Archive for July, 2011


I’ve heard many reasons for the wish to succeed. They can be broad or narrow, shallow or deep; whatever the case there are a multitude of motivations for one to do well whether financially, or emotionally. I’m sure you can identify with some of these examples I’ve heard recently:

  • To have lots of money
  • To have a comfortable life with my family
  • To give my kids more opportunities
  • To take part in activities I missed out on growing up
  • A sense of security
  • A nice house (more…)
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ME.

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Deeper Things, Poetic Paths
Tags: , , , , , , ,


I always thought it easy to believe
That much of what I lacked was just that:
Lacking.

Believing I had no opportunity
For I had no thing to enter opportunity with.
This was what I thought.

My lines were short
For shortage of sense.
Sense of zero at 100!

Should this be the status quo?
Have I been born for the purpose of
Not having purpose?
Can I be liberated for this empty space?
Wouldn’t a prison be better?
For at least my sentence would’ve been for a
Reason.

Yet I AM bound!
Bound to the search.
Bound to a desire.
Bound to a feeling.
Bound to a fear.

Fear that my beliefs were false.
Fear that I always had something in me.
Fear that I’ve wasted my years fearing.

Fearing me

Me.

Two letters that represent everything I know
Two letters that embody an existence.
A section of the universe wrapped up in flesh and blood,
And thoughts of more, for false belief of less.

In me is fear,
And it is full!
In me is wonder,
And it is full!

Complete.

Total.

Full.

All.

Me.

I.

.


This had BETTER work!

Have you ever had an idea/desire that just appears ridiculously impossible, or at the very least improbable? Or even just improper? I know I’ve had my fair share of those, and continue to have them. They’re always fun at first. They invade your mind, filling you with all these possibilities and feelings (the warm fuzzy type). In this stage you’re on top of the world and in some cases, you even add a little more bounce to your step! What a beautiful time…until a shocking and unexpected thought hits you: Wait…do I have to DO this? How the heck?

SNAP!

The easiest part of an idea, is having the idea! It just dawns upon you in a moment, with usually little to no effort expended. Sometimes it’s brilliant as it is, sometimes it grows as you think about it; sometimes it scares you, sometimes it uplifts you. Most times however, you leave it long enough, it will plague you with the question: So NOW what? Having the idea is fine, that’s a result of having a working mind! You should be grateful!

The second easiest part, is losing the idea! You heard it! Why? The problem with having an idea, is eventually you have to tell somebody… And that’s when the ‘fit hits the shan’. People rarely see things the way you do, or can fully grasp something that’s so real in your mind. I’m telling you, if you haven’t heard all the reasons why your idea will not make it in your head, then I’m sure somebody will be willing to tell you. Your memory is already against you here. Leaving an idea brewing, doesn’t actually brew it. Ideas don’t brew, they fizzle out. They only brew as you apply more focus, but otherwise, with all the activity you probably already take part in, you’ll lose it! Add the lovely ‘counter-questions’ from the people you may tell, and you have enough ammunition to obliterate any chance you have…

But that’s if you accept it!

My advice to battle negative comments, negative situations, negative possibilities, negative anything, is to DO IT ANYWAYS!!!

For an idea, there is nothing more benefitting, than action. Taking steps towards your desired reality. I have really fallen for the tricks before, and seen how doing it anyways has helped me get more progress and momentum under my belt. You owe it to yourself to do it anyways! After the joy of discovery, you can’t rob yourself of seeing this thing happen. It gives you even more energy to try things out, to look for ways of making it happen; all that’s stopping you is the gap between Conception and Birth!

Once a woman is pregnant, all she has to do is stay alive, like she always has. That baby inside her will grow whether she wants it to or not. How healthy the child is, will depend on her lifestyle (how you nurture your idea, how you get creative with it, what you believe when you think/hear it); yet even then there comes a time the baby has to come out of her! She can’t decide “Nah, I don’t feel like giving birth.” It has to happen. Yet we think somewhere that maybe our plan is stupid, or it’s impossible, or it doesn’t make economic sense, or it’s in a language we don’t understand (huh?)…and so we abort it!

