William Glasser was an American psychiatrist who had a profound effect on the early development of my approach to life, therapy and coaching. His unconventional voice in the fields of psychiatry and psychology was responsible for giving me, and many others, hope in a profession that felt stifling and impractical. He passed away this year, but he and his work live on in those millions of us who found hope and healing in his message. Rest in peace, Dr. Glasser.
Gifted people have big agendas – they want to learn and accomplish so much in life! However, without understanding how to best manage their energy, they often find themselves burning out or otherwise not concentrating well, not accomplishing what they want, and not being satisfied with themselves. Learn about how I help my gifted clients learn to better understand and manage their energy to increase productivity, creativity, self-care and self-esteem.
Often accompanied by an intense inner disharmony, giftedness has more than once been confused with pathology in the course of history. Kazimierz Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration offers an astoundingly positive and hopeful approach to understanding the seemingly pathological disharmony that the gifted often experience. Rather than mental weakness or illness, he argues that this inner disharmony is the great catalyst of self-actualization.
Clients often come to me in a state of agitation, impatience and panic (real or existential, sometimes both), wanting a “magic solution” for their current dilemma – which is, in fact, a microcosmic representation or symptom of their overall life dilemma. And while I really do have a “magic solution” to share with them, it’s never what they expect, and like any good magic trick, it takes practice to master. The magic solution? Gratitude.
Many of us conceptualize “struggle” as “bad.” In our limited view, we consider that to struggle means to be in pain, and that to be in pain is bad. But it is exactly this reasoning that has caused so many of us to fall repeatedly into cycles of struggle recreation (often called self-defeating behavior patterns): to avoid struggle is to short-circuit a natural and necessary growth process, keeping us in a “Groundhog Day” pattern of personal and relational problems. How can we resolve this dilemma?
The little girl with no needs. The little boy who takes care of mom. Premature maturity, is in fact, no escape from having needs or needing to be taken care of. It is not an escape from being a child, and it is in fact, not often maturity at all. Premature maturity is something else more painful: it is our childish attempt to buy (negotiate) a sense of security in a world of confusion, chaos, pain, death, illness, and feelings of loneliness and abandon. If we are just mature enough, maybe someone will care, will love us, will help us. Or if we are just strong enough, maybe the family can stay together, mom can get better, dad will love us, we’ll find our place in life.
Visionaries aren’t just “people with lots of ideas.” Rather, a visionary’s brain has an astounding ability to make sense of seemingly millions of complex associations at lightning speed, working and reworking the puzzle of an uncountable number of infinitesimal factors, and seeing possibilities and obstacles that many couldn’t have conceptualized given a year’s time to reflect, research and plan. On one hand, it’s fun be a visionary! On the other, there arrives a moment when all of the speedy imagining must slow down: the connections have to converge in order for the brain and mind to focus on the attainment of a singular integrated goal. And for many visionaries and other types of global thinkers, this is the really, really hard part of life.