Posts categorized "Personal Development"

How to dream

Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, but underestimate what they can accomplish in a decade. 

-Tony Robbins

I would like to share an amazingly powerful and simple way you can achieve your dreams. Spend an hour or two simply writing an essay about your life 10 years from now. Describe everything about your day, from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. Describe your room, your house, the place where you work. Describe how many children you have. Allow yourself to dream by following just one rule: there are no limits. Write as though there are no financial, geographic, or any other kinds of constraints. Think only about what you want, what makes you excited, what would be fun, what would make you feel good. What would your life look like if you could be completely you?

For this exercise, there are no externally-imposed restrictions or restraints preventing you from everything you truly, madly, deeply want. Write about that. You don't have to show it to anyone (unless your partner is extremely like-minded and open-minded). Just write it, save it, and put it away. Now, go on living your life and see what happens in 10 years.

Debbie Millman talks about this on a recent Tim Ferriss Podcast. I have also experienced this in my life.

Back around 1995, when I was still in college, I had a wild, unrealistic fantasy about my life in the future. I was visiting Slovakia, where my wife was from and where her family lives. I loved spending time in Europe and dreamed of living there. I remember one moment, strolling in the city center of Kosice. I pointed at a beautiful building in the old town and said to my wife, "Someday we could live right here. The Internet will be faster, so we could move here and work at home for American companies. All we need is a fast connection and a US phone number. Nobody would even know where we are located."

Hlavna

Here's the spot in Kosice, Slovakia

This wild dream of living in Slovakia was now vivid. I imagined that, in my spare time, I would read in cafes. I would write books. I would play guitar. Maybe I would even start a band, record music, go on tour. All this would be possible if I could find a way to earn a good living while living in Slovakia. I also needed enough spare time, which I figured would be no problem if I could work from home. Back in the days of dial-up Internet, this dream was laughable. We went for ice cream and did not discuss this further.

10 years later, by 2005, my idea was not so crazy anymore. Broadband and VoIP technology had made it possible to do exactly as I had dreamed. That year, we moved to Kosice and took our American income with us. Remarkably, we lived in the exact building I pointed at in 1995.

In the years that followed, my life became exactly as I had imagined. I wrote books. I started a band. I recorded albums. I traveled Europe. I don't remember striving toward any of this. I did not exactly plan it, and I certainly did not force it through any kind of will-power. It was enough only to imagine it vividly and then go on with life.

Here's how it works: when you have a clear vision that excites you, then you make little decisions every day which are compatible with the vision. If you fall in love with a dream, then you avoid making life decisions which may prevent you from living the dream. Slowly, these small decisions start to reveal a realistic path. What was once distant and impossible begins to look sane and likely. It isn't so much about taking a leap; rather, taking tiny steps each day. A decade is a long time. You don't have to strain yourself. Just paint a picture of your future and go on living. But be careful what you wish for, though, because it probably will happen! 

No matter where you are in life or how old you are, just start writing. Today, I wrote about my life again, 10 years from now. Thank you Tim Ferriss and Debbie Millman for the encouragement.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Crowdfunding campaign to create Loving Social Media

Our most fundamental human need is to form human connections that are deep, meaningful, and loving. Yet today, there is no easy, systematic way to meet new people who are exactly right for you.

Institutions keep us separate from each other to make us feel dependent and powerless. The system is designed to keep us in fake relationships with institutions, while deep down we crave real relationships with other human beings.

The purpose of my life is to help you form meaningful, valuable connections with people who compliment and support your needs, wants, and desires. I once believed that the barrier between people was mostly technical, so I designed a new type of social media platform that connects people according to matching wants. Users enter structured sentences describing what they want, and they are matched with other users whose wants are compatible. 

What I learned is that the problem isn't only technical. The larger problem is that people are afraid to connect. People are afraid to trust, afraid to accept others, afraid to meet new people, and most of all people are afraid to Love. Society is in a state of constant panic -- paralyzed by fear and detached from what is real. The good news is that this hopeless state is not inevitable. It isn't even real. Everything can change in an instant. The power to escape this darkness and to connect with Love and truth is inside each one of us.

The disastrous state of the world is entirely related to our unshakable faith in the ego. All pain, illness, and suffering is of the ego. While most people believe that the ego has some value, the ego is a lie that offers nothing. The opposite of ego is Love. I have found that it is quite easy to escape the ego and to live entirely within Love's energy.

