Category Archives: Success

Laws, Theories, Beliefs Or Rules-Of-Thumb

I don’t think the “Law of Attraction” would be so popular if it was called the “Theory of Attraction”?

I don’t think it would have become famous from a book titled “My Belief About Attraction”?

Does calling something a Law make it similar in reality and significance to the “Law of Gravity”?

I don’t think so.

I can toss an apple up into the air and have it come down.

Watching an apple fall to the ground may seem to confirm the idea that what goes up must come down, but that statement is known to be false. You can throw a Voyager spacecraft up into the sky and never expect it to come back down.

Gravity still applies even though you’ve found an exception to the “what goes up must come down” rule-of-thumb.

This is what I suggest the “Law of Attraction” really is all about. It’s not a law – it’s a rule-of-thumb.

Attraction doesn’t work in all circumstances. In fact it is sometimes totally 180 degrees wrong. But it’s a better starting point than many others, as long as you recognize that this is all it is. A start.

One of the few outright jokes I tell to distract people in therapy goes something like this…

A preacher was giving his usual sermon when all of a sudden there was a cloud burst and rain began pouring down. It was so heavy that after a while the whole church began flooding and people were evacuating the church, but the preacher just stood there preaching in the ankle-deep water.

A man drove by in a car and shouted through the church doors, “Preacher, the rivers are overflowing their banks. You better get out of there before you drown!”

The preacher replied, “Don’t worry. God will save me.”

The man then drove away.

The water was now knee-deep and a man in a raft floated over to the church and said to the preacher, “You better get in here before you drown!”

The preacher just stood there and replied, “Don’t worry. God will save me.”

The man then rowed away.

The water was now waist-deep and a man in a power boat came to the preacher and said, “You better get out of there before you drown!”

The preacher stayed right where he was and replied “Don’t worry. God will save me.”  With that the man jetted away.

The water was now neck-deep and a man in a helicopter came by and yelled to the preacher, “You better get out of there before you drown!”

The preacher refused to move and replied, “Don’t worry. God will save me.”

With that the man flew away.

The water then got so deep that the preacher was sucked under and died. When he opened his eyes he noticed that he was in heaven.

He then saw God and asked, “Oh God!  Why didn’t you save me from that horrible flood?”

God replied, “I sent you a car, a raft, a power boat, and a helicopter!  What else do you want from me?”

-Dr Martin W. Russell

Only 5 Hours Remain

The Self Help offer of my products AND James Brausch’s “Time Life Management 101″ ends at 5pm US EST.

James doesn’t hold back, and I don’t either.

Wondering how to catch a break in your life?

Order 2 of James’ CDs from here for just $21.95, and then follow the instructions in the previous post to claim the full package.

-Dr Martin W. Russell

36 Hour Offer

The credit for making this site a reality goes to a guy called James Brausch.

He wasn’t really the inspiration for this site, more like a solid kick up the butt.

Anyway, he got me to do something I was thinking wouldn’t happen for at least 3 years, if ever. I’ve got much else to credit the guy for (after I finish applying the bandages) but now’s my chance to pay back the favour.

I’m making a special offer.

James has a slap-around-the-head audio CD called “Time Life Management 101″, and he’s doing a buy one, get one free offer.

So from now until August 28th at 5pm US Eastern Standard Time, if you purchase 2 or more copies of James Brausch’s CD I will give you either,

– a complimentary copy of any of my 6 Self Help products, listed on the right hand side of this page.


– all 6 of my Self Help products (over $200 worth) for just $35.

My Self Help Meeting product was already reviewed by James and to sum up his comments on his blog “It blew me away.”

His CD and my products fit well together.

You can order 2 or more copies of James’ audio CD from this link for chump change…

Then email me this receipt along with the name of the Self Help product you wish to have.


PayPal $35 to Martin (at) and include your receipt in the form.

Between the Self Help Products and Life Management 101 you’ll be well on your way to changing your life dramatically!

-Dr Martin W. Russell

“Law of Attraction” Is Good?

I continue to be amazed that the term “Law Of Attraction” has become the catch-cry of the first decade of this new millenium.

A movie like “The Secret” fits a certain era.

I think LoA’s preeminence could only come about from long periods of strong economic growth, just like we have had over the past couple of decades or generations.

A similar boomtime happened in the 1980’s. The signature movie then was “Wall Street”.

It is a very different movie, but it too has a catchy phrase that summed up the era. It was from the movies’ main protagonist, Gordon Gekko.

His actual speech was…

“The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed—for lack of a better word—is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms—greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge—has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed—you mark my words—will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. ”

Otherwise known as, “Greed Is Good”.

I think “Law of Attraction” is a eerily similar catch-cry, even though it is supposedly totally opposite.

The bottom line is that in a decade from now it is my bet that people will cringe whenever LoA is mentioned. That is except for those of us who are already cringing at it.

