Monthly Archives: February 2017

Mistakes don’t define you they refine you

The pain of the past Mistakes are only carried through time via a thought

Mistakes can often paralyze us in moving forward with our lives but it doesn’t have to be that way when we realize that the pain of the past mistakes is only carried through time into my present experience via a thought.

The feeling is in the meaning we give to thought

If I didn’t give it so much meaning, so much power, then I wouldn’t be so paralyzed by them. In my early years as a young man when I finished studying my Rabbinical studies in Seminary, I left the seminary in 1986 and a short while after that my parents died 10 months apart from each other.

The rough ride of losing the two most important people in my life

Boy oh boy was it a hard time from me.  I just finished my studies and my family of these two loving beings suddenly disappeared out of my life.  I went from a house and a family to an empty house with no family! It’s funny how you appreciate someone more when they have passed on than when they were always around you.

My brother and I split up the family inheritance and within a very short time, I lost the house that I inherited.  At the time I borrowed against it to invest in land and shares and lost everything in the share crash of 1987 as well as the land I invested at that time.  I eventually moved with my new wife in 1990 to an apartment full of these cockroaches that eventually destroyed all of our electronic equipment.

Beating myself up

I was so depressed psychologically at the time.  Life looked really bleak and I used to beat myself up for this. I never fully recovered from this till I learned this new understanding of what it takes to get a clear mind.

I would regularly go into bouts of depression because of what I did with my parents hard earned money with blood and sweat over the years.  It was a long messy story with finger pointing not only at myself but at others who also ‘helped’ me invest the money ‘wisely’ in their Gold mines at the time.  I was friends with the rich and I wanted to become rich too, but it didn’t work.

The Life Lesson

Today I’m not angry at myself or anyone else and I have looked for the lesson rather than wallow in pain and self-criticism over it.  The main lesson I’ve learned is that you’ve got to make sure you are in control over your own money and when you want to get out of an investment, make sure you have the power to do so. In my case, the people who were ‘helping’ me wouldn’t let me bail out of my investments in their companies at the time because they had control of the money.  They were hoping the market would recover but it didn’t and their companies went bust as well.

When you learn the lesson, you don’t need to have the experience any more

It was a costly lesson, but if I look at it from a lesson point of view, I can move on and I don’t need the negative experience of it any more and I become the wiser from it.

I’m not defined by failure rather I’m a student of failure

Now instead of defining myself as a failure, I see myself as a student of my failures and use those mistakes as guidelines to learn from rather than use them as sticks to beat myself up with.  I’m now out of my psychological paralysis and can move forward with confidence knowing that nothing really bad happens from making a mistake.

Course corrections

When you travel on a plane it makes mistakes too.  That’s when it slightly drifts off course and then the autopilot keeps on making small adjustments all the time to correctly steer the plane back on course.  So next time I make a mistake I’ll do the same.  Just see the error for what it is without judgment and make those ‘course corrections’ and even if I don’t get to the exact destination that I would have liked to, I will certainly get closer to where I wanted to go.

Takeaway

So remember, next time you make a mistake, use them to refine you and help you elevate your game rather than crush and paralyze you. And if you want to further consolidate this idea watch  the video below if you haven’t done so yet.

 

The Great race where we fall into the comparison trap

The Great Race where we fall into the comparison trap

We often get caught up in the great race where we  fall into this comparison trap when we weigh up and compare ourselves to others. But what would happen to our performance if we didn’t get so caught up in always trying to win? Competition is healthy or is it? Well, it can be, but depends on your attitude or rather to be more accurate in this discussion, your state of mind towards the goal you are aiming for.

Let’s look at Olympic medalists for example:

Olympic Gold medal winners fall into 2 very defined groups after they have won the gold:
1. Highly successful careers, satisfying lives, fulfilling, studying business, working in charities, being speakers. They do very very well.
2. Tend to struggle with alcoholism, addiction to drugs, marital difficulties and all kind of problems
The difference between these two groups was very very clear. The people who did very very well after they won the gold was in their whole motivation strategy. It was about the enjoyment of the doing. It was about the journey and their attitude was, “I would love to win but I’m having such a great time here doing this that I’m not really thinking about it that much.”

Usain Bolt

There was an interview with Usain Bolt and he said, “I find that when I think too much about trying to win, I just don’t run that well. So I just focus on enjoying the crowd and enjoying the race and that sort of thing.” So when he was getting ready for the race he was busy waving and smiling to the crowd in a very relaxed way while all the other runners were doing their concentration rituals before the race. But Usain, no way, he was just busy having fun and we’re talking about the fastest man on Earth!

What they found with the second group on how they motivated themselves was by setting an ideal of “I’ll be happy when I achieve this.” But Ideals are like the Horizon. And the Horizon is a mental construct that doesn’t actually exist.

