Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Bucket Lists and Personal Evolution Strategy

Let me begin this article with a confession.  I don't have a bucket list and I am probably not going to make one.

I have always seen the concept of a bucket list as rather a fad that started with the film of the same name, which was released in 2007.  A film about two old men dying of cancer and trying to complete a list of things they want to do before they die.  I don't think it is necessary to have a bucket list just because everyone else seems to have one.

But I do agree it is a good idea to have a list of things I would like to do, places I would like to visit etc.  A list that isn't set in stone.  On the contrary, one that will constantly change as I grow.  Yes, at the time of writing I may be 63 but I am certainly still growing, mentally, emotionally and spiritually even though not physically, and I hope you are too.

I also agree it is a good idea to write it down, so it is a proper list, rather than just have a vague idea of what I would like to achieve some day.  If you practice the Law of Attraction you should be doing this anyway, to help bring those things closer, but if for some reason you are not a believer in the Law of Attraction you should still write those things down or you are bound to have some you simply forget - especially if you are close to my age or older!

The reason the word "bucket" is used here is because of the euphemism "kick the bucket", meaning "die", hence a list of things to do before you die.  When I thought deeper about this recently I looked up what are the commonest expressed regrets of those who are dying.  What do the dying say they most wish they had done.  Here is the list I found:

  • I wish I had lived a life true to myself, not to what was expected of me
  • I wish I hadn't worked so hard
  • I wish I had expressed my feelings more
  • I wish I had stayed in touch with my family and friends
  • I wish I had let myself be happier

Now THAT is a bucket list I can work with!  Not as the list itself, but as a starting point to produce a list.  As a list of areas to work on so I don't have any regrets when I die.  My Personal Evolution Strategy.

Take a look at each of these regrets in turn.  Make sure you do agree you would regret it if at the point of your death you had to say any of those things.  One good way to do this is to re-state each of the regrets as its opposite.

For example, "I wish I had done what was expected of me instead of living a life true to myself!"  Can you honestly say that?  I hope not!  If it feels absolutely wrong to you to say it, then you know "I wish I had lived a life true to myself, not to what was expected of me" would be a genuine regret.

Take 5 sheets of paper (or more if you have come up with some other broad concepts which don't fit into any of these 5) and, at the top of each sheet, write a positive statement reflecting the appropriate wish.  Make sure it is positive and written in the present tense so you are visualizing it as a reality, something which is a part of your essential being right now, not at some vague time in the future.  You have a birth certificate so you know the exact day you were born, but you don't yet have a death certificate, so you don't know the exact day you are going to die.  It could be tomorrow!  In fact, not wishing to be morbid, but with the number of people who regularly read my blog articles it is very likely it WILL be tomorrow for at least one or two!  So if you want to avoid having those regrets this needs to be a new "you" starting today, not next week or next year!

Here are my suggestions, although you may choose slightly different wordings:

  • I live a life true to myself
  • I take plenty of time off to spend with my loved ones doing the things we love
  • I always express my feelings fully
  • I spend lots of time with my family and friends
  • I always allow myself to be as happy as I can be

Now reflect on each of them and tease out exactly what they mean to you.  You will need to spend quite a long time teasing some of them out, as they can be very broad.  Also it may be very difficult at first even to understand what this particular heading really means.  What is "a life true to myself" for example?  The answer to that may take a few hours of reflection rather than just a few minutes.

I suggest you do each of these as a form of meditation at first, and then when your brief meditation has finished you can write copious notes.

Once you have done this, use those notes to identify particular things you wish to achieve so you fulfill much better what you have written in the heading.

Finally, on another 5 sheets of paper, write each heading again, and underneath write the specifics, again in a positive manner in the present tense.  Staple the pages together and you have your Personal Evolution Strategy.  Resolve to yourself that this is your strategy and start doing the specifics you have written.  In the space of just one day you will probably find you have made an enormous jump forward in your personal evolution.  Keep making these quantum leaps and there will be one fewer people in the world who will have real regrets when he or she dies!

By all means create a traditional "bucket list" if you wish.  Certainly have your growing and evolving list of things you wish to achieve, places you wish to visit etc.  But far more powerful than these is your Personal Evolution Strategy which is now the starting point for what you really wish to and can accomplish in this life.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Be the Change

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”

This was written by Mahatma Gandhi in 1913, paraphrased on bumper stickers to "Be the change you wish to see in the world".

How true!  On so many levels!

The only thing you can change in human society directly is yourself.  You can encourage others to change, but you cannot change them; only they can do that.  But indirectly you most certainly can, and you do that by changing yourself.

Do you want world peace?  Guess what?  The way to begin creating world peace is to begin by making yourself peaceful.

But notice also the third sentence.  "As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him."  I believe this is one of the missing keys to Manifestation.

Thousands of people, perhaps even millions, have tried Manifestation, Affirmation, Creative Visualization, the Law of Attraction - it comes in many guises and with many different names, but the concept is the same.  They try it, but then give up because (they say) it doesn't work.  Are you one of those people?  I hope not!  It does work as long as you do it properly.

