Thinking Outside The Box The How To
When innovators talk about thinking outside the box, they mean coming up with creative ways to solve problems - new ways to look at things. How do they do it? How can you do it too? We first have to ask what the "box" is. Then we can look at how to get outside of it.
The "box" is the normal way of doing things and looking at things. It is the assumptions that almost everyone involved is making. The best way to start thinking out of the box then, is to identify and challenge all the assumptions that make up thinking inside the box.
One of the major liquor brands was faltering years ago, and they couldn't seem to boost their sales. Promotions, lowering the price, getting better shelf placement - these were the "in the box" solutions. Then someone challenged the assumptions, by asking "What if we stopped the promotions and just raised the price?"
The price was raised as an experiment, and sales soon doubled. As it turns out, some types of liquor are bought quite often as gifts. Buyers don't want to buy the most expensive one, but they also don't want to seem cheap, so they won't buy products that don't cost enough. Now imagine what happens to your profit margins when you raise the price and double the sales. That's the power of thinking outside of the box.
Ways To Get Outside The Box
Challenging assumptions is a powerful creative problem solving technique. The difficult part is to identify the assumptions. If you are designing a new motorcycle, write down assumptions like "speed matters," "it has to run on gas" and "it needs two wheels," not because you expect to prove these wrong, but because challenging these can lead to creative possibilities. Maybe the time has come for an electric three-wheeled motorcycle.
Another way to get to creative solutions is to "assume the absurd." This is either fun or annoying, depending on how open-minded you can be. All you do is start making absurd assumptions, then finding ways to make sense of them. The easiest way to do it is by asking "what if."
What if a carpet cleaning business was better off with half as many customers? It seems absurd, but work with it. Hmm...less stressful, perhaps. More profitable if each customer was worth three times as much. Is that possible? Commercial jobs that involve large easy-to-clean spaces (theaters, offices, convention halls) make more money in a day than houses, with fewer headaches. Focusing on getting those accounts could be the most profitable way to go - not so absurd.
Another way to more innovative ideas is to literally do your thinking out of the box. Get out of the house or the office. Look around at how others are doing things. On busses in Ecuador, salesmen put a product into everyones hands and let them hold it while they do a sales pitch. Then you have to give back "your" product or pay for it. It is very effective. How could you use the principle in your business?
Innovation The Life Blood Of Your Business
If you're running or managing a business and want it to be around for a long time, you need to spend a good part of your time innovating. That's because, in a fast-moving world, where people expect things to get better and better, and cheaper and cheaper, innovation is your route to getting ahead of your competition.
Here are 7 ways to put new life blood into your organization through innovation.
1. Create An Innovative Climate. Goran Ekvall of Lund University in Sweden has defined three conditions needed for a climate of innovation. They are: trust, dynamism, and humour. One of Ekvall's case studies was a Swedish newspaper where the team working on the women's section consistently outperformed all the other teams. The reason? Quite simply, this group trusted one another, had a high level of energy and shared a common sense of humour.
2. Develop Washing-Up Creativity. According to the Roffey Park Management Institute, most flashes of inspiration come to people when they are away from work and not forcing their conscious brains to find solutions to their problems. For some, ideas come while mowing the lawn or taking the dog for a walk or playing golf or waiting on a railway station. For Isaac Newton, it was an apple on the head while sitting in the garden. For Archimedes, it was in the bath. For others it's while doing the dishes; that's why Roffey Park calls these flashes of insight: "washing-up creativity".
3. Make New Connections. Making new connections between existing features of your product or service is a popular way to innovate. Akio Morita, chairman of Sony, said that he invented the Walkman because he wanted to listen to music while walking between shots on his golf course. His team simply put together two seemingly incompatible products: a tape recorder and a transistor radio.
4. Find Out What People Need. Necessity is a great spur to innovation. Take, for example, writing paper. The Chinese had already made paper from rags around the year 100 BC but because there was no need for it, nothing came of it. When it did reach Europe in the Middle Ages when writing was all the rage, the supply of rags and worn-out fabric soon dried up. That's when a French naturalist made the discovery that wasps made their nests by chewing wood into a mash that dried in thin layers. Within 100 years, all paper was made using the idea of wood pulp.
5. Test, Test, Test. Product testing is the way most inventors and organizations go about innovation. It may not be the quickest route to success, but it is often the surest. Jonas Salk, for example, discovered the polio vaccine by spending most of his time testing and testing and continually finding out what didn't work. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the filament light bulb, recorded 1300 experiments that were complete failures. But he was able to keep going because, as he said, he knew 1300 ways that it wasn't going to work.
6. Adopt and Adapt. One relatively easy approach to innovation is to notice how others deal with problems and then adapt their solutions to your own. It's known as "adapt and adopt". It's what watchmakers Swatch did when they realized that the more reliable their watches became, the less people needed to replace them. Their solution? Borrow an idea from the world of fashion and collections by turning their watches into desirable fashion accessories. Now people buy Swatch watches not just to tell the time but because it's cool to do so.