The unreachable Horizon

You can walk to the Horizon and have a look and it’s still far away and Ideals are still like the Horizon too. They keep a pace ahead of you. And they can be actually great for setting a direction. But they’re rubbish for measuring progress because they are often further off. So people who are trying to navigate with ideals and Horizons are unsatisfied and they’re stressed out and struggling because they are looking for the feelings of fulfillment and comfort, peace and satisfaction, but they’ve been looking in the wrong place until now.

So 50% of Olympians who fall into that category of struggle because they motivate themselves all this time thinking, “well at least once I win the Gold I’ll be happy.” And they are for about a week and then it’s all gone and like another day.

So who really wins the race

So let’s go back to our picture 🙂 Who’s going to win the race? Sure you need to work things logically through as much as possible to make sure your car or body is fit and tuned up etc. But that’s as far as it goes till we come on to a state of mind.

Performance improves with increased understanding

And just to remind you that this is not something you do rather something you understand. And the deeper you get it the better will be your overall performance in life when you come from that deep common sense and intuition that’s inside of you, me and everyone else included. We just temporarily forgot it, but now its time to wake up!

Watch the video

To develop your understanding on how to escape the comparison trap in this great race called life watch the video below.

How to get a clear Mind

 

How do you get a clear mind?

It’s not something you actively do, it’s something that happens generally speaking in one of two ways:

1. In a flash moment or
2. By cultivating your inside-out understanding of how life works.

Flash Moments

Flash moments happen to us as human beings all the time.  This is what Sydney Banks calls insights – a sight from within.  This can happen at any time when the Mind quiets down from its extraneous thoughts.

When the heavy thinking settles down and you’re just meandering doing anything like driving or the ironing with nothing ‘heavy’ on your mind, you become open for something new, a sight from within. When this light bulb flash moment comes on, it usually feels very nice because you’re having this flash of insight that you haven’t seen before.

One of my early light bulb moments

When I was a computer programmer many moons ago, I would sometimes come home without being able to solve the problem of why the program wouldn’t run properly and then in the middle of my sleep I’d wake up with this light bulb moment on how to solve it. Then the next day I go to work, I confidently know exactly where to put in the flag and the period and, boom, it works!  It’s just so thrilling because I was so aggravated before with heavy thinking that was stopping me from seeing the new perspective I was looking for.

My Son gets his first light bulb moment

In 2013 after learning this new understanding when my son lost his glasses he gives me a call and tells me he can’t find them.  I told him to just do nothing and call me back in two hours.  Half an hour later he sends me a WhatApp message saying that he found them.  It often happens when you’re not specifically doing anything.  The light bulb mysteriously just comes on and you solve your problem without any effort at all!

Cultivate your understanding of how life works

The other way to get a clear mind is by cultivating this understanding. The deeper you understand the inside-out nature of life, that life happens from within rather than without, the more solid and confidently you can handle what life throws at you because you know it’s always your thinking in the moment that is creating your experience from the inside-out.

Going down with grace and inner confidence that this too will pass and you’ll be okay

And even when you fall into the outside-in misunderstanding that something other than thought is causing my distress, you usually catch yourself in this trap more often and you recover from that stress much more quickly and gracefully.  And even when you’re down you’re much more graceful about it because you know that this too shall pass.

We all fall into this misunderstanding.  It’s just part of the game and challenge of being a human being.  Welcome to the human race.  And part of the game is to see how you fall in and out of this misunderstanding and after a while life doesn’t get to you as much as it did before this misunderstanding.  And you find yourself more often feeling happy and grateful just because you’re alive.

Look in the right direction to get clear

The more you look in the direction of Mind, the quicker you’ll recover from your own thought generated illusions that we can all wallow in from time to time.

If you’d like to see the video on this to further consolidate your understanding click on the video link here.  And please let me know in the comments any questions or feelings you have about this. I would love to hear from you.

Gratitude

Gratitude is an amazing state to be in. There are many books written about it. And some of their advice is really good. But imagine being able to step into that state more often with little or no effort at all. Well, the good news is, that it is possible and I experience this on a regular basis more often now since I have learned the principles behind a clear mind.

It often happens at night when my mind naturally settles down from thinking so much because I’m going to sleep and my mind is naturally emptying out of all those ‘busy’ thoughts from the rest of the day. So what’s left with and open and empty mind? For me it’s gratitude and I find myself going to sleep in gratitude for the very simplest of things in life.

I find myself feeling lucky that I can breathe to such an extent that I’m almost consciously saying thank you for each breath I take in and out as I go to sleep. Then I find myself saying thank you as I wake up in the morning because my soul has been returned to this body to allow me to share my gifts with the world for yet another day! But we usually take this for granted. Am I alive? Yes! Can I breathe? Yes. Then I’m so lucky. Do you know how lucky you are that you can actually breathe freely?

