Don Paglia | Marriage and Family Counseling. Constellations Workshops


Tip #32:

“Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley.”

                                                              Author Unknown

 Human beings love having, and often seek out, both significance and contribution. We don’t simply want significance; we don’t just want to be a contribution; we NEED them. For some people the need is very large. These needs then become what motivates us to do and not do various things, all as the basis for our strategy to obtain that particular need.

 Along with a need for Significance and Contribution, is also the need for Certainty/Comfort, as well as a need for some Uncertainty/Variety. We also have a need to Grow, and to Love and be Loved. Anthony Robbins calls these needs our Six Basic Human Needs. He says we need these to survive as well as to evolve. Perhaps more on all six human needs at another time. I will address only the two needs for significance and for being a contribution for now.

 Bragging about catching a large fish could be a way to get some of our need for Significance or Contribution met. As stated other times, we are meaning makers. We make up meanings about everything. This includes how we interrupt what will or won’t give us the basic human need(s) we are looking to acquire. Then we go about appraising everyone and everything regarding how we are coming across via the lens of the meaning(s) we first made up. Of course, what we are doing is using external measurements to determine our needs and our own worth. We are listening primarily to our ego – our mind – which is another way of saying we are focused on a fear based perspective.

 It is, of course, appropriate to celebrate those things we have achieved. We need to acknowledge milestones and moments of triumphs before we step up to the plate to take on our next venture. It’s valuable to acknowledge we didn’t have or didn’t know whatever it is that we now have through our efforts and good actions. We can celebrate the fact that we caused this to happen.

 We are in a brand new place. Hooray! We are transformed! We must acknowledge this new reality. Otherwise, if we just go about with business as usual we might not take in all that has occurred due to our diligence and great efforts, and by diminishing this we run risk of reverting to our older ways.

 But here’s the thing: Even with great accomplishments we can still be outwardly focused and driven by those external kudos and opinions of others and of our mind, but not be tuned into our own inner voice. When we start listening to internal measurements – namely: our Heart – we can determine more accurately what is truly good or not good for us. Otherwise we might be achieving on a grand scale and not be happy. We might be getting very rich and feel impoverished. We could be impressing the world and feeling lonely.

 The acid test needs to be based on how we feel. Ask yourself better questions regarding what you are trying to determine if you wish to do it or not:

  • Do we feel expanded? Or do we feel diminished?
  • Do we feel radiant? Or do we feel subdued?

 This is a kind of listening based upon our own internal compass. Learning to trust this internal voice is critical to happiness. We may call it lots of things: our inner compass – our Heart – our intuitive knowing – our Soul. It isn’t what most think it is. I subscribing to doing everything that you “feel like doing.” Not at all.

 I’m proposing you trust the deep inner voice that encourages and offers you huge dreams and aspirations. It’s that soft but persistent voice that nudges you go for the gold. I am saying to you to, once and for all, listen to this sacred feature within you that gets too easily dismissed, or muted, by the nay-sayer voice that lives within your mind, and that feeds you tons of cautionary “what ifs” and “you can’t do that” stoppers. These are messages from our fear-driven Ego. It is not you friend.

 By not succumbing to the ego’s voice and instead listen to our heart inform us we’ll actually come away from a day of fishing as being a great day because we feel refreshed, and recharged, regardless if we caught a single fish, let alone what the size of the said fish is.

 If I had to distinguish the old from the new I’d say this:

The old way is from our head and is totally about surviving.

The new and transformed way is from our heart and it is all about thriving.

It is our choice:

  • Survive


  • Thrive

 I’ve previously mentioned the technique I sometimes use when I’m about to go do something new – a workshop or any enterprise –  by first writing a letter from the future where I describe all the great things I did going into it and during this actual event.  I also stated – and this is critical – I describe who I had to BE in order to do whatever it was I did. This BEING is all the ways I listened to my Heart and stopped listening to my Head. I cannot understate this enough.

 The Head is mind chatter with all sorts of limiting thoughts, those “what ifs,” the usual “that will never work,” or the “who are you kidding?” chatter. And all the countless sabotaging crazy mind s_ _t. It’s all illusionary.

Stop it!

Stop listening to this!

It’s nonsense.

It’s all made up.

 When we listen to our heart and pay attention to what we are truly passionate about we are in service to the Universe. If we aren’t there, this only means we haven’t made our intended contribution big enough. We’re playing too small. We are still back in survival mode.

So Dream Big. Play Bigger.

You might have heard this before: “Build it and they will come.”

 All of this can seem counter-intuitive. I’m telling you to get comfortable with not knowing the outcome ahead of tine, with following your heart, and letting things unfold to see where it goes. I get it. This is scary stuff. After all, what I’m asking you to do is jettison everything that feels heavy, and to take a leap! That’s all. Just know your mind is your career. With your mind in charge you are only manipulating yourself. Learn how to operate, instead out of love and all the rest will be your domain.

 The irony is you actually are more likely to catch some big ass fish!