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7 Steps On How To Stay Motivated For The Long Haul

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There is excitement as we make a decision to do something big – help the homeless, start a business, run a marathon. But all too often these big dreams fall to the wayside. How do we keep the motivation to see a big goal through to the end?

Some people have called me “goal driven” because I persevere on projects that may take months or even years to accomplish. So I got thinking, what is it that helps me to keep going day after day while the end goal is still out of sight? Perhaps my experience can help other people to persist on their goals.

Here are the seven steps to help you stay motivated and stick to a big project:

1Make sure you have control over your goal

When you formulate your goal make sure that it is something under your power to achieve. For example, say “Apply to three graduate schools”, as opposed to saying “Get accepted to graduate school”. When your goal is stated as something that is under your control you are more likely to think of ways to make it happen.

“Everybody has goals, aspirations or whatever, and everybody has been at a point in their life where nobody believed in them.” – Eminem

2. Find subgoals that can be accomplished in 4 hours or less

It can be daunting to look at the big goal. You don’t know where to start. So first make a list of the steps that are required to accomplish a big goal. For example, the goal of writing an app can be broken down into large steps of design, coding, testing, submission, and marketing.

Each day I look at the step that I am working on and choose a small goal that should take four hours or less to achieve. By concentrating on the small goal I can stay focused and not worry about everything else that needs to be done. And, each time I accomplish the small goal I feel good about myself.

I chose four hours as the magic number because frequently tasks have a habit of expanding. Often a four hour goal turns into a three day goal, but that is still a short enough time horizon that I can keep the end in sight.

 

3. Each morning write down the single most important thing to do that day

It really helps me to have the goal for that day in writing.  Then, if I wander off topic, as I sometimes do, I can look at it and pull myself back on course. I know that if I do enough of the mini 4-hour goals that eventually I will accomplish something significant toward my big goal, so I don’t need to think about the big goal that day.

 

4. Live the dream

I can’t postpone good feelings until I have achieved the final result. What I am actually doing each day has to be the life that I want. If it isn’t, I have picked the wrong goal. For example, you will never achieve a goal of running a marathon if you detest having to run three or four times a week.

Having mini goals helps me to live the dream. Every day or two I am celebrating some small milestone that I have reached. When I reach a major milestone I generally take a day off and go do something fun to celebrate.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

5. Take breaks for planning

Since I work towards a series of mini goals I need to have confidence that they are adding up to the intended target. Every now and then, perhaps every couple of months, I take time off from achieving a mini goal that day, and instead spend the day on planning. I consider whether there is a major step that I may have missed, and if so, add that to my list. I think about the major step that I am working on, and whether the activities I have been doing are actually bringing me closer to that goal.

If it feels helpful, I make a list of sub-tasks for the major steps. I like to get these things down on paper so that when I am working on a mini goal I am not constantly sidetracked by trying to think about other steps. Doing this planning step allows me to get it all out of my mind so that I can focus.

 

6. Decide where and when you are going to do your work

Studies have shown that if you decide on where and when you will do something that you are more likely to do it. I sit down each morning after breakfast at my computer and write down my goal for that day. That helps me to get started, and once I am started I generally find it easy to continue.

 

7. Don’t give up

Everybody has bad days, and some things take time to become fun. For example, the first time a person runs can hardly be called fun. It is difficult and tiring and sweaty. But after a couple of weeks, as your body toughens up, it can actually be exhilarating.

So hang in there when things are tough. Face the fact that it is no fun, but do it anyway. You should be back on track in a few days.

What can you do today to take a small step toward your big goal? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Susan de Jong is an app entrepreneur who loves to write software. Her apps include Lucidate, a brainstorming app that helps you explore your innermost thoughts, and Insight Personality Tests, a fun and motivational app. Download the apps today for free.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Sija

    Jan 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Thank u Susan. I agree with your points

  2. Siew

    Dec 7, 2015 at 3:59 am

    A very precise, easy to follow and inspirational article. Good job, Susan!
    It conveys the need to set goals with sub-goals identified so as be able to cherish the accomplishment frequently. The message is also be pragmatic in warning the readers that there will be times when it may take more time and effort to achieve the goal, but not to be discouraged. The message is valuable to people in all walks of life!

  3. Ly

    Dec 5, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Thank you, Susan, for this solid article. I like the step to create subgoals that can be done in 4 hours. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with my goals for the day. Focusing a subgoals into a 4 hour spot will help me improve my time management and help me feel productive.

  4. Evan

    Dec 5, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Susan,

    Nice article you have here! I love taking breaks for planning and am using this to my advantage better now. I used to get caught up in 16 hour days but realized it’s not sustainable…

    I always take Sundays off, no matter what I have going on that week. Sometimes it’s hard but after enough time passes of doing it, I easily and guiltlessly wake up anytime on Sunday and keep my goals ahead of me.

