EXCERPTS FROM ELIMINATE STRESS FOREVER WITH PSYCHOHARMONICS™
Provided for a course in how to write and deliver a great speech
Copyrighted, 1985-2006, Personal Best Motivational Sciences, Inc.
Reproduction by any means is strictly prohibited.
Learn to love truth
The first step in acquiring true knowledge and wisdom is to develop a love for TRUTH, whatever that truth might be. Truth is simply what is so, as opposed to what is not so. If you have all the facts, truth is affirmable and undeniable. We rarely have all the facts, or even the same facts as others have, so truth often is hotly debated. Opinions do not alter truth, although they do often obscure it. In most debates, if all parties can agree on the definitions of terms being used, the differences in opinions tend to disappear.
An opinion is simply the way you are PROGRAMMED to think at any given moment. People sometimes die in defense of an opinion which, if they had waited just a little while, would have been replaced by another opinion that did not require them to die. The opposite of a love for truth is a love for being right, which leads you to believe you are right even when you are wrong. A person who has a love for being right resents opposing opinions, which he equates with criticism. Some powerful people insulate themselves from all opposing views by surrounding themselves only with people who agree with them all the time. A total lack of any source for a reality check for a long period of time can result in insane behavior.
With a love for truth, you can nearly always learn something useful from opposing opinions and criticism, thus increasing your knowledge, wisdom and performance. A low grade on an academic test, for example, can tell you that the instructor and the world are out to get you. With a love for truth, however, it probably will tell you that you need to study more. Increasing your studying is more likely to improve your grades than is setting goals for others to like your work better.
The importance of goals
All BEHAVIOR has a goal or specific positive result that you want to achieve. (Your mind cannot process a negative goal such as “to quit smoking,” “to not eat so much,” etc.) Anytime you set a goal, it creates TENSION in your mind and body — in the same manner as when you wind up a rubber band to propel a toy airplane. The greater the tension, the greater is the motivation to achieve the goal and thus relieve the tension. Without a healthy level of tension from goals you are maintaining, you would be emotionally flat and lethargic. Total goal cancellation produces the catatonic schizophrenic.
A well-formed goal has four parts, which are answers to the questions of: WHAT?, HOW?, WHEN? and WHY? For example, you might desire (WHAT?) to earn an “A” in your speech class (WHEN?) this quarter. You can achieve that objective (HOW?) by studying five hours each week and faithfully attending class. WHY? If you are truly motivated to get an “A,” something about the label of “A-student” makes you feel more worthy. If, when you visualize yourself being successful, you see yourself feeling like a 10, you will be very motivated. The root of the WHY is found within your own value system and might not always be understood by others. Motivation is explained below.
Tension and stress
Tension that is painfully uncomfortable is defined as STRESS. A healthy level of mental tension helps you to achieve good goals; mental stress, however, compromises your reasoning ability. Stress also creates physiological problems by weakening the immune system’s ability to resist disease. When you get “wound up too tight,” the stress is overwhelming and your “rubber band” breaks. This sensory overload is commonly called “a nervous breakdown.”
The source of all MENTAL STRESS is the maintenance of one or more impossible goals within your own mind. Thus environmental conditions do not cause stress; your perception of, and reaction to, the conditions create the stress. This maladaptive behavior can be the result of faulty hardware (biochemical-electrical-mechanical condition of your brain) or faulty software (quality of your programming), or a combination of the two.
An IMPOSSIBLE GOAL is one that cannot be achieved under any realistic circumstances. An improbable goal is not necessarily impossible. It is not impossible for you to become President of the United States before you die, but you cannot be President today (unless you are George W. Bush reading this, which is unlikely but not impossible).
Impossible goals include all goals that cannot be achieved because of time, space or circumstances. You cannot do four hours of quality work in one hour or be in two different places at the same time, etc. You cannot do anything yesterday or even a minute ago. You cannot be younger than you are or change your inherited physical or mental characteristics, such as innate athletic skills, leg length, IQ, etc.) Conflicting goals have the same effect as an impossible goal since you cannot achieve both of two conflicting goals.
