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Living In The Now Use It To Enrich Your Life

(category: Motivation, Word count: 600)
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At about this time of year, some months after New Year's resolutions have been made and kept, or made and neglected, one thing is undeniable: we have a chance to learn and grow every day, no matter what we did not do yesterday or neglected to do last week.

Make Use of This Moment

Making use of this moment, of the NOW, is a principle that stress management experts, psycho-therapists, meditators, and many authors such as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Eckhart Tolle have been talking and writing about for years.

The only moment, the only life we have is in the NOW. What happened a few moments or several years ago is gone, what will happen this evening, or next month when we go on holidays is not here yet. Thus, if we live our lives thinking about past events or future possibilities, we are literally not living our life.

Developing Flow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote a wonderful little book "Finding Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" which addresses the issue of the importance of remaining in the moment, of the inestimable value we can find in those activities that cause us to "go into flow", or lose our sense of time.

When you discover what those activities are in your life, they need to be developed. Is it music, writing, or painting, or another creative activity? Is it being outdoors and practicing some kind of sport? Is it working on your computer or editing digital movies? Perhaps you are an avid reader, observer of documentaries about the hunch-backed camel, or participant in the Dakar rally and spend all year preparing. Whatever it is, cultivate it, make it expand in your life, and use it to enrich yourself. These activities are priceless ways of being - and remaining - in the now.

But that is not all.

Nurture the Now at All Times

Being in the now needs to be nurtured at all times. The more time you spend in the now, the more you actually live your life. Yesterday - and even just one short hour ago - is gone. Tomorrow is not yet here. Now is what we have. Now is the time of our life. Now is the time for living.

Start by gently bringing yourself to this moment more and more often on a daily basis. If you are at work, with your partner or family, or simply running errands, become aware of what you are doing, actually participate consciously in your daily activities ... don't just get through them in order to be able to do something else later on. Doing that means that you have lost this moment forever.

Stay in the Now

By staying in the now, notice how you seem to have more time. Notice how you feel less stressed. Notice all that is potentially enjoyable, positive, or could be a latent learning experience in the now moment. Even if you are going through a difficult situation, remain aware and in the now in order to better understand what is happening and in order to get to know yourself more intimately by observing your feelings, thoughts, and possible reactions.

Live here rather than in the past or the future. The more you practice, the more it will become a habit, and the more you will truly live your life, rather than just live on memories of past glories or future hopes and plans.

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Are You An Achiever Or Are You An Excusiologist

(category: Motivation, Word count: 1383)
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It would be a fairly safe bet that if you are reading this article then you are on the lookout for something more in your life than what you already have.

Whether you are searching for a new business, a new opportunity, a part-time income or even a lotto system it all stems from one source - dissatisfaction of present circumstances.

Now you might already be quite successful at what you do, so you might be coming from a position of boredom. Nevertheless, what you are seeking is change. Let me tell you a little secret...

There will be NO change in your life until there is a change in YOU.

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher said, as far back as the sixth Century BC, "It is in changing that things find purpose."

Do you want to change or do you want to keep driving a Volkswagen and pretending it is a Porsche? You are the only person who can make it happen.

Basically, if you want more out of life you have to put more into life. A fundamental way to do this is to start educating yourself.

How can you expect more in the ensuing years when the operating system in your brain is the same one that you left school with?

Everything changes all the time.

Maybe you need to change also. Re-invent yourself. Start a new exciting phase in your life. Time waits for nobody.

There are many people who I speak with who have never read a single book or attended any sort of learning experience since they left school. I actually think that's rather sad but some of them are even proud of it. Yet when the conversation continues out pours all their problems, all their hard luck and "woe-is-me" stories.

If you're still with me I want to ask you three questions but I would like you to think a little bit before you answer. It will probably take you a short while to answer the first question with a degree of accuracy.

So here it is, the first question: "How much time did you spend last week feeding your stomach?" Your answer doesn't have to be exact but you should be able to work out some sort of reasonably accurate figure. Jot the answer down somewhere.

Second question: "How much time did you spend feeding your brain?" Most people will not need anywhere near as long to answer this question. Unfortunately, for many, the answer to question two will be ZERO.

