Pain-2-Power Person of the Week

This week, the Pain-2-Power Person of the Week is every American who is serving or has served in the Armed Forces, upon whom we rely to safeguard the freedoms that allow us to become our true selves.

 

/p>

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

A Short Guide on How to Love

A Short Guide on How to Love is an ambitious title for a blog, but there are essential elements of love that can truly fuel it.  Here are the three key elements:

  • Know that person’s life story.
  • Listen to that person as unerringly as possible, as often as possible.
  • Stand beside that person in the face of adversity.

One, two, three—love.  Does it seem too good to be true?  It isn’t.  And it works for romantic love, for friends you love or for one’s children.

Know the Person’s Life Story

It’s impossible to love a person without knowing his or her life story.  That’s because each of us is a narrative, with chapters reaching all the way back to childhood.  The people and events that shape us become part of that narrative and, without knowing that history, no one can truly “love” the other person.  We can certainly become interested in the other person, “taken with” the other person, even infatuated with the other person. But to love the other person, we must internalize that individual’s journey and, therefore, be a trustworthy custodian of his or her deepest feelings.  And while knowing the high points of someone’s story is nice, true love requires knowing about the low points.  Knowing—really knowing about a person’s pain–binds us most intimately to that person.  It’s easy to read someone’s resume; it’s tougher and far more loving to metaphorically “read” the stories about when that person came up short, felt powerless or acted in ways he or she regrets.  Why?  Because those stories require us to embrace the whole of the other person.  And being embraced wholly is the only way to feel truly loved.

As the late and great author Leo Tolstoy wrote, “When you love someone you love the whole person just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.”

Listen to the Person

Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

To love, you must really, really listen to the other person.  That requires getting quiet and focusing, in order to reassure him or her that you’re invested in what she is thinking and feeling and saying.  Human beings want and need to be heard, but it’s rare to truly be heard.  And it feels—as it should—like love.  When you’re really listening you’ll also be ready to ask the next meaningful question and the next one, rather than just settling for the initial, surface-level story you’re hearing.  Those deeper levels of inquiry will allow you to empathize with what you are hearing.  So, when you say, “I’m trying to understand the reasons you’ve not spoken to your sister for years, and something still feels like it’s missing.  Do I have the whole story?  If there’s more to it, I’m all ears.”  People want and need to be coaxed to reveal the deeper levels of what they have lived through and are living through.  The coaxing, when heartfelt, feels like love, because it is.

Stand Beside the Person in the Face of Adversity

Good times are gravy.  Sharing them is part of the joy of life.  And, let’s be honest, it’s easy, too.  Sharing the really tough times is the way you love someone.

To paraphrase an anonymous quote I once read, True love means standing with the other person on good days and standing with him or her even closer on bad days, no matter what.

When you stand with a person against a crowd of detractors, you’re loving that person.  When you show up when he or she is sick, you’re loving that person.  When you note mistakes the person made in relationships or in business or in any other way, but also don’t take a single step away, you’re loving that person.  Painful times are the times that offer your relationship the most potential power.

So . . . there you have it.  Your Short Guide on How to Love.  If it sounds easy, it isn’t.  It’s not supposed to be.  That’s part of the magic, too.

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

TULSI GABBARD: THE PAIN-2-POWER PERSON OF THE WEEK

We have arrived at a time in America when stating the obvious can take tremendous courage.  You probably remember the story of The Emperor Has No Clothes in which only a little child is willing to be truthful and stark and say of the Emperor’s supposedly wonderful attire, “But he hasn’t got anything on.”

Well, only Tulsi Gabbard, the former Congresswoman from Hawaii who ran in the 2020 Presidential election has been willing to say the obvious about Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s repulsive, hateful remark that she is now only willing to be interviewed by black or brown journalists.  Gabbard, who is Hindu and grew up in a multicultural househol said, “Mayor Lightfoot’s blatant anti-white racism is abhorrent,” she wrote. “I call upon President Biden, Kamala Harris, and other leaders of our county—of all races—to join me in calling for Mayor Lightfoot’s resignation. Our leaders must condemn all racism, including anti-white.”

Congresswoman Gabbard is correct—of course.  No politician who refuses an audience with journalists of one race and welcomes an audience with journalists of other races can possibly continue to serve as the mayor of a great American city.  Every day, every hour, every minute she continues to do so is an affront to the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and—to put it quite simply—respect for one’s fellow man.  Lori Lightfoot’s tenure as mayor of Chicago is an affront the principles upon which this nation was founded and an affront to basic human values.  She represents the very worst of divisiveness.

