The word paradigm in this context represents the unique way one experiences the world that surrounds him/her. The physical reality for different people is experienced in very different ways, and this is one of the main basis of The Powerfast Method. The idea is that two people can live in the same building, have the same job and general life situation, but one might be happy and content and the other depressed and anxious. What causes this difference?
After taking the time to separate the ego and the physical being, you have the power of creating your own paradigm. You are no longer just reacting to the things “happening to you” instead you are starting to realize that you have the option to choose. You have the option to choose your own reality.
The things you choose to focus on, the things you choose to think about, the people you choose to surround yourself with, the things you choose to say, all create your unique paradigm. The important thing is to realize that all these listed elements are indeed choices.
People who have problems with anxiety usually have a problem with focusing all their energy in thinking about the worst possible outcomes for situations. The interesting thing is this can be done oppositely as well. You can choose to focus on the things that can be done instead of focusing on all the obstacles in the way. The obstacles mean nothing when you love the time you spend overcoming them.
The simplicity of the idea of focusing on positive makes it seem cliché, but it really is the most important step to taking control of your paradigm. You have the power to choose the color of the reality that surrounds you, just by making the choice to choose what you look at.
The fact that you can choose to focus consciously is the biggest freedom we have. It is the freedom to alter our entire reality, our entire universe.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
–George Bernard Shaw
Reality is perception
What you choose to focus on
The way you look at and relate to the collection of circumstances and things that surround you, create a package in your mind that you call reality. If you change the way you look at or relate to any part of this collection you change your reality. Simple as that.
We can choose to focus on whatever we like. Many of us make the choice to focus on problems that are either on their way or might actualize in the future. So in a way we summon things in our imagination so we can focus on them. But the fact is that if the problem is not close enough to be in your physical presence for you to grasp or touch, it is merely an illusion. An illusion that we give all the power of a real obstacle, with the only difference being that this one we built ourselves. There’s no reason we can’t do the exact opposite. We can wait for the problems to arrive before we give them our attention and spend the meanwhile using our imagination to summon positive things to focus on. The funny thing is, that the more time we spend using our focus in a positive way, the less problems find their way to us.
There’s something interesting about the way we see things. No matter what we believe in, we tend to focus on anything that proves that belief to be accurate. If you believe that people are inherently good and generous, you focus on any confirmation to that theory. If you believe that everyone has a problem with you, you focus on any indication that proves this to be true. This is why it is so important to be the one who works on your belief system and not blindly believe whatever other fearful people have told you.
I used to have some serious issues with bad focus in the past. I was convinced that the town I live in is filled with bitter, evil and aggressive people who use any chance to screw you over. I spent years collecting evidence that this actually is the case. Every time I heard about someone getting attacked after leaving a club, or I saw a drug addict shouting at people at the park or any time people were generally rude to me, I felt that my belief is even more justified. I was actively blocking anything remotely positive from my view, because did not sit well with my belief. The funny thing is, after I changed my belief to thinking this is a normal small secure town, I haven’t seen any more of that negative “proof” around me. I must have been looking for it very hard, because now it seems almost non-existent. Yes, some people are still rude but that only proves that that person is having a bad day. It says nothing about the town I live in.
The beliefs we have and the associations we make, are the reality we experience.
The beliefs are not only about the reality around us, but also about us personally. Do you believe that you’re shy? Are you a person who gets stressed easily? Are you a lonely person? Do people dislike you? These are all beliefs that you are proving to yourself and others every day. They are no more true than the exact opposite if you that is what you choose.
Are you shy? Focus on the idea that people are always more likely to like you than not. And if they don’t that’s okay, other people still will and do.
Are you stressed? Choose to focus on the moment and what you can do with it. All the other stuff will wait for you and can be dealt with later, choose to take on one challenge at a time and not think about the others before they come along.
Are you lonely? Choose to focus on giving other people attention. The world has a great way of giving back what you send out.
Are you anxious? Choose to focus on the exact present moment in the physical world and remove anything else from your focus. Or you can choose to allow you inner friend comfort you.
Again, writing is one of the best practices to make this apply to your life. First write down things that you tend to focus on, again with great detail, and then write the new focus and rationalize it to the point where it seems crazy not to apply. After that, every time you notice that you are focusing the old way, stop-change-act. Always make the effort to stop immediately, step out of the thought cycle, apply the new focus and continue. You won’t believe how fast this will change your life.
