Christopher Elliott's Blurty
 
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Below are the 8 most recent journal entries recorded in Christopher Elliott's Blurty:

    Thursday, March 11th, 2004
    12:39 pm
    This week has been kind of hectic. But through it all I have had a couple of opportunities to reflect on the six psychological needs of every human being. One of them was an incident I had that involved myself and the way I handled the situation that unfolded, and the other was with a close friend who shared with me a situation that she was going through with her ex-boyfriend.Wait a minute, Let me back up and share those needs with you, what they're about, and how we can use them.

    First of all, let me just say that there are six basic psychological needs that every human being MUST have. I'm not saying that we as humans WANT them, I'm saying that we NEED them.And though there are six, only the last two (5 and 6 ) give us life-long happiness and full-fillment. Also, only the last two can be obtained in a positive manner. I'll go through them briefly.

    Before I start I need to say that these discoveries are not mine. They come to you courtesy of Anthony Robbins. However, I'm not quite sure where he learned them. Anyway, they are as follows:

    1. CERTAINTY. We all have a need to have reliability when it comes to a lot of areas in our lives. For instance, its usually pretty hard to concentrate on your job or other day to day rituals if you have certain things in your life that you're suddenly uncertain of, like whether or not your car will start, or whether of not the person you love is going to be there when you get home. Anytime we feel uncertain about things in our lives that usually stay the same and that we've come to rely on, we feel a sense of panic and worry. There are those things in our lives that we MUST feel certain about , whether it be in our relationships, our job, our finances, or our future. Without a base feeling of certainty, we will feel a constant feeling of unease until that certainty comes back or we find another way to get certainty in that area of our lives. This need is also known as comfort, comfort zone, or assurance.

    2. UNCERTAINTY. I know... this appears to be in direct contradiction to the first psychological need which is certainty. However, the truth is, we need uncertainty also (it appears that God really does have a sense of humor). This uncertainty is that feeling of variety that we crave during so many times in our lives. Why do you think so many people get into sports or watch movies. All human beings feel the need for a level of uncertainty in their lives. Let me ask you a question: Have you ever been in a relationship that seemed to be perfect in every way? You know, that person was courteous, respectable, generous, kind and seemed to meet your needs whenever you needed them met? Don't you remember having an uneasy feeling at times, almost as if you wanted a fight to happen or something to give you a little drama? Why is that? Didn't the relationship appear to be going your way? The reason you felt that unease is because of your need for uncertainty (or variety). Sometimes we don't know how to meet our need for uncertainty and so we try to get itin some pretty neagative ways, such as leaving the person we're with only to find out that now we need the feeling of CERTAINTY back in our lives. We have to make sure that these two needs are balanced correctly or we'll spend the rest of our lives trying to balance them and never truly being happy.

    3. SIGNIFICANCE. This need is the reason every single conflict between human beings happens. Our need for significance is so strong that we will kill another man or woman just to quench that need. Think about it. If someone is disrespectful to you, do they REALLY hurt you? The answer is, that in reality, you were never physically harmed by their comment or attitude. However, they robbed you of your sense of significance. Their words or actions pretty much said, "You're not all that important, and you don't mean much." Words like these or attitudes that reflect these kinds of words take away are feeling of self-worth (significance), and so we try to get that feeling back through a verbal exchange or even a physical one. People find all kinds of ways to meet this need, whether it be buying something impressive like a new outfit or new rims for their car, or even practicing a religion and trying to let others know how dedicated they are. Another word for this need is uniqueness; or a need to stand out. Some people only want to be significant with the people they really care about, while others want to stand out from the entire world. Either way, we all have this need.

    4. LOVE and CONNECTION. There are people who will say that they have no need or desire to have love or connection in their life, but they are only trying to convince themselves as well as other people of this erroneous fallicy (once again, to appear to not have a need for love and connection helps them to meet their need for significance by making others believe they stronger and more independent than most). The fact is, humans have to have social contact. They also have to feel as though they belong somewhere and that they are accepted by their peers. The newspapers are filled with stories of people who have done some pretty insane and irrational acts simply because their need for love and connection was either being taken or they were trying to fill it in the first place. Unfortunately, a lot of times by full-filling this need we lose our sense of uniqueness (significance). This is a psychological battle that goes on in many people's lives within themselves. They'll finally achieve that level of love and connection but then they begin to feel as though they are losing THEIR identity and so they pull back from the relationship. One of the reasons that gangs are becoming more and more prevalent is because the gang meets the need for love and connection (and certainty) in a young boy's life that is missing. The gang that he associates himself with gives him a sense of belonging. Remember, you must balance this need with the need for significance or else you'll never be truly satisfied.

