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A critical reason this is (well, maybe not THE best) a useful book is that YOU do the work! The more you apply what you learn and understand, the greater your growth. This is not a quick fix book, but one to assist you in a lifelong journey of self-discovery. It is difficult to understand what another person really thinks or feels, because it is dangerous to your career, your relationships, and even your existence. You can learn to know who you really are. As you travel you will find ...
A critical reason this is (well, maybe not THE best) a useful book is that YOU do the work! The more you apply what you learn and understand, the greater your growth. This is not a quick fix book, but one to assist you in a lifelong journey of self-discovery. It is difficult to understand what another person really thinks or feels, because it is dangerous to your career, your relationships, and even your existence. You can learn to know who you really are. As you travel you will find things about yourself you dislike and like. The more honest you are the more you will like yourself and amazingly enough, like and be liked more easily by others.
By using the metaphors of Giant and diminished self, you have a means to constantly evaluate what you are experiencing. As you do this you are getting more in tune with what you're thinking and feeling. Most people are not congruent, that is, what they think and what they feel are not in synch. In psychology when this happens it is called inappropriate affect. The face you show does not reflect what you feel or think. Yet, in many situations you cannot (because the repercussions are too great) express or even show what you're thinking and feeling so what you say does not reflect your internal experience. As the years pass you move further away from congruency and often can no longer even recognize what you are feeling and thinking. You believe that what you're "supposed" to feel or think in that setting is what you're actually feeling and thinking.
I will try to help you discover who you are or could have become or still could become. In metaphor it is creating your GIANT SELF, which is the realization of your inherent potentials plus hard work! This self is a marked contrast to your diminished self. This self is the brainwashed, depressed, frightened, rigid self that those with greater power have made you believe is who you are. Without even knowing you I can say that you can become a person who can look yourself in the mirror and honestly like who you see.
It means opening up to ideas and concepts that may be confusing, unnerving, and may mean that your world as you know it now will never be the same. Many of the ideas seem to be so simple and logical that you will say, "I knew that!" You may know it, but have you had the courage to apply it?
I think one reason Dr. Wilson believes in this book is that I send an honest searchlight into my mind, body, and soul. Some of the things I discovered I did not like - still do not like. However, I found that by challenging EVERYTHING I believed I was able to free myself from many of the errors of my past. Besides my dark sides, I found a rather decent, intelligent person who was worthy of being loved and appreciated. One thing I had to admit and face was the number and constancy of errors I made on a regular basis.
Humans are error-making machines. There are so many things that cause us to make mistakes that each of us could talk for hours about the stupid things we've done.
How many times have you pulled instead of pushed even though the sign on the door was very clear? I know I have. I shake my head and laugh - most of the time. Other times my inattention or stupidity creates errors of judgement that could have caused a serious accident. I misjudge how far away a car is before I shoot out into the intersection. Or, I'm in a rush and I take a chance knowing full well that I'm acting like a fool.
Take our senses. Each information bit that stimulates one of our sensory nerves is affected by our attention toward it, its magnitude, its intensity, its uniqueness, and the number and sensitivity of the nerve endings that receive it. It then travels through that sensory system with countless chances for the message to be garbled or misinterpreted. Then it begins traveling through its major brain conduits, but it also stimulates other parts of the brain and body. If it's the first time that data, say the face of someone unknown, is being processed it has to go through complex processes of comparison, recognition, and decisions about how to respond.
A classroom of children all hearing the "same" information and then asked about what they've heard give a depressing (to the teacher) range of responses. "You are not listening, "screams the teacher. They may all have been listening, even attempting to learn, but the range of what they "hear" is very different. During spelling I asked one of my Hispanic girls to use "still" in a sentence. She replied, "I did not still the pencil."
Now, did she not "hear" me pronounce still correctly? That is, is there is something inadequate about her hearing or my pronunciation or was it a cultural difference that stimulated her to take the physiological, the physical structure of the sound and change it?
Dr.J.P. Guilford developed the Structure-of-the-Intellect Model. He constructed a cube with 120 separate cubes. Each one was considered a unique brain function. In a simple math problem like 3 + 4 = 7, I found that there were over fifty mental operations necessary to fully understand it. This means they are fifty possibilities of error. I was overwhelmed. How was I supposed to diagnose my students' errors in ALL their subjects with these odds? Later, I found that if I taught them some of the major criteria such as units, classes, relations, systems, transformations, and implications that they could TRANSFER these and apply them to any learning. (In two weeks I could take any class and on pre and posttests I could raise their IQ's an average of 10 points!) But, the most important idea I taught them was that errors or mistakes, whether with information or with people, are learning opportunities, not indications of stupidity or lack of self-worth. This caused them to see themselves differently and consequently they applied themselves and were more successful. The same can happen with you.
In "CREATING" I want you to understand that many of the differences, the conflicts between people are the direct result of our inability to understand and accept the wide range of individual differences in our physiology. The chapter about Biochemical Individuality should astound you as it did me concerning how unique each person is.
I always smile, greet, and am friendly with salespeople. I know how depressing and tiring it can be when you wait on person after person and most of them are in a bad mood and try to take it out on you. So, when a clerk doesn't look at me, responds rudely, and generally disrespects me, I get hurt and defensive. However, what I attempt to do is to get him out of his mood by saying, "Bad day? Some angry customers?" Most of the time, he immediately changes, spews out about someone who has seriously disrespected him, and he treats me like a friend.
Every day, several times a day, each of us is treated badly by strangers, acquaintances, and mostly by those who say they love us. Each one of these incidents tends to diminish us in our eyes. That's why I say we live mostly in our diminished selves. The social settings that we move in are filled with people who are unhappy, frustrated, and will use us to relieve their feelings. I consider these social errors that limit our living in and expressing our Giant Selves.
In "CREATING" I want you to recognize when another person is disrespecting you. You can feel it in your bodily responses. However, I offer you many different ways to deal with these feelings so that you are not diminished, but instead can respond from a position of strength and confidence. You can express your GIANT SELF.