Category Archives: Action

The Power Of Negative Thinking

This a quote from a subheading in one of my favorite books of all time, “The Peter Principle“.

But in fact this approach has a long and rich history.

I am just about to head overseas on a 2 month trip with my wife and 3 small kids – and leave my counselling practice unattended for all that time.

For many reasons, this was something I assumed I would NEVER be able to do.

With the Power of Negative thinking (done more informally than Tim suggests in his video below) I managed to do it.

Think of this as a farewell from me – til November anyway – and, an invitation to you to apply negative thinking in your life for your success.

-Dr Martin Russell

Legal Self Help

I like my self help advice along the lines of the KISS principle – Keep It Short & Sweet.

Here is some legal self help advice that is about as KISS as it can get.

If you are ever questioned by police or authorized officials then this may save your bacon.

I know these videos are for US audiences who have the Fifth Amendment (the US Constitutional right to silence) and the Miranda Warning (letting you know that if you DO say something it can be used against you.)

But if you any in a country where someone reads you your rights, then I think that this is must-have legal self help  advice.

Here are two experts giving you the details behind this KISS approach to legal matters…


Don’t Talk to Cops, Part 1 – The Lawyer


Don’t Talk to Cops, Part 2 – The Policeman

Thanks to Gary North for identifying this for me.

-Dr Martin Russell

Self Help… Thinking Bigger

Self help can often seem very individual and isolated.

However when I say ‘self help’ it includes the idea that no man/woman is an island.

If you are reading this then chances are you are in a very priviledged position compared to most of the 6+ billion humans on this planet.

There is an entire world around us and lots of other people in that world too.

As individuals our fates are often tied to the people, culture, financial system, politics etc etc around us.

However if you don’t take these bigger factors into account, your own individual efforts can end up swamped by the tide of history.

One of these factors is this…

I do not believe that the next 20 years will be ANYTHING like the last 20 years.

What works today, will often NOT work tomorrow, because the future will not just be a straight line continuation of the past.

Helping yourself will show others that it is possible.

Helping yourself will also put you in a position to help people who haven’t planned for an altered future.

Like they say on airplanes safety instructions, “Please make sure you have your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.”

I encourage you in these turbulent times to view these videos here as a starter…
http://www.chrismartenson.com/crash-course

Take these bit by bit. Each one is a treasure of bigger thinking, and it is the best presented version I know of how thinking bigger can really be self help.

Oh, and just for the record, I only go along with with 95% of everything he says. I’ll let you judge what the 5% is.

-Dr Martin Russell

Exercise For Weight Loss

There is so much misinformation around about the benefits of exercise, particularly in regard to weight loss.

But let’s use a bit of common sense, shall we?

When we get active ie exercise, we use up energy.

If you don’t eat more calories, then this energy has to come from your body stores ie from fat.

So exercising more will burn off fat, and you will lose weight.

Simple, isn’t it?

NO!!!

Common sense has failed you and everyone else who pushes this line of thinking.

Don’t kill the messenger. I’m just passing on the researched reality.

Exercise has a pitifully small weight loss advantage.

Mild to moderate exercise removes an average of less than 3 pounds / 1 kilogram.

Vigorous exercise produces barely any more weight loss at 4 pounds or 1.5 kilograms.

That’s all!

Now that isn’t to say exercise doesn’t have other important. It does.

Exercise tones up your muscles, improves your heart, is a more effective mood enhancer than anti-depressants, helps you live longer, among other benefits. Pretty important if you ask me.

It’s just that exercise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for losing weight.

This totally non-commonsense finding is systematically proven by a review of all the best literature on exercise put together by the most authoritative research collation body in the world, the Cochrane Collaboration. They are not sponsored by medical companies so they are uniquely independent reviewers.

The header of their “Exercise for overweight or obesity” review does indeed say…

We found that exercise has a positive effect on body weight

But buried lower down in the sleep-inducing technical details they admit how miserably small the weight loss is…

When compared with no treatment, exercise resulted in small weight losses across studies. Exercise combined with diet resulted in a greater weight reduction than diet alone (WMD – 1.0 kg; 95% confidence interval (CI) -1.3 to -0.7). Increasing exercise intensity increased the magnitude of weight loss (WMD – 1.5 kg; 95% CI -2.3 to -0.7).

The small weight loss is the same whether you exercise for 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months or 12 months!

Not only that but no matter what type of exercise it is, the results are still unerringly the same.

You can check out the full study here.

In summary.

When someone, a gym instructor, a personal trainer, a friend, a health adviser, or even a medical authority, tells you that exercise will help you lose weight, I invite you to challenge them.

