Spiritual Sisters

Spiritual Healing Serene Salad

Spiritual Voices Creativity Bakery

Spiritual Inspiration TeaRoom

Inner Sanctuary Growth Brew

Spirituality In The WorkPlace

Spiritual Parenting PlayRoom

Angels Miracles & Noble Deeds

Spirituality Message Boards

Limiting Thoughts Here's a philosophy that sounds very down-to-earth, very praiseworthy, and yet can be hugely self-defeating.

I can only have that which I have earned.

It sounds very laudable, and many people have been raised with that philosophy. It seems to say that one will not try to "get over," or get anything that one does not deserve, a concept that some recent CEOs could have benefited from adopting. I believe that when it is taught, usually by parents to their children, that is the intention. Unfortunately, however, it can all too easily become self-limiting. It can extend itself so that one is "telling" the universe that one will not accept miracles. One will not be open to that occasional incredible stroke of luck that can strike the deserving and the undeserving alike, from time to time. Only the "sweat of one's brow" is allowed to earn rewards.

Sometimes it does feel as if life is like that. It feels as if we have to labor away for little more than the bare minimum. Then we read about the huge sums of money that have "disappeared" from some people�s retirement funds into the bank accounts of assorted corporate officers, and we feel reinforced in the belief that wealth comes only at the expense of others, and probably only if accompanied by a severely limited conscience. If may feel as though we cannot do good, be good AND get rich. This is a bit like the attitude of the "poor dad" in the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

There is, of course, the opposite view, which can be almost as self-destructive, and that is the philosophy that one is "entitled." Whatever one can get, by whatever means and at whatever cost to other people, one is entitled to get, and there should not be any expectation of one making a contribution in order to get it.

There is a big difference between this feeling of entitlement and the attitude that one is willing to work but is still open to all the good things that may come from a friendly universe. It's a bit like the three bears of the Goldilocks story - one is too extreme in one direction, and another is equally extreme in the opposite direction, whereas the third is probably "just right."

It is sad to limit oneself to the point of mentally refusing the idea of any form of good luck. People with this philosophy tend to be the ones who live lives of "quiet desperation." They see no way out. If someone attempts to brainstorm their options with them they have a reason for "why not" to every idea. They tend to lose hope, to see a flower bed as something to be weeded rather than a source of beauty, and to have stopped looking for any alternative way to live or think.

On the other side are the folks who see no reason why they should make valid contributions to society in any form. They seem to believe that they are entitled to all that is good, when they have it they often don't feel that it is good enough, and yet they are unwilling to extend themselves, to make greater contributions. In extreme cases they do not care that what they are taking is at the expense of other people who have worked hard to earn what is now taken away from them. I feel sad for these people, too, because, although they may appear to be living the good life and to be getting away with their sometimes ill-gotten gains, I believe that in the long run, either in this life or later on, they will discover their emptiness.

Somewhere between the two lies that "just right" philosophy, in which the individual certainly believes in contributing, in working hard toward what goals s/he sees as important, but is also open to the lucky moment, the right connection made at just the right time, the bolt from the blue. We cannot count on such things happening, but there is nothing wrong with leaving the door open for them. I believe strongly that it is our mental (and perhaps spiritual) attitudes that attract these gifts from the universe. For those who agree, and those who struggle to open their minds to these ideas but have difficulty with them, I recommend the book The Science of Getting Rich. You can obtain a free copy from the website. This book is less money-grubbing than the title sounds, but it deals with our mental attitudes - it is a timeless and priceless little book.

For more reading, if your thoughts tend to be self-limiting, either one of the first two books below might be useful to you. For a discussion of how we can live right, live ethically, when the decisions is hard, see the third one, How Good People Make Tough Choices



The Quest for Authentic Power: Getting Past Manipulation, Control, and Self Limiting Beliefs
by G. Ross Lawford

"This book is the most fundamental rethinking of the nature of power. The prevailing view of power is that it is authority, control, strength, and status, whereas this book looks at 'authentic power' as the ability to inspire others, the ability to heal, and as 'quality of being'.

Breaking Free to Health, Wealth & Happiness: 100's of Powerful Ways to Release Limiting Beliefs
by Anne Brewer

"For centuries there have been philosophical discussions on the reasons why some people have the better things in life and others do not. Anne Brewer claims that it's our limiting beliefs that block us from having everything we want in life. Anne comes from the perspective that limiting beliefs cause us to create and then dis-create, e.g. 'I want the perfect mate, but there's no one eligible. I want financial stability, but I believe money is the root of all evil. I want harmony in my life, but I believe teenagers are nothing but trouble.' She believes that statements like these are the root causes of our limitations in life. Anne Brewer helps people repattern their subconscious thinking through a process that removes beliefs which no longer serve them."

How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living
by Rushworth M. Kidder

"After reading a variety of books on ethics and ethical decision making, this one stood out for its clarity of thinking and superb examples. A book that makes you think about your life and how you choose when the choice is hardest of all: between right and right."

� Diana Robinson, Ph.D. Work in Progress may be reproduced in its entirety only, including this copyright line. Disclaimer -The contents herein are solely the opinions of Work in Progress owner, and should not be considered as a form of therapy nor advice. There is no guarantee of validity or accuracy. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, services of a competent professional should be sought. TO SUBSCRIBE to Work in Progress send a blank e-mail to workinprogress-On@lists.webvalence.com. To offer feedback e-mail Diana