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

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?

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

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

WAIT: Don’t FORGET to get your FREE e-book “The 5 Commandments of Personal Development”


The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

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

This Magical Question Will Guide You Through Your Entire Life!

The Magical Question That Will Guide You Through Your Entire LIfe

Are you overwhelmed by all the personal development websites and resources available online? Are you stuck not knowing in which direction you should go in your life? The magical question I will share with you in this article should put you back on the right track.

I spent a considerable amount of time reading books on personal development and working on myself and oftentimes got lost not knowing what to do. In this article I would like to introduce you the one question that became my go-to question when feeling stuck in life. However, before doing that, let’s have a quick look at the major trap many of us fall in when doing personal development work.

Are you addicted to personal development?

Have you noticed how, sometimes, reading personal development books becomes a way to escape our real problems? We become personal development junkies desperately in need for our dose of inspirational articles.

Research has shown that sharing our goals may have drawbacks. Indeed, we start to believe that we already achieve what we are talking about, or that we are moving into that direction just by talking about it. It may become counterproductive as it prevents us from taking real action since we already feel good about it just by sharing it with other people around us.

Similarly, many people believe that they already accomplishing something by simply reading personal development articles. They are what I would call “personal development addicts”. They read through one article after another browsing through a variety of personal development websites to get their dose of daily motivation; they spend hours and hours watching videos on Youtube. (I know that from experience!).

They do get momentarily inspired by their reading and even think they are going to use some principles, tricks or hacks they found online. However, the reality is that we cannot change our life with simple tricks or hacks we applied here and there.

Become addicted to action not motivation!

We may easily become addicted to motivation and start having all these dreams. However, being addicted to motivation is often a disguised way to escape reality and to refuse to face our problems. I have nothing against getting a daily dose of motivation and actually recommend it, but what we should be addicted to is not motivation but action!

Actually, I believe that one of the reasons why the personal development market is so big is because there are too many personal development addicts that don’t manage to make really change in their life. People would go seminars after seminars and buy book after books for years and years.

So, what should you do? First, if you have been reading and watching personal development resources for years now and didn’t notice significant changes in your life, you may want to have a closer look at what your personal development is really about. Are you addicted to motivation or to action? Getting inspired without taking action is the beginning of delusion.

The magical question is…?

It’s now time to reveal to you the magical question. Myself, I have been reading many books on personal development and on various related topics. However, I reached a point where I became stuck. Should I go for spiritual enlightenment and get rid of my ego or should I stay in the mainstream “Become-a-winner-and-achieve-as-much-as-possible-to-become-someone” type of thinking. Both ways seem to be quite opposite, don’t you think so?

Then, I discovered this one magical question that helps me get back on track and gives me a sense of direction. Here is the question: “Are you getting rid of your fear?” Once I started asking myself this question things became easier for me.

Each time I feel stuck and don’t know what to do I would ask myself “Am I getting rid of my fear or am I running away from them?” By being honest with myself, I would instantly know what needs to be done. (Hint: follow your fears and they will give you the answer you are looking for). If you take a look at the reasons why you are not doing what you want to do, you will always find fears.

Are you getting rid of your fears? Are you acting out of love trying to serve people or are you trying to get something from them?

What fear is

So what fears am I referring to here? I’m talking about fears as manifestations of the ego. (For a better understanding of how the ego works read my article: “What Is The Ego”). We all have fears and these fears manifest in many different ways. For some people it is through shyness, for others it is through anger, and for others jealousy. Other examples include fear of failure, fear of success, fear of death, fear of other people’s opinion, fear of public speaking, fear of being seen as a fraud etc.

Fear also manifests itself through procrastination. A common problem is putting of a task we dread to do. Of course, we may put of a task because it is more comfortable not to do it now! However, in many cases, it is because of fear. We fear that we may not be up to the task. Or we are afraid to send this email to someone because we feel like we are not qualified to do so.

However fear is not a tangible thing. Most fears when they are face through action will in fact lose their grip on you. Fears, when not faced, will prevent you from reaching a higher level of fulfillment in life. Your fears will blind you from seeing your real potential. So, are you getting rid of your fears?

Getting rid of your fears is all there is

Getting rid of your fears is the noblest thing you can do. Actually, it is probably all you can do.

When you don’t feel good enough and try to compare yourself to other people around, just ask yourself “Am I getting rid of my fears?” If you are doing your best to get rid of your fears on a regular basis, then, you can stop self-criticism entirely. In life all you can do is eliminate your fear and remove your ego in order to keep growing. Everything else is secondary. There is no need to compare yourself to anyone else. Your IQ, your personality, your experience, your memory, your dreams, your talents, your weak points, nobody has the same combination, nobody will ever be like you. Ever!

