Mind Over Matter:
The Surprising Effects of Positive Thinking

Do you ever wonder why some people are GOOD at everything?

Some people are naturally happier, more fulfilled and better at what they do because they have embraced powerful effects of positive thinking.

Maybe it’s your coworker who received a promotion at work, when you were passed over. Maybe it’s a friend who is constantly moving up in all aspects of his life. He has a great relationship with his spouse, recently bought a new house in the suburbs and is always doing something adventurous and amazing (he’s even a nice guy!).

Don’t they get under your skin? You know, those people who are just amazing at everything they do. Like King Midas, everything they touch seems to turn to gold. It all works out for them, all the time. Don’t they just piss you off, those lucky so-and-sos?!

All jest aside, it’s not your imagination, but it’s also not dumb luck either. Some people are naturally happier, more fulfilled and better at what they do because they gravitate toward powerful positive thinking.

Rather than pissing you off, these positive thinkers should be great examples and role models. If you want what they’re getting, you’ve got to shift your approach. Surround yourself with positive allies and learn from them.

These seemingly gifted people have learned to focus on the positive. They’ve developed a positive mindset—a growth mindset—and they’ve used the mindset as a platform to transform their lives. These people learned they possess the power to control their happiness through action (not willpower or willful denial). These people are leaders and influencers. They’ve learned the powerful effects of positive thinking.

Positive psychology isn’t about wishing and manifesting from the universe. Positive psychology can be congruent to faith and religion but it’s not a spiritual practice. It certainly doesn’t mean you’ll never face problems or frustrations. It’s not even about “faking it until you make it.” (Although, faking a positive growth-mindset until it becomes natural and genuine can help you get there.)

What Is Positive Psychology?

Historically, the field of psychology has been focused on the darker side of understanding disordered thinking and mental illness. Psychologists studied and wanted to understand why people were anxious, depressed, and so on. They wanted to dissect the problem to resolve it.

Starting with Alfred Adler, the field of psychology started to slowly break away from the approach of “identify, dissect and resolve a problem” and into a more holistic approach—a focus on each person’s needs and how to help them move toward happiness.

Adlerian psychology is known as Individual Psychology. Not because the practice focuses on the “Individual,” as we would instinctively assume. In German, Adler’s native tongue, the word translated to “whole” or undivided. The focus was on healing and transforming a person into their best potential state.

Positive psychology has evolved on this base of Adlerian philosophy. Positive psychology is a scientific approach to happiness. It’s based on experiments and tested theories. It’s an evidence-based approach to joy and greater fulfillment.

A positive growth-mindset isn’t limited to psychology and the field of mental health but is used by business leaders, counselors and life coaches. In fact, the field of coaching and positive psychology go hand-in-hand.

Coaches work with their clients to help them develop tools to achieve their goals and find more fulfillment and influence in their worlds. Coaches help clients work toward greater fulfillment and success. Much of the growth clients experience is achieved through the effects of positive thinking.

How Can You Benefit from the Effects of Positive Thinking?

We’ve all had times when we feel like an outsider. Maybe you aren’t connecting with your spouse or your coworkers. Maybe your friends seem to click, yet you feel like you’re standing on the outside, looking in. How do you get those connections? How do you get to the “good life” you want?

Well, positive psychologists, coaches and others who’ve studied the “good life,” learn it isn’t about the stuff we buy or own. It’s not about our promotions at work, or having the biggest house or the prettiest spouse, or even being the most intelligent person in the room. The good life comes from unlocking your sense of purpose. It comes from our experiences and our focus on the positive. The good life comes from the effects of positive thinking.

In our signature program, The Year of Transformation, we discuss many different approaches to reaching your version of the good life. One of the most important tools you can unlock is the ability to see life as an adventure. Focus on the positive. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and to explore. Setbacks are no longer setbacks but deeper chances for learning and engagement.

This approach to learning is called a growth mindset. Educators, coaches and psychologists have learned adopting a growth mindset’s one of the keys to success. Transformational leaders and visionaries (those guys with the Midas touch) focus on the positive and possess a growth mindset.

In our Year of Transformation program, Adopting a Positive, Growth Mindset is a key focus.

Make a conscious choice of a growth mindset, over a fixed mindset. Most of us have a fixed mindset. Oh we don’t mind learning something new or even taking a class or seminar periodically, but we’re not passionately curious and really stretching ourselves on a daily basis. We aim for a goal, achieve it, and are content to coast for an indefinite period afterwards. In other words, we engage as a shorter-term tactic to get what we want. We may engage to become a black belt in karate, to secure a plum position with our organization or to find a romantic partner. Once we get what we want, though, we disengage. What we’re suggesting is adopting a growth mindset if you want to sustain engagement past an endpoint.

Live your life as an experiment! This is the essence of the assignment way of living at Wright. This attitudinal shift can foster engagement by getting you out of your routine. Engagement thrives on novelty and an experimental perspective allows you to test all sorts of new endeavors. Too often, we feel that we have to do certain things and follow certain paths. We create all sorts of boundaries that prevent us from venturing into uncharted territory where we could engage in ways that we don’t, when we are following well-trodden paths.

You may recall a world class transformer, R. Buckminster Fuller, who is perhaps best known as the inventor of the geodesic dome. However, Fuller was also a philosopher, engineer, poet, educator and Renaissance man. He talked about living his life as an experiment designed to discover how he might benefit humankind. He formalized this experiment by referring to himself as Guinea Pig B. With this life-changing approach, Fuller was able to engage deeply in a myriad of endeavors. He filled his life with novelty and fostered in himself wide-ranging intellectual and emotional involvement. His ideas and inventions did indeed benefit humankind, thus fulfilling his experiment’s mission.

Be like Bucky Fuller and live your life as an experiment, engaging in all you do and harvesting more of the infinite possibilities available to you. When we engage in our life project as our personal experiment, we make discoveries—a key element of the Transformed process.

-from Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

If you’re ready for a more engaged, more fulfilling life of getting what you want, join us for an upcoming workshop or event. Our free workshops on Emotional Intelligence or a free coaching consultation can help guide you toward your next steps. Please visit us at The Wright Foundation for more information!

About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Harness Your Power:
Find a Life Coach

If you’re considering finding a life coach, I bet you have big questions about the process and even the concept. 

The time to find a life coach is now. Get what you want more of in your life - whether it's a better career, stronger relationships, or more confidence in your best self. We're here to bring you to your fullest potential.

As an Executive Coach for many years, I’ve seen unbelievable transformations:

  • A non-verbal, number-crunching accountant who became a widely respected author and thought leader in his field, called upon by Congress to provide expert testimony.
  • A timid, conservative attorney who put his job on the line by standing up in a meeting to point out his superiors’ flawed strategy who has since become a highly respected COO in the finance area.
  • A Christian counselor who touched people so profoundly that he became a minister and a thought leader in the church—deepening his marriage, growing his counseling business and writing powerfully to enhance the faith and personal growth of others

And the list goes on…

Of all the aspects of my work, including speaking, writing, and directing programs, the most gratifying, satisfying and energizing is coaching. I love coaching. I love watching people transform and go way beyond their potential and perceived capacity for joy.

Now you may be wondering…

Do I need a life coach?
How do I find a life coach?
What exactly does a life coach do?

Life coaching is one of the most valuable tools offered here at The Wright Foundation. And for good reason—life coaches are powerful allies. An experienced life coach leads you to expand your emotional intelligence. A top-notch coach can help you harness your personal power and achieve more from life.

What do you want MORE of? Adventure? More happiness? A stronger connection in your relationships? A promotion at work?

A life coach will assist you in busting through the barriers and roadblocks to achieving your goals. Do you wonder what’s holding you back? Why you never feel like you’re “all in”? Do you feel like you’re believing your own B.S.—telling yourself, “this” is as good as it gets?