So here is my third question and it's a pretty simple one. "Why? Why do you spend so much time feeding your stomach and so little time feeding your brain?"

These questions are not meant to belittle anybody. Rather, I just want you to think about the issue.

Thinking intensely about things will often lead to action and when action is taken your world can change. That is what you want, isnt it?

Non-achievers are the excusers of society. By default they become excusiologists. They spend a lot of time and effort making excuses for poor performance. The crazy thing is that all that time and effort which was wasted on achieving nothing could easily have been used doing something positive.

You can easily recognise an excusiologist by their language.

"I'm not smart enough!" Rubbish. You don't have to be a genius to achieve. You just have to be willing to learn. Are you willing to learn?

"Nobody in my family has ever been successful." Great. Here's a chance to show them something new. Break the family trend.

"I've never had any luck." Really? Maybe God thinks you don't need it. The harder you work the luckier you will get.

Be careful about what comes out of your mouth. What do most people say when you ask them how they are?

Question - "How are you?" Answer - "Not bad." When you think about it, isn't such a reply rather negative and silly? Not bad compared to what? It's trash. Get rid of it. Try something innovative. Try this: "Outrageously well. Thanks so much for asking!" That will surely raise a few eyebrows.

So, getting back to what this article is all about. How much longer are you going to waste the most precious commodity you have? - TIME.

Stop making excuses and start taking action. Do something. Do it now. You could easily start educating yourself.

Good knowledge will give you potential power. Acting on good knowledge gives you power.

Try reading some good books. They can really make a change. Not sure where to start? Easy. Try try your local bookstore. Look in the "motivation - self help - personal development - success" area. There you will find dozens of books literally packed with good earthy, positive information. Most of them will contain references for even more information on these subjects. You could even enrol in a course.

After undertaking these measures there will be no excuse for being an excusiologist. I have just offered you some suggestions which will allow you to change.

Of course, you can always stay as you are. That's your choice. But if there is dissatisfaction in your life and you want to make improvements, for heaven's sake, do something about it!

You only get one chance at the life you are living. Make it grand. You don't have to accept what has gone before as the template for what is to come.

Change your operating system. Gather knowledge. Expose yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking and doing things.

You have probably heard this before but it is so pertinent I will put it before you again...

There are basically three types of people in this wonderful world of ours.

1 - There are people who make things happen.

2 - There are people who watch things happen.

3 - There are people who say "what happened?"

If you have traditionally placed yourself in groups 2 or 3 by not being willing to learn new techniques and obtain the knowledge that successful people seek, then there is a very simple remedy. But you have to be prepared to do three things:

1 - invest in yourself

2 - learn some new knowledge

3 - apply that knowledge

You can make a decision today to better yourself or you can ignore my advice. It's your choice.

Remember, there is nothing so important in your life than investing in yourself. Even if a book or seminar can teach you only one thing out of the hundreds of ideas and special pieces of information they present, it will be worth it for you. Don't you think so? That one thing might be just the piece of knowledge that can make such a huge difference to your future.

Are you worth investing in?

If, in the past you have been prone to making excuses you have the opportunity right now to do something about it.

If you read the newspapers, watch the TV and listen to the radio you will see how much negative permeates our senses. We are flooded by it every minute of every day. Studying success principles has the power to block all that negative out of your life. It can teach you how to concentrate only on what you want.

When you learn how to shield yourself from negative you will then be free to concentrate on all the good that can come into your life.

Just look around you - this world is in desperate need of more achievers. Heaven knows we have enough negative thinkers and excusiologists. They are everywhere. My advice to you is "don't add to their growing number."

Join the achievers who have success thinking as their power base.

Excusiology is a chapter you will find in a subject called Failure 101. Make the decision today to become an achiever.

Whatever you decide I wish you all the best for your future.

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Burn The Ships

(category: Motivation, Word count: 509)
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One of the keys to reaching your goals is to eliminate any escape routes. It is tempting to retreat to safety and comfort when challenges and difficulties arise. To avoid turning around and abandoning your goals, you must make going forward more compelling then going back.

When striving towards a goal, you must focus on what you want to obtain and avoid the impulse to go back to what you know and to what is comfortable. When Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico, one of his first orders to his men was to burn the ships. Cortez was committed to his mission and did not want to allow himself or his men the option of going back to Spain. By removing this option, Cortez and his men were forced to focus on how they could make the mission successful.

