Psychological Self-Help

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families and schools and work should be respectful, nonjudgmental,
and trusting, i.e. places where one can make his/her own decisions,
gain esteem, and use his/her talents. Otherwise, our growth would be
slowed or reversed...and we would have problems. Maslow had impact
on Humanistic education and on business management. But, he left it
to others to discover if it is possible to develop specific methods of
speeding up the natural development of self-actualization, such as
through self-help techniques. Maybe in 100 years we'll all be self-
actualizing even as teenagers. 
Positive addiction 
Addiction to drugs, alcohol, food, smoking, etc. are instances of
powerful motivation, but they sap our strength and zest for doing our
best. William Glasser (1965) believes there are other addictive
activities that give us strength: jogging, meditating, writing a diary,
exercising, relaxing, and so on. These are called positive addictions. 
Like Ellis and Knaus, Glasser focuses on the emotions underlying
our behavior (level II). First, we all want to be loved and to feel
worthwhile. When we don't get what we want, we either have the
strength to try again or we don't. Thousands of us give up, according
to Glasser, by saying, "Why try? I'd just fail" or "It's my parents' fault"
or some other similar rationalization. 
When giving up and giving excuses don't remove the pain (of not
achieving love or worth), we may turn to psychiatric symptoms, such
as depression, rebelling, going crazy, psychosomatic complaints, or
addiction to drugs, alcohol, or food. Painful as these conditions are,
they are less painful than facing the fact that we have failed and given
up on obtaining love and self-worth. So, they are another self-con--
they make it easier to give up and, at the same time, get some
sympathy. 
What is Glasser's solution? Positive addictions. It isn't an easy
solution nor is it for everybody. It takes six months to a year of
activity (jogging, meditating, etc.) one hour every day to develop a
strength-giving addiction. The activity must usually be done alone,
with no demands or striving for excellence or self-criticism. There are
thousands of joggers, bikers, meditators, relaxers, journal writers,
exercisers, and other users of positive addictions, along with Glasser,
who claim great benefits. They claim to get more results than just
feeling better and getting pleasure; they claim greater self-confidence,
more energy, better imagination and ideas, more frustration tolerance
and so on. 
It is an interesting, indirect approach which does not concentrate
on dedication to your major life goals. Committing an hour a day
directly to loving someone or to studying could have powerful effects
too. If I were John, I'd first try to build a real interest and motivation
in my studies. There are too many good joggers who are poor students
to confidently believe that jogging will make you an "A" student. More
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