7. Take Lessons From Nature. If you really want to be inventive, you can't beat nature. The world of nature gives us an endless supply of prototypes to use in our own world. Take Velcro, for example. Velcro was patented by Georges de Mestral in 1950 after he returned from a hunting trip covered in tiny burrs that had attached themselves to his clothing by tiny overlapping hooks. De Mestral quickly realized that here was an ideal technique to fasten material together. A whole new way of doing things was suddenly invented.
The history of the world is the history of innovation. Thomas Kuhn called each acceptance of a new innovation a "paradigm shift". For once a new innovation becomes accepted, the world has changed for ever and can never go back to the way it was.
Forget Conventional Dream Interpretation Learn To Cultivate Your Dreams Today
One of my favourite quotes of all time and I am sure many of you share my thoughts, is the speech by Martin Luther King at the civil rights march in Washington, 1963, which went like this:
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood..."
"I have a dream..." Indeed. Inspiring stuff. I want to discuss our dreams in a very practical way today.
I want to talk about how to cultivate your dreaming. It really is a tremendously valuable thing to do. I want to steer away from conventional dream interpretation and will explain why.
As of today, pay attention to your dreaming and your daydreaming. Dreams are important to us in many ways, because they do the following:
Firstly, when you dream you actively process information and feelings.
Secondly, dreams are always involving many senses, so the highly sensory experience is very rich. It is quite rare for us to use all our senses at once as we do when we dream.
Thirdly, dreams give us valuable information about what is going on in our lives, whether directly or more often in a disguised or symbolic form.
Fourthly, dreams are strongly sequenced, though often in a way which is emotionally rather than logically organised.
Finally, dreams draw upon a rich range of unconscious, associative, creative links between many kinds of information.
Some people remember their dreams; others tend to forget all but the most dramatic bits as soon as they wake. When you dream or daydream, take time to replay as much of it as you can in your mind before the events of the day overlay it. Relive the story of that dream. Remind yourself of the events, pictures, sensations and other sensory information it involved.
This dream was the product of your mind. Marvel at your own creativity! This is amazing stuff here; get excited by it.
If you get into the habit of asking yourself when you wake, "what did I dream?" you may at first only remember a few particularly strong feelings or vivid images: write them down and review it regularly. I actually used to write a dream journal and wrote everything down as soon as I opened my eyes each morning. It provided me with such inspiration when I required it.
Naturally, lots of you may want to start with dream interpretation straight away. Resist the urge for dream interpretation, ok?
Do your best not to assume that there is necessarily a single clear meaning which can be interpreted according to psychological theories or books on dream significance or dream interpretation. How can your dreams have the same meaning as someone else? Is your brain the same as that persons? For now, ease off the dream interpretation.
I have found that the most useful assumption to make about dreams is that they have some kind of significance for you, the dreamer: they come from your internal, unconscious mind's storehouse of feelings, experiences and images, and are an active and useful way of processing that is quite different from - and just as useful as - the processing that belongs to the logical conscious part of your mind.
Often a strong feeling will be your first clue to the meaning a dream has for you: so note it, and wonder about it, but don't try to rush to tie it down by conscious analysis. The real work of the dream is often done simply in the dreaming of it: the conscious mind does not always have to understand, and when it tries to translate dreams into its own terms it may be limiting it, just as poetry translated from another language usually loses something of its more subtle tapestry of meanings.
Think about the value of dreams.
Dreams demonstrate a different level of mental functioning from conscious, disciplined thought. When you pay attention to them, and even cultivate them, you are learning to become familiar with, to trust and to draw upon a fuller range of your own mental resources: in other words, you are using more of what you've got. Hey, this stuff is going to keep happening, so why not really use it.
The mind works both consciously and unconsciously. Conscious thought is formally taught in our education system. Its strength is its systematic and disciplined way of handling information. Its limitation is that it tends to be rule-bound and too narrow in its problem-solving approach.
The brain also processes information at an unconscious level: mostly, this is associative and depends on links, similarities and feelings. This processing produces dreams, as well as much of our other "creative" or "expressive" experience. That is why we are often surprised by the spontaneous connections we make or insights we have, and by our imaginative inspiration: it is not what we would have come up with consciously at all, yet it seems somehow completely "right". This way of thinking works "laterally" - it expands, goes sideways and finds multiple avenues rather than just one.
We need both kinds of functioning if we are to make the most of our brain power. Logic and intuition, discipline and divergence, are all vital tools that enrich and enable us. But whereas we are used to working with the conscious mind, in part because we are aware of it and can monitor it as it works, many people are less at ease trusting and using the unconscious processes. Paying attention to your dreams, and deliberately cultivating daydreaming, are both ways of stretching yourself into this area.