Eliminating an escape route creates a compelling reason to focus on the goal and to keep moving forward. However, it is important to keep in mind that although Cortez had his men burn the ships, he did not have them burn the food and supplies. Cutting off an escape route to increase motivation and create the desire to press on where you might otherwise give up is totally different from throwing caution to the wind and taking undue risks. Reaching your goals still requires prudent planning and managing. All goals contain a certain degree of risk, but it isn't necessary to create undue risk and stress by not properly planning and thus lacking the necessary tools and supplies to achieve your goal. Take risks, but don't be careless or foolish and simply hope that everything will be okay.

Before you decide to burn your ships, make sure you have the supplies and tools necessary to achieve the goal. Something like quitting your job might sound like a good way to close the escape route, but it might also be a fast way to bankruptcy if you don't have resources to carry you through. Creating a savings account balance or having a journey job (a job that is a stepping stone to what you really want) allows you to take the risk of leaving your current job without creating undue risk. I once took a six-month leave of absence from a job while I was deciding if I wanted to move to a different state. Although it was difficult making the transition as I was very homesick, once I found a job in my new location, I resigned from the job I had waiting for me because I knew it would be too tempting to go back.

Close off the escape routes and make sure that you have a compelling reason to move forward. However, at the same time, make sure that you plan for the risk and have the tools, supplies and resources you need to achieve your goals. You can't eliminate risk but you can plan for it. Don't just jump in without thinking through the process and having a solid plan for moving forward.

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How To Conquer Intimidating Goals

(category: Motivation, Word count: 539)
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"Oh that would be too hard for me - I could never learn to do that."

We've all heard these words... you may even have said them yourself. Tackling new skills can feel intimidating. But we only feel intimidated because we overestimate the task and underestimate our own abilities. We aren't confident enough in our natural abilities. Take learning to drive for example.

Today, millions of very mentally un-gifted people got into automobiles and drove them. And most of them had no accident today. So how hard can it be?

Or maybe you're thinking of writing a book. Millions of people every year write books.

Millions more

save money

start businesses

find jobs

lose weight

get into shape

discover someone to love

get married

find a way to attend school

start new careers

And many other things you may have been thinking are too hard, too complicated, too far beyond you.

The truth is, they're not beyond you at all.

DO THIS:

========

What have you been holding yourself back from doing? No, you don't have to list EVERYTHING you're putting off. Just take the top one.

First:

======

Whatever it is, write it down on a piece of paper.

Second:

=======

Now think of somebody who isn't particulary smart, but who is now doing the very thing you want to do.

Been putting off learning to drive? Look at all the idiots on the road who somehow manage to get from here to there without wrecking the countryside.

What about marriage? True, most people botch it completely, but many millions actually do get it right and live in happiness.

Or maybe you're putting off starting your own business. Same thing - you've met people barely clever enough to get in out of the rain, but they have businesses. And they haven't gone bankrupt - at least not yet.

Chances are, the one thing you're lacking is not intelligence, nor ability, nor talent. Training is no real stumbling block, either, since people regularly go get the same training you're wanting.

No, you're probably only lacking permission. You're waiting around for somebody to validate you, then pick you up and prove to you that you can do it.

It ain't gonna happen that way. The good news is, it doesn't HAVE to happen that way.

All it takes is just deciding you'll do it. Then just begin.

Several years ago someone told me a great two-step formula for success in any field.

Step one is start; step two is don't stop.

So we come to...

Third:

======

Make a beginning, no matter how awkward, then just keep moving forward in the direction you want to go.

Honestly, it's just about that simple.

While great intelligence can make things simpler, it can also make things much more difficult if you never learn to use it FOR yourself instead of against.

Please notice that beginnings are almost always awkward. That's okay. Give yourself permission to be a beginner when you begin. And if you feel a compulsion to be perfect, then just be a perfect beginner.

But do keep moving... forward.

