What You Focus Your Attention on Always Grows

A Preference, not a Judgment

In my last post I went off a little bit on “moralistic dogmatism” and I’d like to make sure that you were left with the wrong impression. You see, I’m not against moralistic dogmatism. I just found that moralistic dogmatism didn’t seem to work very well as a tool for creating the kind of life or the kind of world I want to experience.

Coming of age in the late 60s I found myself drawn to the anti-this an anti-that movements. It made sense to me to be against war, poverty, the military-industrial complex, fascism, and well, all of those things that me and my buddies were so righteously indignant about.

What You Focus Your Attention on Grows

It took me a little while, and reading a number of books, to get the idea that “what you resist persists.” But one thing that really helped this hit home was when I heard a guy named Marshall Rosenberg sing a song about how “you can’t do it don’t.”

I started listening for how often people express themselves in the negative: what they don’t want, what they’re against, what they don’t like, what they want to make stop, etc.

To put a fine point on it, Rosenberg then tells a story about a woman who’s tired of spending nights home alone while the husband works late. So she screws up her courage and tells him in her best ultimatum voice, “I don’t want you staying so late at the office!” So what does he do? He joins a bowling league.

That’s the problem with having your attention focused on what you don’t want. If you’re not clear about what you do want, it leaves the door wide open for other things that you don’t want to wander in.

Now, one of the things I’ve figured out along the way is that people are totally self-serving. That’s not a judgment, it’s actually a result of our genetic coding to make sure that we get everything we need to survive, thrive, and multiply. And doesn’t it make sense that that’s more likely to happen if you are moving toward what you do want rather than pushing against what you don’t?

Be For What You Want and Against Nothing

So at this point I’m “for” being “for,” but not “against” being “against.” I find that every time I start to react to something that I don’t like or don’t want, the faster I can get clear about what I do want instead, the easier it is for me to get it, and the more fun I have in the process.

This practice, turning my don’t want to do once, has allowed me to hone in on picking which things I am going to “test” to see whether or not they are something I’d like to “hold to firmly.” And I’m finding more and more things that I like all the time.

Committed to Your Success,

Neill Gibson

Responsibility – Our Ability to Respond

Tag: Motivation,Personal GrowthBeth and Neill

Many people confuse responsibility with duty, obligation, requirements… in short, things you “have to do”. “I have to take my husband to the airport.” “I have to make sure that my kids get a good education.” “I have to make dinner, do the laundry, mow the lawn, fix the car, clean the house…”

The most surefire method I know of to have someone resent something is to lead them to believe they have no choice in the matter. “Who died and left you the boss of me?”

It’s nice to see when others offer a perspective that is similar to ours. We found one that we think is worth reading here:

Taking Responsibility – There is always a choice – It seems to me that people who fail in life are often the people who don’t take responsibility – there’s always something or someone to blame. For them, the list of things over which they have control is very limited. …

We choose to define responsibility as “our ability to respond” = response ability. Many of the uncontrollable circumstances and events Michael Miles speaks of are beyond our ability to respond to effectively. But even in these circumstances, we are never left without choice.

That’s why one of the favorite closings we use at the bottom of our messages is…

The shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice,
Neill Gibson

Neill’s Musings on Our Introductory Blog Post

Tag: Personal GrowthNeill Gibson

To expand on my introduction in our first post a little bit…

As long as I can remember I’ve been a “seeker of truth.” I’ve explored many different ideas, philosophies and religions on my journey down this path. And, while I am no by no means a scholar of world religions, I’ve dipped my toe into the waters of most far Eastern, Middle Eastern and Western religions, as well as a number of the esoteric and mystical traditions.

At one point in my past I was quite involved in the Full-Gospel / Charismatic / Fundamental Christian religion, even holding the post of Chairman of the Deacons. But at this point I would probably describe myself as another “spiritual but not religious” type (to help further overuse that now almost trite “personal profile” description.)Buddha

On my journey I’ve practiced what we quoted Buddha as saying: “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it…” Though, I first heard it articulated in Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, where he tells us to: “Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good.”