So let us have a look at the value of deliberate daydreaming. Where dreams come unbidden, you may find it useful to deliberately evoke the conditions for daydreaming, if, like many people, you have not really valued the activity before now.
How is it valuable? Daydreaming brings us escape and relaxation; visions of the future that inspire and help us to bring about what we have dreamed of; solutions to apparently unsolvable problems; inventions and creative possibilities. Daydream states allow the unconscious, associative parts of the mind to work in their own playful and imaginative ways, bringing not only pleasure but results that our usual deliberate, attentive, rational thought does not. We need space in our lives for both ways of processing if we are to realise ourselves as fully as possible.
The key to daydreaming is to be in that right state. If you want to practice, please visit my website and download the free hypnosis session there, or learn self-hypnosis, read my book "The Secrets of Self-Hypnosis" or invest in the self-hypnosis masterclass audio programme, there is nothing else as good in the world today, really there isn't. There is a kind of automatic abstractedness that goes along with daydreaming. Mostly it just seems to happen - but when you know about creating and changing states, you can choose to make it happen.
Here are some ways you can cultivate and work with your daydreams:
Firstly, notice when you have been daydreaming. Is there any pattern of circumstances that helps bring about your particular daydreaming state?
Some people find that repetitive, relatively automatic, activities such as jogging, ironing or walking create the right state. Perhaps it is a warm bath, swimming a few lengths, or sitting in the garden. Or it may be swaying to the movement of a train, staring into space, looking out of the window of a bus on the way to work, or going on a long drive.
Once you find what helps you daydream, use it and make space for it in your life on a regular basis, imagine that you are in that experience, recreate those circumstances inside of your mind. Let daydreaming come to you, and notice what kinds of windows it opens from our ordinary world into what other kinds of possibilities. Some of your best ideas and inspirations may come at these times.
Secondly, next time you have a decision to make, or a problem to solve, or a challenge to overcome, you can set up the circumstances so that you can trigger your daydreaming state - and allow yourself to explore your problem or decision in this way. When you have done so, make some notes of what you experienced and discovered. Add that to your conscious thinking on the subject: you now have much more information, and the advantage of having engaged more of your mental resources.
Thirdly, for today, forget dream interpretation. That is a conscious and limiting thing to do. Did I make myself clear? Forget conventional dream interpretation. For now use your dreams in personal ways to you.
Innovation Is A State Of Mind
You probably know the myth of innovation as a sudden flash of insight that comes from nowhere. We read about that "aha" moment, or that light bulb turning on in the mind of some inventor or innovator, and this is true to an extent. Einstein really did get flashes of insight while shaving in the morning. However, he was of course working on the particular problems he had insight into, and he didn't suddenly have ideas for new kitchen gadgets or movie plots.
Einsteins innovations, in other words, no matter how "sudden" the original ideas were, came from past and present mental work. It is like a singer who works at his craft for ten years and then becomes an "overnight success." Innovative people only have "sudden" new ideas because they have habitually worked and thought in certain ways for some time. If you want to become an innovative thinker, then, why not start cultivating those mental habits?
Mental Habits Lead To Innovation
Problems can be opportunities. "Problem" may have a negative connotations, such as being a hassle or stressful, but any problem can lead to an innovation that improves our lives. Not knowing the time lead to clocks small enough to put on our wrists. Nasty diseases lead to sanitary sewer systems. Start looking for opportunity in every problem. Even a mundane problem like not having enough storage space could lead to a new innovation. You may just build a plywood floor in the attic, but you could invent a new type of outdoor storage unit.
Innovation begins with understanding the key elements. Metal, wood or glass are not key elements of a door to an innovator. A way to get in, a way to keep others out - these are key elements. Begin with these, and soon you're imagining new ways to make a door. You could design a door that is opened by your voice (nice when your hands are full), or one that shuts and locks itself when anyone else approaches. Think of the key elements in things.
Attitude helps innovation. The creative problem-solving technique of concept-combination involves combining two ideas to see what new idea or product results. The crucial point is that you assume there will be a useful new idea. Starting with that assumption, your mind will work overtime to produce something. A shoe and a CD have nothing to do with each other, but it took just a minute to imagine a CD player with headphones that only plays the music correctly if a jogger maintains his ideal pace. When you assume there is something there you'll often find something.
Playfulness helps innovation. A playful mind is a creative mind, and while high IQ doesn't correlate with creativity, put it together with playfulness, and you have an Einstein. Remember, he imagined himself riding on a beam of light in order to arrive at his theory of relativity. Why not start playing with ideas and things, in your mind and in your surroundings. Innovation should be fun.
Problem Solving Games For Groups
Problem solving games are a natural when you want brain exercise and fun. Some of the best problem solving games can be played as a group. The added element of competition and "showing off" can stimulate some truly creative ideas. These games are especially good for long trips in a car, or for bored kids trapped inside by bad weather.