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Genius Or Gifted

(category: Motivation, Word count: 525)
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Every person has particular abilities or skills that make them different from the others. There are no similar genetic codes, so there are no completely alike people. Some of the abilities are placed in a genetic code and are to be developed during a lifetime. About our hidden abilities and talents we get to know in kinder garden or in elementary school. This is a regular way to discover yourself and your calling, but sometimes a person may find out that he or she is gifted in arts only being a teenager or even later.

This is not an anomalous case and there is nothing that can't prevent a person from developing necessary skills. After hard work one may be involved in dissertation writing, be recognized among colleagues and continue to develop, but the question is: is it a talent that has to be developed or it is your genius that made you famous? To distinguish between the terms "talented" or "gifted" and "genius", here are some simple statements about people of both types. A talented person seeks talent and develops it slowly but surely. A genius is born with an aim to work and discover in only one field and develops necessary skills very fast, absorbing knowledge like sponge absorbs water. A talented person can possess a lot of skills and have doubts on what to concentrate. A genius never has doubts about what he is destined to do in this world and does everything to move closer to a great discovery that is obligatory going to happen sooner or later. A talented person is remembered within the field of work and activity. A genius is recognized all over the world and after his or her death is honored by memorials and monuments. A talented person will use any help offered starting from solving problems and ending with dissertation help.

A genius never uses help from the outside, coming up with necessary data only from the books, articles or any other materials. Talented people live normal lives combining success with happy family life and entertainment. A genius forgets about all pleasures of living dedicating all his or her life to the calling. Usually geniuses are called psychologically disturbed, or just weird, they don't have much friend if have at all. All they think about is the aim he or she was born for. The field of work and activity is never first priority to a talented person, for a genius nothing else exists. This can be considered a full description of both kinds of people. What is it better to be: a genius or just a common talented guy? It is simple; destiny decides what you are to become in the future. Everyone long for happiness and that is something you can not touch, take or sense, therefore there are thousands of definitions. Someone may be happy receiving an eternal glory but being lonely till the rest of days, or have a family and fair business and never thing a word about world fame. Past is dark, future is mysteriously unknown, so let's leave in the present and create the future.

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Three Deadly Sins To Avoid When Choosing A Professional Speaker

(category: Motivation, Word count: 917)
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As I survey the speaker's market I've become a tad weary willfully wearing the title "Motivational Speaker". All speakers worth their salt seek to motivate or cause action. Maybe it's just me, but does the mere mention of the term "Motivational Speaker" conjure irritating mental pictures in your subconscious mind? There are far too many stereotypes being propagated regarding speakers. I will address a few of these speaker stereotypes and hopefully simultaneously construct a not-to-do list that aspiring speakers may use on their roads to success in the lucrative speaking industry.

Motivational Speaker Stereotype Number One:

The "Over-The-Top" Speaker

The "Over-The-Top" Speaker or the O.T.T. Speaker appears to have discovered a new fad diet which includes mountains of pure sugar and caffeine. The O.T.T. will at any given moment find it necessary to expend tremendous amounts of energy racing about the platform as if a sniper has them in the crosshairs. During smaller office presentations, The O.T.T. speaker may also be seen jumping atop a desk shouting "Go For It!" or performing their best impressions of former Governor and one time Presidential hopeful, Howard Dean's famous "YEAAAAAHHHHHH".

It didn't work for Mr. Dean either.

Reality:

I do not desk hurdle. Many professional speakers whom I admire keep their gestures natural and their tones conversational in nature. This is not "Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey" and a speaker's stage is not a big tent.

Motivational Speaker Stereotype Number Two:

The "T.M.I." Speaker

In efforts to emotionally connect with the audience, the notorious T.M.I. Speaker offers up way Too Much Information of a personal nature. To the bewilderment of the hiring authority, the TMI speaker utilizes 90% of their time recanting inner-turmoil, teary-eyed, blow-by-blow commentaries of abuse, personal struggles and tragedies. Though touching, the program's focus is obscured and the message diluted by the T.M.I. Speakers deluging pity party. The T.M.I. speaker fails to realize the goal of any program is to inspire some sort of action of the audience, not to become a martyr or charity case.

