David Krueger MD
If you are adamantly opposed to change, these caveats will embellish your position. If you are considering change, they might illuminate beliefs or positions that need addressing.
1. Focus on the system.
Devote special attention to the things that seem frustrating, out of your control, and impossible to address: politics, corporations, and economics. Systems must remain in focus as broad categories in order for you to feel distanced and disaffected.
2. Maintain a focus on theory.
Avoid detail, singular aspects, and application. Cling to your theories and abstractions about how to transform various systems, about what needs to be done, maintaining the frustration of what continues to seem out of your control.
3. Believe that the answer will appear when you step out of the box.
Simply opposing the system can be an end in itself.
4. Keep the point of reference external.
Believe that the antithesis of conformity is opposition; know that one or the other of these external points of reference of conformity or opposition holds the real truth.
5. Do not decide.
Allow the urgency of a situation to decide for you. The gravity of a last-minute emergency forces action and avoids planning. Waiting for the deadline excuses responsibility for thoroughness and excellence.
6. Believe that the answer is more rules.
Further structure will provide greater compliance.
7. Debate the obvious.
Give energy to the controversial.
8. Believe in experts unequivocally.
Expertise is authoritative. Dismiss any notion that expertise is perceived,
processed, and filtered through assumptions, belief systems, and prejudices of experts.
9. Do not seek your own information or develop your own solutions.
You will always have experts to listen to. Find someone to provide a map for you and avoid anyone who wants to help you develop your own navigation system.
10. Always find some cause-and-effect relationship to explain things you can’t otherwise understand.
Some tangible explanation will inevitably offer a specific, concrete focus on what is wrong or who can be blamed. Warning: Much work is required to maintain this position. You must be certain the obstacle can never be totally removed, else its causal effect would have to be confronted as inaccurate. The perceived cause must always be just beyond reach and remedy in order to remain as effective blame.
11. Keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome.
If the outcome doesn’t change for the better, do the same thing harder.
12. Be suspicious of new ideas.
Feedback from others can confuse and derail.
13. New ideas must be curbed or even silenced.
Any perturbation of the existing system threatens disruption.
14. Meticulously guard against mistakes.
The best way to be sure to avoid mistakes is to keep doing the same thing again and again with perfection as the goal.
15. Maintain a focus on avoiding failure.
Give failures the proper respect of fear so that they remain ever in focus with their guiding principles of avoidance.
16. Be extremely wary of new strategies and solutions.
Invest instead in enforcement of the existing approach.
17. When you make mistakes, focus on the mistakes.
Redouble efforts to get them right.
18. Continue to hold prejudices.
They are excellent markers of emotional landmines.
What's Next Exec? is a comprehensive weekend retreat for career transition/retirement to prepare for the next phase of professional and personal life. Art Wilson and David Krueger MD lead a 2½-day Retreat on May 31-June 2, 2013 in Boerne, Texas www.WhatsNextExec.com
David Krueger, M.D.
I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at 9:00 sharp.
Turning pro is an act of will, a mindset. To have a plan and stick to it no matter what. Success to the professional, who has mastered the technique of the art, is no mystery. Success to the amateur, who believes art is a gift, is luck, circumstance, good breaks.
The professional knows that art is work, success is created, and seeks mastery. Practice is adopted as a lifestyle. The amateur believes that art is inspiration, talent is innate, and seeks the lucky break.
The professional aligns with the respect that Goethe had when he said, Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.
The professional believes that the architect of magic is persistence. The amateur believes that magic is magic.
The professional shows up every day, no matter what, and is committed for the long haul. The amateur shows up as long as something else doesn’t get in the way. The professional understands delayed gratification, is the ant, not the grasshopper; the tortoise, not the hare. The amateur looks for shortcuts, quick results, and immediate gratification.
The professional has an internal point of reference, and is proactive. The amateur has an external point of reference, and is reactive.
Professionals know they can do best what they do uniquely well. The amateur tries to do many things, to be everything to many people.