Among commonly maintained impossible goals are the ones we try to set for other people, things or events. To set a goal for others to love, serve and respect us is an impossible goal. We can set goals only for ourselves. Typically, but not always, by setting the goal to love others, we, in turn, are loved by others. Setting the goal “to be loved by others,” on the other hand, often repels the others whose love we seek. Setting the goal for the weather to be clear for a weekend party can be equally stressful. You can hope and pray for nice weather, but when your wish concerning an event takes the form of a demand, you are actually trying to control that event with your own mind. That is an impossible goal. Anytime you feel “frustrated,” you are dealing with a set goal, possible or impossible, that is not being achieved.
Canceling impossible goals
Any goal that you are maintaining is a goal you have set; so you can also cancel it. All you have to do is mentally give up the desire to achieve it as it is set. When you are feeling stressed, you should examine your inventory of current goals, see what impossible goals you are trying to achieve, and cancel them. In some cases, you might want to reset a conflicting goal for another time (change the WHEN) or to be achieved in another manner (change the HOW). If you find you no longer have a strong WHY, you might be wise to cancel the goal altogether. Learning to effectively revoke goals is a useful survival skill. If you were having dinner with business associates on the Titanic, for example, having your tux neatly pressed might have been a reasonable priority. As the ship began to sink, however, it would have been prudent to cancel that goal and replace it with the goal to stay alive.
Learning to enjoy the moment
Tasks that otherwise might be unpleasant, such as washing dishes or doing homework, can be enjoyed if positive labels are used and all conflicting goals are canceled. You set the goal to enjoy the “worthy” task and circumstances at hand, canceling all conflicting goals. You simply enjoy the moment, whatever the moment provides. If you are going to do something anyhow, it makes no sense not to go ahead and do a good job of it and enjoy it.
Get acquainted with your many selves
Goals can be programmed into your mind at any one of four levels of programming, which are: GENETIC, IMPRINTED, COGNITIVE and SPIRITUAL. Each of these levels of programming acts as an individual self. Thus, we are all multiple personalities. The condition qualifies as psychotic only if your various selves become independent and hide themselves from your normal operating (Cognitive) self.
Genetic is the beast in us. As with each of the different levels of programming, it has a specific locus in the brain. It is the inspiration for what Freud identified as the Id, but it is not just a metaphorical entity. It is real. Genetic operates with a primary mindset of hate. It wants its needs for food, sex, comfort, etc., satisfied immediately. It has no patience, no fear, no sympathy, and no love for others. A newborn baby who is hungry or needs changing provides an excellent example of pure Genetic. If the baby had the physical power, it would kill to have its needs met.
Imprinted has a mindset of fear. From conception, it learns what to avoid in its environment in order to escape pain, whether physical or emotional. It accepts inputs of information uncritically. This is the home of superstition and phobias. It gets most of its programming during the first few years of life. In healthy human beings, Imprinted provides a force to offset the dangerous impulses of Genetic. It provides an emotional balance that is required for persons to function compatibly in a free society. Imprinted’s input is hypnotic and cannot be altered through Cognitive reasoning. It usually can be changed through hypnosis, however.
Cognitive begins to be dominant between ages 6-12 with most people. It is the rational, reasoning part of the brain that can see into the future and calculate risk:gain ratios when making decisions about possible actions. Cognitive has no emotions. To the brain, it is the Mr. Spock of Startrek fame.
In a sane, nurturing family, the fourth entity, Spiritual, usually kicks in no later than age 12. Some fortunate individuals begin developing Spiritual as toddlers. Normal individuals develop sincere feelings of love and compassion and consider the welfare of others when making action decisions. The mindset of Spiritual is love. A fully mature, actualized person is able to make most decisions while engaging his Spiritual self, thus maintaining a mindset of love.
Mutually exclusive and exhaustive
These four areas of programming interact in a variety of ways. However, for the most part, they are mutually exclusive and exhaustive, meaning, if one of them is operating, the others are dormant for the moment. We cannot love, hate and fear at the same time. If you are hating any one thing at a particular moment, then you’re hating everything at that moment. Thus we have the phenomenon of “displaced aggression.” With a hate mindset, Genetic is in charge. Genetic does not know how to love or fear. The same principle controls the other entities and can be utilized to advantage.
