Category Archives: Personal Growth

Key “Ingredient“ of Effective Communication and Creating Quality Relationships

There’s a saying that says that the quality of our lives depends mostly on how we communicate with others. Personally, I find it unquestionable that communication skills fall into the category of most important skills because without good communication there are no quality relationships, and without quality relationships everything else is empty and futile.

Because of this, from the very beginning of my coaching practice, I began to hold communication workshops on a regular basis. However, watching and analyzing my client’s daily experiences, I would often be accompanied by the feeling that something was missing. In this way, to be honest, I wasn’t overly pleased with the progress with most of them, although I regularly followed the latest trends in the world of NLP and coaching regarding communication skills.

That confronted me with many questions, until at one point I experienced a very interesting experience that literally opened my eyes and helped me to start looking at it quite differently.

While attending an important and rather stressful meeting, for a moment I seemed to be able, while talking to my interlocutor, parallelly look at myself from a completely objective perspective, from which I could clearly see how my unconscious emotional reaction to this stressful situation completely distorted a real picture of the situation I was in. Not that I wasn’t trying to use all the tools and skills I knew, but because of the distorted perception of the situation caused by my unconscious emotional reaction, everything I was trying to do I did to my detriment – and I could clearly observe that.

At that moment, I remembered the research I often refer to on my TT Mindfulness™ workshops, which showed that when we encounter a particular stimulus from an environment that usually creates stress, before an image of the situation we see is created in our brain, it creates an emotion that basically affects the image that will be created in our brain. In other words, our programmed emotional response controls what we will see with our own eyes. That is why it’s said that people make decisions based on emotions, and with logic just justify their choices and decisions. Or, as one of the world’s most famous experts in the field of communication and influence, Dale Carnegie, would often point out in his lectures:

“When dealing with people, keep in mind that you are not dealing with logical, but emotional beings.”

Thanks to the experience above and the numerous literature I have studied thereafter, it is much clearer to me today that AWARENESS OF OUR PROGRAMMED EMOTIONAL REACTION is a key ingredient in effective communication and quality relationships in particular stressful situations. Because for as long as we are not aware of the situations that are triggered in stressful situations and we don’t know how to create the necessary mental detachment from them, we just react and are not able to communicate, and the image created in our brain is completely distorted and unrealistic.

That is why it is important to know that without a sufficient level of emotional awareness and mental detachment from programmed emotional reactions, there is no tool or technique that will, except for minor “cosmetic repairs,” significantly help us improve our communication skills and create deeper, more lasting and better quality private and business relations.

The business world has begun to recognize this fact and there are more and more companies that are organizing trainings on Mindfulness and emotional intelligence. Ikea, Google, Yahoo, Nike are just some of them.

If you are really ambitious and want to become a good communicator, I would recommend that you start working on the most important ingredient in successful communication, which is exactly developing emotional awareness because it depends on whether you will communicate or just respond to your own unconscious emotions that are the result of your deep mental patterns you don’t even know when were created.

***

If you would like to learn tools that can help you get started on working directly on programmed emotional reactions so that you can communicate more successfully in your private and business life, learn more about TT MINDFULNESS™ program.

What is the Purpose of Life Lessons and How To Identify Them?

Iva was a young entrepreneur who was very pleased with her “business game“ and played it very well. However, she was never able to meet her suitable partner for a more serious love relationship. She would regularly meet seemingly intelligent and interesting men, and as soon as she hoped she might have met “the one,” a series of circumstances would follow from which the opposite would happen – she would be completely disappointed in them.

Every new acquaintance with (wrong) “the one“ would increasingly close her heart and quench her hope and faith in the love life she often dreamed of, and in general of males.

With time, all of this together became too painful for her, and she would increasingly think about devoting herself fully to her job, engage in new hobbies in her life, “become more realistic“ (as her mother would often tell her) and completely give up daydreaming about the love relationship she had longed for.

***

Maybe you share a similar experience as Iva in your love aspect of life, or you know a person who has something similar going on. Or, you may recognize that pattern in your case repeating in another aspect of life. In any case, as soon as it comes to a pattern that is repeated and whose repetition in the person evokes painful and uneasy emotions, know that it is something that is commonly called a life lesson.

