Choosing Your Context For Life

 

In life, very often our success arises from how we choose to see ourselves… and also how we choose to see the context in which we find ourselves.

Let me give you an example…

A few years ago, a friend of mine went to a job interview for a company, where the female recruiter had a fierce-some reputation… in advance, my friend was warned that the interview would last several hours, and her and her team would put any potential employee through a brutal process…

Which is exactly what happened.

Only the twist in this tale was…

At the end of his 4 hour long interview, the female recruiter said… “You have the job… you’re exactly the sort of person we are looking for…

To which my friend replied…

Sorry, I don’t want your job… After such a brutal ordeal… when you were all so nasty… why do you think I would ever want to work here… and for you?

And with that… he got up and left the building… not looking back… and he is currently working in Switzerland… in a job he loves … (and he loves skiing, so win-win).

Remember, people only have power over you… if you allow them to have that power… and that allowing most often takes place in our head.

And whether we give them power or not… largely depends on how we choose to view the situation in which we find ourselvesalong with how we view ourselves.

Which is what happened with my friend… no matter how awful the 4 hour interview got… he didn’t lose sight of the simple facts… a) I don’t have to work here… b) I’m not desperate enough that I have to work here…

If we choose to view ourselves as a victim, with little or no choice… then we have already limited our options…

But if we choose to view ourselves as empowered, with options… then that’s exactly what we become.

This is something I always stressed to people when they came to me for a job interview… when I used to do that sort of thing, that is…

This interview is a two-way process… it’s as much about you finding out whether you would be happy working here with us… as it is about whether we believe you would be right for the job… so you are interviewing us as much as we are interviewing you.”

Which is true…

But the problem is that often, people loose sight of this truth… and in doing so, they dis-empower themselves.

I often see this when people have dealings with Doctors and Medical Authorities… especially, among the elderly… who were raised to see Doctors as all-powerful.

But something weird with Human Beings… there can only be one all-powerful Human in the room… so if Human A wants to be all-powerful… it can only be achieved by making everyone else be and feel less powerful.

That’s basic Dictator Training 101.

And as soon as you give away your power in any medical situation… then you are throwing away your ability to say… “I am sorry, this is my body… and I don’t like what you are doing to it… and I must have a say in this.”

And the other problem… as soon as people start seeing Doctors as all-powerful… then often people soon attach the other God like qualities… such as omniscient… and omnipotentall-knowing and all-powerfulisn’t modern medicine wonderful

And it is… but it still can’t cure everything…

And many Doctors are wonderful… but not all of them… and you should never start to see them as God.

Because when you do, that starts to dis-empower you… and at a time when you may need to keep all the power you have.

Now… and taking the job seeking example a little further… sometimes, it is all easier said then done… especially if you are desperate for work and money…

For example, if you were desperate for work during something like the Great U.S. Depression of the 1930s… then being able to pick and choose becomes a whole lot more difficult…

If the situation around you has changed, then it may lead you to conclude that you are not able to choose, that you are not empowered enough to decide the course of your life… which is what tyrants and dictators want you to think… along with many tyranical business owners…

But the thing I always find interesting…

Even during the worst economic depression… some people do become millionaires

Because whenever any situation changes… there are losers, but also winners…

Some doors close, while others open…

And some people see the new opportunities in the changing situation, and go for it.

And some people just can’t upgrade their mental image of the world… and so start to quickly fall out of sync.

So it is all about being able to see those new opportunities… and some people are always able to do that…

But the key is…

Never giving away the power in your head… even in the worst situations…

Which is what the psychologist Viktor Frankl taught… someone who, as a Jew, survived the horrors of the Nazi Concentration Camps during World War 2… so knew many a thing about the mis-use of power.

Because when you have given away the power in your head, you start to lose the ability to see what is possibleto see the new opportunities right in front of you

And that is what really limits you.

OK, so you find yourself in a bad situation… having to take a job you don’t really want… or find yourself on an oppressive hospital ward…

So in your head you say “I am choosing to accept this situation, on a temporary basis, while I remain open to something better…

Rather then allowing someone else to steal your power… you are choosing to temporarily relinquish, or lay down your power, for a while… which means… it is still yours… and so you can still power up again when you need or want…

And the same is true for so many situations in life…

Carlos Casteneda always said, in life, we all have to face petty tyrants at some point… people who have power over us…

So it is really about learning how to play the game… and the best move… never giving away the power in your headeven if you have to temporarily toe the line outside

Because… in life… very often our success arises from how we choose to see ourselves… and also how we choose to see the context in which we find ourselves.

Namaste 🙂

(c) Brian Parsons, April 2018.

 

 

 

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