A life coach can work with you examine the different areas of your life: career, relationships, family, plus your emotional core beliefs. They will help you find the connections between areas and identify what’s limiting you. A life coach will give you the tools to take your life and capacity for satisfaction to the next level.

Timing: When to Find a Life Coach

Does everyone need a life coach? How do I know if it’s the right time?

While yes, a life coach is beneficial to almost everyone, the best time to find a life coach is when you’re ready for transformation. But of course, how do you know if you’re ready?

Transformation sounds like a lofty concept, right? Alumni of our program are PRO transformers (which is why many go on to work the coaching field themselves). They understand the power of transformation—why it’s the answer to getting what you want from life.

For those who haven’t been through our programs, transformation might sound frightening, even Kafkaesque. What’s wrong with changing slightly? What kind of disruption to my “comfort zone” am I about to undertake?!

Transformers know the importance of rocking your world. Yeah, many of us get comfortable in our norms. We’re not happy. In fact, some of us are downright miserable, but we’re comfortable, right? Well, to break out, you’ve got to shake things up.


Transformation is a metamorphosis from one state to another. It is not just doing things better. Despite popular belief, changing jobs or careers, going from being single to having a serious relationship or moving from unhappiness to contentment are all just incremental moves. Not to disparage any of those life changes, but transformation is broader and deeper—and it lasts.


When you transform, who you become is different from who you were—emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. Transformation impacts the quality of every area of your life in positive ways—your relationships, career, sense of yourself, service and spiritual life. We’re not talking about a cosmetic difference. You can’t measure transformation in pounds lost or money gained or goals achieved. Think of the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. One is utterly, complexly and absolutely unlike the other.


Here is a litmus test for transformation: You do something that you could never have imagined yourself doing, become something you could never have imagined yourself becoming and ultimately live a life greater than you could have ever imagined yourself living.


Transformation is a bold step into the unknown. Yes, the unknown is frightening. That is a large part of why so few venture into the land of true transformation. But it’s also exhilarating and enlightening, leading to profound epiphanies. Even better, we are all capable of becoming butterflies no matter how long we’ve been dragging our bellies across the ground. We are not talking about some formula for how you should be but a process by which you unleash who you could be. This isn’t just talk. We’ve seen it with our eyes, facilitated it with our process, and studied it with our research.
Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


If you’re ready for transformation, a life coach can help. If you’re ready to live with authenticity—to be true to what you can become—and if you’re ready to wake up to your potential, an excellent coach can help you focus your efforts.

Reasoning: Why Do You Need a Life Coach?

Think of your favorite athlete—LeBron James, Anthony Rizzo, Dwayne Wade—where would they be in their sports careers without a coach?

A good coach pushes their client beyond their self-imposed limits. We all tell ourselves we can’t (or shouldn’t) do certain activities. We tell ourselves we aren’t capable of being the G.O.A.T. (That’s Greatest Of All Time.) But you know what? If you want to live an Olympic-quality life, you need to surround yourself with Olympic-quality people. You are your biggest invention.

Most people have a happiness setpoint. This is called the hedonic treadmill—the tendency amongst people to stay at a steady, stagnant level of happiness. Yes, it can go up when great things happens (we win $50!) and it can go down when something bad happens (our dog dies)…but human nature dictates after the initial bliss or bummer we return to our setpoint.

Life coaches can push you to shift your “treadmill speed.” Instead of operating in the middle, you expand your capacity. You move beyond your limits.

To become great at any passion, it requires deliberate practice. We must break down actions to smaller parts and dissect what’s working and what needs improvement, whether it’s a golf or tennis swing, a musical instrument or our capacity for happiness and transformation.

Renown master cellist, Pablo Casals famously practiced for five hours a day, every day. Now you might think, “Why would one of the all-time greatest musicians, a prodigy, need to practice so much?”

Casals once said, “If I don’t practice for a day, I notice it; if I don’t practice for two days, the critics notice it; if I don’t practice for three days, the public notices it.”

To become good at happiness, to transform and to evolve, we MUST practice. We must practice every day with intention. We must maximize our capacity. Who keeps us focused on our practice? Who calls us out on our (B.S.) excuses? A life coach.

A great life coach is trained in transformation, because they themselves are transformers and changers. A great life coach practices what they preach. Just as in sports, a great coach understands the nuances of the game and all the requirements. They’ve been there and know how to drive you and get you to increase your hedonic treadmill speed.

Our life coaches are also trained in the neuroscience of transformation. They study and understand how new neuropathways in your brain are formed to create change. Life coaches use this expertise to sharpen your brain, increase your response time, and focus on your goals and beyond.

A great life coach leads you to zero in on your goal. They will guide you through emotional connections, and understand and increase your emotional intelligence which is your hidden superpower and GPS on the road of transformation.

If you’re ready to identify your limits and bust through them, it’s time to find a life coach!

Here at The Wright Foundation, we offer you a team of executive, family, relationship and life coaches to help facilitate breakthroughs, and help you engage and transform above and beyond your current potential. Visit us at the Wright Foundation today to schedule a coaching session or to learn more about the services we offer.

About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Considering Divorce?
Inventory Your Assets First


Are you considering divorce? Be sure you pull out your personal assets. It’s time for some tough questions.

Considering Divorce

I’m not talking about your savings, your house, and the dog. Of course, whether you are divorced, divorcing, considering divorce, or just in a rough patch…chances are, you’re weighing and measuring those things and their worth in the relationship.

But you have more assets than just those that are tangible. You have personal assets—emotional assets—that you’ve invested in this relationship (even if divorce is inevitable). These are worth far more than anything else, so it’s time to take emotional inventory.

How Did YOU Contribute to the Failure of the Relationship?

Can you even ask yourself this question? If you walk away without dealing with the choices you made to get to where you are, dealing with yourself, and dealing with each other, you’re leaving empty-handed. You’re walking away from the learning, growing, and personal improvement that can be the result of a significant inventory of the relationship. Think about it:

How did you get together?

Why did you get together?

How did you manage to let the relationship fall apart?

How did it manage to end (whether it was an affair or you think you just grew apart)?

Here’s the news: It wasn’t JUST because he was a philandering jerk or she was an ice queen. There were skill deficits on each of your parts.

Failing to recognize this and take stock of the situation honestly means you’re walking away from valuable assets—assets that will help you rebuild your life, grow, and find happiness.

When considering these tough questions and maximizing the assets that you have, follow the Rules of Engagement. The first rule is: no one can give or take more than 50% of the blame. Each of you gets only half of the blame and each of you is 100% responsible for your experience in the situation and what you take away.

When you first got together, there was something that drew you in (more than just sexual attraction). It might not have been enough to keep you together, but it was enough to pique your interest. The problem is stagnation—where did you take it from there? Did you keep growing and working on yourself? For relationships to be durable, research demonstrates you must learn within the relationship.

You must be constantly adapting, changing, and discovering. You must grow and your relationships must transform. If it stays static, it can’t be sustained.

So, how did each of you avoid transformation?

(No, you don’t get to blame it all on HIM, and no, it’s not HER fault because she didn’t kiss your butt forever!)

The Scenario:

It usually starts out that He is “Mr. Solid” and She is “Miss Aliveness” (or she may be “Miss Solid” and he may be “Mr. Aliveness”)…we tend to pair up to and be attracted with people that are what we call our complements.

This other person seems to fill in what WE are missing: “She’s so adventurous and fun!” or “He’s so stable and reassuring—I just feel like he’ll take care of me.”

For the relationship to grow, that “sparkplug person” needs to learn to be more solid, not just for the relationship, but for the benefit of his or her own personal growth. Similarly, the “solid person” needs to not just be an anchor (or the stick in the mud holding things back) but needs to channel that solidity into stability and aliveness.

That is the first part of your inventory.

The first part of your inventory is: What was I looking for? What attracted me in the other person?

