4 Disempowering Beliefs About Money That Keep You Poor

4 Stupid Beliefs About Money That Keep You Poor

Rich people are…

What is the first word that came to your mind? Dishonest? Greedy? Lucky? Awesome?

Our relationship with money will greatly determine the amount of money we will earn throughout our life. While there is nothing wrong with being poor, I doubt that many of you have actually a strong desire to remain poor for the rest of their life.

In this article I’m going to introduce you to 4 disempowering beliefs about money that keep you poor. Hopefully, it will serve as an electroshock for some of you.

1. Money is not important

Money is like sex. You’ll think of nothing else if you don’t have it – yet you’re free to think of other things if you do have it. – Dan Lok, F.U Money – Serial entrepreneur & millionaire mentor

Sure. Money is not important. Can you remind me exactly why you spend 40+ years of your life working 40 or 50 hours a week in a job that you are probably not passionate about or that you may even hate? I think the word you are looking for starts with «mo » and ends with « ney » 🙂

If I were to give you $5 million right now would you do the exact same thing you are doing now? Would you have the same career? If not, then yes money is important to you whether you want to admit it or not.

Pretending that money is not important in your life is doing yourself a great disservice. Sure, it would be nice if we could live in a world where money was simply unnecessary, but in our current society money is the best thing we have found so far to exchange products and services efficiently and create wealth.

2. Money is bad

Money will only make you more of what you already are. If you’re mean, money will afford you the opportunity to be meaner. If you’re kind, money will afford you the opportunity to be kinder.  – T. Ecker

Money is bad only if you are an asshole! Money is just a means to an end and is never good nor bad. If you are a poor asshole and suddenly become rich, you will simply become a rich asshole. Only the scale will change. Instead of stealing $50 from the cash register you will embezzle million of dollars.

On the contrary, it you are a great person, money will give you incredible leverage to create good in this world. Here are some amazing things that money can provide:

  • Free up your time so that you can focus on what truly matters to you
  • Educate yourself so that you can better serve other people and impact their lives
  • Donate money to charities or any other endeavor you want to support
  • Ensure that you have enough savings in case you or someone close to you get sick and you need to pay the bill

Despising money and remaining poor doesn’t do much for society. Sure, you can be poor and give money to charity, but you could also be rich and give (more) money to charity. It is easier to be poor than to be rich but is it what you really want?

Recently, I remember coming across a thought-provoking quote on facebook saying: “being poor is selfish”. I thought it was an interesting one. Indeed, isn’t it selfish not to keep improving yourself and learning new skills in order to provide more values to other people through your products or services?

3. Rich people are dishonest

“I hear sometimes of men that get millions of dollars dishonestly.” Yes, of course you do, and so do I. But they are so rare a thing in fact that the newspapers talk about them all the time as a matter of news until you get the idea that all the other rich men go rich dishonestly. – Russel H. Conwell, Acres of Diamonds

Not more than poor people and probably less in fact. In order to become successful in our life and our professional career, it requires us to work on our communication skills, to become more confident, to have more self-discipline, to get out of our comfort zone and to constantly stretch ourselves. Rich people generally spend way more time working on themselves than poor people do.

Also, remember that if you choose consciously or unconsciously to believe rich people are dishonest or bad in any way, you’ll never be rich yourself. Why would you become something you hate?

The business world is certainly not the most ethical place in the world, but believing that people on the top are all assholes and people on the bottom are by some magic extremely ethical doesn’t make any sense.

Yes, earning a lot of money honestly is perfectly possible. Is it easy? No, it is certainly harder than doing it in an unethical or almost ethical way. I think Pat Flynn from www.smartpassiveincome.com is a great example of someone making money in an ethical way.

4. Money is hard to make

Is money hard to make? I believe that it really depends on the personal belief you currently hold about money. The more you think that money is hard to make, the harder it will probably become.

In his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”, T. Harv Eker shows that each of us has a money blueprint that largely determines the amount of money we can earn. We generally inherits this blueprint from our parents and we keep it for the rest of our life unless we make a conscious choice to reprogramm our subconscious mind. What is your money blueprint? A good start would be to look at your bank account and at your parents’ relationship with money.

In fact, nowadays, with the incredible potential for leverage that internet provides creating wealth is way easier than in the past. Publishing a book, creating a company or outsourcing tasks to people all around the world has never been easier. If you are a little bit creative you will realize that money might not be as hard to make as you previously thought.
Here is a great exercise from Dan Lok’s book for you:
Brainstorm at least twenty ways you can generate more income without working harder.

What about you? Do you have any disempowering belief about money? If I tell you money is…  what would you say?

See also:

Resources (affiliate links):

Below are some great books that I’ve personally read and benefited from:

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

3 Reasons Why Self-Discipline is Freaking Awesome

3 Reasons Why Self-Discipline Is Freaking Awesome

true freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline – J. Adler Mortimer

Do you associate self-discipline with pain and constraints?

In this article I’m going to give you 3 reasons why self-discipline is in fact freaking awesome. Are you ready?

#1 Self-discipline leads to freedom

So you hate self-discipline because you value your freedom more than anything else right? And there is nothing worse to you than having too many constraints in your life. I get it.

But, what if I tell you that you can’t really enjoy freedom without self-discipline?

Think about it for a moment. How can you expect to be free when you have so limited control over your body and your mind? How can you be free when you can’t resist eating junk food or drinking alcohol, when you are constantly depressed, angry or unhappy?

The sad truth is that most people have very little self-discipline. They can’t control their diet and fail to achieve most of their goals. They are totally enslaved by their mind and have very little control over their emotions and thoughts.

Self-discipline is what allows you to create freedom in your life. Imagine the degree of freedom you would have if you were in total control of your body and your mind? Imagine how your life would drastically change if you could focus on your long-term vision rather than going for instant gratification like junk food, TV or video games?

Yes, self-discipline is freaking awesome

Still not convince?

#2 Self-discipline dramatically increases your self-esteem

Most people don’t realize that self-discipline is highly correlated to self-esteem. If you can’t trust yourself to do what you intend to do, can you reasonably expect to have a deep love for yourself? Nathaniel Branden, the most renown expert on self-esteem defines self-esteem as the « reputation we acquire with ourself ». If each time you said you are going to go to the gym, study or work on your business you watch TV and eat junk food instead, what kind of reputation do you think you’re going to have with yourself? Sure you can always pretend that it is okay, but do you honestly believe that?

People who meditate for hours or challenge themselves to accomplish extremely demanding feats are not crazy. They simply understand the important of self-discipline and how it positively impacts their self-esteem and level of fulfillment in life.

Yes, self-discipline increases yourself esteem. Pretty cool isn’t it?

What about you? What reputation do you have with yourself ?

Still not totally convince?

#3 Self-discipline allows you to achieve significantly more in life

Do you really want to get results in life? Guess what? The more you are in control of your body, your mind and your action, the more things you will get done. Having self-discipline will allow you to complete the tasks you said you will do and to deliver results consistently. If you want to know what real self-discipline looks like, try read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin or Templeton Plan: 21 Steps to Personal success and Real Happiness by Sir John Templeton. Even more intense, read The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei. (learn more about the marathon monks in this article)

Disciplining yourself to accomplish goals consistently is one of the best ways to build self-esteem (if you haven’t set any goals yet you might want to check my book on goal setting)

Self-discipline isn’t something to be despised. It feels great to be able to consistently achieve your goal knowing that you can trust yourself. Self-discipine gives you more control over your life and thus more freedom, and allows you to achieve significanlty more. If anything, you should be pretty excited to watch yourself becoming more and more discipline day after day.

