Jul 31, 2007

You say you don’t like your Life - Are you sure you’re even Living your Life?

‘If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.?

-Jim Rohn

As you read the above quote by motivational speaker and one time mentor to Anthony Robbins, Jim Rohn, you might have experienced some sort of ‘gut? reaction to his quote. Chances are pretty significant that at some point in your life you have had a sudden realization that you were living your life around someone else’s plans; you suddenly develop an awareness that more decisions in your life than you care to remember, have been determined by someone other than yourself.

Now, this may be in the context of your career, interactions with extended family or neighbors, or a marriage. One thing is certain though, when there is harmony in the relationship, we are comfortable having others ‘weigh in? on the decision, making a cooperative determination. And isn’t it true, that when the relationship is really harmonious, that we don’t even mind having an occasional decision made ‘for? us, by the person in question?

How do we know when the relationship is no longer harmonious? John Gottman, Ph. D., the worlds foremost expert on the ’success? or ‘failure? of marriages states that there is harmony when we feel respected. However, using sophisticated video camera’s, Gottman has been able to predict with 91% accuracy which couples will be divorced within 4-6 years, by watching them interact on camera, and then using the findings of world renowned facial expression scientist, Dr. Paul Ekman to interpret the ‘communication? between them.

Gottman has authored several brilliant books, and I would highly recommend them all, but for the purposes of this article, I will narrow it down to this: where there is consistent ‘contempt? shown by one or both of the partners toward the other, the shows pretty much over. Again, Gottman has consistently predicted with 91% accuracy, who will ‘make it’, and who won’t.

Much of it has to do with what’s known as ‘threshold.? Let’s say that from time to time, your computer just shuts down’.you have no idea why’.it just does. Now, if this only happens once every two weeks, even though it’s a royal pain in the butt, you’ll probably go a long time before you finally ‘feel? like you need to buy a new one. Let this same thing start happening once a day though, and it won’t be long before you toss it through the window and head off on your new computer search.

Perhaps threshold would be better described like this; imagine a long glass tube, about 8 inches in diameter, and six feet long, resting vertically against a wall in your home. Much like a giant thermometer, it has a semi-thick red liquid that rises when you are upset or angry.

Let’s pretend that we are starting at a baseline, where all of the red liquid is pooled at the bottom of the tube. Enter the first experience where your partner makes some ‘cutting? remark; the red liquid now comes up about two feet in the tube. Naturally, given enough time before the next ‘hurtful? remark by this other person, your anger will have had time to dissipate, and the red liquid will have returned to its starting position.

Wait a minute though, what about the situation where your ‘red liquid? has come up two feet, and has only gone about half way back down before the next sarcastic or contemptuous remark comes your way? Now the red liquid, even if it only travels the normal two feet, is now pushing to the three foot mark.

Then, if once again, then before the ‘liquid? has had a chance to go back down, BAM’..you are angered or hurt again’.what happens?

This pattern will eventually ‘ratchet? the red liquid all the way to the top, and then, much like the proverbial cartoon thermometer in an overheated room”BOOM!!! The thermometer will shatter.

When this happens with a human being, it’s called going over threshold. Once we have gone past our threshold, by having experienced too many of the same emotions in a compressed period of time, we experience an emotional ‘pop.? Just as a bubble that has ‘popped? can no longer return to its previous form, neither can most of us ever return to the same feelings we had for someone before the ‘pop.?

We often hear this expressed with such phrases as ? I just don’t feel anything for them anymore? or ‘It’s just not there’it’s gone, it’s like I’m numb.?

Comments like this are a verbal description of the emotional landscape of a person’s inner world. Can people ‘hold? a relationship together once they hit this point? I think you would agree, that people can hold it together even in the bleakest of conditions when they let the fear of the unknown control their destiny.

Women who have been beaten once a month for ten years will often stay around, simply because they know what to expect. My god, if they left and went elsewhere, it might be different, and they wouldn’t have the same degree of predictability in their lives for some time, and that folks, is often enough’.the fear of the unknown.

The question then, becomes: ‘will most people be able to experience the passion and peak emotional experiences they desire in life, ‘holding? a situation like this together? I’ll leave that one for you to answer.

I was recently watching a video clip on youtube.com of Stephen Gilligan. Gilligan was one of the premiere students of the famous therapist and medical hypnosis wizard, Milton Erickson.

Gilligan was asked by the interviewer, what the most important thing he had learned from Erickson (who died in 1980 I believe) had been. Gilligan, who had experienced sexual abuse as a child, and now a world famous psychologist who graduated from Stanford, said, ‘I think it was that life is to be enjoyed!? He then went on to say that we are here for a brief period of time, and that we can either go through life trying to be something we’re not, and then at the end of our life experience the feeling of ‘what was the point”, or, we can be true to ourselves, and live life on our terms.

Dan Kennedy says, ‘No one who is good at making excuses is also good at making money. The skills are mutually exclusive.? My spin on that is, ‘No one who is good at justifying being treated poorly is also good at feeling alive and happy.?

This article was purposely written in a manner than lacked continuity and was a bit unorganized, solely for the purpose of stimulating your mind in applying this information in your life, exactly where it would benefit you most. Trust that your unconscious mind will fill in the gaps, allowing you to draw your own conclusions, and to make your own discoveries about whether or not you have a plan for your life.-(VH)

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