This Blog has migrated to

by Jim Cathcart
During December of 2008 I converted ALL of my former blogs and websites into ONE new one Most browsers will take you to it by simply typing “”.
In the new site you will find 138 blog posts plus over 50 pages of video clips, articles, links, photos and assorted resources. I truly want the new site to be a perfect resource for you and a vehicle for self-expression for me.
Please visit the site and explore it. Let me know how I can make it even better for you.
Email your comments to

Have a prosperous 2009!
In the Spirit of Growth,
Jim Cathcart


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Update to: Plane Crash in San Diego: Too Close for Anyone

uc-crash proximity to friends & familyI’ve added more photos, links and details for those interested in this event. Click on the photos to enlarge them. Scroll down for yesterday’s post.

Here is today’s post from CNN with video, photos and updates:

Yesterday’s post:
In my last post I told you about seeing the returning Space Shuttle as it flew over our home on its glide path for landing in the desert. The sonic boom shook our house. Now take a look at today’s news:

From Channel 10 News SAN DIEGOA disabled Miramar-based fighter jet crashed and exploded in flames in a University City-area neighborhood moments after the pilot safely ejected Monday, killing three people on the ground with one other unaccounted for, authorities reported.
The F/A-18D Hornet plunged to the ground near Cather Avenue and Huggins Street, about a mile northwest of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, just before noon, according to San Diego police and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The pilot, who had been on a training flight over the ocean and was heading toward the military base when the accident occurred, parachuted into an overgrown area near University City High School, landing in a tree.

My former home was three blocks from this crash site!
Close enough to crack the windows or knock things off the shelves. Whew!
God bless the poor souls who lost their lives in the crash, and thank God there weren’t even more casualties. He crashed into a neighborhood of “patio” homes, with very small yards separating them.

To put this into perspective for you, here is the link to Google Maps showing the crash site and my former home. Huggins to Rock Valley on Cather.

If you don’t know me then you have no particular reason to care about this proximity, but I’d like for you to consider how any of us could, at any moment be taken away by something that either drops from the sky or arrives in another unexpected way. This life is way too precious and too delicate for us to let opportunities go by.

Stop today and think about someone you need to connect with, or a thank you or “I love you” that needs to be said. Think of the folks whom you haven’t told that you appreciate what they do. Now is the time, this is the place and you are the one to do it.
Live fully, love openly and leave a legacy.
You never know when it might become too late.

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Space Shuttle Landing

by Jim Cathcart


mage above: Space shuttle Endeavour and the STS-126 crew land at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. after completing a mission to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

About an hour ago I was sitting at my desk when I felt something crash into our house. Paula called out, “Jim are you OK?” I looked outside to discover our neighbors standing in the street excitedly looking skyward. Paula joined me and we rushed out to see what it was.
My neighbor Ron announced, “It was a sonic boom. The Space Shuttle just re-entered the atmosphere and it’s headed for a landing in the desert.”
I ran to get our binoculars and the four of us stood in awe as the Shuttle and its chase plane flew over our home. It was still glowing red from the heat of re-entry.
Quite a sight to see.

Many years ago I had a penthouse office in a 13-story building in Tulsa, Oklahoma and one day I looked out the window as a huge 747 flew by at my eye-level with the Space Shuttle attached to its top. What a sight! It was less than two miles away from me and was being ferried by piggy-back to the maintenance facilities in Tulsa. Wow! Who could imagine putting a huge Shuttle on the back of an already huge airplane?

Well, that’s really the question isn’t it?
Who could imagine?

The entire concept of space flight, or just flight for that matter, started in someone’s imagination.
Everything we experience from zip lock bags to magnetic resonance imaging began in someone’s imagination. Then an important thing happened…someone decided to make the idea into a reality.
That’s when things started to change. When the idea gained the power of a person’s commitment to make it happen.

I’m awed by the amount of intellectual work and physical work required to create and operate the Space Shuttle. Not sure I can even concieve of how much energy and thought that required. But I sure do appreciate it. The discoveries that have sprung from our exploration of space are profound and legion. Most people don’t realize the value we are getting from these missions, but believe me they will be paying off for generations to come.

