Well Shiver Me Timbers, I’m SORRY!


None of us needs a lesson in ‘how to screw up’. We’re all very talented and productive in that area – at least I know I am. But, seriously, how many times have you ached to know what to say and what to do when it was clean up the screw-up time?

We’re not talking about accidentally bumping into someone, telling a little white lie or being three minutes late for a meeting. We’re talking about the screw-ups that result in majorly hurt feelings, big lies, more lies (or more and bigger lies), physical damage and broken promises. This conversation is about the things we’ve done – that we shouldn’t have done – and then covered up with lies and deception. The ‘act’ was bad enough, lying about it exacerbated it 100 times over!

I can’t recall any personal major transgressions or big lies I’ve told in the last decade or so, but that may have something to do with the double standard we all have about lying. When you lie it’s a big deal. When I lie it’s for a good reason and purpose… Give me a second; I’ll think harder.

Well, okay, there was that time I backed into a neighbor’s car in the parking lot of my apartment building, pretended it wasn’t me and didn’t leave a note on his windshield. But, ten minutes later this guilt-ridden car-crasher drove back, rang his bell and told him what I’d done. So I guess that doesn’t count.

Once I threw a big party and purposely didn’t invite a couple that should have been invited. When they mentioned the ‘slight’ a few weeks later, I lied. Flat out lied. Without thinking it through, I told them that I had sent an evite (in fact, a reminder, too), and never heard back from them. They probably knew I was lying (I told you I’m not very good at it.) and haven’t called me since…

Oh, and there was that time that I broke a date with someone (for what seemed like a better offer) and got caught in the lie. Guess that counts, he was pretty upset with me. We set up a coffee date to talk about what happened – a safe, neutral venue. There was no question about who screwed up. It was I (doesn’t ‘me’ sound better here even if it’s incorrect???). I broke a promise, told a lie and disrespected a really nice, totally innocent guy.  He was hurt and I was ashamed. Regardless of the outcome, I knew I had to clean up my mess.

We both felt much better by the time the check was paid. You’ve heard me say how much I love a good process and the clean up process I used was very effective. I call it the Pirate Process because only a scalawag would need to use it (after sabotaging, pillaging, plundering and/or high-jacking the respect and feelings of their first mate or crew). The Pirate Process depends on the use of the three ‘Arghs’ (Regret, Responsibility and Remedy) to adequately swab the deck and clean up a screw up. I was in full Pirate mode when I sat down with him and it worked. We are still friends and chat now and then, but by my choice (and mutual agreement) we’re no longer dating.

Acknowledging and expressing regret for what you’ve done, taking FULL responsibility for it and then offering to take some kind of action to remedy the situation, works pretty much every time. You may not have intended to hurt, but you can intend to make amends.  Aye –aye, matey!


I'm Fine

Next to “I have read and agreed to the Terms and Conditions”, “I’m fine (sigh)” is the most often told lie in the English language. When I sense upset or illness, and hear someone say: “Nothing’s wrong, I’m fine.” The hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention and, I must admit, I go ballistic (at least on the inside).

Why do we people do that????

When I ask someone, “How are you doing (or feeling)?” I actually want to know. I’m even possibly concerned. It’s not a rhetorical question – so it begs a response – and it is an open-ended question, which, as anyone who’s ever taken an exam knows, requires more than a one-word answer! It’s an essay question fer cryin’ out loud! I’m looking for details here. I really want to know how you are.

I’m sure that for some people, “How are you?” is generally nothing more than an icebreaker; filler, a throw away greeting. But, for me, if I ask a question I actually expect an answer and some level of conversation to follow! If I wasn’t truly interested or I wanted a one-word response, I would have just asked, “Are you okay?” See? That’s a simple Yes or NO kind of query. No conversation expected.

Oh, and when someone asks me how I am, I tend to think about it and then give an honest, considered answer… “Kinda off today. How about you?” “Feeling great thanks, you?” “I’m exhausted! It’s hard to sleep when it’s so hot. How are you handling the heat?” “I feel great, thanks. I think it may be contagious… wanna catch some?!”

I love to surprise and delight people with a short but honest answer. Lord knows it’s usually unexpected. And regardless of what my answer is, I look them right in the eyes – the ‘ole human connection in action.