So why would it be that only Congresswoman Gabbard would be so public and direct in her call for Mayor Lightfoot to step down?  Because very few people these days are willing to hazard taking on those who hate others, so long as those others are white.  That’s where we are.  That’s the painful cowardice and hypocrisy that grips us.

Like every painful period in a person’s life or in the life of a nation, however, the pain itself always creates an opening for power.  In this case, that power—to take a risk, to speak one’s mind, to defend fairness and to inspire others to do so—has been exercised by Tulsi Gabbard.

With Memorial Day almost upon us, I should note that Congresswoman Gabbard is a United States Army Reserve officer.  In 2003, she enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard.  In 2004, she was deployed to Iraq, serving as a specialist with the Medical Company, 29th Support Battalion, 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.   In March 2007, she graduated from the Alabama Military Academy’s Accelerated Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.  She was deployed to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009 as an Army Military Police officer.  She is a recipient of the Combat Medical Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal and, during 2015, was promoted from the rank of major to that of captain.

With all that service, Congresswoman Gabbard’s most recent willingness to defend liberty is her willingness to challenge the hate speech of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and call for her to resign.  And for that, not to mention her long history of service, she is this week’s Pain-2-Power Person of the Week.

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

Are you living through adversity right now?

The Pain-2-Power Jury Stays Out A Long Time

Are you living through adversity right now?  Maybe you find yourself facing a business reversal or struggling through a divorce or being treated for an illness.  Maybe your reputation has taken a hit or a treasured friend has let you down or abandoned you.  I want you to keep something in mind—right at the front of your mind:  The way you respond to the adversity at hand will end up being far more important than the adversity itself.  You may not see the results of staying strong and true in the midst of the challenges you are facing, but the results will become manifest.  It’s just a matter of time.  In other words, the Pain-2-Power jury stays out a long time.  But if you remain courageously committed to love, integrity and principle, the jury will come back in your favor—every time.

How can I assure you of that?  I can because I know from decades witnessing the unfolding stories of thousands of people that the entire universe is set up in just that way.  Stay focused and stay on a path to build your best self and you will be restored—and more.

Part of the difficulty of waiting is that you can’t control the clock.  You have to be “in it” for the long haul.  If your business fails, you have to be willing to look at the reasons why it failed, without giving up by assuming that you can never start another that will succeed.  If you find yourself dispirited by your work, you have to commit to the introspection needed to identify and express your real gifts—at your current job or by finding another.  If your family is fractured by divorce, you have to stay “in it” by fending off bitterness and bringing as much commitment and support and love to your family members as you possibly can.  Remember, the “jury” is still “listening” to evidence about who you are, deep in your soul.  In fact, the jury never stops listening.

One other thing you can’t control is the way the jury delivers the verdict.  Yes, if you show commitment and character while waiting, the verdict will be in your favor.  I promise.  But it may be that the verdict is delivered by your son or daughter who, after witnessing lots of struggle on your part to resurrect your business, without ever really achieving the desired results, remarks, “The reason I don’t give up on myself, Mom, is because you never did.”  Who among us would trade that reflection for a better business balance sheet?  The victory—the verdict—wasn’t even on that balance sheet.  The richness ended up manifest in the steel backbone of your child.

This can be the ace up your sleeve, then:  You, not circumstances, control the verdict that results from every trial in your life.  Taken to the extreme, you can still decide whether to tie your shoes if they are worn through at the toes.  Do you understand me?  You can decide.  And if you think for one moment that the jury won’t notice, think again.  The jury notices everything.

Are you in pain?  The way you deal with that pain is your power—inherently and inextricably.  You cannot be defeated by others because you have to decide to be defeated.  If you get up, again, or even try—really, truly try—you win.

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

TURN YOUR NEGATIVE HABIT INTO YOUR MIND GYM

Many of us have negative habits that range from snacking too much to drinking, smoking or gambling too much.  We can feel as though we are hostages to those behaviors because they have so many ways of getting their way.  Habits argue that we’ll feel better after indulging or that we’ll make changes “tomorrow,” or that we’ve “earned” the right to some sort of surrender.  So it’s important to summon the right mental attitude to do battle with habits.

