For many people, one of the biggest obstacles to their success is interference from their own minds in the form of automatic negative thoughts and/or "mind chatter." It's as if parts of their brains have "minds of their own!" In his book The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, Steven Pinker writes:
"...[T]he left hemisphere constantly weaves a coherent but false account of the behavior chosen without its knowledge of the right...
The spooky part is that we have no reason to think that the baloney-generator [emphasis added] in the patient's left hemisphere is behaving any differently from ours as we make sense of the inclinations emanating from the rest of our brains. The conscious mind -- the self or soul -- is a spin doctor, not the commander in chief."
This phenomenon is almost certainly a major factor in causing our minds to "go negative." It may cause our minds to wonder, preventing us from focusing on our intended tasks, and Shortening Our Attention Spans.
Basic Success Technique #29: Reboot Your Brain and Improve Your Whole Life!
Earlier in his life, John Reese had been on a path that led him to a stage where he was over $108,000 in debt. He felt depressed and suicidal. Then he stumbled on a "procedure" that enabled him to change direction to a new path that made success possible. He turned his life around, became a well-known and respected millionaire Internet marketer. He has since, over a period of about 15 years, refined the initial procedure into a "comprehensive method" you can literally use to "reboot your brain!"
Click to play video. Will open in a new window. Please wait while the Screencast loads. (Meanwhile, you can continue reading this page.)
You can use the reboot-your-brain method to pinpoint your most important tasks, to become more productive and effective, to earn more money, and to improve any area of your life.
There may be "hundreds of thoughts stuck in your brain." These "stuck thoughts" cause stress and anxiety, and reduce your ability to make good decisions. Generally, you're unaware of many of the "stuck thoughts" -- rebooting your brain brings them to awareness and enables you to "dump" them.
The more action you take, doing things, the more results (failures and successes) you produce. All your results are assets because you can learn from them (both failures and successes).
You can achieve an ongoing progression of incremental improvement.
The biggest improvements come from getting your mind right at a deep level -- which happens automatically if you persist.
Basic Success Technique #30: Do the Rational Recovery® "Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®" Crash Course
Rational Recovery Defends the Untreatables - 2 min - Dec 31, 2005
Text with video: "This DVD is must see material for anyone troubled by substance addiction and baffled by the social services that are available to addicted people. Rational Recovery® exposes the truth about the nature of the social services available to addicted people and offers them real solutions to the problem."
Note if there's an "automatic thought" in your head along the lines, "I don't need this; it's a waste of time!" If you experience such a thought or hear such a "voice in your head," chances are that it's your "Addictive Voice."
It's quite possible that for some people, the single thing holding them back most, is a an "automatic negative voice." You can think of your brain as having two basic parts:
Your modern human brain (the "real you");
Your primitive beast brain.
If you suffer from any sex-related addictions, you can ascribe them to your "Sex Beast®" -- part of your primitive beast brain. You do the "Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®" Crash Course to defeat your Sex Beast®, or any kind of "failure pattern" such as procrastination, fear of rejection, etc., or anything else you might be addicted to.
It takes only only about 20-30 minutes to do the "Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®" Crash Course. Do it now by clicking here and following the "Recover Now" link. Whether or not you're addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, it's vital that you do the "Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®" Crash Course.
About 98% of people trying to make money online enjoy little or no success. If you're one of them, you may be addicted to things like negativity, a negative attitude, unproductive thought patterns, self-defeating habits, etc. -- factors that may play a major role in persistent failure. By doing the "Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®" Crash Course, you can begin the process of moving yourself over your "Success Threshold." You can do it now by clicking here.
The "conventional addiction theory" is that "addiction is a disease." The "rational recovery theory" is that addiction is a choice. You have power of choice. You can choose to have another drink or not. You have the power to choose to never again drink alcohol. If you're addicted to cigarettes, you have the power to choose to stop smoking at any time... and then you can stop immediately.
Note that the conventional addiction theory says that you're a victim at the effect or mercy of a disease. On the other hand, the rational recovery theory says that you're in control... you have the power of choice... you can change your behavior at any time. The conventional theory is disempowering; the rational theory is empowering.
Do a Google search for +addiction +choice.
What do you think of the distinction between "Your Beast" and "The Real You?" Have you been a victim of your "Beast Voice?"
If you experience any difficulties doing the "Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®" Crash Course -- for example, a voice in your head says: "I can't overcome my "Beast Voice!" -- then use the Why-Can-Do Booster to make the substitute: "I won't overcome my "Beast Voice, because...!"
You do the "Addictive Voice Recognition Technique®" Crash Course so you get to realize when negative or distracting thoughts like the above go around in your head, they come from "Your Beast" and not from the "Real You." You repeat the Crash Course until you're no longer the victim of your "beast voice," "addictive voice," or "failure voice."
What you need is an external focus to describe your images to. A tape recorder with blank tape, or a simple Dictaphone like every office used to have, provides you a potential listener for that all-essential focus. Call in a friend, or phone to call up a friend and keep him or her on the line, and you have, even better, a live listener to serve as that external focus.
Of that half of you who did get an image, some found a strong, clear, definite image or set of images, while others just got a glimpse, a faint impression which you might think was hardly worth describing, or weren't certain whether you were just making up the idea rather than seeing an image
Yet whatever you got, the key is to examine and describe it aloud, in as rich detail as possible even if you feel at first as if you are "forcing" it and "making up" some of it to fill your description to your external focus listener. More, though, and more, will come as you describe be alert to this happening, and describe the new impressions when they come. Your images will become rich and vivid and even their meanings as Image-Stream contents are often symbolic or metaphoric will start to become apparent.
That is Image-Streaming. Each full-flow Image-Streaming session should run from 10 to 30 minutes. Examine whatever images happen to be playing in your mind's eye at the time, while describing them in rich detail to a live or potential listener (person or tape recorder). Even minimum, trivial-seeming impressions or whatever: describe them in such richly textured detail as to force anyone listening to experience and see what you are describing. 10 to 20 minutes at a time, practice several hours of Image-Streaming and you will have mastered the basic skills needed to make other forms of visual thinking work for you. And you will also have experienced some of the other benefits of Image-Streaming as well, including improved intellectual performance and creativity.
Even if your imagery is already clear and vivid, you will be astonished at how much more so it quickly becomes when you describe it in this way, while continuing to examine it. This improvement is even stronger if
You describe in as sensory-textured detail as possible. The major part of your brain that we want to bring on line, works with sensory images even in profoundly intellectual matters. Explanation takes you away from that sensory immediacy. Instead of saying, "I'm at the beach" or "This is Virginia Beach," detail instead the warmth of sand under your toes, the sound of surf, the smell of salt, the wheeling of the gulls above you in the almost-white sky, black and white of the gulls on that paler white far above you ....
