Rescripting Negative Imagination

Not 100% sure, but I suspect most people, when asked if they think they are a positive person, will indeed think they are generally a positive humanbeing.  For those who don’t sign up in the “Positive Paulina” camp, there’s likely a group that will say, “Well, positive is good, but I am also realistic.” (This is a limiting statement that allows them to dabble their feet in both sides of the pool. Wait a second… what does a negative pool and a positive pool really look like?)  Then, you will get a group that says they are as negative and cynical as possible. Then there’s people who say they are positive and go home and cry in their pillow every night, realistic people who wonder why they are depressed, and cynical people who wish the world didn’t have to be the way it is.  Is that all the categories? Surely not.

Point is, when someone SAYS they are positive, it isn’t likely the whole picture, and even if it was the whole picture, it only applies to that moment because through space and time everything is in fluctuation. So, the label (like so many) is not nearly as valuable as our actions.  But where it gets fun: it’s not just the actions we take mechanically, or the words we say, it all starts in the thoughts we think, in how we perceive our world (and how we allow ourselves to change how we choose to perceive… ).  If I want to say “I am a positive person,” that’s fine, but if I want to make that my reality, I have to be positive. That starts by thinking positive.

I was going to start this post by saying I was a positive person, and then started to think about that statement, because the whole point of this post is to ponder the concept of rescripting negative imagination. So, even a person as ridiculously positive as yours truly, I still have a post to write about my negative energy! I can get into all the fun details about neuro-plasticity and all the theories of positive thinking, positive energy and riding positive waves towards our goals… someday…maybe in another post. Overall, I am subscribing to this positive energy thing.  People like Rhonda Byrne (The Secret), Bill Harris (CenterPointe Research), John Kehoe (Mind Power), John Assaraf (NeuroGym) and many more are making a gazillion dollars explaining how everyone can be making a gazillion dollars (or achieving their dreams, in the event a gazillion dollars is not making the list of things to do in order to achieve their dreams).  I’m not going to evangelize these approaches right now.  I’ve simply made a personal decision that I value positive energy, and I’m welcoming more of it into my life every single day.


So, ergo this post. I am in the middle of a life change.  There is a lot going on, and there is a lot of disagreement and strange influxes of distrust that have been making their way into this life change. Now, of course, it is all to easy to say I cannot control everyone, and this transition is supposed to be difficult and the way it went down was unfair to me and boo hoo hoo, poor me a victim of the big bad universe, or fate, or maybe some life form that looks like a giant Kermit the Frog declaring my happiness is none of his business. That’s all hogwash. (Someday, I will Google how the term “hogwash” came to be…are we not supposed to bother washing hogs because they love the mud? Maybe that’s it.)

So the positive energy approach is to see your reality up front.  OK, I would then phrase my reality like this: this life transition is going very smooth – there’s abundance in my life, and through my abundance I can help the other folks involved in this life transition. But, when I am not paying attention, my brain has been doing a couple things I find fascinating.  First, it will wander into random places… so instead of dwelling on my goals, achievements or other zones that will move me forward, I will snap out of a thought and say, “Why am I using my time to contemplate the different ways I trim my fingernails? Or replaying the scene in that action movie and changing the endings around?”  Those situations are fairly benign, but then we add said “second thing.”  I will see my goal in my mind, and the conversation with a key person will go poorly, or a step I take will be met with devastating failure…entire ventures will fail.  That’s exactly the opposite of what I want.  I am not scared when it happens – this is not the same thing as a fear response (which puts us in survival mode and shuts down our contemplation). I am contemplating the scenario, but I am going at it exactly the opposite of what I should be doing, and I am not present in the thought – it is just playing back without my intervention.  After the “failure film” finishes playing, I snap out of it and I have to stop myself and then rethink, re-visualize and try and re-feel that scenario in a positive way.

That’s generally how it goes down. And here is the silver lining… I have achieved, in this situation, what Bill Harris calls “awareness” – that is, I see the impact of my actions as I am doing them.  I am now aware of this behavior, and I can now rescript it. So here is what I am going to do… this is going to be epic.


There’s this episode of Ren & Stimpy where Stimpy has to guard the history eraser button. (spoiler alert) Stimpy eventually gives into the narrator’s badgering temptations and presses the button. The history of everything is erased.

Here is my plan, since what I want to do during an unhealthy negative imagination sequence is to stop it, erase it and replace it with a positive healthy version, I am going to spend time imagining that (take a swig of coffee friends): Whenever I imagine something, I will always have a history eraser button with me.  I am going imagine myself caring this little button with me whenever I am imagining, and I am going to practice pushing the button and erasing negative memories, rescripting them with positive ones. Buhbam, right? It’s crazy… redoing how I imagine.  maybe later I can imagine how I will change how I imagine about changing my imagination. Wut?

