HOW WE EXPERIENCE LIFE – COMING OUT OF THE PRISON OF YOUR THINKING – 4 By Tunde Ekpekurede
May 27 is children’s day. As usual you get to receive lots of Happy Children’s day greetings and posters. One greeting struck me among the many that I received this year; it was titled HAPPY INNOCENCE DAY. It got me thinking. If the celebration of children is the celebration of innocence, I imagined that the celebration of adults has to be the opposite. So, what is the opposite of innocence, I reasoned. I went to the online dictionary to find out the meaning of the word innocence and it says “guiltless, freedom from moral wrong, freedom from moral or specific wrong. Webster says the state of being unaware or uniformed. I got it. Our lives were once like children’s before we became adults, before we became AWARE.
When we were born, we were UNAWARE of anything in this physical world. We just emerged from another world. The survival strategies in this new world looked different from where we came from. We needed to quickly learn. So, we started learning. We began coding our brains as we were growing. When we mistakenly put our hands in the fire it burnt us, so we decided we will never do it again. We wrote it in the cells of our brain. We were given this storage notebook called brain to write whatever we wanted to write. This way we do not have to wake up every morning to try and remember the name of our parents. Every person living in the world has a unique mental diary. Today scientists say everyone has a unique DNA. When we made these mental notes called beliefs, it was intended to help us navigate life; to learn, to adapt and these beliefs were there to protect us. Immediately we encounter any situation, our beliefs immediately tell us what to do. This is what artificial intelligence(AI) is trying to replicate right now. By loading billions and trillions of scenario-based events and responses, AI is trying to create a super computer who will beat man. Enough for AI today – maybe some other day.
Like AI, our beliefs have become a supercomputer that we built, both consciously and unconsciously. We wrote in it everything that we thought will give us a happy life and that is what we are using every day to run our lives. We learnt from various sources and made our individual conclusions from the inside of us. For example, when as a lady you saw another lady happy because the husband or boyfriend celebrated her birthday, you unconsciously wrote in the slate of your mind that “I will be happy when my boyfriend celebrates my birthday”. You saw that a person looked happy when they had N1m in the bank and you wrote in your brain that “N1m bank balance makes me happy”. You wrote in your brain that “a lady should be married by 25 otherwise her value as a lady begins to diminish”. You wrote in your brain that life will be miserable if as a man you have not bought your first car at 35. You wrote in your brain that a man ought to have finished his first degree by 25. You were the one who wrote in your brain that “A man’s income ought to be higher than that of his wife”. It was me and you who wrote in our brains how we will know that our boss likes us. We wrote in our brains what our parents needed to do for us to feel loved as children. On and on, there are probably thousands, if not millions of known and unknown beliefs in your brain, many you are not even aware of until you encounter the situation where your supercomputer needs to pull it out.
What is the implication of all these artificial intelligences that you have built up? They are ONLY true in your internal interpretation of life. THEY ARE NOT REALITY. No two persons have their brains configured the same. So, when you get to the office and your boss has a “weird” look – (remember that a weird look is defined by your internal computer – there is no good or bad look in itself), your AI immediately begins to sound a warning alert- danger, danger, danger. You are terrified. You convince yourself that you are being terrified by your boss’s looks when in reality your AI is what is terrifying you. You learnt from other kids in school what it means for your father to be loving, and when you get home, your father displays a different algorithm. What happens next? Your AI begins to scream “Your father does not love you”. You begin to hate him, you resent him and openly speak evil of him. One child gets to school and tells other kids of how her father took her to the cinema on children’s day and all the love she experienced. Another kid hears this and her computer processes all the flogging she got from her dad on children’s day for not washing the dishes. She can’t believe that she will be treated this “bad” “ON A SPECIAL DAY” like this. She writes in her computer, “MY FATHER IS WICKED”. In today’s modern world she goes to social media to see what other kids are doing who wrongly think that their fathers do not love them, and they too begin to do it. I can go on and on and fill a book on different scenarios that we have created in our computer that defines who we are. I will rather stop here and allow you to do the introspection yourself and come up with all the coding inside you.
