Getting down on the up-stuff fluff.

Man standing on directional arrows pointing in three different ways
Has self-help lost it’s way?

It’s starting to show up.

The problem with people trying to help you with your mindset issues (other than giving the vaguest advice possible), is they fill your head with “one-liners”… things like…

“Repetition is the mother of skill!” — Tony Robbins

“Fall down 7 times, get up 8 times!” — Ancient Chinese proverb

“80% of life is just showing up!” — Woody Allen
And those things are helpful once or twice, but I know way too many people who have all the sayings
memorized, but they don’t follow them…

– Quote from a major internet marketer’s recent email.

I’ve waited a long time hoping to see it burst to the surface but now maybe it’s beginning to. Is traditional self-help loosing some of it’s footing?

For as long as I can recall, over the last three decades, no more than a handful have confided their true doubts in the lasting benefits offered by the self-helpers. I’ve been looking for people for years who might be open to admitting that, for the most part, they’re fed up with those who market personal development that costs a bundle but goes nowhere. Maybe now, because the stresses are so high, some brave and even well-known marketers (like the one I quoted above) are starting to call a spade a spade.

Napoleon Hill, for example, in all of his writings, talks about the importance of persistence and determination as being critical for success. But he never nailed it. Never actually told anyone what or where or how to locate these critical energy drives that are known to cause success in almost anything.

I’ve departed from the motivational conversations long ago. I don’t even see it as “motivational” any more since that is such a head-based thing. But these are not “head-based” energies. Persistence and determination are “gut-based” energies. I see it as much more advantageous to be more “immune-full” rather than “mindful”.

That’s because I’ve discovered something that I call “mindset immunity” and I believe it’s more descriptive of what we need now than what more advice and lame feel-good sayings might deliver. It’s a system of healing from failure the degree of which mirrors what the physical immune system does for the body. Timely and automatically.

It’s not naturally quick though. Fact is, in most people, mindset immunity it’s so slow and subtle you’d think it’s not even there at all. That’s why so few get to be hugely successful, at least financially, then the other 98% of us. Yet most do recover from defeat and a host of other emotionally-charged life events all by themselves without any outside help.

The time-worn methods of self help, personal development, positive thinking, (whatever you want to call it) is finally beginning to hit the glass wall. Not everyone can be fooled all of the time now and they’re beginning to put a voice to that thorn in their side.

I knew it would happen but didn’t think it would be so long coming. Of course I see that we have some super-critical types out there. Nego-commentators in this field are a rarity and I sometimes see them as good for entertainment value but not much else. They typically provide arguments that wildly spear the credibility of the famous  – and some not-so-famous  – self-help leaders but fail to provide workable alternatives to what’s being offered. I find them interesting but overly-radical although they do have a point when it comes to telling it like it is concerning all the hype coming of the numerous self-help promotional machines.

I recognize that people everywhere are in trouble. They are looking for something real. I myself have in conversations not been kind to the self-helpers – that’s true. I’ll admit to that. But at least I do usually finish up by explaining what it is exactly that’s wrong with their approach (hint: what they’re offering is almost always a “cocktail” mix of already old worn-out head-brain methods that they spin together so they can then call it their own… but don’t get me started on that now okay?)

I always try to turn it around and offer something to replace the broken methodologies that they’re desperately trying to work into their hapless lives. I tell them that the biggest problem is that they’re placing the cart-before-the-horse. The energy of natural motivation comes from something bursting out from the gut area that then causes a success to happen. Not getting all hyped-up on someone’s story of achievement and then tying to duplicate that same success for yourself.

Sorry. It’s not attractive but it’s true. You need to fail and sometimes often before you’ll ever see success. And the timeline can be long. That’s just the way it is.

I was not one of those early achievers myself and good thing I wasn’t. Without as much failure as I’ve had over the years I don’t think I would have discovered anything as significant a game-changer as an immune system that takes care of failure effects if I’d been in the class with the high-rollers. I needed something myself so I was forced to examine the unexplainable. It was critical in order to continue down a difficult, seemingly endless road. It’s a road that I’d not recommend to anyone without a tolerance for frustration or a lac of endurance to be sure.

That’s why I ended up building something that’s natural, organic, and is a part of what people are already truly made of. Persistence and determination are very personal. I have mine and you have yours.

All my new innovation does is help you to root out the core source of it so that it’s more manifest, more visceral, and even more visible. It re-defines us by making us aware of a strength we didn’t think we had. Thus re-making our own self-belief more real, more believable, and absolutely non-negotiable.

It re-aligns the shape of the new self-belief you could soon have in yourself. I’m just hoping that more and more strangely self-confident people with immune-powered mindsets soon break to the surface.

We need more like that to help us move on.

More power to you my friend.
David's signature in what looks-like handwriting. Sort of.

