The Promise: Make Your Life Rich by Discovering Your Best Self

The Promise: Make Your Life Rich by Discovering Your Best Self

by Victor Davich

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312378158
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 12/09/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.18(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

A recognized authority in the areas of meditation, mental fitness, and stress reduction, Victor Davich is the bestselling author and creator of the innovative, life-changing 8 Minute Meditation and The Best Guide to Meditation. His books and programs have empowered over 80,000 readers with simple techniques that transform their lives.

Read an Excerpt

The Promise

Make Your Life Rich by Discovering Your Best Self


By Victor Davich

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2008 Victor Davich
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-4842-5



CHAPTER 1

Reclaiming The Promise


You were not born into this world on some installment plan, like, "Great, I've got my feet and as soon as I can raise a little cash, I'll add a couple of toes." No, you came into this world a complete entity, a "package deal," with organs, bones, limbs, lymphatic system, and a three-pound brain. Well, guess what? You'll find The Promise, as they say on TV, "included free in every package." This means that The Promise of Your Best Self is as real as your pinkie, even though you can't see or hold it — yet.

Why is The Promise included in every package? Let's assume for the moment that something vastly more powerful than you created you — call it God, the universe, consciousness, evolution, whatever you like. Given this, let me ask you: Do you think this "it," after it created you, would simply abandon you, without at least letting you "know" in some way that you're entitled to be alive and here? And I'm not talking about life at the low level of subsistence but life based in happiness that comes with the deep knowledge that you are home.

I believe this is so, and I think you would, too. In fact, here's my complete, detailed list of what you need to be entitled to receive The Promise:

Complete List of Qualifications Required to Accept The Promise

1. You were born.

2. You are currently breathing.


Tough requirements, huh?

The book you are holding is about one thing and one thing only — providing the tools you need to have your own direct experience of The Promise and to enter into Your Best Self.


Nobody Makes The Promise

One important thing to understand from the outset is that no person can make or give you The Promise.

Not me. My job is to give you understanding and tools.

Not you. This is not one of those miracle-diet pledge books where you promise that for the next fifteen days you will not eat Häagen-Dazs.

Not anyone. And I mean anyone, including gurus, talk-show divas, metaphysical authors, and "life coaches." If someone like that says they can give you The Promise, ask them if that shake comes with fries.

Bottom line. The reason that nobody can give you The Promise is that The Promise has already been kept. You own it. My job is to help you reclaim it. Your job is to be willing.


Reclaiming The Promise of Your Best Self

The Promise is simply this: You already are Your Best Self. There is no "new you" you have to go out and find. As far as The Promise is concerned, you can't be a "new" you — because you already are Your Best Self. This means that you don't need to go looking outside of yourself for you, or to reconstruct, reshape, or rethink who "you" are. Isn't that a relief!?

In fact, when you allow yourself to listen, what The Promise is telling you, all the time, is this: You are the most perfect (insert your name) ________ there ever was, or will be, on this planet.


Where Your Best Self Resides

Imagine for a moment that you have not one, but two separate and distinct "minds." Let's call them "Thinking Mind" and "Working Mind."

Thinking Mind is the bustling 24/7 factory that creates your experience of the world. It produces a vast array of beliefs, concepts, judgments, and criticisms — a nonstop running commentary on what's happening in your life, moment to moment. Like all manufacturing operations, many "thought" products in Thinking Mind are flawed, inferior, and imperfect. But unfortunately, there are no quality-control inspectors to catch and toss them in a reject bin. And this is why so many of them get through.

Working Mind, in contrast to Thinking Mind, follows the old sneaker slogan, "Just Do It." It buys the food, pays the bills, answers the telephone, and a thousand other things — all without thinking about why it's doing them. Working Mind puts your keys in the car ignition, without thinking whether or not you like where you are going. It is dedicated to one thing and one thing only: doing what needs to be done. It makes no judgments or criticisms, and expresses no beliefs.

Working Mind is your unsung hero, forever overshadowed by Thinking Mind's deluge of thoughts, judgments, and beliefs. But that's okay — Working Mind is content to operate under the radar and allow Thinking Mind to do its thing.

Now don't let Working Mind's modesty deceive you: It is "home base" for Your Best Self, and much more than following the recipe for Aunt Tilly's chicken soup is going on here. Working Mind is the source of fresh insights, new perspectives, and simple yet elegant problem solving. It's also where Your Best Self resides. Since you begin coming from here, it's like getting a big chunk of your life back.


The Promise and Getting "Stuff"

The Promise isn't Aladdin, the Godfather, or the Tooth Fairy. It's not in the business of instant gratification, miracles, or wish fulfillment. Don't expect five bucks under your pillow. Do expect something much more authentic and powerful than you might ever imagine.

