The Subtle Art of Communication: Close- Ended

Welcome to the second installment of the Subtle Art of Communication. Today’s topic is going to be on the subtle closed endedness that many coaches, managers, leaders, mindfulness teachers, meditation practitioners, yoga teachers, hypnotherapists and parents fall into. It’s a very subtle switch that we can make in our language, that can make a huge difference in the results that we get with those around us. 

My name is Tony Husted, Master Certified Coach. I’m glad to be bringing you this series to help you improve your communication so you can get more of what you want out of your life. This story of this closed ended versus open ended, started for me all the way back 20 plus years ago, when I realized that I was really good at what I was doing, which at the time was teaching dance. However, I wasn’t very good at selling additional lessons. And as a dance instructor working in a studio, your primary goal was first to sell dance lessons. So you had dance lessons to teach. Being a great teacher was secondary to being able to sell. 

So I had a discussion with my wife, Vanessa. And we went back and forth for a long time about the best way to learn to sell. And I listened to Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and I had heard it over and over that if you can learn to sell, you can do anything. And so I set my mind to learning to sell and the decision that we came to, was that I was going to take a position selling cars. I opened up the newspaper. Yes, 20 years ago, I opened up the newspaper, looked through the want ads, and I found a whole list of car dealerships looking for salespeople to start today. So I went and I interviewed at a car dealership and I immediately got a job. 

I started working for a manager, his name was RJ. And over the first few months, I remember him repeatedly telling me that I asked too many closed ended questions. And that I should go back out there and ask my client more open ended questions. And I remember on more than one occasion being asking him, Well, how do I ask more open ended questions. And you’ve probably read a book or watched a video or a you know, looked at some information on how to ask open ended questions. And a lot of the material out there would say you know, we’ll ask who questions what questions were questions when questions, why questions? How questions, ask questions that go deeper, ask questions that are more inclusive, ask questions that go beyond the facts. 

At that time, I had a tough time figuring out good solid questions that I could ask that would take my clients further. And then RJ would get frustrated with me, he would go out to the clients, and he would work with the clients. And he was very masterful at what he did. Although, asking open ended questions wasn’t really his forte, because he could never teach me how he asked open ended questions. But what he did to close these folks and get them to buy a car is a topic for another day. 

You probably also know that common closed-ended. Questions are either or questions, right, wrong questions. Yes, no questions, past oriented questions, questions where the answers are known, or the question is leading to an answer. Also rhetorical questions and any question that has one answer only would also be classified as closed ended questions. Now closed ended questions can be great. Closed ended questions are great for gaining confirmation, gaining commitments. Clarifying if you misunderstood somebody, did you say this? 

There are a lot of good uses for closed ended questions. And what I found over the years, though, is that many, many people subtly and unintentionally use a lot of closed ended questions when they don’t really mean to use them. They are using them thinking that they’re softening up the question that they’re leading into the question in a way that is more likely to get the answer that they want aka a leading question from a client for example. I also am very aware of the old school sales techniques where the salesperson is taught that if they can get seven yeses on any topic, seven yeses in a row, then they asked the closing question that close up the deal, that the eighth answer will be yes, as well. 

If you’ve ever been on the opposite side of a table of somebody that’s doing that to you, it’s easy to read very, very quickly, when they’re asking you, did you like the color? Did you like the interior color? Did this meet your criteria, you can see them setting up all of these yeses. And there’s much more powerful ways, I believe, to really connect with someone and fill what they need. By understanding their needs at a deeper level through deep questioning, we’re gonna leave sales for another day, even though it is the door that I like to use to open up this conversation. So if you’re a coach or manager or leader, a parent, somebody who asks lots of questions, to open up communication, then this is going to be really powerful for you. 

Now, as a coach trainer, and I teach an accredited coach training program, it’s accredited with the international coach Federation. And we’re going to teach you in that program, not only just these subtle, open ended tidbits, these little subtle tactics, to ask more open ended questions, we’re going to teach you nine powerful open ended frames that when put together, create the opportunity for you to ask an unlimited number of powerful open ended questions. 

Today, I want to focus on some subtle closed ended questions. And again, these are questions that people ask, they’re actually entrances to questions that people ask that make powerful questions closed ended. And it’s really interesting, because it doesn’t matter how strong the question is that follows. When you start a question with these terms, they automatically make it closed ended. And the problem with that is that that automatically makes it a yes, no question. No matter how open ended, the rest of the question is, and you might not think that’s a big deal. 

