Assumption Wars

What if Darth Vader had said in a raspy voice, “LUKE!  I AM YOUR MOTHER.”

Ok, let me back up!  This piece of writing started very simply with a text message I sent to Ina Lukas, The Chief Happiness Officer at Heroic Yes! Productions, that asked something like, “Wouldn’t it have been different if Darth Vader had said, “Luke, I am your mother?”

We got a good laugh.  Then Ina suggested that my random question might be good blog material so I wrote the idea down a month ago.  Then I started writing more today…

Now I’m thinking, “What the heck do I say next?”

Have you ever had an idea that you thought was really promising, only to create part of it and then

STOP

because you felt stuck?

After that, you were probably just staring at white space on a piece of paper that looks a lot like this:

(                                                             ) = White Space

At this point, part of you might have made the ASSUMPTION that your idea wasn’t any good because you felt blank at the moment and were staring into white space.

All the while another part of you might continue to make the ASSUMPTION that your idea is a wonderful idea.

Suddenly you have an ASSUMPTION WAR waging furiously in your head between Darth “My Idea Is No Good” Vader and Luke “I Have A Wonderful Idea” Skywalker.

WATCH OUT!  Each one of them has their ASSUMPTION SABER and they’re battling it out.

Who wins?

ASSUMPTION WARS lead me to contemplate, WHAT IF Thomas Edison had had an ASSUMPTION WAR with himself about inventing the light bulb and WHAT IF….

Darth “My Idea Is No Good” Vader and Luke “I Have A Wonderful Idea” Skywalker had fought it out with CANDLE SABERS and WHAT IF Darth had WON?

Would I be writing this with a quill pen?

Would you be reading this on parchment while you washed you laundry in the river?

I’m so glad young Skywalker won the ASSUMPTION WAR going on in Thomas Edison’s head.  Aren’t you?

Your ideas are so powerful!  They could light the world hundreds of years from now.

MAY YOUR CREATIVE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

Game of the Day

What’s an idea that you are currently having an ASSUMPTION WAR about?

How can you help Luke “I Have A Wonderful Idea” Skywalker win this ASSUMPTION WAR?

How can you strengthen your CREATIVE FORCE?

Friday One Minute of Excitement

What’s Behind That Door That You’re Opening?

Click on the link to watch the video for a one-minute inspirational blast!

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com

One of the Greatest Gifts You Can Give

Our feelings communicate through what we do and often come to be felt by a community extending far beyond us, even to people we will never officially meet.

I believe that our happiness is one of the greatest gifts we can give others.  Others feed on and are nourished by our happy energy.

(Now, Jason, is that any way to begin a blog?  Can I give a gift of reality?  It sounds like you are frolicking in some utopian, sugar-coated, obnoxiously bright-colored land of FLUFF.)

Thank you voice in the ( ), you always keep me honest.  Let me give you a concrete example.

Say you are given a choice between two different elegant seven-course meals.  The waiter tells you the description of each meal and they sound exactly the same.

You say, “I don’t get it.  Both options you described are identical.”

The waiter grins and says, “Not quite, Meal # 1 is being prepared by a chef who’s really happy with how his day is going.”

You ask, “What about Meal # 2?”

The waiter offers, “Meal # 2 is being created by a chef who happens to be bitter, angry, upset and downright sad with how his day is progressing.”

You consider this and ask, “Which chef has more experience?”

“Good question,” the waiter exclaims, “both chefs are very creative and have comparable skill levels.”

Would you choose Meal #1 or Meal #2?

Neither chef has ever met you, AND THE FEELINGS THEY ARE PRESENTLY FEELING HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU, yet how they are feeling could well have an impact on the quality of your food.

(So the chef having a bad day prepares an awful meal for me.  So what?  I have had some bad tasting food before and I survived. How could his mood affect the people he has never met?)

Good question, ( )!  Say you choose Meal #2 and now are frustrated and even downright angry at how poor your meal tasted.  So you tell the manager, who apologizes and gives you a lousy five dollar coupon off to be used the next time you dine with them.

Now you’re really mad because you had expected the manager to give you this meal free, plus a coupon for an additional free meal.

Then you run some errands and are cranky with the bank teller, the grocery store clerk, the lawn mower repairman, and the gal at the hardware store.

At the end of the workday, they all go home and complain about having such a cranky customer and it just goes on and on.

And it all started because a chef working behind the scenes in a kitchen was having a bad day. 

(Of course, I would just let the bad food and the manager’s response go, and be extravagantly nice to all the rest of the people I interacted with that day.)

That’s so good, ( ).  But do you see that many people might not choose your approach, and instead carry the chef’s bad mood that appeared in his food with them through the rest of their day?

