Being a psychologist and an educator with 40 years experience I can with confidence tell you that the way most people learn new behaviors is by watching and listening to the words and actions of successful people. Our natural resistance to change fades in view of the proof of the other’s success. This natural attribute found in all of us is what makes Mr. Trump’s behaviors, spread across the front page of our daily news, so serious. The impact of him as a role model of lying, cheating, stealing, using his political decisions to enrich is own bank account is chilling.

He has to be stopped and soon. Impeachment?

The Qatar scenario is the last unethical behavior we should assist as a nation. The now we’re friends, now we’re enemies, now we’re friends on the world political scene, tied to a mortgage owned by Mr. Trumps son-in-law’s family is just too obvious to be ignored. Even Mr. Trump should have guessed this would not pass scrutiny. The United State’s relationship with countries like Qatar cannot depend on a mortgage loan for family members.

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Do Not Let Others Define You! You Define Yourself

If you have been defining yourself with negative emotional coloring, you might want to remember your emotional response lasts only 90 seconds. Then a new emotion pops up. Some of us sense put downs to the words or even to the assessment of, say, “Female”, “American”, “Mexican”, and/or “Religious.” Some of us feel constantly judged in our interactions with others. This behavior on the part of other is named “prejudice”, and you will find it almost everywhere in some form.

You may not know that you can change your own negative response (your own opinion of self) to a positive response if you know how.

You can choose your next emotion. Do it. Pick a positive response.

If you are a woman, remember all your wins… your children, your successes, your circle of friends, whatever matters too you.

If you are disabled, remember your talents.

There are heroes and heroines in all categories. Select a category that fits you. Use these to create your emotional landscape. Enjoy your position and your view and your talents. You are one of a kind. Each time you shift from negative energy to positive, you shorten the time needed.

After awhile this becomes unconscious and your health will improve.
Also your disposition. Enjoy your life and your culture, as mysterious as it seems.

A Different Hurtle for Defining Yourself

The basic mental shenanigan at work when we interact with others is PROJECTION. We slide our emotional state onto others and think this is reality. If we feel “put down”, It is difficult to respond honestly with this distorted view. Our distorted view may push us to feel superior to others so we have a tendency to view them as ‘ “lower class”, “stupid,” “stunted,” “oblivious”,etc. Then we project this on to the other, and our interactions are a disaster.

Once we become aware of our own wish to feel special, then we are growing up and can let others be the way they are, without distortion. We can let them be “different”, “smart”,”clever”, “intelligent”, “handsome”, “pretty”, “creative”, or whatever. This allows you to be comfortable with your own habits, attitudes, talents, shortcomings, etc. We are not necessarily the way they judge us and they are not necessarily the way we judge them.

If you can give up judgement and try curiosity instead, your interactions will change and your opinion of yourself and others will improve. I guarantee it.

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You Have Three Realities

Number 1 is your inside world, your emotions, your feelings (aren’t these the same thing?), your world view, your disposition, your personality, your likes and dis-likes, your sense of self.

Number 2 Reality is the outside world, the people, the sounds, the colors, the shapes, the emotions of those near you.

Number 3 Reality is where these two worlds meet. This may be as far as your eyes can see, near the edge of your skin or it may be at the end of your aura, or it may be miles away, if you practice mindfulness.

If you think of your moment to moment consciousness this way (with three perspectives, all different), it is clear why you sometimes have a hard time making a decision.

You might want to stop and ask yourself, “How does this decision affect all three of my worlds?”

It becomes confusing to know what is right for you? Should I marry or no? Should I go to school longer? Or get a job? Should I stay here or move to….far away?

There is, possibly, even a No. 4 reality, the culture we live in. The belief of what is normal and what is weird lies in the beliefs of the collective others. Even if you have decided to be “different” and not bound by the norm, the culture does impact your decisions. It takes more energy to go counter to your culture than to abide by its “normal”. No wonder you can get tied into knots about big decisions. Going to a movie or not is not a big deal whereas going to Africa to help the refugees is much more difficult. These 4 realities make the entire endeavor of deciding even more complex.

Yet once aware of the forces implicit in each of these important considerations can improve your chances of making the “right” decision for you. We are all different because our brains summon up different chemicals to our individual experiences, so your decision will only work for you, no one else.

Being aware of all 4 of these realities can assist your brain chemicals in working to your benefit. If you focus on each reality for a moment then check out the others one by one, you can use your imagination to find the one that turns you on. That’s the right one.

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I was once hired by Wells Fargo Bank for the “precise purpose of “turning bankers into human beings”.

The purpose of this article is less presumptuous—-to validate and add some ideas for all those who have chosen the goal of “Conscious” business decisions. The use of “Conscious” here means that decisions are based on ascertaining what is good in the deal for both parties or all parties involved. Forget win-lose. In business deals this doesn’t work.

Success depends on all parties being happy with the final arrangement. There are better goals for business leaders than raw financial. The unexpected good news is that research shows substantial financial gains from conscious decisions in business. The founder of Whole Foods wrote a book on this, “Conscious Capitalism.” This is a book worth reading. The small miracles that seem to accompany conscious business decisions are certainly interesting.

