Category Archives: Quality World

The Creative Mind (Part One)

by Michael Rice, LISAC, CTRTC

creativity-mikerice

Creativity can be found in all of us.  Many people consider creativity to be limited to the ability to make something materialistic, or to express one’s self in art, cooking, inventing, writing, or music.  While these things certainly require creativity, creativity is not limited to talent in those areas alone.   Everyone uses creativity each and every day of their lives for many different things.  We rely on creativity based upon the knowledge that we already possess about specific things, logic, and willingness to go beyond our knowledge.  We use creativity to make decisions that are primarily designed to result in happiness or pleasure.  We use creativity to solve or resolve problems in business, discussions/arguments, and in our relationships.

All we do, each and every day of our life is behave.  We choose our behaviors to satisfy our needs of survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.  When any of these needs are not being met to our desired level of satisfaction, it is human nature to rely on our creativity to satisfy and maintain those unmet needs.

If you have ever watched Naked and Afraid on cable TV, then you have watched individuals using their creative skills to satisfy their survival needs.  In relationships, we tend to put our best food forward when we first meet someone.  Behaving in a manner to cause another person to hopefully be drawn to you in a relationship relies on creativity for love and belonging needs.  Musicians, Artists, Chefs, Writers, Dancers, Educators, Athletes, and Inventors rely on creativity to be appreciated, helpful, competitive, to win, and to be respected as a result of their creative abilities.  These are ways of satisfying power needs.  Investing wisely for the future, making decisions and planning ways to free one’s self from confinement or from poor relationships relies on creativity.  Planning events, vacations, learning, and recreating requires creativity to make these things happen.

Have you ever been in an argument with someone and you just couldn’t come up with the things you wanted to say at the time in order to make a point?  That’s a silly question.  We’ve all done this.  Later, after the discussion or argument is over and both have gone separate ways, you continue to use your creativity thinking about it and suddenly you come up with whatever it is that you wish you had said or done during the discussion.   “I should have said . . . . “or “I should have done . . . .”  That’s creativity.

Here’s an exercise to utilize your creativity:  You wake in the morning and notice that it’s raining and you have a flat tire.  This is surely a frustrating situation.  So what will you do?  Some would say, “I’d change the tire by jacking it up and putting the spare on.”  But what would you do if you had loaned the jack to your neighbor several months ago and he never returned it?  “I’d go next door and get it back.” But he left for work an hour ago and no one else is at home.  “I’d call a friend to come get me to take me to work.”  S/he’s already gone and at their place of work.  “I’d call a cab to take me to work.”  These are examples of creativity.   Some may not use their creative skills very much and say, “I’d go back to bed.”  There are even more examples to this scenario that I could add but you get the idea.  Creativity is being used to overcome a frustrating situation.  With each creative endeavor that fails, another creative method is created until one of them eventually satisfies the frustration and need.

Seeing connections between having, doing and being

by Barnes Boffey, Ed.D; Director of Training, Aloha Foundation… ww.alohafoundation.org

The thirst inside each us for happiness and peace of mind is not a thirst for things, no matter how spectacular they are, and the benefit of the action we take is not so much in what we do as it is the people we are when we are doing it. One person could give $100 to a charity and it might be an act of amazing generosity; a very well-to-do person might give the same $100 and it would be an act of penny-pinching.

“We can never tell what someone is doing by watching what they are doing,” said Bill Powers, and what he meant is that the being dimension of our actions describes us much more accurately than the doing dimension;  they are inextricably linked.

Once we understand that the ultimate goal of a human being is being human, we can connect the “having” and ‘doing” dimensions of our QW pictures to the “being” dimension and discover how all things and actions are reflections of our being human. The significance and the slaking of our psycho/spiritual thirst is in the “being.” As human beings we are given very general instructions: be loving, powerful, playful and free.  The hard part of being human is figuring out how to “be” those things in a world which most generally offers us choices about what we want to do and have.

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It takes work to keep our eye on the prize, the “being” component, but understanding how it connects with our “having” and “doing” choices is a big step. Some people make the connection by asking, “If I “do this” or “have this,” what does that say about me?” Who am I when I have these possessions and take these actions? We know the answer will be different for each person; Internal Control Theory teaches us that “nothing has meaning until we give it meaning.” Nothing makes us feel that we are a specific kind of person; we are the ones who ultimately make that decision for ourselves. Others can impose their values on our choices, but our mental health and happiness will be the result of the meaning and values we ascribe to our actions and possessions. If we search honestly and openly for the “being dimension” in our possessing and acting, we will ultimately be the creator of our own happiness and the arbiter of whether we are being loving, powerful, playful, and free.