Describe as rapidly as you can, to get more and more detail in. Describe faster than you can stop to judge whether or not something is worth mentioning, just go ahead and flow it through (and see what comes with it). This is a kind of "brainstorm" only with description instead of ideas or answers, and has a similar rule to brainstorming's "if it occurs to you, express it!" Really rapid-flow describing exerts almost a Venturi force or suction pulling other perceptions into focus.
All this is done most easily with eyes shut, so that your inner visual circuits aren't distracted away from these initially subtler signals, and so they can operate at full sensitivity. In other words, please keep eyes closed during such processing, in order to see more freely.
What If You Didn't Get Pictures?
We provide here a series of 24 back-up procedures, any one of which is pretty likely to help you to get pictures started. Once you do get any kind of impression at all started, "describe the dickens out of it," as if you were still looking at it even if it was but a fleeting glimpse or impression and you will find more coming. And more coming. And more coming!
Please pursue whichever of the back-up procedures work for you, until you are able to do pure Image-Streaming. Most of them are forcing techniques, to get a flow of something started which, by describing it while you are examining it, will bring other perceptions on line until you find yourself working with actual and consciously undirected images. Once you achieve this, then please do log several hours of Image-Streaming, 10 to 30 minutes at a time.
If you did get pictures, these back-up procedures would only slow you down from getting your Image-Streaming accomplished (unless you are planning to teach it, in which case you'll want to be familiar with all the back-up techniques). It'd be better to go ahead and begin experiencing and practicing.
What we call the "Ten/Ten Test" if, after at least 10 minutes per day of Image-Streaming for at least ten days, you don't find your life positively and miraculously transformed, then ignore everything we've said and do something else instead. But if you do find Socratic and other miracles happening in your life, please do continue the practice of Image-Streaming: no matter how good things become, they can become even better for you! Fair test?
Contrary to recent general belief, virtually every human can quickly and readily learn to "get pictures" in his mind's eye, thus becoming able to do visual thinking. We have provided here, after the main Image-Streaming procedure above, some of the back-up procedures we now keep on hand to ensure that everyone "gets pictures" and becomes able to think visually. Thus, the benefits and advantages of visual thinking are widely available, not just to a fortunate few but to everyone who cares to make use of them!
(You are welcome freely to even teach Image-Streaming to others whom you care about, and even to replicate this paper in whole to preserve context, but not in part, notwithstanding the copyright notice at the end of this paper so long as you cite in each instance your source having been via Project Renaissance.)
Here, more perhaps than in any other context, we are looking at equal opportunity! You now have this information in your hands. You are virtually guaranteed success if you bother to learn and practice simple activities which, apparently, everyone can readily learn and practice! ( And if you're tough enough to see through to application the unique discoveries you will be making!) Starting advantage, differences of birth, wealth, placement, schooling, even intelligence, can make little long-run difference compared to the advantages of simple sustained practice of these activities and your active resolve to see their results through to fruition.
There is some justice in the world.
And, indeed: once you've started examining your perceptions and detailing what you find in them, you are just as capable of Socratic miracles as anyone else!
Note, though, that for most people, for most purposes, these "back-up" procedures are a sidetrack an admittedly somewhat entertaining sidetrack but a sidetrack nonetheless. For most of your Image-Streaming exploration experiences, once you've learned how to do so, should simply be to look in, see "what's playing there now," and to begin describing as you continue to examine what's currently "there."
And in the nature of things, every one of the images you did get up, which was not an afterimage and which was not an object or set of objects that you decided beforehand to see but which came from "somewhere else besides where you were telling the story from" EVERY such undirected image is full of message, pregnant with meaning, addressing some issue or key insight for you with your subtlest, most comprehensive resources which are, indeed, "brighter than we are" even though they are very much a part of you.
Decoding your images
Although technical solutions and inventions often come in literal images, many important "messages" gotten from your subtler resources are metaphoric, symbolic, and that is why we now refer you to a few books, each of which presents you with extensive detailed instructions on how to decode these experiences, how to make sense of them, and how to develop your visual thinking skills within hours to the point where you can put questions and issues of all kinds to your inner faculties, instantly get images in response which answer them, and almost as instantly become able to understand and verify those answers!
One of those books, the one which Success Magazine liked so well it carried it for sale for three years, with several articles, is A Method For Personal Growth and Development, exploring many forms of application of Image-Streaming to creative solution-finding, all the way to the most advanced of all post-Einsteinian Discovery Technique, High Thinktank. The other, focussed more on technical and scientific discovery and inventing, and upon entrepreneurial innovation, is Discovering the Obvious: Techniques of Original, Inspired Scientific Discovery, Technical Invention and Innovation.
That third strongly recommended book, Beyond Teaching And Learning, applies Image-Streaming and related techniques to eight major families of radically enhanced and accelerated learning and growth technique, some of which families have 50 or more specific methods associated with them. Not all 50 are in the book, just a representative example or so from each family.
The most comprehensive and extensive of all our publications, a set of texts, tapes and equipment for a course titled The Beyond-Einstein Training, represents Project Renaissance's attempt to take most of the entire field to a yet higher level.
Win Wenger, Ph.D. Discovering the Obvious. Singapore, Project Renaissance, 1994. A special version is being published in the various democracies of the former Eastern bloc and in the underdeveloped countries, for use by common citizens there: Creating Wealth, For Yourself And For Others, In Countries Without Capital.
Wenger and Susan Wenger, Your Limitless Inventing Machine, 3rd edition, 3rd printing, Gaithersburg, MD: Psychegenics Press, 1981.
For a listing of other authors and programs which now teach our Image-Streaming procedure, please see Citings.
Cookbook recipe-like instructions, literally word-for-word until one gets used-enough to the procedure to improvise, provide how to train entire groups at a time, numbering as many as several hundred participants. Two different group-training scripts were originally published in Beyond Teaching And Learning and in A Method For Personal Growth and Development. Both are now published here online: Image-Streaming for Groups.
The Principle of Re-Investment of Methods, as in our Toolbuilder method. We seem to be the first to apply this key principle. We've been applying it relentlessly since the late 1960s. The principle runs thus: IF you have a good method for solving problems, one of its best uses is on the problem of how to create better methods of solving problems! And one of the best uses of those better methods is on the problem of how to create even better methods of solving problems! Keep on re-investing your methods into creating better methods, and after awhile you'll be hitting into some pretty heavy-duty systems. We have done so. We are doing so. Our intent is, for so long as we draw breath, to use the best of what we've found in search of yet better. If other programs can be persuaded into a similar self-instructive search, things could get pretty interesting!
