Living with what happens next- in relationship 

I’m gonna rewrite a bit by Seth Godin: Living with what happens next. His context is self-awareness to improve business; his principles apply to relationship too. So here goes:
Most people are okay with living with the consequences of what happens. Continue reading

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These Things Are Our Most Important Lessons

When I moved in New Age circles, and someone was going through something difficult, the typical response was that difficulties were lessons for us. I heard commentary like, ‘we all choose what lessons we want presented to us before we are born’ or ‘the universe sent you this as a lesson’. Continue reading

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Positive Thinking in 25 Words

Meaning we assign to situations is our own creation; not some absolute truth. Notice when assessments become debilitative. Re-shape them to facilitate outcomes you want.


Or, “We tell ourselves stories about our perceptions, then mistake them for absolute truth.”

The positive thinking mindset/strategy/life philosophy I outlined above has hints of Buddhism; To quote His Eminence Choje Togden Rinpoche: “What a yogi or yogini strives to do is to put an end to the suffering that exists in cyclic existence. In order to do that, a yogi or yogini has to train his or her mind. Simply stated, a yogi or yogini will strive to counter all the negative emotions and try to generate positive energy.”

Notice positive thinking is a bit of a misnomer;  generating positive energy does not require constant positivity so much as it requires an understanding of the basis of our own thoughts.

Regarding my definition above, the hardest concept to internalize is the first one: that  we assign meaning to situations; that meaning is made up by us. When people say ‘positive thinking doesn’t work’ it is usually because they couldn’t grasp that first bit.

To my surprise, the best book I’ve read that articulates the notion that we create our own reality was written by and for the CIA—Psychology of Intelligence Analysis— and I talk about it in my post, The CIA on ‘Your Thoughts Create Your Reality’.

More like this:

What I Learned After 6 Intense Years in ‘Positive Thinking’ Training

What Invisible Gorillas Tell You About Your Future

‘The Power of Negative Thinking’ Misses The Mark

 

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The World We Perceive is an Illusion

New Age mystics say the world we perceive is a self-generated illusion. I agree, and the answer to this ponderous notion is simpler than you think. Here are some of the illusions we create around ourselves: Continue reading

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On Handling Shit

Let’s say a steaming pile of shit shows up in my life.

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Our Greatest Failing

Alan Lightman begins his article, “Nothing but the Truth; Science’s and Greatest Weakness Is Also Its Greatest Strength”  (Popular Science, May 2015) with an anecdote about Richard Feynman, “40 years ago, the legendary physicist Richard Feynman gave the commencement address at my graduation from the California Institute of technology… Feynman told us that before we went public with new scientific results, we should consider every conceivable way we might be wrong. It was a tall order.” Continue reading

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The CIA on ‘Your Thoughts Create Your Reality’

In 1999, the CIA’s Center for the Study of Intelligence published Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards J. Heuer, Jr. The book opens with the obligatory caveat, nullifying my headline: Continue reading

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What I Learned After 6 Intense Years in ‘Positive Thinking’ Training

My close friends know that in the 90s my wife and I spent six very intense years involved with a small organization called WonderWorks Studios. I started by taking their weekend-long Prosperity Workshop, which was a crash course in concepts popularized by the New Age movement— intentions, affirmations, ‘your thoughts create your reality’— focused primarily on one’s personal relationship to money. The teacher was Toni Stone, and the curriculum was her own blend of Landmark’s The Forum, divinity school, and New Age; an interesting and potent mix.  Being young and impressionable, the concepts in this workshop impacted me greatly and I wanted more. Continue reading

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New New Year’s Resolutions

Bored by tired, overused New Year’s resolutions: lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with family? Here are some suggestions for commonly overlooked problems that make for great resolutions…

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Imagining Exercising’s Impact on Muscle Mass

A new study by Professor Brian Clark, director of the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institution was recently published in the journal Neurophysiology, and it is nicely summed up over at PsyBlog. Continue reading

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