Does what you focus on materialize?  Perhaps.  But certainly not every time.  Not even most of the time.  The world would be completely chaotic if it did.  Just imagine it for one moment!  Think how many completely irreconcilable demands there would be on the universe!  There would be signs of the laws of physics being broken all the time.  After all, Jesus did tell his disciples "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Perhaps you think this makes me a sceptic.  Why am I saying something that appears to go against what all Law of Attraction coaches teach?

Well, firstly, if you really take the Law of Attraction very seriously and study properly under a good coach you will find that is not what the best coaches teach.  What has happened is that people have extracted "sound bites" from the pure teachings and then pass these little extracts on as though they are the entire story.  Is Christianity a religion that teaches its followers to uproot mountains?  Not a bit of it!  But if the only verse in the Bible you have read is Matthew 17:20 then you could be forgiven for thinking it was.

Secondly, and the best coaches will certainly teach you this, good practice of the Law of Attraction begins with you changing your own nature.  Change what you are to reflect what it is you want to achieve and the Universe will recognize that and will begin to reward you by returning to you the things that fit with that new nature.

Have you ever noticed that lottery winners tend to lose most of their money within a few years of receiving it, or even faster?  Also, have you ever noticed that people who have created a fortune themselves can lose it all but quite quickly get it all back again?  Here are just a few examples of the latter:

  • Walt Disney's first film company went bust in 1922.  I don't think I need remind you that this was not the end of the Walt Disney empire!  Why?  Because he was Walt Disney!  It is who he was!

  • Larry King filed for bankruptcy in 1978.  In 2015 he was estimated to be worth around $150 million.  Why?  Because he is Larry King!  It is who he is!

  • Francis Ford Coppola filed for bankruptcy twice.  The latest information I could find on his net worth is $100 million.  Why?  Because he is Francis Ford Coppola!  It is who he is!

  • Kim Basinger had $5.4 million in 1993.  She was sued for $8.1 million and went bankrupt.  In 2014 she was worth $36 million.  Why?  Because she is Kim Basinger!  It is who she is!

You are probably saying "I am not Walt Disney, Larry King, Francis Ford Coppola or Kim Bassinger".  But that is the point!  Each of these people have (or had) something within them that made them who they are.  Take away their wealth and it just comes back, because of who they are.  Believe it or not, you can and should also change your internal nature so that the Universe begins to provide you with what it is you really want.

This is only the first step.  Once you have taken it you must also do those things in the "sound bites" you have probably already read in articles on Manifesting and the Law of Attraction.  But take that step first.  Be the change you wish to see!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

How to Eliminate Fear and Anxiety

Do you ever worry about something?  Do you suffer from anxiety?  Are you ever fearful?  Would you like to eliminate fear, worry and anxiety altogether?

Before we go any further, let me clarify one important point about fear.  The reason nature has given us an emotion we call "fear" is to try to stop us from getting into dangerous situations when we do not need to.  This is a good thing.  You should not try to eliminate that fear, but rather respect it.  React to the fear by doing whatever you can to remove yourself from a dangerous or catastrophic situation.  Once you have done that and know there is nothing else you should or can do, then use the techniques in this article to eliminate the fear.

Deciding whether or not you can do anything about a situation is a very important first step, perhaps the most important step of all.  If there is something you can do which may stop something bad happening, then do it!  Don't sit there worrying about what might happen if there is something you can do to stop it!  This might seem obvious, but for some reason most people never take this first step, but instead feel like a rabbit frozen in the headlights of a car about to run it over.  The rabbit could simply run away and avoid the terrible fate awaiting it, but it doesn't as it is paralyzed by the very fear nature intended to save it from that fate.  Do not become that rabbit!

Once you have thought through the actions you could take, and have taken the appropriate ones, now is the time to eliminate the fear or worry as now it is serving no useful purpose.

One method I always use at this point is to imagine whatever it is I fear or whatever is worrying me has happened.  Imagine the worst case scenario.  Now think about whatever you can do to make the best of a bad situation.  Once you have done those things, just how bad is it?  How does it compare with, for example, the suffering of people trapped in Aleppo?  Is it as bad as that?  I think not!  Accept this bad result and move on.  Don't spend too long on this, as you don't want inadvertently to invoke the law of attraction and find you have created the bad situation for yourself.  Now that you recognize there will be things you can do at the time to reduce the hurt of whatever this bad situation may be, put it behind you.  Remember you have done everything you can to stop it happening in the first place, and you have recognized it is not exactly the end of the world if it does happen, and therefore the fear and worry serves no purpose any longer.  It can be a good idea to verbalize this.  Thank the worry for having alerted you, tell it you have addressed the problem (either by changing things so it doesn't happen, by accepting the results if it does, or both), and then tell it now it has done its job it can go away.

You may think talking to a worry in this way is childish and silly, but it is not - it is actually a very effective way of disarming it.

Recognize that what you have done here is simply accept the worst case scenario should it ever occur.  Unless you have worked pretty hard to create a bad situation for yourself it is probably never going to materialize.  In 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote the following to John Adams:

"How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened!"

