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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #9

Erroneous Belief #9 states that:

YOU MUST ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

How many times have we all heard that, from our parents, grandparents and teachers? And how many times have we been disappointed when we “did our best” but didn’t win the race, didn’t get good grades, failed at something?

Isn’t it better to just turn up and enjoy the experience, no matter what the context is? Or the outcome, for that matter? If we keep placing impossibly high goals in front of ourselves, we’re only going to experience disappointment when we don’t reach those goals. Don’t let yourself be controlled by externally imposed achievement levels.

The Kid isn’t sports-mad, unlike most of his schoolmates. He’d rather play Minecraft on his computer. So, when he tells me he hates Physical Education (P.E), I tell him not to look at it as a competitive event, where he feels he has to “give his best” to win the race or beat the other team, but instead to just participate in whatever activities there are, and enjoy his time doing them. He doesn’t have to be the best ball player, or the fastest runner, the best catcher or thrower, he just has to show up and take part.

Last term The Kid’s school had a cross-country run, which was conducted over several days, with one day designated to every Year. The Kid is currently in Year 7, the first year of High School. He knew he didn’t stand a chance of winning the race, so instead he made a pact with his friend Eddie, to tie for the position of last place. Now, that may seem defeatist, and no doubt the teachers might have told them both off for not doing their best, but I didn’t berate The Kid when he told me what he’d done. Instead, I said he and Eddie had practised creativity and turned what must have been a boring sports event that neither had any interest in, into something fun that they could do. They both still got badges for participating and finishing the race, anyway.

Adopting a “You must always do your best” attitude to everything you do is really tiring. It isn’t what humans are meant to be doing, anyway. Rather, it’s something that Society tries to make us believe that we must do. Maybe it’s well-meaning, but ill-phrased, maybe that’s what’s essentially wrong with that saying. Perhaps, instead of saying “You must always do your best”, we could try saying “Turn up and enjoy the experience”, and then if you win the race or contest, that’s just the icing on the cake. If you didn’t win, well, you still had cake, didn’t you?

We shouldn’t live thinking that everything we do or say is being assessed or tested by Society, our elders, our employers, our social circles. There is nothing more inauthentic than a life lived according to the rules of others, of having to do what traditions or religion dictate, even when your Soul feels differently. If you are different, in any way, that difference should be celebrated as your uniqueness, not shoehorned into some readymade box where everyone else is. “You must always do your best” does not create uniqueness, instead it creates the sense that everyone must aspire to exactly the same thing, reach the same heights of achievement, and therefore everyone must accept disappointment as a way of life. “You must always do your best” stifles creativity and misdirects our personal goals, it makes the result or outcome take precedence over the actual act of doing something.

In other words, it takes the fun out of everything we do.

The Kid told me about “High Expectation Asian Father” memes on the Internet, so I had a look for myself today. As an Asian, I can totally relate to the memes, which, while terribly funny, are also very true of a typical Asian father’s expectations of his offspring. I know, I’ve been at the receiving end many times!

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #7

Today I’m writing about Erroneous Belief #7, from the book “Your Sacred Self” by Dr Wayne W Dyer. I’ve taken 10 of the Beliefs Wayne has written about, and applied it to my own life.

Erroneous Belief #7 is:

PETTY TYRANTS SHOULD BE IGNORED

Some people in this world have so much pain in their souls that they feel the need to take it out on innocent bystanders. It’s the only way they can make themselves feel better, or to preserve their own well-being, or justify their existence. Bully is one word to describe these people. They could also be dictators, tyrants, or just downright nasty so-and-sos.

The question is: what should I do if I’m being bullied at work/home/in my social circle? Do I ignore them and try to deflect their attention elsewhere? Do I face up to them and show my mettle? Do I run away and hide from them? Do I tell on them and get them into trouble so they’ll leave me alone?

There are many schools of thought on how to cope with these petty tyrants. Any or all of the above could or should work, but sadly, sometimes, even with the best intentions, nothing works.

