Troubles, like babies, grow larger by nursing.
How do you feel when someone unloads all of his problems and complaints on you? Not very uplifting and energizing, is it? The truth is, nobody likes to be around a complainer — except, perhaps, other complainers.
Self-pity is an acid which eats holes in happiness.
The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
(1) Definitions of ‘spirituality’ in the Oxford English Dictionary run to several pages. This is largely because the word ‘spirit’ has many meanings. These include a sense of loyalty or cohesion (‘team spirit’), an emotional state (‘in high spirits’), a deeper sense of meaning (‘the spirit of the law’), certain chemicals (‘white spirit’) and, of course, strong alcoholic beverages (‘spirits’). There are many interpretations of spirituality, and they all relate to things outside the realms of physical nature or matter. Spirituality goes beyond the appearance of things to their underlying principles or forces. Living spiritually doesn’t necessarily mean following a particular religion, but it does infer understanding that the universe has some order and that the creative force behind it (whatever that may be) is intelligent and purposeful. Spirituality is highly practical. It is about finding meaning and purpose in an apparently imperfect world then using what we learn to create happy, healthy, prosperous and fulfilling lives for ourselves and others. It is not, as we shall see, a special thing to be found in out-of-the-way places – it is Life itself, flowing, ever-present and abundant.
(2) Spirituality is founded on an appreciation that the world we detect through our five senses is not the ultimate reality. Objects that appear to be solid are not as solid as we think they are. One of the first to understand this was the Greek philosopher Plato. He realised that everything we perceive through our senses is merely an expression of universal ideas or ‘Forms’. These are independent entities which exist whether or not we are aware of them and able to grasp them with the mind. Love, for example, exists in the universe as an idea; we only become aware of it when it enters our experience. Even then, my experience of love may be different from yours. Meanwhile, the idea of love itself remains constant, permanent and unchanging, as do other universal ideas such as wisdom, justice, honesty, beauty and so on. For more than two thousand years, Plato’s theory was just that – a theory – and could not be proved one way or the other. Then at the beginning of the twentieth century it was verified by scientists when quantum physicists discovered a ‘substance’ or ‘energy’ out of which all physical things are formed. In other words, the universe is not solid at all. It is made of energy – and so are you
Love, for example, exists in the universe as an idea; we only become aware of it when it enters our experience. Even then, my experience of love may be different from yours. Meanwhile, the idea of love itself remains constant, permanent and unchanging, as do other universal ideas such as wisdom, justice, honesty, beauty and so on.
The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
You are not what you think you are. But what you think YOU ARE!
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Never underestimate your power to change yourself.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Think, act and talk with enthusiasm and you ll attract positive results.
(80) Think Positively
How to Have More Power
This Power is like the water in our earlier example in the sense that a larger container is needed to carry greater quantities. You cannot expect that just because your Higher Self is plugged into the Ultimate Power, Intelligence and Wisdom of the universe, that you can just turn it on, because if you did you would blow yourself right out. So in order to get our lives to work, and take greater advantage of this energy, we have to build a bigger channel for Creative Intelligence to flow through.
To enlarge this channel we have to expand our consciousness. Expanding our consciousness involves expanding our ideas and beliefs regarding ourselves and our relationship to this Power. And as we do this, we begin to experience more of this Ultimate Power, and our ability to create greatly increases.
You and I are creative beings, and we always have the capacity to create more. In fact, we are always creating, consciously or unconsciously. By knowing who we are and the process by which we can expand the power within, we can begin to move our creation from the unconscious to the conscious.
When we create on the conscious level, we are able to make choices. When we create on the unconscious level we cannot make choices.
We often hear about how we have the “power of choice”, but that is not entirely accurate. It is misleading to say someone chooses a dysfunctional relationship, money problems, or any other negative situation in his or her life. Most of the time we are operating in the “default mode” which is based on our past conditioning.
Choice implies being conscious. However, when you are unconscious, you cannot make conscious choices. You are operating in the “default mode” or on “automatic pilot”. The default mode is the survival mode. This is where the mind takes control without us even being aware of what is happening.
