DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 2 weeks ago
Being a victim of your history means you’ve allowed yourself to be extrinsically driven, or externally influenced by the world around you. You’ll then likely find that you are more reactive to outer circumstances, influenced by more extreme emotions, and may even struggle to reach goals that you set for yourself. You are also more likely to feel that events and circumstances are happening TO you instead of FOR you and that you are in the passenger seat of your own life.
Being a master of your destiny comes from being intrinsically called and driven to do something that inspires you, something that is so important to you that you can’t wait to get up in the morning and do it. When you are doing what you love, there is no need for external motivation and you’re less likely to procrastinate, but instead, you’ll
Together with every other human being, you have a choice between being a victim of your history or a master of your destiny.
- Being a victim of your history means you’ve allowed yourself to be extrinsically driven, or externally influenced by the world around you. You’ll then likely find that you are more reactive to outer circumstances, influenced by more extreme emotions, and may even struggle to reach goals that you set for yourself. You are also more likely to feel that events and circumstances are happening TO you instead of FOR you and that you are in the passenger seat of your own life.
- Being a master of your destiny comes from being intrinsically called and driven to do something that inspires you, something that is so important to you that you can’t wait to get up in the morning and do it. When you are doing what you love, there is no need for external motivation and you’re less likely to procrastinate, but instead, you’ll have a desire to live by priority. You’ll be more adaptable to overcome any challenge, and more likely to remain balanced and neutral instead of reacting to outer circumstances and as a result becoming highly charged and emotional.
The question is: how do you make the transition from being a victim of your past towards being a master of your destiny?
It begins by harnessing the power of your mind to live purposefully.
There are only three things you have control over in your life: your PERCEPTIONS, DECISIONS and ACTIONS.
If you can manage your perceptions, make prioritized decisions and act on them, you can master the power of your mind to live a meaningful and purposeful life.
I’ve been doing it for almost 49 years now and truly believe that what distinguishes you as a human being from other species is your capacity to govern your mind and not let the outside world run you.Click below for the video of this article. ↓
As I often quote in my signature two-day program, The Breakthrough Experience, “When the voice and the vision on the inside are both louder and more profound than all opinions on the outside, you begin to master your life.”
Mastering your life begins with taking command of your perceptions, decisions and actions.
Using the power of your mind to live purposefully
The term “purpose” is associated with teleology, the study of meaning and purpose. The word “teleology” is actually a derivative of the term “telos” that Aristotle used in relation to his belief that you will tend to live your life searching to fulfill the many perceptual voids in your life.
For example, if you perceive you don’t have enough money, you’ll likely spend your life trying to earn money. If you perceive you’re missing a relationship, you’ll tend to seek out a relationship. If you perceive that you don’t have the social influence you desire, you’ll tend to actively search for social connections and networks.
In other words, whatever you perceive is most missing in your life tends to become most valuable and important to you. It becomes your priority focus and aim in life.
Your highest value, purpose or telos is the most efficient and effective pathway to filling the greatest amount of voids with the greatest amount of value.
Growing up, I was told that I would never overcome my dyslexia and I really struggled with speech. Those voids in my life, things that I perceived to be missing, became my highest values - reading/researching and speaking/teaching millions of people around the world each year.
Identifying your unique set of highest values to live purposefully
Everybody has a set of priorities or values in life. You are spontaneously inspired to act upon whatever is highest on your list of priorities or values. These are also the areas in which you will have more discipline, reliability, and focus.
Anything lower on your list of priorities or values is where you will likely require external motivation in the form of reward or punishment to get you to stay focused, on task, and driven to complete it.
I don’t believe that it’s wise to live your life in a way that requires external motivation because you will likely have a transient, volatile and polarized existence.
For this reason, I encourage you to visit my website and go through the FREE Value Determination Process to identify what is uniquely important to you. Not what you perceive “should” or “ought to be” important or you, but what your life already demonstrates are your highest priorities or values.
Once you identify what’s truly most important to you and start structuring your days around your highest priorities, you’ll be more spontaneously inspired in your life; achieve more; wake up your excellence, leadership, and genius; and expand your potential.
If you fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, your life will no longer fill up with low priority distractions that don’t.
Suppose you fill your day with high priority actions that are deeply meaningful to you. In that case, your self-worth tends to go up, and you tend to expand your space and time horizons of what you believe you can actually achieve.
Suppose you don’t set your highest priority tasks for the day ahead. In that case, you’ll have a higher probability of other people distracting you, projecting their own values onto you, and initiating distraction and disorder in your life.
Trying to put out fires and please people instead of staying focused on what’s deeply meaningful, inspiring and highest in priority to you, will likely lower your self-worth and distract you from what feels like your life’s purpose.
As such, you are not likely to live an inspired life if you fill your days with low priority actions.
Anytime you perform low priority actions, you devalue yourself and are more likely to live in anxiety.
Because when you attempt to live according to your lower values, you tend to become more polarized, emotional and distracted by extrinsic things. The survival region of your brain gets activated and results in an impulsive or instinctual fight-or-flight response, and your becoming distracted, infatuated and resentful instead of focused, poised and present.
You may recall a time when you had a very busy day doing what was truly meaningful to you and ticked off some of your highest priorities. As a result, you were likely more resilient, more adaptable, less volatile, more present, and more certain. You were likely quietly fulfilled and able to handle whatever challenges came your way.
You may also recall a time when you didn’t achieve what was most important and kept putting out fires and handling other distractions throughout the day. As a result, you were likely more volatile, irritable, and likely to lash out at the people you love and care about later in the day.
