Born to Win
Born to Win
When I read Games people play, some one suggested me to read 'Born to Win'. The same day, I got it from our library. Tomorrow being the last of the 10 days to return the book, I finished it today. And what a wonderful experience it was! I am quoting some portions of the book:
I will put the epilogue first:
It takes courage to be a real winner ' not a winner in the sense of beating out someone else by always insisting on coming out on top ' but a winner at responding to life. It takes courage to experience the freedom that comes with autonomy, courage to accept intimacy and direct encounter other persons, courage to take a stand in an unpopular cause, courage to choose authenticity over approval and to choose it again and again, courage to accept the responsibility for your own choices, and indeed, courage to be the very unique person you really are. New ways are often uncertain and, as Robert Frost expressed it, "courage is the human virtue that counts most ' courage to act on limited knowledge and insufficient evidence. That is all any of us have."
Again addressing the question whether we can be free from our biases and prejudices ingrained in us because of our upbringing, here is a quote from Viktor Frankl:
As for inheritance, research on heredity has shown how high is the degree of human freedom in the face of predisposition. For example, twins may build different lives on the basis of identical predispositions. Of a pair of identical twins, one became a cunning criminal, while his brother became an equally cunning criminologist
As for the environment, we know that it doesn't make man, but that everything depends on what man makes of it, on his attitude towards it.
Everyone likes to feel the presence of others. Here is something on the 'human hunger for strokes':
Every person has the need to be touched and to be recognised by other people, and every person has the need to do something with the time in between birth and death. These are biological and psychological needs that
The hungers for touch and recognition can be appeased with strokes, which are "any act implying recognition of another's presence". Strokes can be given in the form of actual physical touch or by some symbolic form of recognition such as a look, a word, a gesture, or any act that says "I know you're there."
People's hunger for strokes often determines what they do with their time. They may, for example, spend minutes, hours, or a lifetime trying to get strokes in many ways, including playing psychological games. They may spend minutes, hours, or a lifetime trying to avoid strokes by withdrawing.
Here, the three ego states are described:
Structural analysis offers one way of answering the questions: Who am I? Why do I ac the way I do? How did I get this way? It is a method of analyzing a person's thoughts, feelings, and behaviour, based on the phenomena of ego states.
Ego states are colloquially termed Parent, Adult and Child.
When first born, the infant's awareness is centered on personal needs and comforts. The baby seeks to avoid painful experiences and responds at the feeling level. Almost immediately the infant's unique Child ego state emerges.
The Parent ego state develops next. It is often first observed when the young child plays at parenting, imitating parental behaviour. Some times it is a shock for parents to see themselves being played back. Sometimes they are very pleased.
The adult ego state develops as the child tries to make sense out of the world and figures out that other people can be manipulated. The child may ask, "Why do I have to eat when I'm not hungry?" and may try to manipulate others by faking a stomach ache in order to avoid eating.
On transactional analysis:
Modern people wear many masks and have many forms of armour that keep their reality confined and unknown, even to themselves. The possibility of encountering one's reality ' learning about one's self ' can be frightening and frustrating. Many people expect to discover the worst. A hidden fear lies in the fact that they may also discover the best
Transactional analysis is a tool you can use to know yourself, to know how you relate to others, and to discover the dramatic course your life is taking. The unit of personality structure is the ego state. By becoming aware of your ego states, you can distinguish between your various sources of thoughts, feelings, and behaviour patterns. You can discover where there is discord and where there is agreement within your personality. You can be more aware of the options available to you.
And then something interesting can happens ' our ego states may become 'rigid' or 'constant'. Hence there are the constant parent, the constant adult, and the constant child states. Here is what the author says about the Constant Adult:
The person who primarily operates as Constant Adult is consistently objective, uninvolved, and concerned primarily with facts and data processing. This person may appear unfeeling and unsympathetic, may not empathize with someone who has a headache, and may be a bore at a party. These people may seek jobs that are object-oriented rather than people-oriented. They may select vocations in which abstract thinking devoid of emotions is valued. They may be attracted, for example, to accounting, computer programming, engineering, chemistry, physics, or mathematics.
This book really helped me to understand something about me and also about others around me. Even before reading this, though I could understand many things, the book helped in properly structuring the thought process.
PS: If you could find a soft copy of this book, it would be a great thing to share
Book: Born to Win, transactional analysis with Gestalt Experiments,
by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward
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