Take a second and reflect on where your life is today.
Are you as healthy as you want to be? Are you as wealthy as you wish to be? Are your relationships as pure as you with them to be?
If not, what has prevented you from being how you wish to be?
You are not these things because you do not allow yourself to be. It is said that you are the only one that can get in your way of happiness and success. You are the greatest barrier to your own achievement. This is because of how you experience life.
You do not allow yourself to be rich, or allow yourself to be in great relationships, or allow yourself to be healthy. Let me give you an example.
You fall madly deeply in love with someone. There is passion, sex, laughter, connection, intellectual conversation, flirting, goofing off, you grow closer and closer every day. It is almost story book. Then that person breaks your heart. They cheat on you, leave you on a whim with no explanation of why and you cannot understand where it all went wrong, what you did to deserve this pain and heartache. So you take a vow. “I WILL NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN TO ME AGAIN,” you tell yourself.
At this point you have taken an oath saying that you will never give yourself the opportunity to fall in love again. You are preventing your own happiness, love, passion and connection because of your experience.
You interpret this one experience as the norm. You set in your beliefs that, this experience is what all similar experience are and since it was hurtful you will avoid them.
This is why you are not successful, healthy, happy, etc.
Experience is the greatest tool humans have. You are able to critically think through events, situations, relationships and give them emotional value. You can have one initial feeling and thought about something then change it by reflecting on it and comparing it to internal belief systems. The problem is, in most instances, experiences are not used as a tool. They are used as brick and mortar; to build walls in the middle of your own path.
Have you ever hated someone the first time you met them then after you get to know them you become best friends or even lovers?
This happens all the time and it is because of your personal relationship with how you interact with experiences. Once you understand what an experience is and how it influence the outcomes you see in your life, you can manipulate it to serve you, your goals and your dreams.
There are 2 fundamental elements to understanding experiences.
1. The immediate response/interaction. When an experience is had it impacts on you. It influences your physical body as well as your intellectual self. You interpret what you see, hear, smell, feel and create a perception of this experience. You also have an impact on the experience. If you are in a negative frame of mind, the experience will follow your lead and have a negative outcome, if you are open to the experience just being what it is without judgment, then the outcome for you will have different meaning.
For Example: You are out of shape and your health is not where you want it to be. You know you need to diet and go to the gym. You hate the gym. All the judgmental people, it smells, and you don’t look like everyone else. You can’t get the machine you want and you just hate the gym. Well if you drag your butt to the gym in this mindset, your immediate interaction is going to be – It stinks in here, all these people are staring at me, ill never look like him/her. Then you want to get on a machine, someone is on it and you pout. Instead of waiting 10 minutes for it to open up, you say forget it and go home. You were right, you affirmed your beliefs that the gym is terrible. This translates into “I allow myself to be unhealthy because I am unwilling to wait for machines and the gym odor is offensive, so I’ll just be fat.
” You allow yourself the results you have because of how you interacted with the experience.
2. The real problem with experiences is that they snowball and grow into un-slayable two-headed dragons. Once you have one experience and assign it emotional value, it will influence all future experiences you have.
One bad gym experience means you will always look to be disappointed anytime you are in the gym. You probably won’t go again unless you get some inspiration that supersedes your feeling towards it. The value we add to experiences goes even deeper than that however. Because you allow yourself to not work out, you may as well allow yourself to eat that double bacon cheeseburger on the way home. It is no use, if you cannot commit to one part of it why commit to any of it. Now that you are a confirmed failure, how can you let it bleed into other areas of your lif? May as well binge Netflix instead of working on your business, can’t allow yourself to be successful.
You become your own roadblock when you do not search for productive value in the experience you have. Sometimes you are lucky enough to get another shot.
In the instance where you meet someone and dislike them at first it may because they are cocky, superficial, egotistical, etc. Whatever you determine they are in the initial interaction. If you never see that person ever again or you only see them once a month passing in the hall at work and have no further interaction with them you will live your life thinking they are cocky, superficial, egotistical or whatever you told yourself. But, you are forced to work with this person every day. You go into it thinking this will never work. Eventually you get to know a little about them, their family, likes, dislikes and on and on. Before you know it, you admire their directness and their confidence.
