Inside all of us is a raw latent power that is just waiting to be set free. All too often, our own belief systems hold us back, preventing us from achieving our true potential.

In Darkness
Creative Commons License photo credit: WTL photos

These negative thought patterns – part of the empirical ego that is shaped and heavily influenced by our parents, teachers and society – are often so deeply instilled in our psyche, that we are unable to see any way of changing.  We become prisoners of own inaction, unwilling to challenge ourselves to try, crippled by our fear of failure.

Worse still, a dread of the disapproval of those around us, the nay-sayers that would shake their heads, tutting, and saying “I told you so”.  All those other crabs in the bucket of life that will grab you as you are about to climb out and escape, pulling you back into the bucket – only to climb all over you as they try to get onwards, upwards and out, themselves.

A number of years before starting to write, I knew what I wanted to write about.  My inspiration comes from many way back in my own life…..

Let me take you back to your childhood…

When we were children, we knew no fear – boldly climbing the flimsiest of trees to the very top, daring each other to do all sorts of crazy things, often with every-increasing risks. As we mature, we wisely learn to avoid these dangers – perhaps reinforced by some cuts, bruises and breaks along the way.

Children are constantly learning and mastering new skills – they are not afraid to get stuck in and make mistakes.  They will often fall flat on their faces – only to pick themselves up, and rush headlong back into what they were trying to do.  They are not self-conscious, or precious about what people think.  With charming naivete they persist until they develop a fragile mastery of the task, proudly announcing to the world how clever they are.

From naivete to mastery…

As time goes on, these initial precarious skills may bloom into excellence and mastery, or wither away through a process of natural selection by the individual child.  To a child it is all the same. Which reminds me of a Zen text that has been with me my entire working career – but that will be the subject of another post.

Somewhere along the way, we lose this childish recklessness that allows us to believe we can do anything – we lose the ability to take on the world in the belief that we can actually win!

Society puts us in a box – and keeps us there…

Of course, modern society needs us to stay in our boxes – our office cubicles, workstations, or position on the production line. Negative feedback from society (or at least the fear of it) is the learned control mechanism that actively discourages us from stepping outside the limits of ‘who we are’ (translation: what society makes us into and labels us as). Who we are becomes the arbitrary career path we find ourselves on, the dead-end job we are stuck in, our roles as fathers/husbands and mothers/wives (more-so the latter in particular).  The hamster wheels of life are what powers industry, what keeps the financial markets flowing – but which may ultimately stop us from achieving our true potential.

Breaking our programming to set ourselves free…

So – back to our belief systems – if we are able to transcend our empirical ego / programming to the extent that we are able to create a new reality for ourselves, one where we are not afraid to try new things, where we are able to step out from our hamster wheel and become master of our own destiny, then we become free and child-like again – and anything is possible! Even world peace!