Monday, March 5, 2018

You're Smarter Than You Think

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

  • “I’m too dense.”
  • “I’m not smart enough.”
  • “My brain is slow.”
  • “I’m such an idiot/moron/dumbass/putz.”
  • “I didn’t go to college.”
  • “God didn’t spend much time on me.”
Do you ever find yourself making statements like the above? Yes? Keep reading.

Do you ever find yourself saying similar things but with regard to athletics, work, or any other aspect of life? Yes? Keep reading, and apply the general insights as necessary.

Have you replied, “no,” to the former questions but you’re life ain’t exactly rainbows and sunshine? Yes? Then read on, because for you, today might be a day of surprises.

Be aware for the sake of this writing that I use “smart” as a cover-all term that includes street smarts, intelligence, education level, etc.

By Appearances

Let’s start with a few forms through which we can see “low-smarts-worth” in action. This is not a comprehensive list, but it covers a lot of ground all the same.

Since this behavior is negatively-oriented, it must cause us discomfort and compel us into self-rejection and self-sabotage.

Furthermore, since we’re typically not willing to own the self-imposed discomfort that it is, we’re most likely blaming our apparent lack of ability on others and harming them in some way in consequence.

We may also avoid improving ourselves because improvement implies that we must first admit we are “less than.” Ironically, we will often vampire energy from others to prove our self-imposed “I’m not smart enough” victim role, yet we steer clear of any “out there”-/other-imposed reminders of “this is how dumb I am.”

Alternatively, in believing we’re “not good enough,” we can become overachievers in attempt to “prove” how “good enough” we are. This, of course, can never bring satisfaction and inevitably leads to self-exhaustion and probably harm of other as we force our way toward our goals.

The last item to mention is struggle. Most people who believe they aren’t smart enough (if only subconsciously) will, if they don’t become lazy and apathetic, pursue a path of unnecessary learning. This leads to struggle because undue hardship is a consequence of going in the wrong direction: Our progress should look more like someone climbing a ladder than repeatedly tripping up the steps only to fall back to the bottom before reaching the top.

What This Is Really About

So, why does this happen? Why do we behave like this?

Contrary to common and seemingly “true” imaginings, the mental core of this self-degradation issue is actually not about being “smart enough.” Instead, the problem is that we believe we aren’t “smart enough”; that we “should” be smarter and “there’s something wrong with me” because we’re not.

Yes, the world at large will tell us that we’re garbage if we don’t “know.” And, yes, sure, if we aren’t smart enough to avoid walking in front of moving vehicles or if we want to build a house but have no education as to how, then we’d do well to get learning. But usually our ideas about needing to be “smart enough” are bogus; they are ideas that only arise in an education-determines-worth-based society.

If we can clear out whatever it is that drives this sense of unworthiness, we would find that in many ways we already have the smarts we need, if only to reach our next stage in life—the next stage we must go to before any other.

When We Let Go, Things Change for the Better

When we release what is untrue within, we remove the very triggers that cause us to feel “less than.” Since these triggers were “in here,” the reflection of “out there” changes to greet us more kindly and allow for more preferable opportunities to arise without. Our perception of life changes, increasingly enabling us to handle life effortlessly as hardship and suffering are neutralized.

For instance, if we used to avoid reading books because they made us feel “stupid because I should already know,” internal clarity will allow us to joyfully read any book we feel drawn toward and want to learn more. Or if we we’d been born into a highly intellectual family and had come to believe that we’re not good enough unless we can place in the top three in scholarly competitions, internal clarity could allow us to:
  1. naturally perform at our peak because we’re not forcing ourselves,
  2. take part in the competitions for pleasure and without care for placement, or
  3. say, “This is all bullshit,” drop out of any intense intellectual endeavors, throw out all our awards, and truly not give a damn about any criticism our family flings at us as we go off to paint abstract murals for a living.
When truly on our personal life paths, difficulty may arise but we more or less readily find the means to overcome. Also, we greatly enjoy what we’re learning: it’s very satisfying and energizing.

