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The Past: A Place of Reference or Place of Residence?

The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.

—Unknown

Duff here. My past has been full of Eventful Deeds. I began as a Puppy, with all that entailed. So much to learn! How to Sit. Standing very Still for Mom to get my Harness hooked Up. How to Heel. When to get into My Carrier, My safe Place. A funny story about that: Years ago, after staying at A Wonderful kennel, Mom came to Pick Me up. The owner of the Facility was puzzled by My lack of Training. She asked my Mom to Watch. Then pointed to My carrier and said, “Crate!” I stood there and looked up at her, then Mom, concerned I had not Done Something correctly. Not living unstuck.

The Owner turned to My Mom and commented on My lack of Obedience. Mom started to smile, Which did not help The Situation. When asked what She did, Mom sheepishly said, “Hip hop in Your carrier, Duff.” And in I went, like the well Trained Canine I am. Now I understood. My Frame of Reference was clear. I was living unstuck. And I went on from There, learning Much of what the World had to teach me. Not stuck in The Past. And there’s more to Come.

How about You? Are You using the Past as a reference to Move on to Other Adventures? Or is It a Residence where You have camped out? I say: Time to Pack up Your Tent and Move along. You never know what Will be waiting for you. The Journey is risky but Oh-So-Rewarding. Time to Stretch. Live unstuck. #unstuckliving#stuckinthepast

Secure in Himself

The Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl. In the race to see what happens next for this team, an important pause is suggested. Carson Wentz, quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, led the team in a magical season for 13 games before being sidelined by an injury. But that didn’t stop him from being a leader and a coach for the other quarterbacks. Although he’s banged up, he still goes to team meetings and attends practices. Carson was in the locker room, celebrating the team’s victory. On Media Day, he showed confidence in his place on the team. Sure, he’s not “the guy.” He could have been in the shadows. But he was there. Living unstuck.

When the season started, it was like the Wentz Wagon was on a roll. All kinds of people in the car. Music blasting and people singing. The parade was on, with streamers and confetti. Then the wheel comes off. Now, Wentz is in the passenger seat. How to handle such a dramatic change?

He continued to be true to himself. He has been there to support the second string Nick Foles. Both Wentz and Foles are strong Christians and lean on their faith at times like these. As usual, he’s upbeat, bright and chipper. He’s enjoying the team victory, the dance of a group of athletic men moving together as one. Each with their specific role; their own task. Even though it would be easy to get stuck in the doldrums of rehabilitation, he’s all in.

I wonder how well I would do in a situation like this one. To work so hard and have a dream. Only to have that bubble popped as I was going down the home stretch. I would hope to be of the same caliber as Carson, to enjoy the moment and savor all that is going on. It may only happen once, for it’s a long slog to play the full 60 minutes each game all season long. But as Carson Wentz says, “I’ll be back better than ever.” You can’t have a worthier motto than that. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.

—Vince Lombardi

How Do You Recoup?

After AFC and NFC playoffs last weekend, two teams advance to the Super Bowl. Huge headlines, celebration in locker rooms, jubilation among the fan base. But to have that happen, two other teams also had to lose. Gloom and doom. Dark Skies. A dreary outlook.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a fairy tale season. Blake Bortles stepped into the breech and did his best to lead the team to a victory. The team played well together and coaching was superb. But when up against the New England Patriots, the best in the league, it was a challenge to come out on top. Not this year.

The Minnesota Vikings played their hearts out. The week before they made playoff history by becoming the first-ever team to win in a walk-in fourth-quarter “Minnesota Miracle” touchdown pass. Some said the reveling after that game took the wind out of the Viking’s sails when they faced the Eagles last Sunday. Just not up to par.

After having the best season in this century, Coach Marrone of the Jaguars told how this loss was right under a death of someone who is close to you. It takes a while to settle down, unwind from the frenzy of competition and take stock of the situation. But grief is also Mother Nature’s finest motivator. Like a reboot of a computer, it’s time to begin the practice of moving toward a win again. But not until the healing is complete.

Are you like me? You have had opportunities come your way. You have worked hard to achieve that goal, but somehow it eluded you. Or you were courting a lady, hoping for the best. But it didn’t work out. Or you were dreaming of a vacation. But your husband fell ill and you didn’t go. The remedy for recovering? Take time out and step back from what’s happening. Do something different. Enroll in a class. Perhaps even take a short weekend getaway. A breather is good. And when that new perspective comes your way, you’ll be ready to take life on. Live unstuck. #UnstuckLiving

Leap and the net will appear.

—John Burroughs

Perseverance Pays Off Big Time

“I had been through life when I was the laughingstock in whatever business I was in, auto parts or what have you. You have to stay in it and success comes. It’s a story of perseverance.” Shahid Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, knows what he’s talking about. The first five years of his seasons as an owner, the team was 17 wins with 67 losses, including 2-14 in his inaugural season. The team was stuck.

Khan knew about hard times but also knew about getting unstuck. He was born in Lahore, Pakistan to a family involved in construction. With $500 in his pocket, he moved to the United States in 1967 at age 16 to get his college education. On arrival, he spent his first night at a $2/night room at the University Y-YMCA, and his first job was washing dishes for $1.20 an hour.

While attending school, he worked at Flex-N-Gate, an automotive manufacturing company. In 1978, Shahid started Bumper Works, which made car bumpers and customized pickup trucks and body shop repairs. In 1980, he bought Flex-N-Gate from his former employer and grew the company so it eventually supplied bumpers to the Big Three Automakers. The company has grown in sales from $17 million to an estimated $10 billion in 2010.