The skills and thinking processes presented here will protect you from the stigma of being a “typical salesperson,” whether you are male or female. You may not think of yourself as a salesperson. You probably see yourself as an employee, agent, financier, even a banker, but no matter what your work is, you are selling your ideas to others. Ideas are hard sells, so these processes and skills are the specialized ones needed for difficult sales.


Sales approaches only work if you are “Congruent” when you are presenting your idea or a service you believe in. Congruent means that all of your many sub-personalities (the ambitious one, the lazy one, the alert one, the sleepy one) are in agreement about the intrinsic worth of your proposed package.
If you do not think what you are offering is the greatest thing going in its category, your non-verbals will give you away in subtle signs. Your words will back fire. How do you think “car salesman” got its taint?

So a prerequisite for conscious selling is that you find a product or service or idea that you truly believe in and that you know will benefit the other.


Knowing what rapport is and knowing how to create it is the most important skill a conscious business person can have. Rapport is trust in competence for the task at hand. Once you are displaying the non-verbal signs of congruence, you open the door to trust on the other person’s part. Establishing trust is mostly non-verbal, but it is an attractive state, and we gravitate toward it if the outward signals are right.

I’ve long held the belief that when you lie, cheat or steal, eventually you are found out and punished in some exquisitely perfect manner. Not everyone believes this. Some of those at Enron, Tyco and Arthur Anderson belong to this group, or so it seems to me. If they had thought they’d end up on the front page of the New York Times as felons, maybe they’d have tried integrity instead.

If you have congruence and integrity, then rapport just sort of unfolds.


Once you have found the product or service or idea, you can simply relax and notice what is happening in the interaction with the decision maker. Fear and tension have killed more sales and creative ideas than any other emotions. Once you have attained congruence, you will probably find these problems have disappeared and you are enjoying your work.

Rapport between people occurs naturally if you are honest, competent, congruent, enjoying the interaction, and believe in your product or idea. Once the fear and tension of making a mistake disappear, 8 hours seems short. Your energy shifts into the energy of integrity.


If you try these skills and they do not work, then it may be time to find another product, learn to listen to your sub-personalities, as well as your clients, and practice the energy of truth and honesty. These are the crucial ingredients of a conscious salesperson and leader in 2016.

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Many people trudge on, hoping someone, their boss or whoever, will offer to pay them more. This is called wistful thinking or wishful thinking or dreaming with your eyes open.

Regular, normal Psychological principles can help you here. To assist you in remembering the essential steps, here are the 4 or 5 R’s.

1. RESEARCH the salaries of employees other companies with jobs similar to yours. You may not need this but it is a good preparation for the encounter about to come.

2. REVIEW your successes, fix dates and positive gains for your employer from your activities. Any awards?

3. REMEMBER the REWARDS that your boss accrued from any of your efforts. How did he benefit from your duties?

4. REJOICE in your raise or

5. REPLACE your present job for a better one, one that fits your character and talent and personality and ambitions better than the one you have. This may take some time, so be sure you have income to cover the empty spaces.

Two Useful Additional Tips: When you ask for a raise, your action makes it look as if your boss should have already done this, so basically, you are “making him wrong”. This means rapport is difficult to establish. This is the reason you want to be sure he is aware of how he will benefit if you are well paid. Looking out for his well-being will probably establish rapport.

Don’t ask for the first six months or even a year!

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The Silicon Valley Mindset


“What makes the area so powerful?….So famous?”

“What is it that causes workers to think of, design and produce gadgets that sell around the world? And even change the world?”

“What motivates these workers?”

When the tourists tour Google, Facebook, Cisco, Oracle, Twitter, Linked In, Apple, etc. they notice the concentration, relaxation, excitement in the air. How can this be? Concentration and relaxation are opposite internal states, mutually exclusive, aren’t they?

Well, no.

“Creativity” is the closest answer to the Silicon Valley Mind Set.
But what exactly is “creativity?”

Good question. Professionals have been asking this since Michelangelo, and even before.

The American Heritage dictionary says creative is “Having the ability or power to create things; characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative.”

But that is not the whole story. After years of being creative (27 books, 6 children, 415 paintings, designing and delivering several hundred human potential trainings) I am not even sure I know the whole story, but here’s a start.

The Silicon Valley Mindset occurs when you tap into your very own Right Brain. All Right Brains collect different data and perceptions from their surroundings then code this data for retrieval in a different way from the Left Brain. Also, the Right Brain deliberates the data in a different way than the Left; thus different decisions are made with what actions to take using the data. Right Brain dominant folks make different decisions than Left Brainers. This leaves these creative folks poised to think differently, act differently, and be both concentrated and relaxed at the same moment.

Want to learn how to do this?

Our culture is 85% Left Brain dominate

That’s why Silicon Valley is worth a tour, worth studying, and worth emulating.

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Firing Jill Abramson

I subscribe to the New York Times, and have since 1975. My husband and I sometimes discussed our reason for this. We agreed that reading the East Coast version of events inoculated us against a rigid Left Coast (ie. California) viewpoint.

