Change Your IALAC Philosophy and Change Your Life

Mr. Rogers Moved Into My Neighborhood


It was 1986. I was 16. My hormones were raging, and I was H-O-T for Mr. Rogers.


I wasn’t alone. Nearly every teenaged girl I knew felt the same way. In fact, not only were all the girls I went to high school with in love with Mr. Rogers, but so were their mothers.


Even if you didn’t go to school in Bagdad, Arizona in the mid-1980s, you’re probably not that surprised that I would “like” someone like the Mr. Rogers you think I am talking about.


You probably are, however, totally bewildered about why I would be “H-O-T” for that sweet, singing, sweater-wearing guy who wanted us all to be his neighbor.

Change Your IALAC Philosophy
Change Your IALAC Philosophy

That’s because I’m talking about a DIFFERENT Mr. Rogers! THIS Mr. Rogers was my history teacher (and the boys’ basketball coach) during my junior year in high school. And lemme tell you something…


He was definitely NOT my mother’s history teacher.


Steve Rogers caused quite a stir the day he moved into town riding his Harley Davidson, looking all Magnum PI and stuff… He had thick, wavy, brown and feathered hair. Yes, yes…dimples and a gorgeous smile, too. And ohhh…. that moustache!



Mr. Rogers Was The First One to Teach Me THIS


Mr. Rogers is the first man to school me in one of the most important things a woman ever learns in her life. He showed me better than anyone else ever has…even to this day. Although I was young, I was at a ripe age to learn, and I was Mr. Rogers’ perfect pupil.


I’m going to tell you what it was I learned from him here. Today.


The year Mr. Rogers taught me history (among the other things I am about to share), the school district had instituted a new curriculum requirement that the students be taught “Skills for Life.” Mr. Rogers was the lucky faculty member (maybe it was a form of teacher hazing) who was selected to impart these skills upon the fine, young Sultans attending Bagdad High School.


For the most part, these “Skills for Life” involved touchy-feely exercises that were supposed to illuminate some profound life lesson to carry on after graduating into adulthood. As a long-ish haired motorcycle-riding jock, Mr. Rogers was hardly the ideal person to dole out “Skills for Life” absent the frequent smirk or sarcastic comment.


He did, however, do a fantastic job of teaching us all the importance of maintaining a good “IALAC” Philosophy.



What Does “IALAC” Mean?


Wondering what “IALAC” stands for? Here it is:


I Am Lovable and Capable.


Yes, I am. You are, too!


The truth is that we are ALL born lovable and capable. (Tweet this!) Unfortunately, somewhere, somehow, we forget that fact to a certain extent. Nobody really is to blame, but it kind of just happens naturally when we start…


…getting scolded for not being a “good” boy or girl


…comparing ourselves to someone who we believe is “better”


…thinking we need to look and act a certain way to be accepted


…finding ourselves on the receiving end of criticism by parents, teachers, girlfriends, boyfriends, and spouses


The sad truth is that on any given day for each of us, we experience something that threatens to rip a little piece off that imaginary IALAC sign Mr. Rogers said we each have taped to our chest. In fact, given enough crap in your life, you might find that IALAC sign completely shredded to bits, leaving you feeling depressed, powerless, and hopeless.



You Can Get That IALAC Back!


The great thing about your IALAC sign is this: Even if you lose it, with some faith and work, you can get that IALAC back.


Want to know how?


First, remember everything is temporary.

So you’re having an awful time in life. It isn’t forever. It will pass. Whatever your hardships are…childbirth or divorce…they are temporary.


Do what you can to make it through. You HAVE to make it through. There are people depending on you to make it through.


The sun will shine tomorrow. You will laugh again. You will remember that you are lovable and capable.


Second, ditch the people who claw pieces off your IALAC sign.

Sometimes we are addicted to certain people in our lives even if they are bad for us. I have found myself mourning the loss of friends who did nothing but make me feel like caca about myself. They were unkind, demeaning and not really friends.


It was hard to let go, but when I did, I found new friends who valued and loved me. They brought me Scotch tape so I could put my IALAC sign back together. They are my soul sisters and brothers even if I only see them once every several months or years. They know who they are.


Make room for some real friends. Get rid of the quack ones.


Third, fake it ‘til you make it.

This is a hard one, I know.


There was a time when every other thought going through my brain was about how I sucked at this or that or about how I wasn’t pretty or smart enough or about how I needed to be and do more. It’s weird… just like I was addicted to “mean girls,” I was also addicted to self-inflicted “mean thoughts.” I was always making myself miserable…ALL BY MYSELF.


One day, I decided to stop every bad thought as it came into my head. Whatever the thought was, I conjured up an opposite, good-feeling thought. I did this over and over and over and over.


Then, another day, I noticed that almost every thought that entered my mind was pretty positive. The thoughts about myself became predominantly “good.” And, you want to know the best part? I actually started believing those good things about myself.


I started believing things like “I am lovable and capable.”


And when I started believing those things about myself, my whole life changed.


Do you want to change your life?


Change your IALAC philosophy.


Because you, my friend, are lovable and capable.


Mr. Rogers said it, so it must be true.

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