    – Evan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

Visualizing a Life of Greater Abundance

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abundance
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Abundance is a spiritual principle that says the universe consists of all that I need and that all I need is available to me right now. We all want abundance, although few of us would say that we have it to the degree that we’d hope for. So what is the problem and how do we get to that state of experiencing it in our daily lives? The real problem—and solution—seems to lie in HOW we view abundance.

All things are energy. Everything that we think of as physical, all matter from the mighty mountains down to the molecules that make them up, is equally energy. Where we sometimes come up against limits in our thinking and in our awareness, however, is in choosing to see what our mind most easily recognizes—form. But if we have the option to view abundance either as a physical concept (individual things that have form and bounded limits) or as one of energy (boundless and infinite) why would we not choose the latter?

Identifying the Problem of Form  

One of my personal abundance blocks is becoming overly preoccupied in physical expressions of that abundance. The recognition of form presents many trip-hazards in the spiritual journey. Our fascination with it tends to often be the meddling of the ego which, of course, idolizes physical or conceptual form as a way to create duality (an I-am-separate-ness) in order to highlight its own existence apart from all other things.

As a matter of course, however, this condensing of infinite abundance into perceivable form is an act of SEVERE limitation. Any time a concept is packaged for convenient consumption it always loses its natural impact.

“You must realize that money is not good or evil; it is a tool for expressing your creative energy in the physical world.” – Stephen Richards

Definition also has the curious effect of opening up the possibility for judgment. For better or worse, we attach values to things. For instance, I might begin to believe that money isn’t really all that important. As crazy as that will sound for some, it has been a lifelong block for me. I see money and I think that I can do without it. Perhaps I feel there are nobler pursuits or possibly I think there may be too much effort to attain it and keep it or even a fear that I may lose it— and then what will I do with myself?

Visualizing Abundance As Energy

To begin the visualization, relax and place yourself in a state of mindful presence. If you are not familiar with this concept it is to simply become very aware of and in-tune with the now-moment. You dis-identify with the regrets (or victories) of the past and worries (or hopes) of the future. It is simply about being aware of NOW. Through this act of presence, you begin to become less attached to conceptual form of any kind, not just time.

Now, subtlety shift your awareness to the concept of abundance. It is important to avoid attaching images of manifested forms to it such as money or possessions. Rather than seeing concepts of what you think abundance should look like, begin to see the essence of abundance itself; energy. With eyes closed, in your state of presence, begin to “see” the waves of energy—the essence of abundance—all around you. Let your imagination vividly take over the visualization. You are directing this mind-movie; let it be as cinematically convincing as you can.

Notice a few things about the nature of this energy:

  • It is formless. There is no firm definition and there are no hard edges.
  • It flows where it wants to and as it wants to. You don’t control it, you can merely accept it.
  • It is infinite. There is a depth to the energy that is powerful and unending.
  • It is friendly. It gravitates toward and lovingly surrounds you.
  • It is good. There is nothing bad to abundance energy and it only has your best interest as its intention.
  • It is complete. The abundance energy is EVERYTHING that is good—health, loving relationships, and financial prosperity—without any definition between each.

This energy is the essence of infinite abundance. Abundance is wholeness and completeness. It is perfection. In many ways it could be described as heaven; the kingdom on earth. The energy is formless—you cannot see it directly as money or health or relationships or wonderful circumstances—but you can sense that all of those things are there. We don’t get a visual cue but we can feel them. There is no specificity or form but rather—at most—shades of energy like the bands of audial or visual frequencies in a spectrum.

Visualizing Yourself As Energy

At the same time view yourself as boundless energy. In your state of presence, this shouldn’t be difficult; you have already risen above the concept of form. In your awareness, recognize that the universe is also within YOU. Abundance is within YOU. Abundance IS you. So visualize yourself a wellspring of infinite energy yourself and allow it to flow out of you and join in dance with the energy around you. In this embrace of energy, you see yourself as one with the universe which is, of course, the epitome of abundance itself.

“We are all wealth. We are all treasure. We are the abundance of all things. Spend yourself completely.” – Bryant McGill

This entire technique is ultimately an act of accepting abundance. All of it is good; there is no reason to fear what may be drawn to you. You are immersing yourself in ALL good things. You are immersed in a sea of EVERY good thing that possibly is or could be by your manifestation of it. THIS is abundance. You are not deprived of any positive, helpful, empowering resource. You are now experiencing completeness.

This technique gets easier and more powerful with practice. I love this visualization because it goes straight to the root of the problem—form identity as it relates to abundance—and deals with it at the elemental level. By removing rigid concepts of abundance I have found that it is much easier to appropriate it into my life. If this has been helpful to you please comment and share that others may find success as well.

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Life

We Know Thoughts Become Things, but Where Did Those Thoughts Come From?

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It’s common knowledge that what we concentrate on over any length of time, manifests. The notion that thoughts precede reality has been around for quite some time and we also know that the intermediate step between thoughts and reality is behavior.

