THE FIX YOURSELF HANDBOOK
Chapter Outline An outline of each of The Fix Yourself Handbook's forty-four chapters is provided below. Each chapter outline is presented with a detailed description of what is covered in the chapter, and the chapter's goals. Chapter 1 - Life On Autopilot. "Only you can change the person you are. First, you need to decide who you want to be. Make that your first decision." Chapter one presents the reader with a look at how our lives tend to take on the flow of their own, removing us from the conscious ability to make decisions. The chapter proceeds by presenting a life on an autopilot way of living which surrenders the direction of life to external forces. When this happens, we become trapped in an uninspired way of life. Further progression in this constrained lifestyle creates intellectual and emotional paralysis, sharply affecting our decision-making capacity. The chapter provides illustrations regarding how to disconnect this robotic guidance system, thus creating the return path to sound decision-making processes. The chapter closes with the necessary steps to not only disconnect autopilot from our lives, but to begin the initial process leading to capable decision-making. Chapter 2 - Brutal Honesty; The Real Test Of Courage "If we are willing to take an honest look inside ourselves, we might just realize that there is someone special locked up in there; someone who doesn't need all the lies and games. Let them out." Most of us struggle with the concept of honesty in our lives. Brutal honesty sets the stage for one of the most important processes we will be using our presentation. Here, the discussion centers on the type of honesty we must adjust to, a brutal form of honesty which takes no prisoners. In this format, facts are presented regardless of their emotional impact, setting the stage for the reader's ability to address the conditions of their lives without masks, and the usual rituals which are designed to camouflage uncomfortable information. As the chapter progresses the reader is presented with information to assist in the development of the understanding that even the slightest deviation from honesty alters the path toward reconciliation of dysfunction, thus continuing a form of dishonesty which will continue to grow. The goal of this section is to help the reader understand that honesty is not an enemy, but may evolve to become one of the most important allies in our lives. The chapter concludes with the necessary steps to help the reader make the initial progression into the type of honesty which will be necessary for all the work which will follow. Chapter 3 - I OVER E "Intellect Over Emotion; let your power of your brain precede the storm of your emotions." - Faust Ruggiero It is the most difficult balancing act the human brain can encounter. In any situation, in all we do, the human brain must define the problem, examine all relevant information specific to that problem, and finally develop and implement a solution to fix that problem. Along the way, the brain must address the complexities of the information, and the impact of the emotional response to the problem one is experiencing. Learning to process intellectually before infusing emotions into a situation is the focus of this chapter. Here, the reader is presented with the impact emotions can have on information gathering, and problem solving. The mechanism is defined to help the reader understand that, all too often, one of the reasons it becomes difficult to process information efficiently, and move in the direction of a solution, is that our emotions change the way we feel physically and intellectually, which affects our ability to process information factually. The chapter teaches the individual how to reduce the initial impact of our emotions in any situation, while the same time allowing the brain to acquire and assimilate the necessary information to solve our problems. Its theme, as a title suggests, is intellect over emotion. Simply defined, it means that first we learn to intellectually process the information relevant to a situation, and then have the luxury of applying our emotions to that information in a later time. Chapter 4 - Present/Understand/Fix: It Works "Stop obsessing! Present the problem honestly. Understand everything about it. Then, fix the problem. It's that simple." In life, we often succumb to the human tendency to complicate the processes which may lead us toward efficient solutions. It's important for us to understand that there is a viable method to successfully arrive at solutions where we thought none could exist. Chapter four sets the stage for the process way of working which we will be using throughout the entire text. In each chapter, we will present some problem or concern that needs to be addressed. We will quickly follow that with all the relevant information to help the reader understand why that problem exists, and all peripheral circumstances which relate to the problem. Then, we will present the necessary steps to fix the problem. This section is a straightforward, concise piece which helps remove the intellectual and emotional conflicts which consistently undermine our ability to make positive changes in our lives. The section concludes with a summary of how the approach works, and how to begin to move in a direction which presents a problem, followed by the factual information to help place it in a cohesive perspective, and then the movement toward a solution designed specifically for the problem. The chapter serves as introduction to the approach will be applied to each chapter in the presentation. Chapter 5 - Living In The Moment; The Practical Application "Say goodbye to your past, and plan for your future, but understand that you only have control of the moment you are actually living in. Focus your energies there." If we are going to make the advances in our lives which we hope for, it is important that we summon all our energy, and apply it to the tasks we are addressing in our daily lives. In this chapter, we are examining the concept of living in the moment, but our goal here is to become practical and provide the reader with actual steps that can be taken to remove themselves from the debilitating issues of their past, and the apprehension of an unpredictable future. Our focus will be on operational ways to make this happen. Whereas, it makes sense to mentally focus on what is occurring in the moment you are living in, the chapter uses methods such as controlled breathing, intellectual coaching, emotional marking and enhancing, and meditation to help the reader move beyond the simple presentation of living in the moment, and into a practical application, which makes this ambiguous task a well-defined practicum. The chapter closes with a summary of those steps, and simple ways to apply the information which has been presented. Chapter 6 - Trust The Process "Life is a process a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a desired result. As we learn to understand the process of living, we come to understand who we are, and how to manage our lives." All of life is a process. All movements within life are governed by process. There is nothing that we do, large or small, that is not governed by some sort of process. In this chapter, we presented a detailed elucidation of what processes are. The Fix Yourself Handbook is a process guide, so it's imperative that the reader understand what the processes are, how we will be using them, and how to begin to apply them. