Here is a transcript of one of our older teachings titled:
Dr. Alex Loyd: Welcome everyone, wherever you are, whenever you are listening. I hope you are doing great today. I hope we can maybe add a little bit to your week. We started doing this about 14 years ago, and what we wanted to accomplish was to have something that had nothing to do with selling anything or making money, but was just 100% to help people. So, every week we try to give you a little something to think about that maybe you haven’t thought about before, or you haven’t thought about it that way before, a little something to challenge you. We need to be challenged regularly, all of us do in many areas of our life in order to keep growing. And, a little something to apply to your life this week to make your week a little better and hopefully, your life a little better every once in a while.
Today, what we’re talking about is something that all by itself – there are hundreds of spiritual laws that we’ve talked about on this program weekly, but without considering any of the other ones, this is one that if you do this one and don’t do anything else, a lot of times it makes a huge difference an frequently that huge difference quickly. I hope that entices you to see what I’m talking about and then, more importantly, to think about this, challenge yourself and apply it to your life, not living another week without trying this to take you closer to your best life. Yes, it is about wanting.
Wanting – man, what a topic that is! There is good in wanting. There’s bad in wanting. There is neutral in wanting. There are different kinds of wanting.
A Harvard study just came out, in fact it was in Psychology Today, yesterday is when I received it. The title of the study, “Harvard Happiness Study. One factor should be the driving force in every decision you make.” That’s the title of the article. They followed a thousand college students and new graduates as they made career decisions and life decisions. They asked them questions to gauge whether they prioritized time or money. Which did they prioritize more, time or money? After two years, those who valued time were more significantly happier and more satisfied with everything in their life than those who valued money. I want to develop that a little bit and talk about it.
Here’s the summary. That was the first summary, here’s the end summary. What they found is that the people who were happier, they weren’t necessarily working harder or less hours, they weren’t necessarily living in better or worse circumstance. There was no other factor. Both groups were mixed. The only factor that they were looking at for their happiness was time or money. Here’s the conclusion of that: It made all the difference in the world that people made decisions based on what they value most, what they felt like they should do in their life, maybe even their calling. Salary wasn’t the only thing motivating them to do what they did. Instead, they pursued what they did based on its meaning, purpose and fulfilment. That made that group significantly happier than the other group who had not based it meaning, fulfilment and what they felt like they should do, but what they would make the most money at or how they could buy the most stuff in their life. That’s the Harvard study that just came out yesterday.
Here is the spiritual law for this, one of the greatest secrets in life is to get to a place where you want to not want what you want. I know that is confusing. Let me say that one more time and then we’ll dig into it. One of the greatest secrets in life, success, happiness, health, relationships, everything, is to get to a place in life where you want to not want what you want.
Let’s take it apart. I can’t just say to want what you want. That’s what most people do. We want what we want. The problem with that is we come out of the womb preprogrammed for that. We want pleasure, what feels good, tastes good, feels good to our body, feels good to our mind, feels good in every sense of the term. And, we want to not have pain. Instantly, if we have pain from the time we are out of the womb, everything is on hold until we get the pain to go away. Really, we don’t think about anything else until that happens. If we are not in pain, then pleasure becomes the pursuit. As we are toddlers, we put everything in our mouth to see how it tastes. We touch everything to see how it feels. We hear all the time, “No, honey, don’t put that in your mouth. No, honey, don’t touch that. No honey, that…” Whether it is something expensive we could break or something that could hurt us, whatever. We’re not looking for that, we’re looking for pleasure. That’s what all of us want.
I remember being in high school, and this really struck me one day. There were lots of little cliques in high school and I wasn’t really in any of them as far as that being the group I stayed with. I was an athlete. I played athletics all through high school, but I really wasn’t one of the jock-clique people either. I kind of got along with everybody. I remember overhearing a conversation of two of my classmates as we were from one class to another. I do remember the conversation. Right there it tells you it made an impression on me because this is 35-40 years ago. The conversation was about sex between two of my classmates. They were talking about who they would like to have sex with in our class and in our school. At one point, one of them said they would like to have sex with every girl in our class. The other said, they would like to have sex with every girl in our school. Whether they were beautiful or maybe more plain or in the middle, it didn’t matter to them. All that mattered was the sex.