Cognitive can work well with Spiritual, but is usually outvoted when either Genetic or Imprinted is in charge. Thus we have insane road rage and people who panic when a harmless spider is sighted.
Conflicting goals within the different levels of programming cause human beings to be at war with themselves at a great cost in efficiency and economy. For example, humans are Genetically programmed to eat all they want of sweet foods, such as raw fruits, and to indulge themselves until they are not hungry anymore. This is a perfectly natural, “instinctive” thing for humans to do. They might then be Imprinted at an early age to satisfy this craving with candy and other processed sugar products as parents reward them with manufactured sweets for “being good.” As an individual continues to develop and becomes overweight, the two lower levels of programming come to be in conflict with the Cognitive self that consciously sets a goal to “be a healthy and attractive weight.” Some feelings of guilt might also come from the Spiritual level because one’s “spiritual temple is being defiled.” Few are those who have not had a noble Cognitive commitment to a healthier lifestyle foiled by the demands of their Genetic and Imprinted selves. (“The devil made me do it!” “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!” “I deserve a reward.” “One drink won’t hurt me.” “Exercise might give me a heart attack.”)
Achieving peace of mind
Proverbial peace of mind comes only when you are able to cancel all impossible goals, including the conflicting goals being sought by your four selves. If, for example, you are offered a job that Cognitive and Genetic consider to be ideal because it gives you power and lots of money, but Spiritual thinks that what you have to do in the job is unethical or immoral, then you cannot be at peace in that job. Peace is also shattered if Imprinted is shouting that you can’t do the job and you’ll end up unemployed and without references. The common plea of “it’s tearing me apart” made famous by James Dean represents an innate knowledge that the various selves are at war with one another.
The selves frequently are at odds about basic drives, such as sex, eating, security, etc. Genetic is inclined to have sex with anybody and everybody. The threat of disease or punishment causes Imprinted to urge caution. Cognitive often is misled by wishful thinking, but can usually work out a compromise with Spiritual, who insists that sex not be exploitative or, if religiously programmed, immoral. A good marriage usually satisfies everybody. A bad marriage creates major conflicts. In the same way, fudge satisfies Genetic’s desire for sweets, but leaves all the other guys feeling guilty. Fresh fruit can be a happy compromise that produces internal peace.
Labels and mindsets
An important part of your intellectual faculties is the OPERATING MINDSET, which is a predominately subconscious collection of thoughts, attitudes and available actions. An operating mindset is triggered by a LABEL, which is the conscious name you give to a person, place, thing or event, etc. It can be compared to a computer program that is accessed by a password (label). For example, you might label a person you just met as “a dork” if he told a silly joke or, by your standards, seemed to be generally unsophisticated. As long at the label of dork is in place for that person, your mindset concerning him will cause you to think of him as a dork, even though, as a civilized person, you might attempt to make him believe you have labeled him as a worthy person.
You can change your mindset concerning any object of your attention by consciously changing the label for that object. A new label calls up a new mindset, just as a new password calls up a new program on a computer. If you tag a potentially negative event with a positive label, you will deal with it with a more positive mindset. A radical change in labels, resulting in a significant change in mindset, attitudes and behavior, etc., is sometimes referred to as a “paradigm shift.” The label for a marriage might be changed instantaneously from “rewarding” to “hopeless,” for example, if an unsuspecting partner suddenly finds the other in an adulterous relationship.
Primary mindsets of love, hate, and fear
A person’s perceptions, attitudes, mindsets, goals and behaviors, etc., are largely determined by the PRIMARY MINDSETS of LOVE, HATE and FEAR discussed earlier as they relate to the various selves. These three primary mindsets are mutually exclusive and exhaustive, meaning there are no other primary mindsets and if you are in one, you cannot be in either of the other two.
A love mindset, as produced by the Spiritual self, allows the perception of truth and produces constructive and nurturing behavior. It also allows for practical self-defense and win-win resolution of conflicts. Hate allows only the perception of data supporting hate and produces destructive, lose-lose behavior. Fear allows only perception of data supporting fear and produces avoidance. Most programmed mental illness (as opposed to electro-chemical-mechanical “hardware” problems) is associated with a lack of balance among these primary mindsets.
