The Lost Souls: Boys Without Fathers

“Who does your Mummy love? Your Mummy loves you” said the young mother to her son. The child in the pram just giggled uncomprehendingly. He was giggling because his mummy, his precious protecting mummy, looked happy. He could not only see it in her eyes; her smile, he could also hear it in her voice. The reward he offered her was a toothless giggle, kicking his legs; defenceless to her love.

There was only him and her. No dad. Who needs them anyway, just needed inseminating, and then he was gone, she’d often think. Sent packing, rejected by anger, seated by her own mother’s rage.

As the little boy grew he looked around him for others to follow. The easiest way to do this, was to watch mother closely. Who takes her attention as well as him? There’s no one at first, and then he spots him. No normal man. He hangs on a cross in their local church.

St Michael's Church
St Michael’s Church Wolverhampton

An imposing figure, hung there, head bent, knees bent, nailed to a cross made of wood. A huge crucifix, suspended from the ceiling, by wires. It commands your attention; there’s a dying man – he’s always dying, never actually dead – cruelly nailed there.

As a young boy, it fascinated, appalled and frightened him, in equal measure. It seemed to him, there was no concern, for the impression it made on his mind: The emptiness and confusion it instilled there. Or was this not true, and the intention clear, to an adult observer that is. It was meant to inspire, shock; to fill one with awe, wonder and questions. This was who mother loved. This man hanging there seemed to take her attention. She played the organ for him. She sang to him.

“And so in the young boys mind the game begins. How to compete with the attention given to this man – so talked about – every Sunday, hanging there in front of him”

He mustn’t lie. He must be a good boy. He must never takes the lord’s name in vain. He must always listen to mother intently; always obedient. He will serve on the altar: carrying Christ’s spirit in a candle; giving the priest the body and blood of the man his mother loves. Would this child one day travel to Rome and become a priest himself; always baying for the attention of his mother? Some do.

Sons love their mothers and they watch them closely. A young child soon becomes aware of how their very survival depends on their parent/parents or carers love. A boy will compete for the love and attention of his mother. He may compete against a father, or any man, who’s seen as a potential threat; taking mothers attention away from him.

The reason he will do this is survival. He needs the love and attention of mother. He needs her love to survive. He needs her approval. Without it he could perish. He also needs this understanding, from the men in his mother’s life, or things get tricky. If mother has a succession of men in her life, things get confusing. If there are no men in mothers life, things become ill defined.

In the natural scheme of things, this competition for mothers attention, is healthy. Healthy, in respect of a sons need to model himself and aspire to who gets his mother’s attention, the most. Under normal circumstances this creates a bond between son and father. They both want mothers attention and competition is healthy.

“If it’s the son who wins this attention (instead of balance through appropriate understanding and boundaries) and mother has settled for having no meaningful relationships with men – who also love her son – the child’s development is affected”

His sexual development might be affected, as might his confidence, and direction in life. Good role models are a must for young boys so they may hold things together, and develop into balanced, rounded young men. The figures prove it. Whether single mothers like it or not, lads do need dads.

It’s not for us to suggest that single mothers aren’t doing their best. Many are, and they’re often doing this, through difficult circumstances. We must all love the single mother. Some men simply don’t have the courage to cope with being a father, once the relationship with the mother of his child, has broken down. Some single mothers are of the opinion that their exes make poor fathers. Some men are simply shits. Some women are manipulative, bigoted, and ignorant. Simply human.

Is it not the case that anything is better than nothing? We do know, with or without a father, the child may still turn to crime, drugs or whatever. However, with a father figure, at least he has the option of making a choice for himself.

He knows he was created by his father and will come to know the attention (and what kind) you gave that particular man. When the father is rejected, confusion sets in. On break up, calm, gentle conversation, with sons – from both mother and father – clears confusion. It becomes safe for the child to choose what parts of those around him – he might model himself on – and future become. Ideally the good parts.

“The lost souls of young boys cry our for understanding. What shall I be? Who am I? What is this being a man? How must I be?”

Although a difficult act to follow, the lost soul in our story, at least found someone, to model himself on. Far better to give our sons good, living examples, to follow. Single or not, they will love you, for it.

What is a Beautiful Life?

“It stands to reason, one persons version of what a beautiful life is, will differ to another. Even though this is the case, when it comes to the majority view, we do see a common theme”

This theme is the meta-system of established beliefs pertaining to creating a beautiful life. It follows that if we have all the components, that form this meta-system of beliefs, we will be happy, complete and living the dream, so to speak.

The question that arises, for the likes of those engaged in Personal Development, is this: What if that meta-system is something we don’t want to follow? What if we prefer to question the norms society dictates?

Does this list constitute a beautiful life?

  • Find the person of our dreams
  • Get married
  • Buy a house
  • Start a family
  • Work a nine to five
  • Raise a family
  • Retire
  • Die

We must bear in mind, the type of  list above, will always have a potential sublist of problems or pitfalls. For example how many marriages are strong enough to go the distance needed to raise a happy family? How many of us will find and maintain sufficient job security to support a mortgage? How many of us get to actually enjoy a healthy old age we’ve saved for all our lives? We could go on, and of course no matter the kind of life we choose, there will always be a sublist of problems we’re likely to face along the way. It’s just the nature of things.

“The point is, what we find ourselves striving for, in terms of finding happiness and beauty in life, really does come down to what we choose to believe”

Within our definition, of what Personal Development is, we state: “Knowing ourselves better, becoming more informed of our drivings, creates the advantage of removing conflict.”

This unconscious/conscious conflict could have been created through the model of what society teaches us – about finding beautiful lives – having not fitted with our experience of it. In other words, our childhood experiences – that have now become the unconscious model to aim for – didn’t fit the conscious societal model listed above. We have a conflict, between what the individual believes, and that of society as a whole.

“If we want to understand conflict and confusion better, take a moment to consider the propaganda presented by the media – concerning happy families – and compare that to the reality”

Those around us may have tried to fit the pattern but failed spectacularly. The millions of children raised by single parents, without sufficiently effective role-models to follow, stands testament to this failing.

“The model society teaches doesn’t work for all, and especially doesn’t work, when pursued by those who’re ill equipped to find it”

Taking a breath, in order to recap now, it becomes easier to understand. If what we experienced during childhood was a poor imitation of the ideal – of what society believes constitutes a beautiful life – then we will be ill equipped to follow it. We will attempt to follow it, only to find unhappiness, conflict and stress. All this unhappiness and stress is due to our attempts to follow an ideal that doesn’t exist in our unconscious mind. In one form or another we will end up repeating the mess our parents made of things. Unless: 

“What if we changed the list and learned that a beautiful life is something entirely different?”

