Many Ways to Deceive Yourself

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Have you noticed the way people use language such as: “He did this to me,” or “Why are you doing this to me?”

Well, if you’re one of them, you are setting yourself up as a victim. You lose control with that scenario and you also take responsibility away from yourself. Is that the way you want it?

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

Actually, no one can make you feel anything without your permission. Two people in the same situation can and do respond very differently.

Take responsibility for your own life and your actions. Don’t blame others for what you consider “wrong” with your life. There are things that you can’t change, but you can choose how you respond to them. The key here is if there’s something you can do then do it! If there is nothing you can do then let it go!

If it’s to be, it’s up to me.

Once you accept that it is you who determines your future, you will begin to realize that you can be anything or do anything that you wish.

There are only certain people in this world who never fail at anything. You know who they are. They never do anything either. If you aren’t willing to push your comfort zone then there is no way you can truly grow into the person you are capable of being.

Did you know that the most well-known name in baseball history, Babe Ruth, struck out 1,330 times! And “Mr. October,” Reggie Jackson, holds the all-time record of striking out with 2,597!

Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of the process.

Saying to yourself things like, “That’s just the way I am” or “I’m no good at that,” brands your inner self into limiting beliefs that allows you to stay fixed where you are right now.

Your thoughts control your life.

Since childhood, you have been creating who you are today. And who you are going to become in the future is being created right now and every moment. You, and only you, can determine your future. You can choose to be healthy. You can choose to be wealthy. You can choose to be great at anything you want. You can also choose to be miserable, and complain about all the things that didn’t go right for you, and how there’s never enough time or money or whatever. It’s your choice.

Do you realize that if a bird falls out of a tree he’ll never ask “why me”. He’ll just get up and fly away (assuming he isn’t hurt in the process!). He won’t think something happened to him, it just happened.

Do or do not. There is no try.

When you say “I’ll try” you allow yourself to fail. If you set a goal for yourself like, “I’ll try to get up and practice,” what does that mean? You see, either you get up and practice or you don’t. That’s it. There is no try. When you say “I’ll try” you are setting it up in your brain to accept failure. You begin to accept trying as succeeding.

Your brain naturally focuses on the goals you give it. So when you say “I’ll try”, and you “try,” you have reached that goal.

Think about the different words you can use to determine how you approach things: If you do this, or if you do that, compared to when you do this or when you do that. Very different.

What is your reality?

Your reality is your belief system. What is real to me in many cases is not real to you. Your belief system is what determines who you are and where you are going. And everything that you have experienced prior to today determines how you see today.

To you maybe money is bad. To someone else, maybe money is good. Is it the money that is good or bad or is it just your opinion of it?

To me, health is the most important thing I can have. Without it you have nothing, and you’re probably suffering besides. To you, health may be only marginally important or not important at all. You may believe that health or lack of health is merely a matter of luck, or “God’s will.” To me, I know that everything I eat, drink, think, or say will have either a positive or negative effect on my being. That is part of my belief system. It keeps me in control.

Ever heard the saying, “God helps those who help themselves?”

What about happiness? Everyone wants to be happy, right? But why are there so many unhappy people? Are we to be happy only when things are going our way? Or can we be happy even in bad times?

The real problem is again the way you look at things. Do you control your happiness or does the world around you? If you have everything you want will you then be truly happy? And what if things don’t work out as you hope, will you then be unhappy?

Tragedies happen, of course. Going through a loss or trauma of some kind can and does happen to all of us. However, do you take the approach that “this too will pass,” or do you create an internal environment for the bad thing to take root and grow into even more than it is?

Remember the bird. Never ask “why me?” Things happen. That’s all it is. It is then up to you to decide how you deal with it.

It is my personal belief that we are here to get the most we can out of this world, to truly experience life, not just day by day but moment by moment. How many moments have you lost? Oops, there goes another one!

You see, when you read that your mind may have wondered into the past for a moment. While you were thinking of the past, you lost the present. How frequently does that happen? Psychology says that 50,000 to 65,000 thoughts run through our minds every day. Obviously, a certain amount of repetition is necessary to function. However, how many of these do you believe are new thoughts? How many are past failures and / or regrets?

Strive to quiet your mind by eliminating self-defeating thoughts of the past. Stop the self-deception that is limiting your progress in life. What you do today determines what tomorrow brings.

Originally published Winter, 2002




Shifu Ahles
Shifu Raymond Ahles, the owner and Chief Instructor of the Blue Dragon School, is a certified instructor of Ba Gua Zhang Kung Fu & Chi Kung and a 7th Generation Lineage Disciple in the Ch’iang Shan Pa Kua Chang Association. In addition to his 30 years plus teaching experience in the martial arts, Shifu Ahles also holds a B.S. degree in Exercise Physiology, he’s a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has an extensive background in the healing arts of Oriental Medicine including certifications in Advanced Amma Therapy, Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture. He is a licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist in NJ.





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