Monday, August 23, 2010

CPA: Create, Promote, Allow from "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought"

I am enjoying the audio CDs of "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought" by Peter McWilliams. 
(Please visit for more info)

There is one concept that hit me so hard that I had to listen, re-listen, and yet listen again until I could feel it completely soak in.

It's Peter's concept of CPA. 
Create, Promote, Allow.

How it works is whatever negative situation you go through, you ask yourself, what did I do to either create, promote or allow this to happen?

Simple, right? But it can be a challenge.  It strips us of the armor of "victim."  We no longer can hide in its shadow.  We can no longer put 100% blame on the other person, and/or the situation.  It's a lot easier to look at the other guy and say, "Look how bad he treated me! What a jerk!" It's a lot harder to look so deeply inside and ask ourselves, "How could I have acted and reacted better to this situation?"

I am looking through times in my life, and for the most part I am able to easily apply the CPA.  For example, in my battle with depression: I create the depression by my negative focus/thinking, I promote it by sleeping in instead of running those arduous, hilly four miles.   I allow the depression by acting lethargically, allowing it to take hold of my life.

Looking at CPA is not the easiest task. Start small.  Analyze the situations which have lesser impact.  I am. Soon you'll be able to look at situations differently and perhaps not so negatively.

As for the positive side of CPA,
I'm going to keep creating blogs that help remember him, I'm going to keep promoting his concepts and ideas, and I'm going to continue to allow his good works to marinade inside my jostled brain until I've soaked up all the goodness and can apply them to my own life, heart and brain.


  1. I tend to point the fingers at others when I have done something to encourage the bad thing to happen. If someone cuts me off in traffic, then I yell at them or give them the Finger, it's as if I am allowing and promoting this other person to continue to be rude. What you give out you get back multiplied, as Louise L. Hay says. Nice post.

  2. Gwen thank you so much! :) I like your example you gave. I have found those little aggravating things that happen can really pile up and create a negative day. It's amazing how we can let people get to us and give them so much power. Yes, we cultivate more negativity by provoking the other person and allowing it to continue. Thanks for visiting!

  3. I have grappled with depression for years. It's hard for me to look at my life and say I caused my own pain but now that I read this I can see how I do contribute it.

    Thanks very much for putting this out there.

  4. It is very challenging to examine our own unhealthy reactions, many of which are defense mechanisms that may not serve us the best in many circumstances. Sometimes, these defenses were built when were children and were valuable at that time, but as we outgrew them, we never let go of them. They had become habitual.

    Great blog!


  5. Anon: Yes it is tough to take a long hard look at oneself but it can be the most revealing and relevant moment of a person's existence. We can go from being a "victim" to "victor" over our lives, it's really our choice. I have found constantly challenging my comfort zone as Peter suggested to be a very important aspect in my healing from depression and growth. More on that next blog and please feel welcome to post here anytime.

  6. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks so much for your thoughts as always. Very cool how you bring up the "when we were kids" phrase because Peter brings that very thing up in "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought." He writes a lot of things in life we were "sold on" when our "sales resistance was low" - in other words when we were children. Thanks as always for your kind and thoughtful contribution.

  7. I have seen myself as being a victim of my own circumstances for so long, and finally I'm waking-up and I am realizing that it's really all in my hands. Maybe not 100% all the time, but for the most part, there's so many things I could have done differently, or things I could have said in a different way, and the outcome would have been different. Instead I spent all that time feeling so damned sorry for myself, and not really taking the responsibility for my part in things. Maybe this is one of the toughest lessons that McWilliams teaches us.