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 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

Step 4: Find Your Life Purpose

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You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle… – Steve Jobs

Do we have a purpose in life? Are we here on earth for a reason or do we have to find our own purpose in life? Honestly, I don’t really.

The article is the fourth of the following personal development plan series:

So do we have a purpose? Whatever may be the answer, I believe that having a life purpose gives us direction in life and inspires us to do great things while bringing us higher levels of fulfillment at the same time.

In the step 3 of this personal development plan we talked about core values. Identifying your core values will help you find your life purpose as you will be able to better understand what is really inspiring, what really matters to you. It is hard to find your life purpose if you don’t know your core values.

Do I Really Need A Purpose In Life?

Having a clear purpose in life gives you directions and enables you to better focus your energy on a long-term goal that is inspiring you. Focus is the key element to success and without knowing what you want you just can’t focus.

Having a lifetime goal that is based on your deepest values is what will make it possible for you to persevere and to keep going when things are getting tough. As Jim Rohn used to say: when the why is stronger, the how gets easier. It will also allow you to design worthy goals that revolve around that purpose.

How Specific Should Be Your Life Purpose?

Your life purpose doesn’t have to be extremely specific to be valuable. Your life purpose is rather here to give you directions and make it easier for you to make choices in life. You may in fact derive a lot of different goals from your life purpose.

Sometimes, people who really love their job become depressed after they retire or when they happen to lose their job. They suddenly lose their sense of purpose and direction in life. However, if they had a bigger life purpose that goes way beyond the scope of their job in the first place, they would have been able to find another way to express it and would have maintained a strong sense of purpose in their life.

For instance my life purpose is:

“Improving myself every day, living up to my full potential, and helping others realize theirs so that they can live happier, more fulfilling lives.”

It may sound very general to you but it totally resonates with me. It goes beyond the scope of any job. The current way for me to express it would be to have a successful personal development blog, to write books and to coach people to help them improve their lives. Let’s assume now that none of these activities actually work out for me. Then, what would I do? I would find another way to express my life purpose. I could become a teacher of some sort or maybe a counselor and could probably come up with many other possibilities.

The Characteristics Of A Great Life Purpose

I got most of the following points from  the life coach and blogger Celestine Chua’s free e-book Meaning of Life: How To Discover Your Life Purpose (You can get it here). I think they are great points to consider when looking for our life purpose.

A great life purpose should be:

  1. Timeless: If you could use a time travel machine and go back in time or travel to the future, your life purpose would remain the same.
  2. Universal: If you were born in a different part of the world your purpose would still be the same.
  3. Inspiring: Your life purpose should be truly inspiring and allow you to unleash your full potential and experience a real sense of fulfillment. When your purpose resonates within you, what you’re doing doesn’t feel like work.
  4. Transcendent: Your life purpose should allow you to transcend your ego. Most of us work to make a living, to gain recognition, or to feel accepted by the society. A genuine life purpose should come from a place of love, not fear. When you have a clear life purpose, you no longer act out of fear. Although we may not be able to eliminate our egos, we should aim to control it and act from a place of love as much as possible.

Let’s look at my current life purpose now to see if it fits the characteristics mentioned above.

1. Is it timeless? Yes. If I were born one thousand year ago it would still work.

2. Is it universal? Yes. If I were born in a different country it wouldn’t change.

3. Is it inspiring? Yes. For me it is inspiring.

4. Is it transcendent? Yes. At least, I’m trying to act ouf of love, but I should mention that my ego definitely gets in the way in many occasions.

Finding Your Life Purpose Through Your Challenges In life

Sometimes, your greatest difficulties in life can give you strong meanings. Overcoming your challenges and helping other to do the same might very well become your life purpose.

For example, you may have been abused when you were young and decide to spend your life helping others people in the same situation. By doing so, you transform your difficulties into powerful forces for change. You refuse to be seen as a victim and empower yourself and other people.

