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Jun 23, 2009

The 5 People Who Secretly Control Your Life

When you realize how many of your personal preferences are based on nothing more than other people’s views of “acceptable,” it becomes a scary wake up call for setting your own standards.  You don’t want to reach the end of your life realizing that you let somebody else program you to be a “good dog.”

But what you may not realize is just how many people influence your life, feeding you ideas about what is “right,” “wrong,” “good,” “bad,” and practically every other subjective decision making criteria that guides your life.  Some of these ideas are good for you , while others are bad.  (See what I did there?  Hopefully you’re not taking my word for that! :-) )

Whether someone’s influence on you is bad or good isn’t up to me to decide – you’ve got to make the call for yourself.  But chances are you’re not aware of how much external programming you’re soaking in. In fact, there are more people than you’d like to admit secretly controlling your life by influencing how you make your most important, life-guiding choices.  I say “secretly” because we generally don’t even acknowledge that it’s going on.

Let’s look at seven types of people who contribute ingredients to your daily decision making processes, and let awareness do its work in you.

#1 – Your Heroes

The Good: I’m all for having heroes – those powerful people (real or fictional) who you want to emulate so you can become the person  you want to be (if indeed, that’s who you have consciously chosen to become).  Focusing on how a hero would handle your situation can help you detach from unnecessary emotional baggage and focus on doing what needs to be done (despite how small you feel sometimes).

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to cut through the emotional clutter and make a good decision simply by asking myself, “How would (name) handle this?” or “What would (name) think was most important?”  Taking on some of your heroes’ attitudes and views can be a powerful way to overcome emotional resistance.

The Bad: Heroes are often one-dimensional – whether they’re real or fictional.  We tend to put people on a pedestal and think because they are amazing in one sense that all their other capacities are flawless.  But they’re people just like we are, and they have their own failings.  When you emulate heroes, you have to be very careful not to absorb the bad with the good.

Case in point: When I was a teenager I found a very strong role model who was a shining example of hard work, being positive, doing things that supported others in the community and expressing gratitude for life and family.  I made sure to emulate a great deal from him.

But on the flip side, I was acutely aware that as a result of his upbringing, his attitudes towards other races were not as they should have been.  I winced at racially tinged comments and made a mental note not to absorb this part of his personality.  I took the good, and resisted the bad.

Bottom line: You have heroes.  They influence you.  Make sure that you are consciously selective in how they influence you.

#2 – Your Nemesis

Chances are you may have a nemesis, even if you’re not a superhero with a secret identity.  Your nemesis can be someone who you want to be like (but whom you’re jealous toward) or someone you’re feeling directly pitted against (such as a neighbor or relative who constantly one-ups you).

We all like to feel like we’re above such things, but we’re not.  There’s always someone you’re just a little bit jealous of or whom you’re consistently badgered by in regards to your progress or status.  This influences your focus and choices, whether you want it to or not.

The Good: Sometimes a nemesis is good for you – constantly keeping you on your toes and staying one step ahead of you, making you hungry to be, do, and have the things they are having.  Maybe they’re closer to the weight/income/whatever you want to be and you’re jealous – so you commit to taking focused action in order to catch up.  You may be accessing a petty emotion (jealousy), but it’s driving you to do something constructive.

One positive “nemesis” to have is someone on the same side as you are – such as a teammate or co-worker, where the healthy competition creates a positive net result for your side.  Each success of theirs triggers your own sense of drive to equal or surpass them.  You may both be battling for first place, but there’s no real shame in coming in second because your side wins.

The Bad: It’s easy to play the sucker to a nemesis.  Often, you’ll generate huge amounts of stress trying to have what they have, and you can make same pretty stupid decisions in the name of keeping up with them.  You can become extremely petty, burn bridges and actually have a negative impact on the people around you in your quest to never let your nemesis get the best of you.  You become reactive (to their decisions) instead of proactive (making your own choices).

Worse yet, it’s all too common to let a fierce competitive drive push you to expend a huge amount of personal energy and focus into winning, without ever asking yourself if the prize itself is worth it. You may devote years of your life trying to climb one rung higher on a ladder that’s leaning against the wrong wall.

Bottom line: Be very careful when it comes to being jealous – or feeling a personal sense of threat – when it comes to the success of someone else.  It’s a slippery slope that can leave you chasing after a set of standards that aren’t truly your own, simply because you want to be “like them.”