Every day you and I have ideas for making things better. We say, “Why don’t they just do xxxxx?” Often we see solutions that others do not. I say it is time for us to stop just having thoughts and start communicating them where they can make a difference.
So, the next time you see a solution, stop to ask yourself, “Who is involved with things like this? How could I communicate this idea to them? (Without worrying about being paid for it or getting credit.)”
Through the unselfish sharing of valuable insights you just may open some doors for yourself and others to make this world a much better place.

We have no shortage of ideas. We simply don’t communicate them well enough.
Let me know when I can help you help others make a difference.

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Webinar with Jim Cathcart Nov. 18th

Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World – Webinar with Jim Cathcart

Do you or your team need some Intelligent Motivation? Simple motivation is merely generating enthusiasm. It is occasionally useful and effective but hardly lasting or of strategic value. Intelligent Motivation, on the other hand, is determining what is important, identifying what action is needed and doing what is necessary to generate and sustain that action.

Jim Cathcart, Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World

Jim Cathcart, Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World


If you need “Intelligent Motivation” then you need to be on our upcoming webinar, hosted by David Bush, CEO and Founder of as he is joined by Motivation Expert, Jim Cathcart. He is the founder and President of Cathcart Institute, Inc. and one of the most widely recognized professional speakers in the world.

During this 1 hour webinar Jim will speak on how:
– Motivation needs to be intelligently done
– Motivation is about acting on motives
– To determine what matters to you
– To identify ways to get yourself to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done

If a person is not “motivated” to do good work then they probably won’t do it. And if a person has no self-driven motive for excellent performance then they will have to be continually motivated by others. If this sounds like you or your team, you need to be on this webinar!

Jim is known worldwide for his ability to engage, inspire and motivate an audience. He has worked as a corporate executive, training director, entrepreneur, psychological researcher, meeting planner and association executive. He has managed people, products and payrolls for over 32 years. He has also researched and field tested his methods through 3 decades of speaking and training before 2,600 audiences in virtualy every discipline.

Title: Intelligent Motivation for a Challenging World with Jim Cathcart
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.3.9 (Panther®) or newer

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

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Beyond “People Skills” to Relationship Intelligence ™

by Jim Cathcart

There must be 100,000 trainers, speakers and authors out there teaching people how to be more successful in dealing with others. And maybe I’m being small minded in choosing such a low number.
All I know is, when I started teaching “interpersonal communication” in the mid 1970s there were very few of us doing so. The Dale Carnegie Course still seemed new to many people despite having existed for a generation. Clients were still surprized when we suggested that they actually teach people how to: listen, communicate two-ways, understand personality differences, and manage tension levels in their communication.
In fact, in 1976 when I joined the National Speakers Association there were only a couple of hundred members. Today they have over 3,600 members. The American Society for Training & Development, ASTD, was also fairly new when I joined them in 1974. They, too, are now an international organization with tens of thousands of members.

So, in light of the fact that there is a multitude of resources to help you learn “People Skills”, let’s take it to the next level. Relationship Intelligence ™.

Premise: Your life is a series of Relationships
Our lives are lived through interactions with others.

Conclusion: If you change the mix, quality or quantity of your relationships then you will, in fact, change your life experience.

So, being more Intelligent about which relationships you develop and which you do not will have a profound effect on the quality of your life.

Complete the following sentence: “It is not what you know that counts, it is…”

Most people would answer: “It is Who you know.”

So, try this one: “It is not who you know that counts, it is…”

My recent audiences have replied, “It is who knows You!”

OK, so far we have been in familiar territory. No news yet.
Complete this sentence please: “It is not who knows you that counts, it is…”

When I ask this in my speeches and seminars nobody responds. They just look puzzled.
“You mean it isn’t who knows you? Then what does really count?”

Here is my reply: “It is who is Glad that they know you that counts the most.”
You see, until others are actually glad that they know you, you don’t have much of a relationship with them. But when you cause others to be proud of the fact that you are their friend, business contact, colleague, neighbor, healthcare provider, sales rep, service technician, or advisor…then you have built a true relationship asset.

I recently did a Tandem Sky Dive from 13,000 feet with a master jumper named Victor. I can guarantee you that, for the duration of our jump, Victor’s welfare mattered as much to me as my own. Some relationships are situation specific while others endure for the long term.

Relationships are Assets…or liabilities.

