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We can also create such an environment as well if needed. Impulsivity means you're more willing to take risks and have a bias for action, act now while the opportunity is hot instead of getting into analysis paralysis. Many entrepreneurs have ADD i.e. Paul Orfalea who founded Kinko's, JetBlue Founder and CEO David Neeleman who attributes his creativity to ADD. Both are Billionaires. Imagine how successful a high tech CEO would be if they didn't take many risks. As you can see, it's your perfectionistic demand for approval in premise 1 that leads you to experience self-doubt about ending up a social outcast--a "reject" or "loser." This is the root of your anxiety about your future status, which leads you to resort to such tactics as impressing others, conforming, controlling, or letting yourself be exploited to head off not getting that self-affirming approval, which would make you a reject or loser. So you conclude that you must resort to at least one of these tactics (or something like it), or be relegated to the lowly status of reject or loser. Think again about the ways you try to get and maintain others' approval, which you jotted down in Exercise 5.1. Try to sum these up in as few words as possible (for example, "flatter/brag/do what others expect"). Also write down how you negatively rate yourself when you do not get this approval or think you may not get it, and sum it up in a word or two, such as "reject," "loser," or whatever best captures your own self-degrading language. Now enter the brief description and your self-rating in this reasoning template. Enter the filled-in template in your journal. This is the actual thought process by which you disturb yourself! Santos-Dumont lived in Paris in the late 1800s and early 1900s and was able to finance his inventions from his inherited fortune. He was known for his innovative genius, but also for his generosity and kindness. Santos won a prestigious award and world notoriety for developing the preeminent bicycle-propelled balloon. Sometimes he would take a ride in his balloon, gliding along Paris boulevards at rooftop level, and land in front of Maxim's to have lunch. Later, he designed, built, and flew the first powered airplane in Europe. His first public flight was in Paris in 1906.

Santos believed that the airplane would be a significant aid to advancing civilization. He didn't care about patenting his invention; in fact, he published the plans to his monoplane in 1910 in the Popular Mechanics magazine, which affirmed that his design was better than any other aircraft that had been built to date. Santos was so enthusiastic about aviation that he boldly and generously released the drawings of his plane for free in major newspapers in cities across the globe, (what we today call open sourcing) hoping that he could help launch a new prosperous era for mankind with aviation. That was his intention. But as soon as his plans reached the hands of the leading nations, they began to utilize his invention to create aerial war machines. World War I was the first war to use airplanes as weapons. This was so heartbreaking to Santos that it was one of the main causes that led to his suicide. Become effectively paralyzed, focusing your energy on avoiding the problem, or, under extreme circumstances, shutting down entirely ("going blank"), in the hopes that the threat will go away if you just keep your head down. This fear-threat response system is tremendously helpful for enabling you to escape immediate dangers to your safety or wellbeing, but it is not designed to help you solve problems. Anxiety is the result of this fear-threat system becoming too easily activated, either because the physical, psychological, relational, and spiritual "surge protectors" were not installed properly in the first place (usually because you grew up in an inadequately affectionate/affirming family of origin), or because unusually traumatic life-events have fried the various surge protectors, and your body directs all stress immediately to the cortical shut-down system, or some combination of the two. In either case, anxiety results. There usually is some sort of catalyst for this criticism, like ending a relationship with a loved one or losing a major deal, but often with Critics there appears to be no apparent reason. The criticism may sound like: "You are so fat!" "You are so clumsy!" "You are so stupid!" Constant critics can put up a pleasant facade, but inside they battle the cruelest of critics. Comparing your-self to others is a full-time job, since there are an unlimited number of people to measure yourself against. "Look at her thighs, they're so much thinner than mine." "He has a BMW, and I only have a little Smart car." "Their report looks sharp, mine looks unprofessional," "He plays much better golf than I could ever dream of playing." Comparing Contestants look at life with a measuring tape, sizing up people, continuously comparing themselves to everyone else in every possible category, as if they were engaged in a perpetual contest. What everyone wants is to be happy, fulfilled, connected to others, and brimming with purpose--and for this, I believe that technology is close to irrelevant. But we must be careful not to confuse a virtual world for an actual, vital world. Does an infant need a virtual mother? Does a drowning man need a virtual life preserver? Will a starving woman be fed with virtual food?

