Saturday, March 18, 2006

Picturing Yourself As A Winner

Even top athletes face mental blocks. Yes, even those paid more money a week than you do in a year can get mentally blocked.

One key to performing well, is to imagine what you want not what you don't want.

If I say to you "Don't think of a pink elephant!" What are you going to do? You'll be doing something that you don't want to do. Instead of that, I should say, "Think of a purple alligator". By thinking of what you want to do you will automatically banish the thoughts of what you don't want to do.

In the same way, some people say "I want to forget about my ex-husband." Or "I want to forget about my problems." That will almost never work. Because you can't have a vacuum in your mind. Instead of trying to forget, think of something that replaces it.

In short, don't think about your problems, think about the solution and the end result. Think about your role in life, how do you see yourself? See yourself as the winner, not the loser. See clearly yourself beating your opponent, overcoming your obstacles, becoming more courageous, more daring, more kinder, more effective.

Managers too should take heed of this advice. Instead of "Don't screw up", "Don't make mistakes", etc. Accentuate what you want, not what you don't want. "I want X things done by XXXX"

(The unfortunate problem with life is and perhaps explored in another post of mine is that most people don't know what they want truly in their hearts of hearts.)

Begin with the end in mind, not the problem at hand.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Problem Solving Questions

Ask yourself these questions to solve your problems:
  1. What and how is this?

  2. Should it be different?

  3. Does it have to be this way?

  4. How should it be?

  5. Can it also be different?

  6. What can I do?

The ability to ask such questions reflects man as a subject who acts upon the world and works with what is given him, as opposed to man as an object absolutely determined by forces acting on him.

(by Alexander Müller, "You Shall Be A Blessing")

Difficulties Are Meant to Be Overcome

Quotes from famous Adlerian Therapists:

"True strength can never be derived only from talent but from the courageous struggle with difficulties. Whoever overcomes wins."

"Geniuses get up early. I have found in all artists and geniuses that they had to overcome difficulties. This overcoming is a strong incentive. Diligence and interest. I agree with Goethe who said: Genius probably is only diligence."

Alfred Adler

"We have tasks to accomplish and difficulties to overcome, and whether or not we are successful depends upon our sense of self-esteem and relative security. If we frequently fail to measure up then we draw from our "failures" two conclusions: our powers are insufficient, and life has become too difficult. This gives rise to a very unfavorable development. At first we establish that we were not successful in something. If this is repeated, we then draw subjective conclusions: we estimate our capabilities as too low, and the difficulties of life as too high. This subjectivity, this sudden judgment, arises from our failure to explore other reasons that might account for our diminished achievement. And yet, there are many reasons: insufficient security and a lack of direction in childhood and in later years; insufficient training, an unfriendly environment, and a lack of recognition; a distressing "working climate" in the broadest sense, and, certainly, greater difficulties on the job, or resistance from co-workers, or competitors. This short list should make the point that a lack of achievement cannot simply be equated with a lack of ability."

Alexander Mueller

"And this is what we have to recognize when we have a patient. What does this patient see as a difficulty? Because by itself, nothing is particularly difficult, or everything is difficult. Both are true. So it is for us to find out "what" has this person seen as a difficulty, and "why" didn't he continue in his development."

Sophia de Vries

"If children did not find difficulties, we would have to invent them in order for the child to experience accomplishment and growth, to experience that he is now getting along and can do something. From where should they get experience? Suddenly they are expected to have it? If you protect the child completely and then send him out into the school world what can he do? Nothing."

Lydia Sicher

And finally from the Bible:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

Monday, March 13, 2006

Healthier Living

The US Government has some good websites that link you to free advice on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

You don't have to buy a book or borrow one from the library, it's all online!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

25 Books That Have Shaped People's Lives

The United States Library of Congress lists 25 books that have shaped reader's lives. So far I've read only 4 out of the 25 and read summaries of 2 of them: