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the way in which we express ourselves in the environment to create the effect that we want.) Third, it is a function of the repertoire of skills that we have developed to interact with the environment and, fourth, a function of our ability to execute those skills.

Any differences between what we wanted, expected, desired, or needed and what we got is simply an indication of the degree to which we havent learned what we needed to know or evidence that we dont have the appropriate skills to do what needed to be done. Included as a factor in the first category-where we havent learned what we needed to know-is our ability or lack thereof to objectively (without illusion) assess the availability of what we wanted or needed from the environments perspective. In other words, what we wanted may have not been available to begin with or available in the quantity we wanted or in the time frame we wanted or needed, and we didnt have the mental framework to make the kinds of distinctions to indicate the actual availability beforehand.

We also have to consider that what we wanted may have actually been available but unperceivable, as a result of not having learned to make the appropriate distinctions, which would, in turn, give us the kind of perspective where we could notice its availability. In these kinds of situations we usually end up saying to ourselves, "I wish," or "If only I had known that then," when we find out afterward what we didnt know at the time would have made a difference on how we "saw" things. Often, however, we never find out that what we wanted and didnt get was only one minor shift in perspective. Not knowing, of course, that the reason why we didnt get it was because we just didnt know there was something more we needed to learn. If we had the mental framework to make the appropriate distinctions, we can assume that we would have, unless something was blocking our perception.

I might add here that when we interact with other people, if we use force and manipulation to get what otherwise would be unavailable, what we are doing is forcing them to behave outside of their beliefs. If their beliefs were consistent with what we wanted from them, then we wouldnt need to use force or manipulation because a state of harmony would exist. We dont need to use force or manipulation on someone to do something that they already believe in. Whenever we do, it creates a state of imbalance in them that they would normally rectify by some means of revenge that we would just

have to deal with at some point in the future. As a general observation of the human condition that goes along with this, most of us spend our lives trying to change what is in front of us to suit the makeup of our inner environment, when all we need to do is change the way we think about what is in front of us and we will change the quality of our experience of it.

In the second category-where we dont have the appropriate skills to do what needed to be done-we may recognize the most appropriate set of steps to take and also objectively assess the availability of what we want, but that doesnt mean that we have the skills to execute those steps. It is possible to underestimate the skills required in relation to the conditions to accomplish what we want (i.e., we dont know any better) or we could overestimate our abilities in relation to the conditions. Furthermore, even if we have learned the appropriate skills, there may be any number of beliefs or fears that act as barriers or limiting forces that will prevent us from properly executing the steps leading to what we want to accomplish. These beliefs or fears can be something that we have a conscious awareness of, or they can be completely subconscious. I am defining subconscious as any experience that we dont have immediate access to with our conscious thought process. For example, someone could be afraid of going into the water, be conscious of the fear itself, but not have the slightest recollection of a painful experience associated with water to know why he cant express himself in that way.

There is a very important distinction here that you need to make between recollection and memories. What we experience in the environment becomes a memory. Our ability to bring that memory into our conscious thought process is recollection. Some memories are easy to recall because the pathways to wherever the memory is stored are used a lot. In other words, we remember how to remember certain memories. However, there are many other experiences that become subconscious. These are memories that we have either forgotten how to remember because we dont use the pathways or we were never really fully aware of what was being perceived by our senses in the first place. However, the point here is that none of what goes in to the mental environment disappears or no longer exists just because we dont remember it. Our ability to recall consciously any particular belief that we are taught as a child or our

ability to recall any particular experience is not a factor in the dynamics of how any of these mental components act as a force on our behavior. Neither is physical clock time for that matter. Our conscious recollection of experiences may fade with time, but time has no impact on the electrical charge (quality of energy) or the amount of emotional force behind the charge. For example, the old adage that time heals all wounds is not applicable to the mental environment. Time will heal wounds to the body because the body is a part of a physical reality where everything is in motion and changing over time. However, time has no impact on the memories stored in our mental environment because the mental environment is not composed of physical matter. It is composed of stored energy that does not change with the passing of time.

Emotional wounds (negatively charged mental energy) will never go away unless we learn how to release ourselves from them or change them. People think time heals emotional wounds, because after years of experiences they either inadvertently let go of the pain or build a system of beliefs as a defense to shield themselves from it. In fact, our seemingly infinite capacity to resist acknowledging the injury and hiding the effects of emotional wounds makes them very elusive. We almost always know when we have injured our bodies in some way. If you break your leg, you know it because you wont be able to walk. If it doesnt heal properly, you will know that too because you wont be able to walk the same as before or it may still hurt to walk. Yet, emotional wounds are not always so self-evident, because we can always structure our beliefs to make it seem as if we are not responsible for the cycles of dissatisfaction and emotional pain we experience in our lives, thus insulating ourselves from the effects of our own negatively charged energy.

This is being pointed out because I have found that most people have a great deal of difficulty believing that something that happened to them in their childhood can still affect how they perceive their environment and how they express themselves now. Although, when you think about it, how could it be any other way? Everything that we experience becomes a component part of our mental environment. All the parts then act as an inner cause, affecting how we experience the outside environment. Again, we dont have to be able to remember why we learned to be afraid of something to feel the fear. We dont even have to consciously acknowledge to ourselves

that the fear exists because we can always rationalize that it is something else or use drugs or alcohol to block our awareness of it. However, regardless of how hard we try to stop ourselves from feeling what is inside of us, the feelings are still there; otherwise our efforts to block them wouldnt be necessary in the first place. The fear will exist because the energy, somewhere in our memory of some previous experience, will cause us to feel it, regardless of whether or not we allow ourselves to have a recollection of the source.