In my opinion, life lessons are opportunities that life offers us so that we can take a new step towards awakening our own potential that we all carry within ourselves.

In Iva’s case, her important life lesson was to learn how to open her heart and dare to be vulnerable regardless of the outcome. Instead of conditioning her happiness and openness in her heart by finding the “right“ person for a relationship – and somehow making itself dependent on that person – life gave her the opportunity to gain something much more. Life offered her the opportunity to become a person who dared to love and live with an open heart.

And, of course, to be much more mature from this position to enter the kind of relationship she had longed for and be able to vibrate with a person who is already open-hearted and dare to be vulnerable.

However, as long as Iva believes that she will open up and show her vulnerability only when she meets someone who, by her estimation, truly deserves her heart, attention and energy, she can only attract the person who looks for the same in her – in other words, she can only spin in the same vicious circle of unwanted outcomes.

As the desire for constant growth and development is woven deep into the core of our being – and on a conscious level we are not able to somehow “turn it off“ – for as long as we don’t take a step that leads us towards more conscious living and activation of the potential we already carry within ourselves, life constantly gives us a new opportunity for development and growth. In other words, the life lesson is repeated until we take the opportunity life gives us.

***

Therefore, next time you recognize that a particular life lesson has been “activated,” before you go forcibly trying to come up with new strategies that are basically an escape from painful and uneasy emotions and constantly bring you back to the same spot, set aside time on a daily basis for yourself that you will spend in solitude, consciously connect with your soul and your inner Light, and ask yourself what opportunity life is trying to give you.

Suitable affirmation/ affirmative prayer: ”I am open to receiving a new vision or idea that is trying to enter my conscious mind.“

Popular “mantra” for self-deception

I believe that many times in various situations you have heard the saying “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!” Many proudly pronounce it when they talk about some challenging life experiences and feel important, useful and productive because they still managed to resist the force of life that tried to destroy them.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, this has nothing to do with any real trophy, but rather a “mantra” that people successfully deceive themselves with and, unknowingly, avoid facing their weaknesses and lack of life ambition. Or, in other words, the classic story of trying to present our flaws to ourselves and others as virtues!

To illustrate more clearly what I mean, let me share with you an example from my own experience…

At the beginning of elementary school, I had an experience that created tremendous fear and resistance to the idea of going to the dentist. After that experience, whenever I felt a toothache, I would fool myself that it would stop. With time, the tooth would start to hurt harder and I would take the pain pills and believe that the thing would still calm down and that everything would be fine. This “process” would be repeated until the pills could no longer help me and I would be forced to visit a dentist. Due to the long delay, the dentist would conclude that it was necessary to remove the nerve because I delayed the repair for too long.

The above situation has happened to me several times and what is interesting is the fact that after the very traumatic process of extracting the dental nerve, I would feel brave and proud of myself for enduring it all and successfully overcome intense fear.

But, let’s ignore the weird “movie” in my head and pride in myself and be realistic. The reality is that my fictitious feelings of pride and courage served as “tools” that helped me avoid coping with my fear and the trauma I was experiencing. Looking realistically, even a small toothache indicated to me that it was necessary to visit a dentist. That’s all there was to do − and nothing else! Everything else I would do was a reflection of my “blindness” and, from my current perspective, my lack of ambition to handle things and live with full lungs.

In other words, I was not at all a hero who wasn’t “killed” by life, but a fugitive from myself!

In the book Total Coaching, author and coach Patrick Williams, beautifully expressed a thought that deeply engraved itself in my mind when I first read it:

“Life constantly sends us INFORMATION and MESSAGES. When we don’t pay attention to them, they become LESSONS. LESSONS we don’t learn become PROBLEMS. And if we avoid facing the PROBLEMS, they become CRISIS. If we do not approach CRISIS closely, they begin to create CHAOS in our lives.”

