Monday, August 13, 2007

Got to, Have to, Need to

For the last several days I have been in what we used to call, a “funk”. Overall, just kind of mad at the world, no energy, quick to blame, focusing on limitations and completely separated from the positive energy of inspiration.

I tried what I thought was “everything” to snap out of it. “What the hell is going on?”, I thought. Then was even more mad that I was not only in this awful place, but that I wasn’t moving past it quickly by using the very techniques I talk about in The Step by Step Action Guide to Unlocking the 7 Laws of Success .

And then I had a very short conversation with my two kids and the reaction to it made me have a realization that instantly changed things for me.

Here in my little world of Dallas, Texas I see a pattern with a lot of people, kids and families that may be different in other cultures, but seems to be pervasive throughout this country.

Have you noticed the frantic and frenetic parents taking their kids from soccer to baseball, from baseball to dance lessons, from dance to volleyball practice, from volleyball to football and from football to…., it just goes on and on?

The question is why are these parents rushing around filling their and their kid’s lives with so much activity, so much structure, so much to do which is contingent on performance. Not only performance which must meet the parents approval but also coaches and instructors? And what is the reaction the kid gets if the kid isn’t worth a damn at any of them? What message is sent either way? If you are good, then you must always be good at something to get positive attention and if you're bad at it, you're just pitiful.

Through no fault of anyone, I have first hand knowledge of the driving forces that cause both male and female to rush about, always in a hurry to perform at a level that earns the approval of…..whoever. Be it teacher, boss, dad or that ultimate judge of human worth in the sky. So, where does that way of thinking come from?

It stems from love withheld to control kids. Rather than unconditional love, parents sometimes seek to control the behaviors they want to extinguish or change, by in effect, threatening to withhold their love, approval and acceptance of the very essence of their kids rather than the behaviors. They are constantly running from the notion that they didn’t measure up, or didn’t measure up in their own minds, to some imaginary, unrealistic expectation in a desperate need for approval and now unknowingly, they are doing the same to and for their kids.

Pretty heavy stuff, I know. But take a look at yourself when you are hearing either directly or indirectly through your motivation for your actions any of the following, “Got to, need to, have to.” And when you do, stop yourself in your tracks because telling yourself or acting as if any of those statements should be your driving force, your motivation to move forward or your source of energy will rob your life of joy, inspiration and purpose as surely as if you laid down in a gutter and quit living at all.

It seems that I was being asked to take the kids for the day while my wife did some volunteer work at their school.

“We will get to spend time with you, daddy?”

Before I could answer as my mind raced at the unfinished business I was thinking of and as my gut reacted to being cut off from my work, I heard in a dejected, resigned voice,

“He’ll probably be on the computer all usual.”

What I became aware of was the panic inside me. You see, I had to get that chapter done before the deadline, I’ve got to get the web site up and I really, really needed to…..

I hung my head. Even though I talk about this very thing in The Step by Step Action Guide to Unlocking the 7 Laws of Success, I was so busy “doing”, I had lost myself. That is why I was angry, lethargic and could find no joy. When our activities are not manifested from inspiration, desire and great purpose but from joylessness which shuts us off from these qualities, we discover tediousness, great effort, fear and anger to be the result.

If you "got to, need to or have to", you are shutting off energy. Positive, life affirming, goal affirming, inspired energy.

To me, that is why I see so many tired, frustrated, stressed out parents taking their kids from one activity to the next, day after day after day. What a way to live.

I turned off my computer and swam, played, watched T.V. and hung out for the entire day with the young gyroscopes of my life, and was thankful and appreciative for hours at a time. I also made sure I let go of any kind of “have to, need to or got to” thinking about anything.

Take some time as soon as possible and look at your purpose in life. “Want to; be excited to and love to” is what it takes to accomplish the actions which translate into your version of “success”. You will then cease to know limitation and will be back to vibrating at the highest level of universal power.

Pat O'Bryan at Your Portable Empire sent out a quote that I love:
Promise Yourself to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear; and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

And that is the final word.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow Pat, How refreshing! The truth resonates doesn't it? I agree with you whole heartedly :) A different perspective sure helps in choosing to make each moment memorable. It really is hard to enjoy doing anything when feeling forced and seeming to having no control over our choices. Thanks for the reminder that we always do have a choice to enjoy our life and I'm glad you ended up having such a great day :)