When we sit back and let life take the wheel, thinking we’re playing no part in it, we’re wrong. Some might think that it’s possible to do nothing. Technically it is, but you’d have to be dead. A long as your heart is beating, you’re doing something: your brain is ticking, interpreting the environment around you, creating your reality. It’s a bit of a simplification to just say your brain, really your whole body is involved in the process. The brain is not so much the powerhouse of our existence, as it once might have been thought. It’s the combined effort of our whole body which create this experience of you and your life.
Even at that, we can’t just stop at the body; our environment is the basis of what we interpret. Our ever changing environment, as it has morphed from childhood to now, constantly being interpreted differently, informed by your subjective experience of it. All of these moments, including the ones that could have or might have been, create the experience of this moment. This means external and internal environments.
Yet, it isn’t merely our pasts which creates our present; as we said, moments which could have been – entirely hypothetical realities – have influenced where you are now. So it might stand to reason that any imagined future right now – your internal environment – in some way influences your current moment. It influences it in the way of action – what do we think? What do we feel? steps do we take now to veer our lives in the way we choose?
See, we are constantly taking steps towards the life we choose, just usually we’re not doing it consciously. Normally we’re not aware of how where our imagination takes us right now in our day dreams and worries, helps generate the actuality of where we end up. We influence ourselves in certain directions without realising the control we’re having over the situation. That’s the moment that you think ‘life’ has the wheel, and you’re just kicking back. What’s more the case, is that you have the wheel, but you’re asleep.
If you’re working away at a dead-end nine-to-five job, while wishing you were off traveling the world or spending your days painting, you probably have some belief that working a nine-to-five ‘is just what people do’ so of course that’s what you’re doing.
Your unconscious beliefs and filters through which you see the world – your paradigm – is informing, and so guiding, the course of your reality. The default systems we have are in play – our habits and learned patterns of operating in the world – and we simply react like a pinball through our lives. We only think we can do kinda crappy, low-waged jobs? Guess what? We only apply for kinda crappy, low-waged jobs.
Becoming aware of your habits – both mental and physical – can give you a window in to just how your world works; how you perceive it, and how you function in it. These can often be very limiting, and if you dig in to them, informed by looking at life from a reactive viewpoint. As if you’ve been at the mercy of other forces, and your past experience. At the mercy of your limiting beliefs.
This can all come out in beliefs like I’m not good enough or I can’t do things like that – beliefs that hold you back. Informed by nothing more than you building up some idea, some time ago, about how you couldn’t do this or that. This might have been some ‘failure’ or other people putting you down, but for whatever reason you’ve programmed your brain to look at certain things and go nope. To completely back down, and not even acknowledge the fact that things could be otherwise.
That’s why it can be so hard to uncover aspects of ourselves like this, and then to work on them. Aspects which we are (not necessarily consciously) hiding from ourselves. Until recently, I didn’t think my writing was worth putting online – who would read it? Who would care? Until I decided (through a grueling several month process) that yes, I should publish my writing because, well, mainly I enjoyed it.
I wanted to be able to share my thoughts with other people, but I was too busy judging my worthiness that I let myself just be self-critical, worrying all the while that other people might criticize it. This put me off getting properly in to this whole online business side of things for over a year. Worrying I might fail. Worrying I might make a fool of myself. We often project our insecurities on to other people, or on to situations and opportunities; we see things through the light of our own experience.
So if you have the habit of saying no to opportunities, because perhaps you think you don’t deserve success, of course you’re going to feel like you never get a break.
Of course if you don’t think it’s impossible to get by without a day-job, you’re never going to live the life you want.
Of course if you think you can’t, you won’t.
Changing where we put our spotlight of attention, what we take in, what we do, what we aim for: that’s when we realise we aren’t simply the victims of our pasts and of our current situation – we help create our reality. Change your mind, and you can change your life.
I’m not saying that reality is simply what we wish it to be, or that we are in any true control over our destiny (if you believe in that sort of thing). Perhaps the best way to put it is that we are co-creators of our reality, since taking this active approach of acknowledging your unique filter through which you see the world, you gain some insight in to the situation. You have your say. Like a pilot with his radars and controls, able to avoid storm clouds and arrive at the desired destination.
The question is, where are you going?