Walking The Talk

Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it!

Are You Trying To Buy A Stairway To Heaven?


Walking The Talk @ Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

4th November 2021

This article is about walking the talk, taking stock of where this site is now, how it got here and where it is going next.

I launched this website in 2011 as a way of recording and sharing a lot of the teachings and experiences that I had received  and benefited from over the previous 10-15 years with zen practices.

For many years this was a small site with about 50 pages posted.

This site has no commercial agenda. I have rather strong feelings about this.






Walking The Talk Or Fleecing The Flock?

The world of self-improvement, self-help and personal development is full of people making money out of their websites and blogs, it is a multi-billion dollar business. Whilst on the one hand I can understand why people will charge for training course and associated services and I support this - to a point.

But, all too often this can become exploitative. Why? Because of 4 inter-connected reasons which are well known to, and skillfully exploited by, the purveyors of self-help material:


[1] The Sun Tan Effect

You spend your money and go on these courses, attend the events, and watch the videos and in the short-term it seems to make a difference and you feel energized and motivated to change. But after 10-15 days it all starts to wear off and after a month or less you are back to where you started - with no lasting change.

In the self help industry this is known as the "The Sun Tan Effect". This suits the sellers of self-help material because they know that another factor will now kick in.

[2] If Only I Could Find The Missing Piece...?

The upsell in so much of the self-help industry is deliberately designed to exploit this innate and increasingly desperate desire to find the missing piece, and of course this involves spending more money so like the lady in the song you're buying your stairway to heaven...

Except there's one unstated and under-recognised factor at play which is that you can't change because at a very fundamental and unconscious level you don't really want to change.

[3] Immunity To Change

Your immunity to change is an unconscious resistance that  can be defined as a "hidden commitment" with an underlying root cause, that competes and conflicts with a stated commitment to change.

So, your failure to achieve a personal change goal isn’t the result of a lack of will-power, it’s your "emotional immune system" trying to protect you.

This is why you find it hard to impossible to stick to New Year resolutions, why you don't do those things you know you should do, and why you will likely stay stuck and trapped in the thought processes and behaviours that you are trying to change - because despite your best intentions you fundamentally don't want to change.

[4] Instant Success

You can achieve a very quick relief to stress symptoms and you can make powerful changes to how you think and behave but lasting change take time, hard work and the formation and application of the right habits.

Contrary to what so many of the self-help gurus tell you there is no instant success.

They tell you what you want to hear and they over-promise what they can not deliver.

Success in most areas of life is the result of persistence and consistence in taking the series of small daily steps that will deliver your goals.

This is known as the long game.

Footnote

Big respect to popular blogger Mark Manson who  has just announced that after 13 years he is stopping writing about personal development: "...it's time for me to move on from the self-help world... the point is to stop."



    In the competitive world of self-help "smoke and mirrors" always watch the other guy's feet to see his true intentions.

    When there is a disconnect between someone's words and actions, always pay close attention to their actions.







Walking The Talk And Shepherding The Flock

The Good Shepherds Take Care Of Their Flock



    "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me." [Bible: John 10.14]


In my view, if you have something to offer people who are having a hard time the very least you can do is to provide them with free, quality teaching, advice and support.

The reference point on all this is the Buddha, Jesus Christ and Mahatma Ghandi and not Esther Hicks, Rhonda Byrne and Tony Robbins.

Good shepherds lead their flock in the right direction and do their best to take care of them, and they don't charge for the privilege of doing this.









    Just because someone looks the part doesn't mean they are...







Starting To Hit The Spot

I made no real attempt to promote the site, and in the natural order of things with Google this site found its own level at around 1,500 visitors and about 6,000 page views per month.

Aside from launching a couple of free email series I did nothing further to the site and added no new material.

One of these email series has now been incorporated into the Zen Thoughts page on the site. The emails ran over 2 months and were written as a conversation with a friend who was going through a tough time.

The second email series was called Zen Tools now available of the site as free, indexed Zen Tools Ebook comprising 16 sections, all based on themes covered on this site.

One key thing that did become quickly apparent was that this material really did seem to hit the spot with a wide range of readers who were kind enough to contact me with some very moving and appreciative emails.