Anyway – let me see how that goes.  First step is to make sure I practice having the button with me, so that it becomes a habit.  Such a strong habit, that when my mind wanders into a negative thought, my own brain will be like “where’s that button?” and I will press it.  Then, here is the awesome part – the POWER of that button is to immediately erase that negative thought as though it never happened, and then I am free to imagine the positive version.  In fact, just becoming aware of this ability to press that button during a thought immediately pulls me out of the “film” and makes me a cognizant observer that can then redirect the whole scene as needed. Heck, I can stop and ask why someone is talking to me that way, or think about how to deliver an eloquent response that would help the situation, or imagine my yacht pulling up and allowing me to go on a vacation…whatever I want! It’s like double the self-programming. Nice.

This could be just the beginning of my mental tool belt.

That’s the theory anyway. Wish me success, and I’ll be back with an update….at some point!



The Quest for Easy Project Management Apps

So there I was, half way through 2015 and thinking,”Dang, I need some better collaboration tools.” Does anyone remember Astrid? I loved Astrid because it did EVERYTHING. It even pestered me to get stuff done instead of slacking off. Hey! I said “slacking.” Sheesh, people.  But then Astrid imploded, and I went on a journey for project management tools.  They didn’t even have to be free, just easy to use.  My mantra these days.

I have tried OneNote, Evernote, Zoho, TeamBox (now Redbooth), SmartSheet, and a bunch of others, but I still just wasn’t impressed.  Stuff was either TOO simple, or TOO complicated.  Or it did one thing well but not another. Today, just for giggles, I signed up for LifeHacker. Why Not? And then I found this article.  Why Not? So, it turns out only 3 of the suggested tools were viable for me, personally (be my guest to try any of the ones I have mentioned…), and of those, two products really caught my attention: Trello and Azendoo.  Both of them have a solid free tier.

What I liked about Trello was the “Scrum board on crack” approach.  I mean, it isn’t Scrum, so let’s not kid ourselves.  But you create a board and slap a bunch stickies on there (attachments get preview icons) and then everyone dogpiles that board until all the crap is done.  That’s a pretty cool concept, so I signed up to try it out.

What I liked about Azendoo was the overview video.  I mean, it wasn’t the best video on earth, so let’s not kid ourselves.  But it showed, in about 5 minutes, how to deal with workspaces, subjects and tasks. Azendoo has a lot of features, so I signed up to try that out, also!

I am excited to try these products.  I just needed some stronger grouping functions, and I think Trello and/or Azendoo might doo the trick. Both products also have iPhone and Droid apps.  Azendoo also has a desktop app for Mac, Linux and Windows 8 – that’s interesting.  What’s more, if you decide to pay for the products, they are not that expensive…as of this writing between $5-10/mo.

Maybe I will follow up with some results… happy Project Managing!


You Need to Pay Attention

This awkward incident happened on my walk into work today. A girl was riding her bike one direction, and another young lady was walking the opposite direction. Both headed for each other.

The girl walking realizes this will end badly, so she stops walking to give the girl on the bike time to adjust course and avoid a collision.

The girl on the bike slows down but doesn’t change course, continuing straight toward the girl standing right in front of her, and just before colliding, she jams on her brakes so hard her rear tire pops off the ground. She then declares to the standing lady,”You need to watch where you’re going.”

The lady replies, “I think you need to watch where YOU’RE going.”

The girl on the bike peddles away declaring, “Jesus!”

And that’s when I started chuckling out loud. And I continued chucking like that as I replayed the scene over and over.

But as I think about it, it is psychologically mundane AND fascinating. As a little boy, I would say, wow two grown ups are fighting! A little older, and I would say, “What was the girl on the bike thinking? She is nuts.” But now I wonder… does the girl on the bike truly believe herself, or was she just puffing herself up to make up for a blunder that she was too proud to accept was clearly her doing? In some way, I hope she truly believes she is right, because then at least she acted in earnest, even though I believed her assessment was incorrect.

What’s the moral of the story? Hmm… maybe “bike helmets can save your brain, but your ego is all on you.”

Or maybe, “Jesus has nothing to do with your free will, learn how to ride a bike, derp.”

Or maybe, “If your going to act like a booger on a pedestrian walkway, go take your chances on the roadway. After you get smacked by a couple cars, you will appreciate pedestrians more.”

I Just Single-Handedly Ate an Entire Extra Large Pizza

That about sums it up.  I didn’t feel like cooking this weekend, so I picked up the phone and ordered a 16″ extra-large 3 topping pizza (the coupon I had also pledged a second free 1 topping large pizza… I got that, too).

Over the course of about 60-90 minutes, I inhaled the entire thing by myself.  I just had to say something… but math wise it looks like cheese pizza is a bout 300 calories a slice, so that was 1800 calories. It was also about 96 grams of fat and 5600mg of sodium.  That was not a brilliant maneuver…but it was delicious.  Guess I will have to run a few extra. . . hours. . . to work that off, ey? Whew!

Is it wrong that I just ate a slice of the free large pizza while typing the article about demolishing the extra large pizza? Gotta got to the gym for sure!!

