Posts tagged “William Glasser biography

VENTURES Interview Available for a Short Time

I’m sure you know how much I love the work of Dr. Bill Glasser, known as Choice Theory, Reality Therapy and Lead Management. It’s had such a big impact on my life and work, and it’s very effective at helping people to build stronger relationships with themselves and those around them.
I was recently featured in an interview on an online program called VENTURES, which has been created to build the global Glasser community and extend the legacy of Dr. Glasser’s work around the world. This interview is available online now, and they’ve opened up a window so that the [people in my world can watch it… but it is a time-limited opportunity. The video will be available for a sneak peek for only the next 10 days… after that, this special promo page will be taken down, and it will only be available to subscribers.
CLICK HERE to watch it now.
I’m really excited about the work of VENTURES, and I encourage you to become a subscriber. Every month VENTURES releases new content specifically created to inspire, support and extend the ideas of Dr. Glasser. The people behind VENTURES are Jean Seville Suffield, President of Glasser Canada, and Lynn Sumida, Senior Faculty for Glasser International. They, together with newcomer Paul Johnson, have been working tirelessly to launch this project, and I’m so happy to both support and recommend them to you.
The biography is such a good way to meet the man, but it is also a great way to learn about his ideas.

The book that connects the dots of William Glasser’s ideas and his career.

The biography can be purchased from the William Glasser Inc. bookstore at

It can also be purchased through Amazon at this link.

A digital version of the book can be purchased from the publisher at this link. All formats are available.

Also, signed copies can purchased from me. Let me know.
If you have read the book I encourage you to post a review on Amazon or even on your Facebook page. Let’s continue to get the word out on mental health and happiness.

Being the Best Me


I really like the February 15 post on the Mental Health & Happiness website. ( Readers were asked to think about how they wanted the world around them to be different – maybe a loved one behaving differently or a circumstance changing. Then readers were asked to think about a world in which everything was indeed as they wanted it – all the changes they preferred had come to be. Sounds good. We’d all sign up for that.


After being asked to reflect on how they would think and feel in this perfect world, readers were then challenged to act as if they actually lived in this world. How would you behave in a world that was just how you wanted it? Do you have a sense of what it would look like to not be burdened with anxiety? How would you enter the house after work if you were happy? Can you imagine how you would be with your friends if you didn’t worry about what they thought of you? How would you act with your spouse if the two of you were best friends and really trusted one another? You get the idea.

So (you probably know where this is going), readers were then challenged to live as if they were actually living in their “perfect” world, challenged to behave as if these pictures were reality. If I have a picture of what it would look like for me to walk in the front door of my house in a happy state of mind, what prevents me from going ahead and doing it?


This collection of thoughts really got my attention for some reason, and I am still thinking about the implications of accepting this view of things. It is empowering to think that I can choose my behavior and that I can literally choose how I show up. In other ways, though, it feels disempowering when I think about not being able to use angering and depressing and sadnessing and headaching as a way to convey my difficult circumstances to others. Could it be that I can enter my house happily, even when I’m in the midst of a difficult circumstance? Could it be that I could talk to my spouse about how I felt about the difficult circumstance without needing to anger or withdraw?


This is such a great Quality World activity. The theory behind the Quality World describes how we place need-satisfying pictures in our heads because this picture in some way helps us to feel better or to feel in control. Once a picture has been placed in our Quality World we go about behaving in a way that will help that picture become a reality. Why not choose to behave in a way that mirrors the world in which you want to live? Pretty cool!


Welcome to those of you from the recent ASDASA conference who are now following The Better Plan blog. The Leading the Quality School breakout sessions went well, I think, and I am excited about the number of Adventist principals and superintendents who are drawn to a choice theory approach to education.

Principals and superintendents – I encourage you to share The Better Plan blog with your teachers and staff. Just have them enter in the URL address bar. It’s that simple. Once at The Better Plan, take a moment to enter your email address on the left hand side of the page and then click on the FOLLOW link. You will get an email asking you to confirm this request.


Signed copies of Soul Shapers or Champion of Choice can be ordered from me. You can also quickly order them through Amazon using the links below. There is also a digital version link for those of you with iPads and Kindles.

 Soul Shapers: A Better Plan for Parents and Educators

Available new on Amazon from $14.75; used from $5.19.

Available new on Amazon from $14.75; used from $5.19.

William Glasser: Champion of Choice

Now priced at $18.57 on Amazon.

Now priced at $18.44 on Amazon.

Click here for electronic version of Champion of Choice.

Choosing One Thought Over Another


One of choice theory’s strongest and most important concepts is that we have direct control of our thinking and our actions. This is one of the keys of the internal control model.

