At first a little about our basic opinion about personal development. A simple summary could be that book bundle, which is proposed on the page For Individuals and Teams under the same tab as this page. Look at "Our Learning Papers”. If you have the insights, which you get from these books, then you have a reliable platform for personal development.
Positive thinking is wise, BUT it does not mean that you should sweep problems under the rug. This means that problems are often something that can be solved. If this is not possible, then you only have to accept that – at least for the moment.
You can then use the “peace-of-mind-prayer” (by Francis of Assisi) and reconcile with that you can’t influence. Here is one answer worth considering by Gandhi, when someone said: “What can little me do about this?” Gandhi answered: Have you tried to sleep, when you have a mosquito in the room?”
When it comes to do something, then there are many obstacles. Then many are so focused on the obstacles, so the obstacles grow bigger than they are. Then you suffer from obstacle fixation! Then a good trick is that you put this question to yourself: “What is the worst thing, which could happen?” Very often not so dangerous e.g. that you can handle the new problem, if that happens. Another method is to scale down your action/-s and in this way reduce the risks.
If you wish to learn more about positive thinking, then you can learn by reading in the book Let the Personality Bloom. There is one whole chapter about positive thinking. Very practical;-)
Training in Positive Thinking
An exercise in positive thinking The purpose is to train to convert the backside of strengths to their frontside e.g. Circumstantial > Thorough. Here you find a proposal as "facit" for the whole positive training.
Here it is a document about Solution-based communication by Fletcher Peacock for inspiration. It is OK with him that you can download it here. By the way he walks his talk! Via Fletcher you can understand that there is a difference between listing problems and asking miracle questions. This is very effective.
What consequences come from this? Well, I have a brighter view on life than many other people. However, I am not cheating myself. The difference is that I seldom be harping the same string. The crucial question is: Can I do something about this?
A fable We Like
It is the one about the North Wind and the Sun by La Fontaine. This version is illustrated by Richard Scarry and has an extract of a book published by Alla Barns Bokklubb, Carlsen.
The Sun and the North Wind
The sun and the North wind made a bet about who can first make so a horseman took off his coat. The North wind blew and blew, but the harder he blew, the closer the horseman put his coat.
"Let me try now", said the sun. Then he let his lovely beams shine on the horseman. What happened? It took a very short time and then the warmth from the sun forced the horseman to take off his coat...
What do you like to follow: The Jante Law or the Viking Law?
Lars-Eric Uneståhl has an outstandig alternative to the Jante Law. What is that? It is a law that represses a lot of Swedes. It says that you should not think that you are good in anything. Well, if you use positive thinking, this means that it is a good attitude to be humble, but don't be too humble. If so, then you have a problem or an obstacle for your personal growth.
Instead - The Viking Law means that you should see yourself as something special. Very unique and with a high potential. Lars-Eric expresses this with the following sentences
- Life's greatest gift is myself.
- Everyone can learn something from me.
- My thoughts are more complex than all computers.
- My feelings are as valuable as other people's feelings.
- When I say something it is worthwhile to listen.
- It is valuable to pay attention to what I am doing.
- I have respect for myself and notice that others have that too.
- I laugh at myself with tenderness and warmth.
- I have full rights to feel good in all ways.
- I am unique, there is no one else like me.
If you are thinking of using the Viking Law more often, then there is a "transition support", which you can use - IMHO. It means In My Humble Opinion. Test to use this supportive tool, when you give your opinions - especially, if you think they stand out...
P.S. It is Claes Andreasson, ex manager for Absolut Vodka, North America, who has helped me to notice everything valuable in the culture of the Vikings. I read his and Steve Strid's book The Viking Manifesto, which describes how they have used the Vikings' way of thinking in their business development for Absolut Vodka. Many people had the opinion that it was impossible to introduce Absolut on the market... Their book is translated to many languages. The Swedish edition sells the least...
A useful and simple life philosophy...
What do you like this one?
Two cups of coffee…
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee:
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it to the brim with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook it easy. The pebbles rolled into the open between golf balls. He asked again the students, if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes'.
The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
Now, said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things like family, children, health and other matters, which are passionate in your heart. Such as - if everything else was lost and only they remained - would still be your life. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your home, job and car. The sand is everything else - the small stuff.
If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, there are no room for the golf balls or the pebbles. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, there is no room for things that are important to you.
So, watch out for things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another, about what makes you passionate. Always be time to clean the house and another that is less important. Take care of 'golf balls' first - things that really matter. Restore what is most important in your life. The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled and said, I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a coffee with a friend.