An expanded discussion of the Image-Streaming process is also contained in these quickbooks,
the entire texts of which are now available on this website.
The books listed below expand on these techniques and on other strategy elements, and they set forth the foundations for Image-Streaming and other intelligence-enhancing processes developed by Project Renaissance. They are described in some depth in the Book Reviews section, where you can also order them, and many others.
We recommend the book Being the Solution: A Spiritual Path to Personal Power and Financial Independence by Darel Rutherford. If you're not "spiritually inclined," as you read, you could replace "spiritual" with "mental." The book also has considerable religious content. If you're not "religiously inclined," you could either ignore the religious parts or translate them into material/scientific versions, if possible. A spiritual/religious book can contain valuable information for rational/scientific readers. We regard Being the Solution as such a book.
Abraham Maslow's "Jonah Complex"
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us." -- Marianne Williamson
It may be worth examining Maslow's "Jonah Complex" as a barrier to Basic Success Technique #5: Increase Your Desire for Success -- or the opposite of Technique #5. In Chapter 2 (Neurosis as a Failure of Personal Growth) of Maslow's book The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, he describes the Jonah Complex: [emphases added]
"We have, all of us, an impulse to improve ourselves, an impulse toward actualizing more of our potentialities, toward self-actualization, or full humanness or human fulfillment, or whatever term you like. Granted this, then what holds us up? What blocks us? ...In my own notes I had at first labeled this defense the "fear of one's own greatness" or the "evasion of one's destiny" or the "running away from one's own best talents."
We fear our highest possibilities (as well as our lowest ones). We are generally afraid to become that which we can glimpse in our most perfect moment, under the most perfect conditions, under conditions of greatest courage. We enjoy and even thrill to the godlike possibilities we see in ourselves in such peak moments. And yet we simultaneously shiver with weakness, awe, and fear before these very same possibilities."
The Jonah Complex can be regarded as including these characteristics:
Potentially self-debilitating beliefs, such as: "The meek shall inherit the earth."
Evading your personal growth and failing to develop your talents.
Fear of your own greatness, including a belief that: "Being great is too dangerous."
Fear of the responsibility associated with utilizing your greatness for noteworthy achievements.
Fear that an extraordinary life would make you stand out, would be "unacceptable" to others, and would cause them to reject you.
Fear that the process of attaining your greatness may be too powerful, too intense, and too overwhelming -- as in looking directly into the sun. (You may want to Google "sungazing!" -- but be skeptical about "HRM's" more extreme claims!)
Fear of losing control, of annihilation, or of disintegration by the experience.
Fear of hubris, or "sinful pride" leading to paranoia.
"Within the province of the Mind, what I believe to be true either is true or becomes true within the limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended." -- John C. Lilly (Programming & Metaprogramming the Human Biocomputer)
"So, what's the secret and what makes it so strange? I'll answer the second question first.
This secret is strange, because we human beings are programmed not to hear it. You and I have heard this secret over and over in our lives, many times before today, and in many different forms, and yet we still haven't gotten the true significance in that message. The profound nature of the truth revealed in this secret makes it too hot to handle for most.
One of the strangest things about being human is that we are deathly afraid of discovering just how powerful we really are. Because of this fear, we are deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to our accepting this life-changing secret into our reality.
This is because we know, at some level of consciousness, that this secret will take us into the realm of our undiscovered power and we are deathly afraid to go there! We know that that truth, once uncovered, would forever destroy the illusion that we are powerless victims of circumstances over which we have no control.
Finding out that we are powerful, would blow our current concept of reality to smithereens and life would never be the same.
If you're not ready to give up your powerlessness in favor of being powerful, you won't go where this secret takes you, and you won't hear me!
If you don't get it, does that mean you're dumb, as in lacking intelligence? No. It merely means that you're not ready to give up your victim story and become "master of your own soul, captain of your fate."
You see, we each have this built-in screening device that filters out everything that doesn't fit into our current concept of reality. The profound truth revealed in this secret takes you way beyond your current reality concept, a scary place to be. I don't blame you for fearing to go there.
This secret is strange, because you won't hear it until you're really ready for a giant leap in consciousness that would take you way outside your box (way beyond your current reality concept). But that's where you must go if you want your problems solved.
You won't go where this secret will take you, unless you are now, ready and eager to find your real power and learn how to use it in transforming the quality of your life.
What makes this secret strange is that it isn't and never has been a secret. It's a secret that's been in plain sight for thousands of years. The problem is, that this secret is so profound, that we can't allow ourselves to see it or hear it.
...I went out and bought every copy of Think and Grow Rich I could find and gave them out to all my friends. What a disappointment that was!
Not even one of the recipients of my gifts, got what I had gotten out of that book. That's why they call it, "The Strangest Secret," because you're not going to get it until you're truly ready for a change of circumstances.
Years later, I wrote a book which I considered the sequel to Hill's Think and Grow Rich, a sequel because our resistance to "getting it" needed explaining. The name of that book is, So, Why Aren't You Rich.
So now, after all that build up I'm giving you "The Secret," the simple truth about life that transformed my life and made me and countless others millionaires. Here's life's strangest secret:
We become what we think about.
Those are the six words that have transformed countless lives and made many rich. If you still don't see the significance in it; if you don't see how knowing that truth can make you powerful; if you don't see how that simple truth can change your life for the better, you may want to read So, Why Aren't You Rich or one of my other books."
Aspects of "the secret": Success is 90% about getting your mind right (particularly removing constraints and discovering your greatness) and 10% about execution!. (Note that Mike Dillard shares this view.)
"The Power Pause"
From Darel Rutherford's website you can get a free copy of The Power Pause -- a powerful yet simple 3-step formula you can apply in 3 minutes.
Rediscover your personal power, the power of choice.
Accepting that you chose what you have.
Knowing what you really want.
Develop a burning desire.
Choosing to BE the one.
Understanding the resistance.
Overcoming the resistance.
Forming a support group.
Basic Success Technique #33A: Overcome Psychological Reversal and Self-Sabotagee
Dr. Roger J. Callahan discovered "Psychological Reversal" when he tried to find the source of why some of his clients were not making any progress.