By knowing some people you open new doors of potential, by knowing others you close those doors. Ask Barack Obama how he feels about having a long-term friendship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What may once have been an asset, has in recent months become a profound liability. It matters who we connect with and who we avoid.
Take a look at all of the relationships in your life today and then reflect on which ones are assets and which are not. If you spend more time with the assets and diminish your contacts with the liabilities, then you will have consciously and intentionally enhanced your life.

Those are two very important words: Consciously and Intentionally.
I believe that we need to be more conscious of what is working and not working. As Peter Drucker often said, “Things that are measured tend to improve.” When we stop and reflect on things we notice more about them, and noticing more is the essence of intelligence.
We also need to become more intentional about what we do.
Professionals in every field are more likely than others in that field to make each action intentional. The most obvious of these would be sports and theater. In competitive sports every movement counts. Tennis professionals will tell you that, while awaiting a serve, not only does the placement of your feet matter, but so does where you look. Michael Phelps, the world champion swimmer, often describes how every movement and every thought needs to be intentional in competition. Actors strive to control their eye movement, vocal tones, body language and breathing when on stage. The same things count in business dealings and interpersonal situations. Politicians learn to be intensely aware of how they say things and what the implications of their actions may be.

No, I’m not saying that we need to be “always On”, but rather, I’m observing that the more often we are conscious of what we are doing and intentional in how we do it, the more often we will succeed at our task. To try to be “on” in everything we do would be very stressful and often unnecessary.

But there are levels of control that always must be in play. There are no circumstances where it is OK to do something that is illegal or immoral. So, the more we pay attention the better off we will be.

Who is glad that they know you?

The more names you can list under that heading the more assets you will have. Relationship Assets that is.
What is a “relationship asset?” It is a direct connection with someone else who also considers it important to sustain that connection with you.
Take some time to reflect on that. Make a list of all the connections you can think of in your life and then notice the ones where they feel they are getting good value from the connection.

Did you ever know someone who was really good at “people skills” and yet their success in life was quite limited? How about this, did you ever know someone who often behaved like a jerk but still managed to gain the respect and support of other people who mattered to their success? Sometimes the jerks become highly successful despite their sometimes abrasive behavior.
Note that I did not say “because of it” but rather I said “despite” it.
Bad dealings with others always has a negative effect and the better we become at interpersonal relations the more enjoyable our lives will be. But success isn’t determined by nice dealings, it is determined by right actions at the right times with the right people.

Here are four questions that are at the core of my Relationship Intelligence message:
1. What do you want?
(love, friendship, fun, money, support, opportunity, a contract, etc.)
All relationships are defined by what the participants want from the relationship.
2. Who do you know?
When you know the right people you are in a position to produce the outcomes you desire.
3. What do they want?
The better you understand their goals, desires and dreams the more you can see ways to help them get it.
4. How can you help them get what they want?
Customer loyalty should be what we seek to give rather than what we seek to get. As my friend and mentor Zig Ziglar is famous for saying, “You can get anything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Take some time to reflect on today’s message. Print it out and carry it with you. Look over it again each morning and think about what it means to you. Do this for at least one month. Then drop me a note and let me know how you have changed things in your life.
Watch for more news on my upcoming book: Who is glad that they know you?
Building High-Value Relationships through increasing your “Relationship Intelligence ™.”

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The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court

by Jim Cathcart

Last night I had the privilege of attending “A Conversation” with Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas. The event was held at Pepperdine University and was what the School of Law calls “The Second Annual William French Smith Memorial Lecture.”

Justice Thomas, Dean Starr, Associate Dean Shelley Saxer and Charles Eskridge III in Conversation (side view)

Justice Thomas, Dean Starr, Associate Dean Shelley Saxer and Charles Eskridge III in Conversation (side view)

The Dean of the School of Law is Kenneth W. Starr, a delightful and brilliant man whom I’ve come to know in the past few years since he accepted the appointment here. He has been a guest at my Sherwood Parlor Salon Discussion and Paula and I enjoy spending time with Ken and Alice Starr.
Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law

Dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law

Yesterday’s event was inspiring on many levels. Justice Thomas spoke candidly about how he makes decisions, who he admires, what his daily life is like, where he grew up, how he has dealt with prejudice and injustice in his own life, his own Christian Faith and more. He truly open the robes and showed us who he was.
The surprizing thing is we discovered that he is not only brilliant, he’s also funny!
His humor and playfulness made it clear to all that he was happy to be there, in a great mood and having a good time.

