Rewards Program

When a rewards system is put in place to live life by, it makes for a reward to always be needed. When we do certain deeds are we not looking to possibly get a better seat in heaven or move up on the angelic chain of command?


I was watching a live dolphin show the other day and it made me reflect on how similar my conditioning is to the way the dolphins respond to certain programming. And I think its safe to say there are many who will identify with this similarity and see the limitation it puts on ones life. 


Existence begins on its own accord and we become programmed by inner and outside influences amongst other things just as the dolphins in the aquarium are not there by their own accord and become programmed. We are programmed from the time of an early age and part of the programming is when certain things are done a reward is given. In the case of a dolphin its a fish given as a reward, but in the case of humans there is much more of a variety used, but the reward system in place is the same. Isn’t vacation used in this way?


If our child is a great student or athlete we and others reward them with things, hopefully not fish lol. There’s even bumper stickers used by parents to reward themselves: My child is an honor student at such and such a school. Rewards are given after certain chores are completed. We reward ourselves to indulge in alcohol or use food when some stressful times are had. Rewards are given for achieving certain goals. Everyone plays dual roles in this as sometimes we give the fish (reward) and sometimes we are given the fish, but the reward is insignificant, its the programming that should be looked at because that is what keeps one confined to their so called aquarium.



When a rewards system is put in place as a means used to live, life becomes limited to the reward and true freedom is never experienced. No matter what kind or how much of reward is received it is never enough because there is always another programmed action that’s looking for a reward. But the real dilemma is no matter what’s achieved or how many rewards are given one remains limited to the confines of the aquarium.

Michael Cupo
I grew up in Newark, New Jersey, one of six children. I have been married for 25 years. I own a home, and I have two children. I have been at the same job for 28 years. I am the happiest I have ever been and it is all because of the Love that has always been in my life. I attribute all that has happened to me to that Love. None of what has transpired in the last five years of my life has anything to do with any accomplishments on my part. There was always a lot of love in our home as I grew up, but for reasons unknown to me at the time I was always in trouble. I was at the top of my brother-in-law’s “Who My Sister Shouldn’t Marry” list. I drank alcoholically, gambled, abused drugs and painkillers. I bounced from relationship to relationship. Even after I stopped abusing alcohol and drugs in 1987, my so-called outer troubles stopped, but my self-centered behavior never changed. All I did was substitute one compulsion for another. Although my addiction became more respectable—taking the form of material possessions—I was still trapped, migrating restlessly from one obsession to another. I went to Twelve Step meetings, derived some benefit from them, and then fell away. My loved ones got me into de-tox and rehab programs. But once I was released, the cycle of insatiable craving started all over again. This cycle seemed to work for me . . . until it didn’t. And then my life changed — not instantly or magically, but profoundly. I share this change in It’s Monday Only in Your Mind: You Are Not Your Thoughts. I discovered that I wasn’t dependent upon a substance or activity, but ruled by my ego. My need to reach outside myself for fulfillment was created by a false perception of deficiency. If this sense of lack didn’t exist in me, there wouldn’t have been a need to reach and grasp. My credentials for writing this book are simply that I live this change each day. My view of life is so different from the way it used to be. Through the practice outlined in my book, I have learned to quiet my mind enough to allow my heart to open. The quieter my mind becomes, the more Love becomes the default setting of my life. This is truly a modern-day miracle, a miracle that can happen to anyone who has the urge to change.
Michael Cupo

Latest posts by Michael Cupo (see all)


Speak Your Mind