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          In today’s stren you will understand the sixth and most devastating of the eight mental action choices available to our will power to transform our interpretations into action.  I have labeled this action pathway the Helpless/Hopeless (H/H) response because it shuts down our energy factory.  The H/H response is the means by which we become our own worst enemy.  The outcome of the H/H response is apathy, depression, suicide, or some combination of these destinations. 

          This stren is critical because it shows us how easily we can prevent the H/H response. The H/H response is one of the easiest to recognize and, thereby, switch it off.  Begin by learning to recognize the favorite, easy to spot trigger words we use that turn on H/H:

•    I can’t.  I give up.
•    What’s the use?  Why bother?
•    Who cares? 
•    It’s not worth it.  I’m not worth it.
•    It’s hopeless.  I’m helpless.
•    To hell with it.  Ferk it.

          Those “give up” trigger words signal our energy factory to shut down.  They are the opposite of the trigger words which I identified in stren #8, that turn on our energy: “I think I can.  I think I can.  I think I can.  I will.”

          No other species besides our own makes itself depressed and apathetic, and commits suicide to the degree we do.  I explain this because we alone have the sufficient power of interpretation to make ourselves powerful creators and destroyers.  Our power to assume personal responsibility was explained in strens #3-6 and may be summarized as follows:

1.    Stren #3 told us that besides instinct and tradition – i.e. nature and nurture, fate and circumstance – we may create a third manager of our life’s experience that we call self-mastery. Our three masters therefore are instinct, tradition, and the degree of self-mastery we create for ourselves with maturity.

2.    Stren #4 explained that we become powerful and assume responsibility for our destiny because we have a specialized, sophisticated freedom organ, our cerebral cortex.  We have the power of interpretation.  Our freedom organ acquires language, applies imagination to knowledge, and introduces new phenomena to what nature has created.  We make ourselves powerful creators and destroyers through the power of interpretation.  The more knowledge we acquire of cause-and-effect relationships, the more powerful we become, and we are accelerating our growth of knowledge at an explosive rate.   

3.    Stren #5 showed that we turn on the power of imagination by the meanings we assign to specific words.  Trigger words are any combination of words that turn on yesterday’s preprogrammed solutions to life’s challenges.  Word-switches are newly created trigger words (or new meanings assigned to established trigger words) that substitute more effective action pathways for older, ineffective or dangerous ones.  Word-switches apply current common sense knowledge and wisdom to solve today’s issues.

4.    Stren #6 emphasized the importance of collecting strens.  Strens are the wisdoms and the word-switches we must teach ourselves to wisely direct our growing power to beneficial outcomes.  Strens empower us to selectively turn off those action paths of instinct and tradition that worked for yesterday’s challenges but have become harmful today.  Strens are the common sense solutions we create to effectively manage new issues.