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Welcome to Straight Ahead Management

Introverts Are Not Mentally Ill

I became an extrovert at about age nine.  In fact, I quickly became the class clown, a role I play to this day.

Until my 30s, I thought there was something wrong with introverts. No matter, more air time for me!  An extrovert gains energy from others, and an introvert from him or herself. That is to say, when in a group, the extrovert becomes more powerful when receiving attention from others, and the introvert is drained.

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Fat Boys Go to the Fair

steeramador truck

For the third straight year the Boys attended the Amador County Fair. We went on Seniors Day, which means we got in for free. This is one of the (very) few advantages of being over 60.

The appeal is pretty straightforward: the fair, in Plymouth, CA, 30 miles northeast of Sacramento, might as well be a small town in the Midwest in the 1950s. Participants are festooned in Wranglers, cowboy boots and hats, large ornate belt buckles, and a paucity of body art.  Scrub-faced, durable-looking children abound.

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Picking the Right Therapist

The Therapeutic Alliance

The most important thing in the therapist-patient relationship is the Therapeutic Alliance. This is a jargon term for how well they get along. It is more important than theoretical orientation or technique.

What are the elements of a good therapeutic alliance? Empathy. Does the therapist have some kind of understanding or experience with your problem. It’s not about common age, gender or race – although life experience probably helps – it’s about the therapist’s appreciation of the situation.

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Fat Boy Racing Team Goals

Reduced to bird watching....

Reduced to bird watching….

Fat Boys Are Born

I was fat and forty, out of shape. My family was staying at the MGM Grand Hotel in Reno. The suite was decorated in mostly Red Gauche.  The rooms had mirrors on every wall and ceiling. Leaving the shower, I happened to notice my rear view – a white slab, a beached whale, a pale monolith. That was it. I recruited my friend Larry Corcoran, a lifetime track athlete to be my coach. Within three months I could run three miles nonstop (5 kilometers) at a blistering nine minute per mile pace. I was ready for the big stage. Larry referred me to George Sheehan’s great book Running and Being which is instructional, inspirational, and transcends running.

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The Psychology of the Awkward Pause

When I think of an awkward pause I visualize a reaction to the unexpected; an insult or an outrageous statement. “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Or it could be a nonsensical question: “Are you verbal or analytical?” Personally, I do not pause. I just shift gears, change the subject or walk away.

It is an hour later when, I’m driving home from work that it dawns on me, “That guy really insulted me!” Then comes the question, do I need to do anything about it?

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