What you can do today to build more self-discipline

Setting goals or implementing habits on a daily basis is a great way to build self-discipline. Here are two things you can do:

Your 30-day challenge

I really want you to get results in life so I would like to invite you to participate to a 30-day challenge starting from today. Just select one of the two options previously mentioned:

  1. Set your goals everyday for 30 days
  2. Implement one new daily habit and stick to it for the next 30 days

Leave me a comment below to tell me whether you choose option 1 or option 2.

BONUS : one thing you can do when you struggle to discipline yourself

It is not always easy to discipline yourself to take action on a consistent basis. I personally struggle a lot and failed many times when trying to implement positive habits.

One thing that I found powerful is to invest money in high-quality programs that specifically meet my need. By investing your hard earned money you commit yourself to take action and significantly increase your changes to get results.

To give you an example, for quite a while I’ve been wanted to adopt a daily morning ritual that would help me condition my mind for more happiness and success, but I could never follow through.

So when I came accross a program called Morning Ritual Mastery online, I decided to buy it. The truth is that I can find the same content for free online, but I would never had been able to stick to that habit if I didn’t invest my money in a program and commit to take consistent actions.

I really recommend this program if you want to build a morning ritual to help you experienced more gratitude, joy and motivation in life. It’s an affiliate product which means that I earn commission if you buy it using the link in this article. If you are interested you can get it here. Otherwise you can check the free video with a similar content here

What program could you invest in that would support you in getting the results you want?

Resources:

Article:

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

7 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting The Results You Want in Life

7 reasons why you aren't getting the results you want in life

 

Are you struggling getting the results you want in life?

In this article I’m going to give you 7 reasons why you aren’t getting the results you want in life. But, WAIT! Before you start reading just tell me: are you really going to take action after reading this article? If the answer is yes, go ahead.

Reason #1 – You are not investing in yourself

Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you can make a living, if you work hard on yourself you can make a fortune! – Jim Rohn

The quote above is one of my favorite quotes ever. You should constantly be investing in yourself and learning new skills. Communication skills, both oral and written, are probably where you want to get started. Your ability to communicate effectively, to express ideas clearly and to convince people will largely determine your success regardless of the career you decide to pursue.

For oral communication I recommend you to check out Toastmasters. This public speaking organization is present in many countries around the world. You can visit as many clubs as you want for free and select the right club for you.

You don’t want to be the guy getting laid off at age 50 unable to find another job. It is your responsibility to educate yourself. Never rely on the government, your current company or anyone else to support you financially. Think of yourself as a freelancer rather than an employee. What service and value can you deliver to your current company? What other services could you offer to your company or other companies?

Continously learning and growing is absolutely necessary (and quite fun too), so don’t hesitate to spend money in programs or courses that will help you become more valuable in the job market and better as a person.

If you have Internet, you really have no excuse not to educate yourself.

Reason #2 – You don’t have the right mindset

So you’re telling me: I failed because I didn’t have the resources. And I’m here to tell you what you already know: resources are never the problem. It’s a lack of resourcefulness is why you failed. – Tony Robbins

You are sick. The disease you have is called “excusitis”. Beware, it is an extremely dangerous disease that will prevent you from getting the results you want in life. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough money. I’m too old. I’m not smart enough. I don’t know the right people. Sounds familiar?

Yes, one of the reasons you don’t get the results you want in life is because of your poor mindset. Your mindset and attitude is everything in life. It will determine whether you will be successful or not. I just can’t stress that enough.

I see all the time people imposing artificial limits on themselves. They are so convinced that they can’t do such or such thing that it drives me crazy. Why would you tell yourself that at 40-year old you are too old to learn a foreign language or change career? Not long ago I was talking to a woman that was telling she didn’t believe she could earn more money than she does now. She was earning a below average salary. That was her belief. Where do you think she will be 10 years from now? More or less at the same place! My personal belief is that there is no limit to the amount of money I can earn if I keep improving myself. What is your belief?
Below is a great one-minute video of Tony Robbins on resource vs. resourcefulness. Check it out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQHGJjsbz5c

Reason #3 – You don’t have specific role models

It is extremely difficult to get the results you want if you have nobody around you that have already achieved what you are aiming for. Make sure you have a role model that resonates with you (either online or offline). Once you found your role model just follow absolutely everything that he is advising you to do. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; when someone already has the blueprint that will get you where you want to be, just stick to it! Do you know how Arnold Schwarzenegger became Mr Universe? He came across a magazine featuring Reg Park, Mr Universe at the time. In this magazine the whole blueprint was laid out.

Sounds too easy? In a sense it is, but here is the trick: you must stick to one role model for each major goal you have. The common trap is to look for all the possible role models out there and try to learn everything you can from them. It sounds like a great idea on paper, but it is doesn’t work. How do I know that? Well, it is what I have been trying to do for several years.

It doesn’t work because it leads to an overflow of information. It is just not possible to come up with a realistic working plan out of it. You will end up feeling overwhelmed and give up or will get medicore results.

Finding a role model that you can trust and sticking to his teaching is way more powerful and will get you significantly better results.

The two key points are:

  • Stick to one role model that really resonates with you
  • Have total trust in him and his teaching and take consistent action

Reason #4 – You are doing too many things at the same time

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to make changes in their life, is doing too many things at the same time. You shouldn’t focus on more than one or two major goals at the same time. You should spend most of your time either thinking about your main goals or taking actions that move you closer to your main goals. You want to make sure that you do something everyday to move closer to your goals in order to keep building momentum.

Pick one or two areas in your life where you really want to make major changes and focus on them for the next 6 months/year/2years/5 years or more if needed. Focus! In many occasions you will be tempted to pursue other goals but don’t. That’s why it is crucial that you really select goals that matters the most to you so that you can stick to them.

Major areas of your life include relationship, career, finance, health and spirituality.

Which area(s) are you going to focus all your effort on until you get results?

Reason #5 – You are not taking enough action

Are you the type of person who is obsessed with learning everything he can, but don’t get concrete results? I’ve been there too. Really learning can only come from doing. You can learn all the theory you want about how to build a business or seduce a men/woman, but as long as you aren’t doing it, you have no idea what you are talking about.

The most common mistakes we do is to believe that we need more knowledge. It is usually not the case. What we need is more action! How often can we say of someone: “you are taking too much action”? The average person will generally spend 50% of his time learning and 50% of his time taking some actions (at best). I recommend you spend 80% or 90% of your time taking action.

Be honest with yourself, what percentage of your time are you spending taking action towards your goals?

I want you to take more action today. Just start building some momentum. Send that email you’ve been thinking of sending for a while, go to that dance class, buy this online course you’ve been wanting for weeks. TAKE ACTION. Action! Action! Action!

Reason #6 – You lack patience

Are you giving up too easily? The truth is that getting results takes time. Usually, there is a tipping point where you suddenly get massive results, but it can takes 6 months, 1 year, 2 years or more. If you give up easily, it is probably because you don’t have a clear and compelling long-term vision to help you persist.

I tend to forget the big picture and the long-term vision. When I’m totally focused on something, it becomes so important to me that I often make a big deal out of insignificant setbacks and lost all perspective. In fact, when you are extremely focus on something it is as if time was distorted. One day suddenly seems like one year and you start feeling that you are running out of time. Does it happen to you too?

When that happens it really helps me to step back a little bit and remind myself that I still have plenty of time, and that it doesn’t matter if it takes 2, 3 or 5 years to get where I want to be. Discussing with a friend is also a good way to help me put things in perspective and relax a little bit!

Remember: you have time! For sure, there will be a lot of ups and downs, but as long as you keep moving forward and take consistent actions, you’ll get there.

Reason #7 – You don’t know what you want

I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacation with better care than they do their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change – Jim Rohn

Do you have a clear vision of what your ideal life looks like? Not being specific enough about what we want in life is also a serious issue.

For instance, do you know what your ideal career looks like? Do you know how many hours do you want to work per week? How much money do you want to earn? When do you want to retire?

