Sunday, May 12, 2013

If You Really Want Something Then Don't Want It

This is a subtle concept and requires some close attention to fully understand it.  Let's take it one easy step at a time:

1.  The word "want" inevitably develops some emotion around it for most people because of the way it operates in the context of your early life.  Before age 7 the developing mind has no ability to disbelieve anything to which it is exposed.    We were told what we can and can't have, and why, virtually every time the word "want" escaped our lips.

Don't negotiate, just ignore.
2.  "Want" is therefore emotionally connected to how "worthy" we believe we are; the things we believe we are ultimately "allowed" to be, do and have; and what kinds of things are fundamentally unavailable to each of us specifically.  E.g. "You can't do that because that's something only boys do, and you're a girl."  Or, "You can't  have that because We Are Poor."  These beliefs are mostly below the conscious level of awareness and therefore influence our default Standard Operating Procedures.

3.  As an adult when you say or think that you "want" something substantially different to what you now have, those beliefs and procedures are unconsciously re-activated.  They tell you "no."  They tell you that you are not worthy, not allowed, can't afford it, it's only for people who aren't you, or that it will probably end up harming you in some way.  They make you operate in ways that actually move you away from the thing you want. Your Standard Operating Procedures are keeping you fat, poor and lonely because that's what is familiar and therefore what is safe.

4.  Willpower is of no use here or anywhere, because it is a nonexistent thing.  That thing that people call willpower is just conflict between the conscious mind and the unconscious one which believes that only it knows how to keep you safe.  The unconscious mind ALWAYS wins.  Every time.  The moment the conscious mind gets distracted, tired, stressed or doubtful, the unconscious slips back into Standard Operating Procedures and behavior reverts right back to normal.  The addict returns to his drug or device, the overweight diabetic returns to her fetal lifestyle, the victim returns to his self-pity.

4.  Therefore to consciously "want" something translates into the experience of forever wanting something and never obtaining it.  Especially if it is something we were programmed never to have through these deep, unconscious beliefs that we don't usually even know we have.

5.  But these beliefs are easy to expose and root out.  For example, your unconscious beliefs about how much money you believe you are "allowed" to have is accurately reflected in your current bank balance.  Is that a jagged pill to swallow for you?  It is for all of us, mate.  

6.  Exposing and eliminating bad beliefs can be done through years and years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in psychotherapy with a 5% chance of success.  Or you can use NLP, hypnosis, or other techniques to operate on the mind and transform it into something that works better for you within a few hours.  And if even that is too hard, there is a shortcut.

7.  The shortcut is to avoid the word "want" altogether.  Do not "want" the thing you want.  Do you want money?  A healthy body?  A great relationship?  A Moto Guzzi V7 Classic in white with fairing, fuel injection, electronic ignition, electric start and shaft drive?  Or do you simply want happiness?  Then stop wanting it.

8.  The Buddha cryptically said that desire was the source of all suffering.  He may have been onto something if children in his day were also accustomed to "wanting" out loud every damn thing they see in the supermarket.  Personally, a lot of my suffering happens when I foolishly enter a grocery store outside of school hours.  Why do kids want so much crap?  We want a thing not for the thing itself but only for the feeling that we think the thing will give us.

9.  We have also been duped by our culture into thinking that the things we want will actually give us those feelings:  significance, security, connection, freedom, joy; and that having them is the only way.  The truth is that we can have the feelings anytime we want, with or without the thing.  But it's not wrong to still want the thing or to still get it.  Only our own sense of unworthiness, our own identity/destiny story, or our disbelief in the possibilities prevents it.

10.  Therefore if there is something you want, then stop wanting it.  Replace the feelings of wanting with the feelings you imagine the thing would give you.  Now, simply "choose" the thing.  Say "I choose to have a lot of money."  "I choose to have a healthy body."  "I choose to have a deeply fulfilling marriage relationship."  "I choose to have Filet Mignon or a nice t-bone with baked potato and sour cream any time I'm in the mood for it."  Now you no longer want it, because you already feel the way you would if you had it.  Because you no longer feel "want" for it, you no longer feel unworthy or incapable of having it.  Because you no longer want it, you are now allowed to have it.

11.  Persistent repetition of that choice re-writes your Standard Operating Procedures and overwrites those useless old "worthiness" and "destiny" beliefs.  It takes as long as it takes, but infinite patience brings immediate results.  The more your unconscious mind trusts you, the faster it works.  Build trust with your unconscious mind just like you would build trust with anyone else: keep your promises and deliver the goods for as long as it takes. And relax!  Be happy!  When your unconscious mind observes you happy and relaxed, it reckons you must be onto something good, and will finally follow your lead instead of resisting your attempts to change.

12.  Of course this practice pre-supposes that you have some degree of mastery over your conscious mind.  That's no small feat in itself, but it is as simple as gradually developing the ability to stop your thoughts at any point at which they run wild and diverge from your true choices and desires, and replace them with thoughts that support you and your goals.  Your free will only exists at the level of thought, and that is the level at which your determination and choices can have an effect. Start by seeing if you can have no thought for even one second, and gradually extend the time.  Then see if you can think of something specific of your choice for up to 15 minutes.

13. Of course in the long run you can always go back, expose and eliminate the old unsupportive beliefs that you have accumulated.  We all have them.  But they aren't who you are.  They are someone else's discarded thoughts that don't work, or were simply misunderstandings to begin with.  Deleting the word "want" from your vocabulary, however, is a great shortcut to use in the meantime.  It works.

How do I know?  My own experience with this concept is the following.  For years I "wanted" to earn a living doing something that I love. I "wanted" and "wanted."  And all the wanting brought only one thing:  more wanting.  It was only when I re-wrote the piece of paper that was taped to the wall in front of me and that I looked at every day.  I crossed out the word "want" and wrote, "I CHOOSE to earn a living doing the things I love."

Within a few days I was doing exactly that.

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