Personal Development - Books, Articles, whatever.

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Personal Development - Books, Articles, whatever.

Hey guys,

 

I thought this would be a great place to post for help.

 

Essentially, I'm very interested in personal development materials - topics that you can present to yourself or your friends and family to learn more about yourself and become a more confident individual in order to live more authentically and motivated.

 

It seems like wherever I go for this material, however, it starts out with a promising message in the description, saying things like 'this book presents questions for you to ask yourself and write about' and then one of the "example questions" is "How close have you been to Jesus lately?". I find this extremely aggravating.

 

I just know there has to be some good stuff out there that isn't spew from the mouth of some Christian person who thinks they're a great philosopher and author because they can quote the Bible and ask questions that a three-year-old asks. What books have you read in the past that helped you? Do you know any good websites or stores that don't sell religious materials and would have this kind of literature?

 

Thanks in advance for your input!

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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Just as an update, I

Just as an update, I literally just spent 3 hours trying to find something to throw on my Kindle, and every single sample of every single book I look at deals with something related to, "Bring yourself closer to God!" Is it really supposed to be this difficult? You guys are all crazy smart and have primarily great writing skills, write me a book, dammit!

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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Can you define what you mean

Can you define what you mean by, "Authentic and motivated"?  What is "Authentic"?  By motivated, do you just need something about time management or do you have problems finishing tasks you need to finish even when you have time?

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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My only suggestion - and I

My only suggestion - and I wish I had a better one - is to go the corporate route.  One day seminars on improved communication, dealing with difficult people, better organizing your time, one minute manager, etc.  They are all very secular, they are meant to deal with one topic at a time, and they perhaps surprisingly have something worthwhile to say.  And occasionally, I actually learned something.

http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Difficult-People-uncooperative-ebook/dp/B003IWZZ7K/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text...

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=time+management+books&x=0&y=0&sprefix=t...

http://www.amazon.com/Activities-That-Build-Self-Discovery-ebook/dp/B001MJ0E68/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&q...

http://www.amazon.com/What-Type-Myers-Brigg-Indication-ebook/dp/B000QJLQYO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1...

(versions of Myers-Brigg test are on line)

http://www.amazon.com/Women-Drink-Straight-Tequila-ebook/dp/B001RNNB0K/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1273...

(this one sounds a kick - I think I will look for it at the library.)

 

Good luck with your journey.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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mellestad wrote:Can you

mellestad wrote:

Can you define what you mean by, "Authentic and motivated"?  What is "Authentic"?  By motivated, do you just need something about time management or do you have problems finishing tasks you need to finish even when you have time?

The latter is a more accurate description of me. Without getting too detailed, the "authenticity" portion I mean in the sense that I want to live more for myself and my desires or goals than caring as much about other people and their desires or goals, or what those other people feel my desires and goals should be. The problem is that I've been in this environment forever, and even though I'm more than capable of thinking rationally and developing my own opinions on religious and political topics, when it comes to people and interaction and my sense of self, I feel like a moron and can't give a reason for most things why I like them or don't like them other than "they were presented to me previously in that manner".

 

As for motivation, I find that, even when I am not feeling depressed, I would often prefer to just crawl into a hole rather than be around anyone in any situation just from feeling anxious about it. When I become isolated, it is then that I realize I have nothing to pursue - there's nothing I know of that I want to or feel confident enough to do for myself. It's a total cycle. This makes me appear lazy - I don't want to clean, I don't want to go to work, I don't want to pick up my unfinished crochet work or a video game or a book or anything unless someone else is wanting me to. As a matter of fact, I probably wouldn't be searching for literature of this nature unless I've been told for quite some time that there is concern for me and this lack of sense of self.

 

I don't mean for all of this to sound completely emo, I'm actually pretty successful for a 20 year old - incidentally, I actually work a full-time position with Amazon.com, was living in my own place but I met a really great guy about 6 months ago now and he recently moved in (so far it's working out amazing), I've got the prettiest, sweetest little cat, and if anything ever happens to me that's disastrous, I've got a great relationship with my father and step-mother who are local and would help me.

