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Author Topic: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!  (Read 5203 times)

Paul Keith

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Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« on: September 11, 2009, 12:44:13 AM »
Quote
Guidelines:

Focus and implement visualization techniques into your productivity systems.

Optional:
Watch The Secret

Surround yourself with items that relate to your most important goals, in particular when you wake up and before you go to sleep these items must make you think of these goals (also mentioned but not empathized by The Secret)

Be Hypno-therapized (although I have no experience with this but I recommend this over Self-Hypnosis mostly because visualization techniques are often repackaged poorer variations of Self-Hypnosis so if being told to just visualize isn't good enough of an advise, I doubt the grunt work for Self-Hypnosis is going to be much more motivating nor net-productive for most people.)

The experts help you learn better, the pseudo-experts aim to help you better and hope something sticks so they can get credit for it.

Who is this for?
For people who have goals which the above guidelines don't apply to.

Recommended time for testing:
One unfinished item becoming finished through a dedicated amount of visualization.

Idea:
The well-intentioning person can only give clues to how to become better and often times, the answers aren't in believing the clues but only in figuring them out.

Ask yourself. Do you really need to be productive or do you want to be productive?

Most people aren't both and often times these kinds of people throw the whole development of "productivity" under the bus either because they are (or can be) productive enough that they treat the issue like a faster engine replacement or because often times their unproductivity is built upon motivation issues only.

This isn't to bash them but they can be detrimental to people who really need something better because many of them will often pull someone down indirectly (and sometimes directly) by hijacking the argument of productivity into a box.

This isn't anti vs. pro. Both sides have many vocal members who are at fault. In fact, this is in my opinion the reason why many productivity arguments often fall into a "to-do/check list", "in the end, all you need is self-discipline and perseverance", "this is why this notebook/planner looks good", "you're not doing it right" sort of context.

A great deal of it comes from many productivity systems and advises being rehashed and repackaged advises but a great deal of it is also a result of these people acting this way thus stunting the development of productivity...thus requiring a paradigm shift to move productivity efficiency further.

This is why it is also my opinion that while certainly each individual requires subtle differences to make them more productive in near similar issues, there is enough of a number to justify that a gap be made between those who only need to visualize to succeed and those who are in a situation where the technique might help them but they also can't afford the luxury to just rely on visualizing. (Determination issues aside)

The problem though is that often times the distinction isn't clear cut. Even the latter group can often have goals where implementing visualization is beneficial if not an actual "productivity increasing supplement" to their tasks.

This is why I would recommend implementing "LOTS OF" visualization techniques, not as a necessity, but something that each unproductive person should do as practice to defend themselves from "re-hashed" productivity systems and to keep their enthusiasm from jumping the gun on a system who only made them feel good and excited rather than make them productive because such enthusiasm can stack up and cause a counter-productive after-effect where newbies can be lead astray and end up hurting not only their desire to become productive but their lifestyle as well.

It's not even that it's only visualization-only and visualization-plus systems that can hurt. Alot of systems out there (sometimes even working ones) have a flawed bad habit of re-packaging it's flaws as pros rather than addressing them and alot of them at their core are visualization techniques even if other working parts aren't visualizations or even if the defenders admit that some part of it is, it doesn't always mean the defenders have addressed the primary issue.

The problem is that visualization techniques and all these other productivity systems have one MAJOR flaw in common which pretty much makes them the same: All these techniques rely on the fact that you can afford to live in a bubble and work on them often enough BUT unlike a well written training regimen, ALL these systems rely on vague un-falsifiable keywords so that if the person is unproductive enough, it means there's something wrong with you and not that a system might not possibly meet your productivity needs. Remember alot of productivity systems only need to have a bunch of commentors/bloggers saying they have positive results with them to elevate it from mediocre system into dogma.

Cons:

Many who will agree with this already see productivity as just a subcategory of the New Age Self-Help followers while at the same time, many who would need to read this might not be so willing to admit flaws in a system they believed in so much to implement

It takes work to use the idea as a way to evaluate any productivity system and it can seem like all productivity articles are all about visualization techniques even if you buy into the idea

It also applies to software but many software users know that kind of excitement is also what makes you discover great un-hyped software that end up changing your life

Why this will make you disorganized

Often times incomplete knowledge or wisdom is torture and paralysis. Yet I'm not an expert who can give you a master list and even if I do have that, you can be sure that they often have many defenders justifying the "it's not for everyone" defense mantra either.

Be really prepared to take into account:
increased fear of experimenting with anything productivity related (even if you are already fearful and skeptical of them before hand)
fear of extracting even the good parts of a system (often times the top proponents of this syndrome are systems which can be useful but through hiding their flaws become systems that require more extra adjustment from you than is productive)
increased temptation to become anti-self help (because even if the productivity benefits of not being lured by marketers and warning others help reduce such tactics, unless you discover this to be really your life mission to decipher the good from the bad, you're just being a mouthpiece to promote ignorance and instead of more valid productivity systems getting alerted to the masses, you just end up spreading a rude fanbase who'll randomly spout hatred for anything against their cause. ex. some Open-Source fanatics who turn Stallman's philosophy of choice into a brigade against everything not Open-Source for the sake of just pushing the agenda)

The productivity benefits of these are near-zero unless you get exposed to the counter-productive stuff and buy into it AND THEN buy into the idea that not all of them are that way AND THEN get lucky enough to need to read this article to finally confirm it and that's only if you buy into a non-productive, non-expert, non-notable DC member's post.

Keywords to look out for:

"Home base"

Place where you can be "alone and "be yourself"

"System you can trust"

"You just need to turn it into a habit (i.e. things like alcohol addiction which while serious is rarely requiring of highly effective productivity systems to fix.)

Self-discipline and perseverance is what you lack/Self-discipline and perseverance is all you need

It's "all" in the mind. Change your thoughts and you change your destiny. (Although there is a kernel of truth into it, it is often overstated by successful people and often spoken of in hindsight)

Anecdotes:

Unfortunately, there are more pseudo-experts turning well-intentioning people into pseudo-experts than there are experts.

#1
(Forgot where I got this from except it's one of the comments from an Amazon review)

Hi V,

A few months ago I ran across a book called Bink! The premise of it was that many great ideas can come from NOT thinking and just going with your first impression. Someone else , a former writer for the NY Times, whose name I forget, wrote a sequel called "Think!" in protest.

While Blink! became a best seller, Think! quickly faded from veiw. Blink will certainly follow in the next few month and neither will be a classic. Blink won't linger because there is already another best seller on the horizon and it didn't really provide a workable plan for telling when you were constructively blinking and when you were way off. So what are you going to do with it your Blink?

Think didn't linger because no one wanted to be reminded how it hard it was to fully evaulate an idea or concept. It took time. It took dedication. It took the ability to identify emotional reactions and accept uncertainty as a starting point. All very boring.

