Force of Habit

Just over five years ago I created a new habit.

I decided, and chose, every week to write a series of ‘insights’ of which this is number 280.

I didn’t write them in bulk because I wanted them to be what I was inspired (what came in to my spirit) to write at the time.

Habit is a curious thing.

Once formed they act as a control, even an operating system, managing what we do on a regular basis.

You and I ‘get into the habit’ of doing certain things, thinking certain things, in a certain way at a certain interval.

We like habits precisely because they give us this ‘certainty’.

Habits are what you and I do regardless of others’ judgement of them being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – and of course sometimes we perceive our own habits in this way

You and I have our own ‘good’ and ‘bad’ habits – even though we often deny those we or others perceive to be ‘bad’.

They are like rules – rules we’ve made for ourselves.

We are ‘creatures of habit’ and we follow those rules come what may.

They govern a large proportion of what we do: when we go to bed, when we get up, when we have meals and what we eat, which direction we choose when we park our car, which shops we frequent – and so on, and on.

Until.

Until we suddenly realise, for one reason or another, our habits are restricting our freedom.

Have you noticed when you go on holiday your daily routine changes?

Our ‘freedom paradigms’ change when on holiday and often they change at ‘weekends’.

We have different sets of rules, different habits we’ve created for ourselves to suit different occasions, but we still have different behaviour patterns for home, work, weekends, holidays and whatever else we do.

What would it be like if we dropped all those habits?

Would we then get into the ‘habit’ of making sure each day we did something different from yesterday?

You and I don’t consciously create habits to restrict or personal freedom, but it is what we do.

Or is it?

Perhaps freedom and habit are two sides of the same coin.

You and I are free to create whatever habits we like, we are free to create our own rules, but – we mustn’t forget we are also free to break our own rules and change our habits whenever we see fit.

Most people don’t ‘get’ this – most people don’t ‘get’ freedom.

They don’t understand what it is, they think they know, but really they don’t.

What’s your perception of freedom? (Do please reply to this)

I am changing a habit right now.

This habit.

My mission is to help as many people as I can, one by one, fully understand Freedom and how they, personally, can find it in reality.

I am creating The Freedom Academy.

I don’t know all the answers, I’m not the ‘authority on freedom’, but over the past few years I’ve come to understand it much better than I have in the past.

I need your help

This is the last ‘Wednesday Insight’ as such. Now I’ll be writing monthly ‘The Freedom Letter’ which will be more detailed and cover specific aspects of freedom.

Meanwhile, I’ll be asking some short simple questions, to discover your ‘take’ on Freedom.

What it means to you and how ‘free’ you feel.

Join me in The Freedom Academy. Together we can, as they say, ‘make a difference’ and help others find their ‘personal freedom identity’.

Meanwhile, thank you for ‘listening’ over the past five years.

Best Wishes

Ben Coker

The Freedom Coach

“To Infinity and Beyond!”

Buzz Lightyear has a lot to answer for.

Generations of children have grown up with the belief there is something ‘beyond’ infinity.

It may seem light-hearted, but it has created a serious misconception about the universe, reflected in many science fiction stories as well.

Now, I’m usually a fan of Sci-Fi but the idea of ‘multiple’ universes has now crept in to scientific or perhaps mathematical research, attempting to prove, by manipulation of numbers, they exist.

There is only ‘one’ universe and it is infinite – the trouble is by using the terms ‘one’ and ‘it’, even I am implying there might be more.

An example of where our use of the concept of number leads us astray.

The universe IS and is infinite.

As earthbound beings we have a fixation with order and logic and numbers, shape and distance, time and space. Everything has to be in its place and under control.

But like ‘The Prisoner’ the universe “will not be pushed, filed, indexed, stamped . . . or numbered” it’s ‘life’ is its own and it’s not easy to bring order and control to something infinite.

Other sentient beings on this planet are far too intelligent to attempt it; instead, they ‘go with the flow’.

Philosophers and scientists have forever been attempting to ‘make sense’ of the universe and our lives as part of it so they can bring order and control to our lives.

We, humanity, have invented time, space, dimensions and all sorts of other concepts, especially the idea of linearity which I’ve discussed before.

There I go again, ‘before’ and ‘after’ – bringing in linearity and time to ‘make sense’ of things.