Sometimes, if I’m having a particularly rough day (Yes, even Susie Sunshine has ‘em), I say so and follow it up with: “It’s gonna take some doing to turn this one around. Your asking me about it sure helps, though. Thanks!” And, at the other end of the FINE spectrum, if I am having a tough day AND feeling grumpy, I have been known to either ignore completely or do an instant mega emotional dump all over their annoying, phony self-serving question. But, thank you, that hardly ever happens.

My favorite response is, “If I were any better I’d be twins!” People always smile and comment when I say that. Even just saying it makes me feel great. It’s a really happy comment, isn’t it? And I’m all about sharing the joy.

And, when I respond with “AWESOME, thanks! How about you?”(Which, by the way is my usual response.), I almost always get a big smile and a short, pleasant conversation begins…

Sure, I’ve occasionally gone down the path of throwaway question/throwaway answer. Really, who hasn’t? So, I guess I do understand at last a few of the reasons for the quick and simple “fine”.  Sometimes, when I’m in a hurry or a bad mood – or if I’m really preoccupied, I don’t even hear the question, so I don’t answer at all. There are times when, hey, I’m not sure how I feel. And there are times that I simply don’t want to talk about it or it’s just none of their business. Regardless, if I respond with an “I’m FINE”, you can be pretty sure it’s a BIG LIE… I’m not!!!

When comedian, George Carlin asked someone, “How are you?” and was answered with “I’m fine”, he said: “No, YOU are not fine. Your hair is fine!”


Every Lie Is Two

Years ago (many years ago) I went into business with a girlfriend. She was a force of nature – like a landslide. She was big, brash, blunt and – dare I say it? – ballsy! I thought those things would be assets in a business partner. Well, at least I did… until she became my business partner. Turned out she and I had very different ethics and values when it came to running a business.

She lied to one of our vendors about a problem they had caused for us. Yes, they screwed up, that was true. But we figured out how to work around the problem and all it cost us was a little extra legwork and aggravation. She, however, told the apologetic vendor that they had cost us a $1000 job and she expected them to cover it. They agreed.

When she told me what she’d done I was mortified – and I told her so. And that was when her justification process kicked in.  For the next few hours we ‘discussed’ the situation. I said it was wrong, unethical and a lie. She justified what she did by explaining that they screwed up and should pay for their mistake. They were a ‘big’ company and they could afford it. We could use an extra thousand dollars to fix up the store and put some of their money toward a new delivery vehicle. If we’d had a good delivery vehicle their screw-up wouldn’t have been so bad. We deserved a new one. She was teaching them a valuable lesson and I should be able to see that. Besides, she told me, they owed us for all the upset and running around we had to do because of them. It would make their company better in the long run. She knew what she was doing and it was the right thing to do.

Her defense of what she did – the explaining and justifying – didn’t alter any circumstances or my opinion about the morality of what she had done. All it did was have me shake my head in wonder at her ability to find reasons for everything she did. She had actually convinced herself that, once again, she was 100% right. In her mind she was justified.

FYI, I called the owner of the ‘offending’ company and told him that, after discussing it, we decided that all they owed us was a refund for the materials that didn’t get delivered. He was thrilled…  and I no longer had a partner/friend.

In the years since that defining episode, I’ve met other justification junkies. You know the type. No matter what they do or say (especially if the morality of it was in doubt), they were ready, willing and able to share their ‘good reasons’ for having done it or said ‘it’. I’m referring primarily to the ‘unethical’ choices that people make. The problem is, justifying those choices makes it easier the next time a tough choice has to be made. We get better and better at justifying the more we do it. These justification junkies have justified themselves and their actions so much for so long that they are totally convinced that anything they do is right and necessary. You can almost smell the overwhelming toxicity spewing forth from their self-defense.

I know we all justify our words and deeds to some extent, and we all love to be right, but when someone steps that far outside the moral boundaries of ethical human behavior – and is able to feel ‘right’ and good about it… I say it’s time to cull the herd.