A Beautiful Life is gained through:

A Beautiful Solitude

The Ego, Fragile Ego
Solitude: Get to Know The Self

“If everyone spent time in solitude the human condition wouldn’t be quite what it is”

It’s a human psychological weakness; looking to avoid solitude. So is the tendency for us to overtly or covertly seek the approval and attention of others. The ego dislikes time alone for this very reason; when alone, it might initially seem like there’s no opportunity for attention, or approval.

The job of the ego is self-reinforcement. That’s to say, everything the ego does, is a means of asserting what it knows. When we’re alone, the ego becomes vulnerable; open to doubt and questioning. Many people have talked about the discomfort they’ve felt during extended periods of solitude. After spending a night in a tent, alone, in the middle of nowhere, the famous comedian Billy Connolly once said: “You certainly have to deal with your demons on a night like that.”

“And so, solitude is a challenge for the best of us, however, once we understand the benefits – no matter the discomfort – this may give use the courage to conquer”

Breaking the spell, of uncontrollably craving the company, attention and approval of others, helps us overcome some fundamental weaknesses. When we know how to be alone, it puts us in a very, powerful position. There is a vast difference between those who seek power, in order to feel less alone, and those who have power through their ability to be there.

Consider how some world leaders behave. Their lust for power is driven by many things, at the root of this driving, is the unconscious longing for recognition and attention. This was something potentially missing during their childhood development, and so seeking it in adulthood, is simply a symptom of lack.

Alternatively, if we look at the likes of Obama, Kennedy, Thatcher, Mandela or Gandhi – to name just a few – we see a difference. I believe good leaders are made when there’s a genuine love of the people, rather than lack, within themselves. When we seek to control and dominate, this is driven by lack. When we love there’s a need to share this; setting others free. Love shares, fear takes.

When we understand how solitude helps us to gain control over our fragile egos, we move to gaining better control, over our instinctive drivings. Better control, over these drivings, increases our freedom. Being this free does in turn demand we better develop our imaginations. Think of all the free time we’d have! Once we have developed imaginations, and better control over our selves – through finding solitude – the world truly becomes our oyster.

A truly successful mind is one that appreciates the aloneness of the human condition. No matter how hard we try, if we didn’t receive the love and attention required during our developmental years, seeking this as adults, creates many a disappointment. The time for that. Has. Now. Gone.

Appreciation, of the power being alone can bring, will only come once we know solitude. The world is full of people seeking what they craved as children, only to find no satisfaction; whatever the methods employed.

Those who’re able to sit in solitude, with only their thoughts for comfort, will always have greater power, even than those lacking world leaders. It’s this power, of being able to take control of the self, that can change your world. Learn to appreciate A Beautiful Solitude. Give your self the attention it requires. Give your self the approval it requires. There’s really no one else able to do this for you, now you’re fully grown.

The Long Game Plan

The Long Game Plan

“Recent post have made reference to mentality, or mindset, and this post continues in the same vein”

When we compare the kind of mindset it takes to be successful, and that of successful failure, (we only ever succeed at failing) we reduce the margin for error. People who regularly achieve success in their personal and business lives, do so, through their ability to plan. There are short term, medium term, and long term plans. Playing the long game is all about long term plans.

Think of what it takes to knit a jumper. The first thing we must do is work to a plan. We have the body of the jumper, front and back, we then have the sleeves and the neck. All in all, there are five elements. When knitting the separate parts to our jumper, it does take some imaginative skill, to see it as a complete garment.

“One thing to consider at this point is, we don’t actually need to be able to see the complete garment in our minds eye, all we need is a plan that will eventually bring all the parts together”

It’s a little like modern airliners that are made in different factories in different parts of the world. At some point in the future, all the separate parts are brought together, and assembled to make a complete plane. The person making a wing, doesn’t need concern himself with how the plane will look once completed, neither does he need to know how to build the engine. His job, is to construct the wing, and that’s it.

In the same respect, when it comes to business, or personal lives for that matter, we must take each element and focus on them individually for the greatest success. Compartmentalisation is the ability to focus on one aspect of the plan, to the exclusion of all all other aspects, until it comes to the final assembly.

“Keeping our minds in the present moment means we do lose sight of the outcome of our long term plans”

There is a benefit to this in respect of us breaking things down into their component elements; being in the moment means we focus on that single element at that moment in time.

When working in this manner, the day to day, or moment to moment elements of any long term plan, may seem trivial and insignificant. When the results of each day are fairly small, compared to the eventual outcome, we can become disheartened. Even though this is the case, we must be caution with how much time we spend with our minds in places, other than the present moment.

The long term goal, as with our jumper or plane, is for all the individual elements to finally come together. If we distract ourselves too much with this aim, we may fail. Especially if the long term plan is something that covers a good number of years.

So to sum up. When there are many elements, long term goals, must be planned and executed separately. By keeping our minds in the now moment, once a plan has been drawn up, we ensure each element is completed to the best of our abilities. Spending too much time, envisioning how things will look at the end of the term, can be disheartening and counterproductive.

“Personal development can be seen as an important first element to any plan”

Be it improvements needed in our personal lives or our business lives, understanding how best to use our time and attention, means greater success all round. Ultimately, the clearer the plan, and the time span decided for it, the more efficiently we use our valuable time.   

Not in Your Shoes

Not in Your Shoes

“It’s nearing the end of another week, and if we can say anything, it’s been interesting”

The war of words between Russia and Britain continues, as does the not knowing, who to believe. We have a Britain that’s potentially struggling with the brexit matter, and the fact it’s just a tiny island, that used to be an empire.

We also have a broken Russia full of alcoholics and ‘quality’ prostitutes (the best in the world according to Putin) fighting to become an empire. On a personal level? Well, who gives a shit? If the insecure adult-children – who desperately need power and control as a substitute for love – win the battle, bombs that finish it all, are certain to come. Game over. We only have ourselves to blame if it’s us that continue to put these clowns in power.

In the meantime, we all have our personal issues, that seem far greater than the problems of the world at large. Of course they do, they’re our personal problems; they affect us directly. In fact, so personal are they, no one else really has a clue, about what we’re going through. Do they? Why would they? They’re not in our shoes.

“It’s even like this when it comes to family”

We might think that a family member might have clear insight into our troubles and struggles. Yet we’re so often disappointed aren’t we? No one really gets it. On a personal level, I’m so often saddened, by the response family members give. I then remind myself, it’s impossible for anyone to truly see things, from our point of view.

Events from our past, that continue to haunt us, were, at the time, viewed and perceived only by us. Only we know the true effects of our past. It happened to us. Only our mind experienced it. We must be careful when it comes to expecting others to see things from our point of view. They’re never likely to. If you’d been in a roller coaster when it crashed, would everyone in the carriage of experience the horror, in the exactly the same way as you? Never.