"A psychological reversal exists when a person claims he desires to achieve a specific goal but his actions and major motivation, and especially his results, are contrary to his stated goal. Superficially or outwardly he appears to be striving to achieve (in the area of his behavior where he is reversed), but he will inevitably, grossly or subtly, sabotage his own every effort. [emphasis added]" ...From a motivational standpoint, psychological reversal is a perversion of how one's system ought to work. [emphasis added] Psychologically, reversal appears to originate when aspirations are constantly thwarted, or when an individual develops a strong subconscious tendency to denigrate himself and expect failure. My observations suggest that physical stress may also generate psychological reversal in an individual with a proclivity in that direction. However, whatever the origin of the condition, its effects are definite -- and devastating." -- Dr. Roger J. Callahan
You may be able to use some of Dr. Callahan's products to overcome psychological reversal and self-sabotage, as well as improve your health and your emotional and psychological well-being generally. For more details, Click Here.
If you've been trying for some time to make money online with little or no success, it could be because you've been sabotaging yourself as a result of psychological reversal. Utilizing the Callahan Techniques -- Thought Field Therapy (TFT) may be the best solution for you!
For some people, the most important factor that has been preventing their success may be Psychological Reversal and Self-Sabotage. This may be their most important "Make-or-Break Issue" -- the factor they need to address first if they want to become more successful.
"It seems clear that the breakthroughs of the next age must come in the form of advances in our individual and collective abilities to tap existing human capabilities and to overcome the negative internal forces that interfere with their expression." -- W. Timothy Gallwey (The Inner Game of Golf)
W. Timothy Gallwey has come up with the formula: Performance equals Potential minus Interference.
He realized that people have a high Potential to Perform whatever they want to do. However, part of the brain tends to Interfere with Performance. The Interference tends to sabotage Performance. Hence the formula: Performance equals Potential minus Interference.
The Interference tends to occur in the form of "Mind Chatter" -- "baloney" or "garbage" generated by the left hemisphere of the brain. This is the "Conscious Self" which Gallwey calls "Self 1."
The "Gallwey Theory" -- and the Methods to Overcome Interference are presented in Gallwey's books:
The Inner Game of Tennis
The Inner Game of Work
The Inner Game of Golf
Gallwey devotes Chapter 7 of The Inner Game of Work to his "STOP Tool," which he calls "The Tool of All Tools!" Read an Excerpt from Chapter 7 here.
Inspired by Gallwey's "Performace equals Potential minus Interference" and Ohm's Law in electricity ("Flux equals Driving Force divided by Resistance"), John Denton developed his FLUX Model. He contends that you require a flow of energy to improve your performance. The rate of change in performance can be described as:
IMPROVEMENT IN PERFORMANCE = DRIVING FORCE FOR CHANGE ÷ RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
You can improve your performance by increasing the driving force and/or by reducing the resistance to change. If you can do both, then the result is a multiple of the two factors. For example, if you double the driving force and halve the resistance, then you achieve a fourfold improvement in performance.
The FLUX model can be expanded to include the entire Get-Real Success System. An important extension is how you find the "Leverage Points" -- the factors, which if improved, will yield the quickest and biggest Improvement gains.
Timothy Gallwey's "Inner Game"
In his "Inner Game" books, W. Timothy Gallwey makes a distinction between "Self 1" and "Self 2." According to Gallwey, Self 1 is an "invented or alien self." This may not be an appropriate way to think of your neocortex, which could be regarded as Self 1. (However, your Self 1 could have "negative aspects." A Self 1 dominated by "I Can't..." and/or similar negative programs defintely seems "invented or alien.")
However, there's a potential pitfall in abandoing the faculty of reason of Self 1 (neocortex) in favor of "spiritual/mystical nonsense" that has no basis in objective physical reality. It may be more appropriate to think in terms of upgrading Self 1 by removing negatives and adding positives -- as suggested by the FLUX Model.
According to Gallwey, Self 2 is your "natural self," which could be regarded as "brain circuits that include your cerebellum." It seems reasonable to me that in sports like tennis and golf, Self 2 -- particularly the cerebellum -- can be programmed through learning fundamentals and practice to perform automatically at very high levels of proficiency. In golf, the neocortex (Self 1) can decide what shot to play, the ideal shot can then be visualized by the appropriate parts of the brain, and then control can be passed over to Self 2 -- particularly the cerebellum -- to execute the shot automatically.
Gallwey's "invented or alienated Self 1" could also be regarded as the "self that must control everything." (Rather than "extant entities," it may be more appropriate to regard both Self 1 and Self 2 as more or less useful mental constructs with associated brain circuits.)
Gallwey's distinction between Self 1 and Self 2 seems similar to Gurdjieff's distinction between "personality" and "essence."
"Death must come before rebirth. But what must die? False confidence in one's own knowledge, self-love and egoism. Our egoism must be broken. We must realize that we are very complicated machines, and so this process of breaking is bound to be a long and difficult task. Before real growth becomes possible, our personality must die." -- G. I. Gurdjieff (Views from the Real World)
Specifically, Gurdjieff's "personality that must die" can be regarded as the "personality that must control everything." (Dan F. Umanoff, M.D. founder of Hypoism, after leaving Alcoholics Anonymous, determined that most of the AA program doesn't work, but one key step does work: "Recovery only happens when one surrenders his/her decision-making to one's sponsor, when one uses someone else's brain to help make decisions. It is the unconscious and self-sufficient decision-making that gets hypoics into trouble with addictions and it's the surrender that results in recovery.")
There are of course potential pitfalls in "surrendering" to people who want to take advantage of you. Sometimes vigilance is appropriate!
On occasion, you may have noticed some automatic "conversation" or "chattering" going on in your head. For example, while having a conversation with someone, all kinds of judgmental thoughts go through your mind about what the other person is saying. While listening, you may also be rehearsing what you're going to say next. This is your Self 1 in action.
In tennis there is a typical "Self 1 downward spiral." You hit a poor backhand into the net. Your Self 1 comments in your head, "That was a terrible shot!" After a few more weak backhands, your Self 1 says, "My backhand is terrible!" Not too long after that, the comment becomes, "I'll never be able to play good tennis!" -- or some similar putdown. The "Self 1 downward spiral" may not stop there. It might be followed by, "I'm too clumsy to be good at any sport." And even, "I'm a worthless person."
Benjamin Zander refers to the "World of the Downward Spiral." In their book The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life, Zander and Zander make a distinction between the "Calculating Self" and the "Central Self." This is similar to Gallwey's Self 1 and Self 2.
Shifting from the "World of the Downward Spiral" to the "World of Possibility"
Benjamin Zander is the Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. He essentially refers to the "World of Possibility" (above the success threshold) and the "World of the Downward Spiral" (below the success threshold). People can suddenly transform their lives and shift from the "World of the Downward Spiral" to the "World of Possibility." Rosamund Stone Zander (Executive Coach and Family Systems Therapist) and Benjamin Zander are the Authors of The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life. They provide a number of "Transformational Practices." By doing them, if you're currently living in the "World of the Downward Spiral," you may be able to transform yourself and shift into the "World of Possibility." This could be an example of "Switching from Failure to Success!"
