Look at yourself after watching this

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  • #2
Evo
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Awesome video.
 
  • #3
Dembadon
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Thank you for sharing. I need some perspective every once in a while. :smile:
 
  • #4
I have three thoughts (yes, just the three):

1.) That is one tough, resiliant, and impressive man.
2.) Evertime he hopped, my testicles ached.
3.) It's unfortunate that it requires somebody who's challenges are so obvious to make people reflect on the nature of their own lives and worth.

Finally, because I am who I am, remember that he is selling a DVD and while his view is very enlightened, some of those girls will still go home to abuse, neglect, and simple endogenous misery. There is some danger in the concept that we should all be happy regardless of circumstance. It's one thing to accept fundamental losses or limitation, and then try to overcome them, but it's another to try and smile through depression or misery. In fact, it's downright lethal to try and do that, so while I admire the man, the reality is that neurology is increasingly making it clear that "just smile" is not enough.
 
  • #5
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neurology is increasingly making it clear that "just smile" is not enough.
What do you mean by that?
 
  • #6
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Well I honestly thought I was going to come out with a "so what" attitude, but I enjoyed that. Feel quite inspired.
1.) That is one tough, resiliant, and impressive man.
Agreed.
2.) Evertime he hopped, my testicles ached.
Hadn't thought about it until now. Damn you!
3.) It's unfortunate that it requires somebody who's challenges are so obvious to make people reflect on the nature of their own lives and worth.
Well in fairness, he has something of a 'niche' product. And without being harsh, it's not like he has a world of options available.

I think he does a damn good job at what he does.
There is some danger in the concept that we should all be happy regardless of circumstance. It's one thing to accept fundamental losses or limitation, and then try to overcome them, but it's another to try and smile through depression or misery. In fact, it's downright lethal to try and do that, so while I admire the man, the reality is that neurology is increasingly making it clear that "just smile" is not enough.
I don't believe he was trying to say "smile through everything". In his video he comments on why he smiles all the time and says "it's complicated" and that he explains it to people.

So I'm not sure if that's what he was trying to say. At least based on what I saw.
 
  • #7
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What do you mean by that?
You can't just smile through your problems. That doesn't solve anything, it just ignores them and can potentially make things worse.
 
  • #8
Containment
I looked at my self after having watched the video and then I realized i'm becoming a nudist :( Now if only I could find a beach with absolutely nobody to see my naked butt at.
 
  • #9
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You can't just smile through your problems. That doesn't solve anything, it just ignores them and can potentially make things worse.
Not true. Smiling doesn't necessarily constitute as an act of ignoring. There is a deeper meaning. We are controlled by our fears.

If you smile, your brain starts making positive connections, and associations, and you must focus on the positive of every situation. Because if you have all that garbage in your head, you may miss out on the journey, by focusing too much on the outcomes (FEAR).
 
  • #10
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nice sharing...
 
  • #11
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You can't just smile through your problems. That doesn't solve anything, it just ignores them and can potentially make things worse.
You don't need neurology to tell that its just common sense but i though that nismaratwork had some neurological explanation to that.
 
  • #12
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I looked at my self after having watched the video and then I realized i'm becoming a nudist :( Now if only I could find a beach with absolutely nobody to see my naked butt at.
Now cover your naked a** and try to appreciate that man's courage and by the way your post wasn't funny at all.
 
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  • #13
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Not true. Smiling doesn't necessarily constitute as an act of ignoring. There is a deeper meaning. We are controlled by our fears.

If you smile, your brain starts making positive connections, and associations, and you must focus on the positive of every situation. Because if you have all that garbage in your head, you may miss out on the journey, by focusing too much on the outcomes (FEAR).
No, it's very true. You can focus on what you like but it doesn't get rid of your problems.
 
  • #14
Astronuc
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Not true. Smiling doesn't necessarily constitute as an act of ignoring. There is a deeper meaning. We are controlled by our fears.

If you smile, your brain starts making positive connections, and associations, and you must focus on the positive of every situation. Because if you have all that garbage in your head, you may miss out on the journey, by focusing too much on the outcomes (FEAR).
I believe the comment about smiliing is Vujicic's way of telling folks to have a positive attitude (like Norman Vincent Peal) and not be overcome or overwhelmed by adversity. There are many people, the thalidomide babies, in his situation. He's a motivational speaker. At least he takes the time to address those people who need some positive feedback in their lives.

I don't agree with the statement that "girls will still go home to abuse, neglect, and simple endogenous misery." Their parents got them to that camp or engagement with Vujicic. Somebody cares about them.
 
  • #15
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Not true. Smiling doesn't necessarily constitute as an act of ignoring. There is a deeper meaning. We are controlled by our fears.

If you smile, your brain starts making positive connections, and associations, and you must focus on the positive of every situation. Because if you have all that garbage in your head, you may miss out on the journey, by focusing too much on the outcomes (FEAR).

Thats bull. Most of the "Positive psychologists" out there practice a form of voodoo. And no, fear has nothing to do with focusing on outcomes :P
 
  • #16
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If something bad happens to you and it makes you sad, then you have two problems instead of one.
 
  • #17
russ_watters
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You can't just smile through your problems. That doesn't solve anything, it just ignores them and can potentially make things worse.
While that's true, I think for most in his apparent target audience (teenage girls, possibly affluent), self-esteem itself is the problem.
 
  • #18
I believe the comment about smiliing is Vujicic's way of telling folks to have a positive attitude (like Norman Vincent Peal) and not be overcome or overwhelmed by adversity. There are many people, the thalidomide babies, in his situation. He's a motivational speaker. At least he takes the time to address those people who need some positive feedback in their lives.

I don't agree with the statement that "girls will still go home to abuse, neglect, and simple endogenous misery." Their parents got them to that camp or engagement with Vujicic. Somebody cares about them.
In the latter case, he's just a prop that parents are using to make a point, and those kids are already in a better situatino than most. I agree that Vujicic isn't telling people to smile through clinical depression, but unfortunately in the context of our history, it can be taken that way. When you speak to a vulnerable group and your message is powerful, like a drug it's going to have adverse effects on some. Unlike a doctor, he doesn't even have to be aware of that; after all he's (it seems quite genuinely) trying to share some perspective with people and show them that you can overcome seeming limitations.

More importantly, people who are clinically depressed (major depressive episodes) or suffer from (again) an anxiety disorder are simply not best served by motivational speaking alone. If you were suicidal going in, you may come out thinking that there's something really wrong with you... after all, as you say someone cares about you and you have arms and legs. His message is predicated on our shared understanding that it SUCKS not to have arms or legs, but that alone isn't reason to give up.

So, if you have body-image issues, great! If that's why you started down the bulemic path, evidence indicates you need more help than that. I would compare this to a rousing sermon: the people most effected will be those who could be most easily helped in simpler ways.

Finally, at the core this man's implicit message is: "I had it worse coming out of the womb than you, but it hasn't stopped me from enjoying and succeeding in life." That's very uplifting, but we already know that doesn't save depressed lives.

That's ONE example, and one that covers a contiuum that can include people helped by this man. Someone who has Bi-Polar Disorder may enjoy this, but they still need more than this. If you're miserably dirt-poor and your church or community or a relative sent you here... what are you going home to?

Medicaton works well, and so it gets a lot of attention, and after that, "therapy". What people tend to ignore is the concept of out-patient intervention that is more often necessary in the context of learning how to cope. This man doesn't explain how to cope with your issues, he makes them appear small by comparison. When you go home to whatever it is makes you unhappy, how long will that last?

How long does a course on basic anxiety-manament using CBT take? Answer: Not very long, but longer than a day at camp. How effective is it compared to medication used in the same scenario? It depends... which means I probably just lost you. There are studies which indicate that if you had GAD, it's IMMENSLY helpful, and can be for a lifetime. On the other hand, all anxiety disorders are not the same: http://soar.wichita.edu/dspace/bits...d=F00DFBDB3C084700A6AD801DF8265871?sequence=3

Now, I linked to that because in its conclusion you'll find a variation of a statement you'll OFTEN hear, and that is at the core of why motivational speaking should be something you're wary of... more wary the more severe the issues it purports to adress.

Powers & Quigley said:
This study concludes that the data available regarding
treatment of hoarding in OCD is inconclusive. More
research must be performed and data obtained from
Level 1 and 2 studies to search for the most effective
treatment of hoarding. Because this patient population
often does not recognize the seriousness of their illness
and the safety implications involved, they do not seek
medical attention. For the patients who do seek
medical attention for hoarding, they are often noncompliant
in treatment due to only seeking medical
treatment to appease family and friends who urge them
to be treated.
The individual and varying response to
treatment of individuals with OCD involving hoarding
disorder requires strict systematic study to conclude the
best possible treatment in this life-altering mental
illness.
OCD-Hoarding is just one popular example, but it's apt, and the conclusion applies broadly. Well meaning people like this man can be good people with a good message, and still do harm.
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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I don't agree with the statement that "girls will still go home to abuse, neglect, and simple endogenous misery." Their parents got them to that camp or engagement with Vujicic. Somebody cares about them.
It looked more like a school to me than a camp, but in either case it doesn't necessarily follow.
 