These kinds of goals fit well the characteristics of a great life purpose. Generally speaking, helping other people overcoming difficulties is universal, timeless, inspiring and transcendent.

What are your biggest challenges in life? Can you leverage them to give you meaning? Can you use them to help others better their life?

What Is It That You Can’t Help To Do?

One more question you can ask yourself is: “what is it that I’m always drawn to? What is it that I can’t help from doing?

Personally, I’m naturally drawn to study. I spend considerable amount of time reading books, but it is also true that I have a terrible memory and have a very hard time remembering what I’m reading. A few years ago, I became so frustraed that I thought about stopping reading books and studying altogether.

However, my desire to study, to learn and to grow was so strong that I actually ended up studying even more. For me, it seems like I cannot escape from studying. I cannot not study.

Looking at what you are constantly drawn to might give you some indications about what may be your calling. You might call it destiny if you like.

Stop Making Finding Your Life Purpose A Big Deal

You may be trying hard to find your life purpose. However, your life purpose doesn’t have to be something extraordinary. Simple things like being a great parent or the great teacher you can possible be may very well constitute inspiring life purposes. It doesn’t really matter if you inspire one person or one million people. If your intend is pure and if it gives you a clear meaning and sense of fulfilment in life, then where is the problem? Whatever it may be, if it is exciting you and giving you intense drive why not follow this calling?

To Go Further

To go further you might want to read Steve Pavlina’s popular series of articles on life purpose here

One final question to help you find your life purpose:

“What would I do if I had all the money and time in the world?”

I hope this article was useful to you and gave you some insights on what your life purpose may be. Leave me a comment below and share with me your life purpose. I would love to know what it is.


 

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

6 Excuses You Must Drop Now To Discover Your True Greatness

silence

I found it easier to get rich than I did to make excuses. – Jim Rohn

I’m too old, It’s too late, I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I don’t have time, I don’t have education, I don’t know how to do it, I don’t have the resources, I don’t know the right people, I’m tired, I can’t…

Sounds familiar? You are not the only one. It is a fact that we all love to use excuses. However, excuses aren’t going to take us far.

The sad reality is that if we get stuck in a life full of excuses we will never discover our true greatness and accomplish our wildest dreams.

Our level of accomplishment in our life can is tightly related to how much excuses we are using in our day-to-day life. A life full of excuses is a life full of regrets. (Click to Tweet)

Why we use excuses

There are two main reasons why we use excuses.

Because they allow us to avoid facing our fears

Most people find it more comfortable to use excuses rather than to try to do something and exposing themselves to possible failures. They think “if I don’t try, at least I won’t fail”. Sometimes, it is simply better not to try and just lying to yourself; “well if I had really tried I could have succeeded”. That is easier that trying and failing isn’t it?

It keeps your ego in a safe environment and it makes you feel good about yourself. However, is it how you want to live your life? Not trying and not failing? Using excuses to stay in your comfort zone? That may be comfortable in a short term but in the long term it will be costly.

Because they are the results of limiting beliefs

Excuses are often the results of limiting beliefs we hold. Many people sincerely believe that they are not good enough or that they are too old to do something. However, more than often, these beliefs are just beliefs, they are certainly not reality.

Finding someone who was in a similar situation and who managed to achieved what we wanted to achieve can sometimes be effective at challenging our limiting beliefs.

Start changing your belief system by challenging your limiting beliefs and your excuses will disappear. (See article Step 2: Identify Your Limiting Beliefs – How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs)

6 excuses you must drop now

Among the infinite number of excuses we like to use in our daily life, some are particularly standing out. They are the following:

1. I’m not good enough

It is probably one of the biggest excuses or limiting beliefs. I’m not good enough is a great excuse not to try anything, to procrastinate or to do things in the last moment to make sure that the quality of your work is not as good as it could be.

At least, if you fail, you know that you didn’t really try your best right? It satisfies your ego. Then, you can say to yourself: “it may not be that I’m not good enough, but simply that I haven’t really tried my best.” Imagine how damaging it would be to your ego if you did try your best and failed. Then, you would really not be good enough, wouldn’t you?