#3 – Your Parents

There’s no denying that your parents are a major source of your attitudes and beliefs, even if that idea makes your skin crawl.  From a very early age, you were spoon-fed the foundations of what you were to consider right and wrong, and you either accepted it or rebelled against it (or in rare cases, actually reasoned out your own beliefs).

There’s nothing accusatory in that statement – it just is.  Our parents’ job is to mold us into people who can function independently, and we take a lot of that conditioning without questioning it.

The Good: Hopefully your parents established positive, uplifting standards in your life.  If they were absent for whatever reason, hopefully you found a positive role model.  Parents can be a powerful force in helping you mature, guiding you around some of the foolish pitfalls you might otherwise have to experience on your own.

You should definitely look at your parents (or parent figures) as guides who can teach you the wisdom they learned through painful trial and error.  Most of the time they (hopefully) will genuinely look out for you and keep your best interests at heart, and that’s worth modeling.

The Bad: Since our parents are the first authority figures we come to know, we tend to put them on a pedestal early in life, thinking they know absolutely everything about life.  That means some of our basic beliefs, opinions and life direction are stamped from their mold.  But their mold may not even be remotely right for our lives, because it carries the baggage of their individual lives (and that of their parents).

Sometimes this means you’re conditioned to believe in scarcity. Sometimes it’s cynicism, or racism, or sexism, or whatever kind of -ism dominated their formative years.  It’s hard to stomach, but in some cases we may have had parents who just plain indifferent to creating a fulfilling life or sadder yet, wanted to be better role models but just didn’t know how.  Their limiting beliefs may – when transferred to you – be what’s holding you back.

Bottom line: A lot of who you are is shaped by who your parents were, so it’s critically important that you ask yourself if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  If it’s good and lends you strength, keep it.  If it’s bad and transmits weakness to you, break the habit.

#4 – Your Partner

Your partner is someone you spend an extraordinary amount of time with, and from an emotional standpoint is likely one of the strongest influences on your life.  And because our fear of being rejected by (or disappointing) our partners is such a powerful force, it can easily make us adjust our personal standards in ways we would never have done on our own.

The Good: In many cases, opposites attract (because hell, wouldn’t being around someone just like us make us bored – or crazy?).  This means that your partner likely has many strengths you don’t, which can be a catalyst in making us want to raise our standards to match them – especially if they are particularly demanding of them.

A good partner complements you, opening your eyes to new ways of thinking, behaving and just being.  Witnessing their standards can positively mold your own.

The Bad: Because we spend so much time around our partners, and we want to be on good terms with them, we can begin to experience entrainment - we are likely fall into the same patterns they have.  If their standards are not as strong as ours, that can bring us down to their level.  (And it works both ways – you might be the negative force on them!)

This can create a strong negative pattern that’s hard to break, because once the two of you have relaxed your standards, it’s more difficult to generate the desire to snap out of it and break free.  Your new, lowered standards become “normal.”  The two of you may not even realize that you’re drifting downward.

And it may not even be intentional.  Your partner (or you, if you’re a negative influence on them) may not even be consciously choosing to lower their standards.  They may have simply become sidetracked by life, as we all are, and let one standard slide so that they could focus on what’s more important in the moment.  God knows we’ve all done the same thing.

The challenge there is once the standard is relaxed, it often doesn’t ever get strengthened again.  So you need to be vigilant and proactive in keeping the standards you want in place (or raising them back to where they were if you’ve let them slide).  It’s not easy, but it’s tragic when it doesn’t get done.

A quick note on this: I’ve heard a lot of people talk about having to distance themselves from “negative people,” and they take that to mean they ditch their partners and family members.  There’s a fine line there.  While I’m 100% behind separating yourself from someone who is dead-set on being consciously abusive to you or who is invincibly poisonous to your well-being, I think that some people use this as a crutch to justify giving up on people who are simply difficult to deal with.

Some people say that their partners are “always negative” or “a pain” or even “unwilling to change.” If you’re thinking along the same lines, I challenge you get brutally honest and ask yourself if the real problem is that they’re simply mirroring your standards?  I know that in my life, I tend to get most frustrated with people who  – wait for it – demonstrate my own weaknesses.  It’s crazy.  It’s also human nature, because I see it in others all the time.