We talk about ‘the creation’ whether this was an act of God or some sort of ‘big bang’; but what if there was no ‘creation’ of the Universe?

No ‘beginning’ and no ‘end’?

Nothing to see here, move along. . .”

Wouldn’t it make things so much more simple?

You see, we don’t have to make things so complicated by ordering, categorising, measuring, timing and everything else we do to gain ‘understanding’.

We could just accept things as they are, couldn’t we?

I have a sign on my desk given to me by Bob Proctor – “It is what it is . . . accept it”

Learn to accept there is nothing wrong with chaos.

‘It’ doesn’t have to be tamed or ordered, measured or categorised. ‘It’ IS and there’s the end of it.

Of course, you’re probably now thinking ‘what on earth is he talking about?’

(I wonder myself sometimes – but this just flows through me)

Chaos is not a ‘bad thing’.

Chaos doesn’t need to be avoided

Chaos is the origin of things

Without chaos there would be no thing

When we ‘mastermind’ or ‘think outside the box’ we’re really engaging with chaos to come up with new ideas and solutions.

When we do things ‘randomly’ and find something we didn’t expect – chaos again.

‘It happened out of the blue’, clearly, chaos is blue!

But then we mess up. We impose order, we bring ‘chaos’ into line (linearity) not realising chaos is far more powerful in manifesting our thoughts, wishes and visions then working out the what and how and when and who and where of bringing things about.

Chaos is infinite, order is not and we cannot control infinity.

Everything is energy and energy, Wallace Wattles’ ‘thinking stuff’ which ‘pervades the universe’ is every thing, every where

The very nature of energy is chaotic and if there is any ‘ordering’ to be done within the chaos you and I can see it all around us.

It doesn’t need to be classified or measured; just enjoyed and embraced.

If Wishes Were Horses . . .

Star Trek Deep Space 9 is full of parables. Episode 15 of series 1 explores the power of thought and imagination – individually and collectively.

I ended last time by saying “you or I can make anything happen” and “no thing happens without the original thought”. I’m taking it up from there and considering ‘cause and effect’.

It’s all very well when this happens individually and deliberately; when you or I think up something we intend to create, then go ahead and cause it to happen. I covered this last time.

But what happens when it’s not deliberate but accidental, and what happens when it’s not the thought of one but the thoughts of many?

The mind does what it perceives or believes you are telling it to do, which depends on the beliefs you hold, and as you and I know when we allow our imaginations to ‘run away’ with us anything can happen – and often does.

Even though it wasn’t quite what we’d imagined, perhaps something we didn’t desire or envisage at all!

But we did envisage it, and it manifested itself to us.

But was it real, or just in our imagination?

Of course it was real, if we believed it was real.

Everything we believe to be ‘real’ is real, as solid and tangible as you like.

You and I cause things to become real, first we believe they will and then we believe they are.

But what if we both believe something to be real, or what if one of us believes it’s real and the other doesn’t?

It comes back to belief. We are taught to believe in certain things.

We have a ‘common perception’ of the ‘reality’ around us. We believe there are such things as houses, cars, cats, trees and so on.

On the other hand, some people truly believe in entities such as fairies, leprechauns and unicorns. To them these are real, and they do exist, they have seen them, and maybe interacted with them.

And they know others share these beliefs, although most people don’t.

Which brings me to something I encountered in psychology classes a long time ago.

It’s called ‘groupthink’

In the DS9 episode the crew believed they were about to be swallowed up in a rift in space, because one of them thought it might be happening.

It happens when a person or group of people come up with an idea, a thought, about some situation they perceive as a threat or an opportunity.

They feel they need some form of support or agreement from others to counter this threat or exploit this opportunity.

So they make it real.

They make it real for others, lots of others, as well as themselves; by creating belief.

Those whose support they need, are led to believe what they are told, what the group who started this want them to believe.

It’s done by propaganda and manipulation.

We, the ‘people’, are bombarded with ‘information’ supporting the beliefs being instilled. Repetition leads to belief, however outrageous the idea.

Add manipulation, where people are convinced to behave in certain ways because it will be to their advantage, avoid the threat or benefit from the opportunity, and you have an unbeatable formula.

Provided of course you’re not expecting everyone to believe – after all dissenters can be ‘dealt with’. (Or at least, that’s the belief).

