Tag Archives: Intelligence

VOD: Is Russell Brand an Anarchist or Just Smarter Than We Give Him Credit For?

Russell Brand has been known to rustle more than a few feathers for speaking his mind. He gets a bad wrap for his crude sense of stage humor or the details of his short-lived marriage to Katy Perry ending up in the tabloids. He doesn’t mind telling off reporters when they slack in asking thoughtful and researched questions and he’s all about sharing his enlightening experiences with yoga and meditation. But would you peg him for a political scholar?

He just finished a week as guest editor at New Statesman despite having never voted in his life. In a recent interview on the BBC’s Newsnight, Russell shared his disdain for the current political system and how it favors the rich hierarchy. He spends a large amount of time defending his position of not voting as his way of refusing to comply with a system that clearly doesn’t benefit the lower classes. Having grown up poor, Russell explains that’s why a lot of poor youth don’t vote – their apathy comes from growing up in a system that clearly doesn’t cater to their needs. Newsnight host bawks at Brand, saying he has no right to complain about a system that he doesn’t put a voice into – and Russell argues back that it seems pointless to voice an opinion in a system that doesn’t work. It seems like revolutionary talk, but the further he explains the more you realize it actually makes sense. Is voter apathy a sign of youth laziness or a call for political overhaul? Does it make Russell irresponsible for promoting these tactics or is he on to something?

Even if you don’t agree with Russell’s political sense, you should also check out this interview where he explains that every person is just a different physical representation of God – or the ordering force of the universe. You’ll see it sounds pretty similar to this Deepak Chopra interview. And you probably thought he was just a comedian with crazy hair.

Way to go Russell.

7 Tips for Making Other People Feel Smart and Insightful

Pretty Girl in AutumnWe all want to get along well with other people, and one way to do this is to help people feel good about themselves. If you make a person feel smart and insightful, that person will enjoy your company. The point is not to be manipulative, but to help other people feel good about their contributions to a conversation.

Here are some suggestions…

1. Take notes. I’m a compulsive note-taker, and I used to feel self-conscious about pulling out my little notebook and taking notes during a casual conversation. Then I noticed that people really seemed to enjoy it; the fact that I was taking notes made their remarks seem particularly insightful or valuable. Now I don’t hold myself back.

2. Refer to a comment that the person made earlier in the conversation. “This ties to your earlier point about…” This reference shows a person that you’re tracking and remembering their comments very closely. And give people credit for their ideas! The terrific Ramit Sethi gave me the idea for this post. Relatedly…

3. If a person doesn’t finish a thought, ask him or her to pick it up again. “You said there were two reasons, but we didn’t get to the second reason.”

4. Use the person’s name—judiciously. Perhaps it’s the influence of How To Win Friends and Influence People, but some folks seem to think that throwing names around is always a winning move. I think it’s much more complicated than that. Sometimes, when someone uses my name, I feel as though I’m being manipulated, or chided, or patronized. But in the right context, it can add a very nice note.

5. As people talk about things they’ve done, take note of evidence of their admirable qualities—just in a word or two. “That must have taken a lot of research.” “You showed a lot of initiative in starting that.” When someone mentions a fact from the past, my father-in-law often remarks, “You’ve got a good memory.” It’s surprisingly gratifying.

6. Ask for advice. We all love to give advice, and feel smart when someone seeks our counsel. Even better…

7. Take someone’s advice! If you read a book that someone recommends, use a software program that someone suggests, or try a restaurant that someone loves, that person will feel brilliant. In conversation, I’m always making recommendations such as Inform Fitness gym, where I go for strength-training, and Gary Taubes’s book Why We Get Fat, and I feel enormously pleased when someone follows my suggestions.

What have I left out? What are some other ways to make people feel smart and insightful?

* * *

Wow! I love quotations and send out my daily Moment of Happiness email, with a happiness quotation (you can sign up here). So I was thrilled to hear from several people that the Real Simple Daily Thought for today was a quotation from…me! I feel so fabulous. My quotation was: “You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do.” That’s right, I wrote that.