Megan Milholland-Brooks, English teacher at PUC Prep (the Seventh-day Adventist 9-12 school here in Angwin) recently saw the following slide in a PowerPoint presentation and said that she thought of The Better Plan blog. I have seen this somewhere in my past, however I am glad that she shared it with me, and glad, too, that I can pass it on to you.


This could be made into a great classroom poster, which would remind students about the importance of their thinking.

Since we are on the topic I will share an insight from the book Education that seems to fit here.

Screenshot 2015-02-04 12.59.57

The implications of this element of our human design are huge! For the most part, what we wrestle with or fret over or seek to overcome has everything to do with our thoughts. We really do create the weather in our lives.

I recently saw a powerful description in the little book, Jesus Calling, a meditational book that I have been opening in the morning for several years now. (My iPad version allows me to make notes in the margins and I have started dating my comments from year to year, which helps me see the steps I am taking along the way.) The thought for January 29 begins (remember, this is written as if God is talking to you personally) “I have gifted you with amazing freedom, including the ability to choose the focal point of your mind. Only the crown of My creation has such remarkable capability; this is a sign of being made in My image.”

“I have gifted you with amazing freedom,
including the ability to choose the focal point of your mind.”

As teachers and parents, let’s pass this gift on to our children. In a world filled with so much external control, let’s model and teach our students about internal control. It may require a significant shift in our own lives, but it will be worth it, for us personally and for our students.



Coming soon on The Better Plan — The California legislature will soon be considering a measure to raise the legal cigarette smoking age to 21, up from 18 years of age. How might this be an excellent current issue from which to consider the concepts of choice theory?


Get the eBook version of William Glasser: Champion of Choice, by clicking HERE.

Now priced at $18.51 on Amazon.

Now priced at $18.51 on Amazon.

Good Bye for Now, Kalispell


Margaret and I have been visiting our son and daughter-in-law in Kalispell, Montana, during the last week. In the process we have been reminded of what cold temperatures are like (although locals would laugh at my referring to high 20s and low 30s as cold). Our time together here has been so good, so relaxed. We headed to Spokane yesterday (the weather looked good to get over Lookout Pass) and then home today.

Jordan, Katy, Maggie, and Jim.

Jordan, Katy, Maggie, and Jim.

Kalispell sits next door to Glacier National Park and a couple of days ago we headed there to take in some of its beauty. The low clouds and snow on the ground kept us from exploring or seeing much, though. We’ll save Glacier for our next trip.

Had it been a clear, sunny day, apparently we would have had views like this.

Something we did see was an interesting place on the way to the park. Surrounding three large wooden crosses was an expansive half-circle of billboards, all proclaiming the Ten Commandments, the U.S. needing to be a God-governed place, or anti-abortion messages. The place was closed, so I am not sure about the overall goal of the place. It would seem somebody there wants to change the thinking and behavior of those who pass by. For me, the display of giant signs was a “2 x 4 up side the head” reminder of our human tendency to attempt to change the behavior of others.

photo 1 photo 4

I respect a person’s right to put up large signs proclaiming what they believe to be religious and moral truth, even as I think the signs do much more harm than good. People aren’t drawn to God through “sledgehammer” signs, civil legislation, or threats of impending punishment. Jesus understood the human mind and heart and from the upper room Sinai proclaimed –

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:34, 35

Thinking that we are supposed to change the beliefs and behaviors of others creates a lot of pressure and tension within us. It is a huge burden to be the conscience and judge of others. Ever desiring our good, Jesus lifts that burden from us and reminds us that the Holy Spirit is an expert at the kind of conviction and convincing that leads to change.

But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. John 16:7, 8

The Holy Spirit will do the convicting. We have been freed from that role. If we want to “change” others there is really only one way, and that is to truly love them, without strings, without demands, without agenda. Christianity has somehow become something Jesus never intended. Christianity isn’t about power or even about being “right.” It is about love and unity.

I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one – as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.   John 17:20, 21

God is about relationships. Always has been. Choice theory is about relationships. Always has been. He created us to be in harmony with others, indeed, to love one another. In God’s words there is no stronger example of His way of being.


Get the Glasser biography easily and quickly –

Get signed copies from the author at

Now priced at $18.50 on Amazon.

Now priced at $18.50 on Amazon.

Yoda on a Cold, Dark Football Field

Instead of heading west back to California after the Glasser conference, Maggie and I headed a half hour east of Toronto to the city of Oshawa. Oshawa is special to us for a number of reasons – I got my first teaching job as a physical education teacher at Kingsway College in Oshawa; it was really the first place Maggie and I lived after getting married; and our daughter, Rachel, was born there. I was 23 when I began teaching and Maggie was 21. How could we have been so young, so ready to tackle a new place, so naïve in so many ways? We left Oshawa and moved back to California in 1980, so it has been 34 years since I last saw the campus, and since I saw some of the good friends we made during our time there.

