Tag Archives: happiness

Projection as a Mirror – How to eliminate anger, jealousy and resentment from your life

Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud talked about the concept of projection and the shadow self – All of us tend to project or see in others, qualities that we ourselves possess.

The things we admire and respect most in others are usually our own strengths. Sometimes these are strengths that we don’t even realize we have, or qualities that we have that aren’t developed fully. When we see these qualities we sometimes say things like “He is so amazing. I wish I could be like him”. What we don’t realize is that we have within ourselves the same ability or potential for it, otherwise we wouldn’t even notice it in the other person. Excitement, happiness, or admiration are usually signs that our subconscious mind realizes that we can learn a lot from this person and develop our abilities.

Similarly what we dislike the most about others are usually our own weaknesses. Often these are weaknesses that we are afraid to admit to ourselves or don’t even realize we have. We tend to get angry and resentful at others when we see these qualities. Sometimes the person we project them on may not even have the qualities we attribute to them. For example, a selfish person believes that any person he talks to is selfish too. Often the anger we express at this person is usually resentment at ourselves (sometimes without our being aware of it).

Whenever we are exposed to qualities that remind our subconscious mind of our own, it usually pushes buttons and triggers strong emotions. Any time we feel strong emotions like anger, it is usually a sign that projection is at work.

When I first learned about projection, it was through a simple exercise. Take some time to try it out.

Think about any person (it can be more than one) that you really admire and write down five qualities that you like the most about them.
Now think about someone you really dislike, and write down five qualities that you hate the most about them.
Done? Now take a look at these qualities carefully.
I’d like you to open your mind and consider the possibility, that these good qualities are your own strengths that you have not yet developed fully, and the bad ones are your own weaknesses that you deny or still haven’t admitted to yourself. Even if it seems a little hard to accept, take some time to think about what it would mean if it were true.
I found the results of the exercise incredibly enlightening. I decided to modify it slightly and apply the concept to my own personal growth.

Since then, anytime I find strong emotions being triggered, I try to figure out what strength or weakness of my own I am projecting. For example, if I get angry at someone for being pushy, I consider the possibility that I can be pushy and subconsciously resent it about myself. If I admire someone for being extremely talented at something, I realize that I too have the potential to be that good if I give myself time and learn from that person.

The best thing about the exercise is once you become aware of the quality and acknowledge it, you no longer have to do anything else. Just becoming aware of it helps it auto correct.

Over the last few years, I spent time for introspection after any argument to try and discover why it happened and what it taught me about myself. I learned to be grateful for people who pushed my buttons because they helped me to learn more about myself and help me grow. I realized that as I discovered these buttons and became aware of them, they stopped becoming buttons and no longer affected me. I found myself getting angry less often and stayed calm and happy more of the time.

This one idea has helped me in my personal and emotional development more than anything else I know. If you find that you have a lot of anger and resentment and would like to bring more peace and happiness into your life, I believe you should give this a shot. It may change your life.

The Kaizen Way – How to get past hesitation, fear and laziness to achieve your goals

A few days ago, I read a book called One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer.  I can honestly say this book has changed my life.

The Kaizen WayThe book has a very simple message – if you find large changes difficult to implement, take steps so ridiculously small that you have no problems achieving them. An example that he gives is – if you find it hard to maintain the habit of flossing, just floss one tooth a day.

But what is the point of doing something so small?

The reason the subconscious mind fears large tasks is because it doesn’t like to break a habit or allow sudden change. What you have been doing so far in your life has worked to keep you alive, so your subconscious mind is programmed to avoid any activity that might cause big change. Anytime it senses that something you do might cause it to change, it manipulates your feelings so you lose your motivation for the task.

When the task is so small that it seems almost meaningless, the subconscious mind offers almost no resistance to it, since it doesn’t consider it a threat,  and you find it easy to do.

After a few days of achieving little successes, the subconscious mind starts enjoying the task so much, it automatically starts wanting more. While before one minute of the task seemed like enough, you now find yourself doing the task for longer periods of time – first five minutes, then ten minutes and then eventually hours.

I applied this idea to my life by making a list of several very small one-minute activities for my life based on things I wanted to do but had been putting off for too long –
1. Washing dishes or cleaning the apartment for one minute
2. Practicing the piano for one minute
3. Practicing billiards for one minute
4. Learning about website development for one minute
5. One minute of drawing practice
6. Putting on my shoes and just walking up to my gym (no exercise necessary).

My expectations and criteria for success were incredibly low, making it easy to succeed. For example, as long as I showed up at the gym, I was allowed to go back without exercising. Which meant, even on days when I was too tired to exercise, I didn’t mind showing up at the gym. And as long as I showed up at the gym, or washed two dishes, I was happy that I had achieved my goal.

What I wasn’t expecting was how startling the results would be.

In the last two weeks since I started this experiment, my apartment is super clean and stays that way, I have gone out to practice pool for several long four hour sessions, I created this website, have run over 20 miles in the gym and started playing the Fur Elise. Big tasks for me? Yes. Easy and Effortless? Yes.

Now days, I never get bored. Anytime I have a few minutes free, I can always find something to do from my list of one minute activities. What usually happens once I start is that I start enjoying myself and keep going on past the minute without even realizing it. On any day I don’t feel like doing much, I can always stop after the minute, feel successful,  and continue to maintain the habit.

An other side effect of having started this  is that I now feel happy and excited  all day long because I know that I am moving towards all my goals (one step at a time).

The Awakening – Learning to enjoy the journey instead of the destination

I had an amazing experience a few months ago which started my new journey. This is what I wrote at that time.

Today I am feeling something I have never felt before.

It’s hard to describe how I feel right now. I thought the best feeling in the world was being extremely happy. But I am not feeling happy right now. I’m not feeling sad. The best word I can find is “content”. I feel like everything is all right in this world. That everything is the way it was meant to be.

I feel calm and relaxed. Extremely at peace.

I have the perfect best friend who is like a brother to me. I have the perfect job that I enjoy. I have hobbies that make me smile and friend circles who accept me completely.

Right now, even though I have all this stuff – friend, job, hobbies – I don’t seem to be attached to them. Even if I lose them, I feel that I will still be as content as I am now, and accept it as the way it was meant to be.

I was talking to strangers today, and it didn’t feel like an effort. I didn’t have to think about what to say or about how they perceived me. I didn’t feel satisfaction after talking to them. I didn’t feel disappointed after talking to them. I just felt content.

I realized that I see no reason to ever hurt anyone and just want everyone to feel what I am feeling. Right now, I believe the best in others and all I want to do is help others bring out the best in themselves and feel as content as I feel right now.

I notice that for some reason my chest feels like it is about to burst (in a good way). I don’t know how long this feeling will last. But it feels really, really nice.

I find myself laughing for no reason at all. I find myself enjoy watching the leaves fluttering in the wind and can watch it for hours without getting bored. I love the feeling of opening up all my senses and allowing them to get overwhelmed by all the colors, sounds and feelings around me.

I love my life.

I looked around, asked around and read around. I believe other people before me have had this experience. Some people call it enlightenment, others calling it the awakening of the kundalini.

One interesting thing that has happened since then is that I no longer feel a “NEED” to achieve goals. I am perfectly happy where I am without ever needing anything more. However now I can pursue goals just because I “WANT” to, without needing to ever achieve them. Which means, I no longer feel the urge to rush towards them, and can take my time enjoying the journey to get there. It makes the journey a whole lot more fun