As you cruise around this site, remember that you can search by category in the Archives for your favorite features (videos, tips, quizzes, etc.).  Also, when I write a post that I think (hope) is particularly original or interesting, I tag it “Assay” so that’s a good category to look at, if you want a greatest-hits experience.

Hey, Smarty Pants! 5 Articles to Nourish Your Brain.

As thoughtful, spiritual people, we tend to emphasize the heart and soul. The brain is the realm of reason, but the heart…This is the home of spirit and love and connection. Well, it’s time to give your brain some love. It helps you solve tough problems, formulate creative thoughts, and move your body around in all manner of ways. How wonderful to have a brain!

Why forget when you can remember? Everything. Here’s a super practical, fun action plan to boost your brain strength and keep those memories close.

How to Remember Everything (Greatist)

Blueberries and avocados are great – but here are some other ways to feed your brain. Try curiosity for breakfast, exercise for lunch, and positivity for dinner.

8 Ways to Feed Your Brain (MindBodyGreen)

Did you know negativity can impair brain function?! Protect yourself against party poopers.

3 Ways to Defend Your Brain Against Complainers (Care2)

Remember those piano and violin lessons you bemoaned as a child? Well you can thank them now for that strong, healthy brain of yours.

Music Boosts the Brain (HuffPost)

And finally, our brains aren’t all science. When you approach life with positivity and optimism, you feel happy, your brain is more agile, your body is healthy, and your soul is expanded. Pure magic.

The Magic of Pure Optimism (Positively Positive)

We are ONE!


You have heard it a million times, seen it twittered so much it’s becoming a precursor to therapy. Maybe you’ve even shared it on facebook, BUT, the question is- do you FEEL it?

That is all there is to it…feeling the oneness. feeling it to a degree that you have nothing to say about it.

In your great moments you know it, you WANT to tell others, shout it, twitter it and sing about it on myspace but you can’t.

You can only fiddle with the concepts, draw pictures around the ideas and maybe if your lucky write a poem that makes your heart ache with the being and the desire to express this thing.

When I Look
When I look I become rich
Breathing out……………. I see gold
With open eyes the space between is magnified
The irony of separateness unfolds
In space I am whole
A liquid world of intelligent light
Alive with action indiscriminate
Only purpose being
The weave like toffee…………….. like threads of water
All spices and colours are but a reflection of the truth I see

When I look

Oneness is a physical reality, those who have an understanding of physics will get what I am saying.
We are absolutely connected at the microcosmic level and beyond our accepted perception there is a quantum world of  fabulous possibility.

All this aside only the deep and clear ‘feeling’ of your connection to all that is will prove to you that we are one.
That’s how it works, individually we come to the awareness that we are inseperable from all that is and when that occurs there is no turning back. Slowly, increment by increment oneness becomes an unshakeable reality. Personal responsibility is highlighted as the realisation hits…WE are a GLOBAL MIND! Holy Moly! does that mean that what I think affects the organism that is US…why YES it does.

Does that Mean I need to feel guilty about what I do and think and say and feel…..?
Hmmmm…I think that feeling GUILTY may NOT enhance global consciousness BUT AWARENESS and the consequences of true awareness WILL.

Sometimes I speak about oneness with a passion, my whole being dancing with infinite possiblities.
At other times I forget and get grumpy and curse what is, in an attempt to distract myself from my perfection…why..dunno…sick? insane?

Occasionally I am drawn to share but mostly I am training myself to absorb the knowing and be US the ALLTHAT IS.

Being One, warts and all!



My friend Mike recently told me that the school I went to in 5th and 6th grades is for mentally challenged children, or what he referred to as “tards.”

Back in LA last week, I walked past this school and peeked through the fence trying to see if it really was true…

…while thinking back on the conversation between Mike and I…

“Dude, you went to that little school on Louise Ave? It’s for retarded children,” Mike emphatically told me.