One of the best mental attitudes is to think of the existence of your habit as a “gym” for your mind.  Seen this way, your addiction to cigarettes, for instance, isn’t just a scourge or the enemy, it’s an opportunity.  Why? Because if you simply resist giving into your desire for a cigarette, you’ll be making your mind stronger.  All you have to do is not pick up the package of cigarettes or not take out a cigarette or not light it or put it out before inhaling, and your mind will actually—truly—be strengthened.

Lifting weights is a good metaphor for turning your negative habit into your mind gym.  Sure, it builds muscle when you lift weights, but it also builds muscle when you resist letting the weight fall back to its rack or onto the floor.  The act of not letting go makes you stronger.

The opportunity to use resistance training for your mind is no different and is built into every negative habit.  Talk about turning pain into power, right?  All you have to do in order to make your mind stronger and make yourSELF stronger is to refuse to do what your habit is telling you to do.  Feel like having a piece of cake?  You aren’t just doing nothing when you refuse that impulse.  You’re turning your habit—which had the capacity to weaken you—into the mind gym where you’re getting stronger.

Go home and watch television or nap, instead of going to the casino, and you’re actually exercising your mind.  Pour out the bottle of alcohol you were about to drink from and you’re lifting the equivalent of 200 pound—with your mind.

You can have some fun with this.  Try lifting the equivalent of more weight.  Don’t just refrain from that piece of cake.  Toss it out.  Or drink some water, instead.  Your mind muscles will start to ripple.

By the way, the mind gym isn’t open just to those with bad habits.  It’s also open to those facing adversity that tempts them into giving up or giving in.  Remind yourself that every hour you don’t give up or give in actually builds your mind musculature.  You’re not just resisting, you’re making yourself stronger by resisting.

The mind gym is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Ready to join?

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

PAIN-2-POWER PERSON OF THE WEEK: LIEUTENANT COLONEL MATTHEW LOHMEIER

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lohmeier, who is a former instructor and fighter pilot, was recently relieved of his post as commander of the 11th Space Warning Squadron.  Why?  Because he published a book warning of the spread of Marxism and critical race theory in the military.  He also spoke about the themes in his book during a podcast.

The Space Force official statement read, “Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, Space Operations Command commander, relieved Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier of command of the 11th Space Warning Squadron, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, May 14, due to loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead. This decision was based on public comments made by Lt. Col. Lohmeier in a recent podcast. Lt. Gen. Whiting has initiated a Command Directed Investigation (CDI) on whether these comments constituted prohibited partisan political activity.”

Lohmeir did, indeed, comment during the podcast “Information Operation” that he had noted the spread of Marxist ideology in the military.  He does, indeed, make this point in his self-published book, “Irresistible Revolution: Marxism’s Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military.”

Notably, Lieutenant Colonel Lohmeier also challenged the views of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin who ordered a “stand down” in the U.S. military to ferret out alleged right-wing extremism after the January 6 breach of the Capitol building and who Lohmeier noted as a proponent of Critical Race Theory, which has been tied, philosophically, to Marxism and which denounces U.S. and Western culture as oppressive.

As the Epoch times noted, Lohmeir stated, “I don’t demonize the man, but I want to make it clear to both him and every service member this agenda—it will divide us. It will not unify us.”

“What you see happening in the U.S. military at the moment is that if you’re a conservative, then you’re lumped into a group of people who are labeled extremists, if you’re willing to voice your views. And if you’re aligned with the left, then it’s OK to be an activist online because no one’s gonna hold you accountable,” Lohmeier also said, according to the Washington Examiner.

When a man says what he thinks and is willing to endure the backlash—especially when that backlash must have been predictable to him—that person is a patriot and exemplifies the principles of Pain-2-Power.  And that’s why Lt. Colonel Matthew Lohmeier is the Pain-2-Power Person of the Week.

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

If You Were a Stock, I’d be Buying

Have you ever looked at the chart of the way a really great stock fluctuates in price?  Almost invariably, when real power is behind the company, the stock rises in a sawtooth pattern—rising, then falling back, then rising higher than the last high, then falling back, then rising still higher than the second high – and so on and so on and so on.  In other words, it doesn’t rise steadily.  It “suffers,” if you will, setbacks, then regains momentum and climbs.