Is there anything wrong with any of these algorithms in our supercomputer? Absolutely NOTHING. Here is the challenge, NOT ALL OF THESE CODES ARE SERVING YOU. Some of these codes worked at a specific time in your life and are no longer serving you. Think of a computer today running an operating system developed 40 years ago. It cannot communicate. Today, most of devices and gadgets are automatically updating their software once they are connected to the internet. You too should be checking your software. 20 years ago, after a terrible relationship break up, you wrote in your AI that all men were devils. Is that belief still relevant today? The belief helped you overcome a very difficult time in your life then, but is it still serving your needs for today. You lost your job in a power tussle with a Yoruba man and wrote in your AI that all Yoruba men cannot be trusted. Does that belief still serve you today? When you lost your job that belief may have been temporarily necessary (wrong or right) to help you make meaning of the event and move on, but you did not delete it after you got your next job. Now, that belief is warning you of danger since a Yoruba man was appointed your new boss. Do you still think the belief is necessary? I am not here to tell you which belief good and which belief is bad. There isn’t anything like that. The question is, “Is this belief serving my happiness?”.
You see, as we matured, we moved from innocence to awareness. I am an amateur in the Bible, but I like this quote from Romans 5:13, “For sin was in the world before the Law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law”. Part B of that verse says sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nothing can terrify you except it goes against an ingrained belief(coding). If there is no belief on the subject, you will scarcely be aware if the event happened as your supercomputer will not even pick it. Nobody can violate a law that DOES NOT EXIST. All over the world, laws are being updated. The United State Government has just rolled back the tough banking regulations that were imposed in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehmann Brothers. Why? Because it was no longer serving the state. You see, you are only terrified by what is contrary to your computer programming. Since no two people have the same computer programming, we are not all the same terrified by the same event. Even when we may both be terrified by the same event, the severity may be ranked differently in our AI. One per person is only mildly stressed by an event, the second person is already heading to a psychiatric hospital as his AI programming has crashed. In security parlance one person classified the risk at level 5 security threat, while another merely placed it in level 1 and for another it has been delisted. Do an introspection and see which beliefs look like level 5. If they serve your interest OK, but if they are not, you may want to downgrade the level of security threat, update it with a new belief or just delete it.
I have seen marriages where a husband forgetting the wife’s birthday is a level 5 threat and as soon as the husband forgot the birthday, the marriage is ripped apart by the response of the wife. If you interview the woman she will put plenty sentiments into what happened on that day and how that the husband forgot her birthday and how that she just could not comport herself, how she lost her cool, and on and on the story will never end. But I know marriages where the woman even forgets her own birthday let alone the spouse. So, what ripped the marriage apart wasn’t that the husband’s forgetting the birthday, but the meanings surrounding her birthday for the woman might just have been set at a level 5 threat. If you are fine ripping off the marriage for this reason, well and good, but if you are not fine and you think the possibility does exist for your spouse to forget your birthday, and you do not want to give a level 5 threat reaction, you may want to downgrade the treat level in your computer. I was in church a while ago and the pastor said, “no man who loves his wife will forget the wife’s birthday”. I said to myself, that is just half-truth. Birthdays are not REALITY. Every day is the same and everyday can become what you want it to be. You can choose to celebrate your wife everyday. In the real world, there is no time. Where you originated from has no time. Time is a concept and we will get to that later.
Have you considered that this might just be a good time to have a check on some of your NO GO AREAS in your belief system?
I am sharing these short notes in a series of articles on Mental Resilience and Wellbeing. If you are interested in getting further information on this subject or you have a question to ask, kindly send me an email at email@example.com. I am equally available to teach how these principles can be used to resolve workplace conflicts of every kind, driving sales, problem solving and work place interpersonal relationships.Join Our Social Media Community