I retorted, “You mean mentally challenged people. And there is no way when I went to school there that it was for mentally challenged people. It obviously has changed since I went there.”

But Mike was steadfast, “Dude, maybe they thought you were a tard and things evolved for you? Are you sure?"

"Mike…only idiots use the word retard."

"Ok Yeah Dave………….retard."

I thought long and hard about elementary school in 5th and 6th grades and I was sure everyone there was mentally “normal.”

But I did have some strange Obsessive-Compulsive tics and had to ask…

…“Of course we didn’t think you were retarded!” my mom replied.


Let’s be honest.

Our world is bass aackwards in the way we determine intelligence.

According to Sufi poets, you can tell one’s intelligence by their appreciation of music.

In that case, Derek Paravicini (see photo) is one of the most intelligent people in the world.

On the surface, he is severely mentally challenged, he can’t tell you how old he is, nor can he tell you how long he’s been playing music.

But he can play any song he’s ever heard, in any key, in any style.

For instance, ask him to play Ain’t no Sunshine (song) in B Major (key) in Ragtime (style).  No problem for Derek Paravicini.

With no rehearsal, he plays it as if he has practiced that particular song his whole life.

Watch video here and fast forward to 7:02.


According to psychologist Howard Gardner, there are nine types of intelligence:

–Naturalist intelligence (ie a botanist)
–Musical intelligence (ie the abovementioned Derek Paravicini)
–Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (ie a nerd)
–Existential Intelligence (ie a yoga teacher)
–Interpersonal Intelligence (ie a politician)
–Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (ie an athlete)
–Linguistic Intelligence (ie a great writer)
–Spatial Intelligence (ie an interior designer)

Trust me, you are brilliant in one of the abovementioned ways, and there’s a good chance you’ve been stuffed in the wrong box.

As would have been the case for Derek Paravicini if not for the fluke way he discovered his musical genius…(see above video to find out)

Point being, take a few risks, try something new that you are drawn to…you just never know.


So next time someone calls you a retard, consider it a compliment.

You just might be heeding Something different, a call, a pull, an impulse to be true to your particular genius…to live inspired, if not in spite…of those marching lockstep to the siren call of life.


NOTE: Please understand I mean no offense by the above and if you or someone you know has a mentally challenged person in your family, I’m guessing you agree with me on their particular kind of brilliance.

The Intelligence of the Heart

If life has taught me anything -it is that the heart is intelligent. The "irrational" voice of the heart has often proved to be pure wisdom, an intelligence that is immensely more connected to the universe than the verbal voice of reason in my head.

By "the voice of the heart" I do not mean the many emotional storms a heart can experience.  I mean the clear, unambiguous message that a healthy and balanced heart always sends: love is the only reality.  In the eyes of the heart we are all one, and the only healthy response to everyone and everything is love.

Our senses lead us to experience a world separated as you and me, good and bad, right and wrong. But think about it …  how many times has your heart ached in situations when the mind insists "this is right and this is wrong", while the heart’s only wish is to remain in love, in oneness with another?  Have you ever won a dispute, but lost what you really seeked –  unity?

We often think that love is in surface.  We believe we are loved when people think as we do, or behave the way we personally believe is loving.  So we spend a lot of energy waiting for, asking for or demanding external evidence from someone out there. But what we all truly want is a real connection of love.

Such a connection can only happen if we are connected to our collective essence, through the intelligence of our heart. This requires that we fully and irrevocably let go of  the illusion that there is an "I" separate from a "you". The love we all seek is the realization of our oneness, and our hearts have always spoken the truth.  Will we listen?




Are You Intelligent Or Just Intellectual?

Buzz up!

If you have been following this series of articles on creating a more positive experience of life, you will have noticed the penchant for some to keep finding fault.

