Monday, March 16, 2015

#Mondayblogs: What Do You Really Believe? #empower

The human mind is very programmable. In fact, especially as children, we are so programmable that we sponge up all that we are taught. But what if we were taught incorrectly? What if the media, our parents, family, friends, or the world—led us astray?

It can be very difficult to override and then rewrite one’s programming. I’m in my 30s and I can tell you that I am still struggling with this. For example, overcompensation and reactivity abounds when trying to overwrite one’s programming.

As a child I was programmed that I was not smart—or worse, that I was too smart—it was done so by an individual who thought that by undermining my intelligence, it would be easier to manipulate and control me.

Now, as I rewrite my programming, I can rather vehemently declare or pronounce my intelligence to others. The insecurity often comes across as arrogance to others and as I see their reaction, I’m working to modify my own behavior—but what I’m trying to say is that even overcoming one’s programming has its challenges—on top of the reprogramming.

So should I give up? Say “well, this is just how I am!”—No. I think every change requires and adjustment period. Until then, forgive me while I seem like an arrogant, self-involved prick.  
But I think the important first step is to take a good stock of oneself. Make a clear list of what you were taught, versus what you actually believe.

So, that is where I've started. I've made a common list of ideas that were imparted upon me as important (ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING: It is important to be beautiful and wealthy and powerful

—and if you are none of these things you are worthless) and I've written what I actually believe of each idea—now that I've taken the time to consider my own beliefs and examine them separately from what I was taught.

What is:
What I Was Taught
What I Believe


Having a lot of money

Recognition for your talents


Doing as you please, and not going to jail for it

To not be ruled by my reactivity; the ability to spend my days doing what I love rather than what is expected of me


Money/wealth, connections, the ability to control and use others

A solid center, non-reactivity. Complete control of oneself


Your ability to manipulate others

Does not exist


The ability to physically or mentally “beat” someone else; having more power than them

The ability to remain good and kind and centered even when it is most difficult

The Meaning of Life

To win and
die with the most toys

To grow
To use my unique gifts


Being financially secure

To use my talent and make the world better


To have a sense of security (usually in one’s wealth or power)

To have complete faith in myself and that the universe conspires in my favor


To be the smartest
 one in the room

Being smarter than my problems; obstacles


Physical attractiveness;
Physical perfection

Creation; that which stirs my heart


Having everything
I’ve ever wanted

Appreciating what I have


Having an abundance
of money and financial security

Recognizing all the abundance in my life; Being grateful
for all that I have

What you are given if you are pretty or smart or wealthy
What you deserve
no matter what


Something that is earned not given

Something that is owed to everyone and everything; including oneself.



Priceless; Cannot be bought;

I won’t give lengthy explanations of each of my beliefs. I won’t, for example, explain why I believe power through money is a fallacy (since money can be taken from you) or why power through violence is also a fallacy (see Ghandi; see Rosa Parks).

In fact, what I believe isn’t important.

I’m just interested to know if anyone else has experienced this. What are your experiences with reprogramming? What methods have you used to bring peace to yourself and your own mind?

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to come late to this - I only found out about your book via BookBub and the free Dying for a Living offer (and have since bought and read the next two and I'm impatiently waiting for the next book, pretty please!

    I wouldn't describe what I did as reprogramming, but sometime, a long time ago (I'm in my 50's and mostly out and proud) I came to the conclusion that while I'm willing to listen to the opinions of others, I'm the one I have to go to bed with every night and feel comfortable with waking up with every morning. Bill had a good turn of phrase for it (of course): To thine own self be true. I don't think the rest of it applies, but it's good for working out if a value system works for you or is imposed on you.

    I now use a different touchstone. I'm normal, the rest of the world is full of weirdos. It usually gets a laugh (I'm far from normal in the sense of 'near the mean' for our society) - but when you stop and think about it, everyone thinks they're normal. And when someone fundamentally disagrees with your value system, you generally think they're either foolish, uninformed, or weird. I'm old enough now to accept just "different" too if there's not a real conflict. To pick one off your list - control you say does not exist, I would say control is the ability to choose a wise, supportive response from the available responses to a given situation. (I won't pretend I always do that, I'm not a saint and I do dumb things and foolishly hurt my loved ones sometimes but I try not to and don't do it often.) That's one where I'd say different. Also, I'd say wise is not always good and certainly not always kind, so I think that's different to your strength definition, although we're possibly getting into semantic hair-splitting.

    Ultimately the books that made the most difference to me were quite a few books by Robert Anton Wilson about thinking for yourself and lots of books about Daoism, including the Dao De Jing, Zhuangzi and a modern gloss on the Dao De Jing called My Words Are Very Easy To Understand. Your mileage with both may, of course, vary.

    But, ultimately, they both boil down to trusting yourself and your own judgement about what is valuable and what is actually going on (although they approach this in very different ways). If you can't look at yourself in the mirror (metaphorically at least) and be happy about what you see and where you're going you're the only one that can change that. In my experience if you find you're happy looking in that metaphorical mirror, you'll find the physical one a lot easier to handle too but that might just be me. I'm normal, the rest of you weirdos, who knows? :)