Self-Awareness 101 Episode 19: Are these some kind of personal development tests? I Asked For Strength, But You Gave Me Obstacles.
Willard discusses how times we pray to God or we ask the Universe for something, we set our goals and focus on things that we want in life and it seems like we get the exact opposite of what we ask for. And then many times we get mad, and shift the responsibility and blame to other people, or begin losing faith in ourselves and our beliefs of how the Universe operates. Are these some sort of personal development tests? In this episode we explore the idea that the only way that you can truly experience the prosperity, the relationships, and the success that you want to experience is by understanding the other side of the coin. In life, it is about duality.
Today I want to share with you something I wrote in response to some comments that a dear friend made after watching one of the Self Awareness 101 videos we had done.
"I asked for strength and you gave me obstacles. I asked for peace and you gave me conflicts, I asked for love and you took it away. I asked for wisdom, and I finally saw that you had always given me exactly what I asked for."
When we first started shooting episodes of Self Awareness 101, we had pulled together a focus group, that would give us feedback on the episodes that we shot as to what resonated with them, what we could improve and ideas for what we could expand on. One of my dear friends suggested that many people who are watching this series are going to be starting out on their journey, and may not be in a very good place. They may have just lost their job, they may be going through a divorce, they may be struggling with some very serious issues and if they heard us talking about all these internal concepts of finding your peace, and belief systems, rules, values and things like improving communication, they may turn the video off, before they really give it a chance. So I wanted to share a little bit of a background on myself that would hopefully also, inspire someone who is watching this who is having a hard time right now. You know, people hear me speak about where I am now, and the insights that I have now, and the life that I have now, and they think it’s always been that way... and it hasn’t.
At 13 years old, I was drinking and using drugs heavily and before I was 21 years old, I had destroyed many areas of my life. I dropped out of college; I was in jail for a while. Actually I was in 5 jails, in 2 states. There were periods where I was homeless, and there have been three points in my life where basically I had less than $100 dollars in my pocket, and I had to rebuild my life again. Then I destroyed it again, and then I rebuilt it. And even as recently as ten years ago, I was a quarter of a million dollars in debt because of bad business deals. So when people see these videos and hear me talking about the lessons I've learned, a lot of times they don't think about or at least they are not aware of the history and my own personal development tests that are behind them, and that's what I want to talk about in this episode.
A lot of times we pray to God, we ask the Universe for something, we set our intentions, we set our goals and focus on things that we want in life; we want a great relationship, we want peace, we want prosperity and it seems like we get the exact opposite of what we ask for. It seems like we're being given these "personal development tests" or that we just aren't supposed to have what we ask for. And then many times we get mad, and shift the responsibility and blame to other people, or begin losing faith in ourselves and our beliefs of how the Universe operates. What I want to share with you is that I don't believe that this is a series of personal development tests, instead, I believe that the only way that you can truly experience the prosperity, the relationships, and the success that you want to experience is by understanding the other side of the coin. In life, it is about duality. You can not have hot without having cold, you can not experience light without experiencing dark, and a lot of times, that's the way it has to be in our lives too.
For me, I wanted to have success, and then I had failure, after failure, after failure. What I have learned is that in those experiences of failure it is our opportunity to become successful. It is our opportunity to learn. I've realized that a lot of times, if I got what I asked for I would really screw it up because I was not prepared for what I was asking for.
People come to me a lot of times and say, "I work so hard, and I'm trying, I'm trying to build a financial future for my family, and this obstacle comes up, and that obstacle comes up. It seems like this journey of personal development tests my commitment every step of the way." And I tell them, "Great, celebrate it! It’s a place for you to begin learning!" As an example, if you're not doing well financially, study finances. Become financially intelligent. So many of us put our financial lives in the hands of other people, blindly trusting them and take no personal responsibility for it. I'm not saying you need to become a financial wizard, but gain enough financial intelligence to know when your "adviser" is making good and bad decisions.
If you just lost your job, celebrate it! It means that's not where you're supposed to be anymore. Maybe you're supposed to move into a new career. Maybe its time for you to start your own business. Times like these can be scary, I know, and ultimately, it's an opportunity for you to move to the place that you truly desire to be.
