Words of Wisdom for
Leadership, Learning, and Life in
Exactly 99 Words
99's On the Go

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99-Word Stories by ,
Creative Learning Director of
The Flirefly Group.
© 2013 Brian Remer
Updated Apr. 2013

Read my new book
Say It Quick!

99's on the 9th

Ideas based on 99-Word Stories that
come to you on the 9th of every month.

Readers Respond:

Here is a comment about 99's on the 9th for November 2012

The thing that struck me was that oftentimes what we say and do as a positive intention is misread by the receiver in a way that was not intended. Perhaps this holiday season we need to give our family the benefit of a doubtů.everything everyone does is done with a loving intention. (And, no, that doesn't mean you can say hurtful, unkind things and say it was for "their" good.) Just a thought. Happy, happy! -- Susan Gamel Otto


December 2012

Who Knew?
At three and a half, my daughter was a pacifier junkie. She only popped it in her mouth after daycare, yet no amount of encouragement could induce her to kick the habit.

One day, my wife and I were discussing a report that the chemical softener in pacifiers could be carcinogenic. Our daughter interrupted to ask what we were talking about. We explained, in simple terms, that her pacifier might be dangerous for her long-term health. Without a word, she took it out of her mouth. Cold turkey.

We never really know how much a person comprehends!


You can build upon the theme of this 99-Word Story by using some of the following questions for your own reflection or to spark a discssion within your team or organization.


There are many ways to understand this story as the discussion questions suggest. If you or your group would like to compare or contrast your interpretation with an outside viewpoint, consider this analysis:

"You can't teach old dogs new tricks." So the saying goes - until suddenly one day ol' Rover is jumping through a new hoop!

Some changes evolve slowly over time. Increasing proficiency in a new skill or gaining strength after an illness are similar to the gradual changes of growth. You would need a time-laps camera to capture the subtle alterations occurring in some aspects of our lives. They happen with long-term sustained effort.

But then there are the other changes that happen all at once. What would motivate someone to change long-standing behavior in the blink of an eye? When an idea has been around for a long time, what makes a person jump through that new hoop now instead of at any point previously? The 99-Word Story suggests some ideas.

Review these factors and you'll see the effects of logic, emotion, social support, and long-term goals at work. Our tendency is to focus on just one factor. We make a logical argument or an emotional appeal. But this story suggests that when we can bring these many factors together with autonomy, support, and celebration, that new trick suddenly becomes doable.


Did you use this 99-Word Story and the discussion questions or interpretation in your work or personal life? If so, about your experience! If you would like help using 99-Word Stories in your organization, please me.

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