Your Self 1 may also constantly tell you what to do and what not to do. Your Self 1 may have a tendency to INTERFERE with the powerful abilities of your natural Self 2.
This realization led to Gallwey's formula: Performance equals Potential minus Interference.
By reducing interference from your Self 1, you may be able to improve your performance in many areas of your life.
You can think of your Self 2 is your Powerful Real Self or essence. To wake up and access your Self 2, you may have to "kill" aspects of your Self 1. By "kill" we mean become aware of and UNLEARN a host of more or less unconscious thinking habits designed to keep your Self 1 in control and suppress your Self 2.
Your Self 2 has powerful, natural learning abilities. Your Self 1 may interfere with your natural learning. Much of "formal education" is styled after Self 1 interference and may be more of a hindrance than an aid to natural learning. Many people may have largely lost their natural learning abilities -- a big disadvantage! By reducing Self 1 interference, you may be able to recover at least some of your natural learning abilities. See Accelerate Your Learning!.
If you're trying to make money on the Internet, you may experience interference from your Self 1 in the form of negative comments circulating in your mind. Your Self 1 may be sabotaging you in other ways -- like steering you into making bad decisions. You can learn skills and acquire tools involved with online moneymaking. You can program your cerebellum (by identifying and repeating successful actions) to automatically help perform many of the actions involved.
In all kinds of activities ranging from sports to ordinary communication and to making money on the Internet, there is an Inner Game and an Outer Game. The Outer Game has to do with hitting the ball. The Inner Game has to do with what goes on in your mind.
By becoming better at the Inner Game, you can greatly improve your Outer Game. If you're not as successful as you would like to be with your Outer Game of making money on the Internet (or anything else), you may want to work on improving both your Inner and Outer Games. If you get stuck and don't get better, then you may want to focus on improving your Inner Game. (If necessary, use EFT and/or Idenics to get unstuck.)
Whether or not you're interested in tennis or golf, ALL THREE of the following Gallwey books are "must reading!" Each contains some important and profound information not included in the others. (It's OK to skip some of the material on technical aspects of tennis and golf.)
The Inner Game of Tennis The Inner Game of Work The Inner Game of Golf
Your Self 1 interference may put you at a disadvantage in several areas of your life. Self 1 interference could even cause you huge disadvantages. Gallwey's books include several examples of people dramatically increasing their advantages by becoming aware of and "killing" aspects of their Self 1. Most likely, you'll be able to do the same -- learning to better use your powerful Real Self, including your cerebellum!
Basic Success Technique #32: Over-the-Wall
Win Wenger, Ph.D. Provides Powerful and Effective Techniques to Access More of Your Brain and Raise Your Intelligence.
Reproduced from the original. [Emphases and comments added]
Over-the-Wall Basic Post-Einsteinian Discovery
for Creative Solution-Finding
by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
Most of this presentation is a single experience, a hands-on encounter with a combination Socratic and Einsteinian procedure known as "Over-the-Wall." The remainder of this brief is a script of step-by-step instructions for solving problems or finding answers by means of this method. Our hope is that, with the experience you receive here, plus this script of step-by-step instructions, you will be able to carry forward freely to address any and all issues around you with full creative ingenuity by means of this specific method.
For this procedure you need another person as a live listener, or a tape recorder as "potential listener," which evokes from you a response very different from when you use a purely imaginary listener or "describe to yourself."
The "Over-the-Wall" procedure has been called other things as
wellthe "Revealed Surprise" method and the "Sudden Answer Space" Method.
Although it is a receptive visualizationmeaning that you give your
subtler resources the opportunity to surprise you with what they provide you in
answer"Over-the-Wall" is also in part a directed visualization. The
directed part is an imaginary, beautiful garden, bounded on one side by a
high wall beyond which you are requested not to look for the time being.
Beyond the wall let there be an answer space, the scene where your answer
is put on display for you.
Please note: The picture below is not intended to substitute for your own imagery, though it may be helpful to some people in going for a wealth of detail in what they can describe there. For problem-solving purposes one needs to work with one's own, spontaneous imagery, rather than with the directed imagery which such a picture represents.
Photography by Elan Sun Star
The garden provides:
A running start for your describing interior
experience, and brings on visual experience even in some who did not initially get imagery in their efforts at Image-Streaming -- a powerful technique for accessing more of your brain and increasing your intelligence.
An experience of beauty, further involving those beauty-respondent sectors of your brain and mind whose insight we are seeking to discover.
A "safe space," where you can simply relax
into the pleasures of relating the experience, without concern over the
problem which is already being taken care of at other levels of your mind.
The wall provides:
A convenient screen, beyond which the stage can be
set by your subtler faculties for displaying whatever the answer is to be,
without interference from your conscious mind and expectations.
An opportunity for suddenness, a threshold we can cross abruptly to catch by
surpriseand be surprised byour first impression of what that answer
is, regardless of our prior expectations.
The Answer Space, screened from our interference by that wall, allows us entire worlds if need be as the stage upon which the (hopefully surprising) answer will be displayed. The only limits upon the process are those we put there ourselves. The Answer Space can also be a space for Image-Streaming
(if you go over the
wall without an agenda, as distinct from being in pursuit of a specific
answer to a specific issue). With slight modifications, the Answer Space
can be made to reveal inventions, new scientific discoveries, new arts and
art forms, and evennew methods for solving problems! [Frederick Mann: Image-Streaming is a powerful technique for accessing more of your brain and increasing your intelligence.]
Choose a question
The first step at this point is for you, now, to choose some question or issue you would really like to find the answer to, and to apply it to the following procedure. The question can bear on your personal life, your job, your career, your community, national
or world problems, even scientific or technical problemsso long as you
passionately do want to find its answer. (That is far more arousing to your
subtler, more comprehensive faculties than some trivial or trick question
You will get better results with "Over-the-Wall" on open-field type
questions, as distinct from "yes/no." For example, "What's the best way
to earn a raise from my boss," instead of "Should I ask my boss for a
raise?" This gives your faculties some room to work in to show you what
they perceive in the context of your question.
Your question will win better results if its answer can be made into some
sort of "win-win" situation, with creation of positive value, instead of
resulting in someone else's loss or harm, as in picking the right purchases
in the stock market, or horses in a race, or lottery numbers. See the above
example, which has both you and your boss "win" contrasted to "How can I
extract a raise from my boss?" That more sensitive part of you, which gives
better answers because it takes so many more factors into account than can
our word-plodding conscious thinking minds, also takes more interests (and
longer-term interests) into account!
