|11-23-2006, 12:02 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Meta Personal Development Mindset (TM)
"Meta Personal Development Mindset (TM)"
thought replacement theory
related posts by Steve
Most of the Personal Development material has one thing in common: it tries to change a part of your thinking. I recently have begun seeing Personal Development material through this new lense. If I read an article or a book, I see the author is trying to convey to his audience a certain way of thinking about an area of life. A lot of times the author himself had a challenge and he tried a number of different solutions. Almost always this solution consisted of thinking in a certain way about the challenge and then acting on those thoughts. The core part of the solution is the thoughts on the challenge, not the actions themselves. So one solution came up as good or great and the author decided to write about it. If you experience a similar challenge and you read his or her work you can also apply this thinking strategy. You "copy" this strategy, apply it and do or don't find that it works for you.
An example from my own life. I have a debt from my college years. I recently discovered how much it exactly was, and it was more than I had hoped or known. I was in some kind of denial about it but now it's crystal clear. The moment I exactly heard how much it was, I felt myself being shocked and starting a stress reaction. I caught myself doing this and I consciously started thinking positive and constructive thoughts about this challenge. Thoughts like "I am capable of handling this challenge", "I am an intelligent young man who can make money, so this debt is a matter of working a number of years and then it will be gone", "Reacting stressfully to this news won't help me think more clearly in finding a good solution, so I'd better relax and then think about it", "There are a lot of people who have debts that are much greater and they have all overcome them, so I can and will too", etcetera. By thinking these thoughts I calmed myself and within a few hours I took some steps to start paying off the debt. Very pro-active, very constructive and while feeling good. Note that my initial reaction was one of stress and fear, then I used the thought patterns I've learned from Personal Development material and they helped to make my behaviour and emotions a lot more productive.
I have been consuming Personal Development material for about 8 years now. What I started to notice in my thinking over the past few years is that I've incorporated a lot of quotes I've read and ways of thinking I've read about. I became conscious of this when talking to other people about challenges in each other's lives. I heard myself saying things and taking views at certain challenges that I knew were from the Personal Development materials I read. The good thing is: they helped. All of those thought-patterns or quotes were positive and constructive, as they should be.
Another way to view this "meta personal development mindset (TM)" is the following. Imagine for a moment that your mind has left your body and that it's been replaced by some think-tank of great minds, say: Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Theresa, Bill Gates and some guy named Steve . Those people will tell your body exactly what to do, how to do it, when to do it and then some. Do you think that the life of your body would change? Maybe be more successful in a lot of ways? My guess is that your body would get up early, would eat healthy, be loving to everybody it meets, be economically smart, be peaceful and a gazillion more great things. If you look at it this way (mind you this is a thought-pattern all of itself) you can't blame your surroundings, body, or any part of your current situation for anything that you think is wrong with your life. You can only blame your thoughts. But don't start blaming just yet, your thoughts are what they are, feeling bad or making your parents or friends feel bad won't help you change them. What you could do instead is look for people who are succesfully changing their old thoughts to new and more constructive thoughts.
Another thought pattern that superbly supports this "meta personal development mindset (TM)" is the following. We have 6 billion people on our planet, everyone of them has their own share of life challenges. Almost everybody has to get up to go to work, everybody has loved ones who eventually will die, lots of people have children, people have money challenges and (supposedly) everyone is mortal and must face their own death. The great thing is: everybody is trying to overcome these challenges to the best of their ability and knowledge. So if you have a challenge, realize that probably a lot of other people have overcome a similar challenge. And a few of them probably wrote a blog, article or maybe even a book about it. So plug into the human database of knowledge (internet, libraries, friends, relatives) and try to find the way of thinking about the challenge that enabled those people to succesfully overcome it. Thought patterns on different types of challenges are spread through the world in different ways. A nice site with lots of examples of people's challenges or goals is this one. The world's most popular goals on 43 Things
Many religions have as a thought-pattern (or belief as they call it) that after you die, you go to heaven/are born again/reach Nirvana. These thought pattern handle the fear of death pretty good, I'd say.
If a loved one dies, you sometimes hear people say:"think of the good times you've had with that person" or "be grateful you had that amount of time with that person".
If you have a hard time waking up in the morning, there are quite a few (279.000 hits on Google) sources of information available. Solutions like Steve's say that humans can grow used to getting up early
If you have questions on how to raise your children there are lots of books filled with thought patterns on how to think about children, their development. If you have a successful mindset on children you can react effectively to their behaviour.
If you want to send a spaceship to Venus, you go to the library and find books filled with the way scientists see the physical world around us. If you start sharing their view and then build a spaceship according to the laws they have formulated about the universe and spacetravel you will be able to send your rocket.
The big "but"
There is however a part of Personal Development literature that does not have the goal of altering your thinking, books like "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. This book tries to help you in entering the here and now and shutting down the "incessant" mind. In this book the mind is seen as a tool, only to be used when necessary. The mind or ego is an entity within ourselves with its own agenda. You can change and manipulate it what you want but it still has some basic wants and needs that it screams for to be fullfilled.
The Power of Now has a different way of solving challenges. When Anthony Robbins tells you to see emotions as signaling beacons from your body that something is not right and that you should take certain actions, Eckhart Tolle tells you to see emotions as ripples on the ocean that is the real you. He wants you to disassociate your higher self (which is the real you) with your mind/ego. Accept the world as it is now and perceive that the emotional reactions to the events in your life are from your mind. Your mind or ego has certain fears and often times does not want to acccept the world as it is, and then it uses emotions to push you into various directions.
I personally think the two types of Personal Development can be used at the same time. Using your mind as a tool when necessary and then having the best, most optimized, most productive tool at your disposal is a good thing.