If you have a partner who you feel has lower standards than yours, may I suggest that you entertain the possibility that you’re in the position to be a positive influence?  It’s not the easy way out, I know, but it may just be the challenge they’re secretly waiting for you to take up, but are too shy to ask. :-)

Bottom line: Your partner and you control each other’s lives more than you probably acknowledge.  Use that power over their standards for good, and not evil (or worse yet, indifference).  And if your partner’s standards are dragging you down, don’t make ditching them your first option – instead, lock in a core group of friends who have higher standards so you can keep yours up, and raise your partner up in the process.

#5 – The Man (Or Woman) In The Mirror

This may be the hardest person to fight back against you’ll ever meet – the person who you imagine is looking at you from the other side of the mirror.  We are our own worst critics – constantly sizing ourselves up in ways that we’d never judge other people while at the same time resisting the acceptance of positive messages as “not a big deal.”  Many of us can’t stand to face the person staring at us in the bathroom mirror (and some people even remove mirrors from their house entirely because their self-loathing is so strong).

This is a tough one.  This is all about looking at our self image, our identity, the mish-mash of opinions, feelings, and baggage we carry and really asking ourselves how it all comes together.  The truly frightening thing is that for so many of us our self-image is a prison, yet it’s the single thing we have total control of in our life.

The Good: That morning mirror check can be a mini-accountability session that you experience every day, if you focus on who you want that person in the mirror to be. When you consciously decide to raise your standards – or simply stick to the ones you have – you get to look yourself straight in the eye and ask if you’re holding up your end of the bargain.

If you’re focusing on your successes – the things you’ve done right in your life, the good decisions you’ve made and the lives you’ve impacted (even if it is only one life) – then looking into the mirror will strengthen you.  It will become an exercise in celebrating your victories and steeling yourself for even greater challenges in the future.

And if you’re shuddering at that notion because you view congratulating yourself as narcissistic, or egotistical, or self-centered, get over it.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  If you build yourself up on a daily basis, you will be in a better position to be a positive influence on others.  I give this example a lot, but it’s like the safety cards on airplanes show – when you take the oxygen mask and put it over your face first, then you can help take care of other people.

This isn’t about saying, “I’m the greatest, people should be impressed by me” – it’s about saying “I have a lot going for me and I should feel really uplifted by it.”

The Bad: The mirror can be the scariest thing in the world if you’ve been conditioned to look down on yourself (whether by parental criticism, bad experience, or those damned beauty magazines).  You look in the mirror and you judge yourself – you’re not pretty/thin/attractive enough, you’re a loser/fraud/sham, you’re not anywhere close to where you wanted to be at this point in your life.  Every failure you’ve experienced (or imagined!), every harsh word or insult you’ve received, it all comes back to you in a rush of depression as you see that tired face in the mirror.

Now it may be just me, but that sounds like the height of self-centeredness.  To hold on to every negative impression about ourselves as tightly as possible and refuse to let go, because we are so convinced that we are terrible people … it’s borderline insanity, and yet it’s what every single one of us does on a daily basis, to one degree or another.

And if you think “successful” people are above that sort of thing, think again.  If anything, it’s more acute, because they’re generally exposed to even more people who judge them (sometimes fairly, sometimes just out of spite, and sometimes very publicly).  No matter what your position in life, you’re going to have ample “reasons” to beat yourself up.

But holding on to these “reasons” is not in your best self interest (or in the interest of those who you can influence positively).  It locks you into a downward spiral of resentment that some people never pull their way out of.

If that describes you, then you need to start pulling yourself out of that spiral, because no one can do it for you.  And while that may seem like an impossible task, it starts with a simple act of self-defense:

The next time you pass a mirror, look straight into it and no matter how you feel about yourself in the moment, say these words: “I refuse to give up on you.  That’s my standard.”

You probably won’t feel anything different the first time you do this – or the second, or even the tenth.  But if you stick with it, you’ll begin conditioning yourself to pull out of the emotional hole you’ve dug, and start making the changes in standards and behavior that will improve your self-image.  When you tell yourself you’re worth fighting for, eventually you will fight – and you’ll ultimately win.  Just don’t give up.  You are worth it.

Bottom line: Nobody is going to fight your inner battles for you, so you have to do it yourself.  You have the power to set a new standard where you actively build yourself up on a daily basis and stop beating yourself up – but only if you choose to.

The Choice Is Yours – Program Yourself Or Be Programmed By Others

Other people wield an enormous influence on your standards on a daily basis.  If you’re not consciously deciding to filter that influence, you’re setting yourself up to become a puppet pulled by strings you can’t even see.

