Posts tagged “Wayne Dyer

Willie, Ya Gotta Get Into the Spiritual Thing

Like many I was saddened when I heard of Wayne Dyer’s passing, but hearing his name also brought back some Glasser interview memories for me. I began the interviews with Glasser for his biography in late 2003. During several of our early interviews Glasser talked about Dyer. He had attended one of Dyer’s presentations and was very glad that Dyer had written a cover endorsement for the book Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health. Not being all that knowledgeable myself, I mentioned to Glasser that I was surprised that he was so interested in getting an endorsement from Dyer when I felt that Glasser was so much more well known than Dyer. Glasser assured me that wasn’t the case. He realized that Dyer could tap into a spiritual market that he himself could not.

Bill in office 1, Mar, 07

In his own words from our very first interview on September 26, 2003 –

Glasser:  I’m still pretty healthy, and this, this Maine thing, that could be a big deal. They really want me there. They’ve heard me. I’ve been a big speaker at the ACA two years in a row. I’m speaking at the Michigan ACA in October, Wisconsin in February, these are big states, and then in March the state of Maine. And then, and then, a few days later I’m going from the state of Maine to the national, where I’m making four presentations now. And Mark Polk, the head of them, is firmly behind me and trying to get these ideas going. So I think there’s going to be some positive movement. I think it’s really, it’s really going to happen. And Wayne Dyer, that’s his letter, I read it, but, when I was on with him and, and you know, he had his daughter there and she sings and he was singing and all this thing, but he’s a really . . . Wayne Dyer is a good guy. His latest book is called There’s A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem. And, but when he describes what the spiritual solution is, it’s a relationship not only with God, but with the people around you. And so, uh, and then he recognized me in front of the audience. I had never met him, although he said, he said in the group, it was a big meeting there, and he said to the audience, that when he was starting out he had read two books and these books got him started on his path. One of them was Reality Therapy and the second was Schools Without Failure. He was working at that time in schools, I think. He then picked me out of the audience and had me stand up, and then explained how Dr. Glasser has written a new book called Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous To Your Mental Health. He gave me a very good plug and that was wonderful, but uh . . .

Roy:  Where did this . . .

Glasser: This was in a conference in Ohio, in Cleveland, which was a spirituality conference, and uh, he’s . . . he’s spiritual, but he’s spiritual in a very tangible way. He’s not spiritual in that you should sit around and pray. You should go out and do your work, and, I can’t describe exactly, but boy the audience was mesmerized by it. And he talked about getting in touch with your spiritual side.

Roy:  Is he spiritual but non-religious, or is he a . . .

Glasser:  Well he mentions Jesus, but he mentions other religious leaders, too. It’s not, it’s not just one . . . he said that all religions kind of have a common core, which is basically to me the common core of all religions, if they practice properly, is the golden rule. I mean, I’m a firm believer in the golden rule. And anyway, I wrote him a letter afterwards, a nice little short letter. I don’t know what his letter says, and I don’t want to read it cuz I might be upset and it would screw up our thing here. But Linda says it’s a very good letter. That’s what she said. I said I’d appreciate it, because you have such a powerful influence on people, if you could, without mentioning me or the Warning book, cause I don’t want to ask him to push me or the book. If he would just say that he, too, has serious doubts about the overdrugging of people in our society, that would be enough. And I think he’s going to, which would be good because I saw how the people were just absolutely entranced by everything he said. I don’t threaten him at all, because he’s way, way too powerful and well known for me to threaten him. I’m one of the people on whose back he’s riding, you know what you said, because I’m about twenty years older than him, a little more than twenty. No, no, no, fifteen years exactly. Fifteen years older than him. He’s 63 and I’m 78. But, uh, so now if he’s going to get behind it, it could be very, very powerful. So I’ll read what he says and then I’ll write him back and support him a little bit. See he doesn’t use a computer. He only writes by pen.

Roy:  Really.

Glasser:  Yeh, see that letter. That’s the only way he writes, so, so he doesn’t use, and he wrote me, the blurb was all by pen, and he says he doesn’t want to use a computer. There’s something for him that’s unspiritual about the machine, but to me there’s something super spiritual about the machine. (laughter)

A young Bill Glasser and one year old, Joe, his first child. (circa 1952)

A young Bill Glasser and one year old, Joe, his first child. (circa 1952)

The first four books that Glasser wrote were by hand – Mental Health or Mental Illness (1960); Reality Therapy (1965); Schools Without Failure (1969); and The Identity Society (1972). He really appreciated being able to use a word processor for his writing. The handwritten Dyer endorsement that Glasser refers to appeared on the front cover of the Warning book and went like this –

“Dr. Glasser is a pioneer in every sense of the word. This is his most powerful contribution. We are being bombarded by the drug companies to put drugs into our brains to cure any and all difficulties. Dr. Glasser offers us a sensible preferred alternative to being drugged as our way of coping with life.” Wayne W. Dyer


During our second interview on October 17, 2003, Dyer’s name came up again.