Opposition from yourself or elsewhere is guaranteed. It’s a natural product of how we think: differently. So guess what, that opposition is not proof enough that you’ll fail. It’s just proof that people can exercise their opinion. Great for them.
Do it anyways!

There may be a thought that tells you some people will never accept the new proposal you’ve thought of for a business venture or a project. Guess what, you’re right! Some people will never accept it…and in fact, you’re doing them a favour by leaving that baby in your stomach, because then they don’t even have to disagree.
Do it anyways!

It is quite possible that your idea could really upset some of the systems you and those around you have grown used to. Well, I bet you those systems were old anyways, and you could have the answer that everyone wants to beat the repetitive boredom around them.
Do it anyways!

A legendary ice hockey player named Wayne Gretzky once said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”! That is such a painful truth! You think you’ll be a loser for failure? Well a loser has done a lot more than the guy who didn’t even play the game! At least the loser tried!

Of course there is a lot of risk in doing something new. As we just read, the chance of missing the mark is 100% when you do nothing! What do you have to lose? Your reputation? If it’s a reputation you built by ‘playing it safe’, then it’s probably not one you’d inspire your children to achieve. Imagine saying “Son, aim for tree-trunks! Go all the way to the middle!
Not very invigorating is it?

Having ideas and doing nothing, is like taking a gun and finishing all your bullets on a target…then realizing your bullets were blanks! All the sound effects, none of the impact!

SO DO IT ANYWAYS!

Over.


At some point in my life, I noticed a few traits within me that I never really liked seeing from anyone else, yet they were alive and well in my own mind. I saw how I sometimes treated people and would later say to myself, “Why did I do that?” with much confusion in my heart. I would be insulting, degrading, and extremely harsh in my remarks to some people; not being able to handle incompetency, or lack of understanding. Now, I must say that I’m already a pretty blunt person (as some of my posts may portray), and I believe in ‘saying it like it is’.  Of course, that was my excuse.

Unfortunately, doing what I did was not the final nail in the coffin of my realisation.  What really got me thinking was how other people responded to the way I was.  I noticed a few traits within them as well.  On the one hand, they did what I asked them to do; completing tasks, or learning a skill I required (demanded) of them. Yet on the other hand, they resisted me in most forms of relationship outside the tasks at hand. They were afraid of me. It is then that I reached the conclusion that even though the work was getting done, it wasn’t out of people being productive, it was because I made them do it! They weren’t inspired, innovative, energetic, or even happy… They were just jumping because they had to…or else! Their incentive was not progress, it was survival. They weren’t trying to please me, they were trying to appease me.

What was happening here? I wasn’t a leader… I was a manipulator. I thought I was in control, and I was right; just not in control of me. I controlled everybody else with my temper. And so it is with all ‘manipulators’. They become gods demanding sacrifices at their altars ‘or else’. That ‘or else’ can be different for everyone, but in my case, it was “or else I’ll tell you how terrible your performance was…and you know i do that well…because I tell it like it is!” Who wouldn’t want to avoid that?

Truth of the matter is, I probably got it from somewhere. We all did. Wasn’t it our mom who said “clean up your room or else…”? I’m sure you were in the room with me when dad told us to pass our tests with flying colours, or else he’d lock up all our toys. All of these seemingly minor occurrences were the seed-bed of habits and thought patterns that would probably change the way we acted, especially when we were exposed to the extreme forms of them. Parents or siblings that showed capacity to abuse us, got us into “abuse avoidance mode”. That abuse could have been verbal, physical, or emotional; but when we knew it was coming, we did everything to avoid it…including doing well! Or else dad got angry (and we always knew what that meant), or mom would be sad and cry and complain about how we don’t appreciate her. It was all a form of manipulation, disguised as parenting!

