Unlearning The Things You Were Taught

  1. i am reading this book that belongs to my hubby titled "doing what you love, loving what you do" by dr. robert anthony.

    on pages 116-118 of dr. anthony's book is this section titled "unlearning the things you were taught". here is what it said...and i directly quote dr. anthony:

    "how did your parents feel about money? about earning it, saving it, or spending it?
    do you remember being told that you 'can't have everything you want'? that you should 'save for a rainy day'? that you should 'clean your plate because of all the starving kids in china'? that you should 'be grateful for what little you have because of others who have nothing at all'?
    when you heard these messages, did they seem inspiring to you? probably not. more than likely, you felt guilty about the resentment you experienced as these messages were repeated over and over again. why do you suppose you were unable to sympathize with or relate to the messages being conveyed? because each and every one of them is a poverty message, and it is only natural to try to avoid poverty consciousness, to want to feel more optimistic and enthusiastic about your future prospects, your life's work.
    poverty messages do not inspire us to 'go for the gold', to pursue any specific career with great enthusiasm or determination. rather, poverty messages encourage us to eke out a living however we can, to be happy to be employed when others are not, to settle for whatever is available to us.
    your parents should not be blamed. from their immediate level of awareness, they were only advising you in the best way they knew. and, of course, what they told you had also been passed down to them by their well-intentioned parents. and so it goes. but it need go no farther. it can stop with you. right now! today!
    psychologists far and wide have determined that it is detrimental to a person's health and well-being to exist in conflict, to be divided against himself. when you falsely assume that work is one thing and pleasure is another, you are automatically in conflict. there is the thing you want to do and the thing you feel you must do. how much better life would be if you could unify these two ideas, make them one, and also, make them your life's work. yes, it is possible! it is also vital to your good health and happiness.
    if you already know this but are afraid of depriving yourself financially, if you fear you will literally cut your income in two by pursuing your dreams, consider this: the real illusion about money is that it creates security. security does not come from accumulating wealth. i know many people who are extremely wealthy and are still very insecure. in fact, if you feel insecure right now, having more money will only increase your feelings of insecurity, since you will then have even more of it to lose.
    the solution to this particular anxiety is to create activities and circumstances that would make you happy even if you did not have money. when we believe that money is the key to every kind of human satisfaction, it ceases to be a tool and becomes our master. as we acquire more money, we have a tendency to acquire more material possessions. but these possessions can also become our master because they will require some form of care and maintenance, or will need to be repaired, protected, or moved about. in other words, whatever you own also owns you!
    while there is nothing wrong with wanting to better your life, to have a certain amount of comfort and convenience, you will enjoy these things more if they are not your primary concern, if instead your primary concern is to earn your living by doing something you truly enjoy."

    ******************************************

    end of dr. anthony's material for now...

    now, cheerfuldoer responds:

    i was quite impressed with his analysis of how we are literally programmed to think out our lives, while all the while losing out on the true gift of life...being joyfully content in that which makes us at peace and feel alright with ourselves without laboring needlessly to things that end up essentially owning us...owning our time...robbing us of life!

    any thoughts that you care to share???
    Last edit by live4today on Jun 29, '02
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   nursegoodguy
    Hi Renee!
    Wouldn't it be great if we could do what we really wanted to do... The problem as I see it is undoing what took year to do so we can do what we want to do...
  4. by   aimeee
    Sounds like a lot of food for thought there, Renee. I think all of us know someone who has practically nothing but the clothes on his back and yet is brimming with happiness. We also know people who have seemingly everything, wealth, power, prestige, popularity, and yet they are also driven by desparation to get more of it all. Part of it is learning to appreciate the NOW, counting our blessings, being fully in the moment. And part of it is learning to pursue the things that truly fulfill us, listening to our inner voices, instead of the messages that come from outside.
  5. by   micro
    Renee,
    unlearning what has been taught.....
    no, they weren't wrong.....they just were who they are.....
    food for thought.....
    renee, you rock.........