He told us that one way in which he indoctrinates his new law clerks is to have them watch movies with him. Some of his favorites for this purpose are: Fountainhead, 300, Gods & Generals, and Saving Private Ryan. He singled out one special quote from Saving Private Ryan. After all the lives had been lost in effecting Ryan’s rescue, one of his rescuers said to him, “Earn it.” In other words, conduct your life in such a way that all this sacrifice is justified. Earn the salvation you’ve received.

He also said to us, “My law clerks are here to help me live up to my Oath. That is their job description.” I love that! The job is not the collection of tasks, it is the reason the tasks matter.
More people need to adopt that attitude, in my opinion. Job descriptions needn’t be mere lists of tasks, but rather should be statements of purpose. “Here is why your work is worthy of being paid for and here are the areas of your responsibility.” That gives people a better understanding of their real job, not just their duties.

After the conversation the Justice came over to the side of the room where Paula and I had the privilege of sitting on the front row and he greeted us individually. When he shook my hand he noticed my Speaker Hall of Fame ring and commented on it. He was truly connecting with people not merely greeting them in a token manner. An impressive fellow for sure.

Justice Thomas said that he studies the history and circumstances that existed when the Constitution and its related documents were written. He does this so that he captures, as much as possible, the original intent, instead of imposing his own opinion into the interpretation.
That, I believe, is why we need to teach American History and the foundation of our nation to all generations in perpetuity. The only way to preserve America is to teach each new generation not just what it is, but also why it exists and how unique that is in the history of the world.

Thank God for people with the character and humility of Justice Thomas.
To obtain a copy of his book “My Grandfather’s Son”, click here. I bought one yesterday and find it easy reading (with lawyers that is a major consideration) and a great insight into the making of a remarkable leader.

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Colonial Williamsburg, VA

by Jim Cathcart

Patrick Henry addressing the public about the unfair tax on tea

Patrick Henry addressing the public about the unfair tax on tea

Consider these questions as you think about the formation of a new nation.

What were the issues our Founding Fathers had to deal with?
How long was it after our Declaration of Independence from England that we won the war and achieved a general peace?
What were the internal struggles going on between Americans re: the separation from England where all their ancestors and many of them personally had grown up?
In the early stages of the struggle, what was the source of tension that caused us to finally shout “We’ve had enough!” and declare our independence?
How long did communication take to reach the colonies from England, France and even from the other colonies? What was the effect of that long delay?

Last week Paula and I toured Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, VA. We walked the Yorktown battlefield, circumnavigated the peninsula around Jamestown, and stood spellbound as various Patriots delivered public addresses on the streets of Williamsburg. It was inspiring and enlightening. It took us back to the roots of our culture and showed us (upon reflection) the parallels with countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, and even China where new leadership is faced with the same fundamental decisions of how to structure a government and society wherein personal freedom is encouraged.

The beauty of Williamsburg is that it is frozen in time. The people who live and work there are dressed and rehearsed in the mindset, history and behaviors of the 1770s. They know their history, their character’s philosophy, religion, demeanor, circumstances and vocal patterns. When you ask one of them a question about something that occured later in history, they look at you puzzled as to what you are talking about? When the president of the College of William & Mary entertained questions after a sermon in historic Wren Chapel, he inquired as to where I was from. I answered California. He had no frame of reference to understand what or where California was (for him it was still 1774) so he turned to a man from Virginia and asked where his home was.

A team of oxen roam the street during P. Henry's speech

A team of oxen roam the street during P. Henry's speech

One particularly impressive speech was delivered by Colonel George Washington. Not yet General nor President. He was encouraging a boycott of all English goods; civil disobedience if you will. He said (I paraphrase), “Are we not free to purchase or not purchase that which we wish? I am not suggesting that you break any laws, just that you refuse to continue commerce with those who are seeking so eagerly to tax us at every turn. I do not condone the destruction of another’s property as the vandals in Massachusetts did with the shipment of tea. I simply believe that the best way to stop these intrusions is to cease commerce with England.”

