On Taking Your Personal Development Seriously – Day 153 of 365 Days to a Better You

Here is a quote from George Gurdjieff talking about the importance, significance, and urgency with which must address our self-development. The final line is very reminiscent of the Buddha’s aphorism that, “The problem is that you think you have time.”

He also astutely reminds us that freedom is the the best environment to pursue our goals of self-awareness. How true.

“We must strive for freedom if we strive for self-knowledge. The task of self-knowledge and of further self-development is of such importance and seriousness, it demands such intensity of effort, that to attempt it any old way and amongst other things is impossible. The person who undertakes this task must put it first in his life, which is not so long that he can afford to squander it on trifles.”

~ George Gurdjieff

Stay inspired!

Ray

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Why Me Syndrome – Day 58 – 365 Days to a Better You

“In times like these,” the late Paul Harvey once observed, “it helps to recall there have always been times like these.”

Have you ever been standing nearby when someone says, “Why does this always happen to me?” Have you ever said it yourself? I certainly have from time-to-time. It normally leaves our mouths in a moment of unconscious exasperation when we’d readily believe the entire universe had aligned for the specific purpose of cheating us.

Truth is that proverbial “this,” whatever it may be, doesn’t happen to us alone. These sorts of things happen to all of us. The light turns red just as you approach the intersection. The grocery line moves particularly slowly. Someone else gets the last ticket to the sold out concert.

The difference in your perspective is that you are present every single time something like that does happen to you. You’re not present when it happens to your brother, mother, friend, spouse, child or enemy. Thus, it feels like it only happens to you.

I’ve always loved the above Paul Harvey quote. When you face one of those moments when the formation of the solar system seems like a vast plot to stick it to you, think about this quote. Replace the phrase, “times like these,” with the phrase, “moments like these.”

It’s true. There have always been moments like these and they happen to everyone all the time. It’s part of the human experience.

Power hack: If the gentle reminder of this quote doesn’t achieve the desired shift in perspective, consider this. Call to mind three or four moments when it felt like the universe bent over backwards to see your dreams to fruition. Recall moments when it felt like the clouds parted and the sun shone just for you.

As surely as we’ve all had the “Why Me” moments, we’ve had a bundle of moments that fill us with gratitude. In the big scheme of things, the universe really does rain blessings and setbacks on everyone in a relatively equal way.

I always like to say that roadblocks are simply shortcuts to something better than you had planned.

Your decision is which kinds of moments rule your mindset.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Judging Others

A friend of mine on Facebook posed a question about whether the concern about judging others, a relatively recent human ethic, had any value or whether judging could even be avoided. Here was my reply.

Practically speaking, it’s impossible not to judge things. I used to tick mark the number of times each day I did it and it was many. That process did make me more aware and reflective about it. Our minds seem hard-wired to judge, evaluate, and compare. It’s the way this tendency is so easily manipulated and the ready access to a place to “shout” those judgments that has made us a coarser society.

That said, this is an area we could all work on. I think there is a valuable ethic to be had here. The genesis of that ethic is the dilemma eloquently posed by Jesus. “Let be who is without sin cast the first stone.”

What I’ve noted over time is that hypocrisy and a lack of compassion are often huge components of judgment. That’s what Jesus was saying. Who among you has moral standing to judge someone else?

Tolstoy wrote, “Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks about changing himself.”

Judgement, especially overt judgment, is often about deflection and dereliction of the one duty we have in this life….to better the mind and the heart we occupy.

Not judging at all may be beyond us. Judging less harshly, with compassion, and an understanding of the places we have fallen short may be the goal to aspire to.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is an author, founder of The Affirmation Spot, and co-founder of 6 Sense Media.

His current latest novel is Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com – founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race. He’s life-long history buff and holds a B.S. in History Education. He’s always been fascinated by alternative views of history.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous. 

Who Determines Your Happiness or Success? – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday August 12, 2011

Thought:Whoever or whatever controls the criteria for your happiness and success, controls your happiness and success.”

raised_arms_horizonThink about that statement for a moment. Now consider who or what is setting the criteria for your success and happiness in life? Is it you?

Giving up control of your happiness and success has become a common trap in our society. People allow institutions, other people, or their own rigid beliefs to limit or squelch their happiness and success. The barriers become so many and so high that hardly any happiness or success can be enjoyed. Sadly, many people do not even realize they have done so.

Advertisers, politicians, and religious institutions are often active players in asking people to cede their happiness or success to the criteria they set. They set a standard and rely on fear, base instincts, and subconcious/unconscious programming to embed their controlling messages. We can have tremendous reason to be happy or feel successful, but someone is telling us that we cannot be, until we…[fill in the blank].