‘News’, advertising, ‘social media’, popular drama, reality and game shows are all used as tools in this along with ‘official announcements.

if you really wish to remain ‘free’ – free of the beliefs others are working to impose on you – avoid them all.

Freedom is sticking with your thoughts, ideas and beliefs, not being influenced by others.

It’s Not Linear

I first encountered a clear explanation of what I’m about to discuss in the first episode of Star Trek Deep Space 9, when ‘The Prophets’, which Neale Donald Walsch might describe as Highly Evolved Beings (HEB’s) explain to Benjamin Cisco, commander of the space station, the non-linearity of time.

(Worth watching, ‘if you have the time’ )

I’ve already covered this – at least as regards time and it occurred to me not only is time not linear, neither is anything else.

In the previous insight I talked about sequence, our lives are not passage of time but a sequence of events as I said, “taking place one after another”.

This was misleading and I apologise, because I implied, by saying so, the sequence is linear.

The thing is, humanity has an obsession with linearity.

Past present and future, sizes and shapes, the life cycle, are all expressed in linear terms. We talk about the three ‘dimensions’ of length, breadth and depth as if we lived in a cubic world.

We don’t – we live in a spherical world, a world of circles, orbits and rotation – at every level of the Universe.

(I wonder if other sentient beings on this planet live by this linearity concept)

To fly from London to Tokyo is not a straight line, it’s a curve and if we kept on going, we’d be back where we started.

We may decide to ‘break the journey’ but there is no beginning or end to the ‘line’ we travelled.

Now, back to that ‘sequence of events’, which brings me to the question ‘Why?’

Why do we do what we do, why do we carry out our various sequences?

Remember ‘Everything is created twice’?

You or I conceive a purpose, something we wish to achieve. We have a clear idea and understanding of what our purpose is.

It may be to get fit, perhaps to pass an exam, or to create an asset, physical or intellectual, it may even just be to get a good night’s sleep.

We have our purpose, so we carry out a sequence of events or actions to fulfil it,

And we do – but ‘where’ on that presumed ‘linear’ journey are we?

We’re back where we started – except whatever we conceived as our intention has become ‘real’.

In fact, it was just as ‘real’ when it was an intention, especially if the outcome achieved was not just to create or assemble something ‘physical’.

Of course, we may not quite have achieved the target, what comes out at the ‘end’ of the sequence may not be ‘quite’ the same as we envisaged, sometimes, more often than not, it’s actually ‘better’ than what we first thought of.

This or something better” as Mary Morrissey would say.

The present ‘is’, the future ‘was’, the past ‘will be’ – that took me some time to get my head around until it was explained: before making breakfast it’s in the future, when eating it, in the present, and after it’s finished, in the past.

Think about it!

There’s only one event – eating breakfast, making it and clearing up are separate events, separate intentions, but we express it in three linear states, past, present and future.

Don’t forget conceiving the idea of having breakfast in the first place. The progress is not linear with a beginning and an end on a straight line, it’s a circle.

You and I cause things to come into being by ‘thinking’ them up. No thing happens or is created without the original thought – with which you or I can make anything happen.

Just Passing the Time

Many people seem to think ‘time’ is some sort of resource.

They talk about managing it, using it, saving it, losing and gaining it, even ‘keeping’ it.

Great emphasis in personal and business development training is put on the idea of ‘Time Management’.

There are Time Management products and books. I was once sent on a three-day course about how I should ‘manage’ my time.

And there’s another thing – the idea we in some way ‘posses’ time!

All this would make sense if time were indeed a resource – but it isn’t.

You see, a resource is something you can use, something you can use up, something you can choose to not use.

Like the fuel in the tank in your car. When you’re travelling, you’re using it and might even use it up and have to get some more, or, your car is parked and you’re not using that particular resource.

But time is NOT a resource.

Why?

Because you cannot not use it – in fact, you don’t even use it either.

Despite what you may say, time does not, cannot, ‘run out’ – unlike the fuel in your tank.

The thing is, you and I cannot ‘not use’ time. We cannot put time ‘on hold’, save it for another day or ‘manage’ it.

Managing one’s resources means deciding to use more or less of it at any time for any purpose – like turning the heating up, or down.