***

If at any point in life you have experienced complete “CHAOS”, however this “CHAOS” manifested in your life, instead of being proud of yourself because you are after all “straightened” and did not allow it to “kill” you, try to analyze the above by asking yourself the following question:

“What is it in me that prevented me from clearly hearing the message that life sent me on time and what am I actually running away from?”

As you ponder on this question, don’t judge yourself, but be open to truly gain insight into your own weaknesses from which you may be running away from – because only when we become aware and accept our weaknesses do we bring ourselves to the opportunity to turn them into strengths!

Only when we become aware and accept our weaknesses do we bring ourselves to the opportunity to turn them into strengths!

Three Steps to Identify and Remove Your Limiting Beliefs

“If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?” – William Somerset Maugham

Do you know that the average person makes about 35,000 decisions a day? If this sounds amazing, think about the following…

Right now you are making a decision whether to continue reading this article or do something else. In other words, every moment of your life you make individual choices and the total sum of those choices as well as their consequences is what we call OUR REALITY. For this to be even more interesting, neuroscientists say that more than 95 percent of our decisions are made completely unconsciously.

The next question now arises, based on what are you deciding which next choice to choose or what is the thing that most influences the decisions you make. This is where we come to our beliefs, that is, internal programs that govern the vast majority of our daily choices and decisions.

***

Our beliefs are like software that allows us to see only content that supports such software on our screen. They create our expectations and manage our reactions. We can have many hopes, aspirations and goals, but the actual steps that we need to achieve them we will only be able to take regularly when we at least partially get rid of precisely those limiting beliefs that do not support the direction we want to go.

Our beliefs are like software that allows us to see only content that supports such software on our screen. They create our expectations and manage our reactions. We can have many hopes, aspirations and goals, but the actual steps that we need to achieve them we will only be able to take regularly when we at least partially get rid of precisely those limiting beliefs that do not support the direction we want to go.

Although we all have many different limiting beliefs, the good news is that most of them are completely irrelevant and there is no need to deal with them at all. Beliefs that make sense are precisely those that automatically activate in us when we begin to take practical steps on a topic that is currently something important to us, and feel that our life or business is stagnant until we make a concrete move on the topic.

How to get rid of such limiting beliefs?

For starters, it is important to be specific and focused on one area of life for a specific period. Or, better yet, just one goal that you see as priority.

Think of a current goal of your own that is extremely important to you and does not suffer any further delays, while at the same time you feel that you are spinning too much in circle and not taking as many practical steps as necessary given the importance of such a goal.

Then ask yourself the following question:

“What should someone deep down believe that, as a result, would behave in the ways I behave in relation to my goal?

Then, without thinking too much, start writing down thoughts that come to the surface of your consciousness. They will generally represent precisely the beliefs that most restrict your engagement on the path toward achieving your goal. Once such limiting beliefs “pass” from your unconscious mind to your conscious mind, they will no longer represent the “mechanism” that dominates your decisions, but will only become an option to think about and be able to crucially re-examine.

Once such limiting beliefs “pass” from your unconscious mind to your conscious mind, they will no longer represent the “mechanism” that dominates your decisions, but will only become an option to think about and be able to crucially re-examine.

Take 20 minutes a week for the process and repeat it until you feel that old habits and behaviors no longer have a big impact on your new decisions.

One more thing…

Clients often ask me if it is necessary to have clearly defined goals, that is, whether it is possible to work on getting rid of limiting beliefs without clear goals. My answer is that it is possible, but you’ll need to invest 10 times more time and energy to achieve the same effect.

Why?

Because all your attention will be scattered in different directions and because of the lack of clarity of the direction you want to go, it will be difficult for you to define at all what your limiting beliefs are.

No belief by itself is limiting. It becomes limiting only when we feel it hindering us to reach the goal that really matters to us and that we want to achieve.

© Tomislav Tomić – 2020.

This article is a part of the working script for a program “TT MINDFULNESS™ – BECOME A MINDFULNESS COACH“. Click HERE for more information about the program…

What to Do When Things Change and You Don’t Know How To Proceed

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings!” – Lao Tzu

I believe that many times in life or business you found yourself in a situation where it seemed to you that everything that presented your foundation and base for stable functioning suddenly disappeared or “lost” its stability. Then we tend to feel frustrated, desperate and helpless without any hope that we will soon receive good news about our future.

