Here are twelve questions about you and your behavior toward institutions and things. Take this little quiz as your personal introduction to this chapter on how institutions and personal attitudes can victimize anyone who is willing to let it happen.

Yes No
____ ____ 1. Do you take your job responsibilities more seriously than your personal or family responsibilities?
____ ____ 2. Do you find it difficult to relax and clear your mind of job-related matters?
____ ____ 3. Do you find yourself sacrificing your time for the sake of making money or acquiring material objects?
____ ____ 4. Are you devoting your life to the pursuit of such things as pensions or retirement plans?
____ ____ 5. Do you place a higher priority on acquiring things and prestige than you do on enjoying people?
____ ____ 6. Are you easily befuddled by red tape and barriers erected by bureaucrats?
____ ____ 7. Do you believe it is terrible to fail at a task, or that you should always do your best?
____ ____ 8. Do you think the team or the company is more important than the individual?
____ ____ 9. Do you find yourself upset about sitting on committees, or participating in meaningless job-related rituals?
____ ____ 10. Do you find it difficult to take days off from work without feeling guilty?
____ ____ 11. Do you always move and speak quickly?
____ ____ 12. Are you impatient with people who don’t do things the way you believe they should?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are very likely in that category of victims who have placed loyalty to an institution above loyalty to themselves and their personal fulfillment. Once again, the importance of you as a living, breathing human being must be stressed. Nothing is worth devoting your life to at the expense of your own happiness. The doctrine of loyalty to things and institutions is a victimizing one which you can challenge and banish from your view of your world.

Freedom, as discussed in the opening chapter, is not limited to being free from the domination of other people. Being independent of domination by things, jobs, companies, and other manmade institutions, is just as important. Some people fight vehemently for their personal freedom in their relationships with family and friends. They demand to be respected as individuals and refuse to be told how to run their lives. But ironically, they are complete slaves to their jobs, to the institutions they are paid to serve. They often find themselves unable to regulate their own time, and so have almost no say in how their daily lives are conducted. They are seldom at peace with themselves. Their minds are always racing. They never have any energy to devote to anything but their employment duties. Yet these people claim to have attained their independence from being owned.

Take a hard look at yourself as you read this chapter. If you are a slave to any institution, be it a job, an organization, a hobby, a school, your studies, or whatever, and leave no time for yourself, if you make your tasks bigger and more important than your own happiness, then you have allowed yourself to be victimized, or victimized yourself, by the institutions of your life.

Loyalty does not mean slavery. You can be faithful to any organization and devote yourself to its tasks with honesty and integrity without having to become its servant. The most important person in the world, to whom you should be unswervingly loyal, is yourself. You only have one life, and to let some business, or other institution, control it is particularly foolish, when you consider that so many more alternatives are available. Loyalty is misused when people are given less importance than profits, and when the human spirit is sacrificed for the name of good old “Anything, Inc.”

How you use your loyalty is totally up to you. You can make your own happiness and responsibilities to help and love others in your family the most important things in your life. You don’t have to explain it to anyone, but you can begin to make your life work around the concept of loyalty to yourself. Very likely you’ll discover that it makes you even more productive on the job, and a lot more pleasant to be around.





Pulling Your Own Strings
Wayne W. Dyer 


Image: Kito Fujio’s photos of Japanese playgrounds at night are strangely captivating – Curbedclockmenumore-arrow : Surreal |



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