Roy:  The last time we were together you were very, very pleased, actually, because of a fax from Wayne Dyer . . .

Glasser:  Oh yeh. Yeh.

Roy:  . . . that indicated that he was planning to say something on a PBS special, I think in support of your ideas. The thing that caught my attention was how you went on about how big this was, and how big and important he was, you felt he was way bigger than you are . . .

Glasser:  Right now, yes I think he is. I saw his audience of 400 people, when I had about 120 people in my group. He had more than twice the group that I had when I was in Cleveland. It was packed, and, I mean, they’re just hanging on his every word. Now Wayne Dyer has something that I don’t have, that I can’t have because I have a different belief system. Wayne Dyer’s book is, There’s a Spiritual Solution for Every Problem.

Roy:   Right, right.

Glasser:   And, my friend Frank, who’s just a moneymaker, he says, Willie, you gotta get into the spiritual part, you’re missing . . . (laughter) So, that’s, that’s what I’m using you for, you’re gonna, you’re gonna get me into the spiritual part here. (more laughter)

Roy:  Well I, I don’t know if I’ve shared this with you, but I actually, uh, I actually think of you as a secular Christian.

Glasser:   (he chuckles) That’d be ok.

Roy:   You know, because you’re . . .

Glasser:   (chuckles again) I’m, I’m a secular Jew, too. (laughter)

Roy:   Yeh, when I’m, so much of what I have observed, and so much of what I’ve read, uh, your ideas actually strengthen my Christian perspective, and uh . . .

Glasser:  Yeh, I’m basically, really, I’m not a selfish person. I’ve never been. I’m willing to do this work for nothing and help people.

Nick Cummings, another giant in the mental health field, and Bill Glasser. (circa 2005)

Nick Cummings, another giant in the mental health field, and Bill Glasser. (circa 2005)

I guess you can say that Glasser stayed true to his agnostic underpinning, even as he recognized that he could have made some significant money catering to a spiritual audience. I think Dyer was staying true to his underpinning, too. As listeners and readers we seek information and experiences that help us make sense of the world, and that help us achieve personal satisfaction and peace. People relate to Dyer and to Glasser on a deeply personal level. I have found help from Glasser’s ideas as I travel on my spiritual journey even though he never presented himself as a spiritual guru.

Glasser respected Dyer as a fellow lecturer and author who wanted to help people make the most of their potential and live lives of happiness and peace. They said things differently and they reached a different audience, but they saw tremendous value in each other. I know that my life is better because of their influence.


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One of the best ways to learn about choice theory is to read Glasser’s recently published biography – Champion of Choice.

The book that connects the dots of William Glasser's ideas and his career.

The book that connects the dots of William Glasser’s ideas and his career.

20 Dyer Quotes To Help You Become a Better You


A recent article* saying good-by to Wayne Dyer (he passed away on August 29) listed 20 of his quotes to “Help You Become a Better You.” They appear below. You will hear echoes of choice theory as you read them. There was a Dyer / Glasser connection, which I will say more about in the next blog post.


When Glasser passed away two years ago several of us wrote farewell messages, but as I recall there were no farewells that featured some of Glasser’s quotes. A neat idea that I might work on in the future. In the meantime, cherish a good thought toward Dr. Dyer as you reflect on his beliefs –

“Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”

“If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t you will see obstacles.”

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

“With everything that has happened to you, you can feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”


“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”

“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.”

“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”

“Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are empowers you.”

“How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.”


“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”

“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.”

“There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There’s only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.”

“You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life.’”

“The fact that you are willing to say, ‘I do not understand, and it is fine,’ is the greatest understanding you could exhibit.”

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

“You may have convinced yourself that giving is impossible because you have too little for yourself. If you are not generous when it is difficult, you will not be generous when it is easy. Generosity is a function of the heart, not the wallet.”



“It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.”

“When the choice is to be right or to be kind, always make the choice that brings peace.”

“When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out, because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.”


Which of these beliefs especially speak to you? Which of them seem to especially reflect the values and principles of choice theory? Which of them could be made into a poster and placed on the wall of your classroom?

* The original article can be found at this link – Remembering Wayne Dyer – 20 Quotes to Help You Become a Better You

How To Make Schools Better For Kids


Time magazine (Sept. 7, 2015) featured an article this week about strategies that will lead to happier, healthier, and better prepared students. Each of the eight bullet points appear below, along with their choice theory strengths and weaknesses.


