The Art of Good Forgetting

Have you ever tried to remember something- maybe a name, or where you placed your keys- and it seemed that the more you tried to remember, the more elusive that memory became? It can be frustrating when one forgets to remember something important. Even more frustrating, I think, is when we don’t remember to forget things which are no longer of use. One day I was sitting in my kitchen, listening to the television which was on in the other room. During the commercial break, there was one of those little news bites that announces some kind of shocking story to come later in the evening. Now the actual content of the broadcast is unimportant. So much so, in fact that I don’t recall exactly what it was about at the moment. The interesting thing was, however, that whatever they were talking about triggered a memory; an event that happened long ago wherein I didn’t exactly live up to my own standards. And, naturally, one thought led to another thought, and so on, until I was once again locked into a full blown mental dialog about the heinousness of my act. Of course,

at the time an erroneous act is committed, it’s quite alright to recognize where ones logic was flawed, in order to choose a better course of action for future times. The thing was, I was fretting over something that had transpired almost ten years previously. I had corrected that behavior long ago, made any amends necessary, and had been adhering to a high moral code for almost a decade. Nevertheless I was not only getting myself completely riled up over this old event in the present moment, but I was actually reliving it. My heart was pumping. I was genuinely angry. I even started going through an imaginary argument with others involved in the episode; saying what I would’ve liked to say then, but didn’t know how to. I went on like this for several minutes, until a though hit me like a stop sign. And that thought was, ‘This is REALLY crazy’. That was it. I stopped, and looked at the insanity that I had been carelessly slipping into. The affair was over long ago. Moreover, the circumstances where such that there was no value in undergoing that experience all over again. I was, essentially, just torturing myself for no good reason. I once heard a very wise therapist talk about something funny about people. Someone can do a good job at something, congratulate themselves, and after a short time simply move on to preparing for the next conquest. But one will have a very bad experience, and think nothing of taking that experience forward years afterwards; running it over again and again; reliving the pain; believing that what

happened says something final about who they are; and letting it hinder performance in other situations that have absolutely no link to the original event. We can be so unaware of what’s going on that, eventually, one may only remember a long list of setbacks and poor performances. All the victories have been forgotten. I’ve been guilty of this mistake many times in the past myself. I suffered needlessly before realizing that if I was going to only remember, at any one time, a very limited amount of my total experience, and forget other parts anyway, then I might as well get on with the task of practicing to forget things that are of no use to me. Now, this is not denial, or avoidance, or any of those pretty words. I’m not saying to block out those things which need to be looked at. What I am saying is that, all too often we go along unaware of the difference, mindlessly lugging around huge amounts of baggage that we don’t need on our trip. Sometimes we’re guided by an imaginary clock in our head. And that clock reads off the amount of time we believe that we need to suffer, before we can get over something. Now, notice that I said, “believe”, because required mental suffering time doesn’t really exist in the world. It’s just an idea. There is no actual set time required to go through anything that you have control over. And, yes, you do have control over your own emotions, even if you had done a poor job of developing that control until now. If there is no physical penance to pay, you could choose to get over it, and move on just as quickly as you want to. I’ve made it a priority to

narrow my focus to things that really matter. And if I make a reasonable mistake and no one was harmed, I won’t even register it negatively against myself. I’ll simply decide what to do the next time and, purposely, forget about it. The funny thing is to notice how people who are used to seeing you squirm, get almost angry at your new since of empowerment, as if saying, “How dare you not put yourself through enormous amounts of unnecessary pain like I would. How dare you find a sense of inner strength that I have not yet discovered for myself.” If that seemed silly, then my objective was met. I want you thing of it in those terms when the scenario comes up, and it will come up. Most likely no one will say those words, but you will sense the animosity toward exemplifying such an enlightened sense of awareness. Maybe, you will notice an increased effort to remind you of every little negative detail; of how you contributed to the incident; again, and again. Just remember, you don’t owe your well being to anyone. Do not feel that you are obligated to carry things around on your back because of anyone else’s lack of emotional maturity. Start recognizing which decisions are your personal ones to make. Think about whether other people really have a right to be hurt or disturbed. You may be surprised. Now it’s time for some high quality forgetting. What nobody ever told s growing up is that you can actually practice this skill and become good at it. At the same time, begin to take the skills, abilities, and talents you brought forth during your moments of victory (we all have some) into your

everyday existence. Why not? You are still the person who did those wonderful things. And you actually know more than you did then, so you are even more capable. Yes you have done the negative things, but you still know are more capable now because you know more than you did then. You have transpired those occasions, so let them go. If you are afraid of making mistakes, then master that fear. Most things won’t kill you. I learned two words in kindergarten that have made an invaluable contribution to my own peace of mind. Those two words are, ‘so what!?’ Say it! It feels great! How much would your life change if you began to only concentrate on the things that still mattered? Think about it, and then start leaving those things behind that you don’t need. Unpack. Travel light. After all you’ve still got a ways to go