Here is one idea you can try out next time you’re in a similar situation…

Without diminishing your sense of the heaviness of such situations, it is important for you to know that what mostly causes resistance, fear, frustration and helplessness is YOUR INTERPRETATION of yourself, the situation you are in and your position in that situation.

If you pay closer attention to the thoughts you think in such moments, you will quickly notice that you do not think any thoughts at all, but YOUR THOUGHTS THOUGHT THEMSELVES. It is as if there is some artificial intelligence in your mind that is completely USURPING YOUR ATTENTION and constantly analyzing all possible scenarios and options. But, despite its analysis, you see no solution and you feel worse and more helpless. The stated phenomenon in Mindfulness theory is called REACTIVE ATTENTION or REACTIVE MODE.

If you pay closer attention to the thoughts you think in such moments, you will quickly notice that you do not think any thoughts at all, but YOUR THOUGHTS THOUGHT THEMSELVES. It is as if there is some artificial intelligence in your mind that is completely USURPING YOUR ATTENTION and constantly analyzing all possible scenarios and options. But, despite its analysis, you see no solution and you feel worse and more helpless.

The real situation is that it is at these moments that NEW and CREATIVE SOLUTIONS ARE RIGHT IN FRONT OF US and are waiting to be recognized, but since our mind is in the mode of reactive attention, we are unable to identify new solutions that are not in line with our “old” logic.

Well known writer Helen Keller said that whenever one door of happiness closes, the other opens immediately, but we tend to stare at that closed door for so long that we do not recognize the door that just opened for us.

Your most important job in such moments, and before you do anything else, is (1) REMIND itself that you are not quite realistic in your assessment of the situation, that is, you see only a limited aspect of the situation, and (2) CREATE A SPACE in  your mind that will allow you to identify new solutions and move on.

In order to create such a space in your mind, apart from reminding yourself that you are not quite realistic in assessing the situation, three magic words need to be said.

Do you want to hear what this is all about?

The magic words are…

“I DON’T KNOW!”

Once you make it clear to yourself (on your conscious level) that you DON’T KNOW how to go on and DON’T KNOW what needs to be done and persist in that approach long enough, in your mind NEW SPACE will be created that will not be directly influenced by those “thoughts that think themselves” and are driving you crazy and exhaust your energy and will to move on. Words I DON’T KNOW will also activate a research mode in your mind that is much more suited to identify new solutions.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you feel as if everything that formed the basis and foundation for your stable functioning has suddenly disappeared or “lost” its stability, instead of letting yourself to the reactive mind and working hard to “solve your problem”, remind yourself that this “picture presented to you” on the canvas of your mind is not reality but a projection of your “old self.”

Then, with the intention of addressing both yourself and the Intelligence of the Universe or Light or God (whatever seems closer to you) close your eyes and say within yourself:

“I DON’T KNOW! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, BUT I’M WILLING TO RECOGNIZE THE SOLUTION!”

Repeat this “intention” every time you recognize that your mind is becoming reactive and begin to cloud your perception, and in your heart and mind be open to receiving the new because NEW will come!

Eckhart Tolle said: “Some changes look negative on the surface but soon you will realise that SPACE is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”

Some changes look negative on the surface but soon you will realise that SPACE is being created in your life for something new to emerge. – Eckhart Tolle

“I DON’T KNOW! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, BUT I’M WILLING TO RECOGNIZE THE SOLUTION!” – is a phrase that will keep you open to new and wonderful solutions waiting to be received in your life.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings!” – said Lao Tzu, so it is sometimes important to stop trusting your “old” logic and be open to solution that, at first glance, may seem completely ILLOGICAL.

© Tomislav Tomić – 2020.

This article is a part of the working script for a program “TT MINDFULNESS™ – BECOME A MINDFULNESS COACH“. Click HERE for more information about the program…

What is Broken Windows Theory and Why is it Relevant to Your Goals?

