Matrix: Success 101 – The Very Basics

Success is a Master of Trickery and Disguise; and if it were a living entity, it would remind me of an impish and mischievous gargoyle watching over our every move and thought.  Inspecting and judging without offering comprehensible guidance towards our dreams..

Success, achievement, project management, or whatever we choose to label it, can and usually does coat our life like warm dark syrup (or hot volcanic lava, lol).  Based on my experience, we carve this path in our life that can be a slow, burning, and deliberate  journey or rat-tat-tat stinging with exponential responsibilities  – NEVER BEFORE FELT or IMAGINED!  Questioning, imagining, and wondering with sometimes psychotic playfulness..

There will be times, while on your journey to freedom and personal expression, you will not recognize yourself because you will change as you move along chasing your dream.  Consider that you’ve never travelled the road before, then most, if not all, experiences you will confront and conquer will be new and uncharted territory – especially if you are up to something completely off-the-wall or brand new.

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The journey will at times make you feel like a hermit, and/or excited, psychotic, physically ill, questioning yourself, re-evaluating your choices and decision, scared as heck, and many, many more strange feelings of fear and loathing.

The disguise is how the journey towards success wraps itself in our life and then makes US decide what it all means.

Now, I’m talking about the meaning of your success – the perception of achieving your goal – the vision of knowing your dream – the accomplishment of fulfilling obligations and tasks the feeling of excitement waking up and skipping breakfast and a shower – the acknowledgement of your progress – and any other thing you can think of that comes to mind as you do the things that make you want to do the things.

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Below, I provide you with four main steps or actions I consider and incorporate in my activities when I decide to take on a project.  I am a bit anal about having a procedure or plan because that is the kind of thinking I have had impressed on me throughout my life.

I believe in accepting personal responsibility for our lives.  A plan makes life easier. It makes living more fun and accessible.  It gives my life meaning.  And time and again, I’ve been told to HAVE A PLAN to get there.  This is the world we live in – we need to do certain things to get certain things.  So, I made this list of little reminders to prevent my GET-UP-AND-GO from GETTING-UP-AND-LEAVING.

Believe me, I have to follow these steps because I am human and I live with all the same frailties everyone else; So this is not always easy for me as well.

Over the years, through a lot of searching, training, and experimenting with success planning, I have developed this very BASIC Plan to get things done.  It’s not the end all to planning for achievement; rather, it is just a simple list of reminders to keep me moving along the journey of achievement.

I hope you enjoy my suggestions and would be interested in hearing any feedback you may have.  (This is not a perfect list, so I am always on the look out for new suggestions and ideas.)

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1

PICK YOUR DREAM

Ask anybody – they’ll tell you their dream.
  • “Admit to Yourself” HONESTLY and “Don’t Pretend”

    • We have our story we show and tell the world; and we have inner secret truths about ourself we don’t share – our fears, dreams, joys, loves.. We’re not bad, just without the esteem we need and want to get to where we want to get.
    • It’s easy to hide because then we feel better.  Nobody is perfect – and we are ALL human, warts and all.
    • We all live with the same fears, desires, and human conditioning – so you are not a freak.  The more honest with yourself, the more success you will have in a shorter period of time.
  • Peel Away the Excuses

    • There is a reason for everything we do and DON’T DO.  This includes our dreams and goals. Some are real, and some are imagined.
    • This is the most natural part of chasing dreams – most of us do it so we can separate the fact from the fiction.  And, it is a very freeing and logical event to show yourself the ease of going for it.
    • Once you strip down to your REAL SELF and the true person who you would like to express; you will feel the excitement returning.
  • Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • YOU WILL!  It’s just a feeling – read my posts on fear.
    • Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Look back on your history when you’ve investigate a possibility of stepping out of your box.  Does it remind you of previous sabotages?
    • Stop – Breathe – Think – Get Fresh Air.
  • Take a Chance and Believe Your Dream

    • Ask yourself: “If money and time wasn’t an issue, what would I rather be doing?”  Don’t rely on your memory of past attempts – consider this question: What if …?
    • You know you CAN – it may be just that you don’t know HOW.  In this day and age – finding the HOW is the easiest thing you can ever do.
  • Anything Is POSSIBLE!

    • Everything we see, experience, own, and use was first dreamed up in someone’s mind.  It had to start somewhere – and the person just said to her/himself – WHY NOT?
    • TRUST YOURSELF!

    • Chances are, if you haven’t been FORMALLY educated in the arena of your dreams, you are probably ahead of the game.  Formal education dampens the spirit and turns dreams into jobs.  If you are self-educated – all you need help with is the technicalities.