Sometimes we worry about something because it seems too big for us to deal with, and yet we also feel it is something we SHOULD be dealing with.  The answer to this is to treat it in the same way as you would treat the task of eating an elephant (sorry to all of my vegetarian friends!) - break it down into bite sized pieces and then deal with each piece one at a time.  The big puzzle may seem too big for you to solve, but there are usually small pieces you can chip away and solve, eventually making that big problem very much smaller.  While you are dealing with one piece, again address the big worry.  Again thank it for showing your there is a problem which needs to be solved and tell it that you are dealing with it piece by piece.  Ask it to go away while you are solving each piece so that it does not stop the very process it wanted you to start.

You may find just the techniques I have given you above are enough to deal with all your fears, worries and anxieties.  But there are many people for whom this is simply not enough.  They find they are still worrying about things.  Often those worries and anxieties are "nameless".  They don't know what they are worrying about.  Worrying and being anxious has become such a habit that they simply cannot stop.  If you find you are one of these habitual worriers, then read on for what you can do once you have used the principal attacks on your worries.

Schedule some time each day to practise meditation, mindfulness exercises or yoga.  Ideally you should do this when you first wake in the morning and again just before you go to sleep at night.  I am not going to go through any meditation or yoga techniques in this article as that would probably turn it into a book!  Take a look and you will find plenty of material around - including in other articles in this blog.  Perhaps even invest in some books on the subject, subscribe to a course, join a local group.  Do anything - just as long as you take some action!  What you will find is that these techniques will help you relax and your nameless anxieties will gradually melt away.

Even regular physical exercise can help.  Having a hard work-out can make those worries, the ones not related to anything you can deal with, simply melt away.

Finally, do not underestimate the importance of staying socially engaged.  The support good friends can give you should not be underestimated.  Sometimes they can help you directly with the things that are worrying you if you take the trouble to ask for their help or advice.  Even when this is not the case you will find simply enjoying good company will lower your anxiety levels for no apparent reason at all.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Angel in Disguise

Have you met an angel?

No, I am not joking.  This is a serious question.

The word "angel" derives from the Greek word "angelos", which means "messenger".  Typically, a messenger from God.  Or, if you prefer, a messenger from the Universe.  One who comes to tell us how we can play our rightful part in the Universal plan, and also how to become open to the good things God, or the Universe, wants to let us have.

Personally I believe in spiritual beings who are "personal angels", just as I believe in a spiritual being who is my "personal God".  But this is really only one small aspect of the concept of an angel, and you do not need to believe in angels as spiritual beings in order to gain enormous benefits through your interaction with angels.

An angel can easily be your next door neighbour.  A work colleague.  A relative.  A close personal friend.  If this person gives you a message from God or from the Universe, even if they do not realize they are giving you this message, then they are most certainly an angel.  An angel in disguise.  An angel who does not even realize he or she is an angel.  An angel who is flesh and blood just like you and me.

Let me answer the question I asked you.  No matter what you think I can assure you that you HAVE met an angel.  Not just one, but many angels.  And you will meet many more.  The angels you have met have probably always been in disguise, so perhaps you have not recognized them.  They have carried messages to you, but either you have not heard the message or, if you heard it, you have rejected it as nonsense.

Do you know the story of the time Abraham and Sarah met with angels?  Those angels promised them that Sarah would have a baby.  This was difficult for Abraham and Sarah to believe, as he was 99 and she was 90.  Imagine that - conceiving and giving birth at the age of 90!  But it happened anyway.

Although they found the message difficult to believe, at least Abraham and Sarah heard the message and knew it was from God.  And what had been promised happened 9 months later when Sarah gave birth to their son Isaac.

Maybe you believe this story from Genesis 18, or maybe you do not.  But whether or not you believe it, know for certain that angels are constantly giving you messages, all of them about very good things and all of them true.  Usually you need to be receptive to those messages in order to receive those good things from the Universe.  If you fail to hear the message, or refuse to believe it, then it is unlikely you will be able to receive the blessings God, or the Universe, really wants to give you.

Be more open.  Be more ready to receive the messages the Universe is constantly sending you.  Change your state in this way and you will be amazed at the way your life can change for the better.

Everyone on earth performs as an angel many times during their lifetime.  Again, usually without realizing that is what they are doing.  So if you feed someone who is hungry, clothe someone who is naked, visit someone who is in prison, you are doing those good things for an angel, a messenger from God.  And the Universe sees this and will bless you even more for doing it.

Finally, if everyone on earth performs as an angel many times, clearly that means that you too are an angel.  You are an angel in disguise.  You carry messages from God to those around you whether or not you realize you are doing so.  If you recognize this is happening, then you can tune yourself more clearly so those messages come through more strongly and so even more messages come through.  Just like tuning a radio properly so there is a clearer signal.  Become more in tune with the Universe, more in tune with your purpose in life and you will find not only are you helping those around you far more than you may have thought possible, but also you are becoming far more receptive to all the good the Universe wishes to give you.  This is perhaps one of the most important secrets of Manifestation, so learn it well!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Reason for Being

Why am I here?

That is a question most of us ask ourselves at least once in our lives.  Actually, I hope it is a lot more than once, because when you ask a question often enough you usually get an answer, and the answer to this question is probably the most important answer you will ever get.

The Japanese call the answer to this question "Ikigai" - the reason for being.  In Okinawa people say that "ikigai" is the reason for getting up in the morning, which I feel is a very good way to think of it.

