From tom@transcore.com Sun Jan 19 20:31:32 1997 Newsgroups: alt.self-improve Subject: alt.

self-improve FAQ (repost, part 1) From: tom@transcore.com (Thomas Wong) Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 20:31:32 GMT ----------------------------------------------------------------------------alt.self-improve FAQ Version 2.5 (1-15-1997) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------DISCLAIMER This document is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions from the alt.self-improve newsgroup. It is created by the editors for public use. The information here is not guaranteed to be accurate and may not reflect the opinions of the editors or their associates. This FAQ may be freely distributed provided this disclaimer is included with all copies. All contributions and suggestions for improvement are welcomed. Please direct all your inquiries to the editors: Loren Larsen (Creater of this FAQ) IBM Corporation Research Triangle Park, NC llarsen@raleigh.ibm.com Thomas Wong (Current Editor) TransCore Strategies P.O.Box 111000 Campbell, CA 95011 tom@transcore.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------------This FAQ is posted on the 17th of every month. A how-to-find-the-FAQ article is posted on the 7th and 27th of every month. It's also available on the World Wide Web at <http://www.transcore.com> and via FTP from rtfm.mit.edu: /pub/usenet/news.answers/self-impr-faq/part [1,2] (version 2.0). ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Changes since version 2.4 - Personal Power II Update - Section E "Hot Topics of the Month" is now "Sample Hot Topics for 1996" - Removal of Kevin Trudeau Lawsuit story - Addition of some new resource links Changes since version 2.3 - More on NLP Resources Changes since version 2.2 - More on "Anti-Cult Movements" - More on "NLP" - $500,000 Psychic Challenge by The Amazing Randi - Addition of "Success Vs Money" - New links in "Resources and References" Changes since version 2.1 - Revision of Information Management (reprinted from Sharing Ideas). - Revision of Health Food.

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Addition of Virus of the Mind. Addition of NLP with respect to emotions. Addition of E/ Hot Topics of the Month (by 17th of each month). All resource links are now hyperlinked at <http://www.transcore.com>.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------Introduction to alt.self-improve The alt.self-improve group provides a forum for discussing strategies, techniques, and principles for self-improvement. The table of contents gives a good overview of the breadth of topics discussed. This FAQ has been created to provide a single document that contains a sort of history of what has been discussed in the newsgroup. New readers may find the answers to many of their questions already answered in this document. We have attempted to categorize questions by topic for easy access, but many issues don't fit neatly into a single category. The contents of this document are collected by the editors from past postings in alt.self-improve, personal e-mail correspondence, and outside sources. All suggestions and contributions are welcome. The newsgroup is not intended for commercial uses or promotion of, commercial products; however, you may submit information for inclusion in the "References and Resources" section. Only those companies whose products, seminars, or books are discussed in this newsgroup will be accepted. This document is constantly being revised and improved. Most of the materials collected so far has been summarized based on past postings to the newsgroup. Therefore, there may be errors due to the source or the deletion of certain information. Also, some of the information presented may be biased toward the interests and perspectives of the editors. Hopefully both of these errors and bias can be eliminated with your feedback. Please help to expand and perfect this document by contributing your knowledge. Quoted articles are acknowledged by placing the poster's name parentheses, e.g. (From: llarsen@cs.clemson.edu). Information explicitly acknowledged has been compiled by the editors from sources including past postings, external sources, and reader the editors. in which is not a variety of responses to

We are considering different methods of compactly recording comments from a wide variety of sources. One suggestion is to create a rating system for books, seminars, etc. For example if you have attended a particular speed reading course or a Tony Robbins seminar, send us your opinion by rating it on a scale of 1-10. The average could be used as opposed to a huge collection of personal responses. Any other suggestions are welcome. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------TABLE OF CONTENTS A/ Self-Improvement Methods 1. Career - Information Management - Sales and Negotiation - Time Management 2. Emotional - Morris Acting / Method Acting - NLP 3. Financial

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- Savings and Investment - Real Estate - Get-Rich-Quick Scams - Success Vs Money Mental - Accelerated Learning - Creativity Enhancement - Hypnosis - Meditation - Memory Systems - Mind Machines - Speed Reading - Virus of the Mind Physical - Baldness Cures and Consequences - Body Work - Eye Sight Improvement - Health Food - Voice Work Relationship / Social - Men and Women Spiritual - Religion and Self-Esteem - Magic and Pseudo-Paranormal Phenomena

B/ Established Disciplines 1. Anti-Cult Movements 2. Est 3. Landmark (The Forum) 4. Life-Long Learning Association 5. Lifespring 6. Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) 7. The People's Network 8. Scientology / Dianetics C/ Popular People and Media 1. Richard Bandler & John Grinder 2. Stephen Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People, etc.) 3. Tad James 4. Anthony Robbins 5. Marshall Sylver D/ References and Resources 1. Resource List 2. Software Packages 3. Reader Ratings of Books/Audiotapes/Seminars 4. Who's Who Listing of Professionals in alt.self-improve E/ Sample Hot Topics for 1996 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------FAQ CONTENTS ----------------------------------------------------------------------------A/ Self-Improvement Methods 1. Career

