Category Archives: Subjective Thinking


I’m coordinating a class. It’s about things I know well enough to teach even though I’m not qualified by profession in this area.
I’m doing it for free because I know it has impact on people’s lives if they let it. I do like watching it “click” in other people.
But I didn’t want to go this time around.
The class day came and I found myself thinking more negatively about it than I wanted.
I just didn’t feel like going.
But I have to show up. I signed up for this and it’s a responsibility.
So I go.
Funny thing, I find that often the best returns happen in those moments
you don’t expect them to.
My feelings are the easiest thing to change because they are the one thing that
I am totally in control of and have the ability to do something about.
I showed up. Mostly that’s all it takes.
Bring your best? Yes. Prepare? You’d better.
But when I mentally don’t feel like it, the good takeaway afterwards
can be a reward in itself.
The situation changed because my feelings about it changed first.
I need to apply that to eating and exercise.
I just don’t feel like it.


I used the term perverse recently. I said it without really thinking. I felt like I had to check myself. So I looked it up and was a little surprised by what I read.
When I had to define it, I found that I was using the term incorrectly. For the word perverse, I would first think of pervert or some sexual deviant. Taking that word to describe the human mind, I would have thought that it’s being tweaked still in some way of thinking sexually about things. Like the guy who always used to say “that’s what she said” and think he was funny. I knew that the more general term was to describe something as off or wrong in some way but I thought of it as more sinister.
The word ” perverse” means: 1. Directed away from what is right or good; perverted. 2. Obstinately persisting in an error or fault; wrongly self-willed or stubborn. 3. Marked by a disposition to oppose and contradict. 4. Cranky; peevish.
When I looked at it more closely, #1 was the only one that holds a definition I recognized as right. Number 2 –  Obstinately persisting in an error and wrongly self-willed, goes beyond what I would have thought for this definition.  Not just that you’re wrong in your thinking, but that you stubbornly persist by nature or habit. That’s perverse. Cranky and peevish are like the candy coating of this definition. Another source calls it easily irritated or annoyed.  So I could use cranky, irritated  and perverse interchangeably? Perverse has more sting than irritated or annoyed.
How often in our day do we go on by force of habit and don’t really think about what we are doing or saying just like I did in the use of this term I didn’t fully understand? In my case it’s way more than I think and I like the idea of trying to think more closely about what, and maybe even more importantly why I do and say what I do and say.
Hang out with kids a little bit and you’ll hit some challenges that force you to answer their questions in a way they can understand. They force you to be real. They’ll say “I don’t get it” and look for another explanation where adults won’t say anything and just call you an idiot who makes no sense. Kids habits aren’t fully formed yet so they’re honest with themselves more often and comfortable with trying to understand things. Maybe that’s where their easy smiles come from.
With the ways we are communicating now being slashed for convenience, I think it’s easy to assume that more and more people don’t know what they think they know. Words we use regularly might not be the ones to best convey what we are really thinking.
Rather than dig in and learn we just obstinately persist in error and wonder why people don’t get us.
It’s healthy to be wrong.
It’s where learning has a chance to get in.
Words do have a defined meaning. To use a word properly means conveying that meaning by the use of that word.
That is right. No subjectivity. It’s right.
To use it in a way that is not in keeping with it’s definition means that you will be conveying a different meaning. You can persist in defending what you mean but you’re wrong.
I was wrongly self-willed by definition.
It’s especially on display when we’re emotional or in an argument.
What do you mean by what you are saying?
Are you thinking about it? Are you sure?
I wasn’t and I thought I was.


