Tag Archives: William Glasser

Live Well, It Matters

by Barnes Boffey, Ed.; Director of Training, Aloha Foundation… www.alohafoundation.org
(Origininally published on May 11, 2016)

50th Anniversary Celebration
Las Vegas, NV July 23, 2015

wglasserWritten to honor the life and work of William Glasser, this reading is not one that we ought to be surprised about; every life sends the same reminder: 

Live Well, It Matters

Our lives are not exercises from school that have no relevance; they have the ultimate relevance. Our lives can damage other people; our lives can heal other people; our lives can nourish other people, and our lives can transform other people.  Our lives become the stars that others steer by, and if we live them well, the world will change.

We remember Bill Glasser because he was a wonderful person and a remarkable teacher. He had a powerful public persona as a speaker and was able to hold the attention of hundreds of people with both the simplicity and significance of his transformative ideas. He was also someone who could talk one-on-one with a client and minutes later have that person ready to face a world he had found so difficult to deal with only moments before.

Bill had amazing skills, but what inspires us is that he did the best he could with what he had been given, both in the time of his life and in the time of his death. He did what he had to do to maintain his dignity and integrity and to keep the beacon steady for those of us coming behind who needed him to be strong, and real, and honest and true.

Live Well; It Matters

Bill spent over 45 years creating a place where we could learn and change and be free of our victimhood. He absorbed the vision of his mentors and passed along the message “We can change the world with these ideas.” He participated in that mission with every fiber of his being, and he challenged us to do the same. I can almost hear him saying: Live Well; It Matters

If there were some other alternatives to dying, it would be different. We could plan for our final passage in life as though we were taking a vacation. Where will I go? What do I want to do when I’m no longer a living human being? The truth is that death awaits us all; that is BOTH the sad news and the joyous news.

Because it is true, our challenge as we face the future is to live in the light of the universe: being loving, being powerful, being playful, being free. And to live each day as one we can be proud of, to live each day as one we can cherish, and to live each day as one that will be remembered by others who look to us to learn how to live. That is the challenge that Bill Glasser leaves us:

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Learn more about Barnes at our Mental Health & Happiness Summit, October 10th.


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Continuing the Legacy

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Carleen Glasser, wife and partner of the late William Glasser, M.D., worked by his side writing and lecturing for nearly twenty, productive years. Dr. Glasser enthusiastically, shared every new idea he had with her. Theirs was not only a very happy marriage, they were inseparable partners. She had the honor of editing eleven of his most recent books and they co-authored four books together. During that time, Carleen, having an Education/ Counseling background, also created Choice Theory related children’s workbooks, class meeting lesson plans and an online course for teachers. Dr. Glasser included her in almost all of his many speaking engagements around the world as a co-speaker and role-player. That they enjoyed each other and the work they shared was quite apparent in the many videos that were made of their talks and role-plays.

Now, Carleen is dedicating her life to the preservation of her dear, late husband’s legacy. She is teaching what he created, the new Reality Therapy based on Choice Theory, the Psychology of Personal Freedom, to as many people as are interested. She is an enthusiastic presenter, who is passionate about these ideas and has a unique base of information to share which could only come from one source, William Glasser, himself.

Learn more about Carleen Glasser at our Mental Health & Happiness Summit, October 10th.


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Life’s Lemons

By:  Maria E Trujillo alias Manual DeVie

Growing up I had my share of life’s lemons. I did my best to make what I thought was the best of it. Following the old adage I attempted to make lemonade out of lemons.

However, my batch of lemonade was filled with toxic mixers that I added. I used my own negative thinking and faulty beliefs combining it with and unhealthy and dysfunctional relationships.

It’s difficult to learn how to make a healthy batch when I wasn’t born into a family with a healthy skill set. In fact, I learned to operate as an ostrich and to sweep problems and difficulties under the rug.

Courageously I entered a new class in lemonade 101, more commonly known as couple’s counseling. Our counselor followed the structured couples counseling session advocated by Dr. William Glasser. As a couple we never made it past the crucial fourth session. This is the session where we each needed to make a commitment to continue. That ended couple’s counseling.

lemonsI knew there were always going to be lemons in my life. I knew I wanted a healthy batch of lemonade. I wanted to learn how to change and use my own healthy mixers to make a healthy batch of lemonade. I continued forward with individual counseling.

