Tag Archives: success

Day 387: Creating My Own Value

I have been researching a couple of interesting points lately that has to do with self-value, self-authority and self-leadership. This investigation started because of a series of fear as well as desire reactions that came up in my work. The fears has been centered around some form of failure that would lead to the consequence of not anymore being able to work in the field I have chosen. The desire reactions has been centered on completing some form of formal education that would allow me to add another merit to the list.

I started by applying self-forgiveness on the fears – which opened up the underlying reasons. One of these reasons was the belief/idea that I am not naturally valuable/successful and thus fear is something that I must use to push/will myself forward else I will make a mistake and slip back into my normal mode of being. Another reason was that belief that I need to prove myself to others, especially my parents, and receive compliments, excel their expectations, else I will not have any value. These reasons also showed me why formal education triggers a positive response within me. Formal education is the perfect way to show to others that I am good at something and that I have a particular set of qualifications. It is set up like a scene, where I have to behave in a certain way, to receive approval and if I move outside of the boundaries of the script – I will receive disapproval. Thus the concept of formal education is limited – because it moves me into a direction that has been scripted by someone else – and it is not a development/evolution that is allowed to flow naturally according to where I need to/want to develop/learn/expand.

The similar is true about wanting to achieve success/value in the eyes of others, by for example, career. In order to achieve that success/value I have to follow a scripted path – my own idea/understanding of what I am required to do and where I am required to go in order to increase my success/value in the eyes of others. It might be that I have to acquire a certain type of job or specialization. It might be that I have to work in a particular city or with certain people. The principle is that I must find out or create some belief within me as to what I perceive others look at as success/value and then move myself to achieve that idea. It also also limiting – and I have to follow a scripted path. A path that is not scripted/directed/created by myself and that does not take into consideration what I would like to do – or what I see would support me to expand and grow as an individual – or what I see would allow me to give/share/support others the best way. Rather – the aim and drive is about achieving an idea and picture that I can show up to others to feel successful/valuable.

The issue can be found in how I have defined success/value. At the moment – these words are separate from me. I achieve them by being praised by others. I have no personal connection to these words – and thus – instead of looking at my life through with my own self-designed values – I look at them with values I have copied from others.

The solution is to redefine the words success and value – to make these words intimate and personal.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define success and value separate from myself as something that I need/require to have from someone else – and think that I am not allowed to define my own success/value – that I am not allowed to tell myself when I have success/value – and make my own decisions in life as to what is success and value

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to strive to have others to define me as successful/valuable – and think that I am not good enough to live success/value – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to hope and desire to achieve success/value – to hope that someone will notice me and give me these experiences – instead of me deciding upon – and living these words for myself – deciding upon what success and value is to me – and then creating these words in my life

Self-commitment statements

I commit myself to redefine and specify success and value to myself – to decide what these words means to me and then live them in my life

I commit myself to create success and value in my life instead of waiting to have someone recognize me as successful and valuable

 


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Day 379: Whatever it takes

When we run into problems in our life’s, usually, we will try a couple of solutions, and if nothing works, conclude that there is no solution and then give up. I have been there myself many times. And then I blame the problem, or what I perceive to be the cause of the problem. It is not my fault that I have not found a solution, because look, I have tried a couple of them.

Some weeks ago I listened to a Eqafe interview that discussed this tendency in-depth.

These interviews was about drug addiction and the difference in approach between those that are able to quit and those that are not. The deciding factor was perseverance and tenacity – the willingness to do WHATEVER it takes to get through. Those that embodied that grit were able to quit drugs. They would literally try everything, religions, rehabilitation centers, prescriptions, coaches, therapists, and so on. And eventually they would find a way.

I brought this back to my own life, and my own issues, and I could see how I actually accepted many of my problems and blamed my environment, because I was not willing to do whatever it took to find a solution. I realized that if I want to change an issue, and I find it difficult to do so, then I must push myself, and that literally means, pushing myself out of my comfort zone to try any and all things in order to move myself beyond the point of stagnation.

For example, if I experience myself to be stuck in my career, and I have tried a couple of things to change things for the better, I must be willing to expand and do things that might make me feel uncomfortable. I might have to contact a career coach, I might have to completely change my current career path, I might have to look beyond the very point of ‘career’ to see if that is really what I need, or whether there is something else, deeper down, that is bothering me. The thing is that I must be willing to do whatever it takes. Otherwise, it is obviously no surprise that things will stay the same. If I only try half-halfheartedly, do a push here and there, and then go into blame, things will remain the same, that is for sure.

