I went to buy my first MP3 player a few years ago, the person at Best Buy told me to avoid Apple products because they suck you in with all the gadgets and upgrades that get you to be dependent upon Apple for the monopoly. Without really thinking about it, I bought an iRiver instead.

So I've been pondering now my decisions over the past few years, and wondering if the decisions have really been mine or if I've actually succumbed to the crowd mentality.

I got the Kindle when Oprah told me to (and I find that I usually do what Oprah tells me) which was good (I do like it), but not so good when, just a couple of months later, Amazon updated and upgraded the Kindle, giving it more bells and whistles for a lower price.

If I'd waited, I maybe could have had a better deal. But I would have missed taking 3 big novels on vacation with me to Hawaii. Sitting on a plane or on a beach with a novel isn't as convenient as the Kindle. And I would have missed the opportunity to be the first of my friends with this new toy.

But the more I think about the reasons for wanting something new, I find most of the time it's because of my desire to provide new information and new learning. I can't help it ... every time I learn something or hear something new, I think about how I can share it with others.

The interesting thing I'm learning is that it's not the new stuff I'm interested in as I think about information; it's actually the old stuff that's the good stuff. My favorite book, Think and Grow Rich, was published in 1937 after 20+ years of research. Nothing new about that. It's the application of that "old" information that feels new to me.

Being an early adopter when it comes to "stuff" isn't as appealing to me as it once was. That's what awareness provides.

But that doesn't mean I'm not eyeing the next generation iPad!

Perfect Sense


(image) I used to want everything I said to make perfect sense to someone else, because I was looking for praise. Awards. Fame. Acceptance.

Really, that's what it came down to. Acceptance. The external "rewards" of making perfect sense, whether on the basketball floor or in a college class or in a corporate job meant I might be OK ... I might not be a freak or a weirdo or abnormal.

So striving for perfect sense made, well, perfect sense.

But as I grow in my own self-awareness, I realize that I don't really want to make "perfect sense." After all, there is no such thing as perfect, which I didn't realize growing up. Perfectionism is a curse until you become aware of what's actually behind the persona of perfectionism: a longing for acceptance, in my case.

I always had crazy, wacky, out-there ideas. As far back as I can remember, I was asking questions no one else was, and wondering why they all "got it" when I wanted more information. Eventually I learned to stop questioning and follow the crowd so I could fit in, as much as a 5'4" 10-year-old can fit in. I wanted desperately to have some companionship with my wacky thought patterns, but since I didn't feel I could share them for fear I'd be chastised, I took what I could get.

How I longed to make "perfect sense" to someone!

And now, many years (and quite a few more inches in height) later, I find that I really don't want to make perfect sense at all. In fact, I want to invite dialogue, which means we all get to learn from each other while asking questions that may challenge that "perfect sense" sense. When all the players in a dialogue feel refreshed and enlivened, that's my definition of a good day's work.

Are you looking for someone to share ideas, brainstorms, dreams, goals with? Are you looking to get some traction toward action? Contact me and let's put our heads together.

You never know when we might discover and create our own "perfect sense."

What Does It Take to Start a Movement?


I saw this video (below) on TED, thanks to Debby McKinney on Facebook, and it's really gotten me thinking.

We are so high on leadership these days - and we really need to be. After all, it's enlightened leadership that leads to enlightened results in all areas: business, education, government, churches/spiritual centers.

But what if leaders didn't have followers? Would they still be leaders? Part of me says yes, of course; leadership is a way of being. But maybe it's not the initial leader, but that first follower who has the most impact.

It takes courage - guts, really - to be the first one, the trailblazer. But really, if you're just BEING a leader, does it matter if anyone follows? Perhaps the real courage comes from being that first person to make a decision to follow someone else.

So, when does a pair become a movement? And when does a movement become a mindless mob? One of my mentors says that if you see a crowd of people going in one direction, turn and go the opposite way. If you're following the crowd, you may not be thinking for yourself.

So, what becomes of the collective consciousness that acts in positive, enlightened ways? Is that a possibility? That all who are following are not simply mindless, but have made an informed decision and are following by leading the next person? I believe so. That's what we can learn from this short video from TED.

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So have the guts to follow someone you believe in. Or be the lone nut. Either way, you have the potential to change the world!

