I have read or listened to numerous self-help, self-improvement, mindfulness, and similar books and blogs. I’ve done this to get new information to help me work on my depression; issues with fear and abandonment; making and keeping money and wealth; and being a good and genuine person.
There is so much information out there. It also varies in degrees of value and usefulness. But the key to any and all information you can get is how you use it. Or not.
When I share my notions and experiences on these matters it’s both for my personal accountability as well as to help you on your journey.
While I have gained a lot of understanding and knowledge from things I have learned — I’ve not used it all. There have even been times I’ve not put it to use in the slightest.
Some of the info I have come across has been useless. Or in some cases an interesting concept — but incomplete. The Secret is an outstanding example of this. The notion that you ask for what you want, believe that it’s already yours, and then sit back and receive it misses some super-important information. It doesn’t get into the underlying, necessary work that goes into the process — and that it is individual and not applicable to those outside of yourself. Among other things.
Just because you seek information on something doesn’t mean you will use it. In some instances, that’s because you shouldn’t. But in others, it’s because you choose not to.
Do or do not
You always have a choice when it comes to information. Use it or don’t use it.
Some information is not useful. Plain and simple. Some of the information out there is good for the goose but not for the gander.
Part of this is because we’re all unique individuals. What I am seeking in my life is not what you are. The information that pertains to me may not pertain to you.
Whatever the case may be, making use of the information is a choice. Decide to employ it or not.
And that is where things can get pretty sticky.
Sometimes, I learn something useful that could make a difference in my life path. But then, I don’t give it the focus nor energy it needs. Valuable info — but if I don’t use it then it doesn’t serve me.
Perfect example — affirmations. Affirmations can rewire beliefs and habits. How? By telling yourself that ‘x’ is your truth. You redirect your inner dialogue and self-talk away from beliefs and habits that don’t serve you.
I don’t make use of these for long. I’ll write out an affirmation, use it for a couple of days, and then forget it. How on earth did I ever memorize lines when I did theatre? It’s like I released that ability when it comes to more important life matters.
I am aware that the information an affirmation implants redirects self-talk. That will build new beliefs and help me go where I desire to go and be who I desire to be.
Why am I not using this as I should?
Fear, skepticism, and cynicism
What the hell am I so afraid of? Ultimately — abandonment. Succeed or fail — I’m afraid I will be utterly left alone.
This is utterly illogical. And I know it. People have come and gone throughout my life. Some friends of 20 years ago are no longer friends — but mere acquaintances. New friends come in and find a place in my heart. Acquaintances become close friends. Change is the only constant in the universe — and that’s part of it.
I know that I can rewire and replace this belief. Logically, I know that this is not a real issue. But it still remains and torments me.
Or I torment myself with it.
How come I don’t use the info I have to work with my fear? Skepticism. Because of long-time doubts and reservations, I disbelieve without proof. Sometimes, lots and lots of proof. Affirmations? I’m skeptical that they are effective — despite having used them before.
A little skepticism IS a healthy thing. As The Fifth Agreement from Don Jose and Don Miguel Ruiz states:
“Be skeptical but learn to listen.”
If you simply accept all the information you glean without some skepticism — basic questioning — you will be easily misled. See all the Trump supporters accepting his constant utterly false claims.
Then there is cynicism. This is a two-fold problem. First, that it’s selfish and possibly manipulative to work on myself like this. Second, that the self-interests of the people supplying this information overwhelms the value of it.
Some of this comes from being a little jaded from my life experiences. That’s turned skepticism to cynicism at times. But I think, more frequently, this circles back to the fear.
This creates a complicated loop it’s difficult to break free of.
Google anything at all. The vast amount of information this brings you is simply astonishing.
One of the best things about living in this time is how readily information is at your fingertips. However, this is also one of the worst things.
Anybody can create a website. I can put whatever I want on the internet. Anything at all. Hence, people are sharing loads of false information.
Among all the useful information you can find, there are also flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, and utterly illogical conspiracy theorists shouting into the void. For all the legitimate information you can glean online there is abundant bullshit to be found.
This contributes to the feeling of overwhelm within the collective consciousness. Trump claims that the legitimate news sources are fake while touting fake news sources as legitimate — and a tug-of-war for the hearts and minds of the aggrieved ensues.
When it comes to the big picture, like a TV you can always change the channel. True reality is unscripted — and at times utterly unpredictable. No matter what information is out there someone will use it — while someone else won’t.
You get to pick and choose not just what information you take in, but how you use it. If you use it at all. Ultimately, you determine what value — if any — a given bit of information has.
But first, you must cut through the noise. When you are seeking something — even for yourself and your life experience — you have to vet the info. Is there more than one source? Can you reconcile differences between multiple sources? Is the information good, bad, or neutral?
In our quick-fix instant-gratification society — all too often this step is skipped. People take the first bit of info they get and run with it.
Use the information to be proactive
Constantly being reactive to life, the Universe, and everything is both exhausting and maddening. This is why one important reason to find useful information is to be proactive.
Rather than being frequently behind the eight-ball and putting out fires, being proactive is taking a position. It’s not a plan it’s an action. You do a thing with a goal in mind.
This brings me back to affirmations. I know that using affirmations is an excellent way to rewire beliefs and habits.
How do I know this? Because good or bad, almost every single source of self-help, mindfulness, conscious reality creation, life lessons, and self-improvement utilize affirmations.
But more than that — when I HAVE stuck to an affirmation it’s changed my inner dialogue and self-talk.
Using affirmations helps to silence the brain weasels. You know — those annoying thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, imposter syndrome, and the like — that try to interfere with your intentions. Employing affirmations can help silence these annoying little monsters.
Making use of given information is a choice. When you decide to do so you are — in that moment — being proactive. Pro equals for. This turns into a building block.
When you have enough building blocks you can build virtually anything you can fathom.
You are empowered
Knowledge is power. Information informs knowledge. But only if you use it as such.
You determine, ultimately, the value of any information you glean. Positive, negative, important, unimportant — you are the one who gives it value. Or not.
Then you choose and decide to use that information. Or not. But that’s the question — when you have information do you use it?
How you use it will depend on what it is. Some information tells you where to go. Other information tells you where NOT to go.
When all is said and done YOU get to choose. Every time you choose to make use of information, you empower yourself. The more you empower yourself the less those who seek to disempower us hold sway.
I have information at my immediate disposal. But if I do not use it to my advantage it doesn’t serve me. That, in turn, doesn’t serve anyone else, either. Choosing and deciding — for myself — is empowering.
The more you are empowered — the more you are in control. Just remember that the only control you truly have is over yourself.
That, however, is a LOT of control. When you take it and be accountable for your thoughts, feelings, and actions — you can change yourself by employing the information you find.
The value of any information differs from person to person. The choice to use it or not is yours.
What info will you decide to use to realize all the possibilities and potential for yourself today?