I’d like to make it really clear upfront that this is not rocket science nor is it any psychological, pathological, therapeutic, psychotherapeutic process. Simply what I’ve done is create a process that helps us all be human, the best human we can be.
People are different in nature. They are more generous, more kind, more open minded, less fragile, less worried, less anxiety prone, more visionary, not stressed, more open hearted… and the list continues. This is not in doubt. But the question is “how do we bring this true nature of being human back to urban life?” Because people are different in nature, that’s why we get out of the city for holidays, we feel different, but typically, 3 days or so after we get back, we’re back to urban ego.
To put this in context it means that most of our problems go away when we go to nature and when we get back to city life, urban living, they return. I guess it presents us with the opportunity to acknowledge that, given the right environment and mindset, we simply do not be stupid.
This is an irony. We go to nature and we get smarter. We come back to work and get more stupid. Does that suggest we should live only in the bush, or can we bring the bush to urban life? We know the answer is not in city gardens or eating organic veggies because plenty of stupidity exists even in those who follow the mung bean philosophy of turning the clock back to our pre-chemical days.
So, lets draw a line in the sand and say being a great human being is your true nature and in urban living your ego might intrude. So, to put a fine edge to it “There is nothing to be proud off in not being stupid.” It’s natural in nature. I take people up into the Himalayas: when they arrive in Kathmandu they’re looking ten years older than their age, five days later up in those mountains, the stress and worry drop away and humility climbs back into their heart and they look ten years younger, the excess fluid dumps from their over protective body fat and their mind becomes open and crystal clear. Five days is all it takes.
So, not being stupid in the city is nothing to be proud of. For example: I was at dinner with people at a function I was speaking at and one person was so proud that they had lost weight, but really if they were overweight and they lost weight, then there is nothing to be proud off because simply it was being stupid and eating abusively that got them into a bad place. (unless you were pregnant or something logical). I know we use this false praise to motivate ourselves to overcome bad habits and temptations but surely we don’t want to delude ourselves for the whole of our life that “not being stupid” is deserving of praise. So rather than be proud of overcoming stupidity we need to become committed to living smart. Living as nature intended.
Living smart simply means aligning our everyday life with our true nature. We know that person because when we go walking the beach on a beautiful sunset and we put away those ridiculous calorie counters and step measuring things and just be with ourselves like we’re on holiday, we are organically and naturally relaxed, wise and healthy. T
o do this there are a sequence of reminders that we can give ourselves every day to prevent gravity (emotion) sucking us down into a reactionary pit in which we are not operating as a best self. There are infinite text written about what this best self looks like. Most of those have a moral code attached to them. But I believe that moral codes are choices we make based on the circumstances we are in and how to get ahead, get what we want, with the least effort.
In contrast, being your best self means rising above the necessity for community approval and being the you that you were born to be doing the work that you were born to do living the life you’re born to live and feeling happy about it. In essence this also means doing no harm.
So the focus of this article is turnaround. Turnaround puts your current trajectory under the microscope. It asks you to ask yourself whether the way you are working, the way you are loving, the way you are eating, sleeping, drinking, exercising, relaxing, connecting is serving your best self or whether it is reacting and therefore acting stupid.
All human beings grow at the border of support and challenge. Therefore every human being experiences their own stupidity reflected in the results of their life. Rather than run away from the word stupidity I’m encouraging you to embrace it. Yes there are better words; learning, growth, evolving, mistakes, uncertainty, and so on. But for those of you who know my writing and my work I would rather call a spade a spade.
If you are stressed at work and coming home to achieve life balance then I would like to call that stupid. It’s been demonstrated by study after study that this process causes an addiction to antidepressants, marriage break ups, obesity, addiction, low productivity, abuse, heart attacks, fatigue and serves only one industry: the medical profession.
If you’ve read this far and you haven’t been tempted to throw this book away I will be surprised and if you have read this far it means that you are an honest, heart driven, inspired individual who recognises the words are just words and actions are the ultimate reality.
So I would like to talk about your actions. Let’s take a few examples: Peter gets up puts on his pants and goes to work. He hopes that he is working day will be fantastic which to Peter means, more sales. So Peter has thrown himself at the mercy of his client, his boss, his clients boss, his bosses partner, the weather, phase of the moon, and what he has for breakfast in order to determine the quality of his day. Should any one of these variables not meet his expectation he’s going to have what Peter would call a crap day at work. Peter would then come home hoping like hell that his home life would compensate hence involving his family in his ridiculous model of how life works. I don’t need to explain to you, given that you’ve continued to read this book, that this is stupid.