- Information Management (reprinted from Sharing Ideas) "Put a World of Information at Your Fingertips" Bill Gates's mission to "put a world of information at your fingertips" is taking on a new meaning as he ventures into TV broadcasting. His recent partnership with NBC promises to create a new cable channel called MSNBC by fall 1996. Microsoft will pay $220 million over five years to own half of this cable channel. The formation of this cable channel suggests the construction of a new phase on the "Information Superhighway." The world is moving fast into the "Information Age." Part of the communication that we do every day will be involved in exchanging information. Those who are in business will need to be able to gather and provide information on consumer trends, economic data, legal issues, financial sources, networking opportunities, and many other things to succeed in your venture. Lack of a piece of important information can cost you time and money. The ability to manage information is equally important to an engineer, a musician, a real estate agent, a nurse, or a teacher. Just think back on your own experiences and on those of people you know. How often have you erred or made a poor decision because you didn't have the right information in advance? Perhaps you've wasted time driving in the wrong direction because you thought you could find the destination. Perhaps you're being passed over for a promotion because you don't seem to "know much," according to your boss. While many have little awareness of information's vital role, they often simultaneously suffer from a feeling of information overload. Reports, books, mailings, and memos seem overwhelming. Implementation of the "Information Superhighway" further adds massive information data. Some may think that this is a problem of too much information, but in reality, it is due a lack of information consciousness and of the ability to find and manage the appropriate information effectively. The solution is to increase information awareness. Ask specific questions to identify and find the most useful and relevant information. This information-gathering process has been eased in recent years by advances in computer technology and high-speed communication. One way to think about using data retrieval, whether online or off, is to compare it to a shopping mall. Within the information mall, there are many specialty stores, such as databases, periodicals, books, news sources, government documents, microfilm, and data on people and organizations. Each store offers unique information, so you must learn to choose selectively when researching. The ideal way to manage information is to become an information specialist who is thoroughly familiar with the hundreds of sources of information. This may not be practical or necessary for now. Nevertheless, you should be able to utilize the following six basic reference sources of information in the U.S.: -1- Libraries and Educational Institutions -2- Online and CD-ROM Databases -3- U.S. Government -4- Nonprofit Associations -5- Street-Smart Directories -6- Commercial Services

* Good books to read on this subject are: "Information Anxiety" by Richard Saul Wurman "Managing the Information Age" by Michael McCarthy "The Art of Being Well-Informed" by Andrew Garvin "The Road Ahead" by Bill Gates "Trends Tracking" by Gerald Celente "Techno Trends" by Daniel Burrus "Megatrends 2000" and "Megatrends Asia" by John Naisbitt "Clicking" by Faith Popcorn * Stanford University and InReference provides excellent references on the Internet at <http://www.reference.com>. The content includes 6+ month archive of more than 13,000 newsgroups and publicly-accessible lists. Send an email to <info@reference.com> if you don't have web access. - Sales and Negotiation (Modified from: imarks@cix.compulink.co.uk) You have touched on a subject that is very important to me. Negotiation and NLP are so closely linked that they almost become one subject. The "ethical outcomes" and "win-win" approaches that both require naturally complement each other. I have done much training in negotiation, but am selftrained in NLP techniques, concentrating more on the results I can achieve, than the technical reasons as to how it works. Some effective negotiation techniques are those explained in "Getting to Yes" by Roger Fisher and William Ury, and the follow-up books by the same authors, who work with the Harvard Negotiation Project. Simple guidelines, no "aren't I smart" techniques, and an easy set of principles to remember. Because they are based on relationships and long term outcomes, using NLP to build rapport can only aid the process. Another well-known source is Karrass's Negotiation Seminars which are being advertised in airline magazines. His book is called "Negotiation to Close." You might also want to read "Getting What You Want" by Kare Anderson and listen to "The Win-Win Negotiator" by Ross Reck & Brian Long and "The Secrets of Power Negotiating" by Roger Dawson. These books and tapes are available at your local bookstores. Lastly, for intercultural negotiation with Asians, read "Understanding the Asian Mind Game" and "Thick Face, Black Heart" by Chin-Ning Chu. Both books are #1 best-sellers in Asia. +++ - Time Management One book that has been highly recommended by a number of readers is "Time Power" by Charles Hobbs. The books helps you explore your belief systems and work towards achieving "congruence" so that your fundamental beliefs, goals, and actions are as free from conflict or contradiction as possible. Some other suggestions are: "How to Get Control of your Time and Your Life" by Alan Lakein "Getting Organized" by Stephanie Winston "Overcoming Procrastination" by Albert Ellis "Executive Time Management" by H. Reynolds and Mary Trammel

