Hollywood has produced a crop of hit movies about mind control.  Bob Mondello’s excellent April 15th piece on NPR’s All Things Considered, Movies That Mess with Your Mind, is a great review of four recent hits about struggling to control one’s mind and life:  Inception, The Adjustment Bureau, Limitless and Source Code.

The gist of each plot is that contemporary men and women are losing control of their very selves; and further, that there are insidious and pervasive others who control us. In our highly connected, media-soaked lives, it’s easy to think that this is a new phenomenon. It’s not.

The late great psychologist, Abraham Maslow, wrote that the vast majority of people “do not make up their own minds… They are pawns to be moved by others rather than self-moving, self-determining individuals. Therefore, they are apt to feel helpless, weak, and totally determined. They are prey for predators, flabby whiners rather than self-determining, responsible persons.”

Ouch! It’s bad enough that we’re “pawns to be moved by others,” but Maslow has to throw in that we’re “flabby whiners” too. (No wonder the hottest consumer product these days is the new girdle, Spanx.) Setting aside America’s weight problem, how is it that most of us are pawns, to be moved about by others?
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This Wednesday, March 16 I will be reading from and talking about Chapter 10 of my book, The Good Among the Great, at Books, Inc. in San Francisco. Joining me will be the beautiful and talented dancer Muriel Maffre, whom I profile in my book. We’ll be talking about Trait #10: Performance and Process-Oriented. Below is a video of Maffre performing the Dying Swan from Swan Lake (Natalie Portman, beware!):

Talk/Signing Details:
Books, Inc.
601 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, C.A.

If you make it, please say hello.

Cheers from Sonoma,

Donald Van de Mark

I want your feedback!  Which of the 19 traits are you studying, and how are you incorporating them into your daily life?  Connect with me on:
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