I see Tolle's book as Blinkish. It identifies some ideas but doesn't really provide much insight into the hard work of doing. Some people will will walk around thinking they have "awakened" and be quite satisfied with that until the fun wears off. Some may actually dig deeper into the traditions he touches on and find out how hard it really is to work on the ego. A few of them may actually stick to a path. My worry is that far more will decide that the whole ego thing is a lot of bunk when they realize its a Think thing and not a Blink thing.

My criteria for a work is that it not only appears to help people but increases their willingness to contemplate life issues and results in lasting change. I hope some people experience this...but I already feel the Tolle wave diminishing and with it...many good ideas.

#2

http://www.stevepavl...nifest-your-desires/

You don’t attract into your life what you want. You don’t attract what you think about. You don’t attract what you feel. Desires, thoughts, and feelings are all important, but these are more effects than causes.

You attract what you’re signaling.


Think of yourself as a vibrational transmitter. You’re constantly sending out signals that tell the universe who you are in this moment. Those signals will either attract or repel other vibrational beings, events, and experiences.

You naturally attract that which is in harmony with your state of being, and you’ll repel that which is out of sync with your state.

If your energetic self radiates wealth and abundance, your physical reality will reflect wealth and abundance for your physical being.

If your energetic self radiates anger and frustration, your physical reality will reflect that as well.

Since the signals you’re sending out at any given moment tend to be fairly complex, your experience of physical reality will be equally complex.

Once you can accept that your vibrational self attracts compatible patterns, it becomes clear that if you want to experience something different in your life, you must somehow change the signals you’re putting out.

#3

http://nicevilblogs..../25/stevepavlinacom/
(Warning: Badly written article but as with any negative article that allows for comments, it has generated some good anecdotes that apply to the theme of this topic. Note that I didn't specifically search for this article, it just so happens that this was linked under the comments of the Steve Pavlina interview thread posted in a past GOE section. It is not supposed to be connected with the above anecdote of Steve and should be treated as a separate anecdote.)

(Also this is apparently an abandoned blog but based on some of the comments, it looks like it used to be an article that created some noise in the past.)

Negatives:

#1
“if you have to remind yourself a certain fact a zillion times, it probably isn’t true.”

#2
It’s amazing how desires of various people can be manipulated to generate income.

#3
Quote
Reminds me of a chinese-monk proclaiming that he can heal cancer in a rural village in china.

Reading fake personal developments articles won’t help you.

#4
Do you REALLY think he writes his own success-stories in his blog to remind himself of it? No not really, huh? It’s there as a means to INSPIRE people.

#5
How exactly DO you mean one should make money from personal development? It’s not like the actual act renders any income, now does it?

#6
Good points you have there. Improvement depends only on willpower. If you have that, you don’t need a guide to get you where you’re going. Reading a good book is a far more useful activity then reading bullshit advice that you’re already aware of, yet lack the will to implement.

#7
From starting out writing for smart people, he had become one of those who make profit on stupid people. But he didn’t notice that himself, so he left the “for smart people” slogan ontop.

#8
Lately I’ve seen and I’m sure many have noticed that he seems to be under constant pressure of publishing articles. The spirit of goodwill has died from his writing. Seems like he has to keep writing for the old readers’ sake because if he doesn’t, readers would stop visiting his website. The mistake he made was by providing everything for free and reminding everyone of it by continuously talking about it. The other self help gurus have it safe because they don’t have to write anything every week. They publish new books every 2 or 3 years and in the meantime they enjoy their lives too. But with Steve that is not the case anymore. He has to keep providing articles week after week or his readership would decline and so will his income.

#9
I’d challenge anyone to find any personal success information from any author over the last 50 or 60 years that is orginal. Actually, a person would be hard pressed to find an orgianl thought from anyone over the last 1,000 years.

#10
I get a lot of entertainment value from Steve’s site. I guess I’m one of those suckers who gets a kick out of reading a new selfhelp article/book. Though lately his articles have lost the “punch” they used to have. (wtf – raw diet?)

Now that it’s mentioned, I guess there IS a soft of “elitist” attitude to some selfhelps. I’ve only read a few selfhelp books lately (7 Habits and Tony’s books come to mind). There _was_ this attitude that “this book is better than the rest because…”. In the 7habits case, its because he went back to the Character Ethic. In Tony’s case, it’s because he uses NLP and is thus more “hi-tech”/advanced. Now, Steve’s coming up with a book with “core principles” that can derive those other principles.

#11
His ideas aren’t new, they come from a conglomeration of sources, many of which are actually helpful, even if they are not his ideas. But he’s just offering ideas, for free, under the assumption that a low % of viewers will click ads, that’s the plan for anyone who wants to make money from a blog.

#12
It’s not like he’s selling anything harmful, just a some ideas that may have a positive effect, or a placebo effect, it doesn’t matter.

#13
It’s interesting that someone included a DSM reference above; I’ve often thought he–like so many other scammers and con artists–displays characteristics typical of a sociopath.

As another poster noted, he seems to have simply read and regurgitated material gleaned from self-help books; most of what he’s written is familiar to me from books I read in the 1970s and 80s. He’s never worked in an office environment and obviously has difficulty relating to other people (sociopaths by definition hold extreme antisocial views).

It’s also been noted on the Web that he declared bankruptcy, walking away from his self-incurred debts and leaving his creditors with nothing (sociopaths by definition display a lack of conscience). He absconded from his obligations, yet can now afford a million-dollar house (which reminds me of that Osteen guy, who wrote that God wanted him to have a Lexus).

He seems to have created a value system centered completely around his own self-importance. In his megalomanic view, if you don’t give him money then you’ve demonstrated you’re not prepared for financial success. Isn’t that a wonderful little trick of logic? This tactic has been used successfully by many cult leaders.

#14
Patrik, for people that have not deeply studied Philosophy it is not clear what Steve Pavlina is doing. But in fact what is doing Steve Pavlina IS a “bad thing” and “Niceevil” is right in complaining, but it it is not written it in a proper way, this way might induce the readers to disagree with “Niceevil” and to be in Steve’s side.

Any way, Steve is using true philosophical concepts and fundamental truths to position himself as the greatest personal development adviser, in order to make money. That would not be so bad if he does only that. Mario A. in post 16 is true.

You know what drives a person life, his thoughts, his actions, his accomplishments? all these are driven by his “life purpose” and this purpose is created by the person early in his life.

Do you know what was one of the early actions of Mr. Steve Pavlina’s productive life?

Steve Pavlina was “arrested for GRAND THEFT in Sacramento, CA”

What happened after that?, he was so SCARE he was going to pass long time in jail, that when he was so lucky the jury gave him only 60 hours of community service, he decided to change strategy, and study how to LEGALLY STEAL.

He study how to make computer games, you see?, to deviate people from real life games into “virtual games” and get they earned “real money”. More ROBBERY, but this time is legal.

Now he his taking true philosophical concepts, and nice advices and he mix them with false information that can totally RUIN the life of a person, if he or she make decisions in his life based on those lies masked with the truth.

Can you see?, scam money is not the real danger, applying wrong information to solve one’s life problems can be catastrophic.