If you don’t know what you want and how you are going to get there, you are probably not going to go far. Don’t be the guy who says “one day I will open a restaurant”. Everybody knows he won’t. Don’t have wishes or dreams, have goals!

If you haven’t set clear long-term and short-term goals yet, I highly highly encourage you do so as soon as possible. (you can check out my book on goal setting here)

What about you? What is the main reason why you don’t get the results you want?

Leave me a comment below and share with me the reason why you don’t get the results you desire in life and what concrete action you are going to take.

See also:

Additional resources:

My book on goal setting

Goal Setting: The Ultimate Guide to Achieving Goals That Truly Excite You – highly recommended if you haven’t set any clear goals yet

On mindset

On patience

Be Fucking Patient! – How to Deal with Lack of Results (44 min video), Actualized.org

On taking action

Taking Action In Your Life (8 min video), Project Life Mastery

Wait! Before you leave don’t forget to SIGN UP to get your FREE copy of my ebook. It has been downloaded more than 2,000 times now 😉


The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

6 Common Traps To Avoid When Doing Personal Development

6 Common Traps to Avoid when doing personal development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How much did you change since you began your personal development journey?

If you haven’t seen real change in your life, it may be because you fell into some common traps on the way.

In this article, I would like to warn you against several traps you may fall into when you decide to seriously pursue personal development, and encourage you to go deeper into your own personal development journey. I must mention that I experienced most of the traps myself in the past and still experience some of them today.

Here are the 6 common traps to avoid when doing personal development.

1. Being a personal development junkie

Personal development like anything else (drugs, food, sex, work, games…) can become very addictive. Actually, most of the personal development website online are designed in a way that entice you to read more and more articles. Of course, there is nothing wrong here. Everybody wants to build traffic and make money out of their online business.

Articles will give you a shot of dopamine, some hope or boost your motivation, which is fine. However, it would not have a lasting effect. To create lasting change in your life you will have to go deeper and understand the fundamentals.

If, in spite of all the books you read, all the workshops you’ve been to, you haven’t seen real changes in your life, it is probably because you are escaping from your fears rather than facing them. Personal development became simply another way to distract yourself or just a hobby.

2. Not understanding the fundamentals

You can read as many articles as you want, but nothing will really change unless you understand the fundamentals. Here are some of those fundamentals:

Most of our problems are the results of a lack of awareness regarding how our own psychology works. Thus, self-observation appears as one of the most important practices we can acquire to become more aware of our own psychology.
How well do you understand the fundamentals?

If you haven’t got it yet you can get my free ebook “The 5 Commandment of Personal Development” here. Inside this e-book I talk a lot about the fundamentals.

3. Getting lost in the mass of information

Have you ever getting lost online while looking for personal development resources?
There are thousands and thousands of personal development websites, which makes it very hard to find the right information in an organized way. Often, personal development website are not very well structured. They will entertain you for a while, but they might not give the fundamentals you need to create lasting impact in your life.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that my own website is extremely well organized, but I’m trying to provide you with some structure via my free ebook and the series of email I send to my new subscribers to help them get started. I will keep improving the structure (your feedback is more than welcome!)

Honestly, I don’t read many personal development articles online. I think that books are way more structured and more effective to create real change providing you take appropriate actions. In my article Step 1: Everything Starts with Your Mindset I share some resources you can use to get started. (I personally recommend Jim Rohn’s audiobok The Art of Exceptional Living to get started.)

Having said that, if I were to recommend you personal development blogs I would recommend the 2 blogs without which I wouldn’t have started this blog.

1. Leo Gura’s blog: actualized.org
Leo Gura considers himself as guinea pig for personal development. He is one of the rare persons I know that really goes deep into personal development and human psychology. His videos are quite long, but I encourage you to check some of them when you have time. It is by looking at his website and video that I realized that it was exactly what I wanted to do, which is probably one the main reason this blog exists.

2. Steve Pavlina’s blog: stevepavlina.com
Steve Pavlina’s website is one of the most popular personal development website and contains more than 2,000 articles. Steve Pavlina’s articles are insightful and go quite deep so I encourage you to read some of them during your free time. He also greatly inspired me to start my website.

I do browse online from time to time to find other interesting resources and articles to share, or to find inspiration for my blog. However, if I didn’t have a blog on personal development I wouldn’t do that. Rather than spending your time reading articles online I encourage you to focus on a few great books and do all the exercises before moving to something else. You will value way more the content if you invest some money than if you get it for free.

4. Not taking enough action

You may already be reading tons and tons of books about personal development. However, in the end, if you don’t take action on what you read nothing will change. Here are few things you can do to ensure that you take action consistently:

  • Invest money in the best resources you can find. It will force you to take action and will avoid you to waste time looking for free resources. Even if you can get the same content for free, I would still recommend you to invest in books or programs that are well structured unless you have a lot of free time to look for free stuff.
  • Have regular meetings with people you will be accountable to. For instance, you can join a group of like-minded people you trust, have an accountability buddy or hire a coach. Personally, I really feel the need for regular meetings to make sure I’m moving forward with my goal and boost my motivation. I’m still working on building the adequate structure for me.
  • Set clear goals. Setting goal is extremely important. It is a great way to achieve more in your life and to clarify what you want to get done in the coming weeks, months or years. You can check my articles on goal here, or my goal setting e-book here

5. Not being open-minded enough

If you consider yourself to be a rational person, you will inevitably come across a lot of woo-woo stuff that you will immediately discard as being total non-sense. It is how I used to feel and how I still feel for many things. However, I would encourage you to stay as open-minded as you can while remaining skeptical (See Why Your Level of Awareness Sucks). Many different visions of the world exist and, strangely enough, we all tend to believe that our vision of the world is the only one valid! Don’t you think right now that your vision of the world is right? Be open to the possibility that it is actually very likely to be wrong.

6. Not going deep enough

How much deeper can you go into your personal development? Do you really understand who you are? Are you aware of all the beliefs that are holding you back in life?

It’s easy to stay at the surface than to go deep. You probably prefer to stay with your current version of the world and believe you are right than to challenge most of your beliefs. However, to make profound change in your life, you will have to spend more time observing yourself and analyzing your beliefs more and more carefully.

In fact, one of the major problems we encounter in our personal development journey is our lack of awareness. We cannot possibly be aware or know higher state of consciousness because by definition we aren’t aware of them.

It’s very much like modern people believing that they understand the world or are very close to understand it. They happily delude themselves in believing that they discover almost everything that had to be discovered. Of course, this is not true at all!

Personally, I feel like I barely scratch the surface. There are so many things as the subconscious level that I’m still not aware of. I have a lot of wrong beliefs that I need to get rid of and a lot of limitations that I need to overcome. (See 6 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know Your Mind Could Do to see what cool things you can do with your mind)

Remember: being open-mind (but skeptical) is a good start.

In Conclusion:

When starting personal development we may fall prey to many traps. I hope that this article will help you avoid those traps and live the life you were born to live. Let me remind you of the 6 traps to avoid:

1. Being a personal development junkie

  • Ask yourself honestly whether you are really facing your fears

2. Not understanding the fundamentals

3. Getting lost in the mass of information

  • Focus only on 1 or 2 blogs you like
  • Buy books or programs catering to your needs

4. Not taking enough action

  • Take consistent actions on every book or article you read
  • Have someone to be accountable to
  • Set goals

5. Not being open-minded enough

  • Accept that your current beliefs may be wrong
  • Be open-minded but remain skeptical

6. Not going deep enough

  • Challenge your beliefs and stay open-minded

What about you? What is the most common trap that is stopping you from growing? Leave a comment below and let me know?

