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In yourself, others or both?

Your question is somewhat vague and broad


so I may
be way-off the mark.
"[R]educing unnecessary negative thinking or unpleasant feelings
connected to
worthwhile endeavors". I can only guess what you mean here. Are you
alluding
to fear? Pessimism? Procrastination? Laziness? What do you deem
"worthwhile
endeavors"? Quitting smoking? Losing weight? Abstaining from a
paraphilia? Completing
a degree? Being a better husband?
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has been thoroughly researched and
demonstrated
to be effective for the treatment of the most common neuroses,
including
depression. CBT can help with anxiety and "negative thinking". There
are many -- both
scholarly and popular -- books on CBT that are readily and cheaply
available.
Some troublesome behaviours in some people respond well to psychoactive
drugs. If you
have a mental disorder i.e. an "Axis I" or "Axis II" disorder (eg.
mood disorder,
anxiety disorder, impulse-control disorder, borderline personality
disorder)
then you'd be wise to see a psychiatrist. CBT and drugs work
especially well
together.
Are your problems "existential"? I think that anyone who survived a
Nazi concentration camp with
mind intact has something useful to say about mental health. To that
end I'd recommend Viktor Frankl (Frankl, V. (1959) "Man's Search for
Meaning"). Logotherapy -- the field founded by Frankl -- may be
useful. Frankl has much to say about suffering and adversity. If you
are Christian then the writings of the Christian Existentialists such
as Kierkegaard may be also be useful. No you won't get cute techniques
from Frankl and Kierkegaard and you won't have your vanity fed by
being told you have magical powers. You will, however, find deep
consideration of the issues that occupy any mature mind that has not
succumbed to narcissism or decadent stupor.
If your problems are fluffy middle-class one's -- eg. "I don't go to
the gym regularly" -- then collapsing anchors, the swish pattern and
propulsion systems may be of use depending on the nature of the
problem (and in the case of the Swish and propulsion systems, capacity
to visualize). (In case you don't know these are NLP techniques).
Self-discipline is a lost virtue and it is a key part of self-mastery.
You can't buy it and
no one can develop it for you. Is this your problem? Self-discipline
entails some asceticism
and the temporary suspension of your hedonic instincts, i.e. you must
be prepared to experience
some mental and/or physical discomfort and even pain. If you are not
injuring yourself then
you have no excuse. Quitting smoking by going "cold turkey" won't harm
you. Sure, its uncomfortable and unpleasant but the discomfort will
pass. Squeezing out that last repetition
of your last set of squats won't harm you (if you know what you're
doing). Sure it will be
mentally and physically draining but that will pass. It's a matter of
being prepared to endure
discomfort/pain in the short-run for the purpose of a medium/long-term
gain. Expecting and/or
pursuing a life of pure pleasure is sheer folly. Look at Bandler: a
fat, unhealthy, coke snorting,
narcissistic, debauched, gin-soaked turd that lives in fantasy world.
Come to think of it there
are a disproprtionate amount of fat fucks amongst NLP trainers. I
wonder whether this reflects
a general absence of self-discipline and naive hedonism.
>In other words, what methods, authors, work do you feel is worthwhile
>to engage with my money and time or you found personally beneficial
for
>yourself.
It is difficult to provide relevant recommendations when you've
provided so
little detail regarding your problem(s) (not that I expect you to post
your personal
details on Usenet).
I believe I've already provided a list regarding persuasion products so
I won't
repeat that here.
I think Kevin Hogan's books and tapes are worth your time and money as
are those
of Bodenhamer/Hall.
(Hall is much maligned by the rogues on this NG. I won't defend the
low
production quality of Hall's books, they are replete with typographic
errors.
However, the content is good. Hall is an academic and his writing is
suitably scholarly.
Contrary to the popular opinion on this NG, Hall (and Bodenhamer) write
lucidly.
Their "The User's Manual for the Brain: The Complete
Manual for Neuro-Linguistic Programming" is an exemplary introduction
to NLP.
Complaints that Hall can't explain things and such should be read as "I
can't understand anything
technical, I can understand only popular psychology books". These
complaints about
the difficulty of Hall's writing typically come from uneducated
simpletons that
are unaccustomed to rigour and technicality. Anyone that has been to
an NLP
seminars -- that is intelligent -- can confirm that the majority -- no
not the totality, the majority --
of the participants are knuckle-heads, they are typically in sales,
marketing,
telemarketing, "life coaching" and "change work". Some are a rung
lower, barkeeps
and such. Yes, as unpalatable as it may be to some, the bulk -- the
bulk, not the entirety -- of
those that attend NLP seminars are as thick as pig shit. Sure some may
be cunning and predatory
but this is different from being intelligent. These typically
self-proclaimed
"people persons" have little or no capacity for comprehending
_anything_
technical. Study the responses to my posts and my rebuttals if you
doubt this.)