2

GET AN ALLY

Much respect for the straight-shooter
who whispers in our ear with love and without fear.
  • We Cannot Achieve ANYTHING Alone

    • I guess if there was a truth in life – it may be this. History is filled with overwhelming evidence that we need other people in our dream with us to make a difference in OUR life and the lives of others.
    • Bringing someone else into our dream takes a bit of courage.  It also takes trustIt’s still worth sharing.
    • There is someone out there who shares the same goals, values, and dreams as you.  They just may not have the skills you have – or the joy, or the desire, or the motivation, etc.
  • A Mentor/Coach Loves the Honour

    • You don’t have to re-invent the wheel.  Someone’s been on this road before you.
    • You won’t have a difficult time finding a Coach because people who are already working in the business love to be around others who have the hunger and desire to succeed and express themselves.
    • Depending on your dream – the more groundbreaking or new – the better chances to find an excellent Mentor.
    • It will take time.
  • Remember – Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Even at this point you will get restless.  Thoughts of worthiness and personal value will creep in FROM YOUR OWN MIND.
    • We are our own worst critics.  Don’t believe the voice in the head – it loves to scare the heck out of you.
    • AND, by the way, THIS IS NATURAL.
  • Be Kind to Yourself

    • Make a list of your accomplishments – all of them from your childhood.  You will be able to see you can achieve things when you put your mind to it.
    • You will also notice how things you have done in the past all MYSTERIOUSLY fit in with the dream you want to fulfill.
  • Build An Extended Team

    • Besides having your Mentor/Coach, you will need to have trusted people in your life in other areas as well.
    • Bring together a “TEAM” that can support you on different levels in different areas.  You may want to have someone be a sounding board, someone to help with a proposal or business plan, some to help with money management, someone for mental health upsets.
    • Try to avoid people who are closest to you for guidance or advice unless they are truly impartial.  Otherwise, they either won’t understand what you are really up or they may not like the changes they are seeing..

3

MAKE A PLAN

There can be no conflict if you are awaiting it’s arrival.
  • Get an Outline for Your Dream/Idea/Project/Business/Craft

    • As I previously mentioned, information is available everywhere – and most is FREE.  Online, you can get some kind of organizational assistance on ANYTHING you are interested in pursuing.
    • Your Coach/Mentor will be a good source in this area.
    • Remember, to enroll anybody in your dream – they want EVIDENCE to know if you are chasing a DREAM or just a PIPE-DREAM.  This will show them you are serious.
  • Understand it is ALSO a Business (even if not intended or as planned)

    • I heard a saying years ago (I’m probably paraphrasing because I can’t remember who said it): “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you got there?”
    • Your dream will need MONEY.  In today’s world that’s an unavoidable fact.  But you need to know how much financially your dream will need so it doesn’t become an issue later on – especially if you are just about to get on the CREST OF GREATNESS.
    • Your dream will need TIME.  This is important because people in your current life will still want your time and attention
    • Your dream will need EFFORT. Are you up for the CHALLENGE? Is it in you physically and emotionally?
    • Having a plan will take away a lot of surprises.
  • Know Yourself HONESTLY and Don’t Pretend

    • See (in your mind’s eye) how the achievement will look when you get there.  From the exercise you performed at the beginning, since you know what REAL skills and talents you possess, you will be able to see what you have to do.
    • Is more education required?  Do you need to save some money?  Where do you lack the understanding?
    • Creative people especially, are more prone to have difficulty in this area because it’s difficult to separate the EMOTIONAL from the RATIONAL when making a plan.  It’s not a part of the mental makeup when it comes to fulfilling DREAMS.
  • I’ll Say It Again – Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Planning is probably the MOST VOLATILE AREA OF DREAM DEVELOPMENT for the dream chaser.

    • A lot of stress, miscommunication, and effort will be created because of the differences between dreamer and the people brought in to help with the dream.  Different sides of the brain is used between the relationships; so there will be clashes many times because of a deep misunderstanding of the needs required to perform roles.
    • THIS IS VERY NORMAL.

    • Just be PATIENT – Don’t end RELATIONSHIPS – Don’t walk away – and DON’T QUIT!!
  • Create a BALANCE in your activities

    • Dream chasing takes a lof of our time – sometimes too much.  People (and maybe yourself) will wonder whether it is becoming an unhealthy obsession or addiction.
    • Your health will be affected, your relationships will change, your time will disappear, and, at times, nothing else will matter. (Sometimes, this kind of personal selfishness will be essential.)
    • In your time management plan for your dream, make sure you include ALL areas that make up our lives: exercise, entertainment, socializing, EATING, going outside, etc. You get the picture and probably know what I mean if you’ve ever chased dreams in the past.

