Tag Archives: growth

The Wisdom Model for Measuring Personal Development Pt 1.

There is a far more accurate way of measuring personal development than the achievement model. This method can be called the “wisdom model”.

In this model, it is explained what is really going on in life. Everyone is going about trying to do everything they possibly can to accomplish their goals and make life conform to their desires. With every action performed, people are putting effort into trying to control life, and this is absolutely necessary and wonderful.  But what is the purpose of such efforts? What is the purpose of goals? If you are trying to live by the achievement model, the purpose of goals will seen to be, of course, to achieve them (and hence prove your value). But the wisdom model provides the understanding that goals serve a completely different role. They serve the role of providing you with a journey of real life experiences. And, as the they say, we grow from our life experiences. From our life experiences we grow in wisdom, and this growth represents our true personal development. 

Summary of Relating to Life program. -6

Every person who is alive is out there having a real journey of life events, even those people trying to live by the achievement model.  And it is these events which are enabling our development to take place, regardless of the degree to which the events match our preferences and original intentions. But if development is measured by the gaining of wisdom, the question needs to be asked, what is wisdom?

Wisdom has nothing to do with knowing how to control life, knowing which events to pick or what course of action to take in life. Wisdom is actually a specific set of understandings which will neutralise psychological stress when life is not going the way you want. It is a small subset within the vast network of belief systems known as “knowledge”. This subset is concerned with trying to answer the question “what is taking place in life?”. Wisdom can be defined as an accurate account of reality. An accurate assessment of that which is taking place. And your growth in wisdom is your growth in understanding what is really going on in life, your growth in understanding reality. It is this growth in wisdom which is responsible for fixing people’s psychological stress, not any claim to have taken back control of life and mind.

When you look at life, when you see things happening and people going about their business, your mind is going to be forming opinions about what it all means. It is going to be forming opinions about the activity you see, and about what you think is really going on in the big picture. Everything you see is part of a system after all, and everyone is up to difference levels of understanding how that system works.

The reason so many people are stressed, anxious, depressed, suicidal, angry or hateful is that their level of wisdom is not high enough to allow them to understand what they see in reality. When they give their opinions as to what is going on, what they think is going on is not at all what is actually going on. For example people are out their believing that “I am not valuable”. Or that “I could have chosen to have acted different back then”. Or “That person is ruining the system”. Their account of reality is not correct.

Reality is simply a development process. A process of cause and effect. And there are lessons in wisdom which define this process. For something to be a lesson in wisdom, it must describe an aspect of the development process. One way of gaining more understanding of these lessons is through studying physiology.  You can compare healthy human physiology with diseased physiology. What is the difference?

 

 

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Changing Beliefs: How does it happen? Pt. 2

Now, let’s look at another example of how change in beliefs take place.

Consider a man with anger issues. Every time this man drives in heavy traffic, he cannot contain his anger towards other drivers. He gets so angry that he often gets out of his car to abuse people when they make a mistake on the road. This is how this man’s brain is currently wired. So how does he change? Many people would argue that he needs to choose to take more control of his anger outbursts in order to change. But in reality, change will only take place through the data he receives from his environment.

Let’s say this man was driving one day, and as he was worrying  about all the things he must do that day, and imagining all the ways in which things could go wrong, he finds himself in the wrong lane and instinctively swerves to cut another driver off. This other driver gets so angry let’s him have it – give him a dose of what he usually dishes out. After this experience, a thought pops into his mind: “wow that person was totally ignorant of the fact I had reasons (usually called “excuses” by society) for why I made that mistake.”

Let’s say that night he has a drink at the pub with an old friend, and the friend says this to him: “Mate, no-one has choice. We live in a world of cause and effect. How can you say someone could have chosen to act differently than they did when they clearly had reasons why they acted that way? It’s a load of crap. Getting angry at someone only serves to make you miserable”.

The next day he goes to a doctors appointment, and the doctor tells him “I think you need to have a look at how stress is affecting your health”.

And maybe he then has a week off work, and goes for a holiday with his family.

Now, the next time he experiences someone on the road making a mistake, he of course gets angry like he always does! But as he goes to get of the car to vent his frustrations, new thoughts he has never had before pop into his mind: “Hang on, maybe there was reasons why that person made that mistake. Maybe he was having horrid day. Maybe he just found out his wife has cancer. Maybe he did not know the road rules, and was not influenced growing up to understand that they are essential things to know for road safety.”

As he was going through all the possible reasons why this event might had come about, he realised how ridiculous it would be to claim that the person could have simply chosen to have acted different in that moment, and his anger dropped back down. In this way, the neurons in his brain formed a new connection. Change did not take place by his choosing, but by his brain adding up all the data encountered from life experiences and coming to new conclusions.

Now, in reality it would probably take a lot more data than what I mentioned to actually start to change someone’s anger issues. And of course, if the data was of a certain type it could even reinforce the cause of the anger he may get even more angry. But what I was trying to highlight was this: The brain takes into account the sum of all life experiences ever encountered and asks “what does it mean?”. And so as people gain more and more data on life through the events they go through, their view on life consistently gets altered whether they like it or not.

This is how beliefs get changed, and this is how the brain gets changed.