How much do I want to read more? 7/10

A profound book. This is the psychology everyone is concerned with, and everyone should know about.
I'm not sure if I heard about it through Steve Chandler, or Jim Rohn, or Zig Ziglar.
Whatever the source, I'm not disappointed.


Foreword

The ideal in therapy is the one-session cure, the ideal in writing is the one-book cure

[quote, Arthur Miller]
"I think one must finally take one's life in one's arms."

Preface

Currently we find a resurgence of interest in the "why" and "how" of human's behavior and in the search for meaning in human existence.
Bosses study how to work with subordinates, parents take course on rearing children.

Along with their interest in material goods and technology, many people are concerning themselves with what it means to be human.
As a young man executive with a large firm put it "I have a master degree in accounting, when I went to work with this firm, I thought my problems were going to be accounting problems. But they're not, they're people problems."

Our hope is this book will increase your awareness of the real power you have to direct your own life, to make decisions, to develop your own ethical system, to enhance the lives of others, and to understand that you were born to win.

Part 1 - Winners and losers

[quote, Galileo]
You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself.

Each human being is born as something new, something that never existed before.
Each is born with the capacity to win at life.
Each person has a unique way of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and thinking.
Each has his or her own unique potentials, capabilities and limitations.
Each can be a significant, thinking, aware, and creative being, a productive person, a winner.

To us a winner is one who responds authentically by being credible, trustworthy, responsive and genuine, both as an individual and as a member of a society. A loser is one who fail to respond authentically.

"Why were you not yourself?"

Winners

Achievement is not the most important thing. Authenticity is.
Authentic persons do not dedicate their lives to a concept of what they imagine they should be; rather they are themselves and as such do not use their energy putting on a performance, maintaining pretence, and manipulating others.
Winners can reveal themselves instead of projecting images that please, provoke or entice others.
They are aware that there is a difference between being loving and acting loving, between being stupid and acting stupid, between being knowledgeable and acting knowledgeable.
Winners do not hid behing a mask.
They throw off unrealistic self-images of inferiority or superiority.
Autonomy does not frighten winners.
Winners are not afraid to do their own thinking and to use their own knowledge. They can seperate facts from opinions. They listen to others, evaluate what they say, but come to their own conclusions.
They assume responsability for their own lives. They do not give others a false authority over them.

A time to be aggressive and a time to be passive,
A time to be together and a time to be alone,
A time to fight and a time to love,
A time to work and a time to play,
A time to cry and a time to laught,
A time to confront and a time to withdraw,
A time to speak and a time to be silent,
A time to hurry and a time to wait.

Living in the now doesn't mean that winners foolishly ignore their own past history or fail to prepare for the future.
Winners know their past, are aware and alive in the present, and look forward to the future.

Although winners can freely enjoy themselves, they can also postpone enjoyment, can discipline themselves in the present to enhance their enjoyment in the future.

A winner works to make the world a better place.

Losers

Although people are born to win, they are also born helpless and totally dependent on their environment.
Winners successfully make the transition from total helplessness to independence and then to interdependence.
Losers avoid being responsible for their own lives.

A loser seldom lives in the present, but instead destroys it by focusing on past memories or future expectations.

A loser who lives in the past may lament if only:

People who live in the future may dream of some miracle after which they can "live happily ever after". Rather than pursuing their own lives.

In contrast to those who live with the delusion of a magical rescue, some losers live constantly under the dread of future catastrophe:

They are anxious over what they anticipate: bill paying, love affair, crisis, illness, retirement, and so forth.
Persons overly involved with imaginings let the actual possibilities of the moment pass them by.

Anxiety tunes out current reality. Consequently, these people are unable to see for themselves, hear for themselves, feel for themselves, or taste, touch or think for themselves.
Unable to bring the full potential of their senses into the immediate situation, loser's perceptions are incorrect or incomplete. They see themselves and others through a prismlike distortion.

Losers invest their energy in maintaining masks.

[quote, Karen Horney]
The fostering of the phony self is always at the expense of the real self. The latter being treated with disdain, at best like a poor relative.

Losers repress their capacity to express spontaneously and appropriately the full range of possible behavior.
Losers are afraid of trying new things and instead maintain their own status quo.
Losers are repeaters, repeating not only their own mistakes, but often those of their families and culture as well.

A loser has difficulty giving and receiving affection and does not enter into intimate, honest, direct relationships with others. Instead, a loser tries to manipulate them into living up to his or her expecations. Loser's energies are often channeled into living up to the expectations of others.

