Friday, May 19, 2006

Thank you, Manny Ibay...

Just heard back from Mr. Ibay, who, you'll recall, is the author of the book pictured at right--and a guy we slammed pretty good in May 4's edition of SHAMblog. In the very title of that post, we nominated him and his book as the "most shameless attempt to capitalize on someone else's name and following..."

Manny, though, was surprisingly restrained in his comments, which I present for you here, in full, with his permission:

"Happened to catch your sham blog. Don't worry, I'm better at handling criticism than Kobe Bryant. The book was actually legit--I don't know Tony on a personal level, other than my fleeting contact at his seminars. He didn't even know about the book until it was published. As an attorney, I knew I wasn't going to have any legal problems because I did not use his photo--name usage okay. Surprisingly, he never contacted me as I thought he might. I actually thought he would call to thank me for writing something that made him look great. His stuff actually helped me. And yes, I know that it doesn't help everyone. I receive primarily great reviews/emails, but occasionally will get the Tony-hater who claims that its all BS.

"I was able to get him the book via one of his sales reps (who sold me a seminar via telephone). And he did acknowledge receiving it when I spoke to him live on QVC. However, he said he didn't have time to read it yet when we spoke. I don't know if he ever has. I'd be curious to know if he did, but this book was merely a fun project that I had in me. I spend most of my time with my law practice and working on my golf game now. Good luck with your stuff in the future. Thought you might like to hear the real story from the source."

There's a lot to be read between the lines here. But for me, the takeaway is that Tony's satisfaction at being a source of inspiration for one of his devoted followers may have been outweighed in this case by his annoyance at having somebody essentially repurpose* his material.

* See SHAM pp. 6-7 for a quick refresher course on the genius, if you will, of repurposing.


Rodger Johnson said...

After attending a three-day regional conference on support services for at-risk college students, I realized that I preach self-help dogma to my students. And, I understood that the federally funded program that I manage is built on the foundation of empowerment.

We preach to students the power of positive thinking, and my director – who has a love affair with Dr. Phil – wants to immortalize his “Life Laws” in a poster to decorate the walls of our tutoring lab.

This is a bad idea, and I’ve told her that on several occasions. For example, “There is no reality, only perception,” is one of the good doctor’s life laws. The problem with this, however, is obvious. Reality does exist, and we must come to terms with it. Reality is chaotic, and it is our job to organize it – to make it mean something.

When we begin to order reality in our own minds and construct it into something useful, then that seems to mysteriously trigger an emotion – hope. One piece at a time, one reality brick placed upon another, the mortar of our own diligence erect the foundation from which we can cease acting without hope.

So, “Thank You Tony Robbins” might be that catalyst that helped Manny order his life. Like Covey, Robbins -- in his convoluted way – tells his disciples to make goals, objectives and a plan for achieving those – it’s up to the individual to do something after that.

It’s always been the individual’s responsibility to do something. I always cringe at the way my director mentors her students. Instead of bringing the proverbial horse to water and letting it drink of its own free will, she throws the hose in the deepest part of the pond and holds its head under water. I, on the other hand, explain to my students the importance of understanding their plight – most are poor and live in drug and crime infested neighborhoods – that they are only one that will ever free them of that lifestyle. It boils down to the household “Believe it, achieve it” mentality.

Those who achieve it have tried, failed, tried again, and probably failed again – that’s the difference. They continuously act without hope.

Steve Salerno said...

One of my pet peeves with self-help (and, really, any attempt at mass-market psychological retraining) is the common tendency to argue *only the positive side* of these broad philosophical constructs (e.g. "there is no reality, only perception"). Though I understand what educators and motivators are out to achieve when they use such a phrase, what they fail to consider (or purposely overlook) is that if you're going to sell that vision of life, you can't just pick and choose your spots: If perception is reality, then that metaphysic applies in the case of pedophiles and arsonists as well as in the case of students straining to find meaning in life. It applies in the case of Adolph Hitler.

Now, what of the notion itself? IS perception reality? I don't know the answer to that. I only know that it's a double-edged sword, and any attempt to use it to cut just one way breaks down on even the most cursory scrutiny.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Rodg.

Anonymous said...

Of course perception isn't reality! ("Yikes, just look at that big, scary guy. He must be a mugger--he looks like a mugger--I just KNOW he's a mugger and he's going to kill me..." when in fact he's a harmless freelance writer.) It would be closer to the mark to say "your perception is YOUR reality," though "assumption" would of course be more accurate.

Swimming with cherries said...

This cobblers is usually taken up by people feeling pretty low and down on their luck. Suddenly they realise "hey the world really is a great place and anything is possible" Now what to do erm oh yes now I remeber create a few anchors and oh yeah damn I must create some new global metaphors.
If only I'd realised I was getting in my own way all the time.
Why I feel so good so positive I must have more of what makes me feel this way. Oh my if I can walk over hot things I can do anything it just gets better all the time.
Oh no nothings changed and the buzz is going. I know I skipped the list writing and what else did I forget to do. Help its all a con