The professional knows that the self and every storyline in life are created moment by moment; that the ultimate abandonment is of one’s self. The amateur believes that much is predetermined, some fate, some circumstance, some luck; that consistent attention must be given to be appreciated and accepted by others.
The professional believes that we write, live, and create in order to know. The amateur believes that we must know in order to write, live, and create.
Professionals add value to their art, science, professional body of knowledge, and clients. Amateurs add value to themselves.
The professional believes that security is developed with proceeding. The amateur must have security in order to proceed.
The professional, as a warrior, nonetheless believes in humility, self-effacing humor, and modesty. The amateur believes in never showing vulnerability, doubt, or uncertainty.
The professional knows that courage is to proceed despite fear. The amateur believes that courage is the absence of fear.
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David Krueger, M.D.
It is not that I am so smart; it is that I stay with problems longer.
- Albert Einstein
A professional and an amateur are states of mind. By professional, I don't mean "the professions" such as doctors and lawyers. The professional is an ideal, a contrast to the amateur. The transformation from amateur to professional is a significant, life-changing passage. Consider some differences.
The professional works from love, passion, and dedication; failure is information to guide proceeding. The amateur may be sidetracked by setback; failure is validation not to proceed.
The professional loves and pursues the game, whatever the game is, with total dedication and passion. The amateur pursues it as a sideline, part-time, like a weekend warrior.
The professional keeps going, no matter what. The amateur is dissuaded by setback and adversity.
The professional does what is important first. Amateurs do what is urgent first. Sometimes a football team can do more in the final two minutes of a half than in the previous 28, with imminent clock and finite time remaining can focus energy, attention, and concentration. The professional operates for the entire game in this zone. The amateur waits for the two-minute warning.
The professional is on a mission, knows that fear can never be overcome, and recognizes that the best indication of what we next need to do is what we're most afraid of. The professional knows that once action has begun, fear will recede, like your lap when you get up to walk. The amateur must first overcome the fear, and then does the work; fear stops the amateur.
The professional knows that "fair" is a childhood wish; that there is not even an ultimate arbiter of fair. The field is never level, there is always adversity, bad hops, rotten calls, injustice, unfairness. The amateur seeks fairness, and is set back at what does not seem fair.
The professional does whatever it takes, even what never could have been imagined. The amateur needs predictability, consistency, assuredness of results.
The professional respects the craft but is not superior to it, recognizing the contribution of those who have gone before. The amateur believes in inherent luck, intelligence, and waits for inspiration to come.
The professional dedicates to mastery. The amateur dedicates to proving himself or herself, to consistently demonstrating superiority or competence.
The professional does not take things or people personally, recognizes that others always make self statements, and does not succumb to criticism, envy, or idealization by others. The amateur is subject to the perception of others, to rejection, and reads the responses of others as if looking into an accurate mirror with a valid reflection of self.
The professional self-regulates and self-validates, takes in new information but does not let it determine meaning. The amateur becomes an extension of the interest, desire, and needs of others, is vulnerably reliant on the perception and feedback of others.
David Krueger MD
Each of the following eight questions has a single word answer:
1. What is the most popular legal substance to all peoples of the world?
2. What is the one true metaphor, the single commodity that can be translated into everything
3. What is the story that you write each day, think about several times a day, that you may not
know how to tell to yourself to know what to change?
4. What is the legal tender of desires?
5. What is the one thing that can make any statement, carry any message, represent any notion?
6. What is the universal inkblot of each personal Rorschach?
7. What is the longest relationship you’ll have in your life? The one that your parents discussed
before you arrived, and will be deliberated after you’re gone? A relationship that you can
never stop living each day of your life?
8. A therapist once wrote, “_______ questions will be treated by cultured people in the same
manner as sexual matters, with the same inconsistency, prudishness, and hypocrisy.” (The
year: 1913. The therapist: Sigmund Freud).
See answers below.
Answers 1—8: Money