“He was handsome” and “she was pretty” doesn’t quite do it. The only time this is the sole motivating factor is cases where one party has particularly low self-esteem, so they’re just looking for an armpiece to validate their existence. If this is the case, it’s a red flag that you’ve stumbled into: a pit of unconscious snakes representing your failure to develop your self esteem and independence in your singlehood.

And no, women (usually), it’s typically not that you were so “strong and independent” without him. That is such a common script (and frankly a piece of horse manure).

Our Unconscious Landmines

When we declare our love–and notice I’m not saying “fall in love”…because it doesn’t happen. Love is a choice. When we begin to love someone, there are a host of landmines in our unconscious programming that we begin stepping on. Why?

Because, we all have a prerecorded script for marriage from our childhood.

This script comes from our parents. It’s based on the relationships we saw, ideas of what a relationship SHOULD look like from the media, from fairytales and whatever baggage we picked up at that time. It came from the way our parents treated us and the role we took within our family.

Around here, it’s always amusing to hear somebody say, “Well, I’m exactly the opposite of my parents.”

I have a friend from my younger years whose parents were rabid conservatives—John Birch Society conservatives. We went to college together in the 1960s, where he met his wife. They chose to live a rather marginal, hippy lifestyle. He thought (and repeatedly professed) that he was the opposite of his parents.

BUT, not surprisingly, he brought all of the unfinished baggage with him. He didn’t understand the psychological elements of his family. In his own marriage, he became distant and unavailable and his wife became very domineering in the relationship, which mirrored his parent’s relationship almost to a T. Now, maybe he didn’t espouse their political beliefs, and on the surface he seemed to embrace the laid back lifestyle, but when it came down to it, he was repeating exactly what he’d seen at home on a fundamental level. We can put on different clothing, but our core remains the same, unless it’s addressed.

Breaking Through Limiting Beliefs

A few years later, I had the opportunity to coach a woman who was facing her third divorce. This woman was quite gorgeous and knew it (and how to leverage it) at an early age. She grew up with significant pain: her parents had a troubled marriage where they were fighting all of the time. There was never enough money and they survived in a scarce and impoverished existence. She swore, no matter what it took, she would never be poor again.

Discovering she was particularly attractive and desirable to men, she married a man who was very wealthy. He appeared to have plenty of money, but shortly into the marriage, she learned it was his mother who had the money and he hadn’t a dime. She had a child with him, but the marriage crumbled and they ended up divorcing.

She quickly met a second guy, a wealthy widower whose mother was dead (so no mother-in-law concerns there). Thinking she’d overcome the problems from the first marriage, she married him. Low and behold, the source of his wealth turned out to be his dead wife’s mother. Once again, with a marriage built on no affinity beyond wealth, they divorced.

She then met and married a very financially stable self-made man who was the CFO for a series of increasingly important companies.  Thinking he was upwardly mobile and driven, she was thrilled he had the financial stability she craved. Every two years, he’d move up to a new company. He owned real estate all around the US. Little did she know, the real estate was all leveraged and the reason he was moving “up” every two years so rapidly was because he was always running just ahead of getting fired.

This led to her third divorce, when she sought me out to address what was going on. I helped coach her through these issues. During our discussions, she realized that deep in her unconscious mind was a false belief that marriage was about existence or survival, not about caring for each other. She entered each relationship expecting men to be dishonest, and she was drawn in and attracted to men who weren’t forthright—setting up for failure from the start.

She began dating differently. Now with a daughter in high school, they were taken care of through the divorces and her lucrative employment and didn’t need to worry about money any longer. Having worked through the core issue behind her divorces, we parted ways, and I hadn’t seen her for several years.

About a decade later, Judith and I were delivering a talk on couples, when I saw her. She came up to me with a smile and a man on her arm. She said she wanted to thank me and introduced me to the man she had been with for the last ten years. She was very proud to tell me how well they were doing together including the fact that they were learning and growing, and actively pursuing opportunities to explore together.

These are just two examples and there are many more: The top asset you have in your relationship is an assessment of your investment.

So if you’re the “solid one”…how did you avoid becoming more alive? How did you move from stability to anchor (to dead weight) in your spouse’s vision?

If you happen to be the “alive one”…how did you avoid becoming more solid in a way that freed up the other person from always having to be the rock? How did you become a helium balloon to his anchor, pulling in opposite directions?

Similarly, what unconscious programming did you bring into the relationship? What beliefs did you have that held you back, and what fears kept you from moving forward? What do you need to address to learn the lessons that are there to learn in the situation?

School Your Relationship

If you’re in couples counseling, one of the ways you can go about doing this is to look at your relationship as a four-year course of college. Identify all the classes you had, what you learned, and what you didn’t learn in those classes. One of the classes might be Understanding My Unconscious Programming 101. Another class could be An Intro to Challenging My Limiting Beliefs. Another could be An Advanced Study on Taking Full Responsibility for my Own Happiness…and so on.

I want to conclude this conversation with a story of one of our students who learned to take responsibility for her happiness.

She had been married for over 35 years and her adult children had successfully launched. When I first met her, she referred to her husband as, “What’s His Name” and he spoke about her as “My First Wife.” She blamed him for her unhappiness at home and general misery in the relationship. He was uninvolved, unaffectionate, and distant.

As she learned to take responsibility of her own happiness, even though he never took a single course with us, she began coming home happier every day. She didn’t come home with her guns ablaze, ready to blame him for her unhappiness. Consequently, he didn’t seem as zoned out and addicted to the television. He started to pay attention to her and they started talking more and communicating more. In fact, they became closer and closer. They are deeply in love and have weathered incredibly difficult health situation where he was near death. Her emerging confidence and assertiveness skills enabled her to be direct and challenge the doctors and nurses, as well as his treatment protocols in the hospital. This, they both credit for him being alive and healthy today.

No matter where you are in your relationship, divorced, divorcing, considering divorce, or just in a rough patch, do an inventory of all of the courses. What are you learning?  Understand what transformation really is. A partnership, when fully engaged, will be a womb to facilitate your development as well as a crucible to burn off your unfinished business. It will serve you on the way of you becoming the most magnificent human being you can become.

For more on how you can continue to explore yourself and your relationships to become your best self, please visit the Wright Foundation website.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

From Doormat to Direct: How To Ask for What You Want

If you want to stop being a doormat, it’s time to face confrontation head-on and ask for what you want. Are you ready to speak up and get what you want? 


how to ask for what you want

You’re at a restaurant you’ve been hearing about for weeks.

You’re excited to try the food.

The atmosphere is nice; you’re company is delightful.

You order and request they leave the green peppers out of your dish (blech). The server doesn’t write down your order. He seems harried.

Out comes your food, steaming hot, beautiful…and covered in little chunks of those damned green peppers!

What do you do?

How many of you read this and thought, “I’d just pick them off and go on with my meal” or “I wouldn’t want to make a fuss”…?

How many of you cringe at the just the thought of sending the meal back—or even worse (the horror!)—requesting they make amends with a free round of drinks?

Many people, especially women (but some guys, too) HATE the thought of confrontation—even if it’s polite, and even if they aren’t at fault.

We don’t want to come off as a “bitch” or a jerk…particularly when it comes to social situations and interacting with strangers. It’s as though we don’t feel we deserve to inconvenience someone with our patronage. We worry we’ll offend someone or we’re afraid to engage.

Others of us (myself included!), don’t run into this problem so often. We have the opposite issue: we have to temper our reaction and learn to listen.

If I was in the restaurant, I would, without question, send the meal back. I’m paying for it and I intend to get what I ordered. I know I deserve it. We all do. I don’t feel I deserve it because I’m more important than other people, but I deserve it because I’m paying for the meal, so it should be right.

Now, as my lovely wife will tell you, people have occasionally (okay, maybe more than occasionally) pointed out that I can come off as a bit abrasive, even insensitive. It’s something I’ve worked very hard to become aware of.

There’s a fine balance between being direct, being a jerk, and being a doormat. It’s all about how we embrace and work with conflict.

