THE SUPER IMPERATIVE NEEDED TO HAVE A GREAT LIFE
BUT OFTEN GLOSSED OVER OR CONSIDERED TO BE TRITE
The objective: To have you be very effective in life AND UNCONDITIONALLY HAPPY, being VIRTUALLY STRESS-FREE and anxiety-free EVERY DAY. [All these criteria fit together in one whole and you can't compromise one without the others being effective.]
This piece deals with the part that most influences the two items in capital letters.
This process and its product is absolutely foundational for your life!
BELIEVING IN ALOT OF ACCUMULATED NONSENSE
We operate from those beliefs.
If uncorrected, many of the beliefs
1. Don't get us what we want (i.e. they are "unworkable") and/or
These dramatically reduce the quality of life.
And it's not a good idea to let this continue! (What kind of standards would you be living if you allow these to continue to dominate? Are you too busy being busy to do this vital, vital, vital work?)
You don't think you are "at the effect" of these? Just look at your life and note that you are experiencing much unnecessary stress (i.e. you should very seldom have a day with with any more than virtually no stress - and if you are, there are some beliefs and assumptions that are definitely false).
If you're living in an undercurrent of fear, anxiety, and the consequent stress, you cannot use your brain nearly as well as it could be used, you'll experience a poor quality of life, and your health will suffer.
If you bother (it takes work) to correct this, you'll live without unnecessary fears and anxieties and your days will be virtually free of anxiety and fear. I recommend that you accept nothing less - that this be your standard - or you'll be giving away a good deal of your life, period.
Yes, I guarantee it can be done, even though most people have convinced themselves to have at least some doubt. They simply needed to develop and actually use The Skill Of Change. (Right at this point, many will come up with all sorts of objections and beliefs that are simply not true.)
HONOR THE PERSISTENT "DUH!"S IN YOUR LIFE
Note that I'll sometimes insert after some sentences a "Duh!". That simply means they are pretty obvious. And a common automatic response will tend to be "of course, I know that!" - but if the results of knowing that do not show up in your life, you definitely do not know enough. (See Sufficient Knowing, from there link to Authentic Learning, and from there to Mastery Learning.)
Some of this discussion will be "duh"s but the intent here is to have you see the whole picture and then to follow the path necessary to get to the objective.
OPERATING FROM "THE PERSPECTIVE"
The enabler for all of this lack of stress is to be able to go up to 50,000 feet whenever needed - to gain the proper perspective as to what is true and what is or is not valid enough to be a concern. (Although you care about [value] something, you must be able to get the perspective of how it fits in life, just as the Dalai Lama [but without years of meditation and monkism].) (Why Are Buddhist Monks So Happy? - we can employ the same principles! See The Power Of Perspective.)
YOU CAN'T VIOLATE THIS LAW AND GET AWAY WITH IT
Notice that, as in physics, there cannot be two things occuping the same space at the same time, and this includes being in your brain. (Duh!) If you push in alot of negative thought (especially fears), you cannot have happy thoughts. (Duh!) If you have alot of stress then you cannot be happy (duh!) - not truly happy, though your assessment, related to how stress is "normal" today, might be that you're happy - but it really only means you're "ok".
I noticed, as I waited for the electrician to finish up, that my stomach tensed up and I had this "go, go, go" feeling (actually a thought), as if I could somehow push him to be faster (at $100/hour!). But, then I noticed that I could gain the perspective of the Dalai Lama, and see that this was of no consequence in my life (relatively) and that it was just a passing "cloud" through my sky - and that I did not need to employ even the slightest anxiety or fear around it. This was from a habitual way of reacting, based on false beliefs and bad practices, that is entirely droppable (and/or retrainable), for sure!
THE BIG ZAPPERS
The basic underlying beliefs that produce the fear, stress and anxiety, needlessly:
"I could lose something here - and it means something to lose that." (Mostly this is a "not really!") Part of the puzzle here involves inserting the "other side" also, such as in
"There is something to fear in loss."
"If I don't get something I want in the future, that is a loss!" (That is really nonsense!)
"I can by tensing up somehow control this." (Rather than by just acting on a conscious
choice to do something if I could have an influence. This attempt at control is a
product of "magical thinking")
"Somehow being concerned or worrying about this will create a positive effect out there." (Distorted thinking, with a huge, huge cost!)
"I'm not doing so well at this, therefore I am flawed and threatened by being flawed." (Part of this can be a piece that you are not aware of.)
CRAP SUPPORTS CRAP
We have nonsense beliefs that we accumulate as is, instead of correcting, and then those support other nonsense (or nonworkable) beliefs. The result is that we end up doing things that don't work or creating fears that are unnecessary. Now, if you think about it, how stupid is that! (Or negligent.)
Doing something about this has the greatest effect on your life of anything beyond being fed and sheltered and not injured (dead is ok).
AND THEN THE "CONDITIONING" EXACERBATES THE PROBLEM!
By creating many, many threats and alarms during the day, we are constantly bombarding the alarm system so that we become hypervigilant - kind of frenetically looks for threats to be upset about and actually creating more alarms. Plus a stressed out body is more reactive and also dysfunctional.
THE TIME, THE WORK, THE PAYOFF
"How many hours will it take to greatly improve my beliefs?"
Good question. I hope you don't have any unrealistic ungrounded beliefs about how it should be easy and quick. (It takes alot of time, but it is very doable. And most people who try it stop way too soon, as if expecting that some shortcut or partial approach will be good enough!)
I'd say 200+ hours.
But the payoffs are immense. And part of the payoffs start fairly soon. Often just the commitment and the start of this produces a payoff in how you run your life and pay attention to what is going on. You get smarter quicker, both in how you're more effectively formulating things, but your brain actually starts working better when it is not partially shut down by fear (or the vague feeling of "something's wrong").
And it will save you 400 to 1000 hours per year that are ordinarily used to "seek relief" from anxiety - and which can be converted to something that will have an actual good payoff in enjoying life and/or improving it. Plus you'll have alot more energy (and alot less exhaustion and tiredness!).
You'll start to be more effective in how you live your life. And you'll gradually reduce the ill effect on your health until you've virtually eliminated any stress effect.
THE MEANS - AS FOR ANY SIMILAR PROJECT!
You plan it ahead of time, setting up regular times in your schedule (in addition to journaling), plus you set up a support system including any partners, counselors, or coaches who you will work with.
See the sidebar near the top to link to see how you can do the corrections!