In honor of official “That Sucks Day” (yesterday), I went into our archives and pulled up Bill Harris’s most popular blog of all time:
The Top 7 Reasons Why Your Life Sucks.
Of course your life doesn’t totally suck, but we all have ups and downs and areas of our lives we’d like to improve.
I think you’ll find Bill’s concepts to be very helpful, no matter what your life is like. You’ll understand:
- Why you feel disconnected from the world and other people
- Why you aren’t doing what you really want with your life
- Why you don’t do what you know you should do
- Why you may not be making enough money
- Why your relationships might not work
- Why life is sometimes such a struggle
- Why you aren’t happy
Wherever you are on the “success” scale of life, what Bill shares in the essay below will help you...
...have a lot more of what you want from life—I promise.
The Top 7 Reasons Why Your Life Sucks is a little longer than our typical featured essay, but so well worth it. Settle in for a great ride!
P.S. One of the most powerful ways in the world to get unstuck, to achieve your goals, gain confidence and creativity, and overcome obstacles...
...is Holosync. Learn more in the “Check It Out” section below.
Seriously, this will change your life!
The Top 7 Reasons Why Your Life Sucks
by Bill Harris, Founder
Centerpointe Research Institute
Okay, I admit it. The word “sucks” is pretty strong. Perhaps your life doesn’t completely suck. And, yes, I know that it’s not a good idea to “focus on the negative."
The truth is, though, that everyone feels bad sometimes and we all experience people and situations we don’t want. And, for some, life does suck.
Believe me, I’ve certainly struggled in my life. I was on the Olympic Struggling Team for decades. No matter how many seminars I attended, how many books I read, or how much I meditated, I just couldn’t get it together.
Here’s what I finally discovered. If something in your life isn’t working, it’s because of your current way of thinking and acting.
To get different results, you’ll have to give up that way of thinking and acting and be willing to adopt a new one.
Hoping for a different result without changing the way you think and act is insane...hopeless...and futile.
The #1 Reason Your Life Sucks
You’re pretending you don’t have control.
Over the 30+ years that I’ve been helping people, there are always a few who say, “No matter what I do, nothing works.”
Why is this? Such people have not bought into the most fundamental principle underlying all personal change, that somehow—even if you can’t see how—you are creating what’s happening in your life.
I don’t mean that you’re to blame for your life. No one intentionally creates a life that sucks.
I am saying, however, what happens is generated by something you do inside—that your own unconscious internal processes generate how you feel, how you behave, what things mean, what you attract, and what you become attracted to.
If you’re unaware of these processes (as 99% of people are), you live on autopilot. Life seems to just happen. You feel like Wile E. Coyote: No matter what you do, the safe always falls on your head, or your life explodes in your face.
It seems as if you have no control—at all.
If, however, you say to yourself, “I have no idea how I’m creating my life, but somehow I am creating it”—and then become incredibly curious to find out exactly HOW you’re doing it you WILL figure it out, and you WILL gain control of your life.
Please. Acknowledge that somehow, something you are doing is creating your life.
Then watch your internal processes until you find how you’re doing it. Here’s a big hint: pay attention to what you believe, what is important to you, what you focus your attention on, and what meanings you assign to what happens.
And, if you aren’t willing to do this, then please, be content the way you are. Don’t drive yourself crazy wishing for change unless you’re willing to pay the price to have it.
The #2 Reason Your Life Sucks
You chronically (and unconsciously) focus on what you don’t want.
This is the second characteristic of people who say that nothing seems to work: they chronically and unconsciously focus on what they don’t want, what they’re afraid of, what they’re worried about, or what they want to avoid.
If you do this, you have a good reason. Past experiences have caused you to believe that the world is a dangerous place, or at least a potentially dangerous place. To avoid that danger (whatever it is) you have to watch out for it. However, when you focus on what you don’t want two unpleasant things happen.
First, you attract or create more of it. Why? Because all beliefs, including the belief that the world is a dangerous place, are self-fulfilling prophecies. You’ll unconsciously find a way to make what you believe come true, or at least seem to be true.
If you believe it’s a dangerous world, you’ll attract danger—or interpret what happens as dangerous even if it really isn’t.
You don’t do this intentionally. Still, focusing on what you don’t want causes a very powerful part of your mind to figure out how to get more of whatever you’re focusing on.
