Category Archives: Personal Development

From the Global Financial Crisis Down To You

This movie is so good I watched it twice.

It just has a funny title – I Am <FishHead( – yes, really.

It’s partly good because it has Philip Zimbardo in it. I remember before the age of the internet, watching Phillip on his PBS Discovering Psychology series, and was delighted to discover useful psychology training available for free!

But more than that this movie is good because it hits on the core issues of the financial crisis we live in, and yet still comes down to daily realities and practical steps we can take.

All starting with the core concept of the “corporate psychopath”.

Coming from the Chinese proverb that says “a fish rots from the head”, let me invite you to watch – I am <FishHead(

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH OUR WORLD? THIS IS A FILM FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KNOW.”

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

Human Limitations

Human beings are remarkably limited creatures.

We can only handle a small range of physical enviroments. We die if we are too hot, cold, get too little oxygen or too much carbon monoxide. We can’t see X-rays or radio waves or even infrared or ultraviolet. We can’t hear dog whistles or most geological rumbles.

Heck we can’t even detect magnetic energy.

We can’t fly like a bird. We can’t run as fast as most cats or dogs. We can’t go underwater very far at all.

But for almost all of these physical limitations we have found a way around them with our ingenuity and creativity.

More interesting are the psychological limitations.

There are many such limitations we have, but a Dr Albert Bartlett claims there is one that stands out…

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

I would expand this to include other areas of non-linear thinking such as the reality-shattering 80/20 rule.

But rather than get bogged down in jargon, let’s simplify it.

Removing limitations is fun.

Let Dr Bartlett take you on a whirlwind tour of undoing one particular human limitation…

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5051121482067161853

[This video is in fact the first half and the other half seems to be lost to the world. However there is a complete transcript you can find here.]

-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

The Diet Spring Clean

Welcome Readers, old and new … it’s Spring in the Southern Hemisphere!

Time for that famous phrase “spring clean” – making sure things are not just tidied away or half-done, but thoroughly cleaned out ready for summer.

Do you want to lose weight, a little or lots?

Do you want to stop feeling guilty, or ‘out of control’ around food?

Have you tried eating differently, and either it was great for a while but then fell back, or it simply didn’t get the results you wanted at all?

Then this is could well be for you.

But What Is A ‘Diet Spring Clean’ ???

Thanks to Radio 5AA’s Amanda Blair, who herself ended up using just such a non-dieting approach through her own trial and error, for letting me announce this on her show on Sept 24 and recommending people come here to find out more.

I’m anti-diet, because for 95+% of people they don’t work in the long term.

People who go on diets are likely to regain all the weight they lost if not more, AND end up feeling bad and guilty about their eating as well.

Not a good result!

So instead, I’m proposing a whole clean-out of your approach to your weight, what you eat (the original meaning of the word diet before “the industry” took it over), the way you eat, your mindset, and food in general – a total “diet spring clean”.

What could possibly sweep clean aside all those rules, restrictions, “healthy” hints, nutrition tips, calorie counting, and “helpful advice” that infests the media, our friends and families, and often ourselves?

Four simple steps…

  • Step 1.  When you are hungry, eat.
  • Step 2.  Eat what you want (NOT what you think you should.)
  • Step 3.  Savour every mouthful.
  • Step 4.  When you are full, stop.

That’s it. Really.

No pills. No surgery. No meal replacements, shakes, supplements, counting, points, calories, carbs etc etc etc aaaAARFGH! Stop!

Everything else is unnecessary clutter and garbage, until and unless you have these 4 steps in place.

Skeptical?

Good. I would be too.

In fact I was very skeptical when I first came across this, and I needed to know much more.

I’ve set up a way for you to learn more too. There is an interview with complete detail of the 4 steps packed into a short 27 minutes, and it’s all yours completely for FREE.

Simply put in the details so we can send you local Adelaide details including the interview. Type in your name, email address, and click Send.