"The Organized Executive" by Stephanie Winston Although some of these cater to business folks, if you grasp the principle ideas, then you should be able to apply them to any situation. Alan Lakein's six simple but powerful ideas are helpful: 1. List goals 2. Make a Daily To-Do list 3. Start with the A priorities, not the C's 4. Ask yourself "What is the Best use of my time right now?" 5. Handle each piece of paper only once. 6. Do it now!!! You really don't need anything else except your own motivation. Happy Reading! (From: hughes@atlanta.emna.slb.com (Jeff Hughes)) Q. Is there time management software available? A. One program for time management is ASCEND 4.0 for Windows. This product is from Franklin Quest. A 60-day evaluation copy is available on CompuServe. Enter "GO FRANKLIN". The filename is ASCNEV.EXE jbuchhei@spd.dsccc.com (Jerry Buchheit) writes: "I would like to recommend the Day-Planner by Franklin Quest. The organization of it allows me to maintain a wealth of information in ONE place. I used to be 'organized' with several methods computer based one at work, a small notebook pocket one for portability, a larger notebook one for space, and a calendar type for appointments. I found I was 'thrashing' - organizing without really being organized for productivity. Now that I have placed all of my information in ONE location, I have facts and data at my fingertips. I am much more organized and, I hope, productive." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------2. Emotional Have you ever wondered how you can manage your emotions from this minute to the next? I have, and I think the answer is a combination of Method Acting/ Morris Acting and NLP techniques. - Morris Acting / Method Acting Method Acting is a controversial approach developed by a Russian called Stanislavsky. It takes years to master this approach at the famous Actor's Studio in New York because there's no structure to it. Actors who did master this approach through massive exercises had the ability to create magical reality on stage. Some of these actors include Marilyn Monroe, Marlo Brando, James Dean, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, and Brandon Lee. Bill Moyers describes the benefits of Method Acting in his book and public television series: "Healing and the Mind." A more comprehensive work is done by Dale Anderson, the President of Medical Speakers Association. He describes the concepts and benefits of Method Acting and acting in general in his 1995 book, "Act Now." Unfortunately, he doesn't teach you how to practice Method Acting.

What Eric Morris did to Method Acting was what Richard Bandler did to Erickson Hypnosis. He found/created a structure to practice Method Acting and then expanded on it. I first witnessed his most impressive work at his 5-day acting Jamboree in 1994. It was the most exhilarating and meaningful experience I've ever had, not to mention the high quality of his students. All of them are warm and caring and have learned to be self-accepting and non-judgemental about others. A few of his former students are Jack Nicholson, Melanie Griffith, Terri Garr, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Morris Acting can be divided into two parts: (1) Instrumental work and (2) Craft work. Instrumental work is about dealing with yourself. He has developed hundreds of exercises to eliminate your emotional blocks and conditioned responses to achieve an authentic being state. I've heard a lot of advice on "be yourself" but no one except Eric Morris really teaches you how to "be your authentic self" by removing excessive social obligations and family conditioning. Craft work is about managing your emotional states, and there are twenty-seven choice approaches. Examples of Choice Approaches: (1) Sense Memory - Training your five senses to memorize an experience so that you can re-create the experience later by recalling the senses. Self-directed sensory responses (external state) --> mental hallucination (internal state) (2) Imaginary Monologue - Talk to someone meaningful in your life about meaningful things to get yourself affected in the way you want. (3) Sub-Personalities - Find, elicit, and use the different selves that you have: a pusher, a critic, a parent, a lover, etc. Not the same as NLP parts. (4) External - Model the essence of people, animals, and inanimate objects. Have you seen "Wolf" played by Jack Nicholson. It's that real. Eric's work is summarized in his four books: (1) Being and Doing, (2) No Acting Please, (3) Irreverent Acting, and (4) Acting from the Ultimate Consciousness. You can get these books from your local bookstore. - NLP NLP emphasizes the use of submodalities, anchoring, and association/ dissociation to deal with your emotions. These patterns work well when you are open and emotionally available. The phobia cure pattern is the trademark of NLP. The principle behind this pattern is to detach yourself from a fearful experience by using multiple dissociations. A simple dissociate state is when you can see yourself or a just-like-you person in your experience. In other words, you take an "observer" position as if you're watching a movie of yourself. The next step might involve playing with the submodalities of your experience. For example, you can move the picture of your fear 20 feet from where it used to be, turn it upside down, tune it into black and white, put sweet music into it, and etc. Another NLP pattern is called "collapsing anchors". An anchor is a conditioned physiological response to a stimulus. For example, you respond to a stop sign by stopping because it's an anchor that triggers your reflex to step on the brake. To collapse an emotional anchor, you access another strong emotion simultaneously so that you diffuse the other anchor.

