Mimicry is the most flattering form of appreciation. It’s another level altogether. Makes you feel like a ‘God’ … a god on earth!
How is your wallet? How long have you had yours for? Did you get a new one for Christmas? Do you still use the old one? Is has almost every receipt you ever had in there? Are you cards bulging out the seams of the wallet? Maybe, you need a new one. Well, my wife was struggling to think about what to get me for my Christmas gift last year until I told her that I thought I needed a new wallet to replace the 12 year old one I had. There was a sign of relief from my wife as she finds it difficult buying a present for me most of the time. The old wallet was still functionally fine. The main reason I needed a new wallet was that the transparent photo holder was damaged. The plastic was no longer transparent but translucent now. So, light passed through but one could not see through it. So, this meant that I couldn’t clearly see the photo I had in there of my wife and two children. It was irritating me for months because every time I wanted to look at it or show it to someone I had to painstakingly pull it out of the photo pouch. Little irritants. One needs to reduce these in life, if you can.
On Christmas Day as we sat around our Valentine Christmas Tree that we all put up together, my beautiful daughter, brought me my little wrapped Christmas gift, saying, “Dadda, this is for you”.
It was perfect. Just my style. It was me. Re-confirmation that my dear wife, knows ‘me’.
As I cleaned out my old wallet and chucked out all the unnecessary documents (accumulated stuff) in there, I announced loudly that I would give my old wallet to my son. Well, that was the end of that!
He was enthralled with it. I mean, he couldn’t leave it alone. He went everywhere with it for 2 whole days … just him, his favourite stuffed dog called “Foof, and the wallet. He had so many other gifts from family and friends but wanted nothing to do with it. What he wanted was dad’s old wallet.
Got me thinking. Got me thinking about role models in life. About the importance for each and every one of us to have a male and female role model. Yes, no one is perfect but we still need a beacon of hope … a light at the end of the tunnel … a shining example of a human being at all phases in life that we could adopt certain traits we admire from. We’ve just got to be honest with ourselves and keep our eyes open.
It was one of the best feelings I have felt in my life. My two year old son owning my old wallet. Going everywhere with it. Out to visit relatives, to shopping malls … to the toilet … to local parks … playing with the ‘old cards’ in there … tossing and turning it in bed … holding it close to his body. No one was allowed to touch the wallet for a while there, not even me. I felt very special on this occasion, just for being me. My blood. My son, loving my discarded wallet, like it was another ‘Foof’.
He gave me the biggest form of flattery I have ever experienced, my two year old son. My son was teaching me a few lessons of life and he didn’t know it yet. What lessons, I hear you say?
I have heard countless times that parents have a huge job in teaching their off-spring values and principles. True, but not totally. I believe that there is a reciprocity in this relationship too. Like all relationships, it’s a two way street. Both parties teach each other something, as long as the parties involved are open-minded and are willing to learn the lessons to be had. A child-parent relationship is no different. The parent just has to be aware of the lessons that his/her child is teaching.
Anyways, I believe it was an exercise in self-image.
He was modelling himself off me and I guess he is constantly doing that daily. He was indirectly practising two images:
- What you “see” is what you get.
- Who you “feel” is who you are.
At two years of age, the child has no care in the world. No stresses. No fears as yet. For us though, we could read one message through the intersection of the two points I made above: that most, if not all your limitations, are self-imposed. I think I heard someone say once that – it is not what you “are” that holds you back, it’s “what you think you are not.”
I saw that my son was pretending to be, me. He was dad for a day. He loved it. He went everywhere with me (me being my wallet). The wallet helped his imagination. The wallet (that was part of me … as he cannot wear my shoes right now .. the wallet is more manageable) helped him create his reality. A pretend life.
Made me think about us adults and how we behave. It seems, that individuals behave, not in accordance with reality, but in relation with their ‘perception of reality’. How you feel about yourself is EVERYTHING. As everything that you ever do or aspire to do will be based on your ‘self-image’.
I observed my son’s behaviour change, ever so slightly, when he hung on to my old wallet. Dad’s old wallet. It would seem that self-image is fundamental to understanding human behaviour. It seems that if you change your self-image, you change your personality and behaviour. My son’s self image is still being formed. I think the owning of my old wallet, was a significant moment in his development. Since birth, he has been and is constantly forming his own intricate web of self-images, that he alone is imagining in his mind. These self-images are fundamentally based on the beliefs sprung from every thought and experience he has ever had so far, every loss and win he has and will experience.
