Dove with Branch
June 14, 2010 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, In regard to your advise about accept it change it or leave it I want to ask you what I can do about my work situation to make it okay. I need the work to feed my family and the situation at work is always very angry and tense. I come home each night upset and end up fighting with my family. How can I change this? - Brandon in CA

Dear Brandon, You always have the three choices, plus the fourth choice to suffer if you don't find a positive choice. You can leave, but it may take some advance planning and maybe some correspondence courses, or back to night school. You can reduce your financial needs. Perhaps the easiest solution is just to learn to not be upset by what is going on around you at work. In each situation we face we always make the choice to be upset - or not. If you don't like being upset you can simply choose not to be upset by changing you belief about how you should respond when the things that are upsetting you happen. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Thank you for your suggestion that I should find a way to accept all of the work conditions as long as I continue at my job. I have a commute of over one hour and I was upset at every delay and complained about it continually. I took your message to heart and began listening to self- improvement tapes and the lessons I have learned have enriched my life. I have learned that I am able to transform a negative situation into a positive one when I look for a way. - Rolf in MN

Dear Rolf, Congratulations! It is nice to see how this little lesson has been helpful for you. Perhaps you can carry this even further by writing a book about your experience. You could do much of this during your commute using a voice activated recorder. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

All too often when we have a problem in our society and we think we can solve it simply by spending more money. We think we can get better government or solutions to our social issues, just by hiring more people or paying higher salaries which will attract better people. More of the same is not always the best answer.

If the methods we are using or the people we are hiring cannot solve the problem we would be better served by first identifying the problem. We often spend much time searching for better results without really understanding why things are happening the way they are. The first step is to take a deeper look at what is behind the problem and what do we really want the outcome to be before we start looking for answers.

For example, our educational system is not producing the results we desire for our children. Instead of just hiring more teachers, let's take a serious look at what we are doing now and look for ways to be more effective. Our society is complex and requires skills beyond the three R's. Are we teaching our children the skills they need to produce the quality of life that we desire for them? Just what are the qualities we want our children to learn for their lives? How can we provide a good education when we don't even know the answers to these questions?

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to make ourselves the victim of our own thinking. We grow up expecting certain things out of life, and when those things don't happen, we feel cheated. When something bad happens we tend to say, "What did I ever do to deserve this?" We find it difficult just to accept what happens because we get tied up in our own expectations and attachments. We put ourselves in the victim role whenever we deny that the feeling of being a victim actually originates in our own mind and that it is just the choice we have made about how we look at what happened.

If you find yourself thinking in terms of "How can I possibly cope with this awful situation?" you are admitting that you are a victim. Thinking about how you can just get by is victim thinking. Instead we need to think in terms of, "I am in control here." "I am the boss of my life." Until you take over the control of your life in every way, you are making yourself a victim. "Taking control," means that you are the one who makes choices about your own life based on your independent needs and thinking. It means that you are not making your choices based on what someone, or everyone else, is telling you that you must, or must not, do.

Refuse to become the victim of your own beliefs. Whenever you discover that you have beliefs that depreciate or upset you, don't allow them to remain. Examine them and make the necessary changes to align your thinking with beliefs that will allow you to get the best out of life.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if you are absolutely sure it is true.

Tuesday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if it is based on your own independent thinking.

Wednesday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if this belief actually helps you in life.

Thursday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how much it has helped you so far.

Friday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how it will affect your life in the future.

Saturday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how it fits in with your other beliefs.

Sunday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if there is a better belief to replace it with.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Anger and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at:

Additional Notes

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I will be conducting workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops will provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

I have taken on the task of supporting the teaching of emotional skills training in the educational system with the trust and hope, that many in your community will be able to share in the vision of this great work, and join us in this amazing project. We are promoting a "Sponsor a School" program to raise awareness and support throughout the U.S. & Canada If you have any interest in the program and/or having a workshop in your area. Contact me for additional information.

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