Control

“There needs to be a clear distinction between certain types of control”

Let’s start gently and talk about control over our minds. Mastery over our thinking, habits, behaviour and general mindset (what we choose to believe) is a Beautiful thing. That’s right, a Beautiful thing, because we’re then deciding of our future lives. We’re more able to exert discipline over our minds when we lose control of everything else. A Paradox. How this is achieved is something I’ll come back to.

In direct opposition to this is the mastery over somebody else’s mind. Many of us grow up in an atmosphere, where negative, forceful influence over each other and our minds, is the norm. As such, we then go on to seek relationships that are based on the types of behaviour we’ve witnessed as ‘normal’ in the past. We may not even know that what we’re doing is destructive and abusive behaviour toward others. It was, and is, the norm.

“The ways in which people seek to accomplish this are vast, and way beyond the scope of this short, blog post”

It’s fair to say, most of us look to exert our will, over that of others, to varying degrees. Fact; an unfortunate part of life, but part of the human condition, all the same. The trick, is to become so aware of our behaviour, that we’re then the master of ourselves alone. Ultimately, this is the only control you’ll ever really need. It’s worth pondering on.

Another limiting form of control is seeking to alter and manipulate circumstances that are uncontrollable. An easy example would be to think of that time you were running late. You’re late so you try and make up time by rushing around, speeding in your car, running for that bus, train and so on. You still end up being late, and probably over stressed, to boot. Lose control and just be late.

More often than not, if you’re generally a punctual person, you’re being late for a reason – beyond human awareness – that with hindsight, can be seen in a more positive light: The train you should have caught crashed, or there was a pileup on the motorway, you know the kind of thing.

Now to how we lose the need for control over others and circumstances. We need to lose the fear. The fear, is that we won’t get what we want; that we won’t be happy and satisfied in some way. The fear, that through losing control of others, or circumstances, we will experience physical or emotional pain; that we will lose out in some way.

“Think back to the example just given, of the train crashing, or the pileup on the motorway. When we choose to lose the fear, we actually experience less pain. Given our example, you might even lengthen your life”

We know life is full of paradoxes. We may want to avoid learning new ways of thinking about things – because this challenges how safe we feel – about the truth of the world we’ve created around us. Yet once again, by dropping what we think is the truth, we open up our lives in extraordinary ways, through seeing the truth. Believe it or not, there is a universal truth, most of us aren’t acknowledging.

To close, allow me to give you further example of fear, by teaching it in a positive light (yes fear can be a positive motivator). Get thinking about how you’re going to make our workshop in September. There will be many others, however, we know how precious your life is, so how can you possibly afford to waste time through procrastination? It could be said, procrastination is the unconscious intention to control others. Surely the worst of all? Complete the form to apply for your place.

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.

When the Fear is just too Great

roots
If the roots to your life are love.

“This morning I read a story about a young lad, who, in order to ‘put food on the table,’ as his mother put it, he’s risking his life. He risks his life through gaining access to the roofs of tall buildings (the latest was Canary Warf in London) and then taking selfies of himself whilst in a daredevil pose.”

Fair enough you might say, it’s his life to risk, after all. It does though, seem of little concern to him and his mother, who it will be, that gets to clear up the mess off the pavement when he does eventually hit the ground at high velocity – think rotten tomatoes.

Definitely a job to avoid. And all for going viral on social media and selling a few t-shirts. Some consider him brave and some foolish. I personally don’t give a shit, provided he doesn’t land on me, or someone I love on his way down. Never mind the trauma likely to be experienced by those left behind, through either clearing up the mess literally, or emotionally.

“Many people are following him under the ghoulish hope he’ll die in some horrible fashion in the future, and of course this, clearly depends on how often he risks his life, and by how foolish or brave he decides to become.”

It is after all, a decision, all be it a decision made by a misguided, foolish young man. I say misguided, as there was no sign of a father in the piece I read this morning. A grown man would never risk his life in this way.