Meta meta Personal Development.
Viewing Personal Development as adopting productive thoughtpatterns is a thoughtpattern itself. Maybe other people who are also doing the Personal Development dance have another more exciting or constructive way of looking at it. For me, viewing Personal Development like this is an exciting yet clear image of what is possible and how to do it. I know it won't always be easy, but if other people have done it, so can I.
I'd like to hear your comments on my view of Personal Development. Do you see it similarly? Do you have a more constructive way of viewing Personal Development? Do you think The Power of Now way of thinking is superior to replacing thoughts?
|11-23-2006, 02:12 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Great post/article. In one book I read (I believe it was 'How to make your mind work for you') it talked about different parts of the mind. Here it sounds like making the 'executive' part control the emotional/instinctive part.
I think you can learn a lot from looking at the way very successful people solve(d) their problems, whether they've written a book or article about it or not.
Sorry if I missed anything, I only skimmed the article since my pupils were dilated (eye doctor visit right before).
|11-30-2006, 01:18 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
UNE - Psychology - Psychology Applied <-- Great article outlining different problem solving strategies.
Sometimes fear comes from lack of understanding.
When we know how to re-examine our problems, we may find that our problems are much easier to solve than we had initially thought.
It's a long read, but hopefully someone here finds it useful.
A follow-up to it is that it is useful to make your own posts, showing how you have overcome your problems, especially where it involved a change of perspective.
Not everyone is a blogger, but sharing information is just as important as acquiring it, for two reasons.
The first being that your experience may help others, and the second being that even if your solution helped you, it may have consequences that you hadn't considered; discussing your solutions with others can help you find and correct the flaws.
Grieving is good, don't get me wrong, but it's not healthy to grieve too long.
Life is so much better when you're smiling.
I, for one, spend far more time thinking about problems than necessary, and acting on problems can also uncover other problems you were not initially aware of.
Clearing your mind of all thoughts (not just distracting ones) has been a powerful way of making myself more focused, and in my experience, it really works.
|11-30-2006, 02:35 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Hey there Zen Dude.
When using thought, there are positive thoughts, negative thoughts, and an absence of thought. We use our brains to interact with the world around us to come to a conclusion about what we want. Murray Rothbard, in his book called "Human Action", explains that as humans that interact with our environment and thanks to our nature (survival), we tend to desire. As we look around our environment we can recognize the factors that can be manipulated and those factors than can't. If we think we can manipulate factors within our environment then we strive to achieve our desire (for instance, in the case of Monte Cristo stranded on an island with nothing but his bare hands, "I am hungry, I desire to fulfill my hunger, there is wood I can use to make a spear to hunt a wild boar, therefore because my desire is great enough I will try to kill a boar using a spear that I made) and if we think the environment cannot be manipulated to achieve our desire (it is cloudy and I want sunshine, but I perceive there to be no way to achieve this desire) then the desire is cast aside.
Now, looking at human nature and the brain, if all of human existence has been to desire, determine which desires to pursue by examining the environment for which conditions that can be manipulated exist, and then pursuing those desire which we assume we can achieve then we can begin to understand that the human brain thinks positive, then criticizes and thinks negative or vice versa.
In Emoto's book, "Hidden Messages in Water," him and his team of researchers uncover through scientific research that our thoughts affect the structure of our environment - structure on a basic, molecular level. What he does is place water in jars labeled with messages such as, "love", "peace", "thanks," and "I hate you." Then, after a period of time, he places a drop of water into a petri dish and then freezes it. Once frozen, the dish is placed under a microscope and then allowed to warm to room temperature. At a precise temperature, the frozen drop "blooms" into a crystal or distorts into an unrecognizable shape depending upon which jar the drop of water originated from. He finds that water from the bottles with positive messages form crystal figures, and those with negative messages don't. He then uses this research to help treat patients with life threatening diseases such as leukemia. He takes a picture of the patient and uses his equipment to determine the vibrational frequency of the subject and then gives appropriate messages to water (which is then prescribed to the patient) to counter balance negative frequencies. What Mr. Emoto find's is that sometimes a patient's negative frequencies are so numerous, that finding counter balancing positive frequencies can be difficult.
Mr. Emoto later finds that the molecules in the body react to any message given. For example, imagine a line with a point on each end, one point is positive, the other negative. If there is no line and simply a point, negative, then an opposite positive thought will create a line thus creating balance. Now imagine that there is a higher point, above the line that makes a triangle. It doesn’t matter which point is showing, or even if there is an entire line, if the focus is now put upon this higher point, the entire triangle becomes in balance with much more ease then trying to find an exact opposite for the negative point (imagine a triangle made of wire with the points described above, then hang this triangle from a hook. The entire triangle will eventually balance.)
This is where the Trinity comes into play; Love. If there is something positive, and something negative and we would like to overcome both (or one or the other) because we are not sure which is right and which is wrong, then we can simply love; in fact love, silence, stillness, space, balance are all apart of that which cannot be named, that which the Tao points to. To do this in our mind, we have positive thoughts and negative thoughts occurring at the same time (or periodically depending upon the person’s characteristics). If we use the Power of Now and recognize that all thought is part of that which can be named, or that which is material (the ego), then we can understand that there is a part of us that is much more vast. If we let our thoughts just be as they are, take a breath when we are being overcome by ego then we are choosing to love that which is. We therefore need not concern ourselves between positive and negative and can simply love (by providing ourselves the space of stillness that a conscious breath brings) and therefore raise our consciousness level to that of love thus aligning our consciousness to where I came from...Love
Last edited by FearlessGhost; 11-30-2006 at 02:39 AM.
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