I understand, that’s teenage time and hormones are going everywhere and all that sort of thing, but why would someone feel that way? Because it feels good! It’s one of the best feelings on planet Earth. It’s put here for a reason. We’re supposed to enjoy it. It’s supposed to propagate the Earth and stuff like that, but I think we’re supposed to enjoy it when it is right and when it is healthy. At certain times in our life, if you were to ask the average guy, if there is a beautiful girl standing in front of you, do you have any thought or any desire related to sexuality, I think the answer most times would be, Yes, I do have an instinctual thought and feeling in that direction.
I remember when I was in 7th grade, at church one of the deacons drew the short straw and got the job of teaching the 7th grade boys about sex. I’ll never forget something he said. By the way, sorry to harp about sex. I hope I will tie this to your issue and everyone’s issue in just a couple of minutes. Please bear with me. I always appreciated what he said. He said, “Okay, guys, I know you are 7th grade and you’ve got hormones going everywhere. Let me ask you a question, if we were to get this month’s Playboy centerfold to come into this room, stand in the middle of the room and she was completely naked, is there anything wrong, just in that – I’m not talking yet about what you are thinking or feeling or any of that – just that she does not have clothes on and she’s in the room and you’re in the room and you can see her, is that a sin? Is it wrong? His conclusion was no, it’s not. It’s not what you want, it’s where you decide with what you want. Yes, all of us 7th grade boys agreed, after class, that if that were to really happen, we would all want to have sex with that beautiful lady. It wouldn’t have anything to do with who she was, because we didn’t even know who she was on the inside. It was just about physical attraction. We agreed we would all want that.
But, is that the way we decided to live our life? Yes, those two high-school classmates of mine wanted to have sex with everyone in our class or everyone in the school, but is that what they did? No. I’m not saying it’s about what you do. I don’t believe that. I believe it is about what is in your heart, about whether you choose love or fear and how to do that.
The point I’m trying to make is we all come into this life preprogrammed with wants that have to do with pleasure, pain and safety. If you’re a little kid and all of a sudden, you walk into a place where there is a rattlesnake rattling and about to strike, you don’t need for your parents to have ever taught you that’s a snake and you need to get away from it. You will get away from it. You will yell and scream and run away as soon as you hear that and see the snake. You may not even at that age know what a snake is, but you will be afraid of it. It is built in. It is hard wired. So are our wants related to pleasure and pain.
The problem is, and we talk about this all the time, when we get to 6, 8, 10, 12 years old, we’re supposed to switch from pain/pleasure to what we believe is meaningful, what is true, what is our purpose, exactly what they found in the Harvard study really makes people happy. The only way I know of to do that is get to a place where your wants change. It is one of the most beautiful and remarkable and magic-type things in the world that I’ve ever experience. In The Love Code, I told my story about that. Before Hope kicked me out of the house, when we’d been married about a year and a half, my most hated thing to do in the world was to clean toilets. I absolutely despised it, hated it, would not do it. I had not cleaned a toilet in years. After Hope kicked me out of the house and I had the biggest transformation of my life, and that’s still to this point today, Hope and I got back together, had a recommitment ceremony for our marriage, then we went to clean a house because Hope had a housecleaning business. She sent me to the other end of the house to clean the toilets. A few minutes she came down that hallway, not particularly happy, because she heard me loudly, joyfully singing. She knew that there’s no way I would be joyfully singing cleaning a toilet because she knew how much I hated and despised that. She got to the door of the bathroom, looked in. I was on my hands and knees cleaning the toilet singing into the bowl. That’s why she could hear it, it reverberated out of that porcelain bowl back across the house.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I did not try to change my wants. I did not try to start wanting to clean toilets from hating to clean toilets. It changed automatically when, from the bottom of my heart, I chose to live and be committed to living in love in the present moment as best I could, and toward Hope, for the rest of my life no matter what happened. When I made that choice from the bottom of my heart, my wants automatically changed in ways that I had tried many times to get them to change and it never, ever worked. I might be able to force myself for a week or a month or two months but then I would fall back into those same habits. That’s why a lot of experts say people don’t change, ever. It’s rare, but they do. If you are using the tools and teaching we talk about, you can change on demand although it is different for each person.