 

I just want to find the icing for my cake, so to speak.

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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cj wrote:My only suggestion

cj wrote:

My only suggestion - and I wish I had a better one - is to go the corporate route.  One day seminars on improved communication, dealing with difficult people, better organizing your time, one minute manager, etc.  They are all very secular, they are meant to deal with one topic at a time, and they perhaps surprisingly have something worthwhile to say.  And occasionally, I actually learned something.

http://www.amazon.com/Dealing-Difficult-People-uncooperative-ebook/dp/B003IWZZ7K/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text...

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=time+management+books&x=0&y=0&sprefix=t...

http://www.amazon.com/Activities-That-Build-Self-Discovery-ebook/dp/B001MJ0E68/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&q...

http://www.amazon.com/What-Type-Myers-Brigg-Indication-ebook/dp/B000QJLQYO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1...

(versions of Myers-Brigg test are on line)

http://www.amazon.com/Women-Drink-Straight-Tequila-ebook/dp/B001RNNB0K/ref=sr_1_25?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1273...

(this one sounds a kick - I think I will look for it at the library.)

 

Good luck with your journey.

I happen to be an INTJ if I remember correctly! I do like those tests and evaluations, it can be interesting to compare yourself to others' results that you know. I will probably end up downloading a sample of that Activity book, it looks interesting. Thank you for those suggestions, cj, I was getting pretty sad yesterday when I couldn't find anything.

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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I find the best personal

I find the best personal development is in the discovery of who you are. Not just who you think yourself to be, but the person you really are, as others see you. And the best way I've found of this discovery is to write.

It doesn't take much -- a few minutes a day. Get a cheap spiral-bound notebook, and at the end of the day, write down one thing. Spend a few minutes fleshing it out. If it is an event, describe the action. If it is a thought, give it flesh. Write down your reactions and emotions. Don't worry about what you say, or whether you say it well. Don't concern yourself with proper grammar or correct spelling. Just write it down for you to remember later.

You'll find out more about you than you might expect.

At least, this works for me.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:I find

nigelTheBold wrote:

I find the best personal development is in the discovery of who you are. Not just who you think yourself to be, but the person you really are, as others see you. And the best way I've found of this discovery is to write.

It doesn't take much -- a few minutes a day. Get a cheap spiral-bound notebook, and at the end of the day, write down one thing. Spend a few minutes fleshing it out. If it is an event, describe the action. If it is a thought, give it flesh. Write down your reactions and emotions. Don't worry about what you say, or whether you say it well. Don't concern yourself with proper grammar or correct spelling. Just write it down for you to remember later.

You'll find out more about you than you might expect.

At least, this works for me.

Thanks for that, nigelTheBold. As a matter of fact, I love to write and reflect, it's a very soothing activity for me and has always been a surefire route to relieving any stress I have. However, I still feel lost in a lot of aspects of self-discovery, and I believe I've exhausted all of my own internal resources. This is why I'm seeking other material to try and expand my paths and ideas for improvement.

 

But, at your suggestion, I think I should try and pay more attention by using this method. I would like to try scribbling something nightly as you recommended, as I feel this will force me to remain focused.

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


cj
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kayoubi wrote:I happen to be

kayoubi wrote:

I happen to be an INTJ if I remember correctly! I do like those tests and evaluations, it can be interesting to compare yourself to others' results that you know. I will probably end up downloading a sample of that Activity book, it looks interesting. Thank you for those suggestions, cj, I was getting pretty sad yesterday when I couldn't find anything.

 

  I'm INTJ too.  I have taken the test a number of times over the years.  I started out as ENTJ - but the E was just over the center.  Now, the I is very strong.  So the test is not something that is permanent, but more how you feel at the time you take the test.  But you sound like you are pretty into the INTJ spectrum at the moment.

It took me years to accept that I don't want to be with other people particularly.  That I am not interested in socializing.  My friends say - let's go .... - and I'm thinking, what a drag.  So I politely refuse.  If you keep looking you can collect friends who are not offended and don't fuss at you.  Family is a lost cause - they never stop trying to make you something they want you to be.

