What do you want out of life? Most of the people I talk to want to make life easier. They don’t really care about dominating the world, or even reaching the pinnacles of success. They want to work a little less, make a little more money, have their relationships be a little more satisfying. There is nothing wrong with this idea. Life is usually a series of growth steps. Moving from one level to the next level slightly further ahead than the last. Evolution on a personal level.
But why stop there? What if you could have all your dreams fulfilled? What if you could say some magic word and have all your troubles go away? While not the majority, there is definitely a large population who would like this scenario. Instant gratification. I want it all. Give me, give me, gimme. Sound familiar? I’m sure you’ve heard this tune from at least one person in the last month.
What’s the difference between these two mindsets? One point of view only wants the next step in the pathway of evolution. The other wants everything now. I think that the main difference between these two mindsets is one of belief. One person believes that they can have it all, and the other believes that getting a little bit more is all they can have or all they should have.
Of course, the person who believes that it is wrong to want everything will disagree with me. This person will say that the difference is one of values and morals. Anyone who studies history and cultures will realize at some point that values and morals depend greatly on the society in which one lives. In some cultures, it is considered a great honor to take the head of an enemy and eat his body. In other cultures, women are considered the superior sex. In still other cultures, education is considered a waste of time. These ‘values’ are at odds with what is generally accepted in America as being ‘right’, or the normal course of life.
Today, the many cultures of the world are becoming much closer to each other, much easier to make contact with. We can no longer remain ignorant of other cultures and their value systems. Gradually, we are starting to accept the differences between ourselves and other people. Being intellectually sophisticated, we are beginning to realize that values are indeed relative, and may be exchanged with other values when the time and situation is right.
Whether you believe that you deserve to have everything you want in life, or if it is ‘better’ to make progress a step at a time doesn’t matter. You can live your life any way you want to live it. One thing that we all have in common is that we want our lives to improve. And we will use techniques that seem logical and feel natural to us. If it seems logical to take additional classes to get ahead in our job, and it is not too difficult to take those classes, most of us will take that step. If it seems logical to change certain habits in order to make progress in an area of life we care about, and there is a process of changing those habits that does not require us to do anything unpleasant, we will usually take the steps to make the required changes.
What goals are you wanting to attain? What steps seem logical to you to reach those goals? Does it seem logical to you to increase the effectiveness of your mind? Would improving your perceptive abilities, your creativity, your memory, and your intellect move you closer to your goals? Experts have agreed for many years that we are living in an age where information is the most valuable commodity we can possess. Some experts are now saying that our ‘information age’ is quickly becoming a ‘communication age’. Information is so commonly available now, so much so that we are drowning in a sea of it, that what we need most is not raw information but rather refined information communicated well.
This is not something that is easily done, at least not by the average person. But there are techniques that the average person can use to achieve this level of mental ability. Using specific techniques, anyone can increase their mental abilities, in much the same way that anyone can use specific physical techniques to improve their physical performance. Physical exercise will condition the body to perform better. There exists mental exercises which will condition the mind to perform better.
Here is a description of one of these exercises, designed to increase perceptiveness. Pick an object to look at and examine it in extreme detail. Notice everything about the object, the color, texture, shape, individual shapes which together make up the object. If the object is small enough, pick it up and notice the weight, the distribution of weight, and the object’s solidity. Imagine being very tiny and walking on the surface of the object. What is that like? Imagine being able to pass into the mass of the object and notice what sensations you get from that. While you may not be able to rely on this imagining to produce any real information, the effort to gather information not readily available stretches the mind to look for more subtle information and become aware of it. Follow this line of exploration using all of your senses, sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, and imagination.
Here’s an exercise designed to increase creativity. Pick any two objects. Pick them at random, even if you have to close your eyes and point two fingers to choose them. Now imagine the first object becoming more like the second. See it change shape, yet retain it’s original function. See it retaining it’s own shape, but performing the function of the second object. See the two objects merging together and becoming one object. What does this new object do? What does it look like? Now, what else can you change about these objects? Can you make them sing and dance? What other functions could you make them perform?
Here’s another exercise, which results in some very interesting benefits. Find a comfortable spot to sit for at least 15-30 minutes. Try to empty your mind of all thoughts and simply experience everything around you. Pay attention to everything. Try to look at everything all at once. Try to hear every nuance of sound. Try to identify every odor in the air. Focus on every sensation of texture and pressure (the pressure of air flow, of temperature, of sound). Focus on every detail and try to keep them all in your awareness simultaneously. This will be very difficult, yet will expand your mind like nothing else. You will have to get completely out of your own way. If you think about anything, you will miss most of the experience. If you find yourself analyzing something, or daydreaming, or thinking about something else, don’t chastise yourself, simply pick up the exercise again and start over.
There are many other exercises, and these exercises may be taken in different directions to improve the benefits in specific circumstances. If you want to improve your effectiveness in attaining your goals, work on these exercises. Try to create your own exercises to push the limits of your mental capacity. You will see gradual changes in the results you get in all areas of your life.