Here’s what I’d like you ponder this week as you pray, meditate, walk, whatever you do, and you need to be doing something every day in that regard. It is fuel for your spirit. Here’s what I want you to think about – what do you want, just if you let your basic nature go in regard to houses, cars, sexuality, food, beverage, vacation, male/female? If you just say, you’re going to let your heart and mind go wherever they naturally go, without governors, where does yours go? What do you want as far as sexuality? What do you want as far as food, beverages, diet, fitness, exercise, that sort of thing? What do you want as far as relationship? What do you want as far as your work and career, giving back to the world, making a difference? What do you want as far as your particular, personal meaning and purpose in life? I would make some notes about that.
Second page of the notes, what are you actually doing, thinking, what are you pointing your ship at in actuality? The third question is are your wants related to your pain/pleasure 5-year-old programming where you are literally living like you are a five year old even if you are in a 50-year-old body. Or, have your wants been transformed? Have you made that shift like we’re supposed to at 6, 8, 10, 12 to where now, what you honestly, truly want most is love in the present moment, regardless of whether you get the end result that your pain/pleasure self would most like or if you don’t.
I don’t know of a whole lot of ways that are better than this as far as taking your temperature as to where you are living either a spiritual based life where your intention is love no matter what and the things that come from love, or whether your focus/intention is on temporal things, things you can touch and feel – houses, cars, things money will buy, people patting you on the back, those type things.
Here’s the big irony or paradox about it. The reason we prioritize the temporal things is because we think that’s what is going to make me happiest. It’s a lie. It will never make you happiest. That’s what this Harvard study found. The people that prioritize money and all the things that come from money – time off, vacation, houses, car, influence, notoriety – those people were much less happy than the people who let that go and said “I’ll give that up to God” or “I’ll give that up to higher power, I’ll give that up to love,” but my focus is going to be what has meaning and purpose, what is spiritually based, what is love based, what is internal and issues of the heart rather than things I can touch or feel or smell or people saying good things about me. Those are the people who were happy.
Of course, this coincides perfectly with the other research that has been done on this, a much more famous study out of Harvard, The Harvard Grant Study, which lasted 75 years and $30 million. It was the largest study every done on the human condition. The end result was: Happiness equals love. Full stop.
Another article, a study reported in USA Today, in fact it was on the front page of USA Today. You don’t usually see human condition stories on the front page of USA Today. They are back on the back page or another section or whatever. This was because it was so dramatic. They found that you have conflicted relationships, in other words if your relationships are not great, probably because you have not prioritized your relationships because you were focused on temporal things, you have a 300% greater chance of getting an illness and disease and dying by middle age, not old age. Conversely, if you are prioritizing love and relationships and your relationships do not have a lot of conflict and stress, you have a 300% less chance of getting an illness or disease and of living to ripe old age, healthy for the majority of the time.
How in the world can you do that? Can you just say/decide, “I want to change my wants. I want to change from these wants to these wants.” Instead of wanting money and stuff related to money, I want love in the present moment. I want what has meaning and is purposeful. I want what is spiritual. Can you just decide? Some people can, probably one in a hundred. The other 99 of us have to work at it a little. We have to use the tools. We need to clear some junk out. We’ve got to shift the negative energy of our heart until it gets positive enough that psychological adaptation can grab it and automatically take it the rest of the way.
As we end today, I want to give you the four steps. Most people start at “I want”. You need to transition from “I want” to “I have.” From expectation and wrong goals that are going to put you into stress or spike your stress to gratitude, thankfulness and those kinds of things. If you are in a life-threatening situation this doesn’t apply. You are supposed to go into fight-or-flight and try to save your life or the lives of other people. But we’re assuming it is not life or death.
You need to do from I want to I have. Then from I have to I am. I am a person. I’m no more valuable than anyone else, but I am no less valuable than anybody else. I’m no more important than anybody else. I’m no more important or less important than anybody else. I have something to contribute to the world just like everyone else has and everyone does. I’m going to prioritize my meaning and purpose, my internal state and love in the present moment no matter what I am.
Step number four, after you have transformed that stuff, “I desire.” My definition is something that I would like to have happen that I think correlates with my meaning and purpose in life, something that I think would be win-win-win for everyone involved, but even considering all that, I give it up to God, I give it up to higher power, I give it up to love from the very first step to last. I may get it. I may not get it. I may get something different, but it is not “I want” anymore with the sex, the money, the pats on the back, the food and drink, it is “I desire” but I am giving that desire up.
For most people, you cannot do that just by willpower.