Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Total Ineffectiveness of Negative Moods

Volume 2, Issue 4

Our motivations are the original rock that starts an avalanche. Motivations turn into goals, and then cascade into emotions that flare negative or positive when events/people are perceived to interfere with or enable us in reaching our goals. This all happens whether we are aware of any of it or not.

When we are in a state of negative emotion our capabilities are reduced. Brainpower is being distracted away from effective action clarity. The very thing that caused our negative emotion guffaws in triumph at our helpless self-attack, which leaves the irritant unscathed. The very thing we need most when the negative alarm goes off is to turn off the alarm and use all our brainpower effectively. So from the standpoint of adult commonsense logic, our indulgence of wallowing in negativity for more than an instant is totally unjustifiable and indefensible — in a word, ineffective.

People say they have no control over negative emotions. This is the archetypal self-fulfilling prophecy. If you refuse to give up control to your own habituated robot circuitry and instead fight it (the true meaning of jihad) eventually you win and then you feel very good forever after that. This is called Enlightenment. Think of it over-simplistically as gaining control of your own castle, your own motivations, goals, emotions, and everything else that is you.

What is a man?

What has he got?

If not himself, then he has not.

—   Excerpt from the lyrics of My Way, sung by Frank Sinatra

Once you have that control it is easier to give up control to the Flow state, where things seem to be doing themselves spontaneously and perfectly while we watch as observers from the inside. This often has the appearance to outside observers of you performing so perfectly that you even seem to know what other people are going to do next. Your motivations-goals-emotions-ideas-actions system is performing as a whole in Flow state, which is why the actions are so perfect. This is where you eventually get by rejecting negativity and getting down to solving whatever is the cause of your negative emotion.

I hypothesize that our being trained to cry for rescue in infancy sets up a circuit that sublimates into the same thing on more invisible levels throughout life. Parenting around this would be a good idea, for example by soothingly reminding the infant every time he/she cries that it is more effective to call for us more pleasantly, perhaps even musically, and we will come just as fast. Then we have to remember to pay off that promise ardently so as to reinforce the non-anguish appeal over the rescue me syndrome. I see all negativity as coming from this rescue me circuit. It is a construct that helps me overcome it.

Any construct that works to gain control of habitual counterproductive programming is a useful tool. A more extreme version is my imagining that an alien spy is the source of the negativity — it is not coming from the true me. Such constructs appear to resonate with the animal parts of ourselves or perhaps at the cellular level of consciousness and certainly with the oldest parts of our brain including the limbic system. At any rate negativity deflates in the presence of such mental toolware, which emerges from imagination in the marketplace of the inner mind. Imagination is a great source of energy and leads to clarity.

The Human Effectiveness Institute offers such toolware but we achieve our own highest success when we inspire individuals to get into the game of creating their own toolware in response to their own observed moments of EOP and their own observing of what works to overcome it.

To return to our first point, motivations are the base of your being, so it is good to start there as you re-inspect your “SELF” from these perhaps new points of view offered here. What are your motivations and why? What are the goals that serve these motivations? What is helping you reach those goals? What is impeding you? What do these insights imply in terms of action decisions?

In the absence of protracted negativity — using it just as an appreciated alarm system — enjoyment of life is the natural levity remaining once the weights have been lifted. Let’s levitate into levity!

Best to all,

Bill

Dial Back on Arousal to Reach Highest Performance

Volume 2, Issue 3

Science verifies the Vedas, Tantra, Qabala, and other ancient ideas

Hope you’re enjoying the new “2-minute read” format.

Thousands of years ago, individuals who trained themselves to be introspective all learned the same wisdom about the mind, in Greece and Egypt as in India and elsewhere. I’ve also rediscovered those bits of wisdom in a lifelong self-training to be an objective introspective observer — so as to really learn things and not just prop up my own ego, as we are all mostly forced to do by the information overload pressure that all too often sinks us into EOP.

The ancient wisdom even more applicable in today’s accelerating culture says that if we care too much we ruin it. Whatever “it” is. The word “attachment” is the meme of this wisdom, the gene from which a Pandora’s Box of linked ideas emerge.

Some became Buddhists, but most of the kids in my college class went on with their lives with their attachment level dialed way up, and this caused them painful life lessons from which they have grown up and consequently dialed down their attachment levels.

Although we find it expedient to ignore ancient wisdom, believing our science to be light-years ahead, science is only now coming to the same conclusions as the ancients but by humorously roundabout trips. If only psychology had listened to William James and seen introspection as a valuable tool of science. Science today would be accelerating into Observer and Flow state discoveries, leapfrogging over my mere intuitions and practical experience.

Consider the following “now-scientific” evidence. The widely-accepted Yerkes-Dodson law in psychology says that the optimal level of arousal for highest performance is moderate — a word Aristotle would also have chosen.he inverted U-shapes relationship between arousal and performance,  known as the Yerkes-Dodson law, interacts with the complexity of the task.

