The Thought Suit

You do it almost every day of your life. You don’t have to but you act like you do. It’s just this routine that is so embedded in your being that you don’t even recognize it as a choice. It is the suit of thoughts that you wear through life all day. It’s an idea you have about yourself and you behave as though other people can see your thoughts rather than theirs.

678 Relax and Succeed - It's not an egotistical actMaybe you think you’re fat. Or too old to find true love. Maybe you think you’ll never financially recover. You put those ideas on each morning. You repeat them to yourself. You pull on your pants and remind yourself of your weight. You put on your shirt and think about your broken heart. You check your empty pockets and remind yourself that you are poor. And you pile these ideas onto yourself to the point where the real you is completely obscured by your self-critical thinking.

No one else sees that suit. Did you get that? They don’t see your thoughts. They would see the suit they have for you, which will be totally different than yours because it will feature moments you didn’t know were included, or lies from other parties, or misunderstandings etc. etc. No one really knows anyone. It’s too complex a question because you have to ask, under what circumstances and in precisely what context? So we must either decide people’s spirits are pointed in generally the same direction as ours and then let the rest of the details wash out, or we need to find people who are more aligned with us. But even then, you’ll still need forgiveness just as much as everyone else.

Even if people could see the suit you see for yourself, they wouldn’t notice because virtually all of them are fully invested in worrying about the comparison between the suit they have for themselves and the suit they have for you and everyone else. In short, they’re doing exactly the same thing you are. They are wishing for the life they imagined rather than the one they have, and like you do, they think we see the disparity between their two stories when we’re not even aware they exist. So if you don’t think you’re beautiful, that presumes you know what people think of as beautiful, plus you’re forgetting the enormous impact your 678 Relax and Succeed - Every moment is newpersonality can have on someone’s assessment of your beauty. Everyone’s dated at least one person where, no matter how good looking they were, they were overshadowed by ugly behaviour. You don’t live with beauty, you live with behaviour.

Each day really reconsider the silly futile quality of having that thought suit. Why on Earth would you repeat those ideas to yourself? Why would you put that outfit on every day? Because you know the feeling when you don’t put it on. Those days where you feel smart and sexy and capable. Your good hair days. Well those are created within your own consciousness. You don’t become that person you have to actually be that person. There cannot be wishing. You must act as though it is already true and it will be. It is a leap across nowhere. There is nowhere to fall. Just take it. Take the leap. Believe that you are already great and you will begin to act from a place of greatness. That’s always how it’s worked. I know it’s weird to do but it really does work.

Take your life back. Walk naked through it. Allow people to see the real you. Yes, some won’t like it. But what difference does that make? That’s true now. The point is, the people that really matter to you will never have found you if you hadn’t revealed yourself so honestly. Forget the thought suit. Be a spiritual nudist. Go right past clothing and skin and strip right down to your soul. It’s a wonderfully freeing feeling and it creates stronger bonds than you may have thought possible.

Trust yourself.

Much love. s

Scott’s Favourite Blogs of 2013: #2

Winner: Scott’s Favourite Blogs of 2013 #2

266 Relax and Succeed - You don't need anybodyNext year I’m going to give myself a Top Ten instead of a Top Three. It was really hard choosing. Thank goodness that the Ten Most Popular included two that I wouldn’t have wanted to see left out of being recognized. I get calls and emails about these and some of them are extremely touching, while others are simply grateful for some new skill. Either way it’s all music to my ears and beauty to my eyes.

My Second Place Blog-of-the-Year is all about how to not be liked. People mistake popularity for success but real success is when other people can’t disrupt your life much. That’s how you get equanimity: self-control. By actively managing our consciousness it is possible to face a great deal of negativity all while maintaining a compassionate, generous, open perspective. I like it for its clarity about the mechanics of how we torture ourselves by replaying other people’s thinking. Enjoy.

How Not To Be Liked

Because society has used group-thinking to build walls around ideas like beauty or intelligence or value, there are many ways for you to imagine you are failing or wrong. But these are just ideas. This is what it is to liberate yourself—you have to understand that other people’s opinions are just narratives they think that lead to chemical responses in their brain. Quite literally none of that happens in any world you live in. It’s an internal experience they have.

5 Relax and Succeed - There is no way to live where everyone likes youEven if they say something out loud, you still have to confirm it within your own thoughts before you’ll get any change to your chemistry. That’s why Eleanor Roosevelt said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If you’re not choosing to think that they either are or may be right, then their words mean nothing. They have no echo in your consciousness. And since there is no such way for their judgment to be “right” anyway, you’re free the moment you switch your insecure thought stream away from that internal conversation and on to something more productive.

You see, your job was never to be liked. Magnets aren’t trying to get metal to like them. Magnets just are and metal just is and the result is that they naturally go together. Magnets don’t attract glass. That doesn’t make either the glass or the magnet “wrong.” They just don’t naturally go together. They can easily and comfortably co-exist in the world but they simply aren’t parts of the universe that fit directly together. We should accept that these differences exist at home at work and within society at large. You don’t date someone because they’re hot because that’s like a tight, cultural lasso binding you together. It’s better that you naturally and constructively fit together, like a magnet and metal, because then your attraction will last and it will have no tension.

If you’re busy trying to be liked you’ll be performing for everyone you meet. You’ll stress yourself trying to sound knowledgeable about sports when you could care less. You’ll put on a dating profile that you love camping when you hate it. You’ll dress in uncomfortable clothing just to create envy in other people. That’s not freedom. That’s the exact opposite. That’s oppression. Why are you running around following all of these lines on the ground? Who painted the lines?

Being Authentically You allows the metals and magnets in your life to find each other. If you’re wearing a mask trying to be everything to everyone then you’ll be blocking your naturally attractive qualities. Your camouflage will hide you from your natural friends and allies. Letting 266 Relax and Succeed - Some people don't like youthose thoughts go and opening yourself up represents a huge plus, because you can take all of that energy you spend trying to look cool or smart or attractive and you can put it into enjoying life!

Apparently Isaac Newton hated people, didn’t bathe, and he worked in the nude. But he loved to discover. That was where his joy was—not in pleasing others. Their ideas about him didn’t bother him because he wasn’t thinking about those ideas—he was thinking about his life’s work. Other people’s ideas about you are meaningless. Do not let them dampen your spirit. Be thoroughly and unapologetically you. There are friends you haven’t met yet who need your light to shine brightly so they can find you.

So remember: what other people think of you is largely irrelevant. Some religious or political fundamentalists may hate the Dalai Lama, but that doesn’t mean the Dalai Lama has to hate them. There is nothing to be gained by carrying that in his heart. They can have that view and he can continue to exist. He can even thrive. After all, Tibet is now much bigger than its borders. It’s a worldwide nation of sorts. Not bad for a guy who was kicked out of his own home and who has lived his entire life under attack. Maybe the peace you seek isn’t so far away after all, huh?

peace. s

Here’s a link to a fascinating radio/podcast documentary that shows you how subtly you’ve been taught to see yourself critically: Under the Influence: Shame