I was being bullied at work by my direct line manager. It wasn’t that I was doing anything wrong, or that I was a poor worker. It was just that she had targets to meet in her own job, and one of them was that she had to be seen to be correcting a team member. However, it became a personal vendetta for this manager, and she took it upon herself to persecute me at every turn, as I was easy game. I was aware, from observing my fellow team members, that none of us was perfect, but some of us could get away with murder while others just had to say a wrong word and that would be it. Sure we were all equal, but apparently some were more equal than others. And so I “copped it in the neck” more often than anyone else.

I did everything according to the book, but this manager really had it in for me, and even after I pointed out to her that her favourites were getting away with errors and negligence, she ignored that and instead placed my work under even deeper scrutiny. I lodged a formal complaint against her, but her direct manager just happened to be a crony of hers, who went on holidays to Bali together with her…so you can guess what the outcome of That was. In the end, I decided that my workplace was simply too toxic to work in, I was getting stressed just thinking about going in to work in the mornings. So, I handed in my resignation after an excruciating year putting up with my petty tyrant’s behaviour.

Best decision I ever made.

Once the excitement had worn off, I sat down to think about what lessons I’d learnt from this experience. One thing I learnt was that you cannot hope to change a person’s thoughts, opinions or heart. They have to do that by themselves. Another was that I needed to learn not to take things personally… which is a difficult lesson to learn, when one’s job and livelihood are at risk. Another lesson was that, no matter what you do, if your face doesn’t fit, you’ll never satisfy some people, as simple as that.

But, you know what, that’s not my problem, it’s theirs.

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I believe our Life experiences shape our character. What doesn’t kill you, really does make you stronger. My own father was and still is, to some extent, a petty tyrant. I learnt at a young age what conditional love meant, when he more or less mentally disowned me when my school grades did not meet his expectations. I learnt to shut off my emotions when around my own father, to never cry a tear in his presence, to keep my innermost thoughts and  ideas to myself. Another valuable lesson he taught me was that you should never surround yourself with toxic people, those who zap your spirit with their negativity and patronising behaviour. After all, who wants to be reminded that they are a “constant disappointment”? So, even though we have a rocky history between us, I’ve learnt to thank my father for giving me the steel backbone of my persona, and I’ve also learnt how to accept and interact with people like him… in small doses.

The Kid keeps getting bullied at school. First, in primary school, and now, in high school. My guess is that he’s too soft and gentle, and bullies like to take advantage of that. We’ve discussed various ways of getting the bullies off his back, and he’s tried them, to varying degrees of success. However, there is still one bully, who we believe has behavioural problems that needs addressing not by his parents or by the school, but by a child psychologist. This particular kid keeps getting into trouble with the teachers and has absolutely no respect for authority whatsoever.

The Kid will have to figure out, by trial and error, how to deal with his own life’s petty tyrants. My job is to make sure that his sense of self-esteem isn’t eroded by bullies, and to help him take the moral higher ground. Karma’s a bitch, and those bullies will get what they deserve, sooner or later. Already, we’ve seen how The Kid being bullied has turned into a positive experience, not just once, but twice. He was elected by his peers to be Head Boy of his primary school, and now he’s a Student Councillor at his new high school. So, in reality, much good has come of the experience.

If we keep ignoring the lessons that our petty tyrants are trying to teach us, they won’t go away, they’ll just keep reappearing in different guises, until we’ve learnt the lesson. I’m a prime example of a Failure, in that sense…my greatest downfall and disappointments have always been men. My first husband had affairs behind my back, my second and current husband had an online affair. Neither men appreciated me, instead, they simply neglected me once they’d gotten me over the threshold. I should have sensed what was coming – I never had a honeymoon with my first marriage; didn’t have one either with my second. The Kid’s father was an abusive alcoholic and chain smoker; I traded him in years later for another alcoholic. I’ve had a few gentlemen admirers in my time…who turned out to be not quite as gentlemanly as I believed, when they made their true intentions known. What is it with men and sex??!

So, my Life’s lesson now, I guess is that I need to learn to love myself, first and foremost. And everything else is just a bonus. And you know what? Since I turned on that switch in my head, Life is pretty awesome. I may not have everything I want, but I have everything I need, and that is pretty darn near perfect.

From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #6

THERE’S AN “US” VERSUS A “THEM”

This erroneous belief is one I struggle with, personally. I know we are all born equal, that all human beings are created from the same particles. And yet I only have to go outside my home and experience the vast inequality that our Society has artificially imposed on us. My personal bugbear is Money. Not the lack of it, not the use of it, simply the very fact that Society uses it as a yardstick by which to categorise people and measure their worth.