Your own primary mindset typically, but not always, stimulates the same mindset in others. Love tends to inspire love, for example, but both love and hate also can produce fear in others.
A positive, compassionate, nurturing mindset can be achieved by selecting and using positive labels for objects, which have your attention. This is a powerful concept because it enables a person to consciously take control of their own emotions. Labels can be consciously, deliberately, rationally chosen. Once chosen, however, the attitudes, emotions, etc., that are stimulated by a particular label are automatic and beyond the reach of conscious change. A jerk is a jerk is a jerk. You cannot label a person as “worthless scum” and still feel love for him. Neither can you hate “the most wonderful person in the world.”
A person operating with a fear mindset usually will develop resentment after a while and then shift to a hate mindset. With a hate mindset, real or imagined, aggression and retribution then produces guilt and the fear mindset returns. The process then repeats itself. Such is the personal hell of the paranoid schizophrenic. His hating Genetic gives another driver a vulgar gesture; then, when the offended driver responds with aggression, Imprinted kicks in and begins to think, “That guy might shoot us!” Thus fearful people (as well as other animals) can be very hostile and “unpredictable.”
Making wise decisions
Wisest decisions can be made by Spiritual-Cognitive with a mindset of love (general positive regard) because all true facts can be perceived, identified and rationally evaluated.
You can perceive only a small percentage of the data available to you at any one time – 6-10 bits of the thousands that are potentially available. As stated earlier, which of the available data you see, hear, smell, etc., and which you ignore, is determined by the focus of your mindset. If you were eating popcorn and watching television, for example, and you suddenly noticed a large rattlesnake crawling across the floor near your feet, you would no longer be able to perceive the taste of popcorn or what was going on in the television picture. Neither would you be able to smell the roses on the coffee table or feel the pressure of the couch on your buttocks. The label of “threat to my life” with which you tag the snake would focus your attention exclusively on that object — probably from several levels of your behavioral programming.
The mind, like the body, seeks HOMEOSTASIS. It wants all of your thoughts, words, mindsets, goals, actions, etc., to be compatible and harmonious, i.e., all to be of the same primary mindset of love, hate or fear. When you cognitively choose to have a mindset of love, but you continue to hate or fear at a lower level of programming, a phenomenon called “cognitive dissonance” is generated. Also, if you have a mindset of hate, for example, and begin saying loving words and engaging in loving behavior, cognitive dissonance will tend to cancel your mindset of hate and replace it with a mindset of love that is compatible with your speech and behavior.
COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is tension in your mind and body, which is caused by conflicts among the various thought processes, and behaviors of your several selves. It exerts pressure to produce homeostasis. Strongly conflicting lower levels of programming cannot easily be overcome by conscious Cognitive programming alone. You sometimes can be deprogrammed at the Imprinted level through hypnosis. Hypnosis is very helpful for removing irrational phobias, for example, which represent an Imprinted level of programming. Spiritual programming also can be effective for overcoming Imprinted and Genetic programming that is proving to be maladaptive. Thus some people benefit from attending religious services or an upbeat psychological seminar.
You can exploit cognitive dissonance to control your own thoughts and behavior. For example, by using positive labels, you can get rid of negative thoughts, words, mindsets and behaviors. Also, by changing your behavior from destructive to nurturing, you will begin to change your labels, mindsets and behavior, etc. People whose behavior is considered “abnormal” typically use labels in a bizarre manner, i.e., “I am Napoleon.” The paranoid schizophrenic who makes headlines from time to time has inappropriately labeled the government or others in his environment as “enemies out to get me.” Thus he kills or engages in other maladaptive (from a sane perspective) behavior.
All persons who appear to be “mentally ill” have labels for themselves and various objects in their environments which, to the rest of us, seem to be inaccurate or even bizarre.
A MAJOR MINDSET is an obsession to achieve some particular objective. Great desire produces and sustains a major mindset. (“Rocky’s” desire to be a world champion heavyweight boxer, “no matter what,” and Scarlet O’Hara’s desire to achieve wealth and power so she would “never be hungry again” are good examples of major mindsets.)