A manipulator puts a person/people in a place where they are no longer doing something out of their free will, but out of fear. Not only that, a manipulator messes with your whole concept of incentives. Your rewards aren’t personally motivated anymore, because when you’re under a manipulator, survival is success! Manipulators think people love them, truth is, people are scared of them! They are masters of deception, because they get you to think you’re motivated, but actually you’re anxious! What they do is very similar to some torture techniques (OUCH!), where all they offer is relief (from the negative emotion they’re inflicting), as an incentive for co-operation. Yes they can reward in better ways, but they make sure their best form of motivation is your escape negative emotion.

They make brilliant leaders!
They’re usually go-getters (slave-drivers)…
Motivated (highly strung)…
Focused on the vision (abusive if you aren’t)…
Produce excellent results (get what they want)…
Goal-oriented (resulting in loveless conduct)…
And are usually very clear on what they want (or else!!!).

It's YOUR fault this is poorly done! Why can't YOU get it right? What's wrong with YOU?!

If you manipulate like this, I bet people talk behind your back about your flaws more than they confront you… I bet you keep discovering that people are scared of you… I bet you defend yourself when someone highlights your mean tendencies… I bet you would’ve used “accuses you of” instead of “highlights” in the previous statement… I bet you have fewer friends than you’d like… I bet you’ve justified it with how well you’re doing… I bet your successes still don’t cover how you actually want to be more approachable… But I bet you keep sabotaging/undermining that desire with your bad temper!

Those are just the aggressive manipulators! These are the ones that lash out at people, usually a boss (because they are bossy!). People run from them in fear of their random volcanic eruptions…which leave these dark clouds of ash over everybody. You probably work for one, cos with them all you worry about is “I hope I don’t make them angry…” because that’s what they say all the time. They love lines like “I’m getting angry… I’m very disappointed… I don’t understand how you could do this…” I’m sure some of you know a few of those, and none of them is you. You may be right, but there’s another version of the manipulator: Passive.

The passive manipulators are just as bad as the aggressive ones. Same M.O. They put you in a position where their emotions become your master. But they are soooooo clever about it.

Ever meet a person who just seems sad all the time, or has many bouts of depression? Ok maybe you know a lot of people like that, but ask this question: Ever find that you can’t say anything negative to them? Or you have to be really careful about how you confront them? Or have you found yourself almost having to compliment them much more than anyone else? When they’re around you, you feel this need to cheer them up, or make them feel part of the group? Know anybody like that? If you do, then you know a passive manipulator!

The trick is the same, but the expression is different. These manipulators leverage the opposite range of emotions to aggressive manipulators. They’re already low, but make you feel responsible for it! Passive manipulators don’t have the ‘fear factor’ like aggressive ones, but they are quite fearsome in their technique. All the questions I asked two paragraphs ago, are ways of finding out whether someone is passively manipulating you, or if you are a passive manipulator. Usually the goal for someone like this is attention. They want to be seen, or heard, or taken care of, or have things done for them. Encountering someone like this over time, you’ll hear more about their struggles than their victories, and you’ll find yourself trying to cheer them up all the time.

With the aggressive, you fear the blow-up; with the passive, you fear the break-down. Whichever side it is, it’s wrong.

I read an article in Psychology Today that really helped me see this in myself and others. The wording used to describe this manipulation was this:

People who can’t control themselves, control the people around them. When you rely on someone for a positive reflected sense of self, you invariably try to control him/her.” – David Schnark

When your feelings, anxieties, and insecurities are always out of control, they probably control your relationships. You teach people to put up with you all the time. You have to be right in the argument to assert yourself/Wrong in the argument to justify your lack of self-esteem! It’s not fair to the people around you, and it undermines you completely. Manipulation is scary, but so common, because it is common for us to have little control over our emotions, or their manifestations in our character.

Manipulators (speaking to myself as well), you must learn to control yourself! Self-control is a priceless gift to all those around you. Nobody said you can’t be angry, just don’t manipulate people with it. It is YOUR JOB to sort through your emotions…nobody else’s. So refrain from putting that responsibility on others. Stop telling yourself that “they make me angry!” That is the biggest declaration of dependency you could make. You’re not really in charge in that state, your emotions are…and that’s not the best for you or anybody else.