Change one focus at a time, and give it enough effort to make it stick. You can write down variations of the same focus many times to finally rationalize it enough for your brain to accept it, without any reservations, as the new standard.
You can also use writing to make proportion checks. This is a great exercise to relieve stress. Most of the things we stress and worry about are in fact non-important small things that our mind has blown out of proportion without us realizing it. The trick is to take the subject causing you to stress or worry and write it down as honestly and detailed as you can. Describe the situation like you would to a person who you have never met. Then start another segment where you write down the absolute worst possible scenario that can happen as a result from this subject. Don’t hesitate to write what you actually think, you can throw away the paper after the exercise if you like but really imagine the absolute worst result and write it down. After that start another segment where you write a comical version of the same situation. And again, don’t hold back. Make it as crazy as you can. Imagine the situation as a script to a Leslie Nielsen movie. If you don’t smile while writing this segment it’s not good enough yet. Continue until you have managed to make it as crazy and funny as you possibly can. Now you have a paper with 3 different stories, and whether you like it or not you also have a more realistic outlook to the situation.
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one”
What you choose to ignore
Things happen around you all the time. Even though our ego has the tendency to convince us that everything that happens has something to do with us, it most certainly does not. The world is a living breathing organism where things come and go, and make a loud noises as they do. Most of that is supposed flow around us. Our scope of focus should be small enough for us to be comfortable with the space we have.
I’ll repeat the famous idea, between stimulus and response is a space where freedom resides. Everything that happens is not supposed to concern you. You are in the flow of the world so you are connected whether you like it or not, but you are not supposed to be involved with everything that happens. Let it flow and only grasp the things that matter.
I have found this to be liberating. I am not responsible about everything that happens. I can empathize but I don’t need to share all pain. After I realized this advice I have been able to be a lot more helpful for people that need me. Not being personally affected by things that don’t involve you is not being selfish. It gives you the space to be helpful and thoughtful. Nobody wants you to live their pain. And if you do, you can’t help.
Even when something directly involves you, sometimes it’s better to leave ignored. Hurtful comments, unnecessary criticism, some stranger yelling profanities at you, these are all things that don’t need to be registered. They are statements that are supposed to create a reaction in you. The choice is yours whether to give the person this control over you or not. Any negative implication towards you is most likely an expression low self-esteem of the one who said it. It is more common than not, that people who have self-esteem issues poke at the self-esteem of others. It’s one of these confusing psychological phenomenons. But it is a clear sign that you should not be angry at this person, but have compassion for them because they are clearly expressing their low self-esteem.
Ignoring starts out as an active practice, but after doing it for some time these things are completely left unregistered. It’s not like you’ve become stronger to handle negative feedback, but it’s more like it rolls of your back the moment it is uttered. You simply deem something unfit to be carried with you, so it is left unnoticed.
Love, fear, weakness and strength
The choice between fear and love
How we experience the world depends on the mirror we use to reflect it upon. The quality of the image depends on the details of the mirror. If we use a cracked and bent mirror, the reflection we get will bend and shatter accordingly. Either we reflect with love or we reflect with fear.
I want to start by elaborating on the word ‘love’. In the language we use, the word ‘love’ sometimes has a very abstract meaning. We use the same word to describe our feelings of our parents, children, wife, our car or even the view outside. These are all quite different emotions but the word we use is always the same. That’s why it’s so easy to disregard any writing that involves the word ‘love’ because it seems to be playing around with the abstract. I’ve taken some time to dive into this subject and to find ways to articulate what I mean with the word. I’ve come to the conclusion that the most accurate description I can think of, what I’m trying to describe with love is, Connection.
The more connected we feel to any thing, the more love we can feel for it. This is the reason why I don’t believe that the opposite of love is hate. Hate is a clear sign of some level of connection, albeit a very twisted connection. I believe the opposite of love is indifference and fear.
We tend to gravitate to one or the other side of the spectrum when reflecting the world. Either we experience the world through love and connection or indifference and fear. It is quite rare to see selective usage of these paradigms.
In the modern world we are constantly told what to be afraid of. The danger is that if we believe these things long enough, we are in danger of falling to the fear/indifference side of the spectrum. For a person living on this side of the spectrum cynicism is the norm. “Nothing I do makes any difference. We’re all just slowly moving towards the unavoidable end. Why do you want me to cheer up or get active? None of this makes any sense to me”. Cynics might be realists, it’s just that the reality they perceive via their distorted mirror is so far from the physical world that their realism is an illusion.