Ditch Traditional Homework
Many seem to view homework as a non-negotiable requirement, even though it leads to such mixed results, including high levels of stress at home. Teachers may feel that they are creating a more “rigorous” program by assigning consistent homework, but students don’t necessarily benefit from such rigor. When projects are meaningful to them, students are often willing to work on them wherever, whether at home or at school. It’s ok to occasionally have students complete assignments at home, but more often as educators we should be trying to protect home time as family time.


Make Recess Mandatory
Taking recess time away from students is one of the most common “motivators” of a boss manager. Recess is the most popular time of the day and adults for decades have used it as a threat or form of punishment. Childhood obesity rates have quadrupled in the last 30 years and prominent voices from many fields are calling for more physical activity, not less. I do think recess time should be honored, rather than used as an external controller, however I don’t think we have to make them mandatory. There are times when students might want to finish up a project or get ready for a presentation. We just need to stop using recess as a punishment tool and recognize its value when it comes to student physical, psychological, and social health.

Screen Kids for Mental Illness
I don’t see it as helpful to evaluate and label children with mental illness diagnoses. I do see it as helpful to create and maintain need-satisfying schools where students learn to self-evaluate their own needs and wants, and where they learn to be responsible for their own behavior. When this kind of learning takes place within a warm, caring, and fun environment, bad behavior (often interpreted as mental illness) becomes a non-issue.


Prioritize Diversity
Schools are truly our best hope for a peaceful, and even thriving multicultural future. Human beings are not born with intolerance and hatred; those attitudes are learned. Schools, whether public or private, are melting pots of diversity and can be a strong force for good when it comes to learning to accept and respect others.

Turn Discipline into Dialogue
One of choice theory’s key mantras is managing students without coercion. “Punishments like detention,” the article explains, “or getting sent to the principal’s office remove problematic kids instead of addressing what made them misbehave in the first place.” Inappropriate behavior does need to be confronted, but students must be involved in the process. Ellen White describes how “The true object of reproof is gained only when the wrongdoer himself is led to see his fault and his will is enlisted for its correction.” (Education, p. 292) Another choice theory mantra is the only person you can control is yourself. School management needs to be about helping students learn to control themselves, rather than supposedly being controlled by the punishments or rewards of teachers.

Let Students Customize Their Curriculums
As the article points out, “Kids have always learned best when they get personal attention.” This is especially true when the topic or material is relevant to them. Computers and tablets (and Smartphones) are able to provide support and enrichment in ways barely imagined until recently. Teachers are learning to differentiate assignments, based on student interests and abilities.


Start Classes After 8:30 am
Certain aspects of the school schedule have been around so long that we don’t even question them, even though data strongly suggests we should do just that. The traditional schedules are not based on student needs, but rather on adult needs (eg-work schedules). Studies on adolescent biology indicate they are hardwired to stay up later, and then get up later. Only one in five schools begins after 8:30 am, so the word on school scheduling still needs to get out.


Design Cafeterias that Encourage Healthy Eating
This is an uphill battle from both the school and student perspective – it is hard for schools to re-tool and offer a more nutritious diet at a reasonable cost, and it is hard for students to change their tastebud preferences. The battle is worth fighting, though, both for student performance now, and for a healthier populace tomorrow. Health care costs related to obesity and heart disease are skyrocketing, a bill that affects all of us.

The eight bullet points got me to thinking. Is it possible to prioritize the top three in this list of eight? I think I would put the following three at the top –

+ Turn discipline into dialogue

+ Let students customize their own curriculum

+ Prioritize diversity

Which three would you put at the top?


Very sorry to see that Wayne Dyer passed away. He has been, to me, a voice of reason and compassion. He credited Glasser with being an early influence on his thinking. For a lot of us we hold that in common with Dr. Dyer.

Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer


The Glasser biography, Champion of Choice, is an excellent way to learn about the breadth and depth of William Glasser’s influence. A copy of the book can quickly be gotten through Amazon. Signed copies are also quickly available through the author (that would be me).

The book that connects the dots of William Glasser's ideas and his career.

The book that connects the dots of William Glasser’s ideas and his career.

You Are Responsible. Period. Is That Choice Theoryesque?

A friend recently posted this picture on Facebook. She shared it after discovering it on Dr. Wayne Dyer’s Facebook page. What should we think and feel about this statement? A person into choice theory would have to agree with it, right, maybe even say an amen over it, yet for all the rightness in this statement there is something unsettling about it, too. We are drawn to it and repelled by it at the same time.


