How to Build a Strong Reality
Size: 217.99 MB
Author: James Tripp
Information: James will discuss how to be fulfilled in life, and becoming clear in who we are, how we are, what we stand for and how we choose to engage in life.Your Professor James Tripp is a Consulting Hypnotist, Neurolinguist and developer of the Hypnosis Without Trance approach to Hypnosis. He helps people make the changes they want and/or develop ‘personal effectiveness’ in life.
How to Build a Strong Reality (That Serves You and Others)
Life flows – it shifts, it changes, it moves… it never stays still. As the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus put it:
“Everything flows; nothing remains. There is nothing permanent but change. You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.”
This is the nature of life – an ongoing unfolding of reality. It is from this that we emerge as ‘sentient patterns’ – conscious beings with the capacity to bring ourselves to back to bear upon that from which we emerge… and it is how we do this that really counts in life.
To be successful and fulfilled in life, it is this unfolding that we must participate in. We can try an opt out, but life just flows on anyway and will end up washing us away. The other choice is to make our ‘pattern’ (who we are and how we are) strong and dynamic so as we can participate meaningfully and creatively. This means becoming clear in who we are, how we are, what we stand for and how we choose to engage in life. It means building a strong reality that serves both ourselves as well as the ongoing flow of life around us.
This article covers 10 big ideas that are key to building such a reality.
The Top 10 Big Ideas
1 Elevate Consciousness and Ownership
People are generally pretty poor witnesses to their own processes and assumptions. They react the way they react (maybe fear, anxiety, anger, joy, enthusiasm… Or whatever) but never see the structure of it. Never see the thoughts that make up the reactions, or the assumptions that those thoughts are based upon. And so, because they don’t see the structure of the reaction, and how they are creating it, they mistaking lay think that the power that creates those reaction lies in the thing or person being reacted to (John makes me angry. Going to the theatre cheers me up).
Having such low levels of consciousness to how we are shaping our own experience of reality inevitably leads to an ‘at effect’ relationship with the world around us – most of the power is out there and all we can do is react to it and be unconscious ‘victim’ to it.
So the first step to building a strong reality is to become aware THAT you are building your reality. That the power isn’t in the world around you, it is in how you shape your experience of the world around you through your thinking and meaning making. This in tern will inform how you act upon it.
The Ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” (one of the Delphic maxims) speaks directly to this point. Raise consciousness – know thyself – and you will increase your ownership of your own reality shaping faculties.
2 Question Assumptions and Think Things Through
As you raise consciousness (and the more you have a mind to do this) the more you will come to know about your own thinking and the assumptions that underpin it – assumptions about how the world works, how people work, how we work, why things are as they are etc.
As Alfred Korzybski (the founder of General Semantics) noted, the assumptions we hold create a kind of ‘logical fate’ in life. I.e from the same assumptions logically follow the same conclusion (typically unconsciously) which lead to the same perceptions which drive the same reactions etc. So without changing our underlying assumptions it is difficult to change much about how we do life.
Now, most of the assumptions we hold are assumptions that we have collected pretty arbitrarily through our upbringing. In a sense, they have been installed within us (although we did actively participate in that installation), so they are not assumptions that are usually especially well thought through.
This leads to two problems:
1 – They may not be serving you or others.
2 – They are not really solid, so we feel unconsciously uncertain in resting upon them YET we will tend to reactively defend them through fear of losing what little certainty they do provide.
The solution is to uncover and do rigorous work on your assumptions. Instead of defending the assumptions you hold, question them! Test them like a scientist might test hypothesis! And as they fall, build better ones that serve you more effectively.
Well thought through assumptions will always serve to support centeredness and certainty (where certainty is required to act) far more robustly than arbitrarily collected assumptions. Well thought through assumptions are your base.
3 Escape the Truth Trap
The ‘Truth Trap’ is simply the trap of mistaking your assumptions for ‘truth’. They’re not!
Or as the old saying goes: “all truths are half truths at best.”
