Chapter I – Part 13

$ Ian had today his coaching class.

$ Don’t tell me anything.

$ Why not?

$ Because I can see everything. Words will only dim the picture and make it shallow.

Chapter I – Part 12

$ It is a phrase occurring in a Jewish wisdom folktale involving King Solomon. The phrase is commonly engraved on silver rings. Many versions of the folktale have been recorded by the Israel Folklore Archive at the University of Haifa. Heda Jason recorded this version told by David Franko from Turkey “One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah Ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, “Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot which gives you six months to find it.” “If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty,” replied Benaiah, “I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?” “It has magic powers,” answered the king. “If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy.” Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility. Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring. On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day’s wares on a shabby carpet. “Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?” asked Benaiah. He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile. That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity. “Well, my friend,” said Solomon, “have you found what I sent you after?” All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled. To everyone’s surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, “Here it is, your majesty!” As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face. The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: gimel, zayin, yud, which began the words “Gam zeh ya’avor” -$ “This too shall pass.” At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.” The phrase “This too shall pass” and the associated ring story were made popular by Abraham Lincoln in his ‘Address Before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’ on September 30th, 1859: “It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!

$ What can I do about it?

$ Look at the Tai Chi symbol. It basically represents yin and yang forming a unity. They are complementary opposites: south and north, summer and winter, female and male etc. In each of them there is an element of the opposite, like for example light of the stars in the darkness of the night. When I act, I believe, anything is possible. Let it be the white field. When I become dependent on the result of my actions or when I let my ego be my road-sign, then I am in the black spot. On the other hand, the black field would represent acting as if I had a guarantee that my dreams would never come true.

$ You must be joking! I wouldn’t lift a finger, I wouldn’t even lift a toe if I knew that I have such a guarantee. The slightest effort – whatever for?

$ You were talking about the ski jumper AB. Imagine that you are him and that you are at the World Championship. You are able to win. Your supporters around you are cheering. You can see the logo of your sponsor everywhere. What can you feel?

$ Pressure.

$ Exactly. If you have a virtual guarantee that there won’t be any medal anyway, you jump the best you can, only for love to jumping. And you lift the pressure.

$ I’m shocked. What does the white spot on the black field represent?

$ The black field can stand for humility. And the white spot for lethargy, pointlessness, humiliation, false modesty, for “I don’t deserve”. You applied the first exercise to perfectionism. And the second?

$ Morbid gain. I achieve a lot when I am a perfectionist. It gives me a sense of using my time, my talents and my resources to the full. I am an example for others and it allows me to require more from them. I get accolades and prizes. I have no remorse.

$ There’s much to give up. Have you heard of an efficiency expert who was making his report to Henry Ford?

$ No, how does it go?

$ “As you well see. sir, the report is highly favourable, except for that man down the hall. Every time I pass by he’s sitting with his feet on his desk. He’s wasting your money. Said Ford. “That man once had an idea that earned us a fortune. At the time I believe his feet were exactly where they are now.” Permissions are left.

$ I got stuck. Perfectionism is my second nature. I don’t know what to say.

$ Let me tell you what came to my mind. I have a right to say: it’s good enough now. It’s ok to achieve less. Instead of evaluating, I choose sticking to the facts. I focus on myself instead of comparing with others. My value doesn’t depend on what I do, where I am, what I have and whether people praise me or not. I am much more than my bad conscious. Letting go serves my life.

$ I can’t get through this. It’s totally alien to me. There must be a way to learn foreign languages and not to have to be tortured like this.

$ If you suffer from working on permissions, leave it. No forcing. The best solution will present itself.

Chapter I – Part 11

$ Now you know how permissions work. What permissions do your foreign languages need?

$ I have a right to master English. I have a right to stop learning English and start knowing it. I have a right to speak English. I have a right to take advantage of what I already know. I have a right to believe that I will get by. I have a right to ask people to repeat. I have a right not to understand and to ask for clarification. I have a right to succeed in a spectacular way thanks to English.