Here are a few examples of the conscious or unconscious criteria that begin to impact our ability to achieve and enjoy happiness or success. Sometimes these criteria even have noble purposes or great goals behind them, but they are not reason to put your enjoyment of life on hold.

  • “I drink beer brand A because I can only be happy if I have the attention of attractive women.”
  • “I can only be happy as a size 4 because when I look in the magazines that’s who gets the attention.”
  • “I can only be happy when I have a bigger house or more clothes.”
  • “I can’t be happy because I’m an imperfect sinner and not worthy.”
  • “I can’t be happy until all poverty is wiped out.”
  • “Success means having a foreign sports car and a summer beach house. I’m not a success until I have those.”
  • “Success means having a championship ring. All my accomplishments are nothing without that.”

Sometimes we give other people the power to set the criteria for our happiness or success. Sometimes they will it away from us as a means of control.

  • “I’ll never be happy until I’m one of the popular kids.”
  • “I can’t be happy until my son is married.”
  • “I cannot be happy as long he is the president.”
  • “I can only be happy when my husband or wife approves of me.”
  • “I cannot be happy until I have my dad’s approval.”
  • “I’m not be a success until I prove to “them” that I am a success.”

Our words have power! And when we place preconditions on our happiness and success or allow others to, we lose. Our lives pass by unfulfilled.

All of these things are worthy goals when you choose and pursue them on your own accord. It’s fine to work to change who is president, to make your spouse as happy as possible, to purchase clothes that you like. What’s not OK is to allow these things to be criteria for your success or happiness.

There is no secret, objective happiness gained from being a size 4, a millionaire, or having your dad’s approval. Of course, the easy proof of this is that there are plenty of unhappy size 4s and happy size 18s, there are miserable millionaires and happy janitors, and there are just as many unhappy people who have dad’s approval as don’t.

Goals are fine. Aim for the size 4 or the million dollars. Just don’t make it prerequisite for enjoying a satisfying life. When you do you are placing your hope for happiness or success in an external, future condition that does not even guarantee the success or happiness when achieved.

You are allowing your experience of happiness or success to be held hostage to these criteria. You are placing your happiness and success at the mercy of subjective criteria and circumstances set and controlled by others. Why? Your happiness and your success are right here for you to access and enjoy right now.

Thought: “Happiness and success are not matters of fate, faith, or circumstance. They are states of mind that we choose or reject.”

The keys to owning your own happiness and success are fivefold.

  1. Identify – recognize the areas of your life where you have allowed someone or something outside of you to set the criteria for your happiness or success. Make a list if it helps you organize your thoughts.
  2. Reclaim Control – take responsibility. Your happiness and success are yours. That entails some responsibility and it is one reason many people give it away to begin with. Recognize that you gave control over your success and happiness away and you can take it back. When other people or institutions have had their control over your success or happiness for a long time they may fight to keep it through guilt or other means. The fact is your happiness and your success belong to you not to them. Claim it!
  3. Lower Barriers – some of us have a difficult time accepting and claiming our happiness and success. You may not feel worthy of these feelings. Even when you gain back control you may establish impossibly high barriers for yourself or continue to use the criteria established for you by others. This gains you nothing. Become friends with the idea of you having success and happiness in your life. If there are hidden emotions or thoughts that are preventing you from enjoying them, get some support or use techniques to identify and handle what is holding you back.
  4. Experience and Enjoy – when you are in control of your own happiness and success and you have an easy, comfortable relationship with them; life is good! Experience your happiness! Celebrate your successes! Share and spread your happiness and success with others.
  5. Help Others – when you experience the emancipation of owning your happiness and success you will want to help others do the same. You will become easily aware of the ways in which people let these influences rob them of their best moments and achievements. There is no reason for us to live in bondage to other peoples’ expecations or criteria. We are as able as they to determine what makes us happy or successful and far more entitled!

Follow your bliss! Experience your bliss! Become your bliss!

Ray

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams. He is author of the ebook The Power to Be You and the forthcoming The Power to Be You 2.

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Today’s Forecast – The Affirmation Spot for Friday January 22, 2010

stepping stonesHere is the forecast for your day today.

Today: A powerful storm of success and happiness is forming in your vicinity. Looks like soaking growth-based rains leading to new self-discoveries and ever-growing opportunities.

Tonight: Clearing with a 100% chance of inspiration. Lows in the mid high achiever range.

