01/13/2015 05:55 pm ET Updated Mar 15, 2015

I Left the Flock

I have to admit that there was a time when I was the leader of the "poor me" society - it was part of my identity. I formed a flock of cawing crows who would gather to lament, "Oh No, WOE is me." When you're around a flock of cawing crows, watch how imitation operates. One wails "WOE" about something in his life, and the rest of us chant, "Oh No! Oh No!"

No matter what the flock may say to get you to join, don't go along just to get along with the flock. Don't squawk with them. It's never healthy to be a bird of that feather flocking together. It's an incorrect use of perfectly good energy. I know. It showed in my life. I got very little done. I was too busy moaning.

It took me a few years to realize that if I wanted my life to progress as I dreamed it could, I'd have to let the laments of WOE simply pass through my field of consciousness. That meant not participating, but simply listening on the sideline, like sitting on a bleacher seat at the football game, watching a marching band parading through the playing field. It took me many tries before I was able to be passively watchful, remain relaxed and calmly notice while offering no reinforcing feedback. Oh, what sweet relief that was!

When I finally refuse to bemoan life, I didn't attract the flock because I didn't give them what they sought. Cawing crows are supplying each other false feelings of being alive by lamenting WOE. They use moaning as a stimulant to get through their day, much like drinking coffee all day.

"The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow."
- William Blake

Here are four tips that helped me not submit to the squawks of the Cawing Crow:

  1. When WOE comes prowling in your mind, don't get angry about the condition that provoked the moan. WOE reacts much like a ball tossed against a wall - the more force you put into throwing the ball, the harder the ball will bounce back. Anger energizes the woeful position like that.
  2. When a woeful mood overtakes you, don't pretend it's not happening. Your aim in life is to win. Winning requires being honest with yourself about what you're feeling. Only then, can you appropriately deal with it. Claiming the mood doesn't exist is madness, and madness only invites more badness.
  3. Be watchful, but not judgmental. Have you ever observed someone dramatically acting out some woeful condition in his life? Because it's not you, you're calmly focused and serenely ready to offer suggestions. In this state, you see possibilities where he's completely unreceptive. Your power to free yourself from a woeful mood is measured by your willingness to observe but not judge it. When you take a neutral position, your natural ambition comes to the rescue. You find yourself asking healthy questions that help you see things differently.
  4. Hold yourself accountable for dealing with woeful conditions effectively. When woeful thoughts start creeping in, consider them odd characters that don't belong. Take responsibility for changing what needs changing, and immediately begin to act in small ways that crack the back of such moaning.
Endure when using these tips, and you'll quickly establish your captaincy over the mind. In this position it's much easier to take command of your life.

International Bestselling book author, Rob White, offers other inspiring short stories that reveal ordinary gurus who come to you to prove there's no such thing as a final failure unless you say so in his book And Then I Met Margaret.