FAIR WARNING: This post may make some people a little uncomfortable.
When we discuss self-empowerment we’re really talking about an overall mentality – a state of mind. It’s not something you say, it actually has to be the way you think and live every single day. This is the only way you’ll see meaningful results.
The main obstacle to reaching the peak-state of being empowered is overcoming fears. Yes, fears with an “s” as in, plural.
On the surface it may seem that you’re familiar with many of your fears. Some of us run from them; others of us bury them to avoid facing them; and there is a small few that do try to examine them.
When I speak about fears in this blog post, I’m not referring to “surface fears”. Normally I speak on surface fears because they’re the easiest to recognize but, for this post, I actually want to go a level deeper.
As an example, a surface fear would be you’re afraid to stand in front of an audience and speak. Many people have this fear, it’s easy to recognize and easy to talk about.
The category of fear I’m referring to in this post are deep-rooted fears. These fears are buried inside of us. It’s those things deep inside us that we’re terrified to tell someone else. We dread being told we’re “crazy” or “bad”; or even outcast from our social circle. Those things deep within that we’re embarrassed to physically express. Those obscure thoughts and feelings that we feel shameful over.
In other words, fears that keep you boxed in (or running back to) your Social Conditioning.
If you’re not familiar with the term then I’ll explain it briefly. Social Conditioning (technically known as socialization), are the “programs” or “apps” that run on the “computer” of your mind. These are morals, ethics and behavior patterns that make up what you accept as what’s RIGHT TO DO and what’s WRONG TO DO.
These programs/apps are given to us by our parents, television, movies, teachers, family, friends, etc. They are a mindset, handed to you on a silver platter. A way of thinking and acting that has already been designed by others. YOU didn’t design or define them for yourself so human nature’s default is to go along with the status-quo.
There’s a part of the mind that fights against any form of change. It doesn’t like new programs being “installed”. It would rather stick to what it has learned is “normal”.
Example: If you grew up being told that a good boy or girl always eats everything on their plate, then you would eventually do just that. All throughout your childhood (maybe even adulthood), you would eat whatever’s on your plate until it’s clean; even if you get full beforehand. You may even feel a sense of shame if you did not do so.
That’s a very amusing example, but consider ALL you’ve been told about how you’re supposed to act and behave in basic life situations. Just to scratch the surface… You were given programs on how to:
,All these programs/apps and thousands of others run constantly and you perform most of them without even thinking about it. They’ve become habits and routines. Very few, if any, of these programs were designed by YOU – they were TAUGHT to you (or you picked them up by watching others) and you accepted them as “normal”. Think about that for a moment.
Let me make this clear, I’m not saying these programs are good or bad. I just want to expand your Perspective on how much Social Conditioning you’ve been fed throughout your lifetime.
Now, what happens when something within you, a natural thought, desire or even a talent is directly opposed to one of your programs? What happens on the inside of you? What develops are conflicting thoughts and/or emotions. Some individuals get so conflicted that they take a long time to make a decision, or make no decision at all.
These opposing thoughts, feelings or talents are usually suppressed or ignored and become deep-rooted fears, shame or feelings of guilt. The lack of expression of these natural thoughts, desires and talents (coming from within you, not from someone else) lead to 1 thing – MISERY! The prime reason is because you’re not expressing your authentic self.
This lack of expression boxes you in. It keeps most of what you do (or plan) LIMITED. You’ll limit your goals, your ambitions and what you’ve tricked yourself into thinking you need or want. Case in point: You’ll tell yourself you only need so much because to want more is “greedy”. Have you questioned why you think and feel that way? Have you considered where that comes from?
Your Socially Conditioned programs may keep you feeling normal and safe, but inside you may actually feel scared, guilty or ashamed to bring out your authentic self. This is extremely dis-empowering.
To be truly self-empowered, you have to find and deal with ALL these fears. You have to free yourself from the invisible shackles of Social Conditioning. Those that you personally discover don’t apply to you. This is an inward journey of introspection and being extremely honest with yourself. Unfortunately, only a few will ever make that voyage.
Until next time…
IMPORTANT NOTE: The 2nd Cycle of the Gentlemen’s Game Class is coming this Sunday, December 4th 2016. There will be no blog post next week. The blog will return Wednesday, December 14th 2016.
If you’re a Gentleman and want to be invited to the next Game Class then sign-up for the Uncommon Sense Adviser by clicking [HERE]. Signing up is FREE. And for now, the classes are FREE too. They’re run online over Skype. So, what’s stopping you?
I wanted to leave some food for thought since we're approaching the Holiday season. Some of you have already been thinking along these lines. Rest assured, you’re on the right track.
There are a lot of areas of life that need our attention. Our work (or business), our children, family, friends, love relationship, self-improvement, finances, health, and the list goes on.
With each area of life comes Responsibilities; the call for us to step up and handle these areas to the best of our ability. What happens though when you DON’T take Responsibility for a particular life area? Well, to keep it simple – that area suffers.
What we are day-to-day is almost like a ringmaster of a circus. Our “job” is to manage each performance and ensure the whole show goes smoothly. Sometimes we’re on top of our game and sometimes things fall apart despite our best efforts.
With so much focus on things outside of us, we often forget about the things within us that need attention. It can range from our peace of mind and comfort, to “setting goals” and maintaining our spirituality.
In The Game, there are basically 3 main areas we want to have a grasp on. I’ll just call these disciplines because they require a high level of study and practical application (this is wisdom – knowing how and when to use knowledge).
When you break down all the areas of life, they really come down to only these 3. If you can manage these 3, this leads to self-empowerment (power over yourself) which in turn leads to power over your life. That’s what this is all about, after all.
The power IN self-empowerment comes from YOU, the individual. It doesn’t come from how many books you’ve read, what level of education you’ve obtained or how great your financial status is. I’ve personally met very wealthy intelligent people who appear to have it together on the outside, but inside they’re miserable (or their personal life is in shambles). That is NOT self-empowerment. Self-empowerment is a friend. And that friend comes bearing a gift. That gift is peace of mind; knowing without doubt, you can accomplish anything you place a Dominant Force into.
Studying is great. I study plenty. What I learned when I was younger however, was that all that study made me look and sound smarter, but my life didn’t change. I had the same problems I had before I became “knowledgeable”. Even more problems because I would overthink my decisions. I had so much information that some of it conflicted, which led to confusion.
The main reason my life continued to suffer was because although I “knew” more, I seldom used what I learned.
Information without application is just theory. Logically it may sound good and make you feel better, but if your life’s not changing, then we can only arrive at 3 conclusions:
(1) The knowledge is ineffective or untrue
(2) You don’t really KNOW what you learned; or
(3) You don’t know how to make the information work FOR you
What good is learning about the abundance of the universe and positive thinking if you’re not experiencing abundance? Is that real? Is that a fantasy? Or are you applying the information incorrectly?
You can buy the finest oven, with the highest quality cookware – all the newest hotness. But if you can’t USE those tools, then what good are they doing you? That’s like buying football pads and cleats just to walk back and forth to the corner store. Wearing the gear doesn’t make you a football player; playing football does.
What good is being able to recite paragraphs from books and quote lines from famous people if they have no positive impact on your life?
Where’s your own personal philosophy? Or do you think you’re not “worthy enough” to have one yet? If you’re not living how you want to live then maybe you should consider changing some of your Perspectives?
Long story short… when will you USE what you’re learning? When will you try to apply and experiment with it to see if it even works for you? Time is precious. The most valuable resource you have. How much of it are you going to waste just learning and not using that knowledge to make tangible life improvements?
Don’t get stuck in the intellectual zone. Begin to break down and find a way to make the things you’re learning, yours. Have the courage to discover if they’ll work for you or not. Be the scientist, experiment, make adjustments and create your own formulas. Wield the power that’s already inside you – the ability to think creatively and make decisions.
We usually use these abilities for small things, like shopping around for a new television. But the same rules apply to making huge progressive impacts in all areas of life.
For those that celebrate, enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday! Not sure about you, but this year has flown by pretty fast for me.
Knowledge is power. But only if you know how and when to use it! Use what you're learning to get in motion; then stay in motion. Until next time...
IMPORTANT NOTE: The blog will return Wednesday, November 30 2016.
Learn It NOW... Or PAY For It Later
Have you heard the saying, “If it was easy to do, then everyone would be doing it?”
Well there's a lot of truth contained in that statement. According to the “success authorities” it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an EXPERT at something. Not “mastering” something – just becoming more proficient than the average person.
Think about that for a moment. 1 year is only composed of 8,760 hours (on a non-leap year), and you still have to sleep, work, take care of the children, cook, shop, etc.
To become an expert at something could literally take 2 or 3 years. With less time to dedicate, it could even take up to 5.
The easiest way to put this in Perspective would be to look at a musician or athlete. It’s very easy to imagine that the more they practice their craft, the better they would get, correct?
Studies show that you need to spend 10,000 hours PHYSICALLY practicing. That includes focusing the mind (and body) on becoming better and more proficient. For those familiar with The Game, you should know that the Dominant Force ALWAYS wins. So, let’s examine this a little deeper…
If you’re not focused on becoming better at something, than you’re not exercising a Dominant Force – you’re just going through the motions, so to speak. Since thoughts and actions (effort) determine results, the result of you just “playing around” would extend the time necessary for you to become an expert. If you “played around” too much, it could literally take you way more than 5 years just to hit the expert level.
This applies to anything you want to undertake. No matter what it is. If you want to be above average at it, you’re going to have to make sacrifices and dedicate your time to it. There’s NO way around it because we’re “trapped” in time by just being human. We fashion our days with time in mind.
In the Hustler layer of The Game, this goes into the Law of 5. I’ve spoken about that before – you can check that post out [HERE].
The Law of 5 is a simple way to look at progress going from start (0%) to finish (100%). This 100% completion is divided by 5 which brings us to increments of 20% (5 multiplied by 20 = 100).
You can look at this as 3 levels of COMMITMENT. Most people stop around the 20% to 40% mark. These are the short-term committed.
Others make it to around 60%. These are the medium-term committed. The average person usually stops around this point or sooner.
The most committed of course, complete what they started and reach 100% - we can call them the fully committed.
Here’s a key for you: You can cut-down the time it takes to become an expert at something in a few ways:
(1) Training under someone who is an expert or master themselves
(2) Gaining knowledge and wisdom from reading qualified material, and then actually USING that information to gain your own understanding. Study alone isn’t enough! You have to apply what you learn.
(3) Having an intention in mind before you even start. An intention is simply defined as: a final outcome
In order to measure progress, you have to know what the end result is supposed to be. If you don’t know your end result, then how do you know when you’re done? When you reach that 100%?
And here’s the real kicker; the odd truth… If you start out with knowing exactly what you want out of something (intention) you’ll actually perform better even with less practice! How does that work? Because you’re exercising Dominant Force. Your mind and actions are funneled in a single direction. You know what you’re after so when you practice, you know exactly what and why you're doing it. Your efforts are not scattered in many directions. Scattered effort breaks down a Dominant Force into a Weaker Force.
Want to become an expert at something? Then make up in your mind that you’re going to commit for the long-term. Then know exactly what you want out of the deal. Otherwise, what’s all the practice and sacrifice for? Why waste the time?
If the vision and the intention (your final outcome - your reason why) doesn’t keep you motivated, then you’re not going to stay committed. It’s the lack of commitment that’s one of the biggest causes of total failure – not reaching 100%.
Yes, you’re going to mess up. Yes, you’re going to have failures, but if you stop at any failure (or don’t learn from them), you’ll never hit 100%; and honestly, you don’t deserve to. Every gain in life has a price that must be paid. The price to become above average at anything is dedication and knowing what and why you’re going after it.
When you step back and look at the bigger picture, this is all about making decisions. A natural power that we all have which is deciding where to place your Dominant Force. We make hundred of small decisions every day. Why not make a decision to commit to something that will change your life for the better?
The only person stopping you, is you. In fact, you can make that decision right now! Are you going to get out of your own way?
Until next time…
I hear this pretty often, “I try to think positive and be optimistic, but things still don’t go right!”
I understand the frustration. Things aren’t always sweet. They’re not always red roses and champagne dreams. Life can seem so unfair sometimes. Or is it?
For many of us, when we compare our lives to others we feel as though we’re lacking in a few areas; or maybe even a lot of areas. You may feel like they’re swimming in cash, or better educated, have gotten further, and even seem to have “the golden touch” – everything just seems to fall in their lap.
From the outside looking in, things may appear great and you wonder why you’re just not getting the results you long for.
Here’s the truth: No one has all the cards stacked in their favor. We ALL have problems that must be overcome; whether they’re financial, emotional or physical.
Don’t be shaken up by outside appearances. If you want to be more successful in any endeavor, then you have to understand what exactly fuels success. Sounds simple, but many people skip this step entirely. They learn WHAT to do – but don’t prepare themselves with the proper mindset to actually being able to do it.
If you truly want something, you have to BECOME the person that’s worthy to have it. You can play the “victim” and wonder why things are falling apart around you, or you can take the time to figure out what’s actually creating those heavy moments of dissatisfaction.
When I was younger, I was into martial arts; karate in particular. I got inspired by the many martial arts movies I watched growing up and I though knowing how to do some of those moves would be the coolest thing.
My Shihan (karate teacher) was always very adamant about learning not just how to kick, throw and punch someone in their chest; he also wanted us to understand why it’s important NOT to fight. Just because you have the power, you also have to possess the wisdom to discern when it’s necessary to use.
This was strange to my young mind. Here I am learning to kick ass but, I was being told that these things are best used only for defense. It was called, “The Warrior’s Ethical Code”.
You’re learning to “destroy” but you also had to learn to “build” and “heal”.
When you look at your life (or anyone else’s life for that matter) we ALL have something to offer. Some people know what that is. Others don’t.
Some people can “destroy”, but they never learn how to “build”. The wise man or woman knows how to do BOTH. They accept that they have enough.
Enough to share; enough to serve; enough to help; enough to teach; enough to jump over (or crawl under or go around) any hurdle that comes into their path.
It all comes down to your Perspective. Are you only the destroyer or the builder? Or can you become what’s necessary to complete what the task requires? Can you leap gracefully over that hurdle? Or find another way around it?
Do you think you’re enough?
If you do, then you’ll try to see opportunity within every problem. Why? Because you’ll change your Perspective and try to look for it. Focused effort always pays off – lack of effort never does.
“Thinking positive” is more than just being optimistic. It’s changing the way you look at problems. And everyone has problems. This is life after all. We’re all human and no one is immune. It’s the way we look at them that gives these scary shadows their form. Do you see a monster or helper?
Consider this. You have the power to think whatever you want to think. We can all look up at the sky and say it’s blue. But what if someone says it’s not? Our natural reaction is to look at this person as if they’re “crazy”. The sky is blue obviously by its appearance. But what did we learn in science class? The sky isn’t actually blue. And someone made an EFFORT to go past the outer appearance and figure out what was really going on. They thought differently instead of going along with the status quo.
They saw the hurdle and though to themselves, “Just because everyone else is jumping over them, do I have to?”
So here’s a Perspective that some people don’t like to hear, but hopefully it will help some of you release those gnawing feelings of frustration and disappointment.
Failure IS the road to success. As long as you LEARN from your failures!
There is not 1 successful person on this planet that did not fail repeatedly until they arrived at the mountain top of victory.
Every set-back is an opportunity to learn how NOT to do something. This means that eventually you’ll learn exactly how to do it right; or better. Failure is actually [drum-roll] a GOOD thing!
Are you enough? Yes you are. You always have been. You just have been taught to not look at yourself that way. We have all been taught to look at what we lack, instead of what we already have. And what we already have was acquired by doing something right. In order to do something right, you usually had to do it wrong at some point.
As you go through this process, you learn how to both “destroy” and “build”. You go from knowledge, to wisdom and eventually reach an understanding. When you see that next hurdle coming, don’t slow down, figure out a way to move past it. If that doesn’t quite work, that’s alright, because if you pick yourself up, you can keep trying again until you get it right.
Consider yourself laced. Until next time…