You and I cannot make time go faster or slower, we can’t use more or less of it for any purpose.

But we continue to run our lives on this idea of time – because that’s all it is, an idea, a concept derived from the rotation of the planet and it’s orbit around the sun.

Time does not exist – it’s only a measure we use to relate one event in our lives to another – to determine how ‘big’ one event is compared with another.

Or, like measuring the length of a piece of string, how ‘long’ each event takes in terms of our measuring stick of hours, minutes and seconds.

That’s all ‘time’ is – a measuring stick.

Our lives, yours and mine, are a sequence of events taking place one after another, one before another.

Even if we’re ‘multitasking’ we’re still in a sequence of events, even if that’s just watching the kettle boil. Just one event after another after another and so on.

Certainly, we can do things in parallel, but we are still switching from one event to another in a series of infinitely small ‘micro-events’

Reading this or watching the video is an event but just think for a moment about what other events you turn your mind to while doing so.

I’m doing lots of other little things while I’m writing this, taking a sip of my coffee for example.

You and I cannot manage ‘time’, but we can manage the sequence of events we go through, and we can plan ‘when’ – in relation to the daily planetary rotation and its orbit around the sun – those events take place.

Time passes – time is happening all the time – but events don’t ‘take’ time –there’s nowhere to ‘take’ it from.

After all we can’t ‘put time back’ if we decide not to ‘use’ it – which is what we’d do with a real resource.

Don’t let ‘time’ manage your life, don’t run your life ‘by the clock’.

You can’t ‘exchange time for money’. If you’re in that paradigm what you’re really doing is getting paid for carrying out a particular sequence of events.

Manage your sequence of events, not time.

Big Brother is Watching You

In 1786 or thereabouts Jeremy Bentham working with his brother Samuel proposed a building design to improve the efficiency of management of a large unskilled workforce

The ‘Panopticon’ was a circular building at the hub of a larger compound from where the managers or supervisors could oversee what was going on.

Later Bentham applied this idea to prisons with the intention of reducing the number of staff required to oversee the inmates and thus the cost. The key idea being whilst the staff could see all the inmates, they themselves could not be seen.

The prisoners would know they were being watched at all times, but could not see the watchers, who could, in principle, be removed altogether.

This was never adopted by the authorities; along with many other of Bentham’s suggestions it was somewhat before its time.

Underlying the idea was the concept that because they believed they were under observation, the prisoners would also ‘watch’ each other to maintain order amongst themselves avoiding any potential punishment.

Extend this principle to the idea people in general who believe they are ‘being watched’ will behave according to the ‘rules’, whatever those rules might be or wherever they may have come from.

Like it or not, you and I are being watched – constantly.

Maybe not in the Orwellian sense of being observed even while we are in our homes; although the technology for observing people through their computers, TV screens or other devices (Alexa?) does exist and is often in place.

And not all the time through the plethora of CCTV cameras, public and private which festoon our streets and many private homes – my neighbour records every person who passes or approaches his house with three external cameras watching out.

The thing is, not only are we ‘being watched’, we, are watching each other – just as Bentham suggested.

I don’t believe, although many do, there is a central ‘government’ agency spying on us but there are many private agencies recording everything we do, Facebook, Google, Amazon and all the others we interface with on line are recording everything.

They insist this is so they can send us advertising they believe will be to our benefit – really?

But it’s not only commercial interests that are monitoring, there’s a social element as well.

You and I are supposed to ‘behave’ according to the ‘rules’, made up by ‘society’ who also believe they are taking on the task of enforcing the laws of the land – although there’s a big difference between ‘laws’ and ‘rules’.

But who is ‘society’?

It’s another of those concepts that doesn’t really exist. It’s created by the media, gossip and advertising building a framework as to how we (the people = society) are expected to behave.

Here’s an example: according to society’s ‘rules’ we are not allowed to ‘give offence’ but we seem to be encouraged to ‘take’ it. People are very quick to be ‘offended’ by what we say, what we do, how we dress, where we go and so on, whether we are intending to upset them or not.

Doing anything that doesn’t conform to the societal ‘norm’ is frowned upon, considered weird or causes outrage.

These ‘offences’ are nothing to do with the law of the land, and sometimes the reaction of some members of ‘society’ is itself illegal!