* In my opinion, the differences between acting and NLP are: (1) Acting is about experiencing and accepting emotions so that you become comfortable with who you are and how you feel. NLP, on the other hand, takes a problem solving approach, and its outcome is to move from a "present state" to a "desired state." NLP asks you to identify the right state for a certain task, such as that associated with doing math or playing golf, so that you can become a peak performer. (2) Acting focuses on accessing information, while NLP works to process the accessed information. For example, doing an imaginary monologue with a dead uncle is a choice approach (acting). How you manipulate the sensory responses--the sounds that you hear, pictures that you see, the feelings in your body--is NLP. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------3. Financial Management - Savings and Investment The most well known source of information about personal finance information is probably Charles Givens. He gives seminars around the country and is the author of the best-selling books, "Wealth Without Risk" and "Financial SelfDefense." He is also the founder of the "Charles J. Givens Organization" which is supposedly the largest organization of its type in the world, that is dissiminator of personal finance information and advice. His organization was recently sued in Iowa for giving misleading financial advice. See Newsweek (May 17, 1993) for more details. The whole thing was later settled out of court for a large amount of money. Charles Givens has also reportedly lied about the story he often tells of losing and regaining his millionaire fortune three times. He also claims that he made his riches in real estates. Some critics argue that he made more money by selling his organization memberships ($500 and $1,000) and from his get-richquick real estate and business investment programs. <tom@transcore.com> has taken his real estate seminar and feels that it's worth the money. However, he feels that everything else is overpriced and oversold. The comprehensive real estate investor program, for example, is priced at $10,000. To be fair, a significant number of people have benefited from his books. As an example, <tom@transcore.com> had two minor rental car accidents over the last four years and he suffered no financial losses even though he never bought any of the rental car insurances. The key is to choose the right information and adapt it to your personal situation. Givens's books can help you save money, but no readers of this group have reported gaining great wealth from following his advice. * Other resources for financial management: (a) One excellent place to look is in the misc.invest FAQ. (b) A good book to read is called "Your Money Or Your Life" by Joseph Dominguez and Vicki Robin. This book takes a "holistic" approach to financial success, meaning that it treats finances as an integral part of your entire life, not one separable part that can be talked about separately. It discusses attitudes toward money, spiritual feelings about money, whether how you are making money is consistent with your values, etc. (3) Another book recommended by a Canadian reader is "The Wealthy Barber."

- Real Estate Robert Allen gives a lot of street-smart advice in his book, "Nothing Down." Basically, it's about how to buy properties by negotiating with the buyers for everything except cash payment (unless you can buy the properties at a wholesale price). The key is to find a "motivated seller." In real estate, the key to a good buy is its location. It's much better to buy the worst property in a good neighborhood than to buy the best property in a poor neighborhood. The value of a property depends on its neighborhood. In short, Robert has some solid advice for seasoned investors as well as first-time home buyers. Good use of his book can save you lots of $$$. - Get-Rich-Quick Scams Here's a humorous article posted by Michael Nugent (mnugent@internet-eireann.ie) to counteract the spread of get-rich-quick chain letters. "!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make Money Fast !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! This really does work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just send All Your Possessions to the person at the top of the list below and add your own name to the bottom of the list. It's that simple!!! Then send this post to 5 other people!!! Within less than a very short time you will have all of the possessions of 5 other people: 5 houses, 5 cars, 20 or so computers, some food, and other goodies. This is all legal!!! Very soon after that 25 different people will have sent you everything that they own!!! And then you can do the sums. It works. You will get all of the possessions of 125 people from different cultures and backgrounds, then over 600 people, and then over 3000 people!!! You will be RICH BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS!!! You will be HAPPY EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE and you will have sex more often than poor people who do not get involved with this fully legal scheme!!! So send me all of your possessions NOW. This instant or you will die a horrible death with maggotty things eating your inside as you fry from the inside out in a very hot microwave oven!!! It's really that simple--and it really works!!! Yes. I'M CONVINCED! What do I do now? Just send all your possessions to the first person on this list then add your name to the bottom and move each other name up one place. Then just wait by your mailbox TO BECOME RICH!!! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Michael Nugent at my address Mick Nugent c/o Michael Nugent Mike Nugent c/o Mick Nugent Mikey Nugent c/o Mike Nugent Mr. M Nugent c/o Mikey Nugent

- Success Vs Money Many self-help programs (especially of the "infomercial" type) seem to confuse success with wealth. There is considerable evidence that, regardless of what you want the money for, it's actually easier to go for it directly instead of going to all the trouble of getting rich first. People who concentrate on the money tend to forget why they wanted it in the first place (they aren't necessarily unhappy, but they aren't the same person anymore).