4

KEEP GETTING UP DON’T GIVE UP!

The Only Lifeguard That Saves Us EVERY TIME
  • The Bigger the Plan, the Bigger the Challenge

    • Like everything in life, you get out of it what you put into it.  When we are creating dreams, we are putting out a lot of negative influence on your OLD life – so your OLD LIFE will push back – and not always nicely.
    • Think of the computer acronym GIGO – Garbage In, Garbage Out.
    • Chances are, you are going to be taking on the biggest challenge in your life as you chase your dream.  Just think of this: if you have to rationalize going after your Dream once again, then you have to have all your bases covered.  That means having the answers to all the difficult questions as well.
    • If you have really BIG CHALLENGES – then you are pushing your plan – good for you!
    • No matter how big the problem/challenge, everything can be overcome
  • Keep the End Result (of your first goal) in Front of You

    • When the frustration starts to set in, just remind yourself why you are doing all this work.
    • I use displays and symbols to help me.  I always have some kind of visual reminder on my wall, in my pockets, pictures on computer, etc. so I can quickly remind me what kind of freedom I will have when I accept I am realizing my dream.
    • Use clippings from magazines, photos of people you admire, quotes and anecdotes, etc.
    • Don’t forget to use your team – they expect you to reach out to them.
  • It’s natural that everything goes up and down – so will you

    • If you have at least 25 years of life under your belt, then you understand by now that life is a funny thing.  It is unpredictable, fun, scary, sweet, angry, enlightening, and so much more.
    • LIFE forever changes from moment to moment.

    • Like everything else, your moods, successes, and moments of elation will also change.
    • EVERYTHING IS NORMAL!

  • Don’t FREAK OUT!

    • Once again, and I can’t say it enough, you will!  Something will happen that will knock you off your feet and kick you between the teeth.  THIS IS NORMAL and happens more often on a daily basis as you PROGRESS along your SUCCESS JOURNEY.
    • When things get overwhelming, watch some videos by Les Brown.  He is a great motivator who can get you out of your funk of feeling down, or stressed, or just plain tired.
    • DON’T DECIDE TO GIVE UP – IT’S NOT WORTH GIVING IN!

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So, that wraps up this installment of my understanding on achievement.

When Success is appearing to engage in Trickery and Disguise; remember that the journey will be difficult AND it will be fun and exhilarating. 

Consider these suggestions when chasing your Dream and PICK YOUR DREAM; then ensure you FIND AN ALLY; make sure you have at least some kind of PLAN; and finally, KEEP GETTING UP.

You will reach every goal to which you’ve ever aspired to achieve and excel.

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Awareness: Claiming Your Life – The Beginning

Have you given up yet?

Are you tired of going after what you want and not quite reaching the goal/dream?

So now you are ready to settle – settle in, huh?

Are you aware that you can still chase your dreams and goals?

It sometimes seems like the older we get, the harder it is to keep up, or stay motivated, or to think about the changes we’ve got to make to reach for our prize.  Heck, when we were kids, we played and dreamed and experimented with all that life offered (in a world of possibility) just for the reason of tasting it.

It’s very possible that we already discovered our “calling”, “purpose”, “meaning” of our life a long time ago.  We knew then what we wanted to doBut now – it’s the physical challenges we’ve got to face.  Or maybe the emotional challenges staring at us.  How about the psychological challenges (that voice in our head) that’s always haunting us?

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This is what I think I know about change and life so far:

1 – Change is inevitable – it happens every second of every day.

2 – With change comes a natural challenge:

Newton’s Third Law of Attraction:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

3 – The bigger the change – the bigger the challenge

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We are naturally organic and in sync
with all life and others.

We are all balls of energy (supported by science, religion, sociology, et al by the way).  Therefore, it would make sense that we are susceptible to the natural forces such as constant change in life.

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We can choose for our life’s future
(for ourself, by ourself, within ourself)
to be either:

a CHAMPION of personal confidence and freedom,

or be

a VICTIM of life’s circumstances.

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We plan, prepare, and exercise how to minimize damage from the challenges life gives us – police, dams, walls, trauma care, car accidents, disasters, etc.  We do this because we know if there is a challenge bigger than ourselves, we’ve made concessions and invested the time and money from our lives to ensure it is disrupted as little as possible.