Trust me I'm a liar

This is not about a blog about the ethical or moral status of lying. It’s about teaching you to be better at doing it. It occurred to me that since we all lie… pretty consistently – even if for a wide variety of different ‘reasons’, we would all benefit from gaining a little expertise in that area. So, after combing the internet for ‘tips’ (since I’m not all that good at lying, myself) here’s what I’ve learned:

Don’t lie unless it’s going to get you something you really want. One could argue that sometimes a lie has merit; to protect a reputation, to prevent hurt to someone else, to win at poker, to ease tension, and so on, but it will always depend on the context and extent of the lie, as well as the legality/morality of what is being lied about. So, don’t try this at home, unless you have already dealt with your internal moral and ethical hurdles.

It helps to convince yourself that you’re telling the truth. Even if you’re delusional, it doesn’t really matter if you believe you’re telling the truth. Use your imagination to envision the lie, enacting it your mind as if it really happened. Do this over and over.

Speak generally – offer as few details as possible (unless you are absolutely positive you can remember them all). Say: Traffic was bad. Do NOT say: You should have seen the traffic, tons of cars backed up, I was standing still for at least 20 minutes, and then when we did start moving, we moved at a crawl for the next five miles… Say as little as possible.

When possible, make up a good story in advance and practice telling it. Writing out the lie can help to enhance your memory of it and to come up with a logical sequence of events to share.

Anticipate and rehearse your answers to their possible questions. Practice telling your lie using appropriate facial expressions (like holding back tears) and use the ‘real’ smile’ we talked about a few weeks ago.

Sprinkle in some partial, misleading truths – it’s hard to catch you in a lie if it isn’t a ‘whole’ lie.

Make eye contact and keep it… along with a neutral, relaxed posture.

Know your target – tell them what they want to hear.

Never change your story… in fact, bring it up again from time to time to reinforce it.

If you get caught, never tell the truth. Admit no wrongdoing!!! Make up another lie or tell a half-truth that isn’t quite as bad as the original lie and would have obviously forced you to make up that original lie. (You had no choice, did you?) If you can, decrease your responsibility and soften the impact of your lie by bargaining about your responsibility in the matter. (Who else can you blame?) The goals here are distraction from the real truth and keeping yourself out of trouble.

Blame the outcome as the cause: I dropped my stupid phone and it didn’t work so I couldn’t call – I was too upset – l and now I have to buy a whole new phone!

Add a small confession to your lie to reduce suspicion: I know I said I wouldn’t, but I foolishly called my ex just as I was getting ready to start on that work for you.  He really upset me and couldn’t do anything after that.

Combine your lie with the truth: Everyone was drinking at the party and when they offered me a drink I said “no” at first, but they insisted, so I decided to have just one small one. And that’s all it took. One little drink and I was totally drunk! What a lightweight, huh?



My Truth

I’m a LIAR. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth, and I don’t want to lessen the value of this blog by lying about my lying. I, Sandye Linnetz, have in the past and will in the future, tell lies.

Sometimes I plan out my lies like the writing of the great American novel; full of passion and purpose. There was that time when I was almost 16 and this guy – who was 20!!!!- wanted me to go out with him. Yes! He was so cool and he asked ME and I really wanted to go. My parents’ response: “Absolutely not, he’s much too old for you.” They were being so ridiculous and controlling.

As luck would have it, there was this ‘youth group’ party and I arranged to ‘go to that’ and have the erstwhile boyfriend pick me up there. He’d get me back to the party before my ride left and no one would ever know. Well, no one except my little brother, who I swore to secrecy. As the afternoon passed and daylight waned, so did my nerve. I think I was equally afraid of getting caught and worried about doing the wrong thing. My parents went out for the evening and my ride honked… PARTY time!

By the time I walked into the party I knew I couldn’t lie to my parents (for a million different teen reasons). So, I maneuvered my way to the nearest princess phone (no, there were no mobile phones back then); called the guy and cancelled the sneaky date. And by the way, the party was great fun.

Now why did I tell you this story? Well, because there’s more. Unbeknownst to me, my little bro told my parents about my sneaky date plan. When I got home my parents were waiting; red-faced and ‘loaded for bear’. I was grounded for one week for disobeying and another week for lying. “No”, I bemoaned, “I didn’t lie and I didn’t disobey. I didn’t go out with him. I did go to the party”. Didn’t matter. The punishment stood. I got punished for “THINKING ABOUT LYING”!

