THIS WEB SITE IS LIKE box full of tools.
As you browse, you'll find out what tools are available in your
box. You'll see tools you will want to use. But please do not
make the mistake of thinking you should be using all these
tools. It's an easy mistake to make because it is obvious that
simply knowing about the tools doesn't lower your anxiety level
very much or make you feel better or reduce your stress. It is
using the tools that makes the difference.
But listen to me. If you had a large, well-stocked
toolbox down in the basement, but at the moment you're sitting
on the porch drinking lemonade, you wouldn't think you should
be using those tools. You don't need any of those tools to sip
Use the tools when you need them or when
you really want to use them. Read these articles to become familiar
with what's here. Then when you come to an stress-producing situation,
you will know you have a tool that can handle the job.
Or you could wait until you need a tool
and browse through the site until you find one that will work.
Also realize that you might use a particular
tool only once every other year. In a regular toolbox, you'll
have a few tools that you use only rarely for very specific
jobs that don't come up very often but when you're doing
one of those tasks, that tool is just the thing.
Some other tools are used often, like a
Same for the tools on this site. Some tools,
like focusing on a purpose, will be in almost constant use. Others
have only a specific application that may not come up very often.
Another way the toolbox analogy fits is
that you usually only use one tool at a time. You don't use a
saw and a hammer simultaneously. When you're hammering, that's
the only tool you're using at the moment. The tools in this book
are much the same. When you're relaxing tense muscles, just relax
tense muscles. Don't try to simultaneously remind yourself of
a slogan and alter the way you're interpreting the situation.
Choose a good tool and apply it. And only it.
USE THE RIGHT TOOL
If you want to remove a bolt, do not use
a screwdriver. Use a wrench. In the same way, each of the tools
on this site is good for certain circumstances and not very good
for others. For example, I had something troubling on my mind
and I felt agitated. So I meditated. It didn't work at all. I
was more agitated afterwards than before.
I needed to think things through, which
is difficult to do while meditating. So I tried a different tool:
I argued with myself on paper and that brought me complete relief.
If you want less reactivity in general,
by all means meditate. If you have a problem getting rid of a
thought about something that does not require any thought on
your part because you are just obsessing about something
and no longer have any good reason to think about it meditation
will probably do the trick. Focusing on a challenging purpose
would work also.
If you have several different things on
your mind and need to sort things out, making a list will probably
If you're upset by a specific incident
and it keeps coming up in your thoughts, arguing with yourself
on paper is a good one.
If you feel somewhat alienated from people,
work on developing your charisma or the bond of friendship.
If you feel physically tense, soak in a
hot tub or listen to a relaxation tape or get a massage. Or exercise.
If you've been guzzling coffee or not getting
enough sleep, you know what to do.
You get the idea. Use the right tool for
the right job. As you can see, when you look at what your situation
is, it's pretty easy to see what would be a good tool for the
job. All you need to do is avoid saying "this is the best
tool" and try to use it on everything. You wouldn't do that
with a regular toolbox, would you? "I think this hammer
is the best tool. So whatever I want to do, I'll use the hammer
to accomplish it." You want to saw some wood, so you hammer
and hammer, and eventually, get the plank into two pieces. Two
ugly pieces. Then you need to make the boards level before you
hammer them into place. How can you do that with a hammer?
Become familiar with the contents of your
toolbox. Learn what each tool can do. And then when you want
to manage some aspect of your life, deftly reach into your toolbox
and apply the tool that will accomplish your purpose with the
Think of this site as your toolbox.
Use the right tool for the job.
Read more: Contradictions
In The Work