What makes something real? Do our eyes reflect the truth, or create it? It has been said that, disregarding abnormal circumstances, most humans in the same sociological environment endure roughly the same ratio of positive and negative experiences. However, if you were to take aside several people, who have experienced approximately the same amounts of sorrow and joy, and inquire to each one of life’s general condition, and you would undoubtedly find quite a few different outlooks. Robert Anton Wilson remarked that, “It’s not about what we see out there, but instead what we have developed the ability to tune into”. Many pessimistic people have, somewhere along the way, decided that the uncertainty of life is something to fear. They have become attached to outcomes instead of process. Not having definite assurance of success in all undertakings is often felt as a lack of control (which, it is; for control of things outside of ones self is, for the most part, illusory). They frequently guard themselves from what they see as an

unbearable condition by projecting a negative outcome onto everything. This, for them, solves the issue of uncertainty; for if everything WILL fail, then the outcome is predetermined. Eventually, they learn to only see, or look for (tune into), the negative aspects of any environment. Some people see the bright side of everything. Of course, one can go too far with any extreme. Still, I’d rather err on the side of having excess hope and good feelings than the side of negating my opportunities. So, how much joy do you welcome into your life? It has been said that blessings are all around, what often comes in short supply is the ability to open ones self for receiving. Have you ever bumped into an issue that, at the time seemed insurmountable? Yet, when you look back, now, overcoming such an obstacle appears so easy it’s pitiful. What happened? The difficulty of the problem, most likely, didn’t change. The predicament simply appeared large because you felt small in that area. As you grew in experience and confidence, the difficulty shrank. So, since it is smaller now, perhaps it was not so large back then. You were simply unaware of the resources that were available inside of you to resolve the dilemma. And since it was not really so large back then, maybe those things you fret over now are not all as severe as you assume. They just seem severe against what resources you are aware of within yourself at the moment.

So, how do you go beyond what you can see? Well, there a many ways. Let’s look at a few. • Reading, Self-Improvement Audio, Video- There are countless available motivational resources which can give you an outside perspective. I always go for learning material from people who know more than me in the area I intend to improve. Moreover, it helps even more to find someone who has gone from a similar or worse position than you’re in right now, to where it is that you are going. This usually serves as a high-impact reality check. Realizing that someone has come from where you are and achieved success tends to throw excuses out the window. • Stories- Have you ever been complaining about something like waking up early to ride to work, or saying that you can’t achieve your goals because of the work involved, and then you hear of some massively successful person who started out like being homeless as a kid, fighting wild coyotes for scrapes of food, and walking eight miles through jungle landscape just to sit outside a school window and hear the muffled lessons through the glass. Maybe they worked their way over to this country on a banana boat ten years ago, and in that time, they have accumulated more than you have altogether in your entire life, and they started with absolutely nothing compared to you. How do your “reasons” for not succeeding sound now?

Feels kind of silly to buy into them, now, doesn’t it? I know some people, personally, who have done some really amazing things; stuff you wouldn’t believe! And the thing was, I’d usually known a person for years before the whole story ever came out. That’s because successful people don’t go around complaining about how bad they had it. Look around for the bios of some of the people you admire. I’ll bet some of them shock you! Checking out inspiring stories is one way that can, instantly, give you an entire shift of perception! • Get to know different kinds of people- Maybe one of your reason as to why things are so difficult is that your friends have the same issues that you do. At the risk of sounding clichéd, let me say one thing. Birds of a feather do flock together. Get together a bunch of people who think the same way, and you’re apt to find a similar set of issues across the board. It’s natural to hang out with people who are like us. That’s okay. What you may need, however, is the outlook of someone who doesn’t share your limits as well. Learn to be okay associating with people who are totally different that those who you would usually hang out with. C’mon. Stretch yourself. Live a little. It’s not nearly as bad as you may think.


