1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?
My response: First of all, there is nothing wrong with a big ego. A big ego is a sign of healthy self-esteem (it's twisted version can be a sign of malignant narcissism). Many of the problems we currently suffer from arise from the fact that we have never been taught what real self-esteem means. Our country is dying due to a large degree of people who have been coddled into believing that it is not necessary for them to deal with reality, they are owed something, and the the work needed to attain virtue, ethics, and values in their life is for "squares." We can see the results of this all around us. Industry is dying, individualism is dying, and collectivism is growing by leaps and bounds. The "need to be right" is a necessary component of a healthy self-esteem. The need to be right arises from the rational mind. It is a reflection of your dedication to use your mind to enhance your life and recognize those things which are a threat to your life...such as collectivism, moral relativism, divorcing the moral from the practical, allowing yourself the easier path of floating in a sea of disconnected, unrealized, half-baked premises all which have the ability to steal your ability to be happy from you.
And as far as being kind goes, people who deal with each other as traders--trade not only the material but the spiritual. If there is an individual I know who holds collectivism as his primary way of dealing with others (force)--then exactly who am I expected to be kind to? Why would I be kind to an enslaver?
2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu
My response: This particular point derives from Eastern philosophy. "Just let go. There is no need to worry about anything. You can't do anything about it anyway." In the meantime, nations fall to dictators, collectivism grows, and you find yourself enslaved because you were too busy sitting around with your thumb firmly planted up your ass on a meditation mat trying to allow your mind to forget that the values of individualism and liberty don't preserve themselves. Ask the Tibetan Buddhists how much sitting around and blanking out reality worked for them in the end.
3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.
My response: Now, there is a particular degree of truth to this point...taking responsibility for your life is always a good thing to do. But you must consciously live in order to make your life something of worth. It doesn't happen in a vacuum. This requires virtue, values, morality and ethics...and it requires that you are dealing with others who understand those requirements as well. But, as I stated above--you can't do that while at the same time denying reality and reason in order to escape into a comfortable place where you don't have to be bothered. But, the way this point reads, it almost implies that you are to forgo blame altogether. Give up on blame? I'm sorry. So, we're not supposed to acknowledge the degree to which collectivist policies coming out of our government caused the financial collapse? There's someone to blame for that. "We're not supposed to discover who allowed one of our ambassadors to be brutally murdered?" There's someone to blame for that. "We're not supposed to look upon those wasting their lives and living off tax-payer dimes as slave-holders?" There's somebody to blame for that.
Judgement, rational judgement of yourself and others (and the degree to which others help or hurt you) cannot be denied or escaped. The ability to determine what helps or hurts your life, which requires judgement of the facts of reality and sitting in judgement of those who hold premises which are hurting your life, is the ability to be able to determine good from evil.
I'm sorry--but, I'm not now or ever going to placate some Marxist or Islamist who seeks to rule me by not calling them out on the irrational philosophies they hold which are a direct detriment to my being able to live my life as I see fit. You have a moral responsibility to judge. Those who seek collective control are only able to do so to the degree to which rational people placate them. These people may have the freedom to hold their ideas, but they do not--have the freedom to impose them on me because they hinder my life.
There is no such thing as a right to violate rights.
4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle
My response: Out of curiosity I went and found out who Eckhart Tolle is. From his website:
Eckhart’s profound yet simple teachings have already helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness. [My emphasis] This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but also for the ending of violence on our planet.Transcending our ego-based state of consciousness? Transcending...towards what? There is no other state of consciousness that an ego-based state of consciousness. Egoism is an attribute of the individual. Consciousness is an attribute of the individual--the physical individual. Consciousness cannot exist outside of a physical body which possesses a consciousness. Most times when people like this gentleman talk about "transcending our ego-based state of consciousness" what they really mean is...stop being so "selfishly" concerned with your own life and happiness...and become one with the collective consciousness. There is no such thing as a "collective consciousness." But, if you re-read what I stated above--you will discover that your life and happiness cannot be achieved accept by your reasoning mind which is a function...of your ego.
Now, there is definitely a value in having a positive attitude towards your achievements and how to deal with failure when failure happens--but, again--this is a function of your reasoning state of mind, your ego. In order to "transcend your ego"--you need to split your consciousness from your body--and in order to be happy--those two things must work together, not separately. You cannot separate those two things without doing detrimental damage to yourself and others.