Awareness: The Pause That Refreshes


I'm thinking this morning about why it seems the people who are already the most aware are the ones who keep learning and growing and those who seem to "need it" the most are those who remain in the dark.I hear stories all the time about other people who appear to be really lacking in areas like communication skills, compassion, empathy, respect, understanding. Rarely do we have conversations which involve ourselves and the lessons we can take from those others who seem to monopolize many of our waking hours (and sometimes even our restless sleeping hours).In Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote about those others in the section about "First Who, Then What" when he said that leaders in organizations spend most of their time dealing with people who maybe shouldn't even be on the bus, instead of concentrating on first getting the people off the bus who shouldn't be there, then getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats. Only then should the bus driver decide where to go (not sure I agree with the order of that comment, but that's neither here nor there).He said that often leaders are spending way more time on the people who probably shouldn't even be on the bus in the first place, thereby neglecting those champions who aren't really getting much positive attention.Here's another way to explain that. The percentages may be different for different organizations, but let's assume there is 10% of an organization's employees who are wildly loyal and would do anything for the organization, 10% of an organization's employees who can never be pleased no matter what, and 80% of the employees who lie somewhere in the middle and can be swayed either way.What happens most of the time is that the attention of the managers and supervisors goes to the bottom 10%, or those people who will never come around anyway. So where the attention goes, there goes the 80%. Instead, wouldn't it make more sense to spend more time rewarding and appreciating the behavior we want to attract the 80% in that direction?This probably comes from our conditioning as little kids. We hear "NO" far more often than we hear "YES" growing up, so it would stand to reason that we spend more time trying to get others to agree with us than we do with those who already do.Sometimes just coming to a new awareness is what it takes to get us to see things differently. And it seems those new "aha"s are most sustainable when we come to them on our own, instead of when we are pushed or coerced or forced to take them from others, especially others in authority.So today, just notice something that frustrates or upsets you and pause. Take a deep breath and try to understand why you are upset. What is the message for you in that upset? If that something is actually someone, is there a chance for a different conversation? Might you ask a question instead of give a command? Maybe there's a way to use the three magic words in a conversation: "Help me understand."Of course, the key is that you recognize the upset. We really do train people how to treat us by the way we show up. If people are giving you clues through their body language, that's probably the best information you can get, since 55% of communication is visual.The only person you can change is you. But first you have to be aware.______________________________________Would you like some help recognizing what's working and what's not working in your organization as far as interpersonal relationships and communication goes? Check out our website at for contact information. We'd love to be your partner in effectiveness![...]

Chain Reaction ... or Change Reaction?


I had forgotten for a while how much I love blogging, but was reminded of it this morning.

I just re-read a comment to my post here last week from a new blogging buddy, Lou Ann Bennett.

She said in reading my post I had inspired a "change reaction" in her.

I LOVE THAT! Not a chain reaction, which we tend to assume is a negative thing, but a "change reaction" which allowed something positive to happen. I suppose, in the terms we use here in the Fargo Master Mind community, that could be a response rather than a reaction, but maybe we can use it "change reaction" instead of "transformative response" (which sounds kind of stuffy!).

Thanks for that creative insight, Lou Ann. I'm going to use that in my thinking and speaking about change and transformation.

See, isn't blogging wonderful??

The Whack-A-Mole Philosophy


(image) You're familiar with the Whack-A-Mole game, right? This is where you get the hammer out and as a mole pops up, you whack it down, only to find another one popping up from another hole. The idea is to stay ahead of the moles with your trusty hammer.

This is such a great analogy for the way I've been running my business. Well, maybe it's not the most effective analogy, but it is pretty familiar. And since this is my blog and I get to write whatever I want to, I am going to come clean. I'm tired of whacking moles.

I have a master's degree in business management, but I earned that degree while still holding a W-2. It was great and valuable information, but at the time, it was theory. It wouldn't be another three years before I actually left the security of a full-time job that I would have been able to use that valuable information and, pure and simple: I didn't think about all that when I left.

I would never suggest that anyone do what I did when leaving a corporate job. In fact, I'm not even suggesting that anyone do what I did. Corporate jobs are fantastic - and we need fantastic people working there (this is why I created the company I created: to help superstars stay in organizations).

What I know now, five years after creating Bock's Office Transformational Consulting, is that there is no such thing as a solo venture. Or at least not a solo venture that is wildly successful. Even if an organization remains a sole proprietorship in design, there are still many, many people helping, supporting, and applauding.

But what I've noticed for myself is that I've been doing things that are essentially ineffective for the health, vitality and growth of my business. I've been whacking moles.

How has that been working? Why would I think that moles need to be whacked anyway? Maybe the moles need some TLC. Maybe they want to be invited into some dialogue. Maybe they are really just trying to help. Maybe they are reminding me that they need some attention.

So I've taken the first step to getting out of this mole-whacking mentality: I've contacted a virtual assistant who I anticipate will be able to help me organize the moles.

