Beliefnet
Because This Is Your Life

Some of them wear suits and ties.

Some dress in white…even gowns at times.

Others wear uniforms of different colors

And interestingly…

Some don’t even need to show up or get dressed…and crazy as it sounds…rely on alphabet soup.

Yet…

No matter which of these you think of…in some way you have a high probability of acting the same way…even though in most ways it goes against your will.

Now of course I’m talking about authority figures.

Well…not exactly.

Because it’s going to depend on you and what you’re willing to do.

So whether we’re talking about sharp dressed men (and women) that are attorneys…the boss or CEO at your job…doctors…or those with fancy titles and degrees that resemble alphabet soup…

It’s still an authority figure…well actually a perceived authority figure.

And how your life plays out…whether you’re aware of it or not…comes down to knowing this…

How much of your life are you giving away to perceived authorities?

1. Who is the king- It starts off when you’re a little kid just starting school. Your parents will typically say something like, “listen to your teacher”, “listen to the policeman”, and if you’re sick, “do what the doctor tells you.”

And this is certainly important because it does teach you to respect other people.

Yet…

At the same time it can and does set you up for a life of constant subordination…which carries over into other areas of your life.

This can include perceived authorities which involve your spiritual or religious beliefs…

Your physical health in the form of having to rely on the pharmaceutical industry…

Your career in the form of doing something you “have to” do versus something you’d love doing…which dictates your financial destiny.

It can also be within your own family where you may be the underdog while always feeling like you’re walking on eggshells.

And…

It can and does include subordinating to perceived authorities in personal development and self help.

No matter how you look at it…it still involves the same thing…giving power to a perceived authority because they may be a Phd, Doctor, CEO, or some other title of authority status.

This is what we’re taught and that’s ok.

Now, what we’re not taught is two things.

One…instead of always taking a perceived authorities word for it…take the time and do your own research…so you are prepared and knowledgeable when it comes to dealing with an authority figure.

And this also includes if the perceived authority is even an authority to begin with…and especially as it relates to one being a “doctor.”

I can tell you right now that I know of three people personally who are in the personal development and self help industry that call themselves a “doctor” and they are not doctors.

The point here is to be aware and take the time to do diligent research on whoever it is that you’re about to do business with in some way.

This way you’re prepared and “on your toes”…and so you know if the perceived authority really is who they say they are while also having your best interests at heart. This leads to…

Two…question authority but in a way that is beneficial while at the same time respecting the perceived authority.

Because after all…if let’s say we’re talking about your physical health…and whether you do what the doctor says when he “prescribes” you a drug to take…it’s your right to question your doctor and to make your own choice.

And this is true in the other areas of your life as well.

Remember…

It’s your life and since you are the king (or queen) of your life…you have the final say…not the perceived authority.

2. Strong armed or weak armed- I’ve mentioned in the past the idea of being reasonable versus unreasonable and how important this is in getting what you want…

Because when you’ re reasonable you’ll have a high probability of being a “yes” person…

You’ll have a high probability of subordinating to perceived authority figures…

Which leads to them getting more of what they want while you’ll get less of what you want…

And you’ll end up beating yourself up…while feeling powerless and believing “there’s nothing I can do about it.”

I refer to this as being “strong armed”…and it carries over into every area of your life…unless you become aware of it.

For example…

How many times have you been in a situation on the phone with customer service…such as with your internet company…your cell phone provider…or possibly your cable TV provider…

And you found yourself in a situation where you either got overcharged…or were told one thing when you signed up and now they’re telling you another.

Whatever the situation was for you…how did you handle it?

Did you just do what the person on the phone said and left it at that…or did you (in a respectful way where you were in the right) take it to another level, such as asking to speak to a supervisor and really “push the envelope?”

What I’m getting at here is this…

When you’re in situations…especially like those I mentioned…where you’re paying for something and expecting equal value…and not getting value in return in a fair way…do you “push the envelope” when dealing with a “perceived” authority figure?

Now it may seem like no big deal when you’re dealing with the cable company…or your cell phone company…or something “small” of this nature.

Yet…

There is carry over into the other areas of your life that are “big deals”…such as the dealings with your  doctor…the personal development/self help gurus…or any perceived authority that’s involved in something which is dictating or about to dictate your life in some way.

The question is…

Are you doing the strong arming…or are you being strong armed?

3. Einstein’s contempt- The question, “how much of your life are you giving away to perceived authorities” would not be complete without my favorite quote from Albert Einstein…

“My contempt for authority is what made me one.”

Because when you live according to these wise words you won’t be “strong armed” in situations that lead to giving your life away to perceived authorities.

So what does Einstein mean here…and how does it transform your life?

First…it begins with realizing that anything you admire in someone else is something you have in you.

For example…

If you see someone as being a talented dancer, just know you are talented as well.

Now it may not be as a dancer in your case…it’s somewhere else that is based on what you love doing and what is most important to you.

This is what Einstein meant when he said that instead of subordinating to authority figures…to “stand on their shoulders”…to see what you admire in them and where you have it in you.

And this leads to…second…

Your ability to stand up to “perceived” authority figures and to question them in a respectful way…

Because you will come across “authority” figures throughout your life…we all do…that “cross the line” and “abuse” their status. It doesn’t happen all the time but it does happen…and it’s important that you’re aware of it and ready.

And the way you prepare yourself goes back to what I briefly mentioned earlier about being unreasonable at times.

The bottom line is…

You’re going to be challenged, criticized, and disliked by people in your life no matter what you do.

But guess what?

You get the other side as well…the support, the praise, and the people liking you.

Therefore…

When you stand up for who you are…while knowing you’re going to get both sides no matter what…and you question authority…you won’t worry about what other people think.

This is when you take control of your life…and dictate your destiny.

Let’s face it…

You, I, and the world need authority figures in it to exist.

However…

It’s the authority figures who care, who have your best interests at heart, and who provide tremendous amounts of value to the world…while being true to who they are and what they stand for…are the authority figures we were all taught to respect as children.

Now it’s up to you to be this authority figure in your own life.

Whether it’s to your family, friends, co workers, others you care about…and the world…

It comes down to you being your magnificent and unique self.

Because when you do, you shine, and this allows others to shine as well.

Be the authority (and change) you seek in the world.

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