As far as ending violence on our planet goes--violence will never end as long as there are people who uphold collectivism as a means of dealing with others; whether it's theocrats who want to use the force of law to make others obey "God" (which really is the priest-hood heirarchy who determine what God wants, hence, it's people who want to do the controlling) or the secular collectivists who hold as their replacement for God that mythical "whatever" called "Society" or "The Good of Society, doesn't matter. They're both the same in form and epistemology. The only thing that is going to end violence is a widely-held respect for individual rights. And individual rights cannot mean you have a right to someone else's labor for nothing because that would, in turn, mean making them your slave; that is a direct violation of rights. So, until all these collectivists start accepting individual rights as a principle and stop enslaving people to either an amorphous spiritual "God" of their mind's creation or sacrificing people on the altar of that God called "Society"--there is never going to be peace. And they are going to have to come to terms with the fact that the little fantasy they have imagined in their heads--is just that--a fantasy. Reality needs to be respected when you begin talking about "helping" others for whatever reason. The virtue of a good deed cannot be brought about by the evil of enslavement.
5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle
My response: All in all, this particular point is not a bad thing. At the same time, however, this attitude could also set you up for failure and disappointment, once again, if your mind is left out of the equation. Chances are, if you are 80 years old and have not studied the discipline of dance up until this point in your life--you are not going to become the next, foremost prima-ballerina. If you think the plausibility of a 80 year old setting themselves up for this kind of disappointment isn't a possibility because it sounds too outrageous--think again. You would be surprised the kinds of lies people tell themselves in order to pretend certain things either do or do not exist. One only has to listen to most of the first auditions on a show such as "American Idol" to wonder what goes on in the heads of some people. It's not so much the people who are bad but who then accept their turn-down with some grace who are the issue--it's the one's who are bad, everyone knows they're bad, and they throw a hissy-fit as if they've been unfairly judged! Listen...to...yourself. And, if you think you have talent and that maybe it's not developed enough--go get yourself a teacher. But, don't allow others to baby you into believing something about yourself that isn't true. Self-examination is a talent like anything else--but, it's a necessary requirement of finding out what you're best at and then building on it. We see how people lie to movie stars all the time. Why? To get a piece of the pie. To "stay in good" with the gravy train. Meanwhile, there's no real friendship there to say to these people. "Hey...have you looked at yourself lately? You're kind of falling apart. You may want to do something about that."
6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
My response: Again, while this sounds good, the bottom line is--reality does throw things in the way of many, many people which prevent them from leading the lives they could have lead...and it's made worse by people who hold bad philosophies. I don't think for one second, that the people of Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy or some sand-pit Islamic totalitarian state, would be able to say that the limitations on their liberty are not something to gripe about.
A friend once said to me, in regards to my political posts on Facebook, my blog and elsewhere, "Your passionate but it seems like it makes you unhappy." I thought, "Well, yes. Yes, it does make me unhappy. My only question is to everyone else--why the hell isn't it making you unhappy? These politicians and even our fellow citizens, either through their ignorance or via intentional movements, have brought collectivism to the shores of America. Exactly what is there to be happy about in regards to the loss of liberty?"
7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.
My response: Again, this is exhorting you to give up your rational faculty and its connection to reality and to put in place of it some feel-good motto that makes you feel good, unjustifiably in many cases, about others whether they deserve it or not. I'm sorry. Marxists, Islamic fascists, socialists, and a myriad number of other "philosophies" don't get my respect just because someone is telling me not to judge them in order to make myself feel better; on the flip-side, I wouldn't feel better if I didn't judge people who held those philosophies because they are a direct threat to me.
Criticism (another word for judgment) is necessary for happiness...happiness only is achievable if one is free to achieve it. If others are promoting things which make your life or the lives of others intolerable...they do not deserve your respect and in many cases people who hold those philosophies don't give one wit about being happy--they seek control for controls sake. For them, their happiness consists in controlling others, it is dependent on it...and that is a sickness.
Wanting to be happy and knowing how to achieve happiness--are two different things.
8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.
