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Throughout your life, you’ve been brainwashed into using other peoples’ eyes and ears to live your life. And it’s usually from people with the best intentions. 

Even revered historical figures like the stoic philosophers subconsciously programmed you. But when you let other authorities guide your life, you trade in your eyes and ears for theirs. 

When you don’t follow your own eyes and ears, you’re letting other people live your life for you. And nothing puts you on the fast track to misery and suffering more than letting other people live your life. 

In this episode, I’m revealing why never trusting anyone again gives you freedom to be as happy as you can possibly be. 

Show highlights include:

  • The insidious way the great stoic philosopher Epictetus prevents you from achieving unlimited happiness (6:06) 
  • Why working hard isn’t a prerequisite for a joy-filled life (6:47) 
  • How the most motivating books and poems drown you in suffering (and how to challenge everything you believe) (9:26) 
  • The counterintuitive reason illiterate people have more wisdom than the best-read person on the planet (15:20) 
  • Why never trusting anyone gives you a sense of freedom most can’t even dream about (17:09) 
  • The only proven way to build real confidence (and how to use this skill today) (18:48)  

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course. 

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.6]

Bob: I am so excited for today, guys. It's time to free you of the tyranny of other people's opinions. Would you like that? Would you like to do this? Over the last couple months, I've seen a couple of things on Facebook, some posts that people put up where they're quoting other people, other authorities and whatnot. And it's kind of rubbed me the wrong way in a certain sense because people put this quote up and what is being spoken inside of those quotes. Some of it's good and some of it's not good, but because it's quoted by a famous person or it just feels, it sounds like it's good at first that people put it up and they talk about it like it's the truth when it's not the truth necessarily. And what I realized is that this happens a lot. This has been happening to you and I, since we were kids, people tell us things and if it's noteworthy or memorable, you know, memes and things like that, then we like, we remember it. Awesome quotes, cool poems that like have really been influential in our life. But when you really look at them later on, it's like, Oh, well, maybe that doesn't mean what I thought it did or, or, or whatnot, but it takes a long time. [01:36.8]

We get so overwhelmed by the glory of the quote or the authority with which it's spoken. You know, so-and-so said, this is true that we forget to see with our own eyes and hear with our own ears and listen with our own hearts and understand. Now that's a paraphrase of a biblical kind of thing I think from Isaiah. But I think that that concept is a very, very good one to consider that you and I were born with eyes and ears, and often we close our eyes and we shut our ears and we let other people's eyes and ears live our lives for us. Let me ask you a question. If you're walking down the street and you close your eyes and your ears, and then you have someone walking next to you, how likely is it going to be that you're going to trip over something or run into something that they don't see because they're not looking through your eyes. Is it possible? It doesn't mean that they can direct you in some really, really good ways. They possibly can sometimes, because they can, they have a perspective you don't have, but does it mean that they're going to see everything that's pertinent to you? Everything that's valuable to you. And does it mean that they understand the depths of who you are and what is most essential for the unique life that you are in this planet? [02:42.5]

Sure. They may have a social paradigm or something that they think is important, but does that necessarily mean it's the right thing for you? Well, as parents, we like to teach our kids this, right? As parents, we like to kind of tell them what is right and what is wrong? What is appropriate? Cause we're trying to give them a leg up. It's not malicious, you know, but at the same time, often, often we teach our kids not to trust their own eyes and ears and their own sense of things because we have a rule about it. We're uncomfortable with what they're doing, or we just simply, don't like what they're doing. And we want them to do something different. So, adults are throwing our temper tantrums, but we've found ways as adults to make it sound like it's not bad by saying that's the rules or whatnot. We still try to manipulate people into doing what we want. We still use peer pressure as adults like they're called laws and police. We get together as a group of people and we vote and we say, this is what we want. And then we allow police and other people to go enforce it with others. Right? That doesn't mean it's morally superior necessarily. [03:41.2]