The answer to the question will change over time.  It is meant to.  Your purpose in life will vary according to many different factors, a lot of which are changing all the time.  The very core of the answer may be the same throughout your life, but the detailed way in which it is expressed will change.

For example, your answer may be "to make the world a better place".  A great answer!  But if you want to create a plan of what to do, it is probably not very helpful.  It is great as a spirit level to check the correctness of something you plan to do, but not actually to generate the idea in the first place.  You therefore need to dig deeper.

One good way of digging deeper, and finding your own true reason for living, is to create a series of 4 lists.  These should be headed as follows:

1 What do I love?
2 What am I good at?
3 What does the world need?
4 What can I be paid for?

Produce the lists in that order.

When you are producing each list, be as open as you possibly can be.  Write down all the ideas that come to you even if they seem silly.  Make sure the list is as long as you can make it.

The first half dozen ideas should be very easy and should come very quickly.  The next dozen or so probably won't come so quickly but should still not be too difficult.  But don't stop there.  Keep going.  You may find after you have produced a list of 20 you struggle to find any more.  Or perhaps that will happen when you get to 30.  Or maybe it happened even earlier at 10 or 15.  This will be different for each list and different for each person.  If you are an athlete you will know what I mean when I say you have reached "the wall".  You have got to that place where it seems impossible to go any further.  And it is by crossing that wall that an athlete really gets into the zone and goes on to win.  So cross the wall - spend time digging deep, as you may well find that the ideas that come up the other side of the wall are the most fruitful.

Produce all 4 lists in this way, but it is actually the first 2 that are key.  Three and four are vital, but you may find once you have produced one and two you can fill in three and four from ideas in one and two.

Take the first two lists, "What do I Love?" and "What am I Good at", and try to find items that are on both lists.  If you spent enough time and crossed the wall for both lists you will find a large number that are on both.  While you are doing this you are also allowed to cheat.  By this, I mean if you see an item on one list and cannot find it on the other, but feel instinctively it belongs there, then add it!

You are now going to create more lists.  Sorry about all these lists, but it is really important!  The first of these new lists is headed "Passion".  On your "Passion" list, write down everything that you have just identified are in lists one and two.

Now take lists 1 "What do I Love?" and 3 "What does the World Need?" and find any shared items on both these lists.  Copy these into a new list headed "Mission".

So, you now have a number of things that you love and that you are good at, which are all your passions, and a number of things you love and you believe the world needs, which are your missions.

Take list 2 now, "What am I good at?", and compare it with list 4 "What can I be paid for?".  Copy these into a new list, headed "Profession".

Then take list 3, "What does the world need?", and compare it with list 4 "What can I be paid for?".  Copy these into a new list, headed "Vocation".

Now you have 4 new lists:

a Passion
b Mission
c Profession
d Vocation

Look at all four of the new lists.  What items are on all 4?  Write each of these on a list headed "Reason for Being".

Some of the items that have ended up on "Reason for Being" may well surprise you.  You may never have thought of putting effort into them, but this "Reason for Being" exercise has highlighted them as very important.

What you do with this list is up to you.  Maybe it will prompt you to start a new career or a new business.  Maybe you will start a new hobby that ends up giving you some "pocket money".  Perhaps you will not make any radical changes but just slightly modify what you do and how you do it.  You may meditate, focussing on your "Reason for Being" list and see what arises from your meditation session.

I cannot promise you will suddenly make loads more money, or feel much more needed, or completely change your career.  But I can promise you that in one way or another you will change, subtly perhaps or maybe quite obviously, and that you will be better as a result.  And once you have performed this exercise, don't think the job is now done and never need be done again.  As I said at the outset, things change over time, and this "Reason for Being" process can be very valuably repeated many times over your life.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Why You Need a Life Coach

Why do you need a life coach?  What does a life coach actually do?

Many people completely misunderstand the main purposes of a coach, and how the right coach can really help them achieve whatever it is they want to achieve.

First and foremost, a coach is not there to tell you what to do.  A good coach knows it is important for YOU to realize what you need to do.  At the stage where you are working out what to do, the coach will help you discover from inside yourself what it is you really want to do.

You may well think that is an unneccesary step.  After all, you already know what you want to achieve, don't you?

Well I would suggest you probably don't yet.  In earlier posts I have gone into great depth about ways to unearth your true desires.  You may now realize that very often (in fact, I would go as far as to say in most cases) what you initially think you want to achieve does not properly reflect your true inner desires.  As long as you are striving for something that is not fully aligned with your true inner desires it is like trying to swim or paddle against a very strong tide - maybe you will eventually get there, but only after a great deal of immensely hard struggle.  And when you DO get there you don't feel as satisfied as you ought to, as you haven't achieved what you really wanted anyway.

A good coach will therefore start with that.  What exactly is it that you want to achieve?  Is it truly aligned with your inner desires?  Each coach will have quite different ways of doing this, and often you will not even realize this is what they are doing, but the end result is the same: you recognize what you really want to achieve.

Even if this was all a coach did for you it would be well worth the time and money invested.  But for most coaches this is just the first step.

