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How To Control Your Thoughts, Rebuild Your Brain, and Become a Zen Master

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This is the final installation of a three part series on identifying and eliminating limiting beliefs and ultimately becoming a master of your thoughts. In our first post we learned how to uncover and deconstruct the limiting beliefs that are holding you down. In our second post we revealed four questions to ask yourself to blast away these beliefs and achieve more! Finally, we dive into how you can take back control of your thoughts through a quick daily meditation ritual.

With twenty minutes a day you can drastically change the way you see the world and approach any situation. Meditation is often seen as a sort of “woo-woo” practice however science has proven that a daily meditation practice can help rebuild your brain’s gray matter in as little as eight weeks! On top of that it has been proven to lower blood pressure, help with diet, and reduce tension. In the episode “Unleash The Power Of Meditation” Matt dives into the six phase framework of The Envisioning Method and how you can start reaping these health benefits today.

To begin, find a place you can be completely alone and free from distraction. A place where you can be un-interrupted by the noise of the day for at least twenty minutes. Next, find a position you feel comfortable in and can easily take deep breathes. Matt notes that while lying down may seen like a great position, it is often too easy to fall asleep.

Once you are comfortable, take a few deep breaths and begin to work through each phase individually below:

1. Connection

Take a moment to realize that everything truly is connected. Everything on this planet is made up of organic matter and largely the same thing. Today, you may encounter tense situations, you may meet with someone who intimidates you. Take a deep breath, visualize these situations, and realize there’s no difference between you and them at a base level.

Remember everyone goes through hardships, everyone struggles with their thoughts from time to time. Keeping this view of people and the world will help you find perspective and not be too intimidated or disconnected from the world around you.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

2. Gratitude

Gratitude has been scientifically proven to have health benefits. Not only does it make you an overall happier human but it can also help with sleep and other health issues. Here we want to take a few moments to think on and identify what we are truly grateful for. Gratitude starts from within, begin thinking about your inner workings.

Are you grateful for the type of person you are? For your morals? Values? Your Health? Then begin to move externally. What or who around you are you grateful for? Taking these moments to identify specific things around you that bring you joy will even subconsciously hold them with you throughout your day and increase joy and empathy.

3. Forgiveness

It was Gandhi who once said “Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong. The weak, cannot forgive.” Take a few moments and think about any grudges you may be holding on to however small they may be. Have you been avoiding that friend who stood you up? Stubbornly refusing to reach out to a loved one or friend you feel wronged you?

Realize these negative emotions are there and then begin to let them go. Holding a grudge even subconsciously can have negative impacts on your day to day life. This may not happen all at once, it could take time to completely let things go and heal these wounds but realizing they are there and that they are not good for you is the first step in healing. Remember, forgiving them is not for their benefit, it’s for you! So think hard on it and begin to let grudges go that truly don’t matter.

4. Visualize Your Day

Think about what you have to get done today. Begin visualizing your day from the moment you open your eyes as the best day it could possibly be. You stand up and get moving and things seem to fall into place. You knock out those reports you had been putting off, you deliver your presentation and everyone stands up and claps at the close.

When you walk into that big client meeting you are greeted with handshakes and smiles and your proposal is accepted because you know your clients. Allowing yourself to see your day like this through your thoughts primes you for the best. When you’re thinking about the best possible scenario you’re ignoring the worst case scenario and seeing the potential greatness in your day ahead.

5. Visualize Your Future

What are your goals for the next three years? Do you want a house? A new car? Maybe you want to provide something for your family. Take this time to see into the future that you want. That perfect future where life has dealt you a full house and you’ve achieved your dreams. See this and believe you can make it there and know that through your actions this future will one day be realized.

“The harder you work… and visualize something, the luckier you get.” – Seal

6. Blessing

Now that you’ve taken the time to acknowledge what you are grateful for, begin to forgive the grudges you may be holding, and look into the future and see your perfect day; begin focusing on your breath. Take a few minutes to feel your body relaxed and enjoy some silence with your thoughts. Once you feel completed, stand up and get ready to approach the day with an entirely new perspective, seeing the beauty and potential in every moment.

To learn more about the powers of meditation you can listen to the full episode “Unleash The Power Of Meditation”. Learn more about the Envisioning Method and how to live a happier and more fulfilling life with Vishen Lakhiani and others on The Science of Success.

How has meditation changed your life? Leave your thoughts below!

Matt Bodnar, named a “Rising Restaurateur Star” by the National Restaurant Association and a “Strategy Pro” by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine, is a partner at an early stage investment firm Fresh Hospitality where he focuses on deal making and strategy. Bodnar is also the creator and host of "The Science of Success" a #1 New & Noteworthy podcast, with more than 1 Million+ downloads, focused on improving decision-making, understanding psychology, and sharing insights from experts. Bodnar previously worked as an import/export consultant in Nanjing, China and spent several years at Goldman Sachs before returning to his family roots in the hospitality space.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Maaarten

    Feb 20, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Meditation helps me to focus in life and to align my body and mind to work at a top level by relaxing in a conscience way.

  2. Ewen Munro

    Dec 9, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Really enjoyed the read, Matt! We should all be introspective, listen to ourselves and work on ourselves to make a positive impact in our reality. Great work! 😉 #keepgrowing #keepcreating

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Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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6 Unusual Exercises to Effectively Increase Your Creativity Faster Than Ever

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Although a vast majority of people think that creativity is something you are born with, the truth is a bit different. While we cannot deny that you need natural talent to a certain extent, stimulating creative thinking is indeed a matter of practice. If you give this thought a bit of thinking, you can realize pretty quickly that even the most fascinating and creative minds have faced the lack of creativity at some point in their lives. (more…)

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Life

3 Psychological Facts That Can Unleash Your Inner Power

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Some people will achieve great things. Others won’t. But why is that? We’re all just “talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe,” as Joe Rogan puts it. So why do some “talking monkeys” build 7 or 8 figure businesses, travel the world, and live the life of their dreams while the rest of us… well, wish we were living the life of our dreams. (more…)

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