All it means is the group of us have decided that we're going to impose our will on the masses. And because everyone's agreed to do that doesn't mean that they still have to do it. They can disobey. And if they get caught, they can be incarcerated and whatnot. And they still don't have to obey. And that can lead to a death sentence or they can lead to a life in jail or that can lead to being deported or any number of things. But we still do this as adults. Just like little kids, we run around with our temper tantrums and we run around quoting things and declaring what we like as if it's some cosmic law in the universe. Well, that becomes problematic to a kid growing up. They hurt themselves and we go, Oh no, you're okay. When they're screaming and their body and their senses are saying, this hurts. And we go, Oh no, that didn't hurt. Why? Well, if I'm honest about when I've done that, it's because I don't want the kid to scream and yell and I don't want them to think bad about me. Some that's happened in the past or I don't, I don't want it to make a scene or I don't want to deal with the aftermath or I really think it doesn't hurt that much, but I'm not inside the kid's skin. So, the kid now is getting a confusing message. This hurts, but he's telling me it's okay. It's okay to hurt. That's not a message. I want my kids to get. [04:50.1]

And the same token people discover things like sex, right? And parents are like talking about how it's bad and whatnot often. You know, I think there's a better conversation around it nowadays in a lot of homes, but still, there's the general thrust that it's bad. If you get involved with it at certain ages and everything else that it's going to be horrible. And yet the kids who are playing with it, discover it feels good. It feels good, but it's bad. So, it's bad to feel good. And this is, and that can just create a whole lot of confusion because the kids aren't able to see with their own eyes and ears. It doesn't mean that your message is awful, but maybe the method of communicating it might could use some improvement. I know mine certainly can, for sure, if I'm wanting to just be honest and real with it. So here we are and we're looking around and we're listening to other people talk about what is true of life. Things like hard work is a virtue and life is, life is hard and stress of this and it's, I'm only human and all these things that just get embedded into the public consciousness. Have you ever considered that maybe it would be beneficial to start challenging those, not by arguing against them because you don't like it, but by looking to see if it's really true. [05:54.8]

So, a friend of mine put this quote up a while ago and I'm going to read the quote and I'm going to read my response to him so that you can really kind of get a sense about what's going on. Cause it was a solid conversation. Here was a quote by Epictetus. Now this is obviously a single name so he must be an old guy. And it's, I think it's a Roman philosopher or historian or something like that. And he said, what would have become of Hercules? Do you think if there had been no lion Hydra, stag, or boar - and no savage criminals to rid the world of what would he have done in the absence of such challenges? Obviously, he would have just rolled over in bed and gone back to sleep. So, by snoring his life away in luxury and comfort, he never would have developed into the mighty Hercules. Now there's a lot of problems with this idea, but can you see the issue at the heart of it? This guy obviously has a bone to pick, right? He's got an axe to grind. He's trying to manipulate with his words, people into believing a certain viewpoint, which is, that you need to go work hard that the world needs to have ills and that you need to go out and not be in luxury and comfort, but instead you need to go out and like combat these things. And that's what will develop you into a mighty human or a mighty being. [07:05.0]

Nevertheless, even that, if we listen to last week's episode, he doesn't even know what the, what the, what the source or the original being is that we're talking about. So, he might not actually be improving the anyway, here's my response. I said to him, that's a large assumption, clearly driven by a message he wants the people or himself to hear that we need adversity or challenges to grow. Sadly, there is no evidence that Epictetus personally knew Hercules or what he would have done in the absence of those challenges. So, he's pretending that his imaginary history is real in order to borrow history's authority, to push his own viewpoint. Who's to say that what Hercules became in those challenges is the Summum bonum of all that he could have been, had he not been busy chasing criminals in wildlife? [07:51.2]

There's absolutely no doubt, people develop different qualities when challenged in different ways. And there's ample evidence, also both in nature and in human development, that adversity is not needed for the development of an individual. So, I would call his declaration acute, but Epic tetanus fail. Now the guy responded, he said, I like your rebuttal. I can always count it to give you another viewpoint. I don't think his message is reliant on him personally, knowing Hercules, just like the message of the new Testament isn't reliant on the authors, actually knowing Christ. I think you could still find value and worth through myth. And while I don't feel adversity is necessary for happy or productive life, I definitely don't feel one should run from it, rather one should just accept what it is and understand the obstacle is the way that's a quote. That's the title of a book on stoicism and whatnot. [08:37.5]

