Rules for Being Human

Carter Scott, Cherie

Dr. Relly Nadler: 
Have you ever wondered what the rules are for being human? The author of Life is a Game: Rules for Being Human, Dr. Cherie Carter Scott is with us this week to discuss it. She’s a master certified coach, and Organizational Development Consultant to Fortune 500 companies, a lecturer, talk show host. Dr. Scott has a coaching school where she trains coaches. She has been seen on the Today Show, CNN, Oprah Winfrey, and dozens of TV, radio and print interviews.

Aside from being a media personality, she has worked on five continents. She can really tell us about what it is to work with executives and coaches in over 30 different countries. She is also a wife, mother, scuba diver, and a pilot.

I’ve known Cherie for many years and we’ve shared some clients also. She is a wonderful woman. Aside from her book, Life is a Game: These are the Rules; she also has, If Love is a Game: These are the Rules; If Success is a Game: These are the Rules; If High School is a Game: Here’s How to Break the Rules; and The Gift of Motherhood: Ten Truths That Every Mother Should Know.

She has the MMS Institute that is an international coach training facility. Cherie, welcome!

Dr. Cherie Carter Scott: Thank you, it’s great to be here.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Thanks so much. One of the questions we always ask is you’ve such a great career over the years; who have been some of your key influences?

Dr. Cherie Carter Scott: The list could go on and on, but I’ll tell you some of the key ones.

My mentor, friend, and colleague in OD, Warren Bennis, has been a tremendous influence on my life. He was a mentor to me and also kind of helped me along at various different junctions and phases of my life when I was considering is it OD, coaching, or is it training coaches, or is it all of the above? What exactly am I doing? Warren was always there with that helping hand and just a really supportive way, so I loved him dearly.

Then there was Willis Harman, who was the head of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He was another really key person in my life who I just felt enormous affiliation and support for.

Over the years lots of different people, men and women in various different locations and places. I think I am just very blessed in my life.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: You know Cherie, it’s six degrees of separation, or as my friend Msgr. Mannion, who worked with Mother Theresa, like to say, coincidence is Gods way of remaining anonymous. I knew you through Warren. Warren was one of my mentors for over 30 years, so I knew of you through him. So it’s a blessing that we get to meet, even though it’s after his passing.

Let me ask you, given that great introduction from the Universe to both of us, what are the 10 rules for being human and how do you define them?

Dr. Cherie Carter Scott: Okay, I’ll just go through the 10 rules which were delivered to me in 1974, kind of in a moment.

  1. The first rule of being human is that you’ll receive a body. You may like it or hate it but it is your body and you have to come to terms with it in whatever phase evolution it happens to be.
  2. You’ll be presented with lessons. You may like the lessons or fight with the lessons, but they are your lessons that you are to learn in this lifetime.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Some people think of mistakes, but once you learn and you steer away from them, you don’t have to become a negaholic, you can actually just learn the lesson and not beat yourself up for not being perfect.
  4. The lesson is repeated until learned. I could repeat that a few times for some people because they say, well I am a #4, I’m always repeating the same old lessons, over and over again and I don’t seem to learn them.
  5. Learning does not end. There is no point in life when the learning stops. At every phase there is something to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better than “Here.” When you get to “There” it becomes a new “here” because the “T” comes off and it becomes a new here and then you have a whole new set of “theres.” So it’s the distraction that there is a better place than where we are. Where we are is where we happen to be and if learn the lessons that are associated with where we are, we can then move on and be wherever we want to be.
  7. Others are only mirrors of you. It means that if you see something about another person that you judge or that you admire, it actually reflects back on you.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. It’s about the fact that we all have choices and with those choices comes options and consequences, and opportunities. What you make of your life, is, at the end of it all, is what YOU made of it.
  9. Your answers lie inside of you. Which means that inside of each one of us there is a core of inner knowing. That inner knowing is what allows us to be able to find the spiritual DNA to our life and to be able to know what is important, what’s true, what’s valuable, and which way we should turn, left or right, at each juncture.
  10. That you will forget all of this at birth. Which means that we have this opportunity when we enter the life cycle to be able to find out why we are here, what the purpose of our life is, what are lessons are that we are here to learn, and to get on with it and do it.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: That is miraculous. I many of these from the Kaiser Institute where I went for seven years learning intuition, but I’ve never heard them so beautifully articulated and so eloquently stated. Thank you Cherie, that’s amazing.

Dr. Relly Nadler: Say a little bit about how these came to you. I know that you said this is really been your life work. How did these come to you?

Dr. Cherie Carter Scott: Well, I was sitting with a colleague and we were working on the design for our coach training and she said, well, you know, let’s see, what really is it about?

I said, oh, it’s about being human. She said, what do you mean about being human. I said, well they set out the rules for being human we have to abide by the rules.

She said, well what are they? I said, well, you’ve got to start with a body because everybody I know has one. Then from there she said, well, what else. I said, we are all here to learn lessons. Nobody gets away scott-free without learning lessons, that is why we are here. She said, and then? I said, there are no mistakes, there are just lessons to be learned.