Memories, beliefs, and associations do not go away with time, substance abuse, or trying to put them somewhere in the subconscious that makes it more difficult to gain a conscious awareness. They will continue to act as a source of energy for the way in which we pick and choose information from the environment and how we express ourselves, for as long as we live, unless we learn how to manage them. Did you ever wonder why it was so difficult to break an unwanted habit or why it can be so difficult to execute some well-thought-out plan you were really committed to? It is difficult because of what is already inside of us that acts as resistance to our intent. An intent to do something is not necessarily a belief In other words, out of everything we intend to do, some of those intentions will be supported by our beliefs, memories, and associations, and some will not. When there is support, our efforts will seem effortless, because there is no conflict between any beliefs, memories, and associations and what we intend to do. However, if our intents are not in harmony with our beliefs, memories, or associations, doing becomes a struggle, where we cant stay focused, become easily distracted, or make what most people would characterize as "stupid mistakes."

Take, for example, someone who smokes, decides its a bad habit, and as a result, commits himself to quitting. Thus his intent is to express himself as a nonsmoker. However, after he has smoked his last cigarette, his beliefs in being a smoker will immediately start drawing his attention to cigarettes until it builds to the point where he craves a cigarette and then has one. What we have here is a classic conflict between an intent that is not only in conflict with other beliefs but the intent itself has no real structural support. That is, there isnt a corollary belief that says, "I am a nonsmoker." The energy for his behavior not to smoke will have to come from his

conscious willingness to be a different person in this area of his life. However, his willingness doesnt instandy negate all the energy in the beliefs he has built up over the years in being a smoker. These beliefs will have a great deal of energy to act on his conscious attention (noticing cigarettes in the environment and thinking about cigarettes) and his behavior (to pick one up and smoke it).

We could even have inner support (beliefs, memories, and associations) for what we intend to do and still have difficulties following through with our plans because of other conflicting beliefs. Behavior that would fall into the "stupid mistake" category is most often the result of subconscious or forgotten beliefs thar are in direct conflict with our intents. Trading is a perfect example to illustrate this. Many people devote a great deal of their time, energy, and financial resources to expressing themselves as traders. They learn a lot about trading-they are even highly regarded by their peers for what they know about the market-but still cant execute their trades properly or the way they planned. There are traders who can consistently make money day after day until they get to certain threshold levels and then promptly give all their profits back to the market in one or two trades. The way they give their money back is completely inconsistent with their trading style while they were making money. After they have lost a sufficient amount of money, they go back to the way they normally trade and start the process all over again. This kind of behavior is no accident. It happens for a reason.

In each of these situations these traders certainly had developed effective, workable strategies to be successful-they definitely had some highly structured beliefs to support their expression as a trader. However, what they havent done is identify and decharge a whole host of other beliefs (both conscious and subconscious) that are in direct conflict with the endeavor of trading or making money as a trader. For example, there are many beliefs related to ones religious upbringing that are in direct conflict with the whole concept of speculating. And what is trading but taking money away from other traders with no services rendered? This kind of activity isnt consistent with most religious teachings. Another typical example is most people grow up with very powerful beliefs related to the work ethic. They have very rigid definitions about what constitutes work and how one earns ones money. Trading doesnt exactly fit into most of these definitions either.

So regardless of how highly developed ones trading strategies become, the act of trading will still violate the integrity of any belief that is in conflict with the act of trading or making money from trading. Eventually the unexpressed energy accumulating in these conflicting beliefs will build to the point where the trader will find himself behaving in a manner completely inconsistent with his trading rules or intent to make money. Often, he will even be aware that he is about to make a trading error, watch himself do it, and at the same time either feel powerless to stop himself or wont stop himself until he has lost enough money to compensate for the imbalance in his mental environment.

Now when these kinds of things happen, if we dont understand what is going on, it could cause us to feel inadequate in some way, if we judge ourselves harshly. Or we co-ild be overcome by a sense of powerlessness and fear because we seemingly have no control over these unidentified internal forces that can exert so much control over our behavior. Without any awareness of the problem or effective tools for dealing with it, most people will attempt to build mental barriers to try and block these forces from manifesting in their behavior. Obviously, they dont work, which makes the whole situation even scarier. This is where the substance abuse comes into play. For example, a person who is an alcoholic knows he is a heavy drinker. At the most fundamental level a person drinks obsessively to separate his intellect from these inner forces he believes he has no control over. The more he blocks, the more the forces build and the more he has to drink to block. The more he drinks, the more everything deteriorates in his outer environment as a reflection of his inner environment. Eventually, the physical environment, his body, or both deteriorate so badly that he can no longer block the true state of his condition. He then acknowledges that "Yes, I am an alcoholic, and I need to change," meaning that "Yes, I need to address the issues in my life that caused me to start drinking in the first place."

The point of all this is: learning how to forget our painful memories or ignoring the existence of beliefs that dont support our intents does not in anyway reduce their potential to cause us to behave in certain ways. If we want to change unwanted behavior, we have to change the internal source of that behavior. Releasing ourselves from the limitations of our fears by healing our emotional wounds,

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