Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Which mask are you going to wear?

Which mask are you going to wear today?

Perhaps your reaction to this is one of puzzlement.  Why am I talking about masks?

Maybe you think you never wear a mask.  If so, you are almost certainly wrong.  We pretty much all wear masks.  There is nothing wrong with this, as long as we know we are doing it and choose to wear the right masks at the right time for the right reason.

The normal purpose of a mask is to hide a person's true identity.  This can be good or bad, depending on the reason behind it.  In some past cultures people wore masks to a ball so that they could do whatever they wished without the normal consequences.  They could flirt behind the back of their spouse, and even take someone else to bed, believing none would be the wiser.  Or today a person might wear a mask when committing a robbery or burglary, so that anyone around (and any hidden cameras) would find it impossible to identify them, allowing them to enjoy the proceeds of the crime without fear of arrest and imprisonment.  These are examples of bad reasons for wearing a mask to hide your identity.

But hiding your identity in order to replace it with another can also be a good thing.  Replace the word "identity" with "personality" and you should see what I mean.  Perhaps your normal identity is to be rather shy and withdrawn.  But then you are invited to a lively party.  Wearing a mask to that party could make you forget your shy identity and simply enjoy yourself.  Not for any nefarious reasons, not to prevent others from knowing who you are, but in essence to hide your own identity from yourself, allowing you to break out of that identity, enjoying things that your "normal" personality would not enjoy.  As long as the way in which you are enjoying yourself is not harmful to others or yourself, this is a good thing.

Also, we "put on" different identities or personalities depending on the situations we are in.  Many people wear a suit when they go to work, even if the company rules do not require this.  Why?  Because they enjoy wearing a suit?  Maybe.  But more likely because they find when they put on the suit they also put on a particular personality.  A personality that behaves in the right way in the work situation, even if this personality is something very different from their "normal" personality.  Some people even do this when they are working at home and will not be seen by anybody.  They find it is a good way to assume work mode even though they are in a place where normally they would expect to relax and enjoy leisure time.  So the suit is, itself, a form of mask.

There are other reasons for wearing masks besides hiding "normal" personalities and assuming different personalities, although that is probably the most usual reason.  For example, think about the plague masks used by doctors during the era of the Black Death.  These masks were intended to stop the bacteria passing from the plague victim to the doctor.  The doctors did not, at that time, understand plague was caused by bacteria, but they did recognize there was something within the victim that could pass through the air and infect them unless they put up a barrier to stop this happening.  Even today you can see a kind of plague mask, where people wear a face mask either to stop themselves infecting others or to avoid being infected by others.  These are all physical examples of using masks as a form of protection.  But the concept can also apply to personalities we assume.  Personalities that attempt to insulate us from "infection" by people around - with "infection" perhaps referring to being influenced in any way by them.  I would suggest this is not really a good use of masks.  It is true that there are what I would refer to as emotional vampires around us - people who seem to suck all the energy and positivity out of us, making us feel miserable and helpless.  But the best way to limit this is to avoid mixing with such people rather than to build a hard and solid barrier mask around us, preventing us from empathizing with anyone.

So, is it a good or a bad thing to wear masks?

It is a good thing if the purpose is to allow you to assume a different but necessary personality in order to achieve what you want to achieve, but subject to certain very clear and important rules.

Firstly, you should never assume a personality with which you are not completely comfortable.  Never take on a personality that conflicts with your true inner nature.  By definition it will be different, but it must not conflict.  An extreme negative example of this is so-called "conversion therapy".  This is a pseudo scientific process trying to make a person change their sexual orientation.  For example, making someone who is homosexual turn into someone who is heterosexual.  This is a very harmful process, whether a formal external therapy is used or simply an individual who is homosexual tries to force himself or herself to "wear a mask" of a heterosexual person.  Never allow your masks to deny your true inner nature.

Secondly, you must always recognize a mask for what it is.  A mask is not your true inner self.  It is just a mask.  Do not allow yourself to become confused and think that you are the personality represented by the mask.

Thirdly, and linked to the second rule, never allow the mask to take you over.  You are wearing the mask rather than the other way around.  Perhaps you should watch (or watch again) the Jim Carrey film "The Mask" to remind yourself of the danger of allowing any of your masks to take control of your life.  Know that they are simply masks that you can, and should, easily remove and put away when their function is no longer required.

Finally, and again linked to the above, never wear your mask for too long.  If you do, there is a real danger you will break both the second and third rules.  If you have a "work mask" you may wonder how you can avoid wearing it for too long.  You can avoid doing so by making sure you take that mask off the moment you stop work.  This includes not only when you go home at the end of your work day, but also in any work breaks you may have, especially your lunch break.  Where possible, go away during your lunch break rather than having lunch at your desk (if you are an office worker) and maintaining your work personality.  I have to admit that I am very bad at following this rule.  I recognize it may not always be possible to do this.  As long as you are certain you are not in danger of breaking the other rules then this may be ok, but keep a very close eye on what is happening and be prepared to take action if you sense any such danger at all.

So, what masks are you going to wear today?  Should you be wearing them?  And if you should, remember to take them off when they are no longer required.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

What is Stopping You

What is stopping you from achieving what you REALLY want to achieve in your life?

