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Mental mindsets determine what we see. As human beings, we cannot make our way through life without mental mindsets as frames of reference but, by definition, they are flawed in some way. Differences between mental mindsets explain why two people can observe the same situations and yet describe it so differently, because they were paying attention to different aspects. Mental mindsets shape how you act. If you believe people are basically untrustworthy, you will talk and interact with people with the assumption they are not telling the truth. For personal growth to occur and personal maximization to work, you must be willing and able to examine your perceptions, assumptions and mental mindsets. The self-perception theory is the idea that you can gain knowledge about yourself by observing your own behavior from an objective stance. Objectivity is the most important element in personal growth.


We need to be reminded more often than we need to be instructed. The real job of adult education is to keep bringing people back, time and time again, to the old, simple truths that we know. In looking for the common thread that weaves through life, we can begin to see an on-going insistence that life and people can make sense—that all experiences provide significance!



  • We are born; then, we begin acting and reacting with our environment. Experiences, like rocks in a bucket, pile up and one side gets heavier than the other. Then, we begin to lean in that direction.
  • The subconscious picture we hold in our mind of ourselves controls our performance. When we leave our comfort zone our body lets us know. When we cannot get back into our comfort zone, we try to recreate our comfort zone in the new surrounding. If we do not change our internal self-image to match new surroundings, we will change the new surroundings to match our current internal self-image.


  • Individual perceptions are individual truths. A vast dichotomy exists between perceptions of reality, solutions, the right way and right answer and right belief.
  • We need to gain clarity about ourselves, including how we interpret the world around us, read other people, learn and process information and handle conflict.
  • This clarity must become an essential focus.


  • Human effectiveness has to do with attitudes. Attitudes are the direction in which we lean. They are our habits of thought and behavior.
  • Unfortunately, we are overexposed to negative experiences and interactions from a young age. These experiences and interactions create files in our mind that are full of negative attitudes.
  • Much of the negative feedback that we get in life comes from ourselves, from our own files. We talk to ourselves. We make many assumptions that are played out nowhere else except in our minds.


  • Self-exploration is to go beyond the known. It is the ability to become comfortable with the unknown—always discovering and learning.
  • As a unique, one-of-a-kind individual, do not look for a teacher, guru, or leader to follow in cult-like style. Instead, extract information from many sources, balancing knowledge with wisdom and faith, for the connection.
  • To attain emotional security we must learn to develop two critical capabilities: 1) The ability to live with uncertainties, and 2) The ability to delay gratification in favor of long-range goals.


  • Change is the one thing in life we can count on. Insight is the initial catalyst for change. Change exposes old assumptions so we can see flawed and incorrect thinking. We may begin to understand why we do the stupid, quirky, irritating, or dogmatic things we do. We may be surprised to discover that our behavior is based on incomplete assumptions and false perceptions.
  • With change, emotions often rise to the surface—anger, embarrassment and uncertainty—and create a reluctance to talk about what is thought to be not discussible. This, coupled with confusion and fear, inhibits many people from completing the change process.


  • Remember the word smorgasbord, because it is a great example for learning. With a smorgasbord, there are many choices. Depending on where we are in life and the condition we are in, some of the selections are not beneficial and others are essential.
  • There are two primary choices in life: 1) To accept conditions as they exist, or 2) To accept the responsibilities for changing them or for viewing them differently.


  • Unfortunately, we are a world of impatient people. We want what we want instantaneously, even when we’re not sure what we want.
  • Look at two prerequisites that are necessary for living a balanced life: faith and diligence. Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Genius will not.


There are multitudes of theories for viewing change. They are useful. But they are not gospel. How often have you heard this? "Nothing is as practical as a good theory." However, "Not all good theories are practical." But, they make us think. Most of us can say that our experiences are full of theories gained from a combination of self-study, formal education and life experience. However, for every neatly wrapped packaged and patterned theory, there lurks a match and an exception. So, basically, life is life. It’s never as simple as theories might suggest, nor must it be as complex. Healthy individuals do not look for teachers, gurus, or leaders to follow in cult-like style. Rather they extract information from many sources, but look to themselves for the connection. They accept responsibility and as they do, they are better able to live with doubts and uncertainties—paradox is okay—everything does not have to make sense.