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How to Prevent Social Media From Stunting Your Personal Growth

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Over the years, social media has taken over our lives. Our society has become so addicted to social media to where we’re not only missing out on enjoying some of life’s most precious moments, but we’re also losing valuable interpersonal skills. The introverts have become more introverted, and the extroverts are becoming more recluse.

Social media has made “Netflix & Chill” the ideal date night, replacing the traditional “dinner and a movie” where you’re getting to know each other amongst others. If people were to go out, they have a constant need to document their every move on social media instead of being truly present and enjoying themselves. What’s also worse is that I see this social media dynamic being passed on to the younger generation. More and more kids are becoming hooked on social media, causing them to place their own personal value in the hands of strangers through a “like”.

Luckily, we don’t have to allow social media to ruin our lives. Despite how addicting social media is, we have complete control on how it’s used. Here’s how I prevent social media from stunting my own personal growth.

1. Limit Your Time On Social Media

Scrolling your timeline is like diving into a black hole. Once you start scrolling on Instagram, Facebook, or even Twitter, it’s hard to stop. Even for me, I struggle putting my phone down, thus getting sucked into the “social media matrix”.

What I found to be extremely helpful is limiting my time on social media. I literally allow myself a certain amount of minutes of “scroll time” before I put my phone away to focus on something else. Because my business revolves around social media, I check my phone approximately 4 times a day, for 15 minutes at a time. During those short periods, I’m responding to any comments or DMs, and engaging with other people’s posts to keep my own personal engagement high on my profile.

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

2. Find New Hobbies

There was a period of time where I was very conscious of when and why I randomly start scrolling social media. What I discovered was that I was more prone to fall into the black hole of social media when I was bored.

I’m a part of the last generation to have experienced life without the internet and social media. I recall days being spent reading, wrestling with my dad, walking or riding bikes at the local park, playing sports outside with the neighborhood kids, or building small LEGO communities (remember those?). There was never a dull moment because our days were filled with hobbies.

If you let the demands of being an adult consume you, don’t be afraid to re-introduce your old hobbies back into your life.

3. Unplug With Family & Friends

There are more and more people who are spending time on social media in the company of their family and friends. Family dinners and time spent with your friends are now being interrupted by social media. As I mentioned earlier, this is typically a sign of boredom that comes across as rude to those in your presence. By not being in the moment, you could be missing out on valuable information and vital conversations that could strengthen your personal growth and interpersonal skills.

One thing I found to be helpful when in the presence of your friends and family is to designate one spot where everyone can dump their phones so that everyone is now forced to be in the moment and enjoy the company of those around them. At family dinner, I make everyone leave their phones in their room, and when my friends get together, I make them turn their phones off and place them in a small bag that I bring. It’s imperative that we unplug. You’ll find that the time spent was much more enjoyable when you’re focused on being mentally present.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

4. Don’t Go To Bed With Your Phone

We’re all guilty of going to bed and falling asleep with our phones in our hand. There were times where I literally fell asleep looking at my phone in the air, and it dropped and popped me in the face. That was a “wake-up call”, literally, that I needed to change my ways. Not to mention, I also noticed that I was experiencing weird dreams and sometimes nightmares because of what I was consuming before I went to sleep. All of which is not good for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Rather than charge my phone overnight using a power outlet close to the bed, I now charge my phone overnight on the other side of the room. The first few days of doing this was rough. I was so used to falling asleep scrolling social media that it was hard to fall asleep without it. Now, I lie down and meditate until I fall asleep. After a week of light meditation prior to sleep, I noticed that I woke up feeling energized and well rested. My mind wasn’t mentally fatigued like before, and my days were much more productive. As a result, I highly recommend everyone to go to bed without their phone by their side.

Conclusion

Moderation is key when it comes to social media consumption. Social media is not bad however, like anything, too much of something can have a reverse effect. Social media is a very valuable tool, one that allowed me to connect with people of all walks of life across the world and earn a living. We don’t have to let social media take over and ruin our lives. What we can do is find balance.

How do you stay balanced? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

Patrice K. Cokley is a Marketing Consultant that specializes in brand development, social media marketing, and creative project management. Holding both a BS and MBA in Marketing, she is widely known for her work with Beyoncé & Solange’s dad/former manager Dr. Mathew Knowles. Her work has been seen on major media outlets such as Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Billboard, Ebony, The Wendy Williams Show and more; and she has spoken on panels at Soho House Chicago, Social Media Week Chicago, LakeFX Chicago and others. You can find Patrice online at www.patricekcokley.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Clifford Starks

    Jul 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Great read 100% agree. Social media can be valuable but moderation is definitely key. First step is the realization of such and then putting the 4 tips you have given into play. It is the same thing as being tempted with dessert. If you have them around all the time you are going to eat them. If you always have access to your phone have social media notifications popping up regularly you are going to check. Keep spreading the message, to help people unplug from time to time.

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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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Clifford Starks

    Jul 28, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Great read 100% agree. Social media can be valuable but moderation is definitely key. First step is the realization of such and then putting the 4 tips you have given into play. It is the same thing as being tempted with dessert. If you have them around all the time you are going to eat them. If you always have access to your phone have social media notifications popping up regularly you are going to check. Keep spreading the message, to help people unplug from time to time.

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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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