**side note before I begin: if you need meds, please keep taking them. I took them for pretty much all of my 20s (except for a few years when I couldn't afford them). This is a resource list for the emotional work required when you are prescribed medication. This is the emotional work that I didn't bother doing until my 30s because I assumed pills cured all.**
After my last post about my neverending battle with depression, I was asked by several people to make a list of resources that taught me the things I needed to learn that have gotten me to the level of self-awareness I've grown into.
Basically "how did you learn enough about the brain to stay out of depression without the help of big pharma?" The simplest answer: "I decided it was important" (...eventually.)
But first I denied it....hard. I'm great at ignoring depression --- at saying "everything's fine." Denying depression only goes so far. It's like when you blow your nose every 3 minutes, but you tell your friends "I'm not sick."
Bro. You're ill as f*ck.
Acknowledge you're sick [in the head]...
and maybe don't go to the bar with your friends tonight.
Take responsibility for your own programming.
Years ago, a guy named Maxwell Maltz (MD) wrote a book that stipulated that our brains behaved like computers. He was a plastic surgeon who noticed that his patients' fulfillment in life depended on how they saw themselves more than how they were seen by others. He compared us to planes with a programmed destination, constantly adjusting due to gusts of wind that blow us off course. He argued that as long as we kept our destination in mind, we could overcome any gust of wind and get to where we want to go.
The Law of Attraction (aka "Abraham Hicks") argues something that resembles Maltz's argument, but is much less science based. The law of attraction theory argues that if you think about something enough, it will come to you. You don't have to go get anything because you will draw it into your life with faith and choosing to focus on the positive.
These two resources were the original stepping stones to an understanding that it was *possible* for me to be not so sad and helpless. These people showed me that I didn't have to be a victim. I just had to visualize the things I wanted. So I tried really hard. And we all know how successful anything is when you try soooo hard....
It never works.
Not only that, but you can go years without noticing that it's not working.
So... then what?
I recently realized that there's a certain level of knowledge missing when it comes to these arguments. There is an extra contributing factor that I would have never suspected, and you'd never guess. It involves learning about marketing and advertising.
It's seems weird. But there's a real and genuine reason that this is so.
RECOGNIZE THAT DISTRACTION IS THE ENEMY OF JOY
(and know that a lot of people are paid a lot of money to find new and better ways to distract you)
In 1960, Maxwell Maltz compared our life trajectory with an airplane's course, and used wind as an analogy for distraction. But he had no idea how good scientists would get at learning how to distract people.
He didn't know that major corporations would hire scientists to engineer the winds he talked about to be the absolute biggest winds you've ever been distracted by.
I recently had a conversation with a chemical engineer who was once paid to produce the "most physically appealing/rewarding texture" for chocolate pudding. The proof that companies are trying to distract us is literally in the pudding. (I refuse to apologize for this perfect and appropriate pun.)
It wasn't until I developed an awareness of the existence of such distractions that I could choose whether or not to fall prey to them.
If you know what you're up against,
you can know how to fight it.
Ignoring that these forces exist is like playing the Bird Box Challenge at the Superbowl.
You know you've got to make it to the end zone...
but it'll be awfully hard to get there thanks to the people who are paid so much to take you down.
This is a list of resources I read/watched that changed the things I believed to be true about this universe. As the stories I told myself changed, I noticed my blind spots of distraction started fading away, and I became much more true to myself and my purpose. Forgive me for its length. This is the first time I've offered anything like this.
BOOKS (**most of these are available on Audible**)
Psycho-cybernetics - Maxwell Maltz (I read this years ago, and it was great, but I kind of forgot about it until this year)
the Artist's Way - Julia Cameron (helpful in gently searching for your creative bliss)
the Unlimited Power - Anthony Robbins (the scientific breakdown of where we keep emotions removes the power from them. in this book he focuses on NLP a lot)
Ask and It is Given - Esther and Jerry Hicks (how to climb from depression to joy, one step at a time)
the Vortex - Esther and Jerry Hicks (guided meditation I used to start reprogramming my brain)
The Willpower Instinct - Kelly McGonigal PHD - the brain is a muscle, so treat it like one
Storynomics - Robert McKee - the power of story, as used in advertising/marketing
Building a Storybrand - Donald Miller - a step by step process to leading someone into buying your product
Psychology of Influence - Robert B Cialdini - learning how much of our brain is built in habit
Fascinate - Sally Hogshead - 7 ways people get fascinated enough to spend their money
Never Split the Difference - Chris Voss - the program of social contracts as seen through the eyes of an FBI hostage negotiator
Tom Bilyeu (his interviews are phenomenal)
Evan Carmichael (his top 10 rules of individuals are pretty incredible)
Be Inspired (this channel changed me from a night owl to a person who loved the idea of waking up before the sun. I get 5 hours of sleep a night now, and that's enough for me.)
Law of Attraction Coaching (some of the compilations on this channel are just gorgeous to wake up to)
Simon Sinek (a marketing dude who realized becoming emotionally involved with a message is the easiest way to spread it)
Moran Cerf (neuroscientist/growth hacker who acknowledges how we limit ourselves in huge ways just by thinking something isn't possible)
Seth Godin (marketing guru with an incredible daily email that I may have disagreed with 3 times out of 200).