Methods As Temporary Tools Instead of Lifetime Crutches

For instrumental music while reading, choose: hi-fi (broadband) or low-fi.

We are obsessed with our methods. We become attached to our particular way of doing things. Since it’s good for us, it must be good for everyone.

We forget that methods are tools to help us accomplish something we choose. If we want to understand something better, we find a method that makes it easier. If our desire is on-going personal development, we choose a method (or methods) that provide a structure for our growth.

Webster’s dictionary defines method as, “a systematic arrangement of things or ideas; a way of doing.” So the method we choose is a system that provides regularity for our process.

Methods Are Not Forever

As we grow, mature and discover more expansive perspectives, our methods grow too. It is only natural for our tools and techniques to evolve along with us. The trouble comes when we cling to an old method that we have outgrown. We feel bogged down and then stuck when our personal development potential is being limited by an outdated method.

Evolving Nutritional Methods

Let’s look at some examples to illustrate the necessity of adopting new methods as a natural part of the personal growth process. As babies, we thrive on mother’s milk. That is the method used to nourish our brand new physical body to allow it to grow and develop. Soon, we outgrow that method, become weaned and move on to soft, baby food. In time, that gives way to solid food.

As we mature, we learn what diet works best. Through trial and error, we discover what makes us feel best and what foods support peak performance. The same diet doesn’t work for everyone. We have different preferences as well as different nutritional needs. (There’s a fascinating book that explains how this nutritional diversity evolved through the ages. It’s controversial but to me, the book does a good job of explaining why we have such different nutritional preferences and needs, based on our blood type. It’s called, “Eat Right 4 Your Type: The Individualized Diet Solution to Staying Healthy, Living Longer & Achieving Your Ideal Weight” by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo.)

As adults, our nutritional needs have changed dramatically since we were babies. What would happen if we ignored that fact and remained attached to the nutritional method that worked so well for us as infants? We would insist on a diet of milk. Our physical development would be impaired, and such a diet would be harmful to us as we become adults. We would clog up with mucus and phlegm and possibly become lactose intolerant. Clinging to a method we have clearly outgrown would be hazardous to our health.

Evolving Methods of Communication

Let’s look at another example: communication. When we were very young, we got along fine with variations on one basic word: “Waaaah!” We cried whenever we wanted something and left it up to those around us to figure it out. Soon, the tears dried up, and we began to string words together. That worked okay for a few years, and then it was time to add a new dimension to our communication toolbox: reading and writing.

As we mature, all these methods evolve with us. We learn to speak better, and our reading and writing skills improve with practice. Some adults still cry and scream to make their wants known, but that method of communication is left behind by most of us as our personal development evolves.

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – Bible – 1 Corinthians 13:11

Evolving Methods of Ideology

Now, let’s apply this same understanding of evolving methods to the realm of ideas. When we are young, our ideas are simple. We are easily influenced by the idea of those who are close to us. We adopt their idea of the world because it’s all we know. We are conditioned by the society and culture we grow up in.

As we mature, we are exposed to other ideas – other methods to help us accomplish what we want. Some of these ideas are foreign, and others are completely alien compared to the particular collection of ideas that make up our initial social conditioning.

Does that make them wrong? Just because they are different, that doesn’t automatically make them wrong. Your method may be better for you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for anyone else. And it certainly doesn’t mean it’s better for everyone.

Change viewpoints for a moment and imagine your own social conditioning from the vantage point of someone who grew up in a very different culture. Imagine you are an Australian Aborigine or a member of an indigenous tribe in Bora Bora. Your method of relating to the world is not any better or worse than anyone else’s. It’s not right or wrong — just different. Most everything about your world is different, so your method of interacting with it and learning from it is also different.

“You have to choose where you look, and in making that choice you eliminate entire worlds.” – Barbara Bloom

Diversity is Good

Through diversity, we learn what we like and what we don’t like. As a result, we move toward what we are attracted to and away from what we are not attracted to.

The problems begin when we are so consumed by our own egos that we believe our way is the best way for all people, everywhere, for all time. We are much more diverse as humans for such a narrow idea. Ideas are not “one-size-fits-all.”

“Well, I should do this, and I should do that,
It seems that everybody’s got their opinion.
And it’s everyone’s right to fight their private fight,
To be captain of their personal dominion.
And neither me nor you has a single clue,
To what the other one really should do.
We’re all learnin’ as we go, so don’t ya ’should’ on me,
And I won’t ’should’ on you.”
- from the song, “Just One Step” by Tupelo Kenyon

Instead of expecting others to live their lives our way, we are here to experience life in all its splendid diversity, in all its seasons. Like our nutritional needs, and our communication skills, healthy personal growth depends upon our ideas evolving as we mature.