My father is a retired Dental Specialist, my mother a retired Teacher. Good, solid professions, that enabled my family to enjoy a relatively comfortable life. My brother is a Doctor. Again, a good career attracting a good salary. As for me, I’m very much the black sheep of the family. My father had high aspirations for me becoming a doctor too, like my brother. But I balked at the subjects required to study Medicine, and my grades were reflective of that. Back in those days, I was too naive to realise that you were actually allowed to change subjects in school; I was too worried about pleasing my father to even entertain the thought. So, for his only daughter, my father decided that a degree in Music would be best, seeing as I’d already endured 14 years of learning the piano. So, I was shipped off to the UK, where I surprised myself by being the only one in my class to obtain a First Class Degree. Which I subsequently never utilised, instead finding jobs as a temporary teacher, then a library assistant, a Civil Servant, and working in Customer Services at 2 banks in 2 different countries.

And now, after leaving my last job due to bullying by Management, I’m what Society would label as “unemployed”. My relatives all can’t understand why I can’t just “get a job”. My father says I have anger issues. My husband says I’m lazy. (He earns in 1 day what I was getting in an entire week in my last job, he really shouldn’t be complaining). Australian employers have very poor people skills; 99% of the jobs I’ve applied to never even bothered to acknowledge my application, or send me a polite rejection letter. My local McDonald’s even said I was too old to work there! Some people think I laze around the house all day doing absolutely nothing and watching daytime soaps on the idiot box. Others think I live the life of Riley, jetting about on holidays, buying lavish goods.

None of which is true. I read, I write, I make Art, I talk to people, I listen to inspirational tapes, I donate stuff, I give away things. None of which brings in any Money. And therein lies the rub. Western Society deems that anyone who doesn’t work and earn Money must therefore be Worthless. Society calculates your Worth based on how much Money you earn, not by what skills or expertise you can contribute. Therefore, a housewife is worth nothing. A CEO of a global company is worth millions. Some people even make themselves out to be far more important than they really are, by paying themselves huge bonuses and giving themselves paid for holidays abroad several times a year. We live in a screwed up world where material goods, which are external objects, are placed higher than knowledge and skills, which are internal. We are taught from a young age to go chase that dream…as long as it brings in lots of Money.

And so, whenever I step outside my house and observe how other people live, I notice these things: how nobody at the mall really sees the cleaning crew, who do their jobs as unobtrusively as possible, who keep their heads down and don’t engage with those who shop. Even the security guards are looked down upon, because theirs is a service job, to help and not to purchase goods. In fact, anybody in the Services industry, the ones behind the counter at the cafe, the wait staff, the cooks, they’re regarded as essentially not even being there, by paying customers. Their presence is hardly acknowledged, their efforts scarcely rewarded. It’s as if there’s an invisible veil that separates “Us” from “Them”.

What we don’t seem to realise is that the mirror works both ways. Your “Them” is my “Us”, and vice versa. It doesn’t have to be that way. Human beings should not be segregated into “Haves” and “Have Nots”, “Rich” and “Poor”. You are NOT what you do. You are NOT your designation at work. What you bring to the world, with your skills and knowledge, and with your acts of imparting such skills and knowledge, is what really counts. Not how much Money you earn, how big your house is, how many cars you own. Sadly, though, this erroneous thinking has led to Society splitting itself into illogical factions. It will take a giant tsunami of alternative thinking to turn this belief on its head and to show people that a life of cooperation and helping each other is really much better than a life of competition and one-upmanship.

Similarly, with Religion and Culture, there should be no “Us” and “Them”. There should be “We Together”, united as one human species. Let’s start somewhere, shall we?

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #5

Wayne W Dyer, in his seminal book “Your Sacred Self”, says the 5th erroneous belief that many of us have is this:

WE ARE SEPARATE AND DISTINCT FROM EVERYONE ELSE

Before we are born, we lived in a microcosm without rules, but the minute we are born, all sorts of manmade rules were thrust upon us, and we are expected to learn them and conform and never question Why. What are Rules for? They are an attempt to pigeonhole people into neat little boxes with labels. And with each label we assign different characteristics and qualities. And then we expect these boxed-up people to behave just the way we’ve labelled them. And if they don’t conform, we slap a different label on them, such as “Rebel”, “Criminal”, “Insane”. We are so afraid of people expressing their individuality, that we try to suppress them, relegate them to the sidelines, or, worse still, annihilate them from the face of the earth.

