Productivity Leads to Happiness

Productivity Leads to Happiness

hap·pi·ness /ˈhapēnəs/ noun — the state of being happy. Synonyms: contentment, pleasure, contentedness, satisfaction, cheerfulness, cheeriness, merriment, merriness, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joyousness, joviality, jollity, jolliness, glee, blitheness, carefreeness gladness, delight, good spirits, high spirits, light heartedness, good cheer, well-being, enjoyment, felicity.

Money and Happiness

What is the relationship between money and happiness? Is money a cause, and happiness an effect? Or is money evil, and a hindrance to happiness?

Most people have heard contradictory assertions about money, ranging from “money makes people happier” to “money is the root of all evil.” Upon close examination, one can see the relationship between the two.

Money is a medium of exchange for values.

A person produces values and exchanges those values for money. The more values one produces and exchanges with others, the more money he or she can accumulate.

Then the person can use this money to produce more values, and purchase values from others. This is a very simplified explanation of wealth production.

What about happiness? Happiness is an effect. The cause of happiness is the achievement of one’s core values.

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand and companies determine if they are on the right path towards fulfilling their goals.

Say a person consciously values an enriching love relationship. That person then prepares herself to experience such a relationship. Later, she meets someone that she admires, and they initiate a relationship.

That relationship then develops into a growing love relationship. She may not explicitly grasp the dynamics involved, but she feels happy.

“Happiness is an effect. The cause of happiness is achieving one’s values.”

This presumes that a person has chosen a hierarchy of values. If a person holds money as a high value and earns it, he or she will experience happiness.

The same is true of all values, such as self-esteem, romantic love, and aesthetic pleasures. Ultimately, however, happiness along with prosperity, and romantic love, depends on one fundamental condition.

Without this condition, one will not experience abiding happiness, prosperity, or romantic love. What is that condition?

That condition is “productive accountability”.

Productive Accountability

ac·count·a·bil·i·ty /əˌkoun(t)əˈbilədē/ noun — the fact or condition of being accountable. Synonyms: responsibility, liability, answerability.

No matter how much money or material abundance we might have, productive work is essential to our happiness. Even if a person wins a billion-dollar lottery, that person would need to engage in productive accountable activities to experience abiding happiness.

Why would even a billionaire need to engage in productive accountable activities to achieve abiding happiness?

Wouldn’t that billionaire be able to buy his/her way to happiness?

Wouldn’t that person derive happiness from the unlimited access and consumptions to material goods?

The reason every adult human being needs to engage in productive accountable work is for physical and psychological survival. Higher causes or altruistic reasons or duty to one’s family, community, or nation are a bonus, but at the most basic level — we need to create in order to survive.

We don’t engage in productive work because of tacit or expressed obligations to others. The only reason to engage in productive work is for our own physical and psychological survival.

In the case of the billionaire, or any individual who is financially independent, he or she still needs to be productive in order to experience happiness. The individual who becomes financially independent, no longer works for physical survival. The individual’s material needs are already taken care of. He or she works for psychological fulfillment.

Increased Self-Esteem

Productive work can deliver the self-esteem that is needed for psychological survival. Sexual conquests cannot deliver the self-esteem needed for psychological survival. Neither can praying, hobbies, manipulating others, drug use, criminal scores, killing, or any other activity.

In the long run, the avoidance of productive work leads to the subconscious thought, “I wish I was dead.” It causes neurosis!

“Productive accountable work is the foundation of happiness.”

Productivity is also the foundation of prosperity. Productive work is indispensable to human beings. Producing more values than one consumes is the essence of a productive accountable and happy life.

Equally important is that no one can dictate to others what work to engage in. For some people’s productive work might consist of landscaping, painting, composing music, or writing. For others, these may simply be hobbies.

Others might choose teaching, healing, or engineering as their means of productive work. The guiding principle here is that productive work requires a long-range perspective, rational goals, a focused mind, and consistent effort.

We need to approach productive work rationally to experience abiding prosperity and happiness. This applies to all productive work, including janitorial work, sales, artwork, building a business, or any other productive activity, including philanthropy.

If productive work is the foundation for all abiding happiness and earned prosperity, and essentially everyone wants to be happy and prosperous, why doesn’t everyone engage in productive work?

There is a two-part answer to this question.

