Charlie and Carol have a big decision to make. How do you think they are handling the possibility of a new job for Charlie in Texas? What is your take on how they are handling the decision process? Are there things you think might be handled better? What do you think their decision is going to be?

There you go: an interesting family problem and decisions to make, with high stakes for the family. Perhaps you will spend a few minutes thinking about how you would handle it, if the problem were yours to solve.

Thanks for spending time with Audio Tidbits. I hope you stop by again real soon.

The Mystery Of Intuition

The Mystery Of Intuition

“It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my INTUITION will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.” – Jonas Salk

Intuition is an elusive phenomenon. You know it exists but it’s difficult to describe or explain. You experience insight, recognition, or understanding; you know what to do or not do; you can predict outcomes and avoid dangers. Salk also said, “Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” But how do you know? Where did the knowledge come from? Why do you now know what you didn’t know just moments ago? Albert Einstein described the phenomenon like this, “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”

That is the “Now I see,” dimension of intuition but there is more. The new insight or understanding does not appear to derive from careful analysis, thoughtful contemplation, or logical deduction. Those processes are important and thoroughly embraced but intuition is of a different order of things. Alexis Carrel suggested, “All great men are gifted with INTUITION. They know without reasoning or analysis, what they need to know.” Be that as it may, you know, suddenly it seems, what you didn’t know and you aren’t sure how or why. You just know.

It’s tempting to attribute the product of intuition to latent psychic ability, to an untapped sixth sense, or to offer other metaphysical etiologies. Doing so makes intuition at least mysterious and perhaps close to magical. When moved into that arena, intuition becomes an ability or “power” that defies analysis. The goal is more to enhance or increase than to understand.

Alternatively, intuition may be understood as merely a sub–process within the broader context of thinking and understanding that leads to awareness and insight. Its distinction is neither mysterious nor magical. Rather, it’s an absence of cognizance, existing outside of the range or scope of what is known or perceived. You know but are not in touch with the process that resulted in knowing. As Helen Palmer said, “Intuition makes a great range of information available to us.” It’s just there; and you aren’t sure how or why.

From this perspective, the activities and processes that lead to intuitive insight and understanding are the same as those that lead to any other knowledge and comprehension. The difference is whether you are aware of those activities and processes as they happen or can only infer their presence retrospectively. If you are aware of them in real time, you are thinking, judging, analyzing, and forming ideas and conclusions. If you are only aware of the outcome, the insight, the “sudden” knowledge, you are using your intuition.

Just as some people have more capacity for conscious, intentional thought and analysis, some people have more intuitive capacity. They process more information and analyze more complexly at a level below awareness. The point is that intuitive capacity varies from person to person and for each person under different circumstances. That not withstanding, intuition is only a dimension of one’s cognitive capacity. Being highly intuitive is, of course, desirable just as having a high capacity for logical analysis or a high capacity for inductive reasoning are valued. Functioning at a high level within any dimension is well worth pursuing. The point to keep in mind is that one’s composite capacity determines success and achievement and not any specific sub–component.

This is the point. Everyone has some intuitive capacity and makes decisions and choices based on intuitive insight and understanding. Further, for most people, intuitive capacity is far more developed and potentially useful than they know. To the extent to which they are able to manage and exploit that intuitive capacity, they will be more effective, will make better decisions, will experience more accurate insight, will make the right choices more often, and will be more successful.

Intuition is not a new area of study, is not mysterious or magical, is not a secret science, and is not restricted to exceptional people or the intellectual elite. Rather, it’s present, to some extent, within everyone. The challenge is in accessing and maximizing your intuitive capacity. How do you do that? If you give it a chance, your intuition will show you the way. In the meantime, you can consider Joyce Brothers’ suggestion, “Trust your hunches.”

. . . . .

Intuition is elusive. You know it exists but it’s difficult to describe or explain. You experience insight, recognition, or understanding; you know what to do or not do; you can predict outcomes and avoid dangers. Jonas Salk said, “Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” But how do you know? Why do you now know what you didn’t know just moments ago? This article helps you better understand your intuitive processes and take full advantage of your hidden, intuitive capacity.


There are dozens of perspectives on leadership but all of those perspectives have at least one idea in common. To be an effective leader, one needs to have a vision for the future and a clear sense of mission or purpose. The leader then “leads” from here to there.

A successful leader, then, is one that arrives at the predefined destination, with the followers right behind.

We hear a lot about national leaders, state leaders, community leaders, and even family leadership as a necessary quality of a successful parent but I wonder.

If a business or nonprofit organization fails, it is usually seen as a failure of leadership. Those in charge fire the Executive and get a new leader, hoping for better times. If that doesn’t work, the organization eventually folds and everyone moves on to other ventures.

With the national, state, and local governments and to some extent with families, that doesn’t happen. Rather, things get worse and may get better and then they get worse again but not much changes. Government and families are not much different than they were ten years ago or twenty years ago or fifty years ago.