This is a big step. Insight without action makes no difference and, in my experience, lots of insight without lots of action makes for many more moles.

So I'll keep you posted. Stay tuned to hear about the mole updates and also my experience with Sheryl, the VA.

I plan to have lots to share!

You're not Listening!


(image) Or, better yet, "You're not hearing me!" I've wanted to shout that at so many "thems" in my past who just weren't getting it.

I've been forced more than once to take my own idea or opinion from someone else who I thought I had communicated with in asking for feedback about said idea or opinion.

"That was my idea," I found myself muttering to anyone who would listen, and usually finding that no one was listening.

That's the point.

All the time I've been accusing "them" of not listening and really not hearing (there is a difference), it turns out I've not been communicating.

I'm realizing now that as a trained communicator (at least that's what the graduation program said under "major") I know a whole lot of "how" but apparently didn't really get the whole "why" thing as it related to communication.

Instead of deciding my intention for talking about anything, somewhere along the line it became much easier to be a victim of what "they" just didn't get. Never mind that without a clear objective on my part as the "communicator," it would have been darn near impossible for them to interpret my "communication" goal.

Of course, this all made perfect sense in my head, where most of the conversations with "them" took place. The problem was "they" were very seldom - if ever - present for those conversations.

Instead of blaming "them" for not getting it or not seeing my brilliant ideas as catalysts for shared action planning, how could the results have been any different than they were?

Really, by taking on the "you're not listening" stance, I had every opportunity to be right about that because I really wasn't communicating in a way that could ever be heard or gotten by said "them" (which mysteriously changes in every circumstance).

So my recent aha within the context of communication is clarity in intention, meaning, before I say anything, I will formulate my own desired outcome and do more asking and inviting than just random idea generation. What is my WHY related to brainstorming? That will be up to me before I throw out the ideas.

Am I really committed to action or do I just want to kick around ideas and hope someone does something?

The formula put together by the universe is perfect. My life is perfectly drawn up to give me the results I've been getting. It's a law. So the only way to change the results is to change the input.

So don't be surprised if I ask you your intended results or outcome when we get together for coffee. Or if I tell you my WHY when I schedule a meeting.

It may take some practice to get different results, but I'm committed to taking that on.

You're not listening ... or I'm not communicating? I know which half of that equation I'm responsible for, and I can do better.

Thanks for listening.

Answers ... or Solutions?


Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of working with a fantastic group of supervisors at a not-for-profit organization and one of the topics of our conversation was problem solving.My theory, thanks to ideas from Peter Block in his book Community: The Structure of Belonging, is that as we as leaders focus mostly on problem-solving, we end up with our heads down, looking at that one specific problem until we solve it. Nothing wrong with that. Until we solve that problem. Then what? We've become conditioned to be problem-solvers, and without problems, who are we? When we are looking only for problems to solve, we will become great reactors, waiting for problems to happen so we can solve them.The other side of that coin is to become possibility seekers, so that we don't have to be reacting to things that have already happened. As possibility seekers we create opportunities to live into instead of standards to live up to, which, when we fail, require our problem-solving abilities.So we were talking yesterday about the distinction between answers and solutions. Perhaps our training and traditional education has prepared us very well to be problem-solvers because it is assumed, in most cases, that there is that one right answer. Our report cards, and later our performance reviews, will reflect our ability to find that right answer and recite it in the proper context.A more creative approach to altering circumstances where we see room for improvement, whether within ourselves or with our teams, might be developing solutions or seeking possibilities. Where the previous approach would imply that there is one right answer, a solution or possibility approach implies that there may be several options, each of which may provide varying degrees of workability.A solutions or possibility approach does require that one knows the desired outcome, so we will know whether or not we've improved the situation. And that may be the most difficult part. We have been so conditioned to look outside ourselves for "the answer" that we can't even fathom that we could possess a solution by really thinking through the possibilities for ourselves.If you're looking for solutions to situations rather than answers to problems, you will probably find that an objective outside view can be very helpful. I find that's the case when I work with individuals and teams. Almost all the time a fresh outside perspective can provide solutions much, much more quickly than trying to slog through the situation with all of our conditioning intact.It's true for each of us, really. I find that most people really are doing the best they can with what they have. Me included. But Einstein really was right: we can't solve the current problems with the same thinking that got us here. In fact, I might suggest that we really can't solve the problems at all unless we shift into possibility-seeking mode and change the way we've been thinking about them.Ready to shift into new possibilities? Ready to create new solutions instead of seek for practical answers? When would NOW be the right time to do that? Giddy-up!_________________________________For more information about shifting your thinking into higher awareness and creating solution-focused outcomes, contact Jodee ( at Bock's Office for a complimentary brainstorming session.[...]