Who cares if it’s close-ended? If the end is open ended? Well, there’s a group of people. And in neurolinguistics, we sometimes refer to these people as being what we call mis-matchers. And mis-matchers are people who take and swing the other direction. It’s their natural innate way of operating. So if I were to say, Would you like to go to the movies, a mismatch? You’re not? Probably not. But if I really want to mismatch, or to go to the movies with me, I might say, hey, you wouldn’t want to go to the movies with me, would you? And the mismatch or will swing the other way? And this is a deep, hardwired, behavioral or sorting pattern that some people have is this mismatch or pattern? 

So when you start with a yes, no, on the front end, and you’re trying to get to an open ended? Yes, or open ended expansion. On the other end? What happens is they automatically go, No, they go inside? And Nope, nope, that’s, that doesn’t work for me. And even if it’s just subtle, it’s still a little speed bump for these people. 

Now, the other category that this falls into, hugely, and actually one of my absolute favorite meditation teachers in the whole world, in his recorded meditations, he uses many, many of these subtle, closed ended entrances. And as a bit of a mismatch for myself, what I find myself is, I he’ll ask this really deep question, and I’ll go Nope, and then I have to relax into it. And he repeats these phrases over and over at the entrance of these questions. Now, if you’re a coach, and you use backtracking, you use the client’s words back to them. And as part of a powerful question, this is really important for you as well. 

Don’t start your questions with these entrances, because no matter how great the backtrack, which is using the clients keywords back, no matter how good the backtrack, no matter how good the question, these could create a a speed bump for your client. So what are these subtle closed questions and close ended entries into sentences? 

So there are several of them: Can you, could you, would you, will you, have you, is there, and are there. So let me give you some examples. Can you tell me if you’ve got a mismatch? Or or somebody who swings the other way? Can you tell me? No? Could you imagine yourself accomplishing that? That could again lead to a no. Would you tell me that somebody who’s got that little bit of away from likes to go the other way likes a little bit of banter, and likes to challenge other people? Would you tell me? What could bring up a? Well, I don’t really want to? Will you take those action steps? It still leaves the door open for No. Have you done this before? 

Which is still a closed ended question, because it’s past oriented. But have you ever thought about this? You can get a No. Is there? And or are there? Is there some steps you could take? Are there some steps you could take any type of sentence that opens with that? So can you could you would you will you have you Is there an are there, just cut those right out of your vocabulary, especially if you’re a coach, coaches, you don’t need to enter the sentence with that it doesn’t make the question nicer, gentler or softer. It just gives your client the opportunity to stop the thinking process because it brings up an internal note for them. So here are some additional ways that you can take those closed edits, and just delete them. 

First off, just delete them. You don’t even have to do anything else. Just cut them out. Can you tell me? Tell me? Could you take some action steps? What action steps are you going to take? Would you mind describing that? Please describe that for me? Will you move forward on that this week? When will you move forward on that this week? Have you ever thought of what or what have you thought of already? Is there something you could do? What is something you could do? Are there actions you could take? What actions could you take? So just by deleting them and making it an action oriented sentence, that’s your first way to get beyond those. 

A second way to get beyond is to use what I call linking phrases. And so it carries one thought into the next. So some linking phrases that you could use to be subtly more open ended are: as you, as you think about that, what are your best ideas, while you feel that sense of inspiration describe to me what steps you might take? At the same time as you’re feeling that? What does your heart say to you, as you continue to go deeper into that relaxed state?

What else do you feel? As you begin to ponder this question? When you are ready to feel that, go ahead. Let yourself see the next action step that you’re going to take. 

So some subtle entrances to get rid of those closed ended entrances as you while you at the same time as continue to begin to when you and let yourself. Now I want to tell you again, that these are just subtle ways to link in and bridge from one thought to another. without there being any no entering into the conversation. As I mentioned earlier in the video, I teach in our program, several more open ended frames to give you a wide variety that will cover all of your bases and give you an unlimited number of coaching questions to ask. And I would invite you as you go forward in your week. 

Try to delete just remove Can you could you would you will you have you is there are there from your day to day speech patterns as you’re asking people questions. Ask who what, why, when where how deeper, inclusive questions. Maybe try out that, as you continue to begin to when you do let yourself at the same time as, especially for those of you who are into where you’re like a meditation teacher as can instead of can you feel that as you feel that can you sense the space around you. When you begin to sense the space around you build these linkages.

Just to keep the yes’s in the client’s brain going, keep the positives in the clients brain going, keep the moving forward going. So these are all subtle tools you can use to be more engaged in your conversation. And really, at the deepest level, what they do is they allow you to create more engagement with the person you’re asking questions to. So I hope that you enjoyed this session. I look forward to hearing what was valuable for you out of this, please go down just below this video. If you haven’t already, hit that subscribe button, hit that like button, it gives me the opportunity to share this information with more and more people. And by subscribing you make sure you don’t miss any of my messages so that you can stay right on top of being a more engaging leader and communicator in your life. If you’ve got questions, please go down to the comments section and ask your questions. 

