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About Elisabeth

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    Lesser Chimp

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  1. I'm a tiny bit sceptical about the claim that your successful friends don't do personal development. People do stuff and don't call it "techniques" or "personal development", but it still has the same core idea. While it might be true that "don't do stuff like affirmations, visualization, contemplation, subconscious reprogramming, meditation, journaling, read self-help", they've probably done stuff like: educating themselves, learning business and social skills, setting routines and good habits (excercise, work), reviewing their mindsets and overcoming anxieties regarding the area where they are successful. You would not know, and they would not call it personal development, but they've all had and followed this calling to be better at something. Another example of people who "don't do personal development" but in fact they do are imho often religious people - through prayer (which can be close to contemplation, or to concentration practices) and in general striving to live a good life they sometimes get to extraordinary levels of acceptance and empathy. Now, if you're depressed you may need more journalling, reviewing your thoughts etc. than someone who's been born with a strong psychology and given the right mindsets in their family environment so that they are not depressed. You're starting below average. You have to at least get to average in certain areas of your life to be able to follow the examples of those who are successful there. Sorry man. But you have and you'll gain a certain advantage in other areas as you go through the process - you've discovered a whole another dimension than the one of success already, I guess. At least that's how I choose to view this dilemma. Do formal personal development if you like it and/or feels it helps you.
  2. @Mad Max Any good reading recommendations?
  3. And I totally respect your preferences, I just wanted to try to cover all of (well, more of) the options, just in the unlikely case you haven't thought about them. In fact (provided you have the emotional endurance, which you seem to have), I totally support you - I've been homeschooled as a child on a few subjects because we were living abroad, and I do find it time-effective. Speaking about that, I googled homeschooling, and while it's not legal in Sweden, it's legal in neighbouring countries - probably even at high-school level, I'm not sure about that. Maybe you could enrol to some open-minded school abroad, which will let you follow your own study plan and only have you come for exams once in six months or something like that. You'd have to study the subjects, but since you are not doing this to avoid studying but to be more effective - is it an option? With a high-school education from any country, the universities all over the world are open to your applications should you ever in life decide to attend one. But maybe you're pissed off and done with education, you don't wanna be part of the system in any way and you don't wanna go study any field which requires university (like science/philosophy/law/medicine... maybe IT... management is imo not there, neither is psychology... ). In that case, there's no point in researching other options, I just humbly suggest to be mindful of your negative motivations too.
  4. @Igor82 Eh... I'm not sure if you answered clearly anywhere... did you decide on NOT going to university? Or is it possible in Sweden to go to uni without highschool? And, in those three years, will you be earning your money, or are your parents ready to support you? Have you already figured out what kind of business you'll be starting? I'd not be much concerned in skipping high school in favour of self-education (although I did have some good role models in my teachers there). But I'd be questioning the choice to reject university education. Depending on what you want to do of course - but in some fields of study the university programs are very densely packed with information and skills, much more so, than in high school, so if you want to get into one of these fields, consider uni. Did you ever prove your ability to keep your own daily routine without the guidance of school? There's something you'll have to watch out when educating yourself - it has high demands on self-governance, and it can be lonely. Every student knows that if they stay at home for days on end, studying for an exam, they are likely to get depressed. There's something about having to go to school which provides you with a) an outside motivation to get going with your day, and b) social contact, which, even if superficial, is extremely beneficial to most people's mental health. But it can be done and maybe you've got it all down already. Besides, your decision is not irreversible. You can try, and if you're happy with your progress, keep going. If not, you can always go back to high-school next year, or get a job. Also, there's most likely the option to choose some kind of less demanding high school just to earn your diploma, maybe one for working people that you can do remotely/evenings and weekends, and still pour most of your time into business.
  5. What kind of meditation did you do to achieve that effect, and how long did it take to set in? I'd like to get there, but it hasn't shown in my practice much.
  6. Yes you can. You do need a lot of free time to contemplate. You go around thinking about it constantly for 3 months - imho no problem as long as you understand that you might have to reevaluate some of the stuff after a period of confronting your conclusions with practice. (For the record, I still haven't finished the course - I got stuck at a crucial point and then life happened and I got busy. IMHO it's better to spend too much time on it then run out of free time.)
  7. Try expanding your circle by getting to know a local meditation group/center "hippie" people attending seminars on a related topic (doesn't have to be consciousness work, good joga, tantra, nutrition, maybe even productivity etc. events might give something) and so on. If you're in a bigger city that has a potential to form a group you should be able to find some of these just fine. Be open about what you want from personal development. What happens is you'll get to know new people and soon enough you'll get to know this other lonely weirdo who's also starting to do consciousness work. Also note that if you're not open about doing this stuff in your current circle, you don't know if there's anyone else there, so openness is really a requirement.
  8. Oh, thanks. This actually clears out a lot of doubt. I kind of rejected the last video, so now that you say that the path of following life purpose might actually get me there, I don't have to reject it.
