Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ancient Chinese Secret ?

Do you remember that old commercial where a Caucasian woman with an American accent asks "Mr. Lee," a laundry shop owner, how he gets her shirts so clean. He replies, with what appears to be a Chinese accent, that it's an "ancient Chinese secret." That secret actually turns out to be Calgon water softener.

Here is the commercial:

The Calgon Ancient Chinese Secret Commercial

Well, I'm learning that there are many, many ancient secrets that seem new to me, but which really have been around for hundreds of years. My latest interest is in the Tao Te Ching, which really is an ancient Chinese secret - but the secret is out.

I've been reading Wayne Dyer's newest book Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life, which is his year-long journey in studying the Tao Te Ching and offering his interpretation of the Tao through studying many translations. When you really stop and think about the Tao, it's not that difficult. What's difficult is getting rid of all the conditioning and beliefs that have been running us for so many years. As I read and think about these short verses, I'm starting to see that this ancient wisdom feels strangely familiar to me. It's not that difficult to give up all my beliefs and find that it's like coming home to Truth.

The Tao is not the only "ancient" wisdom that I've been reading recently. I'm amazed at the wisdom James Allen gave us in his little book called As A Man Thinketh. It's really difficult to dispute some of his claims. Here's one, for example:

"Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound."

Or this one:

"Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles. Men understand this law in the natural work, and work with it; but few understand it in the mental and moral world (though its operation there is just as simple and undeviating), and they, therefore, do not cooperate with it."

Lots of wisdom there. Yet so often we seem to be fighting to remain in our victimhood and work so hard to justify our blame. Why is that?

I'm here at the radio station for my last broadcast and played John Mellencamp's Your Life is Now just now and he's as wise as the sages before him. Here are some of those lyrics:

"Would you teach your children to tell the truth
Would you take the high road if you could choose
Do you believe you're a victim of a great compromise
cause I believe you could change your mind and change our lives"

Wow - same message, different medium, different age.

We really are all connected - and it's no secret!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Keep the Change!

I'm sure we've all said "Keep the change" at some point in our lives - whether at a coffee shop or restaurant or at a lemonade stand.

Yet how many of us actually take our own advice?

I had the privilege of speaking for a national bank's student loan team today in Minneapolis and we had a great time learning from each other.

The team has endured lots of changes way beyond their control which will greatly impact the way they do business in the future. Like most of us, they are not in love with these changes. But the only options they have are to stay stuck or move forward.

Part of the problem most people encounter when dealing with change is that we have a lot of trouble making changes stick. And is it any wonder?

I wrote one whole chapter on change in my book The 100% Factor, and one of the stories I told there is explaining what change really is. Let's consider change for a quarter. You can make change for a quarter in any number of combinations, but there really isn't any change going on there at all. That's what's usually wrong with our experience with change in our lives. We're not willing to give something up. In order for 25 cents to undergo real change, I have to give up my money and get something completely unlike money in return. When I'm willing to give something up, then I have the opportunity to move in a new direction.

We talked today about the distinctions between change, transition, and transformation. We used William Bridges' Managing Transitions as a reference. There we learned that change is external and transition is what happens to us psychologically as a result of the change. It's really not the changes that do us in, it's the transitions. Transformation, then, is what we can create to go forward because transformation is not dependent on the past - it allows us to create from nothing.

The team today was fabulous and I had a blast spending time with them last night at dinner and this morning. I'm confident they are on the way to transforming their relationship with the new way they will be doing business.

Go ahead - keep the change. You'll be glad you did!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Today at the Radio Station

Today really doesn't have a theme - I'm just playing fun songs! I've decided to give up my radio show effective September 1, so I'm just going to play my faves for the next two weeks as I wind down.

So here's today's lineup:

1) Meaning of Life - Monty Python
2) Coffee in a Cardboard Cup - Mandy Patinkin
3) Think For Yourself - George Hrab
4) Think it Over - The Thorns
5) Silence the Thunder - John Smith
6) Slow Down - John Tracy
7) Forgiveness - John Mellencamp
8) Your Life is Now - John Mellencamp
9) Believe - Lenny Kravitz
10) Destiny - Lenny Kravitz
11) While You See a Chance - Steve Winwood
12) Follow Your Dream - Sheryn Regis

Thank you to everyone who has listened to my show over the past year. I'd like to invite you to listen to the next couple of shows at live at 11 a.m. central on Sundays. (I just got a call from the station manager during a break here and he is trying to talk me into staying, so we'll see ...)