I highly recommend the book "The Seven Laws of Money" by Michael Phillips. Among other things, he points out that most people have the financial means to accomplish specific goals that may seem to be out of reach, *if* they're willing to make sacrifices in other areas of their lives. When he points this out to people (using their own financial statements), they can't use lack of money as an excuse anymore, and they're forced to re-evaluate their goals. The current edition is a pocket-sized paperback from Shambala Press (they publish those little books you see by the checkout counter in bookstores). It looks a bit like Mao's "little red book", except that it's green :-). The earlier edition from 1974 had some additional commentary by other people that's not in the current one. [The First Law is "Money will come when you are doing the right thing". Marsha Sinetar later rephrased this in her book "Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow". Note the underlying assumption that "what you love" is actually "the right thing". This comes from the Zen concept of "right livelihood", which is discussed in a number of popular "career" books.] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------4. Mental - Accelerated Learning Accelerated learning is a technique that was pioneered by a Bulgarian psychologist named Lozanov during the 1950's/60's. A typical session involves two stages: learning while in deep relaxation, and consolidating through play. In the first stage of a session, pupils are seated (or sit on cushions) in a comfortable room and are encouraged to relax, get themselves into a positive frame of mind and visualize a time when they experienced real joy at successfully learning something. Once everyone is relaxed, the teacher will start some music. The best music has been found to be Baroque music, by composers like Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, at a tempo of about sixty beats per minute (60bpm). The students are asked to breath in time to the music to increase their relaxation - a common method is to breath in for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds and pause, in time with the music. The teacher then reads the material to be learned, again in time with the music, and varying the tone and volume of his/her voice. If the material is, for example, the basic vocabulary of German, the teacher will read an English word, followed four seconds later by the German equivalent. The idea is the material will "imprint" itself on the minds of the students, with little conscious effort by them. The second stage involves revising the material through play, the idea again is to make the session as relaxed and enjoyable as possible. The editors have no experience of the techniques themselves, so we cannot say if they are of any value. Reports of the technique have varied from wild claims of learning 2000+ foreign words in a day, to murmurs of disappointment from people who found the sessions boring and repetitive. Many people have

commented that people who are good auditory learners seem to have more success than those who are good visual learners, so Anthony Robbins fans might want to check this out. The only audio material being produced at the moment (as far as we know) is by Colin Rose, who has also written a book on the subject (called, strangely enough, "Accelerated Learning"). You also might want to dig out a copy of "Superlearning" by Maria Ostrand, which describes the history of Accelerated Learning in detail and gives a complete guide to doing it yourself. * In recent years, whole-brain learning has emerged as an alternative to Lozanov's concept of accelerated learning. Here's an introduction of wholebrain learning from "Beginner's Mind." Dr. Roger Sperry was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on the "split-brain theory" in 1981. According to his study, the brain has two hemispheres with different but overlapping qualitative functions. The left and right hemispheres share and communicate their information through a nerve bundle called the corpus callosum. According to this theory, the left hemisphere digitizes the content and organizes the logic while the right hemisphere handles emotional impressions and responses. The left hemisphere is basically "fact friendly," while the right hemisphere is more "idea friendly." This distribution of mental functions brings about some qualities that are specifically associated with each hemisphere. Qualities Associated with the Left and Right Hemispheres -------------------------------------------------------Left Hemisphere Right Hemisphere -------------------------------------------------------Right body control Left body control Logic Feelings Rules Imagination Vertical Lateral Language Music Sequences Randomness/Spontaneity A great deal of human behavior is asymmetrical. Laterality is demonstrated whenever an action demands more from one side of the body than the other. Every time you wink, shake a fist, or kick a dog, you tend to favor one side more than the other. What you can do to heighten your whole-brain usage is to activate the nondominant parts of your body. You may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but the payoff will be worthwhile. Leonardo da Vinci, a great historic inventor, recognized the value of stimulating his nondominant hemisphere for creative problem solving. He wrote with his nondominant hand to come up with unconventional ideas. To test this out, think of a conflict that you've had recently. Then write down five words to describe that situation using your dominant hand (for most people, this is your right hand). Relax and focus on your rate of breathing for one minute. Then write down another five words using your other hand. Check to see if there are any similarities and differences between them. For some people, it may be easier to draw or make sketches to describe the situation. Try it both ways and see which way gives you a better response. Your hands are only one of your body parts that you can use to help stimulate a fresh perspective. Exercising other nondominant parts of your body will greatly enhance the whole experience. Next time, when you're watching a movie, sit on the side of the theater that you

