In this article I take you through a whole range of emotions to get to a clearing. Just like taking you through a dense forest… But there is a pot of gold in the forest’s clearing… so it is worth wading your way through, I promise.
If you play by the rules you lose
Very interesting observation: British writers, also British films are honest about corruption, about people talking about the rules but not keeping them.
So today I am going to talk about something I have never talked about… In fact I have never thought.
Being good, doing good feels good. Doing bad doesn’t feel good to me. And when I am asking my clients, they claim it doesn’t feel good, but then why are they doing it?
I pondered this for about half an hour when I suddenly, like a lightening, saw that good and bad are human constructs.
No, more than that. They are cultural constructs. Maybe even as cultural than that… Each family has their own good or bad concept.
As in… there is no culture that is homogeneous. My good is your stupid. Your good is my stupid.
So what decides what is good and what is bad… and where one must look from to see that?
Because if my code-book, the book I have all the good and all the bad actions documented… analyzed, and coded, is different from your code-book.
The concept ‘code-book’ comes from the book ‘The Art of Hunting Humans’…
…a tongue in cheek analysis of humanity and the human condition. I listened to it a few times as my walking companion a few years ago when it came out.
One of the issues in life the concept ‘code-book’ makes clear how two people or two groups of people can fight. Never understanding that their concept of good and bad is fundamentally different, and therefore they fight over their code-books.
For an emperor, or for a certain ex US president and his party, their code-book says: staying in power, no matter what it takes, is what is good. And that the end justifies the means: slavery, no freedom, lies, racism, no access to education, misogyny, suppression, misery… as long as it helps you stay in power. The end justifies the means.
When I choose the books to read, the movies, TV shows to watch…
…I choose them by my code-book. I choose what inspires me. And what inspires me is that the code book of the story matches my code-book. What is good according to my code-book.
I started to watch a British TV show yesterday. It is old, I think. I just looked up, it started back in 1994. Delicious.
The main character of the show is a detective who is also a master chef. Endearing. Matches my code-book. I’ll probably watch all 40 episodes.
He, the dectective, has to eat at a resort hotel in one of the episodes, (I have watched four so far) and the fancy menu of the restaurant covers up that nothing is made freshly, from raw ingredients, everything is pre-made and just heated up, in the microwave.
He prefers not to eat. And later when the kitchen closes, and the staff goes home, he makes omelet to eat.
Definitely matches my code book… I even have weepy eyes as I write this.
I see that I refuse to accept other code-books’ good as good…
I see them as evil… And have a huge gut response to it… My nose is buzzing… the definite sign of disgust.
I won’t share my whole code book. But nothing I say can come from anywhere else.
The art is to not be so sure that your good is good, the your good is THE good. And then start judging, demeaning, killing others for theirs.
The art is to get that a codebook is a codebook… and muster some compassion, if needed, for a codebook that according to yours is inferior to yours.
And laugh. At the utter ridiculousness of the human condition.
Some 34 years ago I was ‘FORCED!’ to pick a higher power. I was joining a 12-step program, and there it is a condition. Everyone chose god, but I am an atheist, and religion, in MY codebook is bad.
So after fuming for a little bit, I chose, for MY higher power: WHATEVER WORKS.
It may have been one of the major reasons why I managed to grow, why I did my homework, why I raised my vibration and consciousness, while others, smarter, richer people in the same programs I took did not. They assigned higher power to something that is outside of their power… I chose something that is within my power…
‘Whatever works’ needs you to look and analyze… and choose to do that. The thing, the process, the practice that works.
Now, if you want to do something constructive, I have a suggestion.
If you do it, and if you do it the way I ask you to, your happiness will increase by a lot… maybe as much as double and triple.
Start taking notes, while you live your life. Start noticing your choices, start noticing what inspires you. Especially noticing what inspires you.
But don’t lie.
Why do I say that? Because I found out that people lie.
If you judge people because you don’t feel safe, if you judge people because they don’t treat you special, if you judge people because they don’t value you, then you WILL lie about what inspires you.
You are interested in your ‘real’ code book, and see what you see.
If you, on the other hand, really like to abuse people, make them feel bad about themselves, or you wish they did… note it down.