My response: Why would I want people to be "drawn to me effortlessly?" This is literally one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. I've heard this phrase bandied about before. Why would you want people to be drawn to you effortlessly? Again, life is about choices. You should make the highest effort possible to choose the people with whom you share values with. If there's some "force" out there drawing people to me "effortlessly"--who exactly is showing up at my doorstep? Karl Marx? Adolph Hitler? The eugenicist founder of Planned Parenthood? People are not "drawn" to you--we find we have relationships with people who share our values. There may be a degree of it that is subconscious--but again--I'm sorry--I refuse to associate with people who's errant philosophies, whether consciously or subconsciously chosen, are in any way, shape or form, detrimental to my own life. If those people who hold those philosophies are in positions of political power where they can yield force over my life, I want nothing to do with them. I would never, for instance, accept a free ticket from someone to go to a dinner at the The White House and sit at the same table with Barack Obama--a man who is directly (albeit more explicitly than some others) responsible for bringing Marxism to this country's shores. I don't care what kind of "opportunity" it would be. To do something like that, when it is in direct opposition to my value of holding individualism and liberty as absolutes--would be the worst crime I could commit against myself.
9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell
My response: Yes, change can be good. But, change can be bad. Need I remind everyone what the slogan of our last Presidential candidate was? Hope and change? If "change" amounts to allowing the proliferation of a top-down state which seeks to control me--you can take your "change" and shove it where the sun don't shine. Because if that's the kind of "change" being talked about--then this entire article is a farce...and pointless.
10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer
My response: "Minds only work when open." Hmmm...I think we all know what this usually translates to: accept any and all depravities of your fellow men, just because they're your fellow men and you have no right to judge them. Not to mention, labels are how the mind processes information. You might as well be telling me we have no reason for dictionaries. People who want you to "not label" things, people, or events often have a subversive reason for doing so. If you don't label people then how can you call out the evil of collectivist doctrine? After all, labels don't matter. Uh, huh. Then you turn around to discover one day that you're a slave of your government. See above. I don't need to touch on this any further.
11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
My response: No. Fear is not just an "illusion." Fear is an emotion and like all of your emotions it springs from value-judgments you hold. Your reasoning mind's purpose is to sort out your emotions and why you have them. Do you find yourself sexually drawn to the prostitute down the street precisely because she's dirty or do you demand the highest kind of person you can find for yourself to have a relationship with--and if it is the prostitute, do you have some serious psychological issues you need to work out? Emotions are barometers of our relationship to reality. Chances are, if you have a fear of something you need to figure out why you have it, what makes you afraid of it, and then work to analyze it. I can't think of anything more irresponsible than to tell people to disregard an emotion they have. If I'm angry because I see my country slipping into tyranny it is a valid emotion and it deserves recognition; on the other hand, I don't need to consider the emotions of those who seek to put my country in that spot when someone is elected who pisses them off by reversing some of that tyranny. I don't need to consider the feelings of Marxists, fascists, theocrats or the malignantly narcissistic, or the criminal. The ACLU has been taking the feelings of criminals into account for decades along with the mentally unstable; last time I checked we have a problem with psychotic people walking around on our streets who shouldn't be. And then, to top it off, our government wants to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens because they've decided political correctness and the feelings of criminals and the insane are more important then keeping them safely locked away where they need to be. Why are criminals allowed conjugal visits? Would someone please explain this to me? Prison isn't a punishment anymore--it's a freaking vacation at Club Med!
12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.
My response: This is probably the only bullet point on this list that has a completely realized value in and of itself and is probably fine the way it stands. Of course, excuses are never good. Grow up and own it. Of course, in order to own the consequences of your actions--you can't indulge in allowing yourself to just sit around "feeling good," blanking out reality, and pretending certain things don't exist simply because you don't want to deal with them. You have no excuse if the very premises you've held all your life have given power and energy to the abusers of power among us so they can enslave people. There's a line from Atlas Shrugged which goes like this:
"Madam, when we'll see men dying of starvation around us, your heart won't be of any earthly use to save them. And I'm heartless enough to say that when you'll scream, "But I didn't know it!" – you will not be forgiven."
13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.
My response: The past is not all bad and you need the past in order to learn from your mistakes. I'm not sure how ignoring your past is somehow noble; this clearly is another rejection of the need to use your reasoning mind. And I'm also not too sure about this "life is a journey not a destination" meme that's been thrown around for decades. I have very specific goals in mind for my life--and there most certainly is a destination. I think people who tend to view life as a "journey" do so for the purposes of keeping themselves mired in whim-worship living: in other words, doing what feels good as opposed to clarifying your purpose and the things you want to achieve. For anyone who has had goals they want to achieve--it most certainly needs to be about the destination. Otherwise, you don't achieve them.
