7/30/2007

Seeing is believing

I have a vision board that I use when I want to regain my focus on what I truly desire. A vision board is a collection of pictures or words of things that you wish to have that you put together on a posterboard . By looking at it daily, you enter mental images of everything you desire all at once. The more time you spend taking in the feelings that you receive from viewing your vision board, the more you allow the basic premise of the Law of Attraction to work.

The Law of Attraction says that you attract more of what you already have or what you now experience. You will have a hard time simply believing you'll have what you desire if the you focus on what you currently experience. I visited a local LOA meeting not too long ago. Everyone in the room introduced themselves and discussed any exciting LOA experiences he/she had. One gentleman there explained that he created a vision board at the last meeting to help him in visualising his goals. He announced happily that he attracted nearly everything that he put on the board.
Why was he able to have what he wanted simply by putting images on posterboard?

Images are very powerful. How many times have we seen a gruesome image on the screen and had the most difficult time removing it from our memory? It becomes nearly impossible to take something out of our minds once we put it in. By placing the image to a board and focusing on it day after day, the image becomes a fixation in the mind. You begin to think about it consciously and unconsciosly. From time to time the image even flashes before you without any effort. When you see anything resembling the image in real life you are drawn to it. It is drawn to you.

Your actions lead to you to obtaining those things day in and day out. The key factor is the feeling of excitement and joy that you experience when you view your board. The images almost seem real to you. They become so real that you can almost taste it. Sure, you can visualize something that you want without using cut out pictures, but without the images, daily life happens and you have to consciously take time out to remove your current thoughts and implant what you desire. With a vision board, the images are there for you to gaze upon whether or not you feel like it. In fact, you can use it to motivate you especially during those times when you do not feel like you a prospering in you goals.

Take time out today to collect images that you will use in your vizion board. Place it in an obvious location where you will be sure to see it every day. Spend time gazing at it and believing that what you see before you is truly possible. Seeing is believing.

7/27/2007

Asking the right questions

Why do I always seem to fail at reaching my goals? Why don't I have a soul mate? Why am I so broke? We ask ourselves questions like these all the time.
Asking these types of questions may seem like the first step to having the goals that you desire, but that is not the case.

The biggest problem with asking ourselves these types of questions oocurs when minds come up with various answers to validate our perception of a situation. As you flood your mind with multiple reasons why something is terrible about your life, you begin to make those answers an even bigger focus in your mind. When you reflect on these types of loaded questions, you are entertaining extremely destructive thoughts.

If you were to change the kinds of questions you ask internally, your mind will create the habit of providing solutions for your situation(s). The rule of thumb is to use questions that begin with "how can I" or "how would I." If you use these examples to ask your self a question, your mind will work to get you answers. This may not work right away because you are shifting a long-standing mindset, but you must use it consistently and you must force yourself to answer the question. You may even want to create a minimum "three answers rule" when you ask yourself a question that begins with "how." The more answers you come up with, the better.

Another benefit to asking the right questions is that you become a solutions-oriented individual. You will see every situation as an opportunity. You will begin to take advantage of the opportunities quickly. If you hone your skills on asking the right questions you may even begin to find solutions to problems before others. If you do not ask yourself questions that lead you to finding the best answers, you remain on a treadmill of negativity. You may be using up tons of energy, but you will not get anywhere.

7/26/2007

Your own worst enemy

I had to do some real soul searching the other day when I suddenly realized that I had created this nasty little habit of waiting until the last minute to get something done. Traditionally, I tended to dilly dally on school assignments and other tasks and magically get the work done at the last minute. Many of us operate at least some part our lives this way. Here are the reasons why this habit became so destructive.

The reason why I generally put my work off until the last moment was not because I had more critical activities to complete. Looking back I realize that the majority of my time preceding the last minute dash was very unproductive. I would surf the net, or do light housework that could have been done a later time. To be completely honest, I was coursing through my house looking for tasks that I could do to postpone what really needed to be done. My actions were subconscious of course. I did not literally say "what can I do to occupy my time and avoid getting the important things done?"

