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DR ICHAK ADIZES experiments with exposure therapy, facing his shadows, and learning how to tackle the negative habits he wants to change and the problems he wants to solve.


I often say that problems are like shadows. If you run away, they keep following you. If you turn around and face them, and move against them, they run away from you. While I recommended this prescription to my clients to face their problems, I did not practice it in my personal life. That changed this week.

I have a problem being hungry (a scar from the days I starved during the Holocaust). And my biggest weakness is bread. A meal without bread, even a Michelin five-star meal, is no good. But that is a fattening addiction. So, I ran away from my shadow and instructed never to put bread on the table. And no bread in the house either. And? It did not work. The shadows chased me. I would find bread somehow.

This week it occurred to me to practice what I preach, so that anything I love that is not good for me I put in front of me. And I speak to myself: “Are you stronger than that slice of bread or weaker?” And guess what? It has worked. I have lost six pounds already.

This practice had an impact much bigger than just not eating bread. I am getting stronger not to let anyone make me miserable with their unfair criticism. I do not shun them. I face them and deal with them. And I started exercising. Daily. Major change.

I just found out last night that in psychology it is called exposure therapy.

As I said already, I exercise now. One part of it is to walk from my home to the gate, uphill. I was told by those walking with me to look up and not at the road I am walking on. When I did that, looking at the distant gate, I got discouraged. It was so far… When I looked at my feet advancing one step at a time I was encouraged.

I often say that problems are like shadows. 
If you run away, they keep following you. 
If you turn around and face them,
and move against them, they run away from you.

I thought about strategic planning. Focus on your goal, we are told. Look at the long run. I think now that it is wrong. It can discourage. Yes, define your goal, choose the road, but from there on lower your head and watch how you advance one step at a time. From time to time, lift your head and check that you are on the right road and advancing in the right direction, otherwise keep moving and verify that you are moving. 

Let’s see what I will learn next week,





Dr. Ichak Adizes

Dr. Ichak Adizes

Dr. Ichak Adizes is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading management experts. He has received 21 honorary doctorates and is the author of 27 books that have been translated into 36 languages. Dr. Adizes is recognized by Leade... Read More