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader become trusting of the approach we are using, and to understand that processes guide each, and every thought and action in our lives, so becoming proficient regarding their application dramatically enhances our ability to apply them, and to use them correctly to help us achieve our goals. The chapter concludes with a simple presentation of those processes, and the steps we can use to begin to incorporate these processes in our lives, while at the same time opening the readers mind to enjoy the journey that the process way of living creates. Chapter 7 - The Uncomfortable Comfortable "We live and die by the choices we make. All too often, it is our unwillingness to part with the comfort of the prisons which define us that becomes our undoing." The natural human movement is to progress toward conditions of comfort and safety. Unfortunately, those places can become uncomfortable, dysfunctional, and unfulfilling. This chapter illustrates just how willing the human mind is to create and maintain comfort zones, many of which become intellectual and emotional ruts, holding us prisoner, and preventing us from reaching our goals and becoming fulfilled human beings. The chapter defines the brain's capacity to not only search for pleasure, but to maintain pleasurable states, even to the point that they become addictive and dysfunctional. It discusses how our comfort zones become generalized to the point that they become priorities, and remove us from our own abilities to understand ourselves, and to grow. The chapter further discusses our willingness to defend these comfort zones to the point that we become prisoners inside of them. The chapter closes with the steps, which are necessary to both understand how comfort zones develop, and a functional plan to maintain healthy comfort in our lives, without compromising our ability to grow and become fulfilled. Chapter 8 - The Backward Forward Principle "The past is dead, and the future does not yet exist. We have to stop breathing life into frames of time which we cannot control." Being functional and efficient in the moment we are living in requires the concentration of energy designed to achieve our goals while we are performing the tasks that they require. This chapter delves deeper into chapter five's dialogue, and moves into an explanation of how the past which may haunt us, and the future, which is unknown, will continually make appearance is in our daily lives. It discusses this as a normal phenomenon, but its goal is to help the reader understand how to redirect energy away from those two lifeless periods, and back into the alive version of our lives which exists in the present. The text presents an understanding of how we provide life in the moment to periods of our lives which do not exist in the moment; how this life-stealing process pilfers the energy we need to be efficient in the moment, and what we can do to minimize that drain on our energy resources. It further discusses how we move back and forth between these two life-time-frames, and how this movement depletes the energy we need to function in the day in which we are living. The chapter concludes with the steps that are necessary to keep this way of living from becoming a generalized way of life, and helps us to understand what we must do to keep our energy resources operating at their maximum potential in the moment where they are required. Chapter 9 - The Fear Factor "Fear can cause emotional and intellectual paralysis. Challenge yourself with something you think you could never do, and you will find that you can overcome almost anything." Nothing can cause intellectual and emotional paralysis like fear. In this chapter, fear is not only defined as an emotion which can seriously affect our lives, but one which can drastically alter it permanently if we don't learn to address it. The chapter both defines the physiological correlates of fear, moving into a discussion of rational and irrational fears. The important feature of the chapter is the identification of the asksthat we use to cover our fear, and continue to function in our daily lives. Those masks include the safe face, the victim face, the paranoid face, and the attack face. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand not only how fear develops, and the rational and irrational way it presents itself, but also to understand the masks that we use to avoid facing our fears. These masks may hide fear from us, but they instigate dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors on many other levels. The chapter concludes with the steps which are necessary to address ach face of fear, with the more specific objective of helping to enhance the reader's ability to address emotionally difficult situations like those which cause us to become afraid. Chapter 10 - In Defense of Myself "We live our lives defending ourselves against any, and all perceived attacks when we could just as easily find peace by learning to be comfortable with ourselves." Our lives are governed by one of the world's most complicated and clever machines. Our brains are capable of devising sound defenses that can keep others at bay, while at the same time convincing us that nothing is wrong in our lives. In this chapter, we explore the role defense mechanisms play as we routinely conduct our lives. Defenses such as denial, rationalization, and intellectualization are designed to keep us comfortable by preventing the truth from entering our conscious thoughts. When this happens, instead of facing the truth, we use our defenses to create dishonest alternate representations of a situation. As a result, we never arrive at the real meaning of what is happening around us, and subsequently, we don't make the changes we need for growth to occur. The chapter also allows for an understanding of how defenses develop, and provides an illustration to help the reader understand this insidious defense system. The chapter closes with the steps necessary to begin the process of deemphasizing defense mechanisms in our lives, and moving to a more truthful representation of what is happening around us. Chapter 11- The Envy Thief "Envy is the mind's most efficient way of telling us that we don't measure up, to ourselves." Believing that others have more, or are more than we are is one of the surest ways to come face-to-face with our own emotional destruction. This chapter exposes envy as an insecure internal mechanism, as opposed to external jealousy. If further discusses the fruitless attempts we use to fix internal problems through external means. Altering the external landscape does, for a short time, and glitter to our lives, but the glitter soon fades, and we return to our insecure feelings about ourselves. We may