The status quo seems to have around it some kind of gravity force, which holds us back from moving away from it, towards our goals.
It’s the duel force of fear and anxiety which comes along with the uncertainty of what might lay ahead, particularly when we’re doing something different or new.
It’s so much easier to play safe and stick with our current routine. In our present situation or circumstance we know what to expect, and we know we can deal with most eventualities. There is nothing too scarey to worry about.
Humans don’t deal well with change, it’s fear inducing to trample unexplored territory. There are too many monsters lurking in the darkness, metaphorically speaking.
Our survival instincts have conditioned our brains to avoid anomaly and change at all costs, and the easiest way to do this is to play it safe. Do what we know and keep doing it as long as we can.
At the same time, we like to experience good surprises, like the unexpectedly win or gain of something we value. So uncertainty is good as long as it’s a promise of good.
So wandering away from the status quo is possible, providing we have something positive enough to aim for.
All change has within it, potential, which can be either good or bad. There are risks and dangers, as well as possibilities and opportunities.
We have to find a positive reason to make change, and we have to have the vision of a better alternative than the one we are currently experiencing.
We also have to believe that the cost of not pursuing our goals will deliver such regret that we just won’t be able to bear it in the years to come. This kind of fear propels us forward, rather than holds us back.
Finding the motivation to take action is all about shifting mindset. It’s about hacking the way we think, from something that holds us hostage, into something that opens us up to a new, exciting way forward.
If you want something enough, you’ll find a way, if not, then maybe you just didn’t want it enough.
Let’s assume you want to start your own business, and someone close to you tells you to stick it out where you currently are. After all, you’ve got a regular pay check, you know what you’re doing, you get on with colleagues, and you’re comfortable and safe.
They want to protect you, they don’t want you to suffer because they love you. This resonates with you because the same conflict is going on inside your head.
Doubts are designed to warn you of the potential dangers you may face and paying attention to them is wise. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go ahead, it just means your plan needs to keep the pitfalls in mind, to mitigate them as much as possible.
The unknown is uncomfortable and exciting at the same time.
You feel alive because there is uncharted territory ahead, it’s a natural reaction, in the same way as a surprise or something unexpected grabs your attention from the slumber of your familiar routine. We have evolved to pay attention to change, to different, to new, because they are unknown.
The unknown has significance. Suddenly there is uncertainty, and risk, and you need to pay attention to it in case it hurts you. But don’t quit because of it. You can’t do anything different or new without encountering some level of unknown.
As well as paying attention to the possible dangers, give thought to the opportunities and possibilities that come out of change. You become more by experiencing more. Even failure can be a great teacher, so don’t fear it, just plan to mitigate it where possible.
The status quo is a lie, change is inevitable, whether you accept it our not. Face change, deal with change, take advantage of change.
Be a predator of chance rather than a victim of circumstance.
Politics is very emotive because “division” is an important aspect of the human Ego.
The Ego’s default inclination is to either..
Seek ATTACHMENT or
SEPARATION, particularly when we’re not psychologically awake to what is happening.
Let’s just take a second to review how Attachment works – it inflates (false) sense of self – if we psychologically “have” more, we “are” more.
Separation works by also inflating (false) sense of self – by separating, we make an “other”, and there is no greater “other” than an “enemy”. We criticise, complain about an “other”, implying we are superior in some way.
So politics is about attaching to a party that represents our beliefs, our desires and goals, while separating from parties that don’t connect with us.
Because these things are important to us, they come with great emotion.
We become tribalist behind the ideologies of one party at the expense of others.
But politics isn’t as black or white as politicians and the media would have us believe.
Mainstream media is a hugely influential force, when it comes to shaping public opinion.
But it’s important to understand that the media craves drama, discourse, division and headline-making news, in the most emotive way possible. It does so because these things attract and engage viewers, and in doing so, the media can make money from sponsors and advertisers and justifies its existence to stakeholders.
As the public, we need not take sides, or get dragged into the overblown drama of the media.