Choice begins when you stop identifying with your conditioned patterns of the past. Until you reach that point, you are unconscious.
This means you are compelled to think, feel and act in certain ways according to the conditioning of your mind. When we can make choices, we're no longer the victim of our unconscious reactions.
If our unconscious negative thinking does not support what we want, rather than trying to eliminate it, all we have to do is center on “right thinking”. “Right thinking” is a thought pattern that is based on truth. Truth by its very nature must always be “right”.
There is No Growth Without Discontent
Your Higher Self always knows what is best for you. All you need to do is to assert that you want something better than you have right now. Realize that there is no growth without discontent. While it is important to live in the present moment and accept “what is”, it is also important to grow from where we are.
Study your dissatisfaction very carefully because it will tell you something about yourself. Your life is an ever-changing canvas. What are you going to paint on it? Are you going to paint lack and limitation? Because if you do your canvas is going to reflect lack and limitation.
Are You Chained to Your Limitations?
Have you ever gone to the circus and noticed that the great big elephants are tied to a wooden stake with just a thin rope? Also the baby elephants have a big chain around their legs that is tied to a long metal stake that goes deep into the ground. This happens because the baby elephants must be chained up when they are very tiny to keep them from trying to get away.
If the stake is driven far enough into the ground and the chain is strong enough, the baby elephant won't be able to budge. Eventually the day will come when the baby elephant stops tugging and never tries to pull away again. Someone then replaces the metal stake with a wooden one, because they know the elephant has been conditioned to believe that he cannot get away. By creating our own limitation through our belief system, we do the very same thing. We become limited not by reality, but by reality as we perceive it to be.
I once had a cat that seemed to believe that he couldn't jump onto high places, so he wouldn't even try. As the cat got older, he grew senile and simply forgot he didn't know how to jump. One day I came home and the cat was sitting on the highest shelf on the bookcase. He had knocked over all the books and art objects. You see, in the cat's senility he forgot what he couldn't do!
What would happen if we became senile in a positive way? We would quite possibly forget all the things that we can't do and just do them.
Understand the Rules of Life
Understand that if your life does not work the way you want it to, it is because you have accepted false beliefs that keep you from being all that you can be. Unfortunately, the majority of people on this planet feel stuck. When we look at the world and see the suffering, misery and impoverishment, when we see so many well-intentioned people doing without, the world looks insane. We see people giving up, believing that they have to take from others in order to have anything for themselves.
Rarely do we look within for the answer to this confusion. Rarely does the individual really look to see what the rules of life are. So what happens is that in our ignorance of ourselves and of life, we hassle, fight and strain to get what we want. And it ends up not working anyway.
Playing the Game of Life
You see, life is a game. Some people play the game of struggle. Some people play the game of sickness. Some people play the game of poverty. Some people play the game of being right all the time. Some people play the game of being late. But some people play the game of happiness, abundance and health. It just helps to understand that each individual plays a game that he or she sets up, and that no one game is necessarily better than another. If the game were not bringing us some sort of a payoff, we'd stop playing.
Look at your own life. Try to see the secret satisfaction that you get out of not being fully in charge of your life. What kind of secret satisfaction could there possibly be in feeling victimized? How could anyone enjoy feeling weak, or poor or inadequate? The answer is in the payoff or pay value. For example, if you play the weak game, others will have to love you, take care of you and protect you. It is the ultimate way to get attention. If you play the game of being undecided all the time and let other people decide for you, then you are protected from blame if you make a mistake. In other words, if you keep both hands tied behind you, then you can expect someone to take care of you. In playing the helpless routine, you are actually controlling others. The power of "powerless" people is remarkable. They are good at making others play the part that they have written for them.
Look at the value that you are getting out of your payoff. An example is being sick. Look at the value you get out of being sick. You may be saying, "That is insensitive and cruel. You don't know what I've been through." No, it's not cruel. It's crueler to deny it. What you are really saying is that your disease has more power than you do to decide your destiny. The question here is who is giving the illness such power?