medicate our internal condition with external events and resources, but we never alleviate the insecurities. The goal of the chapter is to help us understand that envy emanates from the inside. It is a mirror which has us looking at ourselves, not liking what we see, and feeling that we are at a disadvantage as we compare ourselves to others. If we are willing to focus inside ourselves and stop looking for external fixes for our envy, we create the opportunities for healthy internal change. The chapter closes the steps necessary to help alleviate envy in our lives, and sets the stage for the next chapter. Chapter 12 - I Lie To Me; I Lie To You "There is no lie greater, and more damaging than the one we tell ourselves. Lying to one's self amounts to a subtle and tragic form of abuse that some of us never recover from." Each day presents new challenges, and the potential for new emotional and intellectual assaults. Often, our way to address these difficulties is to be dishonest with ourselves. Unfortunately, this can become a way of life for us. This chapter emphasizes the ability of our brain, though initially programmed for survival and pleasure, is also capable of diabolical action can seriously affect the way we live. Specifically, the chapter addresses how our brains can purposefully present information to us, which is not accurate. Further, when we begin to understand that misrepresenting the truth can be profitable, lying becomes a more routine way of living. When this occurs, the line between truth and fiction can become blurred, and we may become un-trusting of the truth, fearing that expressing it may weaken our position to others. As a result, we use lying, not only to protect ourselves, but also to gain advantage over other people. As the process continues, we lose the power that truth brings to us via factual information, and we begin to make decisions based on information which is incomplete and incorrect. The chapter closes with the presentation of the steps which are necessary to correct the problem, complete with the information which will begin the movement from misdirection to accurate information presentations. Chapter 13 - Ghost Screaming "You can scream at the world in your mind, but no one is listening." Life will continue to present us with difficult people, and difficult situations. There will always be conflicts which necessitate the need to confront those people and situations. This chapter focuses on the difficulty associated with confronting other people when stressful situations occur. Ghost screaming is nothing more than internal conversation designed to relieve the stress that builds when we do not confront situations that are affecting our lives. Ghost screaming highlights our own difficulty confronting and communicating in a fact-based, intelligent presentation, which is directed toward a solution. Instead, as a result of deficits in the communication skills which might alleviate the stress associated with the situation, we talk to ourselves, attempting to relieve some of the emotion. We foolishly believe that in some way, we may arrive at a viable solution to the problem without confronting the other person. The chapter also illustrates how ghost screaming develops, and provides some alternate methodologies to begin the process of conflict resolution. It closes with the steps necessary to begin the movement away from talking to ourselves, to efficiently communicating with other people. Chapter 14 - Life On Speed Dial "This life moves swiftly. It robs us of the time to focus on who we are, and what we really need. Slow life's pace. Take time to get back to yourself, and understand what's happening in your life." There is no time in the history of mankind, as we are aware of it, that our world has moved as quickly as it does today. The flow of life moves at such an accelerated pace, that we rarely have enough time to understand where we are going, and how we are getting there. This chapter focuses on the torrid pace which we have consciously chosen to incorporate into our lives. The accelerated pace causes us to experience dysfunction intellectually, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. It reduces our clarity of thought, and has us traveling as fast as we can, going nowhere. It disrupts both our circadian and daily rhythms, and has us becoming addicted to artificial stimulants, and other unhealthy habits to keep up with the pace of life which has become debilitating, and addictive. Though we have become a slave to this pace in our lives, we actively and enthusiastically do what we can to keep it constant. The goal of the chapter is to help us understand how important it is slow down enough to provide us the time we need to efficiently apply the thought which we need to address the conditions of our lives. The chapter closes with the steps that can help us begin the process of deceleration, and opens the door for a more rational way to approach life. Chapter 15 - Enjoy The Trip "There are only two ways of living. Some of us choose to be happy day by day, as our life journey unfolds. Others are only happy when they arrive at exciting destinations. If we can't be happy along the way, we will not be when we arrive at the destination either." Regardless of how we interpret life, it is a journey that begins at birth, and concludes when we take our last breath. It's what we do, between those two life points that defines who we are. This chapter discusses a central issues in the process way of life. It examines the relationship between journey-oriented people and their destination-oriented counterparts. While destination-oriented people seek pleasure from external sources, and rely on the glitter which they realize at grandiose destinations, journey-oriented people love and appreciate every precious moment of their lives. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that while it's advantageous to include goals in our lives, it's more important to be happy in all the days of our lives, as we are living them. The chapter presents a prescriptive methodology to connect these seemingly polar opposite ways of living, and concludes with the steps necessary to understand the importance of enjoying the moment we are living in without sacrificing our goals. Chapter 16 - Out Of Bounds "They come and they go. They love to rearrange the parameters of our lives. They are the boundary thieves. Remove your lines from the sand, and take your life back." - Faust Ruggiero No self-help design would be complete without a discussion of boundary construction and defense. Regardless of how many changes we make, there are always outside influencers, and antagonists to the changes. This chapter focuses on the task of helping the reader, by defining the conditions specific to their own life, and establishing boundaries to assist them as they navigate through life. Those boundaries both help us to avoid stepping interritories which may cause problems for us, while the same time keeping those negative influencers and antagonists at bay. The chapter both helps in the construction of those boundaries, and in the all-important step of defending