If you’ve got suggestions for upcoming lessons, please let me get here those suggestions down in the comments as well. And if you would do me the deepest favor, I would invite you to share this video on your social media. I look forward to session three of the subtle art of engagement. Thank you and have an awesome day.

The Subtle Art of Engagement

Welcome to my new video series on the subtle art of Engagement. Whether you are a Coach, a Leader or just want to improve your communication this series is for you. Please post your questions and ideas for future topics in the comments below.

Hello coaches and leaders Tony Husted Master Certified Coach here. And I’m really excited to be sharing this video with you today. This video is to announce the launch of a new series that I’m going to be coming out with called the Subtle Art of Engagement. And this idea has come from my traveling the world for the last 17 years training 15,000 plus coaches all over the world, including 15 different countries in person in about 35 different countries covered in the online format. And for years, I followed as much as I can as many people as many thoughts and methods and practices and techniques in the entire field of personal development, leadership and communication.

Over those years, I have realized that there is so much that we as coaches and leaders can do to engage those that we are working with, as a leader, engaging your employees should be one of your absolute top priorities. Because if you’re not, there, performance will struggle. For years and years and years, I followed the Gallup studies on employee engagements, and it always seemed lacking To me, it always seemed that something was missing in the employee engagement conversation.

I finally realized one day that the problem in my opinion is that employee engagement puts the weight it puts the responsibility on the employee themselves. And through that realization, I came to start calling the engagement, conversation, leadership engagement. And leadership engagement starts with the leader engaging the employee or follower or team member, whatever you want to call it, they engage that person in a conversation about what motivates them, what moves them, what inspires them, what do they need, how do they want to play as part of the team to create those end results that everybody is actually shooting for in the long run.

I’ve developed multiple programs, we’ve got a ICF, International Coach Federation Accredited Coach Training Program:…. I’ve got a program on Leadership Engagement:…. I’ve got a group coaching, a team coaching program, and an advanced master coach program, lots of programs that I teach the bigger skills, coaching, leadership engagement. And at the same time, as I’ve traveled, over all of these years, mentored all of these people and when mentoring, what I’m doing is listening to real world coaching sessions. And through that journey, plus all of my self study, reading hundreds of books, taking many, many programs, investing hundreds of 1000s of dollars in my own education. I’ve also picked up hundreds of smaller techniques, tactics and methods that don’t always have room in a full blown training program. And so they often get skipped, or only a few people get to hear them.

So this series, called the subtle art of engagement is going to be putting out all of these smaller, subtle tactics, these subtle methodologies so that you can be a more effective communicator, it doesn’t matter if you’re a coach, a leader, a parent, an athletic coach, a personal trainer, a pastor, a CEO, or work in the mailroom of a large corporation. It doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO, or an entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter if you own a business, or you run multiple businesses.

This series is for you, to help you hone in and really get more astute and skilled in your communication. We’re especially going to be focusing on how to communicate through asking powerful questions, and making sure that those questions don’t have what I call a subtle side effects. And the subtle side effects are those unintended consequences that we sometimes fall into, because of the types of questions that we ask. And we don’t even recognize them. Because we’ve been taught over the years, we’ve been taught a lot of methods that may not actually get the results that you’re looking for. So I invite you to come on this journey,

I’d invite you to click subscribe right down below, on this YouTube channel, so that you receive updates. Whenever I’ve launched out a new video, and the videos I’ll be trying to launch two or three of them each week as they come out. I’ll be looking forward to hearing your questions. So I’d love to get your comments and questions down below, on your thoughts, your ideas for topics, what it is that you’d like to see covered. I’ve got about 100 different topics already in the queue that I want to cover, but I’m really curious to hear from you what it is that you want from this series to make you better at the art of engaging people through conversation. I hope you have an awesome day and I look forward to hearing from you really soon. Thank you

How I Lost 72 Pounds for my 45th Birthday!

How I lost 72 Pounds!

17% Bodyfat!

Over the last few years I my weight has been up and down.  My all time max was a whopping 254.  My weight bounced up and down several times including drops to the low 190’s and a few trips back up into the high 220’s.  Then in June of 2015 I ran across Bulletproof Coffee and the Bulletproof Diet.  Around 2 weeks ago I was down to 183 pounds on the scale.  I have also gotten several DEXA scans along the way to track how my actual Fat and Lean Muscle I was losing and gaining depending on whether I was lifting weights and eating to build muscle, or if I was cutting.


