Prevail Through Your Better Angels
It seems since the beginning of time that there has been a tension between looking forward and looking back, asserting hope or following fear. This is evident both in the national life of our country and in our personal lives. We could also say that we are not always heroic but when we are at our best we persist with faith toward improvement.
How do you ensure you are at your best when life wears you down? When frustrations, disappointments and subtle insults (or not so subtle), #Me Too, harassment and abuses over ride your best efforts?How do you access your better angels?
Sometimes the brilliant way forward requires less brilliance than we think. What is deep, simple, essential and most helpful often gets covered up with complexity, information,concepts and more data than we need. More data can’t help you summon your better angels.
Do One Thing
Keep it simple and go deep. Don’t complicate things more than they need to be or push harder to no avail. Do the one thing that will foster a natural unfolding of your best angels leading you forward. Reduce negativity.
Negativity is generally defined as condemnation of or pessimism about something. It binds and creates blockage. It shrinks or causes a contraction in energy, ideas and effort. Negativity inhibits energy where positivity is a source that creates and releases energy.
I am not talking about platitudes or keeping a positive attitude. No one can keep a positive attitude for life. Even the village idiot has low moments.
Promoting positivity is a smart, practical and pragmatic way to ensure unencumbered continual growth, expansion and upward momentum. And it’s not just for incense-burning Zen masters.
The Mechanism of Negativity
According to The Cleveland Clinic each person has an average of 60,000 thoughts a day. That is one thought per person, per second in every waking hour! Surprisingly, 95 percent of those thoughts are the same thoughts repeated every day. On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative.
That’s enough negativity to taint and stifle any effort. And that’s just for one person. Collectively, 80% of 60,000 = 48,000 so that means each person you encounter in your office, your world is managing or enduring 48,000 negative thoughts each day. Clearly a reduction in relentless negative thinking would create a better experience globally for all of humanity.
Outer Reflects the Inner
Outer behavior always reflects the inner state. A curt response, overreacting or shooting the messenger — what you see on the outside is a good indication of what is provoked from the inside.
When you are full of negativity and spinning about yesterday’s meeting, last year’s performance evaluation or the promotion you deserve but didn’t get, what shows up or what comes out is not your better angels. Angst, negativity and tension hold you back.
People can’t experience the best you. They can only see the state you’re in. You appear bitter, unprepared and unable to handle life. Negativity is a contraction that literally constricts.
Great potential exists in the freedom and expansion that prosperity promises and that prosperity comes through skillful living.
How To Begin
Go deep and become aware of and observe the voices in your head. Absorbed by 60,000 thoughts per day we become absent to reality. When the master is absent, negativity will fill the void, permanently move in and take up residence. Don’t allow it. Become the watcher. Observe yourself.
Take responsibility for your internal state.
Negativity is inner pollution. Nip negativity in the bud before it takes you over and others see it come out. Ensure you are not harboring, inviting or spreading pollution. Anger, outbursts, making a scene and road rage are obvious outward manifestations of inward pollution.
Less obvious and more readily accepted forms of internalized negativity are resentment, dislike and impatience. These are burdens of negativity that are carried around like baggage. It’s common in society, they’re all doing it!
Recognize that the Universe is neutral and impartial. No one or no thing is out to get you. The root cause of pain and suffering comes from the mind not the situation. What happens is usually small in significance compared to the overreaction that follows. An emotional or forcible response is triggered by accumulated negativity. See outer reflects the inner above.
Here are five more ways to go deep and simple.
1. Yield rather than resist. Anytime you resist anything you invite more resistance. Resistance is just another word for negativity. Resistance hardens, closes, and creates a shell. Resistance inhibits. Yield and work with what is in front of you no matter what it is and watch people and circumstances begin to cooperate. Watch things begin to easily unfold in your direction, and see your better angles come out of hiding.
2. Notice the negativity in you, in others and in the world. Not to judge and condemn, just notice for your own growth and awareness. Ahhhh…. there it is!
3. Heighten your worldly awareness. Notice the prevailing negativity that surrounds our daily life. Be judicious with what you allow to permeate your inner state.
4. Observe the propensity to complain and find fault. Notice the judging and labeling of others based on their missteps or faults alone.
5. Notice the energy used and the enjoyment derived from making the other person wrong. Just notice, take note as the watcher, Hmmmmmmm.
Lead Don’t Follow
When you react to negativity you are playing right along, following mass culture and the communal narrative. Don’t react to life. Lead your life. There is great power in blazing your own trail.
When you become aware of those voices in your head you suddenly realize they are not you and they certainly are not your better angels. You finally recognize they have been deceiving you; misinterpreting situations and causing you trouble all along………… and now you have the opportunity for a fresh start. You have access to a new dimension that was previously not known.
Negativity is like the water that surrounds fish. The conditioning effect is constant. You have to be single-minded and vigilant about heightening your awareness and staying present. When you do the power returns to you.
Situations, people and thoughts will no longer trigger a reaction or lead you astray. YOU are leading you through your own script from an uncommon depth of Self.
This is simple to grasp but hard to do. You will be moving counterculture. Know this. Your better angels do not come from technique. They flow into what you do from a very positive place deep within you.
Go deep and stay simple. Resist social norms and pursue your better angels. Look around, study history and validate for yourself, we have prevailed repeatedly thanks to our better angels.