I go through stages where I get obsessive about a topic.  I'll do the craft, read the books, collect the stuff.  And then I get interested in something else.  I am jealous of other people who have something they do for all their lives and they get really good at it.  I have learned that I will return to the obsession later.  It isn't a waste to hang onto stuff as I'll get back into that obsession.  It took me over 17 years to finish a knitted sweater for my husband.  16 of them the almost finished sweater was in a trunk!  I finally finished it a couple of years ago and my husband loves it and wears it.  I'm amazed how well it stretches to fit.

I can't think of a job I've had that I didn't come to be totally bored with and eventually hated.  I'm in IT and I'm fairly good at it.  I still hate it most days.  But I suck it up and pretend I like it for the sake of performance reviews and salary increases.

I can change things about me that I don't like.  But the changes are very limited and sometimes of short duration.  I suspect it is true for most people - some changes are easy and stick, some are difficult and don't seem to stay around for lunch.  So I have come to accept - or have given up on depending on your view point - those pieces of me that are uncomfortable for other people but not for me.  Other people can stuff it.

To sum up this ramble, be yourself, accept yourself.  Have fun on your quest.  Let others go hang if they don't like it.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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cj wrote:kayoubi wrote:I

cj wrote:

kayoubi wrote:

I happen to be an INTJ if I remember correctly! I do like those tests and evaluations, it can be interesting to compare yourself to others' results that you know. I will probably end up downloading a sample of that Activity book, it looks interesting. Thank you for those suggestions, cj, I was getting pretty sad yesterday when I couldn't find anything.

 

  I'm INTJ too.  I have taken the test a number of times over the years.  I started out as ENTJ - but the E was just over the center.  Now, the I is very strong.  So the test is not something that is permanent, but more how you feel at the time you take the test.  But you sound like you are pretty into the INTJ spectrum at the moment.

It took me years to accept that I don't want to be with other people particularly.  That I am not interested in socializing.  My friends say - let's go .... - and I'm thinking, what a drag.  So I politely refuse.  If you keep looking you can collect friends who are not offended and don't fuss at you.  Family is a lost cause - they never stop trying to make you something they want you to be.

I go through stages where I get obsessive about a topic.  I'll do the craft, read the books, collect the stuff.  And then I get interested in something else.  I am jealous of other people who have something they do for all their lives and they get really good at it.  I have learned that I will return to the obsession later.  It isn't a waste to hang onto stuff as I'll get back into that obsession.  It took me over 17 years to finish a knitted sweater for my husband.  16 of them the almost finished sweater was in a trunk!  I finally finished it a couple of years ago and my husband loves it and wears it.  I'm amazed how well it stretches to fit.

I can't think of a job I've had that I didn't come to be totally bored with and eventually hated.  I'm in IT and I'm fairly good at it.  I still hate it most days.  But I suck it up and pretend I like it for the sake of performance reviews and salary increases.

I can change things about me that I don't like.  But the changes are very limited and sometimes of short duration.  I suspect it is true for most people - some changes are easy and stick, some are difficult and don't seem to stay around for lunch.  So I have come to accept - or have given up on depending on your view point - those pieces of me that are uncomfortable for other people but not for me.  Other people can stuff it.

To sum up this ramble, be yourself, accept yourself.  Have fun on your quest.  Let others go hang if they don't like it.

Wow, your 'ramble' actually speaks to me more than you'd think. It's almost like reading what I would've written about myself  5 or 10 years from now. My issue with 'friend collecting' is primarily due to the fact that I never stay in one place very long, but what you said about accepting you are not really interested in socializing - I think that's huge.

 

When people would ask me to go out for some time after moving out on my own, I would always abide by their requests - whether it was because I knew I would be guilt-tripped or frustrate the requester, or because I knew that inside of myself, I want to belong to that collective, that group of people that seem so pleased to run all over the place and stay out late and party and do lots of random (and mostly arbitrary) activities.

 

Really, I just don't like it, and I stopped complying as soon as my boyfriend and I began to grow closer (although I saw this as just that I wanted to spend more time with him, but now that you've pointed this out, the truth is that I never wanted to do what I had been in the first place, and now I had a better excuse.)