Reality:

Engaging your audience is the goal of any professional speaker, but personal stories should only be used if they directly support and impact the overall theme of your program. Please allow me to cement my viewpoint with a brief story: During my first professional position as a paralegal for a government agency I had the marvelous opportunity to work side-by-side with a number of experienced individuals and mentors. These mentors taught me many compelling business principles that I currently utilize. One day at work on a crowded elevator I struck up a conversation with one such mentor. In the efforts to protect the innocent and the ignorant I'll refer to the mentor in this story as "Mr. Edwards".

Me: Hello Mr. Edwards, I noticed you in the lobby earlier today...

Mr. Edwards: Yes, Timothy my family paid me a visit...

Me: Really? Was that your son you were holding earlier?

Mr. Edwards: Oh no, that was my nephew. I can't have kids, I'm sterile.

Me: Okay

Motivational Speaker Stereotype Number Three:

The "High-Tech, Low-Performance" Speaker

The H.T.L.P. Speaker loves to put on a show! The H.T.L.P's program not only begins, its middle and its end is littered with state-of-the-art, eye-popping sound-effects and a fantastic frenzy of flashy visuals. In the outset the audience is totally mesmerized, but it becomes grossly apparent that the H.T.L.P. is heavy on the glitz and light on the substance. The H.T.L.P. is a show-person. The H.T.L.P's entire speech can be boiled down to a bookmark of inspirational quotes which can be readily found by any 12-year-old conducting a 30-second search on GOOGLE. Yes, the H.T.L.P. catches the audience's attention, but has no inkling where to go from there, except, you guessed it, onto the next variation of visual, vain displays which culminate into sensory overload and useful substance deprivation.

Solution:

Many professional motivational speakers acknowledge the need to capture the audience's attention, but should a professional speaker need a truckload of explosives to do it? No. The highly regarded professional speaker realizes that he or she is the distributor of the information being disseminated not some slide projector, movie screen or artificial simulator. The speaker who relies too heavily on electronics to deliver a message detracts from the human-element of their content. Limiting the bells and whistles in the show will allow both the audience and the speaker to focus on the theme and purpose of the program. Clients watching their Rate of Investment (ROI) versus their Rate of Return (ROR) will expect less show, more business and measurable results to justify a speaker's fee. In short, if the only requirements for an effective presentation are flashy PowerPoint slides and spectacular visuals, there's no need for a human-being, and I beg to differ.

Many elements can be included in a speaker's arsenal to deliver the utmost impact in their programs. Story-telling, humor, props, visuals, gestures, role-playing, personal anecdotes, eye contact and poignant quotations all serve as a means to effectively communicate the overall theme of a motivational speaker's message. A speaker shouldn't rely on any one method too heavily and the ultimate goal must always be to leave the audience with a course of action they are motivated to pursue. After all, it's what happens "after" we leave the stage that matters most, right? A professional speaker who leaves his client with positive measurable end-results is a highly sought-after resource and no joking matter.

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People Do Business With People They Know Like And Trust

(category: Motivation, Word count: 406)
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One of the most important activities in growing a business is growing relationships. Many people think they can go out to networking events, hand their cards out and the business will come flowing in. It may happen like that, but not likely. It takes time, energy and effort to build a network. Through building that network you build relationships with people who know you, trust you and will do business with you.

I was at a networking event where I witnessed two men that had no clue what networking was all about. The first gentleman walked up to me, introduced himself, asked my name and proceeded to tell me what he did and how it could help me. He then left to talk to someone else and a second gentleman came up, introduced himself, didn't bother to get my name, gave me promotional information about what he was selling and then went off to talk to someone else. Neither of these men would remember me if I called them, and I have no idea if they are people I like or trust, so there isn't a chance I will do business with them. Networking like this is a waste of time. Unless you're willing to build your network, get to know the people, and perhaps see how you can help them, you might as well stay home.

Networking isn't just for people who run their own businesses. All of us have a network of people we depend on. We might use their services, get referrals from them and ask for assistance when seeking a job. I call this cross-pollinating, and we all do it. It is vitally important that we build relationships with the people in our network so that we can obtain good tips and advice. If you neglect your network you might find yourself without resources or references when you most need them.

Networks are important to your success. To have a useful network you must build and nurture the relationships and focus on how you can help your network before you consider taking from it. Zig Ziggler advises that the best way to build your business is to help someone else build hers. Givers get. You don't just take from your network; you also give to it. The secret is the more you give to your network the more you will get back.

