You may feel stuck because you have been focused on what you’re lacking, but when you play on the game board, you focus on your gifts and how to unleash their beauty and power.
He believes that we’re never stuck and that we’re actually always on one of the 9 squares in this game called life. I received the book Play Your Bigger Game: 9 Minutes to Learn, a Lifetime to Live free from Hay House for review purposes. I had eyed this book several months ago and I was really looking forward to reading it. While the premise of the book is good to at least console you a bit and make you aware that you’re never as lost, stuck or alone in life as you think you are, I recognize that this book has some areas for improvement.
The author Rick Tamlyn, who co-created this game with Laura Whitworth, states that:
The Bigger Game offers a philosophy and methodology for finding and releasing the full expression of your purpose and talents so that all of your years may be golden-and fun, too.
So this philosophy isn’t necessarily embraced by everybody, but it is a solid philosophy nevertheless. For many, it’s a relief to know that the term ” ‘Bigger’ [in the title] refers not to the size of the game but to the impact it has on you and your personal world around you…You will feel more capable and more resilient, because playing your bigger game ignites your creativity and excites your mind.”
What Does the Bigger Game Consist Of?
The 9 squares (which are presented until a quarter of the way into the book, a little too far into the book if you ask me) are:
comfort zones (which aren’t positive or negative in this context, it just means that you’re comfortable where you are),
hunger (when you desire something more. It can take three forms, either we don’t want something, we want more of something or we sense that something is missing),
compelling purpose (you’re looking for or have found a driving purpose) “Your compelling purpose is something so powerful that once you identify it, you can’t not do it, any more than a great singer can quiet her voice or a great writer can lock his stories inside. This irrepressible desire or force within comes from a place of deep knowing. It’s very much a part of who you are or, perhaps more likely, who you want to become… Your hunger pushes you. Your compelling purpose pulls you.”
Your compelling purpose evolves as you grow. It is comprised of these audiences:
Yourself when you’re young
Others when you’re moving from childhood into adolescence
The Field when you’re older (it stands for the world around you)
Once you find your compelling purpose, “There’s no other option but to do what would normally be extraordinary, but now is required.”
assess (this is where you want to double check how you are doing, where you are and where you need to go)
bold action (this is where you make the leap to make it happen).
gulp (you feel both excitement and fear at this stage. You’re nervous, but ready for action),
sustainability (a checkpoint where you identify what you need to do to sustain yourself and have a lasting impact)
allies (“this is where you stand when you’re recruiting, building, and nurturing the support network for you and your bigger game.”)
investment (you’re considering the time, money, effort, plan and process you’ll need “to create, run, and sustain your bigger game.”)
The Pros about the Book and the Game:
I like the premise– we’re always playing in this game called life and are on one of the 9 tic-tac-toe-like squares. Note that it’s interesting author chose “squares” not “boxes” because boxes feels confined and constricted
Identifying where we are on this 3 x 3 matrix can provide some clarity as to where we’re going in life, since it serves as a GPS location
It is possible that we are on multiple squares at the same time
It’s a game that never ends. While that can seem daunting, in a way it’s inspiring, because your potential to inspire and continue attempting to make your life, the life of those around you, and the lives of people around the world better, never ends either.
You have no opponent or competition (other than yourself and your limiting beliefs)
You “never have to stop playing your own version.” This is awesome because you can start feeling comfortable that you playing your own game, for a greater good is good enough. I love that! What’s inspiring to know is that:
Your unique bigger game lies at the intersection of what your heart desires and what the world needs.”
“All that’s required to begin play[ing] is an earnest desire to have a more meaningful and successful life and conscious awareness of where you are right now, where you want to be, and where you need to go to get there.”
It’s exciting since, “you must decide to set something in motion even without knowing what it is. It’s like stepping into a mystery… It’s like starting a pregnancy: you know something is coming that will change your life; you just don’t know exactly what form it will take.” Not knowing everything will allow you to be in the “now” and to give yourself permission to be creative as you go.
I love how the author took the advice of what to do with his life, which was “Rick, your job is to breathe life into people and their plans” especially since Rick Tamlyn’s father got to the end of his life without feeling a great sense of satisfaction on how he had spent his time on Earth. This has gained more momentum after the events that have happened since 2001 and has inspired Mr. Tamlyn to help more and more people.
Mr. Tamlyn has great advice jewels embedded throughout the book, one of them being:
Keep in mind that goals are overrated. It’s fine to have them. I recommend them. But we have become so goal oriented in our work and personal lives that we aren’t open to the magic and spontaneous opportunities that pop up. Go with your goals- love them and embrace them- but put more focus on the game you are playing, and watch yourself reach your goals magically.”
When it comes to engaging in the game, a positive result is that we think and develop as leaders.
Better yet, when we are playing our bigger game we’ll find that our focus “grows wider, encompassing not just yourself and others, but a much bigger, longer, and wider picture.” “Bigger Games often serve a greater good, because the player experiences an expansion of perspective and a compelling desire to have a lasting impact.” If we all were playing a bigger game, we could literally change the dynamics of the world and the legacy of generations to come.
