Meaning and Purpose

Are you aware of the hidden meaning and purpose that guides your life?

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour … “
William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

As a poet, philosopher and mystic I remain fascinated by these words. As a physician, scientist and businessman the above lines spell “Danger”.

 

Meaning and Purpose

Meaning and Purpose

As humans we are meaning making machines. In the absence of relevant data we can make all kinds of connections. Like the sound of thunder is the thunder god throwing his hammer to walking pass a black cat brings you bad luck.

The three layers of your triune brain and meaning making:

Instinctual/ Reptilian: This is the Seat of the Reticular Activating System (RAS). This part of your brain automatically makes meaning out of what happens. Most deep seated programs involving fundamental survival reside here, including programming about safety, security and money.

Limbic/Emotional: This is the part of your brain connects with your emotions. All your decisions are emotional in nature. Your emotions help you choose and make choices. It is also the seat of the amygdala. Your amygdala is part of your ‘emotional” brain that works to keep you safe. It restricts or reduces your choices so that you are “safe”. Your beliefs run this area. At the best of times your beliefs limit your freedom of choice.

Neo-cortex /Thinking brain: The only part of the brain where you can make conscious choice.
Every day I meet clients who struggle with challenges in their lives because they fail to recognize the reality confronting them. Some of these processes were useful in a given context. Out of that context it became downright dangerous. These processes include;

1) Deletion: Your brain has to make sense out of thousands of stimuli per second. So after awhile it screens out the repeated back ground “details”. There are also things you don’t want to see or hear because they make you uncomfortable, so you screen that out as well.

As a result you don’t pay attention to your loved one when they are struggling with a real problem and get shocked when they get a heart attack and drop dead.

You don’t pay attention to how your client is presenting himself/herself and you miss vital clues that could help you close the sale. You kiss a thousand dollars goodbye.

2) Generalization: You have always done it a certain way. So you conclude that is the only way.

Something happened enough times in your life with enough intensity to create a neural pathway in your brain. So you conclude that, “love hurts” because some people you were close to die or leave. You saw enough examples of unethical behaviour by rich people so you conclude “rich people are bad people”

You do not pay attention to the changes in the environment or people. You fail to recognise major changes in the environment that would invalidate that particular marketing or business approach. If you are “lucky” your business dips only 10% because you missed the trend.

If you are lucky, your wife only smiles at you sweetly (while she quietly curses) because you bought her a gift exactly like what her best friend is wearing. (You did not keep track). In the long term, these little things wear your business and your relationships down.

3) Distortion: This process is the basis for creativity. It creates great artist and poets who do creative things with their imagination like Picasso and his Cubist style of painting. On the other hand, it can also lead to major issues. One person’s model of accuracy is another’s model of obsessive compulsive attention to detail.

4) Projection: Whatever secret fears and anxieties you have, you deny having them. You ascribe it to the people around you. You are an anxious person but you cannot accept it. Your cab driver looks at you and asks you if everything is fine and you conclude your cab driver is anxious.

So all these processes deletion, distortion and generalization and to a lesser extent projection will determine what we allow into our world. In that sense they are filters. They end up forming our values, biases and beliefs.

On the other hand, based on those processes we will also design a future where all our biases, beliefs and values are validated. If that is so you cannot appreciably design a future that is very different from the past.

Based on these processes you design on an unconscious basis a story about yourself called the script. After a while this script is so much a part of you and so real to you that you will call it “Your Real Life Story”. The problem is that makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

All these stories, your automatic patterns of behaviour both good and bad, I will henceforth refer to as “default modes” or DMs. Why? Because when you do not think or reflect or you are in a state of arousal or depression you will revert to these default modes (DMs).

In a day after 35 years of age, you only have 5 minutes of willpower or choice. After that it’s all default modes (DMs) or habits. Its great if you have good DMs or habits. If you have bad DMs or habits, you are in deep trouble.