Best Ideas Game
This game uses a problem solving technique called "random presentation," and might even lead to some good money-making ideas. First, have someone look out the window or around the room and choose any object at random. Don't put any restrictions on this. It can be a rock on the side of the road, a stick laying in the yard, a truck, or anything at all.
Now everyone in the car or room can try to come up with the best way to make money with the chosen object. A street sign becomes a place to advertise, and trees are to be sold door-to-door. A truck can be used in a hundred ways to make money, but look for the best new way for the sake of the game maybe a traveling grocery store?
There is no winner or loser in this game. It is just an opportunity to let your imagination run wild, and to exercise your creativity. You may get a few laughs out of it too.
Concept Combination Game
Another good problem solving game for a group involves using a specific creative thinking technique, called "concept combination." You basically take two concepts or objects and combine them in some novel way. As a group game, the point is just to see who has the best idea.
What can you come up with from the combination of a chair and a microwave? Perhaps an easy-chair that has a cooler and microwave and television built in. Or microwaveable "couch potatoes" - a potato snack in the shape of a couch.
Change Of Perspective Game
You can also try the "change of perspective" technique for problem solving games. One way is to just take a topic ranging from morality to having a job, and see who can come up with the most unique (and perhaps coherent) new perspective? Could there be a world where there were no jobs? What would morality be to a virus if it had consciousness?
Once again, there are no losers in this game, or any of these types of games. It is just a chance to get creative and work that mind power. You could vote on the best idea if you want some sort of score keeping, but either way you'll enjoy these problem solving games.
Solve Problems With A Word List
To creatively solve problems you need to get your mind looking in new directions. You can systematically do this by using a list of words, primarily adjectives, to create "what if?" scenarios. You start with the question, "what if it was..." and then insert a word from the list. The "it" in the question is the problem you're trying to solve, or the solution or situation that exists now.
Using "What If" To Solve Problems
An example will help explain the process. Assume your house is too crowded because you're running your business from it. You ask, "What if it was..." and insert from the word list, "smaller." The house is already too small, but could the business be smaller? The word "divided" might give you the idea to keep the business in just one part of the house.
Most words on the list won't help, so you can go through the irrelevant ones quickly. Don't automatically dismiss them, though, without a few seconds consideration. "What if it was hopeless?" may seem like a useless question, or it may make you realize that you just can't keep the business in the house any longer.
As with most problem-solving techniques, it's important to allow ideas to flow without judging them initially. Don't stifle the creative process. Evaluate your ideas later, when you're done with this part.
The Problem Solving Word List
You can create your own list of words. Use adjectives, descriptive phrases, and words that can change your perspective. These could include the following:
What if it was... larger, smaller, farther away, closer, sooner, later, easier, more difficult, higher, fat, rich, short, black, certain, hopeless, newer, boring, casual, subtracted from, cheaper, common, divided, more interesting, extravagant, subtle, or fun?
The Conversation Of Recovery
Transformational Counseling is all about assisting another human being to live a life that they love and to live it powerfully. Transformational Counseling is about creating a space for others to learn how to transform their lives, to live a life differently from how it was in the past, to truly create what they desire. Transformational Counseling is about assisting others in their getting and utilizing a powerful technology that will enable them to make a true difference in their life and in the lives of others. Transformational Counseling is about assisting another to become present to how they have stopped themselves in their life and in the process transform their way of being in the world. While comprised of a variety of distinctions that are important for understanding the process of transformation, the utilization of Transformational Counseling has five interrelated components that are crucial to its successful use with others and even with oneself.
While this article will outline the basic principles and components of Transformational Counseling for assisting others, it will also explore its use with those who are experiencing drug and alcohol dependency problems. Transformational Counseling makes available a very powerful technology for anyone who would like to create new possibilities for themselves including those who are in and struggling with recovery. The primary reason for such application rests with the fact that we are all human beings, regardless of whether or not we are experiencing addiction oriented issues. Given our sense of relatedness as human beings, our fundamental process for how we go about creating our world and what occurs there for us is the same. Those who are in the process of entering the recovery process have merely chosen to use alcohol or drugs or both in the past to manage the pain and negative emotions generated from their self-limiting belief and in the process to take themselves out of the Conversation of life. The use of alcohol and drug is merely a way to numb the intense pain generated by being their ego, who they think they are, their self-limiting belief.
Transformational Counseling fully acknowledges the power of the human mind, of thought itself. The thoughts that we have are very important, if not the most important component of what it is to be a human being in that our thoughts are truly creative in nature. We are thinking beings that create initially from our thoughts. Everything that we do or take on in life first began as a thought or idea. It is very familiar for us to believe that the external world is that which is reality and that our thoughts are merely the effect or product of such a world. From such a belief we tend to give little or no real credence to our thoughts and thinking patterns as being the fundamental cause in the matter. As a result we commonly believe that in order for us to be truly happy we must manipulate or change something about the external world, other people, circumstances and situations. However, within the conversation of Transformational Counseling it is our thoughts that shape or determine our experiences, our feelings and behavior and our very sense of reality. Furthermore, it is the thought that we have or create about ourselves that forms the background of our life, the context from which we experience life itself, how the worlds occurs for us.
