The story we tell (and sell) ourselves on and how it affects you

March 31, 2009          Comments (3)

Did you ever realize that you tell yourself a story about yourself? We all do.

In fact, the story you tell yourself about yourself is simply your ego. We all have an ego. Some way bigger than others but we all have one. Your ego is essentially the way you perceive yourself. Or the story you tell yourself about yourself.

We all have an ongoing story that we tell ourselves. And it becomes very easy to connect random occurrences into a story that makes sense to us.

In other words, we’ll rationalize everything. This is good and bad. It’s good because if we didn’t have the miraculous ability to rationalize everything that goes on around us and what we do, we wouldn’t be able to function in this insanely chaotic world.

But it’s bad because if something we do doesn’t fit into our story we tend to ignore it.

For example, the person who thinks they are extremely honest and full of integrity. When they do something that lacks integrity they will somehow completely ignore it and rationalize it.

They will chalk it up to “something” other than being dishonest. It just doesn’t fit in with the story they want to tell themselves about themselves so it gets omitted from their story.

What about the story you tell yourself about other people? You ever wonder how a person doesn’t ‘see’ what everyone else sees. Are they blind? Are they stupid?

You know. The boyfriend/girlfriend that is constantly cheating but their girlfriend/boyfriend is in complete denial and doesn’t (want to!) believe it.

The boyfriend/girlfriend who thinks their other half can do no wrong.

We’ve all seen it. And it’s amazing (yet sometimes sad) to see it from the outside in. But it usually takes being on the outside to see it! Because of the story we tell ourselves.

Being self-aware certainly helps. However, we’re all only self-aware to an extent because of this phenomenon.

We all think (and want to think!) we’re a certain way (based on our story) and we all think the people in our lives are a certain way (based on the story we tell ourselves about that person).

Now when you start to pay attention to your actions – as opposed to your story – it starts to get interesting.

Because your story is the person you really want to be. Your actions, of course, are you! You can’t define anyone but by their actions.

Your friend can be the greatest friend in the world. Your boyfriend/girlfriend can be the greatest person in the world too.

That’s all fine and dandy. But to me being is very subjective.

He/she might be great. But unless he/she does great I won’t know that. And your boyfriend/girlfriend might be full of integrity but do they actually act with integrity and honesty?

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Do we marry our parents? And how you might be able to find the right significant other

March 23, 2009          Comments (1)

One of the questions I’m fascinated with is why people date certain people. And I’m pretty convinced that women look to date men like their father and guys look to date women like their mother, whether they realize it or not.

Take for example, the typical ‘poodle’ as I call it. Her father buys, and has bought, her everything she could ever want. She has no sense of want or desire. Because everything she has ever wanted was given to her. She typically, will go for the very wealthy guy who can give her the kind of life her father did.

What about the girl that just can’t get enough of the bad boy? Sadly, the girl’s father probably didn’t pay much attention to her. She’s now attracted to guys that don’t give her the time of day; the guy that treats her like crap.

Don’t confuse this with the, ‘I want it because I can’t have it’ conundrum. That’s just basic human psychology.

And if underneath all of the cat and mouse – the person you’re chasing isn’t at all like your father/mother you might just be wasting your time!

Now, of course whom you ‘think’ you should date and ‘want to’ date is very different than what we do date. The old, “I wish I liked her/him more!” or, “He/she’s perfect on paper but…”

In one of my past relationships, after having a few drinks I remember saying to the girl, “You remind me of my mom.” She laughed and said, “You remind me so much of my father!” Well that relationship didn’t last and it turned out she wasn’t very much like my mother at all. And I’m sure I wasn’t as much like her father as she had hoped.

We all know what we know. Obviously!

“All people cheat!” the guy exclaims. No, actually all people don’t cheat. He cheats! Therefore, he thinks all people cheat. That’s known as projection.

But I think being aware of this concept can help your love life too. Since we all know what we know, and we’re used to what we know; maybe you should just try to find a guy or girl who is like your father/mother!

The challenge, though, is when you have a dysfunctional relationship with your mother/father. If you’re a girl and your father isn’t a part of your life and never showed you much attention – you’re probably going to be attracted to guys like that.

That’s when it gets tricky. Because you know you should date ‘the nice guy’ but you seem to keep dating the same guys over and over.

If you don’t have a great relationship with your parents – why not seek in a man or a woman exactly what it is that you wished your father or mother was? I know this is a lot easier said than done. But if you can learn to look for the qualities in your s/o that you would like in your father/mother you might save yourself a lot of heartache down the line.

It gets interesting when you start to look at couples and see how close their significant other is to their own father/mother. I wonder if this could be a predictor of how successful a marriage will be?

Just for the record: This is just a theory. And may or may not work. Although I try to help my clients with many of the challenges they face in their lives, I’m not a relationship expert. I don’t play one on TV either.

[Some interesting comments over at!]

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Banter never, ever, gets old! (How to tell if you’re close with someone)

March 10, 2009          Comments (2)

When you can call someone out on their bullshit, and they laugh, you know you’re very close to them. If you can tease someone and they laugh you also know you’re very close to them.