Sucking at something is fine, not facing your fears is not

Let’s be honest, there are many things in life you suck at! You may spend a lot of time and energy being ashamed and trying to hide it. Or you may try hard to get better at it. Why not just sucking at it? Sometimes it is okay to embrace your “suckiness”.

Sucking at something is fine as long as it is not an excuse to escape from your fears. If you’ve never really tried something because you are scared of it, then you will likely suck at it. For instance, if you’ve never given a speech in public because you are afraid of it, you won’t be very good. How could you?

I will make you a confidence: my memory sucks! Not the short-term memory you can train through games but the long-term memory. I can hardly remember movies, I forget most of what I’ve read if I don’t take notes and review them regularly. Recently, on several occasions I met people that seem to remember me quite well, but I didn’t remember them at all! I used to compare myself to others, but what did I do for me? Nothing. Nothing good came out of this.

You don’t have to be perfect

Most of us can find something in our life we have a hard time living with because it is not  the “norm”. At some point we just have to stop giving a f*** about it. If you can be honest with yourself, recognize your fears and face them a little bit every day, then you are truly doing an awesome job. Much better than most people in fact.

You don’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to be rich, famous, smart, handsome or anything else that society may be telling you; you just have to confront your fears little by little and outgrow them.

So, let me ask you that question again: Are you getting rid of your fears? How would you honestly respond to me?

Make sure you ask yourself this question on a regular basis. Make it your go-to questions and you will be fine.

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development




The Story of Mr. Fear and Mr. Love

The Story of Mr. Fear and Mr. Love

Have you ever heard of the story of Mr. Fear and Mr. Love?

Once upon a time in a small village in South France lived two gentlemen, Mr. Fear and Mr. Love. They were both perceived as relatively smart and had a very similar life by many standards. Physically speaking they also looked very similar and in fact many people mistakenly believe they were brothers. The biggest noticeable difference between them was probably that one loved cheese while the other hated it. (Is it possible for a French not to like cheese?)

More seriously, the real difference between them was that Mr. Love was significantly happier than Mr. Fear. Why was that? I let you guess!

So how were these two gentlemen different? Let’s have a look now.

1a. Mr. Fear was controlled by his fear

Mr. Fear never fully realized that his lack of satisfaction in his life was the result of underlying fears! Never noticing that fear was his biggest enemy, he would use excuses all the time and stay comfortably in his victim mindset making sure that he would never have to face his fears. He enjoyed pitying himself for not being good enough, being too old or not knowing the right people to do what he wanted to do. He could easily have filled a whole book with his never-ending blaming list.

Eventually, he turned himself into a self-help junkie going to many seminars on personal development and investing thousands and thousands of dollars in personal materials. However, that it didn’t work. That’s was simply another distraction to keep him away from his fears and make him feel momentarily good about himself.

1b. Mr. Love faced his fears and outgrew them

Mr. Love realized that when it comes to personal development, one very simply criteria was enough to tell whether he was evolving towards a more fulfilling life: It was whether he was getting rid of his fears or not. Or, to put it in a different way, whether he was getting out of his comfort zone or not.

When he felt a butterfly in his stomach or an uncomfortable feeling while he was about to do something, he knew that he had to do it. He became almost addicted to that feeling as he realized that each time he got out of his comfort zone, his fears weakened and the field of possibilities expanded. What an exhilarating feeling!
He didn’t even need to read personal development books or go to self-help seminars anymore. What he was doing was pure raw personal development work: destroying fear!

2a. Mr. Fear cared too much about his self-image

Mr. Fear was constantly worrying about what other people would think of him and was trying hard to control his self-image. However, he failed to realize that his self-image was largely a creation from people around him who wanted him to be a certain way. He was living up to other people’s expectations not his own. As a result, he often felt like people around him had no clue of who he really was. It is because he wasn’t taking responsibility and being himself.

Even worse than that, in order to be accepted, he was constantly trying to please everyone. His reasoning was that if he did everything other people wanted him to do, they would love him. Wouldn’t they? He was pretending to be nice to everyone, but in reality he was simply afraid of being rejected. His inability to say no was eroding his self-respect and creating resentment towards people who were constantly asking for his help. Deep down, he didn’t feel like he was worthy and was hoping that people around him would tell him that he was. Similar to a drug addict, he needed his regular dose of approval.

He had to admit that he felt quite comfortable acting like a nice guy and pleasing everyone? Was he such a nice guy? Arguably not? Why? He wasn’t pleasing people because he liked them, but out of fear: the fear of being rejected, the fear of not being part of the group. It was nothing more than a selfish act.

2b. Mr. Love was just being himself caring little about his self-image

On the other hand, Mr. Love was doing his best to be honest with everyone he met. He was being himself and weren’t afraid to say no when necessary. His reasoning was very simple: if I don’t want to be liked for someone I’m not, I’d rather be myself. He knew that if he were himself, some people would like him for who he was. He also knew that other people wouldn’t like him. However, that was unavoidable or even necessary.