So to my point. Fear: it serves a useful purpose. It keeps us from harm and from taking unnecessary risks. We must respect this necessary emotion for what it is. Those who are able to override their fear, in order to risk their lives, may be considered hero’s by some, and yet, I do need to ask: why? Why would you need to risk your precious life? For the betterment of mankind, or simply for a buzz, or the notoriety our ego craves?

There are times when fear can be a hindrance. On such occasions, I would be the first to encourage and empower someone to break free, provided there was no risk to life. Our young lad in question is not overcoming fear, he’s seeking love, and potentially from the person who wasn’t able to talk him out of his latest stunt. In fact the more she tried to talk him down, so to speak, the more determined he no doubt became, to act in a reckless fashion.

The goal? Love and Attention. A sense of real love and attention from those he longs to gain it from: his parents. To love this child, is not to try and talk him out of risking his life, it’s to love him so much – from day one – that he would never ever risk it, to begin with.

Why would you risk a life that’s loved?

the cure to madness

Why the World is Mad

Connected lines background

It’s all about links and connections. Think about how one thought leads to another.

You wake in the morning and your mind starts to whir. What exactly decides the thoughts that lead from one to another?  What is it exactly that determines our very thought processes? Why do we think what we do? Why do we think the way we do?

“One thought always leads to another and it’s this very process that determines our seeming sanity and rationality.”

If our thoughts were completely random without any obvious links and connections then confusion would be the result. This confusion would potentially only reside within the minds of others, rather than within the mind of the random thinkers themselves. Random thoughts – within the confused mind – do not seem random, they may well seem correct, and normal. The insane are unaware of their insanity.

Thankfully, the majority of us have thoughts that link in a logical, sequential and rational manner. Incidentally actively promoting non-logical, lateral thinking can be useful at times, but that’s for another post. Now, the easiest way to understand how thoughts and thinking are organised and directed within the mind, is to think of the human brain as a kind of map. We can call these maps: Belief Systems.

With this now established, let’s consider someone with an important mind: a world leader. We can easily map out the sequential thoughts (beliefs) of our example leader; we can do this linguistically, like this:

leader = power = ownership = home = control = strength = fear = military = protection = aggression = growth = defence = anger = hate = resentment = prejudice

“We can safely say these thoughts would go around in a looped fashion, and these few words may only be part of a sequence of many hundreds.”

Now, consider a different leader whose sequential thoughts (beliefs) include these:

leader = direction = love = home = growth = teacher = strength to others = giving = education = prosperity = freedom = compassion = empathy = equality

Take a moment to ponder on these beliefs and decide which list would best suit a good world leader. Hopefully you’ve chosen the second set, and will of course by now noticed a problem: Not all leaders have the second set of beliefs mapped within the neurons of their minds. Not all world leaders think the same way.

“Certainly if our motivation is of a positive nature i.e we’re accepting of the inevitable pain life may hold for us; driven by love to find what we want – rather than fear, to avoid what we don’t want – all will be well.”

However, if we’re negatively driven (avoidance) then it’s more likely our minds will hold beliefs similar in nature to the sequence in our first example. So to put it simply, the beliefs we choose, will always be influenced by what we were shown or taught, to be effective motivators.

In order to build your understanding a little more, let me give you a further example. Consider the schoolboy experiencing bullying. On reporting his troubles he’s told: ‘the best way to get rid of a bully is to punch him fairly and squarely on the nose and to do this so hard he doesn’t get up for more.’

Now, what beliefs, do you imagine, are likely to form in our schoolboys mind? Is he likely to grow up offensive, defensive or in fact neither of the two? Bear in mind, the outcome of punching his tormentors on the nose, would certainly be a decider. If the bullies backed off, this would affirm the advice, yet if the bullies just came back for more, this would cause confusion, creating a different set of beliefs, that would possibly be confused and nonlinear in nature.