Let’s look at another example: Jenny is overweight. She goes on a weight loss program and loses weight and becomes proud of her newly found health. What causes a person to become overweight in the first place? Pride. I mean pride is not the only reason but it is part of the emotional rollercoasters the drives people to food for nourishment. Jenny then joins a long lineage of people who eventually put on more weight after a weight loss program that they had before the program. You could say Jenny is not stupid for trying this process but she is stupid for believing that a marketing campaign that sells weight loss programs is authentic and not commercially based. I healthy scepticism is and essential component of a healthy life.
If I were to write a book about healthy scepticism and the validation of this it would take me the rest of my life just to complete the first 10,000 page chapter. BS reins supreme, And it is validated by marketing and media. So a part of being you is to take back the power from these ludicrous promises that feed the stupidity of our ambition to get something for nothing and to deal with the affect of our problems rather than the cause. If you are like me and want to live without massive amounts of stupidity in your life you will want to be wiser, and therefore more sceptical about the promises people make for miracles and miracle cures.
So in writing this book I wish to avoid fixing the effect of stupidity and rather than make fancy promises that are in essence placebo commitments, I would like to deal with the cause of a healthy, balanced, productive, successful, love filled, giving life.
If you are experiencing stress at work please define this as stupid. If you are experiencing being overweight please define this as being stupid. If you are experiencing arguments and quarrels and lack of sexual intimacy with your partner please define this as being stupid. Because they are all effect of something other than the problem that you are experiencing. Let me put it another way: workplace stress is the result of the way you think. Changing the stress in the workplace is dealing with the effect of the way you think and therefore it changes nothing. If you’re thinking is stupid it will cause workplace stress. If you are overweight it is because you have emotional unfinished business (baggage) that is getting between your beautiful loving heart and your words and actions and food is your attempt to plug the gap. That’s really unfortunate and I have a great empathy for being in that position because I’ve been there myself, however, the problem doesn’t get solved by dealing with diet or exercise the problem get solved by dealing with the baggage that’s causing the diet to be stupid. Treat life like this and it all becomes very very simple. If you are having difficulty in your relationship with your partner is a consequence of the lack of self love is not a relationship problem. You can spend the next 40 years in therapy if that will make you happy but it will not solve self-love problems while it focuses on the relationship and something that’s wrong at that level.
While we deal with cause we are smart because we are then empowered to make change at the most simple strategic level of life. When we start trying to fix our actions by putting in place some form of discipline or psychotherapeutic process such as NLP or some other new gizmo system, we are dancing on the outside. We are dancing around the problems in this puts us in the most complex and ground feeding mechanisms for human development on earth.
It’s time to take the power back. Simply that means recognising when we are dealing with effect or when we are dealing with cause. It’s like chalk and cheese. Whenever we blame something outside of ourselves for something not being right in our life we empower those things outside of ourselves to get worse. If, for example you have an alcohol addiction and you blame the alcohol for the problem or you blame an addictive personality for the problem you externalise the issue and empower the problem( effect) rather than focus on the simplicity of the cause.
In writing this book I stick my neck out. I know there is a $20 billion industry in the world established purely to help you deal with the affect of your problems and that industry has a massive vested interest in keeping you addicted to their seminars, pills, philosophies, books, and whatever else they can come up with. But I really do want to cut through all that. I want to make that $20 billion industry worth zero. And instead of having people spend money on self-development which is nothing more than a farcical placebo I would love to see that money go to lowering the infant mortality rate of children in Nepal.
I have many clients who have succeeded in life by pulling away the power from the effect of their actions to focus on the cause, simplifying their life, distilling the essence of being themselves. It’s a U-turn in their life and a contradiction to the classical paradigm of blaming circumstantial is for the experience of being ourselves. Compromise is not an option. Burnout is not an option. Stress is a mirror. Overweight is a mirror. People being angry at us is a mirror. Feeling tired is a mirror. The list goes on and on and the solutions are very simple: when life is not going the way you want there is an opportunity to change something that’s going on inside your mind and therefore the course that will drive your actions to be different.
“Getting over self abusive behaviour that you have adopted in the interests of a job or relationship is nothing to be proud of. All it means is that you’ve stopped being stupid. Being the best you in life is nothing to be proud of given that you have to do nothing to achieve it except turn up, and not be stupid.”
One of the things that make this extremely hard is that there are very few role models demonstrating what it looks like to be normal. There are plenty of people who demonstrate what it looks like to be successful but you have no idea what goes on behind the curtain or deep in their heart as a journey along the road. So we often emulate what people say and are oblivious to what they do. The shortcut through all this rhetoric is defined by nature. It’s my simple position that if we emulate nature we emulate the creator of nature and therefore what created our body. I’m not super religious man but I do believe that there are laws greater than us that dictate how we think and operate if we are to be in harmony within ourselves. I also accept that there are ways and means to bypass these laws temporarily or even in a fragmented sense but none of those ways add up to quality of life.