Wait! Before you leave don’t forget to SIGN UP to get your FREE copy of my ebook. It has been downloaded more than 1,000 times now 😉


The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

8 Interesting Things I Learned from Blogging

8 Interesting Things I Learned by Blogging

Do you have any idea of what you could learn by starting a blog?

I’ve been blogging for almost a year and a half now and in this article I would like to share with you some interesting things I learned from blogging. Hopeful, I will inspire some of you to start blogging (I may also discourage some of you!)

As you keep reading, you will notice that, this article is not just about blogging, it is actually closely related to personal development.

So what the heck did I learn from blogging?

8 Interesting Things I Learned from Blogging

 

1. I learned to let go of expectations

We all have expectations and suffered when life is not as it “should” be. While working on my blog I became very aware of the way expectations create emotional pain. I had so many expectations each time I published a new article and was waiting for other people’s approvals. I guess I wanted them to tell me how great my article was.

Unfortunately, I didn’t publish articles on my blog as consistently as I wanted too. The main reason is because I needed to be inspired about what I was writing about, I needed to genuinely want to share something with my readers. So, because I believed in my articles, I also naively believed that people would love my articles, would be inspired and would share them with all their friends, but of course it never happened!

Other times, arrogantly, I thought that people needed to hear about what I had to say because it is life-changing stuff! However, in reality people don’t owe me anything, they don’t owe me their attention.

Yes, I definitely learned to let go of expectations.

2. I learned that (almost) nobody cares about what I do

Often, we are so focused on what we do, even obsessed about it, that we fail to realize that 99% of people simply don’t care about what we are doing. Do you believe your friends will read your articles? Most won’t. Do you believe your friends will read your book? No they won’t unless you ask them. Do you believe they will at least click on the like/share button on Facebook? Probably not. Actually, I would bet that if you asked a best-selling author, he would tell you that his family never read any of his book. There is nothing wrong here; I just had too many expectations.

I also realized how I tended to be so intensely focused on what I was doing that I forget that:

  • It wasn’t everything in life
  • I had time to get there and didn’t need to dramatize everything

3. I learned to persevere

When nobody seems to really care about what you do and you have no idea whether what you are doing is any good because of the lack of feedback, you often feel like giving up. Wouldn’t you? In that circumstance, a simple comment like “you article was very interesting” can make all the difference in the world! In that year and a half I’ve spent blogging I definitely learned to persevere.

4. I learned to reduce my ego

As you probably understand now, blogging can be a very humbling experience. For me, it was definitely a great lesson of personal development and, ironically, this blog may have been more beneficial to me than to most of my readers. It forces me to become more focus on others and less on myself, to love people more and to stop trying so hard to be loved. Yes, this blog is definitely a part of my personal development journey.

5. I learned that marketing is everything

It might sound evident but marketing is extremely important. Having a clear brand and a clear positioning is crucial. I’m still trying to find a way to different myself from other bloggers in the same niche. (If you thing there is something different about me leave a comment below to let me know!)

In addition to branding, engaging with the readers is also absolutely necessary. After postponing for a long time, I finally created a few emails to help new subscribers navigate throughout my website and get started. I want to keep improving the contents of these emails to be as helpful as possible to my subscribers. I want them to know that each of them matters. Your help is more than welcome.

From now on I will definitely spend more time on marketing.

6. I learned not to count on luck

I can write some articles, do some guest posting and hope that people will visit my blog or that some influencers will notice me, but if I keep doing that I can wait forever for people to come to my blog. I realized that I need to do more guest posting, to build relationship with as many bloggers as possible in my niche and to master SNS marketing, email marketing, copywriting and any other skills required to create a successful blog. There is no place for luck, only for massive action. Staying in my comfort zone won’t take me very far.

7. I learned that cooperation is more important that competition

Oftentimes, I would feel jealous when looking at other people’s blogs that are doing very well in my niche. I would hesitate to share some valuable information to other like-minded people by fear of competition. This made me realize to what extent I had a scarcity mindset and how it was holding me back in life.

My strong desire to do it on my own and to be totally free from other people’s help is also something I must work on since it prevents me for reaching out to more people in the personal development field and, eventually, will prevent me from creating a successful blog that can reach a large audience.

I’m less and less a believer in competition especially online. Interacting with like-minded groups of people with whom you can share information and spread the word about your blog is extremely important. Competition is based on fear and results from a scarcity mindset. On the other hand, cooperation is based on love and reflects an abundance mindset. I definitely want to lean more towards cooperation.

8. I learned to believe

I’m totally fascinated by the power of the mind and know that whether I will get where I want to be or not is entirely dependent of my ability to master my mind. The same goes for you. Most of us are far from using our mind to its full capacity. We have little focus, very limited self-discipline, weak beliefs and very few of us realize how much more we could do. This blog is as much part of my personal development journey that it is of you who are reading my blog. I don’t believe in my own limitations and I don’t believe in yours. In the end, it all comes down to beliefs so I won’t stop believing.

What about you? Do you feel like starting a blog now? Creating a successful blog is definitely not easy and requires a lot of effort, determination and focus, but there are a lot of lessons to be learned. Also, as more and more people are using internet, that’s very wise to start studying online marketing or any other skills related to the internet.

My final question for you is: What are you passionate about? Why not start a blog and test how strong your passion really is?


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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

6 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know Your Mind Could Do

6 amazing things you didn't know your mind could do

Have you ever been blown away by extraordinary feats accomplished by human beings? What if YOU could do extraordinary things too by harnessing the power of your mind?

Sounds too good to be true? You may believe that some people have unique superpowers, but the only difference between them and you is that they realized the power of their mind while you just haven’t yet.

Now, let me introduce you to the 6 amazing things you didn’t know your mind could do.

1. You can use your mind to withstand extreme cold

Doctors say we cannot survive more than a few minutes in extremely cold water. Yet, there is a man that can stand fully immersed in ice for more than 1 hour and 30 min, and complete a full marathon above the artic circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C wearing only shorts.

Wim Hof (AKA Iceman) learned to withstand extreme cold by controlling his mind using breathing exercises and other techniques. He is not just doing that to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. In fact, he has a huge mission: make people around the world realize that they have the power to control their mind and stay happy, strong and healthy.

According to him, everybody can do what he is doing, and he actually proved it in a documentary by training other people, who were able, after only a few days of training, to climb a mountain in extreme cold wearing only shorts.

He is actively collaborating with the scientific community to bring more awareness around that topic. He is awesome, so check out some of the resources I mention at the end of this article.

2.You can use your mind to influence your immune system

Iceman has also been able to demonstrate under clinical tests that he can control his immune system, which scientists thought was impossible. In an experiment back in 2011, he was injected an endotoxin that should have made him sick for a few hours, but nothing happened. A new experiment including 12 people trained by Wim Hof and 12 “normal” people was conducted in 2013 and yielded impressive results showing that we are indeed able to influence our immune system. Wim Hof claims that we all have the power to regulate our immune system to prevent illness and stay healthy. What do you think?

3.You can use your mind to heal yourself

You have the power to heal yourself. The scientific community can keep denying it, but do you know what pharmaceutical companies do before launching a new product? They test it to see whether it is more efficient than the placebo effect. What is the placebo effect? It is nothing more than you healing yourself by believing that the pill they are giving you will help you! The pill is not necessary, it is your belief that heals yourself not the pill.

4.You can use your mind to live longer

Studies have shown that your perception of aging has a deep impact on your life expectancy. People who expect to have a long life, and who have a positive perception of aging, will on average live significantly longer than people who have a negative perception of aging. You can read more about that in my article: Why Your Perception of Aging Matters

5. You can use your mind to withstand extremely harsh conditions

We’ve already seen that we can withstand extreme cold, but it is only one example of what your mind can do. Would you agree that a marathon is physically one of the most challenging activities?  That is not necessarily the case for everyone.