So, we think something, that thought drives a certain behavioral pattern, and enough of that behavior will create whatever that original thought outcome was. But did you ever wonder where those thoughts came from? How many of them came from poor mothers and fathers and preachers and teachers when we were babies?

Let’s face it, our formative years were spent with these aforementioned individuals and they were adults. They may have said things to us that we perhaps misinterpreted because, we were six years old! They weren’t trying to deceive us or teach us something negative. They just assumed that when they said something (and it may not have even been to us) that the listener would be able to connect the dots!

Let me give you an example. When I was growing up my mother, father, and I were watching variety shows on the black and white television set in the middle of our living room, quite often my mother would say, when someone was singing, that they were actually dubbing! In other words, singing to a turned off microphone while the actual recording was actually being played from the sound engineers’ room! She was probably correct! Many of the singers on those old shows were dubbing their studio recordings.

“All action results from thought. So it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

But she made it seem as if the singer and the host were trying to deceive us. My mother would say something like, “They aren’t singing for real, they’re just moving their lips! Isn’t that terrible?” Now I could never really tell if they were singing, or not, but this was my mom, so I accepted what she said at face value. Except, I really thought those people were terrible people for trying to trick my poor mother and that they were very bad. (Keep in mind, I was 6!)

That script stayed with me long into adulthood, and I very consciously watched out for people that were going to make a fool out of me and I either avoided them or confronted them. That thought pattern of filling in the blanks from what adults told me when I was a child is what I like to call Projective Resolution, can be debilitating. Personally, it sabotaged several meaningful relationships and my first 2 professional positions.

I was able to identify the faulty script years later and resolve it, but I wonder how many more I have playing right now, that I might not be aware of. How about you? What scripts are causing your Projective Resolution?

The reason they are so hard to spot is because we have repeated them so many times for so many years, that they have become a habit and are firmly entrenched into our subconscious minds. But the behavior is real. And it can be devastating!

You may ask if it is possible to eradicate the old scripts and I believe the answer is yes. I did! And without any professional assistance, and well before I had the internet for quick guidance.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

If you think you are a victim of Projective Resolution, try these steps:

  • Step #1: Spend some time in quiet thought, thinking about situations with parents and others when you were a child. It may be helpful to start with your first thought of childhood and work up from there.
  • Step #2: What were some of the admonitions and sayings that were said to you? Perhaps it was “A stitch in time saves 9.” And you were told that so many times that you now take 9 stitches immediately, just in case. You plan, plan, plan! Can that be an OCD?
  • Step #3: Link past experiences to current behavior and tag the behaviors that you want to change. If you can identify current behaviors that are driven by conversations when you were a child and left to “fill in the blanks”, you are well on your way to rewriting the scripts.
  • Step #4: Now that you are an adult, put adult meaning on what the person (the adult) was trying to convey to you when you were a child. (Yes, you can actively role play with that person and talk to them adult-to-adult!)
  • Step #5: Place the proper meaning on that statement now.
  • Step #6: Forgive the adult who may have steered you wrong. They did the best they could at the time with what they had!
  • I hope that you see the moral to this story. Please be carful of what you say to children. They are taking what you say and filling in the blanks. But they are doing so with the mind of a child. If you think in those terms, you may guard your words very carefully.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Life

The Simplest Mindset Hack to Get More Out of Life

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Money. Happiness. Success. Love. I think we can all agree that “more” is something we often find ourselves chasing, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, in our businesses, health, relationships and our lives in general.

Typically when we’re looking to increase our income (whether in our business or in our personal accounts) we often look to typical business and career strategies to do so. We look for a new, higher paying job. We open a new location. Work longer hours. Increase or improve our marketing efforts. Attend more networking events. The list goes on and on.

When we’re looking for more love in relationships we may schedule date nights with our significant other. Nag them for attention. Some, even resort to extra-marital affairs to feel the love they need. In health, we hire personal trainers. Go on diets…I’m sure you’re getting the point by now.

All of these strategies, however require us to do more of something. But what if the process to getting more of anything started before all that? What if there was a simple mindset hack that would allow your marketing, networking, dieting, date nights and gym sessions to have a greater impact? What if one behavioral tweak, that involved you doing less would lead to more happiness? More love? Just more!

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

The mindset hack to having more

This mindset hack is actually so simple you may not believe me but I’m going to tell you anyways. If you want to start having more in your life, the secret to doing so is to begin accepting compliments.

Yes. You read that right – by beginning to accept compliments we actually increase our ability to earn more money, experience more happiness and have more overall success. Stay with me and I’ll explain how this works.

First, however, I want you to consider this situation and question: Imagine it’s a normal day. It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other day you’d expect to receive a compliment or gift. It’s just a normal day. You go to work, or maybe you meet a friend for lunch, when, out of nowhere, they compliment you, or buy you a small gift (like a coffee for example).

