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The Edge of the Coin

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The Edge of the Coin
(click for podcast) (5:16 min.)

When you flip a coin, it’s usually assumed that it’ll land on heads or tails. One way or the other, two choices, a digital answer. We’re kind of obsessed with this kind of duality. There is, however, a chance it will land on its edge, and that represents a way of thinking and approaching problem-solving that’s rather magical.

We’re often under the misconception that we have very limited choices. Indeed, many times it looks much like that coin toss with seemingly only two options. The truth is if we really dig deeper, and give it the time and thought due the challenge, we’re usually able to find a more innovative, creative choice. We can find the win/win/win where we previously only saw zero-sum solutions.

To use an example from Star Trek©, when Mr. Spock (representing logic) would offer the two alternatives: “either we destroy them or they'll destroy us,” Captain Kirk would reject this summary. “Unacceptable! I want that third alternative!” Invariably, after going back to really work on the problem, Mr. Spock would come up with something truly inspired, and all would be saved.

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I read an interview with Monty Python comedian John Cleese a while back, where he was talking about going for the solution-beyond-the-solution. He found that quite often one of his Python-mates would find a funny bit, and be ready to leave for the day. Cleese asserted that if he discarded his first solution, it forced him to come up with something else, which pushed him farther out of his comfort zone, and yielded a much more innovative solution. This solution was always more satisfying and enjoyable to him.

Indeed when you do face a seemingly black-or-white, limited choice challenge, let that feeling be a red flag for you, and plant one of your mental warning signs. Let it be a warning that you’re caught in a tunnel-vision or digital view, and that you need to step back for more perspective. Remember that you don’t really want to make a decision while you’re in this position. You can do better.

Here are a couple ideas to help you put this into action:

* First, reject the initial solution or choice, based on that flawed premise of “either/or.”

* Take yourself out of your own perspective or world-view for a moment. Of course this means first understanding what that is; which is another great adventure in itself.

* Pretend to be someone else involved in the solution or choice. Really become them as much as you’re able. Where are they coming from? What are they concerned about? What might they fear? What might they need from this decision, that you hadn’t thought about?

* Now look at the question or challenge from their “side of the room.” Their side of the room may look out a window not previously available to you.

I’m not advising you to waste time in dubious re-iterations, of course. Often the choices you face offer you plenty of space for creativity. However, when you do find yourself boxed into a digital, two-choice, us-or-them situation, don’t give in too easily. There’s at least a third alternative deeper in the mix. You can do better. Shoot for magic. Go for the edge of the coin.

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible? How your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?
Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei


September Offer -

The second half of the year is upon us, which means a new "semester" ahead for anyone wanting to turn all those daily WTFs into "of course!" I'm going to continue offering 3 free  Discovery Sessions (first come, first served) AND rolling back tuition to 2018 levels as an incentive to invest in yourself. The ROI is incredible. And of course, feel free to check in for an informal chat. Maybe we'll light some light bulbs?

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He combines his extensive knowledge of integral theory, the Enneagram, and neuroscience, in a seamless way (truly a Grand Unifying Theory of Everything), and helps you apply this greater understanding to whatever matters to you. He helps you build the trellis which you can hang any flower on that you choose.." - P.R., - S.F.


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The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

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Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
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Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Director Pacific Development Partners




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