50 Shades of Grey Matter



Changing your socks and changing your mind

I like changing my socks. When I change my socks I can look back and see what I have changed. As a parent, you can spend an exhausting night on homework and dishes and still get the Glare when you remind The Kid that it’s bed time.

Apparently, no other parent on the planet asks The Kid to do dishes or clean up their room. We are evil.

Work can be like this too: you work all day solving problems and it can seem like not much has changed. That’s why I like changing my socks. It’s even better if you wear two different socks: go multicolour and change them at lunch.


Changing socks is great because that is the one place that I am in charge. Changing my mind is an entirely different matter. In fact, it is 50 Shades of Grey Matter. (See Resource section for Source).

“Remember that your mind is your friend, not a pickpocket.”

Why is it that in some things it is so hard to change the mind and in other things, the mind can change in an instant? Try to get me to change a habit like cleaning up and organizing myself and I will need a lot of hand holding. I confess, it’s scary to have to clean up my piles of stuff. I am attached to my man-made Hoodoos. They are my comfort zone. But ask me what I want for lunch, and I will easily change my mind 5 times. Why is that?

The 8 Time Tested Ways to Change our Minds and to Mind our Change:

1. Time and Money: Apparently we have more free time and more loose cash today than they had in the 50’s. Yet we are less happy. More time and more money, yet we are still complaining that change is hard? Don’t tell the Government, but the solution to all of this is probably to have our jobs take up another 25 hours of our time and pay us 40% less. Or, we could just go into Management. I think that scrapping the idea that “I will change when I have more time and more money” is the first step towards change.

2. Focus: I also wonder if whether you and I need a little more focus. We feel guilty when we coast, but it so much fun to coast. Why is it that coasting at home or at work is a bad thing, but if I tell everyone I am going on vacation to the Coast, people get excited? Go ahead, add that to your next year’s Performance Plan: Go to the Coast.

3. Small goals: AA has it right. My Sponsor reminds me that change is “One day at a time.” That is my mantra. When I am asked when a project will get done at work or at home, I ask for one more day and then I quote my Sponsor. People look at me more kindly when I talk about my Sponsor. I don’t have the heart to tell them that I have a Voice in my head that talks to me and that Voice is my Sponsor. You should try it. It may not help you to change your mind, but you will have more fun.

4. Crayons: Put a crayon in someone’s hand and they are more open to trying something new. I think that is because Crayons are actually mini wax Light Sabers (For even more fun, see my post on The Crayon Whisperer). Crayons should be passed out at every business meeting. Maybe we would all think more creatively. At least we would laugh more and then have more fun at work. That sounds like change to me.


5. R.I.S.K. more: We are more open to change when we take little risks like being more honest, being vulnerable, or even trying to be creative. It’s like we open up a two way door. But that’s only part it. When you and I R.I.S.K., real change can happen:

R – Rip Open the Ice Cream. It tastes good and it is better when shared. Remember, don’t eat and drive because the Government says that is Distracted Driving and you will get a fine. But go ahead, eat and parent at the same time: The Government thinks that Distracted Parenting is okay.

I – Me, Myself and my Eye: think about yourself more often. Look in the mirror for a long time. I do that.

S – Sock Changing. See my introduction. Nothing else should be said about that.

KKick something. Hard. When you kick something, it feels good. And when you feel good, that is a good day.

6. Exercise: Health Canada told me that I have to put exercise in this list. So here it is. Go for a walk, punch something, lift heavy things like children, dogs or small jet planes. Breathe underwater. Lift books and make piles in the corner of your bedroom. I do that and it is therapeutic.

7. Laugh: Our minds change more easily when we laugh. That is because our minds let down the guard a little. We are so used to having to change stuff at work and at home that we are always on guard. So go ahead laugh, at people. You will feel better and your Sponsor will like you more. And maybe it will all be a little less stressful.

8. Romance: Our minds change best through a little romancing. As a man, it feels weird to say that. The ManSpeak translation is this: our minds respond better to a little Kindness rather than a lotta Kung-Foo. Be kind to yourself. Remember that your mind is your friend, not a pickpocket.

50 Shades of Grey Matter: Change is more like romance than war.

Your mind is a mind build for love, not war. Don’t believe me? I looked it up. Dictionary.com says that the origin of our word romance comes from the word Romanic… ie: from the Romans. When the Romans walked the planet, they figured out that if you win a war, you win the contest and get the prize. But if you practice a little romance, you win the nation.

Go ahead, get the flowers. But they are your flowers this time. It’s MeDAY.


Life is too short, choose love not war. In love, we buy nice things and eat chocolates. If you do that, your mind will be your friend. If you get all serious and have big goals all of the time, your mind will toughen up and it will punch you in the face. At least that is what my Sponsor tells me.

Okay, so what have we learned today? If you want someone to change, love them. If you want to change your mind: limit your lunch menu choices. It’s really that simple.

Remember that over 60% of songs today are about love. The radio can’t be wrong about this. My Sponsor told me to say that too.

Keep it real

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