Howard Tangler (also known as “HipHop Grampop”)has compiled fifty years of studying personal development into his system of helping people with a concise method that’s simple to use and great in its effectiveness. It blends several discoveries of other famous researchers to enable people to live a happier, healthier life. Here, Howard gives Nitsan Gaibel the key steps.
Nitsan: How long have you been helping people?
Howard: I was an engineer originally and through some circumstances I ended up taking a Dale Carnegie class on public speaking, and later they asked me to be a Dale Carnegie instructor, and I saw people go from not being able to mumble their name in the first session to giving a wildly enthusiastic motivational talk in the fourteenth session and that hooked me. I wanted to be spending the rest of my time helping people have a better life than even they imagined, and so I went from there into just a total study and performance in personal development.
Nitsan: What single event ignited your desire to change?
Howard: I was sick as a kid. I had a cold every year and I had two major operations by the time I was twelve. Then as an adult every year I’d get the flu and a few colds and sore throats. One day I came down with a flu that was particularly strong and I was in bed for three days, all the aches and the pains and the fevers and the chills and throwing up, and when I got up from there, when I was 33 years old, I said, “I don’t want to do that anymore,” and I applied what I’d been learning all the time. Now I’m 84-years-old and I haven’t had a single illness, no colds, no flues, not even a sore throat, not even a headache for 51 years, and it was by applying the things that I’d learned that made that difference.
Nitsan: How did you innovate on and beyond what you learned in Dale Carnegie?
Howard: I found that our lives are so under the control of our attitudes and I just wanted to be able to change my attitude and I took what I had learned – and my folks had gone into some study of positive thinking with the old book by Norman Vincent Peale and so on. When I was a teenager I thought that was a bunch of hooey, but then later I thought I’d give it a try. There was a man named Dr. Maxwell Maltz who wrote a classic book called Pscyho-Cybernetics in 1960 and I started to take what he had talked about and put it into my personal life. He was a plastic surgeon and people would come to him because they had low self-esteem because their nose was big or their cheeks were bulgy or whatever and he would perform plastic surgery. He said it was amazing: some of them immediately turned around and were having a very positive self-image and with others it seemed to make no difference. So he came to the conclusion: it wasn’t what happened, but what you think about what happened that makes the difference!
He also found – as a part of his plastic surgery – that if he had to amputate somebody’s hand or arm or whatever, that even after the surgery and the limb was gone, the people could still imagine that they could clench their fist and it seemed like a very natural thing to do. He said, gradually that went away after 21 days. So he learned that it took 21 days to really change an attitude, so that’s what I was basing my approach on.
For me to change a person isn’t something I could just do one afternoon, but something I need to do for 21 days. For example, a friend of ours called one day and said,
“I have terrible migraines”
I asked: “How often do you get these migraines?”
“Every day,” she said,
So, I listened for a bit and then I gave her some suggestions on what to do over the next 21 days to change her attitude toward the migraines. Toward the end of that 21 days I called and asked her, “How’s it going?”
She said, “I don’t have any migraines.”
I said, “Are they all gone?”
She said, “Yes, I haven’t had a migraine since we started on this.”
So, I saw the benefit of that and I wanted to get that word out and I’ve spoken to probably 5,000 groups over the years – anywhere from 2 – 2,000 people – helping them with their business, with their personal life, with their health, whatever I could do to help them have a better life.
Nitsan: This process of 21 days was not something that you learned from Dale Carnegie, rather it was something you applied after hearing about it from Dr. Maltz, correct?
Howard: Yes, my approach now is a compilation of all the things I studied over the years and some of them were talking about it in broad categories and I brought it down to the simplest form that people can use on a regular basis to change their life to a happier, healthier circumstance.
Nitsan: Can anybody do this?
Howard: Anybody can, it’s just a matter of: will they? Because it does take some dedication. You need to stick with the program for 21 days.
Nitsan: If it can be done with anybody what’s the biggest challenge you face in working with these people?
Howard: People start out with the belief that it can’t work for them, because they’re a product of their DNA; that’s called genetic determinism, the technical name for that. It’s a belief that the scientists have come up with that means literally that: our physical, physiological and emotional behavior traits are controlled by our genetic code and, so what the means is, we’re victims of our genetic code and if people accept that, then they’re not willing to try the programs that we have. They’re not going to get any better than they are because they believe themselves to be victims– and victims don’t make progress!