The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

The 1st Secret of Life for Teens (shhh, don’t tell adults you know!)

secret door

Ok, let’s cut right to the chase.

Here is the 1st Secret from the Handbook that adults haven’t bothered to tell you.

There really are two parts to this secret but we’ll start with the first half today.

1. You are not the little voice in your head.

Oh come on, you’ve heard this little voice before right?

Let’s do an exercise right now so you can formally reintroduce yourself.

EXERCISE:

Sit or be quiet somewhere. You can sit on your bed or on the couch or even take a shower. It’s not important where you are just that you are quiet and don’t have any distractions (It’s time to put the cell phone away people. It won’t be for long, you’ll be fine.)

Ok, take a deep breath, close your eyes and just let your mind go where it will but pay attention to what it’s doing and saying.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

 So, if you’re like the rest of society you probably listened in on quite the (boring) conversation right? Everything from “I wonder what we’re having for dinner tonight?” to “I really want to get those new sneakers.” to “It’s really quiet. Have you noticed it’s really quiet? I wonder why it’s so quiet. Am I doing this right? I’m supposed to be listening to this voice in my head but I really am hungry. I wonder what we’re having for dinner?”

Maybe it’s just me but that little voice is rather annoying right?

Ok, now imagine that this little voice is a real live friend that’s with you all the time. It goes with you to the movies or class. It’s there when you wake up and go to sleep. It’s there when you’re watching TV, taking a shower, texting, or trying to do your homework. Imagine this voice being with you ALLLLL time just jabbering away. Jabbering jaberring jabbering! I suspect your friendship wouldn’t last too long right? Eventually you would be like “OMG, SHUT UP! Get out of my life!”

That annoying little voice is your ego.  Well, to be truthful, the little voice is not all there is to your ego but it’s helpful and simpler to think about this way as we get started.

Once you start to pay attention you’ll realize that you’re having a constant dialogue with yourself and I mean constant.  The scary thing is, most of the time we actually believe that little voice. In fact, we wait to get advice from that little voice before doing things!

The thing is, that little voice has been programmed by society, by your parents, your friends, television, movies, magazines, the internet and basically every other kind of external stimuli out there but that’s not who you are.

Let me be really clear about this and repeat it a few times to make sure you really hear what I’m saying.

That little voice is NOT YOU.

Your Ego is NOT YOU.

(Sorry for yelling but I get pretty fired up about this.)

That little voice/your ego really really wants to be in control though and you have to admit, we all do a pretty job listening to it night and day. It’s like a constant movie narrator pointing out even the most obvious and mundane things.

Here’s an example:

Little Voice: Oh look, it’s raining outside and it’s very gray and overcast.

Little Voice: That car is gray too.

Little Voice: You should have worn your gray shirt and not this white one because white makes you look fat.

WHAT?

We don’t even realize we’re listening to it most of the time as it propels us through our days, our nights and our lives.

Unfortunately, most people don’t learn about the ego until they are perhaps in high school or college and when they do, it’s usually in a psychology or philosophy class of some sort. Sadly, it’s usually when you’re older that someone tells you about your ego and the damage it can do but you shouldn’t have to wait until you’re older to start thinking about this and bringing awareness to it now.

Learning how to recognize and how to squish this little voice (yes, that’s a technical term) it is a critical life skill and if you can learn it now, you’ll go a long way towards creating your own happiness. Believe me, I wish there were a lot of adults who would recognize their own egos at work but, as you will see when you get older, this often doesn’t happen. We’re going to talk more about squishing in the next secret but for now, I just want you to be aware of this voice.

Oh, and you may be wondering who is actually listening to that little voice if it’s not you but we’ll get to that too. Be patient young grasshopper.

So, that’s your first secret. It might seem simple but as we build on this you’ll start to see why it’s a really important piece of information. Tell your friends! Don’t be like the stingy adults and keep it to yourself. No more secrets!

 

 

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