We know more than ever before about how disease occurs, and how to prevent it and live longer, healthier, happier and more productive lives. People receive more helpful advice and information than ever before in human history, in ever more clever, entertaining and effective ways. Bookstores are full of self-help books that give all kinds of good advice and information.
Yet we still have way too many people who start and continue to behave in unhealthy, self-defeating ways, often even after suffering needlessly, or causing others to. We have too many people still dying prematurely from largely preventable illnesses that are largely brought on by their own behavior. We have too many people who don't do many things they could that they know would make their lives better.
If you examine all the things that go wrong in the lives of individuals, families and schools, or society at large, you find they are largely either defined by, or caused, directly or indirectly, by one or more persons generating more emotion than is necessary or helpful to the situation they find themselves in, and what they do because of that, or to deal with it. They do that because of what they think about the life events they are confronted with. That's why emotional management is considered the most important of all life skills.
People start and continue to behave in unhealthy, self-defeating ways because it serves a purpose in their lives. Behavior is always goal-orientated. Unfortunately, people often have "mistaken" goals that get them off-course from getting what they really want, like living a long, healthy, happy and productive life. For example, they might have the mistaken goal of temporarily avoiding, withdrawing from, or getting relief from unpleasant life events and the feelings that come with them. People have to be in the right cognitive and emotional place to be free to access and act on the helpful advice and information they've been given. This book teaches people how to get there. Other books do not.
There are four life skills that we could and should be teaching people of all ages, especially our young people, and encouraging them to become proficient at. They are:
1) To have Unconditional Self-Acceptance (USA) and Unconditional Other
2) To have an internal locus of control
3) To recognize and correct irrational thinking in themselves and others
4) A step-by-step approach to any potentially troublesome situation that
would allow people to get into the best possible cognitive and
emotional place to make the best possible choice
Perfecting these skills would give someone truly effective emotional management. These skills are what this book teaches, and does so effectively.
Shame occurs when someone believes they haven't lived up to their own or others expectations. Shame causes people to do all kinds of unhealthy, self-defeating and even self-destructive things. Most importantly, shame blocks change. It keeps people from taking an objective look at what they think, feel, say and do, from acknowledging any problem, and from availing themselves of help that is often available.
Low self-esteem is often blamed for all kinds of unhealthy, self-defeating behavior. Low self-esteem is, in essence, shame about past behaviors and performances, and generating intense anxiety about future ones because of it. The solution is not, as many believe, to try to make someone feel better about themselves. You technically can't do that.
The solution to both problems is to teach Unconditional Self-Acceptance. This book shows the reader how to do that in themselves, and help others do the same.
Most people have an external locus of control. They believe that what others say and do and what happens makes them feel bad. This causes them to feel worse than necessary or longer than needed. It causes them to feel like a victim of their circumstances, and to miss many opportunities to feel better. However, it's really our thoughts about what happens that causes how we feel. Thoughts cause feelings, not events. We all have a host of cognitive choices that determine how we feel. This book teaches people how to develop an internal locus of control. It teaches them the real cause of their feelings, what their cognitive choices are, and how to use that information to their advantage to feel better.
Since the way people think is the ultimate cause of how they feel, this book also teaches people how to recognize and correct irrational thinking in themselves and others, and a step-by-step method to get into the best possible cognitive, and thereby emotional place to behave in as rational a way as possible.