A 180-Degree Shift


Most people's true aspirations are to BE something. When we're kids that means BE a fireman, or BE a rock star or BE an astronaut. We don't realize as kids, many times, that we already are BEING what we end up pursuing later: happy.

As we get older, instead of asking what we BE, we start identifying with what we DO, and begin to be judged, categorized, and standardized by the labeling process called "what we DO."

We start understanding that the way to judge success - ours and others - is to decide first that we must HAVE enough of something (usually this is time or money) so that we can DO what we want so then we can finally BE happy.

If only I had learned the reverse sooner: I can choose right now to BE happy, which will transfer into anything I DO which will reveal to me that I HAVE everything I could need or want.

So the traditional model is a continuum that requires the first to obtain or attain the second and third:

HAVE ---> DO ---> BE

and the reverse is:

BE ---> DO ---> HAVE

What will you BE today? What do you already HAVE?

Refuting Your Disrepute


Have you ever had someone say to you (or maybe about you, to someone else) something like, "you're so perfect," or "you think you're such a big shot," or "you're not the boss of me" or something along those lines?

I'm sure we've all heard things like that somewhere in our past. Dick Richards, author of Is Your Genius At Work? notes that often our strengths can be seen as weaknesses by others "for whom those traits become inconvenient or annoying." Dick calls the behavior and attitudes that produce those negative labels your "disrepute."

In his book he says, "When we become annoying and inconvenient to others, their first tendency usually is to assign a negative label to us" (p. 60).

Those negative labels given to us by others can often be powerful clues to our genius, that intrinsic power that fuels our souls.

This idea reminds me of what Marianne Williamson speaks about in her most famous quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Other people may feel insecure around your genius, especially if that genius shines light on them and what they're not living into for themselves. But that's no reason to hide it.

This is just one of the activities - and insights - available at the Fourth Annual Genius Workshop with Dick Richards, Wednesday, June 23 in Fargo.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of interviewing Dick on Life Talk Radio with Renee Rongen. This is a great opportunity to experience a little taste of the Genius Workshop.

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Register today at to reserve your spot and Discover Your Genius!

In Response to Fear ... Is It Really Fear?


Thank you, readers, for some really thoughtful responses to my post about the dreaded F word. They have caused me to really think about where fear actually resides and have inspired a whole new post.Fear exists because of our thinking, and our thinking resides in the past. However, that thinking that keeps us in fear is rooted in reacting, not in responding. Responding is being in the moment and using our feelings as a guide instead of what we've been taught is the "right" thing to do in similar circumstances.One of my favorite quotes is by Emerson (actually, many of my favorite quotes are by Emerson): "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." His point is that we should say what we feel today even though it may contradict what we said yesterday. If we don't abort our old actions when we get new information, we will be doomed to live in an endless loop of past thought, which is reacting to everyone and everything else instead of being - really BEING - in the present.Fear can only reside in the past and based upon past experiences unless it is authentic fear, which has to do with physical survival.So trust your instincts and your intuition as your guide, even though that may be unfamiliar at first. When has your gut ever steered you wrong in making decisions?Yet many of us are conditioned - over time - to memorize the "correct" answers (whatever those are) to pre-existing situations so that we will be accepted, rewarded, encouraged, and, basically liked. The challenge is never in feeling what we really feel, it's in not rocking the collective boat - that boat we've all subconsciously agreed to hold sacred so no responding has to be involved.And the only way to do that is to suppress those feelings and think our way out of - and thus back in to - submission.The true way out is to be in the moment and really get in touch with exactly how we are feeling in any given situation. Your body is a powerful guide and is sending you powerful messages all the time. It will take courage, which is often unfamiliar, to really be present and to ask for what you want. And it takes one person with courage to begin to transform the world.Once one person stands for what s/he really wants and asks for that with confidence and courage instead of backing down, a new precedent will be set.Be aware - it's that first step that's always the doozie because it challenges the perceived status quo. So even the opinions I hold about myself are not necessarily true, especially if they are formed from the past. I don't even need to take what I hear in my own mind personally if it occurs from the past and in a space of fear.The uncomfortable feelings that will undoubtedly be stirred up from this new space are not necessarily "bad" - they will produce a response if they are really considered from a new level of awareness. When I played basketball in college, that feeling I got in my stomach and my chest from my pounding heart right before the opening tip was, in some cases, a bit unfamiliar but caused me to be much more present in that moment and aware of my actions so I could be present in the game instead of sulking or brooding over a past game or even a past mistake.To recap: where does fear reside? In the past, in reaction mode. If I really stop and think - in the moment, that would be responding, and therefore could not be fear.So how much of what happens in the world is true action? If I'm not taking action from my own unique perspective, I will be forever destined to wait for someone else to act first, which means I am not thinking and am therefore not in true action. Courage appears to be the missing ingredient. When courage meets confidence - not arrogance, but confidence - the result has to be a new outcome.Wh[...]

