How you rob yourself of happiness

A while ago I wrote about all the habits that people do that are really detrimental to growth (check it out here). These are the foundational habits that you need to change in order to address the real reasons you’re unhappy.

These are the deeper things we do that rob us of happiness. And often, we don’t even realize we’re doing these.

  1. Judging

Yeah, who’s not guilty of this?

Be honest with yourself: you’ve judged everything and everyone you’ve ever met. Including yourself.

These are all simply your ego’s projections onto these things in order to make it feel separate and special.

But all judgments come back to bite you in the butt.

Take this example: you see someone who’s rich and judge wealth negatively. “Oh, he just got lucky, wealth doesn’t bring happiness, being rich isn’t necessary…”

Now you have just partaken in your own demise: you can now never become rich because that would be HYPOCRITICAL of you.

Another simple example: you judge someone as fat. Well, great, now you have NO CHOICE but to work out and eat right because now you fear becoming that which you judged.

Of course, I say “you” judge, but really it’s your mind putting labels on everything. You actually have very little control over it.

  1. Beating yourself up

Again, everyone has done this at some point. But simply no good comes from it.

Has beating yourself up ever helped a situation? No.

The better option is to accept whatever happened as what happened. Better yet, accept it as what happened because it couldn’t have been any other way.

Acceptance has a magical power when you start to tap into it. Life flows so much more easily.

If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it! Laugh at it! See the funny in life! Even the most advanced spiritual masters mess up sometimes.

The good news is, as your consciousness grows, you will blame yourself and others less and less, and start becoming more and more accepting.

  1. “Shoulding”

“Shoulding” is any time you tell yourself “should” in your mind.

“She shouldn’t have left me.” “I should be better at this.” “I shouldn’t be doing this.” “He shouldn’t have said that.” Even “he shouldn’t have been elected.”  😉

Should statements are simply your mind resisting reality.

And we all know, when we resist reality, what do we get? Suffering.

That’s right, Trump getting elected isn’t causing your suffering, YOUR RESISTANCE TO IT is.

So become more conscious of these should statements. They can come in many forms, not just should: “I would have been better in that part…” All part of the same story.

One of the best antidotes to should statements are questions:

  • Do I know for certain that I shouldn’t be doing this / that I should be more advanced…?
  • How do I know this isn’t the best thing that has happened to me?
  • How do I know this isn’t exactly how it’s supposed to be?
  • Can I find any evidence to back up this statement in reality?

Once you start to intellectually challenge should statements, you have to start to FEEL that they are untrue in order for them to start to permanently evaporate. This is a bit more subtle and something I haven’t mastered yet.

The problem with all these neuroses is that they’re very subtle. We’re not aware we’re doing them when in fact we are.

This is where meditation becomes so critical. You get more perspective and awareness on your thoughts, and are able to jump in and question them.

Question all of these neuroses: “Is this judgment absolutely true?” “Do I know that I wasn’t supposed to do that?” “How do I know this error won’t turn into a success?” “Apart from my opinion, can I find any proof to this thought?”

Finally, try to FEEL that these thoughts are untrue. This is ultimately what will keep them from recurrently coming up.

Remember, this is a process, a long one. Don’t expect to be rid of these neuroses overnight.

Another tip: start becoming interested in Truth with a capital T. The Absolute Truth. This will also transform your mind because you won’t be so distracted with petty judgments and such.

So jump in. Trust me, this stuff will transform your life.

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What’s the point?

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you have a wonderful year filled with much happiness and joy!

My advice for the new year is the following: don’t set new year’s resolutions.

There’s a very simple reason for this. What is the new year? It’s the Earth going around the Sun once more.

Now is that really a good motivator? Is it coming from an extrinsic motive or an intrinsic one? Which one do you think is more sustainable?

So if you’re serious about a resolution, you can keep that goal. But instead of it being based on a revolution of the Sun, find a more personal and intrinsic reason to pursue it.

For example, you want to lose weight, and 2017 is the year to do it. Great. Keep that goal in mind. Now try to find a reason for losing the weight. Do you want to be around when your kids grow up? That’s a true reason. Do you want to be able to go on adventures you never thought you could and truly experience life? Another good reason.

That’s my little pep talk on the new year. But in the same mood, I’m going to talk about what the hell is it that we’re aiming for anyway with all this personal growth?

Keep in mind that this is my idea of what growth looks like, yours could be different.

And I don’t think it is not what most people think of when they think of self-development. Most people think of only a couple of areas of life, most of which are pretty shallow. They think physical health, business skills and financial freedom, relationship skills, and a little mental fortitude.

I’m not saying these don’t have a place, I’m just saying that these are very externally-focused goals and will not bring about a deep change. Don’t get me wrong, I also study these topics. But the way I do it is mostly a means to a much deeper end.

Intrigued? Read on.

Part of this vision is a complete understanding, optimization and transcending of my self.

Lots of interpretations of that sentence, I know.

Some of the things that that includes is meditation, observing how I act, doubting my ego, doubting beliefs, becoming more natural, uncovering childhood events that explain how I act, and ultimately Enlightenment. Kind of an act of unwiring and rewiring.

This view incorporates both psychology from the West and spirituality from the East. Combining the best of both worlds to understand how we work.

The best part about this is that it’s a completely personal journey. Every man for himself. You can get the tools from other sources, but it’s not like a business book you can read and apply.

Another thing I’m aiming for is a deep understanding of reality and answering deep questions of Truth. For example: what comes first, consciousness or matter? What makes justification valid?

The more you understand how reality works, the more you will be able to appreciate it and stop living in your own little egoic world. It is the ultimate union of psychology and philosophy.

Being able to understand reality holistically means you can be at peace with it.

This all comes down to increasing your consciousness, which is your ability to see reality clearly.

High consciousness is:

⁃selfless and giving

⁃fearless and courageous

⁃not worried

⁃focused on direct experience over belief (which frees it from dogma)

⁃committed to truth and accuracy

⁃values learning and growing rather than tradition, free of culture

⁃intelligent machine

⁃creative

⁃spontaneous and organic, can find solutions on the fly

⁃takes 100% responsibility, especially for emotions

⁃humble

⁃big-picture thinking

⁃hyper-aware of back-firing

⁃characterized by indiscriminate love

 

So not a bad set of goals. Think how much better your life would be if you had all this.

Growing your consciousness fundamentally rests on six pillars:

1.Increase capacity to love

2.Increase capacity to feel happy independent of circumstances

3.Increase capacity to be intellectually open (entertain ideas and opinions that I am          unfamiliar with without getting emotional or defensive about them)

4.Increase capacity for self-governance

5.Increase capacity to face fear

6.Transcend selfish and protective motives

Now most of these are pretty broad, but you get the picture.

Another thing I think is important is life purpose. You need something to keep you grounded, and a way to impact the world in a positive way.

And this is where traditional topics of personal development come into play. You can’t be optimized on a bad diet. If you can’t manage a business well, how will you ever have time to do all this work? You may understand on an experiential level that you and your girlfriend are one, but you still need to know how to relate to them in their world. You have to learn the ins and outs of business in order for your life purpose to have an impact. Don’t discount the more basic, external sides of personal development.

I want to reiterate that you are completely on your own for this journey. Very few people ever consider, or even have a clue as to what this is all about. The good news is that so far it has made my life a whole lot richer in only about nine months. I can only imagine what this’ll turn into a few years down the line.

So if something here sparked your interest, good. Listen to that little voice.

Happy new year, and stay tuned for more!