The Positive Power of Amnesia

Jamais vu is a French term meaning “never seen.”  It is the opposite of deja vu.  (We associate it with amnesia or epilepsy.)   Jamais vu usually means not recognizing a word or person you have seen before.  

I associate it with seeing or experiencing something I have seen before, but in a new way.

To me it means seeing anything anew.  If you view something you have seen many times, but view it in a new way, with fresh eyes, we could call that jamais vu.

This is not  French language lesson.  It is a challenge.  

 Be childlike.  Be a fool.

Challenge #1:  Choose an aspect of your job and view it in a new way.  Become an outsider.  Pretend you have never seen it or heard of it before.  

If you actually saw the situation for the first time, what might you want to know?  Ask some questions to help you understand it.  

Challenge #2:  view a relationship in a new way.  For example:  if you were meeting your spouse for the first time on a blind date, what would you ask?  What would you say to impress?  Most importantly, what communication patterns would you strive to create?  (i.e. which of your current negative patterns would you avoid developing?)

:::   Be fierce.  Be kind.  Be knowledge-hungry.   :::

We Need You to Save Us

A Skill for Troubled Times

Difficult times might be coming. A cycle of violence, like the period from World War I —Russian Revolution—World War II, might begin in 2019. Hatred and irrationality are growing.

B0DF133F-ADAC-476C-B636-6EB8561EFC49Your skills will be needed.

If not a violence cycle, some regions might be hit by natural disasters.  Others may experience famine or economic collapse.  In these new cycles, we will need you to save us.

What we need is you to develop your ability to stay calm.  The psychologist Rollo May said:

Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men. . . . One person with indigenous inner strength exercises a great calming effect on panic among people around him.  This is what our society needs — not new ideas and inventions; important as these are, and not geniuses and supermen, but persons who can “be”, that is, persons who have a center of strength within themselves.

This blog encourages you to teach yourself to be successful.  You can do that in several ways.  But sharing your inner strength might be the most important competency right now.

People might want to kill others because of their ethnicity, like Hitler did.  Or people might want to kill others because their farms are a little bigger, like Hitler’s mentor Lenin did. Both types of hatred are simmering.  Maybe they are the same thing.  Either way, please help is to make good choices by ignoring mass hysteria.

Maybe these sorts of problems will not occur again, but if they do, we depend on you to be ready.  We’ll be too busy shouting slogans  or running for cover.

:::   Be fierce.  Be kind.  Be knowledge-hungry.   :::

My Former Life as a Secret Agent

I have never told anyone this.
When I was 9 years old, I experienced a stressful event which caused me to partially withdraw from society.  I built around me a cocoon of imagination.  My whole life was fake.
I imagined I was a secret agent.
For some reason, my country needed a small boy with no athletic ability and no skills to save them.   Enemy soldiers had infiltrated our land, and I–only I–could stop them.
Sometimes soldiers entered my classroom to seize me.  After winning a gun battle across desks, I would escape.  I jumped out the window to draw off any remaining enemies, to keep my classmates safe.
I lived to fight another day.  (Spoiler alert: because I am typing this now, you know I did not die)
The Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler called this Compensatory Fantasy.  We all have weaknesses.  But instead of overcoming them, some people retreat into fantasy.

I am concerned about the current wave of superhero films.  They can be fun for most people. But for some people, the films provide escape from creating a life.  So can video games.

My plea: don’t spend too much effort in building a game avatar or an imaginary persona.   Instead, build your own real-life skills.
Once you have found your passion, invest in becoming expert at that passion.

:::  Be fierce. Be kind. Be knowledge-hungry.   :::

Blogging takes me more time

When I was 12 years old, I had been taking piano lessons for six years.  I was still playing at an early intermediate level.  My parents, finally wearied of nagging me to practice each day.  They allowed me to quit.  “He must have other strengths,” they said.
Why did I make no progress?  Many years later I learned the reason.  I wasn’t lazy.  I wasn’t stupid.  I had a learning disability which prevented me from gaining traction.
Today I cannot play the piano.  I wasted six years.
But it was not a waste.  I learned about myself.  And I can still read music when I sing.

Also, I have ADHD.  Severe ADHD.  And a few other brain issues.  So writing a blog post sounds like this:

“Today’s topic—-what should I eat for lunch?——the topic is important—-—maybe a sandwich——-so, as I was starting to say——peanut butter or humus——-What is today’s weather———I’m going to try this later.  Wait. . . humus on a sandwich?”

The process takes a long time.

Should I eat blueberries as brain food?

Not a big problem.  To create, everyone must spend more time and energy than expected.  I might take a little longer than some people, but I am able to overcome my disabilities and eventually create.  I might I have other strengths which enhance the finished product.

ADHD people are like David Banner and the Incredible Hulk.  You know you have a superpower, but you cannot rely on when it will be available.  You might need your creative abilities during a brainstorming session or when sitting down to design.  But the Hulk might stay dormant.  The late that night, when it is time to sleep, creativity forces explode. 

Do you have weaknesses that must be overcome before you can create?  Feel free to share with me.  One strategy: focus on building your strengths first.


What are you trying to learn?  What are your struggles?  What issues would you like me to address?  How exactly can I help you?  I would like to hear from you.  Either leave a comment, or confidentially contact me at

The Future is Bright. Again.

33827D53-A51E-47E3-BAD5-445E75CBB4B7In 1976, my school teacher said the world was past Peak Oil.  She said I would never obtain a drivers license, because no cars would exist.  Petroleum would be too scarce.

The world was ending!

So I gathered all my money from delivering newspapers.  I invested it all in bicycle parts and repair tools.  I bought wrenches, a wheel spoke tightener, a chain repair kit, and a pile of spare parts.  I hoarded.  I prepared for the world collapse.

0037A3CC-0147-4AFE-A607-E08C61928310But we found more dead dinosaurs.  We have burned gazillions of barrels since then. And the known reserves are far greater today than in 1976.  We were saved by a MIRACLE.

The world ended again in 1997 (currency crises), 2000 (Y2K), and in 2008 (mortgage crisis).  Each time I bought extra food and toilet paper.  But miracles occurred.  New futures arose.

The world today is messed up.  Almost every developed country is insolvent. Governments falsify statistics to justify more invasive policies.  The foundations of ethics and morality are crumbling.  A cycle of violence might be starting, similar to the one that started early in the 20th century.  The world is ending!  Again.

I choose to believe in miracles, because I have seen them so many times.  I believe that if we are good and wise, another miracle will rescue us.  I choose optimism over gloom.

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