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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 Survive The Dark Night Of The Soul

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The dark night of the soul can be viewed as a complete purge of a person and their false sense of self we call the external identity. This can be a tough time, but a necessary one to move to higher levels of consciousness and being.

  • Reflect On:

    If you are experiencing this, or know someone who is, remember this isn't about forcing a 'fix' of anything. Ask questions, reflect on what you are resisting and holding onto so dearly. We are looking to evolve, be open to the process.

The dark night of the soul is a phrase derived from 15th century poem “Noche Oscura” written by Spanish mystic, saint and priest John Of The Cross. It refers to a spiritual crisis, a seeker of truth is forced to face during their spiritual evolution. The dark night is when the man/woman of God (or your metaphorical equivalent) is given the feeling of abandoned by their maker and left to find their own way. It is the transition from being shown the way you should be, to actually being that way. The dark night gives the impression that the change is painful, but the suffering actually comes from the resistance to the change and not the change itself.

One could call it the integration of the dualistic mindset, to one of unity. The harmonising of the masculine and feminine. Or the merging of the soul with the body, and realising it to be one.

In the words of St John himself:

Into this dark night souls begin to enter when God draws them forth from the state of beginners – which is the state of those that meditate on the spiritual road – and begins to set them in the state of the progressives – which is that of those who are already contemplatives – to the end that, after passing through it, they may arrive at the state of the perfect, which is that of the Divine union of the soul with God.”

It Is A Purge Of The Self

The dark night is the complete purge of a person who seeks a higher path of truth. This leads to a breakdown of the egoic construct this person has created and leads to the death of the avatar they believe to be the self. This can result in hopelessness and an existential crisis. It is the true butterfly metamorphosis which seems really beautiful to the outside, but the reality is a lot more brutal.

For the caterpillar to become a butterfly, it has to completely dissolve. It does not change in the way we might think, with the caterpillar growing wings, but it completely falls to pieces and becomes a liquid pulp. It literally becomes nothing and has to die. It then forms in the complete darkness and unknown. This means to become the butterfly, it is forced to step into a completely unknown place outside of anything it would call comfort. But this is just the start, it then has to fight its way out of the cocoon which is not an easy process. However, the beauty is in this fight as it builds the strength of the wings. Without this, the newly formed butterfly would not be able to fly. So it is the caterpillars dark night of the soul leads it to be the fully evolved beautiful and free creature.

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This is the same for the holy men and women we see in the public light. We often see their compassion and unconditional care, but forget the process they needed to go through to get there.

The Difference Between The Dark Night And Depression

The dark night of the soul differs from depression, as depression is more self centred and apathetic in nature. Whereas the dark night is more a question of where one would fit into the bigger picture. The potential suffering is often due to a feeling that you cannot do anything about the suffering of others. Whereas depression is more often centred around the person who is suffering. There is often a fine line between the 2, and they can exist simultaneously, however, someone is far more likely to be misdiagnosed with depression, than the dark night of the soul.

Karma

If you believe in the cycles of karma, many of us have a karmic debt (past or present life) and this debt needs to be balanced to move forward. If you visualise a set of scales with all the past deeds- the giving and taking needs to have balance restored. Not too much either way. If you fill your cup too much it will overflow and make a mess, if you empty your cup to much you will find there is nothing left to give. If you ask for progression, you can often be forced to face the karma you carry in this life far quicker than you normally would.

The Dark Night Of The Soul Is An Answer To Your Prayers

The dark night of the soul could be thought of as an answer. It is common to search high and low for meaning, but the answers we receive are often not inline with the expectations held. Sometimes it feels as if there is a magic formula, discipline or teacher who is going to arrive and liberate us. But anyone that ever does only ever gives a false sense of liberation.

True liberation comes from within and the dark night allows us to humble ourselves, strengthen our wings and build character for the journey ahead. It is a chapter (or series of chapters) of our own personal heroes adventure to find and liberate yourself from suffering.

What To Do If You Are Experiencing It?

If you are experiencing the dark night of the soul, reach out to those who understand and have been through a similar process. There are many events, workshops classes and online groups that have a higher likelihood of meeting people who would understand your process. You can also attend retreats that specialise in Shadow Work or Spiritual Crisis. Just be intuitive about who you work with as they need to be the right person for you. There are also charities that can help, in the US they have Spiritual Emergence and the UK has Spiritual Crisis Network. If you are somewhere else in the world there is a good chance you will be able to find something similar, if not you can always reach out to the US or UK charities.

The Dark Night Of The Soul does pass and while it can be difficult while you are in this vortex, you will never be given a load you cannot carry. On the other side of this process is something beautiful and if you persevere, you will get there. Take care and if you would like to download my free eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control You Can Do So Here

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Consciousness

7 Things You Need To Stop Being Ashamed Of

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Whether or not self-consciousness is an challenge you deal with regularly, we all have things we are unnecessarily ashamed. These are 7 in particular we all could benefit from embracing rather than hiding.

  • Reflect On:

    How many of these 7 things are you currently ashamed of? What in particular makes you feel that way about them? How can you regularly stop yourself from falling into these patterns?

Both as a teen and throughout the first half of my twenties, I was ashamed of pretty well anything and everything I did that wasn’t in direct alignment with what seen as socially acceptable for me. I missed out on potential relationships and stopped doing a number of passions publicly all in the name of being accepted.

What was the result of all of this? A widely accepted but flat out miserable me.

While I didn’t raise any eyebrows or deal with much criticism, I also wasn’t myself. Thankfully, since then I’ve experienced what so many had rumoured about before me: with age you literally start caring less and less about what other people think of you.

