Outstrip Yesterday by what you do Today

October 6, 2010

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves – to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.”  – Stewart B. Johnson

 When I read this it seemed like an echo from the past – words appropriate to another time and place – weird. And sad. So many people have been beaten down by the length and depth of the recession that optimism has become increasingly difficult.

And therein lies our conundrum: the more we are beaten down, the more difficult it is to draw upon the very resources we need to bring us back up. Oh, we could wait for a serendipitous occurrence to turn life around – a big sale, a new relationship, a sudden, spontaneous improvement in the economy (right). But to do so puts our lives in the hands of chance. You certainly don’t want it in the hands of the government.

If you want your swagger back – NOW; if you want to feel good about life, optimistic, anxious for each day to begin, confident in your ability to achieve, it has to come from within. The question is: how do we reclaim our confidence when reality keeps slapping us in the face? I hate to quote Madison Avenue, but the short answer is: Just Do It!

Wayne Dyer uncovered a clever truth about the old saying “You’ll believe it when you see it.” Turns out that it is true in its original form and when you reverse the meaning, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” The difference is that the original version requires a serendipitous occurrence while the revised version requires only a change in beliefs.

Our power to choose and change our attitude comes from the simple truth taught by Emerson and many others, “You are what you think about all day long.” We don’t need to wait for life to turn around, we can take control, decide what we want and take the actions required to make it so. The key is in the simple quote above: what do you think about? If you focus on past failures, you pull them into your present and forward into the future. To break any destructive cycle, you must replace the old, destructive images with positive thoughts of achievement, prosperity, happiness, confidence, success. If you’re thinking that this is too difficult, stop thinking so much. Just do it, do it now. It might help to remember a time when you did feel powerful and confident. Focus on that time until you “get the feeling,” then hold on to it as much and as long as you can. Practice this every day and miraculous things will happen. Your external reality will evolve in the direction of your intentions, your belief in what you can accomplish, where you are going. Have a good trip.


When all is failing, be optimistic!

August 24, 2010

Quote of the Week

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
–Helen Keller

 So, here is the million dollar question: How can you feel optimistic when you just lost 2 escrows and the one remaining is a short sale you’ve been nursing for 8 months? How can you feel confident when nothing seems to be working for you? (I know that was two questions) 

The answer is simple. Your level of optimism cannot be contingent upon how well “things are going.” Self-confidence cannot be contingent on whether you are currently successful. Huh? Yes, that is what I meant to say. Allowing your feelings to be contingent on past and present results is my definition of VICTIMHOOD. 

You have no control over your feelings when you allow them to be shaped by past or current results. They become like corks bouncing on the waves, controlled by the winds and the currents.  Is this how you want to live? Of course not. 

So, how do you break the relationship between what you see and what you believe? The same way you master anything—the same way you get to Carnegie Hall—practice, practice, practice. Detach your feelings from current events. Focus on your vision of the future. Visualize yourself as a happy, healthy, successful person and allow that image to mold your feelings. Yes you will feel better, but more than that—your positive, optimistic attitude will attract people into your life who can help you to succeed.

When you radiate self-confidence, others feel confident in your abilities.


Believe it when you See it

September 27, 2008

Quote of the Week

 

“Beliefs are the determinants of what one experiences. There are no external ’causes.'”
            
David Hawkins: Internationally renowned psychiatrist, physician, researcher

 

This quote embodies the essence of the phrase “taking responsibility.” Notice I didn’t say “Blame.” There is enough blame in the world without us blaming ourselves for our experience of life. I am no David Hawkins, but here is how I believe the process works:

 

Upon entering the world, we each begin to accumulate a unique set of beliefs. These can be as basic as fire burns, or as complex as the prejudicial beliefs we tend to develop toward certain groups of people (the Irish drink whiskey, Germans drink beer, college students drink anything). Throughout our lives we add and refine these beliefs based on experience. Ex: A man being chased by a rival comes across an apple tree. He picks up a handful of apples from the ground and throws them at his pursuer. He makes a decision that apples are weapons. Attracted by the smell of crushed apples he takes a bite. His belief is now modified to apples can be weapons or applesauce.

 

This long list of beliefs is the basis of our perception, the complex filter through which we view the world. If there was one human perception, there’d be no conflict – but here we are. Since our perception is made up of our beliefs, we tend to see what we expect to see and filter out what we don’t. The old phrase “You’ll Believe it when You See it,” would be more appropriately stated, “You’ll See it when You Believe it.” In summary, the entire process flows like this:

 

1.     Beliefs form our unique perception.

2.     How we perceive the world directs our actions.

3.     Our actions create our experience of the world.

4.     Thus: “Beliefs are the determinants of what one experiences.”

 

Viewed in this manner, we understand that it is our choice of beliefs that ultimately dictates our experience, not external causes. This understanding is helpful because it allows us to not only stop blaming others for our circumstances; it is the source of our power, what allows us to change our lives for the better.

By changing our underlying beliefs we alter our perception, modify our actions and, therefore,

transform our experience of the world.