Here’s the good part. Moving from fear and indifference into love and connection is a matter of choice. Even though it is very easy to be manipulated into living in fear and disconnection, if we make a conscious decision, no amount of manipulation will counteract that. It’s a simple choice to make love and connection the basis of the way you view the world, yourself and the surrounding reality. The choices you make are no longer made because you fear the consequences of not doing them, but the the love of the results you’ll get from doing them.
You don’t work at your job because you fear quitting – You work there because you love the security it gives you. If someday you feel that you’d love trying another job, that can be the motivation. Not the hate of this job.
You’re not lonely because you fear to socialize. At the moment you love your personal time more than you love socializing.
You’re not jogging because you fear being unhealthy. You’re jogging because you love running.
Nothing you do should ever be motivated by fear or indifference. Find a motivation based on love and connection. If you can’t, there’s a possibility that you shouldn’t be doing that in the first place.
Nothing you say to yourself should be based on something you fear. It should always be based on what you love.
Connect with and love yourself. Connect with and love the world around you. This philosophy can change your life the very instant you adopt it.
“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, ‘Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?’ And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, ‘Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.’ And we … kill those people. ‘Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.’ It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one…”
– Bill Hicks
Our weakness and strength
Here’s something controversial that people tend to react strongly against. We are all inherently weak. Always. The level on which we accept this is the level of strength we’re capable of having.
Whenever I talk about this subject, I like to link to a Finnish author called Tommy Hellsten (link to his translated book) for two reasons. 1) Almost everything I’ve learned on this subject, I’ve learned from him. 2) He is an eloquent genius who needs to get more of his books translated to English.
We come out of this world as weak small babies, and this is generally very well accepted. But as the years go by the acceptance shrinks smaller and smaller the bigger we grow. It doesn’t seem to matter if the small weak child inside us matures or not, when we grow in size weakness is less and less accepted. This causes us find ways to mask this weakness. We build a wall around that weak inner child, not to protect it but to hide it. This phenomenon is the plague of modern society.
Most of modern psychology is the study of these walls and masks.
Just by hiding the inner weak child we’re never able to completely get rid of it. The more we try to cover them with layers of strong behavior and external symbols of power, the more the inner child tries to remind us of their existence by grabbing our attention and making noise. We just don’t recognize where that noise is coming from anymore. We might feel anxiousness, desperation, fear or something alike, but never really being able to pinpoint a reason for this. That is your neglected weak inner child in action.
Our self-esteem lives with that child.
If we are lucky enough to be brought up in an environment that allows the inner child to grow and be nurtured, a healthy self-esteem is inevitable. This however is commonly not the case. If we weren’t given the opportunity to grow our self-esteem while growing up, it is our responsibility to do it ourselves as adults. We need to dismantle that wall and allow our inner child to breathe, grow and mature by nurturing it back to health. We as adults owe this to ourselves. The original wall might have been built because of external necessities but now it’s only our very own responsibility to dismantle it.
It all starts by completely accepting the fact that we are inherently weak, and that is not only okay but good. We need to embrace that weakness and allow it without any question. We need to make sure that our inner child feels comfortable with it’s weakness. After this weakness is completely accepted and our inner child is able to breathe again, we can start nurturing it to create a healthy self-esteem.
The inner child can grow when you take of your masks. Being exactly who you are, is enough. Making absolute honesty about who you are an automatic response, your personality evolves and your self-esteem grows. When honesty is an automatic response, there’s nothing you need to remember. You don’t need to remember how you were supposed to act in given situations or how to react in others. Your reactions and emotions are honest and real.
Yes, this puts your weakness on the line. It opens you up to getting hurt. But that is a necessary step to mature the self-esteem. However, in my experience people tend to react well to people who display honesty. It’s so much harder to attack someones honest display of a healthy self-esteem than someones inflated exterior trying to portray any remotely exaggerated status or persona.
Allow your weakness to grow into strength. Do not try to cover your weakness with strength.
Strength grows out of the total acceptance of the weak inner child we have. When this child matures it becomes stronger than any amount of forced portrayed strength one could ever summon. Accept your weakness, practice absolute honesty and give your inner child time to mature.
