How does life work?

 

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How to Tame the Ego

Success is like a drug, and like drugs it comes in many forms: a return on investment, a fulfilling experience, or even reaching a higher state of consciousness. And just like drugs, success can develop into an addiction, and the only way to sustain the addiction is to feed the ego. The ego is the only thing that can convince you that the success (the drug) is all you need to live for.

My ego has fought for dominion over my conscious experience my entire life, and with each success, my self-awareness weakens and becomes a window of opportunity for my ego to reign.

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This week has been a series of wins and with each ‘hit’, I could feel my identity escaping me. When you succeed, in the very traditional sense of the word, the world starts to take notice and sort of validates your self-worth with every like, comment, congratulatory call or text. Each validation enhances the ‘high’, and it’s a difficult feeling to escape. I mean, who doesn’t like being validated by someone else?

Over the past few years, I feel my biggest accomplishment has been developing my self-awareness, and when my behaviours started mimicking that of my ego, it was time to put it back in its place. I found myself constantly checking my phone for red notifications, replying “thank you”, to comments from people who don’t really give a sh*t, and allowing myself to believe that only I can do what I do, which I know for a fact isn’t true. That’s not the life I want to build, that’s not the life experience I want live, and nor is it the life I want to share.

Praise is like positive reinforcement, the behaviours (the successes) I was being rewarded for (praised for), we’re reinforcing the idea that if I repeat these same behaviours, I can expect to be rewarded again. Soon, my purpose is replaced with the desire for more praise and validation. This entices the ego to come out and play, and to take control over my life in order to sustain this rewards based system.

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If I let this happen I restrict my potential, because it’ll only motivate me to do enough to keep others happy and keep my ego satisfied. It also places an overwhelming expectation, an unnecessary pressure which’ll distract me from being able to just, be. It’s a difficult behaviour to undo, a difficult behaviour to defeat, when this is what we’re taught from a young age. That the only reason to do anything, is for the reward.

We rarely praise each other for feeling completely content with where we are in our lives. Rarely are we impressed with people who are just happy on their journey, wherever it’s headed. It’s always a sort of “that’s nice” or “good luck” or “you’ll go far”- a compliment that suggests we should be doing more for a reward/better reward. I remember these praises, because I got them a lot when I started blogging. It was only when success grows, do people feel compelled to reach out and say “well done” and “Congratulations!”

Where’s the appreciation for just existing and being you? Why does being you and doing what you do naturally, have to be worth something in terms of “success”, before you’re appreciated at all?

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This is what years of feeling insignificant does to us, when we grow up feeling insignificant any experience of validation becomes a high, just like a drug, because the experience is so surreal to us. We want more of this unreal experience. We’re rarely taught that who we are is enough, so a lot of us spend a lifetime chasing the high for no other reason than to just feel worth something. Forever trying to prove our worth, and less time developing and learning from it.

We all have a reason to exist, we all have worth from the moment we’re born, and I think the ego is tamed when we accept that. When we accept ourselves life becomes this wonderful journey of discovery, instead of a mission to know and have things just to justify what we think we know, which is often very far from the truth.

When we equate validation to acceptance, to love, and to appreciation, we lose sight of our own capacity to accept, love, appreciate, so we blindly validate ego.

Without the attachment to traditional affirmations of success: the nice house, the flashy cars, the perfect relationship and all the other trimmings sold to us on social media, who are we? I think it’s a reason why so many relationships tank, why so many great ideas fail, and so many of us give up on things we’re passionate about so quickly. It seems if we don’t get the validation it’s not worth the experience, so we give up or do the minimum to sustain whatever we’ve built.

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All I did was start expressing my truth and once I got comfortable with it, I navigated my truth to different experiences, and the experiences taught me how to share it. Living more authentically gave me the courage to explore the things that truly interested me, and the more I learned, the more I invested my life into it. I was developing my passion and as my passion grew I identified my purpose, all because it just felt right, natural even.

This is why I wrote this post today, to save me and the future me from my own ego. It may not be well written, nor will it ever be perfect, but it’s me, and so long as I continue to express myself honestly, I’ll continue to develop and grow me into the best version of me I can ever be.

I think if we all work hard to develop self-awareness and actively help each other keep our egos in check, relationships will inspire, passions will be pursued and life will become a freer experience to live.

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Where do you find love?

Post by Vancouver Life Coach, Terry Sidhu.

Love

I recently came back from a trip that made me realise the unspoken struggles we face alone, beneath the surface of the identities we present. Having reconnected with loved ones after many years and establishing brand new connections, I came back from this trip more aware of the emotional experiences we’re all striving for in life. Experiences that many of us will fail to achieve, if we continue to overrule what we’re truly feeling with rationalisation. The experiences I’m talking about, have to do with Love.

Love is an emotion that has baffled great minds for millennia, and I’m learning that the only way to understand what love is and the purpose it serves, is to first accept and embrace it. To realize that it exists and that it sits at the very core of all human emotion.

Sometimes I feel my work simply involves reconnecting individuals with love. Albeit helping individuals accept and embrace who they are and develop a love of themselves, through to helping individuals uncover a path that feels genuine and purposeful. Then there’s the relationship aspect of my work, where I help people reconnect with the feeling of love, rather than merely presenting the idea of it.