All your goal setting and planning becomes fatally flawed if only your DMs help you design them because you no longer have any choice in the matter. You are not exercising choice because you are in DMs 99% of the time.

All of these are examples of DMs:

  • You get up in the morning, brush your teeth and get ready for work.
  • You are chilling out with friends.
  • You get angry and frustrated when confronted by something outside your current skill sets
  • When someone makes you angry and you experience amygdala hijack and storm away
  • You make a business decision because you are angry with a competitor

Only when you understand this, can you truly exercise choice in your default programs.

Your DM is your familiar prison. I will repeat that again. The only choice that you can meaningfully exercise is what DMs you can invoke after you have made a decision. We live in a series of psychological prisons.

LBD 16

 

Key Questions:What are your beliefs about success in life, health and relationships?

Have you tested these beliefs?

What are your habits based on these beliefs?

Are your habits working for you or do you experience pain and discomfort?

 

So the collective power of the DMs is that most people are not free to choose. So long as you buy into what the state, religion and the financial system has to offer you unthinkingly without actively choosing, you are hooked. They in turn have a hardworking docile member of their tribe working hard and paying their dues.

If you do so in full awareness of what is happening that is choice. If you do so because you do not know any other way, it is your default mode.

You can decide to enter into a new relationship. Even how you enter into it will be a function of default programs. Once it is status quo, you will default to old patterns. If those old patterns destroyed the previous relationship, the same thing happens again.

So only true choice is that you can design and build new default programs/habits after you have awareness and clarity. Otherwise even if you hit all your goals and targets you are simply repeating the same old formula. This is the only way to have forward movement in your life. This is the secret that most programs to do not address. So even after you achieve all your goals there is a feeling of lack and inadequacy.

Ultimately your habits and default modes (DMs) determine your character. Your character determines your future trajectory and your ongoing future success.

One lucky listener that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45 minute consultation with me that is worth thousands.

On this podcast I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen?

Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.

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Who is Driving Your Biology?

Are you driving your biology or are the ads on soft drinks like “the real thing” influencing your choices about what you eat and drink?

 

Who is Driving Your Biology?

Biology

I was born with a cleft palate and cleft lip and started having surgical interventions from six months of age. From then on, I had surgery every few years because of repeated infections. I was to spend the next twenty year having multiple surgeries and being on multiple courses of antibiotics yearly. I was also to spend most of the twenty years from mild to excruciating pain as a result of those interventions.

At 6 years of age, I was speech handicapped, hearing handicapped and brain damaged (maybe because of the birth trauma, infections and surgery). I was not to discover the extent and severity of the damage until I was in my late thirties.

When I was attending a post graduate training program on Autism when I was about 44 or so, I listened to another doctor describe the life progression and she was describing my life, complete with the emotional disconnection, the ability and facility with specific skills sets and obsessive focus.

I recall watching my mother dying of cancer when I was fourteen. That experience created a determination that I would do something to make a difference.

At 19, I had the last (or what I thought was my last) surgery. I decided that I was going to take control of my physical health. I started on a regime of avoiding potential allergens that began to change my physiology and neurology.

My allergies and frequent infections began to reduce and my brain started turning on. I started asking myself at 25, the following questions;

1) What is the secret of how we become ill on a cellular level?
2) How did our emotional state affect us on a cellular and molecular level?

I set out to answer the above questions. It was to take 15 years of undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral study and research and almost two million dollars of personal investment before these questions got answered.

When people become ill with chronic disease they actually lose or significantly abort their financial potential and become liabilities on their families and society. When life spans were short, this was not a major issue. But with extending life spans, the world is designed to become a massive nursing home for the sick and slowly dying unless something major happens.

When I was about 38 my father died and my two best friends died. The sad part was that none of them needed to die when they did.

They all died of modifiable risk factors for chronic disease. The leading risk factors globally for non-communicable diseases are raised blood pressure, tobacco use, raised blood sugar, physical inactivity as well as being overweight and obese.

