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The Two Most Powerful Personal Development Tools

Of the countless personal development tools I’ve discovered from decades of exploration and studying countless frameworks and methodologies here are the two I find the most potent and life changing. Nearly everything else is underpinned by these paradigms:

  1. Everything is inherently meaningless. Situations are neither good nor bad nor anything else. They simply are. And our (untrained) minds create meaning to ascribe to them. Eastern and Western philosophies have been discussing this concept for years, and modern day neuroscience supports it. Data + Meaning = Feeling. So if we want to feel differently about something, we can change the meaning we had given it. Or at least acknowledge that we’re making up our entire experience. Once we do that, we give ourselves the freedom to create the experience we desire.A question I often ask myself if I notice myself feeling tense or stressed about something is: What must I be believing is true for me to be feeling this way? This helps uncover the meaning you have unconsciously ascribed to the situation.
  2. Spot it, you got it. This is often called The Mirror and it’s a commonly referenced concept in the spiritual world. It postulates that anything we perceive externally is a reflection of something occurring internally, because we cannot identify something that we don’t already have a reference point for. Thus, there is no us (self) and them (others). It’s only aspects of us, reflected to us by the various mirrors around us.This applies equally to all things we see in others, though is particularly relevant when we experience emotion. That’s our unconscious signalling us to pay attention. Sometimes owning this can feel like a struggle and we can feel ourselves saying – “Me?! No! I’m not like that at all…” when identifying something in someone. If that’s the case, we can compassionately and curiously ask: What’s the accusation I seek to make of that person? And how is that true of me?

The core reason these tools are so powerful is that all roads lead back to Self. Perception is projection. Realising that things only have the meaning I ascribe to them and that what I see in others tells me what has been life changing for me. Because we can’t change something that we perceive as being out of our control, can we? Thus using these paradigms puts us in the driver’s seat and enables us to steer our experiences any way we want to. And of course, when we use these tools consistently over time, they become our default neural networks.

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If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

~ Buddha

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The Two Most Powerful Personal Development Tools

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