Because we’re alone with our experiences, we can never expect others to sympathise with our plight. We might be at a stage where we now fully understand the inhibiting nature of the past, and because of this, we want to move away from it.  Contrary to this, family, and society as a whole, teach us to feel some kind of duty or obligation to the past and its people. Even though these same family members, may have failed in their obligation and duty to us as children, we’re taught to stick with them. In this respect, abuse (in whatever form it took) continues. A sister may even become a replacement for an abusive dead mother. It goes on and on if we keep the ties to the past.

“One of the hardest things people face is breaking from an abusive past. We’re taught to forgive and forget. If I were to do that, I’d never succeed at retaining the anger needed, to change my world”

The ties that are formed through guilt and obligation can be so very powerful. Even though we know our presence is only due to misplaced duty, guilt or obligation, we keep going back for more. It’s well understood, neglected children continue to feel powerful bonds, to abusive parents. In fact, due to the minds need to constantly seek some kind of recognition, or love from a neglectful parent or parents, this, in itself, keeps them returning for more. A vicious cycle that takes lives. It takes lives in terms of them not being fully lived.

Once again I’m being reminded of the control and dominance people seem to require over each other. This dominance and control is there as a means of alleviating fear. The fear that a brother, sister, partner or friend may leave us all together, causes the fearful to employ methods for control. So much of human interaction is based on this need. In addition to this, a spiteful sibling, may think: How dare they not suffer. How dare they be living their life free whilst I’m stuck here. 

They are not in our shoes. They know nothing of our pain. They’ve failed to break free from their past; this is their problem; their failing. We can never allow them to keep us down. 

“Love, religion, guilt, caring, money, you name it, all used as a means for manipulation and control”

We must always bear in mind, parents had great fun creating us, and potentially had fun raising us. We didn’t ask to be born though. So why does being born to someone obligate us? They don’t own you because they created you. Because they created you, they have an obligation to make your life, as free as possible. Self-centered parents are increasingly seeing their children turn their backs on them, and they wonder why. 

Love can never be about keeping people around us – believing they owe us something – because we attempted to care for them when young. We must stop believing in debt if we’re ever to be free. Love, when properly understood, is the empowerment to set others free. A parent, or sibling for that matter, may struggle to understand – once we’ve moved on – we no longer want anything to do with them and our past at all. If we need to separate ourselves from the past, it is okay to see family members, as simply a group of people who happened to live in the same place, whilst we grew. They can become strangers.

People do become estranged. This happens for many reasons and those family members left behind often struggle to understand. They’re simply unable to put themselves in others shoes. Many years may have past, and parents be so old now, that they’re near to death. A sibling will struggle with estrangement especially at this time. We must ask though: If estranged, why would you want to watch an elderly parent, who has now become a stranger, die? To be estranged you must break all ties. Who’s in the habit of going into places full of dying strangers? Nurses? Doctors? Those who don’t need to, or have failed to break from their past, will struggle with this. They’re not in our shoes and we must always remember this.

“Breaking from the past takes courage”

Removing the emotional bonds created – not through love, through fear – is achieved when we truly understand: Our lives must be lived by our rules, on our terms, because there was, and is, no one else in our shoes.

The Random Mind

Random

“They say you never step into the same river twice”

Imagine how life would be if every morning you woke with a completely different mindset. What if each morning you had a completely random set of thoughts? Or, how would life be, if there were nothing concrete about your beliefs about the world whatsoever? There’s no doubt, if your beliefs about everything were fluid and ever changing, you’d live in a complete and utter state of confusion.

Let’s just say for a moment that your beliefs about your job changed every day. One day you wake feeling in love with your work and the next you don’t. Let’s say that one day you woke believing you loved your wife or husband and the next you didn’t. How would the people around you deal with this?

There stands a very good chance they wouldn’t. Living with such a fickle individual would be intolerable; totally insufferable. So it stands to reason, the vast majority of us, don’t change our beliefs on a daily basis. The human mind does need the kind of stability required to make life predictable and manageable. Too much randomness would make things far too unsettling. We require a certain degree of stability. Those whose minds are broken, without any solidity or stability, struggle to live meaningful lives.

“This brings me to the other side of this equation”

Too much stability and predictability can be just as damaging as too little. We must acknowledge the importance of applying some randomness and change into our lives. Without it, we become bored, and stagnant. When a river stops flowing the water stagnates.

So what methods can we employ to inject the necessary amount of randomness into our lives? Well, we could play ‘The Game of Dice’ as suggested in our workbook. A very simple game.

Make a numbered list of six activities and then throw a die. Whatever number the die falls on, is the activity you must do. We’re leaving things to chance, mixing in a little randomness, with this kind of game.  A good example of the kind of lateral thinking that keeps our lives and minds flowing freely.

The Random Mond

“Now let’s come back to beliefs for a moment”

One of the reasons the game of dice is so effective is its simplicity. Another reason for its power, is the application of chance, allowing it to make decisions for us. Here’s the thing about beliefs: they don’t leave things to chance. If you don’t believe something, the chances of experiencing it, are very slim. In this respect, the list you initially draw up to play our game, will be influenced by your beliefs. As such, will it be truly random? It’s doubtful isn’t it? So we think the best way to play the game, is for someone else, to write the list for you. Consider this list:

1, Go Kayaking 

2, Go Paragliding 

3, Ask a random stranger out for dinner 

4, Quit your job

5, Learn to cook

6, Smash the TV

How would it be if you set yourself the proviso, before playing the game of dice, that you MUST do the very thing the die decides? Would life get interesting? How interesting would it get if someone else made a list for you?

“It works a little like this with beliefs”

When we consider that the beliefs we currently believe – that dictate our waking thoughts – were actually decided by somebody else, we get a feeling for the real lack of control, we actually have over our lives. These are the kind of beliefs made for us during childhood:

1, Work five days a week

2, Chain yourself to routine

3, Stay with the same partner all your life

4, Worry about a pension

5, Chain yourself to debt

6, Money equals happiness

On our workshops you’ll get the chance to choose what you’d rather believe. What would you like to believe about your future? Can you see the advantage to living a more random life? Believe you can. It starts here.

The Locksmith Series #9 (John’s feeling Stoned)

“Of late John had started feeling a little strange”

Or ‘out of sorts,’ as he’d heard it said. At first he’d put this down to coming off cocaine. Yet now, the feelings had changed from the anxious twitchiness, you’d associate with coming off a drug habit, to something more akin to being stoned.

He wasn’t stoned, in fact he’d not touched a smoke, of any sort, for over five years; the white stuff he’d always sniffed up his snout, but now he’d been off that for some weeks, he was starting to wonder what the hell was wrong with him. The closest he could get to describing it, if anyone had bothered to ask him, would be a sort of detached – couldn’t give a shit – kind of attitude, very odd. Very odd indeed.

