Search This Blog

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"You've Got a Bad Attitude!"

I love it when I hear those words. For three reasons.

1. It is condescending and attack speech.

2. It reminds me of me.

3. But the most important reason I love to hear those words is...absolutely nobody knows precisely how to do that. Just how do you go about changing an attitude?

I use this site as a teaching tool. That's what this site is for. This is the blueprint for changing the way you see the world, for changing your attitude...drum roll please...


So when I hear someone tell somebody to "change their attitude" it is always done in a one up and diminishing style. It is a put down. And because it is delivered in a nasty fashion, it is never meant to actually help. It is, even if true, often an insult. Almost always. And even if the statement is delivered in a genuine way, I've never heard anyone deliver the recipe for just how an attitude is actually changed. And if they try, it is usually some vague, superficial explanation that does nothing for the listener.

So I'd like to say this. This site is about changing your attitude. We teach you how to do that. It takes willingness, understanding, commitment, and time. It's worth it. It will change your life.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Is Life Fair?

How many times have you heard people say that life isn't fair? Hundreds, perhaps thousands of times? This is a commonly held belief that might very well not be true.

When I hear people say that life isn't fair, I translate this to mean, "life hasn't been fair to me." This is "victimology" thinking. Very often, those people have acquired a belief system that accepts life as unfair and thus true. In some cases, it might very well appear to be true. If you were born to drug dealing or abusive parents, life might not appear fair at all.

Until you gain conscious understanding.

So let me make a bold statement. A counter belief that might be true. At the point you recognize that all things are not created equal, life gets exceedingly fair. In fact, perfectly fair. That is my belief system. Life then is brutally fair.

As we become emotionally free, we recognize that we were all trained and raised differently. What we don't have is an understanding of how all others were raised. Rarely do we spend enough time with any one individual to get clear understanding. At best all we usually see are the symptoms of a fearful ego. And in that insane, assumptive style of ours, we label people. We call them mean spirited, or arrogant, maybe impatient. We label their symptoms. We were taught this by others. It was accepted as true. We believe that we are divinely guided and that we alone are gifted enough to see these things and judge others. Just as we were instructed.

Yet were we able to spend enough time listening to people, we might get a clear understanding of others. We begin to recognize that in actuality, we know very little about others. All we really know is what two parents taught us. If that. That's it. Hardly a consensus with which to "judge" the world and label all the people in it with little or no understanding. Yet it happens all the time.

As we become emotionally free and practice rigorous honesty, we begin to see that open and deep communication is the only way to arrive at real understanding. We accept that we often don't have a clue why others behave as they do. We seek understanding. We no longer seek to be understood. We participate and we care. We recognize that our insane egos diminish and hurt others, that we get angry at the most ridiculous provocations, and that we no longer need to launch unproductive and diminishing counter attacks when our ego tells us to.

Whenever I feel a negative emotion, I ask, "what is wrong with me?" And when I do, I generally uncover the cause. I go no further. I don't need to. The problem is always me and how I see the world. I gain acceptance and it works. Perfectly. Fairly.

As we practice real emotional freedom, we no longer seek to be victims or look for sympathy. We gain acceptance. We begin to see the world as a very fair place. In fact we increasingly find it very fair. The way we see the world begins to be reflected back upon us. As we treat others with love, compassion, and understanding those emotions get returned to us. That is fair. And when we treat others badly, at the behest of our fear driven egos, anger and rejection get returned to us. That seems very fair as well.

When we hear others complain that life isn't fair, we simply know that they have not learned the lesson that we have. They respond to adversity like victims, whining and justifying their behavior. Looking for sympathetic ears. The problem with that thinking, even if it's true, is that there is no solution or positive outcome. Nothing changes. People simply get mired in self pity as they find more and more people willing to be sympathetic-rarely telling them what they NEED to hear-simply reciting what they WANT to hear. We seek solutions.

Today we see the world as a very fair place. We are willing to examine our faulty belief systems and at the very least, extend some love, compassion, and understanding to others. We are trying something new and we are getting different results. And if we weren't after different results, then we wouldn't be here seeking emotional freedom, would we?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Deer Story

This is a story about assumptions, imprinting and belief systems, and the "egoic" insanity of men.

It involves love, death, anger, grief, and sorrow. The main character in this story is a deer. It is a true story.

I have a very kind and compassionate friend who we in the law enforcement biz referred to as a "fish cop." A Fish and Game officer. He lives in central Idaho. He and his wife have a lovely place built on a mountain, remote, only in that there are no neighbors close by.