Aside from our cause growing bigger, we grow bigger given that an “important feature of your bigger games is that they require you to grow. In fact, if you already know how to do it, it’s not a Bigger Game.” And the best part is that that author says that, “You’ll be so compelled that you will find a way- and amazingly, you’ll have no sense of struggling or frustration, only that liberating feeling that comes with expressing the full power of all of your gifts.” Even if we do experience struggles and frustrations, the beauty of it will be that they’ll be OUR struggles that we chose to take on and not struggles that were imposed by someone else looking out for their own benefit or their own bigger game.
And as Bigger Gamers, we don’t have to play and reach our desires alone, since “In that state of being [mentioned above], you’ll experience another phenomenon. You’ll attract allies and supporters into your life like never before. Their complementary skills, talents and knowledge will meld with yours. A team will form, sometimes without conscious effort, and you’ll accomplish more than you ever could have done alone. “
The Cons About the Book and the Game:
Perhaps it’s the portion of the title, “9 Minutes to Learn, a Lifetime to Live” that affects me, but I think that the book could be much shorter than it is, if it really does only take 9 minutes to learn. Of course, using examples typically makes making a point clearer, but in the case of this book, some examples go on and on for several pages and are not powerful (others really are inspiring). What’s worse, is that many of these examples are repeated in different chapters. And as you know it’s not pleasant to hear something that you really don’t find interesting numerous times.
I always like to highlight the books that I read, but I found that I didn’t highlight anything in this book for at least the first 10th of the book, and what I was highlighting was just an interesting fact about an example-nothing life changing for me. This was a red flag. In my opinion, the author should captivate the audience right away. It was a good thing that I was interested in reading the book and finding what exactly this 3 x 3 game matrix looked like, otherwise, I would have put it down way at the beginning.
I think that this book needs additional editing given that there are facts and examples that are repeated in various chapters and instead of making the point at hand clearer, it just makes the content drag a bit.
Personally, I wish that the order in which the squares were presented and the order where they fall on the game board was the same. The fact that the order of the squares is random and the order in which the squares are presented is random, makes it seem like the order of what is one each square was an after-thought. And if that’s not the case, and the author just prefers to present the squares in a specific order because they make more sense to him, it would be ideal if the squares were changed to the order/location in which he presents him so that everybody can instantaneously gain as much sense as he does.
The game would be more useful if there was actually some hint, no matter how small, regarding where to move forward to if you were standing in a specific square already embedded in the game. This would serve as a layout, for people who felt very very stuck. Something like when you’re ___ and ____ is happening do this. Of course, there would be many possible outcomes, but at least people could start turning their wheels better.
Although the definitions of the Bigger Game are good, I wish there weren’t as many definitions.
These are some of the definitions:
“The Bigger Game sets you free to live in state of full engagement and creative play.”
“Your bigger game can spring from anything you are involved in, whether it’s working on a college degree, building a corporate career, starting a business, nurturing a family, or fighting for a cause. Some bigger games you may choose; some may choose you.”
“Our bigger games arise from who we are, and they determine who we become and what legacy we will leave. We create your bigger game by investing in it with the full force of who we are. In the process, we become thoroughly engaged and driven, not by goals or expectations but by our own compelling purpose.”
and there are dozens more… which makes me wonder, what is THE definition of the Bigger Game… because over-explaining what the game is, dilutes its impact, in my opinion.
While it’s great that this book has helped thousands of people, with today’s desire for crisper, more actionable advice, it would have helped a great deal if the author focused on the actual content of the game, instead of the many repeated examples, given that I feel that people who choose to read and are drawn to this book don’t need that much convincing. They’re typically the people who would say, “GAME ON!”
The experience that this book reminds me of is being on the verge of playing a real board game with family. You want to enjoy yourself in the little time that you have. And yes, you want to learn what the game is about, but you want to learn how to play as quickly as possible so that you can get onto the business of actually playing it. Feeling this way comes from a place of being excited. However, if you focus on the extraneous information too much, getting through this book can feel more of a chore than a joy…. and that’s a shame because we should feel “pumped up’ to live a meaningful life for the benefit of helping others, and I found having to pump myself up several times to at least be as excited as I was before starting this book. After a while… with so many examples, it starts to feel more of a maze than a matrix. Thankfully, there were many powerful quotations in the book that kept me going.
In Sum, Do You Need this Book to Play a Bigger Game?
In sum, “the Bigger Game is simply a tool for tapping into your inherent abilities by opening your eyes, focusing your mind, and unleashing your talents- and the board is where you go to free yourself from whatever limitations may have been imposed on you, either by yourself or by others.”
So playing it is really up to you. If you need to let go of limitations, if you need reassurance that you’re not stuck, if you need inspiration for how playing it can be have an impact on the causes that you care about then by all means: Play it. My only advice, leave the content that doesn’t benefit you on the table and grab and make a difference with what does.
One of the beautiful dangers of playing this game is that “There’s one thing you can be sure of when you allow yourself to turn up the hunger dial: the status quo will no longer work for you.” And that is good, because as we know the status quo is often not good enough.
One of the best quotation that makes playing this game and reading this book worth it in and of itself, is
“If you settle into a life or career without weighing the benefits and the detriments, then you run the risk of going on cruise control- or out of control altogether.”
So just the potential to stop and check your GPS location to identify a really valuable destination makes this book worth it.