    5. GROWTH. This is a need that few people meet but is absolutely essential for true happiness and full-fillment. The unfortunate fact is that very few people realize this. As a society, we try to meet our need for satisfaction in all sorts of senseless ways. But if people will only understand that true satisfaction comes from finding something that we're truly passionate about and that constantly causes us to reach for a new level of growth, then they would stop searching for things that only full-fill them temporarily. The great thing about this need is that it can only be met in a positive way, whereas the other four psychological needs can be met in a negative way if we choose that route.

    6. CONTRIBUTION BEYOND YOURSELF. Remember this: PEOPLE WILL DO MORE FOR OTHERS THEY TRULY CARE ABOUT THEN THEY EVER WILL FOR THEMSELVES. What this means is that we all have this thing inside of us that makes us feel certain, uncertain, significant, loved and connected, and a constant feeling of growth as long as we are giving to others and expecting nothing in return. The fact is, humans are basically good and we seem to really get a sense of well-being when we are giving to others whether it be in the form of our time, money, service, or gifts. Once again, this is a need that can only be achieved in a positive manner.

    Well, there you are. Those are the six psychological needs of every human being. The question now is: how can we USE this? Well, you have to understand that we are always trying to meet these needs even at a sub-conscious level. By noticing when you're trying to meet the first four needs and asking yourself, "How can I meet these needs in a more positive manner," you can shy away from the negative behavior that you've been repeating.

    Albert Ellis states that emotion and rational thought cannot exist in the same place at the same time. That means that you cannot behave in an irrational manner if at the same time you are trying to think about your situation rationally. As long as you are always trying to meet these needs, why not meet them in away that is going to serve you. Also, you MUST find something that will cause you to constantly grow and something that will allow you to contribute even if it's only to those you love and care about. This is the key to ultimate happiness and full-fillment.

    At the beginning of this page I mentioned a friend of mine having an issue with her ex-boyfriend. It seems that, although he behaved in an uncaring manner and treated her very unfairly more than once, he called her after a few weeks and pleaded with her to take him back. I couldn't help but notice that he was desprerately trying to meet two of the psychological needs: his need for certainty (which he had when she was with him), and his need for love and connection. Like I said, we will ALWAYS strive to meet these needs, especially when we feel as if they are no longer being met. So, in what ways are YOU trying to meet these needs.

    Until next time. take care.
    12:39 pm
    This week has been kind of hectic. But through it all I have had a couple of opportunities to reflect on the six psychological needs of every human being. One of them was an incident I had that involved myself and the way I handled the situation that unfolded, and the other was with a close friend who shared with me a situation that she was going through with her ex-boyfriend.Wait a minute, Let me back up and share those needs with you, what they're about, and how we can use them.

    First of all, let me just say that there are six basic psychological needs that every human being MUST have. I'm not saying that we as humans WANT them, I'm saying that we NEED them.And though there are six, only the last two (5 and 6 ) give us life-long happiness and full-fillment. Also, only the last two can be obtained in a positive manner. I'll go through them briefly.

    Before I start I need to say that these discoveries are not mine. They come to you courtesy of Anthony Robbins. However, I'm not quite sure where he learned them. Anyway, they are as follows:

    1. CERTAINTY. We all have a need to have reliability when it comes to a lot of areas in our lives. For instance, its usually pretty hard to concentrate on your job or other day to day rituals if you have certain things in your life that you're suddenly uncertain of, like whether or not your car will start, or whether of not the person you love is going to be there when you get home. Anytime we feel uncertain about things in our lives that usually stay the same and that we've come to rely on, we feel a sense of panic and worry. There are those things in our lives that we MUST feel certain about , whether it be in our relationships, our job, our finances, or our future. Without a base feeling of certainty, we will feel a constant feeling of unease until that certainty comes back or we find another way to get certainty in that area of our lives. This need is also known as comfort, comfort zone, or assurance.

    2. UNCERTAINTY. I know... this appears to be in direct contradiction to the first psychological need which is certainty. However, the truth is, we need uncertainty also (it appears that God really does have a sense of humor). This uncertainty is that feeling of variety that we crave during so many times in our lives. Why do you think so many people get into sports or watch movies. All human beings feel the need for a level of uncertainty in their lives. Let me ask you a question: Have you ever been in a relationship that seemed to be perfect in every way? You know, that person was courteous, respectable, generous, kind and seemed to meet your needs whenever you needed them met? Don't you remember having an uneasy feeling at times, almost as if you wanted a fight to happen or something to give you a little drama? Why is that? Didn't the relationship appear to be going your way? The reason you felt that unease is because of your need for uncertainty (or variety). Sometimes we don't know how to meet our need for uncertainty and so we try to get itin some pretty neagative ways, such as leaving the person we're with only to find out that now we need the feeling of CERTAINTY back in our lives. We have to make sure that these two needs are balanced correctly or we'll spend the rest of our lives trying to balance them and never truly being happy.