In short, the BP Diet (which I like to think of as am Eating Habit, not an actual diet) is a High Fat (Must be high quality), Medium Protein, Low Carbohydrate diet. The premise is quite simple: The entire Low Fat food craze which has been at the center of even the USDA Food Guidelines for the last 30 years was based on bad science!  The human body is bi-fuel, it can either burn Carbs/Sugar or it can burn Fat.  Most Americans eat so many carbs that their body is Carb adapted.  This means very simply that you eat carbs, your blood sugar goes up, blood sugar crashed, the body fears a famine and goes into cravings.  When consuming a high fat diet, blood sugar remains constant and the body is “tricked” into thinking it is a feast time, and the body sees no need to store fat.  Counterintuitive I know!  Check the science though!

31% Body Fat!

For me this was more than just about losing weight.  I had struggled for most of my life with ADD and was even diagnosed and medicated as an adult for it.  The downside was that the medication had horrible side effects, and really very little upside.  I wanted to sharpen my mind, be more productive, increase my athletic ability, build muscle, and lose weight.  I make my living as a Life Coach, and training others to be Life Coaches, and this also drives me.  How can I stand in front of a room full of people and tell them that they can achieve what they want, and the sky is the limit and at the same time not have it in my own life.  It felt like an integrity issue.  If I am to inspire people, it can’t be just words, it needs to be fully reflected in my own life.


Beyond the “diet”, most people want to know how I did it.  The short answer, I made my goal Inevitable!

I set up the entire goal to be an integral part of my life, with support, accountability, short term action plans, long term milestones, focused on learning new skills, made different choices, I lived up to my commitments, focused on living this way through experiencing my personal values, included 100’s of people hoping that they would get inspired with me, all with the end goal of becoming more of the person I was created to be, and to fulfill the Vision for my life!


The longer answer:

The single biggest reason I made it, is simple: my wife!  Vanessa has always been my biggest supporter and when I began this journey she was all for it.  She has been there through the ups, middles, and deep lows.  When I wanted to throw in the towel, she was there and just kept loving me.  Without her, this would not have been possible.  She has always supported me pursuing my dreams!


Another big contributor who deserves serious praise is Ian Padron.  He is my Personal Trainer, and one of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to Health, Nutrition, and Fitness.  He also can throw down some of the hardest workouts I have ever experienced, while at the same time keeping the technical side present.  I learned more from him about weight lifting in the first 8 weeks I worked with him, that I had in the 20 years prior.  I can highly recommend him to help you with your fitness goals! Check him out at Padron Performance.


Dave Asprey and the Bulletproof Diet were a BIG part of my success.   I had pretty decent success with the “4 Hour Body”, a diet from Tim Ferriss. Over the long run it was a wonderful way of eating, but the cheat days threw me off quite often, and eating so many beans (beans are the main source of carbohydrates) gave me some gastric distress.  When I first ran across Bulletproof Coffee, it seemed to be a very off thing, butter and MCT oil in coffee!  The big thing that surprised me was the fact that the Bulletproof Diet was a high fat diet.  That was until I read about the bad science that created the Low Fat, No Fat, Fats makes your Fat Fad.  In short, Fat doesn’t make you fat, Sugar does.  You need high quality fats to be healthy.


When I started the Bulletproof diet I was fairly optimistic, but since I had run into problems with all the other diets I had tried over the years I was a little hesitant, but I jumped in and went for it!  I read the book, I watched all the Youtube Videos, I listened to a ton of past Bulletproof Podcasts all with the intent of gleaning as much information as I could.  I bought some of the products and tried the supplements.  As my knowledge grew I was able to trouble shoot my problem areas.  When I couldn’t I sought information from those with expertise.


Overall my routine is fairly straightforward, I drink Bulletproof Coffee and take my supplements in the morning, I eat a high fat, high protein, low to no carb lunch, and for dinner I eat high protein, high fat, and a small amount of carbs.  The carbs I do eat are of the Bulletproof variety and are ones that affect blood sugar very little.  Check the website for all the detailed information.


Special Thank You’s!

First off I want to thank everyone was part of the journey.  So many of my students, clients, colleagues, and friends who supported me in so many ways!  Thank you for being a part of this!

Thank you to Nick Williams who’s own fitness journey provided initial momentum and the photoshoot idea.

Thank you to Jessica Renon, owner of Fitness 2.0 in Shoreline for having and amazing facility to train at, and for the opportunity to shoot the photos!

The photos were taken by Jason Tang, Atomic 80 Photography!