In order to get from where you are to where you want to be you have to take some action.  Yes, the Universe wants you to get there, and will provide an enormous amount of help for you to get there, but first you have to take action yourself.  What action?  Well here is where a good coach will help you take the next steps.  The coach will work with you to help you identify where you are starting from and what steps you need to take in order to move in the right direction.  It is not the case, though, that the coach will have a pre-prepared plan and simply give you that plan to follow.  Everyone has a slightly different goal from everyone else, even if the goals look quite similar, and everyone is starting from a different place.  By this, I don't just mean your own personal circumstances, albeit those circumstances are certainly extremely important.  But I also mean your state of mind, the strength of your desires, the spiritual strength you have.  What the coach will do is work with you to help you identify all these key factors so you start moving in the right direction.

Finally, but just as important as all the earlier steps, your coach will be there with you in spirit on your journey.  He or she will help you stay focussed, help you negotiate the many unexpected obstacles you will undoubtedly find along the way, help you prime yourself with the right motivation to continue that journey even when you may despair of ever reaching the goal you have defined.  The coach will be someone who will make you accountable.  We all need to be accountable to someone, even if that someone is just ourselves.  But having a coach makes it much less likely you will give up along the way and forget to be accountable.

I hope this article has helped you recognize the value a good coach can add to anyone's life.  Perhaps it has also made you recognize that you, too, could become a good coach and earn a very good living by helping others achieve their goals.  Let me know if this is the case and I will be happy to put you in touch with someone who can help you do exactly that!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


No, this is not a blog about the 2011 film, or the follow-up 2015 television series.

I guess, though you could say those fictional entertainments share one thing with what I am about to say.  That is that none of us is using even a fraction of the power we have within us.

I am not talking about the unused fraction of our brains though, a fraction that is often stated to be nine tenths.  Particularly because most scientists would completely disagree that we only use 10% of our brain.  Those scientists say that we do actually use all of our brain, but that there is a lot of deliberate redundancy there.  So, depending on exactly where in the brain you do this, you may be able to cut out one part of the brain and still not lose any mental capacity.

I am not talking about the brain, which is physical, but I AM talking about the mind, which is not physical.  Some believe the mind is entirely based in the brain and is simply our experience of electrical activity in the brain.  I do not believe this.  I believe our mind is a spark of the Divine mind.  The power of the entire universe is within the mind.  It would be difficult to imagine this if the mind were simply electrical activity in the brain, as there would be clear physical limits.  If you believe you have no soul and when this life is extinguished so are you, then you may continue to believe that your mind is contained within the brain, and is in fact just a reflection of the electrical impulses passing through the brain.  But if, like me, you believe there is more to life than this, then you also believe that some part of you, whether you call it your mind, your soul, your spirit, or all three, is not constrained by the physical limits of the brain.  It is no big step from that belief to a belief that there is a Universal mind, which is limitless.

Jung touched on this a little when he wrote about the collective unconscious.  Our conscious mind is only the surface of a vast unconscious mind.  The conscious mind seems to be individual and separate, but the collective unconscious is what it says - collective.  It belongs to all of us.  Within it are "archetytpes", or universal symbols we all recognize and to which we all react in a similar way.  In some societies those archetypes are expressed as the gods, with a lower case "g".  Followers of the monotheist semitic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) either do not believe in these "gods", or believe they are evil, but this is really a misunderstanding of what they really are - archetypes.

Think of this collective unconscious as an ocean.  You can dive deeper and deeper in this ocean.  The deeper you dive the wider you find it becomes.  At shallower depths it may encompass only the unconscious mind of one part of mankind, but as you go deeper it includes the unconscious mind of the entire human race throughout the whole of time.  Eventually, if you were able to keep diving, you would find yourself face to face with God, not "gods".  Because in its entirety it IS God.

I have used the word God here, but if you prefer you can call it the Universe.  It is the collective unconscious of the Universe.  The entire power of the Universe is here.  And "here" is the depths of your unconscious mind.

Intellectually this is not something you can "know".  There is no scientific proof I can give you, because this kind of thinking is not subject to scientific proof.  You can neither prove this to be right nor to be wrong.  But it is something you can intuitively know.  Not through study, but just through convincement.  It is something that you will just "know" when you are ready for that knowledge.  An article such as this may bring you to that state, not through logical analysis, but rather as a catalyst.

When you know that the entire power of the Universe is deep within your mind (your mind, not your brain!) you will also know that you really are limitless.  Not like Eddie Morra in the film "Limitless"; despite the title he was still limited to a degree.  But the power of the Universe has no limits at all.  The Universe is limitless - and so are you!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Self Belief

Imagine you are a sculptor.  Not a painter.  A sculptor.  Now imagine someone asks you to paint a giant scene over 1,100 square metres - roughly one sixth of the size of a football pitch.  The scale required will be massive, so it will be impossible for you to see what is developing as you paint.  You are asked to paint this scene over another painting made by an old master, but are assured this will not be a problem because the person who owns this believes your painting will be better than the one already there.  Remember, you are not even a painter, let alone a great painter.  Leaving aside the ethics of destroying a valuable piece of art, and just thinking of the challenge before you, would you do it?  Or would you react by saying "I am not a painter, I'm a sculptor!  I cannot do this!  Even if I manage to complete this mammoth task, what I paint won't even be as good as what I will be replacing!".  Would you have as much faith in yourself as the man who has asked you to do this clearly has in you?

