Are You a Student of Life School?
Have you ever wondered exactly what separates humans from animals? It doesn’t seem to be intelligence, emotion, or displays of unconditional love. There is an ape at the University of Iowa with an over 3,000 word vocabulary doing mathematics. Elephants care for their young diligently for 10 years and we’ve all seen the length male penguins are willing to go to. So why are we the only species with the means to fly to the moon?
Scientists have now discovered that our success as a species comes from
our ability to teach.
Apes and other animals can copy, mimic and learn. But they don’t pass along their findings. Our enthusiasm for learning and teaching others is the biggest reason why we don’t live on planet of the apes. So what does this have to do with personal success?
It was Albert Einstein who once said that perhaps the most important decision a person ever makes is whether or not to view the universe as a friendly place.
What’s your take on the world? Is life out to get you? Is it Us versus Them? Can’t seem to get a lucky break? The same barriers which keep the apes stuck can also keep you stuck, repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
· Is your first questions always, “What’s in it for me?”
· Must winning always come at the expense of someone else losing?
· Do you begrudge the success of others?
· Are you more deserving, more entitled, and not bound by the rules?
We’ve talked about viewing Life as a School before, but this month, I’d like to take a look at the 3 most common ways people get stuck viewing Life. Many of our beliefs about the way life works were given to us, not chosen by us. It is my hope that in re-examining these beliefs, we can see clearly what doesn’t work. Here are the 3 most common ways to think of “Life”:
1. Life as a Battlefield
2. Life as a Trap
3. Life as a Chessboard
Do you recognize any of these views, either in yourself or others? When we don’t take the time to ask the question, “What’s the lesson here?” we stay stuck in the lower modes of fear, desire, and pride. We struggle and don’t succeed because it’s always easier to slap on a Band-Aid rather than address the source of the problem.
To admit that something isn’t working is one of the most productive things
that you can do.
Apply this to your life view. By adapting the model of Life as a School, your chances of success will increase just as our species has. Why? Because you will no longer go against what is actually occurring. The red light, the late meeting, the sick child, will all conspire to bring you exactly what you need at any given moment.
In Life School, every “bad” contains a “good” in the form of a valuable lesson.
This model is very helpful when applied to the 3 areas of Life, Business, and Finance. If you have repeatedly experienced failure in any of these areas, maybe it’s time to stop and ask yourself what the lesson is.
Under stressful or difficult situations, it isn’t always easy to remember to look for the lesson. I have printed up the following and posted a copy in my office, at home, and in my wallet. It reminds me that:
1. We live in a school called Life
2. There are no mistakes, only valuable lessons
3. A lesson will be repeated until it is learned
4. Each time a lesson is repeated it becomes more painful
5. The greatest lesson we can learn is choose Love over Fear
How many of us wait until things get really, really bad before we finally make a change? Now ask yourself, how bad are you going to let things get? Look for the lesson, and please, pass it along!
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