Although I began my career with a subjective understanding of love, my work has helped me develop objectivity on the matter. I’m understanding that love is an authentic connection to an honest energy, where one feels completely accepted by and accepting of said energy. Love is the most liberating of all emotions, which is why I feel we should navigate our lives by it. Learning about the impact of love and how it can influence even the most stubborn of minds, I finally feel I can write from the heart and of the heart, about this alluring topic.

I feel human consciousness or the gateway to human consciousness, has a lot to do with the awakening of our emotions. I think to when a baby is born, the very first thing a child experiences in life is raw and uninterrupted emotion. I feel my understanding of emotion is that they’re our awareness of existence. I feel our emotions are the true senses of our consciousness, and it’s trusting and relying on these senses that will guide us to the best conscious experience possible. Perhaps then our traditional, physical senses, are the gatekeepers that help us manage and construct our conscious experience.

I imagine human consciousness as a vast garden where seeds of emotion are planted. I think these seeds sprout at birth and from then on, the way we live our lives shape the way this garden grows. For example, a lot of negative life experiences will probably result in an unappealing garden full of negative emotions. Weeds that overshadow or restrict the potential of an appealing garden from blossoming; a garden full of flowers of positive emotion. If we can imagine our emotions in this way, like plants that need to be nurtured, then we can appreciate the value in nurturing positive emotion. Understand the effort it takes to maintain positivity and how easy it is to neglect and let negativity take rule over time. Therefore, to nurture and grow positive emotion, we must make the effort in our everyday lives for positive life experiences.

I use this analogy in order to help my clients understand the work it may take to revive their identities, and manage their lives into the fulfilment they seek. It’s a matter of managing and maintaining our “gardens” so to speak. It also helps us understand that all our emotions exist and are present within us, and just like the plants that grow in our gardens, we need to nurture the right ones. We must work to grow a garden worth presenting; to live a life worth living, and where relationships are concerned, we must develop a garden worth visiting; a life we’re confident sharing.

I’ve always noticed, or rather envied how children seem to have an innate ability to embrace love so easily. It makes me think that love is the emotion that grows in the centre of our conscious gardens. A tree that branches into emotions like passion, hope, enjoyment, confidence, excitement, happiness, liberation and so on. I think naturally we’re supposed to, and are allowed to, live our lives this way and I suppose that’s why it’s said that happiness is a choice.

I think our negative experiences in life and the mass, repetitive messages we’re surrounded by impact our emotions so much so, that we lose sight of our positive emotions. Our positive emotions become defined for us and reinforced by messages that tell us how we have to look and behave. Our gatekeepers, our traditional senses, are so overwhelmed by these messages that we’re convinced that love and happiness is something we must strive to earn, even though they already exist within.

As an example, think about the last time you’ve really wanted to settle a curiosity, or wanted to be spontaneous in life and just live, but you’ve stopped yourself because of a fear of what others may think?

If we continue to limit these potentially positive experiences in life, we nurture and grow negative emotions like insecurity, isolation, hopelessness, sadness, fear and so on, until they take over that tree and transform it into hate. If we can realise that we are in control of our lives, that we are the caretakers of our own gardens, we can actively take charge of how we feel. We can consciously choose to grow love.

Emotions have always been key to our survival and well-being and as the world has evolved, I fear we’ve learned to rationalize or turn a blind eye to what we’re truly feeling. Think about it, how many times have you had to convince yourself that “everything’s fine”, because from the outlook you should have nothing to worry about? You may have built a life that looks good, but how many of you reading this can honestly say you’re living a life that feels good?

It’s really simple actually, because we can easily distinguish what feels good from what feels bad and more importantly, we can distinguish what leaves us feeling good and what leaves us feeling bad. We just need to start listening to our emotions in order to guide our lives in a positive direction. We must learn to neglect and move away from all things bad, and educate and strengthen our gatekeepers to focus on all things good.

My apologies if this post sounds more spiritual than usual, but the happiest people I’ve come across lead their lives with love. I see that they’re surrounded by an abundance of love because they’ve let this emotion take reign over their lives. They love what they do, they love who they are, they love others easily and most importantly, they’re easily loved. How many of us can say we feel this way everyday?

Today we can to stop contributing our own misery, by facing the truth that is rooted in our emotions.

Vancouver Life Coach

How to Set and Achieve Goals Using Simple Scavenger Hunt Rules

If you were ever involved in a scavenger hunt as a child, keep it in mind as you read on. For those who don’t know, you have a list of items to gather and the one who wins is the first person to complete the list. I’ve achieved many goals by following the rules of this game. It’s very simple, first have the goal in mind, then compile a list of things you need to accomplish to achieve it. And just like a scavenger hunt, attaining each item on that list will require further strategy and tactic, which you will naturally identify.

Small goals, achieving big goals: this technique worked because it allowed me to break up my larger goal into manageable steps, if one of these steps was proving too difficult to attain, I could break it down even further (this is where strategy and tactic came in).

The benefit of evaluation: think about at the end of the hunt, when everyone’s discussing how they won or learning the reason as to why they lost. This simple, yet effective technique has now become a fantastic tool for evaluation. Whether you succeed or fail, you will find yourself reflecting on the actions you took and/or the errors you made which may have affected the result. It will also become a learning tool; you’re identifying your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; you’re building your very own SWOT Analysis.

Setting Goals: whenever you play out that dream life of yours in your mind, get a piece of paper and write/illustrate that dream at the top of the page. At the bottom of the page, write/illustrate the life you’re currently living. Now you need to make your way to the top, fill the blank space with steps you need to take, to get that life you want, when you’re done – the game has begun.

VanCity