Sometimes the criticism is the rather simplistic complaint that "positive thinking" doesn’t work. No matter how many ways we agree that simple thinking isn’t enough, the complaints still seem to come. And most often from the same complainants! For some reason, these folks just don’t seem willing to acknowledge that a positive focus coupled with positive, proactive action provides the opportunity to progress or improve.

I’ll be the first to agree that none of these ideas that I have been sharing work. No question whatsoever. None of these ideas work – at least not on their own.

For any idea to work, it takes a focused, determined person to implement the idea. Even then, the person must be willing to learn, make corrections, and stay focused in order to translate a positive focus into a positive result.

To be sure, there have been any number of charlatans over the years who have peddled simplistic self improvement elixirs to the equally simplistic recipients who keep hoping for a silver bullet, miracle cure or some bit of magic to transform their lives for them.

The real problem lies not in the idea of a positive focus on a positive outcome, but in the mindless hope that many hold for improvement without effort. If there is a disease in America, as some would suggest, it is not in the power of a positive focus supported by positive action. Rather, it is the entitlement mentality that many have adopted coupled with the wishful belief in the instant fix.

However, it gets even more insidious. (That’s a great word, by the way. Insidious comes from the Latin, insidiae, for ambush. It generally means awaiting the opportunity to entrap, or something that is harmful yet enticing.)

Indeed, many of the negativists of the world seem to engage in an insidious game, using their intellect, but not their intelligence, to argue against the potential for positive focus or improvement. For some reason, this group apparently favors some form of helplessness, seemingly encouraging inaction over focused effort.

Over the years, I have encountered many who have read a handful of so-called self-help books, but who have not actually tried any of the suggestions. To be fair, there are also those who have tried and come up short. The curious thing is that a combination of reading without action and a few failed attempts somehow add up to positive focus as some kind of hoax perpetuated on the unsuspecting.

So what’s behind the negativity? Why the persistence in claiming that a positive focus is somehow, well, negative?

Can’t these folks see the difference between the superficial notion of "positive thinking," which is nothing more than pretending and denial, compared to taking positive action toward a preferred outcome? How does anyone achieve any goal without a positive focus, positive frame of mind, and willingness to take action? And if adversity presents itself, are you supposed to just give up and blame the circumstances?

I suspect the real challenge may lie in the difference between using one’s intelligence vs. one’s intellect.

A good friend and teacher of mine pointed out the difference to me with the following example:

Continue reading on The Huffington Post

Choose to Rise Above Yourself

Here is a great spiritual secret: the only time we ever "fail" at anything in our lives is when we mistakenly walk away from what has challenged us before we’ve allowed it to teach us its secret ways.

Imagine we want to learn a new skill; for fun, let’s say we’d like to run the high hurdles (a lot like life, isn’t it?). Perhaps we buy an instruction book; maybe go watch runners compete at the track. A good beginning, but eventually we must learn by doing; we must leap for ourselves. Our first attempts to sail over the hurdle usually fail. More than likely, we crash! And we know we missed the mark because we’re on the ground. So, we pick ourselves up. We try again. Maybe we try running at a different speed, or we work to better time our jump. And we progress because each time we come up short, we make changes. We have realized that part of what it takes to succeed requires that we let go of what hasn’t worked in our approach.

Here’s the point: the same laws that help us learn how to clear hurdles on a track (or anywhere else in life) also hold true when it comes to rising above ourselves. Making the leap to the Higher Life our heart longs for begins with coming to recognize and release the parts of us that now hold us down.
Let’s take an example: whenever we fall into a familiar dark state or recurring state of stress, we need to welcome these moments for what they can teach us about ourselves. Clearly, our aching in such moments is evidence that our past responses to similar crises are inadequate. That we are still crashing into these old hurdles proves that our past responses no longer serve us. We must let them go, because they can take us no higher. This is why the Wise ones see any crisis in life as a "close encounter of the truthful kind." Which brings us to the main lesson: 