Doormats Unite

Are you a cringer? Afraid to send back your meal? TODAY, I want you to go out into the world and tell someone what you want. Pick a situation that’s tough, walk in, and do it.

Why? Because you deserve to get what you want.

You are a gift.

Each of us is a gift to the world. Every human being is part of a large fabric. We are interconnected and we affect each other. Your thread is not more or less important than those around you.

You deserve to have good things. You deserve to receive what you ordered, to be properly compensated for the work you do, and not to have to pick up after your children, husband, or those around you. You deserve to be heard and seen for who you are. You deserve to be loved.

When we believe this within ourselves, we start to find our voice. Our limiting beliefs build up over the years. These are the thoughts that hold us back, like, “I’m not good enough. I am stupid. I’m less deserving than others.” We believe our own negative self-talk and internalize it.

Take the negative self talk and tell it to go to hell. Turn it off.

You’re probably thinking, “Yeah, easier said than done,” but I’ve seen CEOs with PhDs who were afraid to speak up, engage, or tell people how they felt because they didn’t want to rock the boat. They didn’t think they deserved it.

Until you believe you deserve to get what you want, you will keep holding yourself back.

Kick yourself in the butt and embrace it.

Because you know what doormats become? Passive aggressive. Doormats are often the ones who are big fans of what we call the “hidden middle finger.” You know the deal: you sigh loudly when you pick up your husband’s socks. You purposely put them away dirty or mismatched, or you throw in the trash. You’re pissed off but you say nothing, hoping your message gets to him.

Meanwhile, he’s clueless (and sockless). He keeps throwing the socks on the floor and you keep getting angrier and angrier.

Passive aggressive behavior solves nothing. It only serves to damage our relationships and make things worse. In fact, I’d much rather send my order back at a restaurant and tip well, than pick off the peppers and leave a crappy tip. Your message won’t be “You got my order wrong,”—it will be “I’m a crappy tipper.” Passive aggressive behavior solves nothing.

Instead, say something. It can be very polite: “Excuse me, but I didn’t order this,” or “I’m frustrated because when you leave your socks on the floor I feel like you don’t respect the work I put into the house. I’m not going to pick them up any longer.” It’s not about screaming and yelling, it’s about fighting fair. It’s about speaking up and getting your point across. You deserve to be heard.

For All the “Jerks”

On the other hand, if you would’ve sent back the meal without hesitation, bravo! I get it.

If, on the other hand, you send back the meal AND then get punitive with the tip (even when the server made amends), you might be veering over into the jerk category. Take a step back.

I’ve found when people get offended, it’s often an issue of tone over message or a problem with listening skills. A few important rules of engagement? Everyone is 100% responsible for themselves and their own happiness, and also, no one gets more than 50% of the blame.

In the restaurant scenario, the server might be the one who got your order wrong, but once he or she is aware of the issue and works to resolve it, there’s no sense in continuing to heap on the blame.

Similarly, another important rule is to assume good intentions and fight FOR (not against) each other. If you’re fighting FOR a relationship and to find a resolution in a conflict, chances are good you’re fighting for the right things. If you’re fighting to shame the other person or just to continue to dwell on the problem, you may need to reassess.

When we assume good intentions, we realize that no one purposefully tried to screw up our order. Our boss isn’t trying to make us miserable. Our girlfriend or boyfriend isn’t trying to make us upset. There might be an upsetting situation, but rarely is the other party intentionally trying to hurt us. In fact, oftentimes they’re hurting too and just expressing it differently.

When it comes to conflict, it’s not something to be avoided, but rather, embraced. We can be polite and civil about it and we should never personally attack someone, but engaging in dialogue and finding common ground is the only way we can truly connect and come to resolution.

We are all gifts in the world. We have an important role and limitless potential. We all deserve to have our needs and yearnings met and to be happy. So engage! Embrace conflict! Don’t back down!

But still leave a tip when the server brings your corrected order!

For more on embracing conflict and fighting fair, visit www.wrightliving.com. Give back to the world around you and become your best self!


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Dating After 40:
What’s Holding You Back?

Dating can seem daunting at any age. Remember your first date? Talk about awkward, right?

dating after 40

For most of us, after a certain age, dating doesn’t seem much more appealing now than it did when we were dealing with acne and braces. Whether you’re trying to get on the scene after a divorce or after the end of a long-term relationship, it’s hard—especially just getting out there.

The first battle is simply knowing HOW to get back out there. You can feel ready, but what do you do? Wear a shirt that says ready to date (yikes) or ask a friend to fix you up (maybe the t-shirt idea sounds better after all)…?

You might be interested in dating websites geared toward older adults. Or you might try some of the more popular dating sites, as they cater to all age ranges and many interest groups. For some of us beyond the millennial generation, though, online dating might not be within our comfort zone…yet.

So how do you meet people? Dating in the workplace usually isn’t such a great idea. Maybe your friends are mostly married and in relationships. There are networking events and ways to open up a dialogue, but for those of us not accustomed to putting ourselves out there…it can be a challenge.

Listen: if you’re ready, GO FOR IT! Stop making excuses and jump in!

No, you don’t have to wear a t-shirt or ask your coworker to hook you up, but you will have to be open about the fact that you’re single and looking to mingle. You might want to try to dip in your toe online, or you might feel more comfortable networking face-to-face. Embrace it!

Guess what? It’s fun!

Dating is an opportunity to really play as an adult. It’s a chance to meet people and test what you like and what you don’t like. You can learn more about how you interact with totally different personality types and people you would have never considered 15 or 20 years ago. You don’t have to marry them…or even LIKE them! Just engage and start meeting new people.

The world is before you! If you’re ready, GO FOR IT!

The Advantages of Dating at an Older Age

There are a few things you can do to shift your mentality a little when it comes to dating and opening yourself up to new opportunities and experiences. The first thing to recognize is that, in many ways your age and experience works to your advantage.

You’ve already let go of some of the dating “myths” that plague people in their teens and early adulthood. You know there’s no such thing as “the one” and there’s no Prince Charming (or Princess) riding in to swoop you up on his or her white horse and ride away, right?

For some who’ve been on the dating scene for a little while, you might be laughing a little—fairytale romance DEFINITELY doesn’t exist!

In truth, though, who would want that anyway? Love is beautiful in its own right. Relationships with all their messiness, their awkwardness, their burps and (yes, I’ll say it) farts, and who knows what else… They’re full of messiness. There are great things in the mess though, and you know that. You’re not afraid to get a little messy. You know it’s worth it.

Is it a Love Connection?

One of the keys is to assume good intentions and look beyond the superficial. You don’t have to make a love connection on a date, but try to see the other person for who they are. What are THEY looking for? What are your similarities and what are your differences?

Another great thing about dating in the adult world is you’re able to get down to some of the nitty-gritty pretty quickly. In our 20s, we’re often playing the field—trying to figure out what we want and ourselves. We aren’t always honest and up front with dates and we might avoid tough conversations altogether.

Now you’re ready to put it out there. If someone doesn’t want teenagers in their life and you have two, well, that might be a deal breaker, so you can get it out of the way right away. If someone knows they love to sit at home and zone out in front of the television and you love to travel, you can quickly cross that off the list. If your likes and lifestyles are different but compatible that’s okay, if they’re different and diametrically opposed, that’s okay too—but maybe you’re not a match. You might be great pals but maybe you’re not right for romance. The important thing is to be honest!

Also, as an adult in your 40s, 50s or even 60s, you’ve come to know what you want and expect. You know yourself, your limits, your strengths and your challenges. There’s a great deal of confidence and self-assuredness that comes naturally with age, even if you don’t feel self-assured or confident in every moment.

As an adult, you aren’t about pretense and putting on a façade when you get to know a new person. You can jump right in and be real. After all, if you’ve got kids or eight cats or stretchmarks or a bald spot, you might as put it out there now. There’s no reason to put on a false front and that in itself can be empowering. You know who you are, and you’re working to get what YOU want out of life. The hope is you’ll meet someone who’s the same!

