You’ve probably had mind cancer for quite some time. As a matter of fact, the dis-ease is so ingrained; you probably don’t recognize any symptoms. Most experts in psychology agree that most of our mental framework (ideas about the world and thoughts about who we are) are created by the age of six.
Think back as far as you can. Did your mom and dad support you when you tried something new? What did they say about your dreams? How about your grandparents? Your teachers? Your babysitter? What did they say? How did they react to you? Whatever their influence (positive or negative), it’s how you interpreted these experiences. Ultimately your feelings towards them developed the subconscious program you run on today.
Anything you absorbed from these experiences altered your personal perspective. Maybe you went to college and became an accountant because all your teachers in high school commended your mathematical talents. There’s no doubt that’s a wonderful career, but maybe you don’t feel that deep, burning passion to get up every day and crunch numbers. You made a choice based on others’ influence.
Most of us (including me) have done this because we’re taught to take the advice of others who’re older or who have more experience. The missing piece to that equation is that these “experts” are struggling with their own internal battles. Although most of them mean well, they’re not standing in your shoes. They’re simply living how they were taught to think by their own circles of influence. Think about a mechanic giving you home decorating advice. He’s an expert in his own right, but maybe not the expert for window treatments. It’s kind of the same thing when you ask someone who’s not you for the best advice on—you! Take advice…but really internalize it before you act on it. Only you know what’s best for you. How do you successfully do that?
Look back at various milestones in your life and become an observer. Detach from any emotion you have while re-creating those moments. As the movie runs in your mind, take time to hit the pause button when something starts to play out that doesn’t agree with you. Let’s say, for example, one of your grade school teachers made a comment that you weren’t as smart as your brother. Maybe it was the English teacher your brother had a year or two before you. You also remember that your brother loved books and spent hours in his room reading.
Your teacher would naturally think he was amazing because they shared that same interest. Maybe she even saw herself in him because she spent her childhood reading too. Just because you didn’t like to read for fun doesn’t mean you aren’t smart—it was a jaded comment from your teacher that left you with a false perception. Maybe you struggled with reading and grammar for years because you believed what that teacher said. Maybe that negative or limited belief has prevented you from feeling confident writing presentations for work. It’s these haunting little experiences in childhood that we tend to carry on our backs like boulders in adulthood—and they prevent us from leading happy, fulfilling lives. They are insidious, just like a painless form of cancer.
Most of society has this dis-ease. In fact, it’s so common, it’s considered normal! Look around the next time you’re out in public. Do people talk to each other? No. Are people happy or smiling? Generally, no. Most of them are busy playing their old programs. Going to a job they hate, to buy a car that makes them look successful…but they’re dying inside… “Because that’s what you ‘do’ to be successful”… It’s mind cancer.
Most people run on auto pilot, letting life lead them around. When life happens “to” you, it’s a sign you’ve got the dis-ease. The good news is you can recover. You just have to become present. Then you must decide you’re no longer willing to tolerate living a ho-hum life. You want the best; you’ll do whatever it takes. And it’s not as tough as you think; you just have to commit to small steps each day.
You’ll have to open your mind to new ideas and possibilities. You’ll have to try things you’ve never done before—and be okay with not being perfect at it. Removing the cancer is really about saying “yes” to yourself more, because you’ll never fully rid yourself of society’s influence, aka the cancer. It’s a journey of finding out who you are and what lights you up…even when others think you’re crazy or wrong. And when you decide to go on the journey, life becomes…magical!