John’s feeling Stoned

Further to this, and as a general rule, John considered himself to be an ‘up’ kind of person. Not anxious as such, just a little wired, most of the time. So these feelings were something new. Although he’d described it to himself as feeling like being slightly stoned, there was none of the usual stuff you’d associate with that. No paranoia, no sore tightness in the lungs, none of the unpleasant encounters with rip-off ‘dealers’ and definitely none of the smell. He wasn’t doing drugs, yet felt the detached separateness from things, being mashed, had brought him in the past.

“On top of these unexplained feelings he was also becoming convinced his hearing was getting worse”

John had lived with poor hearing for quite some time now. Over recent months (even after investing nearly two grand in state of the art hearing aids) he’d noticed that he hardly heard anything anyone said to him anymore. It didn’t matter much really. Most of the time he was able to guess what people asked of him; all the questions were the same. The same boring repetition.

If someone asked him a more ‘left field’ kind of question, he’d not hear it at first, and so would ask them to repeat themselves. On them doing this he’d sometimes make a special effort to look up and work harder to hear what they’d said. But now, even on asking them to repeat themselves, he was increasingly finding himself just smiling and agreeing with whatever they said. One of these days someone’s was going to say: you’re a real cunt aren’t you? And he’d stand there with a stupid grin on his face responding with a nod and a yes. What a wanker. Perhaps he should make more effort to take an interest, but now – with this new impassiveness he constantly felt – that seemed increasingly unlikely. It was beginning to overwhelm him. Or was the word underwhelm. Was everyone and everything begging to underwhelm him?  

Some days he found himself wondering what the fuck this shitty life was all about. He didn’t feel particularly depressed or anything, he’d just quite simply stopped giving a shit, about anything. If he was honest, all he really wanted to do, was drink coffee in cafes, people watch, and eat cake. There didn’t seem much point in doing anything else. He felt surrounded by insanity and it fascinated. In fact, when he was doing his favourite thing, people watching in cafes, he’d just sit and wonder – between mouthfuls of coffee and cake: – What exactly are these fucking people doing?

“After his decision to stop spending time with Evo his life had closed down somewhat”

He didn’t think this was any bad thing – especially since the knock back in the nightclub that final evening – he just wondered what in hell he was actually going to do? What was he going to do surrounded by insanity? What was he going to do about feeling stoned all the time? The funk of it all was starting to weight on him. What was going to be the ultimate outcome of all this?

In quieter moments, away from the cafes and people, he’d recognised how unafraid he’d become. Most people, he surmised, must be driven, on some level, by some kind of fear. The fear of being sacked; the fear of losing a loved one; the fear of getting ill and dying; the fear of eating the wrong things. The list goes on, but he, with this new attitude, had simply stopped drinking, smoking or eating shit food (mostly) and that seemed the weirdest outcome of all. Perhaps, with this new development, it was time to add something to the mix.  

“With nothing actually mattering anymore, he felt almost serine”

Was this how people felt before they died? Or was it how they felt once they understood what really mattered in life: Hardly anything at all. It seemed the only thing that really mattered to John, right now, was breathing in. Why was it such a relief to be able to breath the fuck out again? For fucks sake!

Home, and alone in his apartment now, John’s mind went to Emily. He was curious about Emily. He’d noticed a change in her the last time they’d met. He knew she’d been to see that wacko guy called The Locksmith; she told him about it. What had happened to her? And more importantly, what had happened to him? Had she cast some kind of spell on him?

It had gone like this. The following Friday, after the increasingly common spat they’d had the week before, both she and Joanne sat waiting in the cafe. They were both sitting at their usual table when he’d walked in. They’d normally be animatedly chatting, but on this occasion, they sat quietly both staring into the middle distance. “Hi” he’d said and it seemed to take a moment before they even registered that he’d sat down alongside them. Eventually they warmed up, their usual banter, resumed.

As he pondered on that afternoon now, he thought: perhaps this spacey feeling he’d been experiencing, was some kind of illness, and it was catching? A bad thing to catch? Perhaps it was time to see The Locksmith himself.  

Insecurity and Risk of Obsession

Insecurity and Risk of Obsession

As an add on to my previous post, let’s consider how individuals, who felt high degrees of insecurity during childhood, go on to seek further insecurity and unnecessary risk in adulthood.

There are those individuals whose childhoods were so filled with fear and insecurity, that their minds – in an attempt to resolve the confusion this pain creates – continue to take unnecessary risks.

“In some respects what you’re reading here is fairly advanced psychology. Have no fear though, because advanced or not, it is extremely simple to understand”

You may know, or have met (or indeed be) the type of person, who seems to live life on the edge. And I don’t mean extreme sports here – although taking dangerous risks can link with insecurity – what I’m talking about are those who seem to go from boom to bust; those that take things to excess, risking their future security. These people are potentially those whose upbringing was filled with insecurity, and the mind, in an attempt to draw attention to the unresolved nature of emotion neglect, keeps them in a state of flux.

The conflict mentioned in the previous post need not be conflict at all. In other words, even though we may, on the one hand want adventure, challenge and variety, and on the other need security, we can have both. The mature attitude, to obsession and passion, is balance. It’s important we’re able to balance our work and home lives equally. Especially if what you’re passionate about takes a great deal of physical and/or mental energy to preform.

Insecurity in childhood can follow us into adulthood. If we’re not prepared to question the deeper purpose, to our actions and behaviour, we can remain stunted. Many of those who face extreme hardship at stages, or throughout their whole lives, have often come from very difficult backgrounds.

“Once such a person learns the nature of how the unconscious mind is seeking to communicate unfinished business, through this hardship, change – beautiful change – begins to happen”

For example, and in its simplest terms, an alcoholic, is this way, because of guilt. The alcohol changes the consciousness of an alcoholic, pushing down feelings of guilt, to where they can be easier dealt with. The drinking is not the problem. The drinking is the solution. The disease cures us.

Courage is needed when it comes to dealing with the roots to problems. The mind has already, to a degree, found a solution through drinking – or whatever the illness or dysfunctional behaviour might be – and so looking deeper takes strength. The key, is to see the minds solution, (alcoholism in our example) as a kind of communication.

In this light, we can understand, an immature drawing, to running from problems, or taking unnecessary risks with our life or security, is simply a means of communication. The mind is saying: you need to look at this.

Passion and obsession must never take us to a place of risk. Ataraxia at times is important. Letting things go so they don’t place us at unnecessary risk is also important. Yes, be passionate and obsessive about your thing, yet remember, without balance, we may well be getting drawn to the negative side of these things.