What Man does not understand, he fears. What Man fears, he tries to destroy.

If all human beings are born equal, why are some more equal than others? Physiologically, we are all made from the same star dust. Logically, therefore, we should all be the same. Instead, because of Man’s enormous Ego, his penchant for stereotyping, his greed, selfishness and his fear of other people, we are stuffed into little boxes and told to do what everyone in our particular type of box is doing. Only, the people that decide which boxes we go in, have much bigger, fancier boxes, with extensions and embellishments. Because they decided long ago that they deserve better than everyone else.

This inequality is not normal. It is not moral. It is just plain WRONG. And yet, we allow it to happen. We allow it to continue. The ones at the top of the pyramid want to keep the ones at the bottom down at the bottom, because they fear losing their materialistic, worldly goods, and hence their Power. The ones at the bottom want to climb higher, because they know they deserve better. And in between, there are layers of others who, depending on which level they are at and their integrity of character, are stretching out a hand to either help, or hinder those at the bottom.

In reality, we are ALL interconnected. We come from the same Source. We should all inspire and encourage each other, shine our lights brightly, celebrate our various successes together, raise each other up, continue to rise and rise. We are NOT separate, rather it is our Egos that make us believe it. Our Egos want to stand out from the crowd, to be carried aloft on many shoulders to shouts of adulation. Why?? The only use for those boxes people place others in, is for the Ego. If everyone here on Earth were to put their own Egos into a box, seal it up tight and cast it off the tallest cliff, we can perhaps finally all experience Heaven on Earth.

Even on an atomic level, everything is connected. Imagine, if every single cell in our bodies were to start fighting each other, if some cells decided they wanted to be more important than others, instead of living harmoniously and cooperating with each other, imagine if our cells decided they wanted autonomy and to divide up our bodies into separate regions for control…That’s what cancer cells are. Renegades that have decided to rebel and take over areas of your body, to no longer work together with other cells but instead to claim their own territories and to replicate exponentially. And why do they need to replicate exponentially? Because they fear being brought back into the mainstream and therefore losing any footing they think they have gained over other cells, and because there’s safety in numbers, and numbers ensure perpetuity. What these cancer cells don’t realise, often until it’s too late, is that, the more aggressive they are, the more likely they will be excised and removed from the body, where they will then die. Or, if they are left in the body and they become so greedy as to try to take over vital organs or limbs, then the body itself will die, taking all the cancer cells with it. Either way, death is inevitable.

Whatever happens on a microscopic level, also happens on a macroscopic level.

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #4

Here is Erroneous Belief #4 from Wayne W Dyer‘s book “Your Sacred Self“:

THERE IS ONLY ONE EXISTENCE AND IT IS PHYSICAL

This  belief is common amongst many people, who think the only reason they’re here on Earth is to consume, fit in, work and then die. The ones who never question Why they are here, and what their Purpose is in life. Their existence rarely goes beyond what they can see around them, what their 5 senses can show them.

Then, there are the people who believe in Spirit, the religious persons who by their faith, are able to see beyond just the physical and can hint at a higher level of being. No, you do not have to be necessarily religious in the traditional sense of the word, to enjoy the realm of the unseen. You don’t even have to be Spiritual, or a Witch, or a Psychic or Intuitive. You can be like me, a student of Life, curious about everything and open to alternative ideas of reality. If your eyes have been opened, you’ll realise that even what we perceive as physical solids, is actually composed of nothing more than millions of atoms in a certain configuration, vibrating at fluctuating frequencies. Even children learn the difference between solids, liquids and gases early on in their educational life. I’m no scientist, and I cannot explain this beyond the simplest language. But don’t you think it’s strange that, even after scientists have discovered all sorts of breakthroughs in the field of physics, chemistry and  biology, we still have no concrete evidence that the material world really exists and isn’t just in our imagination?