In prehistoric times, the physical changes in response to stress were an essential adaptation for meeting natural threats. Even in the modern world, the stress response can be an asset for raising levels of performance during critical events, such as a sports activity, an important meeting, or in situations of actual danger or crisis.

If stress becomes persistent and low-level, however, all parts of the body’s stress apparatus (the brain, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles) become chronically over-activated or under-activated. Such chronic stress may produce physical or psychological damage over time. Acute stress can also be harmful in certain situations, particularly in individuals with pre-existing health conditions.

By contrast, my paternal grandfather who died at just before 100 maintained a diet and lifestyle pattern that avoided all the above risk factors. He continued to be ambulant and lucid, giving after diner speeches in his nineties.

My father by contrast started off with no illness, but by dint of 30 years of smoking, drinking and overworking developed hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and cancer in that order. For twenty years I went on after him to change his ways and having worked as a pharmacist, his answer was that his symptoms were ‘perfectly” controlled by his drugs and his obesity was not a problem.

Studies by experts at St. Georges University, London, have proven a link between teenage consumption of sugary drinks and impulses towards fatty and salty foods. They found that the stomach’s gut lining absorbed these food types more quickly and activated the brain’s pleasure center quickly. The brain then also dampened its impulses for the intake of vitamins and minerals. These cravings or impulses driven by the brain create an addictive effect: addiction to sugary drinks and salty or fatty foods.

Other UK research on rats has shown that sugar is as addictive to the brain as cocaine, and sugar intake plays a role in the creation of addictive impulses in humans.

Adults do not suffer significant sugar-addiction withdrawal symptoms; children, however, have been found to react more strongly, getting more intense withdrawal symptoms. Tantrums, restlessness, sweats, and distracted attention are noted behaviors. Longer-term studies are underway to explore the implications of these observations and findings.

Fruit and sports-energy drinks are not excepted from this category: many have higher sugar levels than some fizzy drinks, and also may also contain addictive amounts of caffeine and related substances. Weight gain was determined as being the only likely outcome.

Many USA-based health organizations are reviewing the research and are calling for regulation as well as a review of all the drinks-industry guidelines. Medical groups are linking the obesity crisis in the western world in part to the habit-forming roles around food and diet that soft drinks play in shaping the health outcomes of recent generations.

Obesity is the new smoking crisis in these circles. The average adult woman is supposed to have a daily intake of ninety grams of sugar in her diet while a man can absorb 120 grams per day.

Children are supposed to have a far lower intake. Many soft and fruit drinks provide that daily intake in one can or bottle.

The images of happiness, fun, and health which dominate the marketing themes of the drinks industry are not supported by the research findings emerging from numerous types of studies being conducted on human health. These billion-dollar industries are not likely to change their products or admit concerns willingly.

Coca Cola paid Olympic organizers more than one hundred million pounds to become the official provider of soft drinks to the Olympics.

The association between health and sporting achievement on one hand, and soft drinks on the other hand, becomes entrenched by such opportunities. The burden on regulating these drinks falls on families and individuals.

The role of emotions and stress in creating the impulse for sugary food and drink intake is also revealed by several studies.

In bodymind science, we note that addictions and emotional issues including depression seem to accompany sugar cravings in many people. A soft drink can be an easily-obtained crutch when the impulse strikes.

The answer lies in education and discipline. The declining mental, emotional, and physical health of wider and wider cross-sections of the population has some of its roots in our choice of foods and drinks.

We should be mindful of our choices. For instance, the assumption that sugary drinks offer any benefit or are harmless choices for ourselves and our children, is simply programming we got as a child — and there are several others, pertaining to food, that we received. This is true about food; now think about the conditioning about the work ethic, being able to say “No”, etc., that we were also subjected to.

Then one day you wake up asking yourself “Where does this extra ten or twenty kilos come from?”, “Why am I finding it difficult to love my spouse?”, “Why am I living here or in this job?”, or “Why do I feel like something is missing?”