You may well know the story I am telling here.  The painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City by Michaelangelo.  At the time Pope Julius II commissioned this work Michaelangelo was not a painter but a sculptor.  Yes, he was an artist, but of a very different kind.  He had never before done anything like the work Julius was asking him to do.  It wasn't even ordinary painting, but rather highly specialised fresco work on a curved surface high above the ground.  But the Pope believed in him and so Michaelangelo also believed in himself, despite initial doubts and worries.  When he was a third of the way through the job, Michaelangelo saw mould spreading over his work, spoiling the painting before it was anywhere near completion.  So he had to stop what he was doing, remove the mould, and change the way he was painting so the mould did not reappear and destroy his work.  If he had succumbed to his very natural initial self doubt we would now not have one of the most beautiful frescos in the world.  Yes, he had doubts and worries.  But, encouraged by the Pope who believed in him, he also had self belief and completed the task, taking nearly 5 years to do so.

If Michaelangelo had asked his friends whether he should attempt this impossible task, what do you think they would have advised?  Probably not even to try!

Let's imagine something else.  Imagine you were born without arms.  But you have decided you would like to be a pilot.  Impossible?  You would think so, wouldn't you?  Especially given the requirement to pass a pretty stringent assessment of your flying skills before you are given a pilot's licence.  It might seem impossible, but if you have self belief you can do it.  That is what Jessica Cox did.  Jessica wanted to achieve her dream of flying.  She believed in her ability to do so even though nobody without arms had ever learned to fly.  All she had going for her was her self belief, but that was enough.  Jessica became the first person in the world ever to gain a licence to fly.

If you had been born without arms and knew that nobody without arms had ever flown a plane, could you have dreamt of becoming a pilot and then done everything necessary to get your licence?  Jessica did, because she had self belief.  I can imagine her family and friends told her she was crazy.  It would certainly have seemed that way.  But Jessica never gave up, and now she flies planes using just her feet!

I want you to spend a few moments thinking about what you want to achieve in life.  Don't worry whether or not it seems to be achievable.  All that matters is that it is something you really want to achieve.  Write it down.  Not as something you want one day, but write it as though it is something you have already achieved.

You will probably now hear all the voices in your head telling you why you can never achieve it.  But think about it for a moment.  Is it really so much more difficult than having no arms, yet obtaining a pilot's licence - at a time when nobody else thought this was even possible?  Believe in yourself just as Jessica Cox did and you can achieve your dream.

You will probably face obstacles along the way that you had never expected, even when you first thought about your dream and recognized how difficult it would be to achieve it.  Michaelangelo knew he was attempting a near impossible task when he began painting the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, but he didn't also expect his painting would start going mouldy when he was only part way through.  He didn't give up at that point, but simply found the right way to tackle this new obstacle.  You must do the same.

Finally, having decided what it is you want to achieve, take the first step, then the next, and then the next.  Don't simply sit there waiting for it to happen.  It won't unless you take action!  Having agreed to paint the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, Michaelangelo didn't just sit down and wait for the fresco to appear.  He got on with it.  Having decided she wanted a pilot's licence, Jessica Cox didn't sit there waiting for someone to give her one.  She started doing all that was necessary for her to earn it.  So must you.  Start with self belief.  Know you can achieve it.  Then get on and do whatever is necessary for you to get there!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Meditation

Why meditate?

Funnily enough, this is not a question I hear very often.  I get the "why" question about a lot of things, but not about meditation.

I say "funnily enough", as I know the reality is that very few people really seem to practise meditation.  They apparently know why they should, but just never get around to it.

But I am now going to give some good medical reasons anyway.  Don't skip them!  Don't say "I know why I SHOULD meditate" unless you regularly practise meditation.  If you don't regularly practise, then you really need to remind yourself of exactly what you are missing.

According to "Mind", a large and well respected mental health charity, one in four people in the UK will suffer with a mental health problem this year.  Read that again: one in four!  You may not live in the UK, but the statistics are probably very similar in your country.  Probably not publicized, as to far too many people "mental illness" is a dirty word, so the problem tends to be brushed under the carpet.  Just think about it for a second - if you have a spouse and two children then the statistics say it is very likely one of you will have a mental problem in the very near future.  By far the commonest problem is a condition consisting of a mix of anxiety and depression.  Roughly 10% of the population suffer from this.  Over 2.5% will suffer from severe clinical depression.  Around 17% will consider suicide at some point in their life.  Are these statistics surprising and disturbing?  They certainly took me aback!

One of the best answers to this very prevalent problem is to practise meditation.  In January 2014 an assistant professor of medicine at John Hopkins University, Madhav Goyal, published a paper in the American Medical Association's journal of internal medicine, reviewing the results of properly conducted scientific studies on the impact of meditation on anxiety and depression.  Goyal found good evidence that meditation was as effective in countering and controlling anxiety and depression as was a properly administered and controlled drug therapy regime.  He also found that there had been far too little proper research of this kind, and the suggestion was that meditation would most likely be found to be even more effective if anyone bothered to research it more thoroughly!  What an inditement!  But also, what an endorsement of the power of meditation!