In Japan, in their quest for enlightenment, Mount Hiei Marathon Monks from the Tendai school of Buddhism must walk the equivalent of 1,000 marathons in the mountains over a period of 7 years, covering a distance greater than the circumference of the earth. The first 3 years they have to walk 30 to 40 km for 100 days in a row each year, the fourth year, 30 to 40 km for 100 days in a row twice. During the seventh year, in addition to the 100-day 30 to 40 km marathon they also have to walk 84 km (2 marathons) for 100 days in a row.

Only those who have completed 100 walking marathons in a row during the first year are elligible for the quest  and once they accept it they can’t withdraw and must either complete the 1,000 marathons or take their own life.

But the walking part is just the easy stuff. One of the most challenging parts of their quest takes place during the fifth year when they have to meditate for more than a week without food, water and sleep while repeating the same mantra 100,000 times. Two monks stay constantly next to the meditating monk to make sure he does not fall asleep.

Only 46 people have completed the 1,000 marathon since 1886 and among them 3 completed it twice.

6. You can use your mind to rewire your brain

You have the power to rewire your brain and modify it regardless of your age.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young was a child with learning disabilities. She was told that she would never learn as other children and would have to learn to live with her limitations. She couldn’t tell the time, she had spatial problems and couldn’t read a map and would get lost even in her friend’s house. She was unable to make sense of concepts, ideas or relationships (like cause and effect). For instance, she couldn’t make sense of philosophical books. Neither could she understand irony and jokes so that she had to learn to laugh when other people did.

Out of despair she tried to commit suicide. However, she then found out the work of well-known psychologists who was doing experiment on rats. Experiments revealed that physiological changes occurred in their brains when stimulated. Believing that it would probably be the case for humans too, she went on designing various exercises to train our brain and was able to modify her brain bit by bit until she fully recovered.

Yes, you can rewire your brain at any age.

Conclusion

Our mind is more powerful that most of us imagine. With our mind we can regulate our immune system, heal ourself, rewire our brain, and withstand extreme conditions.

You may think that the things mentioned in this article don’t apply to you. However, it is important to remember that, on the fundamental level, our minds are all very similar. With a huge shift in our belief system and the adequate training we can without a doubt accomplish great things.

Don’t you feel like pushing your mind a little bit harder now? I personally do!

Resources to go further

On Wim Hof

On Mount Hiei Marathon Monks

On living longer

On rewiring your brain

How to Escape the Rat Race and Live the Life you Want

How to escape the rat race

Are you sick of working? Do you wish you could escape the rat race, quit your 9/5 job, and spend the rest of your life doing what you really love? I might have something for you.

It is very easy to get stuck in what appears for most of us to be the only path that exists: working 40 years and retiring at 65 hoping that we will be lucky enough to enjoy at least a few years of retirement before becoming sick or passing away. But, is it really the only option we have?

Unfortunately, in this article, I’m not going to give you any magical pill or get-rich-quick schemes to escape the rat race, because there aren’t any, but I will provide you with different perspectives that will invite you to reconsider your current lifestyle and, I hope, open doors to new opportunities in your life. In the end, it is you who must decide what lifestyle suits you the most and what you are ready to do to escape the rat race. You CAN escape the rat race, but will you?

In this article I will talk about 4 different lifestyles (+ 1 bonus lifestyle). To make it easy to understand I caricatured each style so bear with me for the sake of the demonstration.

Here are the 4 lifestyles:

  1. Traditional 9/5 job lifestyle
  2. Passion-oriented lifestyle
  3. Vacation-oriented lifestyle
  4. Early retirement lifestyle

1. Traditional 9/5 Job lifestyle

It is the most common one by far. You have a traditional 9/5 job and you just hate it. You aren’t really growing, you are certainly not excited about your job, but you are making a decent amount of money, which allows you to live a comfortable life with a nice house, a nice car and everything else you need. In order to sustain you current lifestyle you’ll have to work until 65 at a job you don’t like, wishing everyday you could escape the rat race and do what you love. Is it you?

2. Passion-oriented lifestyle

You are spending time doing what you love every single day. You get up in the morning excited to start the day, and work doesn’t look like work to you. You may not be earning a lot of money, but you do what you love and are satisfied with what you have since you aren’t a heavy spender. Your house may be smaller and your car older and cheaper than your neighbor, but it doesn’t really bother you.

My guess is that most people aren’t that lucky because they haven’t really found out what they love to do. (See Step 4: Find Your Life Purpose). Steve Jobs in a famous speech said “You’ve got to find what you love” and I have to agree with him on that. If you haven’t find your passion yet, I invite you to keep looking even if it takes you decades to figure it out!

3. Vacation-oriented lifestyle

You alternate work and vacations. You generally take a few months of vacations every year or take one-year break from time to time. Because you are enjoying long breaks, obviously you aren’t making as much money as people working all year long, but you have few needs and a simple lifestyle so it is not a problem for you.

It might be difficult for you to have a career and climb the corporate ladder, but, hey, you had no plan in the first place to fully join the rat race so you have nothing to complain about!

Your free time offers you the opportunity to learn new skills that may help you generate some revenues in the coming years if chosen wisely. The biggest benefit from that lifestyle is that you don’t have to wait for retirement to enjoy your life. You clearly don’t know how long you will be around and whether you will be healthy enough to enjoy your life after retirement? Is it your lifestyle?

4. Early retirement lifestyle

You are determined to get out of the rat race as fast as possible. You don’t follow the usual “save 10% of your income and invest it for your retirement” mantra that investors love so much. Why? Because you have absolutely no plan to hang around for 40 years! You’re not playing in the same league. Your personal mantra is rather “I save 60 to 80% of my income and invest it until I have enough money to leave the system”. Then you can start focusing on what I really want to do. When you save such amount of money each month that totally changes the game, doesn’t it? In fact, in extreme cases, some people manage to retire in their 20s after working for only 5 years!

No. For you, no vacations on exotic beaches where you spend most of your savings accumulated during the year to make sure that you will never get out of the hamster wheel. No expensive cars, branded clothes or luxury houses. You must break free as soon as possible!

So what is your favorite lifestyle?

More about early retirement

Now, Let me explain more in detail about the early retirement lifestyle as it is particularly appealing, especially for those of you who aren’t particularly materialistic.

To put it very simply here is how it works:

  1. Save 60 to 80% of your income
  2. Invest your money in index funds (or other assets but make sure you know the risks involved!)
  3. Retire when you have enough passive income from investment to sustain a similar lifestyle until you die (Of course, the more frugal you are, the early you can retire)

Can you really save 60~80% of your income?

Obviously, the higher your salary is, the easier it will be for your to save money. However, don’t think that you need to be rich to adopt that lifestyle. This method is totally possible with an average salary and you will find people online that have done it. You don’t necessary need to save 60% or more, but the more you save the easier you will be able to retire.

Here is what this lifestyle involved:
– Live in a smaller house or apartment close to your working place
– Don’t own a car (or buy a cheap one and only if you really need to)
– Cook your own meal and avoid going out for dinner (it is likely to be healthier too)
– Buy very little clothes. Occasionally, you may buy expensive clothes like jackets if you know you will wear them for 10 years or more, or if they have a high reselling value
– Buy only second-hand stuff, and with a high reselling value when possible (nowadays most of the second-hand products are only a fraction of the original price. Say thank you to your consumerist friends!)
– Repair or make your own stuff if necessary
– Don’t buy anything unless you really need it
– Have inexpensive or free hobbies like walking, running, reading, having a coffee with your friends etc. (Whenever possible, choose hobbies that may turn into future revenues. If you like to study, use your free time to build valuable skills like writing skills, programming skills, blogging…)

As you may have noticed by now, here we aren’t talking about luxury retirement where you can go cruising all year long (You could very well spend much of your time in beautiful but inexpensive countries though). This lifestyle assumes that you’ll maintain the same frugal lifestyle that you had before so that you can live out of your passive income without using your capital assets.

