Tag Archives: the Peters Paradox

Ho’oponopono – my new big thing.

As well as winding down my old lifestyle – one in which I was perfectly happy, by the way, but which I’m changing anyway (from July 6th, I switch from eating dead food to eating only living food, so goodbye cake, chips, cookies, morning coffee, pasta, potatoes, bread, happiness and fun) – I’ve been experimenting with a crazy but fascinating new approach to life’s problems.

dr-joe-mandy-evans-tI picked up a book over the weekend by Dr Joe Vitale (pictured left with Mandy Evans, a woman with whom he is obviously well acquainted, while leaving the rest of us mystified). Joe was one of the stars of the movie The Secret – specifically, the little bald Italian star with the hippy necklace – and he’s written a string of self-help books, including the one I just bought: Zero Limits, which contains ideas so amazing that it completely stopped me getting any work done yesterday while I plowed through it.

It’s based on Joe’s discovery of ho’oponopono – the almost-impossible-to-zerolimitscover spell-or-say Hawaiian technique for getting what you want out of life.

Basically, the trick to h0’oponopono (sadly, the Hawaiians are a proud people, they refuse to abbreviate anything) is that you rethink your issues. Instead of seeing a problem as being between you and, let’s say, another person, you take full, 100% responsibility for it, blaming no-one and nothing. From then on, your job becomes, not to solve the problem, but to be at peace with the energy behind it. Do that, and the problem will solve itself.

Sounds easy, right?

Nothing in life happens by chance, Joe argues in the book, so every difficult person or annoying issue you face comes your way for a reason, to teach you something. It wouldn’t be there if you didn’t have to learn from it.

But here’s the thing: for once, rather than point fingers and blame others for whatever situation you find yourself in, you do the opposite. You drop the whole blame-game angle, chant four little phrases in your mind to counteract the negativity and make peace with ‘the Divine’, as he calls it, and hey presto.

Now, this might seem ridiculous – what am I saying, might? – but I’ve been giving it a go these past couple of days, and I have to say, not only does it begin to make total sense after a while, but it actually works. I’ve already had a couple of small miracles happen this week as a result of this – and it’s only Tuesday. Astonishing. I might not be able to pronounce the technique I’m using, but that doesn’t stop me being impressed by it, or making it my New Big Thing.

Better still, ho’oponopono feels like a miraculous offshoot of the Peters Paradox.  

What that says is: the harder you try in life, the more conscientious you are, and the more you commit to achieving something, the less successful you are likely to be overall; whereas the more you slope off and enjoy life, the higher you will rise and the more you will get accomplished. God loves a slacker, remember that.

The validity of the Paradox was proved yet again for me yesterday when I heard about a guy I used to work with at London’s major FM station, Capital Radio, in the ’80s. He was a reporter, but also the dullest, most uninspired, dead-eyed, limp, personality-free individual I have ever met. Back then, we used to consider him the benchmark for tedium. Even his voice had no expression to it and a conversation with him on any level left you feeling numb and desperate to get away.

Well, yesterday I came across him again, through a website. I discovered that, later on, Mr. Dull not only became mega-successful, but rose to the very top of the British entertainment business, running entire TV networks and production companies along the way. He’s now a major figure in the UK. Though, to judge by his picture and the expression on his face, his personality is exactly the same. That is to say, he doesn’t have one.   

Anyway, back to the plot: this latest technique I’ve discovered fits very well into the Paradox too.  

All you do is pick a problem, but instead of getting in a froth about it, like you normally would, this time you take a different approach. This time,  internally, you say, “I love you. Please forgive me. I’m sorry. Thank you.”   Over and over again ’til you believe them.

You aim these phrases, not at the issue or person causing the friction, though, but rather at “the Divine”, or whatever you choose to call it. This leaves you feeling relaxed and at peace with the issue, and lets the Divine do all the work to solve the problem. And as you know, letting other people solve your problems for you is very much a central tenet of the Peters Paradox.         

Naturally, there’s more to it than that. There must be, because Joe spins it out into an entire book. Plus there are workshops you can attend and audiobooks you can buy. But I suggest as a starting point that you hurry to check out Zero Limits and see what, if anything, this amazing, unpronounceable  little trick can do for you.

TV Swami – he off-topic today. But he say YES to ho’oponopono.

www.cashpeters.com

Don’t forget to watch Fast and Very Loose, Cash’s short movie. It’s more fun than you’ve had in a while.

Also, follow me on Twitter @cashpeters. I mean, y’know, only if you want to.

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“Screw you!” An exciting new approach to life.

When I started doing this blog thing, I remember promising that I’d write it in odd moments, whenever time allowed. Some days there’d be a post, some days there wouldn’t. It all depended on how I felt. Which is fair enough, right?

