Do you have any idea what you are truly capable of?
Can you grasp the awesomeness of the life you could be living RIGHT NOW?
You, yes YOU, were born with the potential to be great and have all the resources needed to be happy, loved and wealthy.
What, then, causes the vast majority of us to lose sight of the bigger picture? What causes us to lose belief in ourselves, suppress our calling and make the majority of our decisions based on a fear of what could go wrong, rather than the possibility of what we stand to gain?
This invisible prison, comprising all the things we’re told by our parents, teachers, bosses, friends, colleagues, the media, government and religious leaders (concerning what can and can’t be done and what’s acceptable and what’s not) sets boundaries in our minds regarding life and our possibilities within it.
For some, though, it’s impossible. They know there’s got to be more to life but, sadly, can’t define what it is or lack a belief they can achieve it. In short, they feel trapped.
If this describes you then I have something very important to share. There IS a way to break free. There is a way to access all of your potential so you no longer have to accept the life The System presents you with and can, instead, create your own.
To do this, you have to free your mind from The System’s conditioning. It traps you in 5 key areas that I will now explain.
We worry about getting old; we worry about illness or developing a life threatening disease. We worry about losing our jobs and not having enough money to pay the bills. We worry about failing at work, in our hobbies and with our dreams.
We are constantly projecting ourselves into the future and imagining events going wrong.
Where does all this worry come from?
Is it a natural human condition?
It exists because we exist in an environment of fear. Newspapers, and the wider media, are always telling us about what’s going wrong in the world. Our parents and teachers inform us of the consequences of not studying hard at school. Employers and colleagues play on the fear of being out of work.
What happens when you are conditioned into accepting these outlooks?
You stop taking risks. You stop taking advantage of opportunities because all you imagine, when contemplating action, is failure.
The solution to this problem is letting go. Using awareness and discipline, you must monitor your thoughts on a daily basis and remind yourself to let go whenever a fearful projection of what might happen in the future arises.
Do this and you’ll learn that 85% of your fears about what might happen never occur. And even if you do make a mistake, the chances are that you’ll be able to use it to your advantage or, at the very least, learn from it and improve.
In my book, I talk about ‘The System’s trance’. This term describes a state of consciousness where we’re permanently distracted by various information streams.
When in ‘The System’s trance’, it’s possible to spend an entire day without any form of deeper thought. You get ready for work while listening to the radio. While commuting, you’re reading the newspaper. While at work, you’re focusing on the job at hand but also browsing the internet and scoping out social media. The journey home might involve plugging into your song catalogue. When you get back, it could be an evening of TV or box sets.
What happens when you live this way?
You end up living in a permanent state of distraction. You jump from one information stream to the other, getting a brief buzz from being momentarily entertained, yet never experiencing any peace and, more importantly, struggling to focus your thoughts.
You need your mind to be able to escape The System. Your ability to get clear on what you want, and then focus obsessively on achieving it, is the number 1 factor in determining whether you will be authentically successful.
So what can you do to break ‘The System’s trance’?
Clearly, you’ll want to keep your engagement in the information streams listed to a minimum. Beyond that, you must take time to harness the power of your mind. Meditation to clear your thoughts is great, but you’ll also have to set aside time to really focus on what you want to achieve.
Most people spend their lives unable to be who they want to be, or take the action they want to take, or say the thing they really feel because they are worried about what other people will think.
Playing on this fear is one of The System’s most effective strategies for keeping us trapped. From our teenage years, we’re taught that ‘fitting in’ is the path to being popular and happy and as a result, a pathological fear of standing out develops. The safest policy appears to be filtering our actions and words in such a way that we’ll never offend and be acceptable to all.
If we don’t follow this approach, we’re told, we risk being branded a troublemaker, weird or an outsider. All kinds of problems occur when we get stuck with one of these labels. Our options for socialising diminish, our circle of friends shrinks and we end up spending more and more time on our own.
As unappealing as these outcomes may seem, though, there are consequences to allowing a worry of what other people think dictate your decisions and behaviour. A lack of spontaneity, an inability to express genuine concerns and an unwillingness to be seen to fail will all stop you from advancing your life.
The best way to overcome this worry is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do the thing you fear being ridiculed for and you’ll discover your fear was disproportionate to the reaction you actually receive.
After-all, most people are far too preoccupied with their own lives, and themselves, to spare you a second thought. Use this to your advantage.
As children, we’re taught that we need to get good grades so we can go to University. At University, we’re told that we need to get a degree so that we can land a so-called ‘good job’. However, when we get the job (assuming you do), the chase isn’t over. We now have to seek promotion after promotion so that we can earn enough money to retire as early as possible. When we retire though, we’re so burnt out from a lifetime of chasing that we can never really enjoy the moment.
The System teaches you to want things. Accumulating more and more of them is the route to happiness. The problem with things, though, is that you always have to work towards them. As a result, it’s very hard not to spend a lot of your life focused on the future.
This saps your energy. Chasing after something you don’t have involves struggle. It also dulls your happiness and damages your ability to enjoy the present. Worst of all, it places you in the wrong mind-set to be successful. After-all, how can you achieve your goals when you approach them from a position of lack?
The solution to The System’s trap of chasing is to regularly practice living in the now! Enjoy each moment as much as you possibly can. Let go of all of your worries and stop seeing your happiness and success as being dependent on you achieving something in the future. Do this, and not only will you have more fun, you’ll also find you have more energy for the goals you want to achieve.
Did you know that one of your greatest resources for authentic success is non-conformity?
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? However, have you ever noticed how the people celebrated by society are the ones who are not afraid of being themselves? They don’t play by the rules and they don’t keep their heads down. Instead, they embrace who they are and they allow their personalities to shine.
Perhaps the best example of this is Muhammad Ali. At first, the 20th centuries greatest non-conformist was reviled by many sections of American society. However, as the time passed, and he insisted on staying true to himself and his beliefs, he attained an adoration that can only be achieved when you’re living from an authentic place.
The problem is, though, that The System will do everything in its power to make you afraid, and ashamed, of being yourself. It plays on one of your greatest fears – being rejected – to cow you into conformity. You’re taught that uniqueness is something to be mocked and that expressing opinions, or following interests, that run counter to what’s considered popular is uncool.
The consequences of bowing to this pressure are spending your days living someone else’s life. Whether it’s the life your parents want for you or the life your friends say you should have, the success you achieve will feel hollow because it is not determined by you.
You escape this trap by having the courage to be yourself. Over the course of the next week, I challenge you to tell someone you know something about you that would surprise them. Whether it’s a big dream you want to achieve or exhibiting a behaviour you would normally keep to yourself (for example, singing while in their presence), taking this action gets you out of your head and makes you more comfortable in your skin.
Remember, most of the concerns you have about doing this will never materialise. As always, your greatest enemy is the fear The System puts in your mind.
This article is one of a two part series. While this one focuses on how The System traps you personally, the next article focuses on how The System traps you professionally.
So if you want to discover how to break free from a job you hate and begin making money from something you are passionate about, then be sure to subscribe below. You’ll receive the next update in roughly a month’s time.
(image taken from Craig Sunter photostrem flickr.com)