Mainline psychology has produced a goldmine of practical findings, eg.
Csikszentmihalyi's
work on "flow" and Eckman's work on emotions. If you want specific
recommendations you'll
have to provide specific questions/problems.
Progressive relaxation is useful. Any book/tape on self-hypnosis will
teach you this.
Many "problems" disappear if you learn to think clearly and improve
your
concentration. There are many good books on clear/critical/analytical
thinking. The
Teaching Company has a great course on argumentation and reasoning.
For concentration
and focus look to exemplars. Dominic O'Brien and Andy Bell are both
world memory champions
and both have books/tapes.
The dual induction/multi-evocation CDs put out by Carol Erickson (yes,
Milton
Erickson's eldest daughter) are good. I hasten to add that -- unlike
Wendi (with an "i") Friesen
-- she does not have CDs that will turn you into a "cock and hair
farmer" -- as Penn Jillette
put it on the episode of Bullshit!. Depending on your problems these
may be useful.
Does this help? I have provided a broad and general response to your
broad and general quations.
Joe Bloggs
1/27/05
"JLA" <jlafor...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1106770292.257979.297730@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
- show quoted text -
Hi,
I read Myron's response and there is much in there for you to filter through
so I'll add only a few comments. The Hall and Boddenhammer series he
suggests is very good, and yes it is void of mystical association like much
of the other bullshit scam artists peddling NLP are famous for, written more
for a technically minded person.
As far as discipline goes I practice Aikido. All that Myron says about
discipline and overcoming some of the mechanical nature of the mind is true.
It's not easy, and Martial Arts may not be of the best interest to you.
There are many practices that can help develope some discipline and control
of your mind.
Csikszentmihalyi's coined the term "flow state" and for me he is the
cornerstone and the authority on this state. He gives plenty of examples on
how to induce and keep the flow state on a daily basis through rudimentary
daily tasks. As I stated below, I use a breathing method to initiate and
keep flow. It's very easy once it becomes regular, and that's the discipline
side of things. There are days I simply don't "feel" like doing it, but I do
it anyway. The results always supercede any (non)reason for not doing so.
I'm not an expert on NLP, but given the quality of some of the
self-proclaimed experts like Randall (who says he has been studying NLP or
psychology for 30 years) I think I have a good grasp of what it can and
cannot do. For one, it cannot cure ADHD (see James Harris' posts as an
example). For some minor state changes, to increase motivation, etc, there
are application in NLP that are indeed useful. For more therapeutic
applications I would say seeing a professional who has a good grasp of some
NLP modells, as well as qualified professional training, would be your best
bet.
What I've found is imperative with all "change-work" (whether minor belief,
or motivational strategies) is having well defined goals, reasonable ones.
That might be a bit repetetive for you to hear - it was for me - but until I
started doing so no amount of "swishing" or the other really did it for me.
I'd venture to say that all these "new" and improved methods of improving
oneself include the basics on goal setting. That is, if they want to be
successful over the long term.
Finally, doing something small everyday to work towards your goal is
imperative, and setting time aside to do so is necessary. There is much in
Robert Nideffer's writings that deal with this.
----------------------------
largely agree with what you write about Robbins. However I am loath
to praise
him because he uses the same methods that cult leaders use to gather
and subdue followers.
In MacLean's triune brain jargon, Robbins puts the neo-cortex (seat of
reasoning) to
sleep with all the dancing, shouting, cheering and jeering and engages
the limbic-system
(seat of emotion) and reptilian brain (seat of basic drives). This
feels good, it excites and
agitates but is ultimately disempowering. Choice comes from thinking
not from emoting or
the basic instincts. Emotion and basic drives (for sex, food,
survival, shelter) rob you of choice. Robbins'
seminars don't stimulate thought, they suppress it. In the context of
a self-improvemnt
seminar this is wrong. It boosts repeat custom and tape-set sales but
doesn't really serve the customer.
I am fully aware that many people like to be told what to do, to not
think, to have no choice and hence
minimal responsibility. However, irrespective of their screwed
preferences I maintain that these
people are not behaving in a manner consistent with their own best
interests.