 

I really need to take a leaf from your book! :3 Man, chatting here and listening to your guys' advice is better than what I was looking for.

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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I agree with CJ on this, and

I agree with CJ on this, and I have a similar personality type.

 

Honestly I solved my social issues by getting married and having a family.  Married life is a lot different from single life, you don't have much pressure to engage with those outside the family unless you go after it yourself.  But I've always been like that, even as a teenager I would have one or two people I latched on to and was never very interested (and often intimidated by the thought of) leaving that limited social circle.  My perfered environment is not being alone, it is being with a small, select group.  I raced to get married.

I don't care that I don't have lots of 'friends' now, because I have what I really want, rather than what I *thought* I wanted...and I got the idea of what I thought I wanted by observing people around me, rather than examining what actually made me happy.

On the task completion side, I don't know what to tell you.  I'm interested in a problem or task right up to the point where I figure it out, then I lose interest in actually doing the work of implementation.  I love solving problems and learning new hobbies but I don't usually take it past the initial 'learn and discover' stage.  I often wish I could actually get to the point where I'm good at a specific thing, but either it isn't in my nature or I have never found the specific thing I like enough to devote myself to.  For example, I love to learn about writing and when the muse strikes me I am pretty good at fiction, but I don't enjoy the *process* of writing enough to sit down and do it very often.

The reason I enjoy being an IT administrator for a growing company is that I get to learn new things all the time.  If I have a month where everything is settled down, no new projects are on the horizon and everything is working well I start to get depressed about my job.  I often think I would enjoy being a research scientist or a psychologist, because the list of problems are basically endless at this point.  I don't know how I'll remain content in IT/IS in the long term.

Now, I'm not recommending you go get hitched to a random person and become a biologist, I'm just relating my life experience.

 

If you are really bad at task management they make drugs for things like ADHD that very often help people to be more focused.  To a layperson like myself there seems to be a rather vague line between ADHD and just being unfocused and lazy.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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I am at war with the

I am at war with the self-help, motivational, and relationship advice community...almost to a person, I see them as performers, who, much like their "psychic" counterparts...will lie to your face... take advantage of one's emotional vulnerabilities...and present themselves as a "soltion" while they take your money...

 

Christ in a thong, They suck...

 

However... There is *one* guy, who I have taken a liking to...because he is not only a *REAL* psychiatrist...he is non-biased, & non judgmental... I suggest you look up "Dr Keith Ablow"... is he perfect?... No... But he indulges my atheism, not to mention mine & my wife's lifestyle when others in his field would surely paint us as pariahs... His Book, Living the Truth might be worth a read...

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316017825?ie=UTF8&tag=livthetru-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0316017825

 

 


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Dude, I read that book for

Dude, I read that book for about 3 hours when I got home last night.

 

I even signed the stupid thing on my Kindle...

 

Surprisingly enough, it really is evoking some pretty crazy memories from me. Things I hate thinking about. It's actually going to take a lot of motivation to finish this book, but I wanted a challenge. Thanks a lot, man!

 

I also talked to my mom (who is a theist, but also a mostly good person simultaneously whom I love) and she suggested Larry Winget for acquiring that "shit or get off the pot" attitude. I'm checking him out, too, though from what I can see of his latest rant on his site, he's kind of a prick.

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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cj wrote:I'm in IT and I'm

cj wrote:

I'm in IT and I'm fairly good at it.

mellestad wrote:

The reason I enjoy being an IT administrator...

We're all INTJs in IT... hm...

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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kayoubi wrote:cj wrote:I'm

kayoubi wrote:

cj wrote:

I'm in IT and I'm fairly good at it.

mellestad wrote:

The reason I enjoy being an IT administrator...

We're all INTJs in IT... hm...

 

Sigh, and the ironic bit is IT is expected to assist ........... people.  Day in and day out.  Stupid people who can't RTFM or the screen.  And they hire people for this kind of position who have to really work at being polite to other people.  I'm unemployed at the moment, but when working, my husband can hardly drag me out the door to see a movie or buy dinner.  <shudders>

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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kayoubi wrote:cj wrote:I'm

kayoubi wrote:

cj wrote:

I'm in IT and I'm fairly good at it.

mellestad wrote:

The reason I enjoy being an IT administrator...