Exploring the definition of “good” hastened my departure from the “religious” practice of Christianity as it is exercised today. My exodus came about primarily as a result of the religious reliance on moralistic dogmatism as a way to control the flock, rather than teaching people to depend on that “indwelling spirit” which is able to practice the discrimination that both Buddha and Paul talk about.

So, my journey in large part has been about developing my personal ability to discern the difference between what I’ve been taught and what I can discern as true from myself. And to be able to hear the still, small voice inside that knows this difference, in spite of the roar of those who claim authority.

This has been my quest to discover and hold fast to what I can know as true.

So how does all of this “abstract analysis of the global picture” relate to a New Age Self-Help blog?

I am immensely grateful for what I’ve discovered along this path, and the amazing differences these things have made in my life. My desire to contribute these insights and understandings to others is what leads me to express them in ways that can help others develop the practical skills they need to create lasting transformation in their lives.

I’ve come to believe that this quality of transformation in a person’s life requires a fundamental shift in thinking from the moralistic dogmatism that is in the “air” which most people breathe in and out every day. This kind of “right/wrong”, “good/bad” thinking is the foundation that supports our culture’s belief in scarcity, domination and its practice of “survival of the fittest.” It is the cause of most of what’s least fun for people in the world today.

I think it will be the dawning of a New Age when people learn to throw off the mental shackles of our cultural heritage by learning to think for themselves, as Buddha and Paul suggest. It seems to me that this is an “inside job.” No one else can make a person do the “observation and analysis” necessary to “test all things.” This is a Self-Help journey.Your path to personal growth and spiritual development

My commitment is to support your success in moving father down your path, wherever your still, small voice may lead you. This New Age Self-Help blog is the latest addition to the tools we’ve created to help you do that. I hope this effort supports your success and I hope to hear your suggestions about the ways it could do that, the ways that it does, and the ways it doesn’t.

Committed to Your Success,

Neill Gibson

New Age Self-Help Blog Introduction

Welcome to the first of many New Age Self-Help blog posts. Our goal in this blog is to provide you with personal growth and professional development skills and techniques to help you improve relationships, increase self-esteem, support full self expression, relieve stress and reduce anger so you can lead a happy and more satisfying life.

In this post, we’d like to take the time to introduce ourselves and give you an idea of what’s important to us about these topics.

We are Beth Banning and Neill Gibson and we will both be writing posts. We each have very different styles of writing and thinking. So even though we usually end up in similar places, the roads we travel to get there can be quite different.

Neill is more analytical, abstract and typically a global-big picture kind-of-guy. Beth is more linear and typically uses more everyday language, and is definitely a glass-half-full kind of gal.

As we said in the About Us section of our blog, we believe that the shortest path to a happy life is found through conscious choice. Our mission is to play a significant role in supporting the global evolution toward greater consciousness that supports a shift from the belief in scarcity, domination and “the survival of the fittest,” to a global culture that embraces the values of abundance, prosperity and inter-reliance–one that promotes “the evolution of everyone.”

We are confident that the most effective way for this shift to happen is one relationship at a time, beginning with the relationship we have with ourselves and then extending that shift out to the people in our lives.

Our vision for this blog is to share with you what we’ve learned along our journey. Our desire is to support you in the process.

You may find some of the information we offer in our blog will be familiar to you, while some will seem radically different than what you’ve learned in the past. You’ll probably agree with some of our opinions, be shocked by others, hopefully inspired by many, and possibly even irritated by a few.

As Buddha said:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Whatever your reaction or response, our goal is to offer ideas that promote conscious conversation, inspire conscious action and to create a more conscious world. We look forward to your comments and questions, and the opportunity to support you in your personal evolution and your ability to create more happiness in your life and your world.

With Love and a Commitment to Your Success,

Beth and Neill