them from the multitude of people, places, and things which may attempt to violate them, and cause us to slip back, compromise goals and objectives, and question themselves regarding the efficacy of our plans, and our own self-worth. Chapter 17 - Language, The Powerful Frontier "Language can have a profound effect both on the speaker and the listener. It can control our thoughts, and the thoughts of others. We need to learn to understand how to use it better on both levels." Without question, the most powerful human tool is language. We can control a wide variety of venues and people, if we understand how to appropriately use language. Unfortunately, language can also be used as a weapon. This chapter discusses the reciprocal nature of language in our lives. On the one hand, language describes what our brain is thinking, and helps us convey that information to others. On the other hand, language can actually control how we think, since verbalizations are processed by the brain, and can direct the flow of our thoughts. The chapter illustrates how language can be used, not only as a weapon, but also for personal profit. The section provides an in-depth elucidation regarding how language develops, and allows the reader to understand how to establish the linguistic flow regarding the more efficient ways to communicate with language. The goal of this chapter is to help the reader understand that if we learn to control our language, it can be an efficient tool which van assist us in our intellectual and emotional development. The chapter closes with the steps necessary to begin the process of efficient verbal communication and internal linguistic processing. Chapter 18 - Anger Games "Since we only live once, it is essential that we live right. Live without anger, and learn to love." All of us can become angry. It can be a reaction to fear, stress, frustration, or deprivation. As we become more educated about the development of anger, and how it is expressed, we can become more efficient in our attempts to control it. This chapter focuses on the evolution of anger and how it affects the human brain. It concentrates on four types of anger; rapid anger, anger for profit, paranoid anger, and passive-aggressive anger. The chapter also discusses how anger to can develop into an addictive process that alters brain chemistry. This chapter departs from the usual presentation style. As opposed to providing the steps to deal with anger only at the end of the chapter, advice is prescribed at the end of each individual presentation of anger. This departure reflects the need for the reader to understand what to do with each type of anger, individually. The chapter also stresses the need to identify where the anger is coming from, and the importance of getting assistance to address existing problems which may lead to anger, and angry outbursts. The usual prescriptive section is also rovided at the end of the discussion. Chapter 19 - Shooting For The Stars "Stop living your life to the tune of others' expectations. Be realistic with yourself, set your own goals, and do what you need to do to reach them." We all need to have goals in our lives. They move us through our lives, and they create higher levels of functioning, and happiness. It's important for us to learn how to formulate our goals, with efficient methods to help us accomplish them. This chapter focuses on the practical application regarding the evolution from a wish to a goal which can be thoughtfully formulated, and systemically realized. Here, we begin the process of working with goal structures. The practical application consists of establishing a goal grid which works with long-term goals, short-term goals, and action steps, complete with realistic timeframes. Here, the reader is presented with the applicable procedure to help them formulate goals, and in step-by-step fashion, begin the process of achieving those goals. The objective of the chapter is to increase the reader's confidence by building in a practical system which reduces the potential for failure, and provides a visible and accountable approach which enhances their chances of successfully reaching their aspirations without compromising our journey-oriented approach. Chapter 20 - What Flows Naturally "Life is a simple series of natural changes. We need to stop resisting them. Nothing is guaranteed, and trying to force our will against the natural progression of things only creates sorrow. We need to more efficiently embrace life's natural flows." Our free will tells us that we can have whatever we want if we are willing to work for it. Often, however, though our goals may be reasonable, they may either violate or challenge the natural flow of our lives. This can cause undue confusion and conflict, and we might see our goal being realized more efficiently if we understand life's natural flow. This chapter discusses human beings as natural organisms, and as such, how important it is to maintain a flow of life that is consistent with nature's natural flow. Unfortunately, our desires often violate nature's natural flows, resulting in pain and confusion, when a simpler approach would have been more efficient. The chapter stresses the difference between being big picture people, and focusing on the small picture, one that inevitably lacks the necessary information which is the precursor to sound decision making capabilities. The chapter provides examples to help illustrate the central theme, and closes with the necessary steps to move the reader from small picture thinking, and in the direction of assimilating information to address big picture thinking which is in tune with the natural flow of our lives. Chapter 21 - Good Housekeeping; The Never-Ending Process "We can all fall victim to the toxic people, places, things, and events which may enter our lives. The threat is always there. Every so often, a goodhousekeeping is in order." Throughout the course of our lives, even though we are progressing, becoming more intelligent, efficient, and more organized, we need, from time to time, to clean house. Housekeeping is a process designed to remind us that regardless of how far we progress in any program, maintenance and upkeep are always going to be necessary. The goal of this section is to help the reader understand that the process way of living is a lifelong program, and when used routinely, it keeps us from regressing to previous periods that were dysfunctional, and helps us to live life in a more efficient fashion. The chapter also helps to reinforce the journey versus destination philosophy. It's important for the reader to understand that there is no point when the program becomes obsolete. For all of us, as our lives transpire, external people and events will continue to impact on our lives. Housekeeping is nothing more than using our newly acquired skills on a daily basis to help us maintain a healthy style of living. The chapter closes with the steps necessary to address return visits from toxic sources, helps the reader identify when dangerous antagonizers are reentering our lives, and how to implement this routine self-monitoring program. Chapter 22 - The War Room "Conflict is not the monster we make it out to be. It is an intellectual gift. It helps us to organize our world, and tells us how intelligent we can be. We need to stop fearing it." We fear conflict because we learned to do so. We can also learn to confront conflicting situations with intelligent communication. This chapter focuses on the topic of conflict resolution. It redefines conflict as an intellectual state that occurs when two opposing energy sources concurrently occupy the same cognitive space. The chapter continues as it presents the magnificence of the human brain and its understanding that a conflict is nothing more than the presentation of benign segments of information. We fear conflicts because we infuse them with our emotions. Unemotional fact gathering is essential, and a conflict is nothing more than the presentation of two different information-based energy sources, which, if communicated efficiently, help us arrive at a new congruent and productive solution. The chapter closes with the steps necessary to address conflicts so that that they inevitably make way to a solution. Chapter 23 - The Minimalist; Life Without Chains "The wealthiest people in the world are those that require the least. Learn to understand that riches have nothing to do with what you acquire. They have everything to do with the realization that we already have everything we need." This driving force of this chapter is the assertion that riches that are not materially defined, as it directs readers to examine the difference between the needs and desires in their lives. Specifically, it focuses on the slave-like tendency which results from the horrors of the acquisition process, which is never-ending. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that by over-focusing resources on the acquisition of items of pleasure, we are surrender ourselves to an acquisition process which cannot produce sustained happiness. The text focuses on the advantages of the simple way of life, and being grateful for what we have. It stresses that continuously living in a state of desire can only lead to anger and disenchantment with one's own life. The chapter closes with the steps necessary to avoid the pitfalls of unnecessary acquisition, and an understanding of how the simple life is the one that provides happiness and fulfillment. Chapter 24 - Rolling In The Poison Patch "The world holds magnificent beauty for us to behold. It is however, also surrounded by poisons that will pollute the soul, and strangle the heart. If you roll in the poison patch, expect the rash." Even when we have the facts we need to make sound decisions, we can still fall prey to our need for immediate gratification. This chapter continues to emphasize the need for sound fact-finding, which brings us to sound conclusions. Here, however, we are discussing what occurs when we have the necessary information to make a sound decision, but consciously elect to make a choice that we know is not in our best interest. The chapter discusses the neurological basis for this behavior, explains how it develops, and uses an example to illustrate how we make conscious choices that are wrong for us, even though we have the information which should be leading us another direction. The chapter discusses accountability for wrong decisions that are consciously made, and closes with the necessary steps to help avoid repeating this problematic behavior. Chapter 25 - The Up And Down Syndrome "Confrontations should have little to do with agitated displays of anger and frustration. When we learn to express them with warmth, they can alter the course of our lives." The repeated process of understanding that a situation needs to be addressed, unsuccessfully resolving the internal conflict inherent in a potential confrontation process, and then not resolving the issue, only to pretend that things are better, and then, repeating the process, is something we refer to as the up and down syndrome. This causes us to experience emotional highs and lows that create continued anxiety and emotional distress for us. This chapter discusses the difficult time which we all have with confrontation, the traditional fears that are associated with it, and what happens to us when we need to confront something painful or fearful, but fail to do so. The chapter emphasizes warm and factual communication, moving the reader away from fear and anger, which so often interfere with the confrontation process. It also defines confrontations as mere information exchanges with do not have to be emotional. The chapter closes with steps the reader can use to enhance the communicative process, and tounderstand warm communication instead of angry confrontation. Chapter 26 - People Pleasers; A Sure Route To Intellectual And Emotional Death. "Stop paying attention to what others say you need to be. Have faith, and embrace the person you are. You have everything you need. You only need to learn how to champion it." Too many of us spend our time trying to please significant others in our lives, only to fail miserably in our attempts. This chapter is designed to explore what happens to people when they endeavor to put their own needs aside, and make the dysfunctional needs of others superior to their own. It explores the plight of people pleasers, and the damage they do to themselves intellectually and emotionally. The chapter sheds light on the responsibility that people pleasers assume to make others in the world happy, while at the same time, sacrificing their own needs, and subsequently their dignity. It discusses codependency, and how people-pleasing begins as a method of trying to keep everyone else happy. It soon turns into a survival mechanism when those we are so desperately trying to appease lose respect for us as we attempt to please them in spite of their continued degradation. The chapter presents information to help the reader determine if they are people pleasers, and provides the necessary information to reverse the process, moving the reader into the position of self-respect and dignity. Chapter 27 - Talking The Talk "If you stop reacting emotionally to every situation that you don't like, your world could be much more satisfying. Take a step back, assess the situation, communicate calmly, and always look for solutions." It is not always what we say that makes the difference. It is so often how we say it. This chapter's primary emphasis is on how we communicate, and the methods that we can use to make our communication productive and efficient. It moves the reader away from angry outbursts, and trying to coerce other people into doing what we expect them to do. It discusses the various types of communication, and emphasizes a reliance on honesty, warmth, and a factual representation of what is being discussed. The chapter also provides a summary section, which includes a wealth of information designed to help the reader understand the most efficient and productive way to communicate, and closes with the steps that are necessary to bring these actions to fruition. The chapter closes, advising the reader to be warm, respectful, and understanding when attempting to communicate with other people. Chapter 28 - The Great Walls "The walls we build to protect us may keep others out, but they also keep us isolated and alone on the inside." A good offense is often accompanied by a sound defense. This chapter discusses the walls we build around ourselves to keep others from touching sensitive areas of our lives. The chapter discusses conscious and unconscious walls, with its primary emphasis on those unconsciously established. The chapter provides an illustration of a relationship where unconscious walls are causing problems, and offers a simple and straight forward resolution to the problem. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that we all have walls, and when we understand why they are there and set our boundaries appropriately, they can be productive instruments in our lives. However, when our walls are unconscious, and we, ourselves, cannot understand them, they can cause significant problems for us, and those trying to move closer to us. The chapter closes with the relevant information to help the reader understand whether they are using unconscious walls, and the steps necessary to reverse problem. Chapter 29 - The Comfortable/Uncomfortable "All of us want to be happy, comfortable, and at peace with ourselves. On the way there, however, we may have to learn to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is often where the change that leads to permanent comfort lives." Whenever we choose to make changes in our lives, there is a period of time when we are going to be uncomfortable. Change moves us out of our safe zones, and transitions us into temporary periods of time, which may not be familiar, are comfortable, and are very often full of unknowns. This chapter outlines the need for us to understand the need to become uncomfortable for a short period of time. That's where growth is, and as we persevere through it, we begin to define new comfort a zone, this time at an elevated level. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that it is important to stay with the program, even when times become uncomfortable, and the territory is unknown. By doing this, we move through our insecurities, our own perceived deficits, and into a higher order style of life. The chapter closes the steps necessary to begin to address the movement from uncomfortable to comfortable as our lives change. Chapter 30 - The Cosmic Gatekeeper "You are the guardian of your mind, your body, your heart, and your soul. Only you have the power to decide who and what may enter your world." As we begin to acquire more life experiences, we soon understand that it is imperative that we learn to screen who and what comes into our lives, and who and what does not. This chapter discusses the ever-important need to assume the accountability which is necessary to keep any and all negative people out of our lives. We are gatekeepers, both in respect to what enters our lives, and to that which must be kept from exerting its influence over us. The chapter continues with the discussion of conscious versus unconscious learning, and how though we may consciously be assimilating external information into our internal databases, unconscious learning occurs simultaneously, and can cause imitative behaviors which we are unaware are developing. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand not only the accountability to protect who we are, but also the understanding of how the learning process develops, and how we may assume control of it. The chapter closes with the steps that are necessary to begin the process of becoming efficient personal gatekeepers. Chapter 31 - Carved Out Of The Wilderness "None of us are mundane or ordinary. There is a creative fire inside all of us. We only need to connect to it. Then, we can unharness the power of our imagination." All of us are creative, and all of us possess the inherent potential to present the world with a form of creativity that carries with it, our own special brand. This chapter focuses on the movement from our perceptions of ourselves as mundane, and forward into personal creativity. The chapter discusses the difference between primary creativity, and secondary abstract creativity. We see the more rudimentary level of creativity as the mind works through situations requiring problem-solving abilities, especially in situations which we have never previously experienced. Secondary abstract creativity calls for an enhanced understanding of abstract thinking processes, and the ability to organize abstract, information and transition that information into a concrete cognitive presentation. The goal of this section is to help move the reader from primary creativity which we all utilize every day, and into the ability to define and utilize secondary abstract creativity. The chapter stresses that most of us have this capability, and provides information to understand the route which is necessary to access it. It also provides the steps to help the reader understand how to move into a life which routinely draws on this highly desired state of creativity. Chapter 32 - Enthusiastically Speaking "To be passionate does not mean to be intense. Passion is an engaged state that permeates one's entire being. It never turns off, and it is felt even in the most subdued times." When we learn to love the processes that unleash growth and fulfillment in our lives, we realize how important it is to be passionate about all we do. This chapter brings to light the difference between internal passion and external passion. Those who rely on more external events to become passionate will experience elevations their levels of excitement, however, those events, and or others that provoke excitement need to be relived, so that passion can be reborn. Internally passionate people are passionate about their plan for life, their growth, and the processes that will take them there. They understand that all external events are interpreted through their processes, and that is where their internal passion lives. Internally passionate people bring their passion outward and attach it to everything they touch, while externally passionate people need external events to bring inward. The chapter concludes with those steps which are necessary to help the reader understand the progression from external to internal passion, and reinforces the notion that continued commitment to a process way of living creates internal passion which emanates outward, enhancing everything in our lives. Chapter 33 - Walking The Fine Line "It is good to strive for wisdom, but it is dangerous to be too confident about one's own enlightenment. Even the strongest minds can weaken and make mistakes. Knowledge with a touch of humility creates the greater wisdom." Adherence to the process way of living program not only produces a state of internal balance and personal fulfillment, it also leads to a sense of wisdom that can be applied throughout one's life. This chapter discusses the difference between naive wisdom in which there is the introduction to wisdom, but no solid foundation or internal connection realized, and authentic wisdom which is