However, financially speaking it is not as bad as it sounds since it assumes that you won’t generate any revenue at all after you « retire », but in fact:

  • You are very unlikely to completely retire. You will likely work part-time, create a new business or even work full-time if you feel like it. What is really awesome is that you will have enough money to live (simply) without having to work and will be able to focus on what truly matters to you. For self-actualization and creativity work that’s fantastic! Imagine what you could do if you had the time and the safety net to focus on what you really love.
  • You have a lot of time to learn new things that could turn into future revenues. For instance you could learn skills that allows you to work as a freelancer online (writing, design, programming…)
  • You may inherit from your family (though I wouldn’t count on that!)
  • You will likely collect some money from social security or pension plan in the future

As you can see, technically speaking, rather than a retirement, it is more like an escape plan allowing you to leave the system and giving you the safety net to focus on what you love.

BONUS lifestyle: Very early retirement lifestyle

This lifestyle is the early-retirement lifestyle on steroids! It adds online passive incomes to the early retirement lifestyle and requires you not only to save most of your income, but also to spend your free time building online passive income to escape the rat race even earlier. There are different ways to generate passive income online such as:

  • Affiliate marketing (selling someone else product on your website). It is what I’m doing just right below.
  • Creating your own products (Ebooks, Online courses, podcasts…). I’ve personally been using K Money Mastery (affiliate link) comto help me  publish ebooks on Amazon. I highly recommended it to you if you want to start generating passive income online.
  • Putting ads on your blog etc.

You don’t necessary need to have a blog to generate passive income online but it is generally better. Building passive income requires hard work and is definitely not easy! However, it is certainly very appealing. So if you happen to have something you are passionate about, or have a nerdy side, building a blog in your free time could be a great way to get started.

Note on investment

Most financial advisors will tell you to save at least 10% of your income and to invest it, and it is indeed a wise thing to do. Simply saving 10% of your income each month until you retire at 65 should provide you with enough money for retirement. Of course, if you want to retire early and have a safety margin, you should save and invest more! (Learn more here: Myth #3 Mutual Funds – Are You Investing Your Money Wisely? )

What lifestyle should you choose?

In this article I provide you with 5 different lifestyles that have each their benefits and their drawbacks. None of these lifestyles rely on get-rich-quick schemes and they all come with their own set of challenges. Some of them may seem impossible to you, but, it is mainly because you have hardly heard of them before. Or, maybe, because you aren’t ready to trade your little comfort and take a leap of faith to do what you really want to do. Give them some thoughts.

In the end it is up to you to decide how much free time you want, how much money you need and on what term you want to retire.
I hope that you’ll use this simple roadmap to reconsider what really matters to you in life and make sure you are taking the path that is right to you. Everyone’s situation is different, but,  hopefully, this article will open your eyes on what is possible for you, and will help you escape the rat race!

So which lifestyle do you choose? Leave me a comment below and share with me your ideal lifestyle.


Some resources to go further

On finding what you love

On passive income

  • Smartpassiveincome.com If you want to build passive income online it is a great site to start with. There are many podcasts and free resources and the guy who run the blog is totally honest and transparent.
  • K Money Mastery  A step-by-step method for making money with Kindle publishing that I’ve been using myself.

On early retirement

On investing


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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Should You Improve Yourself Or Drop Yourself? – The Terrible Dilemma Between Self-improvement and Self-Realization

self-improvement and self-realization

You don’t want to give up this identity because it has a nice side. It’s just that you want to get rid of the not-nice side and just be a very good ego basically. It is true. For everybody it is like that. It is what keeps the game going because you still feel “I’m still this person you know, but I’m improving you know, I read so many self-improvement books. I’m getting there. I’m getting there.” And must people go “well done darling, very good”. Then someone tells you “but this person does not exist.” What?!? – Mooji

Before you read this article I highly recommend you to read my article What is the Ego? as well as my series of articles on spiritual enlightenment.

As you pursue your personal development journey, you may reach a point when you start to question whether personal development is actually necessary. You may start wondering: “Why do I have to work so hard, trying to achieve more and more and never feeling satisfied?” or “Why do I always feel like I’m never good enough?”

During the past few months the following question has been haunting me: should I focus on self-improvement or should I focus on self-realization? And can I do both?

In this article, I would like to share with you some of my thoughts regarding that topic. Let’s start by briefly defining self-improvement and self-realization so that we are clear on the differences between the two. Then, we can talk about whether it is possible to reconcile both.

What is Self-Improvement?

When I started my blog and decided to call it “Whatispersonaldevelopment” I had no idea that “What is personal development?” would become a question I would ask myself very seriously.

I was super pumped up and firmly decided to become the best version of myself and to accomplish as many things as I possibly could during my time on this planet. Personal development seemed like a very powerful thing.

However, as I started looking closely at every single of my accomplishments, at every time I got something “more”, I realized that it had very little impact on my level of happiness. It seems like the problem wasn’t that I needed more, it was that I needed to realize that I already had everything I needed. If I were to solve all my issues before finally being happy and live the perfect life, it would take me many lifetimes!

More importantly, I realized that my level of fulfillment in life had never really changed over time and thus I saw no reason to believe that getting everything I ever wanted would make me supremely happy (at least). Have you noticed how quickly we stop appreciating things? We get used to things very quickly and after a brief moment of happiness we are back just where we were.  We often say that happiness comes from within. If you look closely enough without getting distracted by all the pleasures of life you will realize how true it is.

Self-improvement is about improving oneself to become a better person. Currently, we all have a certain image of ourselves we are clinging to. What we are trying to do with self-improvement for the most part is to improve that self-image. You may also call it identity or person. What is that self-image about?

Let’s try to give a definition of what self-image is:  “Self-image is the result of a story based on our personal interpretation of past memories”. What it means is that our self-image can only be from the past. Since we have no power to actually change the past to modify our self-image, self-improvement is simply about reinterpreting our past, changing our current beliefs for more empowering one and adopting new behaviors that will reinforce that new image.

There is nothing wrong about improving our self-image, and it is certainly better to believe in yourself and have a positive mindset than to be totally depressed. However, we may notice some logical flaws.

We mentioned that self-image can only be from the past, and we know that the past does not exist anymore, therefore our self-image has no tangible reality. If our self-image does not exist, why do we need to improve it? Make sense no?

That is what self-realization is pointing at.

What is Self-Realization?

To be, you must be nobody. To think yourself to be something or somebody is death and hell. – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I can’t remember what got me interested in self-realization in the first place. Of course, as everyone else I had heard about the Buddha’s story many years ago but I didn’t pay much attention to it. I’m not going to spend much time explaining what self-realization (or spiritual enlightenment) is in this article as you can read more about it in my series of articles dedicated on spiritual enlightenment.

Put it simply, self-realization is the realization that the person you think you are does not exist! It is realizing through direct experience that you are neither your body nor your mind and that everything you think you are is just a belief. What you are is simply awareness, and for some reason, awareness believes itself to be a person.

A good analogy would be the following: you are the screen onto which the movie (what you call your life) is projected, but you imagine yourself to be in the movie. A screen cannot be affected by the movie. So is awareness.

Recently, some scientists start seriously to believe that we may be living in a virtual reality. It is in fact quite close from what sages have been telling us for thousands of year.

Sages describe awareness as timeless, spaceless and shapeless. It is beyond any concept of the mind. Awareness doesn’t need to be good enough, it doesn’t need to be confident, happy, successful or famous. All those concepts are coming from the mind and mean absolutely nothing to awareness. Awareness is beyond all of that. People who rest in awareness experience unfading joy and peace which are the natural characteristics of what we really are: awareness.

