So I will tell you straight away what this will be all about here in this article. I will try to abolish one of the trends and beliefs that the modern World currently has. Doesn’t really matter which one I would choose. It can be anything related to the omnipresent system that we are living in. It’s just all very questionable, and I will shortly show you why. At the end of this article I will also show you how to easily check if any modern belief or mindset that you can have is really worth believing in.
I’ve been recently reading, analyzing and thinking about all the self-improvement books, theories, gurus and so on. And… I came to a conclusion that all of these are just well selling illusions. A pointless game. And we are not players even. We are being played. And I will tell you shortly why. There is a dream that our system is trying to sell us – that at some point in the future we will reach our goals and then we will be rich (spiritually, financially, relationship wise etc.) and happy. We just need to work hard, commit time, make effort for years to get there. But it doesn’t really make sense. And I will try to destroy here these “life-coaches gurus” and their theories. Tony Robbins and the whole gang are wrong. And I know that you won’t like what I’m saying if you believe them. Your mind already gave you a few interesting arguments to abolish what I’m saying, even though you still don’t know what I am going to say. But if you are as open minded as you probably think that you are – you can just give it a shot and read this article.
Let’s assume that the main goal of all the self-improvement materials and teachings out there is showing you how to achieve success. It’s not only about that of course in the self-improvement world, but we need some examples for this short case study so let it be. So success is the goal. Whatever this success will mean to you, you will find your chapter in their books. They say that you can do it in any sphere of your life, job, sport discipline, relationship etc. Let’s focus on a career success to make things simpler.
We are taught to see a success as a picture of ourselves in the future. Having this and this, being there with him or her. Sounds good. Let’s take a quick look at what this actually means in our perception. If we will take a look at our system from the side, we will see that usually success is embodied in a graphic materials being spread around us in advertising forms. We all see TV commercials where a beautiful family is in a nice house, somewhere at the coast, looking at a sunset. It really sounds good. And it sells. People love that. Many incarnations of this picture can be found everywhere around us. It can be also a different picture depending of the contest. It can be you in a hammock somewhere far away, in a beautiful place, with a drink in your hand. Whether or not we deny that we like that picture most of us probably do. It’s not our fault. We have been surrounded by this for so many years now. We have been taught that this is it. It’s like with selling or learning. When we see some pictures a few times described in a positive way, our mind remembers it and perceives it as a good thing. Then we are more likely to buy it. When we read a text few times, or see a picture few times, we will probably remember it (learn it). And what happens when the whole society tells us that this image of a future success is something beautiful? We can’t really think otherwise.
So why are we shown that and who does that and why? It’s actually us. We do it to ourselves. Subconsciously. We are doing this to ourselves as we are deeply rooted in our system. There’s no conspiracy theory here. Greg the advertiser knows that Mark the receiver will like that. Greg doesn’t think, nor is he aware of what he is really doing. He is rooting the system more deeply in us. He knows that it will work as it’s a proven tool. Not his fault. It looks like the system has just established itself among us quite deeply. Few people that actually make the biggest income in this World like it and they won’t let it go. We are kind of in a state of trance. We were born and we didn’t really have a choice. Nobody asked us when we were 3 years old: you wanna be a capitalist, communist or you wanna live in a free community somewhere in a jungle? These choices we are free to take a look at when we are already adults. We are 18 or 21, doesn’t matter. We can choose. But it’s too late. Since we were kids (big enough to understand anything) we are getting educated. We are born in the system as well as our parents were, our friends were and so on. We were born in a certain country, learning a certain native language, being raised on a certain values. Most of us don’t really ever have a chance to see the World from a wider perspective until a later point in our life. Some people will never really wake up from this dream, will never read anything like you are reading now.
Time to ask a question – so what do you actually want to say here Greg?
And time to answer it. We are being played. As long as we are aware of that – we are fine – we are still playing, we can control the game. If we don’t know that – we are being played. The system that we are living in is pretty well established. It’s based on goals. It’s based on time. Two delusions. There are more of them. But these two are the main ones. We are living from goal to a goal. From a plan to a plan. From one pleasant moment to another. This is how our mind works. Without a goal, there is a problem. There’s unfamiliar emptiness, chaos, uneasiness. There’s a problem. From our childhood, time and the future goals (even small ones) were there. We are taught to plan, to look to the future, to accomplish. This race can never end.
But it is not us who have this problem. Our minds have this problem. We are programmed. Our mind can be a beautiful tool, but it can also be our worst nightmare. You think you have it under control. You never really do. You know it – this control is an illusion.
So this is how easily we are getting trapped in our system. Our minds are taught that the goals are a natural thing, and that we can’t do without them. That’s why “life coaches” and “self-improvement gurus” have a pretty easy task with us. Our system is based on a capitalism and economy. We are very susceptible to dreams of wealth and happiness that they are selling us. And nobody says that they can’t take us to the financial wealth. But if you are already reading this game then you know. It’s useless. It’s only a number on our account, only a state of mind. Our mind is happy that the goal is achieved. And you should already know what’s next. You know that this is not the end. There has to be another goal. You were living for many, many years in the same state of mind and you think you will be able to let go the goals and this race at some point? You probably know or at least feel that you won’t.