We wouldn’t expect Eskimo children to eat the same diet as Hawaiian children. They have different nutritional requirements based upon their environment and culture. The best diet for their particular situation has evolved over time to allow each of them to maximize their potential. Their method of nutritional support is specific to their situation. As they mature, their options open up to a universe of choices.

The Eskimo adult can enjoy papayas and mangos on a beach in Hawaii as the Hawaiian adult can enjoy a meal of salmon and berries on the tundra of Alaska. They can choose to broaden their horizons deliberately.

Or, they can choose to stay focused on the same methods they grew up with and never venture outside of their own respective villages and methods. However, in this day and age, this is a choice. We are no longer required to live our entire lives according to the particulars of our birth, as it was in the past for so many people.

“The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose.” – J. Martin Kohe

We Can Choose

Today, technology has brought us a brand new world. We don’t have to remain stuck in our childhood methods. Nutritionally, the world is our oyster. Every conceivable choice is available to us.

In the field of communication, ideas are flowing freer than ever before. The internet brings literally every idea known to man directly to your computer screen. All you have to do is decide what questions you want to ask and swoosh . . . there’s the answer delivered almost by magic, at the speed of light. We are no longer limited to the comparatively narrow methods of our childhoods — our early social conditioning. Again, we can choose.

With our power of choice comes the option to continue with the same methods provided by our social conditioning. Many spend their entire lives in the same mental ruts they were born into. Why is that? Laziness? Closed-mindedness? Ignorance of the options? We do have options . . . a universe of options.

“Now it’s happening every moment, far too big to see,
It’s all too much . . . to do it all, so passion is the key.
It’s a question of perspective, alive to pick and choose,
It’s where we aim our focus that brings it all into view.”
- from the song, “Way of the World” by Tupelo Kenyon

Explorers on a Sea of Ideas

We are bold adventurers who recognize the value of diversity and the benefits of change. We are travelers through time, free to choose the methods that best serve our needs at any given moment. Just because a particular method once fit well, does not mean it will fit forever. We are changing, the world is changing, and our methods can easily change too when we recognize the benefits and choose a new method best suited for NOW.

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark

Ideas of religion and spirituality evolve over the centuries as our capacity to understand grows. It’s okay to consider new ideas, new viewpoints and new methods. This adventuresome spirit is the quality that allows us to keep pushing the boundaries of understanding. Of course the boundaries are illusions. As we adopt new methods, our capacity to comprehend grows beyond what we once considered boundaries.

We are on the leading edge of intellectual and spiritual understanding, as long as we continue to explore. There’s always one more step to take . . . one more concept to grasp. . . and one more “aha” realization to incorporate into our being.

“Each religion, by the help of more or less myth which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.” – George Santayana (1863-1952)

As Above, So Below . . . As Below, So Above

When we stop growing individually, the entire universe suffers. We humans are on the leading edge of universal experience. We are the eyes and ears of the universe itself. And who we really are, beyond our tiny ego and our limiting belief systems, is the being of the universe itself. We are awareness. From our unique vantage point, we get to experience the universe from inside the universe. As we wake up to our vast potential, the entire universe wakes up right along with us.

We grow and develop on an individual basis as well as on a universal scale by our willingness to continue flowing downstream toward our next realization, our next personal breakthrough — all made possible by our willingness to consider other ideas, other viewpoints and new methods.

So, methods are transient and ever-changing to best support our unstoppable urge for personal growth. They are best utilized as tools-of-the-moment, to be readily discarded as soon as we recognize a better tool.

Our favorite method may be the sharpest tool in the toolbox today, a chisel for instance . . . but tomorrow, that could easily be replaced as soon as we learn about the existence of a cross-cut saw. That becomes the perfect tool, the perfect method of the moment, until next month when we recognize the benefits of a chainsaw. Soon, that will seem archaic, inefficient and primitive compared to a laser beam.

And so it goes. As our capacity evolves, our methods evolve right along with us to allow us to continue expanding our understanding.

We can choose to grow and evolve with the new methods revealed to us by our expanding consciousness, or we can choose to continue whittling away with our chisel, since that’s the method we’ve known the longest.