It is hardcoded in your code book… Look at what you wish with sober eyes, the same way a scientist looks at a disemboweled carcass, or at the video where the lion eats the pretty antelope or its own cubs.
It’s in their code book…
Now, if your expressed ‘good’ doesn’t match your code book, you can never be happy. You’ll eat yourself on the inside.
So you may want to adjust one side to match the other. Either stop devaluing others, or stop pretending that you value them.
The end does not justify the means. Not if you want to love yourself and live a life you love!
The most missed element of integrity that nearly everyone misses is this: Integrity is: Honor your standards and ideals. Honor, in this case, means that you obey them. If it is your rule, then behave accordingly.
Why? Because without integrity nothing works. Nothing in life can work without integrity.
So if your standard for goodness is to respect people, and you don’t, then you cannot have integrity, and your life can’t work.
And if your life doesn’t work, then you hate yourself, hate your life, and nothing you do can work.
So either change your code book and the standard to: people are only there to provide you what you want… Not pretty, but it’s OK. Do you think it’s bad? If you think it’s bed, then change your behavior, change your attitude, so you can have integrity with your code-book.
Integrity is an inside job… My opinion doesn’t matter when it comes to YOUR integrity.
That doesn’t mean I won’t have an opinion though… because I will. I will see that you have different values from me, and may not want to hang out with you…
Anyway, if you want to hang out with this issue for a while, so you can adjust some of your code book or some of your behavior so your life can work, the Integrity Workshop is your best bet.
If you sign up, or if you already have the course, you’ll be eligible to participate in a live session on October 8 where we’ll look at the Codebooks… aka your standards and ideals… by which you judge yourself and others. I have already sent past participants an email with the link to the webinar: check your spam folder.
We’ll endeavor to bring your codebook and your behavior and attitude together, so you can start having integrity with yourself.
If you are new to integrity, in the shopping cart I give you an option to sign up to only the live session… That if you don’t want the rest.
PS: We will always find that you act according to your codebook…
But is it really YOUR codebook? More often than not we’ll find that it’s the Selfish Gene’s codebook… And the Selfish Gene is only interested in your self-propagation and survival, not in your happiness. So it will be very worth looking at your codebook… and weed out, or at least identify the rules by which you can’t succeed. Here is an article that goes into detail about that kinds of codes…
A few minutes ago I became aware that I have nothing to do. That I am pondering whether I should watch Netflix or continue playing Freecell.
Woah… WTF? So I looked. And what I saw surprised me. I saw that suddenly I don’t have a direction.
And then I realized that I watched that ground shaking video of Tai yesterday, and didn’t do the assignment… set a new context, a direction, a horizon, according to what he explains in the video, for myself.
And whatever that glorious future you dream about, no matter which side of the great divide you are on, that glorious future is a stillborn. That is, unless you have the guts to go for it, and go for it with gusto.
And, because it is a principle… as every true principle, it is true everywhere.
Timid souls, careful souls, cautious souls’ good ideas die on the vine.
What really puzzles me, though, why is it that people who are on the side of genocide, racism, suppression, violence, world dominance…
Why aren’t those people who are on the wrong side of the law, why aren’t they timid?
Because they aren’t.
People who hate me have the guts to write to me and tell me. Tell me what a piece of excrement I am… egotist, judgmental, whatever they call me. They yell. Not timid at all.
On the other hand, my students whose life is slowly brightening, who finally find their path, who have reason to celebrate… they are quiet, with finger on their lips… modest, and silent.
I find the same thing in politics too.
What is politics? Unfortunately it is politics where most things about your life are decided… Decided by thieves, loudmouths, robbers, killers, cheaters, perverts… people you’ve elected. Both sides. Even if your current president is timid…
So life is getting worse. The dance floor is getting smaller. And the noise is getting louder from the wrong side of the divide… They yell AND ACT, so most of the rights people have fought for, are taken back.
I find that only humorists have the guts today to say what there is to say. My favorite is Andy Borowitz… his Borowitz Report. Hilarious and outspoken.
I want to be like Andy Borowitz when I grow up.
But honestly, personal responsibility, personal power is on the decline, and…
…those who have a crowd to scream with scream. Those who have no crowd… whimper.