Life is a journey and the journey is the destination. This will be the only “wisdom” that I will state here in this article. And it’s not mine.
So it’s time to abolish the belief that chasing financial success makes sense. Let’s strip that for a second. So this success and the whole idea of it were established at some point, right? Our system was there for a while and then through some evolution we started to believe that the wealthy man has a better life and hard work and motivation will make us rich and happy. It was very comfortable for all the World rulers that instead of thinking why are we actually doing this, what we are doing, we were simply chasing the image that was created in our minds. The image of the future success. The system will work. There will be no revolution, the wealthy elite will become wealthier and so on. And this, at some point became some kind of modern religion. The pursuit of success.
So time for the stripping. Let’s strip that “dream of the financial success” that is being promoted by all the modern life-coach-gurus. The biggest argument on their side is that it makes sense. That it is rational. Is it?
So here we go again. We are born in the system that is already functioning. We are being brainwashed during the whole our childhood, we don’t really have access to a different world other than our small aquarium. Our surroundings, family, friends, TV, internet – were raised in a collective state of mind. We are told that we have to learn, get a job, build a relationship, have a family, work, raise kids, set goals all the time… Is it really our own decision? If yes – when was it taken? At which point?
How can we check if it makes sense? If it’s rational?
Let’s just quickly have a look if we, as humans, make sense in general. We are the only species in this World that is actually destroying the World. There is no other animal, plant, anything that is destroying their home – our planet. Only we are doing it. So from the very holistic point of view – what we are doing doesn’t make sense at all. So I will let you answer the question now – does the pursuit of success make sense? Does our system make sense? What are the consequences of it on a larger scale? So if we are not making sense as human beings, if our system and the collective state of mind don’t make sense, then how any component of that state of mind can make sense? Like the pursuit of the career success – the thing that is the topic of this short case study.
So let’s state out loud this great goal now. We will rush our life to achieve a moment in our life when we will have certain amount of paper bills in our pocket and then we can start to truly enjoy our life. Then we will be safe and everything will be beautiful. And by the way – we will be a little bit too old, have too many loans, mortgages, kids and so on to suddenly question everything and start to be a rebel.
If the “system” were a person we could say: you are pretty clever.
What’s more, how can all of this make sense if it works only for a certain percentage of the people in this World? How can any statement be true if it works in 1% of the cases? And only in the “Northern World”?
You think that anybody can do that. And it only depends of you and your motivation. Then let’s travel to some other part of the Globe and see. Let’s go to so called “Third World”. A lot of people will never have a chance. The “success” dream for them is unimaginable. It’s only on TV and it’s so far away that it feels like it’s on an another planet. So “the success dream” is only a “Northern World” game.
And it is a game. We have to/want to play it to some extent. As long as we are not played – we are fine. We are aware.
So how to at least know what’s happening around us? How to get out of the aquarium that we were raised in and living in? How can we be an aware player in this game?
You have to stop thinking. Not forever. But you have to stop it. The compulsive thoughts that you have in your mind, the circuit of thinking schemes, has to stop. You have to start creating a gap in the stream of your thoughts in order to have a moment to look at it from a different perspective, and to understand how it works.
How can you take a look at it if you are inside?
If you are a player in a soccer game, you should at least sometimes go to a high tribune to have a look from the distance how the game actually looks. Stop thinking. Observe what your mind thinks. Don’t associate it with what you see. Just for a test. You would be surprised.
Yes, you heard me. Yes, I’m serious. Yes I’ve tried. Many people tried. After this, you will never be able to take a step back.
There are many ways. I will give you a simple one for the start. There is a book. “The Power of NOW” written by Eckhart Tolle.
If you feel intrigued – go for it. I won’t say much more. Just maybe this. There is no greater freedom than not being anyone’s slave. And even if you are thinking that you are not anyone’s slave. You are. You are a slave of your own mind. When you will release yourself from that bond, you will experience a great feeling. It’s hard to get there but when you will get the first glimpses of how it feels – you will know it’s worth it. Good luck. Soon you will be one of the people that know how it is to be Here and Now.
As you probably can guess – I’m a pretty big fan of Eckhart Tolle and his book “The Power of Now”. I’ve even created a NOW Watch that I’m producing in China and selling worldwide throughout this website. All the words above are not a selling tactic though. It’s a fruit of my thinking. Especially the moments when I’m not in the compulsive thinking mode, (which still happens to me,) but in the observer mode. When I’m detached and observing reality and my own thinking.
Hope you enjoyed the article. If you are here, you probably at least survived till the end. Thank you.
If you want to share some thoughts on the above – feel free to leave a comment below.
Emo Philips: “I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”