Peter Kowalke

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

By on August 5, 2023

Every day I decide who I want to be. This seems like the most natural thing in the world, but apparently it is not. I think my approach is not typical because many people don’t know how to change themselves, and often they have a limiting belief that certain changes are not possible. It is the old nature vs. nurture debate.

I’m a work in progress. I always look like me, but I’m a dog who learns new tricks. My thinking changes, my habits change, even my seemingly basic and well-worn Peter-ness changes when I put in the effort.

This growth is exhilarating, and it makes my life better. When I want something, I can get it. When I discover a deeper truth, I can embrace it. When I must adapt to changing conditions, I can. When something is broken, it can be fixed.

Not everyone does this, however. And as a long-time growth coach, I think I know why. (I’m not selling anything, so keep reading.)

The first reason that I seem relatively atypical in my unconstrained growth is knowledge of HOW to make changes to the Peter Operating System. I think this comes from not having gone to school until college. Nobody “trained me up” or told me what to do, so I got good at guiding my own growth and evolution. I know how to make changes and grow in any direction I want without needing someone to guide me. I’ve been tinkering with myself since I was young.

But the bigger reason is belief. Most people limit themselves with the excuse that “this just is the way I am.” They see a well-worn habit or way of thinking and believe they can’t change it because they have done it this way for decades and there’s no sign they can change it. Maybe it even is part of their DNA, they think.

Changing the deep stuff does take time. If you don’t give it time and put in the effort, you do fall back and think it is impossible. Where I think I’m somewhat different is that I’ve experienced firsthand that I can change my seemingly “essential” habits and beliefs, and so I do. These things can be changed with enough time and effort, even seemingly immutable things like food preferences. I know this fact because I’ve done it.

I can change anything about myself that isn’t serving me. Knowing the path for changing myself helps a lot, but the fundamental thing that makes me able to change anything I want about myself is understanding that I can change it. I am not burdened by the limiting belief that these things are unchangeable.

So when you need to change, change it. Don’t get down or feel disempowered, because you have the power to change whatever you want. Life is wonderful when you are growing and your best self. Even when you are a work in progress.

Peter Kowalke

Somewhere Between Saint and Sinner

By on July 5, 2023

Václav Havel is a rolemodel.

Remembering My Ideals

By on May 24, 2023

I’m getting back to my religious practices after drifting for a couple years.

AI Should Scare You, Too

By on May 4, 2023

AI makes me very afraid.

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Movies I Recommend

By on March 6, 2023

Here are the movies I’ve watched and loved the past six months. Note that some of these films are not on Netflix. You’ll have to find them on Amazon Prime Video or one of the many free movie sites (reach

Peter’s Year in Review 2022

By on December 30, 2022

A quick look back at 2022.

Experiments with Office Life

By on December 10, 2022

I’m the noble savage exploring civilization.

The Real Gravy of the Thanksgiving Holiday

By on November 24, 2022

Why saying grace on Thanksgiving might be more important than turkey gravy.

Going to Africa

By on September 2, 2022

Three months in East Africa starts this November.

My Favorite Music Recently

By on August 20, 2022

I always make time for new music. Currently I’ve been listening to a lot of Chinese music, Thai music, K-Pop music as well as the latest US pop. With that in mind, here’s what I’m listening to right now. If