Defining Success Part 1: Spiraling Down

My first encounter with self-help coincided with my going to the States and what can be called a cultural clash. The culture of success and happiness the American way: good, better, best. The title in the news in my school’s paper could have gone like this: French schoolgirl mugged during an exchange trip to America. So the story began:

On one fateful day, I entered the local drugstore  in Needham, Massachusetts. I was 14 years old, the school trip was drawing to an end and it was time to buy some souvenirs. Among all the tacky memorabilia I could afford, I bought a mug with a message that was going to mesmerize me for the next 10 years to come:

Success is doing what you love;

Success is loving what you do;

Success is being true to yourself. Continue reading

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“Follow Your Passion, You’ll Make a Life”

The “Follow Your Passion” Fallacy

One of the biggest fallacies in the self-help department is the advice “follow your passion”, the implication being: “the money will follow”, the fallacy part of it all. My husband, in the know of my centers of interest, sent me an interesting article on the subject. http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/worst-career-advice-do-what-you-love.html Continue reading

Metaphors : Coaching with “right brain” modalities

The Dream by Picasso

Picasso's The Dream at auction in 1997

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42210000/jpg/_42210890_picap.jpg

Any heuristic that uses images/metaphors for self-understanding and awareness constitute a “right brain” modality. So all these modalities share a common language: the language of metaphors, with dreams as the paradigm for this language. Continue reading

Byron Katie’s heuristics: 4 Questions as Keys to Unlocking the Mind

“It’s not what we want in life, it’s what we have that we want. And it’s true of every moment and true of every human being. And until we see that, our work is not done. We are simply believing what we think and that is very, very painful […] Confusion is the only suffering on this planet…” Byron Katie

Byron Katie has discovered a great simple heuristic to find more inner peace: 4 questions and turning around. The Work.

There are lots of fascinating interviews with Byron Katie about questioning what you are believing. I particularly like this one, because what Katie shares about her heuristic methodology resonates with what I am writing about in this blog . Her answer to Jordan, the interviewer, beyond theory, be it cognitive psychology, Buddhism or A Course in Miracles, is eloquent .

Around 7.54, she says about her heuristic process: ” The questions no matter what we compare [them] to, actually are nothing, there is no power in them other than as a KEY to a person’s own answers. And it’s [in] a person’s answer where the power is[…] “

Loving what is vs  being right and unhappy

With great sensibility to what her interviewer says, She further elaborates on Jordan’s interesting above distinction inspired by her: it’s not that people only want to be right and pay it with unhappiness, it’s more that they haven’t found yet the way to being happier: “Everyone would be happier if they could. We would all FIND A WAY if we know what it was[…] [The questions] are a key to our internal, they are a key to our minds[…]how to open the mind and giving the mind permission to open…”,  a “new beginning”, a new “direction”, happiness ensues.

Happy Heuristics!