Code Breakers

Jim:    Has anyone cracked your code?  So, what does that mean to you?  If you’ve listened to the previous podcast we’ve talked about creating passwords to prevent identity thefts from people stealing your identity or perhaps you even giving it away.  So, when we talk about breaking your code, we’re talking about creating a code strong enough that others can’t penetrate your own boundaries into your authentic self.  However, at times, we create such our own complex code or believe that we have to have such a complex code to our life that we end up developing paralysis by analysis, where we over-complicate our lives and trip over our own feet.  The purpose of this podcast for those of you who have listened in the past is to uncomplicate your life – to catch the low-hanging fruit on the tree.  We often think the sweetest fruit is right at the top of the tree.  However, the one that’s the most easiest to pick, the most easiest to eat, the most easiest to give you nutrition is on the lower branches.  And, when we developed the concept of Fishing Without Bait it was developing a lifetime without definitive expectations – about attempting to live up to unreasonable expectations of others or ourselves to develop that beginner’s mind.  And, welcome aboard.  Welcome aboard.  Let’s jump on that code train.  Let’s become our own cryptologist.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host, and producer of this program – Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, have you ever considered yourself a cryptologist?

Mike:    Kind of the code breaking of life?  I haven’t really thought of it that way.

Jim:    The code breaking of life, right.  So, let’s say in relationships – when you enter into a relationship or when you come into a friendship, you come into a new situation – a person, place, thing, situation, or event – aren’t you really trying to break the code there?  To try to understand what people would want or expect of you?

Mike:    Absolutely.  We’re looking at the person and trying to solve that problem of them.

Jim:    Indeed, we are.  So, we’re always looking for the code.  However, when we talked about – for those who may have listened to the last podcast, and for those of you who don’t – we talked about a password; developing a strong-enough password for your life.  And, that password that we talked about mainly consists of self-validation.  When we self-validate ourselves and say what’s right about ourselves rather than what our own perceptions – or perceptions of others that what is wrong with us – that’s when we open up.  That’s when our password is open.  That’s when our password is easily broken.  That’s when people can get inside of our heads and inside of our lives and take away our emotions, our feelings, our happiness, and our time.  So, in developing that password, I believe last week when we talked about it, the first password we were going to talk about was honesty.  And, what we talked about was the way to develop that password ironically is to say it out loud – to yourself.  To develop that self-validation, to develop that self-esteem and self-concept.  Let’s review those terms again.  Self-concept is facts about yourself – things that you know about yourself.  It’s information about yourself.  Undisputable truths.  Self-esteem is how you feel about those facts about yourself.  So, once we’ve established that, the idea is is how can we create that password in order to develop a bit of boundaries in our life and keep our own inner self and the ability to be inside that special place which is you, and have your authentic self and have those wonderful conversations that can occur inside your head.  The password for today that I’d like everyone to perhaps wrap their heads around is open-mindedness.  And, again, what we want to talk about when we talk about open-mindedness is a basic concept of Fishing Without Bait.  Having that open mind.  Having that beginner’s mind.  And, if you would refer back to a previous podcast where we talked about developing that beginner’s mind – particularly Mike, if you remember where we had that photograph of that young lady standing in awe in front of a balloon floating on a jet of air.  What do you remember about that?  

Mike:    I remember it really just kind of boiled it down to the most raw emotion of joy.

Jim:    The most raw emotion of joy.  And, remember when we created too difficult of a password, when not even our own selves can crack our own code.  Have you ever thought about that Mike?  That you created such a strong code that not even you can crack it?

Mike:    It’s like I programmed it and threw away the instruction manual.

Jim:    Yes.  Have you ever developed passwords and then forgotten what they were?

Mike:    Oh, absolutely.

Jim:    And couldn’t get them back in.  So, in a way, are not mental health therapists; are not psychiatrists and perhaps even a good friend code breakers?  They can help you understand and develop that code for yourself in order to find out who you are.  And, really and truly, Mike – isn’t the code breaking process the process of developing the relationship with yourself?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    And, understanding your strengths, talents, and abilities.  We’ve talked quite often in these podcasts about the importance of taking inventory, have we not?

Mike:    A lot.

Jim:    And, we talk about the inventory of strengths, talents, and abilities.  However, also Mike, although we often talk about positive self-validation, isn’t it just as important to identify those particular challenges that you have in your life?  Some of the challenges that perhaps you perceive that you have in your character or anything that’s causing some dysfunction and distress in your life?  Those are just as important, okay?  So, what we’re doing is developing this password into your life.  Where does the code breaking come in?

Mike:    The code breaking comes in when you start labeling and describing.  You’re starting to break down that code and understand it more.

Jim:    Indeed.  To know what your true thoughts and feelings are.  So, quite often as we’ve talked about inter-personal relationships skills, we assume that other people know what we think, our needs, and how we feel.  We’ve often baffled our own selves, buffered ourselves from those same ideas, those same thoughts, those same feelings, and those same needs because our password is so strong that we can’t even get in to find out about ourselves.  So, the idea when we talk about honesty being a password – and today, we’re talking about having the open-mindedness, taking the binders off that thoroughbred race horse as we’ve discussed in a previous podcast and having that beginner’s mind, stepping back.  And, as our good friend the Buddha says, question everything.  So, we want to develop into these things.  So, if you remember during one of the conflicts in human history – one of the most important things was that armies, whatever, could communicate with each other without the so-called enemy understanding their communications.  There was a native tribe – the Navajos.  They were called the wind talkers.  And, they were the most successful codes in history, and it was in World War II.  And, you know the reason why it was an unbreakable code?

Mike:    Because nobody knew the language.

Jim:    There was no written language.  The Navajos have no written language.  There was nothing to put the words to symbols.  There were no symbols to back up those words.  And, cryptologists – code breakers – count on symbols.  Symbols and cyphers.  Do they not?  So, the idea here is when we have that unbreakable code in our own life, we’re unable to access our own heart, our own soul, and our own spirit.  It’s very important that we develop this relationship with ourselves.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a password for yourself so you could have complete understanding of how you feel?

Mike:    It’s too bad there’s not a computer that we could just plug the stuff in and it spits it out.

Jim:    Right.  Wouldn’t that be nice if you could just say a magic word, a safe word to yourself, and everything would be revealed?

Mike:    But, to be fair, a part of that machine is the machine and computer that’s in your head.

Jim:    The computer in our head.  I’m unsure, and I don’t know if human ingenuity will ever develop a machine complex enough and with the various flexibility and the plasticity of the human brain.

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    The ability to adapt and change.  And, that’s one of the beauties of Fishing Without Bait.  When we have a life without definitive expectations, and we have the open-mindedness to realize that we don’t lock ourselves in.  We don’t have that code word so strong that we’re on the outside looking in. And, when we talk about that neuroplasticity, when we talk about opening up a world, that means also that we develop that full-impact mindfulness.  So, going back and keeping in mind that we’re talking about those passwords of honest, open-mindedness, and of course the last one – which we always talk about, Mike, is the willingness to try.  So, how often have you attempted to find your password and you ran into a brick wall?  What happens then? What do you do?

Mike:    Typically, you get a little bit frustrated, but you work around it.

Jim:    You work around it.  So, on the sites that you go into – let’s say a Google, a Gmail account.  There are always prompts on there, are there not?  If you’ve lost your – forgot your ID, forgot your password.  So, what does that help you do?

Mike:    It helps you jog your memory.  It helps you connect the dots to what made you come up with that password. 

Jim:    Right.  And, it either can throw you hints, or it can help you reset that password.  Can it not?  And, if we’re – this is ancient history now – however if you think to a podcast where we started to talk to people about developing and hitting their own reset button.  So, isn’t it marvelous that we have the capability – if we have the honesty, if we have the password of honesty and open-mindedness and a willingness to try – we can reset that password anytime we want.  Have you ever opened yourself up to someone a bit more than you were comfortable with?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    And, they found out just a little bit more about you than you were comfortable with?

Mike:    Mm-hmm.

Jim:    Maybe you really trusted somebody and you put your heart out to them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to reset that password so they could no longer get in and manipulate you?  Manipulate your thoughts and feeling?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    So, the idea about that is when we have those strong-enough passwords we can definitely change them.  We can set up those barriers and those blocks and meanwhile keep inside of our own house – of our own inner sanctum, what our own thoughts and feelings are, and nurture them.  Do you think it would be nice to nurture your own thoughts and feelings?

Mike:    Absolutely.  

Jim:    To nurture our own thoughts and feelings without outside interference?  Isn’t that the true purpose of a password?  So, we can filter out the outside interference?  However, keeping in mind that when we’re by ourselves, are we alone?

Mike:    No, you have that extra passenger going on in your head.

Jim:    We have that extra passenger.  We have that authentic self.  We have all these beautiful people inside of our heads.  We even have your friend the inner critic, do we not?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    And, as in previous podcasts, we’ve talked about that inner critic.  Unfortunately, the inner critic has that password to our thoughts and feelings, does it not?

Mike:    He’s that extra hacker that is invading.

Jim:    He is.

Mike:    And, that we need to exorcise.

Jim:    The inner critic is the true identity thief.  So, again, instead of fighting, resisting that inner critic and trying to make that stronger password, let’s invite him in.  Let’s invite him in, and then let’s close the walls, Mike, and make that password even stronger.  So, once we have that inner critic inside of ourselves, once we’ve broken the inner critic’s code, then we can proceed.  We’ve talked quite a bit today about many things.  And, the code words for today, my friends out there, are honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to try.  And, again, the way to make these things happen, they way to make them infective in your life is to repeat these words out loud.  And, as we discussed before, we have talked about adding a strong emotion to these intentions – to these passwords so they become an encrypted memory inside your head.  That’s my challenge to everyone out there – honesty, open-mindedness, willingness to try.  Attach a strong emotion.  Laugh out loud.  Say those words right out into the air.  Hear the words that you say.  Become friends with yourself.  Do a kindness for another.  Do a kindness for yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive another.  Namaste.