'Drink! Drink! Drink!' they chanted. I tried to resist, since I'd already had enough to drink and I was driving, but the group would have none of it. It was a warm and sunny summer's day in Toronto, and I'd gone with some friends to socialize at an afternoon party. Several beers later, and they wanted me to down a shot of whisky, which some bright spark thought would liven up the party. I had ducked so far, but now I was cornered.
They didn't know that, after a similar party in my twenties, I'd once driven my car into a ditch just fifty meters from my house. Having drunk enough to affect my driving, I'd taken the final bend too quickly and slid into the ditch. I walked to my house and a tow truck pulled it out the next day.
'Have a drink,' they continued to urge. The group pressure was just too great - it felt as though I was trapped, as indeed I was. So I downed the shot with good grace, and ate some food to absorb the alcohol. After waiting a while to sober up, I drove home carefully.
This time I got home safely. I'd learned my lesson about drinking and driving the hard way. But giving in to peer pressure? I did still succumb to this common issue.
Your Issues are Your Responsibility
Do you want to really resolve an issue? I mean so it's completely cleared up and is no longer a problem. The secret of success is to accept responsibility for the situation! Which means being 100% responsible for your contribution to what happened. This includes your inaction along with your actions.
Without being responsible, you are powerless. It's not just that your hands are tied, you've tied your own hands! So just say: I am responsible - and mean it.
Although your part may have been tiny, you contributed in a real way. Either by your lack of action, or your actions. So even when you've done little or nothing to directly cause it, you can still take some responsibility for the situation.
Believe it or not, this is good news, for with responsibility comes personal power. Until you take responsibility, then you have no power to change the situation. So accept responsibility in the matter, then you can start improving things!
Any New Perspective will seem Wrong Initially
You know what you know, a rather uncontroversial statement. But the converse of this statement is - You do not know what you do not know! The implications here are tremendously exciting. To improve your success, simply find out what's important that you do not know.
So rather than thinking that what you know is all that's important to know, this secret of success is to realize that your present perspective is limited. Remember:
The power to improve your situation comes in learning new perspectives!
So invest the time and energy to investigate what you don't yet understand in these new perspectives. Of course, since you don't yet understand it, it will of course seem wrong. How can you think it right since you don't yet get it. As it's both different and new, how can you agree with it?
You only understand, get a brand-new perspective once you're willing, for now, to give up your current viewpoint. Temporarily, you need to stop being right. This is only for now, not forever. Being open-minded, prepared to explore what it means, even though it seems stupid or ridiculous, is crucial. Especially when and even though it seems plain wrong.
Your Thoughts have Power
Thoughts can be enormously stressful, do you always believe yours? It's tempting to imagine each and every thought which you have is infallible, but are any of them? When you automatically believe something with no investigation, you are liable to be deceived.
There's a word for those who just believe without investigating it out themselves: - gullible. You already know this, but you'll change your life when you see this even applies to each thought your mind comes up with. Remember, your mind isn't you - you are you - it simply pretends it's you although it's just the part that you think with. The analogy to your body being the part that carries you around.
Whenever your selfsabotage mechanism hijacks your mind, it gives you all kinds of highly negative thoughts. If you believe these automatically, you'll find them very stressful. To believe something without taking the time to think it through is the very definition of gullible!
The fundamental secret of success is not to implicitly believe your thoughts. Explore the stressful ones to see if you know any to be true. Ask yourself which are not. Is there any point of believing the dubious ones? How about the obviously untrue ones?
When you stop automatically believing your mind's thoughts, you find that its half truths and untruths do not matter, and you'll have less stress. Then you can be content with life, with your circumstances and with yourself. Life Strategies says:
When you do not mind it does not matter. So discover how not to mind!
Neither Reject nor Accept - Transcend
You progress neither by rejecting the new, nor abandoning the old. You transcend when you go beyond. You know that some parts in your previous perspective have much value that serves you well, so retain these.
Other parts cause stress and so are less beneficial. Are you courageous enough to improve these thoughts? Only then will they stop negatively impacting your success.
But everybody likes to be right. You tenaciously hang onto all old beliefs while ignoring whether or not they still contribute to your life. Is this because you don't like to reject them completely and suggest you were wrong.
Your self-sabotage mechanism may pretend you must either totally reject - or totally accept - the old, although such thoughts are pure self sabotage. Despite such misleading beliefs, that choice is not your only one.
You become wiser by combining the best in the new with the best in the old. This enlarges your context and transcends your current limitations, the cause of failure.
Improve your Perspective
Your brand-new knowledge will enable you to see which part no longer works in your previous perspective but there's no need to reject the whole to transcend the ineffective. You modify, integrating the old with the new to gain an improved perspective. Then you see your previous perspective was incomplete, rather than wrong.
With your improved perspective, you then decide what now will be right.
The secret of success here is reflection, to contemplate your new understanding. To examine your previous conclusions stops you giving away your power. Choose what you now see as right:
Your new viewpoint
Your original perspective, or
Integrating the two to come up with a higher perspective
By investigating, you become more effective, you have a wider perspective. Your transcended perspective becomes the most effective that you know about. Your willingness to explore gives you more personal power. It's easier to produce desirable results - and you have less stress.
Food for Thought
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."