Friday, 27 March 2009

Why You MUST Think About What You DON'T Want

Please forgive my silence this week – I’ve been on the road all week and the victim of a very poor internet connection at my hotel.

And I won't even go into the flat tire that happened while I was on my way to catch a train yesterday... (made it with10 minutes to spare ;-)

Rest of the trip was great, though!

Today I’d like to address a ‘mindset debate’ that can have a huge impact on your life, and here it is…

You know all those Law of Attraction (LOA) programs that insist you should never think about what you don't want because thinking about it will produce those unwanted results in your life?

If you’ve been trying to use the LOA at all, you’ve probably puzzled about this very question. Should you think about what you don't want as a motivator, to light a fire under your butt, or is it just too risky?

This was Marie’s question too, and here’s what she wrote:

"How does your program mesh with the Law of Attraction teachings? In particular I am talking about focusing on what you don't want. You mentioned in your book that you must have sufficient revulsion to a situation in order to change it. Yet my law of attraction coaches tell me that is resistance and focusing on a "don't want," which I will get more of. Yet I make choices all the time to notice an environment or situation is something I don't want and I move away from it. I get opportunities and people coming my way all the time and I say no to them because they feel like a waste of time and energy. I was unable to vibe my way out of my job until I stopped focussing on the positive aspects of it and realized it was really draining me. So my question to you is how do you reconcile these two concepts?"

In response to Marie’s EXCELLENT question, here’s my answer…

There’s a nasty psychological tendency we humans have that makes it imperative for us to think about what we don’t want in order to break free from it…

And that psychological tendency is our nearly infinite ability to become perversely comfortable with the most monumentally uncomfortable situations. Witness the prison inmate who’s terrified of freedom and would prefer to remain behind bars, despite the violence, ugliness and restrictions of that life.

We may be shocked by the inmate’s refusal of the freedom we all enjoy, but we then turn around and do the very same thing in our own lives. That is, we continually recreate patterns of failure because, no matter how much they hurt, we're as comfortable with them as with a well-worn shoe.

So I’m here to tell you the plain and simple truth – unless you get rid of that feeling of comfort with your lousy finances, your empty relationships or your dismal health, you will NEVER take the action you need to transform the situation.

You won’t change your current situation until you despise it. And for all those who think that anything other than an unending feeling of sweetness and light is bound to wreck your life, I have news for you…

…all Authentic Ancient Traditions have thousands of years of data to say you’re wrong. The recent New Age tendency to go into a cold sweat at the mere mention of emotions like anger is wrong. Ironically, that knee jerk response is perilously close to the very attitudes that led to our mind-body split in the Western world in the first place.

One of the most recent Orthodox Christian holy men went so far as to say that there’s no progress in spiritual life until hatred [for the inner obstacles to that life] reaches its maximum. And millennia of data are there to support his assertion.

Likewise, in any area of your life that you want to transform, you must pick yourself up by the scruff of the neck and shake yourself until you recognize just how much you detest where you are.

You may remember my talking about Napoleon Hill’s statement that you’ll never get what you want until you work yourself into a white heat of desire for it. The opposite is equally true….

…You’ll never get out of what you don’t want until you hate it with all your heart.

Now notice something very important: the quality of thought that goes into obsessively dwelling on what you don’t want is totally different from the quality of thought that goes into despising what you don’t want. Read that sentence again and think about it.

In the first instance, which is what most people do and what causes them to re-create the same destructive patterns in their lives over and over again, the predominant emotion is fear. Fear is a victim’s emotion. It disempowers you, makes your feel defenceless and helpless.

When you despise your situation, on the other hand, the situation is very different. The emotion of despising is the emotion of the predator, not the prey, so you no longer feel helpless, defenceless or disempowered. Instead, you have the initiative.

In other words, so called negative emotions are not entirely negative at all. Yes, they can become very destructive to ourselves and others if and only if we use them inappropriately, but they’re not inherently bad.

And if we don’t leverage the ‘negative’ emotion of hatred to break through our perverse sense of comfort with misery, we’ll stay in misery forever.

I know for a fact that lots of people failed to progress in this or that area of their lives until they detested where they were. And, as far as I can see, this has also been true for Marie.

This approach has the added advantage of keeping the horror of where you’re at very fresh in your mind and of helping you to understand your current reality better.

It also sets in motion the psychological law of contrast – the greater the difference you can see in your mind between your current reality and where you want to be, the greater and more decisive will be your efforts to move toward the latter.

So don’t be a victim of the LOA ‘dogmatists’ who are telling you that any thought of what you don’t want is dangerous. Just the opposite is true.

You’re entirely responsible for the quality of your thoughts, so start now to put some high quality "hate" onto what you don’t want. Just make sure that before you start to do this, however, you also know precisely what you would love to see. And spend at least twice as much time visualizing your desires as you do on your current, lousy situation.

And many thanks again to Marie for this very timely question!

- Dr. Symeon Rodger

1 comment:

  1. hi Dr. Rodger,

    I don't know if you've heard of him or not, but Robert Fritz' books "The Path of Least Resistance" and "Creating" greatly expand on, illustrate, and show how to use the process of becoming clear on the difference between where you are (in any particular project) and where you want to be, to facilitate your ability to create whatever it is that you are working on.

    Thank you for your blog!

    Dale Patton