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How To Turn Negative Into Positive Thoughts

(category: Motivation, Word count: 377)
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Did you ever wanted a parking space nearby the mall entrance, but finally you ended at the beginning of the parking aera. I bet the thought:" I probably won't find a space nearby", crossed your mind several times.

So got what you asked for. The word "won't" is a negative mind related thought. A so called negative affirmation. You probably experience more of these things in life. You would like a nicer house or car but for some reason things don't change. Let me explain how to mind works. Our mind is the most amazing hard drive you can imagine. There are billions off= neural connections possible. Every time you think or see something your brain stores the event with sound, odeur, feeling or other senses that you're not aware off. Sometimes when you hear a sound that event runs through your head again. The sound is called an anchor. Also smell is an anchor. Every time you experience that specific smell related with an event those thought comes in mind.

We can use those anchors in a positive way. We must realize that our mind doesn't recognize negative words similar like "not" . For example if you say : I will not be late". Your mind will registers: "I will be late". The result is that you will be just in time for your appointment.

Therefore the way to use our mind is by positive affirmation like: I will be on time, I have a parking space near the entrance . Believe me it works. Nine out of ten times I have a parking space close to the place where I must be. The times I don't have that spot is because I didn't thought of needing a space at all or enough.

Positive thinking is like sports exercising. The more you repeat the better you become. Forget the negative thought or emotion that comes into your mind. Say: "Next" to each of those negative thoughts. Stay focused on what you want. Think in possibilities not in problems. Use positive affirmations like:

I feel more secure each day

I'm emotionally in balance

This is another perfect day for me.

Start with positive thinking right now!

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How To Make Your Self Help Really Help

(category: Motivation, Word count: 1542)
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Ray was on a tear.

"All that self-help stuff is okay, I guess, but it has never worked for me. Ever." He was starting to get excited, waving his arms and pacing around.

"In fact," he went on, "it usually makes things worse for me."

I asked Ray for examples.

"Well, like, I'm out of work - you know that, right? - and I've wasted the last two months trying to affirm myself a job." He sat down, dejected. "Heck, it would have worked better if I'd just gone and seen about all the jobs in the classified ads or visited the employment agencies."

"You didn't physically do anything to find a job?" I asked.

"Well no," he almost shouted. "I didn't want to drain my energy away from the affirmations. I mean, that'd show a lack of faith, right?"

Ray was running a pattern I'd seen him do before.

One time he had told me about the expensive new "good luck charm" he'd ordered. Paid a couple of hundred dollars for it, so it was sure to work. But it didn't - at least not for Ray - and the next time I saw him, he was complaining bitterly about how he'd been "taken."

Another time, he was attending a series of classes by a rising new teacher. This also bombed.

And now Ray was telling me that, other than doing his affirmations, he'd made no physical effort to receive the benefits he was programming for - had avoided it, in fact.

Sooner or later, everything disappointed Ray. Nothing "worked" for him.

Ever had a little of that feeling?

Now, maybe most of us are not as extreme (nor as obvious) as Ray, but we've all had times when neither our best intentions nor our best efforts were rewarded. We got no results and we didn't know why.

Well, here's the short answer: for everything that happens (or doesn't happen) to us, all the causes are within ourselves.

That may sound a little too fuzzy-edged to grab hold of, or to do anything with, so let's break it down into smaller, simpler pieces.

PIECE ONE:

What you spend your time thinking about shows up in your life.

Buddha said it.

One way or another, all the religious teachers and philosophers have said it. And virtually every successful person who ever lived has told us this.

They all told us that the thoughts we think become real and happen to us.

PIECE TWO:

Positive thinking is not just repeating some phrases over and over.

Positive thinking - ANY thinking - is what you're expecting to happen to you this afternoon. It's how you feel about yourself, and about me, and about your neighbors and co-workers and family members.

Your thinking is more than just words. It's your feelings. It's your attitude toward yourself and others. It's what you expect to happen to you today and next week. And it's your determination never to give up when things get tough and don't go the way you had planned.

Your thinking is far, far more than just the words you repeat.