How do you react? If you’re like the bulk of the population you’ll say something like: “Oh you shouldn’t have” or “The next round is on me” or “This old thing?!” If your reaction is somewhere along these lines, what you are doing is energetically and unconsciously REJECTING the compliment or gift.

In today’s day and age, when someone compliments us, or buys us a small gift (like in the example above) our initial and unconscious reaction is often to reject or block ourselves from receiving it. Most people fear what others think of them, and because we don’t want to appear to be conceited or stuck-up we feel uncomfortable simply saying “thank you!”. In fact, this reaction has become so ingrained in us by society that most people don’t even realize they are doing it!

The second reason we typically reject unexpected compliments or gifts is because it takes us out of the driver’s seat. When we sit back and receive we’re not in control. Think about it, who is in control of the gift/compliment? The giver. Who is in control of the intention? The giver. The giver is also in control of how and when they give it.

The receiver is only in control of their reaction. From a primal and evolutionary standpoint, when we’re not in control we’re vulnerable, exposed, possibly even at a disadvantage. To regain control many people often give a gift or compliment back (“no, no, I’ll buy the coffees today!”) or reject it all together (“oh this dress? I only paid $5 for it”).

The underlying problem

The problem with this primal and societal patterning however, is that it instills a belief in our unconscious minds that it’s unsafe to receive. Our unconscious mind is highly suggestive and completely illogical. Our unconscious mind believes our actions and feelings over our words, and is always processing information from our surroundings and our inner dialogue. Our unconscious minds also love to make associations, so it regularly connects things like beliefs with behaviours that we wouldn’t consciously or logically associate.

When we suggest to our unconscious mind that it is unsafe to receive small things, like a compliment or $5 coffee, the unconscious mind expands this and applies this belief to receiving anything and everything. In our unconscious mind, if a $5 coffee is unsafe to receive, then receiving hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands from a client would be life threatening!

Because the brain is also highly symbolic, it perceives all receiving to be the same. This belief then extends a whole lot further than just receiving money. It impacts our ability to receive other revenue or income generating things like referrals, new clients and even opportunities to scale a business to new levels.

“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

If you’re goal is to grow your income or your business, you may need to do new things like use social media ads or create referral partnerships. However, these activities will prove fruitless if you’ve wired your brain out of receiving the leads you’ll generate!

If you want more love from your partner, it doesn’t matter what they do to show more love, or how many affairs you have, you’ll never see or feel the love they are giving because you’ve blocked yourself from it. The same applies to your health and your life in general, you’ve told the filtering system in your unconscious mind (the Reticular Activating System) that it’s not safe to receive, so you won’t see the opportunities to accept these things.

The next time someone compliments you or buys you a small gift randomly, accept it graciously and simply say “thank you”. Practice this every time someone wants to give you something. Rewiring the brain takes repetition, it’s not enough to accept one compliment and return to your old patterns! Begin implementing this new behavior of receiving today and you’ll start noticing changes in your life and financial situation before the end of the month!

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Life

You Must Answer This Question in Order to Live a Successful Life

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A sobering question that we would all do well to ask ourselves as we continue to strive toward success is this: “What must I have achieved in life, so that when I look back on my life in the last few moments on earth, I’m completely satisfied?”

Yes, this is a deep question, to say the least. But, in my opinion, life really is about deep questions. In sincerely addressing this question, you’ll undoubtedly start to find more clarity about your purpose and life-mission. You may be wondering, “How does one begin to answer a question like this?”

I would suggest that you begin by listing your five most important values. These are the five values that you want to be the guide of your life day to day, and they are also the “eulogy values” you want your life to have represented when you’re no longer living. Every ship needs a rudder, and without these core values firmly in place, you’ll be in danger of being a rudderless ship with no clear direction.

For example, my five most important values are:

  • Integrity
  • Faith
  • Contribution
  • Growth
  • Family

These are the values that I do my very best to use daily to guide my decisions and keep me on track (or in some cases get me back on track). I think we all have a unique set of values that can guide us to understand what we want to achieve during our lifetimes.

Inner character and unique personal values aren’t born overnight, but are built slowly, through a course of purposeful and progressive choices. As the legendary John Wooden said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney

Bringing Purpose and Virtue Back into Your Life

While the accolades on your resume might earn you a top seat at a prestigious organization, they will do little or no good for your soul’s purpose. That is to say, unless these accolades help you serve a deeply personal mission that’s in harmony with your core values, your overall impact will not be optimized.

If you can detach yourself from all the noise and clarify your unique core values, you’ll be able to tap into your true purpose and potential. Doing this means you won’t have to live in inner conflict or travel paths that you may later regret. You’ll be able to recognize your weaknesses for what they are, and find ways to overcome them.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll be able to realize your dreams without the inner tension of conflicting goals because you’ll be working from a space of maximum potential, where everything you place as a high priority goal has a purpose that is in-line with your personal mission.

What Does This All Mean?