If getting "stuff" is what you think will make you happy, there are thousands of metaphysical programs, books, and gurus that guarantee you that if you really, really let the universe know what you want, it will deliver it to your door via some cosmic UPS truck.

But so what? Even if this were true — which it isn't — within an hour of getting your wish, you'll most likely have returned to the human condition's default position: discontented, bored, disappointed — and already making your next wish!

If you think that new Jag, job, or boyfriend will really make you happy, once and for all, you're welcome to stay with it. In my opinion, you're setting yourself up for continuous disappointment, unhappiness, and dissatisfaction.

Why?

Ask yourself this:

Do I prefer to waste my life begging for material handouts from some mystical/shmystical universe? Or do I want the kind of happiness that can never be taken away from me?


Make the latter choice — and let this book help you.


The Promise and Happiness

You were not born to experience misery and pain — even if you think or have been told this since childhood. As a human being on this planet, you have the absolute right to be happy.

As I've said, The Promise was already made and kept when you were born. It's been right here within you the whole time, patiently awaiting your acceptance of it. The only thing keeping you from the treasure of Your Best Self is the aspect of you I call "The Panel". Go beyond The Panel and you find yourself in Your Best Self. What does this feel like? When you reclaim what is already yours, nothing changes — and everything changes. It's my intention to provide you the tools to experience this directly for yourself.


What Will Make You Happy Once and for All?

This is a big question. There are a gazillion books, talk shows, and self-appointed authorities out there in Media-land that tell you happiness is everything from figuring out the color of your parachute to plastic surgery. But after all is said and done, what is really going to do it for you? Where does true happiness reside?

The answer lies in a timeless truth, handed down by sages like The Buddha, philosophers like Seneca, and writers like Shakespeare. In four simple words:

Be who you are.


You've spent a lifetime erecting the Great Wall of China between who you think you are and who you truly are. It's time to whip out your jackhammer and demolish it — once and for all. Once you do, something amazing will reveal itself, something that might feel completely alien, yet paradoxically, something you realize you've known since you were born. Welcome to The Promise of Your Best Self. And for a small taste, try this:

1. Gently close your eyes.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Silently repeat the words "I am."

4. Don't try to answer, complete a thought, or do anything else.

5. Sit like this for a few minutes.

6. Notice how you feel.

7. Open your eyes.


Your Real Wish List

Life is not a one-size-fits-all baseball cap. Each of us has his or her own conscious and subconscious list of what constitutes happiness — your real wish list. Here is mine:

• self-confidence

• ability to surpass negative thinking

• courage

• understanding

• self-sustainability

• connection


Do any of my wishes resonate for you? Could they be more substantial than a corner office, Porsche, or time-share in Cancún? Could life, lived in these wishes, help you, for perhaps the first time, be happy? Could this deep knowing of what you truly need actually increase your ability to get them?

The answer to all these questions is yes.

When you accept The Promise, you begin to live life authentically as Your Best Self, not as some counterfeit positive-thinking automaton who you know is just lying to you. Consider people who exude authentic confidence and smarts, and know how to get what they want and need out of life. Where does their power originate from? From within. You can be like them. In fact, you are them. Only you don't realize it — yet.

The Promise is designed to introduce you to the real you, the You you truly are: Your Best Self. As you work through the STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN Program, remember that The Promise doesn't promise to deliver material stuff. It promises much more.


Expectations and Results

Everyone wants speedy relief from suffering, pain, and challenges. Sometimes we even get it. But ridding ourselves of mental anguish and pain isn't as simple as popping an antacid for pepperoni pizza. What we're dealing with is something much more persistent: the human condition. Remember this as you work through The Promise.

Recognition and reception of The Promise will happen of its own accord. It's best not to think in terms of expectation. Actually, try not to think at all! When you drop expectations, you get more than you ever expected. Just follow the STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN Program. You'll enjoy the ride more and be pleasantly surprised.

CHAPTER 2

Dealing with The Panel


As I've said, The Promise has already been kept: You already are Your Best Self. Whether or not you accept it is up to you. Of course I will do everything I can to help you do this, particularly with respect to the major obstacle to experiencing Your Best Self. I call it The Panel.

The Panel is another way to describe your ego, the continuous internal dialogue in your head that you know as "I." Sometimes it feels like you've got the entire cast of The Producers in there. Other times it's Casablanca or, on a bad day, Apocalypto.

Each of us has our own personal cast of Panel members. I give mine names. Here are a few of them:

• The Ruminator: A cross between Woody Allen and the Terminator who thinks everything to death — and is never able to make a decision.

• Einstein: A voice that tells me that I'm the smartest person in the whole wide world — brighter even than the cheerleading squad that won Jeopardy!

