Thursday, August 27

Change the Way You See Everything through Asset-Based Thinking - Kathryn D Cramer & Hank Wasiak

If you change the way you see the world, particularly how things affect you and how you interact with it, then you can change your life. The authors of Change the Way You See Everything have created a technique they call Asset-Based Thinking (ABT) which, unlike Deficit-Based Thinking (DBT) focuses the individual on success, achievement and possibility. With this, they say, anything is possible.
I agree, but only to a point. I'm not averse to self help books in principle, and believe that NLP can change the way you think. I’m also not opposed to the principles Cramer and Wasiak present, so there’s clearly something else I’m reacting to. There are exercises and success stories, but though I really, really tried I just couldn't get further than half way in. When I say I tried - I extended my library loan twice, paid a late fee, and reborrowed it, which is dedication. And I got nowhere. It seemed more saccharin and new age fluffy each time I picked it up again. On substantial reflection, I think think I would have been more convincingly swayed that they had something new to offer if the book wasn't laid out like a combination of inspirational posters and the kind of letters my friends and I would write in year ten. The book has a strong "inspirational poster” feel, complete with pithy but abstract slogans, combined with style over substance and the notion that they’re presenting a wholly new concept to the world.
The third photo, for example (after an arty black and white hazy mountain range, and an iris) is of an arm extending from the ocean with a glass angled so a rainbow appears to end in it, and it just goes on from there. The prose has selective colour highlighting particularly inspirational sections (that'd be the "year ten" part).
Opening at random I find: a glossy pastoral photo of a cow (no horns) on the left facing a business-suit-clad man holding what looks like a red curtain still attached to its rod but is supposed to be an oversized matador-style cape. The text reads:
Get a Charge Out of Conflict
Make Opposition Matter
Conflict magnifies and illuminates who you are. It seizes and startles you into seeing what makes you uncomfortable. It pushes your boundaries – intellectual, emotional, and physical. Conflict, if treated properly, offers the chance to change your mind altogether.
When faced with conflict, explore the possibility that opposing forces can both be true simultaneously. Taking this perspective immediately dissolves animosity and piques curiosity. You find yourself wondering, “What’s their truth? Where is the value on their side?” When you finally give up the belief that yours is the only truth, it changes the game forever. Now you’re in a position to see what new truth you can create together. (pp. 72-73)
As I said - useful but nothing new or significant. I’ve discussed this book several times with long-suffering Lynn, who hears “acid-based” every time I said “Asset-Based.” That lends a quite different, and not unpleasant or inappropriate, flavour to the text. – Alex

1 comment:

Hank Wasiak said...


First. Thanks for taking the time to read our book. Second, thanks for writing a post about it on your blog. (I enjoyed reading this and your other posts). Third, I'd really enjoy discussing Asset-Based Thinking with you in more depth and explain how it has changed my life and how Kathy and I think it can help others in so many ways.Let me know if you would like to connect and discuss further.


Hank Wasiak (