As I now approach my thirtieth year of life, I can confidently say that the amount I care about what other people think of me is at an all-time low -and that’s in the social media obsessed world we live in, where self-consciousness is globally at all-time high. Don’t believe me? We all know at least one person who can easily spend several hours perfectly posing and posting a particular image on Instagram to maximize the chances that they receive the attention and approval they are seeking.

Even though this process is seemingly naturally-occurring, we all still perpetually carry some unnecessary shame. So whether you are 16, 30 or 85, here is my list of 7 things I truly believe you need to stop being ashamed of in both video and written form:

1. The Music You Listen To

Still to this day, when asked to list some of my favourite artists or bands I’ll find myself inclined to primarily list off those that “match” me. And while those that I list are reflective of some of my favourite music, it’s certainly not the full picture. Since grade 2, a part of me has always loved pop music, especially songs created by the infamous boy bands NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys, yet only my closest friends ever got to know this about me.

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There are far too many of us who reserve our favourite tracks, which we all know uplift us the most, for those rare “safe” moments where we know there is little to no risk of being judged by anyone nearby. If it’s going to put you in a better mood, why not treat your car the same way you treat your shower?

2. The Things You Do In Your Downtime

While I’m not concerned as to whether or not you do what you genuinely love in your downtime, I am concerned about how hush-hush we tend to keep our interests. Whether you love playing video games, reading Harlequin novels, or building model train sets, your personal passions are one of your greatest tools for deep connection.

Think of the friendships you can form with those who are just as passionate about what gets you going. You’re far more likely to connect with them than you are with your girlfriend’s friend’s boyfriend.

3. Your Emotions

I’m not suggesting we all become incredibly emotional beings who overreact to anything and everything that comes our way, but I am suggesting we stop bottling things up inside. While some strides have been made to shift away from the “Macho Man” or “Macho Woman” mentality, there are still far too many of us who think keeping our issues to ourselves is the “tougher” thing to do.

I’m a firm believer that the most efficient and effective way to move past challenging situations is to fully express what you are feeling and ride it out.

4. What You Do For Work

Unfortunately, but also thankfully, we cannot all work jobs that are both widely understood and accepted. I’ve tried explaining to my mom dozens of times what a social media consultant is and she still has no idea what I do for a living other than “Facebook”.

So whether you’re a plumber, doctor, or the second line manager for a particular part within a certain piece of machinery at a company that no one has ever heard of, embrace and express what you do. It is a key player in helping you provide for yourself and your loved ones, so why not be proud of everything that it entails? Plus, if you happen to not like your job, it’s only through properly expressing what you do, that others can draw parallels to other opportunities that may be a better fit for you.

5. Everyone You’ve Dated

The shame surrounding this tends to come in one of two ways.

The first revolves around quality. You likely have at least one “psycho ex” or that person you dated for several months that everyone knew was a bad fit for you and ultimately was.

The second surrounds quantity. Either you haven’t dated enough people or you’ve lost count of how many you have, either way there are plenty of judgemental terms that can be cast upon both. No matter your dating resume, remember that everyone, or lack of anyone, has helped to make you into who you are today.

6. Your Bank Account Balance

Let me set the record straight that I’m not suggesting we all start openly parading our checking account balances. What I am suggesting is that we stop letting our savings dictate our confidence level, and ultimately how we sell ourselves to others and the world.

Just as no one likes a cocky bastard who won’t shut up about their wealth, no one likes someone who belittles all of their wonderful attributes because they feel their financial situation makes them into an unworthy and lost soul. Remind yourself of everything you have to offer this world and operate from that space, doing so will bring more money your way than selling yourself short ever will.

7. The Fact That You Read & Watch Content Like This

As someone who has been creating this content for well over 8 years, I can confidently tell you that there are far more people who seek this information out than you likely think. But if that isn’t comforting enough, remind yourself that engaging with this content simply suggests that you are actively looking to improve your life. When did that become something we need to be ashamed of?


Ready to change your life today? Get FREE access to download a copy of my eBook on ‘5 Quick Daily Hacks for a GENUINELY Happier Life’ by SIGNING UP HERE.

And 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 Facebook.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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Consciousness

How To Break Bad Habits

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At some point in our lives we’ve all have habits or tendencies that we wanted to move beyond or grow out of, but oftentimes we don’t have the knowhow, or even the awareness, to actually break free of them.

The idea here is not to focus on these habits being “bad,” and thinking that we have to fix them – or else. Rather, we should recognize that many times these “bad” habits are destructive to ourselves, our friends, and our family, and often keep us stuck and stagnant in our growth. Breaking a habit by thinking about it in a new light can open up your potential as an individual and allow you to see your life or world in a very different light – even breaking free of small habits can have this effect.

We;re going to sum all this up deeply in an episode of our web series “These Guys,” which you can watch below, but before we get there I thought I’d sum up the details quickly in a list below.

1. Not getting caught up too much on the word “bad”; a bad habit is something that holds you back in life and stops you from growing. It will likely also cause chaos and a lack of flow in your own life, the lives of others, or a team environment you are in. It may be something that causes you to have a lack of balance in life or it may make you mentally, physically, or emotionally unhealthy.

2. Don’t be hard on yourself as you discover the habits that you want to change. Avoid identifying with your habits and claiming that they are “you.” Recognize that it is a process to change habits and it may take some time. Go easy on yourself and support your intention to change.

3. Be honest with yourself. Find the deeper reasons as to why you have or defend your “bad” habits. What is really going on? What are you really feeling? Is it simply a mental construct to break? Or is there an emotion you are protecting or a trigger point you are trying to avoid? Find out why you’re afraid to change the bad habits.

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4. Most of breaking a bad habit all comes down to observation and being open; getting to the root of the issue. It’s about growth and adjusting things in your life for you own growth and joy, even if you don’t see it right away yet.

5. Keep going, have fun, and don’t take it all too seriously!

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
Continue Reading
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