Psychological Self-Help

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treatment to be effective, etc. Sales managers tell the sales force to
think positive, to be enthusiastic, to act as though it is a foregone
conclusion that the customer will give a big order, to follow up with
service, etc. This book says knowledge is useful, take charge of your
life, you can change things, etc. These are all attitudes. 
Building Helpful Attitudes
I have already reviewed for you (2nd paragraph) some of the
attitudes discussed in different chapters. In addition, six major areas
will be focused on here: meaning in life, optimism, self-efficacy,
acceptance of life, crisis intervention techniques, and faith in religion
or science. 
Moral self-direction
Have you found your "place," a satisfying purpose in your life, a way to
make your life meaningful? Have you learned the skill of finding or
making something meaningful in any situation you face? Which
purposes are worth your life? That is, what activities will you spend
your life pursuing? If you are seeking the highest possible purpose,
Frankl (1970) and Fabry (1988) say you can never know for sure the
"ultimate meaning" of life. Like religion, ultimate meaning is a personal
belief or a faith, not an established, proven truth that every rational
person accepts. You could search for the ultimate meaning forever.
You may someday think you have found it, but others will say, "I'm
glad you are at peace" and go on their way unfazed by your discovery.
Of course, you could be approaching "the truth;" you just can't be
certain of it. There is wisdom about purposes and meaning to be had,
e.g. in religious sayings, in some laws and customs, and in the writings
of great thinkers. But, in the end, each person chooses the purposes of
life that are meaningful to him/her (or defaults by accepting someone
else's judgments). Today, values and judgments about what has
meaning are changing. 
There are lots of preachers, politicians, teachers, philosophers,
elders, singers, and friends trying to persuade you of what is
meaningful. My chapter 3 gives you my best shot. Please note that
there are at least two steps involved here. First, you go searching for
the answer, as in chapter 3 where you consider and compare many
purposes of life, such as serving God, doing good for others, being
happy, making lots of money, having a good family life, being
successful, being content, and others. Second, after deciding on a
goal--in this case an answer to "What is most important?"--you must
then focus on the details of how to achieve your goals. We don't just
automatically do whatever we decide we should do, right? This book
and hundreds of others focus on enhancing these on-going, life-long,
purposeful efforts. Surely there are advantages to knowing what your
guiding principles are. 
But separate from the searching for "ultimate meaning "--an
overall purpose or philosophy of life, like the Golden Rule--the
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