Have you ever told someone you love to come back to the real world?
Of course you have.
Most likely you did it because that person was going off into a fantasy that, in your opinion, had no chance of materializing.
But do you live in the real world?
You think you do but you don’t really.
You live in a real world. You do not live in the real world.
I can think of several examples and anecdotes that illustrate this. Let me pick one from Dangal, a Bollywood film that became an all-time blockbuster.
The film is about Mahavir Singh Phogat, a wrestler whose career was cut short by the need to earn a living. He decided to bring up his son to be a world class wrestler who would win many medals for India.
He begat four daughters.
He was deeply despondent. One day his two elder daughters beat up some boys who were teasing them and a light bulb went off.
He decided to train his daughters to be champion wrestlers.
They were less than thrilled. They became even less enamored of the idea when he rousted them out of bed at 5.00 a.m. for a several mile training jog. He made them exercise and insisted they build their stamina. He controlled their diet and savories like samosas were out. Buttermilk and wheat bread were in.
The two elder daughters – Geeta and Babita – were attending a friend’s marriage and bemoaning their fate. What kind of father would torture his daughters so unmercifully? They were even cut off socially and only the intercession of their mother made it possible for them to attend the wedding.
Their friend, the bride to be, was listening intently to them and suddenly burst out crying.
“How lucky you are,” she sobbed. “You have a father who actually cares about you and is spending his time trying to make you successful. All my father cares about is to get me married so I am no longer a burden on him.”
The next morning when Mahavir, prepared for the usual morning tussle, went to rouse his daughters, he found Geeta and Babita already up and putting on their sneakers.
Their ‘old’ reality was that they lived in a household with a tyrannical father who was systematically robbing them of the pleasures of girlhood and torturing them with an inhuman training regimen.
Their ‘new’ reality was that they were lucky to have a father who cared enough about them that he actually dedicated his life to helping them succeed.
Nothing changed outside. Everything changed between their ears.
We live in a Matrix. This was not created by an alien race out to enslave us. This is one we created using our mental models and then we experience it as we constructed it.
It is hugely liberating to know that we do not live in the real world but in a real world.
If we live in the former, and do not like it, we are plain stuck.
If we live in the latter and do not like it, we can deconstruct the parts we have issues with and build it up again.
We can do this over and over. This is what I teach those who attend my programs and my coaching clients.
Building your ‘reality’, the one you wish to live in, is a rest-of-your-life undertaking.
Is everything relative? Is there such a thing as the reality?
Actually there is. I will reveal what this is in a future post.
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