Friday, March 9, 2012

A Major, Easy, Rewarding Solution to Many of your Problems

First, I need to post this link by Life Hacker which finally put something into words that I hadn't bothered to before: basically, it is a truly brilliant article written by Thorin Klosowski that teaches you how to define or re-define your reality, after you realize that your reality is nothing more than perception.

I'm not going to repeat things that are in that article; I'll add to it.

If you believe you are failing in some way, or that you need to move "up" in society, some argue in defense of such thinking, claiming that such thinking is a strong motivator toward a more positive path of action.  That path, arguably, would lead to a more fulfilling life. 

I disagree.  What I push for is the realization, first, that your reality truly is perception.  Your reality is this: your actual situation as decided by how your mind perceives it.  If you grew up being taught (and still believe) that a man should always have at least a few thousand dollars in the bank, and yet you find yourself paying non-sufficient fund fees regularly with no savings, you will deem yourself a failure in that way.  That's very specific, but that thinking is very vague and you apply that thinking across the spectrum of your behaviors.  People never seem to question why they think they are failures in some way.

In other words, you have a perception--a working truth--within your mind of what success is.  It may vary wildly from your peers/friends'/family's perceptions.  You have learned (and believed) little fragments of information here and there, through people, books, tv, movies... little fragments of information that came together to shape your view of what success is and ultimately what reality is.  Now keeping that in mind, here's my question; what makes you so sure that your perception of success is right, fair, or normal?  All that definition is, for you, is a perception based on fragments of information that piled up--information that you chose to base your beliefs upon.

That makes your definition of success or failure a choice.  It is a choice.  It can be changed.  It isn't hard; all you have to do is go into your mind, find out where you think you're failing, and examine the belief by which you are judging yourself for that specific situation.  Although the article doesn't go into detail much about this technique, it does refer to it as "story editing," as labeled by Timothy Wilson, psychologist at the University of Virginia and author of Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Chance.

I can think back to college when we were learning about Rene Descartes who, at one point in his self-appointed mission to discover what reality truly was, had convinced himself he had no hands.  That's the deeper end of this spectrum of discovery.  I'm just trying to get you to step into the baby pool because you can instantly re-define who you are and what you are about and what your value is to this world or whether or not being a value to this world even matters.  No hands?  It's possible.  Your hands could be illusions that your mind has made up to explain how we do things with only our minds... something that could help us make sense of breaking the normal laws of physics.

It wouldn't be fair not to mention that there are plenty of other things in the article, other than just defining your reality vis a vis success and failure.  It also touches on the importance of forcing yourself to open your mind up.  Socrates said something like, "Only one thing that I know; that is that I know nothing."  I have learned over the years that it is the intelligent people that can open up their minds, even where they have a pretty strong faith in a belief or set of rules.  They allow for new possibilities. 

To be fair, I have to add that it seems like the less open-minded (and, usually, more judgmental) people are less intelligent.  I won't get into the cause and effect vs. correlation argument as to why they are less intelligent (e.g. are they less intelligent because they refuse to learn new things by closing their minds on subjects, or is there simply a correlation that has nothing to do with their closed minds making them less intelligent--a simple correlation showing that the more close-minded they are, the less intelligent they are, where the root could be a philosophy or religion or medical issue).  In fact, I know of a few super-duper immature adults that play "games" with those they don't like, and I swear it, those people are almost always less intelligent than their peers who refuse to engage in such games.  Maybe that, also, is a mere correlation, but I see it (at best) as a state of arrested development with a component, fittingly, of arrested education.

Open-minded people tend to dislike very few people.  There is a deep and semi-respectful understanding of differences.  They judge less.  They listen more.  They aren't typically racist or sexist.  Einstein said something like (this isn't even close to a quote but it's the same analogy), "To continue to learn, you must let information come and go like traffic through a crossroads, always making room for more information by not holding on to any information too tightly," or, as I like to put it, "Let knowledge go so knowledge can flow."  Those that won't let "knowledge" go tend to seize up on old ideas.  They are more likely to be racist, sexist, and immature.  You probably know at least one or two people like this. 

So, to close, I guess what I'm hoping is that I can bring you some light along with the great article referenced in the first paragraph.   There is no easier, more fulfilling, or meaningful way to change your reality, right now!

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