15 Invaluable Life Lessons: Courtesy of Dr. Wayne Dyer
Greetings. I'm a big believer in learning about a wide range of subjects. For example, I've just begun reading a book on the Triangle Sales Framework , which might seem unrelated to my field, computer science, at first glance. However, it is vital you understand, at least at a basic level, what each department in your company does. I truly believe that reading this book on sales has helped as I interview for software engineer roles this week. It demonstrates maturity, teamwork, and dedication. Now to the topic at hand.
I've known of Dr. Wayne Dyer for 5 or 10 years now. He was a superb motivation speaker, a psychotherapist of the highest order and an all-around saint of a man. Wayne had a vast amount of knowledge and experience and he never seemed the least bit conceited or not grounded. So, being a fan of his, I recently thought it was time I read a book of his, cover to cover, instead of just the short snippets of his wisdom I'd gather from YouTube videos. I chose to read the 2nd book Dr. Dyer ever wrote. It's titled "Pulling Your Own Strings" and was first published in 1977. Wayne wrote this book after he's already earned his PhD, worked as a psychotherapist,and become a professor. Below I've shared some awakening-inducing, life-changing, paradigm-shifting jewels of knowledge I've gleamed from this wonderful work. Enjoy.
"The simple truth about your parents is, The did what they knew how to do. Period. If your father was an alcoholic or he abandoned you as an infant, if your mother was overprotective or uncaring, then that is what they know how to do at the time.Whatever unfortunate things have happened in your youth, you have very likely made them much more traumatic than they were at the time."
"in our culture, adults often analyze their pasts repeatedly and remember terribly abusive experiences, lots of which they never really had."
"Most great thinkers have forgotten the past, except for experience or history that could help them, and live totally in the present, with an eye toward improving the future. Innovators never say 'We've always done it this way, and therefore we can't change it.' Never. They learn from the past, but they do not live there. Shakespeare alludes to the folly of consuming yourself with the past in several of his plays. At one point he admonishes, 'What's gone and past help, should be past grief'. And in another of his lines, he reminds us that 'things without remedy, should be without regard; what is done, is done.' The art of forgetting can be essential to the art of living. All those dreadful memories you've so carefully stored away in your brain are hardly ever worth recalling."
"Not that memories are neurotic, but they really take a backseat to more delicious present moments. Check out what Francis Durivage wrote in this regard: 'They teach us to remember; why do they not teach us to forget? There is not a man living who has not, some time in his life, admitted that memory was as much of a curse as a blessing'".
"The fact is that the people who have had the greatest impact on mankind, who have helped the greatest number of people, are those who have consulted their own inner feelings, rather than doing what everyone else said they should do. In this context, strength means being able to stop trying to get everyone else to feel what you are feeling, and stand up for what you believe."
"Victimizers will try to make you ashamed of yourself by telling you that you are promoting anarchy in the world if you demand your rights. Of course you know that all people won't stand up for themselves, and even if they did, the world would be a far better place."
"Albert Einstein once reported, 'Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds'. What a hunk of truth that is. If you want to achieve your own greatness, to climb your own mountains, you'll have to use yourself as your first and last consultant. The only alternative is for you to listen to the violent opposition of virtually everyone you encounter. The masses will always compare you to others, since that is their weapon of manipulation and enforcer of conformity. Your antivictimization stance will involve your steady refusal to use others as comparative models for yourself, as well as your learning how to defuse the victimizing efforts of others to compare and so control you."
"Being offended is a victimizing choice. You need never be offended again, either by put-downs directed at you or by things in the world that you may have become accustomed to 'finding offensive'. If you don't approve of someone else's behavior or language, ignore it, particularly when it has nothing to do with you. By being offended and upset, by saying things like 'How dare he say that!' or, 'He has no right to make me upset like this!' or, 'I am offended when I see weirdos', you are victimizing yourself with the conduct of others, which is tantamount to having your emotional strings pulled by the very people you dislike. Shrug it off, ignore it, look the other way, ask yourself whether it's really that bad at all; or if you want to work at changing it, by all means do so. But don't choose the victim position of being offended and upset about it."
"The most beautiful relationships I've ever observed are those in which people accept each other for what they are, rather than analyzing everything they do."
"Stop expecting to be abused. Accept that you have a history of being maltreated not primarily because others have taken advantage of you, but because you have taught them to do so. The attitude that you are responsible for most of your treatment by others transforms what you expect to suffer from them into what you expect of yourself. Virtually all human change begins with attitude."
"If you have upset yourself over something and you know you'll get over it, work at getting over it a bit faster. This 'time-reduction' technique will help you reprogram yourself not to let what is really already over immobilize you. Eventually you'll get into the habit of not being upset at all over things you can't change, and you'll learn to take action, rather than sulk."
"Reduce your tendency to evaluate, assess, analyze and interpret the world, and replace this futile activity with doing, enjoying, being and loving. Do this a minute at a time by catching yourself in the evaluative process, and at that moment announce to yourself that you don't have to figure it out, that you can just enjoy the delight of this minute."
"You must also understand that lack of action is not a result of depression; it is the cause. And inactivity is most often a choice rather than an inescapable fact of life. Action is also a sure-fire way to avoid being victimized by yourself and others. If you decide to do something about your problem, rather than grumble about it, you'll be on the road to changing things around for yourself."
"People who choose to be active are very seldom victimized. The action-oriented person will ultimately get injustices rectified, while the inactive person, or the passive observer, will find himself victimized a lot, complain to everyone, and scratch his head in dismay. This old proverb has a lot of truth in it: 'Even when you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.'"
"IN SUMMARY - You are the product of what you choose for yourself in every life situation. You do have the capacity to make healthy choices for yourself by changing your attitude to one of creative aliveness. By being ever alert for turning adversity around, by improving your attitudes and expectations for yourself, and by fearlessly implementing risk-taking alternatives, you'll soon be gratified by the way your life can take a turn for the better. Be fully alive while you're here on this planet; you'll have an eternity to experience the opposite after you leave."
Thank you so much, Wayne. Enjoy your journey, mate.