Well if you can relate to any of this, I have got good news: you’re normal. It doesn’t however have to stay this way. Both my brother and I by the process of precise dietary modulation, exercise, nutrition and stress management are reaching our fiftieth year with only worn out knees and without the other markers of Syndrome X. So we know this is possible.

One lucky listener that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45 minute consultation with me that is worth thousands.

On this podcast I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen?

Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.

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The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Are you sleeping enough? Sleep Deprivation can kill.

We only spend a third of our life actually sleeping, but the art of catching z’s can rule the majority of our lives. Between figuring out our circadian clock, juggling work and home, and battling insomnia-inducing factors, we can’t get enough of perfecting our sleep routine.

 

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

And we have good reason. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a multitude of not-so-great things. Why is sleep so important? Here are 10 consequences of not getting enough sleep.

1. You’ll eat more. Three-hundred calories more, to be precise. A recent study found that sleep-deprived subjects, when allowed to eat whatever they wanted, ate more than when they had a full night’s sleep, even though they stuck to their normal eating schedule.

2. You may not live as long. Researchers may have found the secret to long life – a study found that women who slept fewer than five hours a night were less likely to live as long as those who got more.

3. You’ll weigh more. Logically, if you are regularly consuming more calories every day it stands to reason you may weigh more, but the weight gain is not only caused by what you consume. Not enough sleep also causes stress on the body, which triggers it to slow metabolism and store fat.

4. It shrinks your brain. Researchers found that chronic insomniacs had smaller, less-dense brains, which affected crucial parts of their neurological systems like decision-making.

5. It raises your blood pressure. A study found that adults who missed an hour of sleep each night for five years ended up increasing their risk for hypertension by almost 40 percent.

6. It increases your risk of getting sick. Not enough shut-eye has been proven to leave people susceptible to cold viruses.

7. It can worsen your memory. Ever feel like you can’t remember your to-dos after a night of tossing and turning? Those REM waves we experience at the beginning of a sleep cycle can boost memory and creativity, so if you’ve underslept the night before, try a quick power napto recoup some of your memory skills.

8. You’ll skip your workouts. Lack of sleep means lack of energy, which probably means lack of gym time. In fact, research has shown that sleep deprivation is a key reason people stay inactive.

9. It makes you cranky. Or, as researchers say, more “primitive.” Without sleep, we revert back to a more primal version of ourselves, meaning we can’t appropriately cope with emotions or respond maturely to situations.

10. You’re not on your game. On top of all these consequences, not enough sleep just makes us feel, well, blah. We’ve all found ourselves reacting less quickly after a sleepless night, not to mention foggy-headed, so if you need to catch more z’s, check out some of our eating and exercise tips to help you sleep soundly.

Every now and then you hear about a super high performer who was apparently very healthy just keeling over and dropping dead.

The sad demise of Ranjan Das from Bandra, Mumbai occurred in 2009 . Ranjan, just 42 years of age, was the CEO of SAP-Indian Subcontinent, the youngest CEO of an MNC in India. He was very active in sports, was a fitness freak and a marathon runner. It was common to see him run on Bandra’s Carter Road.

Just after Diwali, on 21st Oct, he returned home from his gym after a workout, collapsed with a massive heart attack and died. He is survived by his wife and two very young kids.

It was certainly a wake-up call for corporate India let alone corporate Asia. However, it was even more disastrous for runners amongst us. Since Ranjan was an avid marathoner ( in Feb 09, he ran the Chennai Marathon) the question arises as to why an exceptionally active, athletic person succumbs to heart attack at 42 years of age.

Was it the stress?

While Ranjan had mentioned that he faced a lot of stress, that is a common element in most of our lives. We used to think that by being fit, one can conquer the bad effects of stress. So I doubted if the cause was stress.

