"The Man, The Mission, The Passion" Husband, Father, Attorney, CPA, Steward Leader, Entrepreneur, MBA, Author, Builder, HBS OPM 25 Class, Mentor, Teacher

How to Access Your Best Self?


We don’t always do as well as we know. The challenges of the day are often many; life gives us pop quizzes at the most inopportune moments, so how can we be our “best self” more often?

I find affirmations to be a wonderful way to remind myself of my core values, to center and calm myself, to focus and direct my energies. For me the key is endless repetition that drives them DEEP into my consciousness, creates grooves in my memory, makes them habitual and easy to recall in the moment of decision. I often repeat them to myself, review them, on the morning drive into work (aka the play that pays).

Also, timeless truths can be spoken in many different ways; there is something about the phrasing of my chosen affirmations that appeals to me personally, other wordings might resonate better with you.  For instance, “I am a joyful breeze” is a real pattern interrupt for me; it conjures up a lovely visualization in my mind AND it is so at odds with my driven personality that it makes me smile and think “Ok, I’ve got a way to go here, how can I chill a bit and at least take a step on that journey?”

NSC’s Fave Centering, Calming Affirmations

“Peace Like a Mighty River Flows through me, Calming me, Soothing me, Nourishing me.”
“I Radiate Love and Positive Energy.”
“I carry the Sun in my Pocket.”
“I Nourish, Support, and Praise ALL that I meet.”
“I Find Love and Support Everywhere I Go.”
“I Have a Healthy Relationship with food, I eat Slowly, Savoring each and every bite.”
“I will judge Nothing that occurs today.”
“I will release all thoughts that hurt.”
“I am responsible for all that I see.”
“All That I Give to Others, I Give to Myself.”
“Forgiveness offers me ALL that I want!”
“I am a Joyful Breeze.”
“I live Serenely in the Present Moment.”
“I Greet the Present Moment Fully, I Greet it as a Friend.”
“I have the Habit of Happiness and An Attitude of Gratitude.”

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Don’t Bury the Lead

explain it simply1

“Don’t bury the lead” is an expression that comes from journalism. The “lead” is the first sentence of any communication and it should clearly and concisely cover the main point of the story i.e. scanning the first sentence should convey the essence of the story.

Beginning with secondary details does not value the time of busy readers. It also may indicate the writer has not taken the time or effort to fully understand the issue themselves in order to lay out in a succinct, brief manner the relevant points. It can also mean that the author needs to brush up on their Critical Thinking Skills in order to better articulate with precision.

The more people with whom you are communicating, the more total time will be saved by your taking the time to summarize your points. Not only will YOU understand better, your command of the issues will impress others. The more you practice this skill, the better you will be at it and before long it will flow naturally. Furthermore, this habit will help you think more clearly, understand complex situations quicker, and see inter-relationships you might have missed before.

Closing Quotes:

“Time given to thought is the greatest time saver of all.” – Norman Cousins, 1915-1990

“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.” – Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784

“I wrote you a long letter; I didn’t have time to write a short one.” – Blaise Pascal, 1623-1669

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier

Stop Lying… to Yourself

open minded parachute

We like to think of ourselves as rational thinkers, coming to objective conclusions about the world around us. Truth be told, study after study has demonstrated that we are much better at rationalizing, telling ourselves “rational lies”, than we are at objective observation and accurate assessment. We tend to hang out with folks that agree with us, that don’t rock our boat and like to avoid the mental discomfort (cognitive dissonance) we feel when we are confronted with evidence that contradicts our world view or self-image.

This process is known as “motivated reasoning” and is a “justification strategy” to deal with unflattering or upsetting data. All of which is okay, we are all flawed human beings, as long as we retain a bit of humility and remain aware that our opinions are just that, opinions, and not the Ten Commandments.

Accept that you often “think” and feel the way you do basically because you want to, because it is comfortable and known and familiar and NOT necessarily because it’s the holy writ or the “only way” or the “one right way”. Travel a lot and you will be amazed at the number of ways we humans have chosen to order our society; think and believe and yes, be happy doing so.

It’s okay for others to have their point of view and that just makes them different, NOT wrong. And even if they are wrong, that is a long, long way from making them bad people. Practice Tolerance and Acceptance, Release and Forgiveness. I realized a long time ago that I didn’t have to have an opinion on every topic and became quite comfortable saying “I don’t know”.

Closing Quotes:

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
And we never even know we have the key.”
– Eagles, ‘Already Gone’

“Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy

“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too” – Voltaire

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Henri Bergson

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier