As I go through life, I hope to get through it with as little pain as possible – at least that’s the way I’ve experienced it.
I figure that one of our primary goals in life is to keep the body as comfortable as possible. I go by the thinking that everything goes to its very basic – personal comfort. We know we can’t get out of this life alive. I’ve often wondered (I am a whyz-guy) about people’s motivations and the way in which we achieve our goals and plan our lives. From these learnings, I’ve come to create certain truisms about people and life..
In this post, I focus on how we relate to each other and how we’ve been socially conditioned to believe certain ‘facts’ about life. These are the kind of life facts that help us get along in life and keep ourselves safe and more assured. We live by these because we’ve got nothing else, and we’ve heard these over and over and over again in our lives as truisms.
How I achieve it is based on everything I’ve ever experienced and learned throughout my life. Some are personal life tests, some from my family, from the media, and from the social conditioning this North American culture (here in Toronto) provides us. Over the life of this blog, I will come to discuss these issues in greater depth; but for now, I’d like to share with you some of my imaginings and illusions I’ve come to park in my belief system.
As everything else in my life, it doesn’t mean I am married to these beliefs; rather, they are just some thoughts I am ‘trying on’ in my thought patterns. What I do is test them as often as possible.
Why do I call them lies, you ask?
How did I arrive at my musings?
On what do I base my suppositions?
Hmmm. Funny you should ask.
If you happened to venture to my page explaining my background (and what I think about myself, haha), you will find that I carry a philosophical background under the labels of Humanism and Existentialism. I think of myself, in other words, as someone who loves people and dislikes social games.
I believe that we are responsible individuals who can take control of our lives,
and actually have complete control of its outcome.
That’s not to say many outside influences shape our thoughts and actions, but I do believe we can overcome those influences and challenges. I think that we, as a specie, are very special individually and as a group.
Given these motivations, I tend to look to the positive as much as possible. I’ve had enough challenges in my own life to have the opportunity to challenge and stretch myself countless times. I could see life as a problem. I dunno, but I figure it can’t be all that bad because I am still alive and kicking … and I needed a lot of help and love from others to get me here.
Along the way, I saw a lot of recurring events/nightmares coming up in people’s lives that didn’t make sense. It wasn’t until I developed deeper relationships with others that I was able to make some kind of sense (at least to me) of this wonderful mystery called life. It left and impression, that’s for sure!
So what I’m getting at is that I’ve probably ‘been there and done that’ as far as life experiences go and I’m blessed to have had the ability to survive it and tell. Through these experiences (even in my limited knowledge) I’ve both conscious and unconsciously tested these lies – and I personally hold them to be true to my belief system (and not in any particular order). What do you think?
The 5 BIGGEST Lies of Life
LIE # 1: The Strongest Survive
There was a time in our history of humankind where this was evident and true. In those times, physical prowess is what got you what you wanted and needed. As we’ve become more intelligent and created systems, processes, and events that make it easier on our physical lives, we no longer need physicality.
We’ve recorded too many instances over the last few millennium to doubt that brains make the difference. Heck, the 19th and 20th centuries were a hotbed of inventions, thought, creativity, and advancement. I figure we’ve been hanging on to an out-dated lie.
LIE # 2: Knowledge Is Power
This lie is a child of the demon above – and we have taken this lie to be something motivational. Sadly, (the way I see it) I think we’ve gone too far with this one; and even more >> it is missing the real power and misleading us into thinking knowledge is actually power.
Give me a moment with this one, if you will. First, I am not suggesting at all that one forgets about seeking knowledge. Knowledge is important because it gives us awareness. But still no power.
Think about it: How many people do you know that are very knowledgeable but are not very successful/powerful in their lives? How much knowledge do governments and powerful organizations have and still mess up on a regular basis? How often do you see people that rhyme off statistics and observations yet really don’t know what the heck is going on? This is what I figure:
Knowledge is only the FUEL –
ACTION is the TRUE POWER.
It doesn’t matter how much you know. What we need to do is USE THE KNOWLEDGE so we can take action. Our actions can be more effective with knowledge – but pity the soul who still lives in this lie.
LIE # 3: Trust is Earned
This is one of those lies that goes right over our heads. We’ve seen it countless of times – someone breaks the sacred trust between them, and the victim of the broken trust states that people now have to earn his/her trust. A lot of us live that mantra and really believe that trust is indeed earned. Yet, we fail to realize that trust is actually something that is automatically given to someone else.
We play head games with ourselves into thinking that there is a certain degree of mistrust, inevitably, we GIVE them our trust. We have to or we would never get anything done. That’s why we have contracts – to help us trust the other in business dealings. It gives us a remedy (to sue) when the trust is broken; and as we know, a lot of weight is given to a WRITTEN agreement.
What actually happens is that we give the trust (sometimes reluctantly) and
expect the best outcome.
We sometimes shake on an agreement as a symbol
of showing each other that integrity in the agreement is based on trust.