With the help of this counselor who practiced Reality Therapy using choice theory psychology I found a better recipe for making lemonade. I have gained healthy skills in the process.

These skills include knowing which lemons are worth squeezing and which are best left for the compost pile.

 

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.

Want to change your world?

By Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

 

 We are going to change the world,” Bill Glasser told us. And the way we are going to change the world is to change how people think.                              

handholdingworld from Barnes Boffey’s keynote speech
WGI-US Conference- Las Vegas, Nevada, July 2015.

December 2012 the second major shooting massacre in US public schools occurred. I took this as my personal call to action to bring the ideas of mental health as a public health issue through Glasser’s Choice Theory psychology. This was the source to start Mental Health & Happiness. 

On November 5, 2014 we (WGI-US) launched this site and have posted a new blog every other day since then. (More than 600 blogs have been posted to date.) In January 2014 we started offering 21-day challenges where people are sent a new challenge 21 days of a 30-day month. These challenges teach people the ideas and principles of Choice Theory psychology including how to incorporate these strategies for improved Mental Health & Happiness.*

It is rewarding to hear all of the personal stories from so many people who are sharing their gratitude  and testaments of thanks. I am amazed and delighted to hear so many people who are working in prisons share how they are offering these challenges to prison inmates to improve their lives. People in private practice and counseling are also giving this website and these challenges as addendum sources to support and help clients in therapy. All of this has been extremely gratifying and rewarding. Dr. Glasser told us we could change the world by changing how people think. This website and the challenges are proving that this statement true.

Today, more than 20 months since the beginning of taking on this project an amazing thing has happened for me personally. What has amazed and surprised me is my own personal benefits. I am happier and mentally healthier today than I was before taking on this project!

Not only am I thinking about Mental Health & Happiness regularly as I contemplate a new blog to write, or a new challenge to offer, I’m also reading the blogs and embracing the challenges. Just as I fasten my seat belt every time I’m in a car, brush my teeth twice a day, make food and exercise choices that support my physical health every day I’m also making Mental Health & Happiness choices and exercises every day to develop, improve and maintain my Mental Health & Happiness!

I love it when a plan results in success.  The result of my daily choices changed and improved my life and my world! I hope you are experiencing the same kinds of result.

*You can now purchase these challenges as an ebook. Go to

http://www.mcssl.com/SecureCart/ViewCart.aspx?mid=B0892453-54D2-4C38-AD60-01638B065A7A&sctoken=5f4c9d6e9e57436881dd6e507149352f&bhjs=1&bhqs=1

All The World’s A Stage

By Mike Rice

Have you ever sat down with your TV remote control and flipped through each channel looking for a movie that catches your interest?  Most people have.  Perhaps I should say most men do.  It tends to be a guy trait.  However, this is not a gender specific behavior.  Everyone does it at one time or another.

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So you find something that catches your attention and you get comfortable and begin watching.  Then, in twenty minutes or less, the words, “The End” flashes upon the screen.   One’s automatic response may be, “What the heck was THAT all about?”  The reason it didn’t make much sense is because you missed the beginning and the middle.  That’s the way our lives play out in our families of origin.

In each of our lives, a lot of drama occurred before we were born.  If you don’t know the beginning or the first several acts, the family drama can be quite confusing as we observe and it not make much sense.  By trial and error, as we mature, we watch the drama all around us unfold and efforts or made to figure out what role we will play that will allow the drama to continue.  This is where creativity comes in.   Different roles that result in certain behaviors are tested to see if they will maintain the family homeostasis or upset it.  Upstaging or taking over another family member’s role will lead to resentment and conflict.  Demanding directors will also play an integral part in the roles played by new cast members and tell a member what role they will play.

