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Personal Development

What Is Wrong With The 1%?

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“There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation.”

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Herman E. Daly

According to the latest 2015 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report the top 1% of wealth holders now own half of all global household wealth, much of this wealth has been concentrated in the United States and Europe. A 2014 report by Oxfam warned that the richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population. (1a)

While most of us are aware of the inequality in modern western society it is much less known what impacts such wealth creation have throughout society and the environment. While there are many wealthy individuals whom contribute to various causes, charities and philanthropic pursuits there is no denying the growth and continued exploitation of the planet in an effort to increase wealth is having devastating consequences. Today much of this  wealth is now concentrated at the very elite and top percentage profile.

Don’t Understand the Concept of Uneconomic Growth

We are now experiencing what many call, uneconomic growth. Uneconomic growth is where there is a decline in the quality of life on Earth. With ever expanding focus on ever increasing profits, companies, executives, shareholders and owners continue to exploit resources and people in an attempt to maximize profits. This profit driven motive dominating the mainstream and the economic model is creating inequality not just in society, but throughout the natural world. For continued profits, which keep shareholders and owners happy there must be a corresponding increase in profits. These profits can only come about due to the use of more resources. It doesn’t matter which way you spin it, the concept and very premise economic growth is founded on  turning natural resources into goods and services.

Increased Wealth Doesn’t Equal Greater Levels of Happiness

We have all heard the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness.” Recent psychological research has not only shown the truth of this maxim, but has begun to demonstrate that when people organize their lives around the pursuit of wealth, their happiness can actually decrease.

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Research on how happiness relates to material wealth by psychologists Edward Diener, Ph.D., and David Myers, Ph.D., clearly documents that people are happier if they live in wealthy, rather than poor nations. However, once individuals have enough money to pay for their basic needs of food, shelter, etc., money does relatively little to improve happiness. Further, increases in neither national economic growth nor personal income have much effect on changes in the personal happiness of citizens.

Psychological research goes further than this, however, by showing that people who “buy into” the messages of consumer culture report lower personal well-being. According to research by psychologist Tim Kasser, Ph.D., individuals who say that goals for money, image, and popularity are relatively important to them also report less satisfaction in life, fewer experiences of pleasant emotions, and more depression and anxiety. Similar results have been demonstrated for a variety of age groups and people around the world.  In addition to these problems with personal happiness, research suggests that strivings for affluence also hurt social relationships and promote ecologically-destructive behaviour. (1)

Generally Wealthy People Are Less Altruistic Than Most

To the uninformed, one might assume that poorer people are more likely to lie, cheat, steal and act unfairly toward others. The opposite is true. Studies by Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner conducted several studies to determine which socio-economic groups act in their self-interest and disregard the impact they have upon others. They found that the more wealth one has, the greater the propensity to participate in and behave in a uncompassionate manner. They found that as people climb the social ladder their feelings towards others decline. Piff and his colleagues suspect the answer may have something to do with how wealth and abundance give us a sense of freedom and independence from others.

The less we have to rely on others, the less we may care about their feelings. This leads us towards being more self-focused. Another reason has to do with our attitudes towards greed. Like Gordon Gekko, upper-class people may be more likely to endorse the idea that “greed is good.” Piff and his colleagues found that wealthier people are more likely to agree with statements that greed is justified, beneficial, and morally defensible. These attitudes ended up predicting participants’ likelihood of engaging in unethical behaviour. (2)

Wilfully Ignorance in Being Able to See the Greater Connection

The ecological principle formulated back in the 1860’s by Justus Von Liebig, ‘Liebig’s Law’, (also known as the Law of the minimum) originally applied to plant and crop growth illustrates this point. The law states that, ‘growth is controlled not by the total resources available, but by the scarcest resources, the limiting factor’. An example can be seen in the growth of plants. If one of the variables that goes into growing a plant, for example, sun, water, nutrients, soil Ph is out of balance or missing (the scarcest resource), then the plant will subsequently die. In essence, we only have to get one thing significantly wrong for us to face almost certain environmental and societal collapse. It seems many (not just wealthy) individuals, corporations and governments are hell bent on pursuing the status quo in spite of coming to the realisation that everything is connected. This failure to see the connection by continually exploiting resources and undermining the systems which support us is rooted in ignorance, arrogance and the inability to understand how everything is connected…

Article by Andrew Martin, author of  Rethink…Your world, Your future. and One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future… 

RethinkcoverCE2excerpts from Rethink…Your world, Your future.