Rather than pleasing people to keep his self-image under control, his focus was always on doing and saying what was best for them even if it meant being hated from time to time. He realized that in order for him to be himself, he had to let go and to stop trying to control people around him. After all, he couldn’t force people to like him.

3a. Mr. Fear was never good enough

Mr. Fear had a deep feeling of not being good enough. He was constantly comparing himself to others and tended to focus his attention on what he « wasn’t good enough at » making him even more insecure. To overcome this sense of insecurity he was working harder than anyone else trying to gain power and become more popular and chasing one recognition after the other. However, nothing seemed to satisfy him.

3b. Mr. Love never compared himself to others

Mr. Love understood very well the danger of comparing oneself to others. His father taught him early on that he should NEVER compare himself to others. Never! His father simply said to him that since we are all different, comparing oneself to other people wasn’t totally irrelevant. « Son, comparing yourself with other will only bring you pain and sorrow in life. The sooner you will understand that the better». That was his words of wisdom.

4a. Mr. Fear was all about competition

Mr. Fear was a very competitive guy. Well, how does it relate to fear? Why do you think people compete in the first place? To win of course. What do they need to win for? To prove themselves? Why? Because they are afraid that deep inside they are not good enough as they are. That is a fear-based mindset.

4b. Mr. Love was all about cooperation

Mr. Love, him, believed in cooperation over competition. He understood that he couldn’t do anything on himself and that by leveraging other people’s strength and inspiring them to become the best version of themselves, he would get better results and everybody will win. He wasn’t against « friendly » competition but winning wasn’t a concept he liked very much. He believed cooperation was way more powerful than competition and didn’t think that competition could be the solution to the world’s major problems. Not everybody can win but everybody can cooperate.

5a. Mr. Fear’s focus was on getting

As Mr. Fear doesn’t feel good enough, he is constantly trying to get something out of every interaction. A little bit of approval here, some recognition there, some more power over there. How can I get more? He would ask himself. How can I receive so much love, recognition, fame, power and money that I will finally feel good enough?

5b. Mr. Love’s focus was on giving

How can I serve more? How I can help more people? That is what Mr. Love was always focusing on. Mr. Love understood that the first step to receiving was giving. He also noticed that the more he was giving to people and helping them, the more fulfilled he would feel. Each time he thought of a way he could help someone he knew, he would do it. If he had found some information that could help an acquaintance he would happily share it with him/her. His motto wasn’t “I give therefore I shall receive” but “Because I’m giving I’m already receiving”.

How the story ends

Eventually, stress took a toll on Mr. Fear’s health. His doctor told him that he had only 3 months live. In an instant, all Mr. Fear’s trouble about not having enough and not being good enough vanished. It was just irrelevant. He then realized that all his life he has been asking himself the wrong question: It wasn’t “how can I get more so that I can become more?” but “how can I can become myself more so that I will receive more?”

Are you more like Mr. Fear or Mr. Love? What fears are you running away from? In fact, you probably already know what kind of fears you are running away from, but you won’t admit it to yourself would you?
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you fears are.

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

What Is The Meaning Of Life? – Which Of These 3 Views Do You Agree With?

What is the meaning of life?

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. – Albert Einstein

Why are we here? What is our purpose? This is probably the most important question that human beings have been trying to answer for centuries now.

Do we actually have a purpose or do we create our own purpose in life? The answer largely depends on our current vision of the world and our beliefs.

In this article, I would like to look at 3 distinct worldviews and their implications in term of the meaning they give to life. These worldviews are:

  • Modern science (we are biological machines)
  • Nondualism (we are pure consciousness)
  • Reincarnation (we are souls that incarnate on earth to grow)

You might argue that modern science is not a view of the world but simply the reality and that nondualism and reincarnation is nonsense. After all modern science is strictly based on facts, isn’t it? It’s not exactly true; modern science is also operating under some assumptions and certain scientists are questioning these assumptions.

What Modern Science Tells Us

There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it. – Richard Dawkins

In modern science, the general assumption is that the universe is made primarily of matter. From that perspective, every object, people and living beings are perceived to be distinct entities. Over time, through an evolutionary process, human beings have separated themselves from other living beings through their ability to think. From that point of view, like any other living beings, we obviously don’t have any purpose at all, apart from our biological need to survive as a species. It is not very surprising then that we kill each other our destroy our environment. There is no purpose in life anyway. If I can just have 2 children to satisfy my ego and give me the illusion of immortality, f*** the rest. After all, it’s the survival of the fittest, isn’t it? Well, within a same species, to survive cooperation is generally a better idea than war!

From the point of view of scientific materialism – our modern science – consciousness is something that exists inside our brain. However, is it really the case? What about all these spiritual teachers that have been telling us for hundreds or thousands of years that everything is consciousness? What about people who have out of body experiences or near-death experiences? Are they all completely deluded? Not necessarily but for mainstream scientists they must be or their model of reality won’t work anymore.

The biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, in his controversial TED talk “The Science Delusion” argues that modern science is based on assumptions and dogmas that are presented as the absolute truth while they are not. Here are the 10 dogmas he identified:

  1. The universal is mechanical
  2. Matter is unconscious
  3. The laws and constants of nature are fixed
  4. The total amount of matters and energies is always the same
  5. Nature is purposeless
  6. Biological heredity is material
  7. Memories are stored inside your brain
  8. Your mind is inside your head
  9. Psychic phenomena like telepathy are impossible
  10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works

Many of these “dogmas” may seem like they are not dogmas but simply facts. But are they?

Sheldrake’s TED talk has been removed from TED official website and Youtube channel because it was considered to be pseudo-science, and is only available on ted’s blog (http://blog.ted.com/the-debate-about-rupert-sheldrakes-talk/). Fortunately, it was reposted on Youtube via other channels. I highly encourage you to watch his TED talk and form your own opinion. Is it pseudo-science?

He also gave a great talk at  GoogleTech

Nondualism – What’s That?

The body and the mind are only symptoms of ignorance, of misapprehension. Behave as if you are pure awareness, bodiless and mindless, spaceless and timeless, beyond “where” and “when” and “how”. Dwell on it, think of it, learn to accept its reality. – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

From a nondualistic perspective, everything is interconnected and there is no real separation. There is no subject or object, only reality. Non-dual teachers include people like Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharshi, or more recently Eckhart Tolle. According to them and on behalf of their own experience – you are free to believe them or not, or better, to emulate them – they teach that separation is created by the mind, which falsely identify itself with the body from an early age on. However, what we really are is in fact pure awareness.

While modern scientific materialism is based on the belief that consciousness can only exists in our brain, nondualism sees consciousness as the only reality in which mind and matter manifest themselves. Consciousness was first.

From a nondualistic perspective, the purpose of life is to see through the illusion of the ego and to realize that we are neither our body nor our mind. Once we reach spiritual enlightenment, this question of purpose doesn’t come to mind anymore and simply becomes irrelevant. We know what we are and can enjoy life at least! No more sense of being not good enough or incomplete.

Soul’s Development And Reincarnation

Souls come to Earth to work on their own shortcomings. – Michael Newton

You might have heard of NDE (Near Death Experience), OBE (Out of Body Experience), life between lives hypnosis or past life regression. All these experiences tend to indicate that we are souls with a body and not a body with a soul (or with no soul). If it is true, the question we must ask ourselves is then “why are we incarnate in a body? What for?”

Indeed, the idea of (re)incarnation implies that we must have a purpose! It is generally thought that we are on earth to learn and to grow. It seems like we are doing personal development over multiple lives. (See Do You Believe in Reincarnation?)

If that is the case, what is that growth about?

That growth has nothing to do with our intellect. It seems that we are here to grow our level of consciousness by destroying our fears and becoming love. We don’t become more loving and caring by using our intellect. If it were the case, all smart people would be wise people; and we know that it is absolutely not the case! Love comes from more awareness not from a higher IQ. By going through many lives, we can progressively get rid of our fears and move toward a higher level of consciousness. As a logical conclusion, making money, becoming famous or gaining power is irrelevant unless it is the consequence of us getting rid of our fears and improving the quality of our consciousness.

Let’s assume that reincarnation does exist, how come we don’t remember our past lives then? The best answer I came across is “because it won’t help us grow”. Imagine, if you had to remember all your past lives (there could be hundreds or even thousands of them), how could you make any sense out of that flow of information? Look at how much time we already spend dwelling on the past. Look at how we become more and more dogmatic as we grow older. Many people in their 40s or even younger are already completely stuck with their vision of the world. They refuse to change their beliefs no matter what and stopped growing and learning. From that perspective, you understand now that it won’t be beneficial for us to keep past lives memories with us in our current life. However, obviously, the spiritual growth that we gained in our previous life remains.

As far-fetched as it may seem, reincarnation is not just pure fantasy. It has been the object of serious researches from Ian Stevenson, who was professor of psychiatry at University of Virginia School of Medicine. He studied cases where young children seemed to remember their previous life. In certain cases, children were able to remember details that only reincarnation could explain. Past life regression and life between lives hypnosis also seem to indicate that reincarnation could be real.

What To Conclude

Who are we? What is the meaning of life? Unfortunately we can’t tell for sure. We must find our own truth.

Are OBE and NDE just hallucinations? Are people who talk about their past lives while under hypnosis making things up? Are enlightened being deluded? You can either discard all these phenomena as nonsense while calling yourself a skeptic or you can start digging seriously.

When both supposedly smart people with PhDs firmly believe in totally opposite things, it might be very hard to find which one is telling the truth. And it’s happening all the time. So frustrating!

