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  • Susan Fletcher, Ph.D.

What We Can Learn From Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen. Just saying his name today causes most people to sigh and roll their eyes. Then the chatter starts where we all have an opinion about what is wrong with him. Is he Bipolar? Is he still on drugs? Is he a sex addict? Is he just plain nuts? Tonight he will be interviewed on 20/20. For the past two days he has done a bunch of interviews that have been covered on TV, on the radio and I just finished reading a bit about him in the Dallas Morning News. I have Charlie Sheen overload! Click here to watch a YouTube video of what I have to say about it. I have an idea. Instead of talking about what is wrong with him, maybe we can look at him and ask ourselves some important questions. Here are a few:

  1. Am I living my life the way I want to?

  2. Am I taking care of my responsibilities and the responsibilities I have to my family and my coworkers

  3. Am I in denial about what I need to work on?

  4. When other people who have credibility with me give me feedback, do I listen?

  5. Are there things in my life (drugs, overspending, an affair, deceit, etc.) that are in charge of me instead of me being in charge of them?

  6. Am I proud of myself and are other people I care about proud of me?

Hearing about Charlie Sheen's antics hits a chord with most people. We might know someone like him. We may identify with some of what he is saying. We may have worked really hard in our own lives to get away from someone just like him. It is interesting to us to see where Charlie Sheen's story goes next. I think we all should resist the urge to look at him like a car wreck that gets our attention. When I drive by an accident in my neck of the woods, it makes me more attentive to my own driving. If you are going to watch 20/20 tonight or some of the upcoming news stories about him, instead of hypothesizing about what might be wrong with him, stay in the Smart Zone and use it as an opportunity to focus on working to the best of your ability emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally. Instead of watching TV tonight, maybe spend some time in the company of your family and friends instead.

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