But how can we be so sure in saying that? Well, because reality is deep and rich and complex and the truth of it ALWAYS extends way beyond the limits of human conception and understanding. There is always more to it than we can think and see. So we don’t get to ‘know’ the truth (yes, this itself is not the ‘truth’ merely a well thought trough assumption – feel free to question it and think it through yourself).
Now, although we don’t get to know the truth, we DO have to work with it – the flowing world is as it is and isn’t going to change itself just to suit us, so we want to increase our power and capacity to effectively work with it and ‘steer the flow’. And that’s where understandings or assumptions come in, as they are the means by which we are able to work with a truth we cannot know. They enable us to ‘pull up alongside’ the truth in a way that enables us to work with it.
So know this and escape the Truth Trap, because you need to in order to be free to re-work your assumptions and escape the logical fate that ensues. Because if you think it’s the truth, psychologically you can’t change it (it traps you). When you recognize it as an understanding or assumption, you can.
4 Be Solid in Your Values
Our values are the high level conceptualizations that (things like ‘love’, ‘challenge’, ‘connection’, ‘justice’ or’ freedom’ etc. we all hold our own idiosyncratic sets) that sit below the surface and drive us.
They create, as such, the engine the that is our motivation system.
Or as NLP cofounder Richard Bandler has put it:
“Our values are the reason we get out of bed in the morning”
Yet if you ask most people, they will have little conscious idea of what their values are at all. They have no idea of what comprises their engine of motivation, and so have no idea how to maintain it and effectively run it.
One of the biggest problems with not being clear in your values is you can easily be lead into acting incongruently with them, which in turn leads to uneasy feelings, hesitation and procrastination. Raise consciousness and become clear in your values, and you can use them as a compass for orienting yourself in life through choosing your actions in alignment with them. This will have you show up strong and clear within yourself, and being less needy of guidance form others (which does NOT preclude you making use of such guidance when it serves to do so).
You can uncover your values by raising consciousness for them. Listen to your language! Enquire of yourself as to what is important to you in various context in your life. Make this an ongoing mission.
You can also evolve and modify your values so they better serve. Find role models, uncover their values and try them on for size (imagine and rehearse life lived through that value… How does it work for you?)
5 Slow Down
When raising consciousness and becoming a better witness to your own processes, it pays to slow down. Don’t let your reactions run away from you, take a moment. Create pauses just to observe. They may only be split second pauses, but they create enough of a gap to inject some of the high quality consciousness that is essential to transformative learning.
To help you, use your internal dialogue. Tell yourself, in a clam manner to “slow down” ask yourself “what is it that is that is happening here?” No need to pressure yourself for an answer, just slow down and shine your flashlight of attention. Allow yourself to see what you see.
You can also use your breathing and physical relaxation. Learn to breath in a relaxed way from your centre and learn where you may have tendencies to hold tension and practice letting it go (stomach, shoulders, forehead, and around the eyes are good places to learn to relax).
6 Participate in the Unfolding
“It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.” ~Alan Watts on Life
To build a strong reality through proactively and consciously shaping functional understandings of life, you need to participate in it. you need to come up against it and immerse yourself in it and learn to swim. Books and, courses and study are useful things, but if you are never diving in and actually swimming, they ‘knowledge’ accrued will count for little.
Build your reality out there in the world… In the thick of it. That way it will develop to be as strong and dynamic and flexible as it needs to be to work with that world. Sure, take breaks. Take time out for reflection and study, but be sure to always bring it back to the real world.
7 Become Aware of Everyday ‘Hypnosis’
And out there in the real world you will swim, every day, through a sea of ‘social hypnosis’. You will receive messages (verbal and non-verbal) from friends, colleagues, associates, family, media and more tugging at your perceptions and seeding ideas deep in your mind.
Some of these messages will be positive. They will carry empowering conceptualizations to the deepest parts of your mind.
Many, many more will be undermining and disempowering.
Learn about ‘presupposition’ (get googling as we cant get into this here) in language. This is one of the most powerful carriers of ‘idea viruses’. By becoming conscious of this you can notice when and how ideas are being ‘slipped in’. Also start tuning into the ‘energy’ of different concepts and conceptualisations. Tune into the ‘felt sense’ of and idea, assumption or perspective – does it feel like it serves you or empowers you? Or does it feel like it undermines you?