(1) http://www.apa.org/research/action/rich.aspx

(1a) http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

(2) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-wealth-reduces-compassion/

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Consciousness

How To Improve Your Life In 3 Simple Steps

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The world of personal development is oversaturated in content promising to provide you the keys to happiness, success, etc. Here is the simplest technique you'll ever come across to immediately improve your life.

  • Reflect On:

    Am I making my life more complicated and difficult than it needs to be? What stops me from regularly applying all of the great things I've read about and learned to date?

The world of personal development is certainly an interesting one. As the shelves in your local bookstore and the search results on Google suggest, it is undoubtedly quite oversaturated with both redundant and often contradictory advice on how to improve your life.

Whether it be coming from well-recognized forces in the industry such as Tony Robbins and Lisa Nichols, or from people such as myself who would love to one day become that much of a force, there are plenty of resources available to us. And while I’m sure we can all list off a self-help book or two we’ve read that we believe the world would be better without, the main reason why this content continues to be created at such a rapid pace is that we continue to seek it out.

You’d think that the content’s intention to improve our lives from that point forward would naturally give the industry a relatively short life, but it instead continues to thrive because we collectively seem to have an incredibly difficult time applying it. We get amped up after reading a great chapter or after completing a powerful exercise, but two days later forget what we’ve learned and slip back into the busy nature of our daily lives.

With this piece I’d like to combat that tendency by making personal development as easy as possible. Here’s my take on how to improve your life in 3 simple steps:

Step 1 – What Makes You Happy?

Step 1 simply involves taking 10-15 minutes to write out everything (and I mean everything) that makes you happy in life. If you enjoy taking your dog for a walk, write it down. If you enjoy reading in bed, write it down. If you enjoy playing rugby, write it down.

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Step 2 – What’s Regularly On Your To Do List?

Whether or not you actively create a to do list, step 2 requires you to set aside another 10-15 minutes to write out everything that you currently do on a regular weekly basis. From going to work to making meals to playing a sport to driving your kids to and from school, write out anything and everything that typically consumes your time.

Step 3 – Adjust Accordingly

You may have guessed where this was going, but yes, the mind-blowing, life-altering advice is to simultaneously look at both of those lists and adjust accordingly.

The human experience may be incredibly complicated, and I’m sure that we all have deep seeded issues that we would likely benefit from an in-depth analysis on, but we’re also not as complicated as we think.

And no, I am not suggesting that we all immediately ditch everything on list number 2 to instead strictly dedicate our lives to the items on list number 1. What I am suggesting is that one of the simplest ways to profoundly improve our lives is by making more regular time for the things that we enjoy.

I know that we all lead busy lives and that we have our fair share of responsibilities, but if you found the time to read this article I’m willing to bet that you have at least a little wiggle room. It ultimately boils down to prioritization, and what could be better than to prioritize the things that you genuinely love at least a bit more?


For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on Instagram. And to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

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Consciousness

A Brutally Honest Guide To Stop Caring About What Other People Think

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We are all naturally self-conscious to some extent in this world, some far more than others, and all typically much more than we are willing to admit. But there are things that we can all do to set ourselves free from this anxiety.

  • Reflect On:

    Do I let the opinions of others hold me back from being myself? Whose opinions impact me the most and why?

While there are certainly many things in this world that can quite easily get our “knickers caught up in a bunch,” there are few that personally bother me more than the reality that, in a world with over 7.5 billion people, far too many of us allow ourselves to be controlled by the opinions of just one or two of these people.

We have countless dreams, ideas and opportunities, all of which we’re often more “comfortable” shutting down rather than pursuing, no matter how excited we were upon initially coming up with them.

