Category Archives: Success

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

“I Can Make You Thin” by Paul McKenna – A Review

This is the first full book review I have ever done on this blog. I am delighted that it is a review for this book, because “I Can Make You Thin” makes an historic contribution to weight loss and being naturally thin, and also to the entire field of self-help.

“I Can Make You Thin” - Paul McKennaFor almost 2 years now I have been handing this “I Can Make You Thin” book and ‘mind-reprogramming’ CD to every patient who comes to me to lose weight, or who is caught up in the mentality of diets, scales, cravings, or overeating.

At the risk of making this book seem overly simple, here are Paul McKenna’s 4 golden rules…
1. When you are hungry, eat.
2. Eat what you want (not what you think you “should”.)
3. Eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful.
4. When you are full stop.

I’ve seen other reviews that dismiss the 4 rules as just obvious common sense. I’m not sure what common sense they really mean since the rules conflict with the majority of weight loss approaches around. Rule 2 in particular certainly disagrees with the ‘common sense’ that I was taught as a medical doctor.

Even if the rules are common sense, McKenna needs to be given great credit for showing people HOW to live these habits. Hopefully you are buying this for the results, not just to have a fun read and a relaxing, new-wavy listen.

Yes, the title of “I Can Make You Thin”, the pose McKenna has on the front, and the text on the back are bit over the top, but the inside is less so. The book is refreshingly thin :), jargon-free, and entertaining.

McKenna’s style also incorporates techniques such as tapping (TFT), hypnosis and NLP . Hypnosis is what first made Paul famous, and I’ve seen NLP Practitioners review this and say they knew all of these tricks before. In NLP terms Paul is saying that the Golden Rules are the “model” for being “naturally thin”. Just knowing all the techniques won’t help if you have the wrong model.

Importantly, you don’t need any of these techniques to apply the 4 golden rules and lose weight.

Most people can go the book & CD, discover the Aha moments, and get started on transforming their relationship with food and their weight straight away.

There might be a group of people that could eat according to the 4 rules and not be thin, but I agree with what Paul says. For myself, I’m yet to meet such a person.

I have counseled people who thought it didn’t work for them, but it turned out they hadn’t gotten the rules into their behavior, so here are some extra pointers…

  • Just listening to the CD over and over doesn’t seem to be enough. The book plays a big part too. Expect to re-read the book at least once. You can succeed without the CD, so if it doesn’t suit you, no sweat.
  • Don’t add more rules. Extra rules almost always conflict with the four golden rules. Must eat breakfast? No. Just eat when you are hungry. Have to eat only fresh food? Check you really want to eat it, and whether you might want to eat anything else a bit more. Etc, etc.
  • Having trouble visualizing? Just act ‘as if’ you are visualizing, or on the CD just leave it to Paul.
  • Don’t make exercise the focus. Improved fitness will improve your chances of living longer, but unfortunately the best research evidence is that exercise doesn’t help much in losing weight. Keep to the four rules, which are all about food and getting back in control.
  • If you have a question or a difficulty, the answer is somewhere in the book. The information truly is comprehensive (unlike watching YouTube videos or reading this review.) Indeed this updated version covered the two or three remaining gaps I had found before, including the extra chapter which covers self-sabotage.

In summary, McKenna is not the only person to propose this way of eating, but his is the most accessible version I know about. His is also the most likely to reach out from the page and permanently change your thinking and your behavior, and thereby your weight.

You can buy his measly book just to prove Paul wrong 🙂

——————————–

So that is my review of “I Can Make You Thin” by Paul McKenna.

Here’s what I would like you to do.

—> Do you think this review is helpful?

– Please go to the copy of this I have put up at Amazon, find the bottom of the review where it says “Was this review helpful to you?”, and click YES.

Rate this review on Amazon here.

—> Want to buy this book?

– It’s finally available on Amazon.com here!

– If you’re in Australia I have copies of this book for Aust$30 + $5 postage and handling (includes GST) or, as I mention in the review I supply them for free to people who come to see me.

You can phone my office on 08-8362 5500 for more details, or send $35 direct to PayPal@-you know the drill to take this bit out-DrMartinRussell.com with name, address and the name of the book.

Obesity, weight and food is an incredibly important self-help area. I cannot recommend Paul McKenna’s “I Can Make You Thin” strongly enough.

As with all self help, it’s now over to you.

-Dr Martin Russell

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Self Help For Your Financial Future

This website is about taking what I do in my counseling practice and bringing it out to a wider audience.

It also gives me a chance to cover topics that I only rarely get to mention for people who come to see me.

One such topic is self help for your financial future.

If you are going to help yourself in your psychological outlook, your physical health, and your ability to contribute to the world, you need to take care of your own financial future.

I’m no expert in the financial area, but many people who have come to me with the diagnosis of “Depression” have one of their biggest depressing worries as finances.

