The idealism of a youthful brain! What a blessing, what a curse!
The ambitious, but inexperienced, brain strives to change the world, to give the ‘fuck you finger’ to tradition and time-tested norms, yet it also (as Dr. Jordan Peterson has been eloquently pointing out) conveniently forgets that it has yet to consistently clean its own room.
But, saints, sages and gurus for millennia have been sayin’ the same damn thing.
Ghadi: “BE the change you want to see…”
Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Still, the wisdom of experience and timeless study will always be challenged (read: avoided) by impetuousness-innocence and the iconoclastic spirit.
Maybe it should, too!
But, I’d argue not just for the sake of it. Some conventional things (like religious ideology) DO require hard scrutiny. Then, there’s some things (like biology and sexuality; or a quest for gender-oneness) that need to just be left the hell alone.
When you strip it down to its bare bones, personal transformation is the greatest self-inspired challenge of all (kinda hard to push yourself out of your “box,” if you’re not questioning why you got, or are staying, in that comfortable little bastard).
You’re basically cajoling yourself to fear less, therefore love more; to expand perception of Self, therefore operate daily with enhanced creativity and sustained curiosity.
The curmudgeon says, “Whatever… I don’t give a rats ass. I just live vicariously 4 hours a day watching the Travel Channel. I’m not harming anybody. What’s the point in trying to be a bigger and better person?”
The Pollyanna says, “Hey, champ… I understand your dog got ran over, your girlfriend left, and a burglar stole all your gold coins. Cheer-up, sad face, this will all be for a greater good; something better will come out of this for you, too.” (eh, no shit Captain Obvious).
Whatever extreme you’ve latched onto before (I hope, not for long), you’ve probably learned (through experience) that being a groupie of any one camp is ultimately a distraction.
In other words, the repressed, unresolved aspect of the opposite extreme lurks within like a villainous monster. Avoid it, run from it, and it just grows larger and more pervasive. Face it, head-on, and “IT” shrinks as YOU grow.
But, do you really have to first be immature, foolish and destitute before you can become accomplished, smart, and prosperous?
I’m gonna dive into that next week. Consider it Part 2 of this article. I’ll reveal some specific ways I’ve learned (and am still learning) to GROW in order to melt my extreme monsters.
Everything in life, dear reader, if taken to the edges… its a dangerous spot to be. Holding onto beliefs and viewpoints without employing an open, flexible mind… it’s one helluva high-risk proposition, for sure.
I know a guy who is nearly obsessed with whatever CNN — what I like calling Chronic Neurotic Nonsense — is reporting about so-called “scandals” in politics, or the purported “truth” they’re digging up about “bad” corporations, or their “exposes” about the economy.
He’s so focused on what THEY say is happening, its as if his entire potential for greater prosperity, and a better personal future, is tied to their version of the outside world like some kind of Puppet Master / Puppet dynamic. I told him if he doesn’t change his focus; if the doesn’t quit building-up his grand scapegoat, his epitaph is gonna say, “It Was All Their Fault!”
I also know a gal who thinks she’s so evolved, that all the “negative” things ‘out there’ the masses deal in… those kinda gnarly thing don’t affect her. She is, in her words, “a reflector of darkness and conflict” because she radiates “so much inner love, peace and joy for herself and her family.”
Yet, she’s so far-removed from reality, she won’t acknowledge that, at 45, she’s living rent-free (with no car) on her parents farm. The justification, of course, is because they need her presence and nurturing energy.
So, what’s the bottom-line of being able to fulfill the promise of the title of this post:
If you truly want to stay dumb and broke, here’s a few things, off the top of my head, that come to mind:
- Don’t be brave enough to point out absurdities in people. Yup, just continue pretending that that is their thing, regardless of how irrational it is. Avoid addressing it with them directly, but do whine about it behind their back. Care just enough to get it off your back, but don’t dare provide them enough ‘tough love” effort to affect positive change in their life.
- Have no values. Meaning, no understanding, no personal clarity of just precisely what it is you want more or less of in your life. Go through life, as my high-school basketball coach used to say, “like a piss in in the wind!”
- Avoid taking self-inventory and accountable action to combat your weaknesses. Instead, truly believe, from the highest peaks of your soul, that your “love and light” within will solve all your problems, all your needs, all your challenges. Hint: not only is this a limiting-belief, its one of the dumbest of them all.
- Search for high-reward opportunities without corresponding risks (there are some with mitigated risks. But they’re few and far between). Seek supportive relationships without challenge (good luck).
- Say no to unique, unknown adventures! Be apprehensive about starting something new, experiencing something unfamiliar, because you don’t know everything, or have all your i’s dotted. Scold and shame yourself every time something doesn’t work, or doesn’t pan out as you scripted in your head.
- Sit around watching the Electronic Income Reducer; that way you’ll have an excuse as to why you couldn’t find the time to make yourself indispensable enough to NOT become a “victim of the economy.”
- Retreat within when you feel uncomfortable. When you’re stuck, when you’ve come to a standstill in any area of life (whether fiances, relationships, health, business, etc), stay silent about it. Don’t ask for help. Hiring a coach or consultant is for fancy, rich people after all, right? (wink).
- Relish in your past awesome performances. Hang on to your identity tied to those, and those alone. Certainly, your ego is more important to you than conveying vulnerability. Continue holding onto that false, programmed belief. All on its own, its a guaranteed way to stay mediocre.
- Don’t network. Be a Lone Ranger. Label yourself an introvert and use it as justification for not collaborating or initiating win-win propositions with others. Mistake your social media head count (followers) for the QUALITY of your tribe. Use text when there’s a misunderstanding or simply just BE a passive-repressive bloke.
- Finally (10 ways to hold yourself back is enough, isn’t it?), don’t appreciate and see the immense value in other people’s prior failures / challenges and lessons learned along their road to success and achievement. Instead, solely rely on your own school of hard knocks.