Well, that’s a risk that you must take, if you want to get rid of your “not good enough” belief and stop using it as an excuse.

Generally speaking, it is through an iterative process of trial and error that you will become better at whatever you are doing. If you feel like you are not good enough, it is likely that you are not trying and not failing enough.

Are you failing enough?

2. I’m too old

The I’m-too-old excuse is also a very common one. (See Are You Using Your Age As an Excuse?)

Feeling too old is also largely a belief. How often have you heard people in their 40s or even in their 30s saying they are too old to do something. Remember that if you are in your 40s you likely have 30 or more years to live. In fact, the amount of things you can accomplish in 30 years once you set up your mind is just incredible. How many foreign languages could you learn in 30 years if you really want to? In how many areas could you start from scratch and become an expert?

Did you know that some studies show that people who have a positive view about aging live on average 7.5 longer that people having a negative view of aging!

So, are you really stuck in your current career because you are too old to do something else? Is this excuse you keep telling to yourself really really true?

Is it really impossible to learn that foreign language you always wanted to study?
What do you think?

3. I don’t have time

Unfortunately, we can’t get more than 24 hours in a day! I really wish we could. You may need 8 hours of sleep per day while other people will sleep only 4 hours a day. Unfair? Probably! However, does it mean that you can make the I-don’t-have-enough-time excuse your favorite motto and stop pursuing all your dreams and exciting projects? (See Reclaim Your Time – You Are the Master of Your Time)

Well, you may or may not be able to reduce the amount of sleep you need everyday, but you can certainly increase your productivity, can’t you?

Do you plan your day in advance for maximum productivity? Are you tackling your most important task first thing in the morning, or are you procrastinating by doing less important tasks? Are you avoiding making that important call by doing task with very little impact?

It is easier to make yourself busy, but being busy is not being productive. The noun “productive” comes from the verb “produce”. So here is a question you should ask yourself everyday: “what did I produce today?”

Time management is probably the number one skill everyone should master. If you don’t have time how can you do what really matters to you?

Planning your day, week and month in advance, focusing single-mindedly on a task until your complete it, and developing the habit of self-discipline is probably where you want to start. As Brian Tracy says: “Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”

How much self-discipline do you have?

4. I don’t have the right education

Getting the right education is certainly vital. Fortunately, nowadays there are countless ways to study at a reasonable price. We can have a full-time work and study after work or during the weekend, and books have never been so cheap and widely available. In addition to that, more and more world-class universities offer free courses online on website like Coursera or Open2Study.

If you are lucky enough to have access to Internet or to have a library close to where you live, you have no excuse not to study! As Jim Rohn used to say “Miss a meal if you have to, but don’t miss a book”. For me choosing between a meal and a book is a no-brainer. What about you?

Are you really stuck because you didn’t go to the right school or didn’t have the right education? Is it absolutely impossible for you to catch up?

What can you do today to start getting the education you need?

5. I don’t know the right people

So, you don’t know anyone in your field and feel stuck. First of all, I don’t buy into the idea that we must know the “right people” to achieve our goals. Secondly, I do believe it is possible to connect with the right people if it is indeed necessary.

The key is always to take as much action as possible. Put yourself in the shoes of the leaders in your area. Are they more likely to help someone just because he has a strong interest in a particular field? Probably not?

However, if you’ve already taken a lot of actions, openly share your exciting goals and show strong determination to reach your goals, they will be more likely to help you.

If you can find a way to help them first it is even better.

Do you really need to know the right people?

Is it really impossible for you to reach out to these people?

6. I don’t know how to do it

Richard Branson said “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later”. That is probably the secret to success. We, as human beings, are the most creative animals on earth! Our mind is designed to solve complex problems and to achieve goals. There is no need to know how to do things before getting started. Actually, it is very unlikely that successful people ever waited to know how to do something before actually taking action.

