Three Tips from Joe
1. The Past need not determine the future
‘Counselling’ is big business. The provision of counselling to those who need it is today a huge growth business, split into many different areas of expertise. Counsellors can be found to cover almost every type of problem – bereavement, divorce, health issues, relationship issues, career change, depression, anxiety – the list goes on. You name it – there is probably a Counsellor for it. And this is no bad thing. Counselling is one of a number of very important, useful and beneficial social services that helps people in difficulty and most counsellors do a brilliant job in putting an end to suffering.
For the most part, but not always, counselling focuses on ‘looking backwards’ into their client’s past in order to try and identify the chief causal factors that have led to their current situation. Whether it is lack of confidence, jealousy, suicidal tendencies, fear of abuse, lack of social skills or a deep rooted phobia it is the job of the counsellor to help the client delve down into their past to try and locate the root cause of their particular problem.
In most cases there will be an underlying reason or cause for the manifestation of the problem that needs addressing – and identifying that root cause is a big part of seeking a final solution so that ‘closure’ can be achieved and the client can then move on with their life. There is nothing wrong with this approach at all; in fact it forms an integral part of any therapeutic intervention.
In many cases identifying the root of the problem will help to provide the solution i.e. it actually helps clients to understand the reasons for their problem or issue and this then helps them to deal with it. If this happens the counsellor has done their job well.
Sometimes however not everything goes so smoothly. With some people, identification of the root cause of their problem only serves to provide the client with a ‘legitimate’ excuse to validate their condition or behaviour. Let me give some examples.
Imagine a thief who has been caught, prosecuted and is on his way to prison and who blames his childhood hardships for making him or her turn to crime. Think of the child abuser who was abused as a child himself. Think of the drug addict who says she turned to drugs because her father also took drugs. And think of the people on social security who never looked for work because their parents were on benefit and it didn’t seem to bother them too much.
So what has this got to do with ‘Total Life Fulfilment’ you might be thinking? Well, it is this. Whatever your history, background, circumstances of life experiences might be it is crucial that you understand one fundamental truth and it is this:- “Your past need not determine your future.”
The past is gone. Learn to accept that fact and move on. The future starts right now and the simple truth is that your future wellbeing, happiness and success lie in your own hands. To attain the future your heart desires, is dependent on leaving your past behind and not letting it consciously or subconsciously influence your behaviour, like a vulture sitting on your shoulder and willing you to return to old and outworn thought patterns and habits.
If your past has served you well then use the wisdom you have learned from it. If your past has caused you sadness, grief or given you low self-esteem then learn from it and use what you have learned to grow and flourish.
The important lesson to learn is simply this. Never blame your ‘future’ on your ‘past’ because that is just a convenient way to avoid taking personal responsibility. Whatever happened in the past must not, at any cost, determine your future. It is only you who can determine and create your future, and sometimes the only way to do this is to cut the ties with your past both mentally and physically. A young Eagle will not learn to fly until it spreads its wings and launches itself from the nest. And we, as human beings, will not achieve our dreams or our potential if we cling on to the things from our past that are holding us back. So stop dwelling on the past. From today onwards promise yourself that you will look only forwards. Step out with courage, spread your wings and soar to the future you deserve.
2. Follow your own dreams whatever it takes
This tip is one of my favourites and I recommend it should be one of yours too – because it is at the heart of everything and is one of the fundamental requisites for success.
We all have dreams but very few of us actually see our dreams through to fruition for all sorts of reasons. Some of us dream of going to university but decide to get a job instead and then later regret it. Many dream of starting their own business but never quite get around to it. Many dream of ‘getting away from it all’ and then end up staying in situations they are unhappy about. For most people dreams simply remain unfulfilled dreams which later manifest as regret. This is a great shame.
Sadly, one of the major reasons that most dreams remain unfulfilled is because the dreamers are put off by their well-meaning friends, family or acquaintances. How many times have you had a great idea and sought advice only to be warned; “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, it’s too risky” or “You’re better off with the devil you know” or “I don’t think that will work. Best stick with what you are already doing…”
This is probably meant as sincere advice from people who genuinely care about you but the point is this – nobody else in the world is YOU. You are totally unique and your skills, ideas, beliefs and dreams have grown within you and stem from your inner being. Very often your dreams and ambitions are ‘intuitive’ and are in in accord with your conscious and subconscious desires. In other words your dreams are an expression of your inner potential.
This means that when you find the courage to express your ideas you find that others will put up barriers to try and stop you achieving what you feel to be right. If you have ever found yourself in this situation then I have a very important tip for you and it is this:
‘Always follow your own dreams. Believe in yourself and never be put off from pursuing your goals by the words of others.’
Whatever your idea or dream might be – go for it! Accept the fact that it may not all work out perfectly or as you planned it. You might even learn some hard lessons along the way. But at least you will have proved that you are courageous enough to follow your own intuitions and will not be deflected from your goals by what other people think. One thing is certain. You will never achieve your dreams if you don’t have the courage to try.
If you have a dream in your head or a passion in your heart then follow your ‘inner guide’ and trust it. These are your dreams and yours alone – and you do not need permission from anyone else in order to pursue them.
So ignore the sceptics and the doom-mongers. Believe in yourself one hundred per cent and never doubt your ability to succeed. Follow your heart with dedication and passion. For if you believe you will succeed then nothing – and no-one – can stop you.
3. Follow your own ‘Spiritual Path’
Don’t worry! I’m not going to start preaching at you. My message is very simple and clear and it is this; being ‘spiritual’ has got nothing to do with organised religion. It does not matter whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist or Hindu etc. Being ‘spiritual’ transcends but also compliments religion and is a very natural part of what it is to be ‘human’. Our spirituality is part of who we are as an individual and part of our core being.
Finding ‘Total Life Fulfilment’ is all about embracing the totality of the human experience and finding the right spiritual elements within our life experience is just as important as finding a good job, a good relationship and good physical health.
Being spiritual is not about which religion we follow, which sacred texts we read or how we choose to pray, fast, chant or express our beliefs. It’s actually about our personal relationship with the universe. Simple as that.
This world can be a wonderful, amazing and stimulating place if you let it be so. And once you start opening your mind and heart to nature and the cosmos you will soon start to realise that there are forces at work much greater than mankind can ever harness. Beneath what we might call ‘surface reality’ there are deeper undercurrents at work and ‘spirituality’ is nothing more than learning to occasionally tap into this deeper undercurrent, and realising that you are an integral part of something much bigger which you can access whenever you want to.
People who are deeply and naturally ‘spiritual’ have a sort of ‘aura’ about them because they are able to manifest a peaceful serenity that many of us would like to aspire to. These are people who have discovered how to find a sense of ‘inner peace’ and contentment. This state of happiness is available to us all as long as we become humble enough to open our minds to all possibilities, without prejudice or narrow mindedness.
To find your own spiritual path, start by learning to look beyond the obvious and superficial. Use meditation and relaxation techniques to still your mind and ‘go within’. Don’t try to force anything – just let natural forces guide you to where you need to be led and a whole new world of experience will unfold before you.
When you have the courage to let spirituality be your guide and moral compass through life, then you can also be sure of one thing. Whoever or whatever you perceive ‘God’ to be – he will always be with you.