Get to know one unusual “theory” that can completely change your mindset to the way you approach your goals…

***

In the late 1970s, Stanford psychologist Philip Zombardo decided to conduct an interesting experiment. He parked one car without licence plates with a slightly open hood and an open window in one neighbourhood in New York. He parked the other car in a neighbourhood in Palo Alto, California, but he didn’t remove the license plates or leave the hood and window open – this car seemed to belong to someone and like it was regularly used. It is important to note that both neighbourhoods in which he parked his cars were known for poverty and high crime rates.

The car parked in New York was “visited” the same night by thieves, and after only three days nothing valuable was left in it. The car he parked in Palo Alto remained untouched even after a week.

In order to continue with his experiment, he decided to break the window of an “intact” car parked in Palo Alto with a hammer. With the broken window, the car somehow left an impression of being abandoned. Just hours after he broke the window, thieves stole everything that was valuable in the car.

So, while the car seemed to belong to someone and seemed like it was regularly maintained and used, no one even touched it for a week. As soon as he broke the window, leaving an impression of abandonment, only a few hours after thieves had stolen everything valuable in it.

***

This experiment served as the basis for the creation of the so called Broken Windows theory, which boils down to the idea that when light crimes are starting to be IGNORED and NEGLECTED, it creates the impetus and fertile ground for the spread of serious crimes and the development of  “more serious” crime. This theory has proven to be more than effective in practice and its application has led to a reduction of crime rates in various cities across the United States.

Over time, its application, in a slightly modified form, has come to life within the field of personal development so let’s now explore how this theory can help us in the process of personal change.

***

No matter how “big” or “distant” the goal or outcome you want to achieve is, the majority of your path to that goal or outcome consists of a multitude of SMALL STEPS to be taken on a daily basis.

Think about it…

You may want to lose 10 kilos. Whichever program or weight loss approach you choose, what will have the most effect on your realization of the outcome (like sustainability of that equipment) is exactly the sum of the small steps you will take on daily basis, such as exercising regularly, eating properly, avoiding certain foods, etc.

You may want to write your first book. You are full of inspiration and feel joy and excitement just by thinking about your book being sold in bookstores. Nevertheless, the success of your outcome will depend mostly on your daily habits and the time you spend on a daily basis to write, study the literature, manage your existing responsibilities more effectively, etc.

Great ambition, motivation, inspiration, vision and various other “drivers” of proactive behavior are often overrated. As much as they can be (and often are) very powerful initiators of the process of change, they will disappear very quickly if we don’t maintain them precisely with little practical steps taken on a daily basis. Jim Rohn, one of the most famous motivational speakers, said: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn

Unfortunately, these small steps are often repetitive, with almost no one noticing that you are taking them and sometimes seem insignificant in relation to your ultimate goal or outcome. Sometimes you don’t notice any progress for days or weeks, despite regularly adhering to them. For example, you exercise regularly for several weeks and take care of every meal, without noticing any particular change in your body. Or, you’ve been writing your book for a couple weeks, and after deleting all that seemed superfluous, you realize that you had written only two pages.

But, the point is that these little routine steps that no one sees, or even notices you do, will gradually allow you to identify those crucial (bigger) steps that will visibly push you forward towards your goal or desired change.

However, if you start ignoring and “skipping” these little steps, you will create a TENDENCY TO IGNORE AND SKIP ANY TYPE OF ACTION YOU NEED. That will gradually dampen your motivation and blur your vision. It is very likely that you will eventually give up on your goal or desired change believing that the goal you set for yourself was not for you anyway.

If you start ignoring and “skipping” these little steps, you will create a TENDENCY TO IGNORE AND SKIP ANY TYPE OF ACTION YOU NEED. That will gradually dampen your motivation and blur your vision. It is very likely that you will eventually give up on your goal or desired change believing that the goal you set for yourself was not for you anyway.

