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In This Issue
Gloom and Doom
Why Clarity.....
....and why now?

HDClarity is an e-zine for those wanting to develop more trust, understanding and camaraderie in their work environment, and their life in general.  A smoother running team is a more profitable team.  They get things done faster, for less cost.  If you'd like to discover methods for reducing struggle, resolving conflict, improving relationships, or just plain relieving stress, please read on. 
"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
                                           Alexander Graham Bell
"The sky is falling.  The sky is falling", Chicken Little wailed.

Chicken Little

(from WikiPedia) There are many versions of the story, but the basic premise is that a chicken eats lunch one day, and believes the sky is falling down because an acorn falls on her head. She decides to tell the King, and on her journey meets other animals who join her in the quest. In most retellings, the animals all have rhyming names such as Henny Penny, Cocky Lockey and Goosey Loosey. Finally, they come across Foxy Loxy, a fox who offers the chicken and her friends his help.

After this point, there are many endings. In the most famous one, Foxy Loxy eats the chicken's friends, but the last one, usually Cocky Lockey, survives long enough to warn the chicken and she escapes. Other endings include Foxy eating them all; the characters being saved by a squirrel or an owl and getting to speak to the King; the characters being saved by the King's hunting dogs; even one version in which the sky actually falls and kills Foxy Loxy.

Depending on the version, the moral changes. In the "happy ending" version, the moral is not to be a "Chicken", but to have courage. In other versions the moral is usually interpreted to mean "do not believe everything you are told". In the latter case, it could well be a cautionary political tale: The Chicken jumps to a conclusion and whips the populace into mass hysteria, which the unscrupulous fox uses to manipulate them for his own benefit, some times as supper.

I wrote some last month about irrational fears or phobias (flying...as associated with the statistically minute possibility of dying in a plane crash).  Chicken Little doesn't even have a single point of accurate data from which to extrapolate her irrational fear.  But it's very real to her.    

When does a fear become cultural or viral?  When individuals operate from their perceptions of "truth" and fail to see the reality of the present.  Today's political feeding frenzy over AIG paying their execs millions in bonuses in my estimation is a modern day "sky is falling" moment.  In some ways, I fear for the recipient's lives.  Nobody has a single data point that even suggests that this gesture was against the law, yet our "sky is falling" legislators (both sides of the aisle, thank you...few innocents here) are discussing abandoning the rule of law to adjudicate this falling sky offense.  And the rabid public outcry supports the "truth" that these men were unjustly granted these bonuses.  Smacks of the Salem Witch Trials doesn't it?  It is my current belief, that data exists (my belief, because I have not physically seen it) that these payments were both legal, and noted months before they were distributed.  A case of acorns being turned into falling sky?

But there are others, more entrenched and dangerous.  The Holy Roman Empire felt it could cleanse the world of sin (and Muslims) during the crusades.  And those two groups get along famously these days. And I'm sure in no small part this historical adventure is why Radical Muslim extremism preaches that they can stop the sky from falling by killing infidel Christians.   Hitler found national backing in his attempt to eliminate all but Arian versions of Homo sapiens sapiens.  And University of Kansas basketball fans believe in their heart of hearts that University of Missouri fans eat their young.  Our beliefs can be staggeringly dysfunctional.  From world conquest to which way the toilet paper rolls off the roll, our concepts of "truth" are internal, personal, and usually not particularly accurate.  At the very least my "truth" most likely doesn't match yours.

So Chicken Little believes (from her experience of the acorn falling on her head) that the sky is falling, and passionately convinces an entourage of friends of her "truth".  The entourage adjusts their lives around this "truth" (watch where they walk, stay indoors, attempt to get to the King so he can recruit more into the Psychosis).  Our personal little "truths" don't become a religious movement unless we sell them to a group of followers.  Not everyone is afraid to fly.  But you might be.  Or maybe you just think you can't become a good salesperson, executive, swimmer, doctor.  Or that if you try, you'll fail (I hear pieces of sky falling). 

Adidas athletic shoes in an ad some years ago with David Beckham the imported soccer star stated:

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it.  Impossible is not a fact, it's an opinion.  Impossible is not a declaration, it's a dare.  Impossible is potential.  Impossible is temporary.  Impossible is nothing."

I love that.  We have been proving the impossible possible for generations...sail around the world, manned flight, computers.  Your opinion about something being impossible for you can be proven possible when you can become aware of the supporting data.  That media wonk's opinion that the sky is falling (that the current financial crisis is beyond redemption and that the supposed numbers seem to do nothing but worsen) may sell newspapers, but it is an opinion disguised as fact.  It is his "truth".  It doesn't have to be yours.

Ask yourself if being part of a doom and gloom movement, or even indulging in your own personal falling sky scenario serves you well.  Does it get you where you want to go?  If not, take a clear look at the data, and decide to give up the doom and gloom. 

Get present.  Today.  It's your choice.

Kim DeMotte
Power of NO, Corporate CoDriver
(877) 245-8250