  • #20
While that's true, I think for most in his apparent target audience (rich teenage girls), self-esteem itself is the problem.
EXACTLY!

We'd probably also agree that for a smaller subset, we have self-esteem which presents, but in reality there is an underlying endogenous cause. (Ignorng abuse, neglect, unhappy home, poor education, poverty, mental illness...etc)

If you leave with a crowd that's moved and has fresh perspective, and you understand what this man says and even accept it... and you still feel the same... it's going to HURT. It's going to hurt a group of people who are extremely vulnerable, and who will now think there's even MORE wrong with them because so many others are moved.
 
  • #21
918
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So where does this leave us? Don't try to motivate anyone because some might take it the wrong way?
 
  • #22
Pythagorean
Gold Member
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I don't think there's any reason why a quadriplegic should be less happy than someone who is not given that we synthesize happiness ourselves, and further that the more choices people have, the less happier they are (assuming your choices are dramatically reduced by not having limbs, which still leaves a lot to do)

Dan Gilbert sums up his research in a ted talk:

http://blog.ted.com/2006/09/26/happiness_exper/
 
  • #23
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One thing i don't like about the internet is the endless debates with no results i mean an argument relating to physics or math can lead to somewhere but these type of things are just hypothetical everyone has his own thoughts about life just accept that and you will save a lot of time on these pointless arguments and this particular video you might find inspiration instead of a reason to argue:smile:
 
  • #24
So where does this leave us? Don't try to motivate anyone because some might take it the wrong way?
Heck, no! Some people need motivation, and this man seems quite sincere. That doesn't mean he's RIGHT, or that his message is useful. I think that he's saying many of the right things, but sloganeering is not substitute for coping mechanisms and REAL perspective.

You should feel free to motivate people, but that's not the same as being "A motivational speaker", selling DVDs, and purporting to somehow improve the lives of others. It's very much like selling guides on how to "get rich", and the secret is: sell guides.

So, do I appreciate that this man has overcome what many of us would see as incredible adversity, but the implication is that YOU should too. I don't particularly like people selling emotional experiences posing as something more.

In a SUBSTANTIVE way... your argument then applies to all pseudoscience, Deepak Chopra, and anything that makes people feel good... or report that they do. Note that all of the love in the world isn't going to get you off a highly addictive drug, cure a mental illness, or change your circumstances. It's the gap between this man's experience and the superficial sympathy he elicits, and the needs of the people who see him. I'd add, I learned to play the trumpet from a teacher who had lost his left arm just below the elbow. I got the point: you can play the trumpet with a (really cheap) prosthetic pincer, and losing an arm isn't the end of the world.

He did this by simple example... AFAIK I'm one of the few people who got the real story of how he lost his arm, because to him it wasn't relevant. Kids would ask how it happened, and he'd make an array of jokes including, "I was picking my nose, REALLY deep..." If you're inspiring, be inspiring in your life, not as a profession.

Evangelizing is evangelizing, and that goes for people who claim that reading a book about (for example) CBT is the same as a fully trained and certified psychiatrist or psychologist apply those methods. Is there so much difference between, "I have no arms and legs, but I'm happy!" and "Release the beast, walk on coals!"?

@JarednJames: He must have one hell of a cup, or he doesn't have testicles. Either way, OW.

@Astronuc: Beyond inspiration for those already primed to appreciate it, and therefore those who least need it, what value do you see in this kind of motivational speaking? I'm not saying that the guy is doing something terrible, and I'm sure that like most he remembers the "hits", and forgets the "misses". You however, are a man who's life must revolve to some degree around empirical evidence... where is it here?

I get it, I'm a p***k for not being moved, and more of one for saying so when I could have said nothing. Someone has to be that person... and I'm naturally dispassionate in this situation. Still, I see this as a secular sermon, and we've all seen how well "motivational" sermons work. GREAT 'optics' during and after... now I'd like to see follow-through.

WHERE is the skepticism here? Being born without limbs doesn't make you a good or honest person; this should be greeted with skepticism just as everything else is. Not CYNICISM, but unquestioning acceptance of someone's goodness? No thank you.
 
  • #25
lisab
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Science Advisor
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Yeah, I'm with Nismar on this one. I think this guy could be a big help to some people, and if he helps you well that's *great*. Just keep in mind he's selling something...ain't nothing wrong with capitalism, as long as both parties (the seller and the buyer) are happy and aware of the transaction.
 

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