Let’s use car and accident insurance as an example:

We buy these insurances because we know that every time we get behind the wheel of the car, there is a challenge lurking.  Backing out the car is a challenge, moving to the street is another, driving down the street poses even another.  We know these challenges lurk, because we buy the insurance after all; and as drivers, we cannot trust implicity 100% that circumstances/challenges/accidents will not occur while on the road.

Yet, we are confident that we will be ok regardless (outside the loss of life) of the accident because we are covered by insurance.

So this is what we do:

  1. We plan our needs for driving

  2. We invest the money to ensure we have adequate coverage

  3. We are prepared for any kind of challenge/circumstance/accident/upset.

As a result, we are a confident driver, relaxed and enjoying the ride, and trusting the world a little more as you venture out into the world of chaos and hazard.

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This is pretty easy, isn’t it?  We know what we have to do, and it isn’t a difficult thing to do.  These kind of decisions and actions take place every moment of our lives.  The only difference is that some are big (like moving to another city) and some are small (like taking a night class in English Lit or Auto Maintenance).  It’s when we don’t look at our life circumstances, and the real forces of challenge that are affecting us when making arrangements to create positive changes that gets us in trouble.  We become victims of the agency, the other driver, the agent, the cops, the distractions – anything other than ourselves.  The circumstance WE created is responsible for the “problem” (or challenge) we now face.

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But there is some great news!


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So, ask yourself these questions:

  • If time and money were not issues you had to face to pursue your dreams and goals, what would you be doing?

  • If everybody told you that you CAN do it, what would you be doing?

  • If you truly believed in yourself and just knew you give anything to do your thing, what would you be doing?

  • If there was no risk to  you or your family pursuing your dreams, what would you be doing?

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Stay tuned for more detail on Change in future posts.

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Self Expression: Asking “Why” Without The Stress

I am someone who has always been plagued with the urge to know everything about something that interests me at the time.  It keeps me busy. 

Always asking why!

My mother complained so much about my constantly asking why, she had to warn me ahead of time (when going somewhere new, or seeing something interesting) not to bother asking.

Of course, way back when I was just a wee thing of a kid, I didn’t know the schooling or social status of my parents – so I didn’t know they didn’t know.

I realized years later that my father hated taking me anywhere because I would guarantee to embarrass him some way through my curiousity. For example, if I was travelling on the public transit and I saw someone who looked out of the ordinary, I would ask my Mom how they came to look that way.  The colour of her face matched her feeling of embarassment.

What made it more problematic was that I was an advanced student, so my childhood had exposures to life that piqued my interest almost constantly.  That may explain why I can multi-task or have a fertile and creative mind.

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From these experiences over my lifetime, I have come to the realization about this question of WHY.

I realize asking why is a slippery slope that make many people shake in their boots when CONFRONTED (as they can often see it) with the question. 

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Recently, I decided to create a Creed to remind myself of the dangers of asking Why; and as a WhyzAss (or WhyzAssker),

I call the creed:

The Seven”

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As you can see below, The Seven is a list of things I have learned to consider when speaking with someone else.  I take this approach because (as we all know):

We Are Responsible for

the conversations we have with others.

Over the years, I’ve experienced situations where the communication got out of hand – and not so much the other’s fault.  It’s just that I didn’t fully understand the power of asking Why.  So, The Seven is my contribution to my communication skills.  I have benefitted from using The Seven already and it has helped me express myself more effectively over the years since using it. (Click the image for a larger view.)

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I will be coming back to this topic in the future as we discover the magic of effective communication and relationship.

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Me and We

Nature’s chaos paint my eyes

Caressing as I look,

Solicited by the rarest earth

It’s calling has me hooked.

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Rushing eddies sing to me

Mediating feeling,

I reach inspired at water’s edge

I accept the Healing.

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All in nature synchronizes

Fusing us together,

Our energy acknowledges

We’ve lived as one forever.

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All distractions fall behind

Nagging hurts soon perish’d,

I bathe in life’s generosity

So blessed in love so cherished.


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(c) 2012

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Fear: Time to Tell the Truth – Ending Fear

The first time (many years ago) when I attempted suicide, I knew then without a doubt, removing the Fear of Death from my life was the most freeing and transcending experience I could ever expect.  (I implore you though, do not consider an attempt just to see if it is true!)

Gladly, because I wasn’t successful in my goal (and the final three that followed, again many years ago), I am able to re-discover and experienc the greatest joys we always read and hear about when it comes to enjoying life to the max.  Sadly, while I assume not too many people get this – but, I’ve come to realize that humankind is fooling itself when it comes to fear.

We THINK we KNOW, and we tell others about what we think we know, and that is based on misinformation and double-talk passed down from a time when we didn’t know.  Actually, those who do know about fear make lots and lots of money from that knowledge.