• Dolly: A male voice with a Tibetan accent who tells me I'm the kindest, most compassionate guy in the universe.

• Rick: The cynic, the skeptic, like Bogie in Casablanca — before Ingrid Bergman arrives. Always there when I listen to politicians. Or immediately after Dolly says something nice.

• El Stupido: The voice that reminds that me I am the biggest loser on the planet. It usually appears in tandem with the Ruminator.


Who's on Your Panel?

Now it's your turn. Write down five of your panel members. Don't be afraid that you're possessed, or have more personalities than Ben & Jerry ice cream flavors. It merely means you're just like everyone else.

This exercise will be fun and can help you put a name to the voice. It also helps greatly to know who you are listening to and how they might be keeping you from The Promise.


My Five Top Panel Members

Not so bad, right? Do you see how powerful it can be when you actually LOOK at what's what? You'll be doing this much more in STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.


The Panel's Job

Now that you've met The Panel, perhaps you're wondering what the heck it is doing in there.

The Panel's function is to interpret information from your physical senses and translate it into a truthful and accurate depiction of what is going on in your world. And that would be great — if only it were true! But most of the time, The Panel does exactly the opposite, through its main ploy, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get, pronounced "wizziwig"). More about this here.

Before you start trashing The Panel, you need to realize that it's simply doing its job. This means that, like everyone else with a job, The Panel seeks to make itself useful and indispensable so it won't get fired. There's only one problem: The Panel's goal is completely at odds with receiving The Promise.

The Panel has a vested interest in staying alive and living its "life." Even if that means making you miserable. Expecting The Panel to cease of its own volition is tantamount to asking a real person to commit suicide. Or, as Alan Watts, a famous meditation teacher, described it, "trying to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps." Maybe Horatio Alger characters did it, but try it yourself and you'll wind up flat on your tush!

The Promise doesn't ask you to perform the impossible. What you're going to learn in this book is to empower yourself, not to confront The Panel, but to go beyond it. In other words, you're going to send The Panel to unemployment! Because the truth is, you don't need The Panel to tell you who you are. You already know.


Empty Promises

Have you tried a mystical/shmystical program within the past six months? You know, one of those guaranteed metaphysical deals that promised you the moon — and failed to deliver even a pizza.

Don't be shy. Over the past twenty years, I've tried dozens myself. I divide them into three groups:


The Cosmic Pizza Hut. You select from the menu and order your wishes from the universe. Guaranteed delivery. But remember, if the universe fails to deliver, it's your fault! Programs like these are usually high in empty calories and amazingly low on results.

A Million Lists Will Set You Free. A compendium of nonstop, mind-numbing lists and exercises guaranteed to be your ticket to freedom, peace, material goodies. Unfortunately, all your ticket usually buys is a one-way trip to frustration, confusion, and loss of hope.

This worked for me. And it will never work for you. Somebody has a "revelation" or epiphany that she wants or has been told by the universe to share with the world. Only one problem: There is no guarantee that what worked for someone else will work for you. In fact, there is no guarantee that what worked for her even worked for her!


Nevertheless, we buy the book, the CD, the software — whatever she's selling. We follow the instructions to the letter and wait for results. When they aren't forthcoming, we feel depressed, frustrated, angry, and, perhaps worst of all, guilty — courtesy of one of The Panel's favorite thought chains, which goes like this: "Dammit, it worked for her! There must be something wrong with me. I'm bad. I'm not doing it right. I don't deserve to be happy. I am a loser!"

Sound familiar? Why are we so ready to try these programs? Because we are paradoxical creatures. On the one hand, we aspire to be independent and wise. Yet we're also eager to turn our lives over to a total stranger who convinces us that she's "got it" and will tell us the secret of how we can get it. For a price, of course.

And what about The Promise? The following two lists describe what this book is — and is not — about.


The Promise isn't about

• metaphysical "laws"

• your inner child

• previous lives

• theology, religion, or dogma

• searching for secrets outside yourself

• "shoulds" that pressure you to change

• guarantees that can't be kept


The Promise is about

• accepting your birthright

• reclaiming Your Best Self

• down-to-earth, time-tested techniques you can easily do

• your innate power to transform yourself

• change that leads to your best possible life — and the contentment that comes with living it


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Promise by Victor Davich. Copyright © 2008 Victor Davich. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Stop! vii

Welcome to The Promise ix

1 Reclaiming The Promise 1

2 Dealing with The Panel 13

3 Preparation 21

4 The Promise Program: Stop, Look, and Listen 37

5 Step One: Stop 53

6 Step Two: Look 75

7 Step Three: Listen 103

8 The Promise in Daily Life 125

Resources 137

The Promise Web Site 149

Acknowledgments 151

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