They haven’t found a way yet to charge you for. But don’t worry, they’ll come up with some vendor machine or something in the future that you’ll have to put in some coin or plastic card to get charged for oxygen in the future.

But hey, this is not a Post about what to think about of how lucky you are or to have a go at the government for charging me every time I want to breathe. I’m just letting you know that you can get high with gratitude over the most simplest and basic things in life from a computer keyboard to a pencil to write with. I’m so thankful to both because it allows me to communicate and share my love with others. But I better slow down here. I’m getting ahead of myself with excitement and gratitude right now, as I write this.

What I really want to share with you is how you can have this too. It’s where it becomes a natural organic part of your own life that you find yourself in these positive states with no effort at all. I know its sounds counter-intuitive, but there is nothing to do and no steps to take.

It started when I first learned this understanding. I came to my office at work in the Spec Ed Dept one morning. I was switching on my computer and for no reason, I was in a very blissful and happy state. I didn’t know why at the time. But now so many years down the track, I know exactly why.

This understanding teaches you to not to take your thinking so seriously because we are making it up all the time. And when we’re in a feeling that doesn’t feel good, it’s usually a signal from our body telling us to stop taking our thinking in this moment so seriously because it’s not going to serve us well. You can’t make healthy life decisions when in a dis-eased state. This is a time to do nothing till the dis-ease, eases and you’re in a better place to think clearly again.

So, what does dis-ease have to do with gratitude? Well, actually they are quite opposite experiences, aren’t they? In fact, they are mutually exclusive. In other words, if you’re feeling dis-ease, unhappy or dissatisfied, you’re not going to experience gratitude at the same time.

And this is key to know in your access to gratitude more often. When you’re not focusing your thinking on how life sucks, or how bad things are, that’s when you’re open to something fresh and new. I’m not saying that life is always going to be perfect. Far from it. But you always have the choice on what you want to focus on. And that is your key to your experience of gratitude.

It doesn’t mean that I am now going to cross my legs and meditate on gratitude although I’m not against it, but you can naturally shift into this state just by knowing the fact that you think and the fact that every thought elicits a feeling in your experience. And you always have the choice of what you want to experience moment to moment. It’s your choice. And your power is in your choice of what you think next.

Now don’t come along and think that I’m telling you to force yourself to make choices of things to be grateful for. I could give you a long list. But it is much more powerful when the list gently and organically comes up in your head of what you can be grateful for when you’re coming from a mind that’s at ease. And speaking from experience, your list will become endless once you experience it.

I just spoke to a client that was feeling very scared for his child that had one of the neighborhood kids threaten him with a knife. The child who threatened was a special needs child who is not usually violent. Nevertheless, the situation is a long complicated one. Too long for this Post. The main advice I gave was to get in a quiet place and make a decision that comes with ease, confidence, and power on how to best protect your child and your family. That’s all that counts. Should he go to the Police? I myself am not sure at this stage. But it’s not out of the question. But that decision needs to come from a place of understanding that isn’t tainted with hate and animosity to the other parties concerned.

If there was an immediate danger, certainly go to the Police. But he was feeling angry, scared and rightly so and I decided to tell him to give himself a break for a few hours till he and his wife calm down on how to better deal with this situation from a place of love and understanding for all parties concerned. It’s very common for mothers to be in denial of their own child’s behavior, but that just adds to the wider picture of what they have on their plate when dealing with the other parents.

I know that their insight will come of what they need to do when they calm down for a few minutes and get beyond all the angst. I have worked with them on this understanding for several months now and have full confidence they’ll come up with a good decision that will be in the highest interests of all parties concerned.

The same thing happens with any insight including gratitude. When you finally get out of the way by not taking the reactive thought so seriously, you move organically into your natural set point of Love, compassion, and understanding as well as gratitude. This can even happen towards your enemies. Yes, there is always a lesson to be grateful for that you can learn, even from your enemies too. That doesn’t preclude me from doing everything in my power to protect myself and my family but on a deeper level when I reflect and I’m safe again, I might be able to see the ‘Diamond’ in the ugly rock. There is always a higher lesson to be learned.

It’s amazing to know that you could even be grateful for deepening yourself and your understanding of life through all experiences you have if you’re willing to let go of your Ego and move into the quiet space that is always safely and securely sitting beneath the wild waves of life.

And now when I think of it, I’m grateful for writing this post because I know it will touch many lives and let them deepen their understanding of how you can look at life when the going gets tough because there is always the gem lying under the mud. The question is, am I open to seeing it, are you open to seeing it?