And I responded back, I said, sometimes it's just too fun to rebut great thinkers though. He's I said, I'm with you. I'm not suggesting to run from it or to court it. Simply stop making more of it than it is actually happening and then live and live joyfully. And I would argue that his point could be much more convincingly made if he used real observable examples, instead of fabricated fairytales, coupled with the word, obviously. He says he thinks he agrees, but then he's like, I, he, I disagree a bit. I do agree that he shouldn't use the word, obviously in regard to made up fairytales. I disagree with the fact that fairytale or a myth can't be just as convincing or valuable as real facts or examples. I said, no doubt, many have been convinced by his argument. Many have also decided it's valuable too. I'm saying that for me, it falls incredibly short of anything valuable. They simply are not real. And the work I do, the single greatest cause of my client's suffering is they're clinging to myths, ideas and assumptions that are not real, but that they believe are real. [09:36.3]

So however valuable they may be to folks for me, there is always much more value in that, which the creator created instead of the fabrications of human minds, however, inspiring and eloquent, those myths may be. And he later got back to me and he's like, you know what? I thought about it a long time and I think I agree. Here was the thing, not that him agreeing with me makes me right. I mean, there could be a hole in my argument for sure, but here's the thing. It's a famous quote by a philosopher. And it seems to put forth this idea of like, Oh yeah, rise to the adversity and whatnot. And it misses the entire point that what you see as adversity is your interpretation of the facts. There's just what's happening and calling it adversity and determining and declaring that you're, there's something you're supposed to become through adversity adds a whole lot of effort to a human life. Effort, which by the way, our society is built on everybody growing up and becoming something, instead of simply being what they are. Again, this is another person's eyes and ears that it's really, really easy to miss, really, really easy to like guide your life by because they have some weird authority, because they're dead, which brings me to the next one alright. And this is the last one that I'll read to you. [10:50.0]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [11:17.8]

Here is this post by a guy who, you know, he studies human psychology a lot. He's an advertiser and a coach and whatnot. And he, he posted this picture that he got from somebody else and he was like, he, his post was like, I'm really, really proud of the fact that I haven't read anything on the left column. And I've read like nine of the ones on the right. And so, I read this and it's the feed, your mind starter pack. And you have a graph on one column you have remove and then on the other column you have add. So, if you're feeding your mind, you need to remove, and then it lists a bunch of off authors, Tony Robbins, Dean Grasiozi, Tai Lopez, Grant Cardone, Dan Lok, Robert Kiyosaki, Bob Proctor, Warren Buffet, Jordan Belfort, Napoleon Hill. The vast majority of those are current living by the way, marketers, most of them are marketers. Some of them are life coaches like Tony Robbins, right and investors. And then you have Warren Buffet who obviously is an investor of his own sort. Jordan Belfort, who was a stockbroker / you know, the Wolf of Wall street guy and Napoleon Hill who did Think and Grow Rich. So, it's all, it's all current sort of modern stuff. [12:27.9]

Then as you remove all that stuff, get rid of looking at all of these, you know marketers and stuff that it's online. If you want you, your mind fed, he says, you get them, get rid of those. And instead, you need to add Carl Young Friedrich, Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant, Henry David Thoreau, Victor Frankl, Carl Rogers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rene Descartes, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Lao Tzu. Now these are all dead people, every single one of them. Well, I don't know Carl Rogers, but all the rest of them are dead people. They're older people. Niccolo Machiavelli wrote the book, the Prince I believe. And it's just kind of basically a a method of governing people where one essential message of the book is the ends justify the means. Some of you might disagree with that. Ralph Waldo Emerson was obviously a writer and a poet. Some of his stuff I think is really insightful. I haven't read everything he's written, so I don't know. Viktor Frankl man's search for meaning, you know, concentration, camp guy, whatnot, Henry David Thoreau, the massive men lead lives of quiet desperation. He wrote Walden Pond and a civil disobedience, Immanuel Kant is a philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, a philosopher, both of them in very different camps. Carl Young was around the time of Sigmund Freud and whatnot. So, these are older. Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching or dictated the Tao Te Ching, depending on how you think about it. So, all of these people are older. They have the shine of history; they have all this other stuff. [13:48.5]