How you relate
Give and thou shalt receive
The fastest way to make the world change around you is to simply become an active force in giving to the world what you want to receive from it. Giving to others that, what you want for yourself. I am not talking about karma but energy. When you give out certain energy, that same kind of energy seeks you out. It is a law of life older than time itself. It is the ripple effects that you can’t see that brings the energy back to you. These ripple effects happen all the time whether you realize them or not, the trick is to get them to work for you in a positive manner.
There’s been several popular books about the Law of attraction in the recent years, and some people tend to disregard things that have been popularized in the field of self-help. But this concept works in a couple important ways. The first is psychological. When you make the effort to put something out to the world, it becomes something that is associated with you. When something is associated with you it has a tendency to be sent your way. The other is a bit metaphysical. We are all connected in many different ways. Some ways are easy to explain and others are these ways where words fall a little short. Sometimes we are simply drawn to people or things. This is a part of the energy we put out compared to the energy of the object. We are drawn to certain things and certain things are drawn to us.
There’s no reason to make this more complicated than it needs to be. The concept is simple and should be treated as such. It works.
So if you want attention, go out of your way to give someone attention.
If you want to feel loved, express a loving attitude to people around you.
If you want a friend, simply go and BE someone’s friend.
The receiver doesn’t always need to be a person either. If you want a cleaner environment, go out and pick up some trash.
If you wish people in your neighborhood smiled to you, smile to them.
The list goes on and on.
This is the easiest thing in the program to apply. You don’t really need to plan these. It’s good to write about this in your journal every now and then so it’s not forgotten, but the main way to apply these ideas is simply to do them at the very moment you think of something you want to receive. I recommend starting today.
Choose to love
Sometimes people get a feeling that they have nothing to give, and partially they blame that on the fact that they do not receive. This is especially true when it comes to love. People who don’t feel loved have a really hard time giving it away because it almost seems that they don’t even have enough for themselves.
First choose to love yourself unconditionally. This will very quickly create something within you that you can share.
I talked about the different meanings of the word ‘love’ in a previous section. But here I want to elaborate a bit. Love happens in many different forms but they all have some constants which are unconditional caring and affection and the will to protect and cherish. Every human being needs to have someone to feel this about them, so they can feel safe, accepted and as a part of something. You need to express these feelings toward yourself so you really feel that your personality is justified. You get the undeniable right to exist and feel. This is the reality of the matter, but it can be easily overlooked when love is forgotten.
Choose to love yourself first. Then give it away as much as you can.
Practice expressing a loving nature towards yourself in your journal. Every day write something positive about your person. What makes you different from everybody else? Write about your childhood and defend yourself from the people who might have made you feel inferior. Comfort the child that always lives within you and commend the adult for the growing understanding of life and the expanding possibilities for responsibility. Also remember to upkeep the positive self-dialogue of a loved one (explained at the end of separation). Always keep a loving and caring tone in your self-dialogue and never discourage yourself.
Count your blessings
“Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles.”
– Maltbie D. Babcock
If you’re looking for the quickest way to quickly change your life for the better, you’ve found it. Count your blessings. What this means is, every day think about all the things you’re grateful for and really feel the gratitude. The more gratitude you feel the more it starts changing your life.
There’s countless things at work when you experience gratitude. Some psychological and some a little meta-physical, but the only thing you need to know is – It works.
To be grateful is to take notice of the good things in your life. This immediately helps you to tune in to more and more things to be grateful for. It will also start to show. People won’t exactly know how to pinpoint what it is, but when you’re in the presence of a grateful person there’s something there. I believe that this vibe that emanates from gratitude helps us in many ways that are unexpected and surprising.
Start and end every day by thinking about the things in your life that you are grateful for, and actually feel the gratitude. Don’t just list things. Feel grateful. It will change your life.
Basically, live in the moment and choose your focus.
Catch yourself in moments and ask yourself “If nothing about my current situation would ever change, what would I love about the rest of my life?”. This completely removes the pressure to constantly think about changing everything, and helps you focus on the positive parts of the exact moment you are living in. Remember that happiness only lives in this moment. If you plan to be happy in the future it simply means you have made a choice not to be happy now.
Keep writing every day. Studies have shown that the act of writing forces your entire brain to focus on the issue. You have not been designed to write one thing and think of another. Writing is one of the most efficient tools of transformation. But always remember to actively apply everything you learn. Once you have convinced yourself on paper you need to remind yourself in person. Again and again.