Quick Concepts

Birds fly because they believe they can; one moment of doubt and they would plummet to the earth. Unknown

The centipede was happy quite
Until the toad, in fun,
Said, pray, which leg moves after which?
This raised her doubts to such a pitch
She fell distracted in the ditch,
Not knowing how to run. – Marion Quinlan Davis
A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. James Allen [ 1864-1912]

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.Cognitive-Behavior-5jpg

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
[1749 - 1832]
Eliza Doolittle in Shaw’s Pygmalion explains that “the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.”
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created – created first in mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.

John Schaar

… You and I belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events in each other’s brains with exquisite precision. Simply by making noises with our mouths, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other’s minds. Steven Pinker [1994]

Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own action to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action” A Bandura [1997]
Say unto yourself what you would have others say unto you. Lazarus & Lazarus

As you think, so shall you feel. Lazarus & Lazarus

“Optimism, the conviction that you can change, is a necessary first step in the process of all change” [Seligman - 1994].

“The problem is that when we say a person seeks true information we really mean that the person seeks information that [s/he] considers true. …subjective truth is largely a matter of coherence; statements that complement (rather than contradict) what one already believes are likely to be seen as true.” [Gilbert - 1993]

Inner speech is one of the most important modes of experience. Most of us go around the world talking to ourselves, though we may be reluctant to do so out loud. We may be so accustomed to the inner voice that we are no longer aware of its existence ‘metacognitively’……the inner voice maintains a running commentary about our experiences, feelings and relationships with others; it comments on past events and helps to make plans for the future [Klinger - 1971].

…One may say that the loss of consciousness of a predictable event ‘is’ the signal that the event has been learned completely. [Baar]

…Unconscious context helps to shape the novel, conscious information. Our ability to learn any new information is critically dependent on prior, largely unconscious knowledge [Bransford, 1979].

The existence of de-automatization is one reason to believe that consciousness may be involved in debugging automatic processes that run into difficulties. [Baar]

Conscious experiences have internal consistency, but unconscious processors may be mutually contradictory. [Baar]

Human beings are intensely concerned about the future, and we often have strong beliefs about it, even when future events are inherently probabilistic [Tversky & Kahneman, 1973].

“These two meanings of expectancy – likelihood of occurrence and normative – are sufficiently different that they can be contradictory. If the boss tells a subordinate that he is expected [in the normative sense] to report in on time, but in his heart he actually expects [in the probability sense] the subordinate to be late, it is the latter expectation, not the normative one, that will be unwittingly communicated and initiate a Self Fulfilling Prophecy that may result in tardy behavior on the part of the subordinate. Thus it is expectancy in the sense of that which the expecter believes is likely to occur, rather than that which a person believes ought to occur, that leads to the behavior that fulfills the prophecy. In particular the use of “performance expectation’ refers to the level at which the manager believes the subordinate is likely to perform” [Eden - 1990].

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”–Anais Nin

We are what we pretend to be.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Attentiveness to our deeds, but above all to our thoughts and our words, which precede deeds. Buddha

One cannot get rid of what has been said and done; it does not simply vanish, but continually exerts an impact. From that a personality is formed. Buddha

If environment means literally what’s around, it must also mean whatever is around. This is because the unconscious psyche selects quite arbitrarily among the stuff encountered every day in the environment. Tiny and trivial bits of information may have huge subliminal psychic effects.. – James Hillman

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. – Nietzsche

When we are no longer able to change a situation – …- we are challenged to change ourselves. Frankl

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Stories are our habitation. We live in and through stories. They conjure worlds. We do not know the world other than as a story world. Stories inform life. They hold us together and keep us apart. We inhabit great stories of our culture. We live through stories. We are lived by the stories of our race and place. [Mair - 1988]

“The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.” –Ludwig Wittgenstein

I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives. Leo Tolstoy [As Reported by James Gleick, 1987]
No one can make you inferior without your consent. Unknown
You probably know the story about the elephants who are tied to very small stakes. The western visitor asks why they don’t pull up the stakes and walk away. The local people reply that when the elephants are babies, they are tied to the stakes and learn they can’t walk away from them. Even when they grow up to be big and powerful, and could easily walk away, they don’t because they have accepted the idea that they can’t. Otto Brodrick
…Our experience of the world is experience of an interpretation. Donaldson


Every perception … is an act of creation. Sacks