The ultimate beauty is that there is no score to keep when playing this game, and by playing a bigger game one can acquire greater purpose for fully living life engaged.
What Bigger Game Do You Want to Play?
What Bigger Game do you have in mind?
How do you want to help others and the world?
Did you like the book?
Leave your comments below. I’d love to be a witness in your game! 🙂
What “Choices and Illusions” Influence Your Life and Your Happiness?
Have you ever been in a situation where you know something is good for you, but still you hesitate to participate in it? Eldon Taylor’s book Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I am, and How Do I Get Where I want to Be? may evoke feelings of you wanting to abandon ship, not because it’s not a great book, because it is, but because either the amount of truths are way too deep or because you can’t get the truths fast enough (due to the lengthy background information for some of the studies). But as with all things in life, you need to be patient enough to allow for the good things in life to emerge. And let me tell you, that while on the surface this book might seem like a very light read (due to the cover and the title which don’t really reveal how mentally substantial this book is), this book is actually quite scientific… but amazingly, in a very refreshing and encouraging way. For once, you’ll be able to see how science and spirituality merge in a peaceful and an inspirational way that leave you with a sense of having learned something, instead of leaving you feeling more confused than when you started.
The Conflict of Our Four Selves
Most of our conflicts, if not all of them, have to do with the fact that as Yale professor Jerome L. Singer conveyed, there are four facets to our self, which Eldon Taylor describes in the following manner:
Actual Self: the private and ambitious self who has failed us and who we try to change
Ideal Self: it would be our “perfect” self according to our own judgment and that of our culture, but due to its “perfection,” it wouldn’t have room to grow
Ought to be Self: it is the self full of “shoulds” and “oughts” of our culture, our society and the codependency in our families which really don’t belong to us, but which we are subjected to, nevertheless
Desired Self: the self we think deep down that we can be, and mostly long for in our youth. This is the self which brings about much regret in people who have unfulfilled dreams in their later years.
These “selves,” that we all possess, (or should I say, that possess us 😉 ), are often in competition with one another and therefore, create turmoil in us. Yet, regardless of how we struggle to morph into who we thinkwe need to be at any given moment, we all have unlimited possibility far beyond these four selves and far beyond what we think is attainable for us. Everything that we have experienced, that is, the sum of the positive and negative things we have encountered in our life, the need to be accepted and our fear of loss makes us who we are. Despite the seeming limitations that we may have collected over the span of our life, we all have the need to soar and yet, we all have a fear of not being in our comfort zone. This presents a dichotomy because sometimes, we let our secret failures, our low desires, and our deeds paralyze us. And whether we admit to this at first glance or not, what we most desire is change. You might be thinking, “Really??!! CHANGE?!” If you’re anything like me, I thought most of us were actually afraid of change… but Taylor presents a very convincing point. He believes that we would all succeed and be heroes if we deeply and without a speck of a doubt thought that we could succeed, if we really believed we could attain the impossible and that we had power and conviction to move forth. However, in order for us to be super comfortable with change, we would have to have a crystal clear and impeccable guarantee that we could succeed. Obviously, having that kind of guarantee is as difficult to obtain as it is trying to hold pouring liquid in your hands.
What Shapes Our Life?
Just like when comparing diamonds, the value that we can each expect to obtain from life has to do with three C’s that are not cut, color and clarity, but rather they are:
Knowing that these 3 C’s can literally make or break our life is a helpful reminder, or nudge, that we should really explore what our choices are, how we can be in better control of them, what it’s worth to take a chance on, and what in our life needs to change. For some of us, these 3 words are subconsciously, our 3 little “M’s,” meaning our 3 little monsters that we often invade with every possible shield and elusive excuse we can fathom. However, seeing the bright side of these three words, can literally be life-changing. It’s really up to us to embrace the responsibility that this conscientious living requires, and more importantly, it’s important to rejoice for the blessings that living in such a way can bring.
The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them to the impossible.’
– Arthur C. Clarke
Why Is Life So Complex?
Just when we can think that we’re on the yellow-brick road to perfection, we are faced with idiosyncrasies of our human nature and of the world. Choices can be illusions. Illusions are caused by language. “Words do more damage to most people in our culture than things do. It’s not the words themselves or even Webster’s definitions that are damaging or fearsome; rather, the damage is inflicted by the emotive value attached to the words.” We can be fooled by logic, “words traps and their confusions have led to many atrocities.” We ourselves trip over our words and have made others fall because of them. We get so wrapped up in what our version of reality is, that sometimes, that the only thing that we see- our reality. “It is easy to forget the nature of a personal truth when it masquerades in an argument of reason.”
“Additionally, it is not possible to know the so called total of anything. Words are not the things they represent, and what they are supposed to represent is much more and much less than could ever be written.”
Our inner conversations, self-talk and stream of consciousness trick us because they are composed of words. “When in doubt, most people will trust their own judgement and senses- in fact, it is very hard not to trust our own experiences.” Yet our biology and psychology functions in such a way that we have to question even our own experience and feelings if we are to ever have any chance of discovering “the truth.” When we are open to acknowledging that what we think is true is really not true, then we are open to finding ourselves. As William James once said, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” So, obviously, we have to do much more than just rearrange our prejudices, we have to rid ourselves of our own prejudices, that affect us more than they affect anybody else.