We must stop believing we can create change by battling corrupt, self-serving institutions designed to exploit us. All the power we need to change everything immediately is outside of that realm--it is alive within us. The first step is personal transformation, which happens as easily as reading a book: Belove: How to End Pain by Escaping Your Ego

Transformation fails when you try it alone, in isolation. But when we create a global community of Loving people who have escaped the ego, that is when true change is possible. That is the purpose of this crowdfunding campaign--to build a community based on the principles of Love.

Taking part in this movement is effortless, fun, and beautiful. People who have escaped the ego do not attack. They are no longer jealous, judgmental, greedy, or angry. People who are aligned with Love are giving, accepting, forgiving, and open to connecting with others in freedom and oneness. Facebook is all about pride and image, which is of the ego. Our social media site is based on Love. Those are the people you want to meet.

The site is already up and running and this community has already begun. If you are open to connecting with a community of Loving people, you can join www.belovetribe.com (though I would highly recommend you read the book first).  The site is still basic from a technical & design standpoint, but it is a place where Love can flow. The current version does not make use of the algorithm that matches users based on Wants, but it is a start.

The purpose of this fundraiser is to turn this philosophy into a living, global community. This has nothing to do with me, personally. I have no desire to build a following. This is about a higher, spiritual, universal truth and it is about a recognition that it is entirely possible to change the world immediately by connecting with each other in Love.

Any funds raised will be used to hire developers, to promote the movement, and to grow Belovetribe.com. While your financial contribution is extremely valuable and helpful, the most significant contribution you can make is to effortlessly offer your truest, most Loving self. I offer to you my book, in Love, and I am inviting you into a beautiful, Loving future. 

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Responding to attack

To live in Love's truth is to be attacked routinely by sick egos misguided by delusions of separation. When attacked, the greatest challenge is to continue to be Love--even to Love your attacker--and to refrain from responding to a vicious ego in the language of a vicious ego.  

After all, why would I want my attacker to feel the hell of shame and guilt? What purpose would my attack serve even if I might win a battle? Is there any victory that is worth the price of hell?

Every communication in this world is either an expression of Love or a cry coming from a desire to be Loved. Therefore, the only response to communication of any kind is a Loving, easy, effortless response.

To be Loving is not to be passive. It is possible to calmly, Lovingly state your truth--and to do so in a way that melts away resistance. It is possible to be completely honest while at the same time completely Loving.  

The Argument

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Stop fighting. Start giving.

I know that there is injustice in this world. It is everywhere. You are not going to win if you fight it. Stop fighting and start giving. Stop demanding what is yours and start giving what is uniquely yours to give. As radical as this sounds, it is just as true.

Do you know how they swindle you? How they exploit you? How they screw you? How they do anything and everything to rip out your soul just to squeeze out a bit more profit? That only happens because you are playing their game. You are in their freaking casino. You are going to their banks, shopping in their malls, driving their cars, watching their news and entertainment, listening to their music, and reading their books and magazines. You are doing it all to fit into their system, which they designed for the precise purpose of exploiting you.

How they must get together to laugh their evil laughs through their dirty, cigar-filled lungs and how they must speak their ugly voices from cognac-drenched tongues. It is obvious to them what a sucker you are. You are losing their game; yet, you continue to return to their table believing it is real. Let them win at the grand, ugly, senseless ego game. You can turn your back and walk forward in Love. If you are Love, they will never be able to exploit you again. Yes, you are being screwed, but the way out of this mess is to give.

When I say give, I don’t mean only that you should give what little money you have. Forget money. Think bigger. Your gift to the world is far more valuable. The force of giving is found in the act of creating. The ultimate form of giving is creativity. Everything that is has been created. The universe has been created by some supreme force. The Earth and all its nature has been created as a speck of that universe. Beyond that, we humans have also played our role as creators.

When we create in Love, we invent beautiful technologies capable of transporting us around the world and making us more comfortable. We make art that pleases the senses and expands our capacity to Love. Through creativity, we gradually shape a world in which it is possible for me to spend hours at a time, in total comfort in Eastern Europe, writing this on an awe-inspiring device that didn’t exist even decades ago.

