Sweettt.com – Episode 2 – Embracing Change

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Step 1 – YOU DON’T HAVE TO – feel like this anymore.

I’m a big fan of West Wing.  I really am.  The level of discourse in that show is simply wonderful.  The images… the characters… Anyway, there is a nice little exchange I just had with a colleague, who was sharing with me that he was resisting change…

A change
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… he wasn’t comfortable with a change that was about to happen.  And immediately, a scene within West Wing came to mind.

The story goes like this…

The President, Jed Bartlet was plagued with a 5 point drop in approval ratings.  Concurrently, a position paper on how to bring down the Bartlet Presidency was being surfaced by the press.  Because the paper was highly critical of the administration, Bartet and his senior staff had to read the paper.  In the paper was a key message, that…

Leo (Chief of Staff) drives Bartlet to the middle, and Bartlet lets him take him there.

After Bartlet & Leo read the paper, up comes the time for them to talk about it.  Now they are confronted with their partnership in mediocrity.  Bartlet brings up the suggestion from the paper, that Leo is the one driving them to the middle.  Leo struggles with the message and then rejects it with a strong retort, that Bartlet is the one to drive them to the middle.

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The two principles go back an forth in the dialog, and wrestle with whose to blame for their position.  After some negotiation around the topic, it’s recognized that Bartlet is a big thinker, the one with vision, the one who ultimately gives direction.  Faced with that notion, he justifies his political inaction with all the constraints on his office… These incessant compromises weigh him down and keep his true leadership from coming out.


He sighs, “I don’t want to feel like this anymore.”

And then Leo urges him, “You don’t have to.”

Take On Me - Self Portrait, by bitca
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This insight hits Bartlet squarely between eyes.  He and Leo feel the weight lift as they confirm together that they are going to start doing things differently.  They are going to disregard their fear of losing a second term in the Whitehouse.  Instead, they are going to follow some of the vision of the President and tackle some of the issues that they’ve always wanted to.


Step 2 – LOOK FOR A BOLD ACTION – to commit to that change.

No… I’m not through talking about West Wing.  The very next episode begins with Jed Bartlet making a speach in which he is about to to make a bold unprecidented announcement which is certain to enrage Congress, and trigger the parties to launching into a series of political attacks on the Adminsitration.  The speach needs a parable to build up to that announcement.

standing strong
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And so, Jed Bartlet spoke about a story that his grandfather used to tell, about 2 Irish lads who while walking through the countryside came upon a wall that they thought they could not climb.  Instead, of trying to climb or even backing away, they first threw their caps over the wall so that they were dedicated to either get over the wall or lose their caps.

Making a bold statement can be fun, enlightening, and invigorating.  It can liberate you to act freely, without prior burdens.  It can open up new territory so that you can set the direction for yourself and your endeavors.

Crossing Bridge

But don’t be reckless.  Be thoughtful.  Look before you leap.  And get ready for consequences.

A bold move can also disturb and surprise those around you.  They may become shocked and react.  They may wish that there was more of an opportunity for them to persuade you to keep things they way they were.

Keep in mind that, there is a reason to make the move bold.  Certain changes don’t come easily.

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Keep in mind that, as long as you are being fair to others and fulfilling your promises, it is your perfect right to be bold… to catch others by surprise… to be independent… and to act unilaterally.

Do you believe in change?
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Thinking about change myself, I’ve decided to leave Dogear Nation and spend my time pursuing other things.  Michael Rowe and Michael Martine have become great friends & dudes.  I hope to find ways to collaborate with them in the future in the blogopodsphere.  However, as you can tell from this post, my own predisposition is to delve into more of the psychological aspects of the way we work.  It takes time for me to develop ideas to the depth that I prefer.  So, I felt the need to break away and do things on my own.  The topics and pace of Dogear Nation just weren’t aligning to the direction I’m going to take.

Dogear Nation

So, thank you, Michael & Michael for embracing me as a co-host as you have.  To that role, it’s been fun, and goodbye.

Time for a new chapter.


In the course of deciding to make a bold move and surprise my friends with my abrupt departure from Dogear Nation, a number of thoughts came to mind.  So, I used this opportunity to expound on some introspection.  The article above did not mean to suggest anything significant about my role and relationship with Dogear Nation.  And if it was taken in that light, then it was grossly exaggerated.