Transformational Counseling also acknowledges that we are totally responsible for creating our thoughts and most importantly for that which we have about ourselves. Our thoughts are not the result of things happening to us, either from circumstance, situations or the behavior of others but rather it is the interpretation or meaning that we give to the events that happen that makes them appear to us as they do. Events do happen including those involving others but fundamental to understanding our natural, creative process is that it is about what we do with the events, what meaning we give or make them out to be about that determines our experience. We are meaning making machines in a sense, constantly wrapping meaning around everything in life, people, places and things and most importantly about ourselves. The meaning that we give or create with respect to an event will determine the experience that we have as a human being and with it how we feel, the emotions that we have, and also the behavior that will eventually result. Every emotion that we experience and behavior that we cause is the result of thoughts that we create. As mentioned above, the most important thought that we create is that which is about us, the definition that we give ourselves and it is that which determines or defines our self-image, who we think we are in the world.
The recognition that their own thinking may be that which is generating their negative experiences and dependency upon alcohol or drugs or both does not exist for individuals in recovery especially while they are actively using substances. The difficulties that they are having are believed by them to have been caused by something external, their circumstance, life situations or even other people in their life. As they continue to stay focused on that which is external in their attempt to cope with life or even to heal through recovery they are actually continuing to create the same type of experiences and life that originally brought them into recovery. Associated with this way of being is that the individual will tend to assume little if any responsibility for himself. What tends to get created is either blame or even guilt for what the individual is experiencing. Without the recognition or acknowledgement of the true source of their experience and substance use the individual will continue to create the same type of experiences that they are having. Unable to access their natural ability and power to transform their life will leave them having and being more of their past, the probable almost certain future. Unfortunately, such a missing is not only present with the one suffering from dependency issues but also for the majority of the counselors attempting to assist those in recovery. Most of the counselors working with those in recovery do not truly get the creative power of our thoughts or that we are completely responsible for creating them.
The first distinction necessary for one to begin to transform their life has to do with the existence of the self-limiting belief. Becoming present to the self-limiting belief is a process of getting what has truly stopped a person in his life, has stopped him from living a life that he loves and living it powerfully. Once there is the distinction or awareness of the self-limiting belief, of what has been driving a person's bus, possibly for the first time in that individual's life the opportunity or space has been created for them to begin to create themselves anew, to reinvent themselves, to be differently in the world. This creative act takes place with the inventing of possibilities. It is by taking on creating and living into a person's possibilities that the individual begins to create a life much differently than how it once was before a Conversation of transformation. Once possibilities have been created a person next learns how to consistently be or live inside his possibilities by learning the process of enrollment. Once the technology of enrollment is gotten and one begins to consistently apply it in his life, it is by engaging in the development of a Daily Plan and staying in the Conversation with others that the technology of transformation becomes fully realized and lived for the person. This powerful technology is applicable to both the one being assisted and the person doing the assisting and can only be fully realized when both are involved in the Conversation.
The self-limiting belief is a belief that we have about ourselves, about who we think we are in the world. The self-limiting belief is a belief that has affected if not determined our life in the past, is shaping what we think, say, feel, and do in the present and will generate our future. Within the Conversation of Transformational Counseling, the self-limiting belief is a thought or idea that has its genesis between the ages of three and six. An event took place in the individual's life, an event that the child believes should not have happened as it did and as a child the individual made a judgment or gave the event meaning. Given that for a child everything is about them, it is from this event and the meaning that they invented about it that the child also created an idea about itself, about who they think they are in the world as a result of the event. The child next converts the idea into a belief, a belief that is all about their sense of adequacy, value or worth as person. A sense of something is wrong or not being enough about the self is created. Getting the distinction of the self-limiting belief is crucial to the individual's personal growth and continued development. If the individual does not get the distinction of the self limiting belief, if it stays hidden from them, of who they have been being, their life will remain as it has always been, as they will continue to be the person they think they truly are. Such a distinction can be gotten several ways. One way, for example, is to have a person begin to monitor their spoken word. Becoming present to what they actually say will eventually reveal the self-limiting belief. Another way to get the distinction of our self-limiting belief is to monitor our self-talk. The self-limiting belief actually exists inside our everyday language, in the words that we say especially when reference is made about the self and inside our inner voice. Even though its genesis is from the past, the self-limiting belief exists in our real time play, self Conversation in the present.
