The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's All a Matter of Choice

I met an old friend last week and, in the course of our conversation, he told me he no longer drives because he ended up hating it. When behind the wheel of a car, he would get too stressed out by other road users, so he extricated himself from the equation.


It is a conversational thing, I know, yet have you ever noticed when a person has described an event where they were “subjected to” something in particular, or someone in particular. Of course the meaning they wished to convey was that this “subjection” was perpetrated upon them and was out of their control. Their patience and tolerance throughout this “subjection” was sorely tried and tested. Other people may not have found this quite such an irksome and taxing experience, yet - for the relater of this happening at least – it was a decidedly aggravating burden to have to endure.

Of course this all boils down to cause and effect.

When we are “at effect”, then we are often “subjected to” a whole range of things outside of us. This subjection feels almost like subjugation, because we buy into being utterly convinced by the undeniable reality of it all.


At some point along the timeline of this draining of tolerance people will begin to object to what they are being subjected to.
“I object to that,” they might say. “It should be halted in order to allay my objections.” Or, to put it in a much shorter form, “Just stop it will you?!”

In the very act of objecting we seem to lose our grasp upon the almost yin and yang nature of the inside-out versus the outside-in world. This is a world where we cannot embrace what is happening, we can only brace ourselves against it – a world where we often end up feeling powerless victims. It is a world where the thing we are objecting to being subjected to is inversely proportional to our power to stop it, in the moment.

The more power we lose, the bigger the subjection becomes and the greater our objection to it


Often, as a result of our mounting objection, we might be driven to act. We might change our behaviour in a particular way so as to convey our sense of objection.

Our behaviour becomes predicated on the level of subjection we are affected by – or is it the level of effect we are subjected to. Our decreasing sense of objectivity also reflects this, and we end up getting the whole thing completely out of proportion.


Now the way I have described all of this might sound like it was derived from a students’ lesson in English language, all about the construction of a sentence. ­­­­­

However, there is another sentence running parallel with the outer, verbal and semantic elements here. And this ‘other’ is a sentence that we find our inner selves running in our own unique inner language – the Language of our Self.

Identifying with Ourselves

We all have our own unique language, the language of our identity, if you like.

As we grow and learn verbal language, we gain the ability to express our inner sense of identity. We call it “I” – or we might label it as our “Ego”. Yet, before we have even learned the means of communicating one verbal word, we are already personalising our world, by using and developing our own unique inner language. The older we get, we realise that this too has a word – a particular label in verbal language. We call it our Personality, or our Character.

Of course, we are who we are – aren’t we? 
Yet all the while that inner language of Self is changing, adapting, bending, shaping, growing. We might convince ourselves that, at some point early in our lives, character-wise we are starting to become “set in stone” – yet this is not entirely true. The nature of our nature is transient not permanent.

However, the supporting of this myth by our verbal language takes place far too easily – and on a daily basis. 
“We are who we are” should really morph into “We become who we become” – yet we get exceedingly adept at setting our Selfs in stone. We hand over some of our power for change to the power of the language we have learned to use.    


The meaning of every sentence we serve ourselves is conveyed via our own unique inner language.

If we place our Self as being the subject of every sentence, then our view of the World, our place in it, and our relationship with every part of it, will be formed from having taken that perspective. We will feel subjected to everything.

Life, from that perspective, can often collide with our subjective sense of Self. We may feel the need to control those collisions in order to make our lives run smoother. Our Worldview then comes into conflict with the Worldviews of others and certain forces of nature – for we will not always be able to control everything we want to control.

We are then told we are “learning about the way life is the hard way,” and our sense of Self – expressed via our inner language – changes, morphs, adapts, and consequently we also learn more about ourselves.

For us the formula is simple – the less we adapt and learn, the longer the collisions and conflicts continue, and the harder Life becomes.


Now when we examine a particular sentence and remove our Self from being the subject of that sentence, then not only does the meaning of the sentence change for us – but there is a chance that our entire perspective changes for other sentences as well. Our behaviours are no longer predicated on the premise that we are the subject.

We are no longer subjected to the things the world in general might throw at us, or serve up for us. We no longer take things so much to heart; we no longer over-personalise things too much. Events, remarks, opinions etc are like water to our “ducks back”.

An esteemed colleague once described how he overcame the sense of personal violation felt as a result of a burglary. A burglary is a highly subjective experience, we would all agree – and can leave a damaging psychological legacy, referentially supported by our natural tendency to place ourselves as the subject of the act (or sentence).

By changing the perspective and placing the burglar as the subject, he already felt different, By describing the act of burglary as being “a different business model” to that of someone else entering the house for perhaps a more legitimate purpose, yet another perspective was taken – this time of the subject’s predicative behaviour. This perspective further dissociated his sense of Self from the sentence! As a result he felt completely detached from being “the victim.”


The choice of how much we “subjectify” events in our World is entirely ours. When we deny this fact, we are investing some of our identity in those events. We say they “matter” to us. We amplify our placing ourselves as the subject with emotion, as a convincer to ourselves that this is important to us – further investing our identity.

So if we don’t want to serve out the sentences we pass on ourselves, the simple rule of thumb is to deconstruct the sentence and just check out who is the subject.
We might use the Four Cartesian Questions to help with this:

What will happen if I am the Subject?
What won’t happen if I am the Subject?
What will happen if I am not the Subject?
What won’t happen if I am not the Subject?

And if you still hear that voice from within saying “Yes, but ...” then consider whether or not it is just only about not being the Subject though isn’t it? For then there is never the need to go down the route of having to object to anything.

That way, we can maintain the integrity of our identity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Navigating The Ship of You ... The Concluding Page

One of the crucial things we need to remember about Life is that ALL of our roads lead not to Rome – but to our Final Resting Place.

As a result, all the roads and all the journeys then become of THE most paramount importance to us – and that importance then filters out to those we love and those we influence. 
The more roads travelled and the more journeys undertaken – the fuller and richer all our lives will be as a result.

We often hear of the rueful catalogues of regrets and missed opportunities from people at the end of their lives. All the “I wish I hads ...” and the things they would have done differently, are testament to the relevance of perhaps how they could’ve been contenders; how they could’ve been better at Navigating their Ship of You.

By the same token, the lists of “Fifty things to do before I die” that abound, also are a reminder that we forever dream to lift our noses from the grindstone and put some self-directed perspective into our lives – Before it is too late!

We were never born with that grindstone, but we looked at it and were told it was our salvation – and then, in true Faustian manner, we have sold our souls to it.
Would it not be a better thing to dare, for –as we know -  Who Dares Wins?

"So, allow your soul to dare,
to sail out toward the unknown region.
To venture across where there is
neither ground for the feet nor any path to follow."

"Navigating The Ship of You" will be available as an eVersion on Kindle from 30th September, 2014 - and can be pre-ordered here:

and my previous blog "No Excuses" gives some further details on the nature and scope of the book.