Eventually, the best way to know whether these things are real is through direct experience. Is OBE real? Practice until you manage to get out of your body and make your own mind. Do it hundred of times until you can prove to yourself whether it is real or not. Then you will know. Let’s assume you find out it is real. Awesome! Now, everybody is going to listen to you and be amazed by your discovery right? Very unlikely. Most people don’t change their beliefs like that.

Is spiritual enlightenment real? Do your meditation and your self-enquiry and find it out. Watch spiritual teachers’ videos online.

Does reincarnation exist? Try life between lives hypnosis and see it for yourself. Read Ian Stevenson or Michael Newton’s books with skepticism and draw your own conclusion.

I hope to experience all these things in the future and then hopefully I will know. It is so much work, why bother you might say? Maybe you’re right. Maybe it is just my ego that wants to know and feel good about it.

What I realized is that, whether we are biological machines, pure consciousness or souls incarnating on Earth, it doesn’t really matter.  In the end, it doesn’t change anything; the guideline to follow in my life will still remain the same:

  • Live in the present moment (the only thing that truly exist)
  • Get rid of fear (get out of my comfort zone and grow)
  • Become love (get rid of my ego)

What about you? What is your view of the world? What do you believe is your purpose in life?

Leave me a comment below to let me know 😉

To go further

Modern science

The Comfort Of Religion And The Purpose Of Life, Richard Dawkins (video)


Spiritual enlightenment

My series of articles on enlightenment

My Youtube playlist on enlightenment (I recommend you to watch them in order)

Mooji TV (Many videos from Sri Mooji)

Books on enlightenment (I recommend you to read them in this order):

Life between lives hypnosis


Suggested books:

Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Live, Michael Newton
Life Between Lives: Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression, Michael Newton (more like a manual for hypnotherapists)

 OBE (Out of body experience)


Suggested book:

Adventures Beyond the Body: How to Experience Out-of-Body Travel, William L. Buhlman

 NDE (Near death experience)

Suggested book:

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife


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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

Nothing Has Ever Upset You!

Nothing has ever upset you

In this article I would like to talk about what I believe is THE most important concept that one can understand in life. It is very simple, self-evident, and at the same time incredibly empowering. Yet, it is largely overlooked.

Here is the principle: nothing in the world has the power to upset you. Nothing upset you, you always upset yourself on the occasion of something. Reality is never upsetting. The very concept of “being upset” is a creation of our mind, as any other concept.

You can try it yourself! Look for any situation in your life where you get upset and see if it is reality that has a problem or if it is you!

Why do we get upset?

Because we don’t see reality as it is!

We get upset because we have an idea of how the world should be. We would like the world to be the way we want. Why should it be? We mistake fiction for reality. We project ourselves in the future and fantasize. Then, when reality clashes with our expectations or delusions – and it will happen – of course we cannot help to get upset. However,  at no point was reality upsetting. We were simply deluding ourselves.

Similarly, we want to control our family, our friends or our colleagues so that they behave in a certain way that suits us. When they are acting in an unexpected way, we get upset. Why? Because of the gap between the image we have of them and their action. But again, we are mistaking our version of reality for reality. We are no seeing them as they are but through a certain image we created of them in our mind. People are much more than we believe they are. However, our mind reduces reality to concepts and people and things to images in order to comprehend and interprete the world.

In reality, we never really know people. We just make hypothesis out of our experience interacting with them and refine it over time to come up with a certain preconceived image that satisfy our mind’s desire to know. Someone you believe you know very well does something surprising or something that upset you and suddenly you think “It doesn’t look like him or her”. How do you know? The reality is: it doesn’t look like the image you have of him or her!

Sadly, the image that people have of us is often what prevents us from being truly ourselves. People around us want us to behave in a certain way that corresponds to the image they have of us. They generally don’t want us to be free or to be ourselves because then, they would have no control over us. By fear of being disapproved of or rejected, we end up playing along and act as people around us want us to act.

We want people to see us in a certain way. Why should they? We have a certain image of ourselves and we would like others to perceive us in a similar way. However, that is not possible. Our self-image is a pure construction of the mind. It is simply our own interpretation of our past memories.  We consciously or unconsciously selected certain thoughts from the past and created a story out of them; they became deep beliefs and eventually came to shape our identity. In fact, our current self-image is only one possible image amount an infinity of possibilities. Then, how could people see you as you see yourself!

In a similar way, other people have a certain self-image and their vision of the world is greatly biased too. As a result, they cannot help but project their own perception of the world (bias) on their preconceived image of you (bias).  No matter how you try to control your self-image, nobody will ever see you as you want him or her to.  The best thing to do is probably to be yourself and to let people see you as they want to.

“Nothing upset you” is not a cliché

The fact that nothing can upset us is not just a cliché to help you cheer up a little bit. It is something that should be meditated on again and again. This simple truth is, in fact, one of the most powerful compasses for your personal growth. Taken seriously, it will give you tremendous opportunities to grow.