For the individual who is experiencing the pain of alcohol and drug dependency, getting this distinction is crucial to their transformation and also for them to be successful in their recovery. While a Conversation about the existence of the self-limiting belief is very unfamiliar to anyone, there will also be a tendency for the addicted individual to not want to discover it. Common to all human beings, we tend to want to keep our self-limiting belief hidden from ourselves and especially from others. No individual, at least initially, wants to share with another their sense of inadequacy but rather is caught up in looking good or not looking bad to others. We generate a great deal of energy in our attempt to repress its existence, energy that will eventually have a very negative consequence for our way of being or existence in the world. The very process of engaging in a Conversation about the self-limiting belief will eventually recreate the negative emotions associated with the cravings for substances. To become present to the self-limiting belief will necessitate that the individual experience that which is hidden in their fundamental way of being inauthentic in life. Once gotten the individual will also experience the negative emotions that the self-limiting belief generates and it is inside the emotional state that gets created that the addicted individual will have a tendency to want to fix by returning to very familiar ways, to using drugs and alcohol. However, unless the self-limiting belief is gotten life will tend to be as it has been in the past resulting in a probable almost certain future.
The second component of this process is that of creating possibilities for oneself. Creating possibilities is the process of redefining or reinventing oneself, of actually creating new language and words from which to begin to develop a new and more powerful, self-expressed individual. Once the individual becomes present to who they have been being in the world, to their self-limiting belief and the impact that it has had in his life, both on himself and others, a space is now created or opened up for them to literally say or declare who they will now be for themselves, others and the world. Such a process of redefining oneself is as simple as initially creating new words from which to begin to speak or refer to oneself as being. For example, if an individual's self limiting belief is that he is "not enough," he could begin to redefine or invent himself as the possibilities of "acceptance", "creativity" and "leadership" merely by declaring and intentioning himself to be these possibilities in his spoken word. Creating such new language from which to refer to oneself will become for that person his new self-affirmation. Committing such a self-created affirmation to ones spoken word will create a space from which the individual will have the opportunity to experience life differently, a life of power, freedom and full self-expression. Such a declaration is not merely linguistical but will begin to call forth action. Who we are, who we say we are, will eventually determine what we do and have in life.
The listening for the Conversation of possibilities will be even more unfamiliar than the one about the self-limiting belief. Even though possibilities will be caused for the individual and a sense of hope and inspiration created, there will be a tendency at some point for the person to not belief that their life can be truly transformed merely by creating possibilities. Even when the person gets the existence of his self-limiting belief, how he has been being that in his life and the impact upon himself and others as a result, a sense of doubt will arise that mere words or language will truly assist them in transforming their life let alone cause them to be successful with respect to their recovery. As with a newborn child, the existence of possibilities once invented or created will be quite fragile. There will be in the beginning of this Conversation a tendency to return to being ones self-limiting belief if for no other reason than it is familiar to the person. The self-limiting belief is about life in their comfort zone, from the ego, in what is reasonable and familiar to them. Even though the individual will become enrolled into his possibilities it is in the person's initial not getting of its application in life that will leave it vulnerable. The individual will return to his community and with this reentry a breakdown will happen. The success of this process will rest upon the individual continuing to stay in the Conversation about his possibilities and also upon the one assisting to continue to generate the space necessary for this creative process to be lived fully.
The third component of Transformational Counseling is that of enrollment. Enrollment is the process of continuing to stay inside or live into ones possibilities and out of ones self-limiting belief. The process or technology of enrollment will be vital when ones starts to again experience a loss of power, freedom or self expression which is equitable to the negative human emotions of anger, depression, etc. When we have such an experience our past has again reappeared for us. Such reappearance is merely our self-limiting belief once again determining who we are in the world. Once again our self-limiting belief is driving our bus. The process of enrollment allows us to get the inauthenticity that we have created by again being our self-limiting belief. Enrollment allows us to get present to what we are pretending about the experience and what we are hiding. The pretense is always about another person, place or thing and with it there is the experience of some sort of sense of threat and blame. The story from pretense has something to do with the other person, situation or circumstance causing us to feel a certain way. Enrollment technology allows us to get that we created the pretense, the story, and furthermore what the experience is truly all about. Becoming present to what is hidden from us in the experience allows us to again make the distinction of our self-limiting belief and that which is truly creating the experience. It is our self-limiting belief that actually creates the breakdown due to the individual's sense of inadequacy with respect to the situation, circumstance or interactions with another. Once we become present to that which is creating the inauthenticity we are able to give it up through enrollment and again reinvent ourselves through the creation or even regeneration of our possibilities. Once a person does enrollment with himself the inauthenticity he created disappears and with it the individual's power, freedom and full self-expression is once again restored.
