Friday, November 11, 2005

"Cognito Ergo Sum"

"I think, therefore I am." This is about all I remember from my Philosophy 101 class almost 40 years ago. At the time, it seemed very simplistic. Now "I think...I know" that Descartes knew what he was talking about. Cognition is definitely a prerequisite for action and being and having. "Do...Be...Have." The thought has to be there or it's "thoughtless" activity. Not good. Then there is the old "saw" "Fake 'til you make it." I've heard this in sales...which is not the best source.

The "Music Man" musical had the now famous "think-system" for learning band music. Henry Higgins(?), the Music Man, was usually long gone by the time the suckers found out that didn't work; but they sure looked good in their uniforms with all their instruments. He was quite the salesman. I'm sure there have been many "self help" and "sales help" books written with this same philosophy ie. You have to think all the positive thoughts before they actually happen for you. I think they call them "affirmations". "But he doesn't know the territory!" This is what the other salesmen said about him. He actually did "know the territory". It was in the minds and ambitions of his clients and it was certainly in his thoughts too.

I've noticed that "thoughts" do seem to work subliminally. Attitude is the key to most successful interactions. A positive one helps tremendously, especially when all those around you are being "nay sayers" I remember a saying quoted by my old pastor, Lloyd Tornell: "I hate the guys who criticize and minimize the other guys, who by their lives have tried to rise above the guys who criticize and minimize." Or something like that.

I've seen it work with young children at school too. Some of your best teachers know the secret. They get the kids to do much more and enjoy doing it. They then are willing to attempt more with little fear of failure. One of my favorite books, even from my childhood, way back in "pre-historic" eras was "The Little Engine That Could". I just gave the old and new version to my son and grandson. The new one has more modernized pictures and some rewritten parts. It starts out, as you probably know, with an "impossible task" but the little engine "thinks he can" and keeps repeating it in that train rhythm. After he makes it over the hill and is coasting down into the valley with all the toys for the good girls and boys, he then says: "I thought I could." "I thought I could." etc.

This now is the way I'm going to approach the next challenges in my life. I think I can write. I think I can produce copy that is not just for my own enjoyment but might sell or be for others to see. Now, acting on those thoughts I will start doing the tasks and challenges that will get me there. It's like a goal that is accomplished by step by step objectives along the way...little reinforcers that give me feedback that my plan is more than hatched. "Baby steps Bob!"


At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Bette said...

I have a colleague, Alan Downs, who I co-led a DBT skills group with until September. He's written quite a few books. His most recent one has gotten him on Oprah, November 18th. Most of his books are in the self help genre. This one is for the gay male community. It's called The Velvet Hammer: Growing up Gay in a straight man's world. It's a controversial book. Maybe that's Oprah's interest. He just told me they asked him to return to the Oprah show in January. If you have a chance, tape the show. There's alot of DBT concepts in the book.

At 8:03 AM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Thanks, will do. Betty tapes Oprah everyday. What does DBT mean again? "Do...Be...?" Bob

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Bette said...

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Bette said...

Somehow I'm drawing a blank on Alan's book title, it may be Velvet Rage...oh well, one or the other...


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