So how is life counterintuitive?
Here are a few examples:
- If you want to get something done fast, the worst way to go about it is to hurry. It either takes the same time, but cost you emotional expenditure you can’t afford, or it takes a whole longer.
- The more coffee (or tea) you drink because you are tired the more tired you become.
- The higher your moods are the deeper your depression will become.
- The more important praise is for you the more wounding a bad feedback will feel.
- The more you want to be happy to less happy you’ll become.
- If you want to be happy, and say: I will have a little about-me time, or more than a little… you immediately less happy.
- In fact, the more your life is about you or about your life, the unhappier you become.
Why would that statement be true? After all it makes no sense…
Yeah, it doesn’t… and it does.
All or most what makes sense, makes sense because there is something in the MIND that says so.
But the mind is a meaning making machine, and deeply and radically separated from reality. It lives through meaning of past events and fantasies of future events. It creates a world view and YOU fancy it as reality, as the truth, and almost never check if it is actually true.
I remember when this idea dawned on me first… It wasn’t the first time I could have gotten it, but it was when I got it.
I used to drive… And I used to drive impatiently, fast, somewhat jerkily… everyone was in my way, I wanted the road to be open so I can go at my own speed. Familiar?
And had all these griping and complaints about people who didn’t drive fast enough, forcing me to slow down.
What I got is that my mind is tricking me and I should take the ‘steering wheel back from the mind’ and actually decide what is important: being the first at the funeral home, winning every argument, or live a life worth living. What I realized that the two are not compatible. Mutually exclusive outcomes.
And this past Monday (it is Thursday real early morning now) I expressed it for the first time, surprising even myself.
I said: the way to live a life worth living, the way to live a life you love and live it powerfully is to give yourself and your life to something bigger than yourself… Bigger so your life can be put inside that thing, that it can be the context of your life.
I woke up this morning and pondered it… and got up just past 3 am… It wouldn’t let me sleep.
So here I am, now fully awake, struggling with clearly seeing what there is to see… because this is still uncharted territory.
You see, having had periods of life when I loved my life and I felt happy, joyful, doesn’t quite qualify me to say that the way to do it is the way I did it, because it is incredibly difficult to see what actually did or didn’t do… and what I did feel unhappy again…
So I am attempting to see now, and this is what I see:
When I stop worrying about myself, my weight, my diet, how I look to myself and others, about my future, what I like and what I don’t like… it is because I set something else as a higher priority.
See how counterintuitive that is?
And one would expect that it’s the other way around, that your first step should be the about-me stuff, and then you have room to set something as a higher priority…
But I KNOW I didn’t do that.
A few weeks ago, in the Growth course I came up with a new way to look at life: to look what you are gaining or hope to gain from not growing, not becoming, not doing what you need to do to grow and become this amazing person you can become.
Most people have a little-sh*t score in the 90% range. Mine is 7%… but it is still high enough to occasionally bring me down and make me not happy. Not unhappy, but not happy. Just not happy. Dysphoria… they call it in medical terms… to distinguish it from euphoria, what humans call happy. Both are extreme… the more you want euphoria the less likely you’ll love your live… because life has only a few euphoric moments… I like joy… you can be joyful without prancing about in euphoria.
Anyway, discovering that I have a little sh*t score made me look what it is I am not in action about that is important to me.
Ultimately only a few things… and even just putting some actions on my todo list disappeared the ‘not happy‘ feeling. I became more available for what I am really up to: my work for Source.
I decided to schedule regular office hours. Office hours are an unstructured time when I am available to talk, available to answer questions, to discuss… whatever comes up. I plan for nothing… I come unprepared, so they are a great opportunity for bonding, and an even greater opportunity for me to enter the beyond and surprise myself.
It’s hard to be silently brilliant. Lots of thoughts occur when you open your mouth.
I call brilliance what comes from the beyond… in perfect harmony with what I invented for myself in 1992: Living on the edge, generating distinctions for transformation for humankind. Or going to the edge (the beyond) and coming back with goodies, insights, knowledge that have been missing in the 1% reality, for me and for you.
I am happiest when I am challenged. I am happiest when I need to be brilliant. I go unhappy when life doesn’t need me to be brilliant…
The question for other people, for you, for my students is: what shall I give my life to? What is big enough, but not so big that I can’t consider giving my life to it?
Depending on your personality, you will make mistakes in this.
Here are two I just caught this morning:
- 1. The student says: I see it as part of walking into a hurricane and transforming it into a sunny day.
what is the counter intuitive problem with this statement is that it has an outcome you don’t control. I can’t do it… and you probably can’t either.
But you could say: I am the eye of the storm… pull out from the storm into the calm eye… calm center… you can do that, because it is a process. Moment to moment you pull yourself out of the storm. It is not about the result it is about the process.
No end result.
2. Another student wrote: I will carry on and work at Flexibility, The Sight and Nothing Wrong and Nothing Right/ Nothing to Fix. I am a big fat slow turtle but I am gonna keep going, no matter what. And there’s nothing wrong with being a turtle. The turtle will keep working at the capacities till at least 30%. Even if it takes a long time. So help me God.
What is the counter intuitive problem with this statement? It also has an outcome. Attainable? yes. But until it is attained, the mood is: not yet. Majorly unhappy.
Instead I would suggest: I bring flexibility, seeing and nothing wrong to life… That is a process. It is entirely up to you… and whether you succeed or not, you did what you said you would do.
In my own life purpose I don’t promise a result. I promise a process. A process that is up to me. I don’t promise success.
This way I can be happy when I am in action, and not happy when I am not. Easy, simple, and you can always ask: am I in action? Or did the little sh*t take over while I wasn’t looking?
Another 30-day challenge
OK, I am offering another monitored challenge. I have decided to do it NOT on the ‘give yourself and your life to something greater than yourself (and your life)‘ because it is beyond most people’s ability: I just measured my Growth course students’ about-me scores, and they range from 20 to 91%. If you have 70%-91% about-me score, this isn’t quite available to you… and yet you can try and try until it takes.
But not in this challenge. First off: I don’t know what capacity I can activate to lower your about-me score. And I want to set you up for success… And I want something where the process is clearer, where there are visible and public actions, so we can track what actions lead to what…
So I am announcing a new challenge where the capacity I am going to activate is the DNA capacity to see value. Extrinsic value and Intrinsic value. You have no problem seeing systemic values, right and wrong… do you?
The practice we’ll use for that is validation. You can get better, you can see more value as the days go by, but not unless you actually acknowledge people for what you see… as you see it. Don’t make up sh*t! Look and see.
The more you play the more you’ll see. Side-effects: you’ll make people happy and you’ll feel good about yourself.
Email me to ask questions before you ‘join’ the challenge.
The challenge is free, but I ask you that you pay for the DNA capacity activation
Get your ‘recognizing/seeing value’ capacity activated
PS: One of my students told me that he looks up to me. Wow, that is a straitjacket unless you are aware… it puts you into success mode… very seductive.
So I answered him: I endeavor to earn that. I endeavor to earn deserving to be looked up to. And that is how you ‘defang’ praise… so you can be happy even when you fall off the wagon… as you will. I guarantee it.
PPS: tomorrow I’ll talk about an aspect of this challenge that can be major… the missing item exercise.