Now, I’ll be honest (cuz that’s what we’re doing here, right?) it wasn’t the last time I plotted out a BIG lie, but that experience certainly influenced the frequency and severity of my lying – post sneaky party date. Prevarication is always a choice… and I’ve learned to choose carefully.

There are times when it feels like I am not choosing to lie. I lie without thinking about it at all – on autopilot – not premeditated, more like a knee jerk reaction. Words spew forth and I can’t grab ‘em to shove ‘em back in… so the lie, MY lie, is out there in the world. But, come on, we’re telling the truth here, right? There is always that instant – that mega second before the lie comes gushing out – when choice is present.

When the dinner party hostess asked if her overdone, poorly seasoned meat was ‘simply fabulous’…  I said, “Yes, best ever!” If I’m late (which doesn’t happen often) I’ve been known to blame it on traffic instead of myself. Sometimes it’s about hiding the truth, other times about avoiding trouble. Now and again lies make us bigger and better. And sometimes it’s about sparing feelings… or is it? Maybe I just wanted that rotten cook to invite me back. She gives great parties – NO LIE!




I don’t Multi-task…I JUGGLE!


I used to describe myself as a self-starter and brilliant multi-tasker.  When someone needed to get six things done at once, I was the gal to call! You know the old saying, “When you want something done, ask a busy person!” Well, that was me. Always busy… and always willing to make time to take on one more task. I prided myself on getting it all done and doing it all at once.

After reading a few articles on the dangers of multi-tasking, however, I realized that when I’m being most productive I am not multi-tasking, I’m juggling!  Think about it. Juggling is about breaking down complex patterns and maneuvers into simple tasks to keep a number of rapidly shifting balls in the air. It’s a process. And having worked for many years with Beth Schneider at Process Prodigy (as her lead ‘Systems Goddess’), I learned to recognize, appreciate and love a good process!

Look, I’m still a fan of any product that ‘cleans my toilet bowl while I work’ or makes me beautiful while I sleep. Anytime I can accomplish two things at once, I’m in! I love that I can set the cook time on my oven and write a blog while the casserole is cooking. And though we might call that multi-tasking, it isn’t really, is it? Two things are happening concurrently, but I’m only actively doing one at a time. And, to carry this even further; if I’ve also loaded and started the dishwasher, dropped off my car at the dealership (where they wash it after fixing it) and asked my neighbor to pick up a few things for me when she goes to the market… I’m mega juggling!!!

The following is an excerpt from Fast Company, Juggling by Anna Muoio: As you read it, think of juggling TASKS instead of balls, fire sticks or knives. It makes so much sense!

“We all have to juggle different types of things…  If I throw you three different objects all at once, you have a limited time to gauge the weight, texture, and size of what’s about to fall into your hand.  So you have to develop different ways of grasping the objects.  If you try to grasp one as you would another, you’re going to miss— you may even get hurt. Try to understand the characteristics of the objects coming at you.  Worse than dropping objects is letting them collide in the air and fall in random patterns.  To prevent this, you need to create a separate flight path for each object.”

If you look at things in only one way, you’ll be greatly restricted in how many objects (or tasks) you can juggle.  Yet, you can be a very successful juggler if you’re willing and able to look at your objects or to-do list of tasks, in a number of different ways – to get a clear perception and unscramble the patterns; see them all at once, and create a plan that addresses all of them and creates balance.

Balance is an essential skill in juggling— as essential as it is in life.  But the balance I’m referring to is not perfect equilibrium and stillness.  It’s the ability to make quick and exquisitely refined responses to any unexpected change.  In other words, expect the best and plan for the worst!

Just like a good juggler, I’m constantly figuring out how to best keep ‘all my balls in the air’.  I know I can never have absolute control over any situation, so I stay alert, flexible and open to change. Juggling – including task-juggling – builds your focus muscles. It’s about being flexible in dealing with the unexpected and adjusting as necessary, keeping all your balls in the air and staying FOCUSED on one thing at a time! It’s good to be a juggler!




Did You Get the Memo? The Gig Is Up And The Word Is Out: BUSYNESS, which has long masqueraded as the ultimate identifying trait of significance and productivity is finally being recognized and widely regarded as what’s it’s always been: an unsustainable, seldom productive, stress producing, potentially life-threatening condition. SO GIVE IT UP! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! Busyness is no badge of honor… it’s just plain CRAZY!

