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7. The Helpless/Hopeless (H/H) Response





The Helpless/Hopeless (H/H) Response transcript

In today’s stren you will understand the sixth and most devastating of the eight mental action choices available to our will power to transform our interpretations into action.  I have labeled this action pathway the Helpless/Hopeless (H/H) response because it shuts down our energy factory.  The H/H response is the means by which we become our own worst enemy.  The outcome of the H/H response is apathy, depression, suicide, or some combination of these destinations. 


            This stren is critical because it shows us how easily we can prevent the H/H response. The H/H response is one of the easiest to recognize and, thereby, switch it off.  Begin by learning to recognize the favorite, easy to spot trigger words we use that turn on H/H: 

·         I can’t.  I give up.

·         What’s the use?  Why bother?

·         Who cares? 

·         It’s not worth it.  I’m not worth it.

·         It’s hopeless.  I’m helpless.

·         To hell with it.  Ferk it. 

            Those “give up” trigger words signal our energy factory to shut down.  They are the opposite of the trigger words that turn on our energy: “I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.  I will.” 

            No other species besides our own makes itself depressed and apathetic, and commits suicide to the degree we do.  I explain this because we alone have the sufficient power of interpretation to make ourselves powerful creators and destroyers.  Our power to assume personal responsibility may be summarized as follows:


1.      Besides instinct and tradition – i.e. nature and nurture, fate and circumstance – we may create a third manager of our life’s experience that we call self-mastery. Our three masters therefore are instinct, tradition, and the degree of self-mastery we create for ourselves with maturity.

2.      We become powerful and assume responsibility for our destiny because we have a specialized, sophisticated freedom organ, our cerebral cortex.  We have the power of interpretation.  Our freedom organ acquires language, applies imagination to knowledge, and introduces new phenomena to what nature has created.  We make ourselves powerful creators and destroyers through the power of interpretation.  The more knowledge we acquire of cause-and-effect relationships, the more powerful we become, and we are accelerating our growth of knowledge at an explosive rate.    

3.      We turn on the power of imagination by the meanings we assign to specific words.  Trigger words are any combination of words that turn on yesterday’s preprogrammed solutions to life’s challenges.  Word-switches are newly created trigger words (or new meanings assigned to established trigger words) that substitute more effective action pathways for older, ineffective or dangerous ones.  Word-switches apply current common sense knowledge and wisdom to solve today’s issues.

4.      The importance of collecting strens.  Strens are the wisdoms and the word-switches we must teach ourselves to wisely direct our growing power to beneficial outcomes.  Strens empower us to selectively turn off those action paths of instinct and tradition that worked for yesterday’s challenges but have become harmful today.  Strens are the common sense solutions we create to effectively manage new issues.     

Through our power of interpretation, we have made ourselves directors of our own destiny and that of our loved ones.  As human becomings, we are so rapidly expanding our knowledge that our generation(!) has suddenly entered the era where multiple tribes possess ultimate power.  Ultimate power has created the race we now observe between making the peaceful world we seek and self-annihilation.  We can’t afford to turn our energy off or even down.  We must sustain our energy to direct our knowledge to beneficial destinations.  We are in a timed race and the clock is tick-tick-ticking away.        

            Our task is clear.  Let’s prevent ourselves from drifting into the H/H response.  Like a whirlpool, once we are caught in it, it is nearly impossible to free ourselves without outside help.  Teach yourself to recognize the H/H words.  Prepare yourself to vigorously attack them before you get into the whirlpool.  Create in your mind a red alarm box like a fire alarm box.  As soon as you see, hear, or smell any of the H/H words, sound the alarm.  You will thus prepare yourself to run, not walk to the nearest exit.  It’s so easy to build your mental muscles for prevention now rather than wait until a cure is required.    

Here is an additional important insight about the H/H response:  None of us are born with it.  We create the pattern by preceding it with other negative responses.  We have identified the five alternative negative action pathways that precede and lead to H/Hblaming-out, blaming-in, avoidance, worry, and the mind/body response.  Are you beginning to see how our eight action pathways are interrelated?         


Clearly “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”  Prepare yourself in advance to vigorously and aggressively attack the H/H response.  Nip it early in the bud.  Prepare to substitute, “It may be damn difficult, but I can do my reasonable best!”  As you strengthen your skills in the newer way of thinking and increase your problem-solving and self-endorsement mental action pathways, the H/H response will weaken and disappear.

6. The Self-endorsement Response
8. The Worry Response


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