HDClarity Logo
High Definition Trust, Understanding and Camaraderie
Reduce Struggle Dissipate Conflict Improve Relationships Relieve Stress

           CCD Logo2
In This Issue
4th and 5th Gear
What Makes Us Happy?
Creating our own Reality
Join Our Mailing List
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. 
"Opportunities fly by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not, because of the happiness that is gone."
                                                 Jerome K. Jerome                                     
Transmissions, 4th gear; 5th gear

It occurred to me after last month's dissertation on 3 speed transmissions, that some cars protect themselves against blowing up when there's no gear to shift up to.  They have REV LIMITERS! 
So it's possible at high RPMs in 3rd gear that you could have a different 2nd option....
1.  Slow Down
2.  Let the Rev Limiter keep your RPMs and your speed down automatically.
Hey, now THAT's a winner!  Sometimes I can truly see how we AUTOMATICALLY limit our top speed because we've gone to great lengths to pay for and install the device which keeps us from going as fast as we want.
What do our personal REV LIMITERS look like?  Many times they are the plethora of SHOULDS and SHOULDN'TS that keep us coloring between the lines, aren't they?  So here we are puddling down the highway in 3rd gear right at 4700 RPMs (where the REV LIMITER keeps us from going any faster) at 73 mph.  Nice and safe.  No tickets.  And the great part about the REV LIMITER is that we don't have to do anything to stay safe but let it do it's thing.  And we never get up to the speed we believe we can run.....sigh.
The KNOWER/JUDGER (K/J) mode we so often walk around in functions like a REV LIMITER.  It KNOWS what to do in all cases and PROTECTS us from doing anything we SHOULDN'T do.  It DEFENDS us against wrong, evil, and people who think toilet paper should come off the bottom of the roll.
Why look for any other gears?  Because we WANT MORE!  Want more fun.  Want more money.  Want more love.  Want more excitement.  The most meaningful word here is WANT.  While it's important for all of us to get what we NEED (Maslow's hierarchy of needs...the basics....shelter, food, etc.), it's clearly the human "free will" directive to WANT that makes us happy.
We've come up through the gears to this point.....struggled in 1st gear....WANTED in 2nd gear and we're at WHAT'S GETTING IN THE WAY in 3rd gear and lo and behold we discover that Pogo was right.

We have met the enemy

Our history, our KNOWER/JUDGER, exerts a great deal of energy preventing us from taking the next step.  It manifests itself in FEAR.  It manifests itself in "I'm just not that kind of person" (stuck in our DISC profile...click here to read about changing that).  It manifests itself in "That's just not done around here".  Your "Rules of Life" just don't allow that much WANT.
4th Gear is the DECISION to take the next step.  I bet, if you think about it, every great stride you've ever made was preceded by a DECISION to abandon the FEAR....abandon the STATUS QUO.....maybe even abandon some "RULE" you've lived with all your life.  People stay in marriages because "people don't get divorced in our family"...and the result is that 2 neurotic parents raise 3 delinquent kids.  People stay in jobs long enough to "go postal".  Frequently, the DECISION is developing the Positive Power of NO.  But it can take many forms.  The critical part is that there is a giving up of something...and abandoning of some "old rule" that frees you up to take the next step and hit 5th gear.
A keynoter friend/mentor of mine, Steve Epner entertains his audiences with the story of 5 frogs sitting on 5 lily pads.  He states that 3 of these frogs have DECIDED to jump off their lily pads and asks how many are left?
Well?  How many?  5, of course.  And this makes my point about why one must get to 5th gear to grow.  The DECISION is not enough.  3 frogs DECIDED to jump of, but until they ACTED on that DECISION.....they were still on the lily pads.
How many times have you hit 4th gear...made that DECISION!  YEAH!  WHOOOOAAAH! And then waited for the engine to hit the REV LIMITER and maybe even drop back to 3rd gear to see if you had WHAT'S GETTING IN THE WAY right?
4th gear, then, is making a DECISION to abandon what it is that impedes your growth.  All the stuff that makes you "afraid" (you're reading this in private....it's OK to use that word).  This is where your firmly entrenched KNOWER/JUDGER ROARS in your ear and flattens out your engine RPMS with the REV LIMITER....and kicks you back into your nice, safe, mediocre existence.
What is it?  Can't talk to the boss?  Can't get clear with prospects?  Afraid of hearing "NO"?  Rejection?  Hurt feelings?  You know what your 3rd Gear is. 
Own it. 
DECIDE to abandon it and then figure out what one courageous act describes that freedom as you hit 5th gear.  Jump off the lily pad!  Take the training wheels off the bicycle.  Jump into the deep end.  No return.  Commitment.  My Subaru WRX has 5 speeds.  I can hit around 115 in 5th gear.  The feeling is incredible.  I can also skillfully downshift when conditions change.  The turn in the road ahead tightens and 115 mph is not an appropriate approach speed...down to 3rd gear.  What's in the way?  Physics!  Friction!  Accelerate through and DECIDE to go back up to terminal velocity.  4th gear.  5th gear.  It's a lot of work, but that's what I WANT.  It's a lot of work.  What do YOU want? 
1st Gear - Struggle.
2nd Gear - Want.
3rd Gear - What's in the way?
4th Gear - Decision.
5th Gear - Act!