Researchers have confirmed that striving for a meaningful life is one of the main factors associated with psychological well-being.  But, of course, this begs the question, what exactly are we talking about when we use the word “meaning”? Generally speaking, when people talk about “meaning” in the workplace, for example, they’re discussing enjoyment of the daily tasks, alignment of the work with their personal values and getting fulfillment with the outcomes of the work.

“Define your priorities, know your values and believe in your purpose. Only then can you effectively share yourself with others.” – Les Brown

In general, it appears that four main factors have been tightly associated with “meaning.”

  • The first factor is enthusiasm. Research shows that enthusiasm is independently linked with life satisfaction, personal growth, positive emotions, purpose in life, meaning, and achievement.
  • The second factor linked to meaning is connection. In fact, social relationships, especially with those closest to us, are the most frequently reported sources of meaning in life. In everyday life, high performers also heavily value being around inspiring people who push them to grow more than, say, people who are just fun to be around.
  • The third association with meaning is related to satisfaction. Essentially, if what we’re doing creates a sense of personal satisfaction, we tend to feel that life is more meaningful. In addition, when our efforts correspond to one of our passions, this leads to personal growth, and/or making a positive contribution to the lives of others, as we tend to feel these efforts are satisfying.
  • Fourth, and perhaps most important to the concept of meaning, is coherence. The idea is that our efforts bring meaning if they “make sense” in the context of our lives. We want to know that our work is in alignment with something important and significant, and that it is serving some larger purpose. Coherence is particularly crucial to high achievers.

The key takeaway about meaning is that to perform at high levels, we must each focus in on cutting down on distraction and busyness, and focus on ramping up our efforts to finding and doing work that is most meaningful to us.

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23 of the Most Inspiring and Motivational Cardi B Quotes

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Image Credit | Know Your Meme

Cardi B has been at the top of her game for over a year by releasing multiple Number 1 single’s, having millions of followers on social media, and releasing her debut album in April 2018. (more…)

Armando Quintana III is a current master’s student and one of his main goals is to be a physician. He mentors high school and college students along with giving them speeches on alternative ways to reach success, and aims to educate people as a future physician on the natural healing powers of the body. He can be reached through social media at @armandoq3 or his website at mfmanifesto.com.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Sija

    Jan 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Thank u Susan. I agree with your points

  2. Siew

    Dec 7, 2015 at 3:59 am

    A very precise, easy to follow and inspirational article. Good job, Susan!
    It conveys the need to set goals with sub-goals identified so as be able to cherish the accomplishment frequently. The message is also be pragmatic in warning the readers that there will be times when it may take more time and effort to achieve the goal, but not to be discouraged. The message is valuable to people in all walks of life!

  3. Ly

    Dec 5, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Thank you, Susan, for this solid article. I like the step to create subgoals that can be done in 4 hours. Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with my goals for the day. Focusing a subgoals into a 4 hour spot will help me improve my time management and help me feel productive.

  4. Evan

    Dec 5, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Susan,

    Nice article you have here! I love taking breaks for planning and am using this to my advantage better now. I used to get caught up in 16 hour days but realized it’s not sustainable…

    I always take Sundays off, no matter what I have going on that week. Sometimes it’s hard but after enough time passes of doing it, I easily and guiltlessly wake up anytime on Sunday and keep my goals ahead of me.

    – Evan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

Visualizing a Life of Greater Abundance

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abundance
Image Credit: Unsplash

Abundance is a spiritual principle that says the universe consists of all that I need and that all I need is available to me right now. We all want abundance, although few of us would say that we have it to the degree that we’d hope for. So what is the problem and how do we get to that state of experiencing it in our daily lives? The real problem—and solution—seems to lie in HOW we view abundance.

All things are energy. Everything that we think of as physical, all matter from the mighty mountains down to the molecules that make them up, is equally energy. Where we sometimes come up against limits in our thinking and in our awareness, however, is in choosing to see what our mind most easily recognizes—form. But if we have the option to view abundance either as a physical concept (individual things that have form and bounded limits) or as one of energy (boundless and infinite) why would we not choose the latter?

Identifying the Problem of Form  

One of my personal abundance blocks is becoming overly preoccupied in physical expressions of that abundance. The recognition of form presents many trip-hazards in the spiritual journey. Our fascination with it tends to often be the meddling of the ego which, of course, idolizes physical or conceptual form as a way to create duality (an I-am-separate-ness) in order to highlight its own existence apart from all other things.

As a matter of course, however, this condensing of infinite abundance into perceivable form is an act of SEVERE limitation. Any time a concept is packaged for convenient consumption it always loses its natural impact.

“You must realize that money is not good or evil; it is a tool for expressing your creative energy in the physical world.” – Stephen Richards

Definition also has the curious effect of opening up the possibility for judgment. For better or worse, we attach values to things. For instance, I might begin to believe that money isn’t really all that important. As crazy as that will sound for some, it has been a lifelong block for me. I see money and I think that I can do without it. Perhaps I feel there are nobler pursuits or possibly I think there may be too much effort to attain it and keep it or even a fear that I may lose it— and then what will I do with myself?