When asked this question, some people will respond by listing activities they participate in at one time or another; “I’m a writer, an executive, a homemaker”, etc. Others, still, may go into more nebulous concepts, such as: a dreamer, a free spirit, a risk-taker, etc. And, indeed, there are times when acting in ways that exemplify these characteristics could be very useful. But who you “think” you are has to do with something entirely different. Now I’m not sure if you’ve recognized, yet, the crucial irregularity in the title phrase. The word “think” is in emphasis for a very special reason. What if I were to introduce the idea that it’s very possible that whoever you believe yourself to be doesn’t really exist in the present moment? Now, I know that might be a big one to swallow, initially. But let’s take a second to go into the human mind for an example of what I mean. When a baby is born, he/she knows basically nothing of the secular world. There are untold amounts of information flowing through all the senses of this little

being in every moment, and none of it makes any sense. The child doesn’t speak or understand the sounds, shapes, or colors all around. He/she doesn’t even realize that those little pudgy appendages which drift in an out of view, intermittently, belong to him/her. So how does one eventually transform from this little empty vessel, into one who can fully and intentionally command many complex systems at a whim? Speaking, walking, and ultimately tasks such as driving, and maybe even flying an aircraft, all fall within reach in due course. We all came upon this planet officially, with at least two innate abilities which make this process possible; the ability to notice differences, and to put together patterns. The ability to put together and remember patterns is an important tool in a person’s life. If one could not do so, not much could be accomplished. Could you imagine having to figure out how a doorknob worked each time you came across one designed slightly differently than any you’d seen before? But you can, instead, group it into a class called doorknobs and, knowing how doorknobs generally work, can apply the same principles to this object, and navigate its usage without any difficulty. Also uniquely human, is the need to attribute meaning to events. Other animals may have the ability to do so, though I presume not to such a deep degree. They consider what things mean in regard to their safety and survival needs. I doubt that a lion truly wonders why the sun comes up and the seasons change, as I

do that a fish questions the reason for water. Homo-sapiens are driven, however, to interpret. We must evaluate. Knowing this is a very important key in discovering how one goes about developing this thing called “identity”.

Another human need, which helps to tie all this together, is the need for consistency. What this means, is that we’re drawn toward keeping or thoughts, beliefs, and actions aligned with whoever we “think” ourselves to be. Now, this is not always the case, because on an unconscious level, the mind can irrationally entertain a paradox. All that’s required is that one is aligned within the framework of his or her paradigm at the moment. That however is a deeper discussion, for another time. There are many ways in which the urge for consistency plays out in our lives. A basic example can be seen when one wrongs a friend unjustly. Afterwards, the person who was in the wrong often begins to reason that there were grounds to dislike the other person anyway, or that they may have really deserved it. This happens because the definition for which this person holds about behavior between friends is unaligned with his own. Therefore, if he sees himself as a person who treats friends who have done him no harm kindly, then in order to make sense of what happened, he is likely to reason that he must not really like the other person. Otherwise, the wrongdoer is apt to experience severe psychic pain in response to

his own behavior. It can be very uncomfortable to go outside of ones own definition of who they see themselves as being. Again, there’s the key. It’s how we see ourselves. I’m not going to say that wrongfully slighting people isn’t bad. I’m just pointing out that if the wrongdoer saw himself as someone who valued winning above all; if he truly believed that the highest law was survival of the fittest, saw close relationships as tedious, and didn’t mind stepping on others just to get ahead; if he really had no problem, also, resisting social pressure as to how he should feel about it, then he wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep over cheating someone, because the behavior would be in line with whom he believed himself to be. Now, the last statement is important to make sense of the point we’re coming to here. Please just be patient a little longer, and it will all come together. Say a young person, maybe in high school, attempts to meet a member of the opposite sex. Unpracticed in the art of small talk, he or she may stumble over words, lose track of what to say, or simply draw a blank. Now the significance lies in the interpretation this person makes of the event. If the moment is brushed of as just a missed swing, then he/she brushes the dust off and prepares for the next time up to bat. But many times, we take things like that too personally. We make the incident mean something about us; about “who” we are, instead of simply actions that could

