By Joshua Clayton -
Thought is a powerful thing, especially when concentrated. Sure, that is where discipline, especially the kind where yourself is involved in the form of self discipline, comes in. When a definite desire is involved – that is when self discipline is best served. Sure, control of yourself is key, but a definite desire to achieve something no matter what the obstacles is even more key. The door that the key goes into is energy, energy coming out into the world through your control, not your “creation.” Why do I put the world “creation” in quotes, because we do not create energy, existence or God does that, we control it. That is what is meant by “God gave us free will to determine our destiny” in so many religious texts. We control and change the energy into what we need or want, but we do not create it. Mind you although this is an article about hypnosis, self mind control and mind power, I am going to go into all aspects of this subject in this article, spiritual and secular to get my point fully across.
I can honestly say and know that mental control is the key to all control, physical and spiritual. You have to pay thousands of dollars to know that fact at many seminars, but it is free here. I will even give a few techniques near the end of this article to practice such control, but, first, I am going to talk about the key to all control, discipline. We must first start with the most basic of disciplines before we think about or control anything. That discipline makes everything possible, that discipline ultimately makes everything powerful. If it did not, then we would have no ability to think or control ourselves, and would live in an effortless “Garden of Eden” without need or want to produce for ourselves or achieve anything. We know that is not true, real or honest right down to needing to raise the spoon or fork to our mouths to eat the food that is on the plate. I know, that is an extreme example, but if that is what it takes to get “my big point” across to you, that is what it takes.
So, here are the techniques I was writing about: Start by centering yourself once or twice a day for a few minutes by counting from fifteen to one slowly, and then being still for as long as you can letting thoughts go through you, just observe. Then when you get proficient at that, do that same count and think actively about your goals that you want for minutes at a time. You will find that these basic techniques work well when practiced, and that for something to work, you must use it.
Oh, there are many more techniques, but those two I just mentioned are good for those beginning on the path to real winning in total existence, not just life. As the saying goes, “to win you must begin” and that holds true for anything. This can be added to that saying “and keep it going once you begin.” For anything to work, you must do that no matter what. Reality is a march toward achievement? Well, yes. To get the energy loose and working, we must produce and stop “jerking.” To win, we all must begin and keep going.
My name is Joshua Clayton, I am a freelance writer based in Inglewood, California. I also write under a few pen-names and aliases, but Joshua Clayton is my real name, and I write by that for the most part now. I am a philosophical writer and objective thinker and honest action taker.
I also work at a senior center in Gardena, California as my day job, among other things, but primarily I am a writer.
By Julie A. Fleming -
We’re often faced with statements, actions, arguments, behavior, etc. that is galling in the extreme. Whether it’s road rage, an annoying co-worker, or a whiny teenager, it’s an unfortunate but safe bet that you’ll feel angry several times a week. So how can you handle it when faced with provocation that would make the Buddha quiver with rage?
1. Keep your attention on the motivation behind the provocation. Is the person who’s enraging you doing it intentionally, or is it a by-product of words or behavior that he likely thinks perfectly appropriate? If it’s the former, don’t give him the satisfaction of knowing he succeeded. If it’s the latter, consider whether displaying annoyance would stop the behavior or simply let your opponent know that he’s found a soft spot.
2. Breathe. This is great advice for just about any situation, but it’s especially good for dealing with anger. You can react,, which implies knee-jerk emotional feedback made without any reflection, or you can respond, which implies feedback that follows a pause and analysis/reflection to determine the best way to address the provocation. It’s far better to respond than to react. There’s no reason why you can’t fall silent for a few seconds (which may feel interminable to you and your opponent) while you work through your options.
3. Speak softly. Most of us tend to raise our voices when we speak in anger. Therefore, it’s disarming to do the opposite and to speak more quietly. The effect is to appear reasonable and controlled (especially helpful if your opponent is ranting and raving and appearing to be out of control) and to force your opponent to listen carefully to hear what you have to say. In Japanese culture, when two parties are arguing, the one who raises her voice first loses. It’s a difficult tactic for many of us to master, but if you can speak softly in the face of provocation, you will stand a much better chance of controlling your anger.
4. Vent. Express your anger in some forum that poses no risk of exposing it. Writing can be helpful, but especially if you write an angry response to an email, be sure that you don’t accidentally send it!
5. Exercise. That’s physical venting. When feasible, it’s a great idea to get up and take a walk instead of marinating in a situation that makes you angry.
6. Selective release of anger. Sometimes, it’s absolutely appropriate to express your anger at the person whose behavior has caused it. But consider the consequences of such an expression. Will you disrupt a relationship? Do you stand to lose ground? Will your expressed anger cause the person to react in a way that will cause you even more trouble? And when you do choose to display anger, consider doing so through your words only but continuing to speak in a low, even tone of voice. That will reinforce the gravity of your words.
And, despite our best efforts at these tactics, sometimes we all lose our tempers. Especially in time of frustration and stress, it’s easy to let it slip. When that happens, don’t be afraid to apologize and admit to being human.