To prove an important point, Eldon Taylor shows various pictures and optical illusions that show that what we see at first isn’t necessarily what is really there and proves that sometimes things can be seen in more than one way and that what we could bet our money on that we’re seeing, is simply our mirage for wanting to be right, plainly put, it’s an illusion. Taking this teaching a step further, not only is what we think we see an illusion sometimes, but so is what we say and fight so hard with others to defend. What is the root of all this messed up way of thinking? That which we have allowed to shape our mind.
What is Reality, in Reality?
One of the great resources that this book has, is a flow chart by William Guillory. This flow chart states that, “reality is what we believe to be true —> what we believe to be true is what we perceive —> what we perceive is what we look for —> what we look for is what we know —> what we know is what we believe to be true —> what we believe to be trues is reality —> reality is what we believe to be true,” and so the cycle continues. Even when we know that this flow chart applies to us, and that everything that we see, perceive, expect and trust, isn’t necessarily true, we establish psychological defense mechanisms to convince ourselves that they are true. Easily accepting that everything is false is like willingly choosing to walk the rest of your life in quicksand. Some people can handle this type of uncertainty most of the time. For others, this truth that what we observe is not necessarily what we get, is too much to handle. These defense mechanisms, that many of us will find super familiar, are as follows:
These mechanisms overlap making it difficult for us to discern them and sometimes even to accept them. In other words, we see only what we want to see about ourselves and the world.
What Role Does the Subconscious Play in Our Life?
A stepping stone that we can stand on to take a breath, and have a solid truth, that makes sense is that many times the subconscious acts without the conscious. As a matter of fact, our unconscious mind makes most of our decisions. In other words, all that has happened in our life, plus the desire to be accepted and obtain pleasure over pain is what has shaped each and every one of us. Nowadays, most of us are a product of “nurture” instead of a product of nature. We are heavily and increasingly influenced by our environment. This simple fact, that society is in essence hijacking much of who we are explains, in large part, why much of our thinking, much of our conformity, and our apathy prevail in our individual and collective consciousness. For many, the amount of pressure is so great, that it further compounds the already mysterious mind. Taylor contends that stress, distress and trauma can virtually hide experience from the conscious mind. Despite what a person says, even when a person is under the influence, the subconscious remembers. In order to prove it, there are mechanisms that can be used that would allow for even someone who claims they remember nothing about what they did while being under the influence, to retrieve very specific details that they claimed they couldn’t with normal consciousness. In other words, with subliminal work, the treasures and the traumas of the mind can be retrieved to be cherished or corrected.
How Does the World Affect Our Choices?
Our thinking and our choices are predisposed to the world around us. Billions of dollars have been spent by government and marketing researchers to see how our minds work. It’s alarming to know, that “To this day, no legislation protects the consumer from subliminal manipulation.” Ads sometimes hide taboo or negative information that the conscious is not able to detect, but that the conscious can and is deeply influenced by. Thankfully, you have a choice to create your own thoughts and to question ads and media sound bites (what you see and hear in the media) and question that information. You REALLY do have that power. You don’t have to accept anything that you think you’re experiencing at face value because there is a slight but very potent possibility that what you’re experiencing is different than what it appears to be. “Most of the information you have processed in your lifetime has been information that has passed beneath your conscious sentry or recognition. ” Having this knowledge is useful for making positive strides and changes in your life. As such, once you have a good grasp on this subject, you will discover how you can turn the tables on the mind manipulation going in on both inside and outside of you and actually take back the control of your own thoughts.
What Holds Many of Us Back from Taking Control of Our Thoughts?
In order to start seeing how powerful you can really be, it’s important to note that there are two things in life that can bind you:
somebody binding you physically or
or being bound by something physical.
You, your beliefs, your blame, thinking that you are only one person and that there is nothing you can do to evoke positive change limits you from being able to move forward. Thinking that you are bound like that, through the limitations of your mind, is thankfully an illusion. You REALLY, you have a choice. You have to truly believe it and act as if you believe it.
And in order to believe it, you have to go to the source of it all, the mind. You may have heard that we use 10% or less of our brain/mind. Specifically,
3% of the mind = conscious mind
7 % of the mind = the preconscious mind (the part of the mind that helps you recall song lyrics at the mention of the beginning of the song or the song’s melody)
90% of the mind= the subconscious
How Do Stress, Fear and Anger Affect Us?
Something very interesting that the author Eldon Taylor mentions, is that in our modern world, the fight/flight response has been replaced with anxiety and depression respectively. Even though the type of life-threatening dangers that most people nowadays face is minimal, many people live under an inordinate deal of stress. This is because the small stuff that we sweat is linked in some way to our deep-rooted and highly important need to be and feelloved and accepted. This phenomenon of feeling that our emotional well-being is dependent on the approval of others is directly proportional to how much power someone supposedly has over us. Exactly how much power they have is based not on how much power they supposedly should have (e.g. boss), but rather on how much power we consciously or subconsciously give them. The threshold for how affected we are (e.g. stressed) and by what triggers we obtain that stress, varies from person to person, of course.