#15
finally these unaware and unfortunately people will drastically fail and broke into pieces. I am sorry to tell you this.

#16
all addictive snake oil.

Positives:

#1
Strangely, when I started changing my closest friends started changing their lives as well. Positiveness and ambitiousness is contageous, it seems. One now pulls in exess of $2000 a month while studying full time. The other… $16.000 a month. And they’re doing weird things, like exercising and learning to play instruments! =)

#2
But before I begin, let me say upfront that I have pretty sharp built-in shyster detectors. I have also been on the planet 15 years longer than Steve has. I believe that you can always teach a smart old dog new tricks, if the dog is keen to learn. I’m also familiar with the merchandise of a plethora of self-help gurus, in whom I had an academic interest. Most of them operate on the premise that there’s a sucker born every minute, and they are right – otherwise the self-help business could not be a $9 billion per annum industry.

But there are gurus and gurus and the savvy thing to do is to able to differentiate between them. Top of the list of sucker-masters is Rah-Rah Robbins, followed by odious Mickey Mouse characters like Mark Victor Hansen, Kevin Trudeau, Werner Erhard, and a long list of other pure bullshitting mercenaries. Plenty has been written about them by wiser folks than me, so I won’t repeat them.

So I stumble across Steve’s site. I cast a critical eye on the material, and the author’s ethos and the logos. Here are my thoughts.

Let me say straightaway that Steve can’t be bracketed with the above shysters. C’mon, how can his click-per-pay revenue generator compare with Tony Robbins $6000 per seminar and multi-product merchandising scam? The guy has to live, right? And he has clearly stated that money is not his driving motive and there’s good reason to believe that.

#3
Another trick the coterie of self-help gurus deploys is to sell each other, in a you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours operation, cross-selling each other so that they all go laughing all the way to the bank. Steve does not do that. He does not endorse other people’s offerings. On the rare occasion, he mentions someone who has benefited him. Indeed I was taken by surprise to see his critique of Tony Robbins (who advertises his gigs and products on Steve’s site) and ilk, bravely mentioning these folks by name! He is also balanced about folks from whom he has learnt, like Brian Tracy (another hard-sell self-development superstar), but he does not go overboard; in fact, he critiques them, describing their pros and cons.

#4
Originally, he questioned the correctness of everything, and encouraged everyone else to also become sceptics. He also had a very optimistic attitude thanks to some extreme things which had happened to him earlier, and from that he had clear strategies on how to improve ones life. He wrote about these things in a very well-written and often humoristic way. This made lots of people connect to what he said, and thus started liking him. He received alot of positive feedback from this, which encouraged him to devote more energy to it. This was the pinnacle situation. After that, he started doing things differently.

#5
Personally I have found some of his articles very insightful and useful and they help to make me feel more positive when i am feeling self-destructive. While they may have been inspired by some others’ work, I think he definitely has realised and had fresh insights into everything he has written, and if he is condensing and re-writing in a better form and for free all the best personal development info hes read (which is a shitload – and i certainly cant be bothered to read it all), who cares – what of it? good for the majority surely?

#6
the point is that it is his positivity that is inspirational. Judging by the sheer volume of people who read the website and the number of people who have posted here, i think its fair to say he has a had a real impact on a lot of people – i imagine that impact started out as positive for almost everyone and for some turned into negativity through disillusion. For those who have become disillusioned by him, perhaps it is actually the case that you put your own expectations on him and thats why you are dissapointed?

Some Warning Signs:

#1
Notice the beginning of most article would something like “ever wondered if you could…”, “imagine what you can accomplish if..”, etc. It is a basic strategy of wooing suckers into reading his article.. believing that they will be able to be successful in whatever they want to accomplish.

#2
You may think it truly helps, reading some articles from a person who
you interpret as successful.

But have you really improved ? Not in the sense that you improved your
knowledge, I’m talking about your goals.

#3
Then I found his articles. I didn’t pay Steve a dime, but he made me feel I had the power to change things. So I changed what seemed unchangeable, and my energy surged.

#4
My point is, some of his articles are indeed helpful. But a lot are pure bullshit articles written to generate income. So we must try to use our brains for once and distinguish the bullshit from the goodshit.
Do you know how painful it is to see a fellow friend reading all that bullshit, and not do a thing to improve his own life ? Believing that it will solve all of his problems ?
No shit, my ass hurts.

#5
The guy is a good writer. There’s no denying it. He can sell the ethos and the logos. He can talk about a guy about to commit suicide and CONVINCE you that it was only because the guy found stevepavlina.com. I mean, when it comes to writing – hats off. There’s no denying it.

#6
So my belief, my strong belief, is that Steve probably makes most of his money from GoogleAdsense ads (which he mentions often, by the way. It reminds me of Anthony Robbins and his constant, constant, constant pluggings of his other courses/programs/videos/etc).

#7
Nothing is free in this world.

I’m a regular reader of stevepavlina.com.

After reading this post, I realized most of what I read was common sense I already knew, and I wasted hours reading instead of doing the things I needed to do.

Free articles ? That’s the scam right there. People are suckers for free things.

Notice the number and length of those articles.

I think I’ve wasted hundreds of hours…… my god I didn’t realize it at all.

Like you said, I was brainwashed !!

Thanks for waking me up.

#8
It looks like Steve Pavlina is reading your site. He just posted a blog entry: “5 Wealth Lessons From 20 Percent of a Millionaire.” Steve MUST be VERY concerned about the negative feedback that he is receiving from this site for him to react so quickly (he posted this article the next day). You should read this… this is hilarious. He defends his money making goals by redefining them as now for the betterment of mankind! Oh how nice! Or to quote from him, “Eventually I realized that becoming a millionaire could dramatically enhance my ability to help others.” Gee, thanks, Steve, and to think you are doing it all for me!

Radical – he makes mention of you – he calls you and the others he censors as “financial trolls” (i.e. people who question him or disagree with him which may cause his house of cards to fall and cost him big bucks).

#9
Many contemporary gurus make a living out of repackaging this stuff, some of them adding their own ‘discoveries’, success formulas and spin, selling them to a market with a voracious appetite for self improvement information products.

#10
With time, he recieved insane amounts of fan-mail thanking him for his help. Also his income from this began to soar. This made him so over-confident that he stopped being the humoristic sceptic that people originally started liking him for. Without noticing it himself.

Maybe he is correct in all that he writes, maybe he is not. That doesn’t really matter. He is no longer the person that people started to like, and soon his web traffic will reflect this. He has become sortof dogmatic, making arguments based on what he himself had written before, to prove what he had written before. That sortof reminds you of fanaticism. It sounds really harsh, but fanaticism is the correct word for it.

#11
I was a Stevepavina lover for over an year. He was my godfather until I noticed that his articles were ripoffs. He steals ideas from other self help books.

Not all the visitors of his site have read or will ever read the less popular self help books by some ancient self help gurus. Steve has read them of course. Hell he even steal ideas from most popular self help books too. And if you read those books you will see the ripoffs too. Some are quite obvious yet some he hides by changing little details. Not even a single article is original. Let me say this again. NOT EVEN A SINGLE ARTICLE IS ORIGINAL.