$ I have a right to succeed in a spectacular way just like that.

$ I have a right to cope with true challenges.

$ I have a right not to know English.

$ No, no it is still out of question.

$ To have a right doesn’t obviously mean to make use of it. Are you entitled to take a sick leave?

$ Of course I do. I take your point.

$ By the way, what’s wrong with taking a sick leave?

$ When I am ill, I have the impression I have failed. That I’m getting older. That I start to malfunction. I am scared that other people will notice it and that they will disrespect me. I want to prove to myself and to others that I’m strong and tough. Besides, there’s so much work to do. If we all go to sick leaves… I want my employees to be as committed as I am.

$ You have large shoes to fill. And other people in your company too.

$ I’m a perfectionist.

$ From my observation I have deduced that perfectionism is a huge obstacle in learning foreign languages. Of course, not only in learning foreign languages; I just emphasize that because the target of our meetings is to learn a foreign language.

$ Excellency has always motivated me to work better, to achieve more etc.

$ To some extend it is motivating for sure, especially if I can see the results I was dreaming about at the beginning. Nevertheless, I can also become its slave and then I am what I call unconsumed perfectionist: since I am not able to do this perfectly, I won’t do it at all. Or I will hinder my task more.

$ How is that?

$ E.g. I can’t get organized to learn one language, so I start learning another language.

$ It’s not me. I don’t act like this.

$ Another example: I have ambitious plans for this year and I …

$ … put on weight. Ouch! It hurt.

$ I’m sorry. Why don’t you apply our three new exercises to handle your perfectionism?

$ Number 1: change my attitude towards perfectionism; towards my perfectionism; towards my perfectionism in the area of foreign languages; towards perfectionism as a source of motivation.

$ Towards evaluation. Towards attachment to the result. Towards setting goals beyond measure. Towards stating that something is already good enough.

$ Towards hindering tasks.

$ Towards simplifying tasks.

$ I’m scared.

$ Of what?

$ That if I simplify my tasks, I will relax too much, I will omit something and I won’t  reach my goals as perfectly as I assumed.

$ Since I love controlling, I don’t practice the art of letting go. Look at the nature? Does it hinder its own work?

$ No, it follows the line of the least resistance.

$ That’s it. If I am a fish I choose water for my house. If I’m a rabbit, I go hunting in a place where there are no foxes. Everything is perfect in the nature even a lightning blasting a 100-year-old pine.

$ I protest! Why should someone or something destroy the results of my work for no reason?

$ For the above mentioned blasting of a pine by a lightning is not destruction, merely a change of form, which is inevitable sooner or later. The ego tempts with thoughts of immortality, and if not immortality, then  at least living 900 years long like Master Yoda. With a good reason the devil at the end of “The Devil’s Advocate” says: vanity – my favorite sin. Nothing is permanent except change. “This too shall pass”, Hebrew: גם זה יעבור‎, gam zeh yaavor, does it ring a bell?

$ Not that I can recall.

Chapter I – Part 10

$ Let your mind get rid of unnecessary ballast; let your body follow suit. I am allowed to treat eating as fuelling. The tank has a determined capacity. I fill the tank no sooner than when it is empty.

$ These permissions seem not to work because I am getting hungry.

$ Is this hunger representing real needs of your body or appetite?

$ Pardon?

$ Listen to what Joachim Werdin taught me. When you feel hungry, stop for a moment, relax your mind and your body and ask yourself: “what is it”? Then only  f e e l  the answer. You need to feel the reason of your hunger, so don’t think about it, don’t analyze that. The more feelings and the less intellect there is in the process of discovering these reasons, the more conscious you are. Thinking (intellect, everyday mental work) belongs to a limited sphere of the consciousness. When you leave the intellect, you can deeper understand your body and mind. That is why you need to feel the answer. It often happens that you stop being hungry in the very moment of relaxation and calming down. If you however don’t stop being hungry, keep on feeling. Various pictures and emotions can show up because blocked feelings, thoughts and mental schemes which were repressed are first felt as hunger.