The worst part about the entire situation was that I could hear a very small nagging voice that said "you know you should be doing..." I ignored that voice. When it came back, I ignored it again. I ignored it until I had not other choice but to listen.
When I sat down and truly realized exactly what was happening I had to make a decision. Would I continue in direction I was heading, becoming my own worst enemy, or would I consciously work to develop the discipline of doing what needs to be done first?

I knew the answer to this question would not be mere words. The answer had to come from my actions. Words mean nothing in a situation like this. Empty words are like a dollar bill with the face of a clown on it. The bill looks promising from afar, but holds absolutely no value. So I didn't say much to myself. I didn't vow that this would never happen again. It was almost like if I did make promises to myself, my subconscious would hear my words and attempt to sabotage my efforts. Instead I took complete control of my actions. I figured that I had to do something to show that I have at least some power to control my what I do.

Yesterday I did just that. I did not allow any other option but to identify what was most important and work on those things right away. Yesterday was a success. Yesterday was only one day. There will be many more days where I will be called to make crucial decisions regarding my actions. I understand now that destructive habits work to deny me of my success. With that said, I work diligently to create new habits that move me in the right direction.

7/24/2007

Acheivement and the Law of Inertia

Remember learning about the Law of Inertia back in science class? Well if you don't remember, the law was created by Sir Isaac Newton. The law states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force (grc.nasa.gov). All natural laws are called laws because they hold true one hundred percent of the time. If we clearly understand this principle, we could use that knowledge to positively impact how we reach our goals.

Remaining the Same
The basic premise of the law says that we will keep whatever direction we are going in now if left undisturbed. The undesirable habits that we have and wish to abolish will continue to exist unless compelled to change by the action of an external(or internal)force. Once you fully understand this information, you realize that "wanting" your life to change is not enough. "Hoping" that you reach that goal is futile. "Wishing" that you can make a difference is worthless. These emotions are not powerful enough on their own to alter the straight line motion direction of your life.

Changing your direction
To change your behavior you must take action. Your action(s) work as the external force that can derail your current momentum. When you incorporate daily action to change the direction of your behavior, you will tend to keep moving in that direction. Have you ever worked on achieving a small goal? When your goal is accomplished, you want move on to the next goal to keep feeding the feelings of achievement. Whenever you decide on changing some aspect of your life, keep this law in your mind. Understand that only an external force will work to bring about change. Remember that once you start moving in the right direction you will want to continue building momentum. Use those principles to motivate your mind. Keep on keeping on.

7/21/2007

Say it

A few months back I attended a Franklin Covey Time Management course held by our company trainer. The entire 8 hour class was full of great information but there was one exercise that had the most influence on the way I think.

The exercise was geared to help the particpant create long-term thinking. Each class member was asked to pair up with a partner and introduce themselves to the other person as if they met in the year 2000. For two minutes we spoke to each other describing the things that were going on in our lives years back as if it were currently happening. I did not particularly like this part of the excercise. On the one hand, I got a real understanding of how far I've come from talking about where I came. On the other hand, that experience brought back some old memories of a time where I struggled with who I was and where I was going.

In the second part of the exercise we were to introduce ourselves to our partners as if we met several years in the future. I decided that I would really describe my life in vivid detail of what I wanted my life to be, not what I thought my life would be. When I was my turn to speak, I spoke immediately of things that I had harbored secretly in my mind. The more details I gave, the more chills I got down my spine. It felt as if I was describing things that really happened in my life. It was incredible.

Our words have great power in them. When I speak with conviction about goals, that have not occured yet, I am saying that I believe in what I've spoken about and expect it happen. There is nothing wrong with having life goals and visualizing them to your self in your mind. But once your verbalize them, in present tense, you are adding another dimension to what you desire. Take time out today to speak the end result of your goals. When you do, belive that you are speaking the absolute truth. Do it frequently. By saying it, you will create that momentum that will propel you to your success.

