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They are the cornerstones of your script of life, creating boundaries and barriers to who you can become and what you do. Remember this: money doesn't necessarily define success. Success can be measured by self-fulfillment, awareness, emotional intelligence, and education. I've always felt that as long as I could support myself and family, I could count myself successful. Of course, I've never been one to rest on my laurels, and I've always striven to be a better person. For me, learning new ideas and practices and forming my own point of view is a measure of success. We should never stop learning. The lack of a healthy attachment bond creates a phenomenon called insecure attachment. It results in marked negativity in your life at a very early age that causes disruption, hesitation, and a decreased sense of overall positivity. Typically, insecure attachment leads to emotional instability, identity issues, and other psychological dysfunctions. For example, relationships aren't as strong, stress isn't managed well, and isolation and abuse often ensues. All children need a parent or adult caregiver to devote care and attention to them in order to create a bond that encourages a sense of identity and feelings of self-worth. Something as simple as playtime can help children construct their sense of the world. What's important and astounding to me is how I overcame my insecure attachment. I know I was loved as a child and as an infant, but I felt I did not develop a strong bond with either my mother or my father. My father, who never said very much, was an alcoholic. My mother was a workaholic. In the late forties and fifties, my mother could have been considered a modern woman because she owned a business and was driven for success. Communication---particularly regarding expectations---was conspicuously lacking. It astounds me that I was able to recognize what I needed to do.

I have no idea how I was guided and driven in the way that I was, but I attribute it to my faith, which is rooted in a higher power. No matter what, I expected that there was something better in my life; I just knew it and felt it. That's why I'm so passionate about expectation therapy. I've linked the experiences of my life and connected them to this endeavor in order to let people know that anything can be overcome when you have faith! It doesn't matter what it is; you can do it if you believe in yourself, develop a game plan, and apply consistent effort. You'd be amazed how many things become irrelevant when you give them a little time to breathe. By asking the other party to wait, you've given them the chance to come up with an answer for themselves--or, as is often the case, time for the problem to just disappear under the weight of some other priority. But what if the sender still needs to discuss the question and can't figure out the problem for themselves? All the better! Difficult questions are better handled in person than over email, where there is more risk of misunderstandings. The bottom line is that asking people to discuss complex matters during regular office hours will lead to better communication and fewer emails. Following the maxim that the key to receiving fewer emails is sending fewer emails, it's worth considering how we can slow down the email ping-pong game by sending emails well after you write them. After all, who made the rule that every email needs to be sent as soon as you're done writing it? Thankfully, technology can help. Instead of banging out a reply and hitting send right away, email programs like Microsoft Office and tools like Mixmax for Gmail allow us to delay a message's delivery. Whenever I reply to an email, I ask myself, "When's the latest this person needs to see this reply?" By clicking just one extra button before sending, the email goes out of my inbox and off my plate but is held back from being delivered to the recipient until the predetermined time I selected. Thus, fewer emails sent per day results in fewer emails sent back per day. Not only does delaying delivery allow time for the matter to resolve through other means, it also makes it less likely I'll receive emails when I don't want them. For example, while you might enjoy clearing out your inbox on a Friday afternoon, delaying delivery until Monday prevents you from stressing out your coworkers and helps protect your weekend from relaxation-killing replies. Maintaining social connections can be difficult to do on your own, so enlist the help of friends and family to stay in touch with you.

Being with people you like has a positive effect on your mood. Avoid isolation and withdrawal because they will only worsen your depression. Some people find help in support groups with people who share the same illness and concerns. Get up, take a shower, shave, wash your hair, and brush your teeth. Every day. Get dressed in clean, nice clothes and avoid wearing sweat pants all day long. Get a haircut or a manicure without feeling guilty. It does not diminish the seriousness of your illness. These things may sound simple, but they require a lot of energy and are challenging to do when depressed. They may also be the last thing you are interested in. But taking good care of your body will help you feel better about yourself. Don't forget to give yourself credit for these accomplishments. Having a daily routine and structure can help in many ways, such as helping you to avoid spending endless hours of empty alone time, which will only worsen your symptoms of depression. It also gives you a purpose to your day, which will help improve your self-esteem. Schedule your time and try to follow it, but don't be too rigid with yourself. Many people with depression struggle with their daily activities. Following a written schedule helps you to see and stick to everything you need to do, which feels good and is a daily accomplishment. With depression, your motivation to do anything seems to disappear, especially with how difficult it all seems to be during an episode. You may not feel like doing anything, but try anyway--at least one thing. Action precedes motivation.

Do something every day, even when you don't feel like it. Interest in doing it will come later. So what can we take away from this? If we have enough data, and massage it hard enough, we can find just about anything we're looking for. From the hundreds of Beatles' songs played backward and slowed down, there's bound to emerge some sound that resembles "Paul is dead." No one ever said those words in the music, but thousands, if not millions, of people believed it. So it is with the detailed massaging of tapes from haunted houses. By manipulating the recordings, stretching, and condensing the different sounds, we'll be able to occasionally produce a sound that appears to be a ghost speaking to us. When we evaluate evidence and set our beliefs, we need to keep in mind a simple idea--extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The concept of a ghost is quite extraordinary. We have to believe that some form of "energy" from our former selves exists, decides to hang around this world for a while, and then decides to communicate or interact with us every now and again. We should have extremely compelling evidence before we accept such an extraordinary belief. Do the tape recordings provide such evidence? We already know from the "Paul is dead" phenomenon that recordings can be easily manipulated to make them sound like all sorts of things. Should we accept such evidence as proof that ghosts exist? Hardly! The quality of that evidence is quite poor. Of course, paranormal researchers say that such recordings are only one type of evidence. They also point to temperature changes in haunted houses, or the presence of bright lights and ghostly images on photographs. But these phenomena are easily attributed to natural causes. Cold drafts are likely to occur in old houses, and overexposures or reflected light on photographs can look like a ghostly image.1 What about personal sightings?

As we'll later explore, there's considerable evidence to indicate that we can misperceive our world, often seeing things that aren't there. This especially occurs when we expect or want to see something. As a result, personal stories do not offer compelling evidence for the existence of ghosts. We need something more tangible. Failing to live congruently with your authentic self robs you mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It allows your life chain to suffocate and strangle you, draining and diverting critical life energy. Suppressing your authentic self and denying its need for expression, and living a life for which you have no passion, wastes tremendous amounts of life energy that could be spent on creating what you want. There's a prayer that asks for the wisdom to understand the difference between things that can be changed and things that cannot. I can tell you that, as we develop your action plan--the plan to create more of who and what you authentically are--your internal factors will become the central elements of that plan. Here's why: If you know the events that have driven your self-concept, and you can identify the reactions that you've had to those events, then you know what the levers are that you can pull to change it. Those levers are your internal factors. External events are important because they can be the first links in your life chain. But the internal factors that we have discussed are where the real power is. Changing your life direction, and getting back in touch with your authentic self, will be a function of changing your internal actions and reactions. The reason is simply this: While you may not be able to change your ten defining moments, seven critical choices, or five pivotal people, you can dramatically alter the manner in which you perceive those external events of life. You can use the power of the internal factors that have been controlling your life to reinterpret and reanalyze those events and to set up new reactions that are consistent with your authentic self. So long as you have the power to choose, you have the power to change. I predict that, with the knowledge and tools you have acquired in these pages, a new view of your life, history, and potential will flourish. It may sound like I've gotten offtrack from the attachment bond discussion, but I have not. All the early events in my life have contributed to the formation of my thinking, which I now share wholeheartedly.