Friday, October 2, 2009

Memes and Excuses

Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene first public...


Just the other day PBS airred a special by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, called Excuses Begone! There's a seminar, the DVD of the program, or the book. In that, he discusses two other books, "Biology of Belief" and "Virus of the Mind". It is the latter that is of particular interest, as it is VERY relevant here.

Remember we mentioned before a lot about you must alter your reality in order to be rich? Dr. Dyer goes into WHY you have problems altering your reality. It's all due to something called a meme (pronounced "meem").

Meme can be thought of as a thought virus. A meme is basically an idea / belief. If it gets to you, it will infiltrate and influence your thoughts, then you start repeating the meme and pass it onto others, and if you had the meme long enough, you can no longer distinguish it from your own thoughts without a long examination.

In other words, everything you were TAUGHT are memes. As are anything you pick up or learn. For example, my grandma is a packrat. She lived through the Japanese invasion of China and World War II. As a result, she refuses to throw things away. She buys things, then packs them away. Then she forgot where they are, so when something's needed, she need to buy them AGAIN. She grew up in despearate times, and she had retained the desperation hoarding "meme" even now. Even now, I can count over a dozen glass jars, all washed and sealed. I ask her what are those for, she said it's for Chinese soup she plan to cook. I said but we have pots and such for those, and do we really need a dozen when only four or five will do? Then she gets defensive and things get downhill from there. :D

I got SOME of her memes. I am relatively average. Grandma taught me don't make waves (thought getting straight A's are prefectly okay), so I have been thoroughly average most of my life. On the other hand, she didn't pass me ALL of her memes, or at least, I manage to fight off some of her memes. One thing she gets annoyed at is me honking at bad drivers such as "no left turn". Apparently she thinks that the other driver may just produce a gun and shoot me because I annoyed him. (Well, I don't live in Southern California...) I pretty much just ignore her comments on that topic.

However, the memes you really need to fight off are the "excuse memes". He had taken a survey and found 18 of the most used excuses, and how those are all "negative memes" that limits your own potential. One of those is "I can't afford it", which is one of Rich Dad's sayings as well. Some of the other excuses includes:

"It's not in my nature"

"I am not smart/strong/whatever enough"

"It's too difficult / risky / foreign / whatever"

"It's not in the rules"

"It'll take too long/ too expensive / too whatever."

and more

All of these are "negative memes" that limits yourself. It LIMITS the perception of yourself and the world around you.

Remember The Matrix? Neo thought he's living the simple life of a hacker by night, programmer in a corporation by day. That was his perception of himself and his world... Until Morpheus found him, and gave him awareness of the "real world".

Not that I am suggesting that you will be flushed down into the sewers, of course.

Negative memes are limiting. They limit what you believe are possible. Remember, Shakespeare? "I think, therefore I am." Your reality is composed of your thoughts. If you do not think something is possible, even after you witnessed it, you'll convince yourself that it is a trick, an illusion, or some explanation that does not conflict with your "reality".  You are living in the Matrix, and you are simply UNAWARE of a different reality, or even the possibility of one, until someone had shown you.

Conversely, if you believe something is possible, even when everybody else tell you it's NOT possible, it's stupid, and all that, you'll find a way to make it possible. After all, that's what Wright Brothers did, right? Even their father told them that flight is NOT what God intended for humans. Yet they persevered. And like the rebels in the Matrix, they learned to bend some of the laws in the Matrix, considered impossible.

Another excuse some use to NOT to something is "it must be illegal / against the rules". Some people use to say it against Multi-level marketing (MLMs) like Avon, Amway, and so on, even though it is perfectly legal, and it is just a new way to do business. Traditional businesses pay huge amounts for brand recognition and marketing (which is a system). MLM simply changed the paradigm. Instead of paying that money to advertising firms, they decided to recruit a network of people to do the same, and reward those people who recruited more people who joined the system, as well as reward those with high sales with the money they don't have to pay the advertising firm. People don't understand it, so they invent excuses NOT to understand it.

Another issue you need to consider is... whose rules? To point out the obvious... Everything Hitler did was legal under German law, including extermination of Jews. Conversely, everything the Founding Fathers of United States of America did, that "open rebellion" against England, are "against the rules", i.e. British law.

Dr. Dyer has a VERY special guest... Dan Caroll. Dan was burned over 80% of his body when he was 2 yrs old. He had no hands except one thumb, and almost no toes. He needed over 80 different surgeries. He is now a world-class drummer, and an inspirational speaker. Did he have any excuses? No. He considers that fire a "gift" from God, so he can spread the message of inspiration to all. It's amazing to watch him perform and speak.

You'll need to read Dr. Dyer's book to get the full list of excuses, and how you can look past those excuses and change the way you think. However, I'll list the 7 thoughts to defeat negative memes (this list may not be complete)

a) is it true? (if not, why are you clinging to the BAD meme?)

b) where did it come from? (it's from you, so don't blame any one else)

c) what are the payoffs? (of the excuses, and how is that better than what you desire?)

d) if I can't use those excuses, how would life be different?

(imagine the end, then use that to remind yourself of the world WITHOUT the excuse)

(in fact, go to sleep with those positive thoughts in your mind)

e) is there a rational reason to change? (doable, and logical)

f) affirm the positive behavior (downlaod the free affirmation cards) that COUNTERS the excuse(s)

g) "Don't believe everything you think." Be aware of why you think the way you do. Once you got the awareness, you can work past those excuses.



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