If you are experiencing illness, just take a look at it. Don’t pass any judgment on yourself. Just let it tell you something. Know that no matter what is going on in your body, it begins in your mind. Illness is the body’s reaction to your mind. Since your body is a feedback mechanism of your mind, it will always let you know what is going on in your consciousness and an emotional level. Let your body be your teacher.
It is interesting that in our society it is totally okay to spend 50,000 Euros on a heart attack, but what would people say if you spent that amount of money on just having fun? They would think you were crazy, and they would probably resent you. It seems we have our priorities mixed up. Perhaps if we spent 50,000 Euros on having fun, we wouldn't have so many heart attacks! Think about it. Having pleasure is abnormal, but having pain in normal.
(81) Think Positively
Waiting Is a Trap
Why are we waiting to be healthy, to be happy, to be alive, to be wealthy, to start a new business, to fall in love, to communicate, to clear up the relationships we are in? Waiting is a trap. We wait for interest rates to go down, for the economy to get better, for a person to change, for the holiday to pass before starting a diet. But there will always be a reason to wait.
What If Help Doesn't Show Up?
I knew a beautiful, intelligent young woman who had everything to live for and yet tried to kill herself several times with alcohol and drugs. Do you know why? She always felt something was missing from her life. She didn't know she could create her life the way she wanted to.
Instead, she was waiting for someone to bring her happiness to her. But that person never showed up. This desire to have other people provides our happiness, or the belief that we can provide others' happiness, accounts for the endless procession of social schemes and organized drives for a better world. Our major illusion is that we can build a society that functions on a higher psychological and spiritual level than our present level of awareness. Many people urge us to work for a better society or a better world. This is a great error. Since we cannot create anything higher than our own level of awareness, society as a whole doesn’t get much better.
Society’s systems for social change only add a new burden on top of an old burden. Our overwhelmed mind has no idea what to do with all the social schemes thrust upon us. But in our desperation to make things better, it forces us to try to make sense out of nonsense. The problem is that we trying to “right” the world's “wrongs” from the outside in. We attempt to reform the outside world by forcing outer conditions to change. Unfortunately, this outside-in approach is doomed to failure because we are dealing with the effect instead of the cause.
Changing from the Inside Out
We need to remind ourselves, and every individual on this planet, that we can and must change the world from the inside out. We have overwhelming proof that the outside-in approach does not work. The long-term solution to poverty, lack, and limitation lies in our ability to turn our inner potential into reality.
The only way we can truly heal the world is to heal ourselves first. This is not a new message, but I think we need to remind ourselves of who we are and what we are capable of. We need to take responsibility for everything that has happened to us. Through the law of attraction, we attract either consciously or unconsciously everything that happens to us. Whatever anyone has done to us, we have participated in it, and are at some level, responsible. In essence, there are no victims, only volunteers. This is a hard pill to swallow, but unless we accept it we cannot change things for the better.
We have become a culture of blamers. Yet, if you wrist watch shows the wrong time, what would you do about it? Would you ask your neighbor to set their watch according to yours, or would you correct your atch? Unfortunately, we do not make similar corrections when our lives are not working. Instead, we insist that reality should conform to our illusion.
Starting Point of Success
Your unlimited power lies in your ability to control your thoughts. A confused mind works in the direction of sickness, poverty, lack, and limitation rather than in the direction of abundance, health, and success. If we are not creating our lives the way we want them to be, we are creating from our unconscious. But since life is consciousness, the most important task we have is the development of the highest possible consciousness. We can do this by looking at the conditions of our lives and challenging our beliefs, even if our ego is threatened. Whenever we want something in our lives, we must let go of anything that is between what we believe and what we want.
In your heart, you know exactly what you want. And if you will listen to your intuition, it will tell you. Your mind will sell you out, but your intuition never will. You intuition is your connection with the Ultimate Power. Learn to trust it. People can control you through your mind, but they can never control you through your intuition.
We imagine we will lose something by following our intuition. But have you ever taken a look at what you have lost by not following your intuition? Whatever your intuition is telling you is what you need to hear.