Running Baiyun Mountain, Guangzhou China

Just completed 8 amazing days of delivering Coach Training here in Guangzhou, China.  5 days ago on my day off 2 students and my interpreter took me to Baiyun Mountain in the center of Guangzhou.  It was amazing.  We went pretty slowly up the mountain, 1253 foot in elevation, as one of my companions isn’t used to such activities.  I decided I was going to use my day off today to conquer the mountain by running up it!  It is 3 miles from the base to Moxing Summit.  When I went up 5 days ago we took the stairs which are steeper, but shorter. I decided to run up the road which is longer, but less steep, with the intent to run the whole way.

I got a good start, but the 74 degree temperature with 86% humidity hit me pretty hard.  About a half mile into the run I saw a man running down and it was obvious that he was a serious runner, he was flying down.  We waved and I keep on going up.  Around 5 minutes later, he caught me, nodded his head and kept running past me, then out of nowhere, he slowed down and started to run with me.  It became very clear that he spoke no English, and my Chinese is limited to about 20 words, none having to do with running.  He silently and with hand gestures encouraged me.  He would indicate with his hand when we were just about to a flatter section and he would pick up the pace the smallest amount.  Then when we would hit the flatter section he would back off and let me catch my breath.  I have no idea if I would have been able to make it without him, I had several moments where I desperately wanted to walk for a second, but he was willing me on.  On one of the flatter portions of the road near the top he was wringing the sweat out of his shirt and I saw the English words: Guangzhou Running Club, so as I suspected he was a serious runner.

Near the top, there is a split, one way is down the opposite side of the mountain and the other goes up to Moxing Peak, which is up a bunch of steep steps.  Before we got to the split, he made several hand gestures indicating he was going down the other side, he waved, and he left me in the dust.  I spoke 3 of the Chinese words I know, “Ai Xiexie” (Love, Thank you) and he was gone.  I suddenly had the realization that he had run up one side of the mountain, down the other, then back up!  The distance he ran had to have been at least 12 miles!  My Fitness App on my iPhone registered 80 Flights of stairs climbed even though I didn’t take the stair short cuts!

I was wearing my Garmin Forerunner 305 which captured all my data! Click on the link below to see the elevation profile and location:
BaiYun Mountain Run

Feeling so very blessed to have opportunities like this to meet amazing people from around the world.  Spontaneous moments when I step back afterwards and am moved to tears.  Here I am halfway around the world in a city of 8 million people and I found someone who saw me and wanted to share in the moment.

Here I am at the peak:



Before Baiyun South Gate of Baiyun Moxing Summit, Baiyun Mountain Moxing Summit, Baiyun Mountain Done Taxi home

Training in China while on Bulletproof Diet

For the last 5 years I have been on a serious journey to become healthier, happier, and more productive.  I have tried several diets and have experienced some real successes, some backsliding, and some side effects.

A couple months ago after no longer being able to lose the weight I wanted to using the diet I had been using for almost 5 years, I was introduced to and switched to the Bulletproof Diet (BPD).  One of the key components is Bulletproof Coffee (BPC).  I felt very different in several areas of my life since switching, including my weight, energy, focus, emotional stability, and my relationship with coffee. The work trip I just completed to China is a perfect example.  I took all my supplies to be Bulletproof in China including my ground coffee beans, Aero Press,  one and a half pounds of Kerrygold unsalted butter, MCT oil, and my hand held Cuisinart.

Before I go into details about my experience being Bulletproof in China, let me tell you about my traveling over the last 8 years training Professional Life and Business Coaching skills in 11 countries including Brazil, Singapore, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, France, and Estonia most recently.  For the last 5 years I followed Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour Body (4HB) and had good results with my weight, but over time I couldn’t maintain it, and always slipped back into bad habits.  I really appreciate everything I learned and the results I got from 4HB, but after 4.5 years I could no longer get my weight down even when I was home and strict with myself, let alone when I traveled.

IMG_6791 copy

Last year in Kazahkstan

training 2

This year in Chongquing, China

The importance of this comparison is that this is how I earn my living, and my ability to do a good job related to how much work I get in the future.  I usually travel internationally for 9 to 18 days once a quarter.  The health pattern has almost always been the same.  I arrive in country and it takes several days to get over the jet lag.  I have tried quite a few methods and usually could do pretty good, but I could feel the effects for 4 to 5 days.  Not a good way to start.

A normal training day went like this.  Wake up tired, blow off exercising because I was too tired, and eat breakfast at the hotel doing my best to avoid wheat.  Most places I went beans weren’t an option and they are integral to 4HB as they replace carbohydrates which are used for energy.  I typically would end up eating some bread simply because no matter how many eggs I ate, I was still hungry.  Breakfast also would usually consist of at least 2 cups of coffee.