    3. SIGNIFICANCE. This need is the reason every single conflict between human beings happens. Our need for significance is so strong that we will kill another man or woman just to quench that need. Think about it. If someone is disrespectful to you, do they REALLY hurt you? The answer is, that in reality, you were never physically harmed by their comment or attitude. However, they robbed you of your sense of significance. Their words or actions pretty much said, "You're not all that important, and you don't mean much." Words like these or attitudes that reflect these kinds of words take away are feeling of self-worth (significance), and so we try to get that feeling back through a verbal exchange or even a physical one. People find all kinds of ways to meet this need, whether it be buying something impressive like a new outfit or new rims for their car, or even practicing a religion and trying to let others know how dedicated they are. Another word for this need is uniqueness; or a need to stand out. Some people only want to be significant with the people they really care about, while others want to stand out from the entire world. Either way, we all have this need.

    4. LOVE and CONNECTION. There are people who will say that they have no need or desire to have love or connection in their life, but they are only trying to convince themselves as well as other people of this erroneous fallicy (once again, to appear to not have a need for love and connection helps them to meet their need for significance by making others believe they stronger and more independent than most). The fact is, humans have to have social contact. They also have to feel as though they belong somewhere and that they are accepted by their peers. The newspapers are filled with stories of people who have done some pretty insane and irrational acts simply because their need for love and connection was either being taken or they were trying to fill it in the first place. Unfortunately, a lot of times by full-filling this need we lose our sense of uniqueness (significance). This is a psychological battle that goes on in many people's lives within themselves. They'll finally achieve that level of love and connection but then they begin to feel as though they are losing THEIR identity and so they pull back from the relationship. One of the reasons that gangs are becoming more and more prevalent is because the gang meets the need for love and connection (and certainty) in a young boy's life that is missing. The gang that he associates himself with gives him a sense of belonging. Remember, you must balance this need with the need for significance or else you'll never be truly satisfied.

    5. GROWTH. This is a need that few people meet but is absolutely essential for true happiness and full-fillment. The unfortunate fact is that very few people realize this. As a society, we try to meet our need for satisfaction in all sorts of senseless ways. But if people will only understand that true satisfaction comes from finding something that we're truly passionate about and that constantly causes us to reach for a new level of growth, then they would stop searching for things that only full-fill them temporarily. The great thing about this need is that it can only be met in a positive way, whereas the other four psychological needs can be met in a negative way if we choose that route.

    6. CONTRIBUTION BEYOND YOURSELF. Remember this: PEOPLE WILL DO MORE FOR OTHERS THEY TRULY CARE ABOUT THEN THEY EVER WILL FOR THEMSELVES. What this means is that we all have this thing inside of us that makes us feel certain, uncertain, significant, loved and connected, and a constant feeling of growth as long as we are giving to others and expecting nothing in return. The fact is, humans are basically good and we seem to really get a sense of well-being when we are giving to others whether it be in the form of our time, money, service, or gifts. Once again, this is a need that can only be achieved in a positive manner.

    Well, there you are. Those are the six psychological needs of every human being. The question now is: how can we USE this? Well, you have to understand that we are always trying to meet these needs even at a sub-conscious level. By noticing when you're trying to meet the first four needs and asking yourself, "How can I meet these needs in a more positive manner," you can shy away from the negative behavior that you've been repeating.

    Albert Ellis states that emotion and rational thought cannot exist in the same place at the same time. That means that you cannot behave in an irrational manner if at the same time you are trying to think about your situation rationally. As long as you are always trying to meet these needs, why not meet them in away that is going to serve you. Also, you MUST find something that will cause you to constantly grow and something that will allow you to contribute even if it's only to those you love and care about. This is the key to ultimate happiness and full-fillment.

    At the beginning of this page I mentioned a friend of mine having an issue with her ex-boyfriend. It seems that, although he behaved in an uncaring manner and treated her very unfairly more than once, he called her after a few weeks and pleaded with her to take him back. I couldn't help but notice that he was desprerately trying to meet two of the psychological needs: his need for certainty (which he had when she was with him), and his need for love and connection. Like I said, we will ALWAYS strive to meet these needs, especially when we feel as if they are no longer being met. So, in what ways are YOU trying to meet these needs.

    Until next time. take care.
    Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004
    6:12 pm
    Hello again! I apologize for not updating my page sooner, but thanks for the interest!

    I wanted to share something with you that I'm very passionate about and have been for years: the art of communication and persuasion. I've read just about every book imaginable on the topic. I've read books like "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, "Get Anyone to Do Anything" by David J. Leiberman, and "How to Talk to Anyone, Anywhere at Anytime" by Larry King. As a psychology student, these books have been invaluable to me.