The people who matter are the ones who create. Creating is the ultimate form of giving. To create is to become God-like and Love is the fuel of creation. When you create from ego, you build something meaningless for some short-term profit. You may come up with a scheme to fool people and to rip them off. You may come up with something so practical that it is unambitious and boring and doesn’t sell very well. Screw that, do something big.

Ego-based creation is petty, silly, meaningless, and as quickly forgotten as the profits are spent. But when you create in Love, you give birth to something that advances consciousness, creates new Loving connections, and makes people happier and more fulfilled. By giving to your fellow human beings in this way, you will profit in the ways of Love.

 

* This is an excerpt from the book Belove: How to End Pain by Escaping Your Ego

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Enlighten Us (documentary about James Arthur Ray)

I have a serious problem with the idea of spending massive amounts of money to sit in a conference room listening to some self-help guru or motivational speaker. I am also allergic to church and despise therapy. Call me crazy, but I try to avoid cults as well.

Here's what I think: if a leader is trying to cultivate followers, what they are actually trying to do is cultivate sheep. 

What is "self-help?" Isn't self-help about enabling and empowering you to become the master of your own life? Aren't you meant to align yourself with the higher truth of the universe so that you might flourish? Is there any way that this can happen if you are willing to become a conformist, a follower, a sheep? Gurus want you to follow them only so that they can take your money. Real transformation, on the other hand, is only possible when you find the courage to not to follow anyone.

The therapist doesn't want to cure the patient because she earns a living from repeat visits. Similarly, the self-help guru, cult leader, or televangelist never delivers the life transformation he promises because he needs followers. Followers = butts in seats = money = the symbols of success = equals more followers and the cycle continues.

If you attend seminars, if you trust a therapist, or if you put your faith in a church, then you are leaning heavily on a faulty crutch rather than taking real steps. By becoming a follower, you have chosen to ignore your inner voice and to ignore the infinite wisdom already inside you. By putting yourself in that room and worshiping your chosen leader, you are dissolving your greatness into a group of fakers while ignoring your power, your divinity, and your creative potential. You are passively submissive to someone who you believe is better than you and, while their empowering language may make you feel good, you are not walking the walk and you are not becoming a master of your own life. Mastery begins only when you stop this cycle.

I believe that a person who is healed, who has actually undergone a transformation, who is connected with the source of creation and who is enjoying the abundance of the universe--that person is going to have a strong reaction against sitting in a cold, dark conference room being worked into a frenzy by a show, a performance that is led by a snake-oil salesman offering only enough nuggets of wisdom to tease the next dollar from your pocket.

If a guru or leader is attempting to build a following, then he or she is a fraud. Watch the film Enlighten Us on Netflix. This must-see documentary is about the rise and fall of James Arthur Ray--a dangerous fraud who cares only about his own success. The man is a psychopath who justifies his destruction by honestly believing he is trying to help people.

The film hits close to home for me because I am something of a self-help author newcomer. But unlike James Arthur Ray and the others, you will never find me in front of an audience giving a performance in order to collect followers. I don't want anybody passively sitting in any audience listening to what I have to say. I want you to read, to step outside of your ego, to open yourself to Love, and then to connect with others who have done the same.

Don't look at any leader for direction or you will become lost. Look inward and then connect with others who are doing the same. You can learn from famous people, but don't follow them. Don't trust me, don't trust anyone--trust truth and know that the best truth sensor is your own intuition. To conform to a group is to kill that intuition, to shut down your inner-voice, and to move away from the possibility of transformation rather than toward it.

Devour books, watch speeches on YouTube, absorb as much wisdom as you possibly can--but evaluate it according to your own, independent, inner-voice and intuition. No supposed leader has the right to ask for your money for the privilege of sitting in a seat, shaking a hand, or becoming a loyal follower. Transformation starts when you begin to respect yourself more than that. I Love you and respect you so much that I wouldn't let you follow me even if you tried to.

Abc_gma_harris_091029_ms

*Photo of James Arthur Ray, a psychopath who people actually have followed.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Breakthroughs are only small steps

Each epiphany is only a step on the journey of a life with a specific purpose. No single idea, strategy, or even creation can possibly be big enough to complete the full meaning or potential of a life. The best you can do is only a small, humble, yet effective step. 