In the meantime, tune in - or leave me some requests here and let me know what you'd like to hear - or what kind of theme you would like me to talk about based on the theme "You Already Know This Stuff." I'll be happy to oblige!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Living for the Intermission

I really enjoy live theater and live concerts. We have a performing arts school here in Fargo called Trollwood Performing Arts and every summer kids of all ages and from all over the world come to study and perform. The highlight of the summer program is the musical performance for 3 weekends in July.

This year's show was "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and it was absolutely breathtaking. It was really difficult to believe that every single cast member was younger than 18. I'm blown away every year by the quality of the talent and the quality of the performance. Among the productions they've done are "The Music Man," "The Wizard of Oz," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "42nd Street," "Guys and Dolls," and even "Les Miserables."

As I've been thinking more about my company, Bock's Office Transformational Consulting, which we want to compare to a production experience but not an event, and I think also about what I've experienced at Trollwood's performances, I see the parallels between theater and corporate America.

Both are well rehearsed and involve lots of moving parts. In the best case, each has an element of ownership and wonder. There are roles for everyone on the cast to play, and things run the most smoothly when everyone understands their roles and works to improve. Each can be a lot of fun to be part of, and when things are going well, the audience (the customers) are delighted.

We at Bock's Office want to help organizations develop those roles for their cast members in such a way that customers, vendors, suppliers, partners and anyone involved with the organization is delighted to be a part of the organization. That's my vision.

On a related but slightly different track, I've been thinking of myself and my own personal journey throughout this lifetime.

I've always been one who enjoys the first act. That first act has always been the most exciting - you know, the part where they set up the rest of the play by giving the background and providing all the character information and underlying connections that set up the second act. The second act is when everything is resolved. All the pieces fit together and most of the time, especially when it comes to musicals, everyone lives happily ever after.

But I've been thinking recently about the intermission and what that means for me in my life. If I see the first act of my life, that has been about learning and studying and understanding. It's been about filling myself up with knowledge and information. I think that's where I've been up to this point. I now see myself looking forward to the intermission, where I can process and utilize all this material and apply my learning to some possible solutions. The second act is when the solutions get applied and tried or tweaked. I'm ready to go there. I'm looking forward to acting on purpose and really applying my learning to my own and my clients' lives.

Of course this has been a cyclical process for specific projects - I certainly have applied my learning and tweaked and relearned many, many time. However, as I think about myself and my own evolution, I've been more focused on the first act overall.

I'm now ready for the intermission. I want to stop and put my learning to the test. To get out and help more companies and more people with the process based on the results they are getting and to help them see that their present results are not a reflection of their possible futures.

I realize that one of my gifts is brainstorming possibilities. I know it's necessary to put specific goals to the possibilities, but I don't think many of us spend enough time in the possibility stage. Maybe that's what I'll call that part of the process for Bock's Office - the Possibility Stage. On that stage you can try out different parts and roles and costumes and see what it might be like to exist in various possibilities related to the future of the organization and the people involved with it.

At any rate, I see all of this as the intermission - the space between the acts - where I can grab some popcorn and make sense of all the knowledge I've accumulated over the many years I've been filling my brain full of information.

It's time - and look out when the ideas begin to pop! I'll keep you informed on the progress!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Today's Radio Lineup

OK, today I'm playing some of my favorites - and I'm just talking about what I'm seeing in my life this week that I already know. I'm sharing my latest book faves (Wayne Dyer's new one called Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life); I'm also sharing some universal laws and what they mean to me ... it's really an eclectic mix of thoughts and music!

Here's today's lineup:

1) Unanswered Prayers - Dennis DeYoung
2) Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
3) Happiness Runs - Donovan
4) Peaceful World - Mellencamp
5) Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World - Brother Iz
6) Candle Song - Jon Anderson
7) The Trick is to Learn to Enjoy the Ride - Jana Stanfield
8) Feelin' Good - Michael Buble
9) Here Comes the Sun - Dan Fogelberg
10) Rhythm of Life - Christina Applegate & Denis O'Hare
11) Get Happy - Sinatra

As always, you can tune in live at 11 a.m. central on Sunday at Let me know if you have a request - I'll do my best to get it for next week!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The 100% Factor ... reborn!

Well, I'm getting to the end of my second run of my book The 100% Factor, and I'm thinking of redoing the cover. Here is what I'm thinking ... I'd love your input!

The book is getting some really good feedback - but I'd welcome more comments. You can go to the website or check it out at Amazon. Or, if you'd be willing to provide me some feedback and a possible review on Amazon, I'd love to send you a book for your review!

Thank you to everyone who has helped me get the word out so far. I'm playing bigger now, so would love more evangelists!

Please drop me an email if you'd like to be on the review committee for the next release. Include your mailing address so I can drop one in the snail mail for you.

Let's PLAY BIG!!