Get To ... Have To ... or Want To?


So, what's the difference between things you get to do, have to do, and want to do? Certainly there are commonalities between those tasks. But isn't it true that mindset has a lot to do with why tasks fall into one of those categories?I've heard it said that you only HAVE to do something until you WANT to and then you never HAVE to again. I suppose at that point you GET to do it.Semantics? Maybe. But let's look deeper.Why is it that there are some things I love to do but others hate them? And some things, like anything that involves details and numbers, that make my heart race (and not with excitement) but light someone else up (in a good way)? Could it have anything to do with the core of who I am?I'm confident that that's the case. In fact, Bock's Office will be hosting Dick Richards in Fargo June 23-24 to help people discover what Dick calls our GENIUS - that part of us that has been with us from the beginning.REGISTER TODAY!The Genius Workshop will be a day for people to uncover that genius and give it a name. Dick says that everyone has a genius that is inevitably linked to all our activities - in life and in work. Our genius can be thought of in a practical way, as the power that comes most naturally to each of us, and as the businesses we are in as people.Your genius can also be thought of in a spiritual way, as the essence of your soul, and as an answer to why you exist among the human community. Your genius is the essence of how you can best express yourself. It is your natural power, given to you in order that you might fulfill your life’s purpose.Participants in Day One - Wednesday, June 23 - learn about the concept of genius and begin the work of discovering their own genius through exercises drawn from Dick's book Is Your Genius At Work, facilitated by Dick himself, and dialogue with one another in pairs and trios.In follow-up interviews, conducted at least five years after participants had attended a workshop in which discovering genius was a major component, they reported that knowing their genius provided them with:a stronger sense of identity,clearer direction,increased confidence,language to communicate the value they add to work and life situations,higher work satisfaction and productivity,greater personal harmony.On Day Two - Thursday, June 24 - participants who have already participated in the Genius Workshop, either on Wednesday or in previous years, will get an opportunity to explore the concept of Life Purpose.Those who study life purpose agree that your purpose cannot be invented but can be discovered, detected, or revealed, that your purpose is directed outward, that knowing your purpose allows you to be more intentional and effective in fulfilling it, and that purpose gives focus to a life. Participants in this day will come to see that knowledge of life purpose will arrive only after the demands of ego have been transcended enough to allow that knowledge to enter awareness, and through a process that is experiential and spiritual rather than intellectual.Armed with that understanding, participants in this day will explore the ways in which purpose might reveal itself, how it may be revealing itself in their present lives, and how it might reveal itself in the future. As in Day 1, they will do this work through exercises drawn from the book, facilitation by Dick Richards, and dialogue with one another in pairs and trios. Are you ready to achieve that personal harmony and clearer sense of direction for yourself and your life? Register today for the GENIUS AND PURPOSE Workshops. Cost for the Genius Workshop is $150; the Purpose Workshop is $100. Register for both days and save $25![...]

Get the F out of here!


I've just got to sound off today about something that's been bugging me for a long time now. I'm learning that the best way to deal with things that frustrate or upset me is to just get them out in the open. I'm a verbal processor, so that means I have to either write or speak about those topics so I can move beyond them.So today's rant is about that terrible four-letter F word that just sneaks into every part of many of our lives. It's not a new word or a new concept, but it's something we just don't deal with, so it keeps affecting us without us even realizing it.Yes, I'm talking about F-E-A-R.The really interesting thing about fear is that a great majority of the time the things we fear never really happen. In fact, I've heard FEAR has used as an acronym: False Evidence Appearing Real. The only authentic fear is fear caused by a situation which threatens our physical survival. In that case, we have a built-in "fight or flight" mechanism which triggers adrenaline and causes us to get to safety.But anything other than that stimulus is actually inauthentic fear.The most curious inauthentic fear I know is not the fear of failure. That's probably the most vocalized inauthentic fear - and probably the safest one to admit. Fear of failure keeps you from taking any action, and allows you to stay in the comfort zone where you can maintain some level of control over the outcome. It may not produce a desired result, but it produces a familiar one.If you take no action, you won't fail, but you can't possibly achieve anything other than what you currently have.No, the most curious fear I've identified is the fear of success. What if we really do achieve those goals we've dreamed about? Then what? What action will that force me to take? How much further out of my comfort zone will I have to be pushed then? The stories we make up in our heads are so often much worse than reality ever will be. That's the sneaky part about inauthentic fear.What's a solution? Take a step - a BABY step - in the direction of your dream or goal. Even a baby step out of your comfort zone will provide a new perspective. Identifying the fears in our lives would be a super first step. Where are you complaining about something over which you have no control? That might provide another clue.The conditions will never be perfect for taking action as long as you are stuck in alibi mode. That's where "Old Man If" has you bound. The entire epilogue of Think and Grow Rich is called "Outwitting the Six Ghosts of Fear" and one section identifies 57 alibis that may be preventing us from achieving our goals. Here's the greatest one of all, according to Napoleon Hill:If I had the courage to see myself as I really am, I would find out what is wrong with me and correct it, then I might have a chance to profit by my mistakes and learn something from the experience of others for I know that there is something WRONG with me or I would now be where I WOULD HAVE BEEN IF I had spent more time analyzing my weaknesses and less time building alibis to cover them.Where are you holding yourself hostage to a ghost of fear? How committed are you to changing that? Start today! Get the F out of there![...]