Well, if you were a stock, I’d be buying.  Why?  It’s as simple as this:  You not only got yourSELF to www.pain-2-power.com, you dug a bit deeper whether by choosing the INSIGHTS tab or by reading to this—the second paragraph.  And I think events like that, though they may seem small, or may seem random, are actually neither.  You are poised to rise.  Inevitably.

I have said before that the comeback story is the iconic, elemental story of the planet, human beings and every individual.  It is encoded in our genes and ensconced in the Bible and in every novel or film that ends up being embraced by wide audiences.  That’s because we know that the journey to success and happiness always takes the shape of a sawtooth pattern.  Your journey is no different.  If you fall down in life, you are never in free fall.  Your comeback is assured if you believe it and behave as though you believe it.

Guess who can decide when your stock has lost so much value that it can never rise to higher highs than ever.  Only you.  Resist that temptation (which is an understandable one, when the chips are down), and you’ve done 65 percent of the work launching your comeback.  The other 35 percent is taking the needed steps back up the mountain, with every intention of climbing to the top—whatever that means to you.

Whatever that means to you.  Those words are critical.  Because the top of the mountain for you might be greater financial success than ever before, painting better than ever before, finding love, again, or attaining deeper self-knowledge.  You need to know where you want your comeback story to “end.”  Of course, it is never really the end, it is always a beginning.

Here you are.  You found this writing.  You found your way all the way through the message.  It’s yours now.  Believe in it.  Be confident the next chapters you imagine in your life story reflect it.  Then, go live it.

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

POWERFUL PUBLISHERS DON’T BURN BOOKS

Simon and Schuster Publishing is now ground zero in the Cancel Contagion pandemic that threatens free speech in the United States and around the world.

Believe it or not, 214 employees of Simon and Schuster signed a petition demanding that the company drop two books by former Vice President Mike Pence  it contracted to publish because of his supposedly racist and sexist views.  Moreover, the petition demands that the company not publish books with anyone affiliated with the Trump Administration, which the signers contend was not a “normal” chapter in the history of the country.

Stunningly, 3500 outside influencers also signed on to support the petition, including two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.

Simon and Schuster’s CEO Jonathan Karp has rejected his employees’ demands, but the company has, in the past, canceled titles by authors who were deemed too controversial, including Senator Josh Hawley.  On this occasion, Mr. Karp rightly pointed out that Simon and Schuster is committed to publishing books refleting a diversity of opinions and perspectives.

The 214 employees lobbying Simon and Schuster to muzzle conservative writers associated with the Trump Administration represent 14 percent of the publisher’s workforce.  Think about that.  Fourteen percent of the workforce not only supported the idea of canceling a book by the former Vice President of the United States (and lots of other writers), but had enough conviction about it to sign a petition to that effect.  That’s a stunning and frightening reality because these are folks in the, well, publishing industry who might be presumed to value free speech and a range of opinions and open debate more than some other folks.  Well, they clearly don’t.

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised—at all.  Newspapers like the New York Times became mouthpieces for far left politics long ago—happy enough to crucify anyone who didn’t roll with their ideas and their agenda. Yes, crucify.  Many, many lives of good and decent people have been destroyed by the New York Times, intentionally.

And, by the way, where is the American Civil Liberties Union as the rights to free speech of conservatives in America are being shut down.  Nowhere.

An MRI of the minds of the liberal media has been completed and inside we see rage and a desire to burn the Constitution and Bill of Rights at the stake.  There is no way to credibly assert otherwise, any longer.  It is what it is.

Jonathan Karp emerges as a hero in all this.  There will be others.  And they will win, in the end.  Because the truth, My Friends, always, always wins.

 

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

PAIN-2-POWER PERSON OF THE WEEK: ALEX WISCH

Alex Wisch is our Pain-2-Power Person of the Week because he has turned adversity into strength.  Wisch, who has battled severe major depression, is now a top trainer whose list of clients includes professional athletes and CEOs.  Wisch not only speaks openly about his journey through darkness and his continued work to stay healthy, but has turned his pain into his power by launching a fitness challenge to raise money to help optimize mental health services.

“I tried every treatment out there for the profound depression I struggled with, including psychotherapy, dozens of medications, ketamine infusions and even ECT,” Wisch said. “Nothing freed me from its grip until I devoted unwavering focus to revitalizing and strengthening my body, in order to strengthen my mind.  It was essential to optimize my biology and my body’s innate, healing wisdom.”