Thus, change is possible. We can change most things about ourselves and this world. Whether we are able to do it or not, that is something that is mostly related to our approach, and the depth of our decision. Do we really mean it when we tell ourselves that, I am going to change this point!


Day 368: Making the Decision to Change

I looked at a documentary by Louis Theroux recently called the Dark States (find a preview here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCClVhtJY5w) about heroine addiction. Louis Theroux follows a couple of persons around for a period of time. Among these people are several heroine addicts and a recovered heroine addict. From listening to these people it was clear that heroine addiction is a very difficult addiction to break. It is tied up with not only mental pain but also severe physical withdrawal pains. Of the people that decide to go into recovery treatment only about 10 % are able to fully move away from the clutches of the addiction.

At one point Louis Theroux asks a interesting question to the recovered heroine addict. He asks, what is the difference, why was he able to do it and not the others? The recovered addict explained that the costs of his addiction exceeded the pleasure he received and that is when he decided to quit. He also explained that his decision was complete and that he was willing to do whatever required to get through – and he did not think two times about it – there was no doubt – he was certain.

The present addicts were asked the question if they did not want to quit as well. Their answers lacked clarity. Some said that they wanted to quit some day. Others said that it was too difficult to quit – there were too many side effects. One addict said that he liked the drug addiction and that he did not want to quit. What was common among them was that there was no clear decision. Rather, they looked at themselves in relation to the addiction with complacency and defeatism – they had already given up on themselves.

Comparing the recovered addicts with the present addicts I saw that the difference between them had to do with their decision. The recovered addict had a clear and final decision – he decided to change and to do EVERYTHING in his power to reach his goal. The present addicts had not made a decision at all. They were still following their addiction and could only give voice to a desire to quit, or in some instances, were only able to justify their abuse, thus having suppressed even the desire within them to move beyond their current lifestyle.

The DECISION – whatever we want to achieve – the clarity, strength, and power of our DECISION is very important to the outcome. It is also about sticking to that decision – being willing to go through whatever it takes to get to the final destination – hence – PERSEVERANCE. However in a sense – our willingness and determination to stick to our decision is also related to the quality, the depth, and the clarity of our decision. If we decide upon something WHOLLY with our complete being, body and mind – understanding why we do it, and what we are willing to do to achieve – then our decision will assist and support us to move through the difficult times.

Personally I have never had to recover from a heroine addiction, thus I cannot know what any of these people that were covered in the documentary goes through. Though I have made a couple of life altering decisions myself – one of them being to get an education and move into a particular career path. I made that decision and I have now walked this decision for almost 7 years. For me, what stands out with regards to the decision I made, was the certainty I experienced myself. I was clear on what I wanted – I understood WHY and saw the GOAL – and I knew where I wanted to go. Compared to other decisions that I have made, where I have fallen, this has been the main difference.

In seeing this documentary I have become inspired to investigate a couple of points that effect me negatively, where I have made some decisions to change, though where I have eventually fallen back on my decisions. And I am able to see, that in a way, these decisions have not been made with my FULL intent and my ENTIRE being. Thus – what I want to practice is to start making decisions that stand – decisions that I make completely and that I then stand by and walk them through into completion and physical manifestation. I see that me acquiring such a skill of decision making will assist and support me a lot in life – and empower me as an individual.


Day 366: What is success to me?

What is success to me?

It is an important question, because unless I know and I am clear on what is success for me personally, then how will I be able to achieve it? It is not possible. I will instead chase mirages, success as defined and seen by others, and not live according to my self-honesty.

The question has arisen within me due to reactions that have come up within when I am confronted with friends, acquaintances, that I feel have begun to climb the ladder of success, and that has achieved positions of high stature. It could also be that they have achieved fame or notoriety in some other way. The reaction is still the same, it is that of jealousy and fear. Jealousy that I have not achieved their position, and fear that I might have wasted/missed my opportunities to place myself in such a successful point.

Thus, the fascinating thing is that my desire is not directed towards achieving their position from a point of wanting to have their experience, as could be the case if someone has a job that I would like and find interesting. My desire more has to do with gaining the position in order to impress upon and show others that I have been able to achieve such a position/standing of success. That is what it is all about, wanting the positive attention that I perceive someone is receiving in the particular position.