A younger George Washington addressing the citizens

A younger George Washington addressing the citizens

The colonists were being taxed on what England considered luxuries: paper (The Stamp Act), tea, etc. They had no representation in England that wasn’t totally biased toward the Crown so there was no way to effectively debate what the Crown imposed. They were mostly proud to be “Englishmen” but the treatment was unfair and led ultimately to such abuses of power that the colonists cried, “Enough!” and declared independence from England, thus commencing a long and costly war that claimed lives and fortunes for many years.
Here is a quote from the Yorktown Battlefield’s website as to when it finally was won.
Colonial National Historical Park – Yorktown Battlefield

On October 19, 1781, a British army under General Charles Lord Cornwallis was forced to surrender to General Washington’s combined American and French army. Upon hearing of their defeat, British Prime Minister Frederick Lord North is reputed to have said, “Oh God, it’s all over.” And it was. The victory secured independence for the United States and significantly changed the course of world history.
Size of the armies: 8,800 Americans, 7,800 French and 6,000 British
Our reliance on the support of France during this campaign is often forgotten. There were our competitive advantage. They provided the naval blockade and thousands of foot soldiers that made this victory possible.

The Marquis de Lafayette reporting on our victories

The Marquis de Lafayette reporting on our victories

In those days the way news travelled was on horseback and by ship. Sometimes it was weeks or months before people learned the “news.” Simple communication to coordinate affairs was not so simple. People had to make decisions based upon what they knew and what they assumed to be likely. Our colonists were ruled by a Governor appointed by the Crown and who answered only to the King. There were “Burgesses” to represent us but when they displeased the Governor, he’d simply dismiss them and send them home.

We had religious factions: Church of England (the official church), Romans (catholics), Lutherans, Calvinists, Baptists, Quakers, and more. Unofficial churches were simply tolerated, not accepted.
There were large contingents from other European countries and cultures. Domestically we had farmers and merchants, shipbuilders, tradesmen, and our society was largely self sufficient. If you didn’t make it, you usually didn’t have it unless you could occasionally travel into town to trade for it. Slavery was common and, though obviously wrong, so widely practiced that it was considered normal to own slaves.

Luxury travel in Williamsburg

Luxury travel in Williamsburg

When you experience, even as a tourist, the lifestyle, attitudes, daily practices and discussions in Williamsburg, you begin to understand how complex and difficult it is to create a nation.
The right balance between liberty and government. The mix of laws and freedoms. The choice of practices that run the building of public roads, establishment of services, utilities, creation of an army and determination of how it will be governed. These and more vital decisions face the new leaders.

It is important to know that without a faith in a higher power people descend into pragmatism and lose their sense of purpose and conviction. When we abandon our belief in democracy as the best way for people to govern themselves then we begin internal conflicts that lead to manipulation and deceit. When we loosen our grip on civility and standards of behavior then we become barbaric and inconsiderate. The next step is selfishness and rudeness, then agression.
But with the encouragement of faith, democracy and civility we create a culture wherein caring and sharing are encouraged. People look forward to their dealings with others and begin to consider the needs of others in even their most personal plans.

Thomas Jefferson and me working on the wording of a declaration

Thomas Jefferson and me working on the wording of a declaration

Today as we enter the last phase of our national elections it is useful to remember how tremendously complex our leadership responsibilities are. We have vital issues that must be resolved with wisdom, utilizing our accumulated knowledge of 200+ years of discussion and experimentation, and adapting to new realities never envisioned by our founders.
But as we consider this, it is refreshing to know that even in the early colonial days there were the same underlying issues to resolve. Even then, and after the war of independence, we still had those who claimed the war was unnecessary, England should be rejoined and all our efforts had been wasted. There were still rumblings of this divide to be seen generations later.

So, as you listen to the political speeches over the next several weeks, remember that this is a modern example of an ancient process. The unsavory tactics and character assasination that are so frequently used have always been part of the process. That doesn’t make them good but it eases our sense of cultural decay in witnessing them. Our society is not declining into barbarism but rather it is going through the eternal growing pains of becoming what it can be.

Freedom will always include elements that we didn’t personally choose or condone. But it, more importantly, contains the power to choose what we will do, with whom we will do it, where we will go and what we will apply our energies to. That freedom allows us to become the individuals we were genetically and divinely designed to be.
May God bless you and God Bless America.

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