There is no ‘big brother’, no central ‘watcher’. You and I are being watched, criticised, commented upon and sometimes in a more sinister way trolled or stalked by people who consider themselves upstanding members of society protecting its values.

Orwell’s ‘Big Brother’ has turned out to be society itself – we are watching each other.

Take care. – and watch your back!

Hierarchy of Needs?

I’m sticking my neck out this week to take issue with one of the most common ‘understandings’ about human psychology.

I’m not a qualified psychologist and I don’t know all the answers, but this just doesn’t make sense from my point of view.

Abraham Maslow in 1943 came up with a ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ which is often (perhaps too often) referred to in personal development programmes as it is said to lay out what motivates us.

The theory is there are 5 levels of needs, usually illustrated as a pyramid, consisting of basic, psychological and self-fulfilment needs we are ‘automatically’ motivated to fulfil.

These ‘needs are (from the bottom of the diagram):

Physiological – Safety – Belongingness – Esteem – Self actualisation

According to Maslow the Basic and Psychological needs (the lower four levels) are ‘Deficiency’ needs and the motivation to fulfil them decreases as they are satisfied.

The top level he describes as a ‘Being’ or growth need where motivation increases as the elements in it are met.

Now here’s the thing. Back in 1943 Maslow was adamant that all the needs in the lower levels starting with the physiological needs must be satisfied (in full) before an individual can progress to the next level.

This is the understanding of most people who’ve been ‘taught’ psychology at lower levels of education and also what comes across in many personal development programmes.

According to this tenet, you or I cannot reach self fulfilment until everything else is in place.

In my opinion this idea is just ‘wrong’ – and Maslow did admit in 1987 he had given “the false impression that a need must be satisfied 100 percent before the next need emerges” and the satisfaction of the needs he outlines is not an “all or none” phenomenon.

I would go further than that.

Whilst all of the needs identified, and more, are valid, they are not, in my opinion and experience hierarchically dependent.

It’s quite possible for example, to satisfy some or all of the ‘belongingness’ (or relationship) needs, without having satisfied, even partly, all, or any, of the ‘lower level’ needs.

Then as far as the ‘higher’ need of ‘self-actualisation’ is concerned, I would equate this with self-fulfilment, self determination or finding one’s personal freedom.

Maslow places these at the ‘top’ of the pyramid with the implication that none of them can even be started on until everything else is ‘done’ – which makes them more or less unattainable for most people.

We know this is not true. You and I can be free, we can be fulfilled, we can be ‘self-actualised’ (or our true selves) without satisfying, even partly, all the ‘lower level’ needs identified.

Further it’s counter productive in terms of our self-development to completely satisfy any of these needs, as long as the measure we have in our own mind for them is for each to be ‘fit for purpose’, that is, fit for our purposes rather than any measure imposed or suggested by anyone else.

I would turn all this on its head and start with the idea we are who we are.

Marisa Peer says we are born ‘perfect’ – we start off with pour own self actualisation at the ‘base’ level and then develop and maintain it as we become aware and ‘grow up’ in the world.

You and I define our own needs, our own individual needs which we wish to satisfy on our journey. We may not require all those things shown in Maslow’s triangle.

It’s up to you and it’s up to me to decide who we are, what we wish for, and how we achieve it. There are no preconditions to be satisfied other than those we seek.

Sod’s Law!

“If anything can go wrong, it will!”

So states the legendary ‘Sod’s Law’ of life.

But what does it mean? What do you and I understand by something ‘going wrong’?

Something unexpected happens

Something stops ‘working’

Things just don’t go ‘according to plan’

And so on . . .

But as you and I know only too well, things don’t ‘just happen’ – or not happen as the case may be.

There’s another saying – “Everything happens for a reason”

But this skips a step because things, although they seem to sometimes, don’t just ‘happen’ ‘out of the blue’ – there is a cause behind every ‘happening’.

You could say everything is caused for a reason

The thing is, and most people have no understanding of this, these ‘happenings’ aren’t caused by some third party, some other person or some higher power.

Whatever ‘happens’ to you and I is caused by you and I.

Maybe not consciously and maybe not directly, but always as a result of something you or I thought or did.