If you start thinking about food and eat afterwards as soon as you feel hungry, you keep blocked emotions, pictures, thoughts and push them along into your psyche sphere. If you however hang on for a while and not feed your appetite, you’ll get ready to feel what message your unconsciousness wants to push out. If your reveal that message you can transform it so that it doesn’t torment you.

You can do the next step if you still feel hungry after you relaxed your body and mind and got ready to feel the reason. Ask yourself: ‘what do I exactly want to eat?’ Observe a “film” with various kinds of food and feel which one suits you the most. After you find one, imagine for a while that you’re eating it. Feel it in your mouth, throat, stomach, bowels. Again, ask yourself: ‘what is it?’ and feel the answer.

If your hunger disappears, stop in this moment. If not, keep on feeling. Emotions, pictures, important thoughts can show up now, so that you can solve a problem blocked within you. Enjoy them, let them flow through you and seize you. Feel them in your whole body and mind, be one with them so that you can understand better what they are and what process is going on in you.

When they leave you, having fulfilled their task, they will never make you feel hungry.

If you body really needs determined microelements, vitamins, you will still feel hungry. Take a piece of the food you felt like eating. Do it absolutely consciously. Feel your every movement and reaction when and how you take it, slice it, cook it, all the time you prepare it. Be alert about what you feel, your emotions, reactions of your body and intellect. Focus on the question: ‘what is it?’ and wait – in your feelings – for an answer. The whole procedure of preparing the food (you stand up, you make the first step to the shop or to the kitchen) is your contemplation. If you still feel hungry, do the next step.

Now you are sitting in front of the food you feel like eating. Slowly take a piece, while observing all the time your feelings when you move, reactions of your body, mind and psyche. Stop the food in front of your nose, smell it, enjoy the smell for a moment. Explore the smell while observing all the time and waiting for an emotional answer to the question: ‘what is it?’ Remember, you need to feel the answer, don’t let your intellect create it. And again, either your hunger disappears or emotions, pictures, thoughts show up. If not, go on.

Only now can you bite into the food you have prepared. Keep it in your mouth and enjoy it. Feel all the reactions of your body, psyche, intellect. Feel, feel, feel, observe, don’t think.

Then – this is very important — chew it for a longtime, not shorter than 3 minutes. The longer you keep it in your mouth, even for hours, chew, suck between your teeth, the better. Usually, 3-5 minutes is enough. The food that you chew changes the taste once or more times. Don’t swallow it before it changes the taste if you want the process to be complete. You will often feel that the taste of the chewed food has become unpleasant. It’s a hint from your body that it wants you to spit it out. Your body took out everything what it need from this food.

If however the taste is still good, swallow the food slowly, be fully conscious and keep on feeling. Swallow it no sooner than it is liquid or homogeneously smashed. Feel, feel, feel, observe and don’t think.

Do the same with every piece till you feel you’re fed up. Then you’ll know it was a real need of your body to get determined substance. You gave it your body, in a perfect time, in a perfect amount. You took care of it in a perfect way.

$ Interesting.

Chapter I – Part 9

$ The third exercise I promised to you can be a part of the solution to this. First, I’m going to tell you an anecdote about a beginner writer. This man, who discovered that he wanted to write, used to work as a clerk so he could only write after work or before work and at weekends which turned out to be about 10 pages a week. He had a plan of a wonderful novel and the following calculation stopped him from implementing this plan: 10 pages a week = 520 pages after a year of systematic work. A year of pressure! A year of small steps! That was too long. What helped him was to give himself a permission to write a short book.

$ Does it mean that my English can hit the ground running if I take into account a version of success that I find uninteresting today? Like a short novel in the case of your writer?

$ Not necessarily. The permission can refer to the success itself as well as to one aspect of the success. Let me give you some examples and please, think about which one you find suitable for you. Today, three times you mentioned the question of body mass, diets, food so the examples are going to refer to this sphere for a change.