However, everyone missed out a small line in the reports that Ranjan used to make do with 4-5 hours of sleep. This is an earlier interview of Ranjan on NDTV in the program ‘Boss’ Day Out’: Here he himself admits that he would love to get more sleep ( and that he was not proud of his ability to manage without sleep, contrary to what others extolled ).

I have outlined the key points below in the hope it will save some lives.

· Short sleep duration ( <5 or 5-6 hours ) increased risk for high BP by 350% to 500% compared to those who slept longer than 6 hours per night. Paper published in 2009. As you know, high BP kills.

· Young people ( 25-49 years of age ) are twice as likely to get high BP if they sleep less. Paper published in 2006.

· Individuals who slept less than 5 hours a night had a 3-fold increased risk of heart attacks. Paper published in 1999.

· Complete and partial lack of sleep increased the blood concentrations of High sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-cRP), the strongest predictor of heart attacks. Even after getting adequate sleep later, the levels stayed high!!

· Just one night of sleep loss increases very toxic substances in body such as Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha (TNF-alpha) and C-reactive protein (cRP). They increase risks of many medical conditions, including cancer, arthritis and heart disease. Paper published in 2004.

· Sleeping for <=5 hours per night leads to 39% increase in heart disease. Sleeping for <=6 hours per night leads to 18% increase in heart disease. Paper published in 2006.

In brief, sleep is composed of two stages: REM ( Rapid Eye Movement ) and non-REM. The former helps in mental consolidation while the latter helps in physical repair and rebuilding. During the night, you alternate between REM and non-REM stages 4-5 times.

The earlier part of sleep is mostly non-REM. During that period, your pituitary gland releases growth hormones that repair your body. This part of sleep is when HGH or Human Growth Hormone is naturally generated. If you are not asleep, what happens is that you generate cortisol which is a stress hormone that has the long term effects of accelerating ageing and leading the production of toxic substances like IL-6, TNF-alpha and cRP.

In Chinese Medicine we have the concept of chi and its movement in different meridians at different times. The Liver Meridian is particularly active from 1.00 am to 3.00am. If you are asleep, your Liver Meridian can properly detoxify as well as your mesenchymal matrix. If you are not, then this function is perverted and your natural cellular detoxification mechanisms start shutting down. This prepares your body for the development of severe and chronic diseases.

The latter part of sleep is more and more REM type. For you to be mentally alert during the day, the latter part of sleep is more important. No wonder when you wake up with an alarm clock after 5-6 hours of sleep, you are mentally irritable throughout the day (lack of REM sleep). And if you have slept for less than 5 hours, your body is in a complete physical mess ( lack of non-REM sleep ), you are tired throughout the day, moving like a zombie and your immunity is way down ( I’ve been there, done that Unfortunately, Ranjan Das is not alone when it comes to missing sleep. Many of us are doing exactly the same, perhaps out of ignorance.

In 2007, I developed a devastating infection called rheumatic fever and experienced heart failure (heart function dropped to 30%). This was a period in my life when I was eating well, exercising well (too well- averaging almost 12 hours in aerobics, weights and Martial arts) and sleeping 5 hours a day. There was one month when I worked right through non-stop and the infection struck. My blood profile was perfect except for elevated CRP, Creatinine Kinase and the infection marker. All the other markers of heart disease like cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, sodium and potassium were perfect. It has taken me almost two years to get back to normal.

Now I routinely screen every client in my practice for sleep deprivation. At least 70% of my clients have varying degrees of this with about 20% being severely sleep deprived.

One lucky listener that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45 minute consultation with me that is worth thousands.

On this podcast I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen?

Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.

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Wealth Beliefs

What are your wealth beliefs?

All of our financial behaviors, even the most self-defeating, self-destructive, illogical, “I should know better,” craziest ones make perfect sense when we discover the underlying “Money Script(s)” that drives them. These Money Scripts are at the core of all of our financial behaviors, both beneficial and problematic. They are the internalized and typically unconscious beliefs we have about what money is, what it is not, what it can or cannot do, the role we play in it, and the role it plays in our lives.

