The Secret Of Successful Communication

Wed, 11/13/2013 - 10:57 — Dr. Brad May

The Secret Of Successful Communication

For the purposes of this discussion, let's assume there are three universes. There's yours, mine, and the world of agreement. 

The Trouble With False Choices

Mon, 11/04/2013 - 11:10 — Dr. Brad May

The Trouble With False Choices

While people know when they have doubts about an important decision, this is rarely true about making a false choice. Here the choice looks so good that people pretend that it is good.

Massive agreement from friends and relatives tends to reinforce this. If their pretense is strong enough, these people might even convince themselves. The only giveaway is often that gnawing emptiness inside signalling that you're not truly satisfied. 

Woman thinking

Five Problems With Choice

Fri, 10/11/2013 - 18:55 — Dr. Brad May

Five Problems With Choice

The first problem is to deny choice exists. This is the victim position. How this is done is to assign cause outside oneself. The payoff is that one gets to avoid being blamed. But, the underlying pain here is that one gets to avoid being blamed. But the underlying pain here is that one is totally powerless and helpless. The solution is to acknowledge that choice exists. The one thing you don't have a choice about is choice.

Victims have a lot of reasons for not altering the circumstances that bother them. The problem with this is that if the reasons are really true, victims wouldn't feel so bad about their circumstances.

The Secret Of Embracing Anxiety

Sat, 10/05/2013 - 14:48 — Dr. Brad May

The Secret Of Embracing Anxiety

People set it up so that it's not good to feel bad. One problem is that we think we are our emotions, and when they're not okay, we're not okay.

The last time I had a problem with anxiety was when I was in a large seminar doing a meditative exercise with my eyes closed. Suddenly I started to tremble and sweat. I had no idea why.

Woman meditates to ease anxiety 

How To Smoke, Stay Fat And Be Happy

Sat, 09/28/2013 - 18:18 — Dr. Brad May

How To Smoke, Stay Fat And Be Happy

How long have you been trying to stop smoking? How long have you been beating yourself up for "not being able to"?

To the extent you've been torturing yourself with "I should stop" and continuing to smoke, that's been interfering with your experience with each cigarette. The paradox here is that the greater the interference, the more cigarettes it probably takes to give you satisfaction from smoking. If you really chose to smoke, and admitted loving it and everything about it, you'd probably smoke less.

Woman smoking a cigar

Is There Anything You Really HAVE To Do?

Tue, 09/17/2013 - 20:03 — Dr. Brad May

Is There Anything You Really HAVE To Do?

You and I shrink rather than grow by experiencing much of our lives as compulsion, obligation, or duty, instead of acknowledging that we have a choice in the matter.

The Secret Power Of Acceptance

Fri, 12/07/2012 - 13:19 — Dr. Brad May

The Secret Power Of Acceptance

One morning I went to the refridgerator and poured myself some orange juice. Tasting it, I grimaced and forced it down. It was terrible!

Curious, I asked my wife. She said she'd tried an experiment and mixed some left-over lime juice with the orange juice.

That was interesting. I thought, and tasted it again. I like citrus fruits. It wasn't too bad. I finished the whole glass, enjoying it.

Notice that the juice didn't change - only my considerations about it. Changing your considerations, or point of view, about a situation, rather than changing the situation itself, is the acceptance model.

Most Reasons Are Lies

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 18:56 — Dr. Brad May

Most Reasons Are Lies

The first problem with reasons is that they're irresponsible. If I do something because of something else, that something else has the power, not me. For instance, to say I'm late because I was held up at the office is avoiding my responsibility in the matter.

Celebrate Your Depression

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 19:20 — Dr. Brad May

 Celebrate Your Depression

The first thing to give up is the idea that depression is caused by anything. Depression is caused by depression. Any attribution of cause other than this will get you stuck in trying to handle the “cause” rather than the depression. Moreover, it empowers the “cause” rather than you, who contributed your reaction to it.

It's Terrible, It's Wonderful, So What?

Fri, 07/06/2012 - 19:32 — Dr. Brad May

It's Terrible, It's Wonderful, So What?

The truth is that the quality of our lives is determined not by our experience but by our points of view of our experience. This suggests that you have the ability to control the quality of your life to the extent you can get unstuck from any negative point of view. The next exercise will give you some practice in that.

Pick out a specific, recurring problem in your life. Something in your life that upsets you time and again.

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