If you’re scalping hockey tickets, selling pot, whining about high taxes, or mumbling absentmindedly about the weather and the price of eggs, you probably encounter very little resistance or intransigence.
However, when you offer an alternative to the popular status quo, suggest a substitute to mind-numbing mysticism, or present a different perspective, essentially questioning strongly held beliefs and established conditioning, you suddenly find yourself facing blank stares, passive aggression, or outright conflict.
Controversial, politically incorrect information is not usually well received. This, in spite of the fact that your information can potentially dramatically improve the quality of life of your reluctant target. There’s a reason for this, and it’s not your fault.
We all tend to seek out and select information to support our dominant beliefs and avoid pain. I thought three concepts would help illuminate what we’re up against when we follow that road less traveled and wish to share real treasure with the mediocre masses.
First, Cognitive Dissonance:
“Cognitive Dissonance normally occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency among his or her cognitions. This happens when one idea implies the opposite of another. For example, a belief in animal rights could be interpreted as inconsistent with eating meat or wearing fur. Noticing the contradiction would lead to dissonance, which could be experienced as anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, embarrassment, stress, and other negative emotional states.” – Wikipedia
Imagine the fellow who strongly believes, as he was taught, that he should always “Turn the other cheek”, and so he does, and as a result of his passivity, he finds himself continually bullied, so he feels anger at the obvious injustice.
Now he feels guilty because he’s angry. A double bind has resulted from his sacrificial conditioning; he’s damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.
Or he works hard, makes money, and then feels obliged, because of his conditioning, to submit to the extortion of his loafing relatives. Naturally, he resents this, so he feels guilty…
Final example: He believes money to be the root of all evil, so when he earns it, he feels guilty and self-sabotages to punish himself.
Second, Cognitive Distortion:
“Cognitive distortions are exaggerated and irrational thoughts identified in cognitive therapy and its variants, which supposedly perpetuate certain psychological disorders. Eliminating these distortions and negative thought is said to improve mood and discourage maladies such as depression and chronic anxiety. The process of learning to refute these distortions is called “cognitive restructuring”.
Many cognitive distortions are also logical fallacies.
- All-or-nothing thinking – Thinking of things in absolute terms, like “always”, “every”, “never”, and “there is no alternative”. Few aspects of human behavior are so absolute. All-or-nothing-thinking can contribute to depression.
- Overgeneralization – Taking isolated cases and using them to make wide generalizations.
- Mental filter – Focusing almost exclusively on certain, usually negative or upsetting, aspects of an event while ignoring other positive aspects. For example, focusing on a tiny imperfection in a piece of otherwise useful clothing.
- Disqualifying the positive – Continually reemphasizing or “shooting down” positive experiences for arbitrary, ad hoc reasons.
- Jumping to conclusions – Drawing conclusions (usually negative) from little (if any) evidence. Two specific subtypes are also identified:
- * Mind reading – Assuming special knowledge of the intentions or thoughts of others.
* Fortune telling – Exaggerating how things will turn out before they happen.
- Magnification and minimization – Distorting aspects of a memory or situation through magnifying or minimizing them such that they no longer correspond to objective reality. In depressed clients, often the positive characteristics of other people are exaggerated and negative characteristics are understated. There is one subtype of magnification:
* Catastrophizing – Focusing on the worst possible outcome, however unlikely, or thinking that a situation is unbearable or impossible when it is really just uncomfortable.
- Emotional reasoning – Making decisions and arguments based on intuitions or personal feeling rather than an objective rationale and evidence.
- Should statements – Patterns of thought which imply the way things “should” or “ought to be” rather than the actual situation the patient is faced with, or having rigid rules which the patient believes will “always apply” no matter what the circumstances are. Albert Ellis termed this “Musturbation”.
- Labeling and mislabeling – Explaining behaviors or events, merely by naming them; related to overgeneralization. Rather than describing the specific behavior, a patient assigns a label to someone or themselves that implies absolute and unalterable terms. Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
- Personalization – Attribution of personal responsibility (or causal role) for events over which the patient has no control. This pattern is also applied to other in the attribution of blame.”
Where People Are Really Coming From
When you read the above, it makes it easier to see where people are really coming from, instead of taking their “rejection” personally. It explains why otherwise intelligent people join cults, vote for narcissistic socialists while claiming to be capitalists, and invest their money in ridiculous scams.
It reveals why most people prefer to be told what to do and what to think by those who do not have their best interests at heart, and why rational, proven solutions are rejected outright as “to good to be true”, “from the devil”, or “dishonest” – why someone would prefer to lose money in mutual funds and ripoffs instead of getting 12% per year, or buy silly franchises and lose a small fortune when they could make a lot more money with no cost or risk at all.
Cognitive therapy seeks to help the client overcome difficulties by identifying and changing dysfunctional thinking, behavior, and emotional responses. Depending on your situation and circumstances, unless you’re a psychologist or psychiatrist, you’re not going to make a huge change in the way the majority of people think. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, simply because most people seldom choose to change.
But there is a way to influence and help more people positively in their own best interests: education. Not the junk spewed out by teachers, preachers, politicians, many “financial planners”, banks, and “gurus”, but real, worthwhile education.
The Creation of Wealth
DollarMakers is based on the idea that
“You can get anything you want out of life, if you help enough other people to get what they want.”
The information / education we create and disseminate is particularly focused on the creation of wealth, and underpinned by a philosophy of Capitalism, realism, Objectivism, and rationalism.
We believe that continuous exposure to truth, objective thought, personal responsibility, and practical, proven systems eventually gets through to a few people, and that assists us in achieving our goals.
I recommend everyone read “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand, and I use my talks, training, seminars, websites, Twitter, blog, podcasts, videos, conference calls, webinars, and other communication channels to share reality and dispel the myths and lies that keep people chained and in bondage.