I have a right to be slim and healthy. I am permitted to be handsome. Be happy and accomplished in every aspect of your life for free, without paying for this with some overweight. Learn how to wait for a result – practice makes perfect – you have a right to train with no hurry. You can relax doing sports, chit-chatting, dancing, reading instead of eating. Praise every cm3 of your body. Your value doesn’t depend on how much effort you put in fighting against obstacles in your life. You have a right to show to people your true colors instead of entrenching your positions with fatty tissue and isolating from lack of acceptance and self-acceptance. You may choose what supports your life and what enriches your life. Fall in love with yourself.

$ This can’t be done.

$ Smell your perfume and imagine you’re going to swoon. Stroke your hair and feel shiver. Look at your beautiful palms and kiss them.

$ Are you out of your mind?

$ No, I’m not. Look at me. I’m going to give myself a big hug to express the joy of being here. Say to yourself: you’ve worked so much today, Ian, it’s time for a coffee break. How would you like your coffee? Espresso? Lungho? Black? Sugar? Spoil yourself! That’s what people in love do, don’t they? Next permissions. I put myself on the first place. With this body mass or another I am the same valuable person. I have a right to say goodbye to my body mass problems.

$ I like that one.

Chapter I – Part 8

$ Are you still angry with me?

$ Even more, I think, because I envy you that you transform you shortcomings into inspiration. I must confess: my first reaction was different.

$ What was it?

$ I thought to myself: some people get bored at work. Or maybe they don’t have work to do and at my expense they allow themselves a chess course. Nevertheless, quickly enough I recalled: everything is my reflection.

$ Thank you for being so frank. When we started, I asked you to point out advantages of a situation where people haven’t mastered a foreign language for years. In medical science, this phenomenon is called primary and secondary morbid gain. Normally, nobody says that they want to be ill because it pays off to be ill. However, an illness can produce positive motivations: if I am ill, people require less from me, I can miss work, get sympathy, avoid challenges.

$ Right. I haven’t been on a sick leave since… I don’t remember when.

$ Do you never get sick?

$ I do. A flu’, sinus inflammation, bronchitis. I go to work then, stay shorter in my office, I try to recover at weekends.

$ We’ll come back to this today, too. What advantages can you see in a situation like yours, as far as the foreign languages are concerned?

$ I can get mad at English, say that it is difficult, ugly, illogical. Instead of thinking that maybe I am a loser.

$ If you learned, you wouldn’t be such a waste?

$ I don’t think so. I would find another scapegoat. E.g. something related to the diets and losing weight. Secondly, it pays off not to speak a foreign language because I have less work and less responsibility.

$ What you dispraised yourself for last time, pays off.

$ Unfortunately. Abroad, people who go with me, have to mother me, it’s nice to be taken care of.

I have a reason not to go abroad: because I don’t speak the language and I don’t conceal: savings and a short trip are very tempting for me.

I can perceive my life a constant rehearsal: when I speak English….

$ Then?

$ I dream of restructuring completely my Technical Department, of creating a separate R&D. There’s a boy in my company, an amazing visionary. Do you know what he shared with me last? Well, he is convinced that our mind has such possibilities that it can grab any information as needed regardless of whether it is in a book, online or on a tape. I just ask myself a question, and my intuition or telepathy shows me where to find an answer, e.g. in the Edison’s biography. And then I use my mental mouse and click on an adequate virtual folder. In his opinion, fast reading is an intermediate stage. Of course, our classical reading remains, but only in the frame of pleasure from the communion with a text. To him, the evidence that it is possible is collective memory and cellular memory. He says: the Maker “geniused” so much while creating the DNA not to make human beings pore over a book or in front of a computer.

$ Fascinating! It appeals to me very much because I am of the opinion that forgetting doesn’t exist. I interrupted you. You were talking about the boy.

$ It’s ok. I am sure he is wasting his talents in my company. So far he is young, he enjoys working in my place but in time he’ll see that, too. I have access to enormous founds for research at a giant scale. Budget plan, negotiations, conferences – everything in English. I can’t make it. No, I can’t make it. I hide behind my English not to confront huge challenges, loads of work and no guarantee of success.