Each of those skipped little steps takes you two steps back. Each of your skipped little steps, metaphorically, will act like a car from the above experiment which seemed increasingly neglected. The more your “car” looks “neglected”, the less will be your will to restore it to its optimal condition. Ultimately, it will also result in the people around you who need you to reach the desired goal, unwittingly “smell” that you are frivolous and not sufficiently committed to your goal or outcome and will lose their will to help and push you as much as they can. Let’s be real, why would they waste their time with you if you have not yet defined with yourself how much you really care about what you want? This all happens mostly on the unconscious level, but most of our interactions happen unconsciously anyway.

Once you faithfully keep to the small steps because you don’t want your “car” to seem like it’s being neglected, but you want it to seem like it’s being regularly taken care of and maintained, people will recognize your commitment and have the urge to maximally meet your needs and help you as much as they can and know how to.

There is a principle in Yoga theory that says if you skip meditation one day, you need two days of meditation to get back on the same level.  If you skip meditation for two days, you need four days of meditation to return to the same level. And if you skip meditation for three days, you need nine days of meditation to return to the same level.

“If you skip meditation one day, you need two days of meditation to get back on the same level. If you skip meditation for two days, you need four days of meditation to return to the same level. And if you skip meditation for three days, you need nine days of meditation to return to the same level.”

In short, small steps that are regularly done on a daily or weekly basis are the base of any successful outcome. Lifetime, intensity of your vision, motivation and inspiration depends on them. As soon as you start ignoring and “skipping” those little steps, you will not only feel an increasing tendency to ignore and “skip” them even more, but you will begin to relativize those crucial (bigger) steps that are necessary to accomplish your goal.

The secret to being proactive is not in the big vision, strong motivation or ambition because there is hardly any person who hasn’t felt a strong inspiration or motivation for something at least a couple times in their lives. Unfortunately, without further understanding, visions, inspirations or motivations  often resemble the desired guest who suddenly appears at our door and as soon as we get excited to have it here, it suddenly disappears. The secret to proactivity comes down to (1) understanding the importance of small steps, (2) understanding the dangers of skipping and relativising small steps and (3) understanding the concept for which the name “nonlinear nature of the cumulation of the effect of small steps” in used the context of the TT MINDFULNESS ™ program.

Nonlinear nature of the cumulation of the effect of small steps

There is another interesting phenomenon that is good to keep in mind when talking about the importance of taking small steps as well as the hidden danger of “skipping” them.

When we define our goals and the small steps we take on a daily basis, one part of our mind expects us to see at least a small level of progress with each step we take. This is quite natural to expect because if you are already investing time and energy into something, you want to make sure that the action you have taken at least brought you closer to the desired outcome. Unfortunately, as much as the stated expectation seems logical, linear progression is reserved only for rare cases.

And that is why it is important to keep in mind the following…

For example, if you need 100 days of some activity to reach your goal, feel free to count on about 80 percent of your VISIBLE RESULTS to appear only in the last 20 days (the last 20 percent of the time).

For example, if you need 100 days to complete your book, chances are that 80 percent of your manuscript will be completed in the last 20 days, while you’ll spend the first 80 days experimenting with different ideas, writing and deleting, researching material, etc. – in any case, without any specific visible results that you might show someone and ask that person for their opinion.

If you, for example, need 10 months to start your private business and get your net monthly income equal to your current monthly salary, it is likely that most of the significant results that will most impact your default net monthly income will appear exactly two months before you start earning that kind of income.

This, of course, is not a precise statistic, but merely a tentative idea that indicates that our path to the goal is quite nonlinear. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding of this phenomenon, many people prematurely conclude that what they are doing “is not going as they imagined” and give up, often not realizing that they were almost near the realization of their goal.

The point is to prepare yourself in advance to spend on average 80 percent of the time it takes to accomplish a goal by making small, necessary steps that no one will even notice. That’s exactly what differentiates people who go forward from those who constantly go in a circle.