Experience and Connections

So maybe you won’t find love tomorrow. Or maybe you will! Who knows?

The fun thing about dating is it opens up a world of possibility. You can meet new people, make new connections, and form new friendships. You get to try out different relationships and interactions with new people and think, “Is this someone I could grow with?”

Look for those who are willing to continue to learn and engage with you. Find someone who’s not afraid to explore the messy world of relationships. You might just find that you enjoy yourself.

So if you’re asking, should I bother dating? The answer is YES and don’t hold back! Our lives are fuller and richer with more experiences, more connections and more friendships. Meeting new people can only benefit you and help you get even more out of life!

Jump in and see where things take you!

For more on engaging, getting the most from your experiences, and grabbing life by the horns, visit the Wright Foundation. Go forth, engage, and ignite your world!


About the Author


Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Parenting & Fulfillment: Embracing the “Being” of Parenthood

What does it really mean to be a mother or a father? What is the true definition of these roles? Can we still nurture and give life, even if we aren’t parents in the traditional sense?

Embracing Parenthood


Do we need to put our own personal growth on hold while we’re nurturing our children?

It’s no secret parenting is an emotional and in-depth experience. It’s a rollercoaster—a series of ups and downs. Often parents look back on the first years of their child’s life as a blur. We wonder if we did everything wrong. We may even feel like our own needs were put on hold or overlooked during those first years raising kids.

To understand why this is, we must explore the roles of mother and father.

When we hear words like “mother” and “feminine,” we think of emotional, nurturing qualities, especially as they pertain to our roles as parents. Motherhood is the very being of the parental role. “Father” and “masculine” might bring up opposite images—someone who DOES, rather than is. Father goes out, he obtains things to fulfill the needs of his family. He provides.

Now obviously in today’s world these normative gender roles no longer apply as rigidly as they once did, but there’s still a masculine and feminine component. Fathers today can be very nurturing, emotional and caring. Mother might be a high-powered executive and the sole breadwinner for the family, but at the core, parenting requires both the “being” AND the “doing” sides of the coin.

Male and female personality types aren’t cut and dry along gender lines either. Co-parenting and raising children as a family unit, rather just “being” in the mother role is becoming the norm as we move into a more evolved and modern viewpoint.

Still, there are certain qualities that are assigned to parenting by the very nature of the role—nurturing, growing, connecting and evolving right alongside our children (or our projects, whatever “creation” we give birth to), whether we fall into the traditional roles of father and mother or something else.

Being a parent to the fullest extent is about BEING. It is through being that we can use parenting as a platform for our own personal growth as well as the growth of our children. We cannot simply “do” parenting; we have to BE a parent.

Emotion and the “Doing” of Parenting

Every parent knows there’s a lot of “doing” as a parent, particularly at first—there’s tossing dirty diapers in the trash, warming up bottles, feeding, sleeping, washing, and so much more. While these things involve some nurture and care, they’re definitely process-involved.

Sometimes within the processes of doing parenting, we can forget we also need to embrace the being. The “being” is vital to our own social emotional growth.

As parents, and particularly as mothers, we might forgo our own desires and yearnings to meet the desires of our children. Years pass, and when our kids are grown or have moved beyond the stage where they need constant attention, we might find ourselves less fulfilled, even empty. We might wonder why we spent so much time ignoring our own needs while we focused on the needs of those around us.

During my graduate study work (and in my own journey as a parent), I closely explored this role of motherhood and the dichotomy of being constantly “needs focused” and yet forgoing one’s own needs.

On the purely practical level, there are the basic functions of the job of mothering—feeding, dressing, changing diapers, maintaining nap and sleeping schedules, etc.—that require a significant amount of time for the woman engaged in mothering, especially in the early years. One might assume a woman’s facility with her emotions is not significant in these day-to-day happenings, but that would be a limiting assumption. –Excerpt from my dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering (pg. 21)

At the core of motherhood and through these practical actions, there’s a great deal of emotion, but these emotions are often undervalued by society, and even by the parents who are experiencing them.

Even from the first moments of being a parent,

she is confronted by her fear and scarcity/survival about being strong enough, or capable enough to birth and feed her baby. She will need to be in relationship with herself, allowing past fears and beliefs that she is “not enough” to come to the surface for healing, acknowledge that she actually is capable and move to trust—in both herself and those supporting her. Not only will she achieve the desired outcome more effectively she will have experienced it as a fulfilling here and now moment. –Excerpt from my dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering (pg. 18)

Experiencing Growth Together

Parenting can be both frightening and fulfilling. It can dredge up much of our past and our beliefs about ourselves—the doubts, the feelings of, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” and the fears can become almost palpable as we try to raise our children.

At the core of becoming a fulfilled parent is embracing our own personal growth alongside the growth of our children. The amazing thing about children is that they can become our model for how we can go forth and view the world. Children are always open to new experiences. They approach each day as a new adventure. They experience wonder and awe every day.

How wonderful for each of us, if we could learn to apply the same approach! By working through our fears and limiting beliefs, we not only discover and engage, but also thrive and evolve, not only as parents but also as individuals.

Parenting Workshops

The Wright Foundation offers several parenting workshops, including our popular weekend family adventure retreats where parents can spend time with their children and apply the skills they’re learning to their parenting.

By expanding our own social and emotional intelligence and doing our personal growth work, we parents can look back on the years of raising our children as years of fulfillment and joy. We can fully engage and live with intentionality and purpose. Rather than simply “doing what it takes” to parent, we can BE what it takes to parent.

At the very core of parenting is a need to embrace, rather than shirk your emotional side. You must feel your emotions fully and understand your yearnings and innermost desires. Fulfillment isn’t something parents must forgo, it can be found within the act of parenting itself.

For more information on our weekend workshops or opportunities for personal growth at Wright, please visit the Wright Foundation website.

About the Author

Gertrude Lyons is a human emergence coach and adjunct faculty member at Wright Graduate University. Her academic career spans from a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting, a master’s in psychology from Antioch University, and a newly completed doctoral degree from WGU. Gertrude is wife and mother of two and resides in Chicago, IL where she continues to learn, grow, and develop her skills as a human emergence coach with the Wright team.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Portions of this post are taken from Gertrude’s doctoral dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering—A Curriculum Evaluation Study.

How To Face Your Fears,
Get Out There & Live
an Amazing Life!


If you want to change, if you want to be more fulfilled, if you want to be stronger—you have to learn how to face your fears.

How to Face Your Fears

Now I’m not talking about bungee jumping or smashing a spider or “facing your fears” in a conventional way.

We all have traditional fears like arachnophobia or agoraphobia, and those are things to overcome, and yes, they can hold us back, of course…but those aren’t the fears that keep us from becoming fulfilled in a larger sense.

Our fears that keep us from becoming fulfilled are based on the things we don’t say because we hold back. They’re the things that terrify us about ourselves. The feeling that we shouldn’t change. That we aren’t worth changing. That we’re too much, not enough, disappointing, or not worth putting forth the effort for. The feeling that we’re supposed to always be “the strong one,” no matter how we really feel.

New York Times best-selling author Marianne Williamson wrote,

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.


YOU are powerful. Each of us has, within our very being, the ability to become our greatest self. We can face our fears; we can overcome them and realize our full potential.

The Shadow Inside Each of Us

Carl Jung discussed our shadow self in his archetype model. Inside each of us, we have certain archetypes (or selves) that make up who we are. Jung describes two of these as our persona and our shadow self.

Our persona is the face we put on for the world around us. In fact, the Latin origin of persona literally means, “mask.” We put on this mask and walk around presenting the side of ourselves we want others to see. This is who we think we should be. It’s how we want people to see us.

Each of us has this other side, however—our shadow self. It sounds menacing and scary, and to be honest, it can be. Our shadow self is our denied self. It’s the desires, our fears, and our embarrassment that lies within us. It’s the thing that both holds us back and represents the feelings we have that “aren’t okay.”

