“Something in human nature makes us resent the impact of new ideas.”
“…there is no adequate reason why the average man should ever close his mind to fresh “slants” on life. He does, just the same.”
– Napoleon Hill, page 66 “The Law Of Success”
We are currently experiencing one of the most trying times of our species’ history, few would argue that I’m sure. Never before has there been a greater calling for “win-win” leadership, initiative and real, lasting change. Values once held dear are eroding under the pressures of life’s new demands and suffering is at an all-time high, often taking the form of quiet desperation. And yet despite the incidence of chaos and injustice planet-wide, a couple of things I know for sure: 1. It’s all good, and 2. Everything ALWAYS works out for us.
I also know I get more of what I’m focused on and it’s dangerous to push back against that which I do not want. Yet, without clarity of my intention I am held captive and tortured by even more of what I don’t want. Identifying and letting go of what’s bugging me causes a great sense of relief as my rockets of desire take off toward more, better and different.
Did you know “duh” is now a real word? In fact if you visit Dictionary.com you’ll find definitions for it that aren’t exactly pretty, neither is the energy the word carries with it. It has become synonymous for a couple of other words I’ve been exploring lately as real life examples of their meaning in action have been showing up around me.
Originally I was searching for a feel-good place to write about “discrimination” – not an easy task. In sorting out my thoughts and feelings around the word I was lead to another – “prejudice” – I discovered that this word is closer to what I wanted to address. I had thought these two words meant the same thing and found out they are both distinct and intricately linked. I have learned that prejudice is an attitude – discrimination is the behaviour that results from being prejudiced. Prejudice means to pre-judge, to have opinions about someone or something without knowing “the whole story.” Discrimination as an end result, causes us to exclude the very stuff which ultimately serves our best interests.
The mind-set behind these words is a reckless vehicle carrying us to destinations we know we don’t want to visit and yet, unbeknownst to us, off we go together. On a large, obvious scale, they are at the root of all war and poverty. At the very least, they hamper our health, our wealth, amazing relationships, prevent us from seeing opportunity and generally cause life to be a whole lot less fun than it’s supposed to be, certainly not conducive to positive change or movement towards the harmonious and cooperative “win-win”.
I’ve recently had it shown to me in an uncomfortable way that although I thought I knew “win-win”, it’s really a buzz statement that by and large lacks true understanding. It gets thrown around a lot and at closer examination I found out that most of us are still operating from a place of “win-lose”, “lose-win” or worse “lose-lose”. Yikes.
If I have one single request of the Universe – or prayer if you will – it is,
“Please, please let me keep my heart and mind open!”
Despite my request, I am reminded of the fact that I am as human as human gets. Even though I often find myself squarely “on the visionary and leading edge”, the illusionary safety of my “box” painfully shows up time and time again. I don’t like living in a box, it’s cramped, dark, limited and stuffy, where’s the damn door anyway, let me outta’ here!?
We all have our boxes and from within mine, I realize I am truly fortunate. At least I know I have a box. Well at least I do now, that wasn’t always true. I feel great compassion when I observe others around me that have no idea they’re even in one let alone have a desire to get out of it. Consider this a knocking from outside your box!
I’m not here to fix anything nor do I think I know what’s best for anyone and, I do feel the calling to inspire others to question what they really “know” for sure (I know I do every single day to the point of obsession). I’ve excluded myself from some beautiful experiences by my own prejudices and discriminatory behaviours.
While digging for the positive spin on the above I have landed on a better-feeling word and that is “belief”. Our set of beliefs are the engine of our being, it’s really all we have. Some beliefs serve us well, some not so well, it’s even come to my attention lately that our beliefs can profoundly affect the state of our DNA, the physical building blocks of our bodies! What are our beliefs? How did we get them?
Questioning the origins of my own personal belief-set has been an ongoing sorting process that is both elating and dismaying. It is an unending exercise and a critical one to my direction in life. When searching for clarity around my beautiful blessings and contrasts I am often surprised and not always delighted, by how the solutions present themselves. The answers pop up in the most unusual ways and my ability to recognize them when they finally do is a matter of whether or not I really want to see the truth I’m looking for. After much searching I usually find my truth is always right under my nose and I’m constantly developing the capacity to “handle” it.
Life changed dramatically when I began asking myself why I believe the stuff I do. Identifying what my beliefs were was fairly easy. How I got to believing them, not so much. Often I have to look WAY back into my past to see where I picked one up! There were many beliefs I held that I found I had simply “inherited” by default without conscious thought about whether they were actually true for me. Many of my beliefs were those of well-meaning others, beliefs they themselves held in ignorance of “the facts”.
I believe we create our own realities, quantum physics now backs that belief up, how up to date are you on your science? If what you know is based on what you were taught in high school, perhaps you might want to have a look at what we know now?
We pick up our beliefs from what we hear, what we see, the experiences we have and those we see others have, a lot of them we adopt very early in life. Idle gossip is one of the worst implementers of non-serving beliefs, it’s certainly a habit I broke myself of some time ago. It ruins reputations, causes distrust, negative scepticism and cuts us off from some of the greatest opportunities for more, better and different in our lives.
So I’m challenging you to examine what you believe, ask yourself what you know for sure, not just what you’ve heard through the proverbial grapevine. Mess with your own perspective; it’s like the amusement park – scary fun! Find the door to your box and step out of it a ways, put aside your prejudices and if you find you aren’t sure about something you thought was true, get the facts, ask for the rest of the story.
And don’t be surprised if you find yourself slapping your forehead and uttering the word “duh” – quite loudly and frequently, after which you may want to immediately forgive yourself above all else.
Let me know what you find out. It’s a life-changing process that will lead you to some exciting new discoveries about yourself and the world around you!