14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.
My response: How do you "understand all things without even trying." This entire paragraph is one big contradiction. Now, I understand that if you lose a lover or life-partner, hanging on to the attachment can be detrimental if puts you into a place of misery. However, attachment to the good memories you may have had from that relationship are not necessarily a bad thing. Again, the entire subtext, throughout this entire article, seems to be telling people to reject reason in favor of feeling. You can't "understand all things without even trying." A good philosophy will embrace your rational mind and you will work to understand as many things as possible, clearly, cleanly, without contradiction as much is as humanly possible precisely because of the reason that your happiness and your life need to be achieved, consciously, by you.
As for this little diddy..."real love is pure, kind, and selfless"...a selfless love is the worst possible insult you could have towards someone you love. "I love you even though you don't deserve my love." That's what the meaning of "selfless love" is. That is exactly what that phrase means. Love is the most selfish thing to have for someone. You want them to do well because they are a selfish value to you. Again, this view of love is promulgated by Eastern philosophy as well as a host of other religions around the world. This is one of the fundamental ideas held by collectivists. This is one philosophical area which many, many people are guilty of spewing forth from their mouths without really analyzing what it means in practice and exactly who it gives power to for the sake of controlling others. I hate to burst the bubble of these people--but, human beings do not love causelessly. People who hold agendas to promote collectivism want you to believe that people love causelessly--because that's the only way the proliferation of their collectivism could be justified. But, you can tell people don't love causelessly when you look around and observe (observe--this is key--observe what? reality) human beings. Do you see a bunch of mindless robots walking around on the street kissing and hugging one another? Of course not, and it's ridiculous to even expect that that will ever happen. At the most, you can give a stranger the benefit of the doubt until you get to know them. But, if I've given someone the benefit of the doubt, someone I just started dating, and six weeks into the relationship they start pummeling me and physically abusing me--I'm not going to continue with that relationship. Friendships begin and end. Sometimes friendships end when one person betrays another person. This notion that love is a causeless emotion (and this can be applied to any emotion) is usually put forth by the likes of hippies who have a vested interest in collectivism, or for that matter, maintaining a false belief in their heads that other people are not capable of bad intentions. Of course, again--the maintenance of your life requires reason and you should not give people the value of your love and respect if in any way they seek to be a detriment to your life.15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.
My response: This is very true. Ayn Rand would call this kind of life--the life of a second-hander--someone who lives their life for or through others. However, she also did not accept the flip side of this which is the way many people live their lives--whim-worship. Just doing something because it feels good and be damned with the consequences; again, this is where rationality, the mind and the achievement of virtues comes in which are all necessary in order to achieve your happiness. In order to really understand what it is you are good at--you must be able to use your head to analyze where your talents lie. And sometimes listening to others is not always a bad thing: if you have a teacher you respect and they give you valid criticism, you most certainly can take that into account. The paragraph above--while it sounds good--almost seems to be saying "listen to that inner voice"--in other words, wait around until some kind of lightening bolt from the sky hits you. Life and living is self-generated action. You have to take intentional action to make things happen. You have to think, then act. You have to analyze, then act.
In conclusion, this article is very typical of the kinds of "feel-good" philosophies we see floating around in our society--and we are suffering as a country, as a people, and as individuals to the degree to which we accept these untethered statements of feel-goodism. Not only that, but this article is also guilty of mixing and matching philosophies. What is philosophy? From Dictionary.com:
Definition of philosophy (n)
- examination of basic concepts: the branch of knowledge or academic study devoted to the systematic examination of basic concepts such as truth, existence, reality, causality, and freedom
- school of thought: a particular system of thought or doctrine
- guiding or underlying principles: a set of basic principles or concepts underlying a particular sphere of knowledge
Philosophy works via a set of mechanics which can validate or invalidate various assumptions and premises based upon an analysis of those ideas. There are many, many philosophies out there which do not hold up under logical scrutiny.
Many, many things can make us feel good--but they are not necessarily good for us. People can choose to believe that collectivism will work and the altruist nature of it makes them feel good in the short-term, but in the long-term, when reality and slavery comes crashing down upon everyone it's not going to feel good. There can be no good feelings without good premises, and a society which was born to promulgate the life of the individual cannot continue to exist with a population of people who have never been taught, rationally, what it means to be an individual or how to uphold it.