The creation of possibilities will begin a process of bringing forth action. The individual who takes on creating possibilities for himself and his life will become very motivated to do and be differently in life. With the creation of possibilities the person will experience a renewed sense of power, freedom and self-expression. However, it is in this breakthrough of creating possibilities that the person will eventually experience breakdowns in the various domains of his life especially when he begins to live life on life's terms. When the individual returns to his community, to life as it was before the recovery process started, there will be a tendency to experience breakdowns. When one returns to his community there will exist a discrepancy of how he was being before his transformation began and how he is being now from possibilities. When one returns to his community there will also be a tendency to return to familiar ways of being and dealing with the circumstances and situations of life and even other people. It is within his return that the technology of enrollment will be crucial to his continued transformation and recovery. The use of enrollment will allow the person to get how he is actually creating the breakdown himself, to get how he is creating a story about the situation, circumstance or others and most importantly the source of this creation, his self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief generates the context from which the world occurs for us. Knowing that he is creating this experience from the background of his self-limiting belief will give him the power to choose, the power to return to being his possibilities thereby allowing him to experience the circumstance, situation or another in a manner that is in alignment with or from his possibilities.
The Daily Plan is the fourth component in the utilization of the technology of Transformational Counseling. Transformational Counseling is not merely about understanding the power of our thoughts but ultimately about action. We live in a world of action and for us to make a difference in our life as well as in that of another we must ultimately create through action. The Daily Plan allows one the opportunity to begin to create their life anew by assisting them in monitoring their day-to-day activities and behavior. As our possibilities will call forth action, the Daily Plan allows one the opportunity to begin to create their life differently by planning what they will specifically take on or do to create or bring forth their chosen possibilities in their lives. The Daily Plan is about making a commitment to oneself to fulfill on their intentions, to fulfill on being their possibilities. One of the fundamental elements of this structure is how will an individual measurably bring forth his possibilities into his life, how will he go about practically creating them for myself and in the world. The Daily Plan also allows one the opportunity to stay present to his self-limiting belief as it arises in the act of fulfilling on his Daily Plan. Having a breakthrough with the creation of possibilities and especially with their implementation in life will eventually create a breakdown too. With the use of a Daily Plan the person will have the opportunity to become present to what is stopping him and as a result get back into generating his possibilities through enrollment and as a result continue to create from the present.
While the use of the Daily Plan will support and assist the individual in his transformation and recovery, there will also be a tendency to not complete it on a consistent basis. The use of the Daily Plan is antithetical to the existence of the self-limiting belief, with the way of being the individual is very familiar with. In addition to assisting the individual in creating the life that he wants and to be able to distinguish his self-limiting belief as it reappears, the Daily Plan is also about ones commitment and integrity both to himself and others. When the individual develops or creates his Daily Plan he will be making a commitment to himself and others, to what he says that he wants to create in his life. Once the individual's plans for his transformation and recovery are made real by committing them to written form in his Daily Plan, it will become an issue of integrity, of doing what he said he would do, of doing complete work with whatever he does and of doing what he does as it was meant to be done. It is only be staying in integrity and fulfilling on his commitments to himself and others that he will be able to live into his possibilities, to transform his life. The individual will either be his self-limiting belief or his possibilities and it is through his integrity that he will have the opportunity to become present to his commitment or intension in life. The Daily Plan is a powerful technique that will effectively assist one in his transformation and recovery.
The Conversation is the fifth component of Transformational Counseling and is about enrollment and the self-limiting belief reappearing in ones commitments to his Daily Plan. While identified as the fifth component of this process, the Conversation actually begins when one is introduced to the work of transformation. It will always be a question of whether or not one will stay in the Conversation to continue to do the work of transformation after enrollment has taken place. However, the Conversation is about communicating with another through the enrollment process. It is in the Conversation that we have the opportunity to begin and continue utilizing the technology of Transformational Counseling. There will always be breakdowns in life even as we utilize the work of transformation. When we once again experience a loss of power, freedom and self-expression our past has reappeared again in our life and with it a breakdown. Staying in the Conversation with another person within transformation will give us the opportunity to become present to the inauthentic way of being that we have recreated and also to create the space for us to experience another breakthrough. It is only in a Conversation with another where we get the stories that we invent in the pretense about others, situations and circumstances that we will have an opportunity to also get present to that which is hidden from our view, the context, that which is truly creating our breakdown experience. That which is hidden is always from our past and has to do in some manner with our self-limiting belief. Furthermore, it is only from this distinction that a clearing will be caused to live in possibility again. The Conversation is about enrollment, enrolling ourselves and assisting others through enrollment. It is only in communication with another that we can continue to be and live into our possibilities and with it stay in the work of transformation with another and ourselves.
As alluded to above, there will be a tendency to want to leave the Conversation especially when one has first gotten or been introduced to the technology of transformation and Transformational Counseling. The initial experience of power, freedom and full self expression is very enrolling and with this feeling of being touched, moved and inspired by our possibilities one may create a belief that no future work is really necessary. However, the technology of transformation is not something that you simply get but something that is constantly gotten. When not in communication with others inside the Conversation of transformation there will be a tendency to stop doing the work and go back to what is familiar and especially to the familiar ways that we attempted to resolve breakdowns. It is the familiar that is within the world of the self-limiting belief. As mentioned above, the self-limiting does not go away, it is there throughout our life. While the self-limiting belief will reappear in our life through a breakdown, staying in the Conversation with another will assist us in distinguishing the inauthenticity that we create and once again empower us to get back into or create new possibilities for ourselves. Continuing the work of transformation by staying in the Conversation with others is not familiar and in many respects unreasonable. However, staying in the Conversation is crucial to our continued transformation as a human being living in the world and to the recovery process too.
