Thank You For Your Criticism!

A few months ago, one reader gave a wonderfully scathing review of the 35+ page Kindle report introducing a core concept of problem solving ELF style Super Solutions 101: First Steps Of A Surprisingly Simple System For Solving Problems In Your Personal And Professional Life (Kindle Edition.) Now, I thank you for your criticism Sandy, you helped!

Of course, having felt the need AND made the effort to “re-write in more popular language” the clinical and academic materials precisely because most people wouldn’t have the interest or patience to wade through them only to hear “No substance, all sales pitch. The content, in a sentence, is: Stop focusing on your problems and start thinking of solutions,” was a bit of a punch in the gut.

Then I had one of my “aha” moments!

First, we had succeeded in communicating the core concept. Secondly I had clearly failed in the next three:
1. In communicating how consistently individuals fail in DOING what we “know”
2. There is a little known but simple, repeatable method for getting done what we know we should…
3. There is a catch in all this, but that too is “treatable”… do we really want what we “know” or is it conditional that is not really aligned with our deeper desires and needs at this time?

Sandy (the reviewer) went on to say, “The authors promise a revolutionary “Solutions System” that will help you do that. Peppered with pseudoscientific phrases like “Miracle Question,” “The Miracle Matrix,” and “Solution Revolution,” they deliver only reasons why you should sign up for their webinar or buy their upcoming book.” Well, yes, she got me there too and sorry to say, we got her as well.

Part of the challenge of marketing today is to communicate in aspirational terms, otherwise theoretical and inaccessible concepts. Hence the “pepper.” But little did she know that the “miracle question” was a term shaped by a client that was significantly helped by the method and is a phrase that has a particular purpose in the sequence of “inner work” that the method requires of us. It is not just hype. It has a very particular and useful task in the whole process. Some would say, pivotal.

You Mean I Have To Do Something Different?

After all, if we want to experience something different in life, can we really do so without making some shifts and changes in our current approach and responses? Part of the challenge of personal change is walking the tightrope with the long pole in our hands that has “self-confidence” on one side and the awareness that “we don’t know everything” on the other… and that every thought that fleets through our heads just might not be eternal knowledge, so it can be OK to “change our minds!”

Sandy’s chagrin that after paying a full .99c, that we would dare encourage the reader to do more than read a 35 page report or actually invest in more learning is a little naive about life. Or she is simply an opportunist who is unwilling to work on anything much at all.

But this is NOT for Everyone

All this helped me face again, that this training is NOT for everyone. There are large numbers who want to get “fixed” fast, and preferably with a .99c product and about 20 minutes of reading—and no effort! She is probably more likely to opt for a $50 bottle of diet pills or a new pair of spanx once the new year diet goals had clearly lost their sheen.

In truth, I only wish that was a real option, then we would have some snake oil to sell! But the sad truth is, Sandy will probably spend another good number of years jumping from one “quick fix” to another, and probably spending most of her time on what I call “pills and potions” when she feels the need for comfort or emotional support. And all the while, she may lament—and even blame the world—for there being no knight on a white horse to come to save her.

So yes, this ebook/report does have reasons why you should keep on learning more. A 30-page ebook is not going to make you highly skilled at core competencies capable of making a massive difference in life. Our purpose for this introductory (and only .99c) ebook was to gently nudge people around to seeing how much they do (and not all do, just at least 77% of the American populations and 88% of those who set new years goals) spend their time focusing on and walling in the emotional dramas of problems. So we sought to introduce the key paradigmatic change needed when we get “stuck” in a problem. And frankly developing an awareness of this can alone, make a huge difference in a persons life when coupled with specific efforts to invest thought, time and effort on building solutions instead of under the familiar blanket of “poor me.”

When this “frame change” is acted upon (and not merely thought about) a significant difference is made in a life. Such changes are far from pseudoscientific. They have been observed, recorded, noted, assessed and have become part of a growing body of knowledge mostly referred to as “solutions-focused brief therapy”.

So I was grateful to Sandy. She both clarified some points that I took good not of and confirmed the notion that there are still many who are not yet ready to do the kind of self-reflection that the more Socratic of spiritually oriented of us tend toward. Perhaps next week. Perhaps as she hits another emotional brick wall. Perhaps never. And that’s OK. Painful for her, but OK.

So… I’m a Little Slow

As slow as I am in some respects, I am getting clearer that this approach really is not for the personality types who are not “inventurers.” For them, the personal quest for self-knowledge, self-betterment and personal mastery is more about “which pill will get me there fast… and looking good!” I do wish them the very best, and I know that my good friend and Chaplain, and many others like us, will still be there if she needs a shoulder, a nudge or a firm hand when things get really tough in her life and she is still asking “why does it happen to me?”

In closing, I do recommend serious consideration of how to do something about utilizing the premise of this ebook—of, as Sandy noted, “Stop focusing on your problems and start thinking of solutions.” But I would strong urge going further. Thinking about solutions is not much better than being unaware of one’s own focus on problems. Finding ways to keep our attention focused on, and clarifying our goals, and taking small steps today that get us closer to that goal, i.e. keep us on track building solutions is the key.

Therapists have spent hours, weeks, months and years honing their skills so that they can help people take these steps. They don’t bother trying to explain why. That is more for the self-helper. The real challenge is to get people to DO solutions building in their lives. Why  would 77% of Americans be suffering from physical symptoms of stress if we weren’t DOING something that is just not helping?

Thank you Sandy for the opportunity to raise these points!

And if you want a free pdf of the report, you can get it sent to you by email here: Get the report.

Or pick it up for .99c on Kindle