Here are some of the ways I noticed Fear used against us everywhere and we accept it’s use against us:

  • Business – to sell to us

  • Organized Religion – to save us

  • Government – to protect us

  • Media – to inform us

  • Family – to train us

  • Social Oganizations – to delude us

  • Entertainment – to titillate us

  • Money Markets – to free us

  • Medicine – to study us

  • Politics – to confuse us (haha!)

  • Big Pharma – to medicate us

  • Education – to prepare us

** I’ll explain in further detail in future posts on Fear.

Since having this awareness about Fear, this is not to say that life has been one of leisure and comfort; rather, I’ve never worked so hard in my life to suck everything out of my experiences and to fully appreciate how life is lived – in all it’s beauty AND ugliness.

And this is not to say that I have my life all together and face every situation without concerns as I walk about as a beacon of inspiration.  On the contrary.  I am human, so I have ‘things I am working on’ all the time.  I have natural reactions, and anger, and pain, and …

So, from my vast experiences, wide and varied education, and with hundreds of interactions with people since, I feel I can confidently assert that:

_________

Fear is the Greatest Abuse
we inflict upon ourselves and others.

_________

We are in it every day, we see it every day, and it is used against us every day.

We run away from it, we fear it, and we breathe every moment hoping we are prepared against some kind of impending disaster (insurance?).

When I really opened my mind to this and saw the ugliness of the world, I became disempowered and unwilling to play the Fear Game.  I couldn’t come to terms with the morass inflicted upon us by using Fear as a weapon against the masses.  But sometime within the last few years (maybe when I turned 50, and not an “aberrationed” experience), I began to see and experience first-hand why the world needs compassion and understanding.  I now share in genuine moments of true relationship – and not always comfortable for us. But each of us know at least the relationship is real.  And our love grows.

______  .  ______

As I study and learn more about Fear, I am able to understand that I can rid myself of Fear and live a life that is more wonderful and adventurous and fun than ever before imagined or dared..

Now, even when things appear to seem hopeless and desolate, I live more in Freedom than ever before.  The Freedom comes in the understanding that Fear is the controlling force – and in that understanding, I let go of the Fear.

It isn’t always easy – after all, even science tells us that any force against nature has an equal and opposite force,  Therefore, if I’m up to good things that are taking me out of my ‘nature’ and pushing the limits of possibility, then I have to be prepared to expect nature to push back with the same force of opposition (economy, politics, family, social standing, finances, etc).

______  .  ______

To summarize from the last post on Fear and how it happens to us:

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  1. We take in the information, then

  2. We INSTANTLY warn ourself from being startled by automatically and normally setting off phyical reactions like adrenalin (as in all animals), then

  3. Believing that feeling, we INSTANTLY search our memory for past feelings, then

  4. Believing that memory, we INSTANTLY give the feeling meaning, then

  5. Believing that meaning, we take action based on the meaning that we automatically EXPECT to remove the problem.

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**  It doesn’t have to be this way.  **

We can eliminate all the problems and avoid the distress.
Read on …

______  .  ______

*** A strong reminder: these are only my observations – they are not the Truth.  I will add though, the insights I’ve shared are common in most societal institution in every culture.

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The Big Secrets About Fear
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  • Fear is only a feeling

  • There is a difference on whether we see or imagine the source of Fear > FEAR IS TIME-BASED

  • The feeling we get when we label it Fear is the EXACT SAME FEELING WE GET WHEN WE ARE EXCITED.  Yes, Fear feels the same as excitement.

  • Fear is the label we give the feeling

  • – we have 4 distinct opportunities to feel Fear and still not be afraid

  • – How we react when faced with a fear is only a “conditioned response

______  .  ______

The Four Opportunities to Eliminate Fear

>> Keep in mind that the focus of this discussion is on our PERCEPTIONS of threats (imagined) and not REAL threats that affect our lives or of those we love.

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The first thing that happens when we are caught off guard (to start the process):

1 – We Warn Ourselves

  • The adrenalin rush we feel is only a natural biological effect

  • The feeling happens no matter what – we cannot control it

  • The feeling has the same purpose and is common in all life

       DOWNSIDE:

  • It is too easy to automatically think the worst about the feeling

       UPSIDE:

  • The chaotic jungle of life on this planet gives us a great internal warning system for real reasons to be fearful

1st OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST CONCLUSION

  • WE CAN consciously acknowledge the feeling of the adrenalin and logically understand it can be a misread feeling

  • Opens up the mind to further inquiry of the “real” threat that scares us > more possibilities for understanding

Here is a personal example from my life that can illustrate my assertion:

When I was playing piano as a young boy, I was always encouraged to play well.  My piano teacher taught me to learn and express my talents through my inherent love of music (which I still hold today).  My father taught me to learn through the fear of losing the music because “it costs a lot of money to put you through this!” 

