This is a quick point to a very thought provoking by by JohnFW at the Storied Mind.

John writes about depression and writing.  His writing is always graceful and insightful and often personally revealing.  This means that there is the occasional post that can be hard to read.  The one I’m pointing you to isn’t one of those.

This post, Changing Belief, Discovering Purpose in a Work Life, is about how John came to change his mindset, which contributed to healing depression through a post from an online marketing guru.  (Not exactly the usual source of insight on these things).

It’s a very worthwhile post on a very important topic.

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15 Comments to “Depression, Belief and Purpose”

  1. Adelaide says:

    I had to get out of my prejudices and belief system, too, to see that this could work.

    ‘Personal branding’ is good, and I like the way he listed the three things. I hope that it works well for him, and that he goes through it.

    It’s also good that he can focus on the things he can change and choose. Biology is not destiny in this instance!

    Marketing gurus can give insight or point you to insight because they are very energetic and enthusiastic about what they do.

    But I do wonder how many salespeople are ‘smiling’ depressives …

  2. Evan says:

    Welcome Adelaide. Your phrase ‘”smiling” depressives’ is really striking, I like it a lot. I haven’t known many sales people – just not in my circles I guess. It’s got me thinking. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Adelaide says:

    I first heard the word (and the concept – and words are things [Wittgehnstein ? Sartre?], often!) ‘smiling’ depressives in a book about Jacqueline du Pre, the cellist who died in 1987. Her friends would always call her ‘Smiley’, and her psychoanalyst (she had 2) really did not like that name because it reduced her to one dimension and did not take the depth of her feelings into account.

    Anthony Hordern, a great psychiatrist who wrote Tranquility Denied, also talked about these people and the faces/masks they present to the world. It has something to do with being communicative/social – remember, the social smile develops very early in most people!

    If you look it up on Google the phrase shows up 134 times.

    Just now I am reading about Sammy-Joe Liistro (rhymes with bistro), a 20-year-old young man with trichothiodystrophy. His Mum’s diary of his life experiences is really well-written and he has just had a playground pavillion built for him so that he can go out and have fun without being exposed to sunlight – the UV rays must be less than one. This was a big dream for him and it adds to his quality of life as well as many others.

    My other and current reading is about Don Pugh. He is from Western Australia, and a radio ham. He also studied psychology for a very long time (1989-1992). And he has an excellent life, starting with his early life in Canada.

  4. Evan says:

    Thanks Adelaide. You certainly read widely.

  5. Mariana says:

    Hi Evan,

    You know, I think that whatever is the source that brings about a positive change to a person’s life is more than welcome.

    Sometimes we get wonderful ideas from people or places/situations we would have never thought of as a source of “new ideas” or “change.”

    I just finished writing a book and I took a deep breath and thought, okay, now what? And I realized that “now” is when the rest of the work begins. It’s not just the publishing and the selling of the book, but all those ideas that came to my mind that were born from that book when I regarded it as both, a completed project and a product.

    So, sometimes, just when you thought you have completed a task, you realize something new is born, and in that sense, I can relate to the personal branding approach.

    Regarding the “smiling” depressive comment, that is truly very interesting. I guess that – maybe- those who sell products they don’t believe much in or don’t have much hope about them, might be wearing their salesperson’s smile where, in reality, they don’t feel exactly happy… just a thought.

  6. Evan says:

    Hi Mariana,
    What is your book about? I think what you say about completion leads to new birth is very true.

    I too found the ‘smiling depressive’ comment very startling. You may well be right about salespeople not feeling happy about what they’re selling. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Mariana says:

    Hi Evan,

    My book is about emotional abuse. I have developed a whole project that aims to provide people with key information on that subject. The book is originally in Spanish, but I do plan to have it translated in different languages since people who contact me are from different parts of the world.

    Regarding the marketing gurus, I have my reservations although -as I pointed out beofre- I’m happy their techniques lead someone to make an important change. Now, my reservations are due to the fact that the “world” might be a bit larger than we think, and some marketing techniques may not always apply in every case (to every culture.)

    This is something I mention a lot in my book. What might help me solve my problems, probably does not help others solve their problems due to cultural differences.

    For instance, in my country, there are no subsidiaries (so to speak) of the church of Scientology. This is because due to our nature, we just don’t “buy into” that can of thing. It would take someone to completely change our cultural views for us to accept that kind of “religion.” So, no matter what marketing tools and techniques we would use, these techniques will just not work here.

    I’m still thinking about the “smiling depressive”, I love that comment, made me think a lot.

  8. Mariana says:

    … that can of thing… actually meant “that kind of thing”… it’s too early in the morning here while you mjust be having dinner already there 🙂

  9. Evan says:

    I hope to read the English version of your book. I’m pretty averse to marketing gurus too. I’m still working through the whole marketing thing as I am in the process of launching my course and book – I’m not finding it easy.

  10. Evan says:

    Are you in Spain? I’m told you eat fairly late there. We eat between 6-8pm usually here in Australia. Dali and Miro are two of my favourite painters. Though Matisse is my all time favourite. I can recognise Picasso’s genius but can’t love him the way I do Matisse, Dali and Miro.

  11. Mariana says:

    I’m in Argentina. But I am a big fan of Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí, as well as other painters. I have done some artistic videos about their works and posted them on YouTube. 😉

  12. Evan says:

    Hi Mariana,
    I’m afraid I’m woefully ignorant about Argentina. Any news we get about it here in Australia is largely from US sources. I doubt that this news reflects the way Argentinians see things!

  13. Mariana says:

    =) No worries, I understand what you are saying. Sometimes I get news from the rest of the world from different sources and keep wondering what the real locals think about a given situation. I guess communication is a lot more complex than we realize!

  14. Hi, Evan –

    Thank you for your comments about my post and for pointing your readers there. It’s interesting that the marketing guru caught a lot of attention. I was putting his thought in a context completely different from what he intended – but as one commenter mentioned here really good marketing demands that you believe in what you have to sell and that you love doing it. For the smiling depressive side you only have to think of the powerful portrait in Death of a Salesman.

    I have found some really impressive reflections about the inner life by Yaro Starak – who seems the embodiment of online marketing. I’ll send you the links.

    Thanks again!


  15. Evan says:

    Thanks John, I like Yaro too. If you’d send me the links I’d be grateful.

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