“Would the loving person I say I want to be be doing what I am doing right now?”

“I say I want to be worthy; would a worthy person take the action I am about to take?

“Is buying this hat an act of playfulness or an act of fearing peer pressure?”

“The person I want to be knows that I need to spend more time on my paperwork.

If I don’t make that time, knowing what I know, what kind of person will I be?

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience,
we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

The Many Dimensions of Quality World Pictures

by Barnes Boffey, Ed.D; Director of Training, Aloha Foundation…www.alohafoundation.org

We generally experience our Quality World pictures in only one dimension.  Those dimensions include “things we want to have,”“ things we want to do,” and “things we want to be.” We tend to see these dimensions as separate, but in fact they are all simply partial reflections of multi-dimensional QW pictures whose dimensions exist concurrently all the time.  At all times, our QW pictures have all three of these dimensions — there is a “having” dimension, a “doing” dimension, and a “being” dimension.

Let me explain further. If we perceive one of our Quality World pictures as something we want to “have,” (for example, a new car), we should be aware that in general we want to “have things” because they allow us to do things. Having a car is a possession, but its significance may lie  in the fact  that it allows us to spend less on repairs (doing) or take trips more easily (doing) or be proud of the car we drive (being) or be thrifty by spending less money (being).

Everything we want “to have” gains its important because it allows us to do something; everything we want “to do” gains its importance because it allows us to be something; and everything we want “to be” gains its importance because it allows us to follow our instructions to be loving, powerful, playful and free.  Every Quality World picture exists in these three dimensions at the same time.

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Let’s try another example. Suppose someone tells us they want to “spend more time with their family.” This want presents itself in the “doing” dimension, but also exists as “something we want to have” and “something we want to be.” If we were to ask that person what is important about spending time with their family, they might say, “because it allows me to be a better brother,” or “to be more connected with people I love.” If we want to discover the “having dimension,” we would ask the question, “If you want to spend more time with your family, what would you need to have to do that? They might say, “a better work schedule, (have) and more commitment (have).

If someone says I want to “be more spiritual,” we can explore the “doing dimension” of that QW picture by asking, “If you were being more spiritual, what would you also be doing?”  “Well,” they might say, “I’d be meditating more (doing) and reading the two books I have by my bed” (doing).  To explore the “having dimension” we would then ask, “If you want to do that, what do you need to have to be able to do that?” “More time,” (having), more self-discipline” (having) and “a conversation with my wife.” (the conversation is actually a “have,” going ahead with the conversation is a “do.”)

The significant take away from this piece is that all QW pictures exist concurrently in many dimensions. Why that is important needs to be the next topic we face.

Types of Quality World Pictures

by        Barnes Boffey, Ed.D; Director of Training, Aloha Foundation… www.alohafoundation.org

 

 At this point it will probably be pretty obvious what I mean when I refer to types of Quality World pictures. I think there are two basic types: a) “Pictures of how I want the world to be which will still allow me to be who I am today,” and b) “Pictures of me being the person I want to be (probably involving changing who I am today) when the situation does not match what I want.”

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Based on experiences in our lives, we select from all that we have seen certain of those that represent to us the highest quality that we can imagine at that moment. We choose, both consciously and unconsciously, pictures of people, places, things, activities and qualities which we believe are both our ideals and our best chance of being loving, powerful, playful and free. Implied in these pictures is the basic belief that we can actualize these blueprints without having to change much about who we are.  I call these “Ideal World – Actual Me pictures. Because we live in a world dominated by the thinking of external control psychology, we may also ascribe the things we choose with the supposed power to “make“ us happy. The underlying assumption is that if I can get what I have selected as my ideal pictures, I will definitely be happy. The reality is that no external picture can “make” us happy, but the road we follow to achieve it may lead to our being happy when we get there.

As I have mentioned, we often put too much energy into pictures of the way we want the world to be. If those are the predominant pictures we create, we actually reduce our chances of mental health and happiness. To open the doors to mental health and happiness, we need to have a lot more pictures of us being the people we want to be regardless of whether we get what we want or not. We should develop pictures of both what our ideal job looks like as well as pictures of how we can be happy in a less than ideal job. We can have pictures of the college we want our kids to go to, but we should also have pictures about how to be supportive parents if our children choose another direction. I call these pictures “Actual World – Ideal Me” pictures. If we don’t have them, we get too attached to specific outcomes and we start having to exert varying degrees of control over the people in our lives to guarantee those outcomes; that coercion often leads to the destruction of relationships.