7/18/2007

"Success is failure with the dirt brushed off"

Mamie McCullough said those words. I believe those words should be shouted from the roof tops. Normally when we see someone who is a success, we only get to witness the polished version of that person's life. How often do we hear stories of successes who dropped out of school or who once was homeless? We love to learn about the lives people who overcame their obstacles and achieved their dreams.

The story behind their victory is what intrigues us. We ask ourselves, "would we have responded the same way if we were faced with those same obstacles they faced?" Could we have the steadfastness to hold on to a vision regardless of our circumstances? The people who we consider failures are still walking around with dirt on them. That individual was dealt one of life's difficulties and allowed the experience devastate him. That devastation is still evident to this day.

When we decide to "brush the dirt off" of ourselves, we are choosing to remove the evidence of the fall. We say "yeah I fell, but I got up again. Now that I'm up, I do not want my failure to be the focus of my attention." That powerful statement is the foundation of success for countless of people. So today, you have to look at yourself carefully to make sure that you are not walking around with a little dirt on your chin. The past defeats are a learning lesson but they should not be affecting the way you look today. Before you leave today check the mirror and make sure you are spotless.

7/17/2007

From today

I've just celebrated a birthday this week and I am excited about my life today and how it will be in the future. I often set aside a little time to create a mental picture of my life a year or two from now and how it will be different. As the vision materializes, the images are quite different from the life I am experiencing right now. When I bring my thoughts back to the physical world, I witness the stark contrast and wonder how my mental picture will come to pass.

The first thing I do is remind myself that my vision is possible. Anything I want can be achieved no matter how my circumstances look like right now. So then reality hits and I ask myself "OK, how is this going to come about?"
The answer to this thought provoking question is "from today."

Today is like a seed which will produce the the harvest of my future. I must live today like I will in the future. I must grab a hold of that message and take it very seriously if I have any real desire to affect my future circumstances. If I treat this day like it is something of little value, then I will receive no value from it. But if I understand the direct correlation between what occurs today and what will be tomorrow, then I have changed the course of my destiny.

7/15/2007

Five reasons why you should write your intentions

So you have some really exciting goals and ideas you want to make a reality. You say you truly want to make it happen. You are full of excitement juices that have you smiling from ear to ear as you ponder on how wonderful life will be once you succeed. You have the ideas clearly in your mind. But somehow, life happens and you realize that you have not progressed as quickly as you thought you would have. What could you have done differently to help you reach your goal? Write them down. Here are the reasons why.

Writing them down makes them more powerful
Saying that you want to do something in your mind is not powerful enough to make you do it. Creating intentions in our minds is a fairly simple act that most of us do several times a day (consciously or unconsciously) but something powerful happens when we are motivated enough to put our goals on paper. By writing them down, you are saying to your subconscious, "I truly want this to happen."


By writing down your intentions, you can clarify your thoughts

Sometimes we use our mind like a piece of scratch paper to jot down random scattered thoughts. This is not how you want to treat your intentions. Lets face it, your mind is full of other everyday details. You have to make your goals a priority by writing them down to separate them from all of the other stuff you have going on up there.

You have something in the physical world to remind you
Without putting your goals on paper, you run the risk of forgetting exactly what you wanted your life to be. If may not happen right away but, trust me, time will pass, life will go on, and you will find yourself wondering why you were not able to keep your focus on your intentions. By writing them down, your goals are a part of your physical world. In essence, they become a part of reality before they become a reality.

There is record of past achievements you can use as motivation
As you create a record of your intentions, you have verifiable proof of your past achievements. When you reach a goal, you look back at your writing and remember how it felt to write down your goals and how it feels now to have achieved them. This will create a powerful motivation technique for you to repeat the process again and again by writing down lists of new goals.