I read that when we are in our mother’s womb, our world is all encompassing, we have everything we need and require to thrive. We as embryos may be physical beings, but our internal world was anything but. We did not even breathe air! We did not see the world the same way as our mothers do, but all the same we felt her love, we heard her beating heart, we heard her soothing words, we experienced all her emotions just as she experienced them, by way of chemical differences in the liquids surrounding our growing body. If we had a twin or triplet growing inside with us, they were our friends and shared our experiences and thoughts, not by the clunky way of adult language, but by all our senses. So, in that sense, enclosed as we were in the womb, it was not a physical realm, it was something else – a magical sensory world. And then, suddenly there was a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and we were propelled forwards toward it. And suddenly, we were pushed out of our mother’s vagina into the “real” world. If anyone was left behind in our embryonic world to witness that, they would no doubt have said that we’d died and gone to heaven. But instead, we emerged into a different reality, one bound by physical constraints and the law of gravity. We had to learn to breathe air, to crawl, then walk and learn to communicate verbally.

So, if we’re capable of experiencing two very different worlds like that, what’s to say that when we die in this physical world, we just disappear? What if we don’t really die, what if the Earth and its solar system, galaxies and beyond, are all just another vagina, and when we “die” and go towards the light, we are actually being born again into a third world? A good metaphor would be to call our current reality “The Waiting Room”.

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Just because you can’t see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, smell it, doesn’t mean something does not exist. There is a famous traditional saying which goes like this: “I’ll believe it when I see it”. You need to turn it round and say instead, “I’ll see it when I believe it”.

You are NOT your body. You are NOT your mind, either. As the great spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says, in his book “A New Earth“, ” The atoms that make up your body were once forged inside stars, and the causes of even the smallest event are virtually infinite and connected with the whole in incomprehensible ways”. We are all just beings of vibrational energy co-existing in the same plane with each other. Every single action you take causes a ripple effect that affects every single thing close to you. Imagine a vast ocean, with ripples of current causing more and more ripples, each bouncing off the other, some creating bigger ripples, others overcoming smaller ones, some moving towards the shore, others so far out on the horizon that they can’t even be seen. That is what our world is like, and that is why we all need to work together as a harmonious whole, instead of constantly trying to outdo each other, kill each other, being better than the other, having more than others, etc. We are all in this together.

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…which brings me to Erroneous Belief #5, in my next post.

From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #3

Erroneous Belief #3, from Wayne W Dyer’s book “Your Sacred Self” is this:

IDEALISM CAN’T COEXIST WITH REALISM

How often, as children, were we taught to “Live in the real world”, to “Stop dreaming or fantasising”? And later, as adults, to “Face up to reality”, “Stop living in a make-belief world”, “This is how Life is, just try to fit in and not create ripples”?

Luckily for the bumblebee, no one told it that its wings were too stubby to support its body weight. That technically, it shouldn’t be able to fly.

You probably weren’t taught this in school, I certainly wasn’t: that your thoughts create your reality. If you can think it, you can make it happen, you can make it real. Instead, we were taught, by our parents and teachers, that we live in a finite world with finite possibilities, that everything has its place and your life has to follow a series of events dictated by Society : study hard, get good grades, get some qualifications, get a job, marry the love of your life, buy a house, have children, and live happily ever after.

7 billion people on Earth, and we’re all expected to follow this 1 rigid, manmade rule?

Bollocks to that!

Expand your inner world, and your outer world expands as well. Dare to believe in your dreams, and synchronous events will happen to bring about that reality. If you dream big enough, it will happen.

Don’t let the naysayers destroy your dreams. There are some who like nothing better than to tell you “It can’t be done”, “It will never happen”, “That’s just impossible”. Those that say it can’t be done, just didn’t try hard enough. Don’t let their failures be the foundation of yours.

Those who know me personally know that I’m a believer of abolishing the system of exchange known as Money, and of legalising cannabis. I believe humankind can find a different, better system of exchange, and that cannabis may well be the biblical Manna from Heaven – the most complete food source ever, containing every single vitamin and nutrients essential to sustaining life.