To maintain a healthy balance between both types of pictures, we should constantly be asking ourselves, “What would I ideally like to see happen in this situation?” AND “If I were the person I wanted to be, how I would handle it if this situation does not turn out as I hope it will? We are then free to live our lives without fear of reality… we can imagine being happy with the outcomes we want, and we can imagine being happy if things don’t turn out our way.

The pictures we have; the pictures we need

by Barnes Boffey, Ed.D; Director of Training, Aloha Foundation… www.alohafoundation.org

Change can be very difficult, and one of the greatest assets of Internal Control Psychology, of which Choice Theory is one, is that it points out so many places in the process of behaving that we can impose some degree of control. We can indirectly change our perceptions, our emotions, and our physiology, and we can directly change our action, our thinking and the pictures in our quality world – the primary blueprints of our happiness.

[ File # csp5768126, License # 1532178 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / Kurhan

Most people are pretty clear about the concept of pictures in our quality world; they are the blueprints our brain uses to create our actual behavior. But what may be less obvious is the fact that if we want to change and flourish and be happy as human beings, we will need to add pictures to our quality world which we may not have yet, and which anyone who works with us will need to help us evolve.

Most people are overloaded with pictures of how they want the world to be – their ideal world. These blueprints are certainly worth having, but are only helpful when there is a chance of getting the world to match the pictures we have. The roots of unhappiness are grounded in situations where the world does not match what “we want,” and it is made even worse if the only choice we have is to keep going back to our ideal world pictures. In general, our ideal world pictures involve background thinking which sounds like this: “Here is the way I would like the world to be, and if it is that way it will mean I will not have to change to be happy.” Our biggest problems, however, involve situations where the world is not the way we want it to be and we are therefore forced to change if we are to have a good opportunity to be happy.

In the entries to follow, I will try to explain both the types and the dimensions of quality world pictures that we need to have if we are to maintain flexibility and resiliency in a world which is obviously not at our beck and call.

 

 

Wishes, Passions and Motivation

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

“Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves.”— Sarah Ban Breathnach

For greater happiness and well being we are advised to live our passion, be authentic and live life to the fullest. What great advice. But what does it mean?

I’ve spoken with more than a few of my friends and acquaintances who feel as if they are failing at life because they have no idea what their life purpose is! How can you be authentic if you don’t know who your authentic self is?

From a Choice Theory psychology perspective, the answer to those questions are the pictures in our quality world that describe who we are, who we want to be, and what we want to do. Unfortunately that information still doesn’t help much. You may still feel as if you’re in the dark.

There are some clues that you can follow to open the door revealing to yourself what you really want, what your passions are, and discover what motivates and inspires you. Give these ideas a try to see if you can discover or uncover clues to be followed:

(Hint: These ideas are best implemented if you go to a quiet, comfortable place where you can spend uninterrupted time alone.)

Wave Your Magic Wand

Imagine you have a magic wand that actually works. Wave your wand and imagine your life just as you want it to be. Breathing deeply, get into a meditative, relaxation state of mind, actually see yourself, hear the words, notice the smells and feel your surroundings.

Now that your life is perfect, what are you doing? What are you thinking? What are you feeling? How does your body feel?

And now that you are doing what you want, who are you being?

(It is useful to write down any thoughts, impressions, or ideas that come to you. These are some of your clues)

When you grow up?

When you were a child, imagining your life as a grown up, what did you imagine you would be doing? How did you answer the question adults asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Who were your heroes? Who did you admire? When you played games with friends or alone, what were these games?

Take this information and see how you actually are doing and being some of the jobs, activities and careers you imagined as a child. The translation may not be exact. For instance, perhaps you play in an adult soft ball league instead of being the major league baseball player you imagined. But now you can see the connection between the two.

These are more clues for you to make note of.  Add your childhood pretend ideas, dreams and wishes as areas you have yet to pursue.

Fleeting thoughts and wispers

What are those thourest1157188ghts, ideas and secret whispers that you notice and ignore. Start your list now that includes all those inklings that you remember. Be open to receiving more. Add these new ones to your list.

As you regularly and consistently engage in this practice, what you may discover are your own personal words of inspiration and beingn

ess rather than a specific action, project or job. AND you may discover a specific project, action or job. There is no right or wrong. This self safari process will help you explore and discover your authentic, passionate and purposeful self.

When you spend time exploring, discovering and uncovering your motivational quality world pictures you are cultivating more of your mental health and happiness. Why not start the treasure hunt of yourself today?