The role one chooses is also designed to satisfy whatever basic needs a cast member feels may be missing in his/her life.  The greater the unmet need, the more the role or behavior is chosen to satisfy or, at least, ease the frustration, of not having the need satisfied . . . regardless of it disrupting the story line.  In such an example, a whole new story line is created by the new character’s role and more drama is added causing other family members to modify or change their roles.

Older family members don’t like changing roles.  They worked hard to create the role they’ve been playing for years.  So any of the senior cast members may often strut and fret their hour upon the stage, signifying their power by trying to control the new cast member in the family drama.

The late noted conjoint family therapist, Virginia Satir, once stated that 95% of all families are dysfunctional.  If so, then I contend the other 5% are in denial.  We are not perfect parents anymore than we are perfect humans. We learned to parent based upon how we were parented.  We all come with our roles that we developed in our own families in order to get our basic needs met and the methods used to acquire these needs are often passed along to each generation.  The roles that are created to maintain the family drama are retained by the actors to seek others in their personal relationships that will allow them to continue to perform the roles they’ve been playing for years in their family of origin.

In a balanced family, all members are allowed to be what they are innately meant to be.  They are supported for their interests and goals and assisted towards moving in a positive direction.  They are recognized as individuals with different interests, dreams, and needs separate from other members.

In a toxic family, members are told what they are going to be, when they will be it, what they will do, and how they will do it.  Strict rigid rules are prevalent in the toxic family and they may even have rules for those who break the rules.  The toxicity tends to permeate the entire family structure.  It is quite common to see many family members fare much better in life when they are not around those whose thoughts, words, and attitudes keep them stuck and prohibit their happiness.  This is a sad scenario to be sure.  Parents don’t have children with designs of purposely setting them up for a life of misery and sadness.  What a parent has learned and developed to deal with their own life is not a one size fits all approach to their children’s lives.  Thus the words of Dr. William Glasser ring loud and clear:  “If everyone could learn that what is right for me does not make it right for everyone else, the world would be a much happier place.”

Where are you on the Mental Health & Happiness Scale?

by Dr. Nancy S Buck

We have spoken with many, many people since starting and diving deep into our Mental Health & Happiness project. The stories and responses we receive in return have been enlightening, helpful and thought provoking.

One thing we hear from many who are new to this kind of a journey and new to Dr. Glasser and Choice Theory psychology are questions about mental health and mental illness. How does happiness figure into this?

Here are a few things we believe:

  • We are all in a state of mental health. The common terminology of “mental health issues”is describing someone who is lower on the above continuum.
  • Despite the recent DSM-V, not all human responses and reactions to life’s stressors and upsets are diagnosable disorders.
  • People with a diagnosable disorder will move higher on the above continuum, improving their mental health & happiness when they meet their needs for safety, love, power, fun, and freedom every day in respectful and responsible ways.
  • Improving the important relationships in our lives will improve our Mental Health & Happiness.  This alone will move us higher on the continuum.
  • Developing, improving and maintaining optimal Mental Health & Happiness is possible to learn and teach. Just as we learned what to do to get into better physical shape, or improve our dental and oral health, the same is true for Mental Health & Happiness.
  • All mental health professionals should have a clear, achievable definition of Mental Health & Happiness. If anyone is presently seeing a counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist or other mental health professional, ask him or her what his/her working definition of Mental Health & Happiness is. How can you move higher on the above continuum if you don’t know what it looks like and what you need to do to improve?
  • Our emotions are indicators of our emotional and mental state. When we feel glad, happy, hopeful, enthusiastic and positive we are heading in a mentally healthy direction. When we feel sad, angry, hurt, disappointed, frightened or negative we are heading away from what we need and want.
  • Part of normal living includes positive and negative feelings. Negative feelings do not mean we are mentally ill. We are simply lower on the above continuum at that point in time.
  •  Knowing what you can do to improve and move higher on the continuum is the indication of Mental Health & Happiness. Being Mentally Healthy & Happy does not mean that we feel happy and positive all of the time. But when we feel negative we know why and know what to do to improve.

Hope this helps you better understand where you are on your own continuum of Mental Health & Happiness.

Please give us feedback about more questions, discoveries and quandaries as you continue on your journey with us.