And it sounds like, wow, this is a beautiful thing. Yeah. What a great thing to run across in my Facebook feed that I should feed my mind by not listening to all these people that are current, now here. And I should just go dive into a Immanuel Kant’s’ version of what life is. By the way, it has some serious problems in it or Friedrich Nietzsche's version of it, or, yeah, let's just jump into Cartesian stuff. And Rene Descartes, even though some of his stuff has issues in it. Or Lao Tzu, I'm going to go learn a whole different culture and whatnot. I should just go do that cause that's going to be, that's the only way to feed my mind. Well, here's my response to him. There is just as much constipated biased and brilliant thinking on both sides. The ones on the left carry the weight of practical experience in this current world view for people seeking viable means of income, releasing emotional baggage and finding a certain sense of peace within. But as many have found that neither makes them useful for everyone nor worthwhile as a whole. [14:44.3]

The ones on the right have the authoritative backing of philosophy science and also psychology. And also, the enshrinement of all the authors being dead and literally out of touch with the specific details of today. History has coated them with the shine of age, old wisdom, but then neither makes them right, nor worthwhile as a whole, only revered. Putting either set on a pedestal or in a pit reveals nothing but a person's preferences in mind food. It's a nice way of patting oneself on the back, but it reveals nothing about the person's quality of life. Reading on either side may do wonders for a person at different moments in life. And yet many, a soul has been completely illiterate yet graced with more wisdom and wellbeing than the avid consumers of other people's thoughts, living or dead. When it comes to existence human thoughts, no matter what they are are of little consequence if the quality of that life is not in full flower. Thoughts are produced by the mind. What it feeds on is living experience and too many people, myself included have starved ourselves of life while scavenging for leftovers, from the plates of those who have truly lived. [15:51.3]

So, this to me is important. You were given eyes, you were given ears, you were given a nose, you were given your own way of interacting with, with this thing is called life or of experiencing everything that's out there because there is life within you. And it's too often, we have grown up believing that other people's thoughts, that other people's accomplishments are more valuable are more significant, are more important than our own. And so, we close our eyes to what's happening in front of us. We close our ears to what we're hearing, and we just let other authorities speak for us and guide our life. Now, if the Bible statement is true, that God really wanted his people that he, that has ears to hear, let him hear that if he wanted his people to look with their eyes and hear with their ears and listen with their heart and understand, then maybe it's time that you and I stopped believing everything anybody says. That it's time you stop believing me and that you started looking with your own eyes and ears. Maybe something I say is really valuable to you. Maybe it's a way that you can find a really deep access to different kinds of circumstances or, or a different level of freedom in your own life, maybe. But you need to look with your eyes and hear with your ears. [17:07.2]

You don't need to trust me. People come in and all these coaching programs, they're like, well, you need to trust the process. Don't trust the process. People come in and they're like, man, you know, I don't want to get my hopes up. I say, don't get your hopes up. Stop manufacturing hope based on what I'm saying. Go in, test these things out, experience them and see what it's doing in your life. And only then build that on knowledge, on your own experience, in your own perception. And then move forward with that instead of just saying, well, no, he said it's true. Or she said, it's true. And so, it must be true because well, they're smarter than me or they're whatever. Nobody on the planet is smarter than you. You have access to the same level of intelligence as everyone. The only difference is you have allowed yourself to believe that they are. And so, you have not looked in the way that they've looked in certain areas. You might've allowed yourself to be more intelligent than them in some sphere and less intelligent than another, you have access to the same intelligence. The only difference is you have believed that you're not as smart, right? [18:08.3]