We're all INTJs in IT... hm...

 

INTP, thank you very much Sticking out tongue

 

It is interesting though.  I don't have any issues with interpersonal interaction at work though, professional interaction is easy.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:kayoubi

mellestad wrote:

kayoubi wrote:

cj wrote:

I'm in IT and I'm fairly good at it.

mellestad wrote:

The reason I enjoy being an IT administrator...

We're all INTJs in IT... hm...

 

INTP, thank you very much Sticking out tongue

 

It is interesting though.  I don't have any issues with interpersonal interaction at work though, professional interaction is easy.

R'amen to that, sister. At any rate, I think I'm going to see a counselor. I spent two years in Psychology as an independent study in high school and apparently learned NOTHING! So I think some CBT will do me good. Maybe some lithium, too. *grins* I'm getting a lot of support from my family, and I'm on quite a high right now, so I'm pretty sure this'll end well.

 

Wasn't adolescence supposed to end a while ago!?

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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kayoubi wrote:mellestad

kayoubi wrote:

mellestad wrote:

kayoubi wrote:

cj wrote:

I'm in IT and I'm fairly good at it.

mellestad wrote:

The reason I enjoy being an IT administrator...

We're all INTJs in IT... hm...

 

INTP, thank you very much Sticking out tongue

 

It is interesting though.  I don't have any issues with interpersonal interaction at work though, professional interaction is easy.

R'amen to that, sister. At any rate, I think I'm going to see a counselor. I spent two years in Psychology as an independent study in high school and apparently learned NOTHING! So I think some CBT will do me good. Maybe some lithium, too. *grins* I'm getting a lot of support from my family, and I'm on quite a high right now, so I'm pretty sure this'll end well.

 

Wasn't adolescence supposed to end a while ago!?

A good shrink is a good thing.  It is tough to get your head straight purely through introspection, even though introspection is a very powerful tool.

 

Good luck!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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 [url=http://www.amazon.com/

 My Life, by Leon Trotsky. 

 

Most important self-development & self actualizing book I've ever read. 

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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If you *REALLY*....and

If you *REALLY*....and *TRULY*... want to negotiate through life's trevails... *HERE* is a brilliant, grass roots, tell it like it is, no nonsense Go-Getter of a Motivational speaker... a few minutes listening to this Fella will definately turn your life around...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/21/the-worst-motivational-sp_n_585333.html?page=2&show_comment_id=47926158#comment_47926158

 


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Rich Woods wrote:If you

Rich Woods wrote:

If you *REALLY*....and *TRULY*... want to negotiate through life's trevails... *HERE* is a brilliant, grass roots, tell it like it is, no nonsense Go-Getter of a Motivational speaker... a few minutes listening to this Fella will definately turn your life around...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/21/the-worst-motivational-sp_n_585333.html?page=2&show_comment_id=47926158#comment_47926158

Wow. Just... wow.

I am a new person. I have been (to coin a phrase) born again, in the light and grace of perseverance and not taking no for an answer. Especially from squares of plywood.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Jesus Christ my life is

Jesus Christ my life is changed


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Hello! INFP here.I am a

Hello! INFP here.
I am a self-development expert, born and raised in family of self-development experts. When a person has problem, he goes to psychologist. When psychologist has a problem, he goes to my dad.
I'm not kidding. (yeah, we do have some professional psychologists among clients) We have a registered civil association that unites people interested in self-development in this region. We help those that get to us and want to change themselves.

That is my luck, because I need personal development like salt. My personality is the weirdest I know, still being potentially likable and useful for life. But it requires strong personalities to appreciate me. I'm not shy, I'm just more than most of people can handle.
I've done a lot of work by alternative methods, all that I could alone. Now I need to perform therapy on myself through socializing. Which is diffcult to do, because there is no institution that performs pub therapy for the neurally hypertrophic. Gotcha science, you can't do everything!

