“No one can make me feel inferior without my permission.”
17 Years under Potential
Let me tell you the story of Victor Serebriakoff who as a young fellow was diagnosed as being mentally incapacitated. When he was 15, one of his professors told him that he will never be able to finish school. This made young Victor assume his imposed status and for more than 17 years he only took laboring jobs, most of them being way below his potential.
When Victor was 30 something, he took an intelligence test which revealed that he had an amazing IQ of 161. After finding out the results, Victor started acting like a smart person.
Now, I know that all of you skeptics out there will start shouting at me, but the fact that “you start seeing yourself as a great person” and you start taking actions accordingly, there’s only a matter of time until you become what you think you are.
So, our Vic started writing books, joined Mensa, and became its president several years later.
I wonder how many of us are being tagged way below what we can achieve. I then wonder how many of us assume these tags as being the right ones and never act outside them.
Would it made a difference if Victor had a better opinion about himself several years earlier? I bet it would.
Also, why when someone tags you in a certain way, you start defending yourself and try to reject the tag, instead of trying to understand the reasons for which that person does and says that about you.
To be more specific: My brother calls me irresponsible for driving reckless. I start defending myself by explaining that I was rushing to a meeting when I passed the red light.
Instead of trying to find reasons to remove the “irresponsible” tag, I’d better understand why my brother calls me irresponsible and reject the tag because he does not completely understand what is in my mind.
No-one knows what is happening inside your brain, that’s why no-one understands you better than you do. The tags that other people put on you are at least irrelevant, if not totally untrue. That applies to both positive and negative tags.
So, instead of searching for justification, you’d better focus on the other person’s perspective. This would allow you to see whether or not the tags that others put on you are fair, to say the least.
This would in turn allow you to consider or not consider those tags, but never accept them as they are.
Let me tell you another story, one about elephants.
The Chains Within
There’s an old African story that describes how young elephants are chained with a “not-so-thick” chain. Most of them try to break the chain, but they cannot do it because they are still in their infancy. They try it once, twice, three times…and then they quit.
Flash-forward 30 years in the future.
The same elephants, the same chains, the same story. One of the biggest mammals on Earth is held captive with a tiny chain that could be broken with one tenth of the force the elephant is capable of.
But why don’t they do it?
It’s because they have been conditioned not to. The small elephants have assumed their status of not being able to break the chain, and now when they are “giants” they are still conditioned by the same beliefs. They live way below their true potential.
What this guy tries to say is that most of us, as youngsters, are being told that we can’t do this or we can’t do that. We naturally accept what we are being told by our parents, friends, professors, and/or other authorities.
However, even if these facts would be true, we need to be aware that they are only temporary. They could have been true back when we were kids, but they must not be true through time.
For example, my folks used to tell me that I won’t be able go to the gym or exercise as much as I do now when I’ll have kids. Probably that was true or is true only for them. I wonder why they try to condition me to that belief.
However, I don’t take this as a negative advice and I also do not take it as granted. I know that when I’ll be a “family guy”, I’ll still go to the gym instead of wasting time in front of the TV for 3-4 hours a day.
As kids, we are being put different limitations by the authorities around us (parents, teachers, etc). Neurons link to one another to create the limiting beliefs. As time passes and we grow up and as we keep those beliefs, the neural pathways are being reinforced and we tend to have higher convictions certifying that the limiting beliefs are true.
This makes it harder to change things and to break the neural connections. Yet, it is not impossible. Rewiring your brain requires a bit more practice.
I’m pretty positive that each and every one of us can achieve amazing things in their lives. I also know that doing something really great needs real efforts.
I know that the word “effort” may trigger some negative correlations inside your mind, such as: sweat, failure, long-term commitment, fear of the unknown, etc.
Even so, the effortful journey toward a great objective can be much more enjoyable than the end result.
It is the journey toward your goal that makes you a wiser person. It is the effort and the failure that builds experience. It is the effort that creates balance within you.
Victor should have never taken for granted his professor’s tags. The elephants should have never given up. You should never stop working on your craft.
The journey may be effortful, but start associating those efforts with something great, something positive.
What’s stopping you from not doing so?
Start from Here:
1. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
Could the mind think of something that cannot be achieved? Think about it.
The reality of 1600s was putting “heretic” or “insane” tags on the people who considered that flying from one “corner” of the earth to another corner was possible. Yet, this is the reality of 2000s.
Could have we achieved it without pushing the boundaries of our imagination?
What’s stopping you from envisioning something great about this world and about you?
To build a better society, we need to think in terms “out of the reality”.
2. When you have an idea or when you think of something, your brain starts creating new connections. Basically, this is what you do at all times; it’s called neuroplasticity.
If you do it often enough, your brain enforces the new pathways. As new connections are added to the new pathway, you start seeing your ideas much more achievable. As you enforce those pathways (by thinking about your idea very often), the idea starts creating roots into reality. It becomes achievable.
Yet, it all started from a crazy idea….And now we can travel into space.
So, think about your surreal ideas as often as you can. It’s a starting point.
3. Put your idea on paper or on a “notes” application. This is where your idea comes to reality. It has a physical form. Turn it over, view it from all possible perspectives.
How can you achieve it in terms of the current reality? If you can’t, start thinking in terms of future reality.
4. You have the power. As your idea sits on a paper, it will not resolve itself. Start acting upon it, start building it brick by brick. Christian religion says that the world was created in 6 days.
You will never become a great person over night.
Great achievements require time and the journey is great. Those who think contrary will experience major failure and will most likely give up.
Most of the lottery winners lose almost all the money they won. It’s only a matter of time until they do. It’s because they do not have the appropriate mindset to deal with what they have been given.
I never thought I will be able to limit my nutrition to 0 pastas, potatoes, bread, sweets and anything tagged as “refined carbohydrates”. I was the avid sugar monster.
I was eating bread with french fries, bread with pastas, and 200-300g of chocolate at once. That’s half a pound of chocolate. And I did it on a weekly basis.
To think and to act otherwise was like suicidal to me. I never thought I would have a Sunday evening without a ton of chocolate by my side and a good movie. Yet, this is my current reality and I feel great. I have no cravings.
Challenging the past reality was the starting idea inside my brain. As I kept thinking about it, I started seeing different alternatives on how I could make it a reality. I actively sought for solutions.
2 months later I look back and see how everything changed. I do not feel the craving for sugar, potatoes, bread, and other refined carbohydrates anymore. I lost 12 pounds of fat, while preserving all my muscle mass (more on this in a future post).
This achievement empowers me, it makes my mind stronger and my body more balanced. You’ll learn about the reasons later.
Now, to get from talk to action, I really want to help you remove the tags that other people put on you and be able to achieve the major goal(s) you have in your life. I want to help you live to your full potential, or at least get closer to it. If you have a certain objective in your life, feel free to share it with me in either of the comment sections below and we’ll try to nail it down together.
I’m pretty positive we can do it.
1. Dr. Joe Dispenza – Evolve your Brain: The Science of Changing your Mind
2. Dr. Daniel Amen – Change your Brain, Change your Life – The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness
3. Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich
4. Zig Ziglar – Over the Top
5. Tulshi Sen – Ancient Secrets of Success