Unfortunately, there is no point in life where you are going to be 100% ready to do something. Deep diving and learning by doing is the fastest way to grow and to develop our skills. It also significantly boosts our confidence in our ability to get things done and creates a virtuous cycle.

You don’t know how to do it? Great news! You should be thrilled to get started right now. You’re going to learn so much. Just do it!

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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

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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

Stop Pretending to Be Someone You Are Not

Are you who you are or who you think you should be?

In order to observe the movement of your own mind and heart, of your whole being, you must have a free mind, not a mind that agrees and disagrees, taking sides in an argument, disputing over mere words, but rather following with an intention to understand – a very difficult thing to do because most of us don’t know how to look at, or listen to, our own being any more than we know how to look at the beauty of a river or listen to the breeze among the trees. – Krishnamurti

Are you really showing your true self to others or are you showing a constructed image of yourself?

Many of us are living way too much in our head trying to be what we think we should be rather than just being who we are. We are overly relying on our intellect while forgetting about our true self.

We certainly need to use our intellect to make a living. We are expected to be able to think rationally at work and in a variety of other situations. In that sense, constantly developing our intellect is certainly a necessary step to evolve in our career. However, I believe that in today’s society we are too obsessed with the intellect.

How many of us can honestly say we are perfectly in tune with our emotions and who we really are? We are generally more concerned about maintaining a certain self-image to fit into society than being who we really are. We act out of our intellect rather than out of our being.

So why is it such a big deal to rely heavily on our intellect?

1. Because We Aren’t Ourselves Anymore

Each of us has an image of what we think we are or what we should be, and that image, that picture, entirely prevents us from seeing ourselves as we actually are. – Krishnamurti

Most of us have a fairly good idea of how a civilized person should act. Let’s assume that you want to become the next Gandhi or Mandela because it sounds like a lot of fun. That’s easy! All you have to do is simply read their biography and act the same way they did. Then, you will likely become like them, right? Well, only in theory.

The problem is that there is a huge difference between doing something because it is what we think we should do, and doing something because it reflects who we really are inside.

For instance, it is not necessarily difficult to know in what situations we should feel compassionate. But, does it mean that we will necessarily feel compassionate when put into these situations?  We may pretend and believe we should be. However, deep down, it may very well not be the case

Feelings like compassion or love are not something we can know. Neither are they beliefs. They don’t come from our intellect, they come from our being. Thus, they cannot be learned by using our intellect, they can only be uncover by identifying less with our intellect.

2. Because It Prevents Us From Growing

By using solely our intellect, we may very well appear to be almost perfect, full of compassion, full of love, and always nice. It is certainly better to use our intellect to control our emotions that way than to act in a barbarian way.

However, there is one problem with that approach: it prevents us from growing. How are we going to live a truly fulfilling life if we are overly concerned about our self-image and how others perceive us. How can we happy if we are disconnected from our emotions?

One question you might want to ask yourself is: “Do I really care about people and sincerely desire to please them at my being level, or is it just an intellectual thing? In another word, do I genuinely perceive these feelings or do I force myself to be that way to fit in with the image I want to have about myself?

Our Feelings Reflect Our Level Of Consciousness

Whether you are full of love, compassion and joy, or greedy, jealous, controlling, insecure or apathetic, is likely a reflection of your level of consciousness.

In our modern society, we tend to greatly value the intellect. However a higher intellect isn’t equal to a higher level of consciousness. One of the reasons for that, is probably the major role that play science and rationality nowadays. We want to analyze everything rationally. In science that’s wonderful, but when it comes to people it might not be very relevant. I tend to see people as irrational beings that like to rationalize everything afterwards. Aren’t we?

Note that it is possible to be highly “successful” from the standpoint of society (money, fame…), but still be largely out of tune with our emotions, haunted by fears.