As many of us can immediately agree to, when our beliefs are threatened, we develop anger and fear. Every time we’ve been told that we can’t do ____ because we aren’t ____ enough, the information and feelings that go along with that, have been stored in our subconscious. It is is no wonder then, that we often feel as limited and worthless as we do. Furthermore, the “shoulds” and “oughts” that we are highly encouraged to have, also “form the mold for our beliefs.” If you add that to the lessons we acquire from our entertainment, the end result forms what we believe about the world, about us, and what we feel is worth defending. Strangely enough, “our language, experience and feedback have been programmed without our conscious awareness or agreement.” That is, our REAL, awareness and our REAL agreement. In sum, many of our less than desirable reactions have to do with our fear of not being loved, accepted or respected. Taylor states that anger is an acronym that stands for ANasty Getting Even Response. He says that fear represents For Every Anger Response. What this results in then is that for every fear/ “for every anger response” there is anger/ “a nasty getting even response.” So when we feel that our most basic heart/ soul-centered needs are violated, many of us respond with anger due to the fear that we feel. And when we are asked why they acted out of anger, “blame” is often mentioned or alluded to, instead of the fear that caused it all. However, instead of feeling hopeless when we fall into this game/trap, we should realize that no matter how grim the circumstances in our life look or feel, something “good” always comes out of the so-called “bad.” When we opt to think this way, we reduce the probability of having high cortisol levels (the stress hormone). By choosing to react calm, instead of stressed, we are literally slowing down our aging process, our brain degeneration and amazingly, our death, which high cortisol levels promote. These are all good reasons to slow down, but next time you’re about to “pop,” based on your values, think about which of these three things you want to preserve: your youth, your wit or your life? 😉 As long as you can reduce your high cortisol, for whatever reason you value most, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Why Do We Blame Others for Our Problems and at the Same Time Are Proud To Share Our Problems?
Eldon Taylor reminds us of a truth that we all know deep down but often refuse to adopt and that is that holding on to the need/desire to blame others is equal to being tied down by a string that really shouldn’t be stronger than we are. Yet in this world, we are almost constantly seduced by the idea of placing blame on someone or something else constantly. And to make matters worse, we take it even a step further. For example, when we talk to anyone about our trials and tribulations or about the problems we have, we don’t have to wait too long before the person who is supposed to be listening to us to express or “one-up” our bad situation with their bad situation. Without realizing it, people start to play what Taylor calls the “bad-luck fortune” game. In other words, many of us go through our day seeing how many bad-luck cookies we can get. Something bad happens to us and immediately we think, ‘I can’t wait to share this disgrace with so-and-so.” Why? Simply to play this game and to have plenty of evidence for others to feel bad for us and pity us. Subconsciously, we play this game because we aren’t 100% comfortable with happiness, ease and peace. Knowing that, it’s up to you to decide if you want to go through life chasing after these bad-luck, oh-poor-me cookies OR if you want to have the courage necessary to nix the desire to chase these cookies. “You see, when you stop saving your [bad-luck] cookies and get on with the responsibility for everything in your life, your life improves. When this happens, you lose any and all desire to be a cookie keeper.” Apparently it all comes down to what we prefer having: responsibility over our actions or pity for our lack of responsibility. We choose.
Once we go through life having the long pity-party that we need to finally feel empowered, one important premise that we should be aware of, is that good and bad luck is relative. What we consider a disgrace, in the most bizarre of ways, can actually be the best blessing ever! So regardless of what we thinkis in front of us, we have to focus on what we have and see it with gratitude. Choosing to worry about our so-called bad luck not only can poison our physical bodies, but it can also poison our future environments by helping us actually attract and manifest into our lives that which we would like to avoid. That’s not a good thing! And yet, many of us fall into this trap again and again and again.
How Can We Start to Take True Control of Our Life and of Our Mind?
It is by focusing on the present moment that we can really tap into the gift of the present. This focus on the here and now can yield even greater gifts if we are thankful for what we have and are consequently driven to share the goodness, kindness, light and blessings that we have with others through good deeds. By focusing on service, we can rid ourselves of our shallow, self-centered living habits and of depression. Furthermore, we do much more good in sending positivity to others than it is if we spread judgement. As cliche as it may seem, the fastest way of getting to this state of open-heart living is by having the determination to forgive. It is through forgiveness and providing ourselves with love that we can truly be free. Taylor believes so much in this, that he has a free gift for you to get started on this path!!! =) (Psttt… you can find out how to get this gift mid-way through the book… and by the way, it’s something other than the free CD that comes with the book, which is called Unlimited Personal Power, and which is great!). By working on ourselves, we are one step closer to creating the positive changes that we want to see in the world.