Increase your awareness, and increase your personal power over your life – and when you look in the mirror, you’ll like what you see more, day after day.


36 Responses to “The 5 People Who Secretly Control Your Life”

  • Jun 23, 2009 Shevonne

    Very true post. I forwarded to a few people.

    Shevonne’s last blog post..Does the “Like” Link Work in Seesmic?

  • Jun 23, 2009 Positively Present

    What a great post! I love this! Of course I know that, in some ways, others control us, but I love the way you’ve outlined it here. I think one of the most important things to consider is the person in the mirror. How much control do you have over what s/he thinks? While others can have huge impacts on our lives, it’s ultimately up to us to live the way we want to live.

    Positively Present’s last blog post..a happy life is not a perfect life

  • Jun 23, 2009 Chris Anderson

    Just wanted to say real quick I just found your blog yesterday and I love it. Your forward and straight to the point. And you touch on things most others won’t. Most awesome.

    Now for this post, it’s actually something I was just thinking about recently. Sometimes it seems like it easier to find people that influence you in a bad way. But I think you can learn something from everyone you know. You just have to be selective.

    People can definitely have a huge effect on you and your world. It’s wise to watch what influences you take in.

    Awesome post!

    Chris Anderson’s last blog post..Small Vault Update

  • Jun 23, 2009 James Chartrand - Men with Pens

    Damn, well done, Dave. This was great.

    I’ll add two to your list: Your Peers and Your Friends.

    Peers are the people who run in your circle, who do what you do, who are co-workers or teammates or people you know in the industry. They can certainly provide you with inspiration and motivation to grow and evolve at their rate – but you may also feel guilty or like a failure when you can’t keep up. The trick is to remember that you are you, and no one is like you, and you do things your way, the way that works, to reach your goals.

    Friends are the ones that will support you through your struggles and cheer for your victories. They’ll be there to listen and pat your back, and they give you that safety net you sometimes need, or a board to bounce ideas off. But they also don’t live your life, and can end up not being understanding of what you need or what you do. They can demand your time, too, and if you have many friends, you’ll soon find yourself having to learn how to say no to the people you love. The trick is to remember that good friends will love you just the same and won’t make you feel guilty.

    Cheers!

    James Chartrand – Men with Pens’s last blog post..WordPress 2.8: It’s Time to Upgrade Your Site

  • Jun 23, 2009 Genuine Chris Johnson

    Best post in a month, really.

    You have also got to be able to be honest with your people in your world without rancor or punishment. You have got to be able to make sure they are free to help you see yourself.

    Genuine Chris Johnson’s last blog post..Bullying People Is A Distraction: False Courage and a Monday Mea Culpa.

  • Jun 23, 2009 Deb Owen

    You are on a roll here lately, aren’t you? ;-)

    In a group coaching teleclass just yesterday, we talked about relationships and negative people and I made that same comment. There are varying degrees of negativity. There are varying degrees of relationships. Sometimes, working through the difficulties in relationships makes the relationships stronger and makes us ‘better people’ in the process.

    Thanks for another great, thought-provoking post!
    All the best!
    deb

    Deb Owen’s last blog post..are you living life by default? or on purpose?

  • Jun 23, 2009 Chas

    Good post, dude. It’s always nice when someone points out the strings that are moving us through life. Also nice cos it’s an awareness thing instead of a list of things to do. I like that.

  • Jun 23, 2009 Lisa Holmes

    Amazing and wonderful post! I think we do absorb much more than we think from the people around us, both the positive and the negative. It’s difficult sometimes to separate the messages though. I think your advice about increasing awareness is spot-on and wonderful.

    And, your wife does rock!

  • Jun 23, 2009 Srinivas Rao

    Love this post. It’s like waking up from the matrix :) and realizing that there are programs all around us that are influencing us.

  • Jun 23, 2009 Jennifer Escalona

    I really loved this post. As a writer, I immediately applied this to writing. Sometimes we are so bound by writing conventions, the opinions of colleagues or workshops, and “what has been done before” that we writers don’t feel free to strike out into new ground. And of course, we all know that uncharted territory is where all the great discoveries are made. Thank you for explaining this concept so pragmatically!

    Jennifer Escalona’s last blog post..Freelance Writers, Stand Your Ground and Don’t Make This Rookie Mistake

  • Jun 23, 2009 Kelly

    So true…and so very hard to hold onto, especially if you’re conditioning has been so strong to be diffferent than who you really ARE. It is an ongoing journey to pulling yourself away from the glue that wants to keep you trapped in those old belief systems – or to value other people’s opinions more than your own.