Write down your chosen question, problem or issue you have selected for
solving with this experience on this occasion.
Have a listener
You must have another person to work with, or at least a tape recorder to
record your ongoing observations during this voyage of discovery. Paper and
pen will not suffice you need to describe your impressions aloud, to a
listening, external focus.
Please do not proceed further until you have written down the question you
are about to seek an answer to, and until you have another person in place to
work with you or, at the very least, a tape recorder to instantly record
your impressions into. This external focus provides a huge swing factor
difference in outcomes. With live listener/co-learner, success in this
procedure is highly probable. With tape recorder, success is still
probable. Without either, failure would be virtually guaranteed!
(Instead of a live partner reading you these instructions and hearing your
responses, you could use two tape recorders, one cuing you with your
pre-recorded instructions in playback, the other to receive your described
experiences. But really, it's better by far with a live person working
Here are the step-by-step instructions for the rest of the
"Over-the-Wall" procedure... (One additional purpose for your live listener
would be to read you these instructions, so you could give all of your
attention, especially visual attention, to the experiences being called
1. With your question established, simply set it aside and don't give it any more conscious thought for a while. Instead of confronting the question
directly, give your more sensitive resources the opportunity to set up a
space where the answer to that question will be on display for you. To
screen that answer space from interference by what you "know" about the
problem in your conscious mind, imagine that this answer space is screened
from your view by a great wall.a wall you can't "see" past until you are
beyond it yourself.
With your eyes closed to see more freely, imagine that
wall to be screening from sight your answer space on its far side while on
this side, the nearer side of that wall, you are in a very beautiful
garden, a garden extraordinarily lovely but very different from any you've
ever seen before. Beyond that wall, without further concern or effort from
your conscious mind, is now being set for you on display the best answer to
that question you decided to address some moments ago. Over here, on this
side of that screening wall, be in this exquisitely beautiful garden....
(There is a very short form of these instructions following this set, to
make it easy for you to take yourself through this experience without
opening your eyes even with only the one recorder, that being to record
your experiences.But working with a live person is so much better....)
2. With your eyes kept closed without interruption, imagine being in the midst of this strangely beautiful garden. It might help to pretend that you
are a radio reporter, setting background just before an expected event,
"painting word pictures" of this garden for your listening radio audience.
Starting with what is directly in front of you, there in that garden, and
then all around, describe this garden in richly textured detail to your
listening audience. Make your listener see and feel and smell and taste and
experience the utter reality of your garden, through the rich textures of
your description..... (5 to 10 minutes of rapid continuous description)
3. Now go up to this side of the wall and describe the wall the same way that you've been describing the garden. Don't sneak a peek yet at what is
on the other side of that wall. But put your hand on the wall and study the
feel of it, lean your face up against it, make the feel and smell of the
wall real to your listeners as well as its appearance....
(In all this description, notice when and if you get visual mental images
in your mind's eye, like in a dream. If you see them, switch to describing
them even if they go off into other things than garden and wall and answer
space, because they can be a more direct route to what your more sensitive
faculties want to show you.)
4. Don't sneak a peek yet, at the answer on display on the other side of the wall. Suddenness is the key, here, to catching your answer in view
before your conscious "knowledge" about the question can jump in and say,
"No, that can't be it, so the answer has to look like thus and so." The
trick is to experience "jumping over the wall" so suddenly that you catch
even yourself by surprise, to catch by surprise what's there now on the far
side of the wall and you are yourself surprised by what you find there.
Whatever is your very first impression of what's on the far side of the
wall after you've jumped, when that time comes describe that. Continue
describing as if you were still looking at it, even if it were just a
glimpse or a momentary impression, and more of that impression will come.
Sooner or later, you will discover enough of it through describing it that
you will learn how what is here in this answer space is an effective answer
to your problem.
(That suddenness can be supplied by your live listener"Jump NOW!"after you've described the garden side of the wall for a while. Or, use anything happening in your auditory environment, perhaps out on the street with a car horn or dog bark, to abruptly jump over the wall even if you
weren't ready to yet, in order to get that needed suddenness.)
(To the extent that what you find beyond the wall in the answer space
surprises you; the degree to which what you find over there is different
from what you expected; is an indicator of your getting fresh input from
your more sensitive faculties instead of simply recycling what you already
"know" in your louder, conscious mind. Describe that very first impression
even if it seems unrelated or trivial at firstdescribe this first
impression regardless of what it is and whether it's a picture or just some
sort of conceptual impression. The act of describing this first impression
opens up on your ingenious and unexpected good answer.)
Switch from Failure to Success!
MIKE BRESCIA'S EXAMPLE OF SWITCHING FROM FAILURE TO SUCCESS!
Back 21 years ago when I found myself unemployed and living in my 9-year-old Ford van, I read dozens of self-help books and listened to every "Dr Feel Good" tape out there.
I did this for over 2 years. And it didn't do a thing to help me. I still worried and beat myself up. I felt like a humiliating failure. I was starving for insight -- ANY kind of insight that would help me dig myself out of my mess.
Then, one day a simple thought finally floated through my mind.
"There's no reason to be miserable."
Let me tell you: something happened to me in that moment. And it was the beginning of a revolution in my thought patterns.
I could CHOOSE not to be miserable. I realized NOTHING was stopping me from feeling great. Nothing was making me worry, or feel depressed or like a loser EXCEPT the way I was thinking.
Was it possible that feeling good could be as simple as letting go of negative thinking and behaviors? And replacing them with positive, proactive thought patterns that would work FOR me, not against me?
That's when I took two very effective, very popular, but hard-to-implement personal growth methods and fused them together. That simple home-made tape I made was the original "beta" version of our Think Right Now Behavior Modification programs.
And in less than two years, I went from a lifetime of failure, anxiety and depression to a confident, internationally-known business success. Socially, physically, mentally, career... you name it -- everything in my life changed.
All because I changed my minute-by minute thoughts, my core beliefs about myself.
Now, take a look at your own life for a moment.
Can you imagine if you could change the channel in your
mind from "what could go wrong?" to "what could go right?" (Mental Pattern #7)
Imagine if you could let go of thoughts like "This will take forever!" to "It won't take that long!" (Mental Pattern #8)
Or if you could finally -- finally -- release your self-image of a failure (in a particular area of skill or all of life), and see and enjoy your life through the eyes of a winner? (Mental Pattern #1)
Can you even begin to guess what wonderful things you can accomplish if you do this?
I can. That's why I want this for you.
To make changes that last, you first must release the 11 Mental Patterns of Failure that get in your way and hold you back.
This only comes from conditioning.