Much of the author’s work revolves around subliminal positive programing, which is what makes the CD included with the book so special. Many people are worried about the controversy of subliminal messages because they have been used for less than stellar and beneficial ways by some people in our society. However, Taylor has been a forsenic hypnosis investigator, and he is aware of the importance and of the immense benefits of using this technology for good. He says, “today the science of subliminals is still poorly understood by many but it is a true science with valid merits. It truly can assist enabling individuals to overcome their doubts and fears and negative input that all too often create self-imposed limitations.” He truly believes in the power of self-hypnosis and of subliminal technology to be the greatest agents of change. Interestingly, daydreaming, meditating and quieting the mind, are all forms of self-hypnosis. Practicing self-hypnosis, when one quiets the mind, can allow for great things can happen. For example, one can rewrite deep memories and accurate personal scripts that sometimes are at the root of self-sabotaging behaviors, and one can access one’s higher self that holds the answers to the questions that we seek deep within us, but sometimes cannot access via any other means. “Your mind dictates your life, at least from the perspective of your choices when dealing with all that life brings you. Your thoughts may actually belong to someone other than you. Perhaps you are only storing them so as to act on them, and buy, vote, feel or emote on cue.” “Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for uncovering all of the information stored in your mind, selectively choosing that which you no longer wish to store, and assisting in discarding it.” Stated this way, many of us could agree that we need a mental cleanse.
Why Is it Important to Be Conscious of Our Consciousness?
For many years, the study of consciousness was a taboo… now, it is being studied more. Eldon Taylor believes that:
“Defining consciousness turns out to be a process somewhat akin to searching for the core of an onion. Revisiting consciousness is more than a philosophical exercise or a scientific inquiry. It is a duty, even a moral imperative to reevaluate the nature of consciousness, for this inherently devises the strategy by which humankind treats itself and all life.”
We are without a doubt, interconnected. “Perhaps it is the interrelated nature of all life, consciousness itself, upon which we are interdependent. Perhaps, just perhaps, humankind will only know its highest, most noble self when it offers the deepest respect for all life.” “[P]art of making your choice about whatever life you wish to have is influenced by your views of this world and any potential afterlife.”
Taylor notes that many of us push the small and large miracles to the corners of our life… which isn’t advisable because even though we can’t explain these events, “they can hold important clues for us with regards to the purpose of our lives.” Taylor’s book What Does it Mean? can provide a blueprint for people seeking the answers to questions pertaining to what our life events mean. Yet miracles abound incessantly. “Perhaps when we begin to think that we are not worthy, some unexplained intervention in our life occurs. What does that suggest to us? Perhaps when we give up faith, something takes place to rekindle our belief. Why these things happen is relative and relevant to the person they happen to. It’s part of a larger narrative.” “When we ignore or dismiss the unexplained in our lives, we close the book on our story.” In order to not minimize the grandiosity of living, Taylor encourages us to “live into yourself” as in the saying “lean into/in” to yourself so that you can discover what you are here for and what your calling is because it is the miracles of the so-called unexplainable events that are full of meaning. “When you are in the flow, you live with a sense of satisfaction. Even when things are hard, you rest well, knowing that you are being true to yourselfand doing what is right for you.”
What Do Human Beings Want After All?
Human beings desire quality of life which is defined by:
1) absence of fear
2) loving relationships
3) fulfillment of necessities (food, water, shelter, health care).
Ironically, while many of us have fears, we often don’t realize that we impact the fear-based events that happen to us. Paradoxically, we often think that by diminishing the worth of others, that our worth increases. The truth is, “whenever we degenerate another, we subtract from ourselves. To the precise degree that we make less of another, we make less of ourselves.” “Thinking out of the box, so to speak, is the kind of thinking all of us must do if we are to get out of the box. The box many people find themselves in is self-defining and confining. The walls of the box are fear, anger, lack and the like.”
How Can We Make Sure that We Aren’t Held Back?
We can easily climb over these walls of our shadow beliefs if we become aware and are willing. “Deciding to step out of the confines of “the same old, same old” is the next step. It is a new genuine choice. It is a change in beliefs.” “Changing our beliefs [which we have been handed down from generation to generation as mental viruses called memes and most likely don’t serve us] may be the most difficult aspect of personal growth.” Yet it’s so worth it, and so vital to the survival of our real essence.
How Does Language Affect the Quality of Our Life?
When we think about our beliefs, it is important to analyze the language/sayings that we use so that we can truly analyze whether these sayings keep us confined in the box of the reality that we despise OR allow us to be free to go after our real desires and take the good and honorable actions we need to make our desires our reality. It is critical that we scrutinize our own beliefs, that often are a direct reflection of our language, to see if there is anything that we believe that is attached to fear because in a tug-a-war of the positive circumstances we desire and those that evoke fear in us, the fear-based belief will be the stronger belief and will therefore most likely win… not because we want it to win, but because this belief will most likely be ingrained in our unconscious. Thankfully, love is stronger than fear. This examination of beliefs and fears will yield greater self-worth if you let it. And love is your ally. Love, as in a helping hand, a kind word, and kindness is powerful beyond measure.
“The word love may be out of vogue for those who need to prove something, but it never is for those who know who they are.”
What is Love and Why Love Matters?
Before attempting to know what love is, it’s important to know what makes it great. Awe, like the kind children often experience, “is the wonderment that empowers and ennobles the human spirit. Awe recognizes the miracle behind every breath we take. Awe sees the glory of creation, for what is is, an unexplained event of monumental even ineffable, stature.”
Taylor observes that unfortunately, many miracle naysayers teach concepts such as the Big Bang theory, yet “we are not told that only DNA can create DNA and that according to some, the original elements necessary to create DNA did not exist in the soup that was present on earth when life supposedly just appeared from nothing.”