When a tree falls…

By Dr. Ken Larsen

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear, does it make a sound? This question has been posed to countless students in Philosophy 101 through the years.

It points us to the distinction between what Dr. Glasser calls the “real world” and the “perceived world”.  Having a “sound” grasp of the difference between these two is a big part of mental health and happiness.

The real world is where the tree falls and generates a moving molecular wave through the air.

When that wave strikes the auditory apparatus of a person it is perceived as a sound.  If there is no person to hear, the wave still happens.  So the question is answered by how we define “sound”.  Is it the wave or the perception of the wave?  This is the way that I suggest we think about the often repeated statement that “perception is reality.”

Let’s say that we agree that what we call “sound” is the perception of the wave moving through the air.  The person does not respond to the sound wave, but to the way that sound wave is interpreted by the brain as a perception.    This is what is “real” to the person.  The recognition of that sensory stimulus as a sound is the reality that enables the person to choose what to do about the sound of a falling tree.

Let’s use another sensory example.

eye

We know that our visual perceptions are an adapted interpretation of what our eye registers.  The lens of the eye follows the laws of optics and inverts the image of what the eye is seeing.   We don’t “see” the inverted image do we?  The wonderful apparatus we carry in our skulls adapts the sensory data to a perception that more closely represents the image in the real world.  We “see” the candle upright as it is.

A perception is what our brain tells us about the information gathered through our senses.  It is an interpretation of the real world.  It is a constructed representation of what the senses pick up.  If we remember that my perception is a different interpreted construction than what your brain has constructed, we might take a step toward overcoming the conflicts that lessen our mental health and happiness.  It’s good to understand that many of these conflicts arise from assuming that we all experience the world in the same way.

I Give Up!

By Nancy S Buck,PhD, RN

Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better Samuel Beckett

How many times have you started the New Year with an enthusiastic resolution to improve your life? How many New Year’s resolutions closely resemble the one you made last year and the year before that? Some of us may go years, decades even, making the same resolution over and over again. Your desire and resolve for change often represents the same hope, dream and goal.

Are you insane, the definition that doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results means you are insane? Or are you just hopeful, refusing to give up?

What’s going on? Could it be that when you make your resolve and make a plan to move you toward what want you are also moving further away from something else you want equally as much?

For instance, when deciding your New Year’s diet it may mean you’re depriving yourself of foods you enjoy. Before you are able to reach your ideal weight your deprivation from the delicious foods you enjoy leads you astray. You decide to just give up!woman_diet

Of perhaps your resolve to increase your exercise leads you to plan early rising with vigorous walking or jogging several days a week. Days, weeks and maybe even a month or two pass with great success as you follow your plan. But then one day you wake up to a deep snow storm or torrential rain storm, or freezing cold or heat wave temperatures or a pulled muscle. Staying snuggled deep in your bed for an extra 45 minutes of sleep drives you to simply give up. And too often this one day leads to another and another so you find yourself facing another January 1 still wanting what you wanted last January 1.

The best laid plans for change or even incremental improvement too often end with you throwing in the towel and giving up! After all, how many of you are still following the New Year’s resolution you made last January? How many of you have made the resolution to never make another resolution because you’re tired of feeling like a failure each time you give up?

There is nothing wrong with giving up. It is a perfectly good alternative. However, sooner or later the quality world picture of what you want and still don’t have returns. Giving up feels good initially. But unfortunately, giving up is a short term successful, long tern unsuccessful plan. And giving up interferes with your Mental Health & Happiness.

Here are a couple of adjustments you can make that you might find helpful.

First, instead of giving up, why not take a time out? The resulting actions may be the same, but when you take time out, you are telling yourself you will get back to your plan and program. You could even set a certain period of time for time out. You know you’re not giving up all together, waiting for the next New Year to start again. You are simply taking a time out and will resume again on Monday the 3rd.

Or you could discover your conflicting pictures and needs that pull you in two different directions. With this knowledge you can make a plan where getting one does not mean depriving yourself of the other. Your New Year’s diet will include all foods except sugar. Once a week, with the week being Sunday to Saturday, you will also allow yourself one Hershey’s chocolate kiss. Or, Your new exercise program means jogging 4 days a week, when possible outside. But when not possible inside. If an injury benches you, yoga and stretching will replace your exercise of choice. Each week you will decide the days you get to sleep in, and the days you will get up early to exercise. 

Give these suggestions a try. You may find the success you seek. Imagine January 2015, you will be making a brand new, never dreamed of before New Year’s Resolution aiming for another wish and dream!

Is it “Being Overwhelmed” or “Choosing” to be Overwhelmed?