To take a step, and then to give up on walking before the entire journey has been completed would be absurd. The only sane act that can be taken upon the completion of one step is the beginning of the next--and the best next step is another big, inspiring, fun, amazing idea. 

To believe in shortcuts is to believe that it is possible to complete a life-long journey in just one step. To make every step as huge, inspiring, and amazing as it can possibly be, and to do this day-after-day, is to fulfill the potential of your life by completing the entirety of your journey.

Jan 16, 2017

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

It's a question of questions

The questions we ask ourselves are everything. You will never find the right answers if you are asking the wrong questions.

Pay attention to the questions you have running through your mind. How are you framing your personal dilemmas? Are you asking yourself what you have to do today or what you want to do today? Are you asking yourself how you can hold onto your job or are you asking yourself how you can triple your income and work just a few hours a day? Are you asking how you can make a terrible relationship last forever or are you asking how you can be happy in love?

Behind every question running through your head is a set of assumptions. If you remove the assumptions, you might free yourself up to ask better questions.  When you ask better questions, you might get better answers. When you act on those better answers, your life might get better because you direct your action in ways that might deliver better results.

What are your biggest questions? Are those questions really inevitable? Might there be other, more profound questions that could replace them? Can you ask better questions by removing a few assumptions? This could be your breakthrough. 

 

Question

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

False certainty

I have found that most people would rather live in a state of false certainty than accepted reality. The problem with false certainty is that, well, it is false. Your life is an illusion. If you cling to what you want to believe, see only what you want to see, and tell yourself only the stories that you want to hear, then you are cruising through life blindly and certain to fall. Your perceived reality has little in common with actual reality. False certainty may sustain the status quo for a while and may help you cope in the moment, but as a result you make bad decisions, miss opportunities, fail to grow and inevitably experience painful shock and surprise at every turn.

Reality can suck, but the only way you are going to make it suck any less is to embrace it, know it, and change it. If you want any real improvement, truth must be your starting point. Only when you understand your truth can you begin to respond in the ways that you care capable of responding. Here are some strategies to help you start moving in the right direction:

1) Let's start with your relationship realities. Do you embrace honesty and openness in your relationships or do you expect the people in your life to follow your rules and tell you what you want to hear? Encourage the people closest to you to tell you how they really feel about anything and everything. Ask them to be sensitive in their truths, but try to stay strong. Embrace and accept what they are telling you.

Do you really know what your kids are going through? If your normal reaction is outrage, disapproval ,or punishment, then you can be pretty sure that they aren't telling you. Do you know if your spouse is honest and faithful? If you have threatened divorce over non-monogamy and get angry when she expresses her truest, darkest feelings, then your spouse isn't going to tell you what's going on. 

Better to base your relationships on unconditional truth and acceptance and then do your absolute best not to freak out when the truth comes your way. The payoff is the bliss that comes from true closeness and the deeper sense of security that comes from knowing the truth about your relationships. It isn't easy to offer acceptance and unconditional love to the people we love most because sometimes the truth feels threatening. But the truth is the truth and it is better to know it. Besides, anything less than unconditional acceptance is something less than love.

2) Look at your financial realities. How much money do you have? Is your business really profitable? Does your job pay enough to support your lifestyle? How much debt do you actually have? Is it growing or shrinking? 

What are your goals? If you stay on the current path, are you going to do the things that you want to with your life? If not then what, specifically, are you going to do each month to make some progress?

If you are employed, then is your job really as stable and permanent as you like to believe it is? Is it not possible that your CEO is in acquisition negotiations right now and a layoff is coming next month? A job offers false certainty whereas a move to self employment may be scary at first, but ultimately offers a more certain reality that you have some control over.

3) If you are a student, do you know what to expect from your chosen field after graduation? Are you sure that you really want to continue down the current path? If not, make changes. If you are an artist or in any way creative, get honest reactions about your work. Are people loving it? If not, then knowing this is the starting point to getting better.

4) Be honest with yourself. Don't tell yourself that you are any greater or more special than you are. Also, don't believe that you are any less great or special than you are. Accept that which you actually are and start living your truth. Others will adjust.

5) What actually makes you excited? What makes you feel good to be alive and looking forward to a new day? Be honest with yourself and then do that thing. This is what nature wants you to do and there is no guilt or shame in following nature's call. This is your intuition, your calling, your destiny. Stop lying to yourself and accept the truth about what excites you.