    rockin on,
    micro
  6. by   LasVegasRN
    I would like to unlearn that I have to clean my plate. I would not be chunky thunder thighs if I didn't believe that thousands of hungry children in Ethopia would love to have my peas and carrots so I better clean my plate.
    Sorry - I went a little off there..
  7. by   CATHYW
    Renee, this man knew my parents-I'm sure of it! I've said before that I believe our parents were influenced so much by the Depression. They were THRILLED to have jobs, a house and car of their own, a little money in the bank, and able to afford medical care. By being thrifty and socking away every dime they could, they were trying to ensure their happiness (and ours) by hoping to avoid the financial devastation of another Depression. They (we) also lived in the dark shadow of the Cold War.
    Unfortunately, I am too profligate with money, and so is my husband. We are both the oldest children of parents exactly as you mention. My husband is 10 years older than I, so was exposed to it for even longer than I was. We are not poverty-stricken, and we pay our bills and last year totally renovated/remodeled our house, we each have 401's and retirement income from previous jobs that we will eventually tap into. On the other hand, we have to be consiously aware of how tight things can be if we spend too much. We have both decided we are somehow trying to recompense ourselves for the times our parents said, "no, we can't afford it."

    Did I mention that we are both overweight, and that I always wondered how me, cleaning MY plate, could help starving children that ate out of garbage cans in China?
  8. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by LasVegasRN
    I would not be chunky thunder thighs if I didn't believe that thousands of hungry children in Ethopia would love to have my peas and carrots so I better clean my plate.
    Now, now Vegas!

    That's not what you're thinking! You're thinking, "damn that's good!"

    :chuckle Heather
  9. by   live4today
    Nursegoodguy...it would be great if we could do whatever we wanted to do. I am at one of those crossroads in my life where I am searching for that cloud that will burst open with just the right thing for me to do with the rest of my life. I know I have to make it happen, but I'm wanting to really pursue SOMETHING that is sooooooo ME!

    aimee...you are so right, too. I've lived both sides of the fence...money and many things vs. very little money and just the essentials, and neither side made me happy which is why I am seeking that which will fulfill me in this part of my life...besides the obvious with me (loving my Lord and reaching out to others with His love, compassion, and understanding.) I want ME to evolve into something that is without a shadow of a doubt ME! The Psychologist - Erikson would say that I am in the "Generativity vs. Stagnation" phase of life, and since he's been correct so far in every past stage of my life, I am seeing how right his theories are for me now.

    LasVegas...my parents use to FIX our plates, then MAKE us eat EVERYTHING on it even if we didn't want it. I could have understood their logic more if I had been the one to load my plate with more food than I could possibly eat, but not when someone else is going to tell me how much I have to eat or else.... I heard that phrase "Clean your plate" constantly as a child, and vowed to NEVER use it on my children. The only time I would tell them to clean their plate is when they were finished eating, they had to remove their own dishes from the table, rinse off their plate, and put it in the dishwasher. Otherwise...I let them fix their own plates...keeping in mind whatever they put on their plate should be in small amounts...only reaching for more IF they were still hungry. As a child myself, I remember those times when I would run to the bathroom just to spit out the Lima Beans into the toilet because I hated them so bad...still do to this day. :chuckle And...I NEVER cooked them as an adult, nor did I expect my children to have my taste in food. I guess you could say that I catered to them in that respect because mealtime with my children was NOT going to be a struggle or unpleasant time just over food they didn't want to eat. But...my parents parents probably made them eat all of their food, but like Dr. Anthony said 'we can STOP those actions anytime now' because we are no longer children who must continue doing what our forefathers did. :chuckle
    Last edit by live4today on Jun 30, '02
  10. by   live4today
    Originally posted by Cathy Wilson, RN
    Renee, this man knew my parents-I'm sure of it! I've said before that I believe our parents were influenced so much by the Depression. They were THRILLED to have jobs, a house and car of their own, a little money in the bank, and able to afford medical care. By being thrifty and socking away every dime they could, they were trying to ensure their happiness (and ours) by hoping to avoid the financial devastation of another Depression. They (we) also lived in the dark shadow of the Cold War.
    Unfortunately, I am too profligate with money, and so is my husband. We are both the oldest children of parents exactly as you mention. My husband is 10 years older than I, so was exposed to it for even longer than I was. We are not poverty-stricken, and we pay our bills and last year totally renovated/remodeled our house, we each have 401's and retirement income from previous jobs that we will eventually tap into. On the other hand, we have to be consiously aware of how tight things can be if we spend too much. We have both decided we are somehow trying to recompense ourselves for the times our parents said, "no, we can't afford it."