Our club has theory and methods that work with Evolutionary Human Component. Our plentiful friends and customers often saw in practice our success on their own friends and relatives, whom traditional psychology couldn't help. Therefore, we get our word spreading depending on if it works, which it does. The downside is, that people aren't likely to try an EHC-based method, unless they saw it on their relative or got recommended from a trustworthy person. We don't have government support to enforce our stuff through laws.
The secret of our success is in work with what we call evolutionary human component. Knowledge of EHC is what is missing from contemporary science and most of alternative therapies that would make them really effective.

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INTP here. I've struggled my

INTP here. I've struggled my entire life with various 'issues', but I could never pin down exactly what was wrong. Mostly I just tried to ignore my emotional side and try to get on with life. This was a big mistake. I had a big life crisis which I'm still working through. When the crisis hit big, I finally decided to stop ignoring my emotions and try to learn as much as I can about whatever it was that was wrecking my life.

Like others in this thread, I had aspects of depression and anxiety. I also found it hard to follow through on 'boring' but important tasks, and the daily maintenance of life. I too would also learn about things right up to the point of actually putting them into practice. Then I hit a kind of wall and found myself veering off to learn about something new. I actually had a great job, but could not complete even *simple* projects -- projects which were no more difficult than other projects I had already completed successfully and easily. I just felt like I had no 'motivation'. I felt 'empty'.

I tried all sorts of things: Recreational drugs, psychotherapy a la Freudian style, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, meeting new people, the 'party' lifestyle, traveling, books about childhood trauma, the 'inner child', co-dependency, family dynamics, positive-psychology, meditation and self-hypnosis, etc. I tried talking to a social worker, going to various support groups, going to retreats, changing my work-style, etc.

I was unable to work consistently, and on a downward spiral toward homelessness. Finally, a colleague who was frustrated at my inability to stay focused on one thing at a time said to me, "You know what your problem is, right? You have ADHD." I said, "What?!" He said, "Yeah, I saw this documentary last week and it reminded me of you. You're easily distracted, have trouble staying focused except on highly stimulating or interesting things, leave things to the last minute, chronically disorganized, often go off into your own mental world, etc. I have it too, but I can't take the meds because of a heart condition."

It turns out, he was dead-on right, and the more I looked into ADHD, the more I realized that was the major thing that had been affecting me since I was a little kid, and I never was diagnosed because I didn't have any of the hyperactivity symptoms, and being a bright kid covered up for most of my distractibility and trouble with focus. In fact, I had never considered the possibility of ADHD (or ADD as it was called earlier) because *clearly* I was able to focus intensely on certain things. Well, it turns out that 'hyper-focus' is one of the common symptoms of ADHD. The problems with focus are not necessarily be *unable* to focus at all, but being unable to *control* what you focus on.

So, I went to a psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD and he made a positive diagnosis of ADHD, plus co-existing anxiety and depression.

I started treatment for the ADHD, and things improved slightly, but I still had trouble working.

After another major crisis, I was about to get evicted for missed rent. I wasn't working at all at that point, and couldn't seem to get a handle on my life, despite the fact that the ADHD medication was helping me be very productive in non-life-related things.

Luckily I was attending a group called 'Overcoming Anxiety', and soon realized that it wasn't *only* ADHD, but also anxiety that was holding me back. My major method of coping with anxiety is what I call 'total avoidance', where I can't even think about something that causes anxiety, such as work, or whatever. I tried a little experiment where I tried to focus my attention on dealing with the upcoming eviction, and I instantly started having an anxiety attack.

So, I went back to my psychiatrist and told him my situation with the upcoming eviction and how I didn't think I'd be able to handle it. He gave me an anti-anxiety medication, and wow, what a difference! The huge wall of 'overwhelm' was reduced to a minor bump which I could easily step over.

With that help, i was able to avoid getting evicted, started working again, and finally beginning to deal with life again. I'm not out of the woods yet, and life isn't suddenly peaches and cream, but at least the downward spiral has leveled off and I'm starting to gain altitude again.