Witty banter is amazing. I can’t get enough of it. I crave it. With girls and guys!

In fact, one of the jobs of your close friends (or brother in law) is to bust your chops! But it’s in a loving way.

For example, one of my buddies and I go back and forth. I’ll be cracking up as he’s making fun of me in person or via technology. We know each others quirks.

Most of his jokes are about my height. So he calls me a midget! (Hey, at 5’ 8” I wasn’t blessed with the genetics that would’ve helped to make the NBA. But I’m cool with it.)

[Side story, when I first met my favorite author after emailing back and forth for a while the first thing he said was, “Wow, I thought you’d be a lot taller!” As I was puzzled he said, “Take that as a compliment!”]

I can’t get enough of it as I’m hoping he goes on and on.

Then it’s my turn. I call him a fucking string bean! (He happens to be over 6 feet tall. But lucky for me he’s very narrow. He also has legs like a female runway model.)

While his jokes are usually about stepping on me and mine are about him fitting into unreasonably narrow spaces, even if we know what we’re going to say, it’s still funny!

If there’s no banter, there’s no relationship. If a person can’t laugh at themselves then I’ll never be close with them.

And if there’s no banter with a girl, it just won’t work out. I need a girl that can tease me back!

But you have to be able to laugh at yourself!

How about this email exchange between my friends from college as we’re trying to decide where to eat this past Friday:

One of my best friends says: I don’t know if I can do dinner but I was thinking we can pregame somewhere at like 9ish and then decide on a place to go so we’re not aimlessly walking around NYC like a bunch of Alpha Etas [that’s our pledge class]

I immediately write back: Well technically you know if you can do dinner. I don’t understand. What don’t you know? Either you can or you can’t?

[I await in anticipation. I love starting up some action…]

He writes: Well technically I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Let me clarify, I kinda wanna go to the gym after work, order in Chinese, and then I’d like to meet up.

Just throwing out a recommendation. I think if we pregame somewhere, it’ll be easier to decide on one place we can go out. Rather than complaining let’s just pregame and go out tonight like normal people.

I write back: Yes. Technically you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. But no one cares about that. The question was can you or can’t you go to dinner. Usually normally people say yes or no. Not I don’t know.

‘I don’t know’ wouldn’t work to well on an RSVP…

He writes: You’re a shmuck [Which means he knows he’s wrong. He also always has to have the last word. Which I, of course, call him out on. We then speak and laugh about it.]

This is just an example of guys that love one another breaking chops. And I can’t get enough of it! It’s actually more fun when someone teases you.

Are you really close with the people you think you’re close with? See if you can engage in some banter with your clients. I’ve been very lucky to have some absolutely hilarious clients. And I’ll call them out on their bullshit. But it takes time to get to that point.

It takes being vulnerable!

[Update: A reader writes in, “Just be sure your clients are okay with banter because not everyone likes it.” Absolutely without question! This post is more so for friends and romantic relationships, etc. But if you can engage in some banter with your clients you know you’re extremely close! The best relationships whether work or social are a give and take. A push and pull.]

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Why get rich quick schemes don’t exist and how it affects you

March 5, 2009          Comments (3)

I am amazed by how impatient we are when it comes to results for our health and fitness goals.

In fact, it’s scary how fast we expect results!

As we all know (but like to think otherwise) consistency is the key to any kind of success. Of course, it’s also tough to maintain.

That’s where MBT comes in.

We all know this though. Our rational mind doesn’t really believe losing 30 pounds in three days is realistic. (Of course not!)

However, our irrational mind likes to think so. In fact, it’s the same irrational mind that will fall victim to get rich quick schemes.

Get rich quick schemes don’t work!

For as long as there have been (and are) people who want to get rich there will be get rich quick schemes.

But here’s the thing: Get rich quick schemes (as well as diet schemes) exist because people want to believe they exist.

For as long as there are people who want to believe in ‘too good to be true’ claims they’ll always be around.

[When I say diet schemes I mean anything that makes you think it’s too good to be true! Alert: If it feels that way in your gut it’s because it is too good to be true!]

Don’t you think if get rich quick schemes actually existed the seller (who was entrepreneurial enough to buy airtime to share his secret with the world for a small fee of 10 easy payments of $89.95) would instead just hire 1000’s of people at minimum wage to follow his very own ‘step by step full proof method’ and become a billionaire himself?

Think about that? If it was that easy and it required so little work, and work that could be replicated over and over, he’d be able to hire anyone. And just have them follow his method.

But of course, he doesn’t.

There is no such thing as getting rich quick. Nor is there such a thing as losing 30 pounds in three days.

The only way to get rich quick or to lose weight or to accomplish anything worth accomplishing is day by day.

Like I tell my clients: Meal by meal. Workout by workout. Day by day.

Very unsexy but very true.

If you put together 9 ladies it still takes 9 months each to have a baby (and patience).

How come no one questions anything else that takes time and patience and effort? Law school, medical school, grad school, high school, and on and on?

Interestingly, without your health and fitness none of the above means anything.

Get in shape day by day.

Meal by meal, workout by workout, day by day!

[This happened to be yesterday’s Daily Inspiration.]

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