Tomorrow: Sunny and warm as a high pressure project moves over your area. A gentle tail wind blows at your back, it looks like smooth sailing all the way to your dreams.

Stay inspired!

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Your Purpose – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday March 18, 2008

Thank you for visiting The Affirmation Spot. Your comments on the blog or this article are always welcome. What do you think? Please click here to comment on today’s blog.




ray_launchpad.jpgDownload 2 Affirmations, Get 1 Free!

Take your positive thoughts with you wherever you go. During the month of March Download any two mp3 affirmations from The Affirmation Spot.com and get a third mp3 affirmation free.There are no limits! Simply type the word “blog” into the coupon field at checkout. Thanks for getting your audio affirmations at The Affirmation Spot! Click here to view, hear excerpts, or download affirmations.

Today’s featured affirmation is:

“I am working consciously toward a greater opening of my heart and my mind.” (repeats 5 times)
“You are working consciously toward a greater opening of your heart and your mind.” (repeats 5 times)

Hear an audio mp3 version of this affirmation right now.


Ralph Waldo Emerson

“None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Just a reminder that you are a brilliant and capable person. Your gifts and your destiny are your own. Not one other person in the world has the mission you are here to complete. It is unique to you.

A powerful engine can be silenced by one tiny valve not performing its function. Though your role may seem tiny and inconsequential in the big scheme of things, the perfection of the entire universe awaits your contribution.

No writer, philosopher, or poet can whisper that purpose into your ear. No love, friend, or colleague can, by persuasion, convince you to pursue it. No politician, employer, or religious leader can empower you to achieve it.

Only you can listen to the voice. Only you can persuade you. Only you can empower you.

The only dilemma is will you or won’t you?

Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

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A Challenge to Change – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday March 5, 2008

Thank you for visiting The Affirmation Spot. Your comments on the blog or this article are always welcome. What do you think? Please click here to comment on today’s blog.




ray_launchpad.jpgWhat Ray’s reading right now:

April and I are reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. This is the latest Oprah’s Book Club selection. Oprah and the author Eckhart Tolle are hosting a 10-week online course covering this book began Monday March 3. The program begin each Monday evening at 9:00 eastern, 8:00 central time in the U.S. They recommend reading the book before the class. You can register for free at Oprah.com



Big March MP3 Affirmation Sale!

Take your positive thoughts with you wherever you go. During the month of March Download any two mp3 affirmations from The Affirmation Spot.com and get a third mp3 affirmation free. There are no limits! You can download 20 and get 10 free. Simply type the word “blog” into the coupon field at checkout. Thanks for getting your audio affirmations at The Affirmation Spot! Click here to view, hear excerpts, or download affirmations.Today’s featured affirmation is:

“A new sense of purpose is totally permeating my being. I am upbeat and moving toward my goals.”
Download an audio mp3 version of this affirmation right now.



I hope everyone is enjoying the last gasps of winter. Now the time has come to begin moving into a Spring mentality.

Seasonal changes are gentle reminders that change is an inevitability in our lives.  The question for us to answer is whether we will be the authors of the change or its victims? Change is a hot commodity right now. The presidential candidacy of Barack Obama has focused on change as a theme.We seem to want change, but we must embody any change we hope to see in ourselves or in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.”

Here is a question for you.

Are you where you want to be in your life? Personally, spiritually, financially? Are you ready to be the change you want to see in your life?

You know the changes you want to make. Somewhere you probably have a list of changes you want to make. They’re probably left over from some New Year’s resolutions or the plan you started planning a new life strategy last summer. Human nature, though, is to put them off. We convince ourselves to wait for a better time.

Mark Twain once said, “I fully support progress. It’s change that I object to.”

As ever Twain was speaking tongue-in-cheek, but his statement is true of many of us much of the time. We want t to improve our circumstances. We are simply unwilling to make the changes necessary to bring the improvements about. And so, we miss out on tremendous benefits that we might have enjoyed.

Change is a difficult because we find, upon reflection, that we operate a large portion of our lives on auto-pilot. Our modern society often has us so stretched by external concerns that addressing our interior life takes a back seat. We find ourselves lacking the energy and the insight to shift our perspectives in ways leading to the kind of personal growth we want to achieve.

Is that how you really want to go through life?

So, challenge yourself this week to take the time for some self-reflection.  Focus on the changes you would really like to see in your life.  Develop the insight necessary to make them happen. If you start now, by the time the grass starts to green and the temperatures start to change for the warmer, you will be well on your way to changing too. 

Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

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