The same is true for our schools, public services, and most all of the institutions and sub–institutions in our lives. There are better times and worse times but there is a persisting sameness that characterizes things over time.

When the state of our institutions is experiencing the good times, the success is attributed to good leadership. During the worse times, the explanation is in terms of economic conditions, social turmoil, international conflict, or other factors that normal people like us can barely understand and can’t affect in any significant way. It definitely has little to nothing to do with leadership, or so they say.

Perhaps the underlying point is that the concept of leadership doesn’t and shouldn’t apply to government, families, and permanent institutions or at least institutions that are supposed to be permanent. The political folks, institutional employees, parents, and others taking care of business in those environments are supposed to do little more or less than what they can to prevent the worse times and to do whatever they can to maximize the good times. If we are all on one of those institutional trains or another, we may not need or want a leader. The train can only go where the track is headed. That isn’t a specific destination. Instead, it is more like an adventure into unknown territory.

What should we expect from those in charge of running the train? They should keep it moving. They should keep it on the track. They should avoid running into obstacles that appear on the track from time to time. They shouldn’t lose any train cars as we go along. That’s about it, except for what may be the most important requirement. They should make very sure no one falls off the train. Maybe our real need is for fewer leaders and more conductors who take responsibility for the passengers and who make sure everyone stays on the train and has a quality ride.

Now you know so there you go.


Even if I have been putting off posting, at least I discovered “cunctation.” That is definitely not one of my walking around words. I ran across it in the dictionary. You’re right. Checking the dictionary was just one more thing to do instead of getting around to writing this post. Yep, I was shilly–shallying which combined with procrastinating suggests possible, nay likely dilatoriness, along with way too much time perusing the dictionary.

As you may or may not know, my muse abandoned me a while ago and I am on a quest to get her back. She is nowhere to be found today. If you have time to check out a few more posts, perhaps you will conclude with me she has popped in from time to time but has just not returned on a permanent basis.

I am pretty well convinced she will only pop back in if I get past telling myself it is nothing but a temporary case of writer’s block. My message to me goes like this, “Don’t worry about it. You’re just experiencing writer’s block. Keep busy and don’t obsess over it. If you relax and go with the flow (whatever that means) your muse will return and then you will find writing easy and nearly automatic.”

Talk about excuses! How do you rate that one? I put it right up there with notions like “Everything will work out if only you have faith and are patient.” Faith is more than important; it is essential. A large measure of patience is right up there on the must have scale as well. Even so, it takes a very large dose of hard work along with perseverance and a few other associated personal traits before its time to talk about things working out.

It may be time to bring out a couple of those old saws we grew up on but now seem too trite to mention. For example, “It is more than happenstance do comes before done in the dictionary;” or “Someday is not a day of the week.” I could also give a nod to George Claude Lorimer who said, “Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.”

There are a hundred excuses for not getting started,

And a hundred and one for not getting done.

When listing the reasons motivation departed,

Put TRIFLING alone in row number one.


I’m wondering if you are finding the state of politics as confusing as I do. Maybe you have it all figured out, but I sure don’t. It’s a lot like peeling an onion, but only sort of. When peeling an onion, I take off one layer and am not surprised that the next level is still an onion. There is not much to be confused about as I peel away to the core. The onion is still an onion.

When peeling away the layers of politics, I suppose it’s all still politics. I can’t figure much else. On the surface, we have the Repubs and the Demos. As best I can tell, the Repubs want as little government and government interference as possible. Since they haven’t always been in charge, government has gotten out of hand, from their perspective. The best they can do is to refuse to support any new regulations or government funded services and eliminate or at least limit as many existing regulations and services as they can.

The Demos Believe that the Repubs are wrong. They believe that government is here to make sure that each of us has a fair shot at health, safety and general well being. Government is the nation’s care taker. To that end, regulation and government funded services are essential for the success of the nation.

When I was in junior high, we played a game called jungle football in the school gym –– Two teams: shirts and skins of course. The gym teacher would toss a football toward the middle of the court. The goal was to make a “basket” with the football at your team’s end of the court. After a “basket,” whichever team came away with the football kept it and tried to score. As best I recall, there were no rules other than “hitting” or “kicking” another player was not allowed and intentionally hurting someone would get you ejected from the game. It was pretty much minimal government at its best. It was definitely a Repubs kind of game.

I was also in the junior high band. Now that was a different deal altogether. With jungle football, everyone played, but only some of us ran to the football, ready to mix it up. The only participation rule was that you had to at least stay on the court. In the band, everyone had an instrument and was expected to play it, no matter how well or how badly. Being in the band was enough to assure participation. There were a lot of rules and regulations, and everyone was expected to cooperate in ways that enabled all band members to be successful. The guiding principle was the common good. Band was more of a Demo kind of experience.