They just started cascading themselves onto the paper as she was asking me and I was saying them. We put them into our first coach training in San Francisco in 1974 and people liked them and shared them with other people and they shared them with other people and on and on as the story goes, until the first Chicken Soup book came out in 1994, 20 years later. On page 81 there were the rules for being human by anonymous. So that was an interesting phase of life.

When I got called about it by a friend of mine and he said, don’t you think you should get credit? I had the typically female response and I said, you know, I didn’t write them to get credit. I wrote them because I thought they would be valuable and I thought they would help people.

He said, well I’m calling Jack right now and I’m telling him that you wrote these. Then in the next printing I got credit. It’s kind a little bit of my own karma of being a bit anonymous and eclipsed on the side.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Let’s talk about then, what are the lessons that you are learning now. Because, obviously, like many women, we do not ask for recognition but isn’t wonderful when the universe rewards us for being who we are?

Dr. Cherie Carter Scott: It’s usually a man who does it. That’s just the truth for me. It’s usually a man who says, oh, come one, stand up for yourself and get credit, it’s okay. That’s what it was. It was Dan Millman at the time, who said, come on.

The lessons I’m learning now have a lot to do with leaving my legacy. I’ve been doing this work for 42 years, passionately, starting in San Francisco and then spreading across the United States into Europe and now to Asia. It’s something that just doesn’t go away, It’s really the purpose of my life.

People say to me, well, when are you going to retire, and I say, well how do you retire from the purpose of your life? That’s why we are here. I love it so passionately, why would I stop doing what I love? I guess, when I’m not capable of doing it any more or I have some mental failure or something. But, it’s still what drives me.

This morning I just completed a program with a National Healthcare company and we were on a webinar this morning from 3:30 in the morning until 7:30 with our final webinar. You know to get out of bed at 3:00 in the morning you have to love it.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: I just think that should be the title of your next book: You Don’t Retire From the Purpose of Your Life.

Dr. Cherie Carter Scott: Great Cathy, I love that.

Dr. Relly Nadler: I love that too because it does seem like the baby boomers, there is a lot more questions, conversations, about retirement, and what a great answer.

You know this term “negaholic” I remember hearing this from you 25 years ago. I think that was probably one of your key platforms. Can you talk a little bit about what a “negaholic” is and how does that tie in to some of the rules for life.

Dr. Cherie Carter Scott: Well, originally, I notice that when I was coaching people, it wasn’t so difficult for them to be able to formulate the vision, or the strategy, it was when we came down to them believing in themselves and believing that they could have what they wanted. That they really had the capability, the competency, the deservingness to be able to have what they wanted.

So I started noticing a pattern and I started probing after that pattern and looking after it a little more. In my OD work I work in corporations and I started noticing that there were some certain types of people that would collect into different behaviors; almost categories. I thought this is really interesting. So I started looking at it through this filter and what I started finding is that a “negaholic” is a person who is focused more on negative thoughts, feelings or possible outcomes of a situation. At times I’ve even called it an addiction because of what I call the triple-imprint. The triple-imprint is physiological, psychological, and emotional. When those three imprints click in at the same moment, you have a very solid imprint inside the person which is why when you say, well why can’t a perfectly intelligent, capable person just stop it. Just stop being negative. Just knock it off.

Well the reason that they can’t is because the imprint goes so deeply and it isn’t just something that you wave the wand and say, well, you know, stop it and it’s done.

What I started realizing is that when people are young, for instance, and I’ll just give a little simple example. They bring home their report card and they’ve got all A’s and one B. The parents focus on why did you get a “B?” Why didn’t you get all A’s? That’s a recurring pattern in their brain that they start hearing when they get older. Why didn’t you this, why didn’t you that? If you did this, it could have been better. It always could have been better. Why didn’t you do better.

So when people were, let’s just use a perfectionist; some of us think that we are supposed to be perfect. Perfect mothers, perfect business people, perfect spouses; we are just supposed to be perfect. Where we got that I’m not exactly sure, but if we have that in our heads then anything less than perfect is going to be a reason to take ourselves to task.

Taking yourself to task means, it could be benign, but it could be really malicious. Anger at ourselves for; why did you do that? Why did you say that? I can’t believe you left the papers at home that you were supposed to take to this meeting. You didn’t bring an umbrella and here it is pouring rain. You took the wrong turn off of the freeway.

The berating of oneself. What I noticed is why do people beat themselves up? What is that about? When you beat yourself up, you hear it, you feel it, you experience it emotionally, you get an enormous amount of attention from it, and you also release into your bloodstream opioid peptides which are like endorphins but are the flip-side of them. So they attack your immune system along with giving you a huge amount of attention, and reinforcing that emotional charge so when you have those three imprints simultaneously, the locks in a behavior.

Want to listen to the complete interview with Dr. Scott? You can listen, above, without commercial.


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