Almost always I find that their finances are in fact depressing. They aren’t making it up, their finances are actually bad. They are in fact going backwards and/or bankrupt, or they have no ability to create safety and stability into the future.

My take is that with the aging of Western populations, and the extensive systems of welfare and healthcare support, and with the spending of successive governments on largely short-term outcomes rather than thinking over many generations, the world’s financial future is very bleak.

You can be seeming to do very well for yourself, but the world can still swamp you.

See my post about the cost of health care turning into the entire government budget by 2026-2032.

http://www.drmartinrussell.com/why-help-yourself/

Be Darwinian, or Richard Dawkinsian, about it.

But if you are serious about self help, don’t bury your head in the sand.

If you want a wake up call then take the time to watch the 2008 Predictions videos, in particular the last one with Mike Maloney, at…

http://www.RichDad.com

This information is for more than just 2008. They are the next 5-15 years predictions.

-Dr Martin Russell.com

Following Up

Last year in September I wrote about a 47-year old professor, Randy Pausch, and his inspirational “Last Lecture” following his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.

If you want to know why death is such an important part of being human, then view the video on my previous post.

Back then he had wide publicity, from Good Morning America to Oprah, from ABC World News to The Wall Street Journal.

So now for an update.

Just two weeks ago on February 15th Randy passed a special milestone…

“It was August 15th, 2007, when I was told I likely had “three to six months of good health left.”

Today is six months from that day.

….

The doctors weren’t wrong; they always said that if the palliative chemo worked, I’d buy more time, but that it was a long shot. And the doctors have done a brilliant job of tweaking my regimen to help my odds. How much longer this will work is hard to know, but I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left, no matter how many or how few of them I get.”

Randy had planned to give the lecture and then move interstate with his wife and family to spend his remaining time creating memories for them.

It didn’t work out as planned.

Yes he has moved, and yes he has taken his family, and yes he has also created some great memories with them. His website has the pictures to prove it.

But he also hit upon a nerve with his “Last Lecture”. The video was viewed over a million times in the first month, and currently on Google video has 4994 comments, and almost a 5 star rating.

This has given Randy a different addition to his plan for living and dying.

In January a book that fleshes out details from The Last Lecture came out and you can find it here:

www.TheLastLecture.com

What next with this?

I don’t know.

But when I spent 3 months working in palliative care I liked the medical term for when cancer goes away.

Remission.

Or, put another way, Re – Mission. Finding once again a purpose for life.

Who knows how much of what has happened with Randy is from the various treatments he has been trialed with, how much is his own personal health and fitness work, and how much is just sheer luck.

But if Randy does live on for a long time, then re-mission will be a very apt term.

Even more so because of Randy’s passion for Star Trek, and his childhood dream to be like Commander Kirk leading all those missions!

Could it really be that it is cancer will help him to achieve a childhood dream?

-Dr Martin Russell

Don’t Be A Hero

I really appreciate all the comments I get on this blog. I read them all, and they are often worth your time reading as well.

However some of them are worth putting up as an entire post. Thanks to teqjack for pointing me to a post on the website of ‘World’s most popular blogging anesthesiologist’
that had this Financial Times article by John Kay that I quote from:

The hero is the person who tackles a problem, rather than the person whose actions prevent the problem arising. The statesmen we need are those who avert wars and prevent depressions, but such individuals gain little credit. These wars and depressions might have been dam’ bad. We don’t know; we dodged clear of them.

The paradox is illustrated by Jim Collins in Good to Great : more successful leaders attracted fewer column inches. Al Dunlap of Scott Paper declared his admiration for Rambo: “Here’s a guy who has zero chance of success and always wins.” But Mr Dunlap’s company was acquired by Kimberly-Clark, whose chief executive for 20 years, Darwin Smith, avoided the storm by taking the company out of the competitive coated paper businesses and into high-value-added consumer products.

Mr Dunlap was a celebrity but Mr Smith is little known. We prefer to read about Lee Iacocca and Lou Gerstner, who held the helm in the storm, or Jack Welch, who managed the ship through turbulence largely of his own creation.

How much are you the creator of your own problems too?

Do you define your success in terms of solving problems, or avoiding them in the first place?

Check out the whole FT article here:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5022717e-b8d4-11dc-893b-0000779fd2ac.html

-Dr Martin Russell

The Other Forgiveness

In my therapy work I have pretty much given up using the word forgiveness.

Not because it is a bad idea – heck no. Forgiveness is a key self help skill for being an effective human being.

It’s just that the people who most need to use forgiveness in their lives, have also been the ones who have the most terrible and dangerously twisted misconceptions about what the term means.

It does NOT mean to continue to accept harm or damage to yourself.

It does NOT have anything to do with losing face, “weakening”, or giving in to someone.

I don’t suggest you have anything to do with that sort of corruption of “forgiveness”.

I am speaking to you direct.