What we need is to decide that our emotions won’t get the best of us, and those around us. It’s not something that changes overnight, but it changes! Really that’s all you need to know… That if you embark on a journey of self-control, you WILL change for the better. Nothing is stopping you, well, nothing except your habit of submission to these habits. You’ve taught yourself to be a slave to your emotions, and now everybody else is! It’s what we grew up seeing, and believing was the best way to do relationship. The only reason it ‘worked’ in those we saw doing it, is probably because you were manipulated into thinking that!

Manipulation starts to end when you think of others more than yourself… When you realise that your style or personality can actually learn new tricks like listening before blowing up, or not blowing up at all… When you learn to speak encouraging words to yourself, and allowing others to affirm something already within you: self-belief. Let people be themselves around you, and where they falter, teach them how to be the best they can be…not how to meet deadlines!

i-Manipulate… when i have no control of myself.

Over.


In a world that indirectly promotes disclosure, its much harder to keep anything to yourself.. Facebook sits there with that box begging you to update..! Twitter has everyone else’s tweets all over your screen, and yours is the missing link to the stream of information disguised as a peek into someone’s thoughts.. Quite easily the most slick invasion of privacy there is out there.

There’s something to be said about being able to pause and think through your many thoughts. Setting them in order and placing priority. Even more, having that place of safety within you, where your thoughts and fears are yours alone. Only shared by those you love (who hopefully love you back).

It’s a special activity that we lose the impact of when it’s ‘given away’. Premature disclosure can really short-circuit one’s internal journey, as timing is a key element to the progressive knowledge of one’s hopes, dreams, and even fears. There’s a time to think, time to be anxious about what you discover, time to decide who you want to be in light of your discoveries… etc. There’s even a time to let SOME people know.

When you make any kind of statement on a public scale, it’s not just a few words put together…its an announcement! Heck it’s even a declaration! Such things are only done at a point of conclusion, decision, finality, and have the effect of CEMENTING the words and, unfortunately, even the feelings being expressed. Not because the audience heard it, but because YOU CREATED THE AUDIENCE. Making an announcement only helps what IS, and has no care for what MIGHT BE.

Your heart is a precious gift. The art of observing and pondering is priceless, as it allows an understanding to surface from within. It’s easy today to look for answers beyond ourselves. We have Google for that. Nothing is left unturned as the whole world seems to be exposed to us!
There’s no need for discovery anymore. Have someone you like? Well there’s “10 Ways to Know If They Like You Back”! Are you trying to face a fear? Look no further than “We Really Don’t Know If This Will Work, But I’m a Psychologist Who Seems To Get People, So Hopefully This Billionth Article Will Be The REAL Answer To Your Fear”!

There’s a wealth of knowledge that has been /given to you/. All you need to do is understand that, don’t be afraid of what’s happening inside you… Embrace you! Because the more you look beyond yourself for answers, the more you learn to IGNORE YOURSELF!

The guarded heart is one treasure that only you can open. Fill it only with what you need, what you dream, what you deal with. Ask yourself questions about the way your life has gone. Spend time quietly by yourself, put on some music, and just…. Be! Let answers come to you.

Be sure to have areas of your life that are yours alone. No need to be broadcasting your issues over the net, or at parties. You’ll just be cementing a view that will be held of you later (by those around you), and that judgement would be your fault! I’m sure you already know a few ‘drama-kings’ and ‘drama-queens’. All they do is show you their controversies, and they always have issues!
(At this point it would be good to hope that you’re not one of them)

Also be sure that when you DO announce/declare, it’s from a standpoint of understanding and security. You want to impart the possibility of growth and joy to people. The more defensive among us may argue “but it’s ok to have issues. I’m only human, and its good that people see it sometimes.”

My only response to that: it’s a shame that being “human” is only associated with weakness, because we’re all human for all of our lives! None of us turned into an alien when things were going well, and I don’t believe successful people have oil coursing through their bodies to maintain their internal machinery. We were human when we failed, and we were human when we succeeded.

Being human, is a marvellous thing. We were created this way. Looking down on yourself, only makes you a lower person! Don’t declare your shortcomings, rather declare their inability to stop you.

Guard your Heart.

Over.