Another study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, showed that a meditation program resulted in a significant reduction in anxiety and panic attacks in a group of patients with anxiety and panic disorder.

A study by neuroscientists at Harvard University, headed by Dr Sara Lazar, showed that regular meditation resulted in a significant increase in the grey matter of the brain in areas that controlled memory, learning ability, regulation of emotions, compassion, self-awareness and the ability to put things in perspective - and that these results were obtained after only 8 weeks of meditation.  Please read this sentence again!  Regular meditation even for a fairly short period has been demonstrated in a controlled scientific experiment to increase your ability to learn, to control your enotions, become more self-aware, become less concerned about problems, and even simply to be more compassionate.  Look at that list!  If you are at all interested in self improvement you should certainly be including regular meditation in your various practices.

The more the cerebral cortex of your brain is folded, the better your brain becomes at processing information.  In other words, you make better decisions if your brain is folded more.  Well research by the UCLA Department of Neurology in 2012 showed that people who meditated regularly experienced greater folding of their cerebral cortex.  This means meditation improves your brain in a way that means you can make better decisions.

An article published in 2010 in "Behavioural and Brain Functions" showed that even novice meditators were able to perform tasks significantly better after just a short course of meditation.  The research also showed that there was an apparent reduction in the need for sleep in the group practising meditation for a longer period.  So the evidence suggests you should be able to work more effectively, whatever that work might be, and either sleep less or gain greater benefit from sleeping for the same number of hours.  Do you think this might be beneficial for you?  If so, you need to meditate!

In the Journal of Neuroscience, 6th April 2011, a group of researchers reported on a study which showed meditation significantly reduces the effect of pain.  They measured two factors - pain "unpleasantness" and pain intensity.  The research showed that after just 4 days of meditation, the volunteers showed a reduction of 57% in the "unpleasantness" of a pain sensation, and a 40% reduction in the intensity of the pain.  Apparently this is a greater impact than a normally prescribed dose of morphine would give, but without the potential side effects of severe constipation and even possible addiction if too much morphine is required.

There are many more proven health benefits of meditation, but let me finish with just one more.  A study by scientists at the Institute for Psychological Research and Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden University, showed after a very short period of meditation (three 45 minute sessions every 10 days) the meditators became more creative.  When researching a problem we all have a tendency to follow one train of thought and then miss all the other possiblities which might otherwise have occurred to us.  This is termed "convergent thinking".  The opposite of this, "divergent thinking", allows us to consider lots of different ideas instead of being trapped in just one way of thinking.  What the researchers found was that the meditation exercises promoted divergent rather than convergent thinking.  So if you meditate you are much more likely to come up with different, productive ideas.

I suggest you read this again and again.  Meditation has scientifically proven, medically confirmed benefits.  It changes your brain physically in ways that:

  •   reduce anxiety, depression and other mental health problems
  •   increase your ability to learn
  •   improve your memory
  •   improve your ability to control negative emotions
  •   reduce your worries about problems
  •   improve your abilities to find the right answers to problems
  •   increase your compassion
  •   increase your self-awareness
  •   improve your ability to make the right decisions
  •   improve your ability to complete tasks properly
  •   reduce the intensity and "unpleasantness" of pain
  •   improve creativity

Is this list long enough for you?  I hope so, even though it has only just scratched the surface.  Perhaps now you will be more ready to start meditating properly and regularly so you can gain all these great benefits!

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


How suggestible are you?

When I ask people this question, the typical response is "I am not suggestible at all!"  Fortunately that is not true!

Fortunately?  Why am I suggesting that it is a good thing to be suggestible?

The reason I believe it can be a very good thing is that you can take advantage of the suggestible quality of your mind to create changes you really want to see in yourself.

Take creative visualization for example.

Many people, myself included, believe when you use visualization to manifest something, you are using the power of the Universe.  But I also believe that power of the universe is within me if only I will make an effort to use it!  By focusing properly on whatever it is I wish to achieve, by putting it in a setting that generates warmth and happiness and that reminds me I have already achieved it, I am in a sense "tricking" my subconscious mind to utilize that inner Universal power.

When you use affirmations, you are doing the same thing.  You are "tricking" your subconscious and making it believe you have reached your goal and all that remains is to bring this inner reality into the physical world.

In both cases, the main reason this works is because you are suggestible.  If you were not at all suggestible, then your subconscious would ignore your visualizations and affirmations and simply retort that they do not accord with what it sees in the physical world.

Sometimes, though, that DOES happen.  It happens when your subconscious becomes aware that you ARE tricking it.  Allow that to happen and for that moment in time you are no longer suggestible, which means your visualizations and affirmations will not work.

Typically, this will occur when you approach manifesting techniques in a half-hearted manner.  Perhaps you begin affirming but at the same time keep thinking this is probably not going to work.  If you do that, then I can guarantee it is NOT going to work.  Your subconscious is not going to respond, as it knows you are trying to trick it.  It is almost as though you are first sending it a message saying "don't believe what I am going to say next - it isn't true!".

