Self-help and Mental Techniques

- POSTED ON: Jun 08, 2015

One of the things I’m finding fascinating in my study of The 3 Principles .. as related to my personal food and weight struggles .. is the overall opposition to the use of “Techniques”.

The philosophy appears to include the way that people personally practice the 3 Principles, as well as the way that speakers present information about the 3 Principles.

Garret Kramer (see his bio below) gives some reasons for this position in the following articles.


Self-help. A term completely misunderstood. How can entire industry call itself one thing and deliver the exact opposite? Have you ever read a self-help book in which the author didn’t offer his or her ideas, strategies, or techniques for feeling or performing better? Me neither. And there you have it: Someone else’s ideas, strategies, or techniques might be interesting, even logical, but they come from the outside—they’re not self-help. That can only come from the inside.

Now, if you’re wondering if I’m overthinking it or you feel that my perspective is based on a mere technicality, consider this: What self-help truly is has become obscured by misinterpretation. In other words, self-help—or the innate ability for human beings to self-correct when troubled—is an unknown principle to the vast majority of people. So, regrettably, we apply the “external-help” methods of others. This requires thought, which clutters our minds and makes us feel worse.

So what about my work, or the work of my colleagues and a handful of others? What’s different about that? I’ll speak for myself. I devote my professional life to pointing people away from today’s surplus of external coping strategies and toward the power of their own psychological immune (self-help) systems. In fact, to me, it’s a coincidence when someone employs an external-help strategy and then feels better (that’s why it doesn’t happen every time). But when someone gets on with life and then self-corrects—now that’s truth.

Sure, I know that self-help is just a word used to describe a certain group of experts or a section in the bookstore. The connotation of the word, however, needs a major adjustment. Look inside for answers, people; self-help can only start there.

Six Reasons Why It’s Not a Good Idea to Use Mental Techniques

As most of you know, my work is all about teaching others the importance of allowing one’s inner wisdom and instincts to do as nature intended: clear out the mind’s clutter. The first step in making this happen is to stop using prescribed mental techniques or strategies. The six reasons why:

1. Mental techniques never lead to excellence.
The human mind is an amazing self-corrective mechanism. While an uptick in one’s performance level or happiness may appear to come from the use of a mental technique (positive thinking, analyzing one’s past, sticking to a routine, visualizing an affirmative outcome, etc.), it is actually derived from the mind’s natural ability to regulate to clarity. That’s why the use of mental techniques appears to only work sometimes.

2. Mental techniques imply that a person’s feelings come from the outside.
The only reason that a person would employ a mental technique or coping strategy is because he or she is attributing a bad feeling to a life circumstance, when, in truth, feelings can only come from inside the person. Knowing that feelings are formed from the inside-out is what activates a person’s natural resilience.

3. Mental techniques come from someone else.
The use of suggested mental strategies thwarts a person’s free will and instincts. Why? These strategies come from another person. One’s inner wisdom is the only true source of consistent peace of mind and excellence.

4. Mental techniques require thinking.
As mentioned, feelings can only come from within a person. But from where? The answer is from one’s thinking—more thinking leads to a worse feeling, less thinking leads to a better feeling. So, because the application of mental strategies requires thought, implementing these strategies eventually makes a person feel worse.

5. Mental techniques obstruct a person’s psychological immune system.
Once again, the human mind is designed to self-correct. Just like our physical immune systems keep our bodies in check; our psychological immune systems protect our minds. When we use outside fixes to remedy our feelings, however, we get in the way of this automatic process. When a person continually applies mental techniques, his or her psychological immune system becomes obstructed to the point of malfunction.

6. Mental techniques are not truth.
A mental technique is no more than someone’s idea, theory, or concept. And ideas, concepts, and theories are not truth. Here, on the other hand, is truth: Wayward feelings come from normal fluctuations of thought. Feelings are not permanent; they don’t need to be fixed. The path to long-term fulfillment is not found by applying how-to techniques. It’s found by understanding how the mind works.

About Garret Kramer:
Garret Kramer is the founder of Inner Sports. He has provided mental conditioning, consulting, and crisis management services to hundreds of athletes, coaches, and business leaders; from well-known professionals, Olympians, and teams, to collegiate players across a multitude of sports. Credited with bringing the principles of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought to the athletic community at large, Garret has been featured on or in: WFAN, ESPN, FOX, NPR. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and Forbes. He is the author of Stillpower: Excellence with Ease in Sports and Life, (2012) and The Path of No Resistance: Why Overcoming is Simpler than You Think. (July 2015)

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