The first part deals with a deeply personal matter. That personal matter is a choice every human being on the planet has to make. Each person has to make the choice to exert the consistent effort that productive work demands. In essence, each individual human being has to make the following choice: to exert consistent effort or default to laziness.

The second part of the answer is a cultural issue. The culture in the upside-down command and control world cleverly works to foster laziness, co-dependency on others, incompetence, and criminal thinking.

A lot of people want to live like a billionaire without earning it, and just have a good old time consuming more than they produce. This unfortunately does not create self-happiness for the long haul.

The command and control culture subtly spreads a dependency attitude in the minds of people. As people absorb this cleverly promoted attitude throughout their life, they subconsciously accept it.

People begin to think it is “cool” to take it easy, sit back, and let others do the work. Those who exert the constant high effort needed for value production are labeled as uncool, overachievers, workaholics, or other disparaging names.

Treat People with Dignity

When I was a child, I depended on my parents to survive. As I became an adult, I learned to depend on myself. I was lucky. My father taught me the value of being productive as a teenager. While my friends were having a good time partying, I was being taught the value of money by contributing to the mortgage, and household expenses.

My mom and dad didn’t need the money, and at the time, I could not stand my father for asking me to contribute like 80% of my part-time hard-earned money towards living expenses. I was 17. Years later, I thanked my dad for teaching me responsibility, but more importantly for letting me earn my fulfillment in life and grow to appreciate the importance of self-reliance, and productive work.

“My dad treated me like an adult early in life, in order for me to become one.”

When you treat people like adults who are capable of taking care of things, you give them the freedom they need to break away from co-dependency. You give them the freedom to find their own way in life. You give them the ability to earn their own fulfillment. You give them the ability to create happiness in their lives. You give people their dignity.

This is not just a theory. There are companies today who have embraced freedom at work, and who treat employees as co-creators, as adults. The results are companies outperforming the S&P by a factor of 10X and very low attrition rates.

At Nearsoft, for example, we have approximately 3% attrition year to date. We’ve been treating our co-creators as adults for over a decade. Our people are engaged, free, super productive and happy.

“Freedom to be productive on our own terms leads to a happy life — it’s that simple.”

Get Out of the Funk

Productivity will get you out of a funk too. I recently got a call from a member of my men’s circle of eight years ago. He shared with me how he didn’t make consistent effort to being productive over the past 40 working years of his life.

As a result, he is not in a favorable place in his life right now. He is going through a divorce, is nursing an injury, isn’t working as a result of his injury and isn’t earning a living. He is living in the back of a construction job site, while his stuff is in storage.

I truly feel for him because he is being hit by a perfect storm. He shared with me how guilty he feels needing help, when a family member is dealing with stage three cancer. I simply replied to him: “Your perfect storm feels to you like you are fighting stage three cancer doesn’t it?” Everything we experience in life is relative to how we perceive things and our state of consciousness.

I talk about my own perfect storm in my new book “Emotionally Aware Leadership”, and how it was a gift in my life. A wake-up call.

After hearing him pitying himself, and shaming himself, and being a victim, I simply asked him: If you went to sleep and woke up tomorrow with clear vision of what you need to do, what would that be?

By sharing with him my own perfect storm experience I was able to help him realize he isn’t the only man in the world, who has had to reinvent himself.

After more conversation, we agreed on him getting his living situation in order first. Just the sense of him having to be productive towards a goal, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for himself, gave him a needed boost to feel a sense of purpose.

That sense of purpose lifted his spirits. This brings me to the final point I wish to leave you with.

If you feel stuck, not knowing what to do, being lazy in your own wallow…. feeling a little down on yourself, feeling a little less than…. the first thing you need to do, is get into action. The moment you get back to being productive, is the moment you start feeling happy again.

We Need More Wisdom

We Need More Wisdom

Are knowledge and wisdom the same thing? Both words are nouns. One is the application of experience using good judgement (wisdom), and the other is the gathering of experience (knowledge).

knowledge /ˈnäləj/ Noun — facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

wis·dom /ˈwizdəm/ Noun — the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

I find it fascinating how many companies put so much stock on hiring people with knowledge, instead of people with the experience of knowing how to apply knowledge with sound judgement. 

One can easily conclude that wisdom is also about the practical application of emotional intelligence. Knowledge and wisdom empower leaders to be beacons of human dignity among all those they influence. 

