Your Erroneous Zones – Book Report

Your Erroneous Zones, Escape negative thinking and take control of your life, by Dr. Wayne Dyer

This is My book report from Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes on Dyer’s Book. I added my personal notes and commentary. Quotes are from Dyer. I’m getting back into reading and improving. I’m spending some time reflecting on books that challenge me. Skip these posts, if you’re not into being amazing.

“With death so endless a proposition and life so breathtakingly brief, ask yourself, ‘Should I avoid doing the things I really want to do?’ ‘Should I live my life as others want me to?” ‘Are things important to accumulate?’ ‘Is putting it off the way to live?’ Chances are your answers can be summed up in a few words: Live… Be You…Enjoy… Love.”

Yeah. Okay, fine, this sounds a little trite at times. But, a frequent reminder to break out of the mundane is healthy. When the time is right, the call is real, and the call is meaningful. I have some stuff looming in the background and this is a great healthy reminder to live a little, and chase a little, no matter if it is scary. It’s also exhilarating and refreshing.

Taking Charge of Yourself

“Taking charge of yourself involves more than simply trying on new thoughts for size. It requires a determination to be happy and to challenge and destroy each and every thought that creates a self-mobilizing unhappiness in you.”

I named this blog of mine, ChooseHappiness for exactly the same sentiment as Dyer says here. I’ve made the determination to be happy no matter what. I choose to leave the bad, sad, dark stuff behind.

I’ve been in those self-immobilizing moments. I have found that digging myself out is a slow process. Chipping away at it with little baby steps gains momentum. Rarely, do I even wake up and bust through the walls. My ‘taking charge’ is little by little and has a lot to do with self discipline. Go to be earlier, before 11pm, then before 10:30pm, then at 10pm. Turn off the phone. Turn off the TV shows. Get up earlier: 6:30am, 6am, 5:30am. Run with friends. Run by myself. Set my schedule for the next day, for the next week, for the next month, for the next year. Set little targets, then set bigger targets. Then, I’m shooting the moon. Be happy with what I have right now. Be thankful for what I have right now. Plan for what I want next week, next month, next year, next 10 years. Gain the momentum to keep it rolling. Decide and automate the little stuff, and I don’t have to keep deciding that stuff over and over again. For example, I choose to go to every soccer game. Decision is done. Make it happen. Resolving any conflicts is a lot easier, because I’ve already decided the outcome.  Less stress. Less arguing with myself and others.

“Destroy each thought that creates self-immobilizing unhappiness.” Woah. That’s cool. Just disregard those thoughts. Toss them out. Don’t waste your precious time and energy on stuff that slows you down or brings you down. Get back on the little positive things.


“Using yourself as a guide and not needing the approval of an outside force is the most religious experience you can have. It is a veritable religion of the self in which an individual determines his own behavior based upon his own conscience and the laws of his culture that work for him, rather than because someone has directed how he should behave. A careful look at Jesus Christ will reveal an extremely self-actualized person, an individual who preached self-reliance, and was not afraid to incur disapproval. Yet many of his followers have twisted his teachings into a catechism of fear and self-hate.”

Yeah. Um. So, this is a little much, but I can agree that Jesus was very self reliant. Theology aside, Jesus didn’t need the approval of others. He didn’t seek the approval of others. He was not defined by others. Mostly, he was misunderstood by others. He knew who he was and shared that. That’s true and repeatable.


“Self-worth cannot be verified by others. You are worthy because you say it is so. If you depend on others for your value it is other-worth.”

Plain and simple. You make yourself feel worthwhile or you don’t. You can make your self feel like crap. You can treat yourself like crap. Or not. Turn it around. Treat yourself nice. Be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. You can do better next time. You’re not the mistake that you made. It’s just a mistake, you’re bigger than that instance. Let it go (just like Disney’s Frozen chick). Re-phrase with “I” and “me” –> I am worthwhile person. I treat myself nice. I am kind to myself. I don’t beat myself up. I will do better next time.


“There is nothing to worry about! Absolutely nothing. You can spend the rest of your life, beginning right now, worrying about the future, and no amount of your worry will change a thing. Remember that worry is defined as being immobilized in the present as a result of things that are going or not going to happen in the future. You must be careful not to confuse worrying with planning for the future. If you are planning, and the present-moment activity will contribute to a more effective future, then this is not worry. It is worry only when you are in any way immobilized now about a future happening.”

Love it. I will not worry about anything. I will take actions to change the future, but I will not worry about the future.

“Begin to view your present moments as times to live, rather than to obsess about the future. When you catch yourself worrying, ask yourself, ‘What am I avoiding now by using up this moment with worry?’ Then begin to attack whatever it is you’re avoiding. The best antidote to worry is action.”

I turn worries into action. What can I do right now about it? I can learn more about it. I can chip away at it, a little bit today. Knowledge and experience will make better decisions. I will reach out to people that have done it before, that are experts in the field, that know me and my situation.


“Guilt is the most useless of all erroneous behaviors. It is by far the greatest waste of emotional energy. Why? Because, by definition, you are feeling immobilized in the present over something that has already taken place, and no amount of guilt can ever change history.”

Guilt is the great immobilizer. Back to theology for a second. Guilt is your conscience, it’s the calling of the Holy Spirit. There is a purpose for guilt. Guilt calls you to repentance and change. Now, bring in Dyer again. Guilt must move you forward to act in a new way. If I’m stuck in guilt, then, I’m refusing to do anything about it. When I have a crappy day, I run home. I eat dinner. I kiss my wife and kids, brush my teeth, and go to bed. Start fresh tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a better day. I don’t stay up, watching dumb unfulfilling TV shows. I don’t numb myself with drinking or flipping through websites. When I hit a dead end, it’s time to pick up the pieces and start over. Gain that momentum back. Brainstorm on the next steps. Write it down. Talk it out. Take actions. Like Aaron Ross, throw the stone in the water and scramble to make it happen.


“If you believe in yourself fully, no activity is beyond your potential. The entire gamut of human experience is yours to enjoy, once you decide to venture into territory where you don’t have guarantees.”


“… there is a different kind of security that is worth pursuing, and this is the internal security of trusting yourself to handle anything that may come down the pike. This is the only lasting security, the only real security. Things can break down, a depression can wipe out your money, your house can be repossessed, but you, you can be a rock of self-esteem. You can believe so much in you and your internal strength that things or others will be seen as mere pleasant but superfluous adjuncts to your life.”

Ironman training taught me this. No one is getting me across the finish line except me. Whatever happened that day, I just had to deal with it. I was going to finish, one way or another. So, just deal with it.


“Quit smoking… now! Begin your diet… this moment! Give up booze… this second! Put this book down and do one push-up as your beginning exercise project. That’s how you tackle problems… with action now! Do it! The only thing holding you back is you, and the neurotic choices you’ve made because you don’t believe you’re as strong as you really are. How simple… just do it!”



“Look hard at your life. Are you doing what you’d choose to be doing if you knew you had six months to live? If not, you’d better begin doing it because, relatively speaking, that’s all you have. Given the eternity of time, thirty years or six months make no difference. Your total lifetime is a mere speck. Delaying anything makes no sense.”

Wife. Kids. House. Job. Obligations. Blend it all together and make the most of it. Cheers!

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