Next, you have to develop positive, empowering beliefs, attitudes, and thoughts to fill the void. If you don't, you'll slip back into your old ways. Or even developing a new set of bad beliefs and thought patterns. Or become cynical. Pessimistic.
That's the power of the Behavior Modification Programs we
use at Think Right Now.
Our research has showed us that change doesn't have to be painful. Or complicated. Or take years of talk therapy either.
All you have to do is effortlessly train your brain to "dissolve" mental images and memories of failures so that you won't replay them over and over again. Or change their meanings. You need to install the winning beliefs and attitudes of the most confident, the most empowered people alive. People who have the beliefs and thought patterns that make the appropriate decisions and actions automatic.
All you have to do is press the "play" button in the prescribed manner. Just like getting physically fit, it just takes a little time and some repetition, but it really works. But doesn't hurt. No sweating involved!
In fact, I'm convinced once you get back in shape -- mental shape, that is -- you'll never want to go back to your old ways again. This all happens at Think Right Now!
PS: Are you someone that other people like to be with and have around? Do you take great pleasure in your accomplishments? Do you feel like a 'doer' in life?
Who you believe you are is the foundation for everything you will do and experience in your lifetime. If you feel life has passed you by and you have no idea how to make it better... If you want to feel peaceful, calm, confident and in control... then "Real Self Esteem Now" is for you. [Click on the "catalog paragraph" at the bottom of the Think Right Now! page (which you can get to, after a few clicks).]
This is our most popular program. And trust me, the success stories will move you to tears. Join the crowd: "Real Self Esteem Now." [Click on the "catalog paragraph" at the bottom of the Think Right Now! page (which you can get to, after a few clicks).]"
5. Continuing to explore and describe what you've found here in the answer space is there some feature which especially attracts your attention? Is there some oddity which doesn't fit with the rest of the scene (often the
subtler faculties' way of underscoring the key to the message)? Detail that
further; or select some particular feature here, such as a bush, tree, or
side of a house, and ask it mentally, "Why are you here, in this context?
How do you relate to this answer?" In what ways does your picture or
impression change, in response to your question? Detail these.
(If by now you already fully understand the answer that has been shown you,
skip on to Step # 7 below. If you do not yet understand that answer or
understand it fully, go instead to Step # 6, next.)
6. Mentally thank your subtler faculties for showing you the answer to your questionbut ask their help in understanding it. Find some object in your answer space which can serve as a screen, just as your garden wall did
earlier. This can be the wall of a house, a thicket, an as-yet closed door,
a curtain, a bend in a hallway, a cover to a photo album, a hillside,
anything which fits the purpose of being a screen, behind which you "can't"
see, until you suddenly go across into the space beyond it.
Without sneaking a peek yet at what's beyond, go up to and lay your hand on
whatever that screening object is, and ask your subtler faculties to show
you, on its far side, exactly the same answer to the same question as
before, but this time in an entirely different scene.
(In effect you are creating a second answer space, with an entirely different scene in it.
What is the same between old and new pictures, when everything else is
different, by inductive inference gives you the key to the "message" or
So: first detail out the new scene after going into it, then search
for what's the same between the old and new picturesperhaps it is grass,
perhaps the color blue, perhaps water, perhaps people running or perhaps no
one there, or triangular-shaped objects, perhaps a certain feeling to both
7. Return to here-and-now fully refreshed. If you've been working with a live listener, now grab up your tape recorder, or a notepad and pen. If
you've been working with a tape recorder, now is the time for your notepad
and pen.... some different medium from what you were using for the original
8. Like an astronaut returning from a mission to some far world, debrief. Describe in detail, to that different medium from the one you've just been using, a little of your garden experience, but every detail you can from
when you jumped over the wall. This further retrospective, describing is
often the stage at which understandings and meanings click into place.
Also, if you did the original experience with eyes closed, debrief with
them open; if for some reason you did the original experience with eyes
open, debrief with them closed. To make relation-building effects within
your brain a little more immediate, try to use the present tense
grammatically while describing and stay in that present tense mode, even
though the experience is already in your recent past e.g., "I am looking
at all this ripe wheat bending in the wind," not, "I was looking...."
Short Form for "Over-the-Wall"
In order that you don't have to keep looking over at the instructions to
see what comes next, and in order to let your eyes stay uninterruptedly
closed during the experience and free to deal fully with the subtler
reaches of that experience...here is the short form, with a memory device to help you remember each step and the step which comes next.
Describe, describe, describe in richly textured detail
1. The Garden; 2. The Wall; and after your sudden jump over it, 3. The Answer Space beyond that wall.
GWAS ("gaWAS")easily remembered word of initials to help you
remember Garden, Wall, and the Answer Space beyond it. Continuing from
4. Question some particular aspect or feature in your Answer Space. 5. New Scenesame answer to same question, but shown differently.
This part of the mnemonic is QANS; your total mnemonic is
"gaWAS-qans," easy to hold in the back of your mind so each part of it in
turn will remind you of the next step in the procedure, until the
procedure becomes familiar enough to you that you no longer need any
special devices to find your way with.
Please forgive our offer of a memory device, but this kind of experience is
very new to many people, and we desire that a very wide range of people be
able to handle it successfully to surmount the problems around them. If you
don't need the memory aid, you don't need to use it. Meanwhile, there it is
if you do need it.
Getting the meaning from your displayed answers
For inventions, technical or mechanical problems and art, these
"over-the-wall" answers are usually quite literal. For most other issues,
perhaps because of the sensory language in which the more sensitive regions
of your brain work, the answer may be shown in some sort of metaphora
cartoon, a parable, a pun or similein which case this sometimes takes
effort to figure out consciously.
The most important thing in figuring out your answer is to not try to figure it out until after you've let the whole experience unfold, and you've described it out in detail. If your aha! insight hits you in mid-stream, well and goodand that will happen more and more frequently as this process and set of skills become familiar to you. But going for meanings before you've fully detailed your experience invites
your conscious knowledge about the problem situation to come back in,
interfering with your more sensitive internal data because it "knows" what
the answer ought to be, stopping you short of seeing what the answer is.
Once your experience is fully described and recorded, though, your "data
out there on the table," so to speak, the conscious search for meaning can
no longer hide or distort it. Here are several ways to improve your chances
of finding the meaning of what you found over the wall (or the meaning of
your dreams, for that matter).
The more richly textured the detail in which you describe, the better
your chances of discovering the meaning.
The more rapidly you describe, the better the chances of outrunning your internal editor and getting to the most meaningful part of the experience.
The more different senses you engage in the experience by noticing and
describingsight, touch, smell, movement, space and pressure, mass,
temperature, texture, taste, atmospheric feel, etc.the better your
contact with your more sensitive faculties and the better your chances to
discover the meaning.