If this sounds familiar to you, and trust me it’s an ongoing battle for most of us (myself included), and you’d like to do something about it, here’s some of what I’ve found to be the most effective at getting yourself to a point where you’re far less bothered by the opinions of others:

Accept That Haters Will Always Hate

This may be a tough pill to swallow for some, but realize that, no matter what you choose to do and not do in this world, there will always be people who dislike and/or disagree with you. Even those who pride themselves on being a master of people pleasing have a number of non-supporters that they’re simply either discrediting or genuinely not aware of.

Especially in the social media driven world that we live in, public displays of dislike and displeasure have become far more prevalent, so chances are you’ll have plenty of opportunities to find out who’s not into what you’re up to.

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Knowing this, set yourself free of the wishful thought that a world of 100% undying support is possible, and instead focus on being yourself and being grateful for whatever support you do receive.

Identify The Opinions That “Matter” Most

While all non-supportive opinions have the potential to impact us, there is typically a particular opinion or two or twenty that hit home a bit harder than the rest. Common sources tend to include: parents, close friends, co-workers, and other people that we may either openly idolize or subconsciously be modelling ourselves after.

If you can peg down someone specific, think back on what could have triggered you into putting their opinion on a pedestal above the rest. And realize that allowing their opinions to control you and ultimately not being yourself is not doing them any favors. (Pardon me while I potentially get a bit too spiritually “woo-woo” for some.) It may be avoiding certain conflicts in that moment, but at a higher level it’s actually a disservice since you’re preventing both of you from having to deal with a conflict that in the long-run will help you both grow stronger.

Ah! I’m Afraid Of Everyone’s Opinion

If you find yourself particularly sensitive to and fearful of any form of criticism, take this brutally honest truth in: PEOPLE DO NOT THINK ABOUT YOU NEARLY AS MUCH AS YOU THINK THEY DO.

We are all naturally self-conscious to some extent in this world, some far more than others, and all typically much more than we are willing to admit. With that being the case, do you not think that most people are far too preoccupied with concerns centered around how everyone else is perceiving them to give that much attention to their perception of you?

This somewhat sad reality is even more true once again thanks to our social media driven world where it’s not uncommon for people to spend more time crafting a highlight reel moment worthy of sharing on Instagram than they do actually living it.

Some Extra Inspiration

So, rather than shutting yourself down out of fear of what someone else might say, do, or think, get excited by what might come from you alternatively choosing to express yourself. Realize that everything you now like to brag about was once outside of your comfort zone and that pretty well everyone you admire once (if not many times) had to take a leap into the unknown. And once they got there, they had to keep on going through plenty of criticism, differing opinions, and mind stories all set on selling them on the idea that quitting would be more optimal.

But they didn’t let it stop them because, in a world with over 7.5 billion people, they knew that their opinion mattered, and so does yours!


If your self-consciousness is a trigger of anxiety, you’re not alone! To help, I’ve created an ONLINE COURSE based on sharing everything I used to conquer my own severe anxiety. Check it out, take the first lesson for free, and get lifetime access to the full course for only $10 with the promo code ‘ANXIETY_FREE10’

For more brutally honest personal development content designed for those who actually want to change be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and to follow me on InstagramAnd to receive my free eBook on 5 Simple Daily Hacks For A Genuinely Happier Life click HERE.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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Consciousness

Science Says Silence Is Vital For Our Brains

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Studies have shown that excessive environmental noise not only decreases one's quality of life and cognitive function, but also reduces lifespan. The good news is that spending time in silence can reverse these effects.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you living in an environment that is consistently loud? Do you take much time for intended silence? Have you tried the 5 Days of You Challenge?

If you’re the average person, you wake up to the sound of an alarm. That alarm sends you to the bathroom where you quickly get yourself ready for your workday. If you have the time, you might eat something before jumping into your car to listen to music or the radio while you sit in traffic on your way to work.