We will never realize what heights we can reach in life until we stop blaming reality for what happens to us as we go through it. This deliberate break with the "blame game" is the first leap — especially as it pertains to crashing twice into the same place in life. Despite appearances, our pain is not because life has set the hurdle too high; no, we only "fall" into fear and judging ourselves when we fail to learn the lesson in the pain — which is something we are empowered to do. Once the lesson is learned, where’s the hurdle or our hurt? Behind us! Discovering the truth of ourselves has taken us above and beyond that former barrier. Let’s review:

A crisis only becomes a breaking point when we fail to use it as a turning point. And a "turning point" is just that: rather than fall into old resentments or regrets, instead of returning to that defensive mindset that believes blaming others is the same as changing ourselves — an action that changes nothing except what we lash out at — we learn to look in a whole new direction for correction.

Now we are learning what it means to use those times when we "fall" as a window of opportunity:  to see that we have gone as high as we can with what we know; and then, right there we quietly let go of "who" we have been up to that point. Our wish and our inner work to actualize it sows for us the seeds of a Higher Life. And for our interior work is born in us a new level of self, one that never collapses before a crisis because it knows it lives in a world where nothing has to fall that chooses to rise.

(Excerpted from Let Go and Live in the Now, Red Wheel/Weiser)

Guy Finley is the acclaimed author of more than 30 books and audio programs on the subject of self-realization, several of which have become international best sellers. His popular works, published in 16 languages, are widely endorsed by doctors, professionals, and religious leaders of all denominations. Among many others, his popular titles include: The Secret of Letting Go, Design Your Destiny, The Lost Secrets of Prayer, Apprentice of the Heart, Let Go and Live in the Now, and The Essential Laws of Fearless Living. Finley is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in Southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Visit www.GuyFinley.org for a wealth of free helpful information, free audio and video downloads, and to request your free Self-Improvement Starter Kit. 

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Awaken Higher Awareness Through Self-Observation

I’m sure that we can all agree that no intelligent, conscious man or woman would ever intentionally hurt him or herself. It is important that we are in agreement about this precept. No one would choose to ache. Yet the fact remains that all of us do hurt ourselves every day with bursts of anger or fits of depression or anxiety. Even at the simplest level there can be no doubt: fear and worry take an immeasurable toll on our health and well-being.

However, there is real intelligence. An inwardly awake person would never intentionally hurt himself. Self-observation is the key to developing this higher order of awareness; it is how we learn to become inwardly vigilant to our own thoughts and feelings, even as they pass through us. When we can observe ourselves in this new way our higher nature naturally prevails over any troubling thoughts or feelings that want to drag us down into their lower world.

Self-observation allows us to understand what we witness in ourselves, instead of being washed away by our reaction to it. This new and higher interior "position" — as the observer of what unfolds around and within us — is at once a part of the proceedings and, at the same time, untouched by them. Recall what the Christ said about "being in the world, but not of it," and you have a small idea about this most unique inner-sanctuary. When we are awake this way, we always make the right choices because we are acting from a level of consciousness that has no past investment in any event or its possible outcome. This means that it is free to select what is intelligent.

Higher intelligence cannot be bound by the momentum of accumulated desires. The silent observer within us does not think; it sees. This is an important point because in order to observe ourselves means that we can’t be self-absorbed. Higher awareness through self-observation increases our field of choices, because this elevated inner-position places you high above the game and lets you see all of the players.

On the other hand, self-absorption is like being on the field. Not only can’t you see all of the players, but those that you can see are more often than not slamming into you, turning you around and around until you don’t know which way to run. That’s the whole point: Stop running and bumping, and start seeing.

There is no greater power for self-change than self-observation because this new inner-vision alone can provide you with true self-knowledge. Being self-liberated is the same as living fully from your Higher Nature. In this lofty state you enjoy the freedom that comes with having let go of your false self. This Higher Nature rests above you. Join it. Let it guide you all the way back to your true home within yourself.

