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“...Recommendation for Your Consideration...”

My bias is clearly explicated and wholly unequivocal. Each and every single time I deign to venture, even slightly outside my scope of professionalism and licensure, I invoke a well-rehearsed refrain that “...off the record, as a lay person in X, Y or Z field, it is my recommendation for your consideration...” In the real world of personal services consultation, in my opinion, it is generally preferable (either when the client directly engages the consultant in an explicit interrogatory or when it may be otherwise, appropriate), for the so-called expert to say that “...off the record, as a lay person in X, Y......
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Old Beat-Up Violin and Two Masters

In high school, learning to play a musical instrument was an elective requirement. The basic goal was to provide young students with a modicum of exposure to various acoustic arts by actively involving them with an opportunity to convert random noise into progressively more rule-governed audible sounds with musical tools of their choosing. I selected the violin and quickly discovered how extremely challenging it was to induce it to conform to my bidding. To my surprise and delight, the instructor, an elderly Jewish violinist, reminded me often how I seemed to have “an ear” uniquely attuned to the intricacies of this mar......
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"Writing on the Wall"

I recall applying for an internal management position at my then place of full-time employment almost thirty years ago. My friendly competition included two candidates, both of whom, I often professionally supervised on an informal collegial basis at their request. Of the three applicants, I was the only one to have been credentialed with a doctorate and all of the requisite job-related experience by comparison. “On paper,” I thought I was the “obvious choice” but I soon realized that I was mistaken because the job went to the least qualified person. I was shocked and requested a meeting with one of the adm......
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Just This Much!

I recall sitting in my third-grade classroom, looking at the other children sitting at their classroom desks and lazily wondering just what the critical differential was between poor, fair, good, excellent and superior outcomes. As fate would have it, some workmen were replacing drywall in our classroom that very day and I was immediately struck by how quickly the wall was going up with visible measures and cuts without particularly exacting precision. It was always a matter of great speculation for me about why some people seemed to perform better than others even when they appeared less natively gifted while others......
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Redundant Systems

There is a “rule of thirds” which skilled mariners utilize to assess how far out into the deep blue sea they can go before they run out of fuel and can no longer safely return to their port of departure. Use a 1/3rd to get to where you are going, use 1/3rd to return from whence you came and keep a 1/3rd in reserve in case you run into any unanticipated problems, detours, delays or systems-malfunctions. The crucial lesson to be learned is to always be prepared for the unexpected by expecting that Murphy had the right idea when he proclaimed tha......
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Foundational Algorithm of Healing and Growth

Over the course of my career as a clinical psychologist, I have thought very deeply about progress, regress and stasis. Why do some people go forward, others go backward, others still go nowhere at all? Additionally, what is elemental about the process of authentic psychotherapeutic intervention, as well as, personal mentoring which is key for any meaningful healing and growth to occur and also for all healing and growth to be meaningfully sustained? Common sense suggests that relapse is ’hard-wired’ into the human condition and achievement-to-criterion on a given task or adaptive skills-competency results and obtains either from “single-trial” learning or, more li......
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Infrastructure

What carpenter in their “right mind” would begin to build a house by starting with the roof?What parent would give their 6 year old keys to the family car before they could ride a bicycle?What employer would promote an entry-level worker to a key executive position on the first day of hire? In the absence of “infrastructure,” you ain’t got nothing!Infrastructure means investing in the basics from the bottom-up.The “basics” are the foundation stones upon which a structure can emerge. Infrastructure can be something as innocuous as getting a good night’s sleep...On a comfortable bed and pillow...With clean bedding and a warm blanket in......
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Two-To-The-Third

Every good carpenter knows the ’old saw’ to “measure twice, cut once.” The idea is to check and re-check the correct measurement because once you cut you cannot re-cut. If you cut according to specifications, you are usually “good-to-go.” If you do not cut according to specifications you are usually “in trouble!” Some measures in life are complicated and it is not always clear exactly where to “cut.” So my suggestion during those moments is to consider “two-to-the-third” (or “2-cubed”). Said differently: “think twice and twice again and twice more.” Each time you “think” utilizing this method you will have considered where to “cut” eight times... Becau......
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Mastery

I used to think that mastery was a function of education, training and experience over time, place and circumstance. I was dead wrong! Mastery, like ethics, I suspect, is an aspirational goal. As such, it is not an end-point along a singular way; rather, it is one of many ways to achieve a useful result. One can “master” the alphabet, however, the use of letters to create meaning from words is a life-long process. Competence in the utilization of building blocks does not guarantee becoming a master builder. Of course, there are technical skills which necessitate high levels of proficiency to ren......
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