use some adjustment. And, given our natural tendency to create patterns, if the episode repeats itself, the individual will start to lose faith in his capacities as a person. Therefore, one begins to weave an image of who he “is”; begins to place imaginary limits on what is possible for him to accomplish. Like the doorknob, he creates a category for himself called, ‘I’m just not good with people’. Once he has mentally locked himself into that category-without actual awareness that he has done so- the need for consistency will drive his subsequent actions to fit the framework of what he believes. And as his behavior continues to be off the mark, he will become more and more convinced that this is the definition is a reality. He has come to be completely out of touch with the fact that he has merely created this persona for himself; that it’s just a role he is playing. In his mind, who he “is” has become a solid fact, instead of what it really is; just an idea. Human beings do not live in the world so-to-speak, but we each reside in our separate interpretations what it, how it works, and who we, and other people, are. Consistency is a mechanism of survival, combined with a need to make sense of what you’ve done. It can, in some degree, also be about choosing that which you know, over that which you don’t know. We tend to go with what’s familiar even, sometimes, despite unsavory consequences. This is so because, above all else, a part of you knows that what you did yesterday was, at least, enough to bring you into today alive. If

screaming and going ballistic is the most effective thing you perceive to have found thus far for getting people to back off when you feel under pressure, you may simply stop looking for better alternatives and, eventually, you’ve developed a habit. Any action for which you have no point of reference, though, takes you

out of that comfort zone; out of knowing whether or not you will find that same result. The habit can become so ingrained in ones psyche that it appears, to the person, to be a fixed part of his or her identity. As we grow older, we pile up these layers of who we believe our experiences have proven us to be. If you ask people how they know who they are, most likely they will respond by cataloging what they have done in the past. Without even realizing it, they’re limiting what they are capable of doing in the future to what they have done in the past. This, actually, makes no sense, bt most of us tend to default to that reaction. Most people are living today, as if it was yesterday. This is why I started by saying who you “think” you are, is probably just a memory, or a string of memories compiled to generate this illusory concept that you live up (or down) to each day. Truth is, when you wake up in the morning, you probably take all those little interpretations from the depths of your memory banks, and lay them over yourself like a robe that you wear. Now, this is not actually reasonable. You could, at any time, decide to act in ways that someone “like you” would never do. A wall flower

who “just doesn’t go out”, or “mix well with strangers” could just choose, one day not play that character, and talk to a hundred people before the sun goes down. Someone unhappy being employed as a CPA could wake up and decide to switch to the role of a drifter, who crosses the country, lives on the land, always absorbing new cultures. Of course, for some, there would be fewer steps in making such a transition than others, but you get the gist. If you decided that another way better served what you would like for your life, you probably physically have the power to change direction at any time, even when it doesn’t seem like it. The fears that hold you back would probably never happen, and your actions would likely not physically harm you or anyone else. It’s not usually physical constraints which hold us, however, but mental ones. Like I said, it can be very uncomfortable to venture into the unknown; to suffer criticism; to be labeled as a weirdo. That little voice that tells you it’s a ridiculous idea, or that people will think you’re crazy or any other nonsense is trying to keep you in those mental grooves which you have etched deeply into your imagination over time. But those are still just ideas. They do not really exist in the physical world. You can weigh an idea, and reject it if you wish. Furthermore, understand that if your worries are about what your friends would think or whether or not it would be proper behavior for someone like you; remember, the fact that you care about these things is just another part of that

delusion; that definition of who believe you should be. You could just not care, or not even contemplate whatever who thinks about what. I reached a very empowering point in my life when I learned the power of saying “so what”? One day, I realized that I simply wasn’t obligated to require anyone’s approval of personal decisions to enhance my experience of life. And when told about what someone who really had no interest in my decision would think, I would simply say, “so what”. And don’t buy it if someone blames you for not caring about being whatever you’re being accused of. That’s not it. You’re simply stating that you don’t care that they believe that. As long as the decision was mine to make, and didn’t stray outside my personal boundaries or cause actual harm to anyone else, it wasn’t anyone’s business to judge, and what they thought about it was none of my business as well. Now, notice what I said about doing actual harm to others, and the decision being yours to make. Plenty of people out there will try every underhanded and evil trick in the book- some of them sound quite well intended- to convince you that your decisions are not your own, and that choosing for yourself when you need to instead of following their directions will actually cause them some harm. But many times it’s just smoke and mirrors. Judge for yourself. That’s is the best you can really do anyway. Naturally if you’re married and decide to quit your job and move to the other end of the Earth, if you wish to remain with that person then I would suggest you

