We hear about it constantly. Spiritual gurus, phycologists and self-help coaches, continuously preach on getting ahead, reaching the next level and finding your true calls. They talk of a new area and mind shift that will leave your past-self shredded in pieces and will allow your true potential to thrive. But isn’t that a depressive thought as it is optimistic? I mean sure it is supposed to be motivational and encouraging. Showcasing what is out there for you and what you could have if you had the will to put the effort. But isn’t that diminishing and skeptical at the same time? Unsettle yourself from your current state in view of a better one. How are we supposed to take this indication in the first place? Doesn’t it mean that right now what we have going for us is not as fulfilling or worthwhile? How are we supposed to come to terms with self-acceptance if all we hear are the things we need to improve?
There is a particular condition we seem to forget. Self-development is a demagogue. It has a master-plan. It plants doubt and fear in you and your current status while showing you a “better” and more “graceful” way. Agnostically it directs a solution to a case that is never being seen or analyzed first hand. By turning your attention to your inefficiencies and shortcomings, it is directing you to search for answers somewhere else. No matter where you stand in your life. This hunting for growth may seem positive and constructive, but in the base of it lies negativity. The more unconscious you are of it, the more dangerous it is to create the opposite results of what you are hoping to achieve.
So isn’t the journey of self-development about making us happier. Isn’t it supposed to help us be more appreciating of what we have and satisfied with our lives? It’s funny to think that even in the usual gratitude exercises that so many people promote, there hides the paradoxical belief that you are not delighted with your life in the first place. The act in itself is an actual proof of your non-gratification that you are trying to fight. You seek this mental shift compulsively by doing things that make a clear implication that you are not where you want to be. It’s time to realize a bigger truth we all try to avoid. We can’t fool our unconscious. We can’t convince it of something we don’t really believe in. It’s a fallacy that works well with our logic and our stupendous deterministic thoughts but as far as intuition and instinct go, there is no easy way around it or good words to circumvent it.
How Gratitude Exercises Work
Showing gratitude works. It can have positive results in your psyche. But its influence is not for the reasons most people may think of. It’s not that through the exercises you learn to appreciate the good job you have and your good spouse, or that you change perspectives to recognize the blessing of the good food on the table. Gasping towards anything external can be elusively harmful and disastrous. What are you supposed to do if you lose any of them? And is there really any difference in attaching yourself to the good things in your life than to attach it in the bad ones? Ruminating on anything internally and obsessing over things can be equally detrimental whether they are good or bad. You succumb to the inclination to avoid presence and lose sight of your core strength.
The way gratitude works is quite peculiar. It has nothing to do with the particular thing that exists in your life or the person that helps you achieve more. It is a trick. Gratitude teaches you to appreciate the present moment. It guides into looking at things with a new refreshed eye, on anything you had conceptualized and packaged in a corner of your reality forgotten and dismissed. It’s all it does. Gratitude is appreciation of the present moment and a special thanks note to all the things that made it happen. It allows you to grasp the gift of being wherever you are and appreciate it more fully and wholesomely. Its soothing voice is whispering in your ear, everything is ok and everything is gonna turn out fine. So you turn your eyes away from your internal processing, and breath out to the world again. And there lies all the bliss. Truth be told, there is no reason you shouldn’t appreciate all the bad things that are happening in your life as well. Setbacks can be a blessing in disguise and many times they do more good than bad.
The Motivational Spikes
I was always a self-development junky. Since the time I remember myself, there was always a constant urge to feel as if I'm progressing. As if there is no stagnation and there is always something going on. I would pick one self-help book after the other and watch motivational videos on a daily basis, as my self-prescribed pharmaceutical medicine for my healthy functioning. Little did I know that I was subconsciously cultivating the very thing I was trying to battle.
Getting to the next level in your life is one of the hardest things you can do. You have to deal with limiting beliefs, an environment that is discouraging and disheartening, as even the people most close to you, deep down avert any change in the status quo they are familiar with. That, unfortunately, includes the state of affairs with their friends, family and you. You also have to battle a system that is designed to not allow people to realize their talents and natural tendencies and that blockades any attempts for upheaval in the first sign. And the list goes on and on. Motivational videos seem quite necessary and important coming from this view. They can be a little boost forward when everything else seems to push us back. It’s the vote of confidence we need to accompany us in our lonely path. Or so it seems…
Motivational input is nothing but a marketing pill fed to us taking advantage of our wrong mindsets and dreams. It is based on our wrong belief that any kind of change is only a matter of a small burst of energy and work that can bring results fast and efficiently. Deep down we hope for immediate gratification. As if a 5-minute video will be enough to arouse us so that we finish up our work and wake up the next morning with all the good things waiting for us.
The Truths We Resist
What we don’t want to hear is the fact that any substantial change comes from the tiny little bit of accumulation that takes place in the very long run. It’s happening by the cumbersome work, the daily struggle that improves things by a small fraction every few months, if even that. But are these motivational pieces targeting this audience, that is already steadily and enduringly putting out their best of themselves day in and day out and they regulate their whole lives towards achieving their goals or are they targeting the ones that haven’t even get started with their journey and they are out there looking for an emotional spike to feel good temporarily?
Self-help and motivation is something we all need from time to time. There is nothing wrong with spending time in them and taking that little boost forward. Sometimes it can make the difference between keep falling on a downward spiral and getting the good reality check needed to set you up straight again. But we should acknowledge what self-help is here to offer to us and not fall under illusionary ideas. We can’t use it as a form of avoidance. We can’t use it to soothe out our fears and cover them up. This is something we need to do for ourselves. There is no way around it…