Tools for change

A person who wants to discover and change a "losing streak", who wants to become more like the winner he or she was born to be, can use gestalt-type experiments and transactional analysis to make change happen.
We believe that everyone has the potential to be a winner: to be a real person, an alive person, an aware person.

Frederick Perls and Gestalt therapy

Perls perceives many personalities as lacking wholeness, as being fragmented. He claims people are often aware of only parts of themselves rather than the whole self.
The aim of gestalt therapy is to help people become whole, to help them become aware of, admit to, reclaim and integrate their fragmented parts. Integration helps a person make the transition from dependency to self-sufficiency; from authorarian outer support to authentic inner-support. Concretely, having inner-support means that a person is self-reliant. Such a person is no longer compelled to depend on a spouse, academic degree, job title, therapist, bank account, and so forth for support. Instead, he or she discovers that the needed capabilities are internal and that they can be depended on.

I call neurotic any man who uses his potential to manipulate others instead of growing up himself. He takes control, get power, and mobilize friends, in places where he's impotent to use his own resources. He does so because he cannot stand such tensions and frustrations that go along with growing up. And taking risks is risky too. Too fearful to consider.

Jacob Moreno coined the word "psycho-drama" to describe how he directed people to take on the identities of others and to act out their problems from different point of view.

Chair-technique (Perl):
"hot-seat": a chair for the patient.
an empty chair facing the patient, onto which the patient projects his or her many selves.

Example of a woman playing her fragmented parts, she acted her "friendly self" from the hot-seat, and imagined her "angry self" on the opposite chair. She switched chairs when she switched roles:

I never knew I could be so angry.
Sometimes people are aware of only one of their poles.
By using Perl's role playing technique these opposing forces can have it out with each other, forgive each other, compromise, or at least to know each other.
Using the double chair technique, people can develop an awareness of their fragmented parts by starting a dialogue and by acting various roles, switching chairs with each switch in role.
The role players may be people, children, mother, father, spouse, boss.
Or physical symptoms, or even objects encountered in a dream.

All the different parts of the dream are fragments of our personalities. Since our aim is to make every one of us a wholesome person, which means a unified person, without conflicts, what we have to do is put the different fragments of the dream together. We have to re-own these projected fragmented parts of our personality, and re-own the hidden potential that appears in the dream.

All the dream is the dreamer.
For example, one man had a recurring dream in which there was a desk.
When asked to imagine himself as this piece of furniture he muttered "How silly, I'm not a desk". With a bit of encouragement, he got over this stage and started his performance: "I am a big desk. I'm stuffed full of other people's things. People pile things on me, write on me, poke me with pens. They just use me and I can't move."
That's me, all right!
Emotional awareness is that moment of self-discovery when a person says "Ahah".
Perls describe the "ahah" experience as what happens whenever something clicks, falls into place.

Eric Berne and transactional analysis

In transactional analysis people gain both emotional and intellectual insights but the methods focus on the latter (as opposed to gestalt therapy).
It is a thinking process, often analytical, in which the person frequently concludes "So that's the way it is!".

The group serve as a setting in which people can become more aware of themselves, the structure of their individual personality, how they transact with others, the games they play, and the script they act out. Such awareness enables person to see themselves more clearly so that they can change what they want to change and strengthen what they want to strengthen.

Transactional analysis is a rational approach to understanding behavior and is based on assumption that all individuals can learn to trust themselves, think for themselves, make their own decisions, and express their feelings. Its principles can be applied on the job, in the home, in the classroom, neighborhood - wherever people deal with people.

Summary

A person who is not aware of who she acts or feels is impoverished. Lacking a core of confidence, such a person fluctuates between conflicting inner forces. This person is less tha whole, having alienated parts of the self: intellect, emotions, creativeness, body feeling.

Winners continue to discover and renew themselves. For them, life consists not in getting more but in being more. Winners are glad to be alive.

Experiments and exercices

Trait checklist

Fit your self-image or not?

Is there a pattern?
Are they winner traits, loser traits or a mixture?
What trait would you like to change?

winner / loser continuum

role-playing an inner dialogue

if you have a dialogue playing in your head, become aware of the essence of the conversation.
Who is talking in your head? Are you talking to a particular person?
Set two chairs facing each other. Using Perl's role playing method, speak this conversation aloud. Switch from one chair to another when it is appropriate.
Try to bring this dialogue to some kind of conclusion.