He is living unstuck. And so have the Jaguars. His team won in the playoffs and has a good chance of ending up in the Super Bowl this February. When the team won their game, he said, “What a feeling. It’s unbelievable . . . To win it and win it the way we did today [is] mind-blowing.” Yes, it’s been a long time coming. But well worth the perseverance it took. It paid off big time.

I’m taking his example to heart. As a hypnotherapist and small business owner, I work at improving my practice every day. New techniques continually pop up and new ways to help my clients unfold. And I’m having fun! Just as Shahid Khan is enjoying the fruits of his hard work, he continues to expand his horizons. I want to follow in his footsteps and live unstuck. You too? #Unstuck Living

In order to succeed, we must first believe we can.

—Nikos Kazantzakis

Do You Compensate?

Successful NFL quarterbacks have been getting taller and taller over the years. The average height is roughly 6’4″ or 6’5″ tall. Why is this important? So they can see over their offensive linemen, who are also taller, and go through a check down to figure out the best place to pass the ball. The ball needs to be out of the quarterback’s hands within three seconds of when it’s hiked to him. During that time, he mentally goes through 2-3 scenarios before deciding on the one right for the play. The pass flies and the play moves to its end. If this happens well, the play is a good one. The quarterback and his team are on the move toward the goal. They are unstuck.

Having played in the NFL since 2001, Drew Brees is quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. And he is 6’0″ tall, shorter than the norm. But he has not let that get in his way. He was the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2004. In the 2009 season, he was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLIV. He has passed for over 5,000 yards in a season 5 times. No other quarterback has achieved that level more than once.

How can he do that? He developed leadership qualities long ago when playing football at Purdue University. And has continued to expand that ability throughout his career. Another drill he works at with his receivers: he has them catch that oblong ball coming in from all sides. He lobs them in to the right. To the left. Over their heads. Lower down where they have to almost scoop it up from the ground. He compensates for his lack of height by an exact pass, one that can’t be anticipated by the defense. And he stands on his tiptoes to see over the line. He found a way. He’s living unstuck.

His teammates are loyal to Brees beyond belief. The offensive line blocks the other team as long as they can to allow him time for his count down and that exact pass. The receivers have practiced extensively with Drew. Their muscle memory serves them well for they can catch just about any pass he throws their way. In spite of having depleted lines due to player injury, Brees and the Saints advanced in the playoffs this last weekend. As a team, they are living unstuck.

Do you have a part of your life you compensate for? How’s it going? Are you living unstuck? #Unstuck Living

The difference between who you are and what you want to be is what you do.

—Anonymous

New Year? New You!

The New Year brings an avalanche of suggestions for resolutions, many of which will last three weeks . . . or less. There’s the tried and true: lose weight, exercise more, stop smoking. And there’s nothing wrong with those. I’m all for them. But to live unstuck this year, I want you to have some fun and be successful with your goal. And here’s one you’ll have a good time with: meet one new person each month. That’s right, just one person. Not someone you already know. Not someone with a similar background. But someone with different interests or other perspectives than yours. Of course, you’ll have to turn off your inner filter (the one that blocks new ideas) and pay attention to what the other is saying. Challenging? You bet! But think of the mind expanding possibilities and new worlds you’ll venture into. If you can step into that person’s life, if even for a short time, you can broaden your horizons and stretch your mind. And your brain will thank you.

Where to find these folks? Chat with someone at the grocery store. Or at the gas station. Here’s another one: if you have a friend with a new baby, there nothing more pleasurable than a new mom with her little one. You could take a class at Northland Pioneer College or visit the Arts Alliance of the White Mountains. People interested in rock hounding or the arts will bring a whole other point of view into your life. See someone climbing off a motorcycle? Stop and chat. Find out where they’re going and a little about the bike. Talk with small business owners. I have learned a lot from Suzy at her Consignment Store about antiques. And Bonnie at Crafter’s Mercantile about gifting and creating. A wealth of knowledge. Get curious! I’m certain extraordinary ideas will come to you too. Live unstuck.

My challenge for all of us this New Year is to meet someone new each month. And we’re not confined to only one. We can meet more. But at least one person with a different point of view. An unfamiliar frame of reference. We’ll celebrate living unstuck in 2018! #UnstuckLiving

The less you talk, the more you’re listened to.

—Pauline Phillips

How Will You Celebrate?

Last week, the Detroit Lions made a touchdown. As typical for today’s games, these large athletes celebrated . . . by doing the Radio City Rockettes’ can-can. Yes, even the shy, retiring Matthew Stafford was in the line, kicking up a storm. And I got curious. How did they ever learn to do that? How did they get unstuck?

Turns out famed rapper/actor/comedian, KRS-One (Kris Parker), renowned touchdown celebration consultant, had worked his magic. He showed up in the locker room one day, wearing a tee shirt labeled: Boogie Down Brown, LLC. Below that: Inc. NFL 360. Here he is, a balding, skinny, energetic dude with an outrageous proclamation. He loosened up the players’ mentality by asking if they knew what he was holding in his hand. He had a football but insisted it could be a phone. Or a wall decoration. Or . . . The list was endless. Then he had them stand and began to rehearse the can-can. “Knee, kick . . . knee, kick . . . knee . . .” and on it went. The fellows got to laughing but followed through. The rest is history. They were doing some unstuck celebrating that next touchdown.

New Year ‘s Eve is fast approaching. Time to turn over a page on the calendar and face the New Year. Will you move into a contemplative mode? Take a look at what happened in your life in 2017 and decide to change some areas? Figure out some goals and set deadlines? Or will you celebrate with the best of them? Or will you do a Boogie Down Brown, LLC and create what you want to do in your hearts of hearts? Happy New Year! Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

You only live once,

But if you do it right, once is enough.

—Mae West