    I would like to first emphasize one thing before I begin, and that is that only a very small percentage of the ideas, techniques, and skills that I share on any of my pages are mine. I usually try and be very clear about that. Years ago when I was a very serious martial art student I had the privaledge of studying with the legendary Dan Inosanto (in case you didn't know, Dan Inosanto was one of Bruce Lee's first students and the only man that Bruce ever certified to teach his art). Mr. Inosanto told me that one should ALWAYS give credit to the person who has taught them, even if all they taught them was one thing. That advice has never left me and so I always try to give credit to the source of which I learned a particular skill.

    With that said, here are the top ten MOST EFFECTVE communication techniques that I've learned in the past decade from the best of the best in the art of communication and persuasion:

    1. LISTEN! This is probably the most effective thing you can do to build outstanding rapport! However, most people rarely do it! We seem to be a society that's hell-bent on getting OUR point accross! But trust me, listeners are the type of people that everyone wants to talk to! Why do think that this country spends millions of dollars a year in counseling and therapy sessions?! And all these "professionals" do is LISTEN! Try this: the next conversation you have, make it a point to speak only about 20 - 30% of the time. Watch how much that person will warm up to you. Just try it! Do you know what the number one complaint is among most wives when it comes to their husbands? It's that they don't listen enough! Boy, there must be something to this listening business, huh?

    2. Here's the second most effective communication tool, and its closely related to listening: ask OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS! What is an open-ended question? It's any question that ellicates a response that's more than a one word answer. Open-ended questions usually begin with who, what, when, where, why, or how. You see, if you ask a person a question that begins with one of these words, such as, "So, why did you decide to take that job in Atlanta?" then the other person has to explain... in a detailed response. This automatically keeps the flow of conversation going and also tells the other person that you are interested in them. In fact, the best open ended question is "why." Oh, one more thing, if you ask an open-ended question, make sure you LISTEN to their reply. Nothing kills rapport faster than asking them a question, and them watching you stare off into the distance while they answer it.

    3. Use the techniques of "matching and mirroring." This is a technique developed by a famous pschologist named Milton Erickson. Erickson discovered that when he matched things like body posture, body positioning, gestures, tone of voice, speech pattern, certain vocabulary, and mood, he saw that he could almost INSTANTLY build rapport with that person and have them opening up to him as if were their best friend! Next time you're with someone, have some fun! Match their body position, gestures, and tone of voice and see how long it takes them to start treating you as if they've known you forever! Caution! When you match and mirror someone, be sure you are subtle! If the other person picks up on the fact that you are mirroring them, then they will feel insulted! Remember, you don't have to match EVERYTHING about someone. Just pick one or two traits and match them.

    4. Use the three most effective body language techniques known: eye contact, leaning slightly forward, and "open" body postures. Just like matching and mirroring, these three techniques work at a sub-conscious level, which is most effective. A recent study done at Irvine University suggests that gazing into someone's eyes (for a moment, not long periods of time like some creepy stalker) can actually produce romantic feelings in someone you're talking with. This is due to the fact that the eyes are directly linked to the part of the brain that produces emotion. Animals use eye contact as a means for several types of communication. Also, when talking to someone, lean slightly towards them to show interest. But don't overcrowd them! Open body postures simply refers to uncrossing the arms so as to appear non-defensive and accepting.

    5. Don't forget to SMILE! This sounds rediculously simple and elementary, but even after thousands of years, it is still one of the best methods for getting someone to automatically begin to accept you! When a friendly dog approaches you doesn't he wag his tail? That's because he's saying,"Hey, I'm friendly and I want to get to know you. I like you." You see, a dog is incapable of smiling, and so he wags his tail. You and I show acceptance differently as humans, but we still have a definite way of telling each other that we want to interact. We do it with our smiles! Smiling is biological! It's automatic for someone to greet you with friendliness when you use your most valuable greeting tool: your smile. Besides, if the person you're smiling at doesn't reciprocate, then you don't want to meet them anyway!

    6. Always, always, always remember someone's name!! Dale Carnegie writes in his book 'How to Win Friends and Influence People" that a person's name is, to them, the sweetest sounding word in the English language. Remember someone's name and they will almost always be impressed.

    7. If you want to be able to walk up to someone you've never met before and start a quality conversation, then just use a technique known as a "statement-question." All you do is approach that person and make a statement and then ask them an open-ended question regarding the statement you just made. For instance if I see someone at a party I've never met before and I want to talk to them, I simply walk up to them and first make a statement like, "Wow, I didn't expect this place to be this crowded! " Then, I usually follow it by introducing myself. When they introduce themselves, that's the signal that it's okay to engage in conversation. Now, here's where my question comes in. I'll ask an open-ended question like, "So what made you decide to come out?" That's all there is to it! After that, just keep the open-ended questions rolling! Just make sure that you throw in little tid-bits about yourself from time to time so as not to sound as though you are interegating her or him.