Visualizing Abundance As Energy

To begin the visualization, relax and place yourself in a state of mindful presence. If you are not familiar with this concept it is to simply become very aware of and in-tune with the now-moment. You dis-identify with the regrets (or victories) of the past and worries (or hopes) of the future. It is simply about being aware of NOW. Through this act of presence, you begin to become less attached to conceptual form of any kind, not just time.

Now, subtlety shift your awareness to the concept of abundance. It is important to avoid attaching images of manifested forms to it such as money or possessions. Rather than seeing concepts of what you think abundance should look like, begin to see the essence of abundance itself; energy. With eyes closed, in your state of presence, begin to “see” the waves of energy—the essence of abundance—all around you. Let your imagination vividly take over the visualization. You are directing this mind-movie; let it be as cinematically convincing as you can.

Notice a few things about the nature of this energy:

  • It is formless. There is no firm definition and there are no hard edges.
  • It flows where it wants to and as it wants to. You don’t control it, you can merely accept it.
  • It is infinite. There is a depth to the energy that is powerful and unending.
  • It is friendly. It gravitates toward and lovingly surrounds you.
  • It is good. There is nothing bad to abundance energy and it only has your best interest as its intention.
  • It is complete. The abundance energy is EVERYTHING that is good—health, loving relationships, and financial prosperity—without any definition between each.

This energy is the essence of infinite abundance. Abundance is wholeness and completeness. It is perfection. In many ways it could be described as heaven; the kingdom on earth. The energy is formless—you cannot see it directly as money or health or relationships or wonderful circumstances—but you can sense that all of those things are there. We don’t get a visual cue but we can feel them. There is no specificity or form but rather—at most—shades of energy like the bands of audial or visual frequencies in a spectrum.

Visualizing Yourself As Energy

At the same time view yourself as boundless energy. In your state of presence, this shouldn’t be difficult; you have already risen above the concept of form. In your awareness, recognize that the universe is also within YOU. Abundance is within YOU. Abundance IS you. So visualize yourself a wellspring of infinite energy yourself and allow it to flow out of you and join in dance with the energy around you. In this embrace of energy, you see yourself as one with the universe which is, of course, the epitome of abundance itself.

“We are all wealth. We are all treasure. We are the abundance of all things. Spend yourself completely.” – Bryant McGill

This entire technique is ultimately an act of accepting abundance. All of it is good; there is no reason to fear what may be drawn to you. You are immersing yourself in ALL good things. You are immersed in a sea of EVERY good thing that possibly is or could be by your manifestation of it. THIS is abundance. You are not deprived of any positive, helpful, empowering resource. You are now experiencing completeness.

This technique gets easier and more powerful with practice. I love this visualization because it goes straight to the root of the problem—form identity as it relates to abundance—and deals with it at the elemental level. By removing rigid concepts of abundance I have found that it is much easier to appropriate it into my life. If this has been helpful to you please comment and share that others may find success as well.

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We Know Thoughts Become Things, but Where Did Those Thoughts Come From?

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It’s common knowledge that what we concentrate on over any length of time, manifests. The notion that thoughts precede reality has been around for quite some time and we also know that the intermediate step between thoughts and reality is behavior.

So, we think something, that thought drives a certain behavioral pattern, and enough of that behavior will create whatever that original thought outcome was. But did you ever wonder where those thoughts came from? How many of them came from poor mothers and fathers and preachers and teachers when we were babies?

Let’s face it, our formative years were spent with these aforementioned individuals and they were adults. They may have said things to us that we perhaps misinterpreted because, we were six years old! They weren’t trying to deceive us or teach us something negative. They just assumed that when they said something (and it may not have even been to us) that the listener would be able to connect the dots!

Let me give you an example. When I was growing up my mother, father, and I were watching variety shows on the black and white television set in the middle of our living room, quite often my mother would say, when someone was singing, that they were actually dubbing! In other words, singing to a turned off microphone while the actual recording was actually being played from the sound engineers’ room! She was probably correct! Many of the singers on those old shows were dubbing their studio recordings.

“All action results from thought. So it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

But she made it seem as if the singer and the host were trying to deceive us. My mother would say something like, “They aren’t singing for real, they’re just moving their lips! Isn’t that terrible?” Now I could never really tell if they were singing, or not, but this was my mom, so I accepted what she said at face value. Except, I really thought those people were terrible people for trying to trick my poor mother and that they were very bad. (Keep in mind, I was 6!)

That script stayed with me long into adulthood, and I very consciously watched out for people that were going to make a fool out of me and I either avoided them or confronted them. That thought pattern of filling in the blanks from what adults told me when I was a child is what I like to call Projective Resolution, can be debilitating. Personally, it sabotaged several meaningful relationships and my first 2 professional positions.