This results, in humanity diminishing the beauty or awe of those things that truly are beautiful beyond measure and awesome. “We turn our lights on and enjoy the electric service, knowing where electricity comes from, but failing to recognize that even science has never explained where electricity truly comes from… If we don’t understand it, the rule is to ignore it.”
“Awe is everywhere if we stop to sense the world around us. Love begins with a capacity for awe.”
Taylor states that there are 3 forms of nonromantic unconditional love. Love is:
Humble and it ennobles us
Empathic and is experienced when we imagine what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes
Unconditional – it “is not attached to an outcome.”
In reading what love is, hopefully you experienced that you have been and are truly capable of giving this type of sublime love. And one of the most important people you could give love to, is you. “True self-esteem comes from what we give, not from what we take. It comes from the walk we walk, not from the things we say. True self-esteem builds character, not ego. It is, after all, the act of being who we really have been created to be.” And isn’t this what we all want? To be who we really were CREATED to be in all the inexplicable glory that that represents?
The World as We Know it Is Not Really As We Know it
“Today, we know that personality can change, it is not fixed and the mind can influence the DNA molecule.” Imagine what other neat surprises life has for us!
Taylor explains that just like in the movie The Matrix, there are trancelike conditions that we are living under. Whenever we are more focused on our thoughts to the point that we aren’t aware of our surroundings, we are in that trance. Even our sleep enables us to go in and out of trancelike states. And everybody seems to want a piece of the trance-pie. “The media has such control over us, that we tend to live under the power of a “media-ocracy.” However, after reading books like this, we can rest assured, that all hope is not lost.
“Only in our honest authentic self can we escape the trance.”
The opposite of being our honest and authentic selves is when we try to be “versions” of ourselves, depending on where we are, who we are with and what we are wearing to camouflage and try to fit in. Now that you’ve read all of this review and hopefully the book, isn’t it an interesting question to pose right about now: “What are we trying to fit into?” A trance?! Not just any trance, but someone else’s trance. Well that’s ‘smart.’ 😉 “Consistency in our beliefs is critical because there is no such thing as a belief that is not connected in some way to the vast web that is all of our beliefs.” So if there is anything that should be more than crystal clear for us is that it’s important to practice metacognition (self-reflection on our thoughts) because “thought monitoring is essential if you’re ever going to truly understand yourself or become truly mindful.”
“Self-growth is only possible when you allow for the possibility that you might be wrong, when you learn to question yourself from every direction, when you stop accepting the limiting norms that society attempts to place on you- and instead, strive for the seemingly impossible.”
In order to do this, you must start the journey inward, and you’ll know you have arrived when you can love yourself so much, that you aren’t afraid to be you.
It is important to keep ourselves in motion because life is motion. On a physical level, “when we do leave this plane, the moment we die nothing happens but the breath… what stopped is breath [cells in our body continue their functions for a while longer].” In a way, this shows that we are much more than our body. We are our essence. And if life can continue with ability to breathe and even despite our ability to breathe, then what we do when we are alive and feel the most alive, can be very meaningful. For that, we must know what makes us feel alive.
In order to know the purpose of your life and the meaning of life in general, you must connect with Spirit, which is “giving, creative, kind, loving, beautiful, expanding, abundant and receptive.” Eldon Taylor, along with one of his admired authors, Dr. Wayne Dyer, invite us to recognize that each of us, is “God experience walking.” Saying that we’ve been successful in finding our life’s purpose simply because we found a job that we like, would be minimizing what the purpose in life is. What matters here is that we are fully, safely and often able to express who we are.
Taylor wholeheartedly recommends the teachings in Choices and Illusions because he’s applied them and says that they’ve worked even for a person like him, who he confesses wasn’t always on the spiritual path. An important way to raise the potential in life is to eliminate fears. Taylor suggests that instead of focusing on the acronym of fear that he mentioned at the beginning of the book, which was, “for every anger response,” that we see “fear” as an acronym that stands for “forget everything and run.” We’re to run from our desire to get even and instead remember our holiness, our light and focus on being the best versions of ourselves that we can be.
Is it an easy task? Not really. According to Mel Gill, author of Uncommon Sense, there are 12 ways that we escape accountability. However, we must be accountable if we want our life to be different than the less than stellar life it has been thus far. “Within you is an absolutely awesome potential. You deserve, and you are worthy. Your life begins anew each moment. It is never too late, and it is always right to pursue your highest potential. It is all a matter of challenging some old views.” So we do have to put in the work and we do have to apply the principles, but the benefits we can reap can be life-altering.
Despite the little voice in your head that may be saying that this is all great, but that improving your life is maybe not for you. “There is nothing for you to feel shame over. Shame is a tool of guilt. It can be used to control you and force you to deny your higher self. What you’ve done in the past is a lesson, and when you understand that, accept and forgive yourself and all others, commit to your very best — all else is taken care of for you.” ALL is taken care of. Who doesn’t want that sense of peace that is more attainable than we think?
How Can I Change for the Better?
