The behaviour of normal people is rarely appropriate. How could it be! Because normal behaviour is generated automatically – you don’t have to think about it, you just react – by your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is highly effective at enabling you react – it is this ability that has got us so far as the ‘superior’ species. But, as I said, normal behaviour is rarely appropriate – because that same subconscious mind is permanently focused in the past – your childhood years – and it uses this past ‘stored knowledge’ to dictate your current automatic behaviour. With information that is so far out of date being used to dictate your behaviour, how could today’s behaviour be appropriate to what is actually happening now?

How could it be appropriate when you understand that the normal person is permanently in this automatic reactive mode? Unfortunately, it’s just the way we’re built. If you’re having a good day, your behaviour may be mildly effective – that’s in comparison to how effective you could really and truly be had you taken the trouble to pay attention and act, rather than react. But even at that, normal people only have good days every so often. It’s the normal not-too-bad days that have your life trapped in that repetitive, mundane, not-so-bad life – you know, the one where good stuff almost never happens, the one where you’re unhappy in your work or the one where your relationship has gone flat – the ordinary stuff of the normal life. And on those everyday not-so-bad days, normal behaviour varies from midldly in-effective through inappropriate to absolutely outrageous. People losing the head in rush hour traffic, people who bully their workmates or playing with their workers’ lives. Husbands who beat wives, wives who beat husbands – or just the everyday not-too-bad feeling of ‘I wish I was somewhere else’ and all the stress that comes with that feeling.

Our problem is that we tend to confuse our behaviour with who we are – a criminal mistake that leads us into recrimination, guilt, frustration, anxiety and even more inappropriate behaviour. You are not your behaviour. How could you be? Your behaviour is dictated by your personality – all the bits and pieces of ‘stored knowledge’ in your subconscious mind. Your personality has certainly little or nothing to do with who you really are – there’s a wealth of psychological research built up over the last seventy years that proves this.

What’s my point? You’re only able to take truly appropriate action (as distinct from normal reaction) by deliberately side-stepping your ego or personality – this is the essence of personal development (as distinct from personality development). You will not be able to do that until you realize that every single inappropriate action comes from your illusionary personality. What’s done is done – if your reactions have done damage, go and sort the damage out. But if the only damage was to your own self-image, then, get forget it, it’s past, you need to get on with your life – starting right here, right now.

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