As time goes by, you’ll accumulate a huge pile of evidence that you are right. The more evidence you accumulate, the stronger the belief. The stronger the belief the more evidence you’ll create.
So what’s the way out? In a way, it’s very simple:
You can create anything, no matter how dismal—and keep creating it, over and over—as long as you do it unconsciously. But do the same thing with full awareness—watching the entire creative process, as it happens, inside your mind…
...and if it doesn’t serve you it automatically falls away!
You just can’t do something that isn’t resourceful, and do it with awareness. So, watch your mind. Find out HOW your focusing creates or attracts what happens. Learn to be intentionally aware, and…
...you gain a power that will blow away all obstacles, and get you everything you want.
The #3 Reason Your Life Sucks
You believe what your parents taught you about who you have to be in order to be “okay.”
To be “okay” in the eyes of your parents, you had to conform to their idea of whom and what you should be.
You had to be the person they wanted, rather than the person you really are. In some families, these expectations are benevolent. In others, they are unreasonable, or even impossible, and the price of non-compliance is severe.
One type of expectation, called an injunction, is what your parents told you NOT to do or be:
Don’t think, don’t feel, don’t be sexy, don’t outdo me, don’t be happy, don’t be strong, don’t cry, don’t succeed...
...don’t want anything, don’t protect yourself, don’t make money, don’t be curious, don’t complain, don’t show your feelings, and many, many more. Usually these are unstated and generally taught by positive and negative reinforcement.
Attributions are a second type of expectation—what your parents said you were: clumsy, smart, bad, good, ugly, beautiful, lazy, stupid, careless, driving me crazy, unlucky, sexy...
...too proud, sneaky, shy, cute, boring, a bum, in the way, fat, skinny, a pansy, too tall, too short, an airhead, and so forth.
We take all of this in, as if it was true, for two reasons. First, we’re small and powerless, and parents are big and powerful and seem to know what they’re talking about. We have to go along. We also have no way of knowing that all of this is just their opinion, based on their stuff…
...what their parents taught them about what a person should or shouldn’t be.
Injunctions and attributions say more about our parents than they do about us! If your life isn’t working, a great deal of what you believe about yourself, what you focus on, what you’re willing to do or not do, what you criticize yourself for, is simply someone else’s prejudiced opinion.
Take a moment and list the “don’ts” and attributions your parents gave you, and question them!
Now that you’re grown, you can decide who you are and what you want to be or do. If your parents communicated to you that you can’t be or have what you want, you don’t have to keep believing it!
This also involves awareness. When these expectations are unconscious, they control you. Become aware of them and watch how they create your life and they will dissolve.
The #4 Reason Your Life Sucks
You aren’t willing to examine your beliefs and premises—about the world, life, other people, or yourself.
If your current way of thinking and acting isn’t working, change it.
- Question the rules or principles you use to navigate your life
- Question your assumptions about everything
- Question what you currently believe
Let in new information—in fact, constantly seek it out. Upset the apple-cart. Every happy and successful person I know is constantly questioning everything.
You should do the same.
If you’ve been traumatized you probably don’t feel safe. Sometimes you want to shut down and protect yourself—another way of focusing on what you don’t want.
Instead, open up—even if it feels uncomfortable. Invite the world in. Invite information in. Question everything. List your major beliefs and premises about life and reconsider them with a critical eye.
The #5 Reason Your Life Sucks
Fearing failure, you don’t act.
If things aren’t working, if relationships fail, if you can’t make enough money, if you’ve failed again and again, it’s easy to shut down and protect yourself from disappointment.
Fearing failure, however—or, really, anything—means focusing on it, that just creates more of what you fear.
Fear seems like it happens to you, but it’s actually something you do. How? By focusing your attention on something you don’t want.
Napoleon Hill said, “The one and only thing over which you have complete and total control is how you focus your own mind.” Then, the zinger: “Luckily, this determines everything else.”
Decide to focus on what you want, and then act to get it. When you act, there are two possibilities: you get what you want, or you don’t. If you get what you want, great. If you don’t, though, something else happens—and it’s just as valuable as getting what you want.
What is it? Wisdom. Getting what you don’t want contains priceless information. When successful people don’t get what they want they learn as much as they can from it.
In fact, successful people fail more often than unsuccessful people. Why? Because they act more. And, because they fail more, they learn more. Eventually, they become VERY WISE!
