Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer is a best-selling personal development book for years. According to the book Getting There, the billionaire Sarah Blakely reads it once a month to stay in the right state.
It’s a short read. Here are some useful insights from the book:
Eliminate Limiting Beliefs and the idea that “I can’t do this because I’m ‘ ________.'”
Eliminate I’m’s. Well, what are I’m’s?
It’s whenever you reason, “I can’t do this because I’m [blank].”
There are thousands of examples. Wayne shows that everyone has an excuse: their ethnicity, height, lack of education, old age, youth, upbringing, and so on.
You control your destiny. You decide whether you will achieve your goals regardless of your past background.
Wayne emphasizes this message throughout the book. I thought my problems were unique, but he busted those myths. It turns out everyone has an excuse no matter how fortunate they are. Examples include:
- “I have a temper because I’m Italian.”
- “I can’t be rich because I’m poorly educated.”
- “I can’t write a best-selling book because I’m old.”
- “I cannot talk to them because I’m shy and introverted.”
- “I can’t be successful because I’m a victim of bad parents.”
- “I cannot be a great writer because I don’t have connections.”
I found this remarkably similar to how other successful people think, like Will Smith, J. Paul Getty, and Gary Vaynerchuk. Even the best-selling book, The Pathfinder, has a chapter addressing all these limiting beliefs.
I have limiting beliefs about my circumstance stopping me from ever dating the women of my dreams. People tell me it isn’t practical and I can’t ever become the man it takes to get a girl with the attractive traits I want because of my race and what I currently have to offer. It’s sad and frustrating that people try to convince you to give up from a goal that is tough but achievable, but it comes from good intentions with bad forecasting abilities. Experts, friends, and family don’t want you to fail with nothing to show for it with what they think is a low probability of success.
That said, that doesn’t mean you can make everything you believe come true. We cannot stop a round of bullets or grow wings with our thoughts.
Your excuses and past don’t affect who you choose to be. We often hold ourselves back with beliefs and perceptions, which aren’t always true.
Don’t Let Guilt Control the Present
Guilt always comes from the past. You’re guilty because of something that has already happened.
Religious groups, schools, people, businesses, and family use guilt to get you to do something. And it works. Don’t let guilt chain you down.
The past has already happened and cannot be changed.
Stop letting guilt waste the present moment, which you can change. Don’t let it chain you down and prevent you from making the most of the present.
You can’t change the past. It’s already happened. So stop thinking about it unless it is to positively affect what you can change in the present.
Don’t Let Worry Paralyze You
Worry comes from the future. You worry when you’re scared of an event taking place. People worry about everything from tax audits to the economy going bad.
Don’t waste time worrying about things you have no control over because you can’t change them anyway.
Don’t be the person who needlessly hurts his health worrying about things that never even happen.
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
A great book for further reading on this is How To Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie.
Avoid Angry Actions
There is no anger in the world, just angry thoughts that turn into angry actions. Buddha said that you are not punished for your anger, your anger punishes you. Anger is one of your erroneous zones because people assume that you cannot change your temper or anger.
It isn’t the act that makes you angry; it’s how you process it. Let’s say someone cuts you off on the road. If you didn’t know about it happening, you wouldn’t be angry. It’s your processing that creates an angry action.
If your children are skipping school and you don’t know about it, you won’t get angry. It’s the knowing that causes the anger. The event didn’t cause the anger. If it did, you would be angry whether or not you were aware. To deal with this, don’t try to avoid knowing. Instead, process events in a better way.
Every Function of Life Holds Happiness
There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. Every function of life holds some happiness.
What a short, simple book! What was your favorite lesson?
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