Friday, March 26, 2010

Chew on this!

(Iris's weekly marathon article will be posted Saturday March 27, 2010)

The readers of the Belief Makers blog consist of a bunch of newbies and a group of returning "hardcore" readers. We love newbies, and if you are one, we hope this blog will inspire you to come back often and question your life and anything in it. We hope you will inspire yourself to create an most amazing future for yourself; a future better then you ever thought possible.

If you are one of our core readers then you know (I assume!) that we write a lot of our articles with specifically you in our minds. A lot of the contents of this blog requires some interest and understanding of the happiness philosophy and how we at Belief Makers like to support, grow and question this philosophy not knowing where this will lead us! There are things written in the hope it will inspire you to sharpen your mental skills and make a stand for your beliefs. We don't write to have you agree with us. We write to have you grow yourself and become an amazing source for yourself and others. A source that you trust. A source you feel comfortable with. A source that helps you sail the biggest storms easily and helps you glide over high waves as if there was no storm at all.

A couple of weeks ago Sree mentioned to us that a lot of our articles are so "well-done and tied up, that there is not a lot of space left for comments". In this article today I have taken this wonderful feedback in account. This article is written by me with the intent to be chewed on and to be discussed together in the comment section! So, I hope you are ready to jump in!

When time allows, I like to read different materials that are available in the "happiness corner". When I heard about Martin Seligman and his work in positive psychology, I bought a couple of his books to study his work and learn to understand what he stands for. I must tell you that his books are a real challenge to me. Some of the things he writes in his books I find brilliant and at those times I get really excited, while other parts make my stomach squirm. In some of those moments I just cannot get myself to read anymore and I put the book aside till a later moment!

This morning, I opened up "The Optimistic Child" on page 60. Martin E.P. Seligman described on the pages before a situation where a teenager Andrea breaks her friendship with her friend Lauren. Then on page 6o, Martin Seligman describes a short analysis of this interaction before he advices parents how to help their children with situations like this.

After reading it, I just had to type the paragraph into this blog for you. You will find it below. I recommend you to take the time to read it carefully:

"...Changing friendships is difficult. The person being dropped feels rejected and hurt; the person doing the dropping feels guilty. There are kind and unkind ways of making this transition, but they are all unpleasant. Andrea feels bad that she no longer wants to be close friends with Lauren, but she does not see this as a reflection on her own character. She is able to own up for the way in which she handled the situation ("I shouldn't have been so mean to her today") without beating herself up about it. Andrea didn't think, "I'm a horrible person. I'm the world's worst friend." And Andrea is mercilessly accurate both about her impact on Lauren ("I’ve really hurt her feelings") and about her own desires in the matter ("I just don't want to be her best friend anymore"). Because she takes responsibility, Andrea can correct her trajectory and form a plan of action that may help a bit ("I ought to call her tonight"). Andrea will probably do a better job in parallel situations in the future ("I could have handled this better" and "have explained how I feel"). This is a horrible situation, one that most children experience from both sides. As parents, we want our children to react like Andrea. We want them to take responsibility (Andrea is causing Lauren pain), but we don't want our children to be overwhelmed with guilt and shame whenever they do something that displeases someone else..."

"The Optimistic Child – The fundamentals of optimism". Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D. , Page 60;

I am not going to give away my thoughts on this piece, just yet. What I want you to do is to read the paragraph again and then answer the following questions:

What things in this paragraph do you agree with? Which things Martin Seligman says do you not agree with or would you question? What other thoughts come to mind when you read this article? Do you believe there is material in this paragraph that fits into the Happiness Philosophy? Have you ever broken a relationship? How did you explain bit to yourself and others? Would you still do it that way? Why, or why not?

Please, feel free to put your thoughts on paper, or I mean... the website! I'm looking forward to your responses!

Enjoy smearing your wheels...!


  1. I have not heard of Martin Seligman and his work in positive psychology. Yes there are lots of people who pretend to be experts, and well intending, espouse their round about realizations of the freedom/responsibility each of us is endowed with. I got fascinated by the Sedona Method years ago, by a fascinating person who was looking for a way to marry it with the simpler Option approach. I even read at length of the originators discovery of learning to 'let go' of beliefs that no longer served their original purposes. I found it increasingly humorous how convoluted and complicated what he discovered initially in simple option terms. It seems Option was like just too simple an approach, and too easy to work with. Some people really get high on the belief there has to be pain, huge effort, rigamaroll, to living life joyfully......anyone else explored how schemingly complicated its made up to be? bw

  2. BW, I want to thank you for the comment that you posted while I am in the middle of writing a follow up article about this for tomorrow. Reading your comment, I notice that I had wished that your response was more to the point and specific to the conversation at hand! From your comments I can distill some of your beliefs and motivations, but you do not make one clear statement about the paragraph at hand. Check out the article tomorrow in which I show how I had hoped people would start tackling this puppy! I would love to hear feedback on that article! Love, Iris

  3. Lol.....just imaging you attempting to tackle a rambuncious puppy, and it bounding away, yet wanting insistantly you to continue 'playing.'

    It also reminds me of how differently people tend to wire themselves, and how distinctly this shows up between "dog people, and cat people." (maybe its just the adhd side of me?) bw

  4. Hi BW. I am giggling about your comments while having no clue how to respond to it! You have an amazing capacity to persistently change conversations into other directions! I am looking forward to your response on "Chew on This II". Love, Iris


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