would normally avoid. If you like to wink with your right eye, try using your left eye. Dr. Robert-Michael Kaplan, an eye vision fitness trainer and author of Seeing Beyond 20/20, has also suggested wearing an eye patch over your dominant eye. Do this for a few hours a day to improve your overall vision. It will teach you about seeing instead of just looking at things. You can also selectively stimulate the hemispheres of your brain by alternating breathing across your nostrils. Pay attention to your breathing right now to find out which nostril is being used more than the other. You can close off one nostril and breath, then close off the other and breath. It requires a greater effort to breathe through the nondominant nostril. Research has shown that you will favor one nostril over the other for about ninety minutes and then switch to the other side. When you selectively use the nondominant nostril, you stimulate the less active hemisphere of your brain. This change is particularly useful when you need to switch your way of thinking from the analytical to intuitive, or from random association to structured thinking. Both Zygon and the Learning Strategies use a combination of accelerated learning and whole-brain learning techniques in their popular audio tapes. Betty Edwards, author of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," used art to elicit the power of your other brain. Finally, accelerated and whole-brain learning techniques have been applied extensively in many self-improvement disciplines, from Design Human Engineering to speed reading. - Creativity Enhancement The best books to start in creativity enhancement are "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants" by Roger von Oech and "What A Great Idea!" by Charles Thompson. Roger will introduce you to the four stages of creativity, namely EXPLORER, ARTIST, JUDGE, and WARRIOR. Charles will teach you techniques used by the world's most creative people, such as Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats. Yoshiro is the inventor of the digital watch, the floppy disk, and the CD. Known as the Edison of Japan, he has over 2,300 patents, more than double the 1093 held by Thomas Edison. Charles also emphasizes the importance of a creativity-friendly environment. You can make the lightning, background noise, temperature work for you instead of against you. He also suggests that you find those places and times where you are most free to come out with ideas. These can be when you're exercising, listening to a church sermon, falling asleep, waking up, commuting to work, looking out the window, or sitting on the toilet! * For those in science, you'll love "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" by Richard Feynman. Richard was the most wacky character in physics: he cracked the safe containing atomic bomb secrets in the 40s, got his Nobel prize because of his PLAYFUL CURIOSITY in calculating the relationship between the rotation and up-and-down wobbling of a plate, and identified the cause for Challenger space shuttle explosion by dropping a rubber bend into a glass of ice water. * Another well-known speaker in this area is Edward deBono, who has coined the term "lateral thinking" and written half a dozen of books on it. The basic idea of lateral thinking is that instead of moving directly and automatically from a goal to a solution, the mind searches in many different directions to find a solution. It involves avoiding solving problems in the most familiar

or obvious way. His books are quite readable and enjoyable. Personally, the editor finds that there are too many exercises and not enough substance for real world applications. * Other good books are: "99% Inspiration" by Bryan Mattimore (excellent new approaches in creativity) "108 Ways to Get a Bright Idea" by Arthur VanGundy (practical techniques) "Breakthroughs" by P. Nayak and M. Ketteringham (dull writing, good cases) "Crackpot or Genius" by Francis Feynolds (about physical inventions) "Creativity in Business" by Michael Ray and Rochelle Myers (new age) "Future Edge" by Joel Arthur Barker (about shifting paradigms) "Idea Power" by Arthur VanGundy (excellent software references) "It Only Takes One" by John Emmerling (one specific approach: S.T.R.I.K.E.) "What's the Big Idea?" by George Lois (about great ads like Xerox's Monkey) * Mindmapping. This is a specific creativity enhancement technique developed by Tony Buzan for "associatively" recording ideas on paper. Most notetaking methods on paper are linear; that is you start at the top of the page and record information in the order presented from top to bottom. Buzan recognized that this isn't consistent with the way the human mind works, which is "associately" by creating associations between items that are not necessarily related to some predefined order. A mindmap works by beginning at the center of the page with a main idea and work outward producing a growing and organized structure composed of keywords and images. Complete sentences or even phrases are not allowed because they're redundant and inefficient. Mindmaps are useful in organizing information, taking notes, outlining talks or written material, brainstorming for creating new ideas and seeing new connections between things. They require a more active involvement in taking notes because the location of the next item must be decided upon based on what is already there. Traditional "verbatim" approaches simply state that "what will come will follow what has come." Mind maps are easier to remember and easier to review because each one is visually different and because no two will have the exact same structures, colors, clusters, symbols, etc. Mindmapping is described by Tony Buzan in "The Mind Map Book" as well as several of his other books. Another good book is called "Mindmapping" by Joyce Wycoff. There's also several software for mind mapping. A good one is "Inspiration." - Hypnosis Hypnosis is used by many different forms of therapy. Self-hypnosis is also possible and many people report positive experiences with hypnosis. This topic is not often discussed in much detail in alt.self-improve. Hypnosis can be used in many ways for self-improvement. It can allow the mind to utilize its resources in new ways and to change behavior and create new desired behaviors. To learn more about hypnosis, read the newsgroup "alt.hypnosis," which has a very good FAQ. There is a web site describing hypnosis training by Tad James as well (See References and Resources). Tad has recently been elected to be the President of the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH). NLP also utilizes hypnosis in various ways. An excellent book on hypnosis is "Trance-formations" by John Grinder and Richard Bandler. - Meditation Many people in this group have had some experience with meditation. Some reported very good results, while others didn't. The topic is not often