Learn not to buy into other people’s realities that undermine!
8 Free Yourself from the Tyranny of Judgement
One of the most powerful ways that we can be undermined is through reactivity to judgement. If we have a neediness to be judged in particular ways, and a fear of being judged in others, this ends up becoming a dominant power in our lives, and one that we have little influence over.
The first thing for us to to do is stop judging ourselves. By this I mean ascribing value… ‘Good’ vs ‘bad’, ‘right’ vs. ‘wrong’ etc. passing judgement that clears or condemns. Upgrade from judgement to evaluation – evaluation is more functionally and progressively orientated. Assessing rather than condemning.
The second thing to do is accept that others WILL judge you no matter what. They have every right to and you have no right to demand otherwise. What they think of you is their business and not yours. AND……whatever judgement anyone may make of you changes ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about who you are!
People fear judgement because they fear it may ‘mean’ something about them. The truth is, judgement ALWAYS says more about the judger – their values, their ‘egoic neediness’, their perspective. Again the judgement of others carries little useful information (though their considered evaluation might).
Let go of fear of judgement. One effective method is to identify the judgements you fear and own them and depotentiating them.
Stupid? Heck yes I’m stupid! Who isn’t in some way? Weirdo? Sure thing! Part of the human condition. Everyone is their own unique kind of weirdo!Ugly? Sure… It’s in the eye of the beholder after all.
We are all ugly to someone.
Own a judgement and you no longer have to fear it. No longer fear it and you become free to live life on your own terms and by your own values.9 Become Comfortable with Other People’s Shifting States and Moods
When we are children, we unconsciously learn that other people react to our moods. Upon realising this, we learn to manipulate our moods to manipulate others. So we become sad to get sympathy; angry to get compliance; confused to get help etc. All of this is unconscious – we don’t even know we are doing it and think that we feel those ways simply because of circumstances.
As adults, we can tend to continue this behaviour and not realise that it has a negative kickback – keeping us in a disempowered victim role as we attempt to recruit others to save us or manipulate them into supporting us.
On the other side, if we are unaware of this we can find ourselves being emotionally manipulated by others, and thus pulled away from orienting to our values and out of our centre. So it pays to be aware of this mechanism.
It is very difficult to truly serve people if you are forever trying to please and placate them. This is because you can only truly serve (in anything other than the most superficial and sacrificing way) from your own strength and uniqueness. This means being oriented to your well considered values and understandings rather than being reactively pulled off course by the emotions of others.
And just to be clear, this doesn’t mean being cold or lacking compassion, it just means not being had by other people’s states!
As a changework mentor of mine once said:
“to truly serve your client, you will need to learn to become comfortable with their discomfort, otherwise their discomfort will disempower you from doing your very best for them”.
10 Eliminate Fear and Orientate to Creative Desire
Fear is a ‘low energy’ it’s all about reaction and moving away from perceived threats. Every once in a while in life, you may find yourself in a situation where fear serves you – a genuine life or death situation where you need to take action NOW to save your or someone else’s hide – but mostly in life, fear is an undermining force that keeps you a victim in both behavior and spirit.
A life fuels by fear is a life of survival. To move beyond survival and into thriving (and helping others to thrive) you need to upgrade from free to creative desire.
So, start to look and the role of fear in your life and make a commitment to transcend it. Uncover the assumptions that underpin any fear you might experience. Question them. Build new ones that better support you.
Build resilience and anti fragility by building them as VALUES and teaching yourself that whatever happens you’ll handle it. Better yet, make use of it to learn from and make you stronger!
Start spending some time orientating to what you would love to create – both in terms of what you would love to create in the world and what you would love to create in yourself. And this will help you bootstrap yourself into a position where you become progressively better able to become clear on how you want to be and how you want to live your life, and better able to take the action that makes that happen.
Your reality will grow stronger. You will grow stronger. And your ability to creatively participate in the unfolding of life will exponentially increase.
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