If your first reaction to the idea of forgiveness is that is unsuitable or dangerous in your particular situation, then let me give you my firm opinion based on all my years of counseling…

  • You are EXACTLY the person who needs to understand what real forgiveness is, and you are wasting your life and knee-capping your chances of helping yourself, if you don’t get started on doing it correctly ASAP.

Here’s all the instruction manual you need to get started and done…

http://www.jamesbrausch.org/forgiveness/

-Dr Martin Russell

Having A Life In A J.O.B.

I think most people who run companies have no idea what is really required for the mental and spiritual well-being of their employees.

Having a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) takes up a huge chunk of your waking life.

Sure you do it for money, but do you do it for self-actualization?

Many employees at some stage dream about having their own business, or working as a “freelance” consultant, to get the “freedom” they desire. Or they look forward to retirement so that they can do what they really want to do.

How can you be yourself when you are caught in a company that dictates so many areas of your life in ways that are definitely NOT what you want?

Well one company, Semco, claims it has a solution.

Semco is a company in Brazil that runs very differently than most companies.

It is a democracy.

You don’t need to read Dilbert cartoons to realize that “democracy” and “company” are usually complete opposites.

But what would actually happen if the boss’ vote was equal to that of each of their subordinates.

How many of your bosses decisions would have won on a democratic vote? Oh, and that means if the votes were truly secret.

It would force management to persuade rather than dictate, and surely that would mean utter chaos in any organization.

Not Semco.

Back in 1993, the CEO a guy called Ricardo Semler, wrote a book about his upstart company SemCo. I thought it was a very brave book. He titled the book “Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace“.

He was advocating that self-fulfillment could be found WITHIN a big company. SemCo was his experiment to prove that companies didn’t have to be unfriendly to humans.

I loved the book and even recommended it to a few people which is rare for me, but I always had one big reservation. What if the company falls over? All these wonderful ideas, but will it last?

Well I finally found a decent interview with Ricardo Semler that describes where the company is at with it’s democratic capitalism “experiment”. It impresses me:

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1864738.htm

-Dr Martin Russell

Tim Ferriss On Weaknesses

In many ways this self help site is about bridging the divide between psychiatry and personal growth/self improvement.

So I watch the extremes of medical psychiatry, but I also watch the extremes of self improvement too. Tim Ferris is an example of the latter.

Tim Ferriss, author of the “4-Hour Work Week” is a really interesting guy, with a really interesting blog. The title of the blog is “Experiments in Lifestyle Design”. He literally means it.

Wacky, sometimes even wacko, and ruthlessly determined to take personal life to it’s limits.

The result?

Many things that will not suit most people, but here’s one I heartily endorse.

I use a variation of this technique when I work with people who are “stuck” in their lives.

To set the scene for this 3-step process, Tim is talking about the issue of starting up a company from scratch.

Perhaps that isn’t an issue in your life, but the steps are the same for anything that seems overwhelming or unachievable, and where pumping up the positives ain’t working for you.

How to re-evaluate your “weaknesses”?

1. Write down the positives of whatever you’ve been viewing as a negative. Don’t know anyone? You’ll be a fresh face and won’t have any strikes against you. No funding? It will force you to find the neglected options and set trends instead of following them.

…Hunger and desperation can be good things.

2. Consider the negatives of the opposites. What if you had too much funding? It would create a false sense of security and breed complacency, both of which are more fatal to a start-up than bootstrapping. It could also overexpose you before your product or service is ready. It could give investors too much influence over big decisions. Don’t assume more of something is 100% positive. It never is.

3. Look for dark horse role models.
“I can’t start a company — I’m too old.” Coronel Sanders started KFC after 40. The excuse doesn’t hold up. Can’t compete in sports because of a bum leg? Sprinter Oscar Pistorius has no lower legs and is aiming for the Olympics. You? For each reason for inaction you come up with, ask: has anyone overcome these or worse circumstances to do what I want to do? The answer is: of course.

Embrace your lack of resources, your weaknesses.

Far from a handicap, these are often the pressure points that will take you the furthest… if you’re able to use them instead of excuse them.

I know many of you will be cynical about doing such an obviously distorted exercise.

In fact I suggest you read Tim’s whole post to flesh out these ideas a bit more:

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/01/06/from-shanghai-to-silicon-valley-3-tips-for-turning-lack-of-resources-into-strength/

In some forms of therapy they would try and explain to you the distortion was really in your original thinking, not in these new perspectives.

When I work with people who have become “stuck” in some aspect of their lives, whether or not they have psychiatric labels such as depression or anxiety, I want you to know that I have not found this technique alone to be enough.

So if you are cynical, it’s probably because a part of you has recognized that this is not a complete piece of change-work.

Well spotted.

BUT… it is the best way I know of to loosen a “stuck” situation so that any and all other changes happen so much more easily.

So pick something you are “stuck” about, stick the cynicism in the back pocket for a moment… it will still be there for you when you’re done… and go back up and write out your responses to the steps above.

-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