discussed in detail in alt.self-improve although it does seem relevant. A better place might be "alt.meditation." - Memory Systems (Contributed by: r.follmer@genie.geis.com) Quite often the question comes up regarding memory systems. One has either read a book, or has seen an infomercial concerning it. Do they work and are they worth the money? A quick bit of history. Recorded history concerning memory systems is documented to about 500 B.C. There are indications that these were in existence as early as 1500 B.C., but only fragments exist supporting this claim. The ancient orators used these systems to help deliver their famous speeches. In modern times we have books, audio cassettes, and video recordings all teaching memory systems. One cannot really compare one system to another. All have some good features to them. All are taught by people who have been in the business or have studied it. Most of the systems utilize a principle called mnemonics. Simply stated, this means assisting the human memory by artificially adding mental pictures or images attached to the item to be retained in our mind. These systems do work, but you have to put in some time and effort to learn the basics. Once you do this, you will find the systems learned will be invaluable to you for the rest of your life. Virtually anything you wish to remember can be memorized by utilizing these systems. They are not a waste of your time. Often the question of cost is raised. The books cost a few dollars while the book + audio/video combinations are much more expensive. Usually this is in the area today of $200 - $300 or more. Obviously the utilization of the audio/video is more effective due to the learning principles involved. Our retention is greater and our learning time is shortened. Books, on the other hand, are less expensive, but take a bit longer to learn from. An on-site seminar is the best possible way to learn these systems. Books on the retail market by Harry Lorayne and Tony Buzan are among the best available, although others are equally effective. One of the best background texts I have ever run across is by Kenneth Higbee of Brigham Young University. He is the only one that has done the homework in this business although others are now coming on line with more current study findings. His book is titled "Your Memory - How it Works and How to Improve it." - Mind Machines Mind machines are devices used for relaxation or to attempt to alter brain states. These devices are usually worn on the head and use light or sound effects. The scientific validity of their effectiveness has been debated in the group with no conclusive answers. One positive comment is from lydiapolk@aol.com (Lydia Polk): "I bought a Theta Technologies Voyager XL since they dropped the price from $350 to $200. It works as claimed. It comes with 50 built-in sessions and an additional 25.

I use it primarily to get into delta sleep. But you can buy audio tapes that are designed to work with it and download session paramaters into the machine. You can get tapes for all kinds of self-improvement." Another popular supplier is Zygon which ads have appeared in Airline magazines and TV infomercials. Their machines and tapes are fun to use, but their claims are way out of line. They don't match up to their promises. * Editors' Note: The best reference on this subject is "Mega Brain Power" by Michael Hutchison. It has a complete review on just about every device on the market. Some of these devices are: (1) Biofeedback: Mind Pyramid, EEG Devices, Mind Mirror III, NeuroSearch 24, Brain Tracer, GSR Systems, Antense EMG System. (2) Light Power: Ott Full Spectrum Light System, Color Receptivity Trainer, Relaxmate. (3) Light & Sound: David Paradise, Photosonix Galaxy, Mastermind DLS. (4) Electric Power: Alpha Stim 100, Nustar. (5) Motion: Integrated Motion System, Symmetron Chair. (6) Senses: Vibrasound, Genesis, Prosonic Induction, Discovery Sound Bed. (7) Many more, including Richard Bandler's Neurosonic Tapes. - Speed Reading The most famous speed reading method is called "Evelyn Wood's Reading Dynamics". You can learn this method through a number mediums including seminars, books, cassette tapes, or computer software (1-800-447-READ). A book is also available called "The Evelyn Wood 7 Day Reading & Learning Program", ISBN 0380 715775, $4.99. Most speed reading courses focus on a number of similar principles. One major impediment to speed reading is subvocalizing (saying words to yourself while reading). The motion of the eye is another key factor. Instead of reading just one word at a time, you are taught to pick up phrases, sentences, lines, or groups of lines in a single glance (depending on the method being taught). In order to increase comprehension, some methods try to make the user more active in the reading process by having the user take notes in a specific way, ask questions before and after reading, etc. jimw@netcom.com (Jim Whitaker) writes: "Speed Reading Made EZ" (1) Sit down at a well lit table and sit up straight. (2) Take a hardcover book with big-easy-to-read print; preferably not a novel, but some kind of no-brainer non-fiction works best. (3) Take your finger or a pen and underline the words as you read them. Get used to pacing with your finger for a few minutes. (4) Now speed up. Simply move your finger faster than you can sound out the words. You may not be able to understand what you read at all. In fact, if you think you can comprehend what you are reading, speed up till you simply see a blur of words that you recognize. If you are having problems and keeps sounding out the words compulsively--hum a tune. This disables your brain's capacity or habit for verbalizing words. (5) Aim your eyes above the line of text you are reading, as if you were trying to read "between the lines". This makes it easy to focus your attention on groups of words rather than your eye stopping on individual words, which slows you down. At first you are not aiming to understand; you are trying to train your brain to accept that it can see and know what phrases of words mean simply by looking at them. (6) Practice this exercise for no more than 15 minutes at a sitting, no more than one sitting per day, usually after your morning wake-up ritual when