Neither concept is running at full steam yet. Certainly, the Moneyless Society concept faces its greatest challenge against the Elite, and may not gain enough momentum to reach the tipping point in my lifetime. Some people just love their Money too much, and will even kill to defend it. The Cannabis issue, however, has reached tipping point and is snowballing across many countries around the world right now. And the more people become aware, the more will sign up, the stronger our voices are, until the clamour becomes too loud to ignore any longer.

Some say I’m crazy to believe that such changes will ever happen. Or even that I’m a radical to even be thinking along those revolutionary lines. But my faith is unshakeable, and my forte is in wordsmithing, so I shall continue to advocate these 2 causes and maybe convince some people of the validity of my beliefs.

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #2

Continuing from my post yesterday, today’s Erroneous Belief #2, as outlined by Wayne W Dyer is this:

THAT EXTERNALS ARE TO BLAME FOR THE CONDITIONS OF MY LIFE

Nobody likes to take the blame for anything. We all love a scapegoat. We love to blame someone or something else for our misfortunes – our parents, our friends, culture, religion, the bank, our boss, our ex, the food we eat, the environment etc etc etc. We simply cannot see how We could possibly be responsible for where we are right now.

Well, guess what? We’re wrong to give up control of our lives so easily to external circumstances. When all the while we held the key to our destiny in our own hands. We just forgot, and chose to place the responsibility on others.

We gave our Power away.

The truth is, whatever experiences we go through, and the people we meet in our lives, they all serve a purpose. They all have a lesson to teach us, to bring us to exactly where we are right here and now. Not all experiences are sweet and lovely, some are downright hurtful and depressing. And not all the people who come into our lives stay on with us, or indeed leave us with love, not bitterness. But each experience and person had a gift to present us… only, sometimes it doesn’t become clear what that is until much, much later.

And that’s when the penny falls and you’re able to look back and see just how perfectly everything fitted and fell into place and was meant to be.

As the inimitable Steve Jobs once said, “It’s only in looking back that the dots begin to connect”.

For me, life hasn’t been a bed of roses. The first time I had a lifechanging event happen to me, I didn’t understand that this is how things really work. I found myself in a dark, shadowy place where I had to grope and find my own slow way out, inch by inch. The second time it happened to me, my eyes were a little more open. I was slow off the mark, but this time round it was like a distant memory was triggered off inside me, I recognised it for what it was, and a little dim light went on inside that helped me feel my way out again.

I reckon if it happens again, this time I’ll be ready, because I’ve come to learn from my experiences, and to thank those who contributed to those lifechanging events. Those who previously made me feel anger, I have learnt to see as poor suffering souls who were simply seeking to find their own happiness in their own way, regardless of whose dreams they trampled on.

But, in order for me to have come to this conclusion, first I had to be cracked wide open, to hit rock bottom, to experience what it’s like to feel hopeless and helpless and nearly homeless. And then to discover that sliver of steel in me that refused to just give up and crawl under a rock to die.

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From Wayne W Dyer’s “Your Sacred Self”: Erroneous Belief #1

I’ve just been reading Wayne W Dyer’s inspirational book “Your Sacred Self“, and here I’d like to share with you a list of erroneous beliefs that many people, myself included, believe in (well, that I used to believe in). There are 10 Beliefs in all, so I’ll split my posts into 10, as smaller chunks of information are easier to read and digest than large reams.

Erroneous Belief #1 is: MORE IS BETTER.

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why you’re always searching for more stuff to add to your collection of stuff you already have? When will it ever get to the stage where you truly believe you have enough? Why is it, do you think, that when you’ve obtained that which you were so keen on, it somehow feels hollow and Not Enough? What’s next?

That will be your Ego talking. It doesn’t live in the Present, it is always looking to the Next Moment, what’s round the corner, next month, when you get a house, when you buy that car, when the children have grown up and left the nest, when you’re retired. Always in the future, never in the Now.

The Society we grow up in requires that we all do something, be useful, keep busy, earn more money, find a better job, get that promotion, be an important person etc etc. It says you need to have more of everything, because More Is Better.