Your life is not a dance card that someone else is filling in for you. No one appropriated your precious Google calendar and triple booked your life. It was not a stranger who signed you up to bake two-dozen homemade cookies for the luncheon or forced you to edit your neighbor’s son’s resume. Your friends did not twist your arm or threaten you with certain death if you did not invite them over for a dinner party next weekend, and no one is making you go to that play that you don’t even want to see.

When the phone rings you don’t actually have to answer it – some people believe in the magic of voicemail. Facebook, Candy Crush, Instagram, You Tube, Words With Friends and your email all have off buttons. The only person making you so overwhelmingly, crazy busy, is you. Isn’t it time you were a little nicer to the person who feeds you and chooses your underwear?

Busyness, especially in the extreme, is a choice, not a condition. I like to stay busy; it makes me happy. Or at least that’s what I’ve always declared – and what I’ve always done. Being referred to as the prototype for the Energizer Bunny has always filled me with pride. When I’m “crazy busy” I get so much done. I feel so accomplished and valuable. Productivity is a party for my ego and I love a good party… BUT (There’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there?) maybe I have my priorities messed up.

What if busyness is a detriment to productivity (scientific fact: IT IS!) and multi-tasking is it’s creepy, sneaky partner (another scientific fact: IT IS!)? What if never napping or sleeping in ISN’T proof of greatness, as my father always told me?

Okay, time for me to take a look at whom I’ve been “BEING” in the area of busyness.

Could it be that I’ve been using my busyness as a safety net – a way to avoid the things that might enhance my life… but, then again, might not? When there was a task that I didn’t get done (or done really well or completed on time), did I use busyness as my popularly accepted, credible excuse? “Oh, I was soooo busy.” And when I was asked to do something that either scared me or that I simply didn’t want to do, did my almost manic busyness become my unrecognized, built in excuse – politely declining because I was, well, “so crazy busy”?

I get it. My busyness is not really serving me. It needs a serious overhaul. My beingness needs a workout plan. When I have my plan worked out, I’ll share it with you… If I’m not too BUSY!




“When you meet someone who has no smile… give ‘em one of yours.”
~Sandye Linnetz and countless others

There’s a very cool piece of art hanging on the wall just outside my bedroom. I see it as I fall asleep and when I first wake up. It says: ”Your Day Will Go The Way The Corners of Your Mouth Turn”.  And it makes me smile.

I come from a long line of smilers and I have that happy gene. My grandma, Ida (or “Idie Pidie” as I called her), was blessed with dimples so big that when she smiled it looked like her face was caving in! Seriously the most joyous and contagious smile I’ve ever seen.

I have dimples, too (thank you, Grandma), and although I don’t have the face-caving-in variety, they do show even when I’m not really smiling. For years I was surprised when total strangers spoke to me and confused by how often they smiled, nodded or waved at me. Then one day, as I glanced at the mirror, I noticed this happy face smiling at me and realized that although I wasn’t actually smiling, I had a smile on my face! That made me smile… and think.

This is so easy! I don’t have to do anything; except be awake – and be around people – to involuntarily spread joy. And the crazy thing I’ve noticed is that when people think I’m smiling at them (even when I’m not), they smile at me. And then, BAM!!! I smile back. I can’t help it. It’s automatic.

Sharing a smile is right up there with a Rube Goldberg machine. It’s ingeniously cool and performs a simple task. Each smile you give begets another smile and another and another… And those smiles are ever so likely to translate into kind words, good deeds, love, friendliness and a myriad of other happy stuff.  That easy, unassuming, uncomplicated smile; the one you gave (or got) made the sun shine and life good for everyone in its reach. There’s magic in sharing a smile.

And then there’s the ‘pay it forward’ element. A smile has the capacity to instantly produce happiness and joy in the person who gives it, the one who gets it and then, as a byproduct, to pretty much everyone else who comes in contact with either of them! It’s the happiest virus in town.







When I recently declared that I was on a journey to ‘understand and conquer’ my resistance in life, I had no idea that I’d be ‘traveling’ with such a huge tribe! It turns out that resistance is a big deal – especially in the world of psychology – and no one among us is untouched by it. Who knew?

