2. Rigid and Extreme beliefs are at the core of emotional disturbance while Flexible and Non-extreme beliefs are at the core of emotional health and resiliency.
3. Rigid beliefs are expressed with words like absolutely should, ought, must, have to, need to...
4. There are three foci of Rigid Beliefs (the self, others, and life conditions)
5. There are three general categories of Extreme beliefs: It is awful (more than 100% bad), It is unbearable, I am a loser
6. There are three general categories of Non-extreme beliefs: It is bad but not awful, It is uncomfortable and difficult but not unbearable, I may have lost, failed or been rejected but I am not a loser, a failure, or an inadequate, rejected person. No I am just a fallible person who acted insufficiently for my particular goal.
7. People largely construct their emotional reactions to Adversity. We disturb ourselves about what happens. This is the Principle of Emotional Responsibility.
8. People have the capacity to think Rigidly and Flexibly but it is far easier for people to think rigidly. We are born and reared to think irrationally (Rigidly) and rationally (Flexibly)
9. We can think about our beliefs and question them. We can then create new philosophies that help us respond resiliently to adversity and help us change what can be changed.
10. Keep your wants, wishes, preferences, values, and goals but see that your demand that you get these fulfilled is a myth. Keep your wishes but give up your demands.
11. Although we can reflect on our thinking and question our beliefs this takes work and practice. If we do not continue to work and practice rational thinking we will backslide as humans tend to slip back into old self-defeating habits. This is the human condition.
12. There are two fundamental human disturbances, Ego disturbance (e.g. I am a loser) and Discomfort disturbance (e.g. It is unbearable to cope with this, to work for this)
13. Happiness is a product of having a vitally absorbing interest or interests (e.g. building a business, building a family, political activism, creating new knowledge, creating new art, disseminating useful knowledge like REBT, etc.)
14. Life is an opportunity to have pleasure. If you live your life to prove yourself you will not lead the life you want so much as lead the life that proves to the world you are not worthless or proves you are great. This is a big mistake.
15. Maximizing pleasure in life is having a healthy balance of short and long term pleasures. If you live only for today you will get less pleasure and more pain. Live only for tomorrow and the future and you will miss out on pleasure and meaning. Strive for a healthy balance of living for the future but also enjoying today to some extent as well. This is the philosophy of long term hedonism which REBT encourages.
16. There are no superhumans or subhumans just fallible humans.
17. There are no awful things only bad events that people wrongly define as awful. All bad events can only be validly rated on a scale from 0-100% bad. This is the badness scale. Awful is beyond 100% bad, it is off the scale. All events, no matter how bad, fit somewhere on the 0-100% badness scale. This is because no matter how bad an event is there can always be another event that is worse than it. So you really cannot get to 100% bad unless you destroy the entire universe.
18. REBT is simple to understand but hard to implement. It can be applied to a very wide range of problems, goals, and self-defeating behavior.
19. Healthy relationships are result of emotionally healthy people and disturbed relationships are a function of emotional disturbance within people. If you have a problematic relationship look within for the solution to making it better. Look for your disturbed emotions and behaviors and change them instead of trying to change the other person.
20. There are no utopias, no perfect situations, performances, or people. All situations and courses of action have advantages and disadvantages. Choose your path and do not upset yourself about the disadvantages and the price of going down the path you have chosen. Strive to do better and better but see that perfection, like utopia does not exist.
21. Uncertainty is a part of life. Teach yourself to tolerate uncertainty by thinking rationally about it. We live in a world of probability where no guarantees exist. Too bad.
22. Emotional disturbance can be thought of in one sense as taking yourself, others, or life itself either too seriously or not seriously enough.
23. Learn to push yourself. As Ben Franklin said "There are rarely gains without pains."