It's that crazy. You have a choice. You can either love yourself or keep yourself waiting. We are at war with slavery. Griffin couldn't change his environment, so he changed how he reacted to it. Admittedly, Griffin was one of my prize coaching clients. Like a physically gifted athlete who can instantly adopt a coach's instruction and turn bad technique into good, he believed in Daily Questions and checked himself daily. He was good at the process - and changed. I mention this episode because it highlights three benefits of Daily Questions. This is one of the minor miracles of Daily Questions. If we do them consistently and properly (and let's face it, how much skill do we need to score ourselves on effort? ), we get better. We don't get many guarantees in life, but this is one of them. My clients get better if they listen to me. Fliess was already a successful ear, nose, and throat doctor in Berlin, well known for his interest in the relationship between the mind and body. He, too, had studied with Charcot in Paris. In the fall of 1887, young Doctor Fliess travelled to Vienna to study with specialists there, and while in Vienna, he happened upon one of Freud's lectures at the university. It was a life-changing event. Fliess was completely taken with Freud, and with his brilliance, and his wide range of interests--interests which took both Freud and Fliess well beyond the contemporary domain of medicine into the then-shadowy area of the relationship between mind and body. It is clear that there was between these two young men an immediate recognition of the genius and importance of the other.

They were each fascinated, compelled, and drawn to the other--as to a mysterious letter that must be opened. Freud's first letter to Fliess, written shortly after their initial meeting, reveals the depth of his fascination: My letter of today admittedly is occasioned by business; but I must introduce it by confessing that I entertain hopes of continuing the relationship with you and that you have left a deep impression on me which could easily lead me to tell you outright in what category of man I place you. This would begin a passionate relationship between the two men that would last for over a decade, and would include hundreds of letters, commingling the personal and the professional. At the end of the day, our willpower is routinely tested by incredibly easy access to all manner of fantasy escape. Aside from porn and shopping, the internet provides a treasure trove of opportunities for reconnecting with people from the past. I remember an email I received a few years ago. Hello old friend! read the subject line. I wasn't used to seeing a personal salutation in my business email account, so I assumed it was spam, perhaps a request for money from someone who had pirated a name from my address article. Then I noticed that the sender's name looked familiar from my college days, and I clicked open the message. In it was a photograph, taken on a porch somewhere, of a man my age. He was surrounded by four children, ranging from a girl about six to a baby nestled in the crook of his arm. I squinted at his image--graying hair, a bit of a belly. And it is truly war. A battle against that voluntary abdication of responsibility, a surrender to fear. Humans are easily scared and will give up power over their own lives, own souls, in pursuit of peace, security, and approval. Somebody out there, tell me I'm O. K. and show me The WayT It's so easy to trade self-respect for a pat on the head.

Wait for somebody to make sense out of life for you, and baby, you've got a long, long wait. As we've said before, we'll use anything that might work to get you to consider other ways of living. We try to disturb old habits, agitate systems and stampede people back to meet themselves again. Sound rather dramatic? They don't if they do nothing. Griffin only needed a month to solve his Clinking Cubes Problem - as if after eighteen months of being coached at work, he not only got better, but he became more efficient at the process of getting better. We expect this sort of progress with activities that require physical dexterity, from cooking an omelet to performing heart surgery. The more we correctly repeat an action the more adept we become at executing it - like a dancer who after years of training her muscle memory can repeat a complex series of steps in one try rather than two or three. We don't expect this progress as readily with our warm and fuzzy emotional goals. They're not technique driven. They're influenced by other people's responses and a changing environment. But it happens. I see this with many of my one-on-one clients after we part ways. Like Griffin, once they've learned how to change one behavior, they can do it again with another behavior - more smoothly and swiftly than the first time. Alas, today we have only Freud's side of the correspondence; it appears that Fliess's letters to Freud have been lost, possibly destroyed on purpose by Freud himself. (Freud admitted, toward the end of his life, that he could not recall whether he actually destroyed Fliess's letters to him or only hid them ingeniously. ) But no matter: Freud's side of the correspondence alone is so vivid that it leaves very little to the imagination. The letters are intensely personal and revealing--a love affair of minds and hearts.

Indeed, late in his life, Freud was horrified at the thought that his letters to Fliess might be published. He wrote in alarm to the friend who had purchased the letters on Freud's behalf--precisely in order to keep them from the public eye: Our correspondence was the most intimate you can imagine. It would have been highly embarrassing to have it fall into the hands of strangers. Freud was clearly troubled by the possibility that the depth of his intimacy with another man would be exposed. It was hard to entirely make out the face through the filter of time. Below the picture it said, So, there I was, for some reason, thinking back over the years . places and people . and you popped into my head . and I smiled and thought, now she was really something. Huh? That last bit seemed like a slightly suggestive choice of words. I barely knew the guy. His evidently dreamy state of mind couldn't have had much to do with me. That this person took a moment to savor the past and share a warm reminiscence was nice, I supposed. It is. Try it. Schedule an hour to spend with someone important - you. Or, like too many others, are you afraid to face yourself? Spend some time with you, as though you are really there, as though you are worth being with, as though you really count! Rationalize this paragraph away with any excuse, too busy, too many responsibilities, it won't 36 work, or any other bull and you only make your prison more secure.

We can't let you out, only you can. While there isn't anything particularly mysterious about a mirror, the experience can be startling. All kinds of things can happen when you confront you. You even know what you want to change. This is the most astonishing benefit: eventually we become the Coach. I know this is true because of all my clients who got better - and continued improving without me. It makes sense given the gap between the Farsighted Planner and Myopic Doer in us. Coaches can bridge that gap because they're objective, not caught up in the environment that so often corrupts us. They can remind us of our original intentions. They can recall the times when we displayed desirable behavior and help us summon up the will to do so again. That's what Coaches do. But over time, after many reminders, we learn and adapt. We recognize the situations where we'll likely stray from our plans. We think, I've been here before. By the time Fliess met him, Freud was already launched on his own Night Sea Journey. It was not just professional. It was deeply personal as well. In fact, it was the deep investigation of his own psyche, mind, and heart that culminated in the development of psychoanalysis. The science of the unconscious was the fruit of Freud's travels in the basement and attic of his own mind. At the time Fliess first encountered the young Sigmund Freud, Freud was already deep into his investigation of the puzzling group of psychological symptoms that were then designated hysteria.