It seems important to point out that Repubs and Demos are all real people, much like the rest of us. They just have different and often conflicting perspectives, points of view, value sets and expectations for government and for the purpose and role of government in our lives. There are of course zealots in both camps, but I suspect most of us don’t give much thought to it one way or the other most of the time. If we lean more toward self reliance and think things are going well for us, and for the folks we hang around with, we likely edge toward the Repubs. If we lean more toward feeling anxious about our situation and that of the people we identify with and worry about, we likely edge more toward the Demos. In that sense, politics is always personal.

Once we peel away that top level of the political onion though, the nature of politics and politicians changes rather dramatically. We learn that politics has less to do with philosophy and the nature and purpose of government than with gaining enough control and influence to individually protect and support a baffling array of interests and priorities. Since this is far from a zero sum game, some win but most fair less well.

Peel down another layer and we discover that the elected politicians who appear to be the key actors in the political arena are mostly the public face of a shifting collective of interests and priorities scrambling for enough control and influence to assure the success of their individual political agendas. Although we seldom learn about the deals, compromises, trades, and jockeying for advantage that are part and parcel to politics as usual, the Senators and Representatives are but the visible tip of the political machinery. It likely comes as no surprise that they are neither autonomous nor independent. They are always beholden to those who helped them get elected and deferential to those who will help them get reelected, for they are the real players.

As we continue peeling away layers of the political onion, getting closer to the political core, it becomes clearer that politicians and their brokers want us to believe that they are committed to playing in the band known as Congress. Their goal is to make recognizable political music. Would that it were true. What we find is presumably reasonable and rational adults playing jungle football and playing it with intensity and enthusiasm. The difference between junior high and today’s politics is that there is no gym teacher to set the rules and to make sure no one hits, kicks or intentionally hurts another player.

What do we learn from peeling the political onion? For starters, if we thought politics works like we were taught in school, it doesn’t. In principle it does, but principle has little to do with real politics and politicians. With that myth out of the way, we can see if there is anything there that normal people like us can actually understand.

I think most politicians are pro national defense. They support a strong military. There is some disagreement about how much that should cost, but at the bottom line, they are ready to pay the bill, whatever it costs.

Most politicians want and support a strong, growing economy. Along with benefiting most everyone, it’s also the key to being able to pay for a strong military and whatever is seen as a priority for government. At the bottom line, a strong economy most benefits those with the most economic assets and resources who are also the people and companies most able to help politicians get elected and reelected.

When we move beyond a strong economy and solid national defense though, the political picture is much less clear. I think the most significant difference down in the trenches between the Repubs and the Demos is how central fueling the economic engine is or should be. For the Repubs, every “basket” they make in the jungle football game also known as politics needs to advance the growth and well being of business. For the Demos, every “basket” that they make needs to support and assure the success and long term well being of everyone, with emphasis on those who are less able to assure their own success and long term well being. The idea is that people’s welfare and long term well being should not be completely tied to the level of their economic success.

The Repubs say, “We are the government and we are here to take care of business.” The Demos say, “We are the government and we are here to take care of you, as needed.” No, it’s not nearly that simple, but disagreement about the priority that should be given to the economic good versus the social good is certainly central.

As you likely see, peeling the political onion is not as instructive as I had hoped. Even so, there are lessons to be considered. Perhaps the most significant of these is that the reality of politics is nothing like we might have thought. It seems that it’s mostly a game of grope and grab. At a minimum, it’s not a sport for ladies and gentlemen. Rather, it’s tailor–made for those best suited to playing jungle football, with few if any rules.

I suspect some wise elder has already pointed out that politics is where normally civil, reasonable and rational men and women with a fair measure of personal integrity transform into politicians. That by itself is a sharp departure from the lessons we were taught in civics class. We weren’t told that the candidate we elect is not the politician we get.

The deception is compounded when politicians necessarily become Repubs or Demos. He or she is quickly assimilated into the “Party.” As a junior member of the tripe, the new politician is expected to be faithful, loyal and subordinate to the authority and experience of the tribal elders. It’s not shirts and skins anymore. Rather, it’s Repubs and Demos in this round of jungle football, and I suspect that there are those on the sidelines calling the plays, although they don’t show themselves so they might be held accountable.

It would be easy to drift away into the realm of conspiracy and secret power groups controlling the government, but I doubt that any single group or individual could gain enough power to control the political process. It is far too chaotic and apparently random for that. Even so, I do suspect that the real strings of government are being pulled by far fewer people and groups than we might believe. Most of us will never know who they are, but we can be assured that our politicians do indeed know who they are and take care not to cross them.

For good or not, peeling the political onion also needs to include the President and the Judges of the Supreme Court along with the bureaucrats controlling the machinery of government. The only point here is that they too are also politicians to their core. Perhaps that is enough said. When we peel away the political onion, we may be left with no more and no less than politicians playing jungle football for the home team, red or blue, for whichever tribe has captured their allegiance.