|Posted by Stone Art Traders on August 21, 2009 at 12:26 AM|
We left off last time with a promise of some direction on how to take control of the influences you allow to affect your life. It makes sense to start with a basic listing of the main ways we are influenced today.
These are the main conduits of influence to which we are exposed and of which we are a part, throughout our lifetimes. Each of the conduits has a place and a purpose in our growth as individuals at different stages of our lives. Some of the conduits will be a continuing influence throughout the majority of our lifetimes, and some of them for a finite period of time.
You may be surprised to hear it, but each of the above conduits are both essential and detrimental at times, not however, usually at the same time. For instance, as a child you come into the world without knowledge, experience, understanding, and little more than a need to eat, sleep and be loved. You certainly would not make it very far or be able to contribute much in this world if you stayed naked, dumb, and totally dependent on your mother for everything would you? In your early years, your mother is essential and is (hopefully) a good influence.
Once you learn to walk, talk, feed yourself, toilet and grooming etiquette, proper human interaction (I know...debatable for some of us), you're sent off to school to learn the "3 R's" which used to be reading, writing, and arithmetic. At this point you still depend on your parents, but you don't bring them to school with you!
Hopefully the knowledge gained from a public education is objective and not too slanted in any one direction, because this knowledge is forming the foundation of who you are eventually going to become and what you will either believe, or potentially spend thousands of dollars to unlearn. Education is essential and is again, (hopefully) a good influence. Your formal education, however, is also not an endless endeavor.
If you learned your morals and values at home, then you at least had a fighting chance when you were exposed to the immense pressures to conform to systems other than your parents! If you were not one of the fortunate few, then you probably did your best to find your own way, and are most likely still trying!
The worst news is that you've probably wasted a lot of valuable time; the good news is that life is a continuous learning experience! Now that you are an adult, you've undoubtedly experienced the consequences of bad choices and/or decisions...to what extent will be our little secret! Bad experiences (usually traumatic) teach us to avoid, good experiences teach us to seek or promote the behaviour that elicited the experience. Our morals, ethics, and values then are all that's left to teach us to differentiate the good from the bad, especially when what feels good is actually bad for us.
Now the all important question is from whom do we derive our morals, ethics and values? Going back to the main three groups of influences listed above, which group holds the greatest influence in your life today? There will be no written test so you can be brutally honest. After you answer that question, ask yourself three more:
- Does that group honor and deserve the power over your life that you have bestowed upon it?
- Does that group know and love the real you?
- Will that group stand up for you and beside you in your time of greatest need?
If you answered yes to all three questions, you are already living a rich, fulfilling life. Be grateful to the extreme and pay it forward whenever you can. If not, then stay tuned. When we come back next time we'll identify some warning signs of negative influences that may be masquerading as positive influences in your life.