I was able to identify the faulty script years later and resolve it, but I wonder how many more I have playing right now, that I might not be aware of. How about you? What scripts are causing your Projective Resolution?

The reason they are so hard to spot is because we have repeated them so many times for so many years, that they have become a habit and are firmly entrenched into our subconscious minds. But the behavior is real. And it can be devastating!

You may ask if it is possible to eradicate the old scripts and I believe the answer is yes. I did! And without any professional assistance, and well before I had the internet for quick guidance.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

If you think you are a victim of Projective Resolution, try these steps:

  • Step #1: Spend some time in quiet thought, thinking about situations with parents and others when you were a child. It may be helpful to start with your first thought of childhood and work up from there.
  • Step #2: What were some of the admonitions and sayings that were said to you? Perhaps it was “A stitch in time saves 9.” And you were told that so many times that you now take 9 stitches immediately, just in case. You plan, plan, plan! Can that be an OCD?
  • Step #3: Link past experiences to current behavior and tag the behaviors that you want to change. If you can identify current behaviors that are driven by conversations when you were a child and left to “fill in the blanks”, you are well on your way to rewriting the scripts.
  • Step #4: Now that you are an adult, put adult meaning on what the person (the adult) was trying to convey to you when you were a child. (Yes, you can actively role play with that person and talk to them adult-to-adult!)
  • Step #5: Place the proper meaning on that statement now.
  • Step #6: Forgive the adult who may have steered you wrong. They did the best they could at the time with what they had!
  • I hope that you see the moral to this story. Please be carful of what you say to children. They are taking what you say and filling in the blanks. But they are doing so with the mind of a child. If you think in those terms, you may guard your words very carefully.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

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The Simplest Mindset Hack to Get More Out of Life

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Money. Happiness. Success. Love. I think we can all agree that “more” is something we often find ourselves chasing, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, in our businesses, health, relationships and our lives in general.

Typically when we’re looking to increase our income (whether in our business or in our personal accounts) we often look to typical business and career strategies to do so. We look for a new, higher paying job. We open a new location. Work longer hours. Increase or improve our marketing efforts. Attend more networking events. The list goes on and on.

When we’re looking for more love in relationships we may schedule date nights with our significant other. Nag them for attention. Some, even resort to extra-marital affairs to feel the love they need. In health, we hire personal trainers. Go on diets…I’m sure you’re getting the point by now.

All of these strategies, however require us to do more of something. But what if the process to getting more of anything started before all that? What if there was a simple mindset hack that would allow your marketing, networking, dieting, date nights and gym sessions to have a greater impact? What if one behavioral tweak, that involved you doing less would lead to more happiness? More love? Just more!

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

The mindset hack to having more

This mindset hack is actually so simple you may not believe me but I’m going to tell you anyways. If you want to start having more in your life, the secret to doing so is to begin accepting compliments.

Yes. You read that right – by beginning to accept compliments we actually increase our ability to earn more money, experience more happiness and have more overall success. Stay with me and I’ll explain how this works.

First, however, I want you to consider this situation and question: Imagine it’s a normal day. It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other day you’d expect to receive a compliment or gift. It’s just a normal day. You go to work, or maybe you meet a friend for lunch, when, out of nowhere, they compliment you, or buy you a small gift (like a coffee for example).

How do you react? If you’re like the bulk of the population you’ll say something like: “Oh you shouldn’t have” or “The next round is on me” or “This old thing?!” If your reaction is somewhere along these lines, what you are doing is energetically and unconsciously REJECTING the compliment or gift.

In today’s day and age, when someone compliments us, or buys us a small gift (like in the example above) our initial and unconscious reaction is often to reject or block ourselves from receiving it. Most people fear what others think of them, and because we don’t want to appear to be conceited or stuck-up we feel uncomfortable simply saying “thank you!”. In fact, this reaction has become so ingrained in us by society that most people don’t even realize they are doing it!

The second reason we typically reject unexpected compliments or gifts is because it takes us out of the driver’s seat. When we sit back and receive we’re not in control. Think about it, who is in control of the gift/compliment? The giver. Who is in control of the intention? The giver. The giver is also in control of how and when they give it.

The receiver is only in control of their reaction. From a primal and evolutionary standpoint, when we’re not in control we’re vulnerable, exposed, possibly even at a disadvantage. To regain control many people often give a gift or compliment back (“no, no, I’ll buy the coffees today!”) or reject it all together (“oh this dress? I only paid $5 for it”).

The underlying problem

The problem with this primal and societal patterning however, is that it instills a belief in our unconscious minds that it’s unsafe to receive. Our unconscious mind is highly suggestive and completely illogical. Our unconscious mind believes our actions and feelings over our words, and is always processing information from our surroundings and our inner dialogue. Our unconscious minds also love to make associations, so it regularly connects things like beliefs with behaviours that we wouldn’t consciously or logically associate.