The ultimate goal
The ULTIMATE GOAL of all behavior is to be labeled by self and others as worthy. That is the bottom line of all motivation. The more self-actualized you become, however, the less attention you pay to the evaluations of others. Even the most altruistic among us, however, is seeking to feel like a 10 by their own value system.
MOTIVATION to achieve a particular goal is determined by your estimate of how worthy the goal’s achievement will make you feel when it is rated by your own value system.
We continuously rate ourselves and others, either consciously or subconsciously, on a scale of 0-10, based upon our own very individualistic value systems. Each level of programming has its own value system and these can be, and usually are, in conflict with one another. With only rare possible exceptions, for example, all men are genetically programmed to desire to engage in sex with as many women as possible. Women also are genetically programmed to be unfaithful, especially during the time they are most fertile. Therefore, vows agreed to Cognitively and implanted Spiritually by certain religious functionaries, such as priests, monks, etc., present an internal conflict that can cause great stress to both sexes.
Ratings of others and self also can fluctuate as the various levels of programming battle for dominance. When Genetic man gives in to his “primal desires,” Spiritual man, in turn, then condemns him while Cognitive man calculates the material costs of the transgression and Imprinted man worries about the health and legal consequences of the action. Civilized (Cognitive and Spiritual) man is forever striving to “overcome the lower nature of humankind.”
It is helpful to think of ourselves as wearing the contents of our value system on our chest like a big MEDALLION (shaped like a pie cut into various size slices) to display the values we consider to be important. The more important the value, the greater is its slice of the pie. In our western culture, attributes that usually are highly valued are: wealth, physical attractiveness, intelligence, power, athletic prowess, exceptional talents and skills, etc. To some people, physical attractiveness takes up a large share of their medallion, which presents problems as they age.
If a behavior you engage in makes you feel like a 10, you are motivated to perform it. If it makes you feel like a zero, you tend to avoid it. For example, if you “hate” your “stupid job” because your boss “is a jerk” and he is “always putting you down,” then you will not be motivated to go to work and do a good job for that employer.
Why are you offended?
When someone attacks your medallion or self-label, which reflects your value system, then you might feel justified in being OFFENDED. Attacks can come in the form of words or actions. The true source of any offense, however, is in the recipient’s own mind. Your interpretation of the label used or implied by an attacker determines whether you are offended. If you value intelligence and someone directly or indirectly labels you “stupid,” then you tend to be offended. Being offended or not, however, is always a choice once you realize you have a choice. When you cancel the goal to have others love, honor and respect you, all of which are impossible goals anyhow, you can no longer be offended. Amazingly enough, those who do not demand respect typically are the most respected, and vice versa.
The stereotypical member of an urban youth gang tends to be easily offended. He considers himself “dissed” (slang for disrespected) if a person he confronts, such as a robbery target, fails to demonstrate that he fully recognizes and acknowledges the gangster’s power and authority in the situation. The gangster’s mindset for dealing with a person who disses him is to seriously injure or even kill that person, thus removing the source of the tension while also graphically expressing the opinion that the disser is a zero, unworthy even of life.
We use negative nouns and adjectives, such as curse words, to form labels which we use to attack others by tagging them with these negative labels. Anytime you are using a negative label for another, you are in your Genetic mode hating that person and have a mindset to harm that person in some way.
When another person fails to fulfill your goal to be respected by others, you might feel that your self-label medallion is seriously attacked. Therefore, you feel “offended,” and, depending on your programming, you might respond by tagging the attacker with a negative label. As you do so, a hate mindset is generated and reinforced in your mind and you are prompted to engage in aggressive, destructive behavior. (“Who cares what you think, you jerk! I ought to kill you, anyhow!”)
In western cultures, the usual response to an offense is to take away the offender’s power by giving him or her a less worthy label. A valued friend or lover who mistreats you might become increasingly less valued by you until, finally, that “former friend” is considered a jerk. (“What did I ever see in that jerk, anyhow?”) Where the risk can be afforded, as among teenagers of equal rank, the offended person might seek REVENGE through either a verbal or physical attack.
