Getting into a state of instant clarity, presence, inner-peace, effortless productivity and permanent well-being and joy, is much easier than you have been lead to believe.
Your Natural State
In Arabic, we call this your ‘fitra’ – the natural state of clarity you’re born into. The belief for the ancients was that a child is innocently born into this world, in this perfect state of inner peace and mental clarity, and then parents, family, community & society mess the child up. They teach the child that her innocence and natural wonder at the world is foolish, and that they will lead her to be hurt.
When I was a child, I had imaginary friends. Their names were Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. Yes, they were turtles. And ninjas. And they were awesome. In my little fantasy land, I was an even cooler ninja though. I had a small stick, which at the flick of the wrist could turn into a long stick, or nunchaku, and could shoot out a rope in case I ever had to climb a building – like onto the roof of my house (which, unfortunately for my parents was a daily occurrence).
Sometimes I tried to get my real-life friends in on the games I’d play with the ninjas, but often that didn’t work because they had their own fantasy friends, with their own games. We’d usually settle on playing ‘Manhunt’ or spying on the adults.
Here’s the thing: the moment my mum or dad called me inside for dinner, I’d instantly drop what I was doing with the other ninjas, and go in. I didn’t talk to anyone else about the ninjas, because that was my world. And it was a fantasy. I knew they didn’t really exist, and weren’t really real. I didn’t need anyone to tell me that. But, the fact is, I enjoyed hanging out with them, often more than my real friends.
The Source Of Stress
Believe it or not, I actually don’t play with ninjas any more. I have other, more grown up fantasies now. Sometimes they’re based on something kind of real. Like, in a couple of weeks I’m going to speak on a stage in front of a hundred or so coaches and talk about [insert interesting, and vitally important topic for coaches]. And, so now and then, I fantasise about it. And in my fantasies, I am the man. Tony Robbins doesn’t come close to the kind of transformation those coaches get when I’m done with them.
Their lives completely change, and they tell me all about it.
But, every now and then, a more ‘serious’, ‘real’ thought creeps in. Like “oh my gosh, it’s only in a couple of weeks, I’d better get to work on creating the speech right now”… Or “what in the world am I going to teach, what if I try teaching XYZ and no-one gets it, because I didn’t explain it right, and it turns into a boredom fest… just like that time when I ran that NLP workshop once and tried copying Brian Tracy’s style. [Gasp], what if they realise I’m a fake, and I just fluked my way into coaching, and working with Christian Mickelsen… what if…”
By now, each of the thoughts seems more real and serious, and accurate. And I’m losing sight of the fact that it’s just ego-thought. It’s just a fantasy, the same as the Tony Robbins fantasy, and the playing with Ninja Turtles fantasy. Fortunately, my brilliant innate wisdom, my in-built system, has an alarm bell that rings, to remind me that I’m not seeing the situation accurately. An in-built: “you’re losing it dude, chill out, it’s just a dream” alarm bell. You have the same in-built alarm bell. You’re already very familiar with it. You might know it as your…
…in this particular case it was “stress”
Much like the using the Force in Star Wars, search your feelings, for they always direct you to the truth of your situation. That’s the only function of negative emotions: to tell you that you’re not seeing it right.
100% of your feelings come from your thinking in the moment. My stress wasn’tcoming from the fact that I need to speak at a conference. My stress was coming from my thinking in that moment. My feeling of stress was an alarm bell that reminded me that I’m losing my mind a little bit… because I’m actually starting to believe that the fantasy I just made up is real.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with having the fantasy – the positive version or the negative version. There is something a little mis-guided about believing that the fantasy is actually real.
Let me put it this way…
Imagine the kid who knows that his fantasies of playing with his imaginary ninja friends are not real, and are just “make-believe”. Compare him to a man locked up in a mental asylum who believes his thoughts about the imminent Apocalypse actually are real. Which one of these 2 people are closer to their natural state of innate well-being and mental clarity?
Now, here’s the trick:
Your mind is a self-correcting system.
You don’t need to ‘try’ to stop fantasising when you feel stressed. You don’t need to ‘do’ anything about the situation. Now that you know that stress is just a signal that is there to remind you that in this moment you’re believing your fantasies are real… you can let go. Your mind will go back to its normal, default setting – you’ll go back to your “fitra” – your natural state of clarity, peace, and well-being automatically.
Most people don’t have this insight, so a lot of personal development teachers and coaches will encourage you to try “changing the negative stress-causing thoughts into positive feel-good thoughts”. That used to seem like a good idea to me, until I realised that ego-thoughts are not real. Your ego-thoughts give you your experience of life, but they are not real. Trying to change the thoughts from negative to positive is possible, but it pre-supposes that the thoughts you’re having are real – and that just gets in the way of a system that will self-correct for you automatically from now on.
Of course, you’ll forget you ever read this article. You’ll get caught up in your own ‘stuff’, as I do sometimes. You’ll get stressed out over your fantasies now and then. But, now that you’ve had this insight, your negative thinking will have a weaker and weaker hold over your mind. Your negative states will disappear as quickly as they appeared, now that you know that they are just an alarm bell reminding you that you’re not seeing the situation right – that you are starting to believe your ego-thoughts are real.
You don’t need to remember this, you just need to acknowledge it right now. Your mind will do the rest automatically. And you’ll go back to your ‘fitra’ – your innate state of well-being. If you want to immerse yourself in this new paradigm for personal growth, you’ll love this deep, powerful, free online training on Effortless Transformation.