I love fielding communication from those whom I call the “none of this applies to me” group. You know the type: those who are audaciously certain… about seemingly, everything. These know-it-all’s think they have all the answers. There’s no subject they’re not well-versed in. These are the people who, when exposed to any information (new or not-so-new) that challenges their closely held belief systems, quickly get defensive, double-down on their positions, and then distance themselves from the threat. It’s irrational, of course, if you really think about it.

But psychologically speaking, suffering from irrational beliefs, and/or logical fallacies at times, is quite a normal human phenomenon. We all have them about certain things, at certain times. But it’s key is to know what they are, recognize them when they’re happening, and then adjust your thinking and behavior in the moment. For example the popular and wide-spread “bandwagon” logical fallacy is when an idea is accepted as true and valid simply because a lot of people believe it or adhere to it… NOT because there’s actual reliable evidence to prove it true… (flat earth phenomenon ring a bell?)

Anyone who has ever overreacted or catastrophized a situation, or spoken the words “never” or “always” with any frequency is demonstrating versions or variations of irrationality or faulty, or fallacious thinking. It’s predictably pompous and comical to claim otherwise.

Nothing screams I’m scared shitless, and full-of-shit, more than false bravado and denial cloaked in self-righteousness. @tomleu

I’ve heard it said that humility is the beginning of greatness. So begin being great by being honest with yourself. Admit you don’t have all the answers. Be open to new information, even if it challenges you to your core and gets you all worked up. Likely, it’s these visceral reactions and this resistance that’s trying to tell you something. Listen to it… It’s okay, no one else is perfect either…

Stay tuned-in…


Three (3)

The Need to Lead

To be truly effective, contemplate and commit to having the audacity to contribute to others in selfless ways. Ways that are way outside of your personal comfort zone, despite any or all uncertainty. Challenge what I call the nobody from nowhere phenomenon by consistently producing high-levels of value for those who already do, or those who may look to you in the future, for direction and leadership.

Remember: we are all somebody, to someone, somewhere… @tomleu

Whether it’s your kids, co-workers, or complete strangers, the need to lead in positive directions is infectious, and never been in higher demand than it is right NOW.

Stay tuned-in…

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Audacity of Certainty


Are you capable of being wrong? No, I mean really capable of saying “I got that wrong, I missed the boat on that one, I got some bad information, I blew that, I’m promptly removing my head from my ass now?”

Are you truly willing and able to own shit like that? Really be honest in answering this question because it’s a big one. A really big one. Perhaps the biggest one of all. One that significantly influences your long-term ability to be influential by abandoning the audacity of certainty in favor of humility of certainty. Humility is required to be the most productive and contributing at the highest levels. Embracing humility and escaping audacity where and when necessary is an acquired skill-set and an ongoing choice.

Many claim it, but do not demonstrate it. These personality types are convinced that their world-view about anything and everything is the only thing. They’re incapable of being wrong. It’s impossible someone else has a better idea. It’s a farce to think that there’s a different way than their way. And this folly is the downfall to many a leader, lover, and level-headed wanna-be the world over.

Feeling certain and being certain are different. I feel certain about many things, but it doesn’t guarantee my feelings are true in actuality. My theories must be tested, my assertions must be able to stand up to scrutiny to truly be certainties. There’s nothing un-noble (is that even a word?) about uncertainty. See, I just demonstrated it there. It’s freeing and fun… you should try it too.

Hear me clearly: Having strong views, leanings, and likes is noble, good, and necessary. I’m inspired by those inspired to speak their mind, stand their ground, and proclaim their truth. I encourage it, and do it myself. My point here is to also be able to examine your truths as passionately as you proclaim them, and be willing to abandon them if they don’t hold up under objective analysis. There’s always more to learn. There’s always new information to uncover. There’s always the possibility that we have bad information. There’s always the possibility that we have incomplete information. The answer to the “Is it possible” question has to always be yes.

“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain.” – John F. Kennedy

I wonder if the know-it-all breed count on learning this? The greatest humility, therefore the most advantageous strength, is in recognizing that no one knows it all, though many assert the opposite by their behaviors and actions. Being so certain that you’re unwilling to be uncertain is the malignant audacity that adherents pay for mightily. Avoid it at all costs. Get humble; get honest; and get on with the business of being open to being open.

QUESTION for you: How willing are you to truly accept others’ ideas, opinions, and viewpoints? Especially when they are in direct opposition with yours? Leave your comments below.