Delusion

I hope that this post, in some small way, encourages you to become brave enough to step out of any false certainty in your life so that you may embrace what is, change what you don't like, and become what you are.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

What do other people think?

The vast majority of people share precisely the same value system. It is a simple system of belief that is called what do other people think. People may call themselves Christians or Muslims, they may proclaim to be Liberal or Conservative, married or single, they may select one career or another, or they may dress differently from each other, but they are all exactly the same because their lives are controlled by a shared belief system. It is a belief system that requires everyone to project a carefully-crafted, false image of themselves to the world. It demands that we seek approval. It requires us to fit-in. It insists that we must try to be normal. We must belong to some group of people who accept us.

The problem is that the things we are expected to project are not real or meaningful things. What we project on Facebook, or in public, or in everything most of us do is just an image. None of it is real because none of it reflects the way we actually feel inside, the things we really want to do, and what we really think. The value system of what do other people think leaves us feeling trapped and lonely because so much of what we are, how we feel, even what we do in secret, is considered inexpressible. 

Followers of what do other people think are violently intolerant of anyone who chooses not to live according to this value system. If anyone in this big world of ours decides to live openly in freedom, they face the full wrath of family, friends, teachers, lovers, bosses, colleagues, and probably even the post-lady. Let us remember that these followers of what do other people think have spent a lifetime sacrificing everything for this. They have gone to church when they would rather have been making love. They have sat quietly at the dinner table when they would rather have said how they really feel. They have sacrificed their entire lives carefully crafting an image to friends, family, and to the public. This is very hard work. This is the world's dream of hell and the religion of what do other people think is how we are domesticated into it. From childhood this is what is expected of us because, we are told, everyone does it.

Now let's imagine someone comes along and says, "Well, I know this is how things have been done for 2,000 years, but it doesn't work for me." Do you think that a person listening to this...someone who has sacrificed everything for the religion of what do other people think...is he or she going to be tolerant and accepting of this person? No. If he were to accept someone who rejects the value system of what do other people think, then his entire identity and belief system will shatter. He cannot allow this to happen, and so the automatic response is to shun, to shame, to ridicule, to punish, to gossip, and to do anything and everything in an attempt to make the person once again care about the religion of what do other people think.

I believe in a different value system. Mine is based on love, acceptance, and freedom. I believe that we should all live according to who we actually are, deep inside. We should all feel free to express that which makes us unique. Our uniqueness is the meaning of your lives. To let it shine is to fulfill your destiny on this planet. Total faith in love is the only path toward happiness and everything good. It cannot be sacrificed for any consideration of what do other people think. I find it quite ironic that the value system of practicing love, acceptance, and freedom despite what other people think is perhaps the most violently hated thing in this world. But I understand the reasons for this and I accept with love anyone who decides to shun, shame, or gossip.

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).

Century of fakers

Everybody's trying to make us another century of fakers (or so goes the old song by Belle and Sebastian). We live in a world where everything fake is put on display and everything real is kept hidden. Most of us spend these short lives trying our best not to rock the boat. We shamefully hide what we really think, who we truly are, what we really like, what we actually do, and who we truly love. A few of us, either through some amount of bravery or more likely circumstance, find one day that our truths are exposed to the world. When this happens, the fakers around us are repelled into their comfort zones of self-preservation and we are left completely alone.

Do we have to be fakers to be loved and accepted? Do we have to keep our truest selves, our most real feelings, and our sacred relationships hidden from the world in fear? Must the goodness and purity that exists in secrecy always be destroyed in openness? Are the words and ideas shared in our private worlds real, or is realness only to be measured in action?

It's another century of fakers in a world where beauty, love, truth and freedom only seem to flourish when hidden in deception. When tested by reality, it almost always evaporates. How ironic and unacceptable. How sad and unfulfilling. Yet how true.

After a lifetime of faking, I am now living an honest life. The first step for anyone on this journey is self-love. Without it, there is no path forward because the path is lonely. I will continue to believe in love, starting with self-love. I hope to one day find myself on this journey with someone who is on the same path of openness and truth. Until then, I will remain grateful for all of the natural giving I have received and I will continue to love and give freely.  

Mark Manney is the founder of “I am” by Infobeing (www.infobeing.com) (mark.manney@infobeing.com).