If you want to be a successful leader, you have to be knowledgeable and savvy, but also invest in yourself by undertaking a system of wisdom. Some call this spirituality, others call it self-realization, the bottom line is that if you are not actively attached to a system that is focused on your higher self-realization, you are doing yourself and all those who count on you an injustice.

Whatever system works for you, take advantage of it fully, but be careful that it does not become dogmatic. When the system becomes dogmatic, meaning that you feel compelled to follow it out of fear, or blind conviction — you’ve allowed irrationality to enter your mind, and such causes corrosion of the key ingredient to practical wisdom, self-honesty.

Mastering the skills of leadership requires that one begin with self-honesty. A leader who exercises self-honesty, acquires knowledge, seeks to understand his/her motivations, and is committed to self-mastery.

Having a system of self-realization for yourself, is more important that any educational investment you can make. Becoming a wise leader is about becoming inner self-directed. Someone who is a source of positive attributes that contribute to the betterment of humanity.

Wise leaders acknowledge that they aren’t perfect. No one is, as discussed in my last blog about needing more acceptance in the world. Being wise is knowing that every day is an opportunity to learn, to explore, and to discover more about your own motivations and desires and observing your behavior with others.

Being wise requires taking stock of your relationships on a daily basis. An effective practice for checking in with yourself is to analyze your day’s activities related to other people.

You can start by asking yourself some basic questions:

Did I snap at anyone today?

a. See if you can identify what the cause of the lack of patience was. In most cases it had nothing to do with the other person.

b. Did you experience some kind of pain, or did a wound resurface that made you uncomfortable?

Did I seek opportunities to build relationships up, or did I seek to be right and win for myself?

a. See if you felt insecure about something you are struggling with that made you defensive.

b. Did you find yourself needing to be in control, instead of embracing being genuine and vulnerable?

Did I repeat patterns of behaviors that don’t represent who I really want to be?

a. See if you are being too hard on yourself expecting too much, or worse expecting perfection.

b. Did you make some improvements you can build on? Can you accept yourself as good enough?

Do I need to forgive anyone, including myself?

a. This is an opportunity to let go of making someone God over you — forgiveness is about releasing someone’s power over you.

b. Do you regularly forgive yourself? If not, what’s stopping you from doing so?

Daily self-reflections like this can open you up to gain deeper more meaningful insights into your motivations and develop a stronger connection to your inner-self.

Wisdom lives within our consciousness, it’s not about smarts, it’s about self-honesty, and self-awareness.”

The four stages of wisdom

There are four stages to developing deeper levels of wisdom, or we could simply refer to it as four stages to growing emotional intelligence.

Stage one is about the awakening of the self. This is usually preceded by a period of discontent. Usually a single and abrupt experience. It is sudden, intense, like surviving an accident, and can also be joyous like the birth of a child.

Something happens that shakes you to the core enough to cause what feels like the beginning of an awakening. You begin to question everything about your life in this stage.

If you look back at your life, chances are you’ve experienced this already. Maybe unaware of it, or blind to the gift it was at the time, till years later when you find yourself reflecting on the blessing in disguise it was.

Stage two is about the purification of the self. This is the moment, or series of moments when we come to the conclusion that “something has to change.” What follows is self-simplification and self-knowledge.

In this stage we get to that self-honest place of “let’s cut the crap and get to the facts of what I need to do” with ourselves. This stage is filled with contemplation, and feelings of not knowing what to do.

This stage is can be referred to as the grey area stage of developing wisdom. You need to be a like a magician and practice being open minded and patient, because what will emerge in terms of insights and wisdom you can apply to your life in this stage, can literally be life altering.

Stage three is about the illumination of the self. This is that moment we come to grip with and awaken to conscious reality. We accept things as they are, not as we would like to imagine them to be. 

This is the moment we stop living in the aspirational truth. This is the moment of true self-honesty where we being to benefit from the insights and a certainty about life. This is the moment of detachment from our chief entanglements. This is the moment we can begin to reorient life with a new and solid certitude. 

This is the stage where we set new standards of conduct and thought for our lives. We do a lot of introspection and turning inward deliberately to discern reality during this stage of wisdom development.

Stage four is when we reach unitive life, or union. This is that moment when we know we have reached a profound change in personality. Sages describe this stage as “The Spiritual Marriage”.