Stay tuned-in…

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the talk shiFt Top 10: Part One


The talk shiFt Top 10 (Part One)… Violations and Absurdities

>> Part Two (6-10)

1. Offended by “strong language” – It’s not a matter of IF you use strong language or not, it’s a matter of whether strong language is a real part of who you are or not. I couldn’t give two shits whether someone swears or not when speaking or writing, it doesn’t affect me either way, just be fucking consistent. I come from a real-world where occasional (or frequent) use of cursing is the norm. If you don’t, that’s fine. Just don’t come here busting my balls because you’re offended. Move on. For my purposes here, the use of “strong language” is a deliberate choice because it’s consistent with “who I am when no one’s looking…” Some could benefit from trying on this genuineness and authenticity for a change; it’s pretty liberating and does not violate #2. For more on this, check out Power of the Potty Mouth.

2.  Hypocrisy – First off, 99.9976% (non-scientific) of those who wave flag #1 above, are also part of #2 by default. You see, everyone has, and will again use “strong language” at some point. If that’s true (and it is), then you’re all hypocrites if #1 on this list chaps your ass. Hypocrisy (noun) = “1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc. that one does not really possess.” Synonym: deceit. ( Hypocrites are the prime offenders in the courts of the talk shiFtosphere. It’s not because I disagree with what you do or stand for, it’s because you don’t have the balls to be honest about it. You deliberately denounce certain things, and then proceed to do them yourself. You’re the worst of the worst. You’re a fraud; a fake. You’re an artificial person living in a fantasy land of your own making. And many are watching… see the closely-related #5 below.

3. Obliviousness – Most are unaware of their collective unawareness. Putting it another way, most have no fucking clue that they’re clueless. Clueless to what? Clueless to what’s really happening around them. Clueless to how others are perceiving them. Clueless to what their non-verbals are screaming out to others. Clueless to how they’re coming off to colleagues, co-workers, supervisors, and what messages they’re sending. Truly clueless to how much damage they’re doing to their personal credibility, both in the short term and the long term. It’s impossible to to really notice nuances when one’s head is so far up their own ass. Pull it out and take a look around, a real look around. You’ll be surprised at what you really “see” and what you’ll learn when you do. Alas, most won’t though. And so, I’ll keep calling it out here, there, and everywhere.

4. Messenger shooters – Everyone’s heard the adage “don’t shoot the messenger” right? Problem is, most still do. And they do it again and again. Why? The are two simple reasons that are products of basic human psychology. 1. People are largely self-centered, and 2. People prefer to shiFt responsibility to others rather than shoulder it themselves. We want what we want, when we want it. When our expectations (realistic or not), aren’t being met, and we’re getting the bad news, it’s easier to chew someone else’s ass out (deserved or not), rather than slowing down enough to consider what else might be at play. Or, ask what your responsibility in this situation may be? Right. What’s the right thing to do? Nah, it’s too much work. Screw that. I’m in hurry, I don’t like what’s happening here. This is pissing me off. That is pissing me off. Now I’m gonna go off… It’s common, but no less acceptable.

5. Thinking you’re smarter than everyone else – This one might be my favorite. At the core, this one’s about audacity. The audacity to think that you’ve got everyone fooled; that the rest of the world is bunch of dumb asses compared to you. The audacity to believe that you’re just so much more clever than the rest of us mere mortals; that you think you can pull shit and it’s not going to be discovered eventually. The audacity to think that you’re gonna get away with it all, without consequences… You’re not. No one is. Karma’s a bitch, and I truly believe that sooner or later, all of you corner-cutting, lying, conniving, cheating, diabolical, hypocritical motherfuckers are going to get yours, and get it good. You know who you are…

*But that said, it’s not too late. You can right the ship. You can stop the madness. You can come clean. You can own your shit, endure the fall-out, and grow the hell up. This choice is far less painful than living a fractured life of false pretenses, lies, and illusions.

**Oh, and before anyone’s panties get all bunched up: Simply because I call these things out doesn’t mean they’ve never applied to me. In fact, the REASON I call this shit out is because I want to reduce the frequency with which I sometimes violate these very things myself. Truthful self-appraisal is evidence of operating from a place of strength. But unfortunatley, this is often nonexistent with chronic sufferers of all of these violations.

See… honesty, humility, transparency, and authenticity. Try these on sometime; the truth might just set you free. Now that’s smart…

Agree or disagree; just no apathy.

Check out Part Two (6-10)

Stay tuned-in…

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