Stop whatever you are doing, including reading any further yet, and focus on this totally.  Focus on it as if your life depended on it.  In a way, it does!  If you can identify this properly you will make a massive positive change in your life.

If you are reading this paragraph you should already have identified a number of obstacles that are preventing you from realizing your dream.  No?  Then stop reading, and focus again.  Don't come back until you have listed those obstacles.

The list you have created is, I can almost guarantee, neither accurate nor complete, but it is at least a start.  What you now need to do is work on it to increase the accuracy and to expand the list.  I will give you a few ideas here of ways to do both, but don't limit yourself to what I am saying.  This project is absolutely unique and personal to you.  Nobody else can tell you what should be on your list.  Others, like me, can give you pointers, but only you can produce it.

Once you have a good, accurate list of the obstacles it is far easier to find ways to remove those obstacles, one by one.  You may not remove them all.  And you may only partially remove some, but every step you take is a step closer to realizing your dream, to having an infinitely more fulfilling and more enjoyable life.

One big obstacle that almost everyone faces is an inner blindness.  A failure to recognize when the right door has opened for you.  I am a firm believer in the power of the Law of Attraction.  What you really focus on will come to be.  The way the Universe helps you achieve this is by opening the right doors for you.  It doesn't push you through the doorway though.  It opens the door and now it is totally down to you firstly to see that open door and secondly to take action and walk through it.  Unfortunately all of us miss so many of those open doors.  The Universe does not give up on us.  When we miss one open door it opens another.  Sometimes there will be many open doors and if we step through any one of them we will be that much closer to our dream.

Often, you will find the open door is an offer from someone to provide you with something you need in order to get where you need to be.  Sometimes the offer will be completely without any cost or obligation, and sometimes it will be, perhaps, a business opportunity that does require some investment or commitment.  Be prepared to recognize and take advantage of both.

One difficulty many of us face is being able to distinguish between fake and genuine offers.  We can be held back by the phrase "if it is too good to be true, it probably isn't true".  There are very many cases where that truism most certainly applies.  If someone offers you $1 Million just for providing a means for the money to be spirited out of their country into yours I can guarantee the offer IS too good to be true!  But don't allow the preponderance of so many such fake offers to hide from you those offers that aren't too good to be true.  Usually you can rely on your intuition and common sense to decide which are false and which are true.

For example, you may find someone is offering you free access to some information or help that will take you closer to your goal, and when you review what is on offer you can see it is probably being done in order to attract you to something that you WILL have to pay for if you want to take advantage of it.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.  There is a vast pool of really genuine and helpful information out there that you can take advantage of for free if you wish.  Don't hold back, cynically assuming it cannot be worth anything if it is being offered for free.  Recognize that it has real value.  The reason it is being offered free is because the business or person offering it believes the cost of doing so is a worthwhile marketing expense to have the chance to put something else in front of you that is NOT free.  If you have been reading my blogs for sometime, and especially if you are one of my e-mail subscribers, you will know I do this all the time!  Most of what I suggest my subscribers and blog readers look at is completely free.  I have already checked out the people behind the offers and know that they are genuine, and therefore am happy to risk my personal reputation by passing on those offers.  If you have taken advantage of any of them you will know that there is genuine good information and help there that can bring you so much closer to your goals, and that although what is then being offered for sale may get you to them quicker you do not necessarily need to take advantage of it unless you genuinely believe it is the right thing to do.  Very many of my subscribers take advantage of the free offers but never then feel obliged to spend any money.

So drop that cynical "it can't be true" attitude and see any such genuine offers for what they are.  The cynics will avoid them all, congratulating themselves that they have not been caught by some scam or other.  But in doing so they have thrown the baby away with the bath water.  Yes, be vigilant - recognize and avoid scams.  But be ready to take advantage of any genuine free offers that can take you closer to your goals.  I personally do this all the time and do not regret doing so in any instance.

Offers of this kind are, of course, by no means the only open doors.  Take off your blinkers and look for all those other open doors.  Genuine offers of help from friends, for example.  The right person being there for you at exactly the right time.  Don't assume there must be something wrong if there is an open door to help you get you where you need to be.  The Universe has opened that door for you, so step through it!

Another obstacle you may identify is lack of financial resources.  In other words, money!  We all have this obstacle to achieving at least some of our dreams.  Note it down, but don't allow it to depress you.  Be open to ways the Universe may help you get the financial resources you need.  Also, be aware that sometimes we don't actually need money to get where we want to be even though when we first look at it we think we do need money.  Be open to other ways of achieving the dream.  Again, this comes down to looking for the doors the Universe is opening for us.  Everything comes back to those open doors.

Finally, I promised to remind you how to increase the accuracy of your list of obstacles.  To a degree I have already done this if you follow everything I have said above.  But what you also need to do is meditate on your goals.  I have said this before and make no apology for saying it again.  Meditating on the goal will help you determine whether it is a genuine goal, but it will also help you find ways of achieving it.  Ways that would otherwise never have occurred to you.  Ways to avoid what you thought were obstacles preventing you from getting there but are really just figments of your imagination.

What is stopping you from achieving your goals?  Probably the biggest obstacle is YOU!  Focus on those goals, make sure they are genuine, and then simply be determined to achieve them.  Do this and you WILL get there!