But then something weird started happening. On the days I was too busy and didn’t write a post, traffic on this site was as high as when I did, if not higher. I couldn’t believe it. More people wanted to read what I wasn’t saying than what I was.

In other words: a certain amount of effort on my part produced a certain result, but zero effort produced an even better result.

And I guess word got around:

A: “Did you hear, he didn’t write anything today?”

B: “Nooooo. You’re B.S.ing me.”

A: “I swear to God. Go see for yourself. It’s the same post he had up there the other day. He’s written nothing – no-thing – today.”

B: “Hang on – I’ll be right back. This I have to see.”

And the number of hits went through the roof.

Which is both funny and, at the same time, utterly baffling. It basically means that the less work we do, the more we get rewarded.

And that’s when I realized – it came to me in a loud, epiphanous blast like the crack of thunder you get when a casino collapses – that this is a theme of my life. And possibly of everyone else’s too. We’ve been doing this all wrong, and there’s a lesson to be learned.  

In college, for instance, I studied law. Studied the hell out of it, as a matter of fact. Actually, I’d go one step further: I’d say that no student in history has ever studied as much or worked harder to get his degree than I did in those days. Looking back, I think I may even have intimidated the law by studying it so hard. Seven days a week, all hours of the day and night, every free moment, pursuing knowledge with so much vigor and such a punishing zeal that it wanted to run away and hide, and ’til my eyes bled with the effort.

I was a perfectionist. I wanted to be the very best at studying law, and beat my friends, many of whom studied only half as hard as I did, preferring to mop up their free hours with heavy drinking, meaningless sex, and smuggling all my furniture and belongings out of my room onto the lawn the moment my back was turned. Slackers. 

So imagine my shock when, at the end of three laborious years, I emerged from university with only a mediocre degree, while my slacker friends all did unusually well. Way better than I did anyway. They shone. Where my overall marks weren’t that great and my relative understanding of the subject considered disappointing, especially given how hard I’d tried, theirs were top-notch, and every last one of them drifted – again, with almost no  effort – into top-paying legal jobs all over Britain.

Not that I’m bitter about their success or anything, but…grrrr.

Anyway, I learned two things from that particularly grim episode of my life: a) don’t trust your friends, they’ll steal your furniture; and b) hard work doesn’t pay off. 

In other words, slackers rule!

Isn’t that wild?

Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe by your parents and Anthony Robbins, keeping your eye on the ball, being diligent, and committing to a goal 100% – that’s the loser’s way. It virtually guarantees a poor outcome, leading to years of hardship, disappointment, and personal misery. 

I’m a living example. Looking back through my life, the harder I’ve tried to make something perfect, the more man-hours I’ve plowed into it, the more effort I’ve invested in a particular pre-determined outcome or goal, or in making something work out, the less likely it ever was to succeed. 

My TV show was the best example I can come up with right now. Unless, that is, you count my latest travel book.

Conversely, the more laid-back you are about what you’re doing, the more you don’t care about outcomes, the less you chase success, attention, approval, readers, or blog traffic, the more chance there is that you’ll get the very thing you don’t seem to care about.

This phenomenon doesn’t have a name right now, so let’s give it one.  As from today, it will be called The Peters Paradox.  A whole new system of not giving a rat’s ass.

In short, the message seems to be: back off. Work, by all means, but only up to a point. Do what you have to do, then stop. Don’t let it consume you. Fill your life with fun and distractions and enthusiasms and interests and whatever else catches your eye. Don’t make your job the be-all and end-all. And to hell with perfection. Getting it done is more important than getting it right. Trust me, I know.

So today, for instance, I was going to write 700-1000 words about Kirstie Alley’s weight issues, continuing the conversation we began last night on my BBC slot. But now, after mature consideration, and employing the full power of The Peters Paradox, I won’t be bothering.

All I’ll say is, when Kirstie starred in Cheers she was thin and gorgeous. Then she exploded to 200lbs. That’s when she became the Jenny Craig anti-obesity spokesperson for a while.  The moment she stopped being an anti-obesity spokesperson, however, she exploded back up to 200lbs or so again. Now she’s as big as a truck, and she went on Oprah this week to apologize for letting everyone down. 

Truth is, though: 1) we don’t care – be fat if you want to, Kirstie, just stop telling us about it; and 2) you were probably invited on the show to make Oprah look thin, because compared to you she is. And that doesn’t happen very often.   

There. Everything I wanted to say in a full article, but dashed off in a paragraph with absolutely the bare minimum of effort.

Now, with my new free time, I’m going to start drinking early and I might even have sex, if I can find someone to have it with. And once I’ve had sex I will be smuggling my partner’s furniture out of his room, and dumping it on the lawn. That’s the kind of guy I am nowadays. A slacker.

It’s a perfect example of The Peters Paradox in action.

 

TV Swami – he say NO to hard work and getting anything done – EVER.

www.cashpeters.com

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