I can remember feeling scared and nervous before a recital (I used to play recitals at places like the old Eaton store in downtown Toronto for old rich people).  My teacher helped me quickly overcome fear of performing in public after a couple of performances.

This is what happened:

After I shared with my teacher how I was feeling (the adrenalin, hands sweaty, pacing, breathing), she told me I was wrong about my feeling.  Here it comes, I thought, now I am REALLY going to feel bad.

What she said to me was this:

“Kevin, for whatever reason you think you are nervous, it is not true.  The real reason you feel this way is because you are EXCITED about performing.  You know your stuff.  The feelings you get before you perform are EXACTLY THE SAME as Fear – and you know you are scared.  So it’s got to be excitement.”

After about three times of being reminded, I have never, ever been nervous about performing in front of people.  I’ve performed in theatre, TV, movies, music, training, and public speaking, and I’ve always excelled in this area of life.  And when I see an opportunity to perform something, I GET EXCITED!

______  .  ______

The next thing that happens after we get the physical sensation caused by some unexpected event (whether real or perceived):

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2 – We Search Our Memory for a Similar Event

       DOWNSIDE:

  • We are limited to our memories of events AS THEY HAPPENED AT THE TIME

  • We remember details as if we were still that age

  • The more trauma to our psyche > the more embedded in our memories

  • Our memory changes because of later events, more knowledge, health, etc.

Our memories are selective > it will search ANYTHING to match the feeling (depending on the current event when we get the feeling of the adrenalin rush).

        WORST DOWNSIDE:

  • once the feeling is felt, our memory USUALLY STARTS AT THE WORST explanation and works it’s way down

  • we are conditioned by civilization to start with BAD memories because we all live in Fear

 

2nd OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST MEMORY that comes to our mind.

  • We know the memory is untrustworthy because the memory is an automatic  random event from our brain.

Here is another example from my life:

When I approach an older man who reminds me of my late father (ie. Size, looks, sound, walk, or smell > I know that he is not my father, he just appears to me like the memory of my father.

Those memories of my father go back to the brutal childhood I endured.  There was much physical, psychological, and emotional abuse from him.  There was absenteeism, unexplained punishment, and never, ever a conversation with him in my first 17 years knowing him.

I learned over time that I didn’t have to fear male authority figures solely based on a memory.  Close to twenty years later when I saw him again, I grew to understand how memory taints our feelings.  By then, I came to understand that he wasn’t as big as I remembered; he was really just a broken man and bully; and he only did what he did out of his own fears.

This didn’t forgive his treatment of his eight children; but it did help me come to terms with my unfounded fears of older male authority figures.  I learned to change my behaviour because I knew I didn’t have to experience being with them and living from a misplaced feeling that I had to cower in secret fear and try to impress in order to achieve my/our goals.

______  .  ______

After the feeling and memory has arrived, then:

3 – We Tell Ourselves What the Feeling and Memory (together) Means to us.

It has been dissected and discussed over eons humankind’s eternal and most individual personal search (whether we acknowledge it or not).  That inquiry is about our search for meaning.  It is THE crucial element in civilization because it helps us all to connect with one another by creating a common understanding.

This happened because … or she’s like that because … or this symbol binds us because … 

DOWNSIDE:

  • Since our initial and natural reaction to an unexpected event is to protect ourselves, we tend to automatically think the meaning of the feeling represents doom.

UPSIDE:

  • By giving things/events/behaviours meaning, it gives us reasons for why things happen and can create safety for us (from such things as possible real physical danger).

 

3rd OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to JUMP TO THE FIRST MEANING we automatically attach to the memory

  • we know the meaning is untrustworthy because the mind will attach anything that sticks

Another (boring?) example of how this can work:

I am involved in a lot of projects and I always have from my earliest memories as a boy.  I love them because they satisfy my need for constant change and variety, and I completely hate being on a clock and having a J.O.B. (Just Over Broke).

As I got older, my ability to achieve some of my goals was becoming more difficult.  I was becoming frustrated because things weren’t just getting done and I couldn’t depend on people.

The first thing I did was start going back through my memory to all my FAILED projects and started making checklists in my mind.  It wasn’t long before I found enough reasons to make myself feel bad.  Soon, I became fearful of sharing my ideas with others because I began doubting my skills and abilities.  That invoked my deep-seated fear of looking stupid.