Building Up This Site During Covid Lockdown

Fast forward 9 years and the world was in the grip of the Covid pandemic. In common with most other people, my business was flat-lining, and I was unable to travel and facing an indefinite period of lockdown. I decided that I wanted to do something constructive with my time so I decided to dedicate the next 12 -18 months to building up this site.

At time of writing in November 2021 this site has increased to over 260 pages and now attracts over 15,000 visitors and 30,000 page views per month and rising.

This month I have just launched a Facebook page Zen-Tools.Net with the aim of reaching out to a much wider audience and drawing them into this site as regular visitors.

I have a number of other things planned to develop the reach of this site to a far wider audience, and also to develop the ways in which the material on this site is presented and applied.

I will be launching a Zen Tools on Instagram and possibly on Twitter. There will also be a YouTube channel featuring a series of videos based on the material on this site showing you how to apply it in your daily life. These developments will take time and I am aiming to accomplish this over the next 12 - 24 months.







Walking The Talk Freestyle

This is a website and not a blog. A blog presents pages in reverse chronological order, so newest content appears first whereas a website is static in nature and pages are indexed in a hierarchical structure.

The easiest way of thinking about this is to view a blog as a published journal and a website as a book with an index and chapters.

Another key feature of a website is SEO.

95% of the articles on this site are search engine optimized [SEO]. This means that these articles are written in a style and format that will be attractive to search engines, who will in turn present this site's content to their users as the best solution to their search enquiry.

A core component of SEO is the use of carefully selected in-demand keywords and optimising them on the posted pages.

Whilst there is a strong discipline in this approach in that it leads to very focused and "on subject" material, it is also constraining.

For example, if I choose to write about a subject, then to meet SEO criteria I have to find the exact in-demand keywords and use them in a carefully prescribed content-format and page-structure.

Whereas a blog style of writing offers a much more freestyle approach, and I would not give any thought or consideration to keywords and SEO.


Freestyle

All of the upcoming articles I am going to write and link to this page are going to be freestyle articles, that is to say, blog style articles presented in a website structure.

All articles will be fully indexed to this page and cross referenced to relevant material on this site or third party resources.

The focus of these articles is about living with, and applying, the extensive materials and resources that are already on this site.

Most of the pages on this site are very content rich, and this is deliberate. I try to cover as much ground as possible in each article paying attention to the complexities of the subject matter whilst attempting to present the material in an easy to read format.

In these freestyle articles I am attempting to adopt a more informal, relaxed and conversational tone with a narrower focus to each article and with a key point takeaway section at the end of each piece.

Comments and feedback  are always welcome.








    "Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know, your stairway lies on the whispering wind...?" [Page & Plant]






Further reading from articles referenced on this page:






Walking The Talk Articles

June 22

Dying To Self - Everything Does Not Revolve Around Me

The Confident Mind

8 Principles For Success

The Loving Father - A Love That Will Not Let You Go

Your Ebenezer Stone Of Help

Going With The Flow - The Balance Of Being And Doing

The Stockdale Paradox - How To Deal With The Attrition Factor

Embrace Your Fear Of Failure And Uncertainty

Your Relationship With Failure Is Critical To Your Success

Boredom - Your Greatest Threat to Results

May 22

The Luck Factor - 4 Principles

The Wilderness Years - 3 Keys To An Exit

Lost Stuck & Going Round In Circles?

Seeing Is Believing Or Is It?

What Difference Did You Make?

Compassion Is Selfish And You Need It

This Is What Will Happen After You Take The Red Pill

April 22

Transformational Life Hacks

This Too Shall Pass

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Mar 22

Who Do You Trust?

How Positive Asymmetry Can Transform Your Life

Growth Mindset - How To Be There When Preparation Meets Opportunity

Lost For Words? Experience Truth

Belief - A Terrible Tyrant Or An Empowering Servant

Feb 22

Herd Mentality And How To Avoid It

Are You Trying To Teach A Cat To Bark?

