The Essential Secrets of Your Growth and Self Improvement
By Michael Domekyo Rowland
Imagine that you want to make a change in your life, of any type, and you start using the techniques that you learnt in a book or seminar. Initially your enthusiasm keeps you going for the first few times, but then it fades and other things come up that seem more important. You haven’t been able to persist with what is necessary to do.
One of the most common problems for people interested in their own growth is the ability to keep going with the techniques and methods they learn. It is so easy to just slip back into the rut of familiarity and acceptance of the way your life is. But from there you will never make any progress.
Harder still is to be able to motivate yourself and really push through your own negativity when the going gets tough. Persistence and motivation are the two abilities that separate those who grow from those who stagnate. Because really there are only two choices in life, whether a pond or a plant or a person: you either stagnate or you grow. A stagnant life is one filled with lethargy, the inability to fulfil desires and victim consciousness. A life of growth is one of pleasure, success, intelligence and compassion.
There are easy ways to be able to persist and be motivated as they both come down to having a clear understanding of how your mind works. Let’s look at how you can do it for yourself and so immediately inspire you to make changes in an enjoyable way.
The first is to realise that both motivation and persistence are two sides of the same coin. They come naturally as a result of what is in your mind. Think how easy it is to do something that you are interested in. If you love sailing and you haven’t got a yacht of your own and a friend invites you to come on the weekend on theirs, do you need someone to inspire you to go? No, of course not. Because it is something you want to do. You look forward to it all week and are raring to jump aboard.
What has actually happened here? Your mind has been filled with images and thoughts about sailing, which you love. These imaginings have tapped into the feelings that you will receive when you are on the yacht. So two points. Your mind is filled with the results and the results are associated with good feelings. If you can generate these in other areas of your life then you will feel that same motivation and find it easy to also persist with the actions necessary to enjoy the benefits. It is a waste of time trying to motivate yourself when you are not really interested in what it is that you are doing. The conflict will undermine your energy and you will lose interest very quickly. But if your mind is filled with something, then you are naturally interested in it.
To fill your mind with something is rather easy. All you have to do is to consider whatever the subject is, turn it over and over in your mind, read about it, talk about it and imagine it. Your mind will do the rest because your mind is a goal seeking mechanism. You give it a goal and it will do what is necessary to bring it to you, including giving you the inspiration to perform the techniques and methods necessary to achieve those goals.
What this means is for you to deliberately and regularly think about the results that you want. Spend at least a few minutes whenever you get the chance – when waiting for transport, preparing a meal, having a shower or anything else where you don’t have to concentrate carefully. Imagine that you are actually living the result you want. Just play it over in your mind. You will find that by experiencing it in this imagined way you will automatically be inspired to live it out, because your subconscious does not differentiate between what is real or what is imagined. It responds to both with equal vigour.
It has also been discovered that if you do something for twenty one days then the habit becomes ingrained in your mind and also therefore becomes a natural part of you. It then becomes effortless. You feel naturally motivated and inspired.
So if you want to become, say, more confident, then once a day behave in a confident way to someone whom you do not necessarily know, for instance in a shop or a taxi. One sentence spoken in a confident way is quite enough. Just practice it every day for the twenty one days and you will be surprised at the results. It will become ingrained in you. Your confidence will increase and you will find that you are treated differently and you actually begin to feel more confident.
You can use that with anything at all. If you want to walk for exercise as a regular thing, then just spend one minute walking,, say, the long way round to your house or office, just another couple of hundred meters will do. And after the twenty one days, walking will have been ingrained as a habit, as a part of you, and you will find it easy to actually bring it into your life in a regular and effortless way. It will become something that you do and enjoy. Introduce any new habit or behaviour pattern. It is simple yet supremely effective. It was, in fact, how you were conditioned in the first place. By doing it consciously you will be following your natural conditioning mechanisms and so integrating what you want in the easiest and most effective way.
This is the key to your own growth. Small, even tiny steps, performed regularly, will bring the best results. They are easier to do, they can happen spontaneously whenever you think of them, and they subtly mould you into having the new characteristics and skills that you want. They are the essential secret to your motivation and persistence and therefore your growth. Start one immediately, you will be very pleased that you did.
The game in life is obviously expansion and growth. You only have to look at the Universe to see how it is constantly expanding and growing. Every single seed expands and grows into a plant or a tree, as does every living creature grow from its seed or egg.
All human beings also find, through their studies, that their knowledge of a subject expands and grows. Clearly this is the normal reality of life.
So the intelligent or perceptive person turns their attention to what it is that causes this expansion and growth. Then, how they can become more conscious of it, and so enhance their prospects of a more enjoyable and successful life.