Full Name:

Email Address:

-Dr Martin Russell

Working Through A Problem

What the **** does that mean really?

What does it mean to “get over” something?

What about “sort it out”?

And as for “deal with it”, are our lives some variation on Blackjack that we just need the right hand to show up?

It’s one of the questions I pondered when I made the “Self Help Me Over” online video product. People had come to me over the years in my counselling practice requesting exactly these things, and so I decided to record the consultation I would give people to help fulfill this request.

But I didn’t cover how to “work through” something.

Well I’ve just been sent some information that appeals to my sense of absurdity about the English Language.

If you have an emotion you need to “work through” then this is from NLPCo.com and it is for you…

The Tunnel Technique

1. Notice where in your body you feel the emotion. With your hands, remove it from yourself and put it front of you. Expand the image until it’s the size and shape of a doorway.

2. On the other side of the doorway is a tunnel of the emotion. In a moment, you will enter the tunnel and walk through it to find out what is on the other side. But there is a rule: once entering the tunnel you must keep walking.

3. Having agreed to keep moving your feet, step into the tunnel, close the door behind you, and feel the emotion surrounding you as you keep moving until you discover the exit on the other side. (This has never taken more than 30 seconds.)

4. Going through the emotion and out the other side typically moves a person into a very different place emotionally. Going through guilt can lead to freedom, going through rage can lead to compassion, but … sometimes it goes to other strong emotions which have been suppressed or masked. When that happens, go through that emotion as well until you’ve reached a place which feels healthy and whole.

You may consider doing this with someone around, even a counsellor, but for the 60-120 seconds the whole thing takes it’s worth giving this a go.

The morning after I read about this I was thinking about an emotion of disgust from my medical school days. I could handle dead bodies, but mucus and phlegm and spit was always a choking and gagging revulsion for me. I used The Tunnel Technique on it and now it’s unpleasant still (I do NOT want to drink a spittoon) but without the gagging or turning away.

One method of self-help is to be aware of your language, and do what it suggests literally.

With the appropriate techniques you can even turn “working through”, into “playing through”.

Golf anyone?

-Dr Martin Russell

Incoming search terms:

  • working through problems

Weight Loss Radio Podcast

The big splash last week about Australia being a gold-medal contender in the Obesity Olympics ain’t true.

The official stats from the OECD that came out at the start of 2008 (as pointed out to me by an observant patient of mine) show the US is 1st, Mexico 2nd, UK 3rd and Greece 4th.

Australia was a measly 5th.

Even if the new study I mentioned in “The Fat Bomb Cometh” found a new figure that is higher for Australia, it still lags behind US and Mexico.

However all is not lost. Australia is catching up. Obesity rates have tripled in the last 20 years, whereas in the US they’ve only doubled.

Seriously, no matter where in the world you are weight and eating are still important issues, and the most popular talk-back radio station in my local town caught up on the idea and one of their presenters, 5AA’s Amanda Blair, invited me in for a chat.

Weight loss. The myths, facts, and what you can really do to make it happen.

Listen in on the podcast here (or Right Click and Save it)…

http://podcast.fiveaa.com.au/afternoon080623.mp3

[NOTE: Unfortunately 5AA has taken down this podcast. For full details about what I was discussing on that program enter your details here.]

-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

Weight Loss Self Help

This entire blog is about self help. Weight loss is a key self help area where people often try, and about 80-95% of the time they fail.

But THEY don’t fail. In my opinion the METHODS they are using for weight loss are the failure. They don’t help for most people!

In typing this I am literally at a loss for words to express how vital this video’s message is below.

The entire western world needs to heed this weight loss call, from individuals, to health practitioners and to people in positions of wider influence. If you believe in self help then there is no more vital place to begin than by discovering what Paul McKenna is talking about.

In this promo video the important part is the specific 4 step approach to weight loss. See for yourself…

I reviewed McKenna’s book of this material on Amazon here.

-Dr Martin Russell