Note that arousal should be set even lower for more difficult tasks. Not rookie over-eagerness, but a fatalism that is above caring about success or failure — kind of a playful fun resignation to whatever outcome the universe chooses, so long as you like your play.

Arousal in this context means the same thing as the mental causes of physical and brainstem arousal — we call these motivations. If we are attached, meaning too highly motivated such that not succeeding would be anguishing — then we are not going to give our highest Flow state (Zone) performance.

Dial back the arousal. In future posts we will address the next question: how does one actually do that?

Best to all,

Bill

The Regenerative Method for Stimulating Innovation

Volume 2, Issue 2

This blog takes a new shortened form optimized for Acceleritis conditions

Listening to you readers, I now enjoy writing this blog more than ever. Everyone I talk to says it is something totally different and therefore worth reading. Thank you all again for the encouragement.

The other thing you all say is that each week you stockpile some of it that you just can’t make time to read, given everything else. So with the intent of listening and acting on input, we’ll experiment with a far shorter format starting with this post.

Habit is the biggest obstacle to innovation and adaptability. The number of repetitions in our ingrained mental habits is in the millions by age 30. Each repetition reinforces many synapses thus increasing their automaticity. This is your challenge in breaking out of mental ruts, which is something you must do if you aspire to Flow state. And something you must do simply to innovate and adapt yourself and your company/organization to an accelerated treadmill of inputs, questions, challenges, and opportunities.

Imagination is the best tool we have and the one that is the most fun to use. Use of imagination regenerates synapses that have fallen into disuse and dials back the automaticity of the ones you use all the time.

Take your company, for example. Imagine the wildest scenarios you can — radical changes in partnerships, a totally different pricing model, an impossible dream of a new product you’d love to have — you make it up. See if this mental exercise doesn’t give you some imaginative yet prudent immediate actions. I bet it will.

Do the same for yourself. Think the unthinkable. Every 7 years every cell in your body is different, the old ones are gone. We are a new self every moment. Daydream your near-term and far-term future, knowing you are purposely being unrealistic and perhaps grandiose — it’s allowed because it’s only an exercise.

Or is it?

Best to all,

Bill 

The Immediate Upside Opportunity of Engaged Relationships

Volume 2, Issue 1

The next boom could be right around the corner, but we have to create it

When one is in a depressed defeatist state of consciousness, one draws down upon his or her self all manner of further difficulties incremental to what caused the depression. Some might say this is just others reading and taking advantage of obvious clues of weakness, while others might say the Divine Matrix is mirroring and giving each of us what we need. The construct is irrelevant because the predictions are the same. Both are accurate.

The same thing happens on a global level, as in the Great Depression and in today’s economic swoon from which we are tepidly recovering. The perception is that there is not enough to go around.

Yet there is evidence that the resources of the planet, properly stewarded, are more than enough to prove Malthus wrong and to make everybody’s quality of life quite acceptable in terms of the basics. The fact that we have been squandering some or all of those resources of course creates a potential shortfall. But these are human actions thus conceptually under our control. We can change our actions.

However, we feel that we cannot control or change our actions. And the truth turns out to be that whatever we feel/think/believe comes true, as if we are creating our own future. Gosh, how can anyone say we are not creating it, as in The Secret? This was not mainstream thinking as recently as the 1970s, when I wrote Mind Magic and Seth Speaks became popular, but many today agree that whatever is in our minds later manifests in the consensual reality in some form. Nevertheless the Will is missing on a mass scale to grab hold of the reins and make the 180-degree course change that we all deep down inside want the planet to make. The difference between the imagined utopia and the present mess is just too vast and we feel exhausted before we begin. Pessimism trumps optimism among the core of the culture. We are indeed seen to be the screw-ups that many interpretations of the Bible said we are. You’ll guess that Bill is about to tell us Acceleritis and the inevitable trial and error consequences of our new cortex is behind the mess, and you’re right, that is my estimate of the situation.

This blog is always about “What can we do about it now?” This week’s post explores how we can start with our relationships and how the ripples in the pond will spread to the ends of the Earth.

First let’s recognize that the immediate opportunity, if not distorted by negative assumptions, could be seen as incredibly promising. The Arab Spring for example is a hopeful sign that the universally available information/communication phase has now rolled out into totalitarian territory and the effect is inevitable.

And there are other hopeful signs. Every member state of the UN has agreed to wipe out extreme poverty in the world by 2020 through implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Inspired by the ideas of economist Jeffrey Sachs, this program has been doing its job and is on track to make its numbers.

Genomics and nanotechnology along with a host of other new sciences and technologies, offer new potential for medicine, and growing realization of how we have poisoned and cancered ourselves with pesticides and other unwise choices. All of this simultaneously offers the possibility that we will begin to dial back the causes of ill health. When we are all feeling physically good and not worried caregivers of loved ones on the descent, this will do a lot to improve the way we use our minds.

However, we have to start now in the more difficult uphill condition of using our minds well, despite the many factors bringing us down to counterproductive mental habits that inexorably and progressively worsen our situational estimates.