    The struggle is worth it, of course, and certainly being in a community like this one helps shore you up. The only life worth living is the authentic life…and it can take the whole of it to just figure out what that means. But what an exploration!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Jun 23, 2009 Jahnelle Pittman

    Came across a RT on Twitter with your blog link and hit on one of them about half an hour ago. I’ll have to spend some time on your blog to reread – I just soaked it up and moved on to the next. I had to stop and comment on this one, though.

    The last bottom line – for the person in the mirror – struck me hard.

    “Nobody is going to fight your inner battles for you, so you have to do it yourself. You have the power to set a new standard where you actively build yourself up on a daily basis and stop beating yourself up – but only if you choose to.”

    It’s only been in the last six years that I realized this bit of wisdom and set out to figure out what I wanted my standards to be. Before, I was the depressed individual living passively. Now, I’ve set my standards, set my principals and built them to a strength that (in weak moments where I might try) I can’t drop them.

    It hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been fun, but it’s been worth it. One of the things I’ve noticed, that I wanted to mention, is that once you have those standards it becomes that much easier to recognize when others are influencing you. I have finally – FINALLY – reached a place where I am confident, strong and (fairly) well-balanced.

    I think that’s where the awareness comes in. If you put in the work to get where you want to be, to be who you want to be, to succeed at life, you start to become aware of the situations/comments/thoughts/patterns that might put you back where you started.

    Excellent post, Dave – I’m a new fan! Now to see what I can glean from the time management riffs… too much to do and there NEVER seems to be enough time. lol

  • Jun 24, 2009 Craig

    Very nice post. I totally agree with your points. Especially the partner issue, I’m currently going through the whole ‘lower standards’ thingy-ma-jiggy.

    Craig’s last blog post..5 Tips to Improve your Blogging

  • Jun 24, 2009 Annie O

    Some things never change do they? As I read the articles and the comments I couldn’t help but think about the peer pressures as a teen. We tend to think of peer pressure on teens as bad but peer pressure is actually just influence and that can be bad, good, and indifferent.

    I like what you have to say because it’s putting the responsibility of influences on the influencee. It’s about being proactive and then becoming selective and that comes with experience and experience promotes maturity.

    Great article on raising awareness.

  • Jun 29, 2009 Cath Duncan

    Hi Dave,

    Great stuff in here. When we realise how we’re influenced by other people (and who those other people tend to be), we realise how much it’s all a figment of our own imagination, and how we really don’t have to be so worried about what those people think – often they don’t even think what we think they think. And a lot of the time, they’re someone who’s our “nemesis”/ not important to us… yet we let those thoughts about them affect us so strongly.

    Thanks Dave,
    Cath

    Cath Duncan’s last blog post..How to use Agile Momentum to Escape Your Cubicle

  • Jun 30, 2009 Zemalf

    Great article, sent me thinking about stuff again :)

    Overcoming oneself is the biggest obstacle/constraint there is. People are masters at underestimating themselves (perhaps influenced by other people to do so?) and overestimating others (especially those heroes). So it’s easy to give up, before even trying. I’d hope everyone not to let others or themselves put them down, but go for the goals they want to achieve.

    Zemalf’s last blog post..Top 5 Free Tools to Organize Your Ideas and Blog Posts

  • Jul 3, 2009 Alex Damien

    Great post! I loved the way you put both sides of the coin in all the people who influence us and how we can chose to take the good and the bad. I especially liked the heroes one. Because althought I strive to remember that we all are just imperfect people, it’s really hard to keep it in mind with people that we really admire and strive to be like.
    Thanks for the post, it was very useful!

    Alex Damien’s last blog post..Corruption Of The Self

  • Jul 3, 2009 Kelly McCausey

    Dave, I loved this! I realized a couple of years ago that I let my ‘nemesis’ influence me just by paying attention to her. I stopped give her any attention at all and set up a new rule for myself. If I notice that my thought and emotional responses to a person are more negative than positive – I just cut them out.

    It has had a great impact on me :) Helped me to focus on people that are a blessing to me and my life.

  • Jul 8, 2009 Sean Oliver

    Thanks for your posts. You provide just a large enough nudge to break me out of my complacency.