He’s done exactly what every other self help guru has been doing for ages. He repackaged the material. The only difference is he provided the material for free AND he had the power of internet on his hands which the old gurus didn’t have.

#12
What he does is read a self-help book, steal the idea, write it in his own words-words that are much better than the words in the original article and post it on his blog. And BAM! A brand new article.

#13
His next move is of course becoming a self help public speaker like the rest of speakers he bashes and warns his readers against. He will become one of them very soon. Oh Wait, HE HAS BECOME ONE OF THEM. He was never original anyway. You will realize this when you read major self help books he has ripped the ideas from so ruthlessly and keeps proclaiming to be his own. He has never credited any of those authors.

#14
Another thing; the way he gradually and very cunningly promoted his wife and her website was genius at its peak. All the while proclaiming himself to be different from the rest of the wolves he became one of them too.

#15
Hi, I agree, steve pavlina is a scam.
but its controversial, cuz he does one good thing but he does it “ethical” wrong. In my opinion his articles fall in 3 different categories:

good: the ones that give good advice (these ones makes difficult to say steves pavlina is a scam, cuz these probably indeed help some people out)

useless or totally common-sense: this ones have been alleged before, good examples are the “quit smoking/coffee articles”

scam: In these pavlina uses dirty tricks, fools people, and egolatres himself to keep people fooled: You know these, the “I make so much money”, “his bio”, and a lot of idiosyncrasies(pseudo advices).

In conclusion the last one is what makes stevepavlina a scam.
Cuz he tries to brainwash people, and in the end he makes big money, how?? advertiser, donations, referals (he reaches a lot of people and plays with numbers ), check the agloco article (he has 600,000+ referals, (now you’re working for him) ) and still you might say where’s the scam??, that’s each one own conclusion, but I’ll help saying, if you aint told everything and you’re being manipulated (yes, he uses your drive to be better) by someone that makes you think he’s altruist so you can’t see how it all fits in, that’s a scam.

#16
Not a scam, just exploiting a weak spot on us man apes. A lot like any guru or hey church. You don’t have to make a donation but the plate is put in your face and other man apes are watching,whispering.

They sell a product much like religion, you are unhappy…come here we will make you happy. This is how you can be happy, you are special,unique,I understand, it is god’s plan,etc…

#17
I say Scam, Claiming the forums to be for “Smart People” to voice “their” opinion. Never SO wrong. It is STEVES OPINION or NOTHING. If you don’t agree with Steve your post is removed. Don’t agree with Steve a few times and your account is banned. Mention something outside of his marketing scheme (SBI) will get the mentioned links black listed and post removed from the forum.

The young ignorant seem to be his strongest followers hanging on every post and word like it came from the heavens. I’m not for organized religion but, kids if you want to believe in something that bad then go to church your odds are higher. lol

Currently with Steve’s recent blog posts he is on a very slipper slope and won’t be long before he shoots himself in the foot.

#18
It’s funny that in a recent post he criticizes others for promoting MLM schemes, yet that’s exactly what he does with his site-building-whatever and similar promotions.

#19
I personally have never been the recipient of any long term benefits from reading personal development books – I have only experienced a transitory and brief feeling of motivation or inspiration. With that said, I can totally understand how many people thrive on reading these books, as I suppose by reading them consistently and consecutively this feeling will be sustained. I believe that when Pavlina claims he experiences intense happiness or joy or motivation, it’s because he is hooked on this perpetual cycle. His blog reads like a summary of all the books he consumes.

#20
I have no idea whether people actually believe what he’s selling. I think he’s just tapping into the self-help business model – get rich by telling everyone how rich you already are. It’s a self-reinforcing scheme where no one can prove you wrong unless they take the time to actually investigate your history. But most people don’t and thus they fork over their money giving him the riches he claims to have made on his own.

#21
is making a living by sharing something positive and inspirational, and caters to a specific demographics that find appeal in his messages.

Reference:

It also seems many self help gurus, have had an epiphany after a very low point in their life. Steve was a thief, Tolle a depressed nut with voices in his head (he’s still a nut if you ask me) and so on. The book SHAM Self-Help and Actualization Movement, is a pretty interesting read about all this, and covers some of the big self-help gurus such as Tony Robbins and Dr.Phil.
(P.S. Haven't really read the book)

#4

The Case of the Guilt Trip Gurus
http://dirtsimple.or...uilt-trip-gurus.html

out of all of the hundreds of self-help books I've read over the years, virtually all of them have one of just three possible attitudes towards the struggle to change:

   1. Life is tough, so you just have to be tougher.
   2. Life is great, so you just have to believe!
   3. Life sucks, so you just have to live with it.

Of course, the books in category #3 are usually written by scientists or therapists, and are almost never popular.  When I was a teenager, I wasted many hours reading a book called "Overcoming the Fear of Success" only to discover that the only advice it had to offer, buried deep in the final chapter, basically amounted to, "try to cope with it"!

(So ever since then, I always try to check books before I buy them, to make sure they have something more substantial to say about my problems than "just deal!")


The Hardassians and The Fairylanders

Now in some ways, I hate to tag folks with nicknames like that, because hey, I'm sure they mean well.  However, is meaning well really an excuse for the huge amounts of suffering these attitudes have caused in the world?  (Because if you look at the consequences of their teachings, rather than the intent, they might deserve a lot worse than my cutesy nicknames!)

So anyway, the Hardassians are the guys -- and they nearly always seem to be guys, for some reason -- who approach the struggle to change by glorifying the struggle.  These dudes just love the smell of willpower in the morning...  They say it smells like victory.

They earnestly believe, in their heart of hearts, that struggling is noble and important.  And that it makes you a better person to struggle...  as long as you win, of course.  So their main course of advice is to urge you to get better at struggling.

So these are the guys who tell you to toughen up, because the tough get going when the going gets tough.  You gotta keep your eyes on the prize, and be in it to win it...  keep your shoulder to the wheel, and your your nose to the grindstone, with your head out of the clouds, and your feet on the ground.  You gotta get a job, get a life, and for god's sake, get over yourself, you big goddamn crybaby!  (And lord help you if you suggest trying to make anything easier...)

Now the Fairylanders, on the other hand, are almost the exact opposite.  Their whole approach is that you should try to be above the struggle.  Because as far as they're concerned, struggling is coarse and ignorant, and an affront to God, nature, and/or the Spirits of the Universe, who have Generously Provided Us With All.


So, these are the folks who tell you that if you just emit only positive vibrations in harmony with the cosmic something-or-other, then the quantum resonance will shower you with happy coincidences by reloading the matrix with the law of attraction, or something equally silly.  (Like, "believe in yourself and everything will work out".)

However, despite the superficial differences, both the Hardassians ("no pain, no gain") and the Fairylanders ("no brain!") are really one and the same, because...They Both Depend On Guilt-tripping You!