Summary:

  • No matter how “big” or “distant” the goal or outcome you want to achieve is,the majority of your path to that goal or outcome consists of a multitude of SMALL STEPS to be taken on a daily basis.
  • If you start ignoring and “skipping” these little steps, you will create a TENDENCY TO IGNORE AND SKIP ANY TYPE OF ACTION YOU NEED. That will gradually dampen your motivation and blur your vision and cause you to give up on your goals or change you wanted to make.
  • Only regularity in taking small steps on a daily basis has the “superpower” to extend the lifetime of your vision and motivation.
  • Prepare to spend 80 percent of the time it takes to accomplish a goal by making small necessary steps no one will notice. Those visible and significant results will only appear the last 20 percent of the time, just before the desired outcome is realized.

***

© Tomislav Tomić – 2020.

This article is a part of the working script for a program “TT MINDFULNESS™ – BECOME A MINDFULNESS COACH“. Click HERE for more information about the program…

Is There Such a Thing As “Enlightenment” and Do You Need it at All?

The term “enlightenment” has become very popular lately, and the desire for enlightenment has become a source of much profit for some people.

Many claim that they possess a magic key for enlightenment and they guarantee that, by using their methods and approaches, a person will surely attain enlightenment – and all in just a few months!

Misinformed people who seek to better their lives take such methods for granted, hoping that one day they will perhaps even be “enlightened” themselves..

Be as it may, I must admit that I do not see too many enlightened people around me – do you?

But, let us first look into the reason why somebody would want to be enlightened in the first place.

Are they not satisfied with their current situation in life?

Maybe they have a feeling that there is something “higher” or better than what they have now?

Or perhaps they simply blindly believe the authorities who claim that enlightenment just exists and that it is much more beautiful and better than the life they have lived so far?

Of course, like with anything else, the reasons why people want to be enlightened are various, but I believe that, at least for the majority, all those reasons can be put under the same denominator, which is their “feeling that they are not living their life to the full”, or “the feeling that life is passing them by.”

Because they see enlightenment as something that will make their life nicer and fuller, people just accept the paradigm that enlightenment is necessary. Without questioning the accepted paradigms, they strive for enlightenment without realizing what it really means.

So, what does it mean to be enlightened?

Does it mean that there will be no problems?

Does it mean that we can start living our lives in endless joy and with complete inner peace?

What does it mean to be enlightened, exactly?

I will give you a brief reason why there is, basically, no such thing as “enlightenment”; why the term is contradictory in itself, and why nobody really needs to be enlightened.

“Enlightenment” is just an ideal, and each ideal is like the horizon. We can see it somewhere in the distance, but as soon as come closer, it seems to keep getting further away from us, becoming nothing more than an unfulfilled desire.

In order to get from point A to point B, we first need to know where it is that we are starting from, and where it is that we are heading to – i.e. our destination. If our goal is too vague or undefined, we will never get where we want to get, and the reason for it is that we do not really know where it is that we are trying to get to. There is an old saying which says that no wind can help the one who does not know where he is sailing.

In order to become enlightened, we first need to define to ourselves what it means to be “enlightened”. But how do you define a thing like enlightenment? How do you crystallize a goal such as enlightenment? How do we define with our mind something that is “outside of the mind”? Can a fish give a precise description of life on the land?

Setting for yourself a goal of enlightenment means to be wandering with no purpose. Yes, you understood well: wandering with no purpose, because the goal which cannot be accurately described is no goal at all.

So, in our search for enlightenment we can only rely on believing somebody whom we see as authority. However, in believing anybody whom we see as authority we negate our own intuition and common sense.

The good news is that we do not need to become enlightened because we already are the Light. That is the catch. We are the Light. Deep down in our nature we are Light, and we all know it. We didn’t come to this “gloomy” planet by some mistake and so we need (to attain) enlightenment to be free of it. Rather, we have consciously chosen to take part in the game of life which is happening here on Earth. It is no coincidence that we are here. There is no such thing as coincidence. There can only be our perception of the world and life as a sequence of random and unconnected events.

There is no need to search for enlightenment. Instead, you should focus on finding a better way of expressing the Light which is already in you in the best and most appropriate way.

I will finish this article with a quote from the Upanishads:

“There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in our heart”.

© Tomislav Tomic – 2010.