“Is it synchronicity, or simply random chance?
And do I necessarily, have to take a stance?
One way or the other, a blessing or it’s cruel.
Who can tell, and who decides . . . the seer or the fool?”
- from the song, “Miracle in Disguise” by Tupelo Kenyon

Our social conditioning provides us with the best tools (methods) at the time, and then it’s up to each of us to take a look around and find other methods that most efficiently help us take the next logical step to get where we want to go.

This metaphor of methods as tools can be applied to any area of life . . . diet, relationships, social interaction, money, religion, politics, or spiritual enlightenment.

It All Changes As Our Understanding Grows

To cling to the ways of the past is inefficient, out of sync with nature and detrimental to the natural evolution of consciousness. All things change, and especially in our lifetime, the changes are coming faster than ever.

“The times, they are ‘a changin’.” — Bob Dylan

The old ways are for the people of the past. Their methods don’t work as well as the tools that have evolved along with the ever-expanding consciousness of the moment.

For those who have a death-grip on yesterday’s methods, their tools don’t work as well anymore. They dull quickly and just don’t cut it anymore. Yesterday’s methods become relics of the past — not so much like tools but crutches to lean on.

If your method feels more like a crutch than a tool, it’s time to take an objective look at it. Is the method in question bringing you peace and joy? Is it helping your personal growth, or is it just a familiar and comfortable habit of thought?

You may have outgrown some of the methods that you have taken for granted for years, perhaps even since childhood. Maybe you’ve never really thought about it yourself but adopted someone else’s thoughts instead. Is it time to put away childish things and take the next step to facilitate your expanding consciousness? It’s okay to remain delightfully childlike without clinging to childish methods and ideas.

By choosing to remain attached to the same old methods of yesteryear, we may as well be a stone. Stones don’t grow, blossom and unfold into ever-expanding awareness. But we do . . . by understanding that our methods (ALL of our methods) are only transient tools to help us build a life of ever-growing personal development.

If you feel attracted to new ideas with the potential of blasting you out of your comfort zone, I have put together a list of books that have made a difference in my life. They are chock full of inspiring perspectives, cutting-edge techniques, mind-expanding and heart-opening ideas. In my experience, they are the best of the best. (So far.) There’s a short blurb about each one to give you an idea of what it’s all about. Click here for recommended book list.

While reading this article, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.

Listen FREE to the songs below . . . chosen to enhance the ideas in this article.

Related Songs
Way of the World
Life is so huge . . . so diverse . . . the possibilities are literally infinite. What’s the best way to sort it all out and carve out a little niche of our own?
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescX.html#Anchor1

Compass Spin
What would life on earth look like if our perspective allowed us to see centuries passing in the wink of an eye?
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescX.html#Anchor8

Miracle in Disguise
Synchronicity is such a positive and hopeful idea, it begs the question, "Why not actively look for it and even expect it, as long as it feels good?"
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescX.html#Anchor11

Just One Step
Just begin. If you will just get underway, the project itself gains momentum and carries you along to its completion.
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescHB.html#Anchor12

Hell or a Whole Lotta Fun
Nothing to do? How about too much to do? Our attitude seems to make the difference.
http://www.somemusicmatters.com/DescAnth.html#Anchor16

Songs by Tupelo

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This is the end of the article entitled Methods As Temporary Tools Instead of Lifetime Crutches published by Tupelo Kenyon on September 21, 2007 at 5:00 am | In Awareness, Belief Systems, Manifestation, Productivity - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

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  1. Methods As Temporary Tools Instead of Lifetime Crutches

    We are obsessed with our methods. We become attached to our particular way of doing things. The trouble comes when we cling to an old method that we have outgrown. We feel bogged down and then stuck when our personal development potential is being limi…

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  13. [...] Tupelo wrote a fantastic post today on “Methods As Temporary Tools Instead of Lifetime Crutches”Here’s ONLY a quick extractOr, they can choose to stay focused on the same methods they grew up with and never venture outside of their own respective villages and methods. However, in this day and age, this is a choice. We are no longer required to live our … [...]

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  16. [...] Methods as Temporary Tools Instead of Lifetime Crutches We are obsessed with our methods. We become attached to our particular way of doing things. The trouble comes when we cling to an old method that we have outgrown. We feel bogged down and then stuck when our personal development potential is being limited by an outdated method. If your method feels more like a crutch than a tool, it’s time to take an objective look at it. Is the method in question bringing you peace and joy? Is it helping your personal growth, or is it just a familiar and comfortable habit of thought? [...]

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