The other main reason why some of us are relying so much on our intellect is because it is a great way to hide our feelings. Instead of expression our feelings genuinely we hide them. Why? Because of fear? What if I get hurt? What if they reject me as I am? What if I appear weak in front of others? Expressing our feelings candidly is actually a great sign of strength as it requires courage; the courage to be who we are and to accept the consequences instead of trying to control people and situations by managing our self-image.

Using your intellect is trying to be rather than being. It is trying to care rather than caring, trying to love rather than loving or trying to be happy rather than being happy. It is living in a world of shoulds.

My Personal Experience

I found this concept of intellect vs. being to be very true in my personal life. Recently, I’ve been asking myself why I was trying so hard to be? I’ve been reading so many self-help books, but have I really changed? Have I really raised my level of consciousness or did I simply strengthen my intellect?

Am I really being or am I trying to be? What are the fears that prevent me to be? Am I truly caring for people or am I simply helping them because I believe I should?

I wonder how many of you can relate to that. I feel like I’m still relying too much on my intellect and that I have a lot of work to do on myself in order open up, raise my level of consciousness and live a more fulfilling life.

Let’s see now how we can be, forgetting for a while about the intellect.

How To Be And Stop Trying To be

Being doesn’t require any intellectual effort. You don’t need to use your brain and think in order to be. You already exist without doing anything.

So in order to be, we must stop relying so much on our intellect. We must stop trying so hard to control our self-image and our environment. Here are few things you can do to reconnect with yourself.

1. Accept all your feelings

You are who you are, not who you think you should be or wish you could be. You can use your intellect to hide who you really are, but that doesn’t change anything.

Accept yourself as you are. Then, you can start to make the necessary changes.

If you feel no compassion then you feel no compassion. Why denying it? If you feel jealousy in an inappropriate situation, accept it.

2. Speak honestly and unarguably

Express your feelings to other as you perceive them.

People can disagree with your vision of the world, they can even disagree with facts that they may see as opinions, but they can’t disagree with your feelings!

If you express genuinely your feelings regarding a certain behavior of a colleague for instance, he/she will likely perceive you as honest and appreciate the fact that you have the courage to show your emotions. He/she may be encouraged to doo the same in return.

3. Listen without judgment

Listening is not hearing. Listening is an active act that requires practice, focus and concentration. When you listen without judgment you stop imposing your vision of the world to what people are saying. You forget for a while about how things should be and accept things as they are. Here is what active listening takes:

  • Not judging what someone is saying but putting ourselves in their shoes
  • Resisting the urge to interrupt your interlocutor
  • Not thinking about what you are going to say next, but staying in the present moment
  • Not getting lost in your thoughts
  • Listening beyond the words: what the person’s body language/tone of voice is telling you?
  • Being self-aware: are you tensed? Are you relaxed? Is your body/mind reacting to something your interlocutor is telling you? Why? Are you listening objectively or are you interpreting what the person is telling you?

Not so easy, right?

4. Meditate

Spend some time just being. Stop trying to control everything even for a few minutes. Observe your thoughts without making any judgment. Are you your thoughts? What about your emotions? (See Is Meditation For Everyone?)

5. Practice mindfulness

Observe yourself as you go through your day. Try to understand yourself. Look at your feelings without judging them. Watch out for the times when you are out of sync with your being. For instance, do you say to someone “It’s okay” when you know it is not, rather than sharing your feelings?

6. Trust your intuition

Listen to your guts feelings. Learn to trust your intuition and see what happens. Stop being overly rational. (See Lynn Robinson’s Divine Intuition – Why You Should Listen To Your Inner Voice)

I hope that this article helped become more aware of the difference between being and trying to be (intellect). It is an important step towards a more conscious life.

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

A Letter to My Dear Earthling – A Powerful Reminder To All Of Us

A Letter to my dear earthling

Hello everyone,

I’ve just received a letter from my dear alien friend. What he said in that letter was truly a waking up call to me!

My Dear Earthling,

I’ve been observing you for a while now, and I’ve noticed how confused you seem. It seems you’ve lost track of happiness. I want you to know that it’s very painful for me to watch you inflict so much pain on yourself and others.

