LIVE FREE, the third goal, is the natural result of following the first two (Seek Joy and Create Value).
Freedom is a difficult word for most people, because it is defined and used in so many confusing and contradictory ways. To some, freedom means doing anything you want, without considering the adverse effects your actions may have on others. To others, freedom means security and safety. But it is neither of these.
Rose Wilder Lane, in her brilliant book, The Discovery of Freedom, defined freedom as self control. This simple, elegant definition is used here.
Self control, or freedom, has two aspects: Internal and External. Internal self control means control of your short term desires. External control means avoiding control by others. To a surprisingly large extent, most people have far more opportunity for control than they realize, but usually choose not to exercise it.
Control of short term desires is what the Dutch philosopher Spinoza called passions. It is very easy to get addicted to things that bring instant gratification and short term pleasure. But too often, these instant pleasures are obtained at the expense of more important, long range goals. Simply stated, this is like the difference between spending and saving. Spinoza considered the self control of these "passions" to be the path to true freedom.
Avoiding control by others begins in your own mind. You have been conditioned by society to do certain things and react in certain ways that may be destructive to your rational self interest. Understanding these and overcoming this programming can be a tremendously liberating experience, although it is not easy.
Living free means: 1) learning about your conditioned responses, 2) deciding which of these you want to change, and 3) developing the skills to re-program your brain. This three-step procedure applies to both kinds of freedom (internal and external self control).
Several important psychological tools have been developed in recent years to assist people in overcoming the limitations of their conditioning. These include Idenics, Neurolinguistic Programming and the new science of Memetics. Notice there is no "t" in the word, "Idenics."
Idenics is a new form of psychology that places both the problem and solution squarely on your shoulders. Rather than letting some guru with superior knowledge tell you what to do and how to think, you learn to take different viewpoints to look at your existing programming, and rationally decide which, if any, of your behavior patterns you want to change. The bottom line is your awareness and choice.
Idenics is to psychotherapy what the Socratic Method is to learning: the focus is gaining more control of yourself; not turning it over to others. Not surprisingly, the goal of idenics is to solve problems rather than to perpetuate endless, co-dependent, patient/therapist relationships. More information about idenics can be obtained at 1-800-IDENICS (USA phone number), or by clicking HERE.
Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) includes, among other things, learning how to link certain behaviors to physical movements, sounds or other stimuli. By using this technique, you can consciously train yourself to instantly recall the conditions necessary for joy, achievement or success. This technique has been made most popular by self-improvement guru Tony Robbins in his book and tape programs. Tony is probably the most successful teacher of NLP techniques. NLP is about better communicating with yourself and others. There is an NLP information center on the World Wide Web at www.nlpinfo.com.
Memetics is the cultural equivalent of genetic evolution. Rather than genes mutating over hundreds and thousands of years, "Memes," or ideas that successfully replicate themselves, change human society, and therefore humans, much faster and more profoundly than genetics. Now that humans have achieved the skills of consciousness and sophisticated communication, they spread cultural memes that affect virtually everything we do and think. Even the most intelligent, sophisticated and independent among us are subject to knee-jerk reactions to events through the conditioning of past memes we have adopted. This new science appears to explain the underlying reasons why Idenics and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) work. More information about Memetics may be found on the World Wide Web at the following addresses:
- http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/MEMES.html (Memetics fundamentals from Principia Cybernetica)
- http://www.aleph.se/Trans/Cultural/Memetics (Another excellent website on memetics)
To Live Free, one must recognize the manipulations, habits, patterns and traditions that keep us from seeking our fundamental goals in life. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." While it is easy to blame others for unhappiness and stagnation, the ultimate answer lies within each one of us. Each one is unique, biased by genetics and life experiences, and especially the blind acceptance of certain memes to which we have succumbed. By learning how our minds work and consciously changing those behaviors and habits that prevent us from reaching our goals, we can begin to understand what Ms. Lane and Spinoza meant by freedom.
LIVE Free: Conquer yourself first. Make choices. Take control. Realize that once you develop the skills necessary to make your own decisions, follow your own goals and choose your own paths, you can begin to integrate the three LifePOWER goals:
- SEEK JOY - to find the energy you need
- CREATE VALUE - to be useful and productive
- LIVE FREE - to break the chains that bind you
More information about LIFEPOWER:Back to Main LIFEPOWER Page
SELECTED LIFEPOWER QUOTES
SEEK Joy | CREATE Value | LIVE Free
ORIGIN OF CONFLICT/Spontaneous Justice| LIFE is Egocentric
Spinoza/Society | No Absolutes | Small Profitable Steps | SECRETS of Harmony and Abundance
ADVOCATES, SKEPTICS & SEEKERS | How Do I Know?
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