If you’re emotional about something, anything, there is an underlying attachment at the heart of that emotion. Check out the following story to illustrate what I mean.
Mike is watching the news, sees a program where keir Starmer criticises Boris johnson with regards to one of his policies; the details aren’t important for the purpose of this story.
This elicits a negative reaction by Mike, as if he were being personally, verbally attacked himself.
But why does he have this response?
Mike is attached to Boris Johnson in some way – not to him personally, because he’s not a big fan of him as a leader. Mike is attached to some of his policies. Mike likes what he believes Johnson is trying to “do for” the country
Mike believes Johnson is going to try and “reform government” – which is important to Mike.
Mike believes Johnson is going to invest in northern towns and cities – by redistribute wealth to poorer, undeveloped areas, as he promised.
Mike believe Johnson represents “something important to him”
Mike reacts to an attack on his attachment; what he believes Johnson stands for.
Mike doesn’t want Johnson’s “mission derailing”
Mike is really attached to what he believes…
Johnson stands for
Johnson will do for the country and for him personally
#1 – Reform government
#2 – Investment in northern towns and cities – redistribute wealth to poorer areas.
Mike is putting faith in the person rather than the system. He may not trust the system.
Does the Johnson have the power to deliver on his promises? Does Johnson have the will to do this? Does Mike trust Johnson’s intent, capabilities, trustworthiness.
Remember, we judge politicians on the basis of their…
Mikes beliefs, in this instance, are based on FAITH rather than certainty and habit.
So it is with all of us, when we’re trying to make decisions about future events or situations, we can’t know with any certainty that we’re doing the right thing. We may give a leader or party the benefit of the doubt, but faith is usually what our beliefs are founded on.
I guess we could vote a particular way based on habit; we voted for them last time, we’ll vote for them again, or family vote for a particular party, so we do the same.
We might decide not to vote at all.
After all is said and done, whether you’re engaged in politics or not, it affects every facet of everybody’s lives.
Whatever your political persuasion, it’s important to understand the roles that all the participants play; politicians, media and the public.
It’s equally important to see through the often overblown drama stirred up by the media. They are running a business with their own agenda. Drama pays the bills for these organisations.
It’s equally important to understand that competing political parties are maneuvering for political power. It is in their interests to disagree with one another, to find fault in one another for their own political gain.
However, there is a difference between point scoring and holding each other to account, which is an important part of the political process. We want government to be scrutinised and held-to-account by other parties and the media, for their promises and actions.
But understand the underlying motives and learn to read between the lines. Scrutiny is good, point scoring, and political maneuvering is bad and self-serving by the politicians.
We shouldn’t focus on taking sides, by falling behind one party or the other and attaching with a vice-like-grip to a political position or engage in party politics. What we need to do, as a society, is to hold all politicians to account. Utilise the best policies based on merit and the reality of human nature in reaction to those policies, rather than ideology alone. We need to ensure politicians deliver on promises with effective execution. Question whether the policies are doable, and the politicians capable, and we should base these judgements on merit, not ideology.
Reading quotes helps reshape beliefs and these are the foundation of motivation.
They can make a big difference in any journey for success.
Motivation is often the very thing that gets blocked and prevents you trying for your goals and dreams.
To take action you must be motivated, and to be motivated you must have congruent beliefs;
#1 – This is what you want, and
#2 – You can do it.
If either of these beliefs are absent from your belief system, you won’t take action.
Well formed quote graphics can help you look at your situation in a different way, to think about it from a different perceptive, to inspire you to take action. It helps you create a different story, or a different narrative on an old story.
A different story, analogy or metaphor, alongside an open mind can reshape or sidestep those disempowering beliefs, which are holding you back.
The first disempowering belief many of us are guilty of holding, is…
“I can’t do this!”
Or some variation of this such as..
“I don’t have the experience!”
“I don’t have the resources!”
Here are a few quotes from Jim Rohn to help you out of this mindset.
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Beliefs and the values that stem from them are conditioned into us as we grow up, by the society we live in, by the family we are closest to and any other influential parties we are exposed to in our lives.