I would head out to the training location, and upon arrival I would have another cup of coffee as I was feeling a little stressed.  Some of the locations had wonderful croissants, donuts, or local versions of sweet treats.  I couldn’t resist.  I felt like I needed it.  Then I would teach till the morning coffee break, at which time I would rush to get to the coffee machine, and of course, by this time I was craving carbs, so more sugar was often the solution.
Lunch was typically a struggle, but most of the time I would do a salad or some selection that wasn’t pasta, sandwich, etc.  Meat and veggies were often the best I could do followed by another cup of coffee before teaching again.  The afternoon break would usually consist of another coffee, and more sweets because by this time I was running low on energy.  By the end of the day when I got back to the hotel I was running on empty.  As a trainer I always felt like I needed to bring a very positive, and high energy presentation and be an example of what I was teaching.  I am realizing as I write this, that I was sometimes drinking 10 cups of coffee during a training day, and I can only imagine what that did to my adrenal gland.

Now my latest experience, my Bulletproof experience.  I took a opportunity to train in Chongqing, China.  I arrived one day early, and went straight into my BP routine. I had no jet lag whatsoever.  For 8 days this was my routine. I would wake up at 5am, sometimes I ran between 2 and 3 miles (as much for sightseeing as exercise), or lifted (to get the juices flowing), and some days I just stretched in my room. Then I would make my BPC.  As soon as I drank the coffee I would feel full and satisfied.

I would do a couple hours of answering emails, writing, and Skyping my family.  Then at 8:30am I would head down to teach.  I would teach from 9am till 10:30.  The temperature in Chongqing, China was anywhere between 95 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit almost every day with 50%-60% humidity.  The large meeting room we were in, even with the air conditioning cranked was often about 80 degrees and I would be quite hot the entire time, and as I normally do I drank a lot of water.  When I taught in Almaty, Khazakhstan last year in similar temperatures I thought I was going to die.

Then the class would take a “Coffee break”.  I would walk over to the snack and coffee table. They had wonderful little cakes, sweets, and pastries, all bite sized and tempting to the eye, and a nice espresso machine.  It all the looked very good, but I didn’t feel like having it at all.  I would pass it up, and drink a bottle of water. The strange thing is that I simply didn’t want it.  No hunger, no craving, it simply looked nice, but my I felt completely neutral about it.

I had plenty of energy to give my presentation my full energy.  What really surprised me was how clear my head was. I found myself remembering almost every word that was said during the training.  This was wonderful because I could recall questions that students had asked 3 days prior and link it to the current material to reinforce the lessons.  I could remember what was said is jest 4 days ago, and make a joking reference to it today.  I found myself very focused on the moment, and this is important because I normally have a bad case of Shiny Thing Syndrome even when teaching.

It reminded of the time when I was around eight years old and I got glasses for the first time.  The first moment I slipped on my first pair of glasses I was shocked!  I could see so far, I could see details that I could never see before. I was nearsighted, so seeing things much further was such a surprise, you don’t know what you don’t know, and when you never had glasses before you don’t know what you can see till you see it.

At lunchtime I would eat with the group. The meals were traditional southwest Chinese served family style. So I ate lots of veggies, a little meat, and stayed away from the carbs.  I will admit that the food available to me fit BP almost perfectly. The only suspect foods were some of the sauces and broths.  How I felt was the real difference. I was only slightly hungry.  I ate a reasonable amount because I wanted to try the dishes and enjoy the local cuisine.  I can tell you to watch out for the Tofu in the dark red oily sauce, it is what I now refer to as Death Hot!  I couldn’t taste anything else for 24 hours.

I think there were only 2 days where I had a second cup of BPC, and on both occasions it was because I decided not to eat lunch because I was feeling so good, and wanted to enjoy the AC in my room. As I returned to teaching after a two hour lunch break, which was new to me, I felt great and still full of energy.  It was very apparent to me, like I had on a brand new set of glasses that my mind was clear and focused.  My ability to articulate words, which is very important when working with an interpreter, to answer questions concisely, remember a vast majority of the content that the students brought forth, and overall to deliver the content was better than I could remember.