-Dr Martin W. Russell

Self-Assessment And Self-Esteem

One of the basic assumptions in any self help process has to be that you can assess yourself.

However when a survey shows that 60% of drivers on the road think they have above average driving skills, this is not an assumption that can be taken for granted.

How well do you assess your own performance, in driving, and in the rest of your life?

How well do you assess your ability to assess your own performance?

In medical school I got to meet a lot of perfectionists. It was all part of being in a system that at that time only allowed entry on the basis of high academic results.

I remember chatting to a very dejected fellow student.

He had just completed his viva assessment, where instead of writing answers down on an examination sheet, you actually have to give them live to a panel of assessors.

This is along the lines of the standard cure in medicine for social phobia – which is just to throw them in the deep end. Think about this if a doctor is recommending such a treatment for you.

Anyway he was wailing and trembling about his poor performance, and how he thought he had studied so well, and yet found himself unable to answer almost all their questions.

I later found out he came second to top.

So I fronted him.

What was all this about his ‘poor performance’?

Well, he too had wondered this and had gone back to the examiners and asked them.

Their response was that he had passed the exam after only the first 2 questions. But he had answered so well that they had decided to find out what the limits of his knowledge were and grilled him on the most advanced and detailed stuff they could.

How was he to know this?

What self-assessment could he have done to keep his ‘self-esteem’ intact?

Another example.

In a research study, people were given a written test, and then asked to guess their score before they were told the results.

The researchers were wanting to know how accurate people’s guesses were.

Here is what they found.

Everyone tended to think they were about average!

Overall, those who had better than average scores guessed they didn’t do as well as they actually did, while those who did worse than average thought they got a higher mark.

The researchers’ theory was when people with higher marks thought they did worse, that kept them striving to do better next time, and made them learn more so they got better than average marks.

Those who got poor marks and were over-rating their own performance, never gave themselves the same incentive to improve so they continued to get worse marks and not notice it.

So what might you take away from this yourself?

Here’s a couple of my suggestions for people reading this who are more likely to be on the more self-motivated end of the human spectrum.

First, if you think you are doing well, just check how you know this.

Second, if you think you are doing poorly at something, then you may well be wrong. At least when compared with other people’s performance.

One give-away for this is when people are telling you that you have low self-esteem, or poor self-image. They are saying you are rating yourself lower than others do.

Unfortunately what others call ‘low self-esteem’ may actually be part of what keeps you excelling.

I suggest you be wary of accepting such comments from even the most well-meaning of friends and counsellors.

-Dr Martin W. Russell

The House Of Interns

When I was training to be a doctor there was one book that was the “underground” text for our training.

It was a book that I only heard once mentioned officially… and that was to be told “Don’t read it.”

Imagine what we did with that instruction!
It was the story of a fresh medical intern coming to grips with difference between medicine as sacred truths, and medicine as a daily job.

It was called “The House Of God” by Samuel Shem, and I got hold of it in about my third year of training.

You could think of it like a hospital version of “Catch-22”. It is seriously black and twisted.

Television programs glorify medicine.

This book scribbles graffiti over it instead.

But when I first read “The House Of God” it didn’t make sense to me. I hadn’t had any similar experiences, so it just seemed cruel and unreal.

When I was an intern it made soooo much good sense.

If you have been trying to learn something and it’s not working for you, get a mentor who has been further along on the path you want to go.

If it is for self help, then my products for that are listed on the side.

However if you are online and want to learn internet business and marketing skills, then I have something for that too…

Oh, and by the way. In keeping with the theme of this blog the Intern Program will have self-help components in it.

The biggest stumbling blocks in a career, or in business, are often in yourself rather than any particular skills that might be missing.

So I always recommend choosing learning that includes more than just the specific skill set for the tasks.

-Dr Martin W. Russell

A Solution For Challenging Issues

If you are looking for self help, or you’d appreciate help from a qualified doctor who understands what it takes to get out of a tough situation in life, then this site may be for you.

In particular I have put together a virtual ‘meeting’ that covers so much of the ground that people usually need to cover when they are really struggling to break through personal troubles or emotional crises.

Let me explain.

Over the last 8 years I’ve worked exclusively in hypnotherapy and counseling helping hundreds and hundreds of people with all sort of situations.

Even though I’ve kept to a maximum of only 5 new people a week, over the years the numbers stack up.

I’ve found that when people come to me really stuck with problems or issues in their life, I want to talk about the same things about 90% of time.

I thought it would matter what the particular problem was.

I expected I would need to do something different if someone was coming to me because they were depressed, compared to if they were anxious, having a mid-life crisis, in trouble with their relationship, burnt out, stuffing up their finances, feeling overwhelmed, having trouble focusing, whatever it was.

However this wasn’t the case.