When we suggest to our unconscious mind that it is unsafe to receive small things, like a compliment or $5 coffee, the unconscious mind expands this and applies this belief to receiving anything and everything. In our unconscious mind, if a $5 coffee is unsafe to receive, then receiving hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands from a client would be life threatening!

Because the brain is also highly symbolic, it perceives all receiving to be the same. This belief then extends a whole lot further than just receiving money. It impacts our ability to receive other revenue or income generating things like referrals, new clients and even opportunities to scale a business to new levels.

“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

If you’re goal is to grow your income or your business, you may need to do new things like use social media ads or create referral partnerships. However, these activities will prove fruitless if you’ve wired your brain out of receiving the leads you’ll generate!

If you want more love from your partner, it doesn’t matter what they do to show more love, or how many affairs you have, you’ll never see or feel the love they are giving because you’ve blocked yourself from it. The same applies to your health and your life in general, you’ve told the filtering system in your unconscious mind (the Reticular Activating System) that it’s not safe to receive, so you won’t see the opportunities to accept these things.

The next time someone compliments you or buys you a small gift randomly, accept it graciously and simply say “thank you”. Practice this every time someone wants to give you something. Rewiring the brain takes repetition, it’s not enough to accept one compliment and return to your old patterns! Begin implementing this new behavior of receiving today and you’ll start noticing changes in your life and financial situation before the end of the month!

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You Must Answer This Question in Order to Live a Successful Life

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A sobering question that we would all do well to ask ourselves as we continue to strive toward success is this: “What must I have achieved in life, so that when I look back on my life in the last few moments on earth, I’m completely satisfied?”

Yes, this is a deep question, to say the least. But, in my opinion, life really is about deep questions. In sincerely addressing this question, you’ll undoubtedly start to find more clarity about your purpose and life-mission. You may be wondering, “How does one begin to answer a question like this?”

I would suggest that you begin by listing your five most important values. These are the five values that you want to be the guide of your life day to day, and they are also the “eulogy values” you want your life to have represented when you’re no longer living. Every ship needs a rudder, and without these core values firmly in place, you’ll be in danger of being a rudderless ship with no clear direction.

For example, my five most important values are:

  • Integrity
  • Faith
  • Contribution
  • Growth
  • Family

These are the values that I do my very best to use daily to guide my decisions and keep me on track (or in some cases get me back on track). I think we all have a unique set of values that can guide us to understand what we want to achieve during our lifetimes.

Inner character and unique personal values aren’t born overnight, but are built slowly, through a course of purposeful and progressive choices. As the legendary John Wooden said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” – Roy E. Disney

Bringing Purpose and Virtue Back into Your Life

While the accolades on your resume might earn you a top seat at a prestigious organization, they will do little or no good for your soul’s purpose. That is to say, unless these accolades help you serve a deeply personal mission that’s in harmony with your core values, your overall impact will not be optimized.

If you can detach yourself from all the noise and clarify your unique core values, you’ll be able to tap into your true purpose and potential. Doing this means you won’t have to live in inner conflict or travel paths that you may later regret. You’ll be able to recognize your weaknesses for what they are, and find ways to overcome them.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll be able to realize your dreams without the inner tension of conflicting goals because you’ll be working from a space of maximum potential, where everything you place as a high priority goal has a purpose that is in-line with your personal mission.

What Does This All Mean?

Researchers have confirmed that striving for a meaningful life is one of the main factors associated with psychological well-being.  But, of course, this begs the question, what exactly are we talking about when we use the word “meaning”? Generally speaking, when people talk about “meaning” in the workplace, for example, they’re discussing enjoyment of the daily tasks, alignment of the work with their personal values and getting fulfillment with the outcomes of the work.

“Define your priorities, know your values and believe in your purpose. Only then can you effectively share yourself with others.” – Les Brown

In general, it appears that four main factors have been tightly associated with “meaning.”

  • The first factor is enthusiasm. Research shows that enthusiasm is independently linked with life satisfaction, personal growth, positive emotions, purpose in life, meaning, and achievement.
  • The second factor linked to meaning is connection. In fact, social relationships, especially with those closest to us, are the most frequently reported sources of meaning in life. In everyday life, high performers also heavily value being around inspiring people who push them to grow more than, say, people who are just fun to be around.
  • The third association with meaning is related to satisfaction. Essentially, if what we’re doing creates a sense of personal satisfaction, we tend to feel that life is more meaningful. In addition, when our efforts correspond to one of our passions, this leads to personal growth, and/or making a positive contribution to the lives of others, as we tend to feel these efforts are satisfying.
  • Fourth, and perhaps most important to the concept of meaning, is coherence. The idea is that our efforts bring meaning if they “make sense” in the context of our lives. We want to know that our work is in alignment with something important and significant, and that it is serving some larger purpose. Coherence is particularly crucial to high achievers.

The key takeaway about meaning is that to perform at high levels, we must each focus in on cutting down on distraction and busyness, and focus on ramping up our efforts to finding and doing work that is most meaningful to us.

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