If a relationship has just ended, if you're going through a divorce, again, I know it may sound silly, but celebrate it! That relationship helped you become a certain person. You grew because of it. You had experiences that helped shape who you are now and also made you aware of what you do not desire to have in your life. By the relationship ending, it gives you the opportunity to become even more of who you desire to be.
So, as we wrap up this episode, I'd like to invite you to take a look at where you are in your life right now, and if you are struggling and feeling that your personal development tests your commitment to your goals, if you've got obstacles, and I'm willing to believe that you do... even the most successful people in the world that I know, have areas of their life they struggle with.
Identify an area that you are struggling with right now, and ask yourself...
1. What can I learn from this? If you're not learning from the experience, what area can you educate yourself in that will help you get through the experience?
And the second question is
2. What opportunity is this opening up for me?
Now, you may have to really open your mind to find those answers, but I really, truly believe that if you ask, you will get them. Sometimes we are being "stubborn" and don't really want the answer. Something I have found that helps when I struggle with coming up with an answer, is to slightly change the questions to...
1. What could I learn from this if I were willing to learn something?
2. What opportunities could this open up if I really opened myself to all possibilities?
A slight shift in the question can bring amazing results.
1. What can I learn?
2. What opportunity is this creating for me?
I look forward to hearing your responses to this video on personal development tests. And I look forward to meeting with you again soon.
Choose the Episode you would like to watch from the list below:
Self-Awareness 101 Series with Transcription Plus
Introduction To Self-Awareness 101: To Inspire, Educate and Empower
SA 101 Episode 1: The Importance of Developing Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 2: How to Truly Learn from Mistakes
SA 101 Episode 3: To Soar, I Needed To Let Go Of The Past
SA 101 Episode 4: The Meaning That We Give Things
SA 101 Episode 5: Kind Words And Good Deeds Are Eternal
SA 101 Episode 6: Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
SA 101 Episode 7: Two Most Powerful Words You'll Ever Say
SA 101 Episode 8: Making Time For What's Truly Important
SA 101 Episode 9: Expectations and Desires About How It Ought To Be
SA 101 Episode 10: Tap Into The Sources Of The Universe
SA 101 Episode 11: The Four Agreements
SA 101 Episode 12: Courage-Being Scared But Saddling Up Anyways
SA 101 Episode 13: The Power Of Belief Systems
SA 101 Episode 14: Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional
SA 101 Episode 15: Establishing Personal Boundaries; It's OK To Say No
SA 101 Episode 16: Encountering External Resistance To Change
SA 101 Episode 17: Creating A Supportive Environment
SA 101 Episode 18: Our Decisions Determine Who We Become
SA 101 Episode 19: Personal Development Tests
SA 101 Episode 20: A List Of Excuses Vs. Results
SA 101 Episode 21: The Meaning Of Honesty
SA 101 Episode 22: Living In Gratitude
SA 101 Episode 23: Repetitive Patterns
SA 101 Episode 24: Non-Verbal Cues
SA 101 Episode 25: Be Brave Enough To Accept The Help Of Others
SA 101 Episode 26: Positive Thoughts And Positive Intentions
SA 101 Episode 27: Active Listening Skills
SA 101 Episode 28: How Self-Awareness Relates To Spirituality
SA 101 Episode 29: Positive Affirmations
SA 101 Episode 30: Basic Meditation Exercises
SA 101 Episode 31: Personal Development At Work
SA 101 Episode 32: Toxic Shame
SA 101 Episode 33: Eliminating Clutter
SA 101 Episode 34: How To Forgive Others
SA 101 Episode 35: Self-Forgiveness
SA 101 Episode 36: Deepening Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 37: What Is Fear?
SA 101 Episode 38: How To Overcome Fear
SA 101 Episode 39: Dealing With Your Anger
SA 101 Episode 40: How To Find Your Passion
SA 101 Episode 41: Increasing Your Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 42: How To Feel Deserving
SA 101 Episode 43: How To Be A Humble Observer
SA 101 Episode 44: Progress Not Perfection
SA 101 Episode 45: Expectations And Perfectionism
SA 101 Episode 46: Dealing With Anger
SA 101 Episode 47: Taking Responsibility For Yourself
SA 101 Episode 48: Achieving Higher Consciousness
SA 101 Episode 49: Trust Life
SA 101 Episode 50: Being Skeptical
SA 101 Episode 51: Benefits Of Closure
SA 101 Episode 52: The Final Episode