It’s at this stage you become your own authority and master. You are no longer divided but are at-one-with yourself. This is also the stage when you begin to feel compelled to make a difference in the world. You no longer have a desire to sit it out, instead you actively participate in shaping and co-creating reality.

Developing wisdom is about becoming one with your mind, body, and spirit.”

As we become more complete, more unified within ourselves, an amazing gift is bestowed to us. The gift of discernment, the gift of seeing the truth all around us.

In developing wisdom, we become a source of truth and honesty in the world, and a beacon of Light that guides not only our own way, but the way of everyone we come in contact with.

We need more wisdom in the world, so that we may shine more Light and bring about positive change for the betterment of humanity.

We Need More Acceptance

We Need More Acceptance

With more liberty also comes more conflict. We live in a time when it’s easy to focus on the scandals, the left-side issues, and the right-side arguments, and even easier to take sides. People are cutting off friends and blocking each other on social networks. Cursing each other out and judging each other constantly. Self-righteousness has become the norm.

If we pause for a second, and see what’s going on behind the scenes, look for the cause, it’s all happening for good reasons.

For thousands of years we as people have had to comply within a command and control paradigm, with a way of living that was essentially forced on us. Those who challenged authorities were put to death. Today, we freely express our opinions and as a result there is more conflict.

“With freedom comes more reason to develop the ability to listen, see the reason behind the things being said, and show human dignity to one another by practicing acceptance.”

No one is perfect. People opt into all kinds of behaviors to compensate for pain they may not be ready to face head on. Be it something that happened as a child like the loss of a parent, or being bullied, or a number of things that would cause early life wounds to surface as adults. Those behaviors can be the cause of judgment, ridicule, and sometimes the cause of hurt for other people.

The reason for practicing more acceptance is because every one of us has done something in our lifetime, that we may not be proud of, or behaved in such a way that wasn’t aligned with who we might be today. Sometimes we just screw up. Screwing up doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to give us a life sentences as a screw up.

“Just because we screw up, doesn’t mean we are screwed up.”

We are evolving

Life is an evolution, and every one of us evolves at a different pace. Some people when they were younger may have struggled with drugs, sex, alcohol, anger, and other behavior that didn’t help them show up their best, all the time.

Some of these people, have since become civic leaders, spiritual gurus, great mentors, parents, grand-parents and decent human beings. Some of these peoples may have even lived duplicitous lives for years, till they came to grip with the underlying cause of their behavior.

Some of these people may have needed many decades to develop enough self-love in order to let go of behaviors that were nothing more than bandages to the deep wounds they may have had to heal.

Some may still be struggling with aspects of themselves that have proven very difficult to overcome and let go. That doesn’t make them bad people. Just humans trying to cope with the storms of life.

I talk about some of my own character flaws in my new book “Emotionally Aware Leadership”. It took me decades to get to the root cause of many of my not so great behaviors, which impacted my relationships with the people I love, and even my career.

The root cause of all our self-inflected problems is low self-worth. This is a main theme in my upcoming book, along with 11 other principles to become an authentic leader.

The point is, every one of us has had to overcome something, or may still be in the process of doing so. Yet, when a person’s behavior has an impact on us personally, perhaps someone rubs our ego the wrong way, there might be an inclination to instantly write them off as a bad person, as if we are holy and righteous, and they are not.

“We need to give each other a break as people, and practice unlimited forgiveness.”

What helped me to forgive more, was the realization that every time I judged someone, or held on to ill feelings towards someone, I was giving away my power to them. I was literally making them God over me. The moment I realized that, I set myself free and began to practice acceptance.

I heard one of my mentors say that the way out of hell in life… is on the other side of it. The door is just past the point of no return… only those trusting that the door is within reach, can walk through fire and gain control over everything.

I asked myself many times, what does that mean exactly?

It’s impossible to accept others as evolving human beings who are not perfect, when we don’t first accept our own imperfect human condition.

Think about that for a moment. Why do certain traits about others bother you? Because they remind you of traits about you that you don’t accept, especially those you might not even be aware of. How can you accept other people’s negative traits, if you don’t accept yourself completely first?

Two realms of reality

Ever noticed how two people living in the same neighborhood, with similar surroundings, similar socio-economic status, may experience the world around them completely different from each other?