When the trust is broken, we are heartbroken (and we express it in different ways) that someone would do that. Then, in the heat of the pain, we declare that from now on, trust is earned – and that goes for everyone.
Sadly, we often go too far on this one. If anything, it would be better for us to declare that the one particular individual has to re-earn the trust they broke. It would be shameful to make it a blanket statement.
If we knowingly and willing gave everyone the trust we all deserve, we could possibly experience a shift in cooperation and community. Just this acknowledgement can make a difference, as I have had the amazing times meeting a broad range of individuals who contributed so much to my experience of life.
LIE # 4: There Is NO Fear.
This lie has been one of my issues with the world because of it’s misuse.
In one way, there is a lot of truth in this statement.
Unfortunately, even though people use this mantra to empower themselves or others,
the true essence is missing.
It is not a saying to be played with any more than telling someone they are going to live to be 100 years old. Yes indeed, it is possible, but unless you have all the facts and you are doing all the right things, then the possibility of achievement is limited.
And when it comes to fear, there is a lot of limited information given and not enough depth to the conversation. So, if I may, allow me to expand on my philosophy on fear.
In empowerment training (like athletics), there is a belief that there is NO FEAR. We are told that regardless of what people are saying, how you are feeling, and what is going on, you have nothing to fear in your drive to achieve your goal. To their credit, the teaching advises us that we can overcome the fear – with the benefit of being courageous. And while this is a noble thought in assisting to raise someone’s ability, it only goes part of the way without fully explaining the depth of the teaching.
Without going into great detail, I suggest that we remind people that our beliefs about fear, courage, excitement, etc., are not based on reality. Rather, we make up stories in our head about our feelings based on what is going on around us. Here’s an example of what I mean.
The way I was able to eliminate fear completely when it came to performing publicly (not overcome – it never existed except for the first time) was to realize that I was letting a bodily feeling tell me how I should feel emotionally or psychologically. So this is how it went:
I was around 8 years old and was studying piano music with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. I guess I was pretty good (though I had no thought about it at the time) because soon after starting, I was playing in recitals and other public venues.As I said, it happened only the first time I ever performed.
I remember feeling my adrenalin rushing through my mid-section and working its way to my heart. I was starting to breathe a little heavier and my legs became weak. As I sat, I remember having thoughts of what those feelings meant. Given my family, the first and most obvious answer was “fear” and “nervousness”. I couldn’t understand why I was feeling this way because I loved playing the piano (still do) – yet here I was – scared and nervous.
I can’t remember who said what and how it was implanted, but I arrived at a profound understanding about life. I realized that I felt the very same way when I am practicing and playing music (singing too) at home or school.
I had the exact same bodily feelings – adrenalin, speeding heart, goose bumps, etc – when I was alive, excited, and experiencing full self-expression. THE EXACT SAME FEELING – except my brain called it something different because I was doing something else. Therefore, since the feeling is the same and just my thought about it was different, then I can change the thought about the feelings.
Instead of saying I was nervous when performing in front of a lot of people, I told myself I was actually excited about performing. I still had the same feelings; but instead of feeling bad, I felt so much more excited that I often performed beyond my wildest imaginations. Ever since, I never ever had any fear of performing (acting, singing, speaking, training, etc). As a result, I never have to even think about fear because it is not a part of my being.
A couple of interesting thoughts on this. First, for many years, I thought there was something wrong with me because I could manipulate my feelings about my motivations. I thought I was doing something devious or mentally imbalanced because I didn’t think other people would do the same thing. But I was addicted, so I pursued every interest I’ve ever had regardless.
The second thing to mention that this knowledge about fear has given me so many more enriching experiences and deeper relationships. One example is my desire to always be in school or training of some kind. If it interests me, I’ll try it out. Because I am not afraid of failing, I always have great experiences with learning.
LIE # 5: The World has Truth (or Meaning)
In a way, this is tied in with the thoughts on Fear. As I got older and learned more about life, I realized I wasn’t crazy (or really was!) because understanding that meaning is an individual thing with transient motivations depending on the individual, the culture, and family background.
Of course, we know the world has no real meaning and definitely no single truth;
yet we will fight to the death to protect the meaning we have given.
Meaning and truth are a funny couple too. It’s like a double-edged sword on human relationships. Which one is worse: We give meaning to something and we create a truth to make a fit, or we create a truth and fit it with a meaning to validate it?
I guess there could be two ways of looking at the problem with truth and meaning. The great philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, ”the thing is to find a truth which is true for me…”. So given the world changes all the time making truth a constantly moving force, can we live with long-held truths passed down over time?
Secondly, given we know that some people are going to defend their truths and meaning to the mortal end, can we accept their belief systems as theirs?
Here’s a bonus:
This is only my illusion about how science works here. Since heat creates a vacuum in the atmosphere, cold air would be sucked into it creating an effect that feels like blowing. It’s really wind sucking and not blowing.