In analyzing this desire/jealousy and bringing it back to myself, I can conclude that I would not have experienced jealousy/desire if I would have felt that I am receiving a sufficient amount of attention/validation/confirmation in my current position. That begs the question, why is it that I feel I need my success/live/movement in this world to be validated by others? That is in-fact a serious limitation, as I will continuously only pursue that which I suspect I will be able to get my validation and attention. And when those things have subsided, I will drop my venture, and yet again go searching for a way to achieve the attention/validation/respect I feel that I deserve. I have played this loop out a couple of times.

The solution is to define my own success and to practice validating myself – to stop myself from comparing my life – what I do – my skills – my future – to that of others – as it will only ever cause me to go astray and miss what is important to me – what is my success. And there will obviously still be the temptation to continue in old tracks. Though it is clear that when I am constantly looking out there at what everyone else is doing, then how will I ever be able to focus at what I am doing? How will I be able to focus at where I want to go, what I want to do? It is not possible – hence the importance of letting others do what they are doing, and developing within me the skill of validating and recognizing myself.

What is success to me?

To me success is to care for myself and others. It is to choose a direction in life based on where I am able to best support myself and others to be the best they can be. Success to me is also to challenge the status quo and to contribute to a change in how the system operates. Further, it is a success for me to dedicate myself to my process of self-creation – to stick to this process, to continue to develop myself, to expand, to move and to walk it until it is done.

When I live these words in my life – that is success to me.

 


Day 361: Organic Growth

There is a time for planning AND there is a time for organic movement. That is my insight for this week.

The way I tend to approach at least some parts of my life, is with exactitude in planning, preparation and execution. Everything should be considered and thought-out beforehand. And the underlying idea is that when everything is preemptively directed – that will bring the best results. However – I have found that this is not necessarily the case. On example of this is nature, specifically, trees.

If you look at how a tree grows, it is in the moment. The branches and roots will stretch out in search for optimum nutrition. That movement might be genetically planned in the design of the seed. However the actual growth of the tree happens organically. When the tree is young, there might be a water shortage. Hence the tree will focus its energy on growing its roots deeper into the ground to reach water. This shapes the tree, making it shorter and with less foliage than what would have been the case if it had instead focused all its energy on growing its branches towards the optimum position for receiving sunlight. Though, if it would have followed such a stiff and inflexible plan, the tree would have most likely died. Because it was able to improvise and grow organically according to its environment – it survived.

Then, many years later, the water shortage comes to an end. The tree now wants to focus on expanding its branches and foliage. Unfortunately for the tree, it has two big tree neighbors that blocks most of the sunlight coming directly from above. Instead of trying to outgrow its neighbors, the tree then grows its branches in such a way where it seeps up the small portions of light that moves past the foliage of its neighbors. The movement is yet again organic – in equilibrium and alignment with the trees environment.

The growth of a tree is flexible, organic, sensitive, receptive and balanced. It grows with common sense – moves on the opportunities that arise and redesigns its direction according to its environment. And as a whole, a tree looks magnificent – perfectly positioned and aligned with the rest of its neighbors.

Compare this organic growth with how us humans tend to move. Most of us decide upon a goal – a dream we want to realize for ourselves. It could be striving to achieve a certain income, enter a profession or become admitted to a education. Regardless, we tend to hold unto our goals stiffly and stubbornly – and when things does not move our way – instead of bending – we break. Because that is the problem with a person that has a stiff mind – he breaks when enough pressure is applied, while a flexible, soft and organic person is able to move around the obstacle. The tree did not stubbornly hold unto a goal of wanting to grow its foliage when there was a water shortage – it moved WITH its environment and was thus able to survive.

Hence – I have this week seen this pattern within me. One example of this is how I have had the tendency to structure/dream projects in my mind. Last summer I dreamed of creating a small carpentry studio in one of the unheated houses on our property. I arranged it and planned installing electricity and heating after a while. However, I did not have the funding or the time to install electricity and heating. This week I realized that there is actually a room on the property that already have heat and electricity installed, that I could have utilized instead all along. I had not however and the reason for this is because I got stuck in a ‘box’ like way of thinking. Where I only saw my initial goal – instead of expanding my thinking and instead of looking at the pictures – looking at the general process/movement that I want to facilitate. The room that is available, it cannot be aligned to fit my dreams of how my carpentry studio should look like – though it facilitates my interest in carpentry more effectively – because it gives me access to heat and electricity so that I am able to work even though it is dark outside. If I had moved myself organically, from moment to moment, I would have taken notice of this room and set up my shop there.