Observing him intently, I concluded that he had a ‘mental picture’ of himself when he had dad’s old wallet. That he was somehow – me. This mental picture or photo controlled him. These ‘mental photos’ control all of us. What mental pictures or photos do you have of yourself? Do you say things like “I have a terrible memory”. Or, “I’m never on time.” Or, “I’m a born loser”. Ask yourself what your inner self has been telling you. That second person. That second voice. That little voice on your shoulder.
Understand one thing: from what I have observed in life thus far, you CANNOT OUTGROW THESE SELF-IMPOSED LIMITS. You can ONLY SET NEW LIMITS. New threshold limits. You then learn to live within these limits as comfortably as you can. This feeds in to your self-image.
Your self-image is a function of your mind. Like a segment of a car engine performs a specific function. Your self-image determines the kind and scope of person you are – it is your ‘metabolic rate’ or your metabolism. As you know, everyone has a different metabolic rate – the rate at which your body consumes energy. So, basically, what my son was imagining was his perception of reality when he ‘owned dad’s old wallet, and this is the same for us adults. Apparently, scientists have agreed that the human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and an experience imagined vividly, emotionally and in detail.
Wow, how about that? Vividly, emotionally and in detail.
What this tells me instantly, is that you need not only to start dreaming more often, you need to start attempting to dream better. Much better.
I think we can all try to imagine or dream, better. I think we can all try to learn how to play ‘pretend games’ like little children again. Like how my daughter plays a mermaid, called Bianca … and plays it so seriously. I can’t even call her real name out, without being scolded. Maybe, we should start playing “lets pretend” games again as adults.
Maybe, that is one of the secrets of finding the “winner’ in you again. Maybe, I think it was Einstein that said “imagination is power” or to that effect. If the self-image dwells at the subconscious level or ‘metabolic level’, and it does not know the difference between what is true and false, then maybe, the key to improving your self-image is playing ‘pretend games’ like my children do everyday. It seems that a permanent change in your personality or behaviour comes from a change in your self-image, which is influenced by your environment. Playing pretend games with yourself, like enlarging your universe … or area you would like to improve on … one where your subconscious is fed with roles that you pretend play with … of whomever you want to be. The subconscious mind or your metabolism part of your engine cannot tell the difference between “The real you” and “The one you see”.
So, before trying to change external influences in your life, try turning within… within you… within yourself. Try imagining more. Try dreaming more, maybe try dreaming again. Learn the secrets of imagination. Learn it through interaction with children. Learn from them. How they immerse themselves totally in whatever role they are playing. You were once a kid. I believe you still have that ‘kid’ still inside of you, you just have to let him/her out. Realize the tremendous importance of self-image is to you and your life. Understand the vital role of your imagination and what it plays in the creation and up-grading of your self-image. That if, you cannot possibly ‘see’ yourself doing something, achieving something, you literally cannot do it! This is NOT A LIE. This is LAW. A Universal Law! Become aware. Apply the law. Adapt accordingly. It could mean finishing on the podium in the various areas of your life or just being ‘just making up competition in the line-up’. See yourself winning.
Try this: If you spend time around young children, become a storyteller and use your imagination and run wild with stories for the children. Keep trying. See how this may change your world. If you don’t spend time around children, try limiting your television viewing and instead set aside 20 to 30 minutes a day to try to relax and imagine yourself achieving and enjoying your most personal desires. Try picturing yourself in a scene of family happiness, or relishing a personal triumph at work or achieving some if not all the News Resolutions you have set for yourself or still setting for yourself as you read this. Try to ‘feel’ the event. Connect it to your heart.
Like I tell the many people I have helped over the years when I get them to exercise their skeletal muscles in the gym, the essence of working your muscles is ‘feeling it’. Its not in how much you lift, the essence is in how you feel the muscle contracting and extending (working on improving that ‘mind-muscle connection’) throughout the range of motion of the chosen exercise. I tell them to leave your ego at the gym door. If you’re not feeling the muscle, you’re not totally understanding what ‘working the muscle’ means. The essence of working a muscle. Like all things learned though, it takes time to develop this.
So, just like working your skeletal muscles, ‘feel’ the event in your heart and mind (your ‘other mind-muscle connection’, as your heart is a muscle). Like I said earlier in the blog, the imagined event/experience is to be vivid, emotional and detailed. This is the work you do when you are away from the gym.
I have told the many people I have helped in my transformation programs over the years:
“Change within, to change without”. The only person that can instigate help for “you” is, YOU. I then provide the vehicle in my many programs to help them achieve just that. With success.
Believe it so!
Change and upgrade your self-image(within). Change your world(without).
If you’ve made it this far in reading this blog, here is a star “*” for you. Well done.
All the best!