One of the secrets of manifesting properly is to leave all your doubts to one side.  You may simply be able to do this without using any other techniques.  Or you may need to bring those doubts to the surface first, and address them one by one, setting each aside as you answer it.

You should also try to get yourself into a suggestible state.  Relax!  Allow your mind to drift and reach your "safe haven".  This is a place where you know you are perfectly safe no matter what.  Where you are nurtured by the Universe and feel really happy and comfortable.  I cannot describe this place for you, as the reality is we each have our own safe haven which is not going to be exactly the same as anyone else's safe haven.  You should spend some time meditating and exploring your inner world so you can find your own safe haven.

Use these techniques and you will find you are much more suggestible and your visualizations and affirmations work far better.

Be aware, though, that suggestibility can work against you as well.  Not in your safe haven or when you are using these techniques.  But when you are just living your normal life it is possible for others to take advantage of your suggestibility.  I don't want you to worry about this, as your own suggestions will be far more powerful.  But I do want you to be aware so you can counter any negative influence.  Make sure you associate with other positive people, not with any who are negative and will consciously or unconsciously send negative messages to your own subconscious mind.

Recognize that if you are a human being, then by your very nature you are suggestible.  Use that knowledge to reduce the power of negative people to influence you, and use it to harness the extraordinary power of the universe to change you and everything around you to what you really want for yourself.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Abundance and Religion

We live in an abundant world.  Abundance surrounds us.  Never doubt it!  Abundance of things, of relationships, of happiness - of everything good.

If you are at all religious you will most certainly find references to the abundance all around you in the holy writings of your religion.

For my Moslem friends, refer to Chapter 108 of the Quran, the shortest chapter in your holy book.  It says "We have given thee abundance of good things."  This was written at a time when the Holy Prophet was facing what seemed a very gloomy future.  It looked as though his mission was about to fail, and he would have been justified in feeling complete despair.  Yet the message he received was that there was an abundance of good things all around him, he didn't despair, and his mission certainly didn't fail!

For my Jewish and Christian friends, the Bible is absolutely full of references to abundance.  Perhaps the clearest example, loved by both Jews and Christians, is Psalm 23.  The entire Psalm reminds us that no matter how bad things may seem to be ("Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death") we are provided with everything we need.  We are living in an abundant world, looked after by God (or the Universe, if you prefer a non-theistic approach) who "prepares a table before you in the presence of your enemies".  You need fear nothing, as God (the Universe) is with you every step of the way, ensuring there is an abundance of everything you need.

For my Hindu friends, Section 4.1.5 of the Yajurveda Samhita says "You are the unchanging direction, make unchanging in me children, abundance of wealth, abundance of cattle, abundance of heroism."  If you want to experience abundance, look at the goddess Lakshmi.  Lakshmi personifies the abundance of our universe, and her four hands show us the goals on which we should focus if we want to achieve that abundance: Dharma (right behaviour), Kama (right desire), Artha (right goals) and Moksha (self realization).

For my Buddhist friends, consider the Buddha Ratnasambhava.  Like the Hindu Lakshmi, Ratnasambhava personifies the abundance that is there for all of us if we approach life in the right way.  Ratnasambhava removes the feeling of separation we have from all other life, and which makes us blind to the abundance all around us.  When we recognize the interconnectedness of all things in the universe, we have to recognize the abundance that surrounds us.

For my Sikh friends, the Guru Granth Sahib says "God has produced everything in great abundance. Granting His Grace, God has satisfied all. Bless us with Your Gifts, O my Great Giver. All beings and creatures are satisfied."

Some adherents of these six world religions try to claim their religion forbids them from seeking an abundance of anything.  This is not true.  They are all rooted in the abundance of good that surrounds us and that is intended for all of us to receive in our lives.

If only one religion told us that abundance is all around us for us to enjoy, then we could be forgiven for thinking this does not apply to us as we do not believe in that religion.  When all the major religions tell us this, then perhaps we should listen, whether or not we are normally religious.

Recognize that this is an abundant universe and that you are intended to enjoy that abundance, even if (like the Prophet Mohammed) you are at the centre of despair and it seems there is nothing good awaiting you.  Know that if you behave in the right way (Dharma), encourage and develop your desire for the good things awaiting you (Kama), set proper goals to obtain those things (Artha) and continue working on your self development (Moksha) you will be able to share in the abundance which is all around you.  Become grounded in the abundant universe and allow that abundance to flow through you.  To do anything else is to disrespect the universe and its creator who wants you to enjoy all the good things created just for you.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Self Sabotage

Do you have a goal you want to reach and it always seems just out of your reach?  Or perhaps, even worse, even as you reach the goal you find yourself slipping back.  It was right there in your grasp and then it was gone again.  Or you achieve a goal, are happy that you have got there, but then you find the whole world is conspiring against you to take it away again.

For the big goals in your life maybe this doesn't apply.  They are so big you are nowhere near them yet, so they are not "just out of reach" and you don't find you have achieved them and then they are taken away again.  But you will probably agree this does happen to you with at least some of your smaller goals.  Perhaps those goals you need to reach in order to get closer to your big goals.

So who is that goalkeeper who is so efficient at keeping your ball from passing between the goal posts?  Whoever it is, they must be really good at goal-keeping, as you never seem to score!

If only you could make that