  9. @Ryan_047 Feel with you. Sorry you have difficulties. I'm not an expert, haven't tried to do this by any "techniques", but I've observed my self-esteem and my depressed mind changing over the past few years, so I'll just give you a few points I observed in my experience. In this case, it's important to change both your outer circumstances and inner conditions. Trying to work just on one or the other (just therapy or just taking action) will likely fail to increase your confidence. Outer conditions do matter. Doing stuff in the real world, just achieving some of the goals you want to achieve is indeed big. It helps you gain a realistic idea of your strength. (Suggestion: You're doing probably well with learning about web pages here.) Achieving some of your goals will take some time, but it's probably still the quickest fix you can get. Gaining some of your independence is also huge. (Suggestions: Speak up to your parents about some stuff that bothers you, and deal with their disapproval. Why won't they let you get a job? Choose your university away from home so that you don't have to live with them anymore.) As for the inner game, it is very much a matter of shifting your thought patterns - positive thinking techniques do help here. You know your limiting beliefs about yourself. Say you have a recurring thought such as "I am weak and I will never achieve anything". You can shift it in two steps: Mental reframing. Take a close look at the thought and realize how it's false. What does it mean "anything"? Why never? Why would you even think the thought? Have you achieved things in the past? (Give yourself credit for attending school, engaging in a hobby etc. - they are not trivial.) Can you learn things? Then reframe it to something you can still believe. You can say something like "I have managed to cope with life's challenges up to now and even improved myself. I've done stuff [like XX] in the real world. There is no reason to see myself as weaker than anyone else, and with time, I can achieve [some of] my goals." Or even something more positive. Nipping negative thoughts in the bud. You can be mindful of your thoughts. If you observe the thought (and associated emotions of) "I will never achieve anything" pop up, pause yourself. Tell yourself it's false and think of the reframe. Then go do something positive. An important note here is, that you can only do that if you catch the thought early on - if you're already in a deap loop of despair, it's impossible. In that case, just try not to indulge with the negativity - you can't change it, but you don't have to feed it further. Perhaps take a nap, if possible, or try to get mindful of the body. Writing the thoughts out helps me sometimes too. It's a matter of practice. I've been doing basically this (although not always constructing a full reframe) together with getting some hope from Leo's videos, and it helps - even more than therapy on it's own - although it's a matter of years. This one sounds dangerous. Leo talks somewhere about the fact that how you view your future determines how you feel right now - and I find it to be very much true. I encourage you to rethink it and do some realistic plans to change your real world situation. And perhaps not just the big stuff - when I was really depressed what helped me a lot was taking charge of my nearest future and always have something to look forward to - a nice weekend plan perhaps with whatever (social) activity you enjoy. You can take hope in the fact that even if you don't do much focuses personal development and just follow the path of achievement that everyone else follows, your confidence tends to increase during your twenties. I'm trying to be practical here, but I'm still talking from one sole experience. Hope any of it helps.
  10. @Franko @alyra@Haumea I'm sorry that I don't have the time to answer in detail, your posts (despite opposing view) are all on point. My experience was certainly not wasted. It took me at least two weeks to integrate it. I'm motivated to doing meditation at the moment. (I certainly don't regret leaving early though.) I'm doing some reading too. http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/essentials.pdf Chapter 9 is something I would have needed to know, although I wouldn't have understood before having a few hours of formal practice, so it's a bit of a chicken and egg problem. Take care (all of you who are reading this :)).
  11. @alyra It was just a suggestion based on my experience. I usually find myself pondering these things when I have to decide something specific, and than when I ask people they are all confused and can't relate. But when I go back to the specifics I get my urgent problem solved quickly. It has happened more than once. I do pursue happiness, and if you don't, I don't understand you - which doesn't say much about either of us.
  12. @Haumea I've been thinking about your comment, I still am. Oh yes I did do stupid mistakes. I went uninformed and unprepared. I knew there were risks associated with doing the technique incorrectly, yet I trusted the teacher blindly to teach me well. I didn't check if the teaching is in line with my goals and values. I didn't build up the foundation of "knowing what and why am I doing" needed before I jumped into the adult stuff. It's like if you go do your shamanic plants with just the first guy who offers to brew them for you, with no preparation or aftercare - could be ok but could end up mad. Thanks for pointing out that I'm trying to control the process. And, yes, I am. Personal development has it's traps and I do believe we must steer consciously. I've had at least 3 friends of mine develop serious mental illness (psychosis and schizophrenia) by doing personal development stuff. Three people is a lot. That would be like ... ~6% of the people I know who do any of this stuff. I'd like to ask the experienced users here not to bagatelize this stuff as if everyone can push through everything. And my own first random encounter with vipassana ... years ago ... led to a serious depression lasting six weeks. It was one of the more useful depressions in terms of insight, yet it was six weeks giving me trouble at school. (And, it's also very easy to open up a depression which is not useful at all.) I care about my work right now. I do personal development to help me with it, not hinder me. I've got emotional problems that I want to handle better - I'm fragile and easily overcome by anxiety. I've got addictions. I've got trouble maintaining a proper working routine. I've got trouble with decision making. All great reasons to work on myself, and I've done a great deal of work over the years. Yet if the nature of the techniques (psychedelics, or holotropic breathing, or... I actually don't think vipassana goes into this category) is such that I can't control the pace, I'll leave it to the hardcore people and go search the PG-13 version. I'm not seeking enlightenment - I've watched Leo's videos on that and it doesn't appeal. So, maybe I'm a hopeless case, or maybe I have to walk the path of developing the ego for a few more years before I can understand that there's something to transcending it. Anyway, yeah, giving up control - not easy and not desired right now.
  13. Do you want to tell us the specifics of the decision you're confused about here? I cannot answer your questions abstractly, but maybe talking about the very thing that's bugging you would give you some purely pragmatic insight
  14. Frankly, I'm not sure, I never participated. Testing boundaries, I'd say. Since everyone is unsure, the group dynamics has to be established. But again, probably less of an issue on the university level. You'll be studying psychology, you figure out
  15. 20 is fine. Even if you "mess up everything", people get more gentle than in their teenage years. Plus, everyone is gonna have bigger goals and concerns on their mind when starting university. You'll relate just ok over the common subjects and struggles. First year university, at least for me, was socially easy. In my case, guys (the teenage math geeks) were more prone to simply ignore me, so my 'test' was more to show that I know a thing or two and that a girls voice has a value. It can still be a struggle doing my phd. But I've also enjoyed some pleasant attention in other male-dominated groups, and there also always was a guy or two who cared to help me out.