Julie A. Fleming, J.D., A.C.C. provides business and executive coaching with an emphasis on business development, leadership development, time mastery and organization, and work/life integration. Julie holds a coaching certificate from the Georgetown Leadership Coaching program and holds the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential from the International Coach Federation. She is certified to administer the DISC(r) assessment, the Leadership Circle Profile 360, and the Leadership Culture Survey.
To learn more, to subscribe to Julie’s monthly email newsletter The DLR Report, or to request a complimentary consultation with Julie, please visit http://www.DynamicLeadershipResults.com or call her at 800.758.6214.
For the past week we have been taking a look at the six virtues and twenty four strengths identified by the Positive Psychology gurus as common to almost all cultures across the planet. The purpose of this has been to assess our own personal strengths and, giving us building blocks for our own personal growth and boosting our self esteem. For this to happen you have to do more than simply read the list – you need to ponder them and, with an open mind, see which ones apply to you and which ones do not.
Today, we look at the last two: temperance and transcendence.
Temperance is translated as “easy does it, or: all things in modeation. According to Seligman it “refers to the appropriate and moderate expression of your appetites and wants.” (Authentic Happiness, p. 52). The strengths clustered under temperance are:
15. Self Control - We all know what this means. It is easy to say but not always so easy to do and it applies across the board. Can you moderate yourself with how much you eat and how much you drink or do you go “out of control” when you see your favorite dessert or join friends who have a keg of beer? Can you control your anger and not lash out when provoked? Can you bring yourself up when you’re having a “down day?” Can you stay positive when everything around you is going south? How do you respond when you are treated rudely?
16. Prudence/Discretion/Caution - Prudence keeps you from jumping – to conclusions, keeps you from jumping on the bandwagon before you know where the bandwagon is going, and often keeps you safe. You are able to keep from saying or doing things that you will regret later, make decisions that pay off long term if not short term, and helps you know when situations need caution. The prudent person listens to that inner voice that says, “danger,” “watch it,” and “be careful here.” How’s your prudence quotent?
17. Humility and Modesty – An old friend of mine used to say “You have to toot your own horn because no one else will” and he tooted his horn a lot – to the point that no one paid attention. The person with humility lets their accomplishments speak for themselves. They are unpretentious and, while recognizing their own abilities and strengths, see their victories and defeats as fairly unimportant. What about you? Do you, like a child, keep saying in various ways, “Look at me. See what I did” Do you get upset if the conversation isn’t about you and your accomplishments?
Transcendence -” the emotional strengths that reach outside and beyond you to connect you to someting larger and more permanent; to other people, to the future, to evolution, to the divine or to the universe. ” (Authentic Happiness, p. 154)
18. Appreciation and Excellence -Do you take time to stop and smell the flowers? Do you see beauty all around you and rejoice in excellence wherever you find it? Do you experience beauty and excellence with awe and wonder? Does a blazing sunset leave you speechless? Does witnessing acts of human kindness stir your spirit?
19. Gratitude - Are you aware of the good things that happen to you? Do you take them for granted? Do you take time to express your gratitude? In other words, is “Thank You” a major part of your vocabulary? Gratitude is an appreciation of someone else’s moral character. It is a sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life itself and for all we have been given. Are you truly grateful for what is given to you and done for you or do you consider it something that others owe you? Are you grateful when others do well by you?
20. Hope/Optimism/Future-Mindedness – How’s your cup? Is it half empty or half full? Do you expect the best or do you expect the worst? Do you look to the future knowing you have done your best and expect the future to be even better than the past? Do you side with those who say, “Oh, no. The world is going to hell in a handbasket.”"? Do you you hold out hope to those around you?
21. Spirituality/Sense of Purpose/Faith/Religiousness – Do you have strong, clear beliefs about a higher purpose and the meaning of the universe? Do you know where you fit in the larger scheme of things? Do your beliefs shape your decisions and your actions? Are your beliefs a source of comfort for you? Can you articulate your beliefs, your philosophy of life? Can you articulate what you believe about God, humanity, the universe? Regardless of what that belief is, do you walk your talk?
22. Forgiveness and Mercy - Do you forgive those who have wronged you? Do you give people a second chance. Do you harbor a grudge or do you let it go? Is your guiding principle revenge or is it mercy? Do you understand that forgiveness benefits you the most? Do you understand that when you forgive, your tendencies regarding the transgressor becomes more positive?
23. Playfulness and -Humor - Can you see the light side of life? Do you bring laughter to other people’s lives? Are you playful? Are you funny? Can you laugh at your own foibles? Can you laugh out loud? Do you laugh a lot? ( I am reminded of a G.K. Chesterton quote. As a question it would be: Do you know why angels fly? Because they take themselves lightly.)
24. Zest, Passion, Enthusiasm – Do you throw yourself into the activities you undertake. Do you wake up excited about the new day? Do you say, “Good morning, God” or “Good God, it’s morning?” Are you excited about life and living? Do you meet challenges with enthusiasm? Do you inspire others?
So that’s the 24 strengths! Going through them, asking yourself the questions, did you gain any insights into your own strengths? Were there some surprises? I strongly urge you to go the the Positive Website and complete their survey on the strengths. http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx You will have immediate feedback. Knowing your strengths generally gives a boost to self esteem. These are things you are good at and can continue to develop.
Go for it.