If I had to do it all over again, here's what I would do differently: #1 Get an accurate, complete diagnosis from a competent expert who knows what they're talking about. #2 Realize that mental illness is as real as physical illness, and not something shameful. #3 Realize that some problems are just bigger than I am, and I need help to fully overcome them. #4 Seek as much help as I can, and keep seeking help if the 'help' I'm getting isn't working or isn't enough.

I learned a lot from the self-help stuff I worked on, but it wasn't enough, and it didn't have the answers I really needed. I'm glad I learned all that I did, but I would have preferred to get a proper diagnosis much earlier than I did.

Personal development or self-help is all well and good, but if there's a deeper problem that you don't even realize is there, and you're not getting proper treatment for that, then you're not going to get better. IMO.

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kayoubi wrote:an INTJ if I

kayoubi wrote:

an INTJ if I remember correctly! I do like those tests and evaluations, it can be interesting to compare yourself to others' results that you know. I will probably end up downloading a sample of that Activity book, it looks interesting. Thank you for those suggestions, cj, I was getting pretty sad yesterday when I couldn't find anything.

I happen to have been evaluated as INTJ by a friend of mine some time ago. We are both software engineers and this personality stuff came to us through team organization at work. I think he recently changed the I to E because of my acquired art of argumentation/bullshitting, but he was right the first time - I am not a fan of crowds.

You are 20 - slow down with the contemporary personal development courses. You don't have enough experience to have built up a substantial bullshit filter. I have two suggestions that are much better suited to your age and personality type. Here they are:

1. StoryCorps.org - let me tell you about the StoryCorps project a bit. They are not a corporation, or a pro-profit organization, not tied to any philosophy, religion or anything like that. What they are is a national historical project for preservation of memories. They collect conversations between people who decide that they have something to talk about. Why would you want to listen to these conversations? Listening to ordinary people's memories, understanding the depth of philosophical wisdom of an ordinary blue collar worker or even just a child, the strength of their bond to one another and the significance of being alive together and at the same time with these people has not only taught me the depth of what it means to be human, but also helped me relate to the world around me much more productively and without fear of anything really. I find myself wishing that this project started 2000 years ago - I simply know that my understanding of the world through these kinds of conversations would beat any schooling I could ever get.

2. The Classics of Litterature - these are my conversations with people who lived before. These are my personal StoryCorps of the past centuries. They contain the knowledge that the thoughts, doubts, ideas and dilemmas you are having right now other people have had before you - smart, diligent and honest people who bothered to tell you about their experiences, conclusions and stories through works of art. I will tell you a little trick I use that will make reading them much more personal: every time I pick up a book, say Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, I note down the dates - when did Fyodor begin writing the book, how long did it take, when was it published the first time. Then I try to piece together Fyodor's own life in that period - how did he live, with whom, what was the world like then and how was he received by pears and the public, things like that. I never know beforehand what will catch my eye, so it's not like a mission to know everything about Fyodor, but more of my own pleasure of discovery. I try to find pictures to create some mental images and imagine what his life might have been like as he wrote the book. Then I go back to the book and look through the names of the chapters, first just the listing, then I turn the pages. That's where the first questions pop up - why is this chapter so thick, Fyodor? why do the names have this sound to them rather than some other? That's when I start reading. The questions never stop and his answers are truly amazing. By the time I am done with the first read, the questions unanswered compel me to have another chat with the man.

Well, this should keep you busy for the next 50 years or so. If you want just some meaningful news sources that will not fill you with white noise of corporate media, information about the world around you, people and other animals in it, I suggest checking out:

1. Democracy Now - in my opinion unparalleled information and context source. They have an archive going back 12+ years of news and stories and are on the beat with the context-based covering of most important global issues, activism and decision-making process. 1 hour of news every day, available as video online or downloadable as MP3.

2. NOW - a link to an archive of videos/MP3s from a crew that covered US issues for the past 8 years and sent their last show last month - a huge loss for the public broadcasting. The wole archive is there for the viewing/listening, a model for what investigative journalism should look like. These guys were in their best element as the boots on the ground, talking to ordinary people, gathering information on the level that is as close to the happening as possible and largely rejecting the cult of persona premise of the corporate media. All the major issues are there: from the wars, over healthcare, banking inustry, student loans, worker/women/civil rights, gun control to the agricultural monpolies and environmental situation world wide.

