08 May Portrait of a beautiful person | Part A’
The person who is devoid of all erroneous zone behavior may seem to be a fictional character, but being free from self-destructive
behavior is not a mythological concept; rather it’s a real possibility. Being fully functioning is within your grasp and complete presentmoment mental health can be a choice. This final chapter is devoted to a description of how people who are free from all erroneous zone thinking and behavior function. You will see the development of an individual who is unlike the majority of people, and distinguishable
by an uncanny ability to be creatively alive at every moment.
People free from erroneous zones are different from run-of-the mill individuals. While they look very much like everyone else, they
possess distinct qualities, none of which are racial, socioeconomic,or sexual. They do not fit neatly into any roles,job descriptions,
geographic patterns, educational levels or financial statistics.There is a different quality about them, but the difference
is not discernible in the traditional external factors by which we generally classify people. They may be rich or poor, male or female,
black or white, living anywhere, and doing just about anything. They are a varied group and yet they share a single trait, freedom
from erroneous zones. How can you tell when you run into someone like this? Watch them! Listen to them! This is what you’ll discover.
First and most obviously, you see people who like virtually everything about life—people who are comfortable doing just about
anything, and who waste no time in complaining, or wishing that things were otherwise. They are enthusiastic about life, and they
want all that they can get out of it. They like picnics, movies, books, sports, concerts, cities, farms, animals, mountains and just about
everything. They like life. When you are around people like this you’ll note an absence of grumbling, moaning, or even passive
sighing. If it rains, they like it. If it’s hot, they dig it, rather than complain about it. If they are in a traffic jam, or at a party, or all
alone, they simply deal with what is there. There is no pretending to enjoy, but a sensible acceptance of what is, and an outlandish
ability to delight in that reality. Ask them what they don’t like and they are hard pressed to come up with an honest answer. They don’t
have sense enough to come in out of the rain, because they see rain as beautiful, thrilling and something to experience. They like it. Slush
doesn’t send them into a fury; they observe it, splash around in it, and accept it as part of what it means to be alive. Do they like cats?
Yes. Bears? Yes. Worms? Yes. While such annoyances as disease, droughts, mosquitoes, floods and the like are not warmly embraced
by such people, they never spend any of their present moments complaining about them, or wishing that they weren’t so. If situations
need to be eradicated, they will work at eradicating them—and enjoy the work. Try as you might, you’ll have a tough time coming up
with something they’ll dislike doing. Truly they are likers of life, and they wallow in all of it, getting out of it all that is possible
Healthy fulfilled people are free from guilt and all the attendant anxiety that goes with using any present moments in being immobilized
over past events. Certainly they can admit to making mistakes, and they can vow to avoid repeating certain behavior that is counterproductive in any way, but they do not waste their time wishing that they hadn’t done something, or being upset because they dislike
something that they did at an earlier moment in life. Complete freedom from guilt is one hallmark of healthy individuals. No
lamenting the past and no efforts to make others choose guilt by asking such inane questions as, “Why didn’t you do it differently?”
or “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?” They seem to recognize that life lived through is just that, and no amount of feeling bad will alter
the past. They are free from guilt themselves without any effort; because it is natural, they never help others to choose guilt. They
see that feeling bad in the present moment only reinforces a poor self-image, and that learning from the past is far superior to remonstrating about the past. You’ll never see them manipulating others by telling them how bad they’ve been, nor will you be able to manipulate them with the same tactics. They won’t get angry at you, they’ll simply ignore you. Rather than being upset with you, they’ll
go away, or change the subject. The strategies that work so beautifully on most people fail with these healthy individuals. Rather than
make themselves and others miserable with guilt, they unceremoniously pass when it comes along.
Similarly, people free of erroneous zones are nonworriers. Circumstances that drive many people to frenzy barely affect these individuals.
They are neither planners nor putters-away for the future. They refuse to worry and they keep themselves free from the anxiety that
accompanies worry. They don’t know how to worry. It is not a part of their makeup. They are not necessarily calm at all moments, but
they are unwilling to spend present moments agonizing about things in the future over which they have no control.
They are very present-moment oriented, and they have an internal signal that seems to remind them that all worrying must take place
in the present moment, and that it is a foolish way to go about living one’s current life.
These people live now, rather than in the past or the future. They are not threatened by the unknown, and they seek out experiences
that are new and unfamiliar to them. They love ambiguity. They savor the now at all times, aware that this is all they have. They don’t
plan for a future event and let long periods of inactivity elapse as they await that event. The moments between events are just as livable
as those taken up by the events themselves, and they have an uncanny ability to get every pleasure out of their daily lives. They are
not postponers, saving for a rainy day, and while our culture disapproves their behavior, they are unthreatened by self-reproach. They
gather in their happiness now, and when a future now arrives, they gather in that one as well. These individuals are always enjoying
simply because they see the folly of waiting to enjoy. It is a natural way of living, very much like that of a child or an animal. They are
busy grabbing present-moment fulfillment, while most people spend their lives waiting for payoffs, and never being able to seize them.
These healthy people are strikingly independent. They are out of the nest, and while they may have a strong love for and devotion to
family, they see independence as superior to dependence in all relationships. They treasure their own freedom from expectations. Their
relationships are built upon mutual respect for the right of an individual to make decisions for himself. Their love involves no imposition
of values on the loved one. They put a high premium on privacy, which may leave others feeling snubbed or rejected. They like
to be alone at times, and they will go to great lengths to ensure that their privacy is protected. You will not find these people involved
in numerous love relationships. They are selective about their love, but they’re also deeply and sensitively loving.
It is difficult for dependent or unhealthy people to love them, because they are adamant about their freedom.
If someone needs them, they reject such a need as hurtful to the other person as well as to themselves. They want those they
love to be independent, to make their own choices, and to live their lives for themselves. While they enjoy others and want to be with
them, they want even more for others to make it without crutches or leaning. Thus, the moment you start leaning on these people,
you’ll find them disappearing, first emotionally, and then physically as well. They refuse to be dependent, or depended upon, in a mature
relationship. With children, they provide a model of a caring person, but they encourage self-reliance almost from the very beginning
with a great amount of love offered at every turn.
You will find an uncommon absence of approval-seeking in these happy, fulfilled individuals. They are able to function without approval
and applause from others. They do not seek out honors as most people do. They are unusually free from the opinion of others,
almost uncaring about whether someone else likes what they’ve said or done. They do not attempt to shock others, or to gain their approval.
These are people who are so internally directed that they are literally unconcerned about others’ evaluations of their behavior. They
are not oblivious to applause and approval; they just don’t seem to need it. They can be almost blunt in their honesty since they do not
couch their messages in carefully worded phrases designed to please. If you want to know what they think, that is exactly what you’ll
hear. Conversely, when you say something about them they will not be destroyed or immobilized. They will take the data you
provide, filter it through their own values and use it for growth. They do not need to be loved by everyone, nor do they harbor the
inordinate wish to be approved by all for everything that they do. They recognize that they will always incur some disapproval. They
are unusual in that they are able to function as they, rather than some external other, dictates.
YOUR ERRONEOUS ZONES
WAYNE W. DYER