$ You have found some arguments in favor of procrastination in developing your English.

$ More and more come to my mind. I am appalled!

$ Every time you realize such a morbid gain you can choose giving it up.

$ Temporary lack of income in exchange for future gains.

$ Exactly. Answer to yourself: are you ready to face what you really think of yourself instead of hiding behind English, diets, weather, crisis? Are you apt to have more things to do? Take up more responsibility? Would you fancy seeing what it is like to be independent abroad? What it is like being abroad a couple of times a year, to spend on yourself (with pleasure!) money you have earned in your honest and hard work? Will you be able to leave your comfort zone, face travel efforts, enjoy the otherness of the place where a 12-hour-flight got you? Will you take the risk of creating a separate R&D in this very year and promise that regardless of the outcome, in one-year-time you’ll say: I wouldn’t have it any other way?

$ Uhhh, as you see, I’m not buying anything from what you’re saying.

Chapter I – Part 7

$ I told you last time that I had three types of exercise for you and we did one.

$ Right, the fucking attitude.

$ “Fucking” sounds like praying for a change of attitude towards attitudes.

$ It’s just the fact that this whole work piles up.

$ Do you mean the work on yourself inspired by studying a language?

$ Yes, that’s correct.

$ So let’s get started with an exercise that is tricky. Tell me, please, what are the advantages of not mastering a foreign language or of not making satisfactory progress in learning it?

$ Advantages? There aren’t any advantages. I despise myself for not having closed this chapter yet. How can I benefit from this? I came to you because this situation has only shortcomings.

$ You started to learn foreign languages over 30 years ago and for over 30 years you have been nurturing this state. The state of not knowing. It must pay off somehow.

$ I resent that. I don’t nurture this state. I just so happened. When I was a student, I founded my company, I got very much involved in my business, we were doing fine and the company was my priority. I was absorbed by things more important than languages.

$ You are angry with me because I remembered you how long you had been struggling with languages, with less than average result.

$ Yes, I am angry with you! You don’t understand me. Foreign languages are your passion and you have no idea what it feels like to work on a language and to get the only salary in form of weariness and regress.

$ I heard this objection once in a coaching class and it resonated with me. And you know what I did? I chose an area of mental work (dancing dropped out then) far from languages and I applied there what I teach students in the coaching classes.

$ What was it?

$ Chess. I have been playing for almost a year and I haven’t won . Not a single time.

$ I’m laughing because it’s unthinkable to me. You play in order to win, don’t you? If you don’t win, maybe it’s better… say that for me, please.

$ To leave it?

$ Exactly.

$ If children had a similar approach to learning how to walk, none of us would probably walk. Chess means to me much more than winning/losing. Firstly, I haven’t been on the other side for years, i.e. I always teach somebody; in chess, somebody teaches me. Secondly, it is a chance for me to test my methods in an area that is – as you noticed – neither my passion nor a piece of cake. This gives me a third gift: inspiration to deliberately reforge my methods and adapt them to other disciplines, e.g. finance. Fourthly, playing chess helps me understand better Garry Kasparov’s “How Life Imitates Chess” and consequently tackle the development of my company and my own more tactically and strategically. Fifthly, I have a real context to practice: sing as if nobody could hear you, dance as if nobody could see you, love as if nobody had hurt you.

$ Play chess as if nobody could lose.

Chapter I – Part 6

$ It seems you have found the key to the enchanted gate to your attitude. Let’s get back to the question of shame, fear and control. You’ll have a look at the remaining ones on your own when you feel like it and when you come to the conclusion it enriches your life.

$ Fear.

$ Fear. Where is the fear?

$ First in my head, then everywhere.

$ So it’s very powerful. Where does this power come from?

$ I give the fear this power. First, I imagine something, I recall something or interpret an event. Then I imagine some more, I recall something more and something else happens etc. Fear becomes perpetual motion.