See, the Hardassians focus on the world outside you ("you didn't DO what you're supposed to") and the Fairylanders on the world within ("you THOUGHT something you weren't supposed to"), but in either case, the burden of success is placed squarely upon YOUR shoulders.

Or in other words, if you don't succeed, it's because you sinned, and therefore, you're not good enough.

This is a delightful scam for the self-help gurus, because it means all you need to do to have a great business is set the difficulty level of your program so nobody can realistically do everything you tell them to.  Then, you can actually sell something that doesn't even work and 95% or more of your customers will never get far enough to find out!

(Not too long ago, Perry Marshall wrote in his newsletter about how he used to be in Scamway, er, Amway, and that out of a room full of 200+ people, he and one other guy were the only ones who'd actually DONE everything on the list of what you were supposed to do to be successful in Amway...  and they still weren't successful.  At that point, he realized you could have a very successful business selling pure crap, because you could just give refunds to the 1-5% of people who actually did enough to figure out it was crap...  while living handsomely on the profits supplied by the other 95%.

Your Guilt Is Their Business!

Now, some people might say at this point, "Yeah, but what about all the people who DO succeed using the wonderful method of Guru X?"

Heck, I used to wonder that myself!  Plus, if you take a lot of these gurus at their word, then they used to have problems too, and then succeeded using their own method!

Hence the common saying that, "different things work for different people" -- so if method X didn't work for you, then maybe method Y will.

But I was never really satisfied by that idea: people are a lot more similar to each other than we usually think.  In particular, at the "hardware" level of our bodies and brains, we're practically identical.  Plus, "different things for different people" just isn't scientific.  That is...It doesn't tell you anything!

At least, it tells you nothing you don't already know.  For example, it doesn't tell you which things will work for which people.  Must we all try everything, then, in order to find the one thing that will work for us?

Quote
#5

by app103:

http://www.donationc....msg150994#msg150994

#1
I have learned something from experience, and the process of learning it has come at a very heavy price...

I once thought I wasn't all that productive and that I could benefit from a productivity system of some sort, and agreed to participate in the first GOE here on the forum.

#2
Or they assume you have disposable income to blow on "productivity crap", which they insist that you can't be productive without. (none of these systems recycle envelopes from junk mail for your todo lists, or use empty ramen cases for your inbox)

#3
And then they wanted me to over-think things, over-plan things, and think about things I didn't want to think about.

#4
None of the productivity gurus believe in "organized chaos".

#5
The end result was that these systems destroyed my productivity and left me feeling very seriously depressed about my life. I was lucky to have survived. I felt worthless. I was borderline suicidal.

I haven't been able to fully recover from it.

#6
I thought about taking notes related to my journey back to my former self, with the intention of writing my own book on how to be productive (and happy), but then it dawned on me...

If I did, the system wouldn't work for anyone else but me, and it's quite likely that I would screw up other people as badly as other people's productivity systems screwed me up.

#7
Stay away from other people's productivity systems that were designed to work for them, how they think, and how they live their lives. Stay away from productivity systems designed to line the pockets of their creators...writers that create a new system when they start running low on cash. Stay away from productivity systems designed to increase traffic and sell ad space on blogs that publish the system. Stay away from productivity systems that come with magical mops. (nudone's "works for 2 months system" is nothing but magical mops)

Just don't do it....

Just do it.

Look into yourself and draw from that, the system you already know from instinct. Following anyone else's system will destroy that part of you that already knows how to be productive. It will take away your instinct. You already know what you have to do. You already know how to do it. You know where your strengths & weaknesses are. You know how to fix it. You don't need anyone else to tell you.

Note:

For a different perspective but also semi-similar to this post of mine, you might want to refer to another post of mine. (reading further down this topic also leads you to my reply to app's post in this anecdote although the subject isn't about visualization and more about general productivity although there are still some words that relate to the thread. There are also some replies by mouser, kwacky1, nudone and tomos regarding the subject of general productivity.)

http://www.donationc....msg149729#msg149729


Quote
#6

pg. 109-114 of How to think like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb

The Art of Visualization:

Visualization is a marvelous tool to sharpen all your senses, improve your memory, and prepare for accomplishing your goals in life. Visualization was an essential element of Leonardo's strategy for learning and creating. As he wrote, "I have found my own experience that it is of no small benefit when you lie in bed in the dark to go over again in the imagination the outlines of forms you have been studying or of other noteworthy things conceived by subtle speculation; and this is certainly a praiseworthy exercise and useful in impressing things on the memory." Although intended as advice for painters, it applies equally well to artists of life.

You can practice conscious visualization to improve everything from your golf game and ballroom dancing to your drawing and presentation skills. Visualization seems to be most effective when you are relaxed, so good times to practice include:


  • in the morning upon waking
  • at night as you fade off to sleep
  • when you are a passenger in a train, plane, boat, or auto;
  • when taking a break from work;
  • after meditation, yoga, or exercise; or
  • anytime when your body is relaxed and your mind is free.

The ability to visualize a desired outcome is built into your brain, and your brain is designed to help you succeed in matching that picture with your perfor-

Quote
Do not visualize the Mona Lisa with a mustache! If you failed to carry out this instruction, it is because your power of visualization is so strong that it takes any suggestion, positive or negative, and turns it into an image. And as the maestro emphasized, "the things imagined move the sense." Many people, however, are burdened by the mistaken assumption that they "can't visualize". What they usually mean is that they do not see clear, Technicolor internal visual images.

It is important to realize that you can get the full benefits of visualization practice without "seeing" Technicolor images. If you think you cannot visualize, try answering the following questions: What is the model of your car? Can you describe your mother's face? What are the markings on a dalmation dog? Chances are you answered these questions easily by drawing on your internal image data bank, the occipital lobe of your cerebral cortex. This data bank has the potential, in coordination with your frontal lobes, to store and create more images, both real and imaginary, than all the world's film and television production companies combined.

-mance. And the more thoroughly you involve all your senses, the more compelling the visualization becomes. To get the most from your visualization practice:

*Keep your visualization positive - Many people practicie unconscious negative visualization, more commonly known as worry. Although the ability to picture what might go wrong is essential to intelligent planning, be careful to avoid fixating on images of failure, disaster, and catastrophe. Instead, visualize your positive response to any challenge.

*Distinguish between fantasy and visualization - Fantasy can be fun, and the free flow of imagery it inspires can be useful in generationg creative ideas. But visualization is different from fantasy. When visualizing, you consciously focus your mind on imagining a desired process and outcome. In other words, you practice disciplined mental "rehearsal". And it is your consistency and intensity of focus, rather than the Technicolor clarify of your visualization, that is most important in making it effective.

*Make your visualization multi-sensory - Use all your senses to make visualization unforgettable and irresistible. Whether you are preparing for a presentation, planning a meal, or training for athletic competition, imagine the sights, sounds, feel, smell and taste of success.

Quote
Da Vinci noted two types of visualization:
*Postimagining - the imagining of things that are past

*Preimagining - the imagining of things that are to be

Try the following exercises to enhance the vividness of your multisensory visualization.