The level of focus and attention I was able to maintain was noticeably better for me.  Sometimes when I teach, I would find that near the end of the day, especially as the trip get further along, that I would sometimes get very frustrated with certain students.  It was an internal struggle that I hope none of my students noticed.  I do remember over the course of 8 years teaching, I do remember a couple of times that it did become apparent.  These moments are ones that I am not proud of, and wish I could take back.  My ability to focus and to maintain my flow state was severally challenged.  On the 4th day of training I got the news that an old friend of mine who had valiantly battled cancer for 7 years had passed away.  To compound that, three days later I got the news that another friend had received a diagnosis of Stage 4 breast cancer.  Both situations impacted me strongly, but when I got in front of my students and began to teach it didn’t draw me off

I am now home, and although my level of clarity isn’t quite the same as while I was in China, I am feeling great, and working to more fully integrate the Bulletproof Diet into my life, and feed my children based on what I am learning. If you want more information about the how to improve your performance, check out Dave Asprey on his Bulletproof Executive Website.

Update as of August 13th, 2015:
Sub 200 Weigh In!
I weighed 233 pounds on April 30th, 2015!

Velocity Is Coming To Seattle!

We are very excited to announce that Velocity Language Learning is coming to Seattle! Well, Kirkland to be exact, on June 7th and 8th!

If you are reading this and want to know more about what Velocity is, then please read:
My Personal Velocity Story.

“Is there is a fast and easy way to learn a new language? In 1985, Powell Janulus was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for fluency in 42 languages. He could often show beginner fluency and comfortably converse in a new language in just a few months.

How was this possible? Did he have a unique gift, or was his ability something anyone can do? Marilyn Atkinson, Ph.D., spent 7 years researching Powell’s unique abilities and developed a system that would allow anyone to accelerate their language learning. Paul Gossen refined this into the Velocity model for instant communication in any language.

Velocity is based an advanced experiential learning methodology that embeds sophisticated accelerated learning approaches into simple ideas, actions and games. This methodology is has been refined over 20 years by Marilyn Atkinson and has been intensively developed by Paul Gossen. The process has been tested by everyday people around the world and is supported by a community of raving fans.”

If you have ever desired to speak a new language or get more comfortable with one you have studied, you should consider joining us for a breakthrough in spoken fluency!

The Velocity methodology can be used for any language, and for the June training we will be focusing on Spanish and English. The English will be for non-native English speakers. If you would like to work on another language, we can add an additional language if you can help us get 5 other participants that also want to learn that language! Please contact us for details. We have arranged a very special price for this our maiden roll-out in Seattle!

Dates: June 7th, 8th, 2014.
Times: 9am-5pm.
Location: Champagne Point Area, Kirkland, Washington, Zip Code 98034.
Special Roll Out Investment: $400USD.


Comments or questions are welcome.

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Velocity Language Learning

Velocity Learning

I have studied and worked with Erickson College International for the last 11 years.  For most of those years I remember Marilyn Atkinson from time to time mentioning her work with Accelerated Language Learning.  I always wanted to know more, and as of a couple months ago, I finally got to experience it!  This is the first post in a series of posts I will be putting together into a 60 Day Challenge.  On April 17th and 18th I will be attending the 2 Day Velocity Program in Vancouver, BC on Spanish.  That will be the start of the 60 days.  The question is simple, how much of a Spanish Speaker can I become in 60 days?

Below is a short introduction to my experience of Velocity Language Learning and why I am choosing to undertake this experiment. I will be adding additional information to this post to complete some of the thoughts.

Have you ever wished you could learn a second or third language really quickly? 

Have you ever seen commercials for Rosetta Stone, but take a step back when you saw the $500 price tag?  Most of us have.  You, like me, have probably wished you could quickly and easily learn another language.  I studied Spanish in High School, and didn’t learn much, then lived in Germany for two years and studied German in college. I know a little but never felt comfortable with it.

That changed just a few months ago. I attended a single day, yes, one day of a training from Velocity Language.  Velocity was founded my Mentor Dr. Marilyn Atkinson, based on her 35 years of modeling people who not only speak multiple (more than 30 in some cases) but could learn new languages in a few hours!  Marilyn is a pioneer in the field of Expert Behavior Modeling.  Based on the extensively modeled “best practices” of polyglots (someone who speaks more than 5 languages) she and Paul Gossen developed a two day intensive course for Transformation Spoken Fluency. Personally, I had some major doubts!  I could not imagine any way possible to gain spoken fluency in 2 days.  Oh how I was wrong!  I attended just one day of the course on Mandarin, and was completely blown away!  Beyond the fact that Mandarin is supposed to be one of the hardest languages to learn, I had no interest in learning Mandarin!  I went to see what all the buzz was about.

