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« Layout and Advertisements | Main | Weeding the Task Diary »
Wednesday
Mar262008

Dialoguing

One of the techniques recommended in my book How To Make Your Dreams Come True is dialoguing. This is a very useful technique for accessing your own unconscious mind, and can sometimes provide remarkable insights. I want to show my readers how this technique works, so how are we going to do this?

The best way is by demonstration, so let’s show how we can cover this subject as a dialogue between two voices.

So who do these two voices represent?

In this case, they are simply you talking to yourself. In the book, you recommend having a dialogue with your “future self” - that is to say yourself after you have achieved your current major goals and vision.

The idea is that one voice is looking at the goal from the present, and the other is looking back from the perspective of having achieved it?

Yes, you’ve got it. It’s a powerful technique because research has shown that you get more creative answers from the perspective of “I’ve achieved the goal, and here’s how I did it.”

Rather than “I’ve got this goal to achieve. How on earth do I do it?”

That’s right! But that’s not the only way to use dialoguing. You can for example make one voice yourself, and the other an imaginary coach. That can be very powerful. And a lot cheaper than a real coach!

Or you can write an imaginary dialogue with someone you are having problems with - a difficult boss or customer or perhaps a member of your family. It’s amazing what you can learn from having to take the other persons point of view.

Isn’t there a danger that the dialogue will go something like this? “I have behaved perfectly and all the problems have been caused by you alone” - “You’re right, I can see it now, I most humbly apologize and beg your forgiveness.”

Funnily enough that’s very rare. The “other person” usually puts up a spirited defence! This can make you realise in no uncertain terms where the real other person is coming from. That of course will then make it much easier to have dealings with them in real life.

What about dialoguing with a “higher power”, like in Conversations with God?

Personally I think there’s a danger, because it’s supposed to be God you are speaking to, that you come to believe that the answers are infallible. You always need to keep the perspective that it’s an imaginary conversation and both parts are being written by you. Otherwise you will just end up confirming your own ideas, rather than challenging them.

What you are saying then is that dialoguing is a very useful tool, but that as with any other tool you need to be aware of its limitations.

Exactly that. 

Related article:

Journalling Revisited

Reader Comments (8)

Mark - this is really interesting and worthwhile (and I recommend it highly!) There is a great (short) book by Hal and Sidra Stone who pioneered Voice Dialogue therapy called Embracing Our Selves which relates to what you're recommending and underpins some of the reasons as to why it is so effective. Best - J
March 26, 2008 at 17:45 | Unregistered CommenterJames Gladwin
Thanks, James. I'll check it out.

Mark
March 26, 2008 at 18:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
This is a very powerful technique. I can personally attest to its benefit.

I've practiced meditations where I imagine my future self coming into a room and me interviewing in him on what I can learn from him, his mistakes, successes, etc.

Thanks for this article. =)
March 26, 2008 at 23:05 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Mead
Brilliant! I just received my copy of your "Dreams" book. It encapsulates so much of what I had tried to do before from "law of attraction" points of view but in a more human, gentler and relaxed style. I'm curious if you arrived at your views without reading all that stuff? Well done either way!
September 20, 2010 at 16:12 | Unregistered CommenterMC
Just a reminder that Napoleon Hill ("Think and Grow Rich") recommends a similar idea of a dialogue with group of wise counsellors. According to Hill this was a major tool in his success. Just google "invisible counsellors" for lots of background.
November 5, 2013 at 18:21 | Unregistered Commentermichael
michael:

I seem to remember that his counsellors took on such a life of their own that he got scared and gave the idea up for a while.
November 6, 2013 at 15:36 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
The technique is fully described at :

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nth/tgr/tgr19.htm
November 6, 2013 at 15:40 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I understand that Napoleon Hill got frightened. In my opinion one thing is a system, as recommended by Mark, that can help to visualize the situation "I have achieved my goal". And another thing is giving up control of our mind without asking "to who" we are giving that control.
April 6, 2014 at 12:11 | Unregistered CommenterJulio

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