Picture your favorite Scene

Enjoy some deep full breaths and then close your eyes. Create a picture of your favorite place, real or imaginary. Perhaps, for example, you choose a beach. In your mind's eye, look out the vast expanse of the blue-green ocean, following the forward rush of foamy white wave crests. Listen to the rumbling rhythm of the surf and feel the warm rays of the sun on your back. Breathe in the invigorating smell of the salty air carried by the soft sea breeze and savor the texture of wet sand between your toes. Spy a squadron of six brown pelicans skimming just above the water, suddenly dispersing in all directions. The largest pelican returns and drives straight down to swallow a silver-tailed fish. Grasp a handful of sand. Hold it up to the clear blue sky. Let it fall through your fingers, light dancing off the crystals. Wash your hands in the undertow. Lick your fingers, tasting the salty sea. Continue enjoying your visit to your favorite place, relishing every delightful sensory detail.

Create your Own Internal Masterpiece Theatre

One of the best ways to cultivate the art of visualization is through the visualization of art. Choose any one of your favorite artist - for example, Leonardo's The Last Supper or Van Gogh's Sunflowers. Hang a reproduction on your wall and study it for at least five minutes each day for a week. Then as you drift off to sleep each night, aim to re-create the painting in your mind's eye. Visualize the details. Bring all your sense to this exercise: Imagine the sounds around the table in the Last Supper or smell of the sunflowers. Record the changes in your impressions of the work from day to day.

Learn to draw

The ultimate Da Vincian approach to visual refinement would be to learn to paint. But like that of most artists, Da Vinci's painting is predicated on his drawing. Leonardo emphasized that drawing was the foundation of painting and of learning how to see. He wrote, "...Drawing is as indispensable to the architect and the sculptor as it is to the potter, the goldsmith, the weaver, or the embroider....it has given arithmeticians their figures; it has taught geometers the shape of their diagrams; it has instructed opticians, astronomers, machine builders and engineers."

For Leonardo, drawing was much more than illustration; it was the key to understanding creation. So for aspiring Da Vincians, learning to draw is the best way to begin to learn to see and create. To help get you started, you will find "The Beginner's Da Vinci Drawing Course" on page 262.

Listening and Hearing

Every sound and every silence provides an opportunity to deepen auditory perspicacity; but city sounds can be overwhelming and cause us to dull our sensitivity. Surrounded by jackhammers, televisions, and airplane, subway and automobile noises, most of us "tune out" for self-protection. Try the following exercises to "tune up" your auditory sense.

Layered Listening

Once or twice each day pause for a few moments, enjoy a few full deep exhalations, and listen to the sounds around you. First you'll hear the loudest, most obvious sounds - the air conditioner, the clock ticking, the traffic outside, the background noises of people and machinery. Then as that "layer" becomes clarified, begin to notice the next layer down - sounds of your breathing, a gentle breeze,  footsteps in the hall, the shifting of your sleeve when you move your hand. Keep moving your awareness deeper into the next layer and then the next until you hear the soft, rhythmic beating of your heart.

Listen for Silence

Practice listening for the spaces between sounds - the pauses in a friend's conversation or your favorite music, and the silences between the notes in the song of a bluebird. Make silence a theme for a day and record your observations in your notebook. Do you have access to a place of complete silence, away from the humming of machines? Try to find such a place. How does it feel to be in a place of complete quiet?

Practice Silence

Experiment with a day of silence. For a whole day, don't talk, just listen. It is best to spend your silent day out in nature, walking in the woods, hiking in the mountains, or strolling by the sea. Immerse yourself in nature's sounds. This "verbal fasting" strengthens your ability to listen deeply and is wonderfully refreshing for your spirit.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 09:20:06 PM by Paul Keith »

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 07:04:29 PM »
Removed the center align per tomos' recommendation

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 08:50:56 AM »
what happened to going for shorter posts!  :tellme:

Paul Keith

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 09:54:07 AM »
@mouser,
                 Check the Life Coaching as a Scam topic.

Paul Keith

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 04:03:33 AM »
@tomos, I hope you don't mind. I read your pm and prefer to do it over this thread so that others might be able to read them.

Quote from: tomos
which kind? - the kind that arent 'both' ? I lose the sense of whole sentence here

Yes. That was why I added the bit:

Quote
Do you really need to be productive or do you want to be productive?

Most people aren't both and often times these kinds of people throw the whole development of "productivity" under the bus either because they are (or can be) productive enough that they treat the issue like a faster engine replacement or because often times their unproductivity is built upon motivation issues only.

The key there being "most".

Quote from: tomos
This sentence is so long and rambling I find it impossible to focus on - my mind wanders, even when I read it aloud. This is certainly to do with my lack of focus/lack of powers of concentration, but also to do with the extremely long sentence!

No, it's not just the structure of the sentence or on your part. The entire topic thread was about injecting ambiguity to balance the issues instead of writing it from a purely negative view or a purely positive stance.

Maybe writing it this way would make things clearer:

This is why I would recommend implementing "LOTS OF" visualization techniques

not as a necessity

something that each unproductive person should do as practice to defend themselves from "re-hashed" productivity systems

to keep their enthusiasm from jumping the gun on a system who only made them feel good and excited rather than make them productive


(There's a typo here where who should be which)

such enthusiasm can stack up and cause a counter-productive after-effect where newbies can be lead astray

Newbies

end up hurting not only their desire to become productive but their lifestyle as well

(this should be: ...but their current lifestyle as well)

Quote from: tomos
Cons: of what exactly?

The original structure of all my planned GOE posts was that I would list the cons instead of the pros of every idea I have.

Basically, all the cons are addressing the guidelines of each thread unless stated otherwise. (That was when I still planned to write about them.)

Quote from: tomos
dont understand message here? Turn visualisation into a habit? Addiction seems irrelevant if that's what you meant

In referring to this:

"You just need to turn it into a habit (i.e. things like alcohol addiction which while serious is rarely requiring of highly effective productivity systems to fix.)

No, no.

Remember some part of my post:

"A great deal of it comes from many productivity systems and advises being rehashed and repackaged advises but a great deal of it is also a result of these people acting this way thus stunting the development of productivity...thus requiring a paradigm shift to move productivity efficiency further.

This is why it is also my opinion that while certainly each individual requires subtle differences to make them more productive in near similar issues, there is enough of a number to justify that a gap be made between those who only need to visualize to succeed and those who are in a situation where the technique might help them but they also can't afford the luxury to just rely on visualizing. (Determination issues aside)"


All the keywords are in referring to when a productivity system might be trying to scam people to hide the system's weaknesses or because that was the limit of the system.

You just need to turn <x> into a habit is a popular way of saying: "I don't know how to bypass/address this problem so just keep following my advise and keep working on it."

Later on, you can read about what app links to as a "magical mop".