Many such beliefs exist outside of conscious awareness within our subconscious knowledge pool. They affect every decision we make, often without us realising they are doing so.
While some beliefs serve us, there are many more that don’t. It’s important we improve self-awareness so that we can uncover subconscious counterproductive beliefs, thoughts and behaviours. These may include..
Habitual thoughts and thought patterns
“The subconscious is motivated by emotion.” Anything you have a strong feeling or emotional response to passes into the subconscious. This is how phobias are formed, a strong emotional reaction to a very unpleasant event is anchored into the subconscious. Also wishing for something with deep emotion (positive or negative) can be embedded in the subconscious.
Habits are formed through repetition, good habits or bad habits can be either habits of thought or habits of behaviour. Break the underlying belief that formed them, and which continues to hold them in place, and you can break the habit. Bad habits are usually best removed by forming good habits to replace them.
Looking under the hood of BELIEFS
BELIEFS are generally built on shaky foundations. Often based on nothing more than ASSUMPTIONS and INFERENCES, rather than EVIDENCE and FACTS.
Think about the strongly held beliefs you hold. Where did they come from?
We might take the testimony of experts as fact, but in reality we don’t know if we’re being deceived and lied to, because of some hidden agenda, that we’re not privy to.
My own experience, is peppered with examples of being deceived by authority figures and so-called experts who subsequently were found to be profiteering from me following their advice, without providing any real value for me, a case of smoke and mirrors. It happened to me when I first started investing in stocks and shares, trusting stock analysts and regulators, many of whom where exposed during the 2007-2008 financial crash. Be very wary about putting money into anything based on what people tell you. Do your own due diligence first, always.
So if expert testimony can’t be entirely trusted, and I include the media, politicians and big businesses in this, what can you believe, other than your own first hand experience.
Can you believe what a friend of a friend tells you, or your parents, or your colleagues?
Well you have to be the judge, but what I would say is question everything. Ask “How do you know?”, “Where is the proof?”. An healthy skepticism is always a good thing. Don’t be rushed into making a decision, if someone insists you decide now, walk away.
From BELIEFS come VALUES, which are the things we judge as being important to us, in which we invest a sense of ourselves. By selected these values we also infer their opposites, our dislikes, pet peeves and such.
What we deem as relevant and important to us, shapes what we pay attention to. As a result our PERCEPTIONS and PERSPECTIVE are greatly influenced by BELIEFS and VALUES. As are our EXPECTATIONS, ATTACHMENTS, JUDGMENTS, LIKES and DISLIKES, REACTIONS and EMOTIONS.
BELIEFS and VALUES are the foundation of how we live our lives, so it’s vitally important to ensure they are well founded and grounded.
Any beliefs that helps us move closer to achieving our goals are generally okay, but beliefs that hold us back, need addressing.
Get out of your own way
Fears, self-doubts, insecurities, expectations and preferences are getting in the way, they are closing up the channel, blocking the bandwidth. It’s time to leave the prison of the mind. It’s not a matter of gaining anything, in fact it’s about losing everything that is cluttering up your life and stopping you achieving your GOALS.
One of the building blocks to getting results is the “acquisition of knowledge”.
In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called Epistemology and the definition of knowledge most popular with Epistemologist, came from Plato who famously defined it as “True Belief with Logos (a reason)”, or “justified true belief”.
So now that we’ve defined what knowledge is, how do we acquire it?
More often than not, knowledge is acquired through the testimony of other people.
Generally we learn through the people we share our lives with. Those who have greatest influence on us growing up, are parents, siblings, friends, teachers, authority figure, who we look to and trust. More widely, we take knowledge from the media and science as reliable sources of knowledge. Although many people question the honesty of media these days.
There is knowledge about the fact of things. Things like the earth is round, things fall to the ground because of gravity, your name is [whatever your name is], your birth date is [whatever it is], you are male or female. We believe them and they are accurate, so we have knowledge, providing we haven’t been lied to about them.
There are also beliefs that come out of inference. Your parents might say to you “None of our family are rich, people like us just don’t get rich, so you’re not likely to get rich either”. The knowledge that “none of our family are rich”, might be accurate, but the inferences that “people like us don’t get rich, so you’re not likely to get rich either”, can’t be counted as knowledge, they are not fact, but they may well be believed. Many self-limiting beliefs are formed this way. We hold them as truth, we may count them as knowledge, but they are not, they are no truer than saying “none of our family are rich, but there is nothing stopping us getting rich, with education, effort and a sound plan of action, you can be as rich as you want to be.”
When we’re considering moving away from what we’re currently doing, to go somewhere else, or do something else, whether that is building a new career, starting a new business, moving to live somewhere new, whatever it is, there is likely to be a requirement to gain some new insights, learn some new knowledge, to help us along the way.
So we require finding reliable sources of accurate information to help us do that. We are also required to have enough self-belief and self-confidence to take action. If you don’t believe you can do it, you’re unlikely to put yourself in the way of possible failure and disappointment.
Social conditioning includes all the sources of testimony of knowledge we’ve identified previously; parents, teachers, peers etc. The term social conditioning also includes negative connotations, particularly concerned around somewhat restrictive, self-limiting beliefs we may have picked up along the way.
If we haven’t experienced it directly, we’ve all heard of people who have been told they won’t amount to much, or shouldn’t try to stretch themselves, so as not to experience disappointment and failure. If we take these kind beliefs onboard, they can become intertwined with our knowledge and it can be hard unpicking fact from fiction.
So, the way ahead includes finding reliable sources of accurate information, and unpicking your limiting beliefs enough to find the confidence to take the necessary action to follow your dreams, or at the very least, chase down your goals.
We now have more access to knowledge than ever before. We can learn so much through the internet these days. There is soo much information available, the biggest problem is there is also a lot of dross and misleading information to wade through, and it’s difficult to identify who and what to believe and who and what to ignore.
We need to find sources of information who have credibility, ideally people who have done what it is we want to do, and so have direct knowledge about what is required, or what was required for them to do it. They have a track record that we can model. We may call these people role models, or if we can get personal access to them, even mentors.
We need to make sure sources of information and knowledge are not serving some hidden agenda, which doesn’t have our best interests at heart. Sure there lots of courses out there that will teach you to do something, but there are many more who promise to give you the world, to make you rich, but who have no intention of doing anything other than lining their own pockets. When you spend a certain amount of time online you begin to recognise the signs to watch out for. These often include outrageous claims of success. The general rule applies, that if it sounds too good to be true, or promises to be really easy, then you can bet it’s a scam more often than not.
Remember one thing, the road to success is a journey, try to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. Learn your trade, keep trying to make improvements, so you grow into the person you need to be to succeed, and don’t look for shortcuts. There are very few overnight successes in any areas of life.
So, in summary, learn the difference between knowledge that is fact, and beliefs that you treat as knowledge, but aren’t and that often only serve to hold you back from chasing down your goals.
Find reliable sources of accurate information and knowledge, which helps move you closer to achieving your goals.
Do you believe death is the end, that there is nothing more once we die? If so, the thought of death might fill you with dread.
Alternatively, If you believe that after death, your spirit goes to be with the spirits of deceased family members, who you love and miss, you might look forward to the prospect of death.
Both these are thoughts. Which ever version you believe to be true, determines your feeling about the consequences of death. Fear or anticipation. You have no way of knowing which version is true ahead of time. Yet which ever you believe, has an impact on your life and how you live it.
It colours the background of your life, maybe resulting in a feeling of fear or worry in the back of your mind, that is always there. Many spiritualist believe the fear of death is a major part of the human condition and the reason people struggle with dealing with the Ego (self preservation part of the mind).
Let’s look at another common debate, the debate about whether life is on your side versus life is constantly testing you.