(Yes, I see how it works.  I guess our unhappiness really does affect others, even possibly people we will never actually meet.  But it still sounds a bit cheesy.)

I know, ( ).  It does.  But in practice I’ve found it to be very true.

And the opposite is true, too.  When we choose to create happiness in our lives, that happiness can ripple out to touch people we will never even meet.

(It’s truly phenomenal how powerful our moods are.)

Say ( ), you remind me of a Muppet like Grover.  Can I start to call you Grover?

(Now Jason, I am practically agreeing with the point you are trying to make.  Don’t push your luck!)

Game of the Day

When you are happy, how can you best appreciate the impact your happiness has on the world?

When you are experiencing a time that is more difficult like it was for the chef preparing Meal #2, how do you handle that situation in a way that both respects your feelings and at the same time respects those around you?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com

Friday One Minute of Excitement

Are You Worried About Spending Money?

Click on the link to watch the video for a one-minute inspirational blast!

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Rolling (and Running) With Unexpected Surprises

“Right now, gate C12 in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Airport is my ticket home to surprise my Dad.”

The minute I wrote that line at about 9:45pm on Thursday, July 19, 2011, I looked up at the monitor and it said, “DELAYED”.  I inquire for further details.  It turns out that although the plane for my short flight from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls, South Dakota is at the gate, our crew is en route from a city on the East Coast.  And it’s unknown what time they will arrive.

OH NO!  Now suddenly, I’M the one surprised.

Have you ever had an unexpected surprise when you were the one planning to do all the surprising?

This simple delay gets complicated because my Mom and I had planned an elaborate story that would allow her to be at the Sioux Falls airport as 11:30 pm.  Now it doesn’t appear that my plane will leave until at least midnight, if then…

When you have something planned out perfectly, this is the kind of uncertainty that you least want.  At times like this, LIFE IS SUPPOSED TO GO PRECISELY AS PLANNED WITH NO DEVIATIONS.

And now I had a MAJOR DEVIATION on my hands.

What to do next?  Be frustrated?  Think, “Why me?” Or get angry?  Get Angry over the unfairness of it all? 

These are approaches that I have often used the past.  Luckily, this time I realized immediately that getting frustrated and angry would take me further away from my intent of creating a joyful surprise for my dad.

So instead, I hatched a plan.  I would rent a car, drive the four hours to my parent’s house, and surprise my Dad when he woke-up.

I checked with the gate agent who said I could get a refund for the unused portion of my trip.  Then, I sent my Mom a text.  She replied that the new idea was fine with her.

I thought, “Wow, that didn’t take long to solve that problem.  I’m getting good!”

Yes! I had stayed calm and hatched a new brilliant plan within a few minutes.  I felt so proud of myself.

Except…

As I quickly found out at the rental car desk, agencies don’t typically rent cars for one-way travel to towns four hours away.  In fact, only one place agreed to and this agent said the price would be at least$350 dollars.  My new plan suddenly got really expensive really fast and much less appealing.

Another Surprise!

Luckily, the airline gate agent had told me that I could still use my ticket for the flight if things didn’t work out for a car rental places.

So on the spot, I created a new simple and straightforward plan – go back through security, reclaim my ticket and fly home.  Not quite what I wanted, but still fairly easy.

Except…

1.      The security gate near the rental gate is closed for the night.  Surprise! 

2.      A maintenance worker tells me I have to walk downstairs and then take a tram to another part of the airport to find an open security gate.  Surprise! 

3.      When I get to this part of the airport all the security gates look closed.  Surprise!

4.      I finally see a security gate that says it is open for Staff OnlySurprise!

Luckily the security guy lets me through anyway.  So I get through security and run back to Gate C12, which is a long trip (the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Airport is Massive!).  I run because it’s getting towards midnight and I have some concern that the crew arrived while I was on my rental car adventure, that they had filled the plane really fast and were already gone, which would be Quite the Surprise.

Luckily, I get down to the gate and get rechecked in.  No problem!

AND the gate agent still doesn’t know when the crew will arrive.  Which is “Not the Best” as my Dad likes to say.  Our plane is still sitting faithfully right outside as if everything was going as planned, EXCEPT WE STILL HAVE NO CREW! 

Sometimes half a plan seems to work perfectly and the other half just doesn’t, AT ALL.

AND now I’m hungry but everything in the C terminal is closed for the night.  Surprise! 

However, there are vending machines, BUT I have no change and the smallest bill I have is a ten. Surprise!

(Who is supposed to be surprised here?  I thought it was my Dad.)