As you persist each day with this important and practical task of adding more inner light to yourself — of making it your aim to stay up in the grandstand and out of the brawls on the field — you may find yourself becoming increasingly disturbed by some of the negativities you are seeing within yourself down on the field. This is a good indication that you are making real progress.

You must apply the principles you have learned even to this new kind of disturbance. This uproar you are experiencing is the false self trying its best to get you into the free-for-all down on the field. Stay in the stands in your observation post. Don’t be concerned with anything you may see. Remember, light need never fear any shadow, and anything you may discover within you that is frightening comes from the shadow world. Your only task is to bring it into the light of your new understanding and let it handle the rest.

Let’s review this royal principle: to see yourself in this new way means that at the same moment of being aware of your physical self, you are also watching your thoughts and feelings. Your old inclination to jump in and judge yourself is also suspended in this new awareness of yourself.

Said slightly differently, self-observation is a way of being fully aware of yourself that includes being watchful of any self-concern that comes up as a result of what you see in yourself. In this unique psychological posture you remain effortlessly apart from all wrong concerns because, should any of them arise, they are treated as just something else you are seeing, not as something you are.

At first, this idea of expanded self-awareness may sound to you like a little too much going on all at once. I assure you that it is not. Once you get the feel for it, self-observation is not any more difficult than leisurely watching a juggler under the Big Top. He may have as many as six or seven assorted objects flipping and spinning all at once, but that is of no concern to you. Seeing takes no effort. You are just enjoying the performance!

And while we’re speaking of performances, you will be happy to know that nothing brings the curtain down faster on the false self than this special kind of inner attention. You will see that self-observation is to our lower nature what sunlight is to a cave-dwelling bat. Just as the bat cannot stand the sun’s bright rays, neither can the false self live in the light of this new and self-healing awareness.

(Excerpted from "The Secret of Letting Go" Rev. Edition, Llewellyn, 2007)

 Guy Finley is the acclaimed author of more than 30 books and audio programs on the subject of self-realization, several of which have become international best sellers. His popular works, published in 16 languages, are widely endorsed by doctors, professionals, and religious leaders of all denominations. Among many others, his popular titles include: The Secret of Letting Go, Design Your Destiny, The Lost Secrets of Prayer, Apprentice of the Heart, Let Go and Live in the Now, and The Essential Laws of Fearless Living. Finley is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in Southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Visit www.GuyFinley.org for a wealth of free helpful information, free audio and video downloads, and to request your free Self-Improvement Starter Kit. 

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Liberate Yourself From Self-Limiting Thoughts and Feelings

It’s a paradox of the true spiritual path, but the more conscious we become of what limits us, the more limitless becomes our life. So, take as long as you need to understand the lesson that follows. It’s intended to shed much-needed light on one of the more deceptive dark states that stands between us and the freedom for which we long.

The only purpose discouraged feelings serve is to keep your thoughts on what you can’t do. And with your attention fixed in this fashion – on what seems impossible – there’s no room for discovering what is possible – for what you can do.

Let’s cover this important discovery one more time.

The only thing that feelings of discouragement do is keep you busy doing nothing except feeling sorry for yourself, which is the perfect guarantee that your sorry situation will remain hopelessly the same. Enough is enough! You don’t have to put up with one more discouraging moment, let alone a life filled with its darkness. There is another choice you can learn to make besides falling into those familiar feelings of failure. Use this next higher idea to help you start thinking about those old discouragements in a new way.

Whenever we suffer over what we aren’t able to do, have, win, or work through, our attention in these moments is riveted on our own thoughts, thoughts that are busy telling us we’re somehow stuck. Maybe you can recognize some of these heavy-hearted inner voices. They say in one way or another . . .

    •    “I’ll never get out of this mess.”
    •    “I’m too stupid to learn these things.”
    •    “I must have done something terrible to deserve this!”
    •    “There’s no point in going any farther.”
    •    “This is definitely hopeless.”