How to apologize
To restore a working relationship with an offended person, humans, as well as some other animals, make use of the APOLOGY. When you say, “I’m sorry,” you are saying, in effect, “I regret that you interpreted my words and/or actions to mean that I do not value you highly. I do regard you as a 10. I hereby retract my words/behavior and beg you to allow our relationship to be restored as though this act never occurred.” You might even engage in a bit of self-deprecation, as when you say, “I was such a fool,” to give additional weight to your apology.
If your family dog accidentally nips you during a friendly game of roughhouse, his body language usually will tell you he’s sorry. In the extreme, he might roll over and expose his throat to you as a way of acknowledging you are the alpha member of the pack. Human body language is not so different. Even though westerners no longer utilize the subservient bowing and scraping still common in Asia to display deference, forced smiles and nods often communicate the same message.
The power of 10
A person you regard as a 10 has great power to cause you mental and emotional pain. A person you regard as a zero has no power over you. To avoid pain, many people develop the defensive habit of regarding all others as zeros. At Columbine High in Colorado, it seems that the two students who were made to feel like zeroes by their classmates in turn zeroed out the offending students. They felt no remorse at killing those they had labeled zeroes.
When you set the goal for others to “not offend you,” you are maintaining an impossible goal that will produce continuous stress. You are setting a goal for others to consistently serve and honor you. You cannot set goals for other people. Typically, but not always, when you honor others, they will honor you. It is a possible goal to honor others.
What is love?
When your association with a person, event or thing makes you feel like a 10, the achievement of this ultimate goal is interpreted as LOVE. You can be “in love” with a person, a pet, a car, a job, a place, an activity, etc. You can love, hate or fear anything that you can put a label on.
The objects we love are tagged with very positive labels. If you are “madly in love” with a person, then you are saying you label that person a 10 and your relationship with that person makes you feel like a 10. Such a person might be tagged “darling, sweetheart, honey, sugar, precious,” etc.
How do you really love?
To effectively demonstrate love for someone, you try to make that person feel like a 10 by their own value system. If a person values intelligence and beauty, then you try to make the object of your affections feel intelligent and beautiful. To effectively exhibit hate for that person, you try to make that person feel stupid and ugly. (Ironically, people sometimes demonstrate hating behavior, such as negative tagging and physical abuse, toward a person they profess to love.)
A loved person or object does not always return the love, of course. Unrequited love is common, although there is usually some denial of reality associated with it. A fan might “love” a famous entertainer, for example, fantasizing that one day the star will find them and fall madly in love, too. A few notorious stalkers have voiced this delusion. Sometimes a person’s value system encourages self-sacrificing love where it appears to observers that the person doing the loving is receiving no reinforcement. Willing behavior always has some internal reward, however, even if it is not obvious to others.
In a healthy love relationship, each person values the other highly and each works to make the other feel worthy without being overly obsessive about the relationship. It is very dangerous to stake your whole sense of self worth on a single relationship. People change. They leave. They die.
How do you hate?
If you usually regard another person as a zero, or your relationship with that person makes you feel like a zero, then you are not in love with that person.
When you “zero someone out,” you consider them as nothing — as being totally without worth.
When you hate someone, you are tagging them as a sub-zero or less than nothing. You “curse” someone by “calling them names,” i.e., tagging them with unworthy labels. As long as a hateful label is in place in your mind, you have a mindset for destroying that person, either physically or mentally.
The pain of self hate
Typically, a person who is contemplating suicide has labeled himself a sub-zero. With utter contempt for himself, he feels totally worthless, has no hope of becoming worthy and, therefore, feels he is not deserving of life. The psychic pain that results from such a self-evaluation is very great. (The #3 cause of death in the U.S. among teens and young adults is suicide.)
One of the most effective first-aid treatments for a potential suicide victim is to help guide him toward choosing a more positive label for himself and giving him hope for the future. (“You’re a really good person. The reason you’re hurting so much now is because you love so much. The world needs your kind of love.”) There also is great solace in knowing that, whatever the situation, good or bad, “This too will pass.” In most cases of suicidal ideation, if you simply wait it out, both your external and internal environments will change sufficiently to alter your opinion of yourself as worthless and hopeless. As mentioned earlier, few opinions are permanent or worth dying for.