So I ask some construction workers where the closest open restaurant is.  And, it turns out that at this hour, there is only one 24-hour Subway open, In Another Terminal.  Our crew still hasn’t come so I set off running again.  (Who knew that waiting in an airport could be such an aerobic work out.)

1.      Half way through the C terminal (which by now I know very well), I think “Wow I’m running very fast,” then shortly there after I think,  “Oh NO! I don’t have my carry-on suitcase.”  Surprise!

2.      How does one lose a whole suitcase? Surprise!

3.      I run back to look around the gate, and see no sign of my bag.  I ask the agent for help.  She calls the security gate I went through and doesn’t get an answer. Surprise!

3.  So she gives me a 1-800 number to call the next day from Sioux Falls, which

seems like a very bad sign.  Surprise!

4.  Finally over the intercom, there is an announcement that my bag is at security     checkpoint.  Finally, A Nice Surprise!

 But now the crew has at last arrived and the plane is about to board!  Surprise!

 1. So I make a mad dash to checkpoint 3.   And then a lady happens to be right there with a courtesy cart.  Great Surprise!

2. She agrees to take me immediately to back to my gate.  Amazing Surprise.

3. She drives fast.  Fun Surprise!

4. I arrive back in time to board.  Best Surprise!

5. I arrive safely in Sioux Falls, suitcase in hand.  My Mom picks me up.  And when we get home my Dad is Really Surprised. 

(But I don’t think quite as surprised as I had been by the night).

Game of the Day

How do you deal with surprise?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com

Friday One Minute of Excitement

Be the Smile You Want to See In the World

Click on the link to watch the video for a one-minute inspirational blast!

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com

Choosing the Pain of Growth


Say you strike up a conversation with someone you have never met before at a coffee shop.  You ask, “What’s a typical day like for you?”

They respond by saying, “I go to work.  I go to the gym.  I spend time with my family.  And I also make it a point to spend an hour a day doing something I really don’t want to do.”

This strikes you as slightly odd, so you inquire as to why and they say, “Haven’t you heard, ‘no pain, no gain’?  Haven’t you heard that discomfort is the only way to get beyond your comfort zone?  Haven’t you heard that all people who succeed constantly struggle to do it?”

How would this explanation seem to you?

The guy in the above example is coming from the idea that discomfort and pain leads to growth.

And it can.  Just think of the personal growth of a runner finishing her first marathon, a runner who two years ago doubted that she could even run two miles.

However, discomfort and pain can also lead to personal contraction.

For example, if I told myself, “Now, Jason, you have to write out each of your blogs longhand.  In addition, every time you see a new correction you want to make, you have to write the whole thing out again.  What you need to do, Jason, is write your blogs out longhand again and again until they are perfect.  Only then can you type them up.  This way you will learn to be perfect, Jason.”  (I’m finding it somewhat odd that I’m choosing at this point to talk about myself in third person.)

Now I’m much faster at typing than I am at writing longhand.  Writing blogs again and again longhand until they were perfect would probably take me sixteen hours a day and be very uncomfortable and even painful.

Would I experience personal growth of some sort?   There’s a chance.  But far more likely, I would experience personal contraction as I gave up yoga, social contact, cleaning my apartment, and basically the rest of my life in order to write-out blogs longhand.  Ridiculous, right?

To grow we need to become skilled at choosing discomfort and occasional pain that promotes our personal growth rather than discomfort and pain that promotes our personal contraction. 

When we were kids it was easy to tell if we were growing.  We grew taller.  This could be quickly measured with a yardstick.

For adults, personal growth is often harder to measure.  As we saw in the above examples, discomfort and pain can be associated with either personal growth OR personal contraction.

Maybe, the feelings surrounding the discomfort and pain could be an important indicator of whether or not we are in fact experiencing personal growth.

Although the marathon runner feels discomfort and pain during the marathon, she also feels the joy and wonder of accomplishing something she has never done before and then experiences the utter thrill of finishing.

Whereas, the feelings surrounding the discomfort and pain of writing my blogs out again and again until they were perfect would lead me to experience frustration that the process was taking all my time, loneliness from missing social interactions, and more frustration that my home was so dirty because I was devoting all my time to writing blogs out longhand.

Basically the pain and discomfort that the marathon runner experienced would help her to feel powerful and good about herself, whereas my hypothetical-harebrained-writing-blogs-out-longhand idea would lead me to feel powerless and miserable about myself.

As I write this, I’m becoming more and more amazed at how vast the difference between pains of personal growth and the pains of personal contraction can be.

So when you choose to experience pain and discomfort be sure that it’s actually taking you in the direction of your growth.

Game of the Day

How will you determine when you are experiencing pains of personal growth versus pains of personal contraction?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com