3. Bill Moyers Journal - that's a link to an archive of a show hosted by Bill Moyers at the non-profit Public Broadcasting Service. Moyers was a Press Secretary in the Johnson administration, has been a well respected journalist for decades and the interviews, essays and pieces in that archive are nothing short of spectacular - a true exception to the rule when it comes to republicans formerly tied to the White House. Especially his participation and coverage of media/net neutrality, the economic system, healthcare and war issues is worth your time. Unfortunately, Bill retired a few weeks ago to concentrate on his family in his late years, but his spot at Public Broadcasting is now filled by my fourth suggestion:

4. Need to Know - having to fill humongous shoes of Bill Moyers and the crew from Now, these guys have been doing an acceptable job for the past couple of weeks. The verdict is still out, but I will surely follow them closely.

Now that we are through with my suggestions, I can tell you that I picked them with one more thing in mind: all of them offer a wealth of references, venues of research and more questions than answers. Your experience will therefore be your own and will contribute to building your own integrity, which is what I suppose you meant by the word "authentic". Have fun.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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So, interestingly enough, I

So, interestingly enough, I finally took the trip to the doc yesterday, and got put on low-dose anti-depressants despite my avid protesting. I'm not pleased with it, and am still under the impression that having to med up (even though I'll barely be taking a third of the common dosage of this stuff) means I'm weak, or stupid, or something to that effect. I feel safe enough with my fiancee that, at least if I do start acting crazy or something, I'll be okay.

 

Now, ZuS, I have to say that, regardless of the fact that I'm 20, I've dealt with a lot of decision-making and responsibility that is above and beyond my average age range (and occasionally, above and beyond my personal ability at the time). I'll still be the first to say that I'm naive as all hell, and even pretty gullible (at least atheism and debate give me a stoop to sit on).

 

Most of these things look really interesting - I think I know what I'll be doing with my downtime at work for a while, at any rate.

 

It's also cool to read the personal stories you guys are writing! Thanks for sharing!

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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kayoubi wrote:...weak, or

kayoubi wrote:

...weak, or stupid, or something...

Normal people aren't very interesting. Stop trying to be not very interesting.

kayoubi wrote:

Now, ZuS, I have to say that, regardless of the fact that I'm 20, I've dealt with a lot of decision-making and responsibility that is above and beyond my average age range (and occasionally, above and beyond my personal ability at the time). I'll still be the first to say that I'm naive as all hell, and even pretty gullible (at least atheism and debate give me a stoop to sit on).

How did you manage to focus on the most boring and insignificant sentence in that otherwise long-ass post full of exhilarating stuff? I had to look for it for 20 seconds - and I wrote the stuff.

Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.


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Welcome to the forum. Heh,

Welcome to the forum.

Heh, I'm an INTJ too. 

Interestingly, in the analysis of personality types, both INTJ and INTP are very rare, comprising only about one percent of the population each. In contrast, the Performer, ESFP, comprises over 10% of the population. 

So, this personality test is clearly very well made. It makes me wonder how strong the correlation is between these few personality types and rational atheism.  

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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<><

I would heartily recommend anything by Dr. Haha Lung.

 

He has a great way of combining Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, taoism and other Eastern philosophies and makes it fun.

 

Please don't judge a writer by his name: http://www.hahalung.com/All_DrLungs.html

 

When you take a break from 'improving' have a gander at Terry Pratchett's fine tomes.

 

Oh, and welcome to the forum.

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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ZuS wrote:How did you manage

ZuS wrote:

How did you manage to focus on the most boring and insignificant sentence in that otherwise long-ass post full of exhilarating stuff? I had to look for it for 20 seconds - and I wrote the stuff.

 

Mad skillz, yo. Oh, and also when you are at work and forum-surfing you tend to read the first few sentences several times before making it to the rest of the content, so it's pretty well ingrained.

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'


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And thanks for the forum

And thanks for the forum welcomes, though I've been silently running about this place for a couple of years now. Smiling

'Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. God wants you to go to war.'