For me, each negative feeling offers a great opportunity for growth because it reflects certain beliefs I have. If I get upset it means that I’m seeing a situation through a certain filter of reality.  What is this filter made of? Beliefs! Beliefs are always a distortion of reality. Reality simply is and doesn’t need any belief to exist. When you catch yourself getting upset about something, you can ask yourself the following questions: how am I distorting reality here? What is the belief that leads me to upset myself? By repeatedly doing this, you will become more and more self-aware. Your false beliefs will gradually fall away and you will get closer and closer to reality.

For example, can the following situations be said to be upsetting?

  • Does the rain is upsetting in itself or do I upset myself because of it?
  • Is someone’s criticism upsetting in itself or do I upset myself?
  • Is losing my job upsetting in itself?

All sufferings in the world come from people’s projection of their own “reality”. However, reality doesn’t give a damn about your projection. It simply is. The sooner you realize it the better. Nothing has ever upset you and nothing ever will.  The question is: are you really willing to embrace that reality? Are you willing to put it to the test relentlessly and see through your conditioning? It’s up to you 😉

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

How to Stop Caring About What People Think of You

How to stop caring about what other think of you

How many people do you know who are unaffected by praise or blame? That isn’t human, we say. Human means that you have to be a little monkey, so everybody can twist your tail, and you do whatever you ought to be doing. But is that human? If you find me charming, it means that right now you’re in a good mood, nothing more. – Anthony de Mello

Are you caring too much about what people think of you? I used to be a very self-conscious person who cared way too much about what people were thinking of me. I would make sure I got unnoticed, afraid that I may do something other people judge as inappropriate.

But, isn’t it tiring to be constantly thinking about every single thing you are about to do, worrying about other people’s reactions. Who wouldn’t want to be free to do whatever he/she wants without caring a bit about what people think of him/her? That’s real freedom, isn’t it? So, why do we care so much?

Why you care about what people think of you

The reason why you care too much about what people think of you is first because you care to much about what you think of yourself! You are too worried about your self-image. If you are constantly criticizing yourself pointing out every single of your mistakes, of course you expect other people to act in similar way and criticize you too. You automatically imagine them judging you even if they aren’t. What you are doing is simply projecting your own thinking on others. After all, the way you see yourself is the only model of reality you know of, and the only one you can refer to when you interact with the world. You might want to start by checking out how harsh you are on yourself, but there is something way more important to understand.

The role of self-image

In order to stop caring about what others think of us, we need to understand the role played by our self-image. Being too self-conscious means that we are taking ourselves – or more precisely our self-image – way too seriously. While most self-help books will give you advice or even exercises to try to « fix » your self-image, what I would recommend you is, not to fix your self-image, but to distance yourself from it by observing it from an external point of view, that is, from the real you! (See Psychology vs. Spirituality, Which One is the Most Powerful).

Have you ever wondered what your self-image really is? No matter how real it may seem, your self-image is actually a thought. It is a constructed image you have of yourself but it is not you! Every day thousands and thousands of thoughts are coming and going in your mind; the question is who notices them? It is you who notice them! Not your self-image. (See What is the Ego)

Does the you who is observing your thoughts and creating your self-image care about what other people think? No!

It is important that you take time to observe your thoughts and understand how your self-image is created. Your self-image is created by thoughts and thus has no reality in itself. It is constantly changing because it is not grounded in reality. The self-image that you had 5 years ago might be totally different from your current self-image.

When you criticize yourself, you are actually having a thought about a thought. You criticize (thought) your self-image (thought). See how absurd it is! Then, if you say to yourself “I should stop doing that”, you have a thought about a thought about a thought 🙂 Who is perceiving these thoughts?

No matter how real and intense a thought or an emotion may be, it can never be you. It arises from you but it is not you! As any other thought it comes and goes.

Praise and criticism: head and tail of the same coin?

Who doesn’t like to be praised and feel special? Who wouldn’t want to feel recognized and approved of?

Psychologists are telling us that praising people is very important because it helped them feel valued, increase their self-esteem and boost their motivation. When you are criticized, the same psychologists tell you that you shouldn’t take things personally and give you tools to better deal with criticisms. It sounds reasonable, right?

Now, let me ask you the following question: do you believe that you can get the emotional benefits of praise, and at the same time remain totally unaffected by criticisms?

Here is what nobody is telling you: praise and criticism are the head and the tail of the same coin. They are interdependent. If you really want to stop caring about what people think of you and remain unaffected by criticisms, you must also stop being affected by praises. You can’t have both. If you feel good when praised how can you not feel bad when criticized? If you take praise personally you will take criticisms personally too. If others can affect your self-esteem through praises, they will also affect it through criticisms.

