How Experiences Shape Your Life
Experiences shape every moment of your life. From the moment you are born, you adjust to things based on everything you’ve seen and everything you’ve done.
Such an important part of our lives – the way we interpret our surroundings – is not so well understood.
Hardly any attention is focused on figuring out how to define our realities, as such vexing questions have been asked by philosophers for years, only resulting in deeper and deeper riddles.
Understanding basic reality doesn’t have to be a difficult problem if you accept that you do, in fact, encounter experiences daily.
And, when you encounter these experiences, regardless of their origin, you understand that these experiences shape your entire reality, because they are the only tangible, measurable entity that you encounter on a daily basis.
If you believe that experiences shape and dictate your life, it makes sense that gaining knowledge about how this process works will further enhance your reality. In order to uncover the treasures that lay beneath, you must first break them down into simple, digestible components.
The Types of Experience
There are two types of experiences:
- Internal Experiences
- External Experiences
Internal experiences include everything that you’ve physically experienced. Think about your conversations with other people, or perhaps flying in an airplane for the first time.
External experiences include everything you’ve observed. Be it a TV show, someone telling you their experience, or something that you’ve seen from a second person perspective.
Each of these experiences can sound one and the same. Isn’t watching someone do a trick and then actually performing it yourself pretty close to the same experience?
Yes. That’s because, on a subconscious level, the brain has trouble differentiating between these two experiences.
I used to be extremely involved in the teachings and practice of lucid dreaming and dream control. I would train myself to enter REM sleep, I would gain control of my dreams, and I would use such a world to enhance reality.
When I’m in such a mode, my possibilities are limitless, because they rest solely within my mind. I can imagine my body flying through the air like Superman, or perhaps feel the sensation of falling through the stars while gazing at the lit-up atmosphere.
Anything that I’ve even remotely experienced in reality, I can experience within my imagination by combing through such sensations and combining them into something entirely new. I’ve fallen from great heights before, and I’ve seen movie clips of people zooming through space. That combination comes together to form a potent, new experience – an impossible one, at that.
Dreaming, however, is an external experience, simply because it doesn’t occur in reality.
It’s entirely similar to going through virtual reality, or perhaps observing something on a television screen. It falls under the classification of an external experience.
External experiences, it turns out, matter just as much as internal experiences, as the mind processes them as one and the same.
One of the keys to learning how to lucid dream is the ability to determine whether or not you are in the dream world. Fail to do this, and you run the risk of not even realizing you’re in a dream. One of the popular tricks that people use to distinguish between dream and reality is to try and do something that normally couldn’t occur in real life. Carry around a piece of paper in your pocket with a bunch of words, and check if the words are in your dream (they can’t be, as your brain cannot process the highly complicated text symbols in a dream state, and you will be unable to read it).
Why is checking yourself the only way to distinguish between dream and reality?
It’s because the brain has a lot of difficulty separating the dream world from reality. The brain tends to meld these experiences together, making it so that you have no subconscious way of determining whether or not an experience was internal or external. It’s all the same to you.
Blame it on biology; that’s just the way humans are. We evolved past the stage of relying purely on subconscious guidance, and developed logical processing on top of it. In addition, subconscious guidance still exists, and is still powerful in determining our thought and action processes.
The great thing about this system is that we still possess the ability to separate such experiences. We developed the all powerful tool of high-powered processing, and we can use it to shape our future by separating the two subconscious experiences.
Separate Your Experiences
Why even worry about separating experiences from each other?
For some, it may seem like a waste of time, but when you let the melding of experiences take place, you are effectively displacing your mental model.
This phenomenon occurs every day to most everybody in modern society.
For example: guys who don’t have many internal experiences with cold approaches feel approach anxiety. The amount of external experiences that they’ve encountered puts a lot of pressure and fear into their minds and hearts, because at a subconscious level that’s the only thing that they know.
This is a popular tool that motivators use. They give men external experiences which show them that there is a way to achieve what all their other external experiences have told them to do. They feel revved up because they’ve most recently externally experienced that it is indeed possible to go out there and be amazing!
Only problem is that tomorrow, the overwhelming influence of society fixes the record, and they are caught in a perpetual loop of inaction.
What’s the issue with this form of motivation? They aren’t encountering any internal experiences. It’s all external, external, external, and their subconscious doesn’t know what to make of the situation, because the dynamics are changing all the time.
When you go on autopilot in life, you subject yourself to multiple conflicting experiences through the collection of different external experiences. You’re just an unhatched egg riding through the waves of life.
Fortunately, you have the capability to grow and evolve. You can become mobile, and escape the confines of the egg in hopes of finding a better place.
How do you do this?
You separate your internal and external experiences.
It’s hard to escape external experiences. Very hard. Media, society, people, and nearly everyone around you are spewing out their ideas, stories, and philosophies. This is the tendency of the information age, where opinions flow freely and mitigation of involvement rarely takes place.
This is why it is important to separate such experiences. You cannot do this on a subconscious level, as the experiences will always be treated as one and the same, but you can do it on a conscious level through introspection.
Note the differences in the following scenarios:
You watch NFL football players all the time. When they tackle players, they do it with extreme force.