A personality test
A simple way to determine the contents of a person’s value system is to ask these questions: “What celebrities living or dead, real or imaginary, do you most admire?” With that answer, then ask, “And which do you most detest?” By analyzing the known values of the admired or detested personalities, you can determine your subject’s values. In effect, the admired person is their “ideal self.” Our heroes reflect our values and villains do just the opposite. If you are a man who loves John Wayne and hates Gomer Pyle, then it is likely that, to you, a worthy person is strong, intelligent, masculine, decisive, dependable, brave, etc. A woman who admires Katherine Hepburn values intelligence, independence, feminine mystique, integrity, loyalty, natural beauty, fortitude, etc.
The value of knowing values
Once you are aware of another’s value system, you then are able to effectively love that person and avoid offending him. You also are able to motivate the person to set goals for himself that you desire for him to set. For example, telling a child he needs to do his homework if he wants to be smart might be a negative reinforcer if all “smart kids” at school get picked on. On the other hand, you might be able to achieve the desired homework habits by convincing your child that if he wants to become rich and powerful and have a personal bodyguard to beat up all bullies he encounters, he needs to get a good education.
This Psychoharmonics™ system of behavior analysis can be used reliably to understand and predict the behavior of individuals of all ages and cultures. New York street kids and aging Chinese rice farmers both seek to be considered worthy by self and others, even though the value systems by which this worthiness is judged is worlds apart. The system is also helpful in understanding the various theories of personality that are encountered in the study of psychology.
We are all animals
Interestingly enough, the Psychoharmonics™ model can also be cautiously applied to the thought processes and behavior of animals other than man. Domestic dogs, for example, also are programmed at Genetic, Imprinted and Cognitive levels. Some even appear to possess a Spiritual programming of sorts. The dog’s Genetic goal to be a member of a pack makes him a good companion for man, especially if the pup was Imprinted at the critical age to think of man and dog as being of the same species. The male dog’s Cognitive programming to “heel” and “stay,” however, often is totally overwhelmed by his Genetic programming when challenged by another male, a stray cat, or lured by the scent of a female in estrus. At such times, a dog might literally be unable to hear his master’s voice, meaning the electrical impulse for the sound is not even transmitted to the brain. This can cause great conflicts between the dog and his master, especially if the master presumes to “set goals” for the dog. We can make it rewardingly worthwhile for the dog, himself, to set and achieve goals that please us, but we cannot set even man’s best friend’s goals for him.
The urge to rule
As with their own children, some dog owners fail to recognize the instinctive (Genetic) desire of most pack animals to ascend to the alpha level of dominance. The top dog (as with his ancestor, the wolf) in a wild pack, after all, gets the best of everything, including food, shelter and sex. Unless this urge to be dominant is squelched at the Imprinted and Cognitive levels and, with humans at least, reinforced at the Spiritual level (“Honor thy father and thy mother…”), great problems of discipline arise which sometimes can never be completely overcome. When allowed to usurp a disproportionate share of power, even very small dogs and very small children can evolve into obnoxious, dangerous and unpopular tyrants. Dogs with this adjustment problem can (and often are) taken to the pound for disposal. Juvenile delinquents, on the other hand, having more legal rights, typically end up being permanent wards of the state.
Doing it right
Children and dogs alike who are given positive, worthy labels and, therefore, are regarded with loving mindsets, also are given the compassionate discipline required to guide them to choose for themselves codes of behavior that are compatible with their respective environments. That done, rightful authority is justly and willingly respected and the proverbial rod is rarely, if ever needed. The well-trained offspring grow up to be confident, considerate and productive individuals who are both loved and loving, skillfully and daringly living happily ever after… most of the time.
Note: If you have found this treatise helpful, you might want to read more in the book on the same subject. You can order Eliminate Stress Forever with Psychoharmonics™ from Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com
Psychoharmonics™ and Baby Simple Recipe™ are being registered as trademarks. For more information on this system as it relates to public speaking, go to https://rewriteright.com/
This manuscript was last edited on Monday, July 24, 2006.