For the last two years, I have watched the delivered paper, lying in our front yard, getting thinner and thinner. I imagined one day, it not appearing at all. This was a depressing thought. I read about the demise of other newspapers as I enjoyed the sophisticated, often creative writing of the news articles in the Times.

Then a few days ago I read that the female Senior Editor has been fired. It seems that she questioned the authorities about whether her salary was commensurate with the salary of the former male editor, Bill Keller. It was under his care that the paper lost money. Jill Abramson had turned the financial picture around in her 2 and one half year leadership. A day after she was fired, the decision makers and employees at the Times say she was paid a similar salary as Bill Keller.

Then why was she fired?

For being “Pushy”? She Pushed the financial picture to $222 million in profit after the “finances degenerated” under the male decision maker, her former boss.

When I read that Ms. Abramson had a “T” tattooed on her back, I felt so punched in the stomach that it surprised me. As a female CEO in business, I am accustomed to being viewed as “not as competent” as the males in similar roles to mine. However, being fired for being outrageously competent but asking for comparable salary is a new situation. The tattooed “T” says too much loyalty and competence together are a liability for females.

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One Great Big War ? Or One Really Small Education Shift?

David Brooks has an article recently on the Editorial Page in the NY Times in which he writes, “Going forward, there probably has to be a global education effort to reduce Sunni and anti-Shiite passions. Iran could be asked to pay a higher price not only for its nuclear program, but for its mischief-making around the region.”

How about instead of asking Iran to pay a higher price, we ask them to pay the small price of training all their citizens in the newly discovered Right Brain capabilities? Each of their citizens already owns a Right Brain, and could be easily taught how to use it. Our cultures, East and West, are mostly Left Brained, which means Fear is always present in the brain computations. In the every day thinking.

Right Brained citizens, on the other hand, want to connect with others, and seldom feel Fear unless they trigger their Left Brain again. Since most violence evolves from Fear, especially wars, we could reduce the incidences of War triggering behaviors just by education, which David Brooks has suggested. I second his idea.

In fact, I can teach you to erase anxiety in 90 seconds. I will even do this free. Anxiety is simply a mild form of Fear. The Right Brain does not “do” Fear.

Any idea how much cheaper teachers are than bombs? Even cheaper by the hour or day or week than chemical weapons.

Our corporation, International Dialogue Education Associates, Inc. is presently in negotiations with agencies of five separate governments to train their citizens in Right Brain (The Problem Solving, Creative Brain) capabilities and if we close these present proposals, we will begin the journey of education instead of war. It saves so much money as well as lives.

The Right Brain just naturally does not want to fight. Nor make mischief. The Right Brain enjoys connecting with other human beings through talk. Curiosity can mitigate hate, quickly, if you have the skills and strategies to use it. These skills and strategies are natural to the Right Brain.

Sounds too simple? We have already trained 50,000 people in 19 countries in these Right Brain strategies.

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Rebuttal to “Church of Self” in NY Times June 30, 2013

The main problem with articles by philosophers is that they clearly know so little psychology and how the brain works. The next title of the article is “The Gospel According to Me”. The authors are really down on AUTHENTICITY. Here’s a key sentence to give you the flavor, “IN THE GOSPEL OF AUTHENTICITY, WELL-BEING HAS BECOME THE PRIMARY GOAL OF HUMAN LIFE.”

My contention is that well-being has always been the goal of human life. We simply know more about how to make this happen now than in the past. And the reason we know more is because of authenticity. Knowing ourselves. Knowing our needs and being able to satisfy many of them. How lucky we are to be living in an age of AUTHENTICITY.

What these two authors do not seem to be aware of is that “ME” turns into “WE” quite naturally when you become and remain authentic. They need to steep themselves in Gestalt Psychology and study the actions of human beings instead of long dead philosophers.

There are hundred and even thousands of movements happening right now that are devoted to improving our lives on this planet. Most of these movements were begun with individuals who began with “Me” and moved easily into “We.”

What do you think?

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Need more energy? Try Gestalt Psychology.

I’ve been training a sort of watered down version of Gestalt Psychology to corporations for 33 years. Since the business culture is fairly conservative, I only teach the parts of Gestalt that is easy for the students of our seminars to relate to. This sanitized version of Gestalt Psychologly has attracted more than 50,000 people in 19 countries, so I consider this a good sign.

However, because a friend said he wanted to learn Gestalt, recently I found among my papers, “The ABC’s of Gestalt Psycholoogy.” I wrote this in 1979 when just finishing my doctorate in Gestalt. I realized in scanning this small book that I have left out of my trainings a lot of the good stuff. I left out some of the brain strategies that create such high levels of energy that the person seems to glow. No, NOT seems to, does glow with an inner light that reminds you of the moon glow when the moon is big in the sky. Like a few nights ago.

The glow was represented as halos in Medieval paintings. And regarded as simply a metaphor.

This kind of inner light may not fit into the business culture, but the energy that creates the light is the same energy that solves big problems, keeps you healthy, relates with kindness to others, is the seed of enthusiasm, soaring anticipation, charisma, spontaneous leadership and other sought after human abilities. Why is no one teaching this to employees of corporations and governments?

I would. But you have to ask me to do so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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