I am currently the Director of Outpatient Services at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program in North Miami Beach, Florida. In working with people entering recovery in both the inpatient and outpatient programs it has been my experience that one of the first behaviors that will appear for the individual entering a relapse mode is when he takes himself out of the Conversation. This process of taking oneself out of the Conversation applies to whether one is attending transformational oriented group sessions or attending daily AA or NA meetings for those the 12 Step Program in recovery. When the person stops seeking and having human contact with people assisting him in his recovery, when one drops out of communication with other human beings who are helping him to transform his life, there will be a tendency to go back to that which is familiar for dealing with breakdowns. For those in recovery one of the familiar ways of attempting to fix a breakdown is to self-medicate with either alcohol or drugs or both. When the individual cuts himself off from the very process of his transformation and recovery, cuts himself off from communicating with another human being about what he is experiencing, the relapse process has begun for that person. The individual is once again unable to get how he is creating the breakdown and how to transform it.
Staying present to the existence of his self-limiting belief, generating his possibilities through his Daily Plan and processing breakdowns with others through enrollment does create the space for the individual to transform his life, be enrolled into the 12 Step Program and be successful in recovery. Much of why this technology is not utilized in the recovery field or even in the mental health arena is that most counselors are not even aware of its existence. For example, most counselors are not aware or present to the concept of a self-limiting belief let alone how it will, if not distinguished, continue to create a barrier or constraint for another. Most counselors are not even aware of the actual power of our thinking, of how we actually create our experiences, thoughts, feeling and behavior. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness as to how we create the occurring world leaves most counselors being able to only focus on that which is external to the client, that is, situations, circumstances and other people and their behavior. When we focus on that which is external to the client and engage in a discussion about situation, circumstance or another we run the risk of not generating the space for the client to get how he actually created or is continuing to create his experiences. When we are unable to assist a client in discovering how he actually created his situation, circumstance or relationship to another through his thinking and thoughts we run the risk of having the client assume little if any responsibility for his life, reinforcing or supporting a state of total disempowerment and leaving the probable almost certain future for the client.
Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHChttp://www.enhancedhealing.com
Looking Back To Move Forward
Another year is over. Take a moment to reflect on the past years.Start with an honest evaluation of your accomplishments, successes and failures.
Welcome the new year with a celebration of the past. Whatever challenges you faced last year, you are here to face another year. You are inspired and ready to tackle new endeavours, explore new horizons and reach for the stars.
Looking back helps to evaluate what worked and what didn't. Some issues seem to be replayed over and over. How many years has it been that you've promised to be more vigilant about your diet and exercise? What about the overuse of your credit card? How do you manage your time? What is it going to be this year? What are your priorities?
It's all a matter of perspective. Somewhere in the past, you stumbled and for a while, you were spinning your wheels. Take heart, that is past. There is a deep
well of strength and courage within you. And you moved on.
No one passes through this life without knowing pain and heartache. Add to this regret over lost opportunities, wrong choices and wrong decisions. These do not define your life. It is the lessons learned from these , and the determination to do better. Reap the nuggets of precious insights from the muddle and move on.
How well do you take care of your mental, physical and spiritual self? If you believe in taking care of your mental and spiritual well-being, your physical
health will definitely reap the benefits. Do you allow yourself time alone to enjoy peace and quiet? Have you learned to say NO. Do you take time to appreciate the beauty , the bounty and the blessings of the universe?
Stress is the scourge of living in the fast lane and getting caught up in the pursuit of material success. Consider seriously the level of your stress over the past years and how it affects your health. Think about this- your stress level impacts on your relationships, your career, your family and your whole life.
Some pursue elusive dreams. How long has it been? Ask yourself. Perhaps it's time to re-assess that dream. Times change. There are other avenues to pursue. Don't get stuck chasing after something that loses its value, its luster as time moves on. Don't let life pass you by.
Look back honestly, but kindly. And move on.
Unleash Your Subconscious Mind Power
If you want to learn the true art of mind power then it is of the greatest importance you understand 2 functions of your mind, and also how they interact with each other...
You only possess one mind, but it has 2 totally different functions - and the names generally used to distinguish these 2 different functions are as follows.
1, The Conscious Mind
2, The Subconscious Mind
There are many other terms used. But the 2 listed above, are the ones used most to represent the 2 main functions of your mind.
To help us better understand the conscious and subconscious mind, they may be compared to a tree and its roots...
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