Weird, before you thought it was ego now it is an attribute you admire.
What happened? You were going to hate this person and not get along and now you are getting drinks going to a movie and getting married.
You were forced to value the experience.
Our culture has allotted us the opportunity to pass judgment on things as we see them on the surface. Our news gives us part of the story and we make a judgment call that the police are brutal or that people in poor communities are disrespectful. We never get to really dig into those experiences. We create a belief system and we stay there in our comfort zone.
In order to be successful, healthy and have passionate relationships you have to change the way you experience the world.
You are not allowing yourself to have valuable experiences that lead to your desires. You have created beliefs that will not allow you out of your current situation. This is why people stay at a job they hate for 40 years and why people never check things off of their bucket list. Somewhere along the way, they had an experience where they formulated a belief that this was the life for them and they were not able to do anything about it. Beliefs like “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” so you decide money is hard to come by and you will always struggle to get it. The only way to make money is to struggle. So you don’t allow yourself to seek opportunities to make money.
The way you experience life determines your situation. If you want to better your situation you have to change the way you experience the world around you.
How do I change my interaction with experiences?
1. Keep a journal – Journaling allows you to explore your thoughts at a deeper level. Journal in the morning about how you would like to see your day go. Stay focused on the positive and the outcomes you desire. This helps you stay positive during the initial interaction of all experiences throughout your day. Then journal again at night. Think about events and situation that gave you low energy or made you feel bad, angry , sad, etc. Write those experiences down and allow yourself to rant. Write until you run out of things to say. This is valuable in 2 ways. First, you have gotten it out of your system so now it cannot snowball into other experiences as easily. Secondly, it allows you to explore your thoughts and understand where they come from. Once you identify the reasons you have such belief systems, you can start to change them.
2. Change the experiences you have. As we get older we have less and less new experiences. We wake up, start a pot of coffee, get dressed, eat breakfast, drive to work, work all day, drive home, change, watch TV and go to bed. I would be willing to bet that you eat the same breakfast 4/5 days a week. You take the same route to work every day. You watch the same shows every week. Your job is the same every day. On the weekends you mix it up a little but then you go to the same bar, hang out with the same people, and watch the same team play. You are a drone of routine. Less new experiences less new opportunities.
Change your experiences and you change the results of your life. Start small. Take a different approach to getting to work. Take a bus, or a bike or walk or carpool. Ask someone in your office to go get lunch instead of having it at your desk by yourself. Try something new on a weekend that you have never done before. If you want something different you have to do something different.
3. Find the value in everyday experiences. Typically experiences are thought to be these big events. When a job asks for experience we give them 10 years of work history. In reality experience comes in small everyday occurrences that build over time. Everything is an experience. Find value in them by focusing on what you want for yourself. Allow yourself to find opportunity, success, happiness, and love every day.
4. Decide what you want and seek experiences that align with it. If you want to be healthier, don’t just go to the gym and create another lame routine. Sign up for a cooking class. Take a destination yoga class. Start small if you want, subscribe to a healthy magazine that inspires you. If you can’t decide on what you want pick something and seek experiences that allow you to test the water. Successful people say find your passion and find out how to make money doing that. The first part of that is finding your passion. In your life you may have 5-10 jobs. With all of the thousands of jobs out there, I doubt you will find your passion this way. It is up to you to search and try things. If you don’t like something, don’t take it as a job. You try a new experience, something different.
It is up to you to seek the value in your experiences and to interact with them in a way that serves you and your future. If you are unhappy with where you are at in life look at your experiences, past and present.
Ask why you will not allow yourself to be successful, happy, in a great relationship. Identify what roadblocks you have created and remove them.
Most importantly – Experience life. It is amazing and there is so much world to see, so many amazing people to meet, so much great food to eat. Experience it and watch your life change.