Are Self-Improvement and Self-Realization Contradictory?

Person development is about becoming a better person, but if I’ve never really been a person in the first place, isn’t doing personal development simply keeping the illusion alive? Can I work hard on myself and at the same time work hard on realizing that I don’t exist? It sounds quite contradictory, doesn’t it?

Let me give you some examples of how the worldview of enlightened beings significantly differs from that of personal development gurus.

  1. Enlightened beings tell me to drop all desires; personal development gurus tell me to visualize every day what I want as vividly as possible.
  2. Enlightened beings tell me to forget about the past and the future and to focus on the present moment as it is the only thing that is real; personal development gurus tell me to change my personal story (past), and envision myself being already where I want to be (future).
  3. Enlightened beings  tell me that I don’t need any purpose in life and that the only thing I need is to realize the beauty of just being. What needs to happen will happen after I realized my true nature; personal development gurus tell me that I MUST find my life purpose.
  4. Enlightened beings tell me that setting goals is not necessary; Personal development gurus tell me that I need to set goals to help me achieve my dreams.
  5. Enlightened beings tell me that lasting happiness is my natural state and that I just need to realize it; personal development gurus tell me I need to accomplish more, become more and keep growing in order to be happy.
  6. Enlightened beings tell me to wake up and realize that there is no problem in life. All problems come from the belief that I’m a person to whom these problems happen. When that person is seen for what it is: an illusion, there is no more problem; personal development gurus tell me to improve as a person in order to get better at solving my problems.
  7. Enlightened beings tell me to burn the manual “How to Live”. There is no need to learn how to be happy, how to love or how to live. All these things come naturally when we realize our true nature; personal development gurus are expert in telling me how to live, how to love, how to be more productive, how to be happier etc.
  8. Enlightened beings tell me to observe my thoughts and emotions with detachment and come to the realization that they have no power on me and aren’t defining me; personal development gurus tell me that I should control my thoughts and my emotions to create a better life, as thoughts and emotions create my reality.
  9. Enlightened beings tell me that pleasure and pain are the same thing and that looking for more pleasure will create more pain in my life. Pleasure and pain simply reinforce the sense of being a person; personal development gurus tell me that pain is necessary sometimes to obtain pleasure and that I should seek more pleasure and experiences in life.

Confusing no?

Benefits of Self-Realization and Self-Improvement

So now we have a better understanding of what self-improvement and self-realization are, but what do we do with that?

Obviously we can decide that self-realization is bullshit and forget about it. Similarly, we can decide that self-improvement is an illusion and ignore it.

Let’s look at some potential benefits and possible traps for each case.

Focus on self-improvement only

Potential benefits: if you are dedicated to it, you will probably have a better job, more money, better relationships and so on.

Possible traps:

  • Lack of deeper self-reflection and inner work which may lead to limited improvement of your level of happiness regardless of your external success.
  • Big ego that may cause suffering under various forms (pride, greed…)
  • Underlying sense of not being good enough or not being complete

Focus on self-realization only

Potential benefit: If you attain self-realization, lasting happiness and fulfillment; end of problems

Possible traps:

  • Failure to reach enlightenment and limited results in term of the peace of mind achieved
  • Use of self-realization pursuit as a way to escape your fears and neglect your daily responsibilities
  • Inability to see through the countless tricks the mind is playing on you:
    • Doubt on whether spiritual enlightenment is real or not
    • Doubt on whether you are good enough or not
    • Creation of new beliefs/identity like “I’m a spiritual seeker”
    • Fear of losing your identity “what will happen after spiritual enlightenment? Will I get married? Have a job…
    • Etc.

My personal experience

Now let’s look at my personal case.

Self-realization

benefits:

  • Start feeling more detached. I dwell less and less on the past or on things that happened to me during the day. I forget things very quickly and my negative emotions don’t last long.
  • I’m even less attracted to materials things than before and have less needs.
  • I’m more at peace and even more quiet than before. I generally feel less the need to talk especially when I realize that it is coming from my ego.

traps:

  • Tendency to escape from my fears by using self-realization as an excuse.
  • Postponing self-realization opportunities by buying into my mind’s stories. One of them being that I need to go away for 1 or 2 years to focus on self-realization.
  • Reading more and more books and watching more and more videos on self-realization as a way to procrastinate.
  • Believing that I will not have a girlfriend, a wife, or more generally a normal life after self-realization.
  • Doubting on whether self-realization is real or not
  • Getting lost between my desire to live my passion and my desire to attain self-realization. Is my desire to help people coming from my ego or is it real? Should I listen to it or not?

Self-improvement

Benefits:

  • More confident
  • Better at communicating with people
  • Better at controlling my thoughts
  • More positive mindset (adoption of more empowering beliefs…)

traps:

  • Tend to get motivated and want to do more and become the best, but wonder whether it comes from my ego?
  • Feeling that I’m never going to be satisfied

Note that it is not an exhaustive list but just a few things that came to mind.

Are Self-Realization and Self-Improvement Compatible?

Can we focus on both self-realization and self-improvement at the same time? It may be possible if we can find a common ground.

One of the main reasons why we don’t accomplish what we want in life is fear. Imagine what would be possible if you had absolutely no fear at all. Fear generally manifests when our self-image is threatened. For instance you may be afraid to fail because you are worrying about what others are going to think of you. Or maybe, you are wondering what is going to happen to you in the future if you fail at your new business.

While thinking about whether I should focus on self-realization or self-improvement, I realize that I may actually be using self-realization as a way to escape my fears. On other occasion I forget about self-enlightenment (or my mind make me forget about it) and refocus on self-improvement or end up stuck in the middle.

So can we focus on both at the same time? I think that it is not an easy thing to do but that it is possible. In order to do that the solution is to focus genuinely on our fears (See This Magical Question Will Guide You Through Your Entire Life). By asking yourself on a regular basis “Right now, am I really facing my fears or am I just running away from them?” you can both start acting less out of your ego in your self-improvement journey (trying to be good enough, looking for fame…) and prevent yourself from escaping from your fears on your self-realization journey.

“Am I doing this because I want to attain self-realization or am I doing this because I’m trying to escape my fears?” is another question you can ask yourself.

Understanding Your Ego And Destroying Fear

From a self-realization point of view, ego equals fear. (See What is The Ego). Your ego is the result of you believing you are a person and trying to protect your identity at all cost. People who don’t face their fears and reduce their ego may be insanely successful from the society’s point of view but will be inwardly dissatisfied, unhappy or even depressed. That’s why, during our self-improvement and self-realization journey we must focus on getting rid of fears by confronting them or realizing that they are not real. If you think self-realization is bullshit or aren’t willing to work toward it that’s perfectly fine. Just remind yourself to face your fears and you will be fine. Confront your fears from the most evident ones up to the most subtle ones and your true self will be revealed.

So are you getting rid of your fears?


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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Is There Really Such A Thing As The Subconscious Mind?

Is There Such A Thing As The Subconscious Mind?

We are occupied with one little corner of consciousness which is most of our life; the rest, which we call the subconscious, with all its motives, its fears, its racial and inherited qualities, we do not even know how to get into. Now I am asking you, is there such a thing as the subconscious at all? – J. Krishnamurti

In my article about hypnosis I mentioned a TV show where a guy under hypnosis lay down in a bathtub for more than a minute. You may think: “What’s the big deal?” Well the water was only 3°C and the guy didn’t seem to feel any discomfort at all. A “normal” person could not do that. But wait a minute; he didn’t do it, his subconscious mind did it right?

So what is this mysterious thing that we call the subconscious mind? It seems to be a totally different entity separated from us, but is it really? People say, “I need to reprogram my subconscious mind” or “my subconscious mind is preventing me from ….”(fill in the blank with your favorite excuse).