Addiction is one popular issue in that alot of so-called productivity writers like to make the mundane achievement seem big so that people will buy into them being a credible source for productivity. (For a semi-similar theme, see the other thread: Life Coaching as a Scam)

Finish a novel? He's productive!
Message: Listen to the guru who was able to finish a novel

He finally have little to no problem with the dishes ever? He's productive!
Message: Listen to the guru who was able to master the habit of washing dishes

Quote/Paraphrase Celebrity X or Famous Guy Y: He knows how to write about productivity!
Message: Read the article because even if he, the author is not productive, he's quoting famous people and using them as an analogy.

Addiction falls under these criteria where it's very easy to hide under the banner of being cured because most everyone accepts it as a serious issue that you'll often be accused of being a jerk when you call people out on how it's a minor issue.

In this case, it is a minor issue in the context of what a high caliber productivity system should be able to handle.

The author lures the reader to the idea that they succeeded in something to hide the fact that the thing they succeeded in, isn't something that requires a high quality productivity system to do so. (no matter how serious)

This is, conveniently, also where the "turn it into a habit" comes in.

Hide the flaws of your system under the guise that people should just work on it and you can trick those with habit related problems to become productive not because your system is any good but because you managed to convince those people to convince themselves that they are following the system as opposed to just generically doing things over and over again so that they gain the habit that cures them from that one type of addiction.

For a similar quote later on, see:

useless or totally common-sense: this ones have been alleged before, good examples are the “quit smoking/coffee articles”

P.S. I'll let you expand on the Eckhart Tolle book in your reply as the section you added was part of your opinion.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 04:18:00 AM by Paul Keith »

tomos

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 04:32:11 AM »
Thanks Paul.

to clarify to anyone who's confused:
I sent Paul a PM looking for clarification about a lot of things in the article up to the Steve Pavlina bit.

I'm afraid after reading that much, and reading your last post, I'm still unsure what the post is about. There were key sentences and lists that I didnt and still dont know what they refer to - you say in your last post that Cons refer to the idea you had (which I'm trying to figure out)
"Basically, all the cons are addressing the guidelines of each thread unless stated otherwise." The guidelines being/meaning?

You say you want it to be ambiguous - it is - to the extent that it quite opaque to me at any rate. Maybe if I had sharp academic reading skills (I think you quoted me above saying I have more the opposite!).

My main point though, was that if you want people to read such a long post, you need a clear summary at the beginning. Otherwise I believe you are very quickly going to lose almost all readers.

P.S. the stuff in your last post about addiction/habits etc. is very interesting btw

Edited for emphasis
Tom
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 04:38:31 AM by tomos »

Paul Keith

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2009, 05:02:47 AM »
@tomos,

umm... the guideline would be pretty much the first section of this thread (where guidelines is bolded) although this is a special case for this topic where it's more of a span of the entire theme of the thread.

Yeah, I get your point. As with mouser's reply, I would refer you to the Life Coaching as a Scam thread to show you why I wrote this thread.

On the flip side, the original intent of my GOE posts was to provide a balance set of short and long threads.

Long ones like this deal with the concepts. Short ones deal with direct advises.

Since the threads didn't really work out, the length of this thread combined with it's ambiguity sticks out like a sore thumb.

Still, this is one of my favorite posts so I'm definitely being biased alot.

Edit:

I nearly forgot. I never considered having sharp academic skills as a necessity for understanding the thread for those who haven't read it.

Mostly because I don't know how to write that way but also because the thread didn't need it no matter how many times I read it.

It's kind of why I consider it one of my favorite posts that I have written.

Normally, I feel there are short posts that over-simplify things to the point that it is common sense while there are long posts that over-write or over-add a footnote and a paragraph here and there.

This is one of those situations where I just felt everything came together to balance the issue and ambiguity even if there was a lack of scientific facts or cliff notes to back up each nuance.

Of course, I don't mean to say it hits home but take tomos' main point for example on having a summary.

Even if it doesn't hit home for everyone, I felt that the quoted guidelines perfectly summarizes the core aspect of the post if it was applied while the title summarizes the overlaying theme beautifully.

Then with regards to the anecdotes, each links provide exactly the different perspectives I had with the issue to the point that it creates a harmonious ambiguity that I felt made me think about the issue more than it confused me and yet even if I couldn't put a finger on it, I knew I was taking in themes even in the times where I couldn't put my finger on a single summary. Of course, I was only assuming this as if it was being read by another person besides me.

Although, of course, the fact that I already knew what I wrote kind of puts a damper to that effect.

Anyway sorry for switching perspectives in this issue tomos. I just didn't know how to address it without writing it in such a manner that came off as if I was addressing an invisible group rather than as if I was replying to you.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 05:31:42 AM by Paul Keith »

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2009, 06:09:40 AM »
Mucho apologies Paul!
I missed (or read but glossed over) the guidelines at the very top of post one.

I'm very interested in the topic too so I'll shut up and read the rest of the article ;)
Tom

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2009, 02:52:07 PM »
Well I found the stuff about Steve Pavlina and other self help 'gurus' good. It is an interesting topic.
What's often not considered is why people are so desperate for all this self-help - the answer to it all is presumably there in the answer to that question. Not that that helps us a whole lot!


A few more thoughts/comments:


Steve's "You attract what you're signaling" could just as easily be interpreted as 'if you're happy, you'll be successful'* which again isn't a whole lot of help to the unhappy of the world. But I suspect it's nearer the truth than his version . .

* I personally don't consider making excessive amounts of money as being what success is about - but making enough money is definitely a part of it.


Re your classification of self-help persons:
I personally do believe that life is great, but I just havent figured out how to consistently enjoy it, to really live it. Their instruction (according to you) is: "so you just have to believe!" which reminds me of the whole positivity slant that you hear so much about (or used to at any rate). For example: repeating positive 'assertions' (or whatever you want to call them) reminds me of the way people used to wear perfume instead of washing - you have to remove all the negative first. I probably dont even need to say 'first' there - if you remove all the negative claptrap in your head, what's left - an open neutral person. Sound to me like the way to go ;)

Why dont we all do that then (me too) ?  I think because a lot of us dont know how to say 'No'. Because we've been programmed all our lives to do what our parents want (or maybe our parent's did the opposite and pampered to our every wish which is no help either) programmed  to conform to school and society. Some rebel, but still dont really know how to say a simple 'No'. They're mostly reacting, not really rejecting.
So, what's with the 'No'?
- It's about defining our limits with others, but much more importantly, it's about defining out limits with ourselves. It's about saying to ourselves "No, I don't want or need to indulge in this unhelpful behaviour, or that way of thinking, (or whatever)". If we are lucky enough, our parents were able to give us helpful limits, to show us the way. But most people I know haven't had that luxury (me included).

hmmm I should go off and practice what I preach :)


PS. Paul, some things arent clear above - it's not clear for example when the quotes from app103 end and when your comments begin. It's not made clear in the Pavlina part who is making the comments - if they are mixed (i.e. from the article and the related comments and maybe yours as well?) it would be helpful to state that at the beginning.
Tom

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Re: Fundamentals of Productivity: Think!
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2009, 10:24:48 PM »
Mucho apologies Paul!
I missed (or read but glossed over) the guidelines at the very top of post one.