    8. Appeal to the other person's interest. This is one that I've used a lot because it's so easy! Once again this one comes to us courtesy of Dale Carnegie. He says that all you have to do to have the other person interested in you is become genuinely interested in them! Most people aren't that way. If you've ever had a chance to go to a club and listen to a man try and pick up a woman, I'm sure that you've heard them talk endlessly about themselves to the point of running the woman off! It's funny how many times these guys go home alone. Noone wants to hear someone yap on and on about THEIR interests, and THEIR accomplishments. Become interested in the OTHER person! Ask about THEM! And watch how much they'll talk on for hours!

    9. When trying to influence others, use the very effective tactic of silence before you answer a question of refute a disagreeable statement. This technique is golden! Silence has a mysterious power to it for some reason. It tells the other person that you aren't quick to react to emotions or that you can be easily moved or persuaded. Silence is associated with strength in our culture and when you take a short moment to be silent before you answer a question or challenge a remark, you cause the other person to be apprehensive. Then they begin to break down and become a bit confused. Never loose control of your emotions!! The person who shows self-discipline wins everytime.

    10. Always use "and" instead of "but." This one is a favorite of mine when I need to critisize or correct someone. The word "but" automatically puts a person in defense mode and causes them to get defensive and even offended. However, if you substitute "and" instead of but, then that person never has a chance to become defensive and they will even think that you're helping them. For example instead of me saying, "You did a great job on that report, BUT you need to finish faster so we can get this out" I can say, "You did a great job AND if you'll just make an attempt to finish faster, we can better serve the customer." You see how that works?

    Anyway, have fun with these and practice every chance you get. Let me know how they've served you . Until next time. take care!
    Friday, February 6th, 2004
    4:03 pm
    Before I begin, I'd like to thank crushedsodacan (very original name) for their comment on my earlier update. Thanks!

    This week I had the privilege of having an in-depth conversation with a psychology professor of mine and the topic of identity popped up during our chat. We discussed this for a short while and then moved on to another subject. However, after I left his office, I began to ponder the fascinating topic of identity and, because of that, I felt motivated to do a bit of research.

    When I speak of "identity" I'm not talking about someone's name, address or phone number. I'm speaking more along the lines of who someone sees themselves as. I'm talking about a person's view of themselves. The more research I did, the more I found out exactly how important our view of ourseves really is when it comes to accomplishing our goals and overcoming certain obstacles.

    Maxwell Maltz was a very successful plastic surgeon in the 1960's. He began to discover that after he completed a successful operation, the patient would begin to accomplish things that they never had before due to their new view of themselves. However, he also noticed that those who were severely misfigured before the surgery and, because of this, had an extremely low opinion of themselves, saw very little change in the way they performed in everyday life. He believed this was because they had been CONDITIONED to see themselves as not worthy or capable of accomplishing very much, even though they had a whole new physical appearance.

    So what does this little "history lesson " teach us about our identity and our accomplishments? Well, what Dr. Maltz learned through his obsevations was that our self image is absolutely crucial in determining what we are capable of achieving. In other words, everything you do (and I do mean EVERYTHING) is determined by who you see yourself as and what you believe you are capable of accomplishing. You might say, "C'mon Chris, you mean to tell me that if I decide to go to the store and get a pack of gum it's because of who I think I am? Get real!" And I'd say, "I AM real." You see, you get up off your duff and go get a pack of gum because you know that you are plenty capable of doing so. There are people in this world who are absolutely terrorfied of leaving their house just to check the mail, and the only reason is because they are uncertain as to whether or not they are capable of doing so. This is directly related to how they see themselves. Even if the reason that they stay indoors twenty-four hours a day is because they are simply scared to death that something will happen to them if they go outside, this phobia is directly linked to them viewing themselves as someone who couldn't handle whatever might come their way. When you get right down to it, your self image governs ALL of your actions.

    So, as always, the question is: how can we USE this? Well, the fact that you realize this is already powerful ammunition in conquering your fears and deciding to go after whatever it is you've been putting off. The reason for this is that once you know the cause of something, you are then able to stop yourself when you are about to do that thing you dread or talk yourself out of going through with whatever it is you've been putting off, and say to yourself, " Hey, the only reason that I'm not doing this or that is because I don't see myself as someone who is capable." Those who have a view of themselves as someone who does great things or who goes after what it is they want, have no problem doing just that.

