Not Easy: Just Clear

By Jim Selman | Bio

Yesterday I was coaching a friend of mine. I was sharing a bit of how important it is to ‘come from’ your vision for your life. Our future is always a product of our actions, and our actions are always a correlate of how we relate to the future. When we act as if the future has already happened, then it is only a matter of time before that future is realized or we learn what we need to learn to achieve it. Her response was, “Well, you make it sound so simple, but it is too abstract and I need to know ‘how’ to have what I want in the future.” This was my response. "I understand. Everything is abstract until we learn it.

don’t think learning a new way of being or a different way of observing
the world is simple. I think it is clear when we can set aside our
conventional wisdom and ‘try on’ a different mindset. Not easy, but

If you are 100% focused on ‘how’ and ‘doing’, then it is impossible to learn a different way of being.

normally try to BE different (or become resigned that we can’t change
the way we are) by trying to change what

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Coaching and Eldering

By Jim Selman | Bio

In 1976, I was working with some government employees in Virginia trying to implement a new system for integrating human services—a kind of one-stop shop for all the various services offered at that time. I had just finished the est training the previous July and was overwhelmed with my own experience and the idea that a person could transform themselves and their relationship to everything. Until then, I had bought into the belief that people don’t really change in fundamental ways, that personalities are fairly fixed, and that it requires a major crisis to shift our perceptions of reality. It was during that period that I formulated the idea that there were things that could be managed or taught and other things that could not be managed or taught but that could be “coached”. The difference had to do with how we observe others and ourselves and how we relate to power and responsibility.

This was a time before the concept of organizational culture had appeared in the business lexicon. I don’t think I even heard the word ‘paradigm’ until about 1980 or so. Peter Drucker was about the only popular writer on the subject of management. This was a time when people thought in terms of careers spanning a lifetime and many even expected to work for one or perhaps two companies for life. Tom Peter’s landmark book,

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Obama vs Cheney: Dueling in Different Universes

By Jim Selman | Bio

I listened to both President Obama and Ex-Vice President Cheney deliver their remarks on National Security. The President’s speech gave me goosebumps and Mr. Cheney’s gave me pause to consider the other view. It seems to me there were three basic issues and points of disagreement. The first has to do with what philosophy/approach is appropriate to maintain ‘National Security’. The second is whether ‘enhanced interrogation’ is torture and was it or should it ever be justified. The third is whether ‘American Values’ are a source of power and strength or are they potentially a source of real or perceived weakness.

I believe these two men were both eloquent and sincere in their positions. They were both ‘taking a stand’ for what they believe in and, in this case, those beliefs are radically different. Whichever view one embraces, there is a lot at stake in terms of who we consider ourselves to be, who we are for others and, of course, our day-to-day security. This is an example where two people and their constituents are on opposite sides of an issue. In many regards, this could be

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Creative Retirement Center

By Jim Selman | Bio

CBS Sunday Morning, one of my favorite shows, is a TV magazine filled with interesting and uplifting stories of American life. The brainchild of Charles Kuralt (who loved offbeat stories that were shared in his bestselling travelogue “Off the Road” in the 1970s), the show has been running now for 30 years. Kuralt’s vision continues to entertain and inspire with current host Charles Osgood. Recently, there was a story about a project of the University of North Carolina in Ashland called the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement.

The goal of the project is to create an ‘age-integrated’ society. NCCCR is all about research, lifelong learning and leadership. I find the whole enterprise to be very visionary and exciting. Apparently, everyone in Ashland is getting on the bandwagon and designing the community around many of the same intentions as the Blue Zones Vitality Project in Albert Lea, Minnesota.

There are about 1,800 ‘members’ in the Center. About half are technically ‘Boomers’ and the

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Showing Up for Those We Care For

By Kevin Brown | Bio

There was a time when ‘showing up’ for a meeting, an appointment, or a family event left me thinking about being on time, what I must remember to bring, or what I should wear. Increasingly though, I have been thinking about how I ‘show up’ in conversation with the people I interact with. I am talking about conversations with my work colleagues, fellow churchgoers, friends, extended family members, my son, my wife, and even with my God. When I began to consider how I show up for others in conversation, I realized just how little attention I was giving to being responsible in my conversations.

I have come to realize that much of the way in which I show up in conversation has more to do with my very active ego than with intentional thought on my part. I do not consider myself an authority on the subject of Ego, but it seems to be a tireless worker. My ego is quick to form a conclusion about the other persons’ character, their mannerisms, attire, language and intellect (and pretty much anything) for my ready access. With little or no effort on my part, a conclusion

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An Abundance of Choices

By Jim Selman | Bio

There are increasing numbers of theories and formulas for aging well. As far as I can tell, these fall into a number of categories that pretty much all revolve around the central question of “What do you want to do?”  This is not a question that my grandparents spent much time thinking about. Even my father’s generation is more focused on the question of what needs to be done.  The question of  “What do you want to do?” is a modern question that comes with the fact that we have so many choices coupled with a somewhat self-centered fixation on ourselves as individuals—the ‘me’ generation. I know very few people who aren’t working on this question.

For example, consider that in the area of health and fitness alone there are hundreds of diets, exercise regimens, spas, and new age therapies (not to mention the entire medical establishment). How do we know what will be best for us? When you don’t know what to do, you can always hire a coach. The same abundance of options appear in the areas of where we live and our lifestyle. Do you want mountains, seashore, urban landscape? Even on a daily basis, we are confronted with

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Serve America Act: Request for Public Input

Now that the Serve America Act has been passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, the Corporation for National and Community Service is looking for public input on how to:

  • Attract people of all ages to serve
  • Promote more service
    programs focused on education, healthy futures, clean energy, veterans
    and economic opportunity
  • Stimulate new partnerships, both within the
    government sector and with businesses and foundations, for greater impact
  • Identify and nurture new programs that can host additional AmeriCorps slots
  • Better demonstrate impact
  • Preserve the diversity of
    programs and the localized nature of solutions
  • Implement the Serve America Fellows, Encore Fellows and Silver Scholarship programs

They are holding public sessions in which people who sign up can speak. Sign up for a session by clicking a link below.

May 20th – Washington DC

May 22 – Boston

May 27 – Salt Lake City

May 28 – New Orleans

If you cannot attend, you can email your comments to [email protected],

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