That’s because there are two realms of reality. There are many realms of reality, but for the sake of simplicity let’s focus on the two primary causes of either a blissful life, or a chaotic one.

For the sake of simplicity let’s talk about the realm of judgement, and the realm of love.

Right or wrong exists within the realm of judgment, also known as the realm of darkness. While we think we are exercising free-will when we are making right or wrong choices, we are not… we are robotic within the realm of judgment. There is no such thing as right or wrong, there are only life lessons, and opportunities for personal growth.

Love on the other hand is the realm of acceptance and forgiveness. Love is the realm of Light. Our true free-will is only exercised when we choose love over judgment. Those are the only two choices we have which impact how we interpret everything happening in our respective lives.

Our thoughts and actions generate energy; this energy multiplies and creates a frequency. The more we generate the energy of compassion, love, acceptance, the more the frequency will get amplified worldwide for others to do the same.

The more we continue to be self-righteous, judgmental, unwilling to accept differences when people are simply practicing their liberties, the more chaos will continue to multiple.

Quantum consciousness

In quantum science, every dimension is a reflection of the other. When you change just one resonance, it also reflects onto the others. The saying: It only takes one person to change the world — is true.

We exist within a ten-dimensional model, which has ten dimensions within each dimension multiplied infinitely. You and I are one element of these dimensions, but unlike inanimate objects we have something unique — consciousness.

Consciousness controls every dimension, so when we shift our consciousness towards more acceptance we begin to contribute to a more accepting, loving and compassionate reality for everyone.

There is a constant energy of expansion that takes our consciousness and multiplies it. This energy does not judge which direction our consciousness goes, it just supports what we want.

Doctrine and dogma have turned this energy into a judge of good and bad, hence why so many problems in the world, because we look at things from a place of right or wrong.

This energy we call God/Light/Universe is ready 24/7 to support what we want to manifest through our consciousness, without judgement.

Many think this energy wants us to do something for it. You cannot give the energy of expansion anything, it is constantly expanding and lacking nothing. When the collective of humanity reaches this understanding, we will begin to act accordingly towards one another; we will begin to seek to collaborate with each other.

“We need to give each other a break and seek to understand each other, seek to accept our differences and imperfections, and chose love over judgment.”

Life as an imperfect human being is an evolution of learning and growing. It’s a team sport that requires being willing to get dirty. Love and acceptance set us all free; judgements and self-righteousness only serve to ensnare us. Choose wisely friends.

We Need More Authentic Leaders

We Need More Authentic Leaders

We live in a time of fake news. Fake politicians. Fake social media followers. Fake advertising clicks. Fake genetically modified foods. Fake body parts. Everywhere we turn, there is some scandal followed by another one. It’s hard to know who to trust, and more importantly who to turn to for genuine care.

Employees are disengaged with lack of trust, and loyalty in both directions. Relationships have become dispensable fragile temporary alliances, not rooted in trust and authenticity, but on the benefits that can be derived from them.

At the heart of all these issues facing our way of life today, is a severe lack of authentic leaders. We need genuine, authentic leaders at the helm of companies, organizations, and governments. Leaders that genuinely care about other people, and who have developed self-mastery.

The path towards becoming an authentic leader is not easy. It requires taking complete and full responsibility for your life. Being willing to confront aspects of yourself, that in some cases, leave a lot to be desired. However, the gift of learning and owning your character flaws, is that it can help you begin to reshape them and take control of them.

“Anything worth having is always met with great adversity.”

Self-realization

Mastering the skills of leadership requires identifying the qualities of a great leader. A great leader exercises good moral character, is compassionate, is accepting, is open, is accountable, has high integrity, and is on a constant quest to acquire knowledge, invests in self-awareness, self-growth and seeks ways to apply wisdom, not just knowledge. Finally, a great leader exemplifies perseverance, and resilience.

“A leader’s goal is to set the example, and lead by example.”

To become a great leader, you must become someone lead by core values, and someone who is committed to self-realization. The hardest person to lead is your own self.

An authentic leader is not defined by how many people work for him/her; a leader is defined by how many people his/her example influences for the betterment of humanity. Authentic leadership starts at home, in your community, at the office, in your town, city, country, and it extends out to the world.

A truly authentic leader can influence the course of thousands of lives, without ever coming in contact or having any communication with any of them. How is that possible?