Maybe you were raised in a family where it wasn’t okay to be angry.

All of us feel anger, of course, and logically and consciously you probably know that. Whenever YOU feel angry however, you might have this nagging sensation that it’s “wrong.” You may think it’s not how you should feel or that your anger isn’t okay.

So what do you do? You smash down that anger. You put it away. You feel guilty for feeling it. You might even think you’re a bad person.

Eventually it builds and builds inside you. One day, you explode over something when it might not be warranted and you’re filled with shame. You feel like you shouldn’t have gotten angry. You’ve reinforced the belief that not only that what you did was bad, but that YOU are bad. You have this monster inside you.

First of all, we have to embrace our shadow self. To feel alive, we have to reanimate this area of ourselves that we’ve cut off and not allowed. What happens to tissue when it’s cut off from blood flow? It necrotizes. It dies. It infects the rest of the tissue around it and kills it.

Instead of allowing these negative and false beliefs to dictate how we feel, we instead need to let go of our family myths and our limiting beliefs. We need to open it up, examine it and heal, rather than cut it off.

Letting Go of Limiting Beliefs

Now, of course, it’s not that easy. You can’t just go, “This makes me feel bad, and so I’m going to let it go.” If it were that simple, we’d all be living our best lives right now…without any work.

Instead, we have to really listen to what’s going on inside of us. We have to understand the ideology of our own hurts. We have to open the doors, even if we’re afraid of the floodgates and what might happen when they open up.

You know what will happen? Change.

It might feel scary and it might feel uncertain, but what is life if you aren’t embracing it for all you can? What is life if you aren’t pushing yourself?

If the things that come out of your mouth and out of your head aren’t terrifying you, then you aren’t really pushing yourself. You aren’t opening yourself up.

We’re all carrying around these pieces of ourselves from our childhood. Many of them were formed before we even realized it or could do anything about it. These pieces we carry around might be painful. They might be pressures put on us by our parents—maybe you had a mother who emotionally “bled” all over you to show how much you hurt her when you disappointed her, so consequently you walk around in fear of disappointing all the other “mothers” in your life.

Maybe you had to absorb your father’s anxiety and anger. Battleships have zinc cores because they have an electrical current that runs through the center. If left, the current would eat right through the ship, so the zinc is there to absorb all of the electricity. Often, particularly with women, they end up having to “be” the “zinc” to absorb the anxiety and stress around them. (Think of the Office Manager, Human Relations Director, or the Engagement Coordinator.)

We all have a dark side, a shadow side. We all have pieces of our youthful selves running around in our head, believing those very things we were told as children, such as: You’re too much. You need to help calm things down. You disappoint others. You need to protect everyone around you. It’s not okay to be angry.

By not facing and dealing with this unfinished business, we can’t put our best selves out there.

Experience the pain. It’s okay to feel pain and use it as a gift. If you deny pain, you’re denying your gift to the world around you. We have to start exercising that best self, grow ourselves up, and start to embrace change no matter how frightening.

We’re all interested in stasis. Stasis is safe. It’s familiar. It’s easy.

But when you want to be truly great, when you want to level up and fight, stasis isn’t productive. In fact, stasis is damaging. Even if it’s painful to push ourselves, it’s through that pushing that we grow. We have to stretch our muscles, stretch our brain, and stretch our emotions to push through and become the best we can be.

So often, when people are on the verge of real success, be it in business or in life, they reach a point where they get scared and they start holding back. Rather than grow their business in the next step, take their marriage to the next level, or push themselves further, they hold on to the status quo, thinking they’re happy enough. They’re afraid to rock the boat.

You know what? Screw being happy! Aim to be fulfilled, not just “happy.” Aim to make your last breath your best breath, not just to hold where you are.

I’m reminded of a clip from the movie Any Given Sunday with Al Pacino:

I don’t know what to say, really. Three minutes till the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Now either we heal as a team or we’re gonna crumble, inch by inch, play by play, ’til we’re finished.

We’re in hell right now, gentlemen, believe me. And, we can stay here — get the s*** kicked out of us — or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell one inch at a time.

Now, I can’t do it for you. I’m too old. I look around. I see these young faces, and I think — I mean — I made every wrong choice a middle-aged man can make. I, uh, I pissed away all my money, believe it or not. I chased off anyone who’s ever loved me. And lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror.

You know, when you get old in life things get taken from you. I mean that’s…part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out life’s this game of inches. So is football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small — I mean one-half a step too late, or too early, and you don’t quite make it. One-half second too slow, too fast, you don’t quite catch it.

The inches we need are everywhere around us.

They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch, because we know when we add up all those inches that’s gonna make the difference between winning and losing! Between livin’ and dyin’!

I’ll tell you this: In any fight, it’s the guy who’s willing to die who’s gonna win that inch. And I know if I’m gonna have any life anymore, it’s because I’m still willin’ to fight and die for that inch. Because that’s what livin’ is! The six inches in front of your face! 

Now I can’t make you do it. You got to look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes! Now I think you’re gonna see a guy who will go that inch with you. You’re gonna see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows, when it comes down to it, you’re gonna do the same for him!

That’s a team, gentleman!

And, either we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.

That’s football guys.

That’s all it is. Now, what are you gonna do?

So that’s the question—do you heal NOW? Do you let yourself move forward? Do you let go of the things holding you back and kick yourself in the butt and start making each moment your best moment?

If you’re ready to start living your best life, reach out and contact us at The Wright Foundation. Learn how you can make each day your best. Go forth and ignite your world.

About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Finding Happiness
as a Mother

At Wright, we like to focus on the age-old saying, “If mama isn’t happy, nobody’s happy!”

Happiness as a Mother


When I was a graduate student at Wright Graduate University, I wrote my dissertation on Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering—A Curriculum Evaluation Study.

A mother of two daughters myself, to say the program and my EdD journey was a profound personal exploration would be an understatement. The program and my studies deepened my relationship with my daughters, as well as my sense of self.

As a coach for sixteen years, I’ve seen time and again the way parenting can both halt and expand personal growth, particularly motherhood. (Although fatherhood isn’t without its own set of growth opportunities.) Mothers, as caretakers, are often balancing what Dr. Judith Wright refers to as the Trifecta of Mothering—mothering children, mothering career and interests, and mothering yourself.

It’s not hard to guess which area is often avoided, put on the back burner, or hidden away during our years as young mothers.

For myself personally, this was the case—I found that I avoided my own emotions, needs and yearnings, often deferring to the needs of my children and my clients, rather than caring for myself and doing my own personal growth work.

Through my doctoral studies at Wright, my coaches, advisors and allies were able to help me reawaken this sense of myself and stir within me the strong desire to help fellow mothers and women in my life stop delaying their own yearnings.

The Parenting Program at Wright

The parenting program at Wright takes foundational work…and brings it to focus in the arena of parenting.

In this program, students engage in coaching and trainings that are deeply rooted in proven theories and methodologies—most particularly Adlerian psychology and methodology.

Dr. Bob Wright has designed parent and child weekend training programs that are laboratories for parents and their children to live the Wright Integrative Model. These fun, structured weekends give a safe place to really strengthen parent connections and apply insights to parenting skills.

On these weekends, parents are challenged to look at what they are satisfied with, or not, in their role as a parent. Mothers receive training and learn skills on how to engage with their children so they are satisfied and have the opportunity to practice those skills immediately on that weekend with the support of other mothers and facilitators.

Wright parenting also includes family system analysis, which fosters deep understanding of the current family system and coaching to bring out the best in each member of the system. Everyone has a different role within the family unit, and it’s important to understand how these roles play out and where they can lead.

The Wright parenting model uses the rare approach of focusing always on the mother’s own self-improvement and having her practice at the task of mothering. In doing so, the Wright model is a framework based on mutuality, focusing on the mother-child dyad and specifically on the mother’s growth and learning in the process.