The Value Of Slack

6 Tips To Help You Stop Trying Too Hard

How To Build Your Self Confidence

Your Secret For Success

Where Is Your Point Of Focus

How To Overcome Fear And Perform Powerfully

Jan 22

Dance Into The Light And Stop Chasing Your Tail

Change Your Language To Change How You Feel

How To Live In A Participatory Universe

4 Keys To Working With The Energy Of Life

How To Deal With The Challenges Of Playing The Long Game


Dec 21

If You Don't Take Care Of You, Who Will?

Pay Attention To What Bothers Other People About You

Be The Light At The End Of Someone Else's Tunnel

Asking The Right Questions

Learn How To Benefit From The Fat Tail Fractal Factor

Dunbar's Number, More In Common And The Narcissism of Minor Differences


Nov 21

Give Thanks In Everything

Recognising Limbo As A Stage Of Transition

On Becoming The Ferryman

Things Of The Spirit

Mind Games & How To Free Yourself From Them

Just Do It - A Call To Action And Getting Started

Self Dialogue - Dealing With Your Many Selves

The Transformative Power of Acceptance

Can You Stop Thinking? Discover The Joy Of A Quiet Mind

Are You Waiting For Change?












Walking The Talk - Resources



All of these resources are tools, processes and techniques that I have used. These are powerful tools and I recommend them to you. [I have no commercial interest.]








Return to: Home Page

Contact me



Zen-Tools.Net



English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese


LATEST ARTICLES

  1. Going With The Flow - The Balance Of Being And Doing

    Steer The Boat Each Day Rather Than Plan Ahead Way Into The Future. Going with the flow is about learning to become comfortable with uncertainty, and learning how to exploit the potential hidden withi…

    Read More

  2. 8 Principles For Success

    A Timeless Foundation On Which To Build Your Success. There are Universal laws and processes that work to support us and guarantee that we achieve all our goals. But first we need to know what they ar…

    Read More

  3. The Loving Father

    A Love That Will Not Let You Go. I had a loving father. I knew that I did, but I never felt it. My father was a good man but very damaged and unable to show his feelings. So I grew up knowing in my he…

    Read More

  4. Your Ebenezer Stone Of Help

    How To Stay Connected To Your True Source Of Power. Approximately 2,500 years ago the Israeli town of Kafr Qasim was close to the site of two battles between the ancient Israelis and their neighbours…

    Read More

  5. The Stockdale Paradox

    How To Deal With The Attrition Factor. The Stockdale Paradox is named after the late James Stockdale, former vice presidential candidate, naval commander and prisoner of war during the American-Vietna…

    Read More

  6. Embrace Your Fear Of Failure And Uncertainty

    We Celebrate Success And Ignore Failure. Numerous studies have been undertaken on successful people to understand what it was that they did to become so successful, how they did it and when they did i…

    Read More

  7. The Wilderness Years - 3 Keys To An Exit

    How You Got Into The Wilderness Matters Less Than The Lessons To Be Learnt There. The wilderness years can be described as any lengthy time, longer than a year, that is spend aimlessly; without an imm…

    Read More

  8. Boredom – Your Greatest Threat to Results

    We Live In A World That Glorifies The Results And Not The Process. We all know what we should be doing, but the trouble with that is that sooner of later we get bored. The enjoyment fades, the excitem…

    Read More

  9. The Luck Factor - 4 Basic Principles

    You Can Master The Art of Creating Your Own Luck By Mastering 4 Key Principles "The Luck Factor" is the title of a book published 20 years ago based on the research of Professor Richard Wiseman who fo…

    Read More

  10. Your Relationship With Failure Is Critical To Your Success

    Just Because You Have A Spectacular Failure Doesn’t Mean The Game Is Over. The thought that you could fail can really slow you down. But the problem is not the failure, the problem is your relationshi…

    Read More

  11. Lost, Stuck & Going Round In Circles?

    Are You Lost In Transition? To be in an alien North African city, late in the evening, in the dark, completely lost in transition from the main market square back to the obscure location of our Riad…

    Read More

  12. Seeing Is Believing Or Is It?

    Do You Believe What You See Or Do You See What You Believe? Like the characters in "The Matrix" we are fooled by the illusion that what we see is how things really are. Why? Because this is the mind's…