 

Wealth Beliefs

Wealth Beliefs

Money Scripts are formed in childhood and are reinforced by our experiences throughout our lives, often appearing as self-fulfilling prophecies. Money Scripts will always influence our financial beliefs and behaviors and thus every aspect of our lives until we die.

Then, amazingly, they will continue to affect those who knew us who are left behind. It is essential to identify and modify these erroneous Money Scripts if we are to reach our financial potential or change our self-defeating and self-destructive financial behaviors.

I came across the Concept of Early Childhood Programming when I was 30 and thought I had discovered the secret of undoing the Money Script and writing a new one, I was wrong. It took nearly another 12 years and struggling financially on and off and almost going broke before I discovered it. This was because the Money Script was a lot more complicated to undo and reprogramming myself to make money required three different components that I will mention later.

Before that I had to uncover and eliminate a few limiting beliefs that held me back significantly. If you actually look at the beliefs below, some of them actually seemed contradictory. However the reality was that each belief existed independent of the other.

1. More Money will Make Things Better

This is perhaps one of the most common Money Scripts afflicting Singaporeans and emerging first world countries. The problem is, that when the arbitrary “more money” target is met, the peace, security, happiness, or whatever else we believe “more money” will give us never quite seems to show up. So we look for more. Like the carrot just out of the reach of the donkey, though we are running like crazy, we never quite get there.

Entire lives, even generations of lives, can be dedicated to the pursuit of the fulfillment of this Money Script. The fact is, recent research suggests what so many people already intuitively know.

There is a saying: “Wherever you go, there you are.” This certainly applies to your financial net worth. If you are miserable at your current income level, more likely than not, you will be miserable with more money!

2. Money is Bad

While one part was into making money, another of me felt that money was not spiritual. As with all money scripts, there are many variations to the “Money is Bad” money script. They include such beliefs as: “ The rich are shallow/greedy/insensitive/unhappy; “The rich got that way by taking advantage of others”.

It took me quite awhile and dealing with many rich people to recognise that while the truth was that some wealthy people took advantage of others to become wealthy, others were just at the right place at the right time. Still others were willing to follow a dream, a passion, or a vision and it came true for them. There are people who are wealthy and unhappy. There are people who are wealthy and very happy. There are people who are wealthy and have extraordinarily intimate loving relationships. The point is that money is neither good nor bad in and of itself; it is our own relationship to it that will determine whether it turns out to be a good thing or a bad thing.

3. I Don’t Deserve Money

I also felt at times that I should not enjoy what money can give me, because others are not so fortunate. This was also a predominant script for those who work in the helping professions. It tied into the concept of the “barefoot” healer.

4. I Deserve to Spend Money

Another part of me kept feeling that I deserved to spend money. I did not spend money on things. I spent it on books and courses. In later years, they all proved valuable. It did mean for many years I was quite broke.

A related Money Script is one that says, “I might as well enjoy the money while I have it, because if I don’t, someone will come along and take it from me”. Quite often I had experienced members of family taking money from me as well.

5. There Will Never Be Enough Money

At the same time I also believed there would never be enough money. I set myself up to live a life of deprivation, experience constant anxiety, insecurity and fear. Workaholics, who sacrifice marriages, children and health, often operate from this money script. I know I was one.

6. There Will Always Be Enough Money

Paradoxically with all of that there was this weird belief that the universe would always take care of me regardless of my actions or inactions.

7. If You Are Good, The Universe Will Supply All your Needs

This used to be one of my own money scripts. I call it the “twisted law of Karma”. I lived many years of my life believing that if I did the right things, for all the right reasons, then I didn’t have to worry about anything, including my retirement or future because the “good karma” would guarantee that good things would happen.

After all, doesn’t the Bible say not to worry, for if God cares for the sparrow, why should we worry about our needs?