Say a friend comes to you with a problem he/she is facing, and it happens to be something you are also struggling with yourself, leadership in that case isn’t shown within the words of advice you give your friend, but by your commitment to take on that challenge and overcome it yourself. The consciousness behind that decision is so that you can make it possible for your friend to overcome his/her problem, by way of your example.

To further explain this, imagine you struggle with pornography, and a friend comes to you revealing in confidence that he/she may have a problem with watching too much porn. There are no words or wisdom you can share with your friend that will help them overcome the problem. If you really want to help your friend, overcome your own problem with pornography first.

This is the true essence of leadership. Taking on other people’s problems as your own, overcoming your own challenges as a means to helping others do the same. An exceptional leader is tuned in to his/her surroundings as a way to identify his/her areas of self-improvement.

Be the example

If someone that works for you does not make it to meetings on time, is it possible there are areas in your own life where you don’t show up on time? Perhaps you are supposed to have dinner with your family at 8:00pm but you work an extra 30 minutes and show up at home 30 minutes late.

Most of us will use the excuse “I had to work another 30 minutes, the project needed me”, but the family needed you too… so don’t be surprised if employees show up 30 minutes late to work, or to an important meeting… because it is a reflection of you, and your lack of commitment to being on time in all aspects of your own life.

Most people live a duplicitous life, thinking that what they do at work, is different than their home life.

“There is no such thing as separate work life and family life, what you do in one affects the other and this is true in all aspects of life.”

Most who don’t realize this, end up repeating the same patterns with the people they attract. The truth is, the problem is not with the employee who isn’t meeting your expectations, the problem is buried deep inside you as the leader, and the only way to fix it, is to look within yourself, and fix yourself.

When you change yourself to be someone who shows up on time in every aspect of your life, magically people start to show up on time. Yes, that is the power of authentic leaders who harness that inner spirit that creates everything that resonates outside themselves.

Self-directed

Having a system of self-realization is more important that an MBA, or any other educational investment you can make. If you look at the most exceptional leaders of all time, some of them never went to College, but all of them left behind inspiration, because they understood the greatest secret of leadership of all time. Invest in self -awareness through a path of self-realization, or as some call it spirituality.

“Becoming a self-leader is about becoming inner self-directed; a person that exudes or emanates positive attributes that contribute to the betterment of humanity.”

It has been proven by science that it isn’t what we say that influences everyone around us, it is our vibrations. The waves we give off influence everyone we come in contact with.

Many talk about self-care, it is an important practice and very much needed. However, the desire to take care of yourself so that you can take better care of others, is based on an even higher consciousness. That’s the true essence of an authentic leader.

Leadership is about giving. To become an exceptional leader, one must become an exceptional servant. I am not talking about altruism; I am talking about creating for others that which you want to experience yourself.

When you care deeply about the people that voluntarily get behind your vision, be it your family, friends, employees, peers, you begin to transform within yourself the very things that those you lead need help to overcome.

“Any flaws you identify outside of yourself is simply a reflection of something you need to become better at yourself. You must lead yourself out of chaos in order to remove chaos from other people’s lives.”

Next time you are bothered by someone’s behavior or actions, know that the only reason it bothers you is because you possess that character flaw within yourself, otherwise you would not notice it in them. See it as a gift, a mirror of what you can improve about yourself.

To improve the world, to make the world a better place, you must lead the world out of chaos; the first person to lead is yourself. That’s the beginning of authentic leadership. 

We Need More Heroes

We Need More Heroes

Heroes can and have played a role in the development of your character from a tender age. We tend to look up to heroes as supreme examples of the greatness that is inherent in human beings. Heroes influence and shape the lives of everyone they touch. Sometimes a hero can be one of your own family members, such as a virtuous parent or sibling.

Other times a hero can be a celebrity, such as a famous sports figure who seems to defy the laws of gravity, or someone who uses fortune to do good in the world. Heroes can even come from fictional stories or movies, such as Superman, or Wonder Woman.

The function of a hero remains the same, regardless if the hero is real or fictional. That function is to provide you with the inspiration to overcome your adversities and achieve what you know is right and good.

Super heroes exemplify great power, strength, courage, and ability. Beautiful heroes exemplify stunning physical beauty and alluring qualities. Genius heroes exemplify startling brilliance, foresight, and mind power.