With this blog I want to emphasize the importance of MOMENT to MOMENT living. I want to emphasize that it is not the image/picture that is important – it is the process/movement. If we have an interest in photography – it is not the camera that is important – it is that process/movement of engaging in our interest. Hence if we cannot afford the camera we want, then instead of getting stuck, thinking we cannot advance ourselves within our interest, it is to instead find ways to facilitate and move with what we have at our disposal – to be creative and not break. There is always a lot more that can be done than what we think. The difficult part, that is to break free from our stiff and inflexible goal-driven mind – to instead see the opportunities that are here.


Day 459: Removing Comparison and Competition = Making Place for LIFE

Comparison and competition. Two characteristics that have been given unwarranted value and attention as a way to find fuel/drive to push and execute projects. Its a general idea that we become spurred when the competition increase and that we grow and evolve through comparing ourselves with others. The reality is that comparison and competition are distractions – experiences that hinder us from accessing our own unique and individual drive/decision to do/move/act. I have personally never been able to engage myself using fear of loss, which is the primary emotional force that drives people to excel in competitions. For me, I have needed calm and a unconditional stability – when my environment has been set up in this way – I have been able to create/produce the best.

Looking deeper into comparison and competition it makes sense that these two energies does not support growth. Comparison and competition places the focus OUTSIDE of ourselves. We have to focus on what someone else is doing, focus on our position, or the way we express ourselves, relative to someone else – hence – a split-personality is created. It is thus inevitable that we cannot place our complete and unwavering attention ONLY on what is here before us. That will cause us to express a lesser version of ourselves. Furthermore, when our focus is on making sure that we win, it is very easy to compromise and forget our own individual expression. Because, it might be that ‘winning’ requires us to give up on what we enjoy about that particular activity, and thus, we sacrifice our soul to make sure that we win.

Instead, the best kind of drive that can be found/established is to define and harness our own personal enjoyment/expansion/relationship with the particular activity/project we are participating within.

For example, with me while I was still studying, my main reason, that I kept within me and held unto, as I pushed through resistances, was that I enjoyed discovering and expanding myself and my understanding of society/the world system. For me it was not about having the ‘best marks’ – what was important was the process, the movement, the unfolding process that I was walking. And because of my starting point, I was not discouraged when I experienced set backs or when I faced challenges. My priority as LEARNING and EXPANDING – and because I approached my studies this way – I was able to receive the best marks – even though that was not the goal in itself.

While self-motivated movement supports expansion and growth – comparison and competition supports a harsh and ruthless inner world where only results matter, and where the results are measured against the results of others. The process, the physical movements in themselves, are not given any value. The consequence of this is that we start to loose touch with ourselves, our core so to speak. This might also be why so many have difficulties to retain their original joy and pleasure in a professional skill that was initially nurtured in the form of a hobby. Because in the professional world, the world of money, what is forced upon the participants is a result-oriented and competitive mindset. And to survive in the money world, it is required to focus on the results – however – that does not mean that we have to accept and allow everything about ourselves to be taken over by the efficiency-mindset – and neither does it mean that we have to fuel ourselves using energies coming from comparison and competition.

Though I would not completely disregard comparison and competition. Because comparison can be changed into INSPIRATION. Where we, instead of trying to measure ourselves relative to another, we look at what we enjoy, like, see is good about another, and we take that skill/ability/approach and integrate it into our own life. Allowing ourselves to become inspired adds more colors to our self-creation pallet. Each one of us have our own unique strengths, and if we allow ourselves to be open and recognize those in others, we can through practice and imitation start adding them to our own.

As for competition, this can be changed into self-competition – where we continuously push ourselves to move our boundaries as to what we think we are capable of forward. Otherwise, it is easy to stagnate. When we are ‘pretty’ good at something, it feels nice to relax and let go for a moment. Though, if we want to really expand our relationship with a certain skill/project we cannot stop there – and we have to move beyond the plateaus, and those are inevitable. If we constantly compete with ourselves, that is a concrete way to avoid undue self-satisfaction – and instead keep moving towards achieving our best and highest potential.