Ask them how much weight they think exercise will help you lose and watch them ignore your question, squirm, or outright invent stuff.

If they disagree with the study above then have them send their research proof to me. No one has yet.

Bust the myth-making.

Truth is that yes, on average, exercise will lose you weight. Just not much.

-Dr Martin Russell

What Can We Learn From Computer Nerds?

“Would you like me to give you a formula for… success? It’s quite simply, really. Double your rate of failure… You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all… You can be discouraged by failure — or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that’s where you’ll find success. On the far side of failure.”

-Thomas J. Watson
Founder of IBM

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

-Bill Gates
Founder of Microsoft

-Dr Martin Russell

Following Instructions

Have you ever thought you were following instructions exactly as described, and then found out that you weren’t.

I just discovered that I’ve been incorrectly mixing the milk powder formula for my 1 year old daughter.

I’ve been putting in 3 scoops, when it was meant to be 33% stronger at 4 scoops. I had been adamant I had read the instructions and was doing it correctly. I wasn’t.

Incredibly this is now my third child. Even though all three children were breastfed, I have still gone through probably more than a hundred of these milk formula cans, which means I’ve prepared many times that number of bottles over the years.

I even know I have revisited that particular set of instructions many times.

I still had it wrong.

And it’s not a one off experience for me.

As an example, about 5 years ago I was recommended to try a new shampoo.

It had instructions on it amounting to 2 sentences of a total of about 20 words.

In the first week of use I re-read those 20 words every day. I changed what I was doing on at least 4 occasions before I was happy I had it right. It was a very humbling experience.

However I suspect I’m not alone.

In my counseling work I get to give other people instructions too, and I’ve noticed what they do with them.

However by setting up this blog I found an even more obvious area for me to observe people’s ability to follow instructions.

With this blog I have an Intern Program where I teach people hands-on how to run an internet business.

Would you believe that the commonest problem people have had in following the Intern Program is not following instructions?

Even when I have let people know that they did not follow the instructions, they still repeated the same errors.

Then they got frustrated, and all but one stopped.

Really, really interesting.

Others have performed the procedures successfully. I re-read the instructions myself, and on only one occasion was the instruction itself unclear.

On all the other occasions the issue was that the instructions had not been precisely followed. In fact part of the Intern Program’s design is to test how well people can follow instructions because it is a crucial skill for success in business and in life.

How often have you tried something and then given up when it didn’t work?

On a rough survey of myself, my interns, and my patients over many years, I would suspect that one of the commonest problems will have been that you did not precisely follow the instructions.

“Oh, no, not me”, you say. “The problems I run into are one due to inadequate instructions in the first place, not because I don’t follow them.”

Well, gently I ask you to consider this…

IF, in the bizarrely unlikely event that you didn’t follow an instruction precisely as described, how would you discover your error?

Without feedback from someone who knows what it should be instead, you wouldn’t ever know!

This is the whole problem.

You may NEVER know of this error when it happens, and you can spend all your time identifying a thousand other reasons which have nothing to do with the crucial issue.

So there are only two possible solutions.

1. Self Help: Repeatedly start over, as if for the first time, and recheck whether you are following the instructions.

2. Other Help: Find someone who has already done what you want to do and who is willing to give you honest feedback on your efforts as you go. You can call them a counselor, adviser, friend, or even enemy, because sometimes that might be what it feels like, but in the end they are an extremely valuable mentor.

Even professional sports people are continually getting instruction on how to refine what they do to be closer and closer to what is ideal.

Of course you may get to the level where you decide to do things your own way. But first it’s a good idea to have done things the standard way, so you have a basis for comparing your personalized version.

So go ahead.

Pick something you have tried in your life that didn’t work out.

Consider if it might be at all possible that you didn’t follow the instructions 100% as described.

-Dr Martin Russell

Disclaimer

It has become obligatory for health materials to carry a legal disclaimer. You’ve read them: “The following is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician…” And they go on to recommend that you consult a doctor before embarking on whatever program is being offered. They conclude with the author and publisher disclaiming any legal responsibility for adverse consequences.

I take another approach. Don’t read this material if you feel you need the protection of a disclaimer and its counsel. I’m serious. Health care must start with personal responsibility. This vital role should not be delegated to any expert. Yours is the ultimate judgment. Any disclaimer that suggests otherwise does a great disservice.

I only wish I had written this disclaimer myself because you can take it as mine, however it’s author is a physical therapist called Pete Egoscue.

Do you have an ache or pain? Want self-help solutions? Check Pete Egoscue’s stuff out immediately via “Where Is Your Pain”:

http://www.Egoscue.com 

-Dr Martin Russell