This led me to the idea that I could actually present something along the lines of what I was doing in my office, but make it accessible online, so that in the privacy of your own home you could get some help.

So I’ve set up a virtual ‘meeting’ that you can experience right at your computer.

With this Self Help ‘Meeting’ you can test, for free if you like, because if you’re not happy with what you find out you absolutely won’t pay a cent for it, whether a certain level of counseling fits your needs.

No need to set up appointments at a clinic or an office, or fit them into your schedule. No need to come face-to-face with a ‘shrink’ or anyone else for that matter. You can even watch this late at night when everyone else has gone to bed.

And unlike coming to my office for a session, with this virtual ‘meeting’ you’re in full control. You can pause and go back, stop it to take notes, and review it again at any time.

To find out more, and to discover what others are saying about this virtual ‘meeting’, you can check it all out at…

-Dr Martin W. Russell

The Key Life Principle?

A few important things happened in the year I was born.

One of them was that a fellow named Laurence J. Peter got together with Raymond Hull, and put out a book that sat on my father’s bookshelf until the day I read it.

It then made its way into my room at home, and subsequently into my counselling office where it stayed until I lent it out to one too many people and someone didn’t return it.

After I had about 3 more people come to me where I looked to the blank space on the bookshelf for its inspiration, I eventually ignored the fact that it is out of print and bought a pre-loved copy.

I have never let it out of my office since.

The book is “The Peter Principle”.

It examines all levels of society and its institutions, be they government, industry, business, education, religion, the arts, and more.

It analyzes the root cause of why success is a rarity and failure is common.

To quote page 25, “…my analysis of hundreds of cases of occupational incompetence led me to formulate The Peter Principle

‘In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His (sic) Level of Incompetence’

The overall idea is this…

If you are an employee in a job and you are good at it ie competent, then someone will try and give you a promotion.

When you get promoted you will no longer be doing that job. You will start doing another one.

In this next job you may once again be good at it, and be offered a promotion.

However if you are not good at the job then you go no further.

Nor will you be un-promoted back to the job you were good at before.

This means that over time you as an employee will rise to a level in the heirarchy where you are at your “level of incompetence.”

This very simplified summary of the first chapter of the book is enough for most people to be able to find examples.

Read a newspaper, watch the news, or just look around your life.

Sometimes examples are in workplace you are in, or at the public institutions and private companies that you deal with every day.

Incompetence is rampant.

When I first began my counselling practice, I would explain “The Peter Principle” to people who were needing to make sense of the workplace stress they were under.

The message was that everyone around them, including their boss, was likely to be incompetent.

This tended to soothe their nerves.

The deeper message was that they themselves were likely to be incompetent in their position at work too, and this was probably contributing to their problems.

Many fewer got this second level message.

But over time I realized that this second level was even more pervasive.

It didn’t just apply to people when they were in organisations, it applies in every aspect of success in life!

If you are good at sport do you win more?

No, you just start playing higher levels and harder competition so you still lose.

If you are good at hunting for a job, are you hired to hunt for jobs?

No, you now work at something else that probably doesn’t involve searching Help Wanted ads.

If you earn more money what is the commonest next step?

You get encouraged to go for a raise, make an investment, or start up a business.

If you acquire social skills then you do you sit back and party?

Perhaps, or you may start dating, then marrying, then having small kids, who grow into big kids, who could make you into a grandparent.

So if you succeed at becoming competent at almost anything in life what is the natural consequence?

You will move into a new role…

…with no guarantee you will be any good!

So, what are the consequences of “The Peter Principle” for your success in life?

If you have been wondering why everyone else around you is incompetent, then get this book:

Be warned: it is written in jest, so that as a reader your tears are mainly of laughter.

Dilbert cartoons are a modern equivalent.

As I post this there are 20 Amazon reviews. You will discover that on the 5 star customer rating scale NO ONE gives this 3 stars. A few people hate it, most people love it – there is very little middle ground for this book.

If you have been wondering why you are still stuck with problems, and are not creating the results and success you want out of life, then you are ready for the second level message.

This is the product I offer for you to help yourself:

-Dr Martin W. Russell

Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life

I hope that title caught your attention.

It caught mine!

It’s the title of a book I picked up just last month as I got started with this new online business.

The dedication at the start begins with “I lovingly dedicate this book to all the crap that ever happened to me.”

The guy is an Australian called Larry Winget, and he too has just started up an online blog at wait for it…. – gosh aren’t we guys original.

Anyway Larry has moved on since 2004 when the book was written. He now has another book and a TV Show called “Big Spender” where he gets to ‘counsel’ people on their poor spending habits.

He has his own version of what ‘counseling’ is, and I think you might like it.

For example, if you want his take on running a household budget then you can have a look here.

Or if you just want a self help kick up the pants you might enjoy it too.