Poet Robert Blake said, “The fool who persists in his folly becomes wise.” In other words, there’s no such thing as failure. There’s only success...or valuable information. Be willing to act. Welcome setbacks. When they happen, say: “Thank you for the information.”
The #6 Reason Your Life Sucks
You’re focused on yourself and unaware of the needs—or the perspective—of other people.
This kills your chances of making money, or creating true friendships or successful romantic relationships. When things go wrong it’s easy to become self-absorbed.
But those who focus on the needs of others ultimately prosper.
Consider money. You give money to the gas station, the electric company, the water company, a car dealer, or the grocery store. Why? Because they have something you believe is more valuable than the money.
Here’s a huge secret: Money flows to those who create value. Those who have little money haven’t yet figured out how to create value for others (or how to let others know that they have something of value).
Forget about “putting it out to the universe” and other such magical solutions.
Yes, focus your attention on what you want. Everything begins with a thought, and what you focus on tends to happen in reality.
But you can focus until you’re blue in the face, and unless you have something that someone else wants because they find it to be valuable nothing will happen.
Your thought should be, “How can I be of value?”
What is valuable? Ideas...products... services...your labor...your skills...your solutions to problems.
Have a low-paying job? Find a way to create more value. Get more skills. Offer a service, a product, or a solution to a problem.
Focus on how you can fill other people’s needs.
The same applies in relationships. If you want love or friendship, instead of thinking so much about what you want, think about how you can offer what you want to someone else.
People crave kindness, courtesy, a listening ear, someone who cares, someone who truly has their interests in mind. Be such a person and love and friendship will come back to you.
Notice others. Take their perspective. See their needs. Notice their point of view. Think about us instead of me. Amazing things will happen.
The #7 Reason Your Life Sucks
You’re waiting for everything to be okay before you can be happy.
Everything is never going to be okay. If that’s what you’re waiting for, you’re in the wrong universe.
I know many of the most spiritually aware, successful, happy people in the world—Zen master Genpo Roshi, Jack Canfield, Ken Wilber, bestselling author Stewart Emery, and many others.
Each of them has their version of the same problems you have. So do I. Both Stewart and Genpo have had cancer. Ken’s wife died of cancer.
Believe me, I could go on.
All humans—the Dalai Lama, billionaires, movie stars, Zen masters, average people—have problems. They get sick. People they love die or go away. They wreck their car. The bottom of the garbage bag breaks. They have aches and pains. Their roof leaks. They buy something, and it breaks. They encounter idiots and jerks.
To be human is to have problems.
Many people assume that someone like Genpo Roshi—or me, or Jack Canfield, or billionaire Warren Buffet—have “solved the Problem of Life.” We haven’t. If we’re happy, it isn’t because we have no more problems.
It’s because we’ve stopped looking at life as a series of problems. “Problems” is a way of looking at things, and you can decide to stop looking at things in that way. “If only I were rich, or I had a different partner, a better job, a bigger house, better meditations, more sex, a Ph.D., smaller thighs, a child (or no child), more free time, less wrinkles...”
Yes! Get these things. Go for it!
Life is what it is—no matter who you are! It’s up AND down, black AND white, winning AND losing.
Instead of wishing it weren’t so (or imagining that it’s different for other people), LET IT BE OKAY that life is what it is. Most discomfort comes not from the way things are, but rather from your resistance to the way things are!
Decide to be happy, right now regardless of what is or isn’t happening.
If your life sucks, the good news is that you’re doing it.
If you’re doing it, you can stop doing it. All it takes is desire, and awareness. Whatever you do to gain that awareness, watching your internal processes as they create your life creates choice.
Once that happens, you’re in charge, and what sucks falls away.
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I tried not to act like a "jerk" even when people were "rude to me all the time" (one of my beliefs) or when people reacted negatively to me.
Since once I got emotional about it, it would just come back ten times stronger, so I had to censor the thoughts and feelings I had, literally for years, every single day.
I know -- it sucked to be me! But that has changed since, one by one, my [unresourceful] beliefs are disappearing into thin air.
I really did hold on to your very words given in one of your talks, that even psychotic beliefs are beliefs that can be changed.
Thank God that I had enough faith in this technology, to help me through this. I know nothing else could have. THANK YOU!!!