Guidance on how to best live life comes from outside authorities.
This is one of the most fundamental beliefs that prevents people from living inspired and authentic lives. In fact, the Australian nurse Bonnie Ware, author of the book The Top Five Regrets of The Dying, wrote that this was the number one regret she heard from dying men and women she cared for . And it is a simple belief that we learn from childhood. Most parents tell their kids, “Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Say please and thank you. Clean your room.” When children comply, they are rewarded and given approval and acceptance. If they don’t, they are punished and emotionally withdrawn from. Parents believe they are teaching their children how to be good human beings. But, what they are really teaching them is: how to devalue their own inner wisdom and power; they are teaching them to be order followers.
You can see the evidence of this pervading worldview in the social systems in industrialized nations like the United States. Masses of adults with this worldview leave their parents care, and usually a schooling system that reinforces the dependency, and look for the next authority to follow in pursuit of their well being. They go to work in organizations wanting a boss to guide them and benefits packages to care for them. They vote for politicians to pass laws telling them what is right and wrong. They ask for the creation of such authority figures as police officers to ensure compliance. Look at most prominent organizations in our society, and you will find that they are structured in the same way and perpetuate the same dynamic taught/learned during childhood: order givers directing order followers.
If you want to live a fulfilled and inspired life, decide to break this cycle. Decide to reclaim your inner wisdom and power. You will likely never make a better decision.
Fulfillment in my health, career, relationship, and everything else comes from doing the right things.
This is another fundamental harmful belief that prevents a person from realizing their full potential and living as richly as possible. Most people believe that they must do something to be happy or successful. So, people follow economic trends, dietary trends, social trends, and any other process prescription to bring the happiness and fulfillment they desire. However, as most realized individuals will share: it is not simply what you do, but more importantly the way in which you do it that brings personal success. Success in anything is more a product of being than doing.
Think about the example of a star athlete like Stephen Curry. The fundamentals of basketball that he learned are no different than those of any of his team or competitors. However, the way he plays the game is different. You are familiar with the terminology; the best performances of any athlete unfold when they are in the zone. They unfold when they are in a state of flow. This state is achieved when there is a harmony of desire, belief in ones abilities to fulfill that desire, and motor skills required. In other words, personal success is a product of a harmony of spirit, mind, and body. In these moments, many athletes describe the experience of being a conduit through which their inspired performance travels. There is complete presence and engagement.
If you want inspired personal success (whether it is in business, marriage, or sport), this is what you must strive for. Find your flow by harmonizing your spirit, mind, and body.
Hard work will bring the results I want.
This is a related concept to the last. It is not hard work that brings the results people want, but inspired work.
Another distinction needs to be made too. The word hard has a very unpleasant connotation to it. It is defined as :
difficult to do or accomplish; fatiguing; troublesome
Inspired work that produces inspired results does not need to be arduous, troublesome, or burdensome. It should be challenging, but it should also be fun and playful. The basic requirements are simply devotion and inspired effort.
Happiness comes from having the conditions I prefer and not having the ones I do not.
This is the last of the most common false premises. And it is another very impactful one. Meaningful success and enduring fulfillment are not found in the meeting of certain standards or attaining certain goals. Think about it, happiness and fulfillment are internal emotional states. Therefore, how we perceive and respond to the conditions and events around us has the most impact on our well-being and fulfillment.
That does not imply that we should not still strive for tangible goals. They are what allow us to learn and grow through experience. However, knowing that happiness is an internal state that we always have control over through the control of our perspective allows us to be more adaptable in a changing world and respond more calmly to challenges.
An example may be helpful. Relate your fulfillment in life to a well-cooked meal. Think of your power of perspective as the meat and potatoes that provides the majority of the nourishment to your mind and spirit. The achievement of goals then is the herbs and spices that adds richness to the meal. Truly knowing this allows you to align your priorities properly and set the right foundation to lead a rich and rewarding life.