As you learn to trust it more and more, it will reveal exactly what you need to do at any given moment. Your life is important. It is important to you, and it is important to the rest of the people on this planet. I believe that every person on this planet arrived here with a mission. If you will listen to your intuition your purpose or your mission will be revealed to you.
(82) Think Positively
THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU
If you want to take control of your life, it's important that you gain a basic understanding of who you are. Our self-image, which is the picture of ourselves that we hold in our minds, becomes the key to our lives. All our actions, feelings and behavior, and even our abilities, are consistent with this formed picture. We literally act out the kind of person that we think that we are. What we need to be aware of is that as long as we hold onto that picture, no amount of willpower, effort, determination or commitment will cause us to be any other way, because we're always going to act the way we see ourselves. To be any other way, we must first look at how we form our self-image.
Our Mental Blueprint
From birth onward, we collect hundreds of ideas about ourselves as being good or bad, wise or stupid, confident or fearful and so on.
Through repetition, these often false identities harden into our self-image.
This self-image either allows us to be happy and successful or it tyrannizes our lives. Whether we realize it or not, within ourselves is a mental blueprint. It's a picture of the way that we think that we are. This blueprint is exact and complete down to the last detail. This summary or blueprint is our self-image. However, this blueprint is not who we are, but rather who we think we are.
The circumstances or conditions that formed our self-image may have been totally erroneous or blown out of proportion, but as far as we are concerned they are true. Once we record this information, we do not question its validity. Most of the time we can't even consciously recall how or where we obtained this information. We just live as though it were true. Even if it's not true, we believe it's true.
The Secret of the Ages
The vast majority has missed the message that all the great teachers since the beginning of recorded history have tried to share with their fellow human beings. The secret of the ages, the one most incredible truth that very few realize, is that at the Being level, which we will call your Higher Self, you are spiritually whole, complete and perfect.
Just as a drop of water has all the qualities of the ocean, you have all the qualities of the Creator within you.
Science, philosophy and religion all teach in their own way that there's ultimately ONE Power in the universe, and that we're one with the Power, Energy, Force, or whatever you're comfortable with. You and I are individualized expressions of all the Power of the universe. This can be called your Higher Self.
We can never destroy the Higher Self within us. We can deny that it's there, we can try to hide from it, we can lie about it, but ultimately we cannot change the fact that it's who we are. What we need to do is to recognize that it is who we are and learn how to channel it through our thoughts.
Who You Are and What You Do Is Not the Same
We must understand the distinction between who we are and what we do. Who we are is spiritually perfect, but what we do is not always perfect. The gap between who we are and what we do is created through ignorance. When we don't know that we are spiritually perfect, it follows that our actions will be less than perfect.
I'd like you to do something right now. Just say to yourself. "I know that who I am is spiritually perfect." Now listen to the little voice in your head. It's probably saying, "Oh, no, I'm not." The affirmation of perfection seriously threatens your ego. Your ego immediately sends back the response, "What do you mean you're perfect? Come on now, take a good look at yourself. Look at the way you treat other people.
Remember what you did yesterday? You're always complaining. How about the way you treat your mother, your father, your boss and your mate? How about the way you treat yourself? And remember that terrible thing you did back in 1986? How can you say you are spiritually perfect after that? Take a good look at yourself and stop this nonsense."
Your Ego Is Trying To Trick You
You see, your ego does not want you to take a good look at yourself. It wants you to take a bad look at yourself. It wants you to identify with everything that you're not. It wants you to identify with your actions and feel guilty. It wants you to judge, condemn and blame yourself for not living up to the pictures and expectations of yourself and others. You must recognize that your ego is trying to trick you. This is not the truth about you.
The way out of this is to affirm your own perfection. It's not an ego trip to affirm your own perfection. It's an ego trip not to affirm your own perfection. Remember, the first and most essential step in changing your life, no matter what you want to be, do or have, is to realize your own perfection based upon the truth about you, that you are spiritually whole, complete and perfect