In high school or recreational touch football, you’ve experienced that going for the big hit is pointless, as it often results in you whiffing and messing up the tackle. It’s much better to hit low and wrap up.
Such a player has encountered two experiences – internal and external. Subconsciously, these two are mended. As a result, players will go for that big hit that they’ve always dreamed about, and they end up whiffing and messing up their goals.
A player that is able to distinguish between reality and TV reality is always going to be the better player, because he trusts the scenario that he has experienced. He’ll look at the situation, understand that the NFL is different from high school, and end up succeeding in his goals.
THAT is the power of distinguishing fact from fiction. Luckily, simply by reading and learning about how humans are shaped by experiences has allowed for you to separate the two.
That being said, it is vital that you always remember to distinguish these objectives from one another, as the same exact scenario can occur within learning seduction, or perhaps any other scenario in your life. Fail to fight the wave, and you’ll be sucked back into it.
Eliminating Incongruent Frames
Once it becomes clear that external experiences can in fact have a negative effect on how you operate, a solution becomes apparent – simply eliminate external experiences!
However, to completely eliminate observations is not a possibility. They will be around forever.
So, what’s a guy to do? He must do his best to mitigate incongruent frames, so that he may stay away from encountering too many that don’t meet up with his internal experiences.
Such a technique has already been talked about in length with avoiding social vampirism and being choosy with whom you spend your time with, as the people you surround yourself with shape who you are through the experiences you have with them. Staying away from the social vampires in life will give you independence from such incongruent frames.
Another technique which keeps these people away is to simply not hang out with people that disagree with your internal experiences.
The human brain does a good job of this already, as individuals almost readily hang out with people who are most like them. They simply get along better because they aren’t busy exchanging differing external frames.
Unfortunately, the introduction of workplaces, social media, and news stations has made it nearly impossible to get away from these differences in opinion.
Think about it – you go on Facebook and are bombarded with differences in opinions through a vast collection of friends. You watch a news station and they talk about controversy. Then, the hosts argue about the topic, introducing further incongruency.
It’s an inescapable wave.
That is why the final technique to put into place is to limit your exposure to external experiences.
Are you sitting in front of a screen all day watching other people live life? Stop watching their experiences.
Instead, go experience life for yourself. You’ll find that when you’re focusing primarily on one reality – yours – life makes a whole lot more sense.
That’s why I propose that you severely limit the amount of external experiences that occur, and only go after those which you seek instead. Rather than become a drone of society, break free. Form independent thoughts based off what you have internally experienced, not based off what other people have told you.
Go Into New Experiences with Neutrality
The final step to becoming independent of the external reality is to go into new experiences with neutrality.
To be clear, you must go into a new experience without expecting any certain outcome.
Being neutral towards new experiences is vital to learn because you are fully present. You aren’t off with wild expectations about what is going to happen – you simply sit there, observe, and act.
Time and time again I notice that guys will go out with expected outcomes. They don’t know that they need outcome independence. Reality doesn’t play by your rules – it simply happens.
What is the chief source of expecting outcomes different from reality? External experiences.
Going into an experience with neutrality is simply to go into something new without expectations. Think of the new experience as an empty canvas, just waiting to be painted with everything that is about to happen in your life. You do not know what stroke will go there, and trying to premeditate the conditions of the artwork is futile, because it will lose its flow and become a project, not a piece of art.
Earlier I stated that the flow of life must be fought so that you can regain control over where you go. A fish in a dying stream would rather swim upstream, towards the resources, than go with the flow and become trapped in a less than ideal environment. By separating your experiences, you realize that you are able to fight the stream.
However, when you are a fish in a new stream, you must explore. The stream could lead to a bed of biological activity, providing a suitable place to lay eggs. It may lead to a dead-zone. Or perhaps it leads to hungry fisherman.
The point is you don’t know where new experiences will take you. Thus, by following them, you will be able to actively explore the new region and get a feel for how it actually operates, rather than still believing that a different outcome can and will occur.
Creativity and Experience
By now you’ve probably come to the conclusion that external experiences are bad.
However, external experiences can be good too. You could watch a fun movie – that’s an external experience that improved your quality of life. Hey, maybe you learned a thing or two, experienced them yourself, and everything was congruent.
But most of the time, cognitive dissonance occurs, putting a damper on your quality of life and your ability to move forward.
Regardless, external experiences end up playing a large part in determining how you move forward.
Without external experiences, creativity would cease to exist. You would no longer dream or have any clue about life outside of yours. Ideas to try new things wouldn’t occur, because you wouldn’t observe anything to the contrary.
The reason this article informs people on getting rid of external experiences is because most people end up getting sucked into such a large quantity of contrary ideas that they simply cannot move on with their life. Remove all conflict from your life, and things would start to get a little boring, and a plateau would form.
As with most things in life, it’s all about striking the right balance. Aim to:
Keep enough external experiences in your life that you encounter challenges, such as by reading novels every now and again.
But, do not become overloaded with so much conflicting experience from various sources, such as by constantly reading differing opinions or engaging in constant debate.
If this balance is maintained, you will control your own experiences. Once you gain control of the catalyst that shapes your life, you can shape your life in whatever form or fashion you desire.
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