One day, I decided to make a paper checklist of my ideas and projects (for a different project I’m working on right now).  Wow!  When I started to acknowledge the achievements I accomplished, I began to see patterns (as well as to feel better in knowing I wasn’t stupid after all, lol).

When I discovered I was selecting partners to work with me, I was choosing people who easily bought into the idea or were looking to impress me with their interest.  Not a good reason to select a working partner.

Since then, I realize that I don’t have to misjudge my ideas or the people working with me because I’ve changed my habits in the process.  Now when I embark on a new project, I may not have succeeded in the goal in the past, but that just means I learned something new to help me become better as a person.

______  .  ______

Then finally, after the brain INSTANTLY takes the event, and notices the feeling, and attaches it to a memory, and gives it a meaning, then

4 – We Take Action based on the Meaning We Gave to the Feeling

The classic theory on Fear tells us either we stay and defend or we run away called “fight or flight”.  This is typical whether the feeling of the Fear is real or perceived.  It is a conditioned reaction we are taught and affects every one of us (as animals).

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4th OPPORTUNITY TO ELIMINATE FEAR:

We can CHOOSE not to REACT TO THE FIRST MEANING we automatically attach to the memory

  • we know everything has been untrustworthy so far, so a ‘second thought’ is required

When the Fear is real, such as someone is driving at us, the action is very apparent.  The person either jumps out of the way immediately or decides to take action head on.

When the fear is perceived, such as a Fear of Failure, it may not be so obvious.

An example of perceived fear such as above, the person may choose to never take courses to get promoted in the company.  If a person has a Fear of being Late (which would go deeper than that with further inquiry), they may act out by screaming aggressively at someone who slows them down or gets in their way.  Other examples of ways people react out of fear may appear as:

  • crying every time the person fears the other is leaving, or

  • physical fighting to avoid the fear of feeling embarrassed by another person, or

  • giving false compliments to overcome the fear of not being liked, or

  • becoming well-read to avoid the fear of looking stupid, and on and on …

The person may get stressed out at people just being themselves.  Someone standing on the escalator as they ride or someone fumbling around for change may be perceived as an enemy and then anybody in your way (which ends up being everybody) catches your derision.  The actions out of fear show up in many, many ways.

______  .  ______

To Recap …

In a nutshell to bring this conversation to close for today, here are the main points I’ve brought forward:

  1. Fear is not real

  2. Fear can be changed

  3. Fear is based on past memories

  4. We can live without Fear

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Your Home Library: Inspiring Reading 2 – May 2012

Here is your reading suggestions for May 2012

Remember, you don’t have to read them all right away.
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The Power of Full Engagement

Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

2003

TOPICS: Leadership, Courage, Passion

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… this book provides a life-changing road map to becoming more fully engaged on and off the job, physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned.

Book review by Publisher of Leadership Now

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.. 

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The Magic of Believing

Claude M. Bristol

1948

TOPICS: Belief, Personal Power, discovery

The subconscious mind is a colossal dynamo. Throughout history, great rulers, warriors, statesmen, inventors, writers, artists, poets and religious leaders have used it to attain their objectives. You, too, can put your mind’s remarkable force to work. In this enduringly popular, updated 1948 classic, Claude M. Bristol asserts that if you firmly believe that you can be successful, and remind yourself of this belief, over and over, you will succeed.

Book Review by: Get Abstract

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How to Have Power and Confidence in Dealing with People

Les Giblin

1956

TOPICS: Leadership, Success, Personal Empowerment, Goal Setting, Selling

The books common theme is making human nature work for you through diplomacy. He explains that most failures in personal relationships, business dealings and communication have nothing to do with the lack of technical skills or who is right, but rather with people skills and understand that everyone thinks he’s right. This book can really help just about anyone develop the social and people skills needed to avoid conflict and make long lasting friends out of potential enemies and hard to deal with people.


 Book Review by: Lance Winslow

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Enjoy your discoveries!

 

 

Fear: Time to Tell the Truth

From where I sit, I assert that most everybody has it wrong about Fear.  And worse still, we are not making life any better for humankind – just more fearful.

Fear is the most pervasive and abusive form of Human Injustice in civilized society is how Fear is manipulated against/by us as groups and individuals.

Fear, or rather the perception of it, is very oppressive; and no matter what we do in life, we cannot escape it.

Judging by the 2+ billion results from the google search “What is Fear?”, our acceptance of fear seems to be the agreement between us humans as the sites displayed pretty well all say the same thing.