$ Tell me about a fear of yours that is connected with foreign languages.

$ I was about five years old. We went to Greece with my family. My parents gave me money and send to the shop to get some milk. We used to go to that shop many times, I knew where the bottles with the milk were and how much it cost. I came in and I saw no milk. I walked in the shop round and round, once, twice – nothing. Two shop assistants saw question marks in my eyes and started explaining something to me. I don’t even know what language they spoke. I think they tried in various languages. I felt so embarrassed. Finally, one of them put down: 17.00, gave me this piece of paper and I came back running to the hotel with a feeling of failure. I thought I had deceived my family. It’s absurd: 50 years later I dive into a history of some unbought milk.

$ Do you think a successful president that you obviously are is not allowed to fail?

$ Failures cost money and time.

$ To me, milk and diary products are very symbolic. They remind me of my mother’s breast. Totally unconsciously, of course. What do I want to have if I feel depressed? Chicory coffee with cream. Mother’s breast implies security. You mentioned security today before we started talking about losing control. Does it resonate with you?

$ I’m thinking.

$ What are you feeling?

$ I don’t know.

$ Are you afraid of knowing?

$ This is possible.

$ What is the worst thing that can happen when you find out what you feel?

$ I will cry like a broad in front of my language coach and my wife will know it and she complains I never cry. I didn’t even cry at my mother’s funeral. What time is it? Let’s call it a day. Anyway, I wanted to leave early today because I’m going to the theatre to see the premiere of “The Quartet”.

Chapter I – Part 5

You see, using a language is not separated from life, it is a part of life. If losing control drives me crazy every time it happens, probably losing control when it comes to a foreign language wakes a beast in me, too. When do you lose control over foreign languages?

$ When do I lose control? I have never had it! At school I wasn’t able to reach much in this subject and when I started (the word “started” is the key word here) to organize something in my head, they changed the teacher. I prepared piles of cribs, language tests cost me sleepless nights and digestions extravagancies. To add more zest, I’d like to emphasize that I was a very good student. Not the best, but a very good one. The older I was, the more scared that one day somebody would discover: man, you’ve been learning English for 8 years, all certified, and you don’t know anything! So to make it worse, I was controlled by shame and fear. Now my control is much more professional because I have become professional, too. My company sell machines transforming solar energy into electricity and carrying it to sockets, batteries etc. Scientists all over the world work on using solar energy and everything they publish is in a foreign – to me – language. Research that I’m talking about is done with such a speed that once a report is translated into my mother tongue, it needs to be updated. I get those reports with my everyday mail and I feel how much power they have over me. I am ashamed of the fact that I’m not even able to skim the text and evaluate whether I need a full translation or not. I’m also afraid of the following: due to my linguistic incompetence I will make a wrong strategic decision, my company will collapse, 5,000 people, most of them breadwinners, will be given a sack. It’s a nightmare that haunts me now and then. Of course if it happens, Technical Director and Translation Department will be to blame. I feel so humiliated.

$ In your eyes, is it a manipulation to fire somebody for something you regard as – let me call it provisionally – your fault?

$ Indeed. Right, when I reproached you manipulation, I was talking about myself. I remember when you told me that every person and every situation were my reflection. And what I think about them, in fact I think about myself. We even had a row about it and I stopped attending coaching classes for half a year. My reason gave me the hint: it’s not a method for me. I had the impression I understood what you meant and I thought I just didn’t agree  with you. Today I felt it. I am devastated and I can’t see a swallow at the end of the tunnel.

$ Or light at the end of the tunnel vs one swallow that doesn’t make a summer.

$ You see, I don’t even speak my mother tongue.

$ Change of attitude, quickly, please! We started from manipulation. So I can assume that in order to change your life, including its linguistic areas, you need to change your attitude towards… towards what?