At the same time I also recognised that we are surrounded by many good people who dedicated their lives to doing the right thing for others at the right time and for the right reasons. Even so, because of a lack of planning for their future, they find themselves struggling to heat their homes, feed themselves, and to afford to get the help and care they need and deserve.

At first glance it would seem that the universe has not magically supplied all of their needs. Actually, the universe provides us opportunities, on a daily basis throughout our lives to help shape our own future. Some of these opportunities include things like budgeting and saving. If we fail to take advantage of these opportunities, it may seem as if the universe has failed us. That’s when I realised that while the opportunities were there, I would have to take advantage of them.

For years I, too, struggled to understand this force behind the shame and guilt related to my handling of money. A desperation that forced me to take the journey through the maze of past experiences with money. Looking at my early childhood experiences of noticing my father always being broke because of his hidden alcohol addiction and my mother always bailing him out. A childhood experience, which translated into confusion, guilt and shame connected to those acts involving money.

I recognised some curious habits that I had. When the chips were down and it looked like my clinic and other companies were in a bad way, I would buck up and figure out ways out of the situation. In recession years, I had the highest growth rate. In good years, we would grow, but I would be quite complacent. There was a two year period when I was thirty-six when we did a complex business development project that cost us $150, 000. We grew by $300, 000 in that time frame.

I finally uncovered my Money Script and understood what I needed to do to put together my Money Blueprint. I have spoken about the following in an earlier podcast. To recap. There were three components to the Money Blueprint;

1) Personal Success Blueprint
2) My Money Type
3) My 10,000 hour rule

It has been 13 years since. I generated more personal income then I had in my life. I am effectively debt free and I have created multiple businesses and multiple sources of income. I wrote more books, spoke to more high net worth individuals and generated more public relations on my own than when I had a paid media consultant. In a way the crisis at 42 allowed me to get real. What I find interesting is at this level is, I buy better quality products at lower prices and get special deals I never got before. Whereas before, I would dread banks calling me, I now get banks rushing to give me loans that I politely decline. It’s a funny world.

One lucky listener that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45 minute consultation with me that is worth thousands.

On this podcast I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen?

Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.

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Are Your Commitments Crippling You?

Are your commitments crippling you? Are your commitments enabling you?

Learn what you can do to navigate the tapestry of prior commitments that can limit your progress.

 

Are Your Commitments Crippling You?

Commitments

“I committed to doing X, but now things have changed, I realize the reasons that led me to make the commitment are no longer valid and I really loathe having to keep doing it. What do I do?”

X can represent whatever the commitment is. From being an accountability buddy to someone else in a coaching group, to being part of an charity, to meeting a group to play your favourite game to being the chair at the annual conference.

Couple-a-thoughts here. And, as always, hold them loosely!

We all make commitments based on two things, right?

(1) what we know (like we really ever know anything), and

(2) what we think we know (if I had $1 for everything I thought I knew)

Once we get deeper into a commitment, two things happen…

One – a solid chunk of what we were “sure” we knew turns out to be wrong. A circumstance is not what we thought it was, a person or partner or resource isn’t what what thought. Or,… , we aren’t who we thought and we don’t feel the way we thought we would.

It’s like Mark Twain supposedly said, “it ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

And, two – a solid chunk of what we admitted from the word-go was a complete leap of faith, well that ends up being anywhere from a little bit off to profoundly, entirely, utterly, WRONG.

Now, sometimes these things are wrong in ways that – taken as a whole – still preserve our original motivation for saying hell yes in the first place. So, we stay. We keep the commitment, because our original motivation for it remain intact, even though some of the details have shifted.

But, other times, we find ourselves in this place where reality is all…

“this is NOT what I agreed to and I NEVER would have said yes if I’d know before I got started.”

And, the thing is, it’s not even about anyone being underhanded or dishonest. Sometimes, things just change, murkiness becomes clarity, facts become clear, circumstances evolve.