The specific heroic traits that you admire are a personal choice. Having a hero is a natural, healthy part of conscious life, as long as you are free to choose your own hero, and that choice is made rationally.

Examples of childhood heroes are Batman and Robin, the Six Million Dollar Man, and Super Woman. Examples of adult heroes are James Bond, Michael Jordan, and Laura Croft. Having a hero or several heroes can be a source of inspiration, fun, and excitement.

Heroes can also have a positive impact on character development. You might strive to cultivate those traits or virtues that you most desire in a hero.

The problem with looking to heroes for solutions is that it also supports an upside-down world within a command and control parading that exists both within a patriarchy or matriarchy. Meaning someone has the power to make things better, other than you.

Under the command and control way of doing things, every person on planet Earth lives within the closed boundaries of an upside-down world that enables nefarious behaviors and keeps humanity co-dependent.

We live in a time where people are at odds with each other over beliefs, and standards of living. All sides looking for the hero to introduce change and make us whole. Sadly, this is just the evolution of a command and control paradigm that instills co-dependence to someone on top, instead of interdependence based on equivalency.

The problem isn’t which political party you belong to, which religion you practice, the color of your skin, or your socio-economic status. The problem is the narrative that continuously tells us we need someone to save us. That’s religion’s narrative, and politics narrative too, both systems support command and control.

To achieve true equivalence and radical respect, an entire population shift needs to take place from today’s irrational “save me” way of being, to a rational world, where the only hero in the narrative is yourself.

We are already experiencing a worldwide shift from dependence to independence. More and more people are working on a freelance basis and seeking ways to be their own source of income, instead of working for an organization.

No one likes the command and control paradigm, except for those on the top, and I am pretty sure they are not happy either having to constantly be the hero everyone depends on.

We need to evolve to loving interdependence based on equivalence. This will support the need for more human dignity between each other, and set us all free. That’s the path towards mutual radical respect.

Be the hero

Become your own hero. Does this sound like a radical idea? Maybe it is, but it is not mystical, and it’s not based on hoping someone else will do what’s necessary to make life better for yourself. So long as your thinking remains grounded in the facts of reality, you can be your own hero.

Yes, with a few simple techniques, you can esteem your own person as much or more than the super heroes.

To become your own hero, you need accurate self-knowledge. By fully understanding yourself and knowing who you are, you are on an unshakable foundation. Doing an assessment of your character will reveal your positive and negative traits. By negative, I mean those traits you wish to improve or break free from.

In life coaching we use many tools to see what strengths and weaknesses someone seeking to gain new perspectives might have. To goal is to identify what to focus on to achieve the intended growth. For the sake of simplicity here is an easy way to do a self-assessment.

List your traits on paper and do a side-by-side comparison of both your strengths and weaknesses. You will see your character development up to this point in your life. You can see what traits you need to develop to strengthen your character. After you’ve done that, begin to identify your core competence, and then develop a character development plan of the super hero you want to strive to become.

One way to be able to see into the future you, is to imagine you went to sleep one night, and when you woke up you possessed all the skills, and characteristics of your perfect self. What would those skills and characteristics be? Write them down.

The importance of self-awareness enables you to choose the direction you want to grow toward. You can then predict how your character will evolve in the coming years, as you make attainable commitments to improve yourself.

“Self-awareness coupled with a smart plan of accountable action, will allow you to shape yourself in the image of your ideal hero.”

You can use your projected character development as your own hero. That hero is the future you. That hero can provide you as much or more inspiration as any other childhood or adult hero.

By projecting yourself as that future hero, you create a situation you control. You decide which traits you want to develop, and you create an image of yourself already possessing such traits.

That image, regardless how far into the future he or she might be, becomes your source of inspiration. That image becomes your hero. And that hero is you, albeit in the future.

“By becoming your own hero, everything you do works toward your own success. You put yourself in firm control of your own personal growth and character development.”

You are no longer an outer-directed person; you are inner-directed, self-aware, and centered on values that matter to you most. The combination of being in control of your own character development and being inner-directed leads to genuine self-respect, self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-realization.

You become happy to be alive when you become your own hero, and you work for your own success. This day-to-day happiness is the fuel that will enable you to be free and to lead a fulfilling life.

Can you imagine a world where everyone was working towards becoming a hero? Rather than being co-dependent on one hero, we would have an interdependent world of billions of heroes based on equivalence and radical mutual respect

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