I am not at the end of my career yet, but I can see the end beckoning to me from my present vantage point of being a couple months short of 60 years old. To be able to go back and visit the place in which my career started was special, a kind of magical doorway into the past.

The old Kingsway gym.

The old Kingsway gym.

Me and the gym, together again after 34 years.

Me and the gym, together again after 34 years.

The old building I am standing in front of was the gymnasium. It was old when I first arrived at Kingsway, too, but I was so excited to have a gym I could call my own. I remember painting the entryway with a fresh coat of paint, with a burgundy stripe that added life to the space, and then tearing up the old carpet in the entryway so that tile could be installed. I was proud of the improvements, glad that others on campus would see that the gym was important enough to update. I peeked in the doors and could see that those improvements had become distant memories. The entryway is now completely black, a worn out space leading to what looked like a storage area. (Just in case you’re wondering, a wonderful new gym has been built to replace it.)

Me when I first began teaching at Kingsway, in my referee jacket. Ralph Jurianz is on the right. We were student association sponsors that year.

Me when I first began teaching at Kingsway, in my referee jacket. Ralph Jurianz is on the right. We were student association sponsors that year.

Besides seeing the campus, it was even better re-connecting with friends. Kurt and Anne Cao arrived at Kingsway in 1978, the same year I arrived. They were experienced teachers from Monterey Bay Academy; me, not so much. Kurt was the new boys’ dean and Anne taught part-time in the physical education program with me. Seeing them again recalled how much they meant to us, a young couple just recently married and in a totally unfamiliar environment, and to me, a brand new teacher just beginning to find his way.

Jim, Maggie, Anne, and Kurt

Jim, Maggie, Anne, and Kurt

In those early days I had not heard of choice theory yet and had not identified what it even meant to be a progressive educator. A readiness for progressive approaches was somewhere down deep in me, but I had not yet started to build on that foundation. Being with Kurt and Anne, though, memories began to flood back regarding their mentoring of me. Anne helped me develop the structure that was needed to teach multiple classes and run intramurals. And Kurt modeled to me the kind of love, patience, and commitment that really supporting students required. He would frequently involve me in dorm events, and sometimes even dorm challenges. So many times I saw him patiently working with students, teenage men, sometimes from dysfunctional backgrounds, often with so few emotional tools to navigate adulthood and responsibility, patiently trying to help them understand that they have choices. I have a clear memory of Kurt and I walking across the football field one night, walking back from my house to the dorm, talking about the challenges at the school that year. I was frustrated with some of the students and was ready to talk about how we could make them get into line, yet I remember Kurt, rather than grousing about their behavior, expressing how much he cared about the guys in the dorm and how he only had four months left to reach them. Other teachers and staff might have been yearning for the school year to get over and send the kids home, but Kurt was treasuring every day left in the school year as one more opportunity to connect with students and help them.

I had forgotten that moment, that dark and cold evening, until I saw Kurt again. Now that moment floods back and I recall how significant it was to me. Years later I would be introduced to the concepts of a Glasser Quality School and choice theory. Something in me would resonate at a very deep level with those concepts, and I would eventually embrace them as a way of life. I would forget, though, until now, how maybe, just maybe, there were moments in my past, people in my past, that prepared me to desire and resonate with choice theory ideas, that had prepared me to see the importance of connecting with kids, and acknowledging their need for power, freedom, and fun. Before I became familiar with a movie character named Yoda, I was fortunate to have Kurt as a kind of Yoda in my life.

Jim and Yoda. I'm wiser; I don't think Yoda can get any wiser, can he?

Jim and Yoda. I’m wiser; I don’t think Yoda can get any wiser, can he?

Also years later I would meet another Yoda, a guy by the name of William Glasser, and my journey would continue. I would add pieces to my thinking and beliefs that would build on moments like those on that cold, dark football field, that faraway galaxy from a long time ago. I’m still adding pieces.

I don’t know if Kurt remembers that football field moment, and I don’t know if he recognizes his Yoda-like qualities, and that is why I am sharing this with you. You could be a Yoda to someone right now, and like Kurt, not even realize it. You could be a Yoda to someone just learning about choice theory for the first time, or maybe to a young teacher finding his or her way, or maybe to a friend admitting he or she wants a better marriage. Stay the course with choice theory. You never know who is watching and listening.



Got home last night from Canada and will be filling the book orders placed at the conference today or tomorrow at the latest. I will also be setting up a way to sell signed copies of the Glasser biography right here from the blog. Stay tuned.

Please add a book review of Champion of Choice to It doesn’t have to be long and it will make a big difference!

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