Photo Credits:

Academic Reference:

  • Albert Ellis – Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy – Insight 2 – No matter how, when, and why people acquire self-defeating, irrational beliefs that mainly lead to their dysfunctional, emotional-behavioral consequences, if they are disturbed today, they tend to keep holding these irrational beliefs and upsetting themselves by them — not because they held them in the past but because they are still actively, though often unconsciously, reaffirming them and acting as if they are still valid. They still follow, in their minds and in their hearts, the core “musturbatory ” philosophies that they may have taken over or invented years ago, or that they have more recently accepted or constructed for themselves.  (In other words… You don’t have to… there is nothing that you must do… The only thing that you must eventually do is die… What you do between now and the day you die, that’s your choice. (paraphrase by Matt Simpson)).

My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-4dc37eeaeca582a874915150119f77b6}



  1. We’ll miss you on the podcast, Matt. Thanks for all the time you spent on it in the past, though, and I look forward to seeing what’s next!

  2. Hello Matt —

    just finished the first recording session without you on the show, and it wasn’t the same at all… but then again, that was the point. Change is not about keeping things the same.

    Wishing you the very best as you plumb new depths and directions — we’ll be following your contributions and looking for your tags coming into delicious. You’re sure to have fun expounding upon things in a way that does not reflect, support, or speak for any organization that you may be currently, formerly or will be associated with in the future. :)

    Have a great weekend. “and we’re… out”


  3. Woah. You totally have caught people by surprise there.

    Matt, you’ve been awesome on the show and I know you’ve worked hard on a lot of the infrastructure too. You will be missed, but I hope you’ll drop back to talk with Michael and Michael from time to time, too.

    Good luck with everything!

  4. @David S – You won’t have to go too far :-) I’m right here.

    @Michael Martine – Aye, that’s the point. Thanks for the well wishes. I hope you subscribe to this show. As you know, it’s also bound to change over time. I hope to try out a number of things… including being a faithful Dogear Nation heckler. (mwa ha ha!!!)

    @andyp Thanks for the compliments on my contributions to Dogear Nation. And you are spot on, on the contributions to the infrastructure. I’m hoping with this move that I’ll be able to explore some alternative ways to interface with 1) the audience, and 2) shows like Dogear Nation. But that’s a bold wish. My cap is over the wall. Let’s see what happens next.

    @EVERYONE – This is a new launch of a new podcast & blog. Please give me feedback. I really could use it. It’s all going to change. So, tell me what you like and don’t like. :-) And then I’ll go do whatever I want to anyway 😉 jk

  5. Matt,

    We missed you on today’s show.. but this site is rocking. Love the podcast of the blog entry. You really do show that Podcasters can be good — no correct that — Great bloggers.

    I love the NPR / Radio format of your voice and music choice. Reminds me of “This American Life”.


  6. I’ve thought about this some more overnight, and I think I’ve got it figured out.

    You simply couldn’t face being the non-Mac owner on the show anymore, could ya? 😀

    On a more serious note, I guess I’ve thought of you as more on the philosophical side of things, in the nicest possible way – to me, this entry is yet more evidence of your innate thoughtfulness – and I think I’m looking forward to seeing where you take things next.

  7. @andyp BINGO!!! I got sick and tired of being “a PC lol

    Thanks. This is really a big reason why I needed to go and do this. DN was like three people holding a rope tied into a circle, running through the woods, each choosing different paths. It was a struggle for me to find the time to address some of the things I wanted to pursue while working so hard to keep balance as we ran.

    Thanks also for the reference over on andy piper: tumblings. Andy, I’d really like to engage you in some more in-depth discussion in the blogopodsphere. My goal is to dig deeper into The lost outpost to find those points of discussion.

  8. Matt,

    I did a blog entry on my badly done blog about your new blog – http://web.mac.com/michaelrowe01/Site/Random_Thoughts/Entries/2008/6/28_Sweettt_-_Matt%E2%80%99s_Blog.html I hope you like it and will comment.

    We miss you dude.


  9. @Michael Rowe – Awesome. Really nice post. Thanks for the link, the reference, and the well wishes. It seems that podcasters can be excellent bloggers. :-)

    And I did post a comment. :-)

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