    One of the secrets to changing the identity you have for yourself is to simply say,"I'm the type of person who does that." For instance, if you are starting an execise program and want to stick with it, then tell yourself and others,"I'm someone who stays in shape." Notice how I didn't say something like,"I'm trying to stay in shape," or "I'm starting a work-out program." We made our statement part of our identity. In essence we said," This is the type of person I am...no exceptions." Once you, as well as other people, start to see yourself as a person who's actions are consistant with who you are, you will start to follow through with your commitments to yourself because people do what is directly tied to who they are.

    Anyway...food for thought. If you or anyone else reads this and would like to comment on what I have written, please don't hesitate to leave your comments, even if you'd like to hit me with a bit of critisizm. Once again, thanks for your interest.
    Friday, January 30th, 2004
    12:13 pm
    Hello once again, and thank you to anyone who has taken an interest in my work.

    I wanted to share something today that I thought is of importance to everyone regardless of age, race or gender. Because we have become a society that gives to everyone we love and care about and rarely give to ourselves, I wanted to take a moment and talk about the importance of giving to yourself.

    I don't know why, but we've become a nation of people who believe that doing something for ourselves as individuals is selfish and self-centered. We tend to think that our job as parents, spouses, and children is to make as many sacrafices as humanly possible so that one day everyone who loves and cares for us will throw us some sort of shin-dig and we'll finally be recognized for all the huge, selfless sacrafices we've made. Well I've got news for you, it ain't gonna happen. Noone is going to rent out a banquette hall in your honor and spend the evening with all of your closest loved ones making speeches and describing what a great martyr you'vebeen. I don't mean to sound negative, but that's just not how life is usually rigged.

    Now I'm not suggesting that you do the things you do for the people you love because you want some sort of recognition or reward. I know that most of the time you're simply "being a parent" or doing what most people would do for their parents or friends. And I know, all you want is a little recognition once in a while for your efforts.Well, that's what I want to talk to you about: taking care of YOU.

    For most people, taking care of themselves is a foreign idea. They believe that they'll do something for themselves just as soon as their loved ones and everyone they feel an obligation or responsibility toward has their needs met. The problem with this form of thinking is that they seldom get around to it. There simply never seems to be enough time in a 24 hour period. After the kids have been bathed, supper has been cooked, and the boss at work has everything he needs, then we'll get to us, right? It's funny how seldom we ever do.

    I'd like to urge anyone who is reading this to begin to do just ONE thing a week for themselves. Why? Because there is a psychological law that says that if you give to yourself, you'll have more to give to others. I know that this doesn't fit in with conventional thinking, but trust me...its true. Since I've been taking time out for myself, I've really begun to feel as though I have more time for everyone else. It may be due to the fact that I'm more relaxed and less stressed, and so I can control my time without feeling on edge. People have told me that I'm in a better mood and I seem to relate better with people I interact with. Once I begun to take time out for ME and do one thing a week for ME, I realized exactly what I was missing out on by not giving back to myself.

    Let me ask you something: what kind of a gift do you think you're giving to your loved ones and the people you care about when you don't take time to invest in YOU? Do you really think you give them something valuable if the giving is done with anger,resentment, or a sense of obligation rather than a sense of charity? What are you really contributing in the long run if you're too tired to play ball with your child or too depressed to listen to your friends problems when they need someone to talk to because you're burned out from taking care of everyone else and ignoring YOUR needs? Are you getting what it is I'm saying here? Taking care of you is NOT selfish! In fact, its down right necessary! I urge you to start a plan this week to take one hour out of your weekly schedule and do something that will make you smile and help you to relax. Don't do anything that you MUST do! Do something that you've always wanted to do but never had the time. I don't care if you've always wanted to sing...go do it! If you want to buy a certain book, but you always talk yourself out of it because you're trying to "be sensable about your money." Forget about that for once and do what is going to bring you a bit of joy. I promise that you will begin to see a change in your life, and so will eveyone else.

    Hey thanks again for your interest, and until next time...take care of YOU!
    Thursday, January 22nd, 2004
    2:24 pm
    I've recieved a request to update my file, and so I thought that I would throw out some helpfull information
    once a week to anyone who is interested in making changes in their daily life through psychology.

    This week's topic is "That Inner Voice."

