Allophilia (Liking Those Who Are Different)

Allophilia is the ability to like (or hold in regard) others who aren’t like you. Professor Todd Pittinsky coined the term as way of defining the opposite of prejudice.

I’ve posted about prejudice before and finding this term helps define a target that I can aim at when attempting to reduce my own prejudices. In order to understand and develop allophilia, I must first recognize where I see differences between myself and others. As with a lot of other topics, this starts with my own self-observation.

The next step is then looking past my own pre-determined ideas about who someone is and looking for aspects of who they are that I can not only admit that I like, but can also lift up as valuable and important. That is a tall order given the current polarization in our communities. It is difficult to see if we aren’t intentionally looking.

An example of what allophilia looks like are the historical examples of different communities and individuals who stepped up to help the Jews escape the Nazi persecution of WWII. Individuals and and groups who took risks to assist people who were different from themselves.

Where is there an opportunity to develop your understanding of allophilia? How does it appear in your daily life? If you can’t find regard for someone different than you, it is likely you are drifting toward prejudice. Take some time and practice looking for what you like about someone different than you and observe what happens. –

allophilia - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Finding Joy

Just like Riley from Pixar’s “Inside Out”, you have your own version of Joy that runs around inside you. Where is your Joy? Is he/she lost or or trapped? What if you are supposed to be finding your Joy?

I suppose it may seem kind of a strange thing to have these thoughts rattling around in my head as I drive down the road. Sometimes it may be easier just to laugh at where different ideas intersect.

If you have ever coached with me for very long, you have probably heard me reference Pixar’s “Inside Out”. If you haven’t, please go watch it. The movie does a great job of describing some of the ways we develop in terms of thoughts, emotions, and memories.

It may have been obvious to others, but this week it struck me that Joy herself gets lost during the movie. Part of the story is about Riley finding Joy and Joy returning to where she needs to be.

Given all that we have been through in the last couple of years, I was relating to that thought this week and wondering about who my Joy character is inside of me. How well do you know the Joy character inside of you? Do they show up very often? Are they at the center of your story, or a secondary character? Would you know if they got lost? Where are they right now?

My request is to spend some time finding that Joy character inside yourself. How would life be different if you knew where your Joy was and had it front and center in your life? –

finding joy - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Do Not Be Afraid

Most of our major world religions tell us, “Do Not Be Afraid”, while at the same time our media and social outlets say the opposite. There are at least 117 times the message is delivered in the Bible – “Do Not Be Afraid”. It is the most common message delivered throughout the entire bible. Clearly it needed to be drilled home. It must be important!

At the same time The Weather Channel has been teaching us to fear the daily forecast (even if you don’t live where the severe weather is happening). Animal Planet wants us to fear Shark Week. There are multiple financial platforms wanting us to fear the market and economy collapsing. Both sides of our political spectrum want us to fear the other. We are taught to fear everything.

Part of fear ends up being a choice. Yes, there are some times where we have an instinctual/reflexive fear. But sometimes, we are choosing to be afraid. Ever payed to watch a scary movie? How many serial killer documentaries have you binge watched? Why do you watch the hurricane forecast if you don’t live on the coast?

If fear can be a choice, then it can also be practiced. You have the ability to practice choosing not being afraid. What if your spirituality and faith aligned with your daily life?

In the next week, I dare you to practice not being fearful. Pick the easy topics and reduce your fear by 10%. See what happens. How is life different for you? Then choose to reduce choosing fear by another 10%. I dare you. Practice choosing to not be afraid. –

do not be afraid - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Lift As We Climb

Mary Church Terrell is given credit for the social mindset of “Lift as we climb”. She was a civil rights activist and suffragist in the United States in the early 1900’s. Her idea being that we assist others as we ourselves grow.

“And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition ‘ere long. With courage, born of success achieved in the past, with a keen sense of the responsibility which we shall continue to assume, we look forward to a future large with promise and hope. Seeking no favors because of our color, nor patronage because of our needs, we knock at the bar of justice, asking an equal chance.”

This is a relational statement. As much as we would like to think we are independent and work in a vacuum, nothing could be farther from the truth. Whether you want it or not, you need support in order to growth and succeed (all the way down to the wifi signal and the light in the room).

If you need the support of others to develop, then suddenly it is a benefit to lift others up while you continue to climb. No one gets left out.

Where are there opportunities to lift others up? What mountain are you climbing? Do you need lifted up? Adopting the mindset of “lift as we climb”, creates growth in ourselves and the world around us simultaneously. Where can you apply it in the coming weeks? –

lift as we climb - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Waiting Is A Skill (How Do You Practice?)

We spend A LOT of time waiting! Chances are you don’t like it and you probably aren’t that good at it. It is a skill that can be developed! How are you practicing your waiting?

Ever paid attention how much time (and for how many things) you wait? It is so much a part of a daily lives that we lose track of how much of it there is. We also go to GREAT lengths to avoid it!

So where do you wait?

For the light to change? The nurse to call you back? A second interview? The next text reply? Someone to swipe right? The dryer to finish? This file to download? To be able to skip the commercial? Someone to go first?

More importantly, HOW do you wait? Are you always impatient? Always anxious or worried? Oblivious? Angry?

