|11-22-2011, 02:07 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2010
The only real obstacle
The monkey! The pesimist, negative, discouraging, lying, manipulative part of you. The part of you that wants you to stay where you are.
So much info about achieving goals. 99% Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuullcrap! It all starts from your own resistance. That is the cause of failure. The rest are effects: lack of motivation, lack of ideas, lack of belief, lack of vision, procrastination and eeeeeeeverything else.
The more you stretch and reach for a new goal, the more resistance comes up. It's exactly like pulling on an elastic with one fixed end. The more you pull, the more it pulls back. And that is really the only problem. If you manage to keep going or ignore or beat resistance somehow, then you're set, goal will be achieved!
We are amazing biological and spiritual beings. We greatly underestimate ourselves. If you want to do something new, resistance kicks in, homeostasis does its thing and starts manipulating you in any way possible: doubts come up, reasons why it cannot be done, you feel stressed, you feel it's impossible, you feel you're not good enough, you think it isn't worth the effort. Well, let's take the typical monkey strategy. The monkey tells you that you don't know how to do it so that's why it can't be done. That's the dumbest, falsest thing that we believe. It's so typical, used on us so often that we hardly see the stupidity of it and lie behind. It seems perfectly logical and true. How can I do it if I don't know what do to, how to do??? Well, based on this logic, I shouldn't get out of the house because I have no idea what the heck will happen. I don't know what I will do or say if a stranger talks to me. I don't know what has changed and how I will react to that. How the heck will I cross the street, I have no idea when and how many cars will circulate. And what if there's a drunk driver speeding? What will I do then? What if I don't see him? Damn, I have no idea what unknown things will happen when I go outside. But I still go and when something out of the ordinary happens, I automatically react somehow. Now isn't the monkey telling you that my logic is flawed? "It's not the same! It's different when you want to do something you never did.". No it isn't. Even your computer always does things it never did before, it executes programs it never executed before, it's always adapting to new technologies, installs updates, shows you movies that it never showed before, plays music that it never played before. Why can it do that? Because it is built in such way that it can. Human beings are built the same way. It has systems that learn and find solutions to new problems as you go. It's LIVE, you don't need to have it all figured out before you do and you can't because you don't know what you will encounter. Start, encounter, let your systems find solutions for you. But the monkey won't let you... Isn't it already telling you that this logic is also flawed? "Computer programs tell the computer what to do, it does not have to figure it out". Ahh.... yes, it beat me again. I could go on with 500 more examples and it would always find some reason why the logic is flawed and it's not the same when you have a goal .
That part of you that pulls you back is amazing. It has access to advanced methods of manipulation. You see, we tend to believe that conscious thinking is the mother of all intelligence. If it doesn't sit down and consciously think then you don't consider it intelligent. There are many types of intelligence, don't underestimate them. Even a tiny cell is pretty damn intelligent. So you consider this part of you under your control and not a threat because it doesn't sit down and think like you. It ALWAYS thinks, in its own way. What do you think keeps you smoking? You don't smoke for 2 weeks and then you tell yourself you're just gonna have a puff. You tell yourself? Yes, the monkey is tricking you. It has countless way to trick you to go back to the safe comfort zone. How do you beat it?
I have a few ideas about how you can beat the monkey but let's brainstorm here and see what happens.
So let me go first. Persistence beats the monkey. There comes a time when it finally accepts this new change and adapts and helps you make it permanent. But there's a catch. Too much effort, resisting resistance, actively and directly fighting the monkey, only makes it grow in strength and it does defeat you. Persistence has to be elegant, conscious and with no more effort than needed. Energy has to be focused.
Another way is when the monkey is unaware of the change. That is pretty tricky. It usually means that even you, consciously, are unaware of the change. An example is when you start smoking. You have no idea of the huge change of becoming the slave of the cigarette. You logically know about it but you don't believe it's such a big deal. You think you're in control, you're an exception, you're special, it won't affect you that way, it won't change you. So you easily become a smoker.
Your turn, what are your ideas on this?
Last edited by SlicK; 11-22-2011 at 02:12 PM.
|11-22-2011, 03:00 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
1. Right action is the bottom line. A lot of people in self-help are trying to get rid of resistance first, then acting, but that's usually just another form of resistance, procrastination.
2. Realize the monkey is trying to trick you constantly. Be skeptical of your own thoughts. If you aren't taking right action because of whatever reason, 98% of the time it's a BS rationalization. If you believe the "perfectly logical reason for not taking right action", you have been successfully tricked and the monkey has won this time. Your biggest enemy truly is in your own head.
3. Choose to suffer. Growth requires going past your comfort zones. That means when you are growing you are usually going to be uncomfortable. Rather than fighting this, or trying to go around it with some new age philosophy, just accept it fully as part of the deal and move forward. The goal isn't really to suffer, but by choosing pain as part of the process you take away the fear of it and it looses its "sting" (resistance).
4. Make rules and keep them no matter what. If you don't, then you will be susceptible to believing in rationalizations. If you reach a pain barrier, you won't have any strict rule and therefore you will cave for one reason or another.
5. Live discipline as a lifestyle. The more practice you get at it the better at discipline you become. Look at monks or marines. They have strict rules and they follow them all day long. If they were to be instructed to make some lifestyle change like a new diet, they could easily do it because they are already trained in a disciplined way of life. If however someone tried to change their lifestyle who lays around all the time watching youtube and playing video games, the odds of success are very slim. Why? They aren't used to defeating the monkey and they probably don't even know it exists. They are in the groove of laziness all day so when the time comes to act disciplined it's too much of a stretch and they let themselves be talked out of it.
6. Be skeptical of self-help. It's great stuff when used by a disciplined person, but can be a deadly form of self-deception when used by a procrastinator or rationalizer. Watch for your monkey mind to use self-help against you. It will use whatever it can to hold you back.
All for now.
|11-23-2011, 12:31 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Thanks taylor, excellent tips! I was absorbed while reading them.
I want to see if I'm on to something... I'm on day 5 of the experiment, 25 days to go. Last time I cracked on day 9 because of being exhausted fighting with the resistance. This time I don't lose time and energy fighting resistance. I just let it be and do my thing.
I wonder if I'm training the monkey or training myself... or maybe both ?!
|11-25-2011, 01:35 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2007
Failing is like crossing things of your checklist, and so the checklist gets smaller and smaller and so then your strengths become much more obvious.
Last edited by ellie; 11-25-2011 at 10:17 PM.
|12-06-2011, 08:26 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Keep it real
One thing I have found helpful to beat the monkey, related to the whole idea of the monkey not noticing change, is to use plant a strong ideal for change in the back of your mind, but don't make a huge deal out of it.
I specifically used this method, unconsciously at first, to change my diet. I just had this idea in my head "I want to start eating healthier". It wasn't really a goal or something I worked towards at first, I just naturally started changing.
For me, that meant I naturally started eating less meat until I cut it out completely, and then the same thing started happening for dairy products. At the same time, I was increasing my intake of fresh fruits to compensate. I am not saying this is the right path for everyone, this is just what MY body naturally changed towards, but you could be completely different.
I do think one thing that helped was that my brother was doing a lot of diet research at the time so I had a lot of subtle influence from that.
The KEY to my message is that sometimes it is best to keep changes on the down-low.
Otherwise, it's probably best to run full-force at them and attack the monkey from all angles so that it has no defenses left
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