The need to Quantify the Unquantifiable
In Dr. Yukio Ishizuka’s clinical experience, his patients have shown that to be aware of spheres that contribute to happiness and well-being is not enough.
For an individual to become happier or reach greater growth and development in a short period of time there needs to be a means for them to actively work on these spheres and improve them. In the experience of Lifetrack, the ability to track over time and improve the subjective world is not an impossibility. Once one has defined spheres (love definition, work definition, self definition) that contribute to well-being (peace, friendliness, physical-wellbeing, happiness and mastery); one can quantify or track these qualitative areas.
Putting Numbers on How Sexually Excited you feel?
So how can we put numbers on how sexually excited we are or on how much we accept a spouse without wanting to change him or her? Patients in Lifetrack therapy do this all the time. They start with a 10 point scale with 0 as the minimum and 10 as the initial maximum.
Having to artificially stick a number on your thoughts, feelings and actions reinforces the idea that the subjective is controllable. It gives you a lever to hold on to and shape. If you depend on your spouse or significant other at only a 5 on a 10 point scale, that implies that you can think, feel and act in ways that allow you to more graciously depend.
Coached to Think Positively and Optimally
In sessions an individual is actively coached on how to improve optimally in each of the parameters. Although a person might presently accept his wife (without wanting to change her) at a three, how might he strive to make his three a four? How about a five? Since improvement is the objective and not the absolute value, it is explained to patients that the self rating exercise is not simply an act of passive accounting. Rather it is an active process in which an individual must reflect on how he or she can think, feel and act so as to improve daily scores in each of the positive parameters. When rating oneself, you are encouraged to ask the question, “How can I think, feel and act in order to make this score go up even further?” This concentrated effort accounts for the rate of growth in a relatively short period of therapy time.
Measuring Rod and Why it Changes with You
We Need a Yardstick that Grows With Us
The yardstick used to measure one’s subjective psychological experience seems to change its length in such a way that the reading is always the same for most individuals. “One’s best,” is always one’s highest limit. The term, much like the speed of light, is thought of as a constant; the highest attainable limit at any given point in time. Yet, we need a yardstick that grows with us.
Fear of the Unknown : Allowing Yourself to Count Past Ten
When one translates the term “best” into a number on a 0-10 scale a problem arises. The predicament was pointed out to Dr. Ishizuka many years ago by a patient. As the patient exceeded in certain elements his previous best adjustment, he consistently rated himself at a 10 (the maximum score). Insisting that his 10 today was much higher than the 10 of last week, he felt that his scores were no longer representative of his true experience. It was at this time that Dr. Ishizuka decided that the internal psychological adjustment had no limits. The scale would have to be open-ended to reflect that reality.
Measuring Higher Levels of Health and Adjustment
The 0-10 scale expands as one’s experience surpasses a previous best. To be an accurate gauge of measurement the 0-10 scale was altered to account for such growth. When an individual exceeded that past optimal experience, the measuring rod would grow to enable the measurement of higher levels of adjustment that were previously thought unimaginable (the patient could then rate an 11 and so on). Past maximums could be in this way challenged and replaced by a new maximum.
Happier? Accepting the Negatives and Increasing Positives
What one is really learning to do through therapy is to accept the inevitable negatives of life and increase the positives. The definitions and numbers are there as tools. The real change is not in the definition or the numbers (they are just a means), but in pushing yourself to experience growth in your self, intimacy and achievement spheres.
Copyright © 2010 Lifetrack Corporation
Read the section Happiness and Health, a Science of Health (life way), Criteria for Health Models (science of happiness), Happiness Defined? Quantified? (cycle of life), Why Positive Mental Health Works (objective subjective), Insights (life purpose), and Applications (international behavior).
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