Some of the things which ‘go wrong’ may be the result of an action we carried out at some time having a ‘ripple down’ effect on something else – which then ‘went wrong’

They may also be the result of a thought, perhaps inadvertent, recently or some time ago.

I know I say this a lot but we must be really careful what we wish for and what we’re thinking about on a daily basis.

The mind, in particular the subconscious mind, always carries out the orders we give it – whether we really intend them not – and it does exactly what it thinks we want it to do.

The thing is, it does it in it’s own timeframe, which can itself contribute to something ‘going wrong’.

Why is this?

There’s massive amount of data stored in the subconscious, everything we’ve ever done, thought, heard, seen, tasted and so on – and it structures all this into our personal set of beliefs, stories and experiences and feeds it back to our conscious mind in ‘easy to consume’ packages which influence our day to day behaviour.

Inevitably this causes unexpected mishaps – anything can go wrong, and it does.

It would seem perhaps you and I don’t stand a chance when it comes to coping with our subconscious carrying out the instructions it ‘thought’ we gave it but it’s only following the ‘rules’ we’ve created.

These rules come out of the beliefs, data and memories we’ve stored over the years, regardless of their usefulness to us.

What can we do about this?

How can we at least minimise the rate of ‘things going wrong’ we have to cope with?

On my computer I have emails that go back around 15 years. Compare that with all the ‘memories’ or date held in your subconscious since you were born or even before.

It would be impossible to go through and ‘delete’ everything you don’t need any more but there is a way you and I can ‘clean up’ all this stuff both generally and if necessary, specifically.

You and I need to be free of this accumulated garbage and as a practitioner in both Ho’oponopono and Soul Realignment I spend time doing this with and for my clients.

I’ll not go into the details of how these modalities work and what they do except to say Ho’oponopono deals with the general ‘cleaning’ and Soul Realignment with the specifics.

But there is one thing you and I can do without employing these techniques

We have to be really clear in our conscious minds about our intentions.

Intentions arise from the inspiration we receive to do something to realise some result – the ‘thoughts into things’ process

We receive lots of inspiration but not all of it becomes an intention.

Intention is the ‘starter’ for the process of turning an inspiration into a result – we create the intention to turn the thought into the thing.

Provided the intention is really clear then the likelihood of ‘Sod’s Law’ (the result of all the ‘stuff’ in your subconscious) coming into play is much reduced.

Result!

You and I set goals, as do many people.

Much thought and agonising goes into the activity of setting goals.

Goals are classified in to ‘SMART’ and not SMART, A, B and C goals and so on.

We talk about being specific, we talk about goals being achievable – or ‘stretch’.

We set goals we know we can ‘do’ without really thinking too much about them because we already know what to do and how to do it.

We set goals we don’t have the first idea of what we need to make happen for them to be achieved.

We write them down, we read them out aloud, we get accountability partners to keep us on track.

We set targets (or not), we ‘miss’ them, we reset them, we change the nature of our goals . . .

And so it goes on.

And on . . .

Why do we devote so much effort to doing this? What is the purpose for setting and having goals?

Because the ‘goal’ isn’t what we really want.

We don’t receive inspiration and set our intention for a ‘goal’.

What we’re looking for is a result!

Everything is created twice – the thought and then the thing.

Of course, many things are only created once, never getting past the form of thought.

That’s where goals come in.

Goals are part of the process of getting from thought in the mind to thing in reality.

When we’re inspired to create something and set an intention to do it it’s not the end of the story. The ‘thing’ won’t manifest all by itself out of the blue (even though sometimes it seems like that) you or I have to do something.

We discover the actions we need to take and how to take them.

We create a plan with a series of goals we need to achieve on our journey towards the ‘thing’ we have thought of – the result we desire

A former colleague of mine, Philip Collings, Head of Systems at Railtrack, once described goals as a series of ‘gates’ we need to pass through, and in effect, they are.

Goals are an essential part of the process as long as we see them in this way.

In sport, teams score goals, as many as possible, but it’s only at the end of the game when the goals add up to the result. Even if only one goal is scored it’s still not the result until the final whistle blows.

The goals lead to the result, they aren’t in themselves the result.

And remember it is the result we want. You and I can ‘score’ or achieve as many goals as we like but if they don’t give us the result we want what’s the point.