    Through studying psychology I learned that we all have an inner voice called an "inner dialog" or an inner
    conversation. This is that voice inside of you that weighs out every situation that you come accross. You know, things like, "should I call so-and -so back," or "will I fail of I try to start that home-based business." Well, although that voice can be very usefull when it comes to protecting you both physically and emotionally, it can also keep you from stepping out and doing things that could really benefit you in the long run. The problem with having an inner voice sometimes is that we tend to believe what this voice says simply because it's our own. What you have to keep in mind is that you inner voice is operating on what you've experienced in the past and what you told yourself about those experiences. For example, if you were turned down when you asked someone out back in high school and you felt really embarassed, your inner voice( who's job it is to protect you) will tell you not to ask anyone else out because you sure as hell don't want to feel that way again. Your voice lies to you and tells you that asking someone out equals pain. I'm sure that there are things in which you don't engage in simply because you have told yourself beforehand that if you try it then you may fail or you'll be humiliated.
    Here are a few simple ways you can learn to ignore your inner dialog and start attempting those things that you've been putting off:

    1. Whenever you are faced with a difficult task, or one that makes you nervouse or hesitant, simply stop
    and ask yourself what exactly it is that you are telling yourself. Are you saying to yourself, "Who are
    kidding, they'll turn you down flat," or "You know you're not qualified to do that! Go back to a job that
    you have experience in."? You must know that before you can change they way you behave, you have
    to recognize what it is that you're telling yourself.

    2. Once you've identified what your inner dialog is saying, then ask yourself, "What's the worst that can
    happen?" By allowing ourselves to realistically predict what can happen if we do fail, then we can
    usually start to realize that we can probably handle whatever the difficult situation brings.

    3. Realize that, most of the time, our fears cause us to imagine situations happening a lot worse than how
    they actually turn out. We conjure up all kinds of images in our heads of being laughed at or told off
    when in reality these situations that we've imagined usually never happen. Nine out of ten times it's
    never as bad as we've made it out to be in our minds. Our inner voice is trying to protect us from what
    we believe could be harmful.

    4. Here's the most important part: you have to TEST what it is you are telling yourself! If you say to your-
    self, "I'll never get the job, so why even apply?" or "If I tell him or her the truth, they'll never talk to
    me again," then test your theory! Don't just simply listen to your inner voice and take it as the abso-
    lute truth. You may find out that you were just filling your own head with a bunch of crap.

    5. Whatever the outcome, know that at least you didn't run from the situation. At least you can know that
    you faced the situation with guts, and you confronted your fears. That feeling alone can be worth
    more than what you would have gotten if the sitiuation had turned out the way you wanted it to in the
    first place. However, you may get what you wanted. Either way, it's win-win.


    Well, there you go. Those are just a few suggestions on how to handle your inner dialog. Just remember,
    everything that happens in your head is there for a reason. But, that doesn't mean it's there to serve you. I hope Iv'e given some good advice to someine out there. Please respond if you like and let me know whether or not I've been of any help. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing your comments. Good Luck!
    2:24 pm
    I've recieved a request to update my file, and so I thought that I would throw out some helpfull information
    once a week to anyone who is interested in making changes in their daily life through psychology.

    This week's topic is "That Inner Voice."

    Through studying psychology I learned that we all have an inner voice called an "inner dialog" or an inner
    conversation. This is that voice inside of you that weighs out every situation that you come accross. You know, things like, "should I call so-and -so back," or "will I fail of I try to start that home-based business." Well, although that voice can be very usefull when it comes to protecting you both physically and emotionally, it can also keep you from stepping out and doing things that could really benefit you in the long run. The problem with having an inner voice sometimes is that we tend to believe what this voice says simply because it's our own. What you have to keep in mind is that you inner voice is operating on what you've experienced in the past and what you told yourself about those experiences. For example, if you were turned down when you asked someone out back in high school and you felt really embarassed, your inner voice( who's job it is to protect you) will tell you not to ask anyone else out because you sure as hell don't want to feel that way again. Your voice lies to you and tells you that asking someone out equals pain. I'm sure that there are things in which you don't engage in simply because you have told yourself beforehand that if you try it then you may fail or you'll be humiliated.
    Here are a few simple ways you can learn to ignore your inner dialog and start attempting those things that you've been putting off:

    1. Whenever you are faced with a difficult task, or one that makes you nervouse or hesitant, simply stop
    and ask yourself what exactly it is that you are telling yourself. Are you saying to yourself, "Who are
    kidding, they'll turn you down flat," or "You know you're not qualified to do that! Go back to a job that
    you have experience in."? You must know that before you can change they way you behave, you have
    to recognize what it is that you're telling yourself.

    2. Once you've identified what your inner dialog is saying, then ask yourself, "What's the worst that can
    happen?" By allowing ourselves to realistically predict what can happen if we do fail, then we can
    usually start to realize that we can probably handle whatever the difficult situation brings.

    3. Realize that, most of the time, our fears cause us to imagine situations happening a lot worse than how
    they actually turn out. We conjure up all kinds of images in our heads of being laughed at or told off
    when in reality these situations that we've imagined usually never happen. Nine out of ten times it's
    never as bad as we've made it out to be in our minds. Our inner voice is trying to protect us from what
    we believe could be harmful.