    Read More

  13. What Difference Did You Make?

    What Impact Will You Leave In The Lives Of Others? If you knew you were going to die tonight and you were given a few minutes to reflect before that happened, what would you say was the meaning of yo…

    Read More

  14. Compassion Is Selfish And You Need It

    If You Want Others To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. If You Want To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. Compassion is derived from the Latin words "com pati" meaning to suffer with. It has been defined as…

    Read More

  15. The Placebo Effect - 2 Key Takeaways

    The Power Of Expectation Of An Outcome Regardless Of The Lack Of Any Substance To That Expectation. Traditionally, the placebo effect occurs when false, or dummy, treatments of inert substances [that…

    Read More

  16. The Red Pill

    This Is What Will Happen After You Take It. "This is your last chance," rebel leader Morpheus tells Neo, holding a coloured pill in each hand. “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in y…

    Read More

  17. Transformational Life Hacks

    This Has To Be One Of The Best Ways For Living The Best Life You Can Possibly Live. An online search on life hacks will invariably provide you with multiple links to ways of increasing your productivi…

    Read More

  18. This Too Shall Pass

    The Blessing And The Curse Of Impermanence. There is a story of a king who sought wisdom. Eventually he heard of a man living in a remote part of the kingdom who had a reputation for great wisdom. The…

    Read More

  19. The Stories We Tell Ourselves

    The Stories That We Tell Ourselves Are A Matter Of Choice. The stories we tell ourselves form the backcloth and the tapestry of our lives. These narratives shape and define our sense of self and how a…

    Read More

  20. Who Do You Trust?

    Trust Is A Choice And It Creates Your Reality. Nothing in life is permanent and nothing lasts forever. Every relationship ends in tears. Somebody leaves or somebody dies. This is how things are. This…

    Read More

  21. How Positive Asymmetry Can Transform Your Life

    Finding This Hidden Value Is The Key To A Huge Upside. Most of us spend our lives working to linear rules where there is an equal relationship between effort and result. Work hard you get a result. Wo…

    Read More

  22. 5 Tips For Developing A Growth Mindset

    How To Be There When Preparation Meets Opportunity. The growth mindset holds the core belief that your intelligence and personality is something you can develop and that you can expand and grow. The p…

    Read More

  23. Lost For Words? Experience Truth

    If you can't think of the right thing to say, say nothing. The concepts we employ, the categorizations we apply and the words we choose and use to articulate a direct experience put us in a double bi…

    Read More

  24. Belief - A Terrible Tyrant Or An Empowering Servant

    To Believe Or Not To Believe - That Is The Question. Nothing has inflicted more suffering on humanity than its beliefs and dogmas. The religious and cultural beliefs that sanction and allow or impose…

    Read More

  25. How To Avoid Herd Mentality

    How To Stay Far From The Madding Crowd. Herd mentality describes how we make decisions based on what everyone else is thinking and doing. It is also known as a mob or crowd mentality. We follow the he…

    Read More

  26. Are You Trying To Teach A Cat To Bark?

    We Suffer Every Time We Believe A Thought That Argues With What Is. When your mind is perfectly clear, what is, is what you want. If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try…

    Read More

  27. The Value Of Slack

    Slack Is The Capacity To Effect Change And The Resource To Deal With The Unexpected. Many organizations are obsessed with efficiency and try to ensure that every resource is fully utilized to its full…

    Read More

  28. 6 Tips To Help You Stop Trying Too Hard

    Less and less do you need to force things, until you arrive at non-action. We are brought up to believe that we get what we want in life as a result of what we do, by the actions that we take, that ha…

    Read More

  29. Your Point Of Focus

    Is It Helping You Or Hindering You? Your point of focus is the central point of your attention. Your point of focus is a binary choice and the result of that choice is critical to your happiness, your…

    Read More

  30. Your Secret For Success

    To accomplish any success in life, you must identify accurately what it is that you hunger for, thirst for and long for. The purpose of this article is to look at the foundation of the secret for succ…

    Read More





The Balanced Life



The Balanced Toolkit



3 Keys Solutions


Get new posts by email:



Support This Site