Maybe they were the wrong goals, not aligned with or relevant to the result we are looking for.

Maybe we need to ‘re-think’ the whole ‘Goal setting’ thing.

Start with the inspiration and intention. The intention is always to create a result (the ‘thing’ we ‘thought’ of in the first place).

Certainly the ‘goal’ is to achieve that result, to make it come true, to turn it into reality and so on, but we must be really clear the ‘goal’ we have set and are so attached to is not the result.

And when we pass through the gates along the way, when we achieve the goals we’ve set, we have to ask “is this leading me to the result I seek?”

If so, carry on, if not we’re off track and must adjust our direction.

The ‘Holy Grail’ we’re seeking isn’t our ‘big goal’ or ‘dream’ or ‘big vision’ – it’s the result we get when we reach it.

The result is tied to the inspiration we received and the intention we set in the first place. Goals are part of the outcome, the process we go through to fulfil the intention and when you and I are ‘setting goals’ we need to keep the intention and the result clearly in mind.

It will help us set the ‘right’ goals to receive the result.

Set your ‘Results’ before you set your goals.

The Secret of Success

Much emphasis is placed in the academic, business and personal development ‘worlds’ to name just a few, on the concept of ‘success’.

Being, aspiring to be, or becoming ‘a success’ are often cited as the reason many people do what they do in life.

It’s difficult to fond a definition of ‘success’ as there’s more than one meaning.

You or I can achieve success in a specific enterprise, but it doesn’t necessarily make either of us ‘a success’, especially if the ‘success’ was only to get out of bed in the morning!

Having ‘successfully’ completed any particular mission only means we have achieved a specific goal; it doesn’t make us a ‘success’ just as not achieving it doesn’t make us a ‘failure’.

Then again, someone can be a success in a specific field or occupation, but what makes them a ‘success’ – or not – from a holistic view?

Many famous people are cited as ‘successes’ often by people such as journalists who really don’t know much about them.

They use criteria such as wealth or sporting prowess, even their ‘visibility’ in the media, but how does one measure success, if indeed it is possible to do so?

There are many books and programmes on some variant of ‘How to Become a Success’. Most of these use wealth as the measure but as we have seen that’s not the whole story.

One could suppose achieving a certain level of ‘significance’ would mean success, but there are also some very significant ‘failures’ as well.

Both significance and success in this context are comparative measures rather than anything else.

You and I can be a success compared with someone less significant that ourselves, or less wealthy, or less knowledgeable and so on, but does that make us ‘a success’?

I think not and indeed this whole idea of the pursuit of success, other than as it pertains to a specific endeavour, project or mission, is futile and probably counter productive.

The thing is, we cannot be ‘a success’ at everything.

Many so-called successes are also utter failures in another area of their life. Many famous or wealthy ‘successes’ have failed dismally with their personal relationships, and the converse is also true. Some who have made an amazing success of marriage are ‘failures’ in another area of life.

This pursuit of success we are encouraged and even conditioned to undertake from an early age is actually a restriction on our personal freedoms.

We are distracted from those things which really make us happy and help us feel free, to take up the challenge of society and become, in their eyes, a ‘success’, which an unachievable quest.

Unless . . .

Unless we forget about ‘being a success’ in the eyes of others and just get on with whatever it is we love to do.

Unless we focus on what makes us happy, do it ‘full on’ and do it well. What we achieve may seem insignificant in the eyes of society, we may not end up ‘rich and famous’, but to ourselves, and we are the only one that matters, we will be a success.

Together with that we will also probably achieve a level of significance in our own field, or if you like, become a ‘success’ in the field of operation in which we fulfil our personal passion.

‘Being a Success’ is not about how much money we accrue, how much power we gain, or how much media exposure we achieve.

In his book ‘Think and Grow Rich’, Napoleon Hill lays out a number of ‘principles of success’ resulting from the assignment given him by Andrew Carnegie to interview hundreds of prominent so called ‘successes’ in the USA. He also recalls interviewing a large number of ‘failures’ as well on his journey to analyse what these people were doing or not doing.

Whilst there is much great teaching in this book Hill tends to see the achievement of ‘success’ in terms of how others assess you rather than how you assess yourself.

To be a success in your own eyes is what matters, not what other people think.

Focus on your personal passion, become successful at it, and be free.