• Search

    Search The Teal Swan Article Library

  • The "Is It Useful" Tool


    Having the truth allows us to have cognitive closure. It makes us feel more secure. It makes order out of chaos and meaning out of meaninglessness. So, as people, we are likely to arrive at what we think is a truth and hold onto it for dear life. The problem is that we do not realize that the most objective truth is that truth itself is subjective. If I live in the projects, my truth is “You have to work hard for money”. This is not the same truth for someone who is born into a trust fund. So what is the truth? Do people have to work hard for money or does money come easy?
    When we have experiences, we have thoughts about those experiences and we make decisions about those experiences. If those thoughts and decisions come up enough, they become beliefs about people and about the world and about our self. And we begin to see the world only through the lens of those beliefs. We do not see that a belief is not the same as an objective truth. A belief is nothing more than a subjective truth. But like all things, beliefs are subject to the law of attraction. They begin to show up in our physical dimension as proof. When we look at that proof, it strengthens our belief, which attracts more proof, which strengthens our belief, which attracts more proof and so on and so forth until our subjective truth becomes so solid it is like a prison sentence. We can’t experience anything in our physical reality that is different than that belief. To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button.
    We act in accordance with the beliefs that we hold. Our language and actions reflect our beliefs. This is a positive thing if our beliefs are positive and a negative thing if our beliefs are negative. We often struggle to try to change our words and actions to no avail because we have not changed the beliefs that are creating them. It’s a bit like trying to cut a weed down instead of pulling it out at the root. We need to un-root and change the beliefs that aren’t serving us if we want our reality to feel good to us.
    But there is a tool that is useful because it is a short cut to creating a life that feels good to you. It’s the “Is It Useful?” tool. Imagine for the sake of this practice that there is no absolute truth whatsoever because you’re going to assume that for this particular place that you’re in, it isn’t useful to believe there is an absolute truth. From this space you are going to play a game of keeping what serves you and putting what doesn’t serve you in the trash. The tenant of your day-to-day life is going to be “Is It Useful?” You’re going to either keep or discard everything in your life such as beliefs, words and actions according to this question.
    For example, is it useful to believe that the universe is out to get me? Is it useful to clip my nails? Is it useful to say I love you? Is it useful to believe I can do anything I put my mind to? Is it useful to hit someone? Is it useful in this circumstance to tell someone they create their own reality? And so on and so forth with everything and anything you can think of. In this exercise, there is no objective truth so there is no right or wrong answer to this question. You have to answer it for yourself according to the circumstance and moment you find yourself in. Keep in mind that what is useful today may be not useful tomorrow and what is not useful today may be useful tomorrow. Also keep in mind that what is useful to one person may not be useful to another and vice versa. One man’s trash is after all another man’s treasure. Some species within our universe live their entire existence according to this tenant. This is the basis of their discernment and there is no attachment within them to objective truth. Like anything, living only according to this practice, comes with a shadow side. For example, we may decide that something isn’t useful when in fact it is because our ego may use this practice to avoid anything that is uncomfortable to us like self-reflection.
    It is true that if beliefs are deeply rooted, it may be impossible to simply decide to let go of them on the basis that they are not useful. If only it were that easy. So don’t get too concerned if you run into those. If you do run into them, I want you to watch my videos on YouTube titled: “How To Find a Core Belief” and “How To Change a Belief.” But for everything else, simply ask yourself if it is useful and if it is, keep it and if it isn’t discard it and put your focus elsewhere. Any tool can do either good or harm depending on how it is used and the intent of the user of the tool. But this tool is especially powerful for streamlining our life; simplifying, clearing out the clutter and cutting ourselves free of the chains that limit us. So try it out for yourself and don’t forget that there may be a circumstance in your life where even this tool “Is It Useful” will not be useful.