An Honest & Thorough Inventory of Your Life is Essential
edited: Tuesday, February 19, 2008
By Jeff Brown
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2008
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Taking an Honest and Thorough Moral Inventory of Your Life is Essential to Greater Happiness and Success
We live in a society that focuses on being number one or striving for perfection in business, athletics, dance and modeling contests, and more. But we don't hear a lot about working toward moral or ethical betterment. What of those who try to better not only how they treat themselves but how they treat others? What of those who make a concerted effort at being kinder, more giving, less self-focused, and more honest and honorable in their actions, thoughts, words, and deeds? Is a focus here important? Those in the business world attempting to be more successful now speak of not being negative, critical, judgmental, or not attracting negative energy or results. Even though in the businees world this philosophy is being bandied about as the latest, greatest thing, but in reality it's nothing new. An effort to be clean of these detractors has been spoken of for hundreds if not thousands of years in the world's major and minor religions. Working toward a more positive and upbeat frame of mind, a cleansing of all that can damage the soul, is essential to mankind--the longevity and widespread teachings of such is a testament the importance of this process to humankind.
But how specifically do we go about doing so? Well, you need to review your life to find those things in the dark corners that need to be cleansed. Are you doing things that create negative feelings or energy in your mind and heart? Finding the source oftentimes results in looking at outside influences. Maybe it's hanging out with negative people, people who gossip, lie, who naysay every time you bring up new ideas that are inspiring to you. Maybe it's your job, a job that drags you down and takes away your energy every moment of every day you work, weakening you to enable a greater opportunity for ingesting the negative. Perhaps it's where you live, where you run into people who are not living up to what you consider as acceptable standards. (Regardless of how strong you think you are, after time, negative influences can catch you off guard, bringing you down in the process.) Maybe it's coworkers who aggravate you by doing or saying things that you find negative--offensive language, low standards, derogatory remarks about you and others. It can even be in the things your read or view. There are a lot of things to examine in your life that need to be looked at. But the most frightening place to look can also yield the most productive results if you are willing to do the work.
At some time in our lives, we have been heavily influenced by people, places, events, that have created such a negative influence that we suppress and forgot them. For example, in Reign Over Me, Charlie Fineman (Adam Sandler) looses his entire family in a plane crash (wife and three children). This is so devastating to him that he looses his dentistry practice and regresses to his college days, spending the majority of his time collecting albums, playing video games, in a band, and hanging out with friends to all hours. His desire to oppress these negative memories--to never acknowledge them or talk about them--is so strong that he decides to take his life. The attempt fails, so he eventually has to deal with his problem.
Most of us do not have problems to the extreme that Charlie Fineman has, but we all oppress negative emotions to some degree. If there was loss in your life (loved one, friend), abuse (verbal or physical), addiction, and so on, bottom line, anything that has created anger, resentment, frustration, fear, pride, self-will, self-pity, you need to examine the source(s) boldly and honestly.
This can not, of course, be done alone or without assistance. The best thing to do is to find a support group or people you trust who can help you work through these problems, and in the process you can help them. There is no one on this planet that doesn't need to go through the process. Some have a greater need than others, but every person has negative influences that need to be examined in order to grow and be of greater benefit to others and ourselves.
So, just how do you go about unloading all this negativity? Answer? Do an inventory. You have to sit down and list memories of people, institutions and organizations, principles, ideas, beliefs, events, situations, or circumstances that trigger positive and negative feelings. You may hit certain items several times, but that's OK. We'll work on organizing later. For now, just begin writing.
But as you write, you have to look beyond past behaviors and examine thougthts, feelings, and beliefs that lead to your behavior. Your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings are actually the roots of your negative behaviors.
But to get to the core issues you must rely on being honest, let the subconscious / intuitive voice come forth. That means not trying to manipulate or manage the ideas and thoughts coming out. Just let your mind go wherever it wants, and as you do so, the truth of what has been holding you back will be revealed to you. You will be instructed and guided by the voice, telling you where to go. At a later time, as you organize and categorize your thoughts from your free-form writing you will see reoccurring themes that will tell you where you need to go, what you need to focus on to heal your life, to improve you chances for success not only financially but in all other areas of life.
As you examine your life, you have to ask yourself some questions. What was it that happened? What was the effect on you or others? What were your feelings at the time of the incident? What are your feelings now? Consider how your fears may have contributed to the incident. How did your character weakness or strengths affect the situation? Do you see any evidence of self-pity, self-deception, or self-will in your attitudes and actions? Be sure to also record the times when you acted right.
Bottom line, you have to be honest, taking a bold look at all experiences, people, events, and so on, with a take-them-on-toe-to-toe attitude, and in doing so, you will begin the healing process. Of course, there are those who feel they may do damage by remembering things incorrectly, bringing forth false realities, so remember to focus on that which you can remember clearly. If you conduct your inventory with an honest and pure heart, you will discover the truth coming to you in droves.
Taking an inventory will take time. Don't worry about making mistakes, spelling errors, going in the wrong direction, doing the wrong thing. You can not be wrong. You are in charge of the assignment. If you are honest and listen to the intuitive voice, you will find it telling you what to do and where to go at every turn, eventually allowing you to see those negatives that have been holding you back, draining you of life, energy, purpose and drive. So hang in there, be honest and trust in not only your ability to do the assignment correctly but to reveal those things that are blocking you from greater happiness and success.
For more on this topic and other topics related to personal growth, be sure to purchase a copy of my upcoming book Give and Grow Yourself Rich.