We have all heard the expression that when we are young our minds are like a sponge. As children, we learned nearly anything simply by watching other people perform tasks. Ideas that adults offered us seemed almost immediately absorbed by our youthful brains. We took in massive amounts of data as we quickly developed motor skills and explored our universe! We learned at such a rapid rate that we took in more than we should have, and this set us up for later in life, to have to change. Many things we learned are undesirable, like the use of manipulating other people and negative thinking. I have noticed though that when we are older and experienced that learning can take on a completely new meaning. When it comes to changing and self-help, many things simply need to be unlearned! In fact, we may have difficulty changing our thinking and emotional states until we do.
What does it take to become happy and experience harmony in your life, and what self-help method works best? You must develop an enthusiasm for learning. You are a complex person with many things going on in your life. Unless you develop a desire to learn, it is unlikely that you can change your life circumstances. Stepping out of your comfort zone requires learning new things and new activities. Changing your perception requires opening your mind and examining your beliefs. Without a hunger for change, self-help methods cannot hold your attention. Many people have utilized proven methods without success. Every method or big idea offered has smaller ideas backing it – the Law of Attraction, for example.
Awareness comes from experience and life has many hurdles. What do self-help gurus mean when they refer to awareness and realizations? I cannot answer this, as it is hard to put into words. I do know though that awareness is two-sided, and we can become unnerved and confused. On one hand, awareness can help and better our lives. Can we become deeply aware and harm our headway in life? Becoming aware of our feelings and the worth that they add to life is precious. However, becoming aware of the way, our mind functions and the automatic thinking and conduct can cause us grief. As we become aware of human actions, we can begin to feel beaten. There is so much that we missed and sudden truths can be fearfully exciting – awesome. As we age, we become aware of our powers and our limits.
I have read a lot lately regarding personal boundaries and comfort zones. The two come together in a surprising manner. Our boundaries are something we set throughout our lives, because of experiences. Our comfort zones help us to determine what is safe or unsafe. We decide throughout our lives what we will do and what we are unwilling to undergo. Many of the things that we are unwilling to do are in place because of the consequences (real and imagined). We are observing creatures and we tend to try to learn from the experiences of other people. We can and on some level, we do learn from the mistakes people make. However, we can become confused and create personal boundaries with misjudgment. It is far too easy to conceive a danger or a mistake without getting the full picture. When we draw boundaries based on misconceptions (without our own experience), we tend to fear the unknown. We actually begin to believe that we have experience that we do not actually have – pseudo experiences.
The great self-helpers tell us that we must practice gratitude. Without an obliged attitude, we are apt to suffer low self-esteem and self-worth. What they fail to report is that we are born with innate appreciation. The moment we draw our first breath; we are grateful for it and appreciate our capacity to breathe. Fully unaware of manners and people pleasing skills we show appreciation daily. As baby nurses at the mother’s breast, both recognize breast appreciation. When a toddler receives something, he or she wants a smile forms that declares that they feel appreciation. As we age and our parents begin to feel that we should be, more grateful they begin teaching manners. They enforce the rules of please; thank you and you are welcome. These people pleasing skills can rob us of our sincere appreciation! As well as set our expectations in line with failure.
Have you ever undertaken to figure something out and managed to make it work, but were oblivious as to why it did? I did this today with my blog while changing the Permalinks. Jonathan sent me information on how to make Google pick them up and how to make them appear pretty so I proceeded to make the adjustments. After I modified them, the TweetMeme button on the posts had a question mark in it. When I clicked on it, the message said that there was URL redirect dilemmas. I embarked on trying figure it out. I uninstalled and reinstalled the plugin and did a variety of different things. The next thing I know it is working.
I wish I could have recognized that there was a fine line in everything, sooner. Each aspect of our lives has a distinction that allows us to learn. There is a definite difference in observation and judgment, stubbornness and determination, helping and enabling, etc. This defining contrast, affect our outlook, behavior and actions. In addition, the choices we make in life largely determine how we perceive these fine lines. Understanding where the lines are is helping me in my discipline and attitude, toward myself and other people. It can take many years of reflective thought to discover where that line exists. Each person has different personal boundaries that once crossed causes confusion and chaos.
Learning to be objective is one of the biggest challenges we face while improving our lives. We have unwittingly programmed our minds with so much negative thinking that becoming less subjective is difficult. Becoming open minded to other ideas, cultures and religions is important. To me, this has proven quite useful, in helping me overcome my shallow thinking and preconceived notions. On some level, I think we live a sheltered life, while utilizing our defense mechanism of survival. The turmoil that can result in narrow views of the world is incredible!
The authentic self is something different to each of us. I have heard it described in terms of finding God, or accepting Jesus. I have heard it described as understanding and accepting yourself. Finding what really matters to you and developing your passion or finding your true path. Many different roads lead to the same place and no one particular road is right for everyone. The one thing all the paths seem to lead to are peace and harmony within the heart of the person. This landing place is full of compassion, empathy, and an overall sense of well being.
What is more essential when it comes to, self-help, knowing how something happens to us or understanding why? Both are equally important if you think about it. Knowing how we think and how we feel helps us understand why we act the way we do. However, the journey begins with accepting how we are and then must continue into learning why. Many of the self-improvement ideas now days, are telling us the how more than they are the “why” of the issues in our lives. Ideas like the transference of energy, for example.