Psychological Self-Help

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religion, playing, thinking, art or music, excitement or pleasure, being
good or what? If you don't know your priorities, you can't decide
where to go in life. 
Don't cop out by saying you "want it all." It is rarely possible. You
can't become a doctor, lawyer, psychologist, etc. and spend three or
four hours every school night listening to music or TV or being with
friends. You probably can't be outstanding in your corporation and be
the "world's greatest father or mother" too. You have to set priorities,
either consciously or simply by how you spend your time. 
STEP THREE: After deciding to deal with the problem and
deciding on goals, it is crucial to think of as many solutions or
courses of action as you can. A final decision can not be better
than the possibilities considered.
A common difficulty at this stage is the defeatist notion, "I can't
find any good solutions." Such a person may be able to learn to go to
the opposite extreme, i.e. create as many possible approaches as
possible without being concerned, at first, with how well the idea will
work. It may be wise to gather ideas from experts or experienced
people or from groups, as in "brainstorming." Brainstorming in a
group is based on three principles: (1) the more solutions generated
the better, (2) initially suspend your judgment about the quality of the
ideas, i.e. judgment inhibits imagination, so don't inhibit yourself or
your group by saying "Oh, that's a silly idea" or "that would never be
approved," and (3) the greater variety of ideas the more likely you are
to find a good solution. Therefore, brainstorming follows these rules in
the first stage: no criticism of any idea, all comments are "off the
record" (no one will be criticized for a bad idea or given credit for a
good idea), encourage far out and original ideas, and record all
suggestions so everyone can see them altogether. In the second stage
of brainstorming, the group identifies the most promising ideas,
combines solutions and improves each alternative until it has a list of
possible approaches to the problem. 
Robert Epstein has found that it is much better take half of the
brainstorming time, say 20 minutes, for two 5-minute individual
sessions, because creativity is an individual process. He says
brainstorming is better for selecting and combining good ideas than it
is for generating ideas. 
In a group or alone, it is important that no good idea or
compromise be overlooked. Take notes, new ideas evaporate quickly.
If you are working on a tough problem, solutions will not flow easily.
Practice trying to generate solutions to impossible problems, e.g. how
to bring about world peace. Give yourself time, don't obsess about the
problem all the time, let your unconscious work on the problem too
(such as, during sleep or while showering). Acquiring more knowledge
helps create solutions and frequently change your work environment.
Finally, build your confidence in your ability to eventually find good
solutions and cope well by being creative. 
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