Do you ever play games on your phone? I’m a fan of puzzle games like Soda Crush because they don’t take a lot of time or commitment to play. With a twelve year old son, I often find myself with a few minutes here and there as I hang out in the driver’s seat of Mom’s Taxi. These games are perfect because win or lose, the level takes only a couple of minutes and I’m not invested so I can just close the app. It’s just a little thing I do when there’s only a couple of minutes to kill.
The other night, as I sat outside my mom’s condo, I was playing soda crush and I’ll be honest, I was over the level that I’ve been stuck on for about two weeks. It gets a little boring to me when I’m stuck that long, but it’s not that big of a deal because I don’t play much. When my son got into the car, he looked over and smirked.
“Let me see.”
So I handed him my phone. By the time we got home (it’s just blocks), the level was beaten.
“How’d you do that?”
“I used your boosters. Why don’t you ever use them?”
“I was saving them.”
“For what? When you’re stuck?”
Out of the mouths of babes (or at least sarcastic pre-teens).
This incident gave me food for thought over the next day or so. Why was I saving them? Simple conditioning was my answer. I didn’t use them because of my old fashioned, “Work hard and you will succeed” conditioning. I expanded my thoughts to wonder about how many boosters we may pass up in our daily lives because of conditioning.
The game’s boosters are nothing but tools. Tools lead to success. Do we have mental baggage that keeps us from using some tools but not others? I wouldn’t try to bang a nail into a wall with my palm and old fashioned hard work. I’d open my toolbox and hope the hammer was in there. (Twelve year old boy, I never know until I look….)
I can’t be the only one in my generation that has the same programming. We all watched the same TV shows, I mean, there were only four channels (including PBS) for most of my childhood. And even when cable was piped in, there weren’t that many more options.
Where did we get these self-limiting beliefs, I wondered. But then I quickly dropped the question. The question is completely different than the answer I wanted. What I wanted was to explore what other self-limiting beliefs I still had intact and what was in the toolbox to help me renovate my thoughts.
The Gold Watch Standard
In my mother’s jewelry box there is a section that holds items belonging to my late father. They are mostly gold tie tacks, markers of continued service for a company that no longer exists, some plain, some with diamonds. He had begun working for them in college, loading trucks at night. Just a couple of years shy of his retirement and the promised gold watch, the company folded. When the old dinosaur finally collapsed, he was a vice president.
This model represents an expectation that Boomers and Xers saw in their daily lives. Pick a good company, get your foot in the door any way you can, and climb the ladder from there. This model was reinforced by neighbors, relatives, and good ol’ fashioned TV.
The gold watch standard taught us that in order to make more money, we had to be with a company a long amount of time. Work hard for advancement, and security will be our reward. Here’s your gold watch, enjoy your golden years.
If that model is working for you and you have a happy life, that’s awesome. But if it’s not? Maybe you should go back and examine some of your own core beliefs. You know, the ones that are buried down deep so that even as you think them you aren’t aware that you are thinking them.
Challenge Your Thoughts
We live in a time like no other. There are so many opportunities and ways to get what we desire. Technology changes, grows, and expands our world. But do we change, grow, and expand our own worlds? Or do we just roll on with Bewitched conditioning? (Seriously Darren? I’m pretty sure that if I could twitch my nose and the yard would be mowed my husband wouldn’t mind. He’d just take me down to Flounders, our favorite beach bar, and buy me a mai tai.)
The gold watch standard was only one such ideal that needed to be challenged in my life. I feel like our life of deliberate creation is doing a pretty good job dismantling our self-limiting and dinosaur beliefs. But I feel like there are many more we need to challenge to get to the kind of life we truly desire.
Do you have any self-limiting or out of date beliefs that you think may be holding you back? Please share them in the comments below. You just may help someone else recognize an area of their lives that they would like to improve.
ps: There are many brain tools I use in my life now. Meditation, goals, creative visualization, and the Law of Attraction, all of these are tools you can use to deliberately create the life you want, once you let go of the one you don’t.