Inspiration ... or Desperation?


Why do people choose to change? Or, on the other hand, choose not to?I learned, in a class not too long ago, that "why" comes in two flavors: inspiration and desperation. And, despite me wishing that all people changed their minds, their attitudes, their business practices, etc. in response to inspiration (toward pleasure), I'm reminded every day how it's really more likely that if anyone changes anything, it's out of desperation (away from pain).One of the differentiators may be how the stimulus is interpreted (that which causes either pleasure or pain). Is it out of a response or a reaction? To do either involves choice. Reacting means we have given that choice to someone or something outside of ourselves. We find ourselves in reaction mode when we do not have time to create the future because we are so busy handling the present. Heck, in reaction mode, the future can only look a lot like the present because it doesn't require any original thought on our part.When we respond, we take back control. We anticipate things to come and think about them before saying or doing anything. We get to decide how, and really if, we allow outside forces to affect us, both externally and internally. When we respond instead of react, we actually feel more at ease (or less in dis-ease) and actually have many more opportunities to move toward pleasure instead of away from pain.Despite the fact that nearly all of us are able to respond to things instead of react to them (that's why it's assumed that when we get to a certain age, we are response-able), it appears that not all of us are willing to do so.One way to determine whether you are spending more time reacting or responding is to check your results. What's happening in your life? Are you happy, fulfilled, energized, surrounded by great people, feeling pretty fortunate? Or more the opposite - like a victim of your surroundings and upbringing? In other words, when you do make a move in your life, is it away from things or toward them? Think about jobs you've had.I know for me it took 4 different career moves for me to realize that in each case I was moving away from pain (in desperation) and the cause of that desperation kept following me to the next move. At some point it finally occurred to me that the only thing each of those jobs had in common was me and unless I changed something other than my external circumstance, I was going to keep getting the same result.Becoming an entrepreneur, albeit an accidental one at first, was the first time I really moved toward something instead of away from it. And that first step in 2003 was taken on really shaky, unsteady and unsure legs. In June of 2005 when I launched Bock's Office, I think I was finally beginning to understand that it is possible - and I was willing - to respond and create something instead of react and wait for something to be created for me.Where are you in your reaction/response journey? Do you identify more with pleasure or pain? The first step is to become aware of the distinction.If you're ready to take your future into your own hands, consider joining a Think and Grow Rich study group. We'll be launching several in-person, semi-virtual and virtual groups over the summer to help you determine that for yourself by studying the principles of this classic book, and their application to your own life.No matter which camp you find yourself in - inspiration or desperation - if you're feeling any restlessness or discontent, this may be the time to act.A year from now you will wish you had started today! Our next in-person group starts Thursday, May 13 in Fargo. If an 8-week study won't fit into your plans, mark your calendar [...]

More Kudos For this Blog!


(image) We've just been notified that this blog has been named one of the Top 100 Blogs to Help You Find Happiness by the Nurse Practitioner Schools website (we're Number 39 in the category of Self-Improvement)!

Here's what this website says about this list of blogs:

Happiness can be an elusive thing, especially when you're trying to balance nursing school with work, family and having a personal life. Yet, however hard it may be to attain, happiness is always in the end worth the effort. Not sure where or how to begin your journey to a happier life? That's where these blogs can come in handy, offering a wide range of tips, ideas and inspiration to help you change your life for the better.This is another fantastic resource for anyone who wants to improve him/herself by self study. The categories they list are: Happiness, Simplicity, Productivity, Self-Improvement, Attitude, Balance, Relationships, Health, Life Coaches, Motivation & Inspiration, and Career & Money.

