Archive for May, 2006


See/Here, Do, [k]NO [w]eEvil

As you will continue to discover, I think that groups of three have a certain quality to them.

Western culture seems to have a predisposition for threes: trilogies of books and movies, the Holy Trinity, three dimensions, the three graces, three stranded braids. Two legged stools have not really caught on with the general population. The minimum number of legs that has inherent stability is three. Minimum means most efficient in this case. Sure, we can add a fourth leg, but does that really make it more stable?

My undergraduate university has as part of their seal the Latin words “Spiritus, Mens, Corpus” which loosely translated means “Spirit, Mind, Body”. This seems to be a common theme since Latin was actually spoken (or at least since the Reductionists started tearing us apart). Most ideas as long lived as this usually have some validity or at least some usefulness.

My own triune metaphor of the educational process is that of knowledge, awareness, and behavior. Each builds on the other two. If you are not strengthening each of them in parallel you may find your learning is not quite what it could be or maybe just not what you want.

If you are subscribed to the newsletter you’ll get to hear more about my KAB theories with some examples of how I’ve been able to spiral upwards in my learning once I realized the significance of what I’d synthesized!

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Al Gebra Terrorists

I’m not talking about fundamentalists sects (or sets). I’m talking about those who remember enough high school algebra to spread dangerous memes.

I promised in the last blog post to share some of my impressions and spin on First Things First. This is as close as I can get tonight. For more of my own metaphor that has been inspired by First Things First please join the newsletter.

Warning: This is a rant, contains at least one valuable lesson, and has geeky math references. If any of these things bother you please read quickly so you can get over it that much sooner.

You may recall some bits of algebra from somewhen in your past. If so you are more likely to recognize the Cartesian coordinate system presented throughout Mr. Covey’s works where he creates a continuum of urgent and/or important tasks. Why does this matter to anyone but Wayne?

Covey has gone through the trouble to set up a horizontal axis and vertical axis (urgency, importance), he uses the correct terminology (quadrants), then he goes and numbers them randomly. This would be like he was playing golf and lined up his putt perfectly, kept his head down, then decided to kick the ball off into the sand trap.

The first time I ran across his diagram (probably in 7-Habits) I went through a multitude of reactions ranging from doubt (“it must be a typo”) to outrage (“Descartes is rolling in his grave!”) to my current resignation tinged with pity. Why pity? Because he was so close to having his numbering add to his metaphor instead of being arbitrary!

As it stands “Quadrant I” is the Urgent/Important, and “Quadrant II” is the Non-Urgent/Important, “Quadrant III” is Urgent/Non-Important, and “Quadrant IV” is Non-Urgent/Non-Important. (I’ll replace this paragraph with a diagram if it is still this clear in the light of day.)

Covey emphasizes the fact that people spend much of their time in Quadrant I because it is urgent and that if they spent time in Quadrant II they would be able to leverage that Q2 time and reduce their Q1 time. He also discourages time spent in Q3 or Q4 since they are not important.
Makes sense, right?

Well, what happens if we number them the Cartesian way leaving everything else the same. Quadrant II will be Urgent/Important, Quadrant I Non-Urgent/Important, and Q3 and Q4 stay the same. This minor change means that Covey could have encouraged people to prioritize based on Quadrant number: spend time in Q1 then you don’t have to waste it in Q2 and on down through Q4. This would have not only satisfied the mathemagicians, but also would have made it more usable for the general population. (I almost said that it would have made it more memorable, but I remember it well enough to rant about it…)

The unintended bonus of my abbreviation (Q1-Q4) is that is allows me to use the ambiguity of Quadrant versus Quarter. How nicely the metaphor continues: the more time we spend doing the Important things (Quadrants 1 and 2) at the beginning of the year (Quarters 1 and 2) the less time we have to spend on the Non-Important things (Quadrants 3 and 4) later in the year (Quarters 3 and 4).

I guess it all comes down to follow through.

Until next time: remember what is important and keep your eye on the ball!

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The Coincidental Covey Connection

We are in the age of super long domain names. Back when I got my first domain I picked a nice short one (5 characters) and have been happy with it. That was early 2000.

Recently I decided to get a separate domain for business stuff. And nothing shorter than was available. With my focus on NLP and my transition from one side of the teacher’s desk back to the other I decided on since the other combinations I tried were already taken. I committed, paid my money, and again am happy with my domain.

Within a day or two I ran across a reference to a book by Steven Covey (et al): First Things First. I had picked up the book off our book shelf a couple years ago and hadn’t read much if any. (I’m still not sure how it got on our book shelf to begin with, it isn’t really my wife’s style.)

Having read this far you’re still waiting for the connection. It was that the reference included the subtitle:

First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy.

So I decided that I needed to actually read this book since I knew I’d get at least one astute reader who made the “Covey Connection” that doesn’t really exist. (This is where I would put the rant about coincidence and it’s connotations if I thought it would add to this discussion. I can post that rant if enough people ask for it or I have a “slow news day”.)

So far I’ve made it through the first section: the “what” of the book rather than the “how” that is covered in the rest of the tome. As usual I am not enthralled by Covey. And yet I am compelled to follow through and see how he delivers on his promises. Maybe Merrill and Merrill have tempered Covey enough for my tastes.

Stay tuned for my first impressions and my own spin on their first section.

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May 2006 NLP Practitioner is done!

Wow. This past week has been a real trip!

Just wrapped up presentation of my first NLP Practitioner training with my good friend and co-trainer Kathy Jones. It has been a blast and everyone learned so much.

I think my favorite was whenever the participants really got into it. Some were subtle and just dove into the exercises. Others were very vocal that “this stuff is really scary/powerful/ubiquitous/exciting…”

I’ll have to ask Kathy how she feels about this latest batch of NLP “monsters” we’ve unleashed on the world and what grand things she expects from them! They have become who/what/how/when/where-wolves — and they’re loving every minute of it!

And now I am left with paperwork and about 10 hours of video to digitize and edit for the DVDs. I need to do the final edit on the audio from the “Intro to NLP” course so that you can benefit from it too!

Plans are forming for our next training late this summer.
Reserve your spot soon as we expect it to be sold out!
As Kathy says: “Call/write now.”

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Welcome to the Life, Love, & Learning blog


I suspect you are here because you want to know more about life, love, and/or learning. The good news is that I have years of experience in each and am ready, willing, and able to share with you!

I am very eclectic, so don’t be surprised by topics ranging from learning to speak a foreign language, intensive gardening, alternative building techniques, playing musical instruments, blacksmithing, or nanotechnology.

You can expect to hear quite a bit about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) since I am a licensed Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP. I continue to explore all the ways to apply NLP in each aspect of my life and am happy to share.

When you have any comments, questions, or praises please visit and let me know how I can support you in reaching your goals!

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