Back some 20 years ago I was writing a magazine review on topless dancing. It was early afternoon and I was the only customer in the joint. The dancer was a blonde buxom woman. She was dancing for me. She spit on her breast and the saliva was sliding down on her skin… and I got turned on. Yeah… I still get a stomach ache when I think back.
So then I spent a few hours contemplating if I was suddenly gay.
I considered that I had to choose. And I looked what life would be like if I started to be attracted to women… and it looked like a disaster. Being different was already unpleasant. Even having friends was already a non-issue: I had none. But being THAT different: no, thank you, no. I didn’t want that.
Later I found out I could be turned on by anything sexual… for example two men kissing… huh… interesting.
So I am heterosexual…
I have counseled many (tens) of people who struggled with and against their attraction to the same sex and had to deal with their parents, their community rejecting them.
I hear that belonging is the strongest desire unfulfilled when it’s missing. I am lucky I don’t have that. Really, I don’t desire to belong. But most people do.
Anyway, what does this have to do with the principle: no guts, no glory?
A humanity that divides itself, as it is doing it now, to wussies and thugs is not doing well.
People whose voice I’d like to hear, have no opinion. Cowardice infects the brain and makes you dull. Incurious.
So does resistance… When you resist you cannot also have guts at the same time. Why? Because if we turned those energies to vectors, resistance and going for it are two vectors that extinguish each other.
If you are more afraid of death than of a meaningless, empty, dishonorable life then I am happy for you. You’ll have the meaningless and empty. Guaranteed.
If you don’t know that unless you at least attempt to fly the spirit you will live a life of quiet desperation, and you’ll deserve it.
In our Saturday Moneyroots session we looked that unless you encourage the Ego, the Ego that you think you shouldn’t have!, unless you allow and encourage the Ego, unless you feed it, you can’t have the guts, and you can’t have the glory.
Maybe all those timid souls think that if they hide they can get happy…
You can’t avoid, you can outrun, you can’t outsmart being unhappy.
Life is not designed that way, no matter what the ‘law’ of attraction people say. Life belongs to those who face the tiger. To those who grab life by the horns and risk for it. Not to the timid souls.
The more you practice distraction, the easier you are distracted.
By the same token…
…the more you practice cowardice, timidity, hiding, running from, trying to outsmart the tiger, the more you do it…
….and the less of you is available to have guts and glory.
Theodore ‘Teddy’ Roosevelt Quotes: ‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.’ ‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there.’ ‘It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.’
Or this most famous one on the timid souls:
‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’
So what can you do if this article touched on a nerve. If you realized that you have been timid and that is why life isn’t giving you what you hoped it would?
Instead of practicing distraction, cowardice, timidity, etc. you may want to start practicing courage, bravery, daring.
Slowly. I don’t recommend that you start big.
The art is to see choice, like I saw choice in that dunk booby bar 30 years ago. Choice. And then, when you see you can, choose courage.
The more often you do that, the faster you can turn your habitual attitude around.
Don’t think cowardice is native to you. It is a habit, and like any habit, it takes work to change it.
In my Friday podcast I work with a person whose habitual way of being isn’t giving her the life, the business, the confidence, the self-esteem she would prefer.
We’ve been working for about a year and a half, once a week, publicly.
Slowly and almost imperceptibly she is learning to choose new habits.
Instead of thinking she is the only person she can trust, she has occasionally accepted guidance from me.
Instead of thinking that she needs to protect herself, everywhere, she is starting to open up everywhere.
Now, instead of looking only at herself, inside, she occasionally has the bandwidth to look at patients, colleagues, and even her husband and see them.
This is how it works.
Courage hasn’t even come up as a choice… yet.
You have become the way you are through decades of practicing being that way… And it may take years to change you into a person who can, who will, you will live a life worth living.
No guts no glory. Every step of the way.
Doing my classes, doing my workshops needs you to have courage. That is why I only have a handful of students. Because you have no courage.
Because you practice cowardice… And you get better and better at it.
In the Starting Point Measurement it is easy to see where you can start expecting the fastest results… But, alas, it also takes some courage to find out where you are at.
If you are of the persuasion that bad news is better avoided… then this is not for you. You’ll find out that you have a disease only when it is incurable, that you are poor when you have no more energy to turn it around.
It is your life. Really. Death is worst for the people who remain alive after you die.