How to Invest In Your Future

 (A looking forward question)

Let me begin with a question. If you were to invest in your future best self, where would you put your time and energy? When this question was asked in a millennium survey of college students, the most frequent response was “money and fame.” Think about it. “What would be your response?”

(A looking back study)

In a much earlier Harvard University study, started in 1930, 2000 children were randomly selected and then followed-up every 2 years over a period of 85 years. The most recent report of the findings was issued in 2015. Of the original 2000, 60 are still living. They were asked, what was the most important criteria as they look back on their long life? Most answered, “Good relationships, as defined by trust, honesty, appreciation and thoughtfulness.” In today’s environment would this be a better response?

(Learn from hindsight)

Psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Waldinger, the latest director of this long Harvard study, reported, it is primarily the quality (and not the quantity) of the relationship that counts. Throughout the years of the study Dr. Waldinger relates, “It became obvious that the best predictor of happiness, health and longevity was not your cholesterol level, nor genetics, or what you eat, but an on-going successful relationship. Neither fame nor success were even on the radar in the reporting.”

(An action item)

Turning the Self Inside Out is about you and your relationship with all of life. The argument is, if you agree with the narrated premise, taking action early in your life will pay dividends in your future happiness. This can only happen behaviourally, to take control of your life you need to become consciously aware of the self within. The best time to do this is right now. Frankly, this might very well be the most important time of your life, to take an attentive look at the inner self. Let me explain.

(An Analogy)

As a youngster, I will always remember my first ride on a Ferris Wheel. It was both thrilling and exhilarating but not without fear. I was filled with mixed emotions, a feeling of ‘letting go’ but ‘out of control’; reaching new heights but unsettling; feeling ‘crazy good’ on the outside but nauseating on the inside.

(The Ride)

Once the ride was finished, I looked up in wonderment and noticed the new riders were vocally expressing what I just had experienced. How I longed to get back on the ride. I begged my parents to let me take the ride again wanting more of their excitement. Much later, when I rode the Wheel with our daughter, I noticed there was another part to the Ferris Wheel that I had never before considered. There was much speed and excitement on the outside of the Wheel but a “stillness” at the centre and an “On top of the world” feeling.

(An Outcome)

Liken this to our human life experience. It is a ride of temporary excitement, when we are often oblivious to others due to the speed with which our time passes. When the ride is coming to an end we are left with wanting more. Hopefully we can find a centre of permanent stillness and tranquility where we can observe all that is going on with little desire of wanting anything more.

(What is)

Turning the Self Inside Out is a journey about recognizing permanency and the joy of living (called, the observer) and respecting the centre (the observed). When the observer and the observed become one, only then are we in complete control of life.

(Purpose)

What is the goal of the course? To become more aware and fully acquainted with the inner self (the centre); and from this superior vantage point take control so that we can invest in a happier, more meaningful life.

Dissatisfaction

Dissatisfaction is the driving force of human life –
a dissatisfaction that’s rooted inside us,
in our disconnection from the world
and the turbulence of our being.

But we don’t recognise its source
and think that it comes from outside us.

And so we’re always looking for someone to blame, except ourselves.
We’re sure someone’s responsible for our discontent, but don’t know who it is,
as if crimes are being committed against us secretly
and everyone is a potential suspect.

And we’re always looking for stories to make sense of the world –
conspiracy theories that convince us
that people are plotting against us, to keep us dissatisfied
and myths that draw straight lines between right and wrong
between what should satisfy us and what doesn’t
and metaphysical maps of bizarre beliefs
that tell us where we came from, where we are and where we’re going
and promise us that one day, we will be satisfied.

And we’re always looking to change our lives
to add things, take them away, or to just to re-arrange the pieces,
sure that someday we’ll find the right balance, or combination
and the puzzle will finally be solved.

And so we’re always ready to be deceived
by the crazy promises of politicians
and the tricks of advertisers, and marketing teams
(that tell us that their trinkets will brings us satisfaction)
and our own absurd dreams of success.

And so we never find satisfaction –
unless we eventually reach a point
when we’re so weary and worn down by the endless fruitless search
that we cry out “That’s it! I can’t do this anymore!”
And then it suddenly strikes us –
we’ve been looking in the wrong direction!

So finally we turn away from the world,
and begin to look inside, the last remaining place.
And straight away we sense that we’re on the right track,
that this is the road that will take us home
as we calm our inner turbulence, and transcend our separation
and find the true source of satisfaction.

Published, with kind permission, by Steve Taylor senior university psychology lecturer, author of Waking From Sleep, Back to Sanity, Waking from Sleep and most recently The Leap.

The Ferris Wheel Analogy

 (A looking forward question)

Let me begin this blog with a question. If you were to invest in your future best self, where would you put your time and energy? When this question was asked in a millennium survey of college students, the most frequent response was “money and fame.” Think about it. “Would this be your response?”

(A looking back study)

In a much earlier Harvard University study, started in 1930, 2000 children were randomly selected and then followed-up every 2 years over a period of 85 years. The most recent report of the findings was issued in 2015. Of the original 2000, 60 are still living. They were asked, what was the most important criteria as they look back on their long life? 58 answered, “Good relationships, as defined by trust, honesty, appreciation and thoughtfulness.” In today’s environment would this be a better response?

(Learn from hindsight)

Psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Waldinger, the latest director of this long Harvard study, reported, it is primarily the quality (and not the quantity) of the relationship that counts. Throughout the years of the study Dr. Waldinger relates, “It became obvious that the best predictor of happiness, health and longevity was not your cholesterol level, nor genetics, or what you eat, but an on-going successful relationship. Neither fame nor success were even on the radar in the reporting.”

(An action item)

Turning the Self Inside Out is about you and your relationship with all of life. The argument is, if you agree with the narrated premise, taking action early in your life will pay dividends in your future happiness. This can only happen behaviourally, to take control of your life you need to become consciously aware of the self within. The best time to do this is right now. Frankly, this might very well be the most important time of your life, to take an attentive look at the inner self. Let me explain.

(An Analogy)

As a youngster, I will always remember my first ride on a Ferris Wheel. It was both thrilling and exhilarating but not without fear. I was filled with mixed emotions, a feeling of ‘letting go’ but ‘out of control’; reaching new heights but unsettling; feeling ‘crazy good’ on the outside but nauseating on the inside.

(The Ride)

Once the ride was finished, I looked up in wonderment and noticed the new riders were vocally expressing what I just had experienced. How I longed to get back on the ride. I begged my parents to let me take the ride again wanting more of their excitement. Much later, when I rode the Wheel with our daughter, I noticed there was another part to the Ferris Wheel that I had never before considered. There was much speed and excitement on the outside of the Wheel but a “stillness” at the centre and an “on top of the world” feeling.

(An Outcome)

Liken this to our human life experience. It is a ride of temporary excitement, when we are often oblivious to others due to the speed with which our time passes. When the ride is coming to an end we are left with wanting more. Hopefully we can find a centre of permanent stillness and tranquility where we can observe all that is going on with little desire of wanting anything more.

(What is)

Turning the Self Inside Out is a journey about recognizing permanency and the joy of living (called, the observer) and respecting the centre (the observed). When the observer and the observed become one, only then are we in complete control of life.

(Purpose)

What is the goal of the course? To become more aware and fully acquainted with the inner self (the centre); and from this superior vantage point take control so that we can invest in a happier, more meaningful life.

(Why)

Why should you take this course? The question might be, “Why wouldn’t you take this course?” This is your life. For a truly mind altering experience this course is your ride to: stronger, lasting relationships; effective and efficient use of time; a personal recipe for success; a consciously aware mindset.