The Adventures of Binder-Man: And How He Changed His World (Kind Of)

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9780757317484: The Adventures of Binder-Man: And How He Changed His World (Kind Of)
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From the founder of The Change Companies comes a collection of life lessons, true stories, and embarrassing self-disclosures illuminating how small choices made each day can create joy, meaning, and lasting change.

While to-do lists and failed resolutions discourage people from believing that change is possible, Binder-Man (in full cape and with four-color graphics!) proves that change really isn't all that difficult and that sometimes it begins with just a simple step―or a series of missteps.

Binder-Man was born over twenty years ago when the multimillion-dollar Change Companies was just a start-up, developing their signature brand of interactive journals. In those long early days, the staff spent hours on end filling orders by monotonously placing pages into three-ring binders. Hoping to bring much-needed comic relief to his team, company owner Don Kuhl morphed into the eccentric character of Binder-Man, complete with flowing cape and red earmuffs. The spirit of Binder-Man was contagious and The Change Companies thrived, selling more than 20 million journals worldwide.

Based on his years igniting change in others, Kuhl shares brief, engaging narratives on a variety of eclectic topics―the significance of navel-gazing, leaking toilets, tattooed strangers, and a frog named Apples. With humor, honesty, and the essential principles of behavior change, Kuhl invites readers on a highly pictorial and enlightening adventure, inspiring them to make emotional, spiritual, and physical changes in their own lives, and opening a great new world of opportunity and joy.

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About the Author:

Don Kuhl, MS, left a real job as Vice President of Business Development for a large healthcare organization to start a little company whose mission was to help individuals realize they had more control over their lives than they might have thought. Today, more than 20 million people have used The Change Companies products to improve their lives. The Change Companies partners with more than four thousand private and government agencies in the fields of substance abuse, justice services, impaired driving, healthcare, and education to focus on helping individuals begin the process of positive, personal change.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Trash Day

I'm walking my garbage can to the curb. My neighbor is doing the same. In seven years, we've only exchanged occasional nods. It's still dark out, but I suddenly hear him speak. He asks me, 'Who are you anyway?'

Is he being rude or just curious? Either way, I figure his question deserves an answer, so I stand next to my garbage thinking of an appropriate response.

Is he wondering about my job? About my family? Do my past or current circumstances really define who I am? Somehow, none of this seems to be what he's asking about.

Maybe he wants to know about my core beliefs, what I really care about. After all, aren't the beliefs we accumulate ver lifetime, and the way they cause us to feel and act, the most representative feature of who we are?     

Tired of my silent self-reflection, my neighbor starts walking back to his house. I feel my time for a satisfying response running out. This could be the start of a meaningful friendship.

'My name is Don,' I call out in the dark.

I hear nothing back. My neighbor is already at his door.

As I slowly head inside, I have several thoughts on my mind:

He was just being friendly and I blew an opportunity.

The tendency to overthink things can undermine an otherwise simple answer.

I still don't know his name.

And just who am I, anyway? 

 President Dwight D. Eisenhower first coined the phrase 'domino effect' to apply to the spread of Communism in the 1950s. Although the stakes may not be as high, my international eating and television viewing habits seem to follow the same domino effect that threatened the free world.

My week starts with a bite of Bavarian cheesecake. This small transgression tumbles into a German chocolate cake after I had already surrendered my defenses to French fries and Swedish meatballs. Before I even have a chance to unfold the morning's paper, the dangerous spread of sweets and treats has invaded my entire continental self.

This same domino effect has influenced how I watch TV. It started as a pleasant investment of an hour per week with Mark Harmon and NCIS. Then, a brief reconnaissance mission informed me that NCIS reruns could be found on other channels every day of the week. Soon, my attention to less glamorous activities, such as house maintenance and personal grooming, gave way to this new, time-consuming opportunity. I eventually found a whole batch of new television dramas that combine humorous banter, dissection of corpses, and deadly gunfights.

Fortunately, the same domino effect can work in reverse. For example, I started yesterday morning with a carrot stick, then a juicy orange at lunch. These led me to a fruit smoothie after work. My healthy decisions dominoed into a dinner of steamed broccoli over long-grain brown rice and a trip to the grocery store to purchase green vegetables I can't even pronounce.

In the world of behavior change, it is understood that a small, positive action can lead to multiple behaviors of a similar kind. All it takes is a gentle shift in one direction to start a chain reaction leading to significant progress.

What a wonderful realization. So today, when I consider getting more exercise, I don't need to sign a nine-year contract at Hardbodies Forever Fitness. All I need to do is lace up my tennis shoes and begin walking down Carson Street. My path will take me along those big aspen trees and right by...Donuts To Go.

Oh no, domino!

 ©2013. Don Kuhl, MS. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Adventures of Binder-Man. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

 

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