I have seen the statement before and I think it is correct to attribute it to Wayne Dyer. I am aware of Dyer’s material, but not that familiar with it. Glasser talked about him. During one of my interview visits to his house (late 2003-early 2004) he was excited to be in communication with Dyer. He described how he had attended one of Dyer’s presentations and that Dyer had acknowledged William Glasser’s presence in the audience and briefly talked about the ways in which Glasser had influenced his thinking. I could tell this meant a lot to Glasser, even though he then went on to refer to Dyer’s spiritual views as being a bit loony. At the time of my visit Glasser did a lot of communicating through his fax machine. A fax was coming in as we were going to break from the interview for lunch and I remember him thinking aloud that it was from Dyer and that he was nervous about what it was going to say. In the end, Glasser enjoyed lunch without looking at it right away because he thought it might not say what he wanted it to say.

Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer

But I digress . . . back to the statement. What are we to make of it? “Everything you do is based on the choices you make,” it begins. Isnt this one of the essences of choice theory? “You are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.” it concludes. What could be more choice theory than this focus?

You Are Responsible. Period!

I agree with the truth in this statement, but I have to be careful where I allow that “truth” to take me. If the statement empowers me to better action, then good. If it inspires hope in me, also good. If it helps me to recognize my responsibility for my thinking and my behaving, more good. But if it encourages me to judge the poor circumstances of others as simply being the result of their poor choices, then not so good. If it keeps me from empathizing with those who are struggling or from seeking to truly understand their circumstances, and their choices, then this statement is much more harmful than helpful.


One such circumstance – that being poverty – that people have opinions about and make judgments about was recently addressed in an article with a really long title: 7 Things People Who Say They’re Fiscally Conservative But Socially Liberal Don’t Understand. What so many of us don’t understand or forget is that the cycle of poverty creates a permanent trap lasting generations. Ironically, it points out how being poor is actually more expensive than being rich. If we look at those struggling within this cycle of poverty and quickly assess that they are experiencing the result of their own choices we 1) seriously misunderstand their situation, 2) misuse the Dyer quote as an accusation, and 3) misrepresent the principles and spirit of choice theory.

photo 2

I wrote on this topic a bit last October in a post entitled Compassion and Slim Choices, which described how choices and options vary greatly from one person to the next, and on how we can’t view everyone as if they have the same choices and options. Compassion is the key. The lens of compassion must be the lens through which we see others, regardless of their circumstances. Yes, people possess the ability to make better choices, but these choices are often baby-steps within an atmosphere of love and support. Looking through the lens of judgment and conveying to others in poor circumstances that they are responsible for every decision and choice they make . . . period . . . doesn’t cut it.

Choice theory does not shy away from responsibility, but first it embraces compassion and connection.


Soul Shaper summer classes at PUC are just around the corner!

Soul Shapers 1: June 22-25
Soul Shapers 2: June 29 – July 2

Let me know if you are interested in attending at


Two books that will greatly contribute to your understanding of choice theory –

Available new on Amazon from $12.59; used from $1.01..

Available new on Amazon from $12.59; used from $1.01.

Soul Shapers provides evidence that Choice Theory changes people and schools into nurturing places of respect and choice. Roy shares his experience on how choice theory principles can be applied individually and collectively in educational settings, and offers practical suggestions on how true maturity begins with choices, not control and punishment. Dr. Ed Boyatt, retired educator

Soul Shapers combines the life changing clinical principles of choice theory that drive mental well-being and abundance and the spiritual principles of Christianity in a most powerful way! Tom Amato, Director of the Napa Valley Youth Advocacy Center.

Quickly order the biography from Amazon. Click on the book to

Quickly order the biography from Amazon.

Jim Roy’s biography is fascinating, and this book is a treasure. I have known Bill Glasser for over 20 years and have presented at many Glasser conferences. Reading about Dr. Glasser’s journey and Dr. Roy’s clear explanations of Dr. Glasser’s points in his numerous books on psychology, mental health, and education rate William Glasser as a major contributor in each of these areas. Anyone who is interested in becoming more efficient, improving relationships, and living a happier life will truly enjoy and learn from Jim Roy’s biography of William Glasser.  Dr. Marvin Marshall

Jim Roy has done a wonderful thing here: he has captured the truth and essence of the great unsung hero of psychology. William Glasser was a maverick, a licensed MD and psychiatrist who was not afraid to stand up against an ineffectual system of mental health and tell the world why and how it does not serve the needs of the afflicted. Glasser’s life journey is described in intimate detail from his early days in practice through all of the peregrinations and struggles in, not only developing his revolutionary ideas, but in finding an audience who would listen. Today his audience is strong and committed. Why? Because Dr. Glasser’s ideas work. Choice Theory and Reality Therapy, the two components of Glasser’s mental health system, are used by thousands of mental health practitioners around the world who report surprising results among even the most dismal populations. Anyone interested in what’s behind the veil in mental health practice should find much to resonate with in Jim Roy’s excellent biography.  Banning Lary

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