Dr John Demartini is a world-renowned specialist on human behavior, a researcher, author and global educator. He has studied over 30,000 books across most all the defined academic disciplines and has synthesized the wisdom of the ages, which he shares on stage in over 100 countries around the world.
Today, Dr Demartini talks to us about why the magnificence of who you are far exceeds any fantasy you will ever impose upon yourself.
The media is filled with articles and adverts telling us that we are not wealthy enough, thin enough, successful enough or young enough. Your message that we don’t need to change is very different.
I’m certain that people want to be loved for who they are. That being said, very few people have certainty or clarity about who they are, what they’re dedicated to, and how they want their life to be. This can be confusing to their friends and family members when they suddenly try to change based on the latest trends, fads or people they perceive as being greater than them or worth imitating.
Let’s take a step back for a minute so I can explain this more clearly.
Like for every human being on the planet, regardless of age, gender or culture, you have a set of priorities or values. These priorities can evolve and change as you grow, but at any moment in your life, you have values that are most important to you which then help dictate your perceptions, decisions and actions. The hierarchy of these values is unique to you, in the order of things that are most important to those that are least important in your life. Think of a young boy who loves to play soccer. He will tend to play soccer whenever he can, talk about soccer whenever possible, and feel inspired to refine his skills through Benson’s Law and challenge himself without needing external motivation to do so. It’s the same with people who love painting or writing or researching or teaching – people are spontaneously inspired from within to act on whatever is most important to them or whatever is highest on their list of values.
Their identity is also most likely to revolve around their highest values. Think about how you would answer the question, “Who are you?” You might say that you’re an entrepreneur, researcher, parent, athlete or decorator. Whatever is highest on your list of values tends to be what your life and identity revolve around. It’s why I often say to people, “Tell me what your highest value is and I’ll tell you who you are now.”
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The same applies to the question, “What do you truly want to be loved for?” Someone whose highest value is family might answer that they want to be loved for being a wonderful mother. I want to be loved for being a great teacher, and it’s true – my highest values include teaching and making a contribution to the world. Someone else might answer that they want to be loved for making music or writing novels. So, tell me what you want to be loved for, and I’ll tell you who you are now.
But what happens if you meet someone who you perceive to be smarter than you or more successful in business? Maybe you think they have a more stable relationship or that they are more popular. When you look up to them and compare yourself to them, you tend to exaggerate who they are and minimize who you are in turn. So, instead of living by your highest values, living by priority and being clear about who you are, you might then put them on a pedestal, feel a little intimidated, compare yourself to them and inject some of their values into your list of values artificially. And, if it’s a variety of people that you’re subordinating to, you’re likely to internalize a whole bunch of values from other people, which will cloud the clarity of what and who you are, and what you’re dedicated to. In other words, you’ll live vicariously through them, try to imitate them, and live in their shadows instead of being authentic and stand on their shoulders.
Would you say that there are many people who don’t know who they really are or what their purpose in life is?
Yes. The moment you subordinate to other people and inject values from outside authorities, you cloud the clarity of who you are and are likely to try to be somebody you’re not. You might not even love yourself and or feel fulfilled because you’re trying to live your life according to someone else’s values. As Ralph W. Emerson stated: Envy is ignorance and imitation is suicide.
Think of a time when you were really infatuated with someone and you started doing things that weren’t normal for you just so you could fit in with them. You might even have sacrificed things that are important to you so you could be with them and fit in with their social circle. As a result, you diluted, disempowered and distracted yourself from what was truly important to you. People who infiltrate values from other people often end up with internal negative self-talk and an internal dialogue of self-depreciation.
Whenever you’re trying to live by somebody else’s values, your self-worth tends to go down and you often end up not appreciating or loving yourself. How can you expect other people to appreciate you when you’re not appreciating yourself? Until you love yourself, don’t expect others to. Until you value yourself, don’t expect others to. Until you invest in yourself, don’t expect others to. Until you fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you and take command of your time, don’t expect others to respect those priorities.
So give yourself permission to be yourself. Your identity revolves around what you value most. And you deserve to love yourself – the real you, the true you.
Let’s say that I begin living according to my highest values, what changes would typically become evident in my behaviour, relationships, finances – in fact, in all seven areas of my life?
When you stop trying to inject the values of others into your life and begin living by your own highest values, you will typically start to feel love and appreciation, and be more engaged, more productive and more inspired. You’ll also strategize and execute priorities more because you will be engaging the executive center of your forebrain. You’ll also tend to accomplish more and emerge as a leader who allows the people in your life to live according to their own highest values. As such, you can be yourself without having to change or without feeling the need to change others.
What would be a good first step for someone wanting to embrace what you have shared today? In other words, discovering who they are and more about their own values?
If you haven’t already done so, you can work through the FREE Demartini Value Determination Process on my website, which will take you step-by-step through 13 questions that will help you identify your highest values. This is a process that you can do every few months because your list of values may gradually or cataclysmically change. Just be certain that they really are YOUR highest values and not those that you think you “should” have. It’s an eye-opening and mind-expanding process – I am certain that you will be awakened and inspired by it.
Any other last words on the topic of loving yourself?
It would be wise to give yourself permission to be who you are – nobody else is going to be greater at that than you. You don’t need to be somebody else. Why be second at being somebody else when you can be first at being you?
Just know that the true you, the magnificence of who you are far exceeds any fantasy you impose on yourself. So love yourself. You don’t need to change. You are worthy of love no matter what you’ve done or not done. You are worthy of love.