The Train of Your Thoughts

Train of Thoughts

What do you spend the majority of your time thinking about? Do you actually have thoughts about one particular subject that override all others? Let’s really pin it down with three further questions. Do you have a passion? Do you have a healthy obsession? Is there something you want to achieve that requires most, if not all, of your attention?

Very successful people would answer in the positive to the majority of those questions. That’s the first thing to be clear on. If you want success, you’ve got to be dedicated, to your passion.

“The train of your thoughts refers directly to what we can describe as the driving force for success”

For a very long time I’ve fought the tendency for my mind to be slightly obsessional. In some ways, those who’re likely to advise me against obsessive thinking, would be correct. Let’s be specific though, obsessive thoughts, can fit into two categories:

  • Healthy, that drive positive outcomes
  • Unhealthy, that drive self-destructive outcomes

The fight against obsessive thinking is a little strange, and to some extent, is simply a battle between factions of the mind, whose ultimate aim, is the same: to decide the nature of life. Put another way, one part of the mind is contented to settle back for comfort, ease and stability, the other, longs for something more.

It comes down to mentality or beliefs. The mentality of seeking comfort, predictability and ease, is the consequence of childhood learnings. The mentality of seeking more, be that challenge, change or variety, is often one introduced to us much later in life. The battle that raged within me, was, in a sense, simply being fought between two sets of belief systems. The first driven by fear, the second driven by love.

When put this way it can seem a little simplistic, however, I’d prefer you viewed this as a ‘beautiful simplification.’

Now for the reason I say this. Once we breakdown, what can seem a jumble of unsolvable and confusing conflicts, into its most basic components, we stand a much greater chance of winning the battle for the best. And be in no doubt, we must ensure love, is the winner.

The mentality driven by fear, is the one that’s looking to avoid the unsettling things we associate with change and variety. Potentially, and especially if your childhood had similarities to mine, the time we found these things unsettling, was during our development. Were you insecure as a child?

As children we crave stability, structure and security. It’s true to say, when children, we do in fact require plenty of security and stability. Insecure children grow up to be insecure adults who may shy away from life enhancing activities. Show me someone who lives with depression and I’ll show you an insecure inner child.

“Where our next meal is coming from, where we go to sleep at night – surrounded by familiar people who love us – is very important. The line to draw here though, is this: we’re no longer children”

If you’ve been fortunate enough to have been shown powerful role models, that clearly distinguished between the security of childhood and the adventure of adulthood, all will be well. If not, you will need to find these role models, later in life. This does potentially have the downside of creating a battle between old and new, however, we must remember, every battle can be won.

Winning the battle is decided by train of thought. Decide to become actively involved with training your mind. Wake each day to remind yourself what each part of your mind is seeking, and decide what that higher part of your mind, wants. That’s to say, do you seek a life driven by fear, or one driven by love? It’s very, very easy, when seen in this light.

Be strong with yourself. Follow each link. Read them several times. Decide: is the driving fear, or is it love? It really is that simple,

Will it be you I get to spend time with this September? It starts here

Why We Reject The Good Souls

 “Why do we reject the good souls? Do we feel threatened by them, and if so, why? What exactly do we have to fear?”

Many are very suspicious of people who wish us well; those who want the best for us. Many people who are in desperate need of assistance, or guidance of some sort, will reject that hand up; that gentle word of advice. They will reject the good souls.

In some respects, this must come down to our fear, of the unknown. If we’ve never been shown genuine compassion, love and concern, then how can we possibly accept it for what it is? People, who’ve spent their entire lives just surviving and getting by, will reject love. Those who’ve had to cope with the abuse and disdain, we humans inflict on one another, will obviously reject that hand up. If we do take that hand, who’s to know, what we’re likely to find? Something worse than we already know?

Often the used and abused will take assistance offered, only to find a worse horror, than the one they knew before. Better the devil you know and all that. So what is the answer? How can we get through to the damaged souls who reject genuine compassion and empowering love?

“The word that comes to mind is gently”

A gentle truth is what many of us require. The truth that someone, who might simply ask them how they are, or wish them good luck, is genuinely asking after their wellbeing. A good soul enquiring for some love. A love not many are able, or willing to give, an enquiring soul. 

Pride is one thing that can stands in the way. Pride, standing there with its arms folded, defensive and cold. A young man will often see an older one as a threat, not as potential for guidance, and betterment. A damaged person may only have his pride left, after everything else, has been stripped from him. Dignity disappears when we’re abused as children, as does much of our power. We may find strength in pride. We may feel powerful when we reject all and everyone from our lives. It matters not, whether they’re good or bad, pride pushes them all away.

I’ve learnt, the only way to deal with this, is to actually see what their rejection is: fear. There is a fear that the last thing they have; that last thing that’s kept them alive, together and helped them make it through, will be taken from them; their pride. What must those in need of assistance do in order to swallow their pride and listen?

“They need to believe”

Yes, on this occasion, it can be that simple. When we’re able to instill the belief, that there is actually something available to lift a damaged person, we’re halfway there. The way we do this, is to educate the individual as to the true nature of that assistance. We need to make them aware, of the two way street they’re embarking on, by accepting our help.

You see, when we offer help to another human being, especially one whose likely to reject us, we must make them aware of how offering assistance is about a selfish empowerment. Offering help will always be a ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ situation. When we share this truth help is more likely accepted.

Help, is more likely accepted, when we realise we mustn’t threaten the survival of a damaged individual, through threatening to take their pride. Their last remaining stronghold of defence. In fact, when we offer the truth of our selfishness, we help people retain their pride.

“We never offer someone help when our unconscious intention is to take their power. This is so often the case”

When we offer advice, or help of any nature, it can often be spotted as a hidden means of empowering ourselves. This is when the damaged will reject us. Giving up a little of our power is when we truly help. We do this by offering the truth. We do this by showing humility.

Just the other day, I offered someone a good luck sentiment who was trying to give up smoking, and the response was this: “well yes, I’m just trying not to think about it.” A rejection of a good luck wish. Hindsight has offered me the realisation of what would have been a better strategy: to take a deep breath, look him the eyes, and say nothing. Simple, when you think of it.

So the next time you feel rejected, even when your intentions felt honourable, be sure to recognise what your unconscious intentions might have been. Those in need are used to being very, very perceptive of the human condition, and its darker side.

“We uncover our unconscious intentions when we see the truth”

Here it is: There is no such thing as a selfless act. None at all. When we make it clear, that we understand the two way street, of any act, we discharge suspicion from the damaged soul.

We must ask: in what way do I empower myself through offering my time and attention? We must then offer this truth. Understand: when we humbly give a little of our power away – by expressing truth through our humility – we will ultimately regain it twofold. We always regain power given away. When we look to take another’s power, we must continue to do so, with all those we meet. A vicious cycle many people are engaged in. We only need look at what’s happening in the world today. People in power seeking to take it from others. Rejection all around.