A few years before his retirement, my friend happened to come upon an orphaned baby deer, a buck. Having no outlet or solution for baby deer found in such a predicament, my friend and lover of animals, decided to raise this deer. Perhaps one day they would set it free. They fed this deer from a bottle and they loved him. In return the deer loved them back. The buck grew up and eventually would walk right into their home and nuzzle them, begging for attention- to be petted or scratched. They loved this animal like a member of their own family. The deer would tease my friend's wife, eating the flowers she had planted around their home, ignoring numerous scoldings like a rebellious teenager.

Now this deer was raised by loving human beings. And in return, it loved human beings. It was a male deer which meant it had antlers. Sharp antlers.

Now at some point, my friend was forced to free this deer as a young adult. Or perhaps this deer simply responded to the DNA code that said it was time to go find female deer and wandered off.

The deer found a drainage to the north. A valley inhabited by people. So it was, that amidst doing the daily activities of deer, it would seek out human beings for petting and nuzzling. It loved human beings and human beings represented love. And because it loved, it did not fear human beings like normal deer do.

I began to read the accounts of this crazed deer in the local paper. People and tourists being "attacked" by a buck. Fearful people phoning in frantic complaints of some crazed deer that they thought must be rabid or retarded. But was most certainly "dangerous."

The best solution that Fish and Game employees could come up with was to shoot and kill this deer. These were the friends and co-workers of my retired friend. They showed no compassion or mercy for the deer, justifying that killing this deer was the best solution for a former employee who knew the rules. The rules that men like they had created. Rules like don't feed and raise wild animals. And so they did.

My friend, grief stricken and angry, took out a giant ad in the local newspaper explaining what had happened. I read that ad. It would be many years before I fully examined that event. He and his wife loved that deer like a member of their family. They wished they had been consulted, there were more humane solutions.

A deer had been imprinted with love. Love is letting go of fear. It had acquired a belief system that did not fear human beings and found humans as a source of joy. It had a belief system that made the assumption that human beings were kind and friendly.

Human beings also have a belief system. They have been imprinted with a belief system that says deer always run away from human beings. Deer must fear men. And so it was that they did not know, nor could they comprehend or understand that this deer was different. They ASSUMED it was crazy or rabid. Deer do not behave that way. And if in fact love is letting go of fear, then hate must mean clinging to fear. So it was, that they killed it. And the people who killed that deer did so believing that that was the only solution. That the act was justified and necessary. They "believed" what they did was proper and that this story is a perfect example of why we tell the general public not to feed or raise wild animals. In fact, some of the Fish and Game officers might have even felt victimized themselves.

This story illustrates perfectly our human and fallible inability to understand anything that deviates from our accepted belief systems. Rather than seek understanding or tolerance, we fear something instead and thus we kill it. We make assumptions. We then justify our actions as appropriate and blame those that "broke the rules" and our fragile egos are satisfied that we did the "right" thing. We rarely seek to understand. We always seek to be understood.

And if a man came, a man who offered unconditional love to all men, we would not understand such a deviation. We would fear such a man. Our established leaders would fear his informal leadership, his deviation from the egoic beliefs of men, his capacity to love all unconditionally. They would be jealous of all the attention, praise, and following that such a man would generate and receive. And those with power, would exercise that power, and act to eliminate such a threat.

It was true 2000 years ago and unfortunately (forgive the assumption) it would occur the very same way today. We have evolved greatly in an inventive and materialistic sense. And yet, I see very little evidence that we have evolved in any emotional way. Sometimes, you can learn a lot about yourself from something as simple as a deer.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hostage Takers

What exactly is a hostage taker?

A hostage taker is a person that is willing to exploit others for their own selfish needs. For our purposes we will limit our discussion to emotional needs. Hostage takers employ various deceptions and strategies but their ultimate goal is to get what they want and very often, that means taking something from you. Since they know that ultimately they are using others, a key part of their strategy is never disclosing that agenda. If caught, to avoid shame and embarrassment, they will invent any number of face saving justifications and rationalizations.

Hostage takers are controlling people. Completely fear driven, they are incapable of self scrutiny. They will often cast blame or even invent some seemingly palatable excuse for their behavior. Their agenda is all that matters. Over time, that agenda slowly gets revealed. And eventually, the game must end. The hostage taker must go find another hostage. That's what hostage takers do. The hostage is freed.