connected to the internal balance which is produced in the process way of living. The goal of the chapter is to bring the reader through the introduction to naive wisdom and into authentic wisdom, as it not only feeds the processes, but is nourished by them. The chapter helps the reader understand that the only way to connect wisdom to the process is through humility, which is not only a product of wisdom, but protects it. The chapter concludes with the steps necessary to understand the acquisition of authentic wisdom, and to begin to apply it in the process style of living. Chapter 34 - Bless Me For I Have Sinned "Forgiveness is a process that requires soul searching, honesty, and courage. Facing the demons inside of us can be self-debilitating, or self-empowering. The choices we make set the stage for the course our lives will take." Self-forgiveness is often written in self-help books and other practical approaches as a product of pardon, absolution, exoneration, clemency, and mercy. The more traditional methods of arriving at self-forgiveness include understanding that we all make mistakes, letting go of the past, and making sure that you don't commit the act again. This chapter presents self-forgiveness in an entirely different light. It stresses the need for a process to forgive one's self, which is consistent with the process way of living. The goal of this section is to help the reader understand that forgiving oneself is possible, and necessary to move forward in a healthy life, but there are, in fact, steps which need to be taken before that can happen. The chapter outlines the features of the process way to address accountability, and subsequently, our movement toward internal forgiveness. It closes with the steps which are necessary to create the process for forgiveness, and the methods necessary to execute those steps. Chapter 35 - Alive And Kicking "We can breathe life into any process which we choose to make part of whom we are. The life of that process will alter our existence forever." Any process which we incorporate into our neurological database over time has the potential become alive in us. This chapter discusses the evolution of the process way of working from its initial steps, which are designed to retrain the human brain to make the necessary changes to minimize dysfunction and maximize growth. As the process way of living continues, and is provided with the necessary time to develop, and the commitment to work each step efficiently, the program neurologically attaches to the brain, and as the brain is alive, the process assumes life. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that no process can be neurologically assimilated into the brain, and not develop a symbiotic relationship with its host. As such, the processes not only aid the brain in functioning efficiently, they become alive and a part of the way the brain functions. The brain and the processes become one, strengthening the entire organism. The chapter continues to reference how this developmental process occurs, and closes by providing steps which reinforce the symbiotic relationship. Chapter 36 - The Power Of One "Those who stay committed to acquiring a complete understanding of who they are, initiate inside of themselves a new and unbridled form of power. They can strike one single match in the dark, and illuminate the entire world." - Faust Ruggiero As we become proficient with the dynamics of the process style of live, we learn that the only real power we need comes from directly inside us. This chapter illustrates the difference between internal and external power. The traditional view of power stresses a movement to the external world, and control of people and events who exist there. The emphasis of the chapter is how becoming powerful internally is the preferred mode of operation. Those who exert power externally are usually covering insecurities which have not been resolved in their lives. Instead of attempting to address internal concerns, there is an attempt to control the external environment, and those who reside there. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that the only power that truly exists is power over oneself. The chapter stresses internal balance and the energy that comes from that balance. It also helps the reader understand that this balance creates internal power which has no desire to move outward. This is, in fact, true power. The chapter provides illustrations to help the reader understand the premise, and the steps necessary to help the reader focus on their internal strengths, while at the same time reducing the desire to move influence outside of themselves. Chapter 37 - The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts "The unilateral equilibrium of a system working in balance is more powerful than the mightiest single-minded warrior." In all that we do, and in all our lives, every endeavor will call for various levels of energy from our four attributes. This chapter examines whether it is more advantageous to apply energy primarily from the dominant attribute pertaining to any activity, or whether it makes more sense to utilize a balanced form of energy which is derived from all four of our balanced attributes. The chapter uses the example of an athlete, and whether it is advantageous to rely primarily on our physical processes to perform, or whether it might be more beneficial to call on energy from all four attributes. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that when we are willing to infuse any endeavor in our lives with energy which is balanced, doing so allows all four attributes to be part of the program. If we infuse the new endeavor with energy from all our processes, we enhance the possibility of success. This is possible because the infusion of energy will be more comprehensive, and encompasses the combined specialties of the four balanced attributes. The chapter provides the reader with an understanding of how to infuse our endeavors with a balanced approach, and the steps necessary to make this happen. Chapter 38 - In The Name Of Love "Making personal gains without understanding how to love, amounts to little more than going through the motions. Come to understand what love is. Then, do everything in your life with love, and watched the gains you are making come alive." Throughout all human existence, the search for the elusive concept of love has captivated the human spirit. Unfortunately, as with so many human attributes, the search for love has become a worldly quest, something that we have mistakenly come to believe exists outside of ourselves. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that love emanates from inside the individual, and is the result of the process way of living. Specifically, if we commit ourselves to the time and effort it takes to make the processes work, we attain a state of internal balance, which does not need worldly support, and instills tranquility and peace in the human spirit. When this occurs, a pure state of love exists, and can move outward to everyone and everything it touches. The chapter closes with a summary of the route to internal balance, which creates a state of pure love, and the steps necessary to understand this previously elusive phenomenon. Chapter 39 - You Got That Lovin' Feeling "No relationship is perfect, but the love that can bind it, is." Now, since we have a plausible explanation for what love is, it's important to understand how to apply love in our lives. This chapter focuses its attention on understanding how to love yourself, and to extend that love outward. It continues to address internal balance as the vehicle to make this happen. The chapter provides an illustration using a couple on a first date to explain how the balance format, and subsequently pure love can extend outward, both assessing and defining what is occurring, and whether, or not, the relationship can proceed. The chapter moves the reader from the understanding of pure love to an applied state, which through love of self, can move outward to love for other people. The chapter closes with the steps necessary to begin the applied loving process. Chapter 40 - Gratitude; The Great Connector "Let gratitude be the bridge between what you thought was not, and what really is." Gratitude is often defined as an expression of thankfulness when something good happens, when we receive a gift, or when we avoid some catastrophe. It's good to be thankful when good things happen. On the other hand, there is a form of gratitude which can become a process way of living attribute and can evolve into a positive energy source which can drastically enhance the quality of our lives. Proactive global gratitude is defined as an in the moment, always existing form of thankfulness that is ever flowing in the human spirit, and extends outward to everyone and everything it touches. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand not only the difference between retroactive situational gratitude and proactive global gratitude, but also that, as journey-oriented people, we attach gratitude to every moment of our lives. Doing so will enhance our movement toward internal balance, and the loving energy source we will use to define the days we live in. The chapter closes with the steps necessary to move the reader from retroactive gratitude and into the more advanced stage of proactive global gratitude. Chapter 41 - In Service "Only through dedicated service to others do we come to understand who we are, and why we are here." Service to others is defined as an altruistic enterprise, where we learn to understand the needs of others, feel what the feel, and are willing to assist them in their times of need, without expectation of a payback of any kind. This chapter examines the distinction between service with the expectation of a payback, and true altruistic service, where no payback is expected. Being in service to others is defined as one of the pinnacles of human behavior. When we aspire to the point that we attain a state of internal balance, we do not need to be extolled by external sources. As a result, we do not require, and we do not seek any form of notoriety or payback. The goal of the chapter is to help the reader understand that all the balance in the world, and everything that we do to become productive and as fulfilled as we can be, have minimal value and absolutely no way of surviving unless they are turned into the service of other human beings. The chapter explains how service without payback not only continues to feed the processes, but allows the process to be expressed in their most evolved state. Steps are provided to help the reader understand the methodology to be in service of others without the need for intellectual and emotional payback. Chapter 42 - Keep The Faith "Have faith; fear nothing. You will overcome everything." By this point, the reader has spent the exceptional amount of time learning the process approach to life. The concepts presented have challenged the reader to move past acquired safe places, and to take risks to invest the time and commitment to transgress those safe places and into new intellectual and emotional territory. As this occurred, growth was realized. New dynamics were incorporated into old dysfunctional lifestyles, and increases were felt in both happiness and fulfillment. The goal of the chapter is to once again challenge the reader to take another risk and examine the concept of abstract faith. The chapter presents the evolution from concrete faith, which is the ability to unconditionally trust something that is known and has substance, to abstract faith, where parameters may be undefined. The chapter uses an example to illustrate the dynamics of concrete faith. The text then, assists the reader in the movement to the initial stages of abstract faith, which consists of learning to trust an undefined entity. The chapter closes with the steps to help the reader begin to make the progression from concrete to abstract faith. Chapter 43 - The Journey Within "You can be limitless, but the world likes to tell you otherwise. Trust the spirit inside you." The Journey Within begins the first step to closure of The Fix Yourself Handbook. The chapter summarizes the processes that have been used to create the journey from dysfunctional to happy and fulfilled. It summarizes the route to change, and it reminds the reader that so long as we continue to focus on the process way of life, the processes can work for us, and maintain the style of life which we have worked so hard to achieve. The chapter also reminds the reader that as life continues, new challenges will also make their appearances. New stressors and many other potentially destructive forces may threaten the progress we have made. Maintenance will continue to be important, and above all, we must remain trusting of the processes which have changed our lives. We are also reminded that the processes have never let us down, and we must remain committed to them and continue to apply all that we receive back to our processes. The processes are a gift that keeps on giving, and every breath we take is a miracle. The chapter closes with some simple steps that remind us of where we came from, who we have become, and who we have the potential to be. Chapter 44 - Believe! "Never underestimate the person you are. You have unlimited abilities, once you come to believe in yourself." Believe is the conclusion of the The Fix Yourself Handbook presentation. Again, we have evolved from quick-fix, and angry destination- oriented people to people who trust, have forgiven ourselves, are happy, fulfilled, and can love both ourselves, and others. Believe is a congratulatory chapter as well as a vehicle to remind the reader that they have all the potential in the world right inside of themselves if they are willing to define it, to unleash it, and learn to work with it. The chapter chronicles the journey from confused and conflicted to happy and fulfilled. It closes with the longest functional section in the book, and reminds the reader to love the person they have become, because they took the time to make it all happen. It closes with three simple statements. You are great! You are beautiful! Believe!


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