Far better to advise our tormented schoolboy: bullies are simply people who believe in using violence, as a means of defending themselves against what they fear, and the best way to tackle this will never be with further aggression.

“The best means of helping the bully is to love him. We do this through educating him with something other than our fists, guns, tanks, bombs or whatever.”

blackboard4

The overall point to gain is this: confusion is our madness. When there’s little continuity in the beliefs and understandings of our leaders, confusion is the result. World leaders (or potential ones) all have their own agendas driven by their own values, motivations and beliefs. Therefore we’re all being kept in a constant state of confusion.

The prognosis, unfortunately, isn’t good. Until we have a universal understanding (in the minds of the people who are drawn toward leadership) of what it means to be a good, effective and powerful leader, the madness will continue.

Perhaps the answer is to find one leader, who holds the correct attributes – beliefs and all – whose teachings can then be used to govern the entire world. Of course who this person is and on what authority he’d be elected, remains to be seen.

What a crazy idea though, total madness, wouldn’t you say?

Courage

Courage

Courage
Courage

“What is courage? Do you know any truly courageous people? What character traits would define a courageous person? Someone who can climb mountains?”

Perhaps this would depend on whether this was a real or metaphorical mountain, some might say the real ones are easy, and climbing has nothing to do with courage, just everything to do with bravado, and stamina.

Is a person who spends their life doing what they feel they must do, as opposed to what they want to do, a courageous person? You know, the person who bravely caries out their duty to others. Is that bravery or simply foolishness?

What about the firefighter or the soldier, are they brave? Saving lives or taking lives, surely there’s bravery there? Could you walk into a burning building, pull the trigger or go into battle, putting your life on the line? Bravery or simply foolishness? Testosterone and bravado? You decide.

And what about professionals? The people who hold high positions in society, such as representatives of government or professional bodies such as doctors, dentists and surgeons, they’re brave people right?

“Holding such a position must carry certain responsibilities that require strength of character and courage to endure.”

For example, is it a brave thing for a professor – who represents dental surgeons – to be on the side of the children, who come to see his dentists, as opposed to the parents who bring them? Can we just assume, that a person who holds such a lofty position in society, naturally understands his duty?

Does such a person naturally understand that he has a duty to display backbone and strongly advise and educate parents to do the right thing by our children? Surely denying a child time with a dentist, is a reflection of ignorance and neglect, is it not?

The reality is, when it comes to protecting the rights of the child, many professionals are unlikely to ‘commit career suicide’ by siding with the child and admonishing neglectful parents. It seems the parent is the one with all the rights and the child is secondary; another example of our topsy turvy world.

It has been noted that as many as 187,000 fewer children experienced the excellent services of a dentist in 2015/2016 simply because – as the professor mentioned above stated: “parents may have different priorities than taking their child to a dentist.”

Courage and how it’s viewed will obviously depend on the beliefs, views and experiences of the individual. Some may consider the bravest individuals to be the ones who simply devote themselves to living a good life and doing the right thing by the vulnerable.

“Doing the right thing is something that demands courage. Swimming against the tide takes courage. Standing firmly by your convictions takes courage.”

When we truly understand what integrity is, what love is, and what it means to protect the rights of the vulnerable, courage is demanded in such measure, that it becomes hard to define.

When we begin to see our children as the precious – so precious – investment in our future that they are, all of us will come to understand: if we don’t start showing the necessary courage and fortitude needed to protect the rights of the child, professional suicide or not, our future will be lost.

True courage is displayed by those who understand what fear is, and how the human mind may look to rid itself of this emotion, in a negative and destructive way.

Climbing mountains and stepping into burning buildings, is how understanding, emphatic individuals, rid themselves of this fear. Cowards rid themselves of fear by looking to control and frighten our vulnerable. Failing to protect our children is the worst kind of cowardice. A cowardice, that unfortunately for many of our children, is all too common.