The hostage taking game is the only losing game in town. The hostage taker will always lose. All that changes for them- are the hostages. The hostages lose because they have invested time in their deceptive captors until they are fully exposed. Once freed, they are no longer forced to be hostages.

In as much as some bank customer does not want to be a hostage, people willing to love and be loved back, do not want to be hostages either. Given an opportunity to escape, hostages do not rush back to their captors to get some more threatening and diminishing behavior or some more captivity.

To do that would be insane.

We cannot completely escape the dangers of hostage takers, they dwell among us. As long as we yearn to love and be loved we accept that risk. We learn and we move on. We accept our roles as unwitting victims in as much as we simply can't avoid all of the deceptive moves of the hostage takers. We have choices and to those unwitting hostages here's a piece of advice.

First of all, prefer hostages to hostage takers. And,

Next time you drive to the bank and you spot an idling car out front with a nervous guy sitting behind the wheel, take note. It might be time to use the drive up window or find another bank.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood

Sometimes, it is hard to stay emotionally balanced in the workplace, particularly when those around you are emotionally unbalanced. Often for reasons not entirely known to us-which lead in turn- to situations that surprise us. Unfortunately our co-workers simply occupy the space we are desperately trying to leave behind. That space where actions are ruled by fear and ego.

Sometimes we find ourselves in inescapable situations. When this happens, it is time to pause and reflect. What did we do to find ourselves here? What is our role in this situation?

We always have a role. When someone is angry with us, they have a belief. A belief about us which is built upon fear and ego. They feel threatened. It is very real to them, therefore it is true. That emotional disturbance and thus belief that they have acquired is so real to them that they are willing to engage in a confrontation over the seemingly smallest of transgressions. They are simply reflecting who they are. And as always, that has nothing to do with us, as long as we are doing what we are supposed to do.

The answer is love.

Sometimes these insignificant incidents in and of themselves are simply catalysts- and as we roll the tape back we perceive our behavior in an "out of body" type of honest scrutiny. What did I do, prior to this catalyst or triggering event, that brought about this attack? Why did a torpedo land in the water?

So we set about examining our actions and as we do, we see that our behavior prior to the triggering event, is what really turned today's minor transgression into a big deal. Sometimes we must accept that we have done a poor job. Other times, that torpedo headed our way will completely baffle us. If you are baffled- play the tape back. You will find the answer. There is ALWAYS cause and effect. It is a useless exercise trying to egoically justify your position. In fact, it matters not whether you are right or not. It does not matter whether your co-worker is right or wrong. What matters is finding a solution. Let the torpedo go harmlessly by. That is the only useful course of action.

We want to introduce ourselves as an emotionally evolved adult when these things happen.

There is only one means to a solution and it must occur quickly. Communication, real communication, in a non threatening, non diminishing fashion. We are not seeking to "one up" those around us and satisfy our fear riddled and fragile egos. We are aware of our egos and they are in check. Unchecked, our ego would create losers. We are interested in finding a win-win for our temporary adversaries and ourselves. Win win solutions occur when real communication is employed. And every time we approach a problem with that goal and a solution in mind, we will find one. We cannot control our exterior world, nor can we make our opponents scrutinize their actions, but we can take responsibility for our role in a disagreement. With mutually honest and non diminishing communication, the solution will appear.

Sometimes, that solution will be mutually agreed upon. Sometimes it won't. But it's non acceptance cannot be our doing. We must always do our best to accept that the fears of others are very real to them. We always carry the olive branch. We are not diminished by being kind and respectful of others. And sometimes we must terminate our relationship with them because we accept and love them. That too, is a solution. That is the space we find ourselves in.

When we seek to understand others first, we examine ourselves and then we listen. What others say will have some merit, there will be some assumptions, judgments, and thus conclusions, and some of that will be completely in err or poor process. Then we seek to be understood. Often we find that we have made the same mistakes. As we employ truthful and respectful communication we learn that we all have unfounded fears and that we often make assumptions and jump to conclusions based on incomplete and inaccurate information. Fear and ego, our old enemies, remain the source of all conflict. In the end, it is so un neccessary that we find it a little embarrassing.

Like love, you must possess understanding and be willing to give it away before you can receive it. That's how it is for us. Diminishing and attack behavior with assumptions, judgments, and hastily drawn conclusions are the symptoms of fear and ego. Those behaviors represent the bondage of the human ego of those who act quickly and do not seek to understand.