Do I speak fluent Mandarin now? Well, no, because I didn’t continue with any effort whatsoever, BUT, I did just have an unbelievable experience in Brazil with Portuguese.  I was talking with the CEO of a large company in Brazil about how they speak to the company headquarters in Germany solely in English.  He said many of the upper level Managers struggle with their fluency. So, I started telling him about Velocity. As you might be doing right now, he wanted to know how in the world you could do it in 2 days.  So, being the adventurer that I am, I grabbed pen and paper, and my translator, and “mapped” out Portuguese. I spent the next 3 days working with all the tools I learned in my one day of Velocity, and had an amazing time speaking with my students, and the staff at the hotel.

The real test came on the way to the airport.  Because of Sao Paulo traffic, it was a 90 minute drive, and the driver speaks bare bones English.  We spent the 90 minute drive speaking mostly in Portuguese!  I would say at least 75% of the conversation was in Portuguese.  HE LOVED IT!  I found out about his family, his wife, his children, his hopes, his dreams, his hobbies, and his life.  He in turn found out all about me as well.  It was an amazing experience.

As I sat at the airport waiting for my flight to depart, I got introspective for a few moments on it. Why was it such a powerful experience.  Well, for one, it was what I love about Coaching, I got to speak to someone at a deep level.  Second, it was a ton of fun!  Then the realization hit me: What had changed about me!  I realized that I had a very different internal dialog and feeling about learning Portuguese.  I felt like: “If I were in Brazil for a month, I would be conversationally fluent.”  And, it isn’t just Portuguese!  I feel the same way about any language now.  Give me a month in a foreign country and I could learn to speak the language! 


1974 Ford Bronco

Charles W. Stavely was born Feb.1, 1901 and passed away Feb. 12th of 1992 at the age of 91.  He was born in Indian Territory, Econtuska, Oklahoma and attended school in Seminole, Oklahoma, and later graduated from  A&M College in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  He belonged to ROTC for four years and received the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.

He married after finishing collage and ROTC.  They adopted a daughter later in life, and his wife Gretchen died at age 54.  With the help of 2 foster families he raised his daughter (My Mom, Rose) until she graduated from High School and married. He then spent the next 44 years and 5 months with the Forest Service in Colorado and Nebraska.  In May of 1944 he transferred from Colorado to the Nebraska National Forest near Valentine, Ne. (Now Samuel R Mc Kelvie National Forest.)  He was a ranger there for 16 years, then transferring to Denver Regional Office until 1963 when he retired.  From 1963 to 1987 he traveled throughout the southern states in a Ford Bronco that he purchased new in 1974. (See Below)  He spent most of his time along a creek bed, a rocky wall, or wherever there might find some gemstones, rocks or gold as he was an expert on all of these.   He traveled in the Bronco, well equipped with a water sack full of water hanging off the grill on the front of the Bronco, and his Geiger counter, gold pans, picks, hammers, magnifying glass, binoculars and all the other necessary tools needed for being a prospector, miner, nature lover and camper.  It was believed that his only real fear of being out in the wild alone was being struck by a rattlesnake.  He told many stories of his encounters and fears of them.  He was a loner and loved to be out on a creek bed panning for gold or whatever he could find.  Charles was a jack-of-all-trades, handyman, carpenter, mathematician, avid reader of thousands of books, loved rocks, oh yes, the Bronco was always full of little samples of rocks, sand etc, that he carefully labeled as to what type it was, location found and date.  He always had a notebook in his shirt pocket and took notes about everything.  He kept a daily diary most of his life.

Every year for many years he and his Bronco traveled to two 20-acre land claims he had in Idaho along the Snake River where he had to do at least $100 worth of work or improvements on each 20-acres each year to keep them in his name.  The Bronco made the trip each year, and he would spend 1-2 weeks out in the wilderness doing his work and enjoying the outdoors.  No one really knew where these claims were and or where he was during those couple weeks.  That was when he was in Paradise.  His Bronco served him well, and they worked those claims,(named the Cindy and Brenda claims, after his two granddaughters) for as many years as his health would allow him to work them.  He drove his Bronco up until the last year or so of his life, when he gave it to his daughter who resides in South Dakota.  My Mom, Rose, and I traveled to Deming, New Mexico where Grandpa Stavely had been living in an assisted living home and Rose drove the Bronco back to South Dakota.  She had it from 1991 until she gave it to me who lives in Seattle, Washington, in 2010. I had it shipped to Seattle, Washington from South Dakota in 2011, and I proudly drive it as often as possible!

A few months ago I loaned the Bronco to some film makers who were creating a short film for an international multimedia conference. This is the result. Be sure to go HD and Full Screen!

With Karen

With Karen

Tony: Age 6?

Tony: Age 6?


Bronco Badge







Bronco Emerging

Bronco Emerging

Bronco Water Skin Hook
Bronco Siloutte