Writing down your goals makes you accountable

There is nothing that screams "get to work" more than reading your goals, you taped to your medicine cabinet, every morning when you wake up. The physical evidence of your promise to yourself is staring square in your face demanding you to take action. If you don't take any action, you have to face them again tomorrow morning. If you do take action you can look at your words with confidence that you will work just as hard on achieving them today and you did yesterday.

7/13/2007

In the beginning

I think the hardest part of starting a new habit, or ending a bad one, is when we get beyond the initial phase of making the decision. How bad do you truly want to have that goal? Are you willing to wake up at 5:00 a.m. or run five miles a day, or give up that unhealthy relationship?

Realistically, as soon as you decide to make that life altering change, you have to simultaneously understand everything that will come along with it. Say to yourself, "I am going to lose weight....in order to lose the weight I know that I have to substitute unhealthy snacks for fruits and vegetables. I also know that I will have to wake up, even though I do not feel like it, and exercise to increase my metabolism." Make a full assessment of what it will take to realize those intentions of yours. Carefully go over all of the details in your mind like you would if you were reading the fine print of a contract.

So now the new habit begins. Treat this process in the same way as one who were to plant a new garden. The soil must be prepared, the seeds planted, the seedlings watered and cared for. The entire process is cumbersome and tedious. But shortly after, tiny little seedlings begin to sprout as a reward for your efforts. But remember, the seedlings are still in a fragile condition. If you neglect to continue with your daily routine of nurturing, the seedlings will die. On the contrary, you must be even more vigilant to protect your little blessings from external forces which will hinder your hard earned efforts.

If you remain faithful in your actions, even if you realize minor setbacks, then you will have created a steady habit. That habit will become like a thriving plant which requires only periodic trimmings to maintain its fullness and health. But for this to happen successfully, you will have to plan carefully and remain steadfast until you are certain that the roots of your habits are deeply grounded. Only then will you be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

7/11/2007

You have today

A friend of mine died tragically on Tuesday. A plane crashed into her home. I saw her a week before the incident. I was to visit her this weekend. When I first confirmed that it was her name that I heard on the news, I went into a state of shock and disbelief. I called a mutual friend to tell her what happened and, as she began to weep, I explained to her the purpose of the tragic incident.

I first met Janice, the young lady who died, when she appeared at my bedside at the hospital as I recovered from a life-saving surgery. She just walked in, sat down, and began talking to me. I had no idea who she was. My husband introduced her to me as "Janice from his job." She worked with him in the past for a very short period of time. This 24 year old was so inspirational to him, that he spoke of her frequently and begged me to call her and become friends with her. I called her once or twice but it was slightly awkward and never led to anything more.

That night at the hospital I got to know her. She was pregnant at the time with her son, who also perished in the fire. She brought me a book, a card, an a gospel CD. She stayed and we talked for hours that night. When she realized that I did not have a CD player, she left the hospital and bought me one just before visiting hours were over.

A few weeks after my recovery, I visited her home. There she showed me pictures of of a retreat that she coordinated. She took 20-30 young underprivileged girls for a weekend of pampering and inspiration. The theme of the event was "The Princess Within." There they were pampered and "loved on" while staying at a castle themed resort at no cost to the parent(s). They were told that they were loved by God and that they were special because they were his princesses.

This year I had the opportunity to participate in the event. This one was "Facing the Giants." The girls created vision boards, they spoke of their personal struggles, and they were told about the love of God. When Janice and I met in the parking lot of a McDonalds about a week and a half ago, she thanked me for my service by providing me a plaque. On it was a picture of everyone who attended the retreat. She was not in the picture. She also told me that she incorporated her organization and planned to open up a home where young girls could turn to. Janice met a woman who currently had such a place and asked that woman to be her mentor. Her passion and excitement for the project was intense.