Once you get there, it’s all people, customers, co-workers, cars, trucks, planes, lawn mowers, construction, phone calls, and tasks for the next 8 hours. These noises that most of us experience in excess send our bodies into stress states, decreasing our quality of life and potentially reducing our lifespan. It appears that noise, in excess, is not healthy for humans. Silence, on the other hand, can have huge benefits, but let’s explore the damage caused by noise before we get to the benefits of silence.

Before we get into the research, I’d like to note that the word ‘noise’ is said to come from the Latin word nausea, or the Latin word noxia, meaning seasickness, sickness, hurt, damage, or injury. Is it any wonder ‘noise’ is not healthy for us?

The Studies

Outside of your anecdotal reflection, there is scientific evidence that supports the negative effects of noise on our health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) examined and quantified its health burden based on a European study that involved 340 million people living in Western Europe. It found that residents were cumulatively losing about a million years off their lives due to noise every year. That’s like one in every three people losing an entire year off their life due to excessive noise!

A study that was published in 2011 in Psychological Science examined the effects Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Professor Gary W. Evans of Cornell University noted that the children who were exposed to noise developed a stress response that caused them to ignore the noise. These children not only ignored harmful noises, but also regular stimuli that are important to pay attention to like speech. Wonder why people have trouble paying attention these days? Perhaps we are exposed to too much noise and too many sounds.

This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise–even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage–causes stress and is harmful to humans. – Professor Gary Evans

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Going back to anecdotal evidence for a moment, I always find that staying with my friends who live in cities produces a much more uncomfortable situation for myself than when I’m in more quiet situations, or living at my quiet, somewhat isolated home in nature. I always share with friends that the environment of living in a city seems to be unhealthy; not just the air, but the energy, hustle and bustle, and the noise as well. Reading these studies clearly illustrates that it does not appear to be natural or healthy for humans to live or work in loud environments every day.

Noise has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, tinnitus, and loss of sleep. Living in consistently noisy environments will cause you to experience much higher levels of these harmful hormones. Of course, there is something you can do about this should you take action on it, but it requires that–action.

The Benefits of Silence

Again, pointing to anecdotal evidence for a moment, think back to the moments where you were on your own, retreating to the cottage or somewhere else quiet. Did you notice how often you NOTICED the silence? Not only that, but you likely felt a lot better after 3 or 4 hours of being there.

It isn’t just cleaner air or taking some time away from work, it’s the silence and lack of distraction. This can be observed by playing loud music and partying the entire time at a cottage as well. You’ll realize it isn’t relaxing, but simply another distraction. When you contrast the two different experiences, the benefits become more clear.

An interesting study observed the effects of noise, music, and silence on the brain. The study was published in the journal Heart and found that the two minute pauses randomly placed between the ‘relaxing music’  in the study were far more relaxing for the brain than the relaxing music. The longer the silence, the more benefits experienced by the participants. Study author L. Bernardi found that his ‘irrelevant’ blank pauses were the most important aspects of the study. Silence is heightened by contrast.

What You Can Do & The Takeaway

So, what can you do if you experience a lot of noise and are looking to avoid loud noises or simply take a break? Firstly, the good news is that the brain recovers from too much noise over time. According to the attention restoration theory, the brain’s finite cognitive resources can begin restoring when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input. In silence, the brain essentially lets down its sensory guard and restores some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.

The practical end of this would look like making an extra effort to be or spend time in silence. This means no music, movies, friends, conversations, phone chimes, etc, even if it’s only for 30 minutes or an hour each day.

This silence would not only allow your brain to restore its cognitive functions like creativity, but it can give you the opportunity to disconnect, quiet down and connect with yourself as well.

Years ago, I created a challenge called the 5 Days of You Challenge that’s designed to do just that – help people slow down, reduce noise and distraction, and connect deeper with themselves. Over the years, I have sent 180,000 people through this challenge and it has resulted in an incredible number of positive transformations.

If you’re looking to:

  • Clear emotional blocks
  • Connect deeply with yourself
  • Find more peace in your life
  • Develop greater self-awareness and presence
  • Slow down and enjoy life more

Then this challenge is something I highly recommend. I’ve made this challenge available to everyone to experience for free. You can check it out on CETV here.

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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