If you see somebody at your level or below and think they're not worthy of your notice, or if you see someone richer or more successful and you feel jealous of them, then that's not positive thinking. It's negative because it's expressing feelings of lack and limitation.

PIECE THREE:

If you don't know why events happen to you, then you don't know what you're thinking.

How can you control your life if you haven't yet learned to take control of what's going on in your own head? But the sad truth is, most of us are grossly unaware of what flits around in our skulls.

The enlightened being knows what's happening in their inner landscape, and can choose thoughts, select emotions and feelings, and direct their expectations with the same ease that you and I click buttons on the remote control. That's why they seem to have the events of their life under control.

And no matter how faraway that ideal may seem, you can learn to do some of that "enlightened" stuff too.

Here's a quick tip: Reverse engineer your life.

To find out exactly what thoughts, feelings and expectations are in your mind, look around at your physical life. Painful as it may be to admit, your life is solid evidence of what's emanating from your head.

Don't like what you see? That's good. In a moment we'll learn a way to use this to our advantage.

PIECE FOUR:

Accept yourself, warts, hiccups and all.

Ray was always looking for something or somebody to "save" him. He had no belief in his own power, so he constantly sought out some outside power to lean on. Something to make up for his own powerlessness. He was seeking a guru or savior when it would have been more profitable to find a mentor that he could imitate.

Of course, he unknowingly felt he was incapable of being saved, so that outside guru or lucky charm or new technique always failed him. Naturally it failed - all of his natural, inherent power (of which he was completely unaware) was being directed by his belief in his powerlessness.

Ask Ray if he was ready to recognize his limitations, and he would talk all around the subject, telling you why this book or that amulet didn't perform as promised. It was always "their" fault, not his.

We've all done this - every one of us - and it's a big stumbling block. We simply hate to see ourselves as we really are.

But if you want to get past this stumbling block, you'll have to give up the concept of "fault." Their fault AND yours.

In its place, you'll need to start using "responsibility."

What's the difference? Mainly resentment and guilt.

When anybody talks about fault, don't they usually go directly from that subject to WHOSE fault it was? And how badly it inconvenienced them? There's no power in fault.

On the other hand, if you take responsibility for an event, this implies that some kind of control is possible. It's a description of who has the power and how they CHOSE to use it.

PIECE FIVE

Everyone has power, even though they don't know it.

As we saw with Ray, he was using his natural power to form his world in a backwards way, keeping himself blinded to what he was doing.

And he was doing this by assuming that the power was "out there" somewhere. He was desperately seeking something or someone to lend him that power. But it always remained out there, out of reach, outside himself.

Okay, now let's talk about getting your self-help to really start helping.

STEP 1

List what's not working. What are the things in your life that are not the way you want them? Make a list, on paper.

This is a word-map showing exactly where you're unable to feel or accept your own power.

STEP 2

Take all those items on your list and spend 5 or 10 minutes fantasizing. Imagine what it would be like if you COULD control them. What if they were working perfectly for you? How would that look and feel?

Yes, I know that life never works out that way, and this excuse or that excuse is always in the way. Never mind any of that. Just sit yourself down and do it anyway. I mean, little else is working for you, right? So what's to lose?

STEP 3

Keep doing this regularly. Don't stop at one tepid toe-in-the-water trial. Do it often and get some enthusiasm into it.

STEP 4

When you get a hunch or idea or intuition, write it down before you forget it. Then go do it. Immediately.

Again, you should ignore any fears that "this won't work either" and just go ahead and give it an honest try.

Whether one particular effort brings smashing success or turns out to be a dud, keep on doing this. It makes just as much sense to do things this way as to continue on with your other method (that wasn't working).

STEP 5

Anytime you get results, whether good, bad or indifferent - anytime anything happens - deliberately repeat to yourself, "I caused everything about this situation. Nobody else stood in my way. It was ALL my doing, from start to finish, and I'm the power here."

WILL THIS REALLY WORK?

I guarantee this method will work at least as well as what you've been doing up till now, and you may be surprised to find it working far better. Why? because you're starting to fill your mind with things you want, emotions that support you, and expectations that these good things might actually be for you.

Furthermore, you're starting to practice control over what goes careening around in your head.

And that's the biggest key of all.

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