you are at your prime. If you try to push too hard or too fast, your brain hardware will resist you. (7) After 8 or so sessions, your brain will start to abandon trying to comprehend what you read as "sounds" and instead will visually grab words and process them in parallel, instead of one at a time. Typical reading speeds at this point in time are around 800 to 1500 words per minute. (8) The ultimate key to speed reading is realizing that your brain is learning to process words with the process of seeing them in groups, then processing their meaning. We are taught to read by seeing words, sounding them out, and then using our spoken speech hardware to comprehend what we read. The brain doesn't need this slow speech step. (9) After a number of sessions in which you are comfortable with this technique, get rid of the finger and use a small brown index card with three black semicircular dots along one edge on it. The black dots tell you where to position your eyes as you read across the page. Take this card, and drag it down the page, scanning each line 123 123 123 123 with your eyes fixating either on the dots or above the text lines. With your finger out of the way, you can pick up some serious speed. As with before, don't expect perfect comprehension right away. (10) Lose the card. Get in the habit of just scanning with your eyes. (If I'm tired, sometimes I still pull out the card. It's a great crutch.) There are more techniques for speed than just these. I used to crank along at 30K WPM. This 10 step plan is good for about 3K WPM or sometimes a little more. The fantastic rates come from learning to scan in text essentially out of order, grabbing entire paragraphs as your eyes pop around them almost at random. As you read, try to ask questions to yourself about what is going on, or who the material is suitable for, or something to allow you to "correlate" it. If you are not reading with need or potential purpose in mind, your brain won't remember it. In fact, your brain will not even process it. It will just see words flying by. The purpose of studying for an exam just doesn't cut it. You have to try to imagine using the material in the real world, or sifting it for "junk" or planning something to do with it, and considering what effect what you are reading will have on your plan or your needs. In short, your brain will slowly get in the habit of "asking questions" at lightning speeds. It won't even bother to sound these questions out or formulate them--just instantly come up with them and compare them relative to the material being read. The success of speed reading varies from individual to individual and is likely dependent on commitment and practice. The average reader reads about 350 words/minute. After speed reading training, speeds of 500-2000 words/minute are possible. It is difficult to measure exactly how this effects comprehension. I am not currently aware of scientific studies that show the effectiveness of speed reading programs. * Photo-Reading Photo-Reading is a concept developed by Paul Scheele. The brochure claims: "...mentally photograph the printed page at rates exceeding a page per minute..." but the class teaches, in effect, that's an undeveloped photograph and if you want to know what was in the picture you have to go back and use other techniques--skimming if you want a general idea of the material, and maybe old-fashioned reading and study if you want detailed understanding. Most of the class time was spent on standard speed reading techniques, such as

preview, skimming, review (they use other terms to describe it). One student (fluke@netcom.com, Fred Fluke) suggested that the "Photo" part is more a gimmick than a real technique. After doing the "Photo" process you still have to go back and apply standard reading and/or speed reading techniques (preview, summarize, find an application, correlate similar ideas, etc.) to "activate" the information. Without the "activation" step they assert that your "subconscious" knows the information but you don't have conscious access to it. In discussing his refund with Peter Bissonette, the president of Learning Strategies Inc., he admitted that's about how it is--but he still asserted that on the whole it's a more effective reading method than anything else out there. Maybe so, but the spread between promise versus delivery was too great. - Virus of the Mind This work by Richard Brodie (RBrodie@aol.com), the inventor of Microsoft Word, is about the science of memetics, a controversial new field that transcends psychology, biology, anthropology, and cognitive science. A working definition of meme is that it's a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds. A virus of the mind is something out in the world that infects people with memes. Those memes, in turn, influence the infected people's behavior so that they help perpetuate and spread the virus. If you currently believe in any concepts or subcultures or dogmas that meet these requirements: (1) a method of penetration, (2) a way of reproducing itself faithfully, and (3) a means to spread itself to other minds, and you didn't consciously choose to program yourself with these memes, you are inflected with a mind virus. (1) Penetration - Repetition Hearing a similar message repeatedly on television. Being in a group where something is read constantly. Hearing a point of view repeatedly, e.g. gun control. - Cognitive Dissonance Going through an initiation or test. Taking a confrontational or uncomfortable seminar that gives a sense of relief at the end. Reaching some goal or reward after a struggle or being told that you are not good enough. - Trojan Horse Listening to a concept that mostly seems right, but has a few components that kind of rub you the wrong way. Hearing appeals to help children, resolve a crisis, feed hunger. Being presented opportunities to get more sex or money by adopting new beliefs. (2) Faithful Reproduction - By instilling a belief that tradition is important. The way things have been said and done in the past is the way they ought to be done. - By saying that a set of memes is the Truth. - By setting up a structure that rewards copying and punishes modification (the Army?)

(3) Spreading - Programming you with a meme to get the words out before it's too late, pushing your windows of opportunity buttons. - Programming you with a meme to the effect that this will help children. - Programming you to evengelize the virus: passing the favor, enrollment. Richard suggests that you practice Zen to disinfect yourself from mind viruses. Zen practitioners learn to take in what their senses perceive and dissolve the artificial distinction-memes of human ideas and concepts. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------