Friday, June 27, 2008

Dump Your Baggage

If you are like me, most of your beliefs and knowledge about the world and yourself did not come from you. It was pushed on you by family, teachers, schoolmates, professors, etc. Not all of it is accurate, and some of it is internally inconsistent. Some of it lends support for counterproductive habits and behavior. I call this subset of our belief systems the baggage.

Let's look at an example: the belief that "nice guys finish last" and it's corollary that "if you want to be rich, you have to be a b****." The first question we should ask is: what does it really mean? Does it mean that people who are polite don't get very far, and that you have to be rude to succeed? Next question: is it accurate? It can be refuted by finding one rude loser. You can probably do that while driving to work in the morning. Finally: does it support counterproductive habits or behavior? Rudeness can certainly be counterproductive, and the belief that because you're nice, you won't get anywhere doesn't help either.

What I recommend is examining your beliefs, starting with the ones you're aware of. What do they mean? Are they accurate? Do they work? If not, throw them out. It's that simple. As for the beliefs you're not aware of, a mystery school or the Course in Miracles can help.

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