Now, half dozen books and 20 or 30 articles later, I realize that resistance is not only normal; it’s a basic survival defense mechanism. I don’t do what I don’t do because somewhere deep inside me (i.e., subconsciously) I’m afraid that if I did do whatever it is, it would actually hurt me. So I protect me. Thank you, Me.

We resist in order to protect ourselves… from DANGER, PAIN, DISAPPOINTMENT, DISILLUSIONMENT and hundreds of other equally awful things. Here’s the rub: that place ‘deep inside’ – the place where fear is hangin’ out – may not have our current best interests at heart! What we feared in the past may not be an issue anymore. Personally, I’m over that whole ‘thing’ I had in 6th grade about girls who had waists smaller than their hips and thighs that didn’t rub together being ho- bags! I’m pretty sure that I could lose weight, look phenomenal and still be a ‘nice girl’. Adult me has moved on…

I’m ready to ‘join the resistance’ against resistance! Who’s in? Great! But I do want to issue a few warnings… This is an inner game. It’s a mind game and the battlefield of Resistance vs. Action is almost entirely within us. Unfortunately, because often we’re not very good at recognizing resistance for what it is… and not too hot at combating it, we have a tendency to resort to stepping up our external game to win the war. Instead of using our inner strengths; motivation, our ability to think and reason, gratitude and appreciation, we work on our external tools (As if that would make any difference.)

Silly us, we think we can beat resistance by organizing our desk, writing down our tasks, designing new and better systems (tweaking them until they’re nearly perfect), buying a better elliptical machine and so on. So we have a better mousetrap and we still can’t catch a mouse! It’s not that those things don’t matter, it’s that they don’t matter in the ‘war against resistance’.

Admittedly my battle plan is still a work in progress, but so far I’m seeing some very positive results. I can’t be ‘ambushed’ because I am now aware (step one) that I’m being attacked on at least three ‘fronts’: the gym, online dating and self-promotion. Those are my big three and I now recognize resistance when it shows up.

I’m standing up to the fears I can now identify and I’m not backing down! I structure my day to include confronting and coming to terms with my fears. I’m shifting from victim to hero in my very own story!

“On the field of the Self stand a knowing and a dragon. You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon.”
— Steven Pressfield



Sometimes I just don’t ‘wanna’. There are days when I don’t want to work – though I have plenty of work to do. I want to share my coaching with the world, but I don’t do much to let the world know that I have things they may want to hear. I joined a gym over a year ago and I still haven’t gone for a class or a workout. I don’t want to go to the gym – though I do want to lose those 5 ‘extra’ pounds and my running and daily push-ups aren’t getting the job done. I don’t want to ‘look’ for new clients – even though I love coaching and my bank account would be happy. And I can’t seem to get it together in the ‘find a man’ department, either. I say that I really, really want to, but when it comes to joining on-line dating sites or local clubs or groups… nada! I have made absolutely no move – no effort – to meet a man, even though I know that it would be fun. I just don’t feel like it. It’s too much effort. So, I don’t wanna.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do want all of those things to happen. I want to speak before a crowd of 1000’s, lose those 5 pounds and fall in love. I just don’t want to do them. I want them to all just occur. I want Prince Charming to ride up on his white horse with fifty new clients and a pill that will give me the perfect body overnight. I want someone to ‘discover’ me and make it their life’s work to put me on stage. Is that too much to ask? Ya think?

So I have the goals and I have the desire…  What I don’t have is a plan because my resistance is waaay stonger than I seem to be. Truth is, as I write this I’m not even sure what I’m resisting. And that, my friends, is the reason I chose this topic for the week. My guess is, if I have issues (aka blocks) keeping me from having what I say I want… so do many you!

The journey, then, is to discover what is keeping me from going all Nike on it and “JUST Doing IT”! It’s clearly not a motivation thing. And I’m definitely not lazy. It’s a resistance; some subconscious or unconscious fear that has me absolutely paralyzed. It’s a under the radar thing that is keeping me from being in action and doing what I do so effortlessly in so many other areas of my life… take charge and make it happen!

I now open up the inquiry. Time to ‘google my brain’ and, with the right questions, I may have some amazing answers by my Thursday night MOTIVATE and ACTIVATE call. I can’t wait to share… I WANNA!