I'm very interested in the topic too so I'll shut up and read the rest of the article ;)

No need to tomos. I apologize if that's how the reply came off.

To be honest, I've been feeling very burned out these past few days but I didn't want to make an excuse out of it.

When I wrote that reply, especially the edit, I just wasn't sure what came over me so I decided to just leave it at that.

Quote
What's often not considered is why people are so desperate for all this self-help - the answer to it all is presumably there in the answer to that question. Not that that helps us a whole lot!

No. It's a pretty popular opinion that self-help is a scam that plays around with people's desperation. Consequently, this is why self-helps/productivity books/DIYs are often lumped towards the New Age (as opposed to social science).

New Age primarily being a religious movement based around the focus of self as God as opposed to being under God. (although that's an over-simplification)

The thing with these opinions though are that they often come off as knee jerk, biased and dis-illusions from putting faith in a bad program before.

...Yet as with any complaints, they contain grains of truth. This is also an aspect of why I liked how this article came out: The ambiguity represents my own confusion and my own biased agreement and disagreement with both sides.

In that sense, the effect (to me) comes off different from that of an expert or pseudo-expert opinion but from a lay person's accounts of his observations; while still including his opinions in the process.

Quote
Steve's "You attract what you're signaling" could just as easily be interpreted as 'if you're happy, you'll be successful'* which again isn't a whole lot of help to the unhappy of the world. But I suspect it's nearer the truth than his version . .

No. Steve's blog is famous for being half-New Age/half-productivity articles.

You attract what you're signaling is a belief that first came into fruition during the popularization of Seth.

Seth was a being that came to Jane Roberts during an Ouija Board session and then long story short, he published some books that ushered in the New Age belief.

One of the themes of the belief system was that you had a metaphysical being that is directly a part of the greater being that is God and each time you ask something from this being consciously, these beings will set forth events in the universe that will make your desire come true.

It's a lot more complicated than that, but it keeps getting simplified as time passes.

Soon after there were alot of channelers that popped out and one of them was Esther Hicks which made the book Ask and It is Given popular as she channeled Abraham and the system became simplified to: "Likes attracts Likes" as one of the universal law of the universe.

Up to this point, her book still retained the fact that you must work on it. Put things you want around your room to better visualize and channel your desires.

Later on, that's where the Secret came in and it was pretty much this: (if you prefer the over-simplified humorous skeptical take on the concept) http://www.youtube.c.../watch?v=usbNJMUZSwo

I still recommend viewing it though because it's one of those motivate-you-to-try-this-under-1-viewing videos and so, price aside, it does a good job of inspiring people to visualize IMO.

It's also one of those things that's popular enough in torrents, so you can try it for free illegally.

But at the same time, that method pretty much mean that if the system did work for you, you just need to visualize the right amount of cash and you can buy twice the disks legally with little effort -- and if it doesn't work for you, you just saved some cash from being scammed.

Excluding Seth, Steve has written about both the Secret and Ask and it is Given.

With Ask it is Given, he mentioned that he came up with that similar idea before he knew about Ask and It is Given.

That's why there's strong evidence that Steve was talking about visualization.

On the flip side, that's kind of what makes visualization a strong candidate for scams, inferior productivity systems and over-simplified techniques: The whole idea around visualization is so open-ended that anyone can interpret it easily as anything.

Yet IF a person became productive from such visualizations, as long as it is bundled with a system, the whole system gets the credit.

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I personally do believe that life is great, but I just havent figured out how to consistently enjoy it, to really live it. Their instruction (according to you) is: "so you just have to believe!" which reminds me of the whole positivity slant that you hear so much about (or used to at any rate). For example: repeating positive 'assertions' (or whatever you want to call them) reminds me of the way people used to wear perfume instead of washing - you have to remove all the negative first. I probably dont even need to say 'first' there - if you remove all the negative claptrap in your head, what's left - an open neutral person. Sound to me like the way to go

Lol, I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic or witty here.

In case, you aren't joking, it doesn't really work that way in reality. When you remove all the negative claptrap in your head, what's left is a person living in isolated bliss.

At some point, like washing, you'll either realize that washing doesn't remove all the dirt from your body, just reduces it so that you physically can't sense it without being an expert -- or you live in the blissful illusion that as long as you wash yourself regularly, you constantly remove all the dirt from your body.

You'll be less open because once you reach that sensation, you'll be more rejective of the idea that you do still have some negativity because the more you live that way, the more your entire life seems to be structured around the dogma that you're "cleansed/baptized."

This same structure will keep you from being more neutral because when you buy into that perspective, you'll have to reject data. In this case, any data that you deemed "negative", you will most likely reject rather than analyze or address.

You could even attribute this to why Steve has been accused of banning people who go against his opinions in his forum. (That said, I never really tried to clarify this because I never bothered to join his forum.)

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Why dont we all do that then (me too) ?  I think because a lot of us dont know how to say 'No'. Because we've been programmed all our lives to do what our parents want (or maybe our parent's did the opposite and pampered to our every wish which is no help either) programmed  to conform to school and society. Some rebel, but still dont really know how to say a simple 'No'. They're mostly reacting, not really rejecting.

It's not just that. It's also dangerous to say No.

Even when we reject such programming, being an individual is a lonely life that opens you to being bullied verbally, mentally and physically by society. (The degree of course depends on what specifically it is you are rejecting.)

As you described, being a rebel is a reaction not a rejection. Yet, most perceive it as a rejection so it's still a much safer venue as far as having a group that's united.

Finally the reality is that it's much more rewarding to be perceived as an individual than it is to be an individual so that's a big reason why people don't pursue it.

Even those who are very talented, succeed, not because they were level 9999 of that category but because they played the right game and were at the right place, at the right time and left the right legacy.

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So, what's with the 'No'?
- It's about defining our limits with others, but much more importantly, it's about defining out limits with ourselves. It's about saying to ourselves "No, I don't want or need to indulge in this unhelpful behaviour, or that way of thinking, (or whatever)". If we are lucky enough, our parents were able to give us helpful limits, to show us the way. But most people I know haven't had that luxury (me included).

Err... you kinda lost me on this one again.

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PS. Paul, some things arent clear above - it's not clear for example when the quotes from app103 end and when your comments begin.

Thanks. I changed it.

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It's not made clear in the Pavlina part who is making the comments - if they are mixed (i.e. from the article and the related comments and maybe yours as well?) it would be helpful to state that at the beginning.

No, none of them were my comments that's why they were under the Anecdote category.

As far as specific names, I found it troublesome so I didn't bother.

Add to the fact that I hate the effect that it focuses on the names rather than on the words and I was pretty much convinced to sort it this way. (Negatives, Positives and Warning Signs)

Negatives being downers or cynical messages

Positives being inspirational and motivational messages

and

Warning Signs being an anecdotal version of Keywords to look out for.