Tag Archives | Self-Help

Self-Help and Existential DIY

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Everybody’s got qualms. Nobody I know is assessing their reality and the realities around them as something to be thrilled about. Even spirited people draped in “joie de vivre have their misgivings, and their vibrancy is in spite of them, not without them. There is a brand of millennial millenarianism wherein a palpable feeling of tension and accumulating energy on the cusp of discharge is identified as a harbinger of doom and gloom: we all feel the anxiety and the prickliness, the shakiness of the old foundational assumptions about the ways of the world. Things can be better. Things aren’t working the way they used to, or at least the way they are supposed to. Government is corrupt, unresponsive, increasingly authoritarian and in bed with Big Business, all while Big Business wrecks the planet so the rich get can richer and the poor get poorer.… Read the rest

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How To Live Like A Sociopath

sociopathThe Economist explains that sociopathic tendencies offer opportunity for advancement in contemporary society, and disturbingly points out that economists view sociopathy as the “correct” way to behave. Here’s the self-help guide with tips from M.E. Thomas, a law professor and sociopath:

Assess costs and benefits. Sociopaths, says Ms. Thomas, “are incredibly sensitive to incentive structures and actively consider both actual costs and opportunity costs in their decision-making” (unlike the rest of us, to the disappointment of most economists). “I have always lived in the worst neighborhoods,” Ms Thomas writes. “Rent is cheap and I figure there’s no need for me to pay a safety premium if I have health insurance.”

Disregard unspoken rules. After being hired at an elite law firm, Ms. Thomas exploited her company’s “non-existent” vacation policy by taking long weekends and lengthy vacations abroad. “People were implicitly expected not to take vacations, but I had my own lifelong policy of following only explicit rules, and then only because they’re easiest to prove against me,” she explains.

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How Charles Manson Used Dale Carnegie’s Self-Help Training To Create His Murderous Cult

dale carnegieVia Businessweek, a fascinating nugget on using sunny self-improvement techniques for pure evil:

In his new book, Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson, author Jeff Guinn credits Dale Carnegie Training, the self-help program that’s shaped the lives of such people as Warren Buffett, with transforming Manson from “a low-level pimp” to the “frighteningly effective sociopath” who created a cult of killers in the late 1960s.

Manson took classes in “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” based on Carnegie’s iconic book, while doing time for car theft in a California federal prison in 1957. ”It was critical in shaping how he manipulated people,” says Guinn, noting that the young convict told people he’d enrolled to get strangers to open up to him.

Manson became especially obsessed with Chapter Seven, on how to get cooperation, and often practiced key lines in his cell, a former prison mate told Guinn.

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Exploring The Mastermind Technique For Goal Accomplishment

Steve BarnesAuthor and personal development coach Steve Barnes begins a series of posts discussing the “Mastermind” concept–a technique of gathering and consolidating resources necessary for attaining goals. He starts off with describing a very cool NLP/visualization exercise he did with his daughter to help her overcome a performance block.

Via Dar Kush:

“The mastermind is the only known means of overcoming a lack of ability.”–Napoleon Hill.

A critical concept, whether we look at an individual, a couple, or a crowd. Whether the goals are internal or external, whether they are artistic, commercial or spiritual.

This is so critical that I want to concentrate my thoughts here for a while. The primary definition of a “Mastermind” is: two or more people working together in a spirit of perfect harmony to support shared or separate goals.

Let’s relate it simply to the first basic levels:  An individual.

The Eriksonian “Parts Party” is designed to create alignment between the different aspects of our personality.

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A Critical Look At The Personal Development Industry

Beyond GrowthBeyond Growth – Technoccult interviews Duff McDuffee and Eric Schiller:

Duff: Ok. Well, from what I understand it largely emerged in the early 20th century when New Thought religious ideas became popular and were applied to worldly success. The basic idea was contained in such books as Think and Grow Rich and As a Man Thinketh.

The notion was that you could create stuff with the power of your mind. The correlary is that if you aren’t getting what you want, you need to do a kind of mental hygeine and clean up your stinkin’ thinkin’ (to quote Zig Ziglar).

So you have people like Napolean Hill, who died broke by the way, writing books on how to get rich by visualizing and affirming one’s future wealth.

Eric: In Douglas Rushkoff’s book Life Inc. he argues that ‘personal development’ or self help found its place in corporations, in order to help the remaining staff become more efficient after job cuts.

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