***

Every time I see a reference to Fear (and it is often), I go crazy.  I watch current events on TV or out in the street and it is so depressing.  I see and hear how the world is going to hell. 

We watch the news and everybody is scared.  We invest a lot of our time PREVENTING something (eliminating our Fears) like cancers, abuses, wars, poverty, Africa, etc, and occasionally we hear a “feeling good” story.

Then we talk to our friends and associates, and we hear about the ACTUAL living our Fears we think we have such as mortgage/rent shortage, price of foods, the car is dying, the spouse might be cheating, etc.  And every once in a while someone won a small lottery and it’s coffees for everyone!

So, in my humble opinion, I believe the time has come to remove the blindness that prevents us from fully understanding this thing called Fear.  From my experience, fully understanding will give us Freedom from the conditioned bonds we have been and are constantly fed.  There is current academic debate on what age we are (as infants) when we begin to ‘learn’ Fear.

***

From my life experiences and observations, consider these assertions I have about Fear:
*** (remember – these are only my opinions and observations. They are not the truth)

1 – Fear Is Not Real.  We have been misinformed,

2 – We can Instantly Rid Fear from our lives, and

3 – No Self-Talk Required or Head Games to live life without Fear.

A SIDE NOTE:  I first learned this before I was 10 years old, then I was able to re-learn it and articulate it 20 years later.  Ever since, I have been able to be more consistent in my goals and endeavours (outside of the distractions from my disabilities).

______  .  ______

 What Exactly is Fear?

The generally accepted meaning of fear I pulled from dictionary.com:

a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc.,
whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Notice how the description (as most others) states Fear is a perception/meaning (or a label/story) we give to a physical process (feeling) that interacts between the mind and the body to determine the way to react to such a feeling.

Also notice how it states “REAL or IMAGINED“.

______  .  ______

Below, on the left, is a graphic showing the thought processes within our human brain that take place to lead us to our perceptions of fear.  On the right, I’ve included a graphic of the “thought process” of a computer to show the similarities between the two (and to make it easier to make the point).

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1.   Thalamus / Input (Data)

Where everything begins.

  • Thalamus determines where to send incoming data from the five senses

  • Computer takes in data from keyboard or software

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2.    Sensory Cortex / Operating System (Automatic Processing)

This is the FIRST place where everything can be changed from a negative experience to one that is positive.

  • Cortex interprets the data and attaches an immediate feeling with the emotion

  • Automatic process as brain prepares to search brain for information

  • Depending on whether input is seen or perceived, the brain then determines the level of fear and the immediate reflexive action

eg: reflex jump, sweaty hands, faster heartbeat, heavier breathing, etc.

  • Operating System reads computer language of input and opens correct software package

  • Automatic process as computer prepares to search OS for information

eg: whether the software is installed or not determines the message you will get from the computer

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3.    Hippocampus / Hardware (Memory)

This is the SECOND place where everything can be changed from a negative experience to one that is positive.

  • Hippocampus stores and recovers cognitive memories

  • it processes the stimuli to match the memories

eg: we automatically remember feeling uncomfortable, negative results, unexpected responses, etc.

  • Hardware searches past information about the input and software program

  • it processes the data through it’s memory chips

eg: were there any crashes, format changed, wrong format, etc.

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4.    Amygdala / Software (Interpretation)

This is the THIRD place where everything can be changed from a negative experience to one that is positive.

>>> This is where we give meaning to the input (physically and emotionally).

  • Amygdala interprets emotions and searches for possible threats

  • based on stored memories of past fears

  • automatic process due to social conditioning

eg: people did you wrong, a system ripped you off, crash when drove down a road, storm caused a house fire, etc

  • Software interprets data

  • automatically monitors past formats and warns us when something wrong

eg: font is wrong, sentences mixed, spelling, etc.

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5.    Hypothalamus / Output (Expression)

This is the FOURTH place where everything can be changed from a negative experience to one that is positive.

>>> The decision to act takes place here.  This is when we express ourselves in the face of the perceived (unseen) or real (seen) threat of fear.

  • Hypothalamus activates a physical response

eg: threaten, bully, fight, run, yell, swear, cheat, deceive, etc.

  • Output activates a computerized response

eg: screen display, document, spreadsheet, hard copy, emailed, etc.

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So, to summarize:

1 – We take in the information, then

2 – We INSTANTLY warn ourself of possible problems by setting off adrenalin, then

3 – Based on that feeling, we INSTANTLY search our memory for similar feelings, then

4 – Based on that memory, we INSTANTLY give the feeling meaning, then

5 – Based on the meaning, we take action that will remove the problem.

 

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