After initially orienting to the scene: the more you experience moving
around in or doing various things to what you find in the Answer Space, and
observe and describe the results, the better your chances of discovering
Question other objects or features in the experience, asking, "Why are you here in this experience, what role do you play in this answer?" Then observe and describe how the scene changes or what else happens in response. (We call that step "Feature-Questioning.")
Likewise, pursue what we call the "Clarification Question," asking your subtler faculties to help you in understanding their answer by showing you that same answer to that
same question again, but through an entirely different scene. Usually,
three different scenes displaying the same answer are enough to let you
infer the meaning from their common elements.
See also, and describe, what changes occur in your
scene or impressions when you ask such questions as
"How can I make sure that I'm understanding the correct answer here?" (How can I verify this answer?)
"What else should I know about this situation?"
"How best can I turn this answer into useful action?"
"What's 'Step One' in acting on this answer?" (If there is something
else you have to do first, that is not 'Step One,' so what is 'Step One'?)
Whenever in doubt about what to ask, ask:
"What is the best thing for me to ask in this contextand the best answer to it?"
Most approaches to creative problem-solving teach that one has to invest
90% or more of one's total effort to finding the right question to ask about
a situation. Yet your subtler faculties already know what is the most
cogent question to ask about a given situation, so asking this directly
lets you take advantage of that and saves you considerable time and effort.
Special notes regarding verification
Even when some answers come through with the seeming certainty of the "Word of God," it's a human instrument receiving them, just as subject as any other information instrument, process or content to the Laws of Entropy. Thus, to the extent that there
are significant stakes at issue in the answers you get, even if these interior processes do tend to be more accurate than other information processes, it behooves you to check their validity against other indicators, just as you would for information from any other source.
Perhaps this deserves even further comment. Politicians speak in
certainties even when they have only the vaguest clue, in order to get
other people to follow their lead. Most organized religions exhort their
followers to absolute beliefbut it's interesting to note that the two
greatest doubters in the tradition of the Bible, Gideon and Thomas, were
rewarded, not punished, for having doubted.
You may remember the story of "Gideon and his brave three hundred." One day
Gideon got the word from God, we are told, to rise up and overthrow the
Mideonites who had established sway over Israel for generations. "How can I
tell," asked Gideon, "that it's your word, Lord, that I'm hearing and not
my own imagination?"
The answer came back, to set out a sheep fleece that night and check it in
the morning. So Gideon did. In the morning, the fleece was dry, while the
grass was soaked with dew. "Well, Lord, that's very interesting, but...."
The answer came back, to set that fleece out again and to check the results
in the morning. So he did. In the morning, the fleece was soaking wet with
dew while the grass all around was bone dry. So he acted on the rest of his
message and was rewarded with a most extraordinary victory....
Likewise, by the other story, if "Doubting Thomas" hadn't put his hands in
Jesus's wounds, Christianity could not have spread nearly so rapidly nor so
far. For his doubts, Thomas was rewarded with sainthood, not punished.
Thus even in Biblical tradition, the basis of most of the established
religions which exhort unswerving belief, the most outstanding instances of
doubt are rewarded, not punished. All our human-instrumented information
needs to be verified, whatever its apparent source. By now, with the
bloodstained pages of history lying all about, we don't need to continue
imposing our unverified certainties on each other. Check things out as you
Compare the fields of human endeavor which have advanced in the last thousand yearsnotably empirical science and technologywith those
which have not, notably politics and religion. To progress, we have to be
willing to risk our beliefs and put matters to test.
So please don't hesitate to ask your inner processes, "How can I tell if
I'm understanding the right answer here?" or "How best can I test this to
make sure it is so?" And be alert to opportunities to check out your
answers by other means as well, including conventionally gathered empirical
and scientific data.
Over the years, easily 90% or more of everything I've
been taught has been contradicted by direct observation. I suspect that at
least a majority of what you or anyone has been taught is likewise contrary
to what direct observation will show. Frankly, I trust what I can see for
myself far better than I trust what I've been taught or "what everyone
knows." How certain are you about all that you've been taught?
Once verified, though, please note: An answer is not a solution until it is
acted upon, and put into effect!
The easiest thing for many in the creativity field to do is settle for some
easy generality as answer, and leave matters there. Your challenge is to
move beyond such easy generality to action plans and action specifics and
an immediate Step One from among those specifics and beyond.
Other "Triggers" besides the Garden
There are many ways to get a "running start" in describing the kinds of
scenery which help to bring on the experience of visual and other sensory
mental images. Likewise, each of these can serve as "neutral" or safe
ground so that you don't have to start right on top of your problem, but
some distance away from it. Instead of a wall, door or other screening
device, however, you need to use the sheer rush and speed of your
description to sweep you on in to where the answer is on display, before
your internal editor has a chance to catch on that he's been bypassed once
So, with any of these, you would pose some issue or question you
would truly, even passionately, desire to get the answer to, write it down
as with the garden/wall experience, then set the whole issue aside and go
into any pleasant non-confronting place like garden, wilderness, park,
whatever, with some further space screened from view that can serve as an
Or use any device that can serve in imagination to get you
from here to "there," where the answer is on display for you. That can be a
car, a plane, an elevator (which has the advantage of both the physical
sense of movement and of being partly automated so you don't "have to pay
attention to driving.")
Or you can imagine becoming a dry leaf or dandelion fluff swept up by the wind, around corners of buildings and racing you along enormous landscapes to....wherever. In any case, use whatever space or device to "get up a running-start" in rapidly describing faster than your editor can keep up with, so your inner vision can carry
you into some surprising perceptions beyond the pale of your editor's
You can easily think of hundreds of other such devices for "triggering" a
flow of images and experiences, and for shaping or partially shaping
contexts without directing the images themselves. These are often
especially attractive experiences, and it would be easy to just run these
without actually solving issues and problems. However, with each of these triggers, do keep in mind to:
Pose and write down a significant question or problem or issue beforehand, so that the experience can show you its solution;
Remember during the experience to orient on some one particular feature, ask it why it's there in that context, and watch and describe what changes occur in the scene in answer to that;
Ask to be shown another scene which shows you exactly the same answer to the same question, but in an entirely different way;
Use your follow-up questions to verify your answer, and to develop specific actions. When you don't know what you should be asking, ask what it is you should be asking, and its best answer. Ask what more you need to know about that context.....
This isn't just exercise and skills-building. This is your outstanding
opportunity to take up real issues and problems and solve them, as many as
you care to. And if in doubt as to what problem to set out to solve, ask your visual
thinking faculties what problem you should solve now!
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