On May 30th, 2021, during Mental Health Awareness Month and the day before Memorial Day, Wisch will take on an almost incredible fitness feat to bring awareness to the fact that the mental health crisis affects people of all backgrounds.

Wisch will perform 1,000 pull-ups, 2,000 push-ups and 3,000 squats, all within 10 hours, while wearing a 20-pound weighted vest to symbolize the weight of mental illness on the many millions who must confront it.  He is inviting people to donate to support his Herculean effort. All the money donated will go directly to Team Red, White & Blue, a charity that utilizes fitness and community to support America’s veterans as they overcome their own mental health challenges while transitioning back to their families and neighborhoods.

“Daily fitness and mindfulness have been essential for me to overcome the challenges of depression and train for this enormous feat,” Wisch said. “I want to share this knowledge and help people in all areas of life begin their own journey towards mental wellness.” For this reason he created the 30-Day Fitness for Mental Health Challenge. Participants can choose from Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Elite and Ultra-Elite fitness routines that anyone can complete in the comfort of their own home.

“The 30-Day Challenge includes performing pull-ups, push-ups, and squats every other day, throughout the month of May, along with a daily 5-minute practice of mindfulness,” Wisch said. “It is now very well understood that pairing daily physical activity with mindfulness practices significantly improves anxiety and depression symptoms, along with reducing the risk for clinical depression.”

Wisch knows that people too often stay silent about their struggles with mental illness out of fear of being stigmatized. He has made it his mission to speak out by sharing his story. “No one is spared when it comes to mental illness, regardless of accomplishments and bravery.”

Wisch has advice for anyone confronting depression, anxiety or any other psychiatric symptoms or disorder. “You must never give up. You must never stand down. Please know that there is hope and healing is possible. Your potential is far greater than you may imagine, especially during your tough times. I have seen extraordinary recoveries unfold again and again, including in my own life.”

Wisch is asking for you to please show your support to make a positive change in the mental health crisis by making a donation on www.fitnessformentalhealth.org and by participating in the 30 Days for Mental Health Challenge.

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.

PAIN-2-POWER IN EVERYTHING: EVEN COVID

Pain-2-Power is a philosophy for your life and for life, in general.  Its basic tenet is that all suffering and adversity in life can be turned to the good because the human story, both individually and as a species, is inherently coded for comebacks.  Wandering the desert and arriving at the Promised Land is a metaphor for every human trial.  Resurrection is the story of mankind.

Your story, when marked by setbacks, is actually a story-in-waiting of overcoming those setbacks—of turning pain to power, of using the suffering that is inevitably part of every human life to find the way out of suffering.  Visiting the depths of despair is the preface, always, to ascending to the mountaintop.  We just need to believe those next chapters are ahead, to expect the pages to be written, to be vigilant as the words and sentences comprising our resurrection appear.  We can never forget that each and every one of us is an alchemist turning lead to gold.

Once you learn to expect pain as the prelude to power and to be vigilant for signposts along the way, every challenge—even the biggest ones—come encoded with new and positive possibilities.

Let’s take a tough example.  The Covid pandemic has killed millions.  It has brought suffering to hundreds of millions more.  What possible silver lining could there be to that?  What good could be encoded in the viral genome of a global killer?  The answer is:  Something, and probably something big.  Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Will accelerated research, development and distribution of mRNA based vaccines lead to a vaccine for cancer?
  • Will we learn that people who contracted Covid and survived it actually find themselves immune to future illnesses?
  • Can we ultimately identify a leader for the nation whose response to the Covid epidemic distinguished him or her to such an extent that his or her ascent to the Presidency became inevitable?

These are just a few of the possible ways victory could be forged from apparent defeats at the “hand” of Covid.  I am not saying that any one of them would take away the suffering endured by those who lost loved ones or who lost businesses or who lost their good health.  I am simply urging—in confronting Covid and confronting everything we must—that we keep one eye open for hope and leaps forward.  In the desert, expect the Promised Land.  In every metaphorical death, expect resurrection.  Look for it.  Work for it.  Manifest it.

Here’s a really simple metaphor.  I just thought of it.  When I was a kid, I had a few of those cars that you had to pull back against the surface of a table or on the floor, in order to wind a spring inside that then, when the car was released, rocketed forward.  That’s how the world works.  It’s how human beings work.  And it’s how you work.

Dr. Keith Ablow

Click HERE to schedule a complimentary discovery call with Dr. Keith Ablow.