Those symptoms are valuable feedback to let you know you were likely not being authentic that day nor living by what was most important to you.
I cannot emphasize how important it is to identify your unique highest values and stick to those priorities.
Many years ago, I learned from Mary Kay Ash the importance of identifying the highest priority actions you can do each day that can help you fulfill your dreams. In doing so, you awaken the executive function of your forebrain that is involved in self-governance, visionary leadership, inspired executive action, and the place where you do not get distracted and can handle challenges.
Filling your day with your highest priority actions is the wisest thing you can do every day. It’s the most any human being can do.
I believe that you have the responsibility to prioritize your actions every day towards the absolute highest priority task; to make a decision as to what that priority action is, to stick to it no matter what, and to perceive that whatever happens is “on the way” to helping you fulfill that action, instead of perceiving it as being “in the way”.
It’s really your choice as to how you perceive it.
When you encounter an assumed roadblock, detour or challenge, it is wise to ask yourself, “How specifically is whatever’s happening to me right now helping me fulfill my highest value?” This is a powerful tool to help you harness the power of your mind to live purposefully, to stick to your highest priority, and overcome challenges.
The Power of Your Mind to Deal with Depression
The source of much of your suffering including any feelings of depression is often due to your comparison of your current reality to a fantasy or unrealistic expectation that you have about how you think your life is meant to be.
If you expect others to live in your values, expect yourself to live in other people’s values, or expect a one-sided world or one-sided life, you have the elements that could lead to depression.
For example, when you live your life in a way that you expect somehow to be able to avoid pain and seek pleasure, and avoid difficulties and challenges and seek ease, it’s impossible.
A one-sided world, one-sided life or one-sided partner does not exist. The world is both-sided.
The world includes both pleasure and pain, both challenge and ease, both kind and cruel, etc. So, creating a fantasy of the world, your life, or other people that can’t possibly come true may actually set you on a path towards depression.
Because depression is a feedback mechanism to let you know that you’re pursuing something that’s not highest on your values, something that is skewed towards an unrealistic expectation or a fantasy, or something that has no strategic plan on how to actually achieve it.
As such, I don’t see depression as your enemy, but valuable feedback to let you know that you have unrealistic expectations in life that you are comparing your current reality to.
Pharmaceutical companies may try to tell you that you have a biochemical imbalance, which may be true. Still, those imbalances may not be CAUSAL but instead the RESULT of long standing imbalanced perceptions.
You have the greatest pharmaceutical company sitting in your brain.
Do you know that every transmitter and hormone that pharmaceutical companies try to alter can also be partly or fully under your control?
You have the power in your mind to control or alter your neurotransmitters.
If you stack up the benefits of something you’ve done and feel proud, your serotonin goes up.
If you stack up the drawbacks of what you’ve done and feel ashamed, your serotonin decreases.
If you stack up the benefits of what you’re about to experience when meeting someone, your serotonin, dopamine and enkephalins go up.
If you assume there will be drawbacks in meeting someone, they’ll go down, and your cortisol, osteocalcin, and norepinephrine will rise.
In other words, whenever you perceive more advantages than disadvantages, certain chemistries go up.
Certain chemistries will go down whenever you perceive more disadvantages than advantages, and others will go up.
It astounds me that you have this capacity to control your neurotransmitters, yet very few people seem or care to know about it.
Instead, people tend to blame things on the outside that aren’t really the cause of their problems and give credit to something on the outside that they perceive to be the solution.
Many people tend to dissociate from their own reality and are not empowering their lives by taking command of their perceptions, decisions, and actions and not living by priority.
When you live by priority, your chemistry normalizes as it’s homeostatic. The electronics and molecular chemistry in the brain are constantly trying to bring about homeostasis and bring the brain back into balance.
On the other hand, every time you attempt to live in your lower values and are extrinsically perturbed by environmental perceptions, you throw these chemistries off and store the incomplete perception in your subconscious mind. As a result, you are more likely to believe those incomplete perceptions are reality and hallucinate about what reality is as a result.
Let’s say that instead of living your life this way, you choose to live congruently with your highest values and priorities. In that case, you are most likely to be neutral and objective instead of having distortions and depression.
You are also less likely to have time for depression when you’re doing something deeply meaningful that serves another individual that they’re fairly compensating you for, that you’re also inspired to do.
In other words, you end up depressed when you’re comparing your current reality to a fantasy about how it’s “supposed” to be.
You tend to get depressed when you’re expecting others to live in your values and you’re judging them, or you’re trying to live in other people’s values because you’re admiring them and putting them on a pedestal.
It isn’t wise to let the world on the outside dictate your destiny when you can instead let the voice, vision, inspiration and calling on the inside determine your perceptions, decisions, and actions.
You have a brain that does that. Depression lets you know that you’re pursuing a delusion or a fantasy with unrealistic expectations, instead of being authentic to yourself. The magnificence of who you are is far greater than all those delusions that you’re imposing on yourself or on other people.
I’m a firm believer in learning HOW to take command of your perceptions, decisions, and actions.
In my program, the Breakthrough Experience, I train people on how to do exactly that. I teach them how to:
- Take command of their perceptions so they can see how everything that is happening in their life is helping them get what they want.
- Make decisions that are aligned with their highest values.
- Take high priority action steps each day towards the achievement of their goals.
There’s no reason for you to live in mediocrity when you can be doing something extraordinary.
- A good starting point is going through the FREE Value Determination Process on my website, if you haven’t already done so.
- Another wise question to ask yourself is, “ This is the way my life currently is. How can I use that to my greatest advantage?”