If the man in the previous example can do such a thing under hypnosis why can’t he do it in his normal state? Is hypnosis giving him some kind of superpowers? Is hypnosis really changing who he is?

Is There Such A Thing As The Subconscious Mind?

We generally imagine our subconscious mind as some kind of strange entity totally separated from us and largely out of control. Here is a question for you: “Why do you think the subconscious mind exist in the first place?”

The fact is that the subconscious mind is very convenient. It is very much like a closet or an attic. You can hide in it everything you don’t want to see. What do we hide in it? Our fears! How convenient! Then, we don’t have to face them anymore.

“What fears? I have no fears. It is not me, it’s my subconscious mind so there is nothing I can do about it.”

Now we can go on living our life, pretending to be someone we are not, appearing very civilized and calm. It is as if all of our fears had miraculously vanished. (See Are You Who You Are Or Who You Think You Should be?). In reality, our fears are so well hidden that we may not even know about them.

Are You Responsible For Your Subconscious Mind?

In my article How To Be Fully Responsible For Your Life I explain that we need to take full responsibility for our life. Though I didn’t mention the subconscious mind, it could very well have been on the list.

Don’t get me wrong; my intention with this article is certainly not to blame you for not being able to control your subconscious mind. I’m full of fears too. We all are. My intention is simply to make you realize that your subconscious mind is part of who you are; not a separate entity that is totally out of control.

Your subconscious mind is actually trying to help you to deal with your fears. It doesn’t want you to have to go through your past traumas one more time. That’s how phobias work for instance; you had a painful experience in the past and your subconscious is trying to protect you by keeping you away from anything that could recreate that terrible experience.

More Awareness Means Less Subconscious Mind

We did not create our subconscious mind voluntarily. The process is largely taking place at an unconscious level. What can we do to become more aware of our subconscious mind? We need to start observing ourselves more carefully and develop mindfulness. We need to look at what is really behind our insecurity, our fears, our shyness, our anger, our jealousy, our greed, our stress etc. We need to have the courage to look at all these unpleasant things instead of running away. All our fears are part of who we are. We have a choice: leave them in the closet or open the closet and start cleaning the house.

In order to do that, our emotions are probably the most powerful (and probably only) compass we have. Using our awareness to bring focus on our emotions is I believe the best thing we can do.

If you have phobias or other traumas that you are unable to solve by yourself, you can of course seek help from a hypnotherapist. He will help you access your subconscious mind.

Now, let’s come back to the man in his bathtub before he freezes to death. Have you noticed how some monks or people who have been practicing meditation for a long time are able to do similar things? The most impressive thing I’ve heard of is this Buddhist monk in Vietnam who burned himself to death. He didn’t even move!

So, is there really such a thing as the subconscious mind? Can we really hide our fears forever pretending they are not there?


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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

What Is Your State Of Consciousness?

What is your state of consciousness?

Victim consciousness is a choice. As we mentioned, from our experience, most people choose to live this way. – Jim Dethmer, Diana,Chapman & Kaley Warner Klemp,The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership

In a previous article I asked you if you were as aware as Jean-Claude Vandamme. In this article I would like to share with you a model that actually describes several states of consciousness and that will help you increase your awareness.

By the end of this article you will know what is your main state of consciousness.

The model comes from the book The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership and is called “four ways of being”. Though the book is focusing on leaders and use these models to describe different ways of leading, in fact everybody can benefit from that model. Actually, I encourage everyone who wants to learn more about consciousness and increase their level of awareness to get the book.

Here are the 4 states of consciousness:

  1. TO ME – Life  happens to me
  2. BY ME – I make life happen
  3. THROUGH ME – I cooperate with life happening
  4. AS ME – At one with all

Note that these are states and NOT stage of development.  You may alternate between these states througout your day.

Now let’s get into more details and describe each of these 4 states.

1) TO ME – Life Happens to Me

Why does it happen to me? This question sounds natural to you? That’s because in the To Me state of consciousness we play the role of the victim. You can call this state “victim consciousness”. It is a state of consciousness that is very disempowering and extremely toxic. People in that state like to complain and blame other people or situations.

Playing the victim is a very easy pattern to fall into as, as strange as it may seem, we actually get a certain pleasure out of it. It allows us to create a certain identity, “the victim”, and reject responsibility. Indeed, it is much more easier to play the victim than to face our problems and to undertake the necessary changes.

I must admit that I often find myself in that victim mindset. However, I became clearly aware of the battle that takes place within myself between the part of me who enjoys being a victim and the part of me who wants to take 100% responsibility and move forward.

What about you? In what area of your life are you playing the victim?

2) BY ME – I make life happen

What can I learn from that situation? That is the type of questions that someone in a By Me state of consciousness would ask himself or herself.

The shift from the To Me state to the By Me state of consciousness occurs when we take full responsibility for our life. Instead of thinking of ourselves as victims, we become the creators of our life.

Everything in our life becomes a feedback and we see in each situation an opportunity to learn more and develop ourself. Life is seen as one big learning university and challenges are seen as opportunities for us to grow.

3) THROUGH ME – I cooperate with life happening

What wants to happen through me? In the Through Me state of consciousness we see ourselves as co-creators. We start becoming curious about life and begin noticing that there is something beyond ourselves. Some may call it the universe, other God or love to name a few.

In that state, we let go of our desire to control things, events and people. Anyway, we didn’t really have control over them in the first place, only the illusion of control.

People in that state of consciousness start to ask themselves questions like “What is life’s highest idea of itself that wants to manifest in and through me.” They become very clear about their individual purpose and align with it. As a result, they end up living more in integrity with who they really are.

4) AS ME – At one with all

No more questions, just knowingness. It is the state of consciousness reached by enlightened being. There are no more problems and no one to solve them. There is no person to take things personally, no one to get defensive, no ego to be found. People in that state experience a sense of unlimited freedom and peace. (See my series of articles on spiritual enlightenment). The author of “The Sedona Method”, Hale Dwoskin summarizes that state as follow: “In the As Me space, there are no problems and there is no you to have a problem.”

Concrete Examples

Now, in order to understand the mindsets and belief systems characterizing these different states of consciousness, let’s have a look at two important concepts: purpose and love.

What purpose means in each state of consciousness

To me: What purpose? I should have one and I don’t. I just have roles I play.

By me: It’s my purpose. I declare it and go out and get it.

Through me: Transcendent purpose. There is no wanting and I receive my purpose through listening.

As me: What purpose? Being and purpose are the same. It’s impossible to be off of it.

What about you? Which of these states can you relate to? (You might want to check out my article Step 4: Find Your Life Purpose)

What happiness means in each state of consciousness

To me: It is a fleeting moment of pleasure (ice cream, vacation, sex) and it depends on circumstances.

By me: I choose to make myself happy. I can make happiness if I bring the right ingredients.

Through me: Happiness is here now and it has a deep lasting quality. I relax into joy.

As me: Happiness is just another state, it is just one of many vibrations passing through

How to move from one state to another

So how can we move to a higher level of consciousness? Below is the formula:

TO ME + responsibility → BY ME

BY ME + surrender → THROUGH Me

THROUG ME + oneness → AS ME

What about you? Do you like this model? Which state of consciousness do you think characterizes the best where you are right now?

My hope is that you will take this opportunity to reevaluate your current beliefs and see in which areas of your life your victim consciousness is manifesting. I’m sure it is manifesting in some areas of your life!

You can download the one-page pdf file with the 15 Commitments at this page for free.

For your information, here is the first commitment:

I commit to taking full responsibility for the circumstances of my life, and my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. I commit to support others to take full responsibility for their lives.


I commit to blaming others and myself for what is wrong in the world. I commit to be a victim, villain, or a hero and take more or less than 100% responsibility.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about these 15 Commitments 😉
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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development