Check it out here.

Thanks, readers!!

Status Quo - Fact or Fiction?


Is there really such a thing as "staying the same?" After all, isn't that really what status quo implies? If you're at all familiar with nature, you realize that no two days are exactly alike. And since, as Wallace D. Wattles reminds us, "there is a thinking stuff from which all things are made and which, in it original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe," we are all connected with all that is anyway.So if there is no static status quo, it would stand to reason that there are only two ways the thinking stuff of the universe can take us: toward creation or toward disintegration.So, if we are always either creating or destroying, and we are aware of this, why wouldn't we intend creation?If we're doing nothing, we are disintegrating. Dis: "do the opposite of" and Integrate: "to unite or combine." So disintegrate really means to break apart; to lose integrity. Gravity works against us if we are doing nothing. But science also tells us that bodies in motion have an effect on other bodies in motion. As long as we are in motion, we will be in creation mode.Now all movement is not growth. Since we're learning there is no such thing as status quo, if we do nothing, we are still moving; just at a much slower pace. And the direction is due to gravity, which is down, toward density. All objects are in motion, but the slower the motion, the denser the object.Wouldn't it stand to reason that the same would be true for our physical energy? The faster we move physically, the lighter we become. What about our thinking? The more energized and enlivening our thoughts, the lighter (more light-filled) we become. We use the term "dark" to imply when things are off (after all, have you ever heard of a "dark switch?" When you want to fill a room with light, you turn on the "light switch."). And the term "light" has several connotations which imply things like bright and not heavy.Given a choice (which we ALWAYS have), why not choose light and creation?Now apply this to your home, work, or school life. If we are "staying the same," we are actually disintegrating - breaking apart, losing integrity. We tell ourselves we want to maintain the "status quo," but the world around us is changing, growing, moving, learning, creating. If we say we want to take a year off, just chill and maintain, at the end of that year we will actually be 365 days behind because we were not intentionally creating.Our minds cannot maintain positive and negative thoughts at the same time; one has to take precedence. And if we're not putting in the positive consciously, the space will fill with the negative or denser energy.So, one way to maintain the energy and the motion is to get around other objects that are in motion. After all, objects in motion will remain in motion when they are influenced by other objects in motion.Like-minded and like-hearted people are the same way. They are intentionally creating their outcomes and their futures. And they will remain in creation mode when they are around others who are also in creation mode.That's the true definition of master mind groups.The next one starts Thursday, May 13 in Fargo. And if that's not convenient for you, let's start another one. Virtual groups can form anywhere in the world. Let me know ( if you'd like to be part of these groups.Creation or disintegration? It's up to you.[...]

With Good Company!


I got notification today that this blog has been featured as one of the 70 Essential Personal Development Blogs for College Students by!

According to the editor of the website, they feel these blogs will offer students a great place to begin exploring the world of personal development as students, and will also guide their decisions and give them a leg up on emerging from school well-rounded and in control of their lives.

This website breaks the 70 blogs down into topics including The Basics with bloggers like Steve Pavlina, Experts with Tim Ferriss and yours truly (!) among others, Organization with Monica Ricci (among others), Productivity featuring Did I Get Things Done and Thinking Faster, Work and Career with Pamela Slim (Escape From Cubical Nation) and my buddy Alex Kjerulf (Chief Happiness Officer), Personal Growth with The Positivity Blog and Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life, and Finances featuring I Will Teach You To Be Rich and A Penny Saved.

Do a student in your life (and yourself!) a big favor and visit this site for amazing resources in all areas of life.

What a great graduation gift!

Want to win the lottery?


(image) Why? Is it to have a lot of money or to hold the big check and be on TV? If you know your why and are really clear about it, the actions you will be compelled to take will get you to that goal.

But sometimes we just aren't sure what we want, so we aren't clear about the actions to take.

What are you doing to get what you want? How's it working? Maybe, just maybe, you'll have to take different action.

Take stock today and see if what you're currently doing is working to get what you say you want.

Here's a hint: there are many more certain ways to get a lot of money than hoping and wishing to win the lottery! Get busy with action that moves you toward your dream!

You Really Do Know This ... GET HAPPY!


LOVE this video my friend Sally sent to me just now. How very simple ... just GET HAPPY! In fact, in the video she even says, and I quote: "You already know this stuff." See? You really do!

Warning to those with sensitive ears ... there is an S word (I think it's the BS word) in this video!


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My Thursday AHA


I'm working with a client for an hour a week every other week to help their employees with accountability. This is not a mandatory gig, so only those employees who want to participate are involved.