What makes us happy?

It seems like Harvard gets a slot in here every month, doesn't it?

Harvard Men

For the past 72 years, a study of men in the Harvard Classes of 1942, '43 and '44 has been cataloging what made these men "happy" and measuring their concepts of "success" along the way.  For those of us in the middle (or at the beginning....or toward the end) of our journeys, this study can tell us a lot.  Many are dead.  Many have had multiple wives, careers, businesses, failures, even identities.
The June, 2009 Atlantic published a long detailed article by Joshua Wolf Shenk about this study, and its latest curator, George Vaillant.  For 42 years, Vaillant has been the developer and keeper of the data on the year-to-year lives of men considered to have set out to live "normal" lives.  The definition of "normal" used in this study was "that combination of sentiments and physiological factors which in toto is commonly interpreted as successful living."
I leave the details of reading this extremely interesting article to you, but am compelled to note that Shenk finds the following critical to Vaillant's thesis:
"When we cut ourselves, for example, our blood clots--a swift and involuntary response that maintains homeostasis.  Similarly when we encounter a challenge large or small--a mother's death or a broken shoelace--our defenses float us through the emotional swamp.  And just as clotting can save us from bleeding to death--or plug a coronary artery and cause a heart attack--defenses can spell our redemption or ruin."
So it is with our "KNOWER/JUDGER*" knee-jerk responses to the trials and tribulations of our day-to-day existence.  In many cases doing what we've always done is absolutely in our best interest.  In others, it merely takes us down the repetitive road of frustration and impedes our growth.
In the closing paragraph of the article, Shenk writes:
"Vaillant's confession reminded me of  a poignant lesson from his work--that seeing a defense is easier than changing it.  Only with patience and tenderness might a person surrender his barbed armor for a softer shield.  Perhaps in this, I thought, lies the key to the good life--not rules to follow (K/J*) nor problems to avoid, but an engaged (L/R*) humility, an earnest acceptance of life's pains and promises."
In the preceding article (4th Gear) I'm talking about making the DECISION to change the defense associated with 3rd Gear, the "barbed armor".....the difference between living and a happy life.
This article is a long and academic read, but it's worth it.  I urge you to download it, print it out and take it on your next travels...whether you're in the beginning, the middle, or toward the end of your journey.
A video clip of George Vaillant related to this article.

A lengthier clip of Vaillant regarding positive emotion as the key to happy lives.

*Read about our concepts of Knower/Judger (K/J) and Learner/Researcher (L/R) here.

Creating our own reality. 

Kim Clijsters got pregnant over two years ago.  She gave birth to her daughter, Jada, about 18 months ago.  Kim Clijsters is a World Class Tennis Pro...or at least WAS a World Class Tennis Pro.  At 26, she's considered one of the "veterans" (that's what my cohorts call me in Rallying!) meaning, to be kind, she was older than most of the kids knocking on Tennis Stardom's door.
Looking at history, it would be very easy to dismiss the possibility of ever being competitive again.  For those of us old enough to remember there was the Australian star Evonne Goolagong back in 1980 who made a comeback of sorts by winning Wimbledon after becoming a Mom.  Before that, Margaret Smith Court in 1973 and before that you have to go back over 60 years and I'm pretty sure no one reading this can remember who that was.  And Dads didn't fare much better.
Clijsters said when she announced her return: "I am curious to see if life on tour with a family is possible. I think it is possible. I think I can make it as good for my daughter as it is for me. I think I can be successful."
Kim Clijsters

2009 U.S. Open Champ and daughter Jada (they relaxed before the match by watching "Ice Age"!).

That's about as "creating your own reality" as it gets.

Congratulations, Mom!!!!


There is a clear and present danger.....when you are neither clear nor present.
At speed,

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