$ To manipulation itself. Oh, no! Does it mean that I’m supposed to take to manipulation?! Manipulation is bad! If everybody…

$ Objection, Your Honor! We leave big quantifiers in front of the building of the language centre because it is only about you. It is always only about you and here it is about you in the context of your foreign languages. What’s good? What’s bad? “Let the cabbage be our judge! And the cabbage answered sadly: why quarrel? We’ll soon end up in a soup.” Is a toothache good or bad? How often would you go to the dentist’s if you knew that your teeth won’t ache?

$ Nice shot.

$ What would you say if I suggested changing your attitude to your perception of manipulation?

$ All right.

$ Changing your attitude to seeing manipulation everywhere?

$ Uhm. Changing my attitude to seeing psychomanipulation in the work of my language coach.

Both burst out laughing. A dignified CEO used two pieces of tissue to dry his tears and clean his nose.

Chapter I – Part 4

$ That’s it. Resistance against change can get various forms, e.g. the form of impatience.

$ To me it is rather evidence that I can’t wait, that I want so much to change.

$ That’s what I can claim aloud but deep in my heart I may want to have it behind me. Secondly, I can give up (because apparently I don’t have enough patience) instead of contacting with my fear of losing or with my resistance. Thirdly, if I don’t develop my patience, there is a chance of making more mistakes and consequently of reassuring myself that a change for better is for others, not for me. Another form: change of subject.

$ O, yes! Change of subject is a signal of a resistance per se, not only resistance against change. Recently, I was talking to an old acquaintance of mine and told him I was expecting a grandchild. He didn’t even say half a word of congratulations, only: by the way, before I forget… And it wasn’t by the way what he was going to tell me. Anyway, his children are a little older than mine, none of them has an intention of founding their own family.

$ He compared himself with you and it hurt. Other forms: leaving the room, coming late, getting ill, hanging back, getting distracted, eating, smoking.

$ Eating sounds familiar.

$ Assumptions (like: “it doesn’t make sense anyway”); convictions (“I don’t believe in me”); procrastination.

$ After Easter, after the long weekend, after holidays…

$ O, yes! Denying that you need a change, repressed memory, motivated forgetting.

$ Actually what do I need English for? I have been fine without English for 30 years, I will be fine the next 60 years.

$ That’s right. Last but not least, fear of the unknown, fear of failure. Let’s face the first exercise. The aim of this exercise is to change your attitude towards English, towards learning foreign languages etc. First you realize what your attitude is, if you find out that a given attitude prevents you from learning English, from being healthy etc. you decide to change it without entering into details. You set a task and you trust your intuition.

$ I know what else disgusts me in these exercises of yours. I associate them with a psychomanipulation, sects, subliminal programming.

$ You know what they say: what you see, you are. Let’s get started with psychomanipulation, sects and subliminal programming then. By the way, what is the difference between a manipulation and … and what? What can you call it? A neutral telling people things? Let’s have a look at such 3 situations: 1. you swamp your assistant with compliments and bonuses because in your opinion she can do better than that and if she falls in love with you she will do anything for you; 2. you swamp your assistant with compliments and bonuses because in your opinion she’s been doing an excellent job and in this way you express your gratitude; 3. you deliberately conceal all the compliments addressed to you assistant and you scant on bonuses for her because in spite of her exemplary work you don’t want her to either fall in love with you or to grow too big for her boots. Where is manipulation?

$ Such 3 situations don’t exhaust the subject and situation number 2 hardly ever takes place. Get a grip! Nobody does an excellent job in a long term.

$ So there is manipulation in situation 1 and 3.

$ Yes, and to me, you can talk about manipulation when you expect a particular result in somebody’s actions and that is the reason of what you’re doing.

$ So if I suggest you do an exercise and my intention is to enable you at the end of the day to communicate in a foreign language, does it mean: I manipulate you?

$ That’s what I’m afraid of.

$ Are you worried that a witch can come, make hocus pocus and disenchant your foreign language?

$ I have no guarantee that it is safe, that she won’t do any harm to me.

$ Do you need to control in order to avoid risks?

$ Yes, I do, I hate unmanageable things.

$ Let’s get back to the question of attitude.