Defence Against the Lies

Truth and Lies

How can we tell if someone is lying? How can we defend ourselves against the damage of lies?

If we start with understanding what a lie is, and why they’re so common, we begin the process of understanding how to defend ourselves against them.

Let’s just take ourselves back to being young for a moment, and gently ponder, on the lies we told at that time. Straight away, there might now be a few who tell a lie, to themselves. They might be saying: “I never told lies.” Whoops, let’s just let that one go then shall we, and start again. We all tell lies. That’s right, all of us.

“The truth, and the truth of our opinions can be hurtful, so of course, we protect people’s feelings. We protect them against the truth of either our opinion, or indeed, the truth itself”

In this instance, we can consider the lie as being driven by our empathy, and consideration for the feelings of others. Even when we tell lies under such circumstances though, in a deeper part of our minds, we do understand lying isn’t necessarily useful. The lie may protect someone’s feelings, however, in the long term, the lie may do harm. For example, if someone close to you were to ask: “Do you love me?” And you’re answer is: “Yes,” when the truth is you’re no longer certain, eventually the truth will out, and the lie will then be seen as harmful. When the eventual break up comes, the question will be: “Why didn’t you tell me sooner? I could have moved on with my life years ago.”

So we can easily see, the issue of lies, is a complicated one. Telling the truth, in the above example, would take great courage. Now, pause for a moment if you will. Can we spot the real lie in the above example? Is it not the case, the real lie, is the reason for saying yes? Indeed we do want to protect feelings, however, because we’re fearful of loss, through making a mistake, the real lie, is that we tell ourselves we’re protecting someone else. What would the pain of loss cost you? Truth, it would seem, is often avoided in order to protect ourselves, as well as the feelings of others. Self preservation, is the lot of the lie, is it not?

“Now, when it comes to defending ourselves against lies, this is where it gets very interesting”

There are those individuals who are specially trained at spotting lies. Police detectives, psychologists and therapists, are potentially the best at spotting them. They deal with them all the time. With this said though, how competent are the rest of us at spotting lies? Can you easily spot one? Here’s a clue to the truth of that question: Everyone is lying to you right now. Almost everything you hear is laced with some kind of lie.

We must take on board the self preservation aspect of lies. To help with understanding this, let’s form the presupposition that everyone, is fearful of being alone. Let’s also state, that on one level, everyone is in fact already aware of this, and all we’re doing, is playing psychological games, through our lies, in order to escape accepting this truth.

With these presuppositions and understandings in place, defending oneself against the potential harm of lies, is easy. All we need do, is accept our own aloneness. Once we’re able to do this, there is no longer any need for us to lie, and lies from others, can be seen for what they are: A cry for love. Should anyone reject us through our truth, it will no longer matter, because we already understand ourselves as alone.

“Alone, is when no other person is able to be part of our mind, body, or soul. Can any other person be part of your mind, to the extent they could read your thoughts? No. As such, you are alone.”

In order to take our understandings of lies a little deeper, I need to change tack slightly. I need to talk about those people who’re able to create the illusion of being part of your mind. Once this illusion is created, you feel less alone, and as such, safer. There is great danger here. You can potentially become owned, controlled and dependant, on a person who has the ability to create such an illusion. The lie, is that they’re part of your mind; that they have some kind of connection with you, that’s more than mere similarity. You are the one who’s creating the lie incidentally. You’re lying to yourself.

“I’m going to give you a clear example of this. Take some time here”

Imagine a conversation with someone close, who starts talking to you, with the assumption you already know part of what they’ve been thinking. For example, they start the conversation, like this: “She said she didn’t know.”

Okay, a conversation initiated in such a fashion, could go one of two ways. You either ask them: “WTF are you talking about? Or you could take a moment to work out who they might be referring to: – There might be some tenuous link with a previous conversation, or you might be able to easily work out who’s been spoken about. Firstly, your attention has been grabbed. Secondly, in the process of you working out who’s been spoken about, you’ll be creating the illusion of being inside someone else’s mind. Something that creates a very powerful bond. Always bear in mind. This. Is. An. Illusion.

“Remember where the lie is here”

The lie is that it’s possible to be inside someone else’s mind. Don’t be fooled, once you buy into such a lie, you can be very easily manipulated. All of us humans are looking for one thing: to be less alone. Those who’re able to create the illusion of mind reading, will have immense power over you.

To the point. Lies are used as a means of protecting the self: the ego. The ego is excellent at lying. We only ever lie to ourselves and we do this as a means of self-preservation. We defend ourselves against the potential harm of lies, when we acknowledge, our aloneness. Knowledge removes fear.

Allow me to give you further example of the protective nature of lies. I work closely with a compulsive liar. She lies as a means of protecting her ego. Her ego is in fact extremely fragile. The person in question has been placed in a position of authority that well exceeds her abilities (resources). As a means of compensating for this, her opinions and conversation, are always laced with lies. This is now at the point that nearly everything she says seems made up. I’ve stopped hearing almost everything she says to me. I once saw a T-shirt with the words: “I’m not hearing a word you’re saying to me, I’m just smiling and nodding in all the right places, in the hope this works.” That’s the place I’m in with the lairs of liars. I barely hear a word anyone says to me.

Main Point:

As in childhood, the ego will recognise lack of resources and compensate for this, through lies. Some never grow out of the need to tell lies, because they’ve never grown out, of childhood. Sound familiar? Do you know anyone like this? Are there some – on the world stage right now – who need to tell lies, because their child-mind needs to protect itself?  

We must now understand:

“It’s not so much truth, that sets us free, it’s the fact only the free, speak it. Freedom is when you’re no longer afraid”

The Locksmith #8 (Distracted By The Human Condition)

The Human Condition

The Locksmith had watched Emily leave the room, waited for Lord Harry (the little terrier dog) to return, before closing his eyes again. It took just a few moments for him to gain his composure.

Human behaviour often amazed, shocked, saddened and sometimes even amused The Locksmith.

It wasn’t so much unexpected – to hear the tales such as the one just recounted by Emily – it was more about how it made him feel. It was disappointing to him, that so many people didn’t see the deeper side of their behaviour; the real purpose to it.

Ultimately, it didn’t so much matter that their behaviour was destructive to themselves and others – time heals after all – it mattered that so many seemed ambivalent to it all. For he understood, when there’s indifference or ambivalence to anything, change will be slow, or fail altogether.

He understood how human indifference wasn’t necessarily their state of mind to begin with, for him though, it developed rather too quickly.

The perpetrators of harm rarely gave though to the damage they caused. Abusive acts, be they physical or emotional, were carried out with such disregard, it saddened him. This lack of empathy and consideration for others was what also amazed. How have they made it this far? He would puzzle.

