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      High Definition Trust, Understanding and Camaraderie
            Reduce Struggle Resolve Conflict Improve Relationships Relieve Stress

In This Issue
Miss me?
Simply Mom
The Last Lecture
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. 
"In much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow."
Miss me?

Yours truly in the co-driver seat. Location, location, location!

I left town....went away.....on the lamb......incommunicado.  And I had an e-zine article due LAST WEDNESDAY!  My mother's words ROARED in my head "You have a duty to your public", "You told everybody you'd publish on the third Wednesday of every month".

Well, Mom.  I was on vacation....having fun running the course-opening car in Oregon (see above) and then getting away with my most significant other for a week.

The delay, however brought two wonderful gifts I leave you at the end of today's thoughts.  Enjoy!

Streep-Doubt In the latest Meryl Streep bid for an Oscar, she plays an overbearing, dictatorial Catholic School Principal in the movie "Doubt".
Her protagonist in this adventure is Philip Seymour Hoffman playing a parish priest and a teacher in the school.
The screenplay opens with Father Flynn (Hoffman) giving a homily at mass:
"Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone".
This opening seemed to "lose" more than half the assembled audience.  We bond when we are of one mind, right?  We pull together when we're all after a common goal.  History books are full of stories of unity triumphing and confusion creating chaos.
I have written in the past few months about how the concept that "knowledge is power" I've witnessed, seems to be over-rated.  I can see how we are seduced into believing that when we "KNOW", then nothing bad can happen to us.  We KNOW the answer.  We KNOW the right thing to do.  We KNOW the path to safety.
But I have also witnessed (and more often since I've become aware enough to look for it) knowledge clearly impeding learning.  What?  Hypocrisy!!!  How can knowledge impede learning?  Isn't knowledge the currency of learning?  Isn't it what we get from learning?
In my daily life, I often facilitate groups attempting to improve the trust, understanding and camaraderie to accelerate their effectiveness.  We spend considerable time talking about the filters we walk around with that are borne of our individual histories.  I was born in rural New Jersey just outside of New York City.  I now live in suburban St. Louis.  My New England style routes (small community socially centered around the volunteer fire department, a Catholic Church and a Presbyterian Church) are challenged daily by the hustle and bustle of suburban and even urban mores.
My favorite exercise in these sessions is to poll the audience for which way their toilet paper is supposed to come off a roll.  Inevitably, there is at least one person in the room who just KNOWS toilet paper is SUPPOSED to come off the bottom of the roll.  And the fun begins!  No amount of cajoling, democracy in action or yelling can get our "bottom roller" to see how there might be a way for it to roll off the top.  With this powerful "knowledge", no other answer is possible.  Hmmmmmmm.  See how knowledge can impede learning?
Let's look at something with much bigger consequences. A girl  child of a radical Muslim political leader grows up in Fallujah, Iraq learning to hate Westerners.  She "knows" they are evil and a threat to her very existence.  At 14 years of age, she straps on 20 pounds of plastic explosive and detonates it in a crowded market filled with tourists.  Do you think she could have been dissuaded from this self-destructive act?  Her "knowledge" gave her peace as she did this for the glory of Allah.
Somewhere between toilet paper and terrorism lies our real world.  How often do the things we "know" prevent us from seeing the data that could disprove our knowledge?
John Patrick Shanley, the playwright responsible for "Doubt" says:   
Doubt requires more courage than conviction does, and more energy; because conviction is a resting place and doubt is infinite - it is a passionate exercise.
Our "knowledge" (our conviction) is our resting place.  It is comfortable.  It is easy.  It is what we allow to guide our lives.  We store this knowledge from years of formation in our youth (usually from birth to about 5-6 years old) and it becomes our resting place.  While this knowledge can bring us success, more often than not, I've seen it impede our learning and hence, our ability to grow beyond the limits set by this knowledge.
Simply Mom

Simply Mom
One of my recent coaching client's wife has written a truly graceful book entitled "Simply Mom".  As is often my timing, I learned about it the Wednesday after Mother's Day.  It is full of clarity and presence in the profession of being a Mom.  I would encourage anyone with a Mom, who would want to gift her with a book with wisdom and clarity, please email Pam Scholl for a copy.  (The bonnet is not attached to the book!)
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." --Randy PauschRandy Pauch

 A lot of professors give talks titled "The Last Lecture." Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave-"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"-wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

Watch "The Last Lecture" in it's entirety.  You will see incredible clarity and trust.  You will learn from a perspective you probably hadn't experienced before. It's an hour and sixteen minutes long.  Turn off the TV.  Put down the sports section.  Some of you will and some of you won't.  It's a little geeky from time to time (remember the guy was a computer science professor), but look past that to his presence and his clarity.

Click here to watch "The Last Lecture".
Get present.  Today.  It's your choice.

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