Now, on the surface of things, these all-too-familiar whispers of defeat – these dark voices that reach our inner ears, speaking to us with our own voice – seem to be genuinely concerned with our unfortunate condition. But a deeper look into this covert operation reveals these troubled thoughts are up to something totally different. There is an unseen “conspiracy of limitation” taking place within our own consciousness! Follow the next four ideas all the way to their stunning conclusion. They show us that self-illumination and self-liberation are one and the same power.

    1.    The more these gloomy voices talk to us, the more discouraged we feel.

    2.    The more discouraged we feel, the more certain we are that we have no other choice but to feel that way.

    3.    The more convinced we are that we have no choice, the less choice we have.
    4.    The act of identifying with this dark inner dialogue actually produces the dead end we fear!

We end up being able to go no farther with our wish for broader personal horizons because, unbeknownst to ourselves, we now believe that there’s no way to get past where we now perceive ourselves to be limited or tied down. The key idea in this part of our investigation lies within the word perceive, because – for the purposes of this exercise – the word perceive rhymes with deceive. And that’s precisely what this faulty perception is: a self-deception. Here’s proof.

There are no dead ends in real life. You must prove this bright fact to yourself, and here’s a good place to start: in any given moment, there is always something higher you can do with your life than sit there and suffer over what you think you can’t have, or do, or be. Why wallow when a small amount of interior work will act to change your reality?

Here’s one example of a new and higher inner action to take when faced with the presence of any discouraging inner state: See that the size of the discouragement you feel is directly proportional to the size of your insistence that life conform to your demands. Then, having verified this truth for yourself, dare to quietly drop that self-defeating demand.

The first time you bring such a light to bear on any discouraged thought or feeling, it will fade from view – much as shadows do when the sun reaches its mid-day zenith. Their departure leaves you with fresh new energies that not only grant you “new eyes” through which to see how you can proceed with your wish, but that also grant you the strength to begin the next leg of your quest.

For instance, maybe you’ve felt discouraged because you wanted to learn something new – a higher skill or a difficult lesson – but felt sure that certain limitations of yours placed this possibility beyond your abilities. And so you resigned yourself to feeling discouraged. While this kind of self-defeating behavior is commonly accepted as natural, it’s totally unnecessary. You can do something much higher!

Instead of falling into those familiar feelings of futility over yourself, work to deliberately drop those discourage-filled thoughts that are telling you the limit of your present view is the limit of your possibilities. Who you have been matters only to those dark states that want you to remain that way so that they can continue to rule the day. Refuse to dwell in discouragement over who your own thoughts are telling you you’ll never be. Just get started working on who, and what, you are right now!

In other words, do what’s in your power and refuse to be discouraged about anything else. And keep repeating this new conscious action one step at a time, over and over again. It is in your power to learn whatever it takes – one lesson at a time – and make it all the way to your designated goal.

Here’s one last special thought to help summarize this important life lesson in liberating ourselves from the limitations of discouragement:

Any conversation you permit yourself to have with dark and discouraging thoughts guarantees you’ll wind up with a dozen good reasons for why you feel so dark and discouraged. When it comes to any negative thought, the first word you have with it is the same as giving it the last word with you.

Practice these higher lessons in self-liberation until you’re free of all feelings of futility. You’ll soon see how this new action gives you the last laugh on discouragement.

(Excerpted from The Essential Laws of Fearless Living, Weiser Books, 2008)

Guy Finley is the acclaimed author of more than 30 books and audio programs on the subject of self-realization, several of which have become international best sellers. His popular works, published in 16 languages, are widely endorsed by doctors, professionals, and religious leaders of all denominations. Among many others, his popular titles include: The Secret of Letting Go, Design Your Destiny, The Lost Secrets of Prayer, Apprentice of the Heart, Let Go and Live in the Now, and The Essential Laws of Fearless Living. Finley is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for self-study located in Southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. Visit www.GuyFinley.org for a wealth of free helpful information, free audio and video downloads, and to request your free Self-Improvement Starter Kit.


Discover the Secrets of Being Unstoppable


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