Now Janice is gone. When I think about it I have a great sense of peace inside. Why? Because I know that Janice is home now. I know that Janice lived her purpose. I know that Janice did exactly what she was placed here to do. So I ask myself....am I living as Janice did? Am I giving like Janice did?

I have today.

7/10/2007

The Warrior Within

Why is it that we have a hard time fulfulling our promises that we make to ourselves? When we say that we are going to do something, especially something that changes a habit, we make the same promises again and again. Is it because we had no intention on fulfulling the promise in the first place? Or maybe because we have no discipline to maintain drastic changes in our lives.

I was listening to an audio book called "Your Power to Create" by Carolyn Myss. In it she describes herself as having a ferocious discipline like a warrior. "I am exactly like a warrior" is how she refers to herself again and again. How many of us are able to say that about ourselves? I can honestly say that I have yet to develop the warrior-like discipline that I so admire. I watch movies like Hero and the Last Samuri in amazement when I see how concentration and dedication releases the amount of human potential we have.
How can we begin to develop dramatic lasting changes in our lives that we so desprately want?

Anticipate opposition
As soon as you are ready to introduce change into your life. Be alert for your subconscious to sprinkle little thoughts of doubt that will keep you from allowing that change. By consciously expecting it, you won't fall into the trap of entertaining these false negatives. Every second you allow the voices to deter, you risk defeat. If you are not aware of your enemy, you can not overcome him. When the thoughts do come into play, resolve to annihilate them in whatever way you can. If you don't, you will lose.

Train as a warrior
Think of training not as a rigourus activity that we are obligated to do, think of it as what you are doing right now. If you come home from work in the evenings and nestle in front of the television then you are creating a ritual. You then become a trained couch potato. If someone who is involved in another evening ritual, such as exercise or study, were asked to watch television every night, that person follow will the same path as anyone else who introduces a lifestyle change. He will ignore the voice denouncing the change, then begin to sit on the couch night after night, until the voice is no longer audible.

You are stimulating a change when you create goals for your life. Your subconscious hates change. Once you truly understand this you will see the situation clearly and pay no attention to its feable attempts to keep you stagnent. Holding on to useless habits is not acceptable. Though your opponent is not visible you must see him clearly. Study his tactics and understand his ways. Stand against him with the steadfastness of trained champion. Failing is not an option.

7/07/2007

Eat all you want

Today I visited with my brother and we chatted about the exciting things which are happening in our lives. In the middle of the conversation he began to describe the frustration he feels because of his self described "addiction to the next success high." When he first created his website, potential2success.com, the mere thought of creating a website was an intensely stimulating process that fed his need to stretch his potential. Once that goal was completed the next victory to obtain was having his site listed with the major search engines, MSN & Yahoo. Finally, the coveted "first page" Google listing was his to enjoy as a result of many weeks of hard work.

Now he's a little disillusioned and wondering what his next success will be. He's probably wondering if there is anything else for him to accomplish to keep the rush of excitement going. As he detailed his frustrations, I plainly explained an analogy to him that put his concerns in perspective. Since I was eating at the time, used food to describe his situation. "Life not like eating at a restaurant... at a restaurant you eat the meal you ordered and when you are finished with your food, then there is nothing left even if you still feel a little hungry." "You need to see life for what it is.....a buffet." "At a buffet there is plenty of food to choose from. The best part is, there is no limit to how much you can have." "So instead to worrying that you may not be satisfied with what you are eating now, focus on the unlimited amount of food that is waiting for you at the buffet table."

That is what life is all about...."eating" all of what life has to offer. Fill your plate, eat it all, and go back for seconds.

7/06/2007

ENDuring

I have a friend who recently joined a multi-level marketing company. He is passionate about the products, the people, and the possibility of earning enough residual income to allow him early retirement from the corporate world. The other day I asked him about how his life would be once he no longer had to work. As he described his life, post retirement, he spoke of how he would mainly travel and do little else when he was not traveling.