For me, there are very few things in life that can’t be developed as a skill. Waiting is a skill. It can be practiced and developed. Where are you most impatient? Where is waiting the most difficult? The skill comes from choosing your intention and who you want to be while you wait. How do you want to show up in the world while you are waiting? What you choose will have a big impact on how you view the world! –

waiting - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Rest (You Really Need It)

Unlike your lawnmower (or any other machine), you are a human being and it is vitally important for your health and wellbeing that you rest.

As I have posted before, our culture takes great pride in being busy and tired. We wear them like a badges of honor. The dilemma is that as human beings we are built to rest. It is a requirement.

Your lawnmower will run until it runs out of fuel or breaks down and needs maintenance. In addition to needing fuel and maintenance, humans need a recovery period too. Frequently we don’t give ourselves that opportunity. By not creating recovery time, our physical, emotional, and intellectual health is negatively impacted.

Rest is also different from vacation or recreation. Ever have to recover from taking a vacation? Don’t confuse having a fun-filled vacation with rest!

Resting has to be something idle. A time and space where our brains and emotions can wind down and cool off. Turns out we need this idle time on a frequent basis. Don’t confuse screen time with being idle, either!

So what is your relationship with rest? Are you mortal enemies? Long lost and abandoned friends? Complete strangers? Change your relationship with rest. It might take some practice, but pay attention to how your body reacts to having some time to recover. –

rest - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Balancing vs. Juggling

Here is an interesting perspective: Do you approach your daily activities from a sense of balancing or juggling?

First, what is the difference between balancing and juggling? Sometimes I wonder if we confuse them.

Balancing is trying to find the distribution of weight between objects to allow them to remain static in position. In order to balance something, we focus our attention on a fixed point and attempt to find the place where things stop moving.

Juggling is different in that all of the objects are in motion and our attention is focused on the points that are farthest from our hands. If you look at your hands while you juggle, everything falls to the floor.

If you apply the mindset behind these two perspectives, there are appropriate times to balance and appropriate times to juggle. What if you are using the wrong tools in the wrong places? What if your ability to use each needs to be developed to a higher skill level?

Where do you use these skills in your daily life? Do you rely on one more than the other? Where could shifting to the other perspective help in making the day go better? –

balancing juggling - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life


Self-efficacy is our personal opinion about our own ability to asses a challenge and find effective ways to cope with an obstacle or difficult situation. It impacts nearly every aspect of our daily lives and is a skill you can develop and grow.

A person with strong self-efficacy views challenges as obstacles to be overcome. They have a confidence that their previous experiences and current skills enable them to face a challenge successfully, even if the solution is not obvious. This mindset reduces stress levels and makes us more resilient to depression. In the last year and a half, our teachers demonstrated a very high level of self-efficacy in teaching through a pandemic.

Someone with a low level of self-efficacy views their own abilities as insufficient and shrinks away and avoids a challenge. This mindset forces us to not try when we are facing daily obstacles. Over time this behavior increases stress and can lead to depression.

Self-efficacy ends up being one of the cornerstones of coaching. It shows up in all of our choices each day. It is also a skill and habit that can be built and developed. You have the ability to change how you face challenges by developing your own self-efficacy!

In what parts of your life are you the most confident? What challenges do you shrink away from? What pieces are you missing to be able to grow your ability to step forward into a challenge instead of shrinking away? How can I help? –

self-efficacy - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life


Sometimes transitions can feel like re-entry of a spaceship back into the atmosphere! Having the right mindset (of not having complete control) and knowing what to expect helps to make the transition easier!

Whenever I watch a movie about space travel (pick your favorite – Star Trek, Star Wars, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff, etc.), I watch for the scene where a ship re-enters the atmosphere of a planet. There is always a lot of friction! The ride gets bumpy and things heat up A LOT! There are a lot of variables the astronauts can’t control. There are moments they lose communication. It looks stressful!

I imagine we can relate (somewhat) to these scenes as we make transitions back into our daily lives. Anytime I come back from vacation feels like a re-entry back into the atmosphere of work and being home. Starting a new job can be a bumpy ride.

I imagine we are all collectively going to go through a significant re-entry in the next few weeks. What do you have control over? Which things do you NOT have control over? The acceptance that transition will be bumpy and not completely under control allows us to relax a bit. Knowing that our lives might heat up and be stressful as we are out and about in the world again allows for us to keep breathing and not make things worse by trying to control what is beyond our control.

I hope your re-entry goes well! See you out and about! –

re-entry - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Background Apps

Just like your smart phone, what background apps are running in your life? Which ones drain battery power and focus? Which ones can you turn off?

We all have at least one application on our phone that reduces the battery life of the phone, even when we aren’t using it. What application is it on your phone? The location finder? The GPS? For some of us it is a game that keeps tracking even if we aren’t playing. You aren’t able to use the phone to its full potential when these programs are still on in the background.

Have you ever noticed that you are tired or anxious or distracted and can’t figure out why? What if your brain is running background apps just like your phone? You aren’t able to function at your full capacity because something in the back of your brain is draining your energy. We all have some version of this.

The antidote? First, you have to pay attention to what applications are running inside you (especially the ones you are not currently using). The second step is to turn those apps off (some of these may be easier to turn off than others). Set them aside until you need them. If you can’t solve a problem in the current moment, practice setting it aside. Finally, review. Just like your phone it helps to go back on a regular basis to see what is still running in the background. –

background apps - Rhoads Life Coaching

finding meaning and purpose in daily life