He experienced equal measure of amazement and sadness, for how people had such low regard for themselves, and their lives. Life can be so beautiful when one takes a moment to stop. And to have such lack of regard for others, was often a clear reflection of the low regard they held for themselves, and all life in general.

All these unloved children, with empty souls, seeking what they lacked.

The Locksmith also understood, the self-centered nature of human children, often never left them. Was being taught ‘out’ of this, through educating children about the dangers of self-centeredness, being overlooked? He would meditate on such questions. If the only concern, is for satisfaction of the self, humans will begin to lose the very thing that’s made them so successful: Their togetherness. His mind would answer the questions. It was the questions that mattered.

It seemed to him, that the need for power and control over each other, remained at the heart of so many of their troubles. The playground games, of winning or losing favour with each other, was a constant. Taking sides, building allegiances; general bullying and tittle-tattle was also there. All games created by the children seeking power, attention, and above all, love.

At times it became a distraction for him. His awareness of this was an annoyance.

He did have better things to be thinking of. For example, what was the nature of the seed he’d been sent here to plant? He knew it had a lot to do with the human concept of love. A flawed concept, though it was.

When something isn’t universally understood, it becomes a struggle to find it’s true power, as confusion tends to defuses it. His thoughts often concluded with the realisation of it flawed nature, yet he was always soothed, by its usefulness. It is the best they’ve come up with, to explain their feelings, he would surmise.

Having regained his composure his thoughts returned to Emily. Dear, dear Emily. Such a lonely child. Could he not say the same about all the people he’d met?

Reaching out to her again he sensed her pain ebbing. In his mind’s eye, he saw her walked away, back to a life, better understood. He knew the whole purpose to her life was love, just not one, she yet fully understood. The sooner the better he thought.

Slaves to Our Thoughts

Slaves to our lies
We’re all Slaves to Our Thoughts

“To a greater or lesser degree there is not one of us who isn’t operating on a system that enslaves us. The question is: to what extent has this system being designed by you, the individual?”

The word mentality is a very general term used to describe a particular kind of system, or set, of one’s mind. For example, an expression such as: ‘a working class mentality’ is a very general term used to describe the kind of thinking, or system of beliefs and thoughts, adopted by those of the working classes.

Further examples would be: victim mentality, average mentality, liberal, conservative, we could go on. Suffice to say, the type of thinking that binds us – or creates a sense of freedom for that matter – can be described as our mentality. 

“Many, with certain mentalities, enslave themselves with a paradox. It’s a paradox to think our beliefs free us, when the reality is, they enslave us” 

When it comes to being paradoxically bound by our mentality we can think of one clear example of this:  Consider those who’ve dropped out of society.

In the first instance, the act of dropping out of society, is seen as rebellious. Potentially it’s also considered a means of escape from a system of enslavement. What those who drop out from society don’t fully realise is, they’re simply swapping one set of beliefs or mentality, for another. Neither actually sets them free.

“Rich or poor neither are free whilst driven to fulfill beliefs unknown

We could go as far as to say, none of us are truly free until we’re free of all belief systems that dictate a certain behaviour, or indeed dictate our expectations, on life. Even the Buddhists, who see their beliefs as a form of escape from suffering, still suffer by their beliefs. Another binding paradox.

Slaves to Our Thoughts

I say this because lacking a belief in identity actually separates us into a group of people with a certain mentality. This, in itself, creates identity. It’s impossible to be free from thoughts whilst we’re alive and it’s these thoughts that enslave us. Perhaps, in this respect, life is a form of enslavement.

Slaves to Heaven and Earth

That last statement might sound a little negative, however, that isn’t the intention. The intention is to highlight the fact, even if we consider ourselves free individuals, we’re never truly this way. The trick though, is to get as close to freedom as possible, whilst being fully alive, living a full life.

“We could ask at this stage: What is a full life?”

The easiest way to achieve a sense of freedom is to simply question what our true intentions are from words and/or actions. For example, dropping out of society might be seen as a form of escape and/or rebellion, yet, what is such a person truly looking to achieve? What are they truly looking to escape from? Who are they truly looking to hurt through their rebellion? Is it conforming they want to escape from? Is it a neglectful parent they’re looking to hurt? Is it all a game for attention?

“When we think about it, we only ever conform to a certain kind of mentality, and a rebellious nature is a mentality that enslaves, through type”

The whole point of this post is firstly to create alternative, higher thinking, and secondly, to raise the awareness, that it’s what we bring our minds to; what we choose to think about, that dictates our life and the experiences within it.

“We could all have a much smoother journey when we realise the importance of being true to ourselves”

Now, going back to the earlier question: what is a full life? We can say that a full life is lived when we’re living true to ourselves. We find our true selves when we begin to question the authenticity and usefulness of our beliefs.

Slaves to Our Thoughts

We can know that none of our beliefs are original – we’ve learnt them all from somewhere, somehow or from someone – and so being true to ourselves, is really achieved when we consciously choose what we ‘want’ to believe. The unconscious only ‘must’ believe all and everything within it. You might want to read that again.

“So many of our beliefs have been instilled at a time when we we were naive or ignorant to their provenance and value”

Let’s finish by opening up the question of what you actually believe freedom is: What is freedom to you?

What is Personal Development?

What is Personal Development?

“In a nutshell, Personal Development, is the way and the means to advance and break free from the limitations of our ignorance”

Knowing ourselves better, becoming more informed of our drivings, creates the advantage of removing conflict. Many of us tend to think one thing, and yet end up, doing another. This is the result of psychological conflict.

The unique type of development taught on our workshops and courses, helps our students understand how unconscious drivings, often contradict conscious ones. Simply put, understanding our minds better, and raising awareness to how we create our own difficulties, immediately improves the quality of our lives.

Quality of life, and the roads we take in order to find happiness, are relative to the individual. Personal Development helps us create a much clearer plan the individual, is then able to tailor, to suit themselves. We must know which roads to avoid, and which to take, if we’re to have a smother journey through life.

“Models, beliefs and patterns of behaviour, when better understood, can be modified. Only then do we gain more from life”

The unique nature of our workshops has come about through the culmination of many years experience. The GOLD Counselling technique, once understood, forms the basis for expelling those beliefs we no longer find useful. Gaining advanced, yet easily understood understanding, of the influence of beliefs on our lives, immediately brings into question those that limit us. Ultimately, what we believe we’re capable of, will be the limit of our achievements.

These planned achievements, may not include walking on the moon, for example, yet may include finding more beauty, and more contentment from life. If this is what we seek, we must be prepared to question, what we presently understand.

The mentality we experience, and are taught from the people around us throughout childhood, decide what kind of life, and degree of contentment, we’re likely to find. Learning new models of behaviour, so we may find greater happiness and contentment, is the aim of Personal Development.