I quickly told him that he may want to reconsider his retirement plan (he is in his early thirties and plans to retire in the next 5 years). Not because his vision is unattainable, in fact, the amount of dedication that he's given to the business may translate to enough of an income stream to support he and his family. The reason that I was not impressed with his description was because it was an extemely vague account of the type of lifestyle that he would enjoy once he left the workforce.

Clarity
One obvious reason why I advised him to revisit his idea of what his life should look like after early retirement is because there was "no meat on the bones." Simply stating that he would travel and do nothing does not give his subconscious enough to work with. In fact, I told him that unless he developed a clear idea of what his retirement will really look like, in a more realistic way, he would likely inhibit or delay the vision from actually ever becoming a reality.

Purpose
Even though I strongly believe that a person should create opportunities that allow him/her the option of becoming financially independent, I also understand how going to work everyday provides us a sense of purpose. We wake up the in morning and we know where we need to go and we know what we want to do when we get there. We understand how our work impacts the organization. Just having a pile of money somewhere is not enough to meet our most basic of emotional needs. We need to know that what we do is positively impacting something greater than us.

Determination

As my friend recounted his five-year retirement plan I could definitely see that he was determined. If for some reason he does not succeed, I would comfortably say that his level of determination had nothing to do with it. He travels short and long distances to attend group meetings, he diligently plans his next move and how it will impact his business. He even has a detailed time line of when his wife will retire from her place of employment. His determination is working to provide him that much needed momentum to keep him going beyond the difficulties.

Steven Covey reminds us in his 7 Habits book that we must begin with the end in mind. The reason this is so important is so we can establish a point of reference when we undergo a major shift in our habits or routine. Establishing life changing goals is usually a difficult process complete unless we couple it with a clear, non-wavering, vision of what we want life to look like in the end. It is what we see in the end that will carry us through to the end.

7/03/2007

Make a move

Last night was the first night of my last college course before I graduate with my bachelors degree. Nearly two years I ago I signed up for an accelerated program at an accredited university. Today I am just a few weeks away from reaching my goal. What have I learned the past couple of years? I learned that once you think about doing something this important, the best option is just to do it right away. I remember sitting in what seemed like a tiny little room while an admissions counselor attempted to sell me the benefits of enrolling at this college. In my mind I knew that it was the right thing to do but I was still hesitant to make the final decision to enroll. If they hadn't offered to pay my registration fee for signing up that day, I probably would have asked for time to look over the materials and put off making the decision.

If I "bought more time" by telling her that I needed to think about it, I would've, in actuality, lost time. The truth is that I thought long and hard about returning to school long before I ended up in the admissions office. In fact, it was my "thinking" that led me to being face to face with the person who would enable me to realize my intentions in the first place. Don't get me wrong, there are times when new information is presented to you in a situation that may have to be revisited before making a final decision. But you have to quickly deal with the details and move forward to actualizing what it is you really want to do, have, experience.

7/01/2007

July 1rst 2007

O.k so now the year is half way over, or, the second half of the year has begun. Either way you look at it, today is just as important and January 1rst. The difference between the two is instead of making plans,promises, goals, you can now look back at the year until now and look ahead at what's to come.

So you haven't lost the 20 lbs your vowed on New Years or started working on that home business to amass your riches. No worries my friend. Now is the time to build up that momentum to finish the year strong. Only this time you will re-evaluate where the you need to do some tweaking to make it happen. The great thing about this mid-year evaluation is that you will avoid the usual end-of-year "where did the time go" question that we normally ask our selves in December. The time is now. Take full advantage. Finish strong.

Consider this a call to action for you to spend some time quitely reflecting on the other half of the year yet to happen and chock full of possibilities. While most people are blindly going on about their days, weeks, years, you are consciously looking inwards and outwards. Only good things will come out of this experience if you promise not to beat yourself up for the amount of progress made (or lack thereof). In December we will revisit this topic again and, I anticipate that this December will be different from the others. The time is now. Take full advantage. Finish strong.