    Did I mention that we are both overweight, and that I always wondered how me, cleaning MY plate, could help starving children that ate out of garbage cans in China?
    Cathy...I know what you mean. I think he knew a lot of our parents. The mounds and mounds of food that was literally SHOVED down the children of America's throats just to satisfy parents who said "Clean your plate!" "NO dessert if you don't clean your plate!" Why heck...I sometimes eat dessert before my dinner now just because I can!
  11. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by cheerfuldoer
    Why heck...I sometimes eat dessert before my dinner now just because I can!
    Yeah! I thought that was just me! Sometimes I even giggle out loud because I'M EATING MY DESSERT FIRST, MOM! BWAHH HAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    Did anybody get the "I'll take you to McDonald's if you be good at church" thing? Too much emphasis on food for some of us as children, unfortunately...
  12. by   live4today
    LasVegasRN........NEVER got that from my folks! It was "You be good at church IF you know what's good for you" speech.

    As for money management skills: That is something that I NEVER learned at home, but somehow when I left home at age 17 to live on my own because I had graduated high school, so therefore I had to go NOW...pronto..according to my deranged father....I somehow instinctively knew how to manage my money. I knew that when I ran out of money, no one was going to come to my rescue...ESPECIALLY my parents. So...I was a miser for a long time. Then, after I married the first time, I remained a faithful and loyal money manager. I didn't go buck wild with abusing money until AFTER the divorce when I spent, and spent, and spent trying to soothe my aching heart. I ended up paying for that mistake of mismanagement of money during those sappy tears and years following the X's departure...but I am now FULLY recovered and looking forward to spending my first paycheck upon my return to nursing sometime next year.

    Dr. Anthony says that we learn from our parents the way that we handle living, well thank God I learned what NOT to do from my parents, and thank God I always knew how to manage money...during my sane periods of living that is. :chuckle I shan't be held responsible for my period of greatest INsanity that lasted for a brief period...I rest my case.
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 1, '02
  13. by   Ted
    Good thread.

    We have several thousands of dollars (about $40,000) in credit card and personal loan debt . . . not counting mortgage and students loans. A great percentage of this debt is in our recording studio (including small building).

    On some days, this debt and having a fair amout of things really "own" us because of the limit of available income.

    On other days . . . . we've had hundreds of hours of productive work and creative joy in writing music, recording and even producing a few albums.

    On one hand it is sometimes frustrating to have financial limits on what we can do . . . we don't take expensive vacations, we can't afford to sell our old house and purchase a new one, and we have to make our current income in order to pay the bills, bills, bills. And on the other hand, we've realized our creative dreams more than just a few times in producing interesting CD's and live performances.

    All in all . . . . I don't regret my life. I wouldn't change a thing!!!
    . . . . . except a certain event on May 1st, 1998. . .. .

    Peace,

    Ted
    Last edit by Ted on Jul 1, '02
  14. by   joyrochelle
    Originally posted by LasVegasRN

    Did anybody get the "I'll take you to McDonald's if you be good at church" thing? Too much emphasis on food for some of us as children, unfortunately...
    oh my gosh...ALL the time...but after the dentist or doctor if you could believe it!!!

    My mother is very into comfort food....and I have been raised as such. I am 25 now, and as a previous dancer who no longer is quite as active as I once was in my earlier age, I see my body getting frumpy....

    Now that i am out of school (for a little while at least) i hope to utilize my days off in efforts to get back inot shape!

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