To summarize: Comparison and competition are both destructive patterns – however they can be transformed into supportive and self-nurturing habits. It takes a bit of self-will and application – though through consistent movement and through utilizing the tools of self-forgiveness, self-commitment statements and writing – it is most definitely possible.

Also – be sure to check out these Eqafe interviews on the topic:

Learn more about this way of living and looking at things here.


Day 445: When Competition Puts Us Off Course

Competition is a strange thing. Especially the kind of competition that just happens. For example, the competition that exists at the office, where one guy gets the promotion, the other does not, the next guy gets close to the boss, and the third does not. When a lot of people come together, such as in a organization, there is bound to be some competition.

For myself, I have found, that when I give into and become engulfed in competition, I lose my direction. What used to be important becomes less so, and what takes its place is the DESIRE to WIN, to reach that position/point/top that everyone else seems to strive towards, and hence, that must be really worthwhile. Though it is not even about the position. It is about proving to everyone else, and to myself, that I could reach that position, and nobody else could. Thus, it is a complete illusion, based solely on wanting to become someone to someone other than me, to feel better, and it has nothing to do with what I actually want to do – that which is my REAL expression.

Competing this way is not constructive, rather it is destructive. Instead of strengthening our own individual unique expressions, we all strive towards the same goal, the same achievement, and all try to climb the same ladder. It is unfortunate, because what is a genuine success/achievement for one person might not be so for another. Accordingly it does not make any sense to set ourselves and our lives up with the intent of winning – because at the end of the day – if we have given up on everything that is unique and individual about ourselves to reach that position/status/goal – then have we really won? Have we not in-fact lost a part of ourselves – that unconditional drive and movement within us that acts/express without wanting rewards – but where the expression in itself is enough to be wholly fulfilling.

I have tried to walk both paths in my life. Getting lost in the wheel of competition, striving towards something more, without really understanding why – and then also – moving myself to fulfill myself through doing that which I really enjoy/love. And with the latter, I have found that it does not even have to be something that I love/enjoy – the difference is all in HOW I approach the point. In my work for example, that occasionally can be less than stimulating, I have found pleasure and drive in practicing being thorough, structured and specific. I have practiced living those characteristics without aspiring a position or a certain status, I have done it for MYSELF.

I do recognize that it can be easy to lose oneself in these games of competition that is played in all parts of life in some way or another. And, everyone else seems to be in it, so why should not I do it as well? And if I do decide to walk my own path, will I miss out on something? What if that grand-prize at the top of the ladder is worth it all? There are definitely fears associated with deciding upon and walking the path less traveled – and there are far less that travels the path of self-expression compared to the path of competition. However, only because the mass of people does something, it does not mean that it is right for ME, it does not mean that it is supportive, and it does not mean that it is BEST.

About two years ago, just about as I finished my university degree, I decided to move back to where I grew up, to the rural parts of Sweden. This went against what everyone of my classmates decided to do. Most of them went to the capital city to get the top tier jobs. And since I moved, I have had this nagging fear/stress that I might be missing out on something. I have sometimes started to make sketches in my mind of moving back to the big city, to find myself a top job, and create my success story. Though part of me has been drawn to the country side, the quiet, the opportunities that exist in immersing oneself in hobbies such as gardening and carpentry. This to me perfectly exemplifies the effect that competition can have on my mind – and on a mind in general. Because when I look at it, there is no objective, quantifiable and practical benefit to moving back to the city and acquiring a ‘top job’. I have everything set where I live in terms of money and shelter – and I am very satisfied with my daily routines. Hence this begs the question, why this urge to move upwards in the ladder of success? Why this urge to give up that which I want for myself, to do what I perceive everyone else wants, values and desires? It makes NO sense.

And that is where I would like to end of – with the conclusion that: competition makes NO sense. Competition is not rational, it is not practical, it is not thought through and it is not supporting us to fulfill our utmost potential. Giving into competition dehumanizes us, makes us machines racing to prove our value to some unknown force, while at the same time devaluing and losing our own unique potential, our own individual point of expression that cannot be measured in terms of winning and losing.

Hence – instead of competing – we should embrace our own VALUE, our own UNIQUE and INDIVIDUAL expression – that which cannot be compared and measured in relation to another – because that is where we will find real and lasting fulfillment.


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