Do you believe that life is looking to support your endeavours and successes or do you believe life is designed to test and challenge you, so you grow? Or do you believe life is just a fluke and there is no purpose, rhyme or reason to it? It’s just a random occurrence and we make things up as we go along. Again which belief you fall behind, will have an impact on the way you live your life, the emotions you feel and how you deal with setbacks. Can you not enjoy your successes because you’re waiting for things to go wrong? Or do you feel you have the power of the Universe behind your efforts, the Universe is working to help you?
Okay, let’s consider your beliefs about people. Are people inherently good or bad? Or are people a mixture of both, capable of great feats, amazing accomplishements and acts of kindness and altruism? While also being capable of selfishness, destructiveness and the capacity to carrying out monstrous acts of devastation to fellow human beings, animals and the planet.
Let’s consider your beliefs around your government. Are your government acting to secretly enslave the population or are they doing the best they can for the good of the country and its people?
On a more personal level, are you capable of whatever you set your mind to or are you not really very good at anything?
Are your beliefs generally more positively or negatively orientated?
Are you a glass half full or half empty person?
Are you always striving for more, wanting more and better or grateful for, and contented with, what you have in the here and now?
Sure we’ve covered a lot of different areas of life here, but the underlying thing behind each of these, are your beliefs, what you believe to be true or not.
Beliefs are generally held with some level of faith or certainty. You have to believe it to be true, for it to be a belief.
The power in this little word can not be understated. Beliefs shape everything you do, how you interpret incoming stimuli, the meaning you give to it. What you pay attention to and what you choose, either on a conscious or subconscious level, to ignore or filter out.
Beliefs are used to judge what is good or bad, what should be pursued and what should be avoided.
You must question your beliefs, bring some conscious thought to how they work in you. Question them, where did they come from, what are their intentions?
You’ll find that many beliefs are driven by fear, they come from the instinctive, self preservation part of the mind, that is doing its best to keep you safe and well. It’s very good at what it was designed to do.
The secret is to use your intellect, the rational part of your mind, to control the instinctive part of your mind. Don’t let irrational fear drive your actions or dictate your thoughts and emotions. Take back control!
It’s interesting isn’t it, beliefs are a fascinating topic. What we believe guides our decision-making in every aspect of life.
There was recently a post on Facebook with the following maths problem..
(7+7+7)-(7+7)x 0 = ?
On reading the comments, it was funny to see how some people were arrogantly quoting zero as being the answer, while others equally arrogantly quoted 21 being the answer.
This observation got me thinking how people were so sure in their belief in the answer, that they were happy to comment to the world, and potentially in front of their friends, family and other associates, without ever doubting that they may be wrong, and the possibility of looking stupid.
Now I’m not judging people who got this wrong, as being stupid, but I’m sure that if they found out they were wrong, they would feel a little embarrassed that they didn’t know the answer, after all “it’s something you learn in 3rd grade” – and I’m quoting a comment of someone who got the answer wrong.
But people do this kind of thing all the time, particularly on social media. They believe they know something when they wrong – they have false knowledge.
Having false knowledge can be problematic for decision-making, if you’re basing your decision on that false knowledge.
Doing a quick Google search will undoubtedly give you the right answer to a simple maths question, and the consequences of getting it wrong is nothing greater than a little social embarrassment, but there are situations where having false knowledge, while believing you are right, can cause significantly more serious consequences.
The answer to dealing with false knowledge and misguided belief, is not to hold beliefs with such certainty. Question them, look for proof that you are right or wrong, before acting on them.
The moment you believe you are right, is the exactly the same moment you stop looking for evidence of contradiction. You look for confirmation you are right, which further entrenches you into that belief mind-set.
One solution, drawn from a famous insight of philosopher Karl Popper, who argued that in science, evidence against a hypothesis, called
disconfirmation, is much more important than evidence for that
hypothesis, called confirmation.
So, let go of beliefs, and instead look for evidence that disconfirms them. If you believe “all politicians are self-serving”, then you only have to find one that isn’t self-serving, and you’ve disproved your belief, good luck with that, only joking. But you get the point, it’s easy to fall into the trap of finding evidence that supports your belief, after all, there are many politicians who you can find evidence of being self-serving, if you look hard enough, and this further embeds the belief.