Interestingly enough, the factor that causes you to grow is quite the opposite of what you might have imagined. It is in fact resistance, which means the act or power of opposing. It is the opposition offered by one thing to another. It is a completely natural force and, if you consider it carefully, perfectly designed to raise consciousness.
To understand why resistance is necessary, you only have to look to nature.
In the natural world, every creature is constantly faced with something that opposes their survival. There are many other creatures who see them as a meal. It is this need for survival that causes each creature to develop themselves in a way that will protect them and so enhance their survival.
Take the example of a hawk flying above some grassland. Below, scurrying in the grass is a mouse. The hawk has evolved itself to be able to hover, almost silently, and with very powerful eyesight can zoom in to see the mouse and be able to dive swiftly to capture at. Had it not evolved itself in this way it would have starved to death.
The mouse on the other hand has evolved to a point that it can scurry and run very fast and hide itself in the tiniest spaces so that its survival is also enhanced.
You can see this in every other species. The force of opposition, the resistance, is the cause of the evolution or growth of every living thing.
The human race has, through civilisation, been able to eliminate a lot of the natural forces of opposition. But, as we are all subservient to the Universe’s primary drive of growth and expansion, we find that resistance and opposition still appear in our lives.
What is the point of these forces? We can see that the human race has been on a growth path that makes them more conscious. We are now conscious enough to put men on the moon, create powerful computers, make stunning advances in medical technology and so on.
So more consciousness is the goal, because that is what has happened and will continue to happen. You are far more conscious now that you were when you were young.
Unfortunately, few people understand that this is how their personal life works as well.
In order to become more conscious, life will insure that you are continually faced with resistance or opposing forces, because this is the way it happens in nature and you are a part of nature. It is working 24/7.
This translates, in your ordinary life, to difficulties with relationships, money, self-esteem, creativity, career and self-image and a host of other issues.
For instance, if you are facing a difficulty with your relationship, the underlying evolutionary drive will always be to make you into a more conscious person. Because the more conscious you are, the better your relationships can become. It truly is the only solution.
Challenges arise, you, by being more conscious, deal with them, and you have grown.
One of the clearest signs, in a relationship, of someone who is less conscious, is that they do not have the ability to listen and respond appropriately to their partner’s desires and ways of communicating. All they are conscious of is their own needs and desires, which of course is fatal for any relationship.
Being less conscious, their relationships become sour and they have no idea that they are the cause. The only solution for them and their relationship is to become more conscious. Life is trying to get them to do this all the time.
In human life resistance to growth often manifests as fear. An opportunity arises in somebody’s life, which would cause them to expand, but the fear also arises and they feel frightened that something might go wrong. So they contract and lose the opportunity.
Confrontation, obstacles and problems, which are the form resistance takes in a human life, are required to activate your own consciousness and opportunity to grow. Resistance forces you to use your body-mind system consciously and deliberately. This results in your growth.
Just as anyone who wants to build larger muscles needs to do resistance training, if you want to change anything within yourself and your life you too will face resistance, or the necessity to become more conscious.
More consciousness, of course, results in a far better life, and far greater abilities to create your own life in the way you want it to be.
But, because we are not taught this at school, we do not know that this is the way it is meant to be. We try to make our life easy, and avoid resistances, which deteriorates into boredom and platitudes. More consciousness is where fulfilment comes from.
Our greatest mistake, therefore, is to avoid resistance in our lives. If we continually go for the comfort zone, rather than the challenge zone, this attitude limits our pleasure, satisfaction and fulfilment. It shrinks us. We try to make all things easy and comfortable. It doesn’t work. It pushes these natural driving evolutionary forces into the shadow of our psyche where they make mischief in our lives.
If you have not consciously created challenges or opposing forces to work with in your life (many use family, sport, business or art forms to free and expand their abilities and consciousness), then life will turn this primary Universal power onto yourself, and you will subconsciously create your life experiences to become your own opposing forces.
You can be absolutely sure that if there is nothing in your life that is causing you to become more conscious, which means self-created challenges, then the universe will throw something to you, and it may be something very difficult or unpleasant.
This can easily destroy your life and drive you into unhappiness. Feeling unhappiness is a sign from life to become more conscious by taking more actions, but if you don’t know that, then you are stuck with just feeling unhappy and not knowing what to do.
There is no avoiding expansion and growth as that is the primary driving force of life, and it inhabits every cell, every molecule of every living thing.
So make sure that your life is a consciousness game, as that is what growth means to a human being. Use every opportunity to become more conscious and aware, and make sure you choose things in your life that challenge you and cause you to wake up and be really present in each and every moment.
If you are interested in learning how to meditate please click here
If you would like to read Michael’s book, ‘Absolute Happiness’ please click here