Eldon Taylor presents a unique and controversial argument for change. Believe it or not, change is a highly sought-out goal in life because we all want more ____, or less ____ in our lives, but in order to achieve this, we must let go of some pattern in us. Ironically, we can all win in this thing called change (or in anything else, for that matter) because “we only lose when we let ourselves down! We can only win, in the real sense of winning, when we do our very best,” and show great character. The author recommends that as a true boost for ourselves that we create a sign that we can see everyday that says, “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” Just saying that gives me chills. Try it!
Dr Christian Enesu, a New Jersey prominent neurologist gives his point of view on Eldon Taylor’s InnerTalk CDs. Enesu says, ” I truly believe that InnerTalk has the capability to change human civilization. It is so powerful and so needed that I think it should be in every hospital.” With subliminal reprogramming, with your choices, changes, and chances, and this book, you are highly likely to achieving the dreams you want to achieve.
Taylor states that it’s important to think and have the courage to act upon the answers you get when you ask the question, “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?” and know that “you will never achieve a goal if you cannot imagine it.” As the well-known Star Wars phrase goes, “May the force be with you.” more precisely, know and put to good use the fact that the Force IS with you. =)
As thorough of a book that Choices and Illusions is, even the author states that “The mind is an absolutely awesome power and we still don’t know its potential.” Taylor recommends that in order for you to foster the greatness that we know of so far, that you:
“Continue in your progress to becoming all that you might be”
Forgive and forget
Reflect on and question “any and all thoughts that limit your potential good for self and society”
Do good deeds, at least 1 daily and journal at night on how doing the good deed(s) made you feel
Begin meditating (e.g. get quiet and listen to your inner voice that will help you get the answers and the direction in life that you need)
“Seek the inner noetic (e.g. mental/intellectual) sense of your real being.”
Apply what you learn (and I add, LEARN MORE)
If interested, you can buy the InnerTalk CDs, or better yet, enjoy the blessings and the teachings you already have in life and listen to the Unlimited Personal Power CD included for free with the hardback version of Choices and Illusions. According to Taylor, by listening to the CD one hour a day for 30 days, you can bank on seeing change. This works even when you watch TV or sleep. If you’d like to follow the phrases that Taylor uses in his CD our of curiosity, skepticism (and hopefully not fear), Appendix D is comprised of that CD’s affirmations. It’s important to note that in all of Taylor’s 400 InnerTalk titles (which are designed to meet everybody where they are and to help them overcome the many issues that abound humans), he incorporates important themes such as responsibility, forgiveness, appreciation and an awakening process.
No matter how difficult it may seem to live our life differently than you have, one important thing you can do is to take the first step and ‘fake it till you make it.’ Even if you don’t feel like smiling and being kind, with enough consistency, you will see how you will soon be the kind person you always wanted to be. Most importantly, you’ll be surprised by how your choice to change and your rejuvenated mind will help you soar above your wildest expectations and inspire others to do the same.
I was given this book by Hay House to review, but the opinions expressed here are my own. If you’re open to deep mind-digging and life introspection, I recommend this work.
Hay House Book Nook: A Wonderful Gift from One of the Most Admirable Companies in the World
If there is one company in the world that provides a lot of love to the world and is a HUGE treasure to humankind, it is precisely, Hay House. While it started as a small company, it has grown to a huge international inspirational company that has set foot in foreign lands, but most importantly, in the hearts of many.
Today, I’m excited that I followed my guidance from this morning and joined www.hayhousebooknook.com. I recently heard that this program existed. In a nutshell, if you love to read and have a blog, Hay House is willing to send you one of its free books in exchange for your posting your book review in several places. How neat is that? Especially if you’re one of those people who wants to share what you read with the world and crave that there are plenty of attentive ears to listen to the wonderful discoveries that you make in Hay House books and from Hay House authors.
Who Can Sign Up?
One of its missions is to align with bloggers who believe in the philosophy of healing ourselves and the planet. During the application process, Hay House will decide, after submitting your application or URL site in a business day or two whether or not your application has been accepted.
If you live in the U.S. and Canada, Hay House can send you a physical copy of the book. However, if you live outside of these two countries, don’t despair, apparently, Hay House is encouraging international bloggers to also sign up since it is planning on offering free ebook versions of their publications in the future. If you’re an international blogger and sign up, you will be notified by Hay House when these free ebook versions are available.
What’s the Hay House Book Nook Catch?
Knowing how generous Hay House is, it’s really not worth it to be skeptical of what the catch of this program might be, because non-surprisingly, there is none… except honesty/disclosure in your reviews. While there are terms and conditions that you must follow, and which you can read more on their official websited, the privilege of reading about and sharing concepts from Hay House books is well worth it.
How Does it Work?
If your account is approved, you will be allowed to obtain one of Hay House’s listed publications. Upon reading and writing the review, you need to post it on your site, a consumer site and share it with the www.hayhousebooknook.com site. Once that has been done, you can repeat the process as many times as you wish. On the registration page, you’ll see that there are people who have done this process about 50 times since they’ve posted 50 reviews. But ultimately, you’re in control to determine how many books you would like to post. Who knows, maybe you have it in you to be a Hay House Book Nook top blogger.
Now it’s Your Turn
If you’re a blogger who is enamored by the types of publications that Hay House offers, then head on over to www.hayhousebooknook.com and sign up! Then, come back and share your reviews on the Love and Treasure blog as well. We can always use a good book recommendation! 🙂