And Society’s norms also dictate that, as our worth is measured against the Materialism Meter, if we don’t have such and such a thing, we are suddenly lacking. Here, buy this Jeep, it will make you the envy of your neighbours. The TV ad shows Jeep owners travelling to far-off places, going off-road, having fun. What it hides from viewers is the sad fact that anyone who buys such a vehicle probably had a large loan of around $35,000 or more foisted upon them, to add to their already large-enough mound of debt. Debts that these people have to work overtime to cover. So, in actual fact, yes, “I bought a Jeep” is a nifty little catchphrase, but really you’ll need to add this to that sentence, “And now I have to work all the hours God sends, to pay off my loan, and that means overtime on weekends and also during the children’s school holidays, so in reality we’re not driving around to these exotic places, but rather I’m at work and the Jeep is parked in the garage gathering dust”.

We watch TV ads and believe that if we bought this thing, or that, it would mean that we’ve “arrived”, we’ve “made it”. Arrived where, exactly? Made what? And people that decide to Not have these things are made to feel inferior, ashamed, guilty somehow. Ads for children’s toys are particularly devious, by playing on not the adult’s ability to buy that toy, but on the child’s desire to have that toy. It cleverly instigates the child to nag its parents to the point that the parents cave in and buy the damn thing. Which is played with a couple of times, until the child sees another ad and starts haranguing its parents for it. So you see, this More Is Better mentality has been imprinted on our children from a young and tender age, and if we fail to check it, our children will turn out to be grown-up selfish, spoiled brats who are never satisfied with what they have, but who always want more.

What we should be doing, and what we need to be teaching our children, is to practice saying “I’ll pass” when such irresistible opportunities present themselves. I like to practice a “Do I Need It, Or Do I Want It” approach on top of that. The reason I love food is simply because it is a Need, rather than a Want, but there is just so much choice to be had there. That’s one area where I can go slightly mad, sometimes. Then I rein myself in, because the guilty part of me knows that I didn’t have to have that $25 meal, when I could’ve had the one for $15, and saved the $10 for something else.

To be happy with what we have, rather than always be unhappy and hankering for something more, we need to learn to appreciate what we have. The Kid always wants more Lego, but I’ve taught him that buying Lego is like pissing into the ocean, because you simply can’t ever have enough pieces. There will always be More to get that you don’t already have. Yes, Lego stimulates creativity, but then again isn’t Necessity the Mother of Invention? Make do with what you have, improvise, modify, simplify, minimise. And celebrate when I find a big box of used Lego pieces at the thrift store, going for a song. That’s why finding bargains feels so fulfilling. With what you’ve saved, you’ll have money left over to buy food for the family. Win-win and relatively guiltless.

Happiness is an internal thing, whereas Acquisition is external. You cannot hope to satisfy an internal objective by using an external one. Sure, the excitement of buying something can be euphoric. Have you ever felt the thrill of winning an eBay auction by pipping the highest bidder to the post at the last moment? Felt the adrenaline rush flowing through your veins? I’m sure you know what I mean. And I’m sure you also know that the high doesn’t last very long. Because when it wears off, your Ego will nudge you and ask “Now what?”

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The only things you should be wanting more of are not things at all. They don’t require money to obtain. And they are easily attainable without having to sell your soul to the devil. They are:

More time
More love
More hugs
More laughter
More surprises
More sleep

My Favourite Bokeh Flower Photographs

Just a curated selection of some of my favourite Pinterest photos, this time featuring Bokeh Flower Photography. Think Romantic, blurred backgrounds, soft colours, a vintagey feel, out of focus shots, light glows, orbs.

Eye Candy!
(Images sourced from: Pinterest. You can find them on my Board, “Inspiring Flower Photography”).

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We All Fall Down

Nobody’s perfect
Most people don’t even try
Some wander lost through life
A few wonder why

Many believe the best
Is yet to come
Several times a day they ask
Why it only comes to some

We are human beings
Yet some of us are sheep
Following God knows who
Refusing to Wake from sleep

It’s not important how much you earn
Or what you do for a living
Most of us have forgotten
How to be human beings

We have become human doings
Rushing here and there
Searching for that elusive goal
That’s now-here, then no-where

Slow down! Take a deep breath
Everything can wait
Love is the answer
Not the ego, greed or hate

Have you ever wondered
About that ladder you are climbing
And questioned what the reason is
For that which you are doing?

For could it be it’s just a ruse
And we’re headed for a fall?
Or worse, we get up to the top
And find it’s the wrong wall?

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(Image source: Google Images)