Be Alert to Your Personal Tipping Point (Transcription)
Hi everybody this is Dr. Ron Kaiser with your November 2013 audio podcast from The Mental Health Gym. In preparing for this podcast I call upon the work of one of my favorite authors Malcolm Glad well. I think that one of his best books is called the Tipping Point.
It’s something that I refer to frequently in presentations that I make because there is a certain amount of input from the Tipping Point that tough tales and contributes to the work that we do at the mental health gym and to the development or the ongoing development of goal achieving psychotherapy.
For those of you who have not read the book or are unaware of the concept, the Tipping Point refers to the fact that at some point small changes become big changes. Essentially at some point a small change becomes an epidemic, flu season is like that and the same applies to lots of other things neighbor hoods attain particular tipping points. Glad well discusses the negative aspect of it that there is kind of a broken windows theory that if a neighborhood begins to deteriorate at some point people notice that windows are broken and not repaired, graffiti covers the wall and so on and it becomes a place that you don’t really want to live in. By the same token as the neighborhood changes in a positive direction you begin to get people moving into the neighborhood who at some point begin doing repairs, demand that police protection in the area become better, take pride in the fact that people are not loitering and selling drugs on corners and previously negative factors are eliminated and the neighborhood becomes the hot place to live.
The same thing happens with products, for my grand children for example right now with my grandson Lagos is a really hot thing to get. At some point for youngsters of a certain age that has become a goal to kind of thing. My granddaughter is into these ugly monster hide dolls that if you have been on a recent shopping trip to Toys-Or-Us ,something like that, toy store in general you will find a big section devoted to these monster hide dolls that nobody had heard of at some point. Same thing happened with respective things like Air Jordan’s at some point enough people bought it that it became an epidemic, it was no longer just an overpriced sneaker but it was the go to thing that you needed particularly if you were an inspiring basketball player or athlete of some other type. Now Glad well has studied society and discusses the Tipping Point in the societal context.
I believe that we also have tipping points. I think that the proactive positive explosion that I have described at the mental health gym and actually have one of my free products devoted to building your proactive positive explosion. I consider that to be a tipping point because of the fact that if you are making changes in three directions or three areas including the health or fitness area, the intellectual functioning area and the social area, particularly if you are choosing social activities that involve and help others I believe that becomes a game changer, it’s the tipping point .You will move forward once you have experienced success in changing growth in those three areas, I don’t think you can go backwards. When I first got into exploring my particular theories, the mental health gym was just kind of a concept and goal achieving psychotherapy actually came a little bit later.
It was based upon the work that I was doing in my office in working with patients as well as the influence that positive psychology was having upon me. At some point I recognized that hey we are having a tremendous success ratio in working with patients by not emphasizing negative factors and by giving specific assignments. By helping people get involved in their own change in a very positive direction regardless of their background. Now I was finding that this was not only something that was working for me but also for my associates and trainees, residents and interns. We were just doing better than everybody else and I thought that it was very important to be able to spread the word. So at some point instead of being just kind of passively going about doing my job and doing it quite well I must say I reached the tipping point of saying hey this is something I gotta get out to other people.
This is something that I have to get the website built for, it’s something that I have to promote not just because of ego purposes you know I think everybody kind of, can benefit from an ego boost when they see something going right that’s part of them but also because I think it’s helps a whole lot of people to be able to think in these terms. One of the good things about the internet is that you can get these ideas out there pretty quickly but a negative is that in the old days I would have had to get it down and get a book on it publish before I spread it widely, that was the only way of spreading it out so I am still working on the book but I have some of the ideas out there.
Now again I think that the proactive positive explosion is one of the real ways of establishing the personal tipping point but I don’t think it’s the only way. And what I would like to focus on in the next few minutes is the fact that each of us have the ability to establish a personal tipping point that moves us in the right direction. Each of us constantly is making a decision, is trying out certain behaviors whether be in our personal lives, in our marriages, in our dating lives, in our job, in our recreational lives. And we are making judgments along the way. It’s very important to be able to make these judgments from a positive perspective that’s one of the real reasons that I feel so strongly about positive psychology and goal achieving psychotherapy because it permits us to focus on the positive and essentially forces us to do so. So that when I do something at the gym that demonstrates that I have physically exceeded what have been a limit for or when I find that virtually everybody benefits from some of these concepts that worked or when I find that there is something within my interactions with my wife, my sons, my grandchildren, that really seems to be going in the right direction.
I am able to evaluate from the stand point of having past my personal tipping point of recognizing that this gets incorporated into a positive self image. Just as Gladwell has found that once a neighborhood passes its tipping point in the positive direction you begin to see all kinds of additional things taking place, there may be neighborhood parks, there may be community groups, things that really enhance things so that once you passed the personal tipping point and are focused in a positive direction everything seems to get the find along those lines.
Now one of the things that we have to be concerned about is that we still are vulnerable to broken windows theory so that if we define ourselves negatively then any bit of progress that we make may get the find us being why I was just lucky that time or I wonder what’s wrong with the other person who is paying attention at me or you know I don’t know if I wanna keep working this hard at doing something that I do well. The tipping point comes first because it then enables you to define things in a more positive way. So from my stand point what I would encourage you to do is work on the three areas that develop the proactive positive explosion, health and fitness and electro functioning and social function but also be alert to all your moves in the positive direction and at some point if that’s your mindset if you are think in those terms you will reach the point in which pretty much everything gets defined on the basis of the fact that you have personal strengths and feel good about yourself and then when you fall short some time its not a personal self definition issue, it’s just that you fell short. People who are positive about themselves still make mistakes and still make dumb mistakes at times but that does not say anything about the fact that they are moving in a positive direction that most of the time they are going to be doing the appropriate thing for them selves and they can learn from their mistakes as well. In general once you pass that personal positive tipping point you will define yourself on regular basis as having a positive goal, a positive direction and you can begin to question any time that you are feeling down as how is this helping me get to where I wanna get to? If you gotta the positive orientation its real easy to put those doubts aside and move forward. Give it a try I suspect some of you who are hearing this already have passed their positive tipping point but I as always would like to hear of your experiences or any questions that you may have in this regard.
This has been doctor Ron Kaiser with your November 2013 audio podcast from The Mental Health Gym .I am looking forward speaking with you on another topic next month in the mean time I hope you are staying up to date with reading our blogs, visiting website and I hope that you are a member, who is getting the monthly newsletter if not please sign up its free and I think helpful for most people.