Trans4mind Home Page
Personal Development Resources

Transforming the Mind ~ by Peter Shepherd


The Structure of Problems

When you want to change yourself or help others to change, you need to gather information, the noticeable parts of a problem, the symptoms one is uncomfortable with. This is the present state.

There will also be a desired state: an outcome that is the goal of change. There will be the resources that will help to achieve this outcome and also side effects to reaching it, for oneself and others. There will of course be the barriers and difficulties. But there will also be underlying causes that maintain the problem: what does the person keep having to do that maintains the problem, and why?

The element of conflict is intrinsic to problems and the trick of solving them is to be able to spot the counter element to one's own intention, and to recognize that one does indeed have a causative contribution to the situation, otherwise it would not be intention versus counter-intention - a problem! The 'solution' to the problem is simply a realization of the structure of the problem itself. The charge or confusion of the problem will then drop away, and appropriate actions may be taken.

Conflicts are frequently self-imposed, when both the intention or the counter-intention are one's own, but one forgets this obvious fact and swings back and forth between the opposing points of view. Once a tension exists, because of a discrepancy between what is desired and what exists, there is a natural force leading to resolution. But then the other tension-resolution system is reactivated and the force reverses. This structure will lead to oscillation because of the competing tension-resolution systems. You cannot simultaneously achieve both aims because they are conflicting. And you cannot achieve the aims sequentially, since movement towards the resolution of one increases the tension in the other system. There is a shift of dominance from one approach to the other. It's a no-win situation.

For example, if you were hungry you would naturally tend to resolve this tension by eating. However if you were obsessive and became overweight, a new goal would become apparent - the need to lose weight and the necessity of going on a diet. This second need is in conflict with the first and the two cannot be met simultaneously and not for long sequentially either. If you don't eat you become more and more hungry and revert to the old behavior. The dieter may consider: What is the problem? Too little self-control, emotional complexes, self-destructive tendencies, lack of willpower, the wrong diet plan, an unfulfilled sex life, the economy? In truth it is the structure in play leading to oscillation; that is all it can do.

A similar conflict structure was examined earlier, as paratelic boredom led to involvement, which when it became too exciting, caused a telic anxiety crisis and a retreat to relaxation.

Another very common structural conflict in everyone's life is between a heartfelt desire or need and an incompatible dominant belief or even knowledge that you are not able to fulfill your desire, that it is impossible, that there isn't time, that one is not capable enough or doesn't deserve it.

At first sight it would seem easy to 'solve' this structural conflict by changing the dominant belief to a more positive 'I can have what I want'. However this just sets up a new desire - 'to change my belief' - that is incompatible with the belief itself, so the conflict persists, no matter how sincere you are or how diligently you try to brainwash yourself. The other obvious solution to structural conflict is to give up your desires. But if you attempt to relinquish all desires, this itself becomes your new desire. Also implicit in 'giving up desire' are spiritual goals such as enlightenment or being freed from the 'illusion of reality'. But these goals are still connected with the 'I can't have what I want' tension-resolution system and will therefore fail.

“Much of the advice people give one another will not work because it is designed to change compensating strategies without any notion of the structures that are causing them.”
The fact is, structural conflict is not resolvable from within the structure. Mutually exclusive goals cannot both be achieved either simultaneously or sequentially (for any length of time). People often attempt to overcome this with great hope and optimism but this is usually followed by disillusionment. It is inherent that any actions you persuade yourself to take to resolve structural conflict, or to stay within an area of tolerable conflict, may give temporary relief but ultimately they only reinforce the experience of limitation, and entrench the conflict further. It is only by changing the underlying structure (the roots of the desires and beliefs) of your life that you can make any real and lasting change - changes built on top of the structure (to alter or suppress it) will not work because they do not remove the underlying conflict.

As an example, if your car's front wheels were out of balance and pulled slightly to the left, you might develop a compensating strategy of steering to the right in order to move straight ahead. If the car's tendency to pull to the left developed gradually, your compensating mechanism would also develop gradually - you might not even realize this was going on. (Driving another car, your habit would be dangerous, and that may be how the behavior comes home to you). If a friend observed you driving this way he would be alarmed and suggest, 'Don't steer to the right - let me out!' Much of the advice people give one another will not work because it is designed to change compensating strategies without any notion of the structures that are causing them.

In the language of organizational management, what do we do, then, when faced with two incompatible requirements, or two parties who want apparently incompatible things? There are only three possibilities:

Domination - one side wins and the other loses. This often leads to the losing side building up its forces so that it can win next time around.

Compromise - each side gives up a part of what it wants for the sake of peace. This is always unsatisfying to some degree and each side may try to get its way in some overt or covert way. This approach tends to reduce integrity.

Integration - both sides get what they really want, and for this to be possible we look for the needs behind the wants. This way, when it can be found is most satisfying, but it needs a counseling approach to reveal the underlying compatibility of the needs of the two sides. Conflicts must be carefully brought out and worked with, rather than being overridden, smoothed out or ignored. The outcome of this is that creative solutions may emerge that nobody had in mind at the beginning of the process, because the underlying structure has been perceived for the first time.

All growth is a matter of differentiation and integration, and the differentiation is just as important as the integration. The first rule for obtaining integration is to put your cards on the table, face the real issue, uncover the conflict, bring the whole thing out into the open. If we do this, and attempt to bring things out into the open so they can be worked on, it is possible to meet people whom one knows are opposed in interest and to confront them as a whole person, unafraid and ready to comunicate empathetically towards mutual understanding.

It is possible to be flexible and human at the same time as standing for no nonsense. It also seems that if we want creative solutions, this is the best way to get them. One needs to get to the truth of what is really wanted, then the energies will flow to achieve that. But what won't work is attempting to resolve conflicts and change beliefs by suppression or force.

Move on to Beliefs

Return to Transforming the Mind - Contentsnext

Most popular hypnosis downloads...

  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
I think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!

Inspiring Quotes of the Week

When you subscribe to our free service, each Monday you'll receive several transformational quotes on a new topic - with commentary by Peter Shepherd - plus an exceptional accompanying article, to inspire you throughout the week.
And as a bonus when you've confirmed your subscription, freely download your choice of 250 eBooks in the Transformational eBook Collection - including Peter Shepherd's book, 'Daring to Be Yourself'!

Subscribe now... it's free!

Please look out for an email asking you to confirm your subscription request.
Your address will remain 100% confidential and it's just one click to unsubscribe.
Previous Quotes of the Week
“I want to congratulate you for Trans4mind! It's a mind blowing platform, I swear! I also want to thank you for the amazingly true and revolutionizing messages of love you've shared in your weekly email! I believe the domestic world, and also people as a race, can change fundamentally if they see through their thoughts, words and actions in the light of these messages! Every week, along with the others, I await your inspiring messages and can't thank you enough for giving us this invaluable gift so unconditionally and relentlessly!” ~ Sunetra
More testimonials...
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd