As I mentioned before, I've been reading the book, Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins. I've just come to a chapter in the book in which I feel wary of some of the author's advice, so I thought I'd voice my uncertainties here to see if you readers have opinions about the matter.
So, here's the deal... It's Chapter 6, which is titled, "How to Change Anything in Your Life: the Science of Neuro-Associative Conditioning". In this chapter he says, "If you and I want to change our behavior, there is only one effective way to do it: we must link unbearable and immediate sensations of pain to our old behavior, and incredible and immediate sensations of pleasure to a new one." Step One tells you to "decide what you really want and what's preventing you from having it now." Step Two tells you to "Get Leverage: Associate Massive Pain to Not Changing Now and Massive Pleasure to the Experience of Changing Now!"
A lot of the advice in this chapter is quite sound, makes sense to me, and seems quite useful. But, some of it is quite troubling to me. For example, the best way for me to stop drinking coffee, according to this chapter, is for me to associate drinking coffee with getting esophageal cancer -- to visualize myself getting such amazingly terrible acid in my stomach that my acid reflux problem comes back in an awful way and quickly progresses to full out throat cancer. [I know this is what he means, because he gives a similar example, using cancer, for someone with another problem.] Is this really a healthy way to think? Will I really be building a healthy, fulfilling life by conditioning myself to develop intense fears of all the behaviors I want to discontinue? Quite possibly... I have to admit, since I went through this step of the process, I have not drunk any coffee -- and frankly, the thought of it repulses me at the moment.
Another aspect of this advice I'm having trouble with is how to apply it to a wide variety of examples. How do I apply this if what I want is to make a career of singing? Or, what if I want to stop thinking negative thoughts? What's in the way of my making my career singing? I guess it's that I never audition for anything. So, I guess I need to associate massive pain with not auditioning? -- like, the longer I go without auditioning, the hotter the seat underneath me gets until it's a burning flame under my butt? And, what's in the way of stopping myself from thinking negative thoughts? I think it's those damn negative thoughts. Or, maybe it's not enough positive thinking... So, I guess I need to associate massive pain with not thinking positive thoughts? -- like, if I go five minutes without a positive thought, my head will explode? Oh no! I'm so happy!!
What do you think about all this, dear readers?