have a talk about that. Otherwise you would be intruding into someone else’s boundaries, and attempting to force a change upon their life that you have no right to do. However if, through your best efforts, you have made a personal decisioneven if it’s leaving an unsatisfying or unhealthy relationship- by all means go for it, and don’t look back! I’m going to say something that may be unpopular with some. It is not your obligation to suffer because of anyone else’s beliefs or limitations! In the end, the only person you must account for is you. You can raise children with the best intentions. But they are entirely separate, thinking individuals and will, eventually, have to account for their own choices as well. You also have no power over how others choose to interpret life. You have no power over how emotionally, or mentally, mature another person decides to become over the course of their life. And it’s not your responsibility, anyway. You have no commitment to stay in a situation that you see is going to go nowhere-period, or hang around people who incessantly attend to exhaust you. Doing so will drain your mental, physical, and emotional energies dry. You won’t get credit for it, and you will have a worse effect on everyone involved. Some people think that suffering is just what life is all about; that you’re not supposed to really like your job, enjoy your relationship after a certain amount of time, or every stray to far from the little safe, cubby hole of a life that everyone else has. Garbage! Live fully! Don’t let anyone, or thing, stop you, ever! Fill

your commitments to a reasonable degree, but your life is your own. Enjoy it! You, more than likely, only be here for a definite amount of time. You probably have no idea when that time will expire. And the clock is ticking right now! We don’t live in the world, but in how we choose to experience it. So if you are not making an effort to create the best experience possible for you in this short amount of time, then what are you really doing? It’s okay to leave those behind who think that life is some kind of dungeon, where you arrive, suffer silently for a while, and then die. Because you know differently. How do I know? You’ve taken the time to read this book. So, keep searching. What you are looking for, is looking for you. All you have to do is put unwanted parts of who you “think” you “are” to the side for a while, and decide who you will become from here on.



What is happening right now? Answer: Eveything. Everything is happening now. In fact, everything that happens, or has ever happened, happens now. That’s because there is only now. The past is gone, never to return, and the future is not yet here. So, now is the only time you have to bring your dreams to life. If you wanted to do something, you can’t go back in time and do it yesterday, or jmp forward and do it tomorrow. Whenever you do get around to getting it done, you will do it in a single moment. And, at that time, it will be now. When you’ve don’t things in the past, you did then in that moment. It was now. Choices you make will have an effect your future environment but, still, you will make those choices now. And when the future environment presents itself, it will be a now moment wherein you will need to take action in that moment. You can only take action now, anyway.

When I decided to put the Mind Power Now series into recording, I hit my own, personal, stumbling block at first. I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and how to do it, but I kept structuring my efforts so that my power lie in the future. I kept saying, “Before I get the program done, I need to learn website construction; I need to finish my courses on marketing; I need to do this, or that.” I was just waiting, killing time, when I already knew how to do the most important part. I’m not saying that it wasn’t good to learn all those things as well. But the most important thing you can do, right now, is something –anything- that moves you toward your goals. My epiphany came when I was listening to an audio by Dr. Joe Vitale, and heard him talk about taking immediate action when inspiration hits. He told a story of how one of his best programs went from idea, to production, to complete in less than twenty-four hours- amazing! That’s when I realized that there’s no set time to wait to take action. Do you want to know what I was really waiting for? I was getting ready to get ready. As we talk about change, consider this. When one finally makes a dramatic change, it happens in a moment. I know you probably want to snap my head off for saying such a thing. After all, people struggle for years trying to correct bad habits, right? You’re right, they do. However, there is that point when a person has finally had enough. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and just won’t take it any more. When that point is reached, then they finally put their foot down, never to look back. The thing is, that even if

they’d had the problem for years, it wasn’t the moment of change that took so long. It was getting ready to change; preparing to accept the new reality. Furthermore, a person can simply decide that their at that stage of urgency whenever they feel certain that a change is needed. We want to get rid of our problems, but at the same time are scared to let them go. I saw that I had been doing this also. So I got of my butt, a started writing the program, and everything started flowing from there. It’s always the first step- that movement into something new, and wonderful, and unknown- that we dread. Once in the act, things are almost never as scary as we thought they would be. So, take action! Get in the game! Right now! Make it happen! For super life-enhancing power strategies, go to

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