N.B. It doesn’t mean you should ignore the person who is praising you. You can simply reply with a “thank you” and a smile.

Leave the game and reclaim your self-worth

When you play the I-feel-good-when-you-praise-me/I-feel-bad-when-you-criticize-me game, you unconsciously accept the rules that come with it, which are: “my self-worth depends on what people think of me”. Are you okay with that? Are you willing to entrust people with your own self-worth?  Isn’t it wiser to leave the game and refuse to let one self-worth depends on the opinions of others? Remember that as long as your self-worth will depend on others, you will be controlled by people’s opinion.

Taking praises or criticisms personally reinforces the conditioning that made you believe in the first place that your self-worth could be affected by other people’s judgment of you.

Dealing with praise

How can we stop feeling good when praised? Of course, you could suppress your feelings each time you get praised, but nothing good comes out of such a thing. What you must do is understand your feelings, and the best way to do that is simply to observe them.

Observe your feelings each time you are praised. You can ask yourself questions like:

  • How am I feeling?
  • Do I feel like I need that feeling? Why?
  • Am I okay giving that person the right to decide of my self-worth?
  • If that person can, doesn’t it mean that anybody even strangers can play with my self-worth?
  • Does my self-worth really depend on what people think of me?
  • Am I really ready to give up my freedom for that feeling?

Does it mean that you should also stop praising other people? Considering that 99.99% or more of people you will meet in your life will react positively to praise and feel good about it, the answer is no. People who understand what I’m talking about in this article, won’t really care about being praised anyway. The others will be high on praise until some criticisms knock them down.

If you want to stop caring about other people’s opinion of you, you need to be aware of the emotional impact that, not only negative judgments, but also positive judgments has on you, and understand how much you are actually deriving your sense of self-worth from the judgments of other people. You will actually be shocked to realize the extent of your addiction to praises. Here is a great question: How much of your day are you spending trying, either to get approval (praise, recognition or fame) or to avoid disapproval? For some people it is 24/7!

Most of us fail to realize that our self-image is nothing more than a mental construction resulting from the identification to particular thoughts through the power of attention. We take our self-image too seriously while it is not really a big deal. Things that don’t get registered in the mind leave no trace. However, as soon as you start giving events or thoughts the power of your attention and make them personal, they will stick in your mind for days, weeks or even years. In life nothing is really personal unless you make it so.

When you start realizing that you are not your self-image, not abstractly but empirically, you will naturally care less and less about the opinion of other people.

What about you? How much do you care about what people think of you? What does it say about you? Leave me a comment below with your praises or criticisms.

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development






What is Grief Really About? – A Thought-Provoking Perspective on Grief


We never feel grief when we lose something that we have allowed to be free, that we have never attempted to possess. Grief is a sign that I made my happiness depend on this thing or person, at least to some extent. We’re so accustomed to hear the opposite of this that what I say sounds inhuman, doesn’t it? – Anthony de Mello

We may believe we are rational beings, but when we look at how people react in a variety of situations, we clearly see that it is not the case! We are told that it is natural to get angry in such or such situations or that in other situations we should feel sad. In fact, our emotional reactions are mostly the result of social conditioning. One of the biggest and most pernicious lies we have been made to believe is that we should feel good when people approve of us and feel bad when people disapprove of us. Does our self-worth really depend on how people around us perceive us? Do we automatically have to feel good when people praise us and feel bad when they criticize us?

One of the best ways we can bring awareness in our life is by observing carefully how we react in our daily life. Each emotion is a opportunity for us to better understand ourselves. It is through awareness that real changes take place. For instance, observe how you react to praise. Does it make you feel good? Why? What does it tell you about yourself?

In this thought-provoking article I would like to talk about grief and challenge our common assumptions about this experience. What is grieving really about? How much grief is necessary? How much of it is the result of social conditioning? Can we lessen our sufferings?

Warning: you may find this article controversial. However, I hope that this article will offer you a different perspective on grief and a better understanding of how it works.

N.B. What I mention in this article is the result of my personal opinion. I have no degree in psychology and I’m not a psychotherapist. Stay open-minded, ask yourself if what I am saying make sense to you or not. You can take some of the things I say or just ignore them.

What are we grieving?

Have you ever wondered why you grieve? What are you actually grieving? Who are you really sad for? For the dead person? No. The dead person is dead. Why do you want to be sad for him or her? You might say to yourself: “He/she was so young, he/she didn’t have the chance to experience X, Y, Z” but for the dead person it makes no sense! When you grieve you are most likely sad for yourself!

In our societies, there is this totally unchallenged assumption that the normal reaction to someone’s death is grieving. However, what you must understand is that, in human history, nobody’s death has ever caused grieving. Ever! Grieving is always in you, not in the person’s death. The reality is that you choose to upset yourself and grieve on the occasion of the death of someone you were close to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming anyone, I’m just underlying a simple fact: negative feelings don’t exist in reality, they only exist in our mind. The good news is that, since the grief comes only from within, we have some control over it.