Take charge of life for mental health and happiness

By Bette Blance

There are times when we feel overwhelmed by things that are happening around us.  We may be having difficulties at work.  It may be with that certain co worker and we don’t know what to do about it.  We come home and complain to our significant other about him. It seems that so many conversations we have with other people in our lives are about this one person, what they do or don’t do.

Sometimes in our personal life family members seem to demand things that we don’t want to give.  Others do not listen to us.  We think if only they would listen to us then things would be just fine.  Then, there are the kids.  If only, if only… Life seems to spiral out of control.

What if we were able to understand what is happening, and we were able to sort out ways to get back in control?   Would life be better then?

As Dr Glasser used to say, when we spin our back wheels, (feeling and physiology) we seem to get nowhere.  Life seems to get worse not better.

So often we expect others to change.  Yet the essence of life is that we can only ourselves. We can change what we do, or say or think.  We can’t change others.

Getting on our front wheels (acting and thinking) means making some decisions about what we can do in each of these situations.  Start by asking our self:

What do I want my relationships to be like with my family members?
How do I want to get along with my co-worker?

This gives a starting point to learn other tools to take charge of our life.

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Creativity

By Michael Rice

All we do from birth until death is behave.  And all behavior is chosen for the purpose of satisfying happiness or pleasure.  — Dr. William Glasser

 Are you a human being or a human doing?  Reacting or responding? 

There are those who simply function on automatic pilot . . . behaving the same way day in and day out.  The have found comfort in their routine:  Rise in the morning, coffee & breakfast, groom for work, go to work, do their job in the same daily manner, go home, deal with the kids and have the last word, interact with the spouse if married, prepare and/or have dinner, watch TV to relax, and go to bed only to start all over the next day.  If single, they might isolate other than associating with coworkers and/or customers.  You know . . . Groundhog Day.  If nothing changes . . . nothing changes.

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Weekends may be open for shopping, housework, etc but basically, it is the only break from the weekly routine they have.  If asked if this particular lifestyle is how they want to live for the rest of their lives, most would deny the offer.  Yet, days, weeks, and years go by without them doing anything that could effect a change in life for the better or towards how they would like their lives to be.  It’s almost as if they are thinking, “if I keep doing what I’m doing, something good will eventually come along ,” or “an opportunity will present itself” that will afford them the life they only dream of having.

Regardless of the thought process or the lack of action to improve one’s life, it will always be a choice to lack action or think creatively to make life better.  There are those who have become comfortable in both an uncomfortable situation as well as feeling comfortable “enough” rather than exert any further energy or efforts to improve their comfort level.  Like the hound dog story in a previous article, “They ain’t hurtin’ bad enough yet.”

If the effort required to attain the desired results is perceived as not being worth all that it may take to achieve it, why bother?  Our desires are found within our genetic Basic Needs.  Inasmuch as we have to learn our basic needs, and that nature does not automatically account for them as our other genetic traits, one word comes to mind as an umbrella that covers all of these needs:  Creativity.

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Creativity is like a drug.  In fact, creativity produces the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine that gives pleasure not unlike alcohol or other drugs.  Ironically, it is alcohol and other drugs that eventually destroy creativity.  The greatest inventors of the world thrived on creativity as well as surrounding themselves with other creative people.  The largest financial titans of the 20th century and those of today got where they are through creativity.  However, I must admit that some of them had a major financial helping hand before they started.  But even with that being said, they still needed to have creativity to go beyond their starting point.

The human mind is very creative but so few take advantage of it or fail to associate with other creative minds that may lead to exciting things to do, live, love, and enjoy.

Creativity is the joy and art of living.  Reflect and recall the last thing you accomplished that required your creativity.  It may have be your home decorating, music, art, gardening, cooking, an invention, a literary piece, a presentation, an idea that was successful in business or you’re career.  What emotion did you have at the time?  You may even feel good at this very moment while remembering it.  Do you like that feeling?  Do you want to feel like that more often? 

Share it with someone important in your life.  A sorrow shared is half a sorrow.  A joy shared is twice a joy.

Now . . . do something else creative.