I could share information and facts about who I am (see my bio), but I think you’ll get to know me better by understanding some of my beliefs. That way you can decide if I’m someone you want to follow and learn from.
My purpose is to share ideas and teach you strategies and skills to make better choices, to overcome challenges (internal and external), and replace negative patterns with a positive state of mind from which you can achieve your greatest desires and live a joyful and abundant life.
We can choose.
Life is hard, perhaps harder for some than others, but is nonetheless hard for a vast majority of us human beings. We’re born into an imperfect world and life seems to come at us in an unending series of challenges. Nevertheless, I believe that more important than what happens to us is our ability to choose. We are meant to act and not be acted upon. The facts, circumstances, and events of our lives don’t define us. Even bigger is our ability to make choices. By our choices we determine our fate and the quality and outcomes of our lives.
We want to succeed.
The desire to succeed is as natural as eating, breathing, and sleeping. Unless seriously mentally ill, no one wakes up in the morning thinking, “Today I’m going to…see how miserable I can be,” “…do my best to alienate my teenage daughter,” “…let my anger get the best of me,” or “…blow my sales call.” We fail. Better said, we fail to achieve all our hopes and aspirations or live from our best selves, but not due to bad intent. Some of our failure is due to the nature of life—hard things happen. We win some and lose some. However, much of our failure is due to flawed beliefs and/or a lack of effective strategies. The good news is that we can learn new strategies to succeed.
We act from core beliefs…
…or assumptions about ourselves, other people, and life. Although we’re not always (usually) aware of our deepest assumptions, they are powerful determiners of our behavior. For example, a person who believes, “I’m a good, though imperfect person,” is going to respond differently to life than someone who believes, “I’m inadequate.” Likewise, someone who believes, “Life is what I make it,” will experience adversity differently than someone who believes, “It’s a jungle out there.” We can become aware of our core beliefs and, by changing them (a process), experience life differently, in more empowering ways.
Life is governed by laws.
The chemical formula for water is H20. Never will three atoms of oxygen combine with two atoms of hydrogen to form water. Its nature is unchanging. Likewise, the law of gravity is pervasive and unchanging. We are always subject to its consequences. As human beings, we are dependent upon the consistency of these laws. Similarly, I believe there are psychological laws that govern our existence. For example: Our beliefs (conscious or not) determine our reactions and behavior. The mind seeks to prove itself “right” about whatever it happens to believe. Our choices determine our destiny. The source of our experience is inside. Trust begets trust. And so on. Much like physical laws, as we understand and align to psychological laws we find greater success, fulfillment, joy, peace, love, and happiness.
We long for love and connection.
A baby’s physical needs may be met completely, but if she doesn’t receive large doses of touch, cuddling, smiling, eye contact, and affirming words, research shows that she’ll likely grow up to be severely mentally or emotionally handicapped. This longing for love continues throughout our lives, albeit in more disguised forms. Seeking romance is an obvious search for love. But even striving for achievement and success is at least partly motivated by knowing that we matter, that we have worth to others. I would even go so far as to assert that many of addictive and adrenalin seeking behaviors are escapes from our loneliness and lack of meaningful connection to others. Connection, attachment, and love give our lives great meaning. We have a responsibility to not only seek love but to give love to our brothers and sisters who walk this earth with us.
Our families matter.
Our families are the most important laboratory in which we learn about ourselves, relationships, and how to get a long in life. Our most fundamental beliefs are/were learned not only from others but through our interactions with others, particularly our parents or primary caregivers. Children who learn emotional literacy are more self-confident, better performers at school, and have healthier social relationships. They learn these skills through positive interactions with their parents. So I believe it’s very important to our development and that of our children that we learn principles and skills of healthy couple and family relationships.
We know good from bad.
To quote John Drinkwater: “We know the hemlock from the rose, the pure from stained, the noble from the base.” Our deepest nature knows what is good. (Hostility does not breed joy.) And, with some notable exceptions, our deepest nature desires what is good—joy, peace, love—even when we do and justify “wrong.” I don’t mean to sound moralistic. But I do mean to say that something deep inside most of us knows right from wrong, good from bad, whether we act upon this knowledge or not. This principle is the basis for great hope and trust in humankind. If we can learn to quiet our minds and listen, this inner nature will lead us towards fulfillment and positive relationships.
Some ways of living are more enriching than others.
People organize their lives around themes. One theme is fear and scarcity in which life is a battleground over which we don’t feel a lot of control. Another is duty and obligation in which we find safety through compliance, submission, and avoidance. Another is achievement and success in which we continually seek to have and do more, bigger, and better. Another is abundance and goodwill in which we open our hearts to the wonder of life and take full responsibility for our experience, here and now. Each of these four themes (or ways of living) function according to unique characteristics, core beliefs, and behavioral practices. The meaning of success changes as we move from one way of living to another. People who are happiest and most fulfilled live from the principles, beliefs, and practices of abundance and goodwill. These principles can be learned and incorporated into our lives.
These are a few of my beliefs and a sampling of topics that I write about in my blog as well as teach through my personal and family development programs. I hope they make sense to you.