Among the biggest opportunities that lie ahead include marketing to the developing nations around the world, and to all of the other nations as well. Global commerce is the biggest upside on the horizon, and Brookings Institute partnering with J.P. Morgan Chase has created the Global Cities Initiative to drive the exports of American goods and services that can bring us back into boom for a long time. This is an opportunity not just for Americans but for everyone.

There will be a host of new and better products and services that are more win/win in terms of the entire ecosystem of our minds, bodies, and external environments. Software will continue to amaze us with where it takes us. Facebook and Twitter will lead our evolution in the direction of developing each individual and marketing him and her across the Global Digital Matrix.

Money will cease to be a problem over the course of time, and fallbacks into depressions may not be necessary, once we learn how to play nice in this big blue/green sandbox. Money is a symbol used in trade and we can and do create as much of it as we want. Over time — once we are spending more time in Observer and Flow states — we can probably improve upon the fiscal implementation details currently in place via the Fed, international monetary policy agreements, etc. so that the symbology system does not itself continue to confuse us into believing we do not have enough to go around.

What about aggressor states and terrorists and other criminal and/or psychotic behaviors? Big challenges lie ahead. Some people are not good listeners and are past willingness to learn they have gone off course in any way. Compassion and good communication will not always succeed — especially here at the beginning of the True Global Enlightenment, while we are at the deepest depths of the Real Dark Ages.

How do we avert a nuclear escalation if Israel and Iran clash, for example? These and other real world threats have an increased probability of occurrence to the degree that we believe they are inevitable and do not use our creativity to dream up compelling alternative scenarios and then sell them at all levels.

Although many Americans have issues and concerns about the UN, this organization is the greatest hope for a communication strategy that the world has or can have. The only way to bring everybody to the table will always turn into what the UN is perceived to be, a place where America feels it is not being treated fairly because it is not the dominant and ruling voice. Every member state has to feel it has an equal voice — this is the nature of the give and take of having neighbors.

This is where Engaging Relationships comes in. We have to look at every relationship as an opportunity, whether we are enjoying it at the moment or not. We have to accept it as a given, making the best of it that we can — drawing upon the wellsprings of unfamiliar creativity patterns in doing so, and pulling out all the stops from the standpoint of making maximum improvements, optimizing all the issues together. We have to decide to appreciate the challenge in each case. We have to stop demonizing the other and accept who he or she is, seeing the good news that difficult relationships are a fine learning stimulus, and finding places in ourselves where we can make excellently productive fine tunings.   

The UN has to itself evolve. It needs a new activism aimed at reducing the incentives for aggression — perhaps something like Mutually Assured DEfense (MADE, as in we all have it MADE) — the opposite of the US Cold War program Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The UN would have a protocol for discussing each act of aggression to determine the share of blame to each player — never assuming either is 100% to blame — counting up the instances of unnecessary escalation, e.g. who struck the first blow, etc. The UN would also have a protocol for defusing each crisis early on — similar perhaps to Jim Channon’s First Earth Battallion.

Bill Rouhana, CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul, has a program called Humpty Dumpty Institute that has worked hard to bring UN and Congress members into close communication with one another. This is a worthy program and along with other of Bill’s nonprofit initiatives should be seriously considered for sponsorship by major advertisers seeking to have Engaging Relationships with their customers. Telling people the benefits of your products is not enough anymore. The world is too serious a place. Since the 1930s Coca-Cola has known that its communications with customers must address their values and tensions (presentation to ARF Re:THINK 2012 this past week*). If you only communicate with them on the mercantile level, your customers think your brand is just interested in them as a wallet.

Ed Martin of Hershey is another chap who excels at finding and helping nonprofits with high potential to change the world for the better. For example, he is now helping Leonard DiCaprio and La Columbe Coffee’s charitable alliance, which is donating 100% of profits from its new coffee brand LYON to carefully-selected potentially high-yield environmental and disaster relief projects. At the same time he’s helping Hillary Clinton’s International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) — an innovative platform for public-private partnerships bringing together communities in the USA and “back home” in the plethora of countries that are the roots of most Americans — to promote trade, investment, volunteerism, philanthropy, diplomacy, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

These are our role models in showing how we can amp up our Engagement with the world — in all of our relationships and in new ones — enjoying each one more, in a gamelike fashion conducive to Flow state. The Human Effectiveness Institute has its own sponsorable nonprofit project involving democracy and social media, which we are offering to brands as a way of Engaging Relationships with customers and prospects. Brands interested in learning more, please click here.

As we focus this week on seizing the day with all our relationships, let’s remember to include the one we have with our self — which deserves some time allocation — and the relationship we have with the postulated One Self that is the Universe, in which we are an aspect and the whole at the same time. Each moment, let’s leave open at least the possibility that the Whole is aware of us.

*ARF will post the Coke presentation to their website within the next month where all ARF member companies can access it. www.thearf.org

Best to all,

Bill