My Grandparents era was a cool one for language.
They’d use the term Fella – don’t you just love that?
There are a whole bunch of good old terms that I’d like to hear more. When I use some of them publicly, I’m a total goof to people. I’ll use the term bloke in emails or texts. I’m sure that gets an odd response. Dude has gone mainstream. That used to be just a west coast thing. Or a cowboy thing I suppose. Fella is just so good. Jim Gaffigan does a great job of using it. I hear it in basketball broadcasts. “Take it strong to the hoop Big Fella!”
I’d love to see us take some of these terms back and maybe a little of the common sense of the era with it.
It seemed like a softer time but a look at the World Wars would indicate that we weren’t more soft then. But more civil? Sure. In a general sense. People were tougher than ever in that era. Not nearly as many had the creature comforts of today, at least as we know them now. We are more sophisticated in our technologies and methods today but less so in our relationships to people. We definitely lost something from that era – more than just the words. I use words intentionally every day, often to stir up the norm. From this shaken up interaction with people I am able to incorporate some new and unexpected trains of thought into my day.  This can change things for the long term.
Being able to express yourself properly helps you to become understood which brings more contentment. More contentment brings more civility. Contentment doesn’t replace drive. I’m not meaning complacency, but rather what goes on inside your head/heart – your peace. Contentment can replace anger as often as it appears in today’s world. I think most of anger stems from some piece of ignorance, read that as not understanding.
I wonder if we could be more productive if we were to get rid of some of the things we waste time on that aren’t moving us in the direction we want to go. Giving your time to being upset lends itself to becoming more upset. You wallow and engage in more of that victim mentality. All the while not doing anything to further your pursuits. Bad feelings feed on more of the same. Conversely good things do too. Break the funk and move on. When you are charged up by something going right and you’re feeling good, you seek more of that too.
This era has more to draw you into the negative with examples of poor behavior. Whether publicly or in the media. There is also more media available to find what you’re after than in other generations. They used to talk about pulling yourself up from your bootstraps. Putting your nose to the grindstone. What do we even have for sayings like that today? “Get over it” is even old now. I guess today it’s progressed to “whatever.”
As my mindset goes, I’d say be aware if you’re in a funk, and get out of it as fast as you can. Be real about what it is that’s got you. Be conscious about doing things that are productive and moving you in the right direction. It’s not as easy as being entertained but definitely better for you to feed on. Try pulling out an old time term and using it. Find one. C’mon, put a nickel in it. Shake it up around you even just a little. Bring back one term as a reminder to move forward by learning from the past. Just do something different. You gotta start somewhere. Find something by looking backwards for a minute. Then get back to moving down the right path as you go forward. Any lad or lass can do it.


Be likeable and easy to get along with.
Pretty much that’s it.

Ok, you have to be going for excellent in some way.
You have to be better than good at what you do.

But how to be likeable?

That’s the meat of the sandwich. (Unless you’re a vegan.)
I have seen many instances of people trying to climb the corporate ladder and stepping
on others to gain position or stature. It’s ugly. It’s nothing anyone wants to be around.
Even outside of work, you know when you’re being gamed. You know when someone
thinks something less than good about you, or is just trying to put you beneath them.
You can sense it when you walk away from an interaction with that person and you
feel odd about it. That can be clue #1. I find that my suspicions are most often right
when I get my spidey sense tingling in that way. It ’s a pattern that you’re finding,
not an instance. Not that I’ll know why, just that somethings up. In my past that has
triggered a response mechanism of trying too hard in either direction.
Either I’ll try to be nicer to that person to get approval, or I dismiss them and start
treating them with a certain level of contempt. Neither one gets me to place I want to be.

Mostly I realize what I’m doing because I don’t like how I’m living my life as a result.
It’s pervasive.
It eeps into most corners of my day, and really, I become kind of a jerk inside my own head.

The biggest thing I have realized was that all of that actually is up to me.
How I react becomes who I am to other people.

To deal with it I have had to be alone and do something that could get my head and heart to a good spot.
I would do something that I like doing. Something that is me.
Then, when I am in my right thinking mind from that, I bring up the thoughts to myself
that were dragging me down. Pretty quickly I put them into perspective and am able to,
as one of my good friends Rich Beck, Master guitar luthier said,
“blow it off like a bad smell.”

I think we all have jerks in side of us.
But we all have likability and all the good stuff too.

We don’t seem to realize the keys to success until we are looking back.
There are so many triggers of emotion that the fight or flight response kicks us
in a certain direction and we respond automatically without any real control or knowledge
of those emotions. To be overly general, Men think feelings are weak and women are more
engaged in emotions. Let’s just say we humans don’t give enough credit to what role
emotions actually play in our personalities and how we put ourselves out there
in the world.

My wrap on this is that if you are likable and easy to be around,
more things come your way professionally and personally.
You attract in others what you feed in to them.
So it’s your best targeted approach professionally and personally.

The bigger question is how do you want to live your life and what is success, really, to you?

Oh, and try not to smell bad either.