These are just a few examples of possible change, but it’s all positive. So if you have any interest in being smart enough as is yet find you carry related blockages, why not see if you can work them out? What have you got to lose but that which isn't even true to you?

The Most Valuable Truths in Life Are Inner Truths

We’re not meant to know it all. We can’t. And to go a step further, even what we think we know is only temporarily “true,” at best.

Recently, I was around somewhere on the internet and saw a graphic with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and the quote: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” To which the first commenter said something like: “Unless that science is only a theory. Then you’re just fooling yourself.”

I don’t think my paraphrase is half as eloquent as the original, but it should suffice to get my point across. While it can be very practical to understand "how things work" "out there," "out there" is definitely not a dependable place to rest our identities and our “knowing.”

What is primary for us to know is who we are and why we are here by way of insight, not "outsight."

One straightforward, accessible-to-all way this can be interpreted is as meaning that we review our lives as well as observe them as they unfold, see what discomforts have come up in past or present as related to an apparent smarts inadequacy, and then make the effort to resolve them. Because the causes of these discomforts are the very things that drive our want to “know” countless things that often have little relevance to our soul needs and even have us rejecting ourselves because we don’t know but “should.”

We can also look at our personal histories. We might feel like rejects because we’d failed out of college. On the surface this may seem reasonable—how do we get anywhere in life without a degree? But looking deeper we’d find all sorts of ugly beliefs such as: “I’m worthless without a college degree,” and, “My family thinks I’m a loser now.”

Looking further we might realize that we’d only gone to college to appease our parents. With something like this, the self-rejection is ironic because now we reject ourselves for failing though we hadn’t even wanted to go in the first place. Why not pretend we didn’t even go and get on doing whatever we’d intended prior to the college debacle?

We can also majorly help ourselves by questioning our whole college experience in the sense of: What if my time in college hadn’t been so much about book learning as it had been meant for experiential learning? How had relationships played out? What about sports or other collegiate activities? Had anything untoward happened in regard to drug or alcohol abuse? Perhaps our college experience had been meant far less as a mechanism for academic growth as it had been a medium for the development of emotional intelligence, common sense, interpersonal smarts, etc.

As you might imagine, solidly answering such questions can have a huge positive impact. When we do so, we step out of false beliefs, assumptions, appearance, and so forth and get into the area of soul purpose.

What’s Mine Is Mine, and What’s Yours Is Yours.

Another thing people do is see themselves as “less than” based on a another belief that they should know differently; not necessarily more, as such, but differently.

For example, someone might think that because their partner had gone to college for biology, they should have gone for the same; that their partner is “better than” them; that their relationship will never really thrive because their primary knowledge base is different.

It could be asked, “Rather than being a Peter Poopypants about the situation, why haven’t such people then taken the effort to learn that which they feel inadequate with regard to?” While some useful inner-self-related information may be attained by asking this question, such an inquiry is still short-sighted due to the flawed logic that causes the question to arise in the first place.

There’s something we would do well to realize:
We are each living our lives as ourselves because these are the lives we are meant to live. To this moment, we’ve had the experiences we’ve had, we’ve learned what we’ve learned, because that is what is important for each of our respective life paths and lessons, whatever they may be.

For anyone to say that what they’ve learned is wrong or they should have learned this or that instead is flat-out false. Not to say any of those I-could’ve-should’ve-learned things couldn’t be of use to them, but so far they’ve obviously not been important enough for Life to have already provided them.

We each need only be as smart as we need to be to fulfill our own God-given life purpose.

Not our mother's purpose for us. Not some elitist schmuck's purpose for us. Not the purposes that religions, educators, and taxmen place on us. But the unique, God-given purpose etched into each of our souls that we’d been given before we arrived here and have been born onto this planet to fulfill.
Knowing one's self is enough. All else will follow suit.

Become You

There is the saying that, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Here, you are both men, you are the present and the potential.

You are now the man who sees naught but trash. But should you look within, you would realize the man who sees treasure, the man who already has treasure, the man who you are right now who has been carrying the treasure with him all along.

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