  • Apr 12, 2010 lesa beamer

    enjoying your candor and honesty. We need to touch those dark spots.. we all have them. Having worked my way from youth to present with the odds stacked against me, Best thing I ever learned, opinions of naysayers… are not worth acknowledging. And I was stubborn enough to prove them wrong so I excelled. But I still let it hurt me, now… its just air. You rock and I am glad to see some gut honest work. GO forth and rock!

  • Apr 12, 2010 Barbara D

    Wow, I just scanned the subheads and was blown away. Great list. Will definitely carve out some time to read this post!

  • Apr 12, 2010 Carol Roth

    I would add a 6th if you have a business- your customers!

  • Apr 12, 2010 Ashleylynne

    Great slap across the face today Dave… just what I needed… I think I’ll favourite this one! :)

  • Apr 12, 2010 Lesley

    I love love love the section about the mirror here. I need to do this more often. It’s so hard to let go of the influences others have on you and to really fight for yourself and your own standards.

    Dave, you make me look forward to Mondays. Seriously.
    Lesley´s last blog ..Mom, is that you?? My ComLuv Profile

  • Apr 12, 2010 Toby Martini

    Dave,

    Just a few days ago, you said, “Give up” and now you say, “Just don’t give up.”

    And both are perfectly justified by their context. Fun! I love contradictions that make sense. People are multi-faceted.

    My main comment is that when I started to read this, I thought it was going to be about how these others influence your very definition of success.

    You know many people want to drive some particular brand of car. Truth is most of them got the very idea of having that car from others, including ads, but mostly from the people named above.

    It’s just another thing to look into: Are your definitions of success YOUR definitions of success or are you co-opting them?

    Nothing wrong with those definitions, but you (we, everyone) should take the time to investigate where you got those definitions and if they really are the things that would leave you happy, peaceful, and fulfilled.

    Cheers!
    Toby
    (I smell a blog post brewing.)
    Toby Martini´s last blog ..Welcome Video My ComLuv Profile

  • Apr 12, 2010 marshall | genverters.com

    Person #5, the one in the mirror. That’s where all the work begins. Spent some time with very successful friend last week. Guess what? In our time together, it was clear they battle person #5 too! There is hope :)
    marshall | genverters.com´s last blog ..Off Grid Thoughtfulness My ComLuv Profile

  • Apr 12, 2010 Tracy Todd

    I’m so glad I found your blog. Some excellent stuff… thank you!
    Tracy Todd´s last blog ..I Am a Horse My ComLuv Profile

  • Apr 12, 2010 Melanie

    This one’s a doozy, Dave!

    The words that just jump right off the page for me are:

    “The next time you pass a mirror, look straight into it and no matter how you feel about yourself in the moment, say these words: “I refuse to give up on you. That’s my standard.”

    Very profound, very powerful, and …

    Very influential! :-)
    Melanie´s last blog ..Nothing Tops A Toot Of The Horn To Validate You As An Expert My ComLuv Profile

  • Apr 12, 2010 Teresa Linton

    I agree with all you have said, and the sixth, the customer as Carol said, and then your staff maybe?
    A great post, thank you.

  • Apr 12, 2010 althea sammy

    For three years I have been trying to please my partner and could not find time to study really prepare a thesis. Today he gave me the boot said my actions spoke louder than words. So much for trying now I have to look in the mirror and influence me to regain my balance and do the things I must. Thank you so much NEW beginning new influences.

  • Apr 15, 2010 ThoughtEyeNew

    i am a newborn baby. what artificial information or artificial emotion are you going to put in my brain. in what language? why?

    awareness only arrives for me from the viewpoint of me as a newborn baby with a mostly empty brain.

    when i think of the ridiculousness that parents, government, school system, media, previous society people installed in my brain that i have had to repair, delete, correct, improve makes me hope people on this planet are in for a massive awareness awakening at some point.

    i need not be accepted, approved of, enabled or justified by the people in my brains recording of the outside world.

    i create a new improved path based on improving consequence.

    thank you for your articles to consider, dave.

  • Apr 19, 2010 Laura

    Food for thought, Dave. Thanks for this – it’s a great kick in the butt, and though it’s often hard to look behind that face in the mirror, we might be amazed at what we see. Especially if we’ve created something good.

  • Jul 13, 2010 Mari

    Whoa. The, “I refuse to give up on you. That’s my standard.” line made me well up when I read it. There is one specific issue I’m working through where I’ve not been able to figure out how to get past the counterproductive payoff I get for not progressing. I think that line holds the key.

    Thank you.

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