I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you. –Neo, The Matrix
The other day I was watching The Matrix for what was probably the 30th time; it is easily one of my favorites. In fact, I’d say that The Matrix is one of my top 5 personal development resources. Really. Upon detailed examination, the movie provides us with countless personal development lessons and metaphors for life.
I’m not going to tell you what the matrix is because nobody can really do that. It’s something you have to experience for yourself. But I can hopefully make you somewhat aware of the fact that the matrix has you because awareness is the first step towards breaking free.
- You’ll believe it when you see it.
If you operate from the idea that you’ll believe it when you see it, then you’re a long way from unplugging. A core lesson of this movie is that you’ll see exactly what you believe. In fact, if you only did one thing to advance your development, choosing empowering beliefs would be the most valuable thing you could do.
- Your purchases are status symbols.
- If you purchase nice cars, designer labels, and other expensive items because you want to have other people complement you, think you are cool or anything along those lines, then you’re really not in control of your life. You’re letting the approval of others dictate your purchases. There’s nothing at all wrong with having these things but only if you genuinely enjoy them and want them for your own personal fulfillment.
- Excessive concern with approval.
While this is similar to the above it extends beyond what you purchase. Many people take actions in their personal lives solely based on the approval of others. Yet, the ultimate irony is that trying so hard to gain the approval of others is exactly what makes them think less of you.
- You follow the herd.
Conformity is overrated. The most successful people in society have been willing to go out on a limb, go against the herd. In the end the herd ends up following them. Be a leader, not a follower.
- You never want to rock the boat.
Some people are so afraid of conflict that their opinion is never heard. I used to be completely afraid of conflict. The downside to holding it all in is that you eventually explode. Rock the boat every now and then and your ride through life will be much smoother.
- You believe in fate.
If you believe in fate then you believe in some unexplainable force that controls your life. There’s no predestined life that you’re supposed to have. You are the architect of your life, and your beliefs are the blueprint.
- You are a victim.
The victim mentality is one that unfortunately is somewhat supported by members of society. People always tell you how bad they feel for you, how sorry they are. I’m all for sympathy and being kind to people, but when you decide to wallow in all of this, you become a victim. Victims are slaves to the matrix. Others accept what happened and move on.
- You don’t make your own decisions.
I’ve grown up in a community where kids are often told from an early age that the most noble profession they can pursue is becoming a doctor. I always wonder how many of these people really wanted to be doctors, and how many of their parents decided for them at an early age, and eventually a decision their parents made became their decision. This is just one of many areas in life where people don’t make their own decisions. Decide what YOU want.
- You’re a slave to your emotions.
Emotions can be both empowering and detrimental. When you don’t learn to control your emotions then you tend to let them control you. It’s just one more area where you are not in control.
- You’re completely unaware of any of the above.
Awareness is really the beginning of freeing yourself from the limitations of the matrix. The average person is living in a reality that is a reflection of the ideas and images in the world around them, rather than a reflection of what’s in their own mind.
The matrix is nothing more than a system of beliefs, social constructs, and programs designed to hold you back from reaching your full potential. Hopefully the advice above will help you begin to unplug. Free your mind, be peaceful, be patient, and the rest will follow.
|Written on 10/15/2009 by Srinivas Rao. Srinivas is a volunteer for the Quality of Life Project. The website shares best practices on getting the most out of life from well known types like Richard Branson and Tom Skerritt to lesser known but equally interesting individuals. The mission of the organization is to help people live more enjoyable, purposeful and contented lives. Srinivas also writes at www.theskooloflife.com.||Photo Credit: Now I’m Always Smiling