Grieving is mainly the result of our social conditioning and our attachment to the dead person. Does it mean that we can get rid of grief? Probably not, as it would suppose a total freedom from social conditioning and a perfect alignment with the reality that nobody belongs to you, that death can happen at any moment, and that happiness is always in you, never in the other person.

Yes, you will grieve but the question is whether it is possible or not to lessen your sufferings through understand of what grief is.

How Stoics deal with grieving

Stoics had an interesting way to deal with grief. They perfectly understood that grieving was due to attachment. In their every day life, they practice negative visualization, imagining their loved ones dying. As the result, they enjoyed and cherished every moment spent with their family and friends knowing they could be dead the next day. When someone they love died, they had less regret because they enjoyed their relationship with that person as much as they could. They lived much closer to reality than most people today because:

  • They understood that nobody belongs to them and didn’t take their relationships for granted
  • They acknowledged reality and knew that their loved ones could die at any moment
  • They focus on the present moment (reality) rather than on an illusory future

Grieving results from a lack of contact with reality

Grieving results largely from a lack of contact with reality. It occurs when we falsely believe that someone belongs to us and that we need that person for our happiness. As you become aware of what grieving is really about, while you will still feel the need to grieve, you will realize that spending excessive time grieving doesn’t make sense. It’s not like we suddenly realize that we were mortal beings on which life plays a trick. Dying is part of life and part of reality.

Lessening the suffering from grieving

Let me repeat: I’m not saying that you should not grieve. Repressing emotions is never a good thing. Emotions should always be felt as they come and fully expressed. Grief can be such an emotionally intense experience that often there will be no room left for any rational thinking. However, if at any point you can find some room within yourself to observe your emotions and create some distance from them, you may come to a better understanding of how your mind works.

By understanding what grieving is and by changing your perception of it, you might be able to better cope with the death of someone you love in the future. Here are several things that I believe are the roots of grief.

  • The belief that if we don’t grieve we are inhuman. Grieving is largely due to our social conditioning. Of course, we will all feel some need to grieve because we had attachment to the deceased person, but there is no need for “extra grieving”. There is no extra point for the one who will show the most grieving.
  • The belief that we must grieve to show respect to the deceased person. The amount of time you spend grieving doesn’t have to be in proportion to the amount of love you had for the person you are grieving. You might think “Oh my god, I need to spend more time grieving the death of that person or people will think I didn’t like him/her that much”. Again, that’s social conditioning. Of course, if other members in your family, or friends still need to grieve, by all mean show compassion and understanding but don’t grieve more or less than you need.
  • The belief that we need to feel pity for the dead person. The person who is dead has no problem, no ego, no need to be respected or to be loved. It goes for people who died of old age, but also for children. When a child dies, people feel sad not so much because this poor child didn’t have the chance to spend more time on earth enjoying the gift of life, but because these people had already created or were creating a future for this child in their mind, from which they were receiving some kind of joy. What I’m saying may sound outrageous but there is nothing judgmental in it, it is just how our mind works.
  • The belief that the person “belongs” to us and is the reason for our happiness. If you believe that you can’t be happy without that person, of course you will likely be in a mess for a while when he or she dies. Knowing yourself and recognizing that happiness is, first and foremost, something that comes from within, will likely make a loved one’s death slightly less painful.
  • The denial of reality and death. Most of us are largely denying reality. We behave as if death wasn’t part of life. Anthony de Mello recommends to do the following exercise every day: visualize yourself in your tomb. See your body decomposing, becoming bones then dust. Now look at your problems from that perspective. Many spiritual teachers will actually tell you that you can only start to live when you are ready to die. Are you ready to die? As cruel as it may be, death is part of life and thus part of reality. You might want to spend more time visualizing your own death and the death of your loved ones, as they will happen for sure!
  • The feeling of regret. We spend a lot of time in our mind thinking about the future; we may say to ourselves that we will spend more time with our kids, our wife/husband… when X or Y will happen. We take both our loved ones and our future for granted and because of that we end up postponing opportunities to enjoy time with the deceased person. Then, we feel regret for things that we could have done but didn’t. In fact, when we grieve, we partly grieve over a future that has never existed anywhere but in our mind, and partly over a past that is already gone.

When I think about my own funeral, part of me wants to have my family and friends gathering around my grave saying how awesome I was. However, I realize how stupid and selfish it is. How is it possible to be more selfish than to want people to love you, approve of you and praise you even after you death! Another part of me wants to throw a crazy party at my own funeral 😉 Why should I demand that people be sad and bored at my own funeral? Life is short and people should enjoy it, not waste their time grieving me. What about you? How do you envision your own funeral?

Do you believe it is possible to lessen the pain we feel after the death of a loved one? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development