    4. Here's the most important part: you have to TEST what it is you are telling yourself! If you say to your-
    self, "I'll never get the job, so why even apply?" or "If I tell him or her the truth, they'll never talk to
    me again," then test your theory! Don't just simply listen to your inner voice and take it as the abso-
    lute truth. You may find out that you were just filling your own head with a bunch of crap.

    5. Whatever the outcome, know that at least you didn't run from the situation. At least you can know that
    you faced the situation with guts, and you confronted your fears. That feeling alone can be worth
    more than what you would have gotten if the sitiuation had turned out the way you wanted it to in the
    first place. However, you may get what you wanted. Either way, it's win-win.


    Well, there you go. Those are just a few suggestions on how to handle your inner dialog. Just remember,
    everything that happens in your head is there for a reason. But, that doesn't mean it's there to serve you. I hope Iv'e given some good advice to someine out there. Please respond if you like and let me know whether or not I've been of any help. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing your comments. Good Luck!
    Monday, January 5th, 2004
    2:58 pm
    PSYCHOLOGY
    Q: How did you become interested in Psychology?

    C: I was watching on episode of Oprah one day (don't ask me why) and I heard this guy talking named Dr. Phil McGraw. At the time my life had really hit rock bottom and what he was saying really seemed to m ake sense. I went out and bought his books and CD's and completely inhaled them. After that I became interested in guys like Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, Albert Ellis and others.

    Q: What are your current credentials?

    C: At the present time I am curren tly enrolled in college pursuing a Masters Degree in Psychology. Besides my academic endeavors, I have researched and studied literally hundreds of psychologists and their theories through books, seminars, lectures,and web-sites. Because of my willingness to dive as deep into my chosen field as possible,I have been able to learn a variety of skills that are considered to be cutting-edge as well as extremely effective.

    Q: So what is your favorite subject concerning
    Psychology?

    C:I have two favorites: human persuasion, and behavior change. These two subjects are fascinationg to me!

    Q: What is your over-all philosophy on those
    subjects?

    C: As far as pursuasion is concerned, I believe whole-heartedly in Dale Carnegie's philosophy: "You can get people interested in you a lot faster by becoming interested in them. This works better than anything else you could try." The great benefit of this technique is that, besides the ability to pursuade others, you also learn alot by shutting up and listening . Most people are very poor listeners.
    As for behavioral change, I believe that human beings are slaves to two things: their habits and their beliefs. As human beings, we only do the things we do out of our need to gain pleasure or our need to avoid pain. And the way we choose to meet those needs are based on either our habits, or our beliefs about what are actions will bring. But when you change both your habits and beliefs, you create immediate results in your behavior!

    Q: Why should anyone listen to y ou in regards to changing behaviors or lifelong habits? I mean, you aren't a certified psychologist yet.

    C: This is true. And though I've learned a lot , I still have far to go. However, the techniques I describe to people aren't things that I've just ma de up of theorized. These are priciples that I've learned from professionals and experts in the field of human psychology. I've studied the techniques of guys like Dr.Phil McGraw, Robin Sharma, John Grinder, Albert Ellis, and many others.But besides study ing these techniques, I've used them personally on myself and others to make lasting changes in lifestyle! I used these techniques to techniques quit smoking, spending money frivolously, and eating poorly!

    Q: What's the number one thing that holds people back from creating the lasting changes that they want?

    C: As Anthony Robbins says, "Change is nev er about ability; it's always about motivation." When someone has a strong enough reason, they will flat-out change, period! I mean, haven't you ever been in a situation where you kept trying to change and never could and then one day you decided that you'd had enough and you just said, "That's it! No more! Never again!", and you never went back to that same old thing again? That's the day you got enough motivation! In psychology we call that "leverage".The problem is that most people , when they get a li ttle pain they want to run from it. What they don't understand is that if they allow themselves to feel how much pain their getting from that unwanted habit, then the pain will serve them! The pain will finally give them the leverage that they needed to m ake a change.

    Q: I see. So in what other ways can psychology make a difference in peoples lives?

    C: Well, after studying experts such as Albert Ellis, I've learned to become a lot more rational in my thinking. For instance, in the past, if someone cut m e off in traffic I would become instantly irritated or even enraged. But through studying Ellis's Rational Emotive Terapy, I've learned to use rational thought to better asses the situation. I say things to myself such as, "Maybe they had a crummy day and didn't realize what they were doing. Or, maybe they're old, or they're running late for something important." Even if the case is that they're simply an insensitive ass,why should I let their actions ruine my day? This type of thinking is what has given me a life of much more peace and well-being. Everyone could benefit from this type of psychology!

    Q: So what are your future plans?

    C: I plan to finish my degree, write a couple of books, and begin giving lectures. I'd like to work with corporations and businesses on effective communication, and also break into the field of personal coaching.

    Q: Good Luck!

    C: Thanks!
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