Following the last issue on the subject of naivety, I had a letter from our guest columnist, the American self-help guru Anthony RibbonsTM (see http://www.ideaswillhappen.com/s4tw/self%20transformation.htm for his previous contribution).  I have to say it moved me to tears, so I publish it here for the benefit of all mankind.


My Dear Friend,

I feel your pain.  You are locked in a transactional battle between the child and the adult world.  I too have been there, on the brink of despair, till I realised the liberating, self-enabling truth: inside every piece of angst there’s a premium rate one-day workshop, if only you know where to look.

Let’s map out your situation using the powerful tool of PSYCHOBABBLETM.  Clearly, your Inner Child’s Nurturing Parent has gone shopping, and left you in the care of your Critical Parent, who’s waiting for your Sarcastic Uncle to come round so they can go to the pub.  Your Critical Parent is in self-destructive mode since discovering your Nurturing Parent is having an affair with your Consenting Adult. Your Inner Child blames itself: locked in a battle for your Nurturing Parent’s breast with your Critical Parent and your Consenting Adult (and possible your Sarcastic Uncle too, though no one’s been able to prove it) you feel gripped by Anomy, Ennui, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

So where does this leave us?  Let me share with you a powerful personal experience.  I was recently walking around a shopping mall, giving life affirming hugs to the meths drinkers by the fountain, when I saw a mother pushing her baby in a stroller.  I took a peek in and made eye contact with this embryonic human being; whereupon he pointed at me and said: “gagagagamamamapapapadadada”.  I remember standing as if struck by lightning: this powerful mantra at once united me with all humanity in a spirit of pure connectedness and joy.  Impulsively I picked the baby up, hugged him and said: “You, my child, will be with me always.”  Unfortunately at this point his mother began beating me with her umbrella, and I was hauled away by the security staff.  But during my three months in jail what sustained me was that sense of pure babylike innocence. 

Through this experience I realised I had the gift what I call INCREDIBLE NAIVETYTM.  One of the most gratifying aspects of my life if when I run my world famous Go Pump Yourself!TM seminars; I look around the enormous amphitheatre and see, smiling back at me, thousands of delegates who all share this INCREDIBLE NAIVETYTM. I ask them to affirm this by having them chant “gagagagamamamapapapadadada” to empty their minds, while they write large cheques to my foundation. 

You can try it too.  Having trouble connecting with your boss?  Sure you are: we all do.  But you can melt your boss’s heart just the way that baby melted mine, through the power of behaviour modelling.  Next time your boss calls you in for a performance review, simply sit on his lap, point at him and say “gagagagamamamapapapadadada”.  If possible, go in wearing diapers to help get you in the right frame of mind.  Your boss will be speechless; from that moment your relationship will shift into a new plane.

Phil, when I read your words of wisdom, I realised you are so right: children are the key to creativity.  Ever watched a toddler with a cardboard box?  They can make it into a car, a house, a ship, whatever!  Can this help us in organisations?  You bet!  Simply call my hotline now 1-800-NEW-FAD and order your SIX THINKING BOXESTM.   Next time your team are stuck in a log jam, pass these boxes around and have people climb in to them.  Spend about 30 minutes reinventing the boxes – into houses, cars,  whatever.  Then you ask the killer question: “If this problem is a box, then is the answer a car, a ship or a house?”  I guarantee your colleagues will stare at you with a new insight into your true nature.  (As a bonus, the boxes are useful to pack the contents of your desk, should the organisation find themselves unable to cope with your INCREDIBLE NAIVETYTM. )

Let me leave you with a simple but life changing experiment:

1.  Identify a problem you are currently struggling with.

2.  Ask yourself: how would a baby solve this problem?

3.  Hey, it’s trick question, of course!  The baby doesn’t care about your problems.  It just lies around getting others to meet its needs.  Once you’ve mastered that trick, your problems will disappear!  It’s that simple.


Till next time,

Your friend,

Tony x


 (c) Phil Lowe, 2004.  All rights reserved