In fact, the thing that may have changed most is, um, well, you, your own personal circumstance, clarity about what you want, how much time and energy you really have and what you’re willing to work or sacrifice for.

That’s all okay. Question is, when this happens, what are you going to DO about it?

As with everything, I don’t have all the answers, but here’s something to play with…

If you had to make the decision now, knowing what you know, would you still have said yes?

If the answer is no, then start working on figuring out how to exit as gracefully as possible. If you can do it with integrity, minimal disruption and effort, make it happen fast. If you were “duped” into saying yes by the misrepresentations of others, staying with something or someone out of a sense of obligation to those who’ve misled you is not a reason to remain in the game.

If others have committed resources, investment, effort and made sacrifices on the basis of your original yes, then it’ll likely take more time to figure out how to put together the pieces in a way that will let you make your exit with integrity. That may mean recruiting other resources, people or assets to step in, bring a project to place where the impact of your departure is easier to weather. Setting up and documenting systems and processes to allow someone else to step in may be a part of that process.

What Happens When You Don’t Follow through on your commitments
Managing your priorities properly will allow you to have longevity in your results. What happens when you don’t follow through on commitments.
The following facts are based on US statistics.

  • There will be two million marriages in the USA this year and one million divorces.
  • 95 percent of divorces are caused by a “lack of communication”.
  • The average working person spends less than two minutes per day in meaningful communication with their spouse or “significant other”.
  • The average working person spends less than thirty seconds a day talking to their children.

These statistics reflect people who did not make their marriage or their relationships with their kids their number one priority. They did not follow through on their commitments they made.

Many people will spend more time on choosing a car, picking a dress, or planning for a holiday than they will on improving their marriage, improving communication with their partner, or communicating with their children.

 

There were 2.5 million deaths in the USA in 2014. 75 percent were from causes that were largely preventable:*
1) Obesity
2) Alcohol
3) Smoking
* CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/

All the above revolve around priorities and habits and how people have become habituated to spend their time. They have literally “chosen” to spend their time on death-dealing activities over fifteen to forty years. To me its not being committed to living fully, energetically and passionately.

Do any of the situations below sound familiar?

  • Missing deadlines, feelings of constant rushing
  • Indecision about taking action, time spent on non-productive activity
  • Feeling overwhelmed, fatigued or listless
  • Not enough time for things that you like to do or for family and friends
  • Facing the day without plans or goals, feeling distracted from the important things.

If so, you may benefit from the better ways of managing your core priorities. You also may be not committing fully or committing to the wrong things.

Now, we should also talk about another situation. The one where you’re committed to play a part in something that is really hard, shows no real possibility of getting better, but it is something you feel a certain moral, ethical or familiar obligation to stick with. We see this often with commitments to people, groups or communities in dire need, or family members in need.

If the obligation, here, comes largely from a place of shame or guilt or any other personally-destructive motivation, or if it leads you to be in a place of genuine physical or emotional harm, that’s not the reason to stay the course.

But, if it comes from a more genuine place of love, compassion, gratitude, service or even, for some, a sense of fairness, then, even if we’d really rather bow out or be doing a million other things, there’s a real reason to stay in it. At that point, our job becomes:

  • Making the situation as good/nourishing as it can be
  • Rebuilding the circumstances of our lives AROUND that commitment to allow us to be as physically and psychologically okay as we can be while we ride the wave of our commitment AND
  • Knowing that this is a decision we’ve made to honor the commitment and all that comes with it, for reasons that are meaningful to us.

These elements are really important, because they lay the foundation for us to continue on from a place of intentionality and agency, rather than victimhood. They allow sacrifice to more readily transmute to meaning. That doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but can make them better.

One lucky listener that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover your unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45 minute consultation with me that is worth thousands.

On this podcast I’m going to help you design a life that works. So you are able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you’ll step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen?

Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions at AskDrSun.com. Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. I am Dr Sun. Join me next week on Your Life by Design.

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