Google Voice to Hangouts Dialer

Well, “long ago” I pieced together some instructions to get your Google Voice working in Gmail, but now with the new Hangouts Dialer integration, this just got a lot easier.

From your PC… you can hit and grab the plugin for your browser. From your mobile device, you can go to the Play Store and download the Hangouts Dialer app by Google. It will make you upgrade your Hangouts to 2.3… then you can just kinda place calls (calls originating in US/Canada to other US/Canada numbers are free – that is cool!).

I’ve heard rumors that not every Google Voice user can play… in fact I am kinda unclear myself about how this interacts with my Google Voice plugin on my phone, or how it works when I am overseas and don’t want to pay $1+/min to call using AT&T’s international rates… but I am pretty sure there is a way to do this… and not just with Wi-Fi.  I just haven’t figured it out yet?!  If you find something, feel free to educate me 🙂

Thanks and Happy Dialing,


“Twice As Good” Sneaks into DC

Well, I can’t say that blues is my thing, but I can say that “Twice As Good” did have a good sound, fun tracks and a healthy appreciation for their audience.  This post, however, is all about taking something twice as good, and maybe making it three times as good… because there were a number of obstacles that I think impacted the show, and I hope this post serves bands and venues alike when considering the impact to their potential audience. This show was hosted by the Smithsonian Native American Museum – an incredible building housing a really great collection that is laid out in style.  It’s a great venue, but I think it could’ve pulled in more people.  Here it goes:

  • They put the band in the atrium.  Although the atrium is impressive, it did two bad things:
    • First – nobody outside the museum could hear the music, so there was no ability to draw people to the venue during the performance.
    • Second – the atrium isn’t designed for…blues…the band sounded muddy in a lot of places. To combat that, they cranked the volume, but that gave the audience the option of “loud and clearer” or “muddy and quieter.”
  • Ironically, I found the sound did clear up as I rounded the corner opposite the stage… which means the sound quality improved as people worked their way further into the museum, but that leads to another venue issue. The museum was closed. So, for the people who did find out there was a band, they still couldn’t tour the museum (and benefit from the exhibits as well as improved sound of live music).
  • Next, if a person cannot walk through a museum, what might they want… how about a beer or a margarita? No liquor license… OK, how about a water, a lemonade, a hot dog, or whatever?  The Native American Museum is one of the few venues that has a cafe, and the cafe was closed! Gah!
  • The show was blues/funk, but the seating was not… the seating was setup like chamber music or a lecture.  Rows of seating might work for a megaband playing at Verizon Center, but for a more intimate venue of this music style, maybe keep the seating more casual… do a dance floor and cocktail rounds.

The Smithsonian Institution, as a whole, makes so many amazing things possible for the general public, so it’s not like this event was a failure.  I just felt like there was this zesty band imparting energy and their energy couldn’t be heard outside the building.  Inside the building, people would have to sit like a structured performance, with no access to the museum or its cafe.  I think this arrangement hindered the goals of the museum and the band, so I wrote about it in the hopes of helping both future venues and future bands consider their options when setting up a performance.

Robocam operator working his magic.

I will say this – Twice As Good has a good rig! They have a sound guy AND a Robocam guy (that is indeed twice as good).  I was able to snag a shot of one of the unsung heroes 🙂  As someone who has worked in the media production arena,  I like to showcase the folks behind the cameras and audio cables. So, in summary…

  • Either put the band outside and then pipe their sound into the museum, or have them inside make sure their sound is broadcast outside to attract the street crowd
  • Let people explore the museum
  • Use a dance floor (nothing elaborate) and cocktail style seating
  • Either keep the cafe open, or make arrangements for concessions (within the seating area only, so the museum doesn’t get trashed)
  • If housing a band in an indoor atrium, consider some audio engineering/dampening to improve the quality within the atrium area

The Age of Misinformation

It’s funny how my mom would say, “You kids didn’t come with an instruction manual.” By the time I had children, there were so many instruction manuals, you could use one to disprove another.

I like to say that we’ve moved from the Information Age to the Misinformation Age on account that there is so much information now, and its interesting to see the root problem of finding answers is still about the same today as it was back then.

In the past, a person wouldn’t have ready access to information, so they would make decisions based on what they knew and their intuition.

Now, a person reads the top 3 best related Google results and makes decisions based on what they know and their intuition.

I guess that’s why web 3.0 is such a big deal. “Give us you data” so that people can make more relevant decisions… but we are still a long way off from that. The internet has become a fascinating flavor of our collective consciousness… we can see everything about ourselves: from the darkest most disgusting caves to the pinnacles of inspirational thought.

But it’s all still kind-of random, dangerous and only select pieces can be reliable.

Still, I think things are heading the right direction. The internet, by being less censored, allows us to see the whole of ourselves and allows us an opportunity to shape our destiny based on what we see.

Time will tell if our species has the wisdom to follow Spike Lee and “Do the Right Thing.”  Of course, the crux of that movie was (imho) to do what was right based on (drum roll)  what you know, and your intuition!