So I said something the first week (about 6 weeks ago) that didn't sit right with a few of them. Apparently, as I was telling them about some things that other clients are doing to achieve their goals, I mentioned an acronym that some of them are fond of saying: "TSRW" or "This S*@t Really Works!"

I had no idea that was offensive, and certainly not as offensive as it apparently was. I heard from others that some were offended, but never from anyone directly (I live on the border of Minnesota, so maybe it has something to do with that whole "Minnesota Nice" syndrome - see more about that here).

Anyway, as I opened up A Course In Miracles yesterday (I've been a student of the Course for about 6 years now), here is what caught my eye rather "randomly":

“Whenever you are tempted to undertake a useless journey that would lead away from light, remember what you really want, and say:

The Holy Spirit leads me unto Christ, and where else

Would I go? What need have I but to awake in Him?

Then follow Him in joy, with faith that He will lead you safely through all dangers to your peace of mind this world may set before you.”

Now I'm really sensitive to anything that can be considered "religious" because I was raised in a fundamental Christian household and the restrictions were suffocating to me, so if I offended anyone with the abovementioned, I apologize.

But this was huge for me. Just another sign that if I just get my ego out of the way (keep my ego, but don't BE my ego), things will work out.

And yesterday when I was back with that client, one of the people who I'd only heard about (one who apparently was offended), actually came up to me and told me she was offended the first week, but interested yesterday. She asked me more about my beliefs and really listened. I was so grateful that she came back and that she told me her reservations about what we were working on in the session.

And we engaged in real dialogue, where we both learned from each other.

TSR does W!

Speeding Through Life in Default Mode


(image) OK, so this morning, with nowhere I needed to get to in a hurry, I got a speeding ticket. It didn't even occur to me as the police car pulled around to follow me that he was coming after me.

I was on Main Avenue in my town of Fargo, and when he stopped me, he asked if I knew the speed limit. I said, "40." He said, "30. You were going 41." He proceeded to tell me that the speed limit does indeed change to 40 but not for a few blocks. As I looked up above his head, there it was: the speed limit sign clearly marked at 30.

So, as he handed me the ticket for $11, it occurred to me that this is a great lesson for all aspects of my life. Especially when I pulled away and consciously had my speedometer at 30 for the 6 blocks I had to go before it switched. Wow, did that seem slow! If my default speed in town is set at 40, how much am I missing because that default is speeding?

Best $11 I'll spend today, for sure! How about you? What might you notice if you slow down your default?

Thoughts on Olympic Bosses?


(image) My namesake Wally Bock over at Three Star Leadership (actually, we're not related, but I would love to think we are!) offers a great take on why being a boss is not an Olympic sport. Love his perspective!

Here's his take from his current blog post:

Summer games or winter games, it doesn't matter. When it's time for the Olympics, it's also time for a spate of articles about how much we can learn from the incredible athletes who compete in the games.

But if you're a boss beware. There are four reasons why being a boss is not an Olympic event.

Winning isn't everything, or even the only thing. You have to accomplish the mission. But you also have to care for your people. That means keeping them safe and helping them grow.

You don't get to practice more than you play. In fact, with the exception of the occasional class on a specific topic, you don't get to practice at all. Being a boss is a performance art where learning and doing intertwine.

You don't belong to just one team. In business, you belong to several teams at once. And, just to make it more fun, you may compete with another team on one activity at the same time you're also cooperating with them.

There's no closing ceremony. Every triumph is the gateway to a new challenge. Every time you come up short you must learn from it. Every time your team changes, you have to adjust.

Boss's Bottom Line

Being a boss may not be an Olympic event. You may never a get a gold medal or even a gold watch. But if it's right for you, being a boss is one of the most rewarding pursuits in the world.


Speakers are a Dime A Dozen ...


... or are they?

It seems money is a big motivator these days when it comes to either hiring or not hiring a speaker, coach, consultant or trainer to take business results to the next level.

When the economy takes a dip, it's commonly believed that supporting human resources is the first cut made.

Is that true?

When could there possibly be a better time to invest in the most precious resources we have than when nothing else is certain?

As a speaker/author/trainer/consultant, I'm finding that individuals understand the value of personal development especially at this uncertain economic time. After all, if they don't believe in themselves now, it will be pretty difficult to convince an employer to believe in them - and continue to compensate them, or even employ them.

Right now individual and group coaching seems to be the safest investment individuals and organizations have, since the return can really be pretty quick.

Are you ready to take your results to the next level of success? Are you looking for a sure return on your money? Now is the perfect time to invest in you.