I decided to write you a letter because, quite honestly, I’m very worried about you. I care about you and hope what I have to say won’t upset you. You should know, however, that you would be put in a psychiatric institution if you lived where I do. You believe yourself to be completely rational yet your behavior makes little sense.

Think about it: You’re self-critical, self-blaming and put yourself down all day. I dare you to talk to me or anyone else the way you talk to yourself! The things you say to yourself seem rude, vindictive, and ugly when directed at another person, don’t they? If you uttered aloud that which your inner voice says, wouldn’t the people around you try to put you in a mental institution?

Yes, they would. After all, people who talk to themselves out loud are considered mentally ill in your world, particularly if the things they say are negative, malicious, and venomous.

I’m sorry to say that, for me, you’re no different than the people you call mentally ill because they wander around babbling to themselves. You’ve become a slave to your thoughts, and you aren’t even aware of it.

Why do you want to be right more than you want to be happy? You would rather win an argument than set aside your ego for happiness’ sake. No one would want such a ridiculous thing on our planet. To us, happiness is the most important thing. I’m sure that deep down you want to be happy, too.

Complaints keep eclipsing your happiness. They steal your peace of mind and make you miserable. Where I live, we avoid complaints like the plague. What happens to us happens to us. We cannot control the rain, the sunshine, or anything else. We can, however, control ourselves. Our state of mind is the only thing that matters to us. People who complain are perceived as mentally ill because they willingly give their power away to situations or other people. Why would someone inflict that sort of pain upon themselves?

You also compare yourself to other people as if your self-worth has anything to do with how well they are doing. We see you envying people who are fighting inner conflicts of which you’re unaware. You act as if happiness were a zero-sum game in which people gain happiness by stealing yours. Where I live, you’d be surprised to hear that the word “compare” and its derivatives are never used. We banned them once we realized they were the root of unhappiness.

We’ve observed your baffling but relentless pursuit of money, fame, and recognition. What are you trying to prove? Can’t you see that you’re already good enough and have enough? Why do you act as if you’re the one being on your planet that’s never good enough? You’re spending all your time trying so hard to be “somebody” but you’re on a never-ending journey to nowhere. You look for happiness in an illusory future when it exists only in the present.

You want so desperately to be loved, recognized, and accepted by others, but your society conditioned you to feel as if you aren’t good enough. As a result, everything you do is an attempt to achieve praise in order to feel better about yourself. In my world, there is no need for that. We are aware of our intrinsic self-worth. Nothing and no one can undermine our inherent worthiness. Ever!

Look at how exhausted you are! You’ve spent your life carrying the past on your shoulders, and it’s a heavy burden. The past is over, but you act as if it’s still happening. You live in an illusion – and not a pleasant one. It’s disturbing to us that no one in your world seems to spot the illusion. In our world, we have no attachment to the past because we know it’s not real. As a result, we can travel light and deeply appreciate the present.

You think so much about the future that you forget to live in the present. You experience brief contentment when you get what you want, but this quickly fades. It isn’t long before you’re reaching for the next thing. It’s much like a hamster running on its wheel, isn’t it?

Last but not least, you’ve become so insecure that you get defensive when people criticize you. In some cases, you may even become violent when people insult or disrespect you. Strangely enough, others encourage you in this behavior. “Come on, do something!” they say. “Are you really going to sit there and let him insult you?” In my world, we would say, “Of course, I am. Why should I give anyone else the power to disturb my peace of mind? It doesn’t make any sense at all.” Where I live, nobody would do such a stupid thing!

I know my words might seem harsh, but my intentions are pure. I want you to know that I truly care about your happiness. I want you to see that you’re already worthy. I want you to put your happiness first and constantly strive to maintain your peace of mind.

Never forget that happiness is within you.

I wish you all the best and hope to hear from you very soon.

Sincerely,

Your Dear Friend

 

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The 5 Commandments of Personal Development

The 5 Commandments of Personal Development