It charges the mother with becoming aware of her own emotional manifestations and to focus on her own satisfaction, all the while clearing the limiting beliefs that underlie less than optimal thought, feeling, and behavior patterns.

In this new model of raising children, the mother is engaged in her own growth and development as she also nurtures the development of her child. This personal growth focus empowers her to “grow up” with her child(ren)—what the transactional analysis theorists refer to as re-parenting herself.

SOFIA Women’s Program

Founded in 1990 by Judith Wright, SOFIA – the Society of Femininity in Action – is the Wright Foundation’s program for women. Members of SOFIA are trained in feminine leadership harnessing the power of values based in feminine principles such as caring, beauty, cooperation, and feelings at the same time honoring masculine principles as the support to get things done.

In the trainings and curriculum of SOFIA women are exposed to the following concepts: the state of feminine values in our world, the way we as women get in our own way of valuing feminine gifts, an exploration of the limiting behaviors that keep us from becoming who we were meant to be, inspiring examples of women who have broken through the mold to create lives of meaning and purpose, and context about emotional charges and responsible expression.

For a woman who is engaged personal growth and transformation, it is critical she align with her feminine values as they are the medium for deeper connection with her most genuine self. This is incredibly challenging in our culture that values masculine principles over feminine. SOFIA does not propose one is better than the other, rather it shares with women a vision of the two forces working powerfully together for fulfilling and productive outcomes.

It is through the women’s trainings and curriculum developed by Dr. Wright that a woman is exposed to new ways of thinking of herself in the world.

One concept in particular that was introduced to women at the seminar was that because they are women they are already mothers. A woman does not have to birth a child to be a mother when mothering is seen as a feminine quality and something all women share.

A woman can best manifest herself in her full feminine when she uses masculine values to accomplish her deeper desire. Wright calls it, “using the masculine in service of the feminine.” A simple example would be where a woman is in touch with her feminine value of beauty and she uses the masculine value of results and orders flowers to be delivered monthly to her office.

Embracing Our Role as Women

Many times women might feel their status of “motherhood” IS their identity. While motherhood of self, career or children (or a combination) is a powerful role, it’s only a part of who we really are at our core. Our potential goes beyond simply nurturing and caring for others.

As we explore our relationships with others and ourselves, it’s important to look both internally and externally—to gain inspiration and engage with our children, but not to live through them; to be examples of women leading fuller and more expressive and engaged lives; to be leaders and find strength within our femininity.

Doing your own personal growth work and exploration is fundamental uncovering our full potential. If you’re seeking a deeper fulfillment, a stronger connection with those around you, or even to find the power within your role as a mother and nurturer, the Wright parenting program is unparalleled.

If you’re ready to explore these themes, please contact us at Wright. You can work with a life coach to help discover your path and articulate your vision. For more information, please visit us at wrightliving.com.

About the Author

Gertrude Lyons is a human emergence coach and adjunct faculty member at Wright Graduate University. Her academic career spans from a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting, a master’s in psychology from Antioch University, and a newly completed doctoral degree from WGU. Gertrude is wife and mother of two and resides in Chicago, IL where she continues to learn, grow, and develop her skills as a human emergence coach with the Wright team.

Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Family Relationships:
Why is Honest Talk on Family Off Limits?

Do you cringe when someone brings up your family? Was your mother a saint? Was your father your hero? Do you hate the thought of “going there” when people ask you questions about your family?

family relationships


When it comes to working on our personal growth, figuring out our baggage, and resolving the things holding us back, why are we often SO afraid of addressing our family relationships? Maybe it’s the fear of having to confront our parents about things we had no control over, or perhaps it’s confronting our own fears and the realization that there are parts of our makeup we cannot control.

Yet, when our spouse says, “You’re just like your dad,” …Oh boy! Those are fighting words!

Oh, We’re Going There

Our family relationships are often seen as “off limits”—they’re the elephant in the room. They’re the reason why you see Harley bikers with “Mom” tattoos and you see grown men come to blows over “yo’ mama” jokes. It’s this feeling of “say what you want about my friends, my spouse, and even my kids, but don’t say anything about my parents!”

“You don’t know what my mother went through!” or “I was a rough kid to raise and my parents did their best. I’m not going to blame them for my issues!”

Our relationship with our parents is often sacrosanct. We just don’t go there—and we don’t want others to go there either.

What if I told you that your family relationships are exactly where you should go? Scary right? I know, but hear me out.

Whether you like it or not, your emotions, your internal makeup, and your beliefs about yourself are largely completed by age six. Yes, experiences and particularly traumas can change us and cause us to have more fears and more internal “stuff,” but for the most part, our emotional fabric is made up as children and very early on.

Scientists, psychologists, and researchers have studied this extensively, and it’s the reason why programs like “success by six” and parenting classes are so heavily promoted in kids’ early years. Infants have a bond with their parents (and particularly their mother) that’s like no other. If that bond is shaken or broken in any way (and there’s no perfect parent, so there will always be a few cracks in the facade), it can lead to beliefs that hold us back. We call these deep-seeded yet false beliefs “limiting beliefs.”

What Are Limiting Beliefs?

Your limiting beliefs might be things like:

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I’m not safe.
  • I don’t deserve to be heard.
  • I’m “too much.”
  • It’s not okay to share my feelings.
  • It’s never okay to cry.
  • Being angry is unacceptable.

You see, our limiting beliefs might prevent us from resolving them. If we believe it’s not okay to question our parents and that they’re always right—then we may never move forward. If we can’t get angry or if we hold back our emotions or if we feel like we always have to be positive and perfect, we can’t address the real root of what’s going on inside of us.

When I was young, I was a perfectionist. (I’m still a “recovering” perfectionist, to be honest.) I was the girl who did everything right. I got straight A’s. I was a leader in the marching band and the color guard. I was popular. I worked hard. I tried to constantly do the right thing.

Deep down inside, though, I had the limiting belief that I wasn’t measuring up.

I believed I was “faking it” and if I wasn’t careful, I would be found out as a phony. This is a common belief that plagues even top executives and CEOs (and particularly women)—it’s called “imposter syndrome.” It’s the feeling that you aren’t REALLY as smart, professional, talented, or even as attractive as you’ve “tricked” everyone into believing.

Even through college and the early parts of my career, this feeling of being an imposter haunted me. It held me back from my personal transformation and growth. Ultimately, it kept me from feeling fulfilled. Through every success and every milestone, I still felt I didn’t quite deserve it. I felt like it wasn’t real because I was faking it. There was this fear I would be found out and *poof* it would all be gone.

Where did this belief come from? Well, like any limiting belief, it was founded before I was even aware of it. It came from my wanting to be noticed as a child. It came from my longing for praise and acknowledgement…from parents who were proud, but not “too proud.” …Parents, who encouraged me to always strive for more. While this was a positive thing in some ways, it also created and reinforced this limiting belief that I wasn’t enough, and that I needed to be perfect, to try harder, to always be more.

Why Address Our Limiting Beliefs?

So why do you really need to deal with your family relationships? Can’t your relationships with your parents and siblings just be swept under the rug? Can’t you just “get over it”?

The answer is no. If these relationships and their effects on us aren’t explored and examined, they’ll continue to hold us back. We will continue to see these patterns repeat in our lives—in our careers, in our relationships, and within our social circles. We often recreate these connections and we’re drawn to them, because they’re so comfortable. They reinforce ALL the things we already believe about ourselves.

During our Year of Transformation program, we spend a whole quarter on Family & Intimacy. Why? Because it’s THAT important to helping you discover who you are and how you can be your best self.

“I had a lot of fear going into Family and Intimacy, my third quarter. There are certain fears and pain I was running away from. Even identifying my family’s rules and beliefs was challenging, realizing that I will continue to project my belief through others, whether it’s my wife, my siblings or perhaps even my newborn child.