A word of warning before I finish this post, if you find yourself using generalities such as “all”, “most” or “none” you’re over-relying on stereotypes and biases, and this is a lazy and foolish way of forming beliefs.
Comments like “All BMW drivers are arrogant”, and “most politicians are self-serving”, play on stereotypes, prejudices, biases and vastly overgeneralise, so stop holding such beliefs, and start looking for contradictions. You’ll undoubtedly find that many of your beliefs are based on false knowledge.
Just one last point, the answer to the maths question, if you didn’t already know, is 21 – the rule that makes it so is called “order of operations”, so now you really do know the answer.
They are doing [blank], so must be [blank].
They look like a [blank], so must be one.
The blanks are full of stereotypes, prejudices, biases and generalisations.
This makes us feel satisfied, because it helps us think we understand the world around us.
Understanding the world keeps us safe, but we have no idea, if we’re actually right in our instant evaluation.
But that doesn’t matter because we’ve already moved on to something else.
Not jumping to conclusions means we have to admit to ourselves we don’t know, we can’t know from just one look at somebody and this isn’t satisfactory, because it means we don’t understand the world around us after all, and this could be dangerous.
We are all storytellers, it’s built into our instinctive mind.
For example, I recently heard, in separate news bulletins about a “Super spreader” of the Coronavirus who had infected 30 people after a travel journey.
I had separately heard that some people were refusing to be quarantined after being suspected of contracting the virus.
As a result of these two bulletins my mind created a narrative that this guy must be self-centred with no consideration for other travellers.
Furthermore I assumed he was one of the people that didn’t want to be quarantined.
My mind began to built-up a picture of what the guy possibly looks like, a sense of his arrogance, visually pushing authority away to break free from his imprisonment. Great imagination.
In reality, I don’t know who he is, what he looks like, if he indeed, actually, refused quarantine, if he even had symptoms at the time he was spreading the virus.
I found it interesting to see how my mind instinctively created, and filled gaps in knowledge with assumptions, created out of my overactive imagination.
It got me to thinking about how the mind works, not so much with sympathy but instead with judgment, I suspect this is the case for most people. In this instance, I hadn’t initially thought about the condition of the “Super spreader”, I’d immediately jumped to the conclusion about his potential guilt in knowingly spreading the virus, before my conscious thinking mind had stepped in to question this thought process, and only then did I consider the health of the individual.
Try to catch your instinctive mind in its creative process. Bring awareness to how it reacts to things that are going on around you. This is called mindfulness, it gives your conscious thinking mind time to step in and ask questions of the instinctive mind.
Is your mind instinctively inclined to come from a positive or negative point of view? Let this be part of your self-awareness practice. My thoughts indicated I’m quick to judge. I’m not particularly sympathetically inclined, instinctively, otherwise I’d have been more concerned about the man’s condition.
I suspect this is the case with most people, because the instinctive mind is designed for self protection, so it is fear driven. It’s design to look for danger, to think the worst of people and situations, so as not to become a victim of them.
Use your imaginative, instinctive mind to create good stories of fiction, rather than waste its built-in creativity, but don’t let it shape your opinion of reality. Don’t let it form beliefs, that you hold with some degree of certainty. It’s creative and imaginative, but it’s not accurate, most of the time.
The thing with the Instinct is, it is creative, imaginative, but often light on evidence-based facts. It is directly connected to our emotions and nervous system, which means it is very persuasive in its storytelling, if we aren’t conscious of how and why it works.
The way to step out of the instinctive minds influence, is to bring awareness to it, and allow the conscious thinking mind to step in and question its ramblings. Awareness gives you the space needed to prevent being drawn into the emotions and subsequent reactions.
You are not your thoughts, and they are not you. You are the observer of them, in the same you are not your instinctive mind, it is your self-preservation instinct, but you are so much more, by engaging your conscious thinking mind to take control.
The instinctive mind is a great tool, but a destructive master. Make sure the conscious thinking mind is in control and you won’t go far wrong.