No, of course not. So then why would a virtual friendship suffice? The answer is, it will not. This extraordinary technological revolution as well as these unstable economic times challenge us to look at ourselves and determine how we now define happiness and what we believe we need to do, or stop doing, in order to experience it. The answer to all this is accelerating our personal transformation. This means that instead of waiting for life to teach us lessons via a series of random, devastating, or traumatic events, (posttraumatic growth), we instead take intentional action that accelerates our evolution so that we become wiser faster. I believe we must move from the Entertainment Age to the Age of Wisdom. As a teacher of personal transformation, what I want to focus on with you is what we can do about it on a very personal basis, to decide, as philosopher and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl once said, to "live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time." So when we feel discouraged, we can remember our advantages. One of the benefits is the ability to multi-task. I had never particularly noticed that but apparently I can do it. I ordered some wonderful courses on CDs from The Teaching Company and I enjoy learning things while I'm driving. My wife says she can't do that; she can't even listen to them while she's a passenger. Score one for ADD? I notice that I do have some of the other positive traits that Pete Quily lists. I'm not sure that ADD is something I would choose to have, but it's good to recognize our strengths and assets. It helps against feeling discouraged and demoralized and it helps us choose our occupations. If it were really true that you must have others' approval, as premise 1 demands, then you would always have it, automatically. Yes, automatically, because "must" means "necessarily," and whatever is necessary cannot possibly not be. But you don't always get others' approval. So your musturbatory demand is irrational.

On your journey toward greater self-security in a world where not everyone must always approve of you, here are two healthy goals you can adopt instead. In demanding the approval of others to validate your worth and dignity as a person, you turn yourself into an object, a mere means to gain the approval of others. However, in aspiring to be unconditionally self-accepting, you can begin to overcome this self-degrading habit. So my young friend Larry's approval perfectionism obscured his sense of right and wrong, and it cost him his life. The good college dean assessed his accomplishments based on whether or not his father was impressed, so he could not develop an independent, authentic assessment of his own accomplishments. People who allow themselves to be exploited by others render themselves nonautonomous; the dependent lover suffers a loss of independent self. all could have benefited from becoming more authentic in confronting their life challenges! Next we will examine ways you can rebuild and reinstall a more sophisticated surge-protection network. You'll be able to diffuse and absorb even the highest voltage stress spikes in your life and maintain your sense of peace and control. There are many ways you can consciously strengthen your body's surge protecting power. In fact, for the Christian, it can be helpful to realize that God speaks to us in many different ways. One of those ways is through the language of the body. By learning to listen to our bodies, we can hear God saying things like, "I need you to pace yourself," or, "How about a nap?" Or even, "I would like you to eat healthier and exercise a bit more." God tells us these things through our bodies so that we can be strong, healthy people capable of serving him and each other with all our heart, mind, and strength. For comparing contestants, life is a contest; the person who has the most desirable "stuff," wins the game. The object of the game is to impress everyone, with power, money, prestige, and making it seem totally effortless. Brad hated the fact that Earl had a brand-new Lexus and he was still driving his old Chevy. Every time he saw Earl, he would feel jealous. Having a Lexus was a symbol of success to Brad. He compared his receding hairline to Hal's full head of hair, his athletic abilities to Gordon the mountain climber, and his job status to Fred's C-suite. Brad spends an inordinate amount of his time comparing some aspect of himself with someone else.

Judging puts Brad in either a superior or an inferior position. He constantly sits in judgment of himself and others, and feels bad about himself. To develop unconditional self-acceptance, Aristotle says, "Love yourself"--by treating yourself as your own best friend (Aristotle, 1941, bk. 9, ch. 8). Now, would your best friend call you a loser or a reject if you performed poorly or didn't gain the approval of others? No! Instead, she might encourage you to do things you can take pride in doing, not to get the approval of others but for their own sake. For example, you could be friendly, fair, and helpful to others; or, if others were being unfair or rude to you, you could deal with them in a firm, rational manner--thereby shifting your focus from trying to get others to approve of you, as a person, to taking pride in doing praiseworthy things for their own sake. There is always someone you can compare yourself to. What kind of society are we? Conquering territories--power struggles--human exploitation ... We live in an age in which we claim that we are more connected than we ever have been, but there are still human beings who capture, enslave, and smuggle children across borders to be sold as sex slaves. And the nations where these child sex slaves are smuggled into are the nations that commonly refer to themselves First World nations, the great centers of civilization. No matter how advanced our technology becomes, we still function from the most primitive part of us, the reptilian brain. The thought process goes something like this: An early human ancestor would spot an unidentified object, and his reptilian brain would rapidly evaluate the object with a few simple survival questions. No matter how sophisticated one makes a machine, the inventor cannot determine the ultimate outcome of his or her invention. Though an intention may be altruistic, the intention may ultimately be irrelevant to the outcome. Just consider Brazilian aviation inventor, Alberto Santos-Dumont. Most of the problems here are pretty familiar: disorganization, losing things, procrastination, stuck and paralyzed, impatient, impulsive.