Saturday, April 29, 2006

How To Argue Well...

...with yourself.

The problem with depression is that there is this voice in your head that keeps on discouraging you and accuses you. Even worse, when it becomes a continuous tape-recording playing over and over again, it becomes strangling and unproductive ruminations.

How do we deal with it?

Marty Seligman provides the ABC's and the DE of fighting this:

A: Adversity - The adversity is the trigger.

B: Beliefs - The thoughts that are triggered.

C: Consequences - What happens because of your beliefs.


Adversity: I borrowed a pair of really expensive earrings from my friend, and I lost one of them while I was out dancing.

Belief: I am so irresponsible. They were Kay's favourite earrings, and of course I go and lose one. She is going to be so absolutely furious at me. Not that she doesn't have every reason. If I were her, I'd hate me too. I just can't believe how much of a klutz I am. I wouldn't be surprised if she told me she didn't want to have anything to do with me anymore.

Consequences: I felt totally sick. I was ashamed and embarrased, and I didn't want to call and tell her what happened. Basically, I just sat around feeling stupid for a while, trying to muster up the guts to call her.

There are several D's that are provided to help you fight this:

  1. Distract Yourself. - Remember, saying "I will not think of Pink Elephants" only causes it to be enhanced. Start thinking of "Purple Alligators". Or look at an object and start describing it to yourself.

  2. Dispute Yourself. - Use:
    • EVIDENCE. Fight "My grades are the worst!" (Check are you sure? Find out anyone else who has worse grades.)

    • ALTERNATIVES. Does he really hate me? Perhaps he's just busy. Maybe he's stressed out from other things.

    • IMPLICATIONS. Just because I broke my diet once doesn't mean I'm a glutton or have no self-control.

    • USEFULNESS. What use is it to believe this accusation? Distract, or delay yourself and concentrate on your task now.

  3. Delay Yourself - Kill ruminations by writing your thoughts down and saying you will deal with it later. Often case, when you come back to it, it wasn't a big monster as you thought.


Disputation: Well, it is really unfortunate that I lost the earring. They were Kay's favourites [evidence] and she probably will be very disappointed [implication]. However she will realize it was an accident [alternative], and I seriously doubt she will hate me because of this [implication]. I don't think it's accurate to label myself as totally irresponsible just because I lost and earring [implication].

Write a diary of your thoughts and categorise your thoughts into ABC then apply the D which leads to the E which is to Energize! and react with positive action or positive inaction.

Energize: I still felt bad about losing her earring, but I didn't nearly feel nearly ashamed, and I wasn't worried that she would end the friendship over it. I was able to relax and call her to explain.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Science of Hope

After reading this book, "Learned Optimism", I find that there really is a scientific basis and evidence that hope really does wonders in one's life and can mean the difference between failure and success in people's lives.

But the hope described here is not just a polyanna type of self-delusion. It is a real belief in yourself, (and for the Christian, that God will put all things well). Hope isn't just "Cheer up, things are going to be alright". There is more to hope than just a pithy slogan.

Seligman writes in his book what hope does and is. The first 2 P's are the most important, permanence and pervasiveness that flows from our hearts and into our speech are indicators of our hope in lives.

(They say you can't put a mother's love in a test-tube, but in the case of hope, he has a way to measure it!)

The 3 P's of our self-talk are Permanence, Pervasiveness and Personalized make the difference.

  • Permanence is the difference between temporary/permanent.

  • Pervasiveness is the difference between specific and general.

  • Personalized is the difference between internal and external factors.


"I'm all washed up."

"Diets never work."

"You always nag."

"The boss is a bastard."

"You never talk to me."

"It's my lucky day."

"I try hard."

"My rival got tired."

"I'm exhausted."

"Diets don't work when you eat out."

"You nag me when I don't clean my room."

"The boss is in a bad mood."

"You haven't talked to me lately."

"I'm always lucky."

"I'm talented."

"My rival is no good."


"I'm smart at math."

"My broker knows oil stocks."

"I was charming to her."

"I'm smart."

"My broker knows Wall Street."

"I was charming."


"I'm stupid."

"I have no talent at poker."

"I'm insecure."

"You're stupid."

"I have no luck at poker."

"I grew up in poverty."

Now, let's add to Seligman's findings with what the Bible says.

But as for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.
(Psalm 71:14)

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.
(2 Cor 3:12)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13)

Hope therefore means that we will praise God. Hope leads to joy and peace. Hope also leads to boldness. And the source of hope is the Holy Spirit.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Napoleon Hill's 17 Laws of Success

All you are or ever shall become is the result of the use to which you put your mind.

Success in this world is always a matter of individual effort, yet you will only be deceiving yourself if you believe that you can succeed without the coperation of other people. Success is a matter of individual effort only to the extent that each person must decide, in his or her own mind, what is wanted. This involves the use of imagination. From this point on, achieving success is a matter of skillfully and tactfully inducing others to cooperate.

You may not like the work in which you are now engaged. There are two ways of getting out of that work.

  1. One way is to take little interest in it and do just enough to get by. Very soon you will find a way out, because the demand for your services will cease.

  2. The other and better way is by makng yourself so useful and efficient in what you are now doing that you will attract the favourable attention of those who have the power to promote you into more responsible work that is more to your liking.

One of the greatest problems of life, if not in fact the greatest, is that of learning the art of harmonious negotiation with others.

No man has a chance to enjoy permanent success until he begins to look in a mirror for the real cause of all his mistakes.