The other realization was how I always desired to have a more forceful mother who would stand up for herself and go after her dreams and desires. I projected that “wish” onto my wife and would get upset when I didn’t see that happening.

As a result of that realization, I shifted my actions. I dug into several historical pains. After building up a lot of feelings and emotions throughout the quarter, I finally broke into tears with my mother, mostly from the pain over the loss of my father 22 years ago. I felt like it was the first time I fully expressed that sadness. I also had a heart-to-heart conversation with her regarding her goals and my vision for her.

That was the first time I had a conversation like that with her in my life.”

-Noah, Senior Research & Development Manager and Year of Transformation Student

As you can see, the benefits to tackling these beliefs and addressing our relationships with our family can make our connections stronger. It can guide us on our journey and help us transform our lives. All of us want more personal fulfillment. We want more growth. We want to be great.

To reach our full potential, we have to train and exercise our emotions. We have to learn how to be more open, more aware, and more engaged. We need to stop living a life where we question each success, or feel undeserving or as though we aren’t enough.

You are a gift to the world! You may not believe it yet, but within each of us is vast untapped potential and purpose. What you bring to the world is unique to you. It’s that je ne sais quoi, that “special thing” about you that makes up who you are.

“We can provide 101 reasons why personal transformation is beneficial, but the best one of all is this: You will give birth to a greater you.

Regardless of your age or personal development to date, you don’t know who that greater you is, but you’ve probably had glimpses. You’ve thought to yourself, if I only did x, I could have achieved so much. Or you imagine having a different, much more satisfying relationship with your spouse, our children, your parents. Or you dream about all the good you might accomplish for humankind if only you had the right team, or you didn’t have all the responsibilities, the financial concerns, the self-doubt. Somewhere deep inside of you, you understand that you could be greater than you are.

Transformation is the path to releasing this greater person from the recesses of your mind and bringing him or her to life. There’s nothing egotistic, inauthentic, or delusional in wanting to have a great life. In fact, it’s a perfectly natural impulse. Cultural evolutionists such as Andrew Cohen and Ken Wilber talk about how people want to participate in their own evolution and reach the next level of development. We’re not made to settle for good over great, to accept comfort instead of challenge. We all have a drive to explore and learn, but society or our own upbringing often dampen that drive and we believe we can only do or achieve or be so much and no more.”

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

So, it’s time to stop holding back! Explore those beliefs. It’s time to “go there” and look at your family relationships. You may find by addressing things and bringing them out into the light, they aren’t nearly as scary as you once thought. In fact, they may bring you closer to your parents and siblings. They may also bring you closer to your true self with all of your amazing potential.

At Wright, we have several classes and options to help you improve your relationships with your family and yourself. We offer Family and Parenting workshops to help you improve your parenting skills or to take along with your kids to improve your relationships. If you’d like to learn more about personal growth or our Year of Transformation classes, or if you’re be interested in joining us for a free Foundations Training weekend, please visit www.wrightliving.com. Take the first steps toward unlocking your potential for a better you and a better tomorrow!

About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Why You Need More Allies, Instead of More Friends

Do you think your coworkers have influence over you? What about your significant other? Your friends? Could they get you to do something just because you’re following the crowd?

more allies


You’re probably thinking, “Eh, maybe a little, but I’m a pretty tough, independent guy/gal. I’m beyond being suckered in by others’ influences. Influences are for Junior High kids.”

Think again, buddy.

Surprisingly, we all have a wide circle of influence—larger and stronger and more powerful than we may realize, think or believe.

We’re Less Than Six Degrees Apart

Remember a few years ago, when the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” was all the rage? People were fascinated by the theory that any Hollywood actor could be connected back to the actor Kevin Bacon through six connections or less. It became a popular party game. People would sit around trying to link back to Kevin Bacon.

Truth be told, this separation? It’s not limited to just actors, and in fact, it doesn’t even go as far as six degrees. Not even close! In fact, a Facebook study revealed that users in the United States were separated by only 3.46 degrees! Everyone—from the lady at the coffee shop, to the mechanic in Arkansas, to the elderly woman in Salt Lake City—you’re connected THAT closely to the people in the world around you.

The people we surround yourself with have an impact on our actions and our achievements. Look at “herd mentality” when it comes to trends, the stock market, and more. In fact, there are plenty of consumer studies out there on the way we influence each other’s’ choices in purchasing, how we dress, and even what we eat.

The thing about herd mentality and the influence of others is that we all think we’re “above” it, right? We ALL think we’re independent thinkers. We control our own minds and choices, right? Well, guess what?

As it turns out, our circle of influence is much stronger and broader reaching than we think or realize. If you go into a room with a bad attitude or feeling like you’re having a crappy day, your influence will spread. Rapidly. Like an infection, you’ll actually bring every person down you come in contact with.

The reverse is also true. In phone sales training, you may have heard the phrase “dial and smile”—because your smile can be heard in the pitch and tenor of your voice. Even without seeing you, customers can literally tell when you aren’t smiling or happy to be selling something. Your influence even extends through the phone!

So what can we take away from all this? Are we just products of our environment? Is it time for an existential crisis?

Do we have any free will at all?

Surrounding Yourself with Transformational People

Of course the point isn’t to scare you into feeling helpless or powerless. In fact, the knowledge of your influence should actually make you feel MORE powerful and even MORE in control.

You are a person of great influence!

As it turns out, you have incredible power over the people in your life.

For example, in a study called The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years (PDF), it was found that people who were obese were more like to have friends who were also obese. In turn, the friends-of-friends of the obese people were also more likely to be obese. And here’s the kicker: almost unbelievably, the friends-of-friends-of-friends were ALSO more likely to be obese. This isn’t a lesson on obesity, of course—it’s about the power of our influence. Our habits can affect not only our family and friends, but also our friends’ friends…and even our friends’ friends’ friends. If just our habits can do that, imagine what our attitude can do!

Right now, you have influence over somewhere around 1,000 people. Your habits, your actions, and your attitude—they all have an influence on over 1,000 people in your circle.

YOU have the power within you to influence all those people with your positive choices, your goals and your actions.

…and you also have the power to be a stick in the mud and bring everyone down. It’s up to you.

This is why the importance of surrounding yourself with transformational leaders cannot be understated. If you want to be MORE, to feel MORE, to GROW, learn and engage, you have to surround yourself with not simply friends, but allies.

Friends vs. Allies

Friends love you for how you are. Your friends might be good influences…or they might look to you to co-conspire, to be an ear and a sounding board, or to listen, nod and smile. Friends bitch and moan to us, and yes, they care—but sometimes they’re too polite. They have their agenda. Hey, they’re friendly.

Allies, on the other hand, bring to mind a different image. We think of allies as partners in war, right? World War II, we think of the Allied forces—those who came to the aid of partner countries and helped hold the line and fight against the Axis powers.

Allies have your back. They fight with you. They call you out on your shit. They’re tough. They’ll tell you when you screw up and when you’re not doing the job you should be doing. They’ll tell you when you aren’t living up to your own expectations.

We can find allies all around us. An ally might be your life coach, your partner, or your mentor. Yes, an ally might be your friend, but a friend might not always be an ally. To truly be someone’s ally, you might need to give them tough love—not warm and fuzzy acceptance and permissive leeway, but brutal honesty.

Greatness is in each of us. Our allies know that, and more than that, they expect it. Surround yourself with allies and you will win each battle and continue to forge ahead. Allies believe in us because they can see the truth of who we are.

So look at your circle. Who influences you and whom do you have influence over? Are you their ally and are they yours? Are you pushing your friends, your partner, and yourself to be the best you can be? Are you being an ally to yourself as well as to others, or do you listen to your own excuses?

For more on how you can become a transformational agent and ignite your world, please read more on our blog at Wright Living. You’ll learn more about how to connect with those around you, expand your circle of influence, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone to a place when you can truly be your best self.

About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.