Great changes in the world have come, not because of entrenched authorities, but because somebody else saw something different was willing to look differently. And because they were willing to look differently, great things have happened on the planet, horrible things too, but great things. And the only way you're going to be able to navigate it in the end, without constantly doubting yourself is to start to trust your own perception. Now that's scary because that means nobody else has an answer for you. That means you have to step into life and make your own decisions. And since we grew up with other people, making our decisions, it's kind of hard to do that. My suggestion as a parent, let your kids start making more of their own decisions. And as an adult start making some of your own decisions. The only way you'll develop real confidence is when you're the one making your decisions and determining whether or not they work out or not. And you'll find a tremendous amount of confidence because you're the one that's figuring it out. You'll never have confidence in the way that you want, if you're always trusting somebody else's opinion of how you should be interacting and how you should be behaving. [19:08.8]

So, it's time to step back and give yourself permission to have eyes, to see, to look at your life. Did someone tell you something as bad? It might be bad, but how about you look for it for yourself and ask yourself what's really happening. What's really going on here. And is that what they say it is? Do I actually see that, that they know what they're talking about? Or have I just believed it because I didn't question it. Most of the people talking to you about stuff, they don't actually know what they're talking about. They believe certain things. They have theories like a lot of science and they've taken those theories for fact, but they don't actually know that it's true. To my knowledge, physics still can't figure out why bumblebees fly. Now that could have been 30 years ago and they might've figured it out by now, but that didn't bother the bumblebees for a second. Human theories about it, have not bothered anything in life except humans. So how about you become a piece of life and stop being controlled by other people's opinions and other people's ideologies and other people's philosophies and start to ask yourself the question, what evidence do I have that they actually know what they're talking about? [20:13.7]

They might've been through tons of schooling, but does that mean they actually can perceive and really know what they're talking about? Or are they just parroting years of schooling, all the theories about mental health theories. And so many of them don't work. And so much of the industry of the counseling and therapy industry, they teach that certain things need to happen, but the industry is regulated in such a way that they can't. So, then some of these people come to me and they're like, Hey, what do you do? How do you handle porn and sex addiction or, or problems, or how do you handle depression or these mental health issues? Like how do you do this? Or how do you do that? And it's moving along. People looking for answers. But the reason it's taken so long is because we believed other people's theories. We didn't look with our own eyes. We didn't look with our own ears and keep looking until understanding. It might take a while sometime, but the only way that I got out, I found my way out of the addiction that I thought I had and all the other stuff that was going on and the misery and the suicidal thoughts and stuff was that I stopped listening to other people. And it was terrifying and I made some huge mistakes. And I eventually figured it out. [21:17.0]

And then I started helping other people and I kept paying attention. And then I figured out more and then I started to helping other people. And then I figured it out more because I kept paying attention until now hundreds and hundreds of people later, there's things that I've figured out. Does that mean I know everything? No. Does that mean my knowledge has stopped increasing? No, I keep paying attention and I keep discovering clearer and clearer and simpler and simpler ways of living a happy life and helping myself and others really experience freedom on totally different levels. For you to be able to do that, you're going to no matter what, who you're going to, whether you use a coach and a mentor or not, you need to look with your own eyes and hear with your own ears and understand. So, if you feel confused, if you feel lost someone so-and-so told me this is supposed to work, is it working? If it's not working, guess what? It's not working. Maybe you need to reassess. I don't like this thing. It sounds weird. Well, is it working? If it is working, guess what? It's working, keep paying attention. And you'll discover a simple, easy way to navigate your life. [22:21.0]

And if you want some help with that, if you want to learn some things, if you want us to show you some of the things that I've discovered over the years that have been really beneficial at accelerating that, please schedule a phone call. Let's talk. But in the end, even if you join in and you jump in with all like all the other people that we've been able to help, you're still going to need to do this with your own eyes, your own ears, your own heart, or it's not going to stick. Someday, you're going to start to doubt me because I'm not right about everything, especially not about your life. You're the only one who can make those decisions. And my job is to empower you, to be able to make them by helping you clear your perception so that it's razor-sharp so that you can make the decisions that are going to be most powerful for you, for your family and the people that you love. [23:04.6]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [23:23.2]

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