The 17 Laws of Success
  1. The Master Mind

  2. A Definite Chief Aim

  3. Self-Confidence

  4. The Habit of Saving

  5. Initiative & Leadership

  6. Imagination

  7. Enthusiasm

  8. Self-Control

  9. The Habit of Doing More Than Paid For

  10. A Pleasing Personality

  11. Accurate Thinking

  12. Concentration

  13. Cooperation

  14. Profiting by Failure

  15. Tolerance

  16. Practicing the Golden Rule

  17. Universal Law

  1. The master mind will outline the physical and psychological laws that underly these lessons.

  2. A definite chief aim will teach you how to save the wasted effort the majority of people expend in trying to find their life's work. This lesson will show you how to do away forever with aimlessness and fix your heart and hand on a definite, well-conceived purpose as a life's work.

  3. Self-Confidence will help you master the 6 basic fears with which every person is cursed&0141#;
    1. The fear of poverty.

    2. The fear of ill health.

    3. The fear of old age.

    4. The fear of criticism.

    5. The fear of loss of love of someone.

    6. The fear of death.

    It will teach you the difference between egotism and real self-confidence that is based on definite , usable knowledge.

  4. The habit of saving will teach you how to distribute your income systematically so that a definite percentrage of it will steadily accumulate, thus forming one of the greatest known sources of personal power. No one may succeed in life without saving money. There is no exception to this rule, and no one may escape it.

  5. Initiative and leadership will show you how to become a leader instead of a follower in your chosen field of endeavour. It will develop in you the instinct for Leadership that will cause you gradually to gravitate to the top in all of your undertakings.

  6. Imagination will stimulate your mind so that you will conceive new ideas and develop new plans that will help you in attaining the object of your Definite Chief Aim. This lesson will teach you how to "build new houses out of old stones," so to speak. It will show you how to create new ideas out of old, well-known concepts, and how to put old ideas to new uses.

  7. Enthusiasm will enable you to saturate all with whom you come in contact with interest in you and in your ideas. Enthusiasm is the foundation of a Pleasing Personality, and you must have such a personality in order to influence others to cooperate with you.

  8. Self-Control is the balance wheel with which you control your Enthusiasm and direct it where you wish it to carry you. This lesson will teach you, in a most practical manner, to become "the master of your fate, the captain of your soul."

  9. The Habit of Doing more than Paid For is one of the most important lessons of this Law of Success course. It will teach you how to take advantage of the law of increasing returns, which will eventurally ensure you a return in money far out of proportion to the service you render. No one may become a real leader in any walk of life without practicsing the habit of doing more work and better work than that for which they paid.

  10. A Pleasing Personality is the fulcrum on which you must place the crowbar of your efforts, and when so placed, with intelligence, it will enable you to remove mountains of obstacles. This one lesson alone has made scores of master salespeople. It has developed leaders overnight. It will teach you how to transform your personality so that you may adapt yourself to any environment, or to any other personality, in such a manner that you may easily dominate.

  11. Accurate Thinking is one of the important foundation stones of all enduring success. This lesson teaches you how to separate facts from mere information. It teaches you how to organize known facts into two classes: the important and the unimportant. It teaches you how to determine what is an important fact. It teaches you how to build definite working plans, in the pursuit of any calling, based on facts.

  12. Concentration teaches you how to focus your attention on one subject at a time until you have worked out practical plans for mastering that subject. It will teach you how to ally yourself with others in such a manner that you may have the use of their entire knowledge to back you up in your own plans and purposes. It will give you a practical working knowledge of the forces around you and show you how to harness and use these forces in furthering your own interests.

  13. Cooperation will teach you the value of teamwork in all you do. In this lesson you will be taught how to apply the law of the Master Mind described in this introduction and in Lesson Two. This lesson will show you how to coordinate your own efforts with those of others, in such a manner that friction, jealousy, strife, envy, and greed will be eliminated. You will learn how to make use of all that other people have learned aobut the work in which you are engaged.

  14. Profiting by Failure will teach you how to make stepping stones out of all your past and future mistakes and failures. It will teach you the difference between failure and temporary defeat, a difference which is very great and very important. It will teach you how to profit by your own failures and by the failures of other people.

  15. Tolerance will teach you how to avoid the disastrous effects of racial and religious prejudices, which mean defeat for millions of people who permit themselves to become entangled in foolish argument over these subjects, thereby poisoning their own minds and closing the door to reason and investigation. This lesson is a companion to the one one accurate thought, because no one could become an accurate thinker without practising Tolerance. Intolerance closes the book of knowledge and writes on the cover, "Finis! I have learned it all!" Intolerance makes enemies of those who should be friends. It destroys opportunity and fills the mind with doubt, mistrust and prejudice.

  16. Practicing the golden rule will teach you to make use of this great universal law of human conduct in such a way that you may easily get harmonious Cooperation from any individual or group of individuals. Lack of understanding of the law upon which the Golden Rule philosophy is based on is one of the major causes of failure for millions of people who remain in misery, poverty, and want all their lives. This lesson has nothing whatsoever to do with religion in any form, nor with sectarianism, and nor do any of the other lessons of this course.

  17. The universal law of Cosmic Habitforce, the last lesson, will show you how to apply these principles in the first 16 lessons to transform not only your thoughts but also your habits. Through this change in the ways you behave and respond, you will put yourself in total harmony with your environment. Success is a result of achieving such harmony.