 

PS: I’m still looking for more people who may be starting to feel that their personal development journey is not as good as advertised. If you’re one of those I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment in the box below or connect with me on Skype: “DavidtheMobiusman”. Make sure you mention this post or I won’t recognize you.

Quotius: A Hand-held Eureka

Today I’m doing something a little different. I’m introducing a whole new feature on this blog. I confess I’m not entirely sure what this will become but it has the makings of an interesting experiment so let’s see what happens.

Here’s the deal.

Ever hear or see something that is presented to you one way and then, later on, you discover that it makes just as much sense when read the other way? In the English language words and phrases that can be read forward or backward like that are called “palindromes”.

For example “Madam, I’m Adam” is a well known palindrome. True palindromes are quite rare though so for my purposes I’ll taking a fair bit of  license with it by merely using statements that are palindrome-like. In other words, they won’t be actual palindromes at all in most cases so don’t rag on me if you notice the violation of the laws of palindroming. Please don’t get in a knot about my taking yardage here. No need to call the palindrome hot- line nor file a report with the palindrome police. Okay?

Great. Thank you.

Of course there is an underground lesson here. Let me reveal it for you.

What I’ve done here is created something that uses my favorite metaphor for duality: the mobius strip. I’ve re-purposed it making it into something that it’s never been before.

I call it the “quotius”. It’s a catchy mashup of the words “quote” and “mobius”. The idea here is to dream-up or find some interesting two-part statements that could be split into two sections that can each be read as stand-alone statements. Then I’ll print them on each side of a strip of paper two inches wide (maximum width) and up to fourteen inches long. First half on side one and the other half on side two.

When the paper is joined together at each end forming a circular shape only the words of the first half of the statement on the outside of the band are read easily. They make sense but they are not quite complete. Meanwhile the ones on the inside of the band are, from this vantage point, appearing upside down.

Looking at this construct is intended to be like looking at a problem before the moment of insight. An answer just doesn’t “come to us”. It’s a bit like hearing a part of joke then not being given the punch line. It creates a bit of stress because it leaves us missing something we have a need for: closure.

Anyone would feel at least a little frustrated by that.

Escape that shape!

The next configuration is different though as you’ll see in the video. When the band is taken apart and re-assembled, this time with that little twist in it,  the classic mobius strip is formed. We can now go ahead and read the whole message in its entirety by continuing to scroll the band around until the place where the end becomes the beginning.

Now we see that the entire statement is on the same side of the strip! This plays on the fact that a mobius strip is a strange construct because it only has one side. (Only has one edge too but who’s keeping track of all this weirdness?)

I use this bit of strangeness to act as a three-dimensional  model for what a “eureka-moment” might look like if you could hold it in your hand. It represents seeing the moment of enlightenment at close range.

We “get” the joke or the sarcasm or whatever. We hear ourselves say “Now I get it!” The problem that once stumped us is now solved and it’s all because our perception of the whole thing has changed from a circular system to a reciprocal system.

The Takeaway:

The takeaway here is to create a unique learning experience with a bit of fascination thrown in. I’m a visual guy. As a designer I made things that had a particular shape and form to them. Years ago, when I started to look at personal development, I wondered if thinking and believing also had a particular shape to it.

Eventually I realized that it’s the system of  “alternative self-believership”  that has a shape to it not the belief itself. Beliefs, as we all know, can become part our thinking if presented with the power of a well stated argument. But these are not authentically ours. They are only surfacey belief systems and can be eroded away by another competing argument.

Not good.

To make self-belief real we need hard factual evidence.  Forming the quotius into a band the shape of a doughnut indicates a thinking system that is limiting. We aren’t able to get past a certain point because the information comes to us but then ends. It’s a lot like having a self-belief that recognizes limits and then settles for less.

Yikes! Who wants that?

When formed properly (into a mobius) by twisting one end 180 degrees before joining it we now get the entire story. We get an endlessly expanded self-belief because now the information is  – not just coming to us – but is coming through us.

In this quote by Henri Bergson the first part… “Act like a man of thought,” is clearly seen and understood. But not until we make a critical change in the structure of the band do we get the whole message presented to us on a single plane…

“think like a man of action.”

There is “education” which typically is very head-based and linear. Then there is “experience” which requires action-orientated from-the-gut decision making. We need both but they must be naturally integrated.

The quotius demos this dual reality beautifully wouldn’t you say?

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Do you have any good quotes that will fit this type of application? Please leave me your comments in the space below. I’ll give you a shout-out if I use it.

Would you like to make one of these for yourself? Go ahead. Download the instruction sheet and the master repro art in either letter size or legal size. It’s yours free. If you can’t be bothered messing around with trying to print out this strange two-sided sheet I’ll send you a pre-printed version right to your door. Learn more here.

More power to you.

David's signature in look-like handwriting

PS: I intend to put together a new version every Friday. If you’d like to be alerted to the next posting you can subscribe here. (In fact, I’d love you to do that!)