By Sue Tomaszewski

It’s become an ongoing joke over the last months with me saying that I’ve just been too overwhelmed to write this post on “Being Overwhelmed”.

The more I’ve considered how many times I’ve heard other people reject taking on one more thing due to being too overwhelmed while others do manage to accept the challenge, the more I wonder about Quality World Pictures, Perceived World Information, and Total Behaviors.

I’ve now come to terms with the “choices ” I’ve made. No matter how overwhelmed I perceived myself to be I did choose to devote time to those things that either seemed more “urgent” or perhaps more “need satisfying”:

  • work assignments that had time deadlines with consequences I wasn’t willing to face if not completed.
  • a friend who was very ill and who has since died, whom I wanted to spend time with and support her husband, as well.
  • even being sure I kept up with my “Words with Friends”, Facebook, and email communications.
  • And, hate to admit it, but also making sure I did watch ALL the “Breaking Bad” and “Downton Abby” episodes.

overwhelmed

Yes, my choices to “balance” perceptions of “overwhelmedness” were behaviors that helped me maintain my QW picture of a competent, responsible person who is a devoted friend who enjoys fun and communication with others. Supposing also that even my TV choices reflect more intense story lines, as I am committed to follow-through!

But, please note, my choices were also actions that were already part of my organized behavior system. During this time, I now realize, even when “Words with Friends” was “too challenging”, I would communicate with my “friends” that I was just too busy to play.

My new reflection is that I DID CHOOSE to be overwhelmed and did opt for actions that were, to some extent challenging, but still part of a repertoire of behaviors that I already possessed. I did DID choose NOT to engage in behaviors that I perceived as more demanding, more new, needing more effort.

I am pleased to say , that WRITING, might NOW also be a behavior that has been added as a new organized behavior still developing as I work to continue being simply “whelmed”.

Super Bowl Victory!

By Terri Allen

Saturday evening I returned to my home to Seattle, Washington after attending a business meeting in Texas. There was a general feeling of enthusiasm among the travelers at the departing gate. After all, it was Super Bowl Eve, and we were headed to Seattle, home of the NFC Division Championship Seattle Seahawks!

More than a few of us were sporting Seahawks t-shirts and caps. We passed each other with nods, smiles, and cheers of “Go Hawks!” People who might never speak to each other were greeting one another with warmth and conviviality. We were all part of the 12th Man.

As the time approached to board the plane, the airline attendant asked over the PA, “Any Seahawks fans out there?”  There was an answer of loud cheers from the travelers. The attendant began the pre-boarding process, asking for people traveling with small children to board first, then members of the armed forces, first class passengers and MVP members. Normally what would come next is the general boarding. Instead the attendant invited anyone wearing Seahawks gear to enjoy preferential boarding. Another loud cheer erupted from these privileged passengers!

seahawks

Being a Seahawks fan had many advantages that night. I made quick connections with my fellow fan passengers, I got on the plane ahead of people who didn’t wear the preferred gear, and I was generally well received and liked by all of the other Seahawks fans in the terminal and on the plane. You could say that the quality of my world was better on that flight because I was experiencing something important to me, Seahawks enthusiasm, and I was able to share it with other people who were also enthused. It was quite motivating and satisfying.

We all have visions in our minds of what we care about most in life: people, experiences, and things that are meaningful to us. We imagine that the quality of our personal world will improve and we will be happier when we gain access to these visions in reality.  The sum of all of these visions makes up our quality world, and our quality world is at the core of who we are.

Usually the people in our quality world are family and close friends. But that night there were other Seattle Seahawks fans who were in the quality worlds of many other passengers on the flight from San Antonio to Seattle Saturday night.

It was fun to get into a fan mindset by wearing Seahawks gear, visit with like-minded passengers, think about what it would be like if the Hawks won the Super Bowl, and see the green and blue lit Space Needle as the plane descended into Seattle.

Any time we can access in the real world the images in our quality world, like the Seahawks fans on the Seattle flight, our level of mental health and happiness increases. Being with fans wearing their t-shirts, ball caps, green and blue jewelry, and Seahawks manicures enhanced my real life quality world experience.

The poor Denver Broncos fans they are less than happy about their team’s loss. They had a vision of the Broncos winning the Super Bowl and of celebrating their victory. Without the victory, there is a mismatch between what Bronco’s fans wanted from their quality world, and what they got in reality.

Want to increase your own mental health and happiness? Start paying attention to those moments, experiences and times when the visions you have in your quality world match your real work experiences. Get to know your quality world and you will understand what motivates your life.