“Perhaps walking on the moon is a dream of yours. Attendance on a Personal Development Workshop may not put you there, but it will certainly make you aware, of the attributes you’re going to need”

If you have the necessary courage needed, to question the validity of your perception of the world, you’ll come to realise: the world is how you decide to create it, through your beliefs.

The Competition for Power

The Competition for Power

The Competition for Power

How do we gain power? What is power? Is there a difference between personal power and power over others? Why do we need any kind of power?

All interesting questions. As a lead in, let’s start, on a slight tangent, by talking about what I like to call the so-answer-response. The so-answer-response can be given in reply to any question. The answer always starts with the word ‘so’ and goes like this:

Q, What are you doing?

A, So . . .  today we’re discussing power  

As I see it, this rather modern and obviously highly contagious precursor to answering a question, is in fact, all about power.

“It would seem, modern day language, has developed to the point, even answering a direct question, is seen as some kind of power struggle”

It’s like this. If I’m asked a question, and I then choose to answer it with a direct response, directly related to the question, I’m seen to be giving away my power. Linguistics has seen a way around this problem, through adding the ‘so’ precursor, to the answer. Consider the difference:

Q, What are you doing?

A, I’m discussing power.

Can you sense the difference here? Slight isn’t it?

The point being, we’re all in some kind of power struggle. Be this something that’s obvious, or something that’s not quite so, the power struggle goes on. If we were able to observe children at play, we would see the early signs, of the kind of power struggles humans go on to play, everyday of their lives. We might now ask: Why? Why do we need these power struggles?

Now, rather than answering that question directly, I’ll proceed by asking a few more. Why are people being poisoned on our streets? Why are nearly two million people – in the UK alone – experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse every year. Why, somewhere in the world right now, are there innocent women and children being bombed? What is this kind of power struggle? What is the real problem here?

“Allow me to give you a further, if gentler example, of a power struggle”

Just yesterday I took a drive out in my car. During the drive I had an altercation with a professional (van) driver, who thought I’d dangerously cut him up, when entering a roundabout. There was no collision and no brakes were applied, yet the angry driver insisted on pulling up alongside me, in order to scream and rant about my poor driving. His parting shot was a beauty: “You shouldn’t be on the fucking roads mate!” The fact, he was the professional driver, losing his temper, is perhaps besides the point.

It is only matter of opinion anyway. ‘Making good progress’ is how, as a qualified advanced driver, I would have termed my particular driving style. Safe driving, is making good progress, whilst at the same time, avoiding causing other drivers to change speed or direction. This was my driving style. The van driver had other concerns though. His real concern was this: I’d taken his power.

The section of road he saw in front of him was his and his alone, so for me, to safely and keenly ‘beat him to it,’ as it were, annoyed and frightened him. I took his power, and no human likes that. The alternative, is a calm driver – who manages to stay calm in similar circumstances – through seeing the road, as belonging to all of us. If someone safely beats us to it, then good luck to them.

“This opinion is gained through experience and of course recognition that power over others is but an illusion”

I may seem to have gone of the point slightly, however, the subtle shifts in power, through the games humans play, can, when we look at them objectively, seem a little petty. I suppose my gentle examples, given above, have been intended as a means of highlighting this.

And so, what exactly do we have to gain, through road rage or indeed through the murder, and/or abuse of others? Ultimately we gain nothing except the fleeting illusion that we’ve somehow gained the upper hand. It links closely with the game of one-up-man-ship discussed in an earlier post.  

“I believe the Greeks very cleverly understood the competitive nature of humans, and looked to channel this, through their creation of the Olympic games”

Channelling competitiveness – and the human need for power over each other – is using this often ugly trait (to some) in a positive way.

So why do we need this power over others? Well here’s the thing: analysing that need, is pointless. There is nothing to gain from understanding a trait that’s ugly when directionless, yet we do gain immensely, when we understand how the need to dominate each other, can be channelled.

Even when given channelled-direction, and to the detriment of the Greeks and their creation of this, there are those whose need for dominance holds no bounds. You see, not everyone, plays fair. Oh no.

“Potentially, and in this instance, analysing why is useful”

It’s simple, not everyone plays fair because losing adds further damage to their weakness of character. Those who can’t stand to lose, will do all in their power to ensure they don’t, and this includes, cheating. What the cheat is failing to see is, they will always, be exposed.

Exposure fulfils a fear they can’t cope with: losing. They can’t cope with giving a little of their power away. In the end the cheat always loses. Fears are self fulfilling. This is a very important understanding to gain, if you’re playing to win, simply because you can’t stand to lose.

“It is said, it’s not the winning that matters, it’s the taking part that counts”

Even this has been dismissed as something ‘only a loser would say.’ Such is the competitive nature of ‘winners.’ Far better to teach a child: when you win, do this with humility and grace, and you’ll grow to be a good man. And if you lose, respect the greater skill of the man who wins.

Respect – from a man who loses – is only gained when winning is done through giving the proper merit and consideration for fellow competitors; in whatever this may be. We must be aware, if it wasn’t for those who gracefully give some of their power to the winners, the games would simply cease. Where’s the fun in that?

Winning and losing can potentially be seen in equal measure if we recognise that competition must be kept healthy. It’s the only way we’ll  make it as a species. Learn to make good progress with safety.

Routine Danger

Routine Danger

“There’s no denying the vast majority of us are creatures of habit”

We like the security and predictability of routine. We feel safer when we have a plan for our day; a plan we can trust.

The danger of routine is its stickiness. If we could place ourselves in the mind of an obsessive compulsive for a moment, we’d understand, through extreme example, the stickiness of routine.

Thankfully, the majority of us, don’t suffer from full blown OCD, yet there are many of us who live with a mild form of it. Perhaps many more than we could safely estimate. Perhaps, we all, live with a mild form of OCD.

Take a moment to consider the routines of your day. Are most day’s for you different? If this is the case, you’re certainly one of the lucky ones, however, what about the weekly routines or the yearly ones? We all live with some degree of routine, we’re human, it’s in our nature.

“It could be said that routines are inescapable”

In fact, if we woke every day without a plan (that potentially matched that of yesterday or the same day last week or last year) of some sort, we’d be lost. There’d be no purpose or map for the day, and we know what happens to those with no map and no purpose, don’t we?

All in all, when we consider human nature: our need for security and predictability, we get a better sense of the importance of raising our awareness. Raising awareness of our nature is essential. Awareness helps us see the necessity of change and variety.

Getting stuck in the horrible stickiness of routine is often the root to mild depression. We must add a little to the mix if we’re to remain well. We do this through being sufficiently challenged. We also do it through adding variety, change and purpose.

Ultimately when we break our routines we get more from life. For a fuller life, all that’s required, is a little courage to leave the comfortable nest of routine.