3 Lies Of Personal Development
Have You Fallen For A Lie?
Why do we fall for lies?
It’s marketing 101, really; tell people something enough times, and they will believe it! It is called branding. An article in Entrepreneur about branding stated "The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product--and customers will pay that higher price."
The point is large companies say the same thing over and over again and soon people know that Coca-Cola is the real thing whether you like the product or not.
Somethings people grow up hearing a saying over and over again as a child and it is taken into their adult years. Such as
- Cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis
- If you work hard you will be rich
- If you swallow gum it will be in system for seven years
- The rich get richer and the poor get poorer
As a Christian, we should believe what the Bible has to tell us more than what man tells us.
Lie #1 - I should always be happy!
The idea that happiness is the goalpost we all should aim for, that happiness is somehow what we all deserve is a lie. Happiness is merely the way we react to certain situations. We get that job we wanted, we are happy. We get to visit Hawaii, we are happy. We get a hundred dollars for our birthday, we are happy.
Then we have the job for a year and we aren't so happy. We come back from Hawaii and get back to the routine and we are not so happy. We spend the $100 and we want more so we can be happy again.
However, no-one is happy all the time. Happiness is a reaction to events in our life. Our happiness is affected moment by moment by things happening in the physical realm, and is temporary – just like everything else in the physical realm! Happiness can be connected to events beyond our control – such as getting a hundred dollars in our birthday card – but in many cases our happiness is a direct result of our own actions.
We feel emotions, which prompt us to make decisions. We justify our decisions with logic, and then act on the decision. Often the result makes us happy; for example, if we buy a new car, switch to a new job, or adopt a puppy. However, the happiness doesn’t last. As the car gets older, our happiness over it diminishes, and we choose to buy another car in order to recapture that happy feeling. We justify the decision to purchase a new car with logic and rationale, saying “The newer car gets better gas mileage” or “The safety features are a must with a baby on the way!”
Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with being happy! The problem with making happiness your life goal is that it doesn’t last. You have to keep doing more, buying more, justifying more to remain happy, because happiness wears off. Happiness is temporary – just like your body.
Fortunately, you have more than a body. You are a spirit that has a soul and lives in a body! Your soul is not temporary, and neither is the soul’s version of happiness – joy. Our bodies can be damaged. They can suffer. They will eventually die. Our souls, however, will live on forever. Likewise, joy is eternal, and can be present even during the hard times in life when happiness seems impossible.
When you see a sick person with a smile on their face; a homeless person with spring in their step, or a person who just lost their job singing and rejoicing, you are seeing joy in action. Unlike happiness, which is powered by things external, joy is powered by hope, which is internal and eternal.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Luke 2:10 “Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”
Lie # 2: The Universe Has Its Own Intelligence
When we look at technology over the course of the past 50 years, and compare it to the last thousand years, what we see is amazing. In a mere fraction of a millennium we have come so far! We now own smart phones that fit in our pockets and have more power, memory and efficiency then the massive computers that were used to send man to the moon. As recently as the 1990s, there were no such thing as smart phones. They existed only in the realm of science fiction!
I remember taking an electronics course in college. Our class learned how to design and build a simple clock and a calculator. We started with chip assembly, ran wires back and forth, and wrote simple computer programs. We used the power of computer processing to run our clock and our calculator. We learned that the only math computers can do is add.
Today, computers are smaller, more powerful and can perform more tasks. We can use computers to fly airplanes and to run factories. However, they are not “smarter” than they were before. They don’t have “intelligence”. They can still only do what we tell them to do. We can put more information and logic in them so they seem to be smarter but in the end they are still working the same way as the very first computer – according to the rules we give them.
The Universe works the same way. It’s like a computer in that it can seem intelligent, but in reality the universe simply operates according to the rules of the great Designer – the Creator. The universe doesn’t have intelligence; the Creator does. The Designer is the intelligence behind the universe.
Certainly, we can see order in the design of the universe. That doesn’t mean it just “occurred” that way. Even the great mathematician, Isaac Newton, stated and believed that God made the universe according to a mathematical design. Newton didn’t discover all of the laws of the universe, but he was determined to keep studying it.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him - Colossians 1:16
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. – Romans 1:20
Lie # 3: Show Them A Thing Or Two Them By Not Forgiving Them
Failure to forgive is mean. It is fearful. It is an emotion that arises when we feel we have been wronged. We naturally want to protect ourselves and our family. If someone hurts us, whether the injury be physical, emotional or financial, we are quick to protect ourselves, to stop the person causing the pain, and to ensure it won’t happen again.
This is a natural reaction. When we are “in crisis”, we act first on instinct. However, once we catch our breath and collect our thoughts, we should step backaQ and reconsider. Is it worth holding onto anger and fear? Was the crisis as big as it first seemed, or is it really a small matter that will resolve and then be forgotten as the next event takes is place?
After we regain composure, we should evaluate the crisis and our reaction. The law of opposites tells us the bigger the crisis is, the bigger the potential gain can be. We have apply this law to ourselves, and figure out how what good we can get from the bad. Did we make bad decisions that led to the crisis, thus enabling it to happen?
If so, the upside is in recognizing this fact and planning to make better choices in the future. This is a decision we can make. Decisions originate in our mindset, and our mindset originates in the way we look at the world. The way we look at the world is formed from our past experiences, our memories, our thoughts and our beliefs. The past only exists in our memory, which is a collection of thoughts, and our present is a clean slate – or should be.
Unforgiveness is an emotion that can manifest physically and destroy you. You can experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach aches, tension, and even blood pressure swings or depression. When you forgive, your body and your mind can heal.
You may think that you need only forgive others who have harmed you, but the truth is that you also have to forgive yourself. This can be even more difficult than forgiving others! However, we are often our own worst enemies. We talk trash to ourselves, allowing our inner voice to put us down. If you don’t renew your mind, you could find yourself caught in a vicious circle of self-hatred.
Believe What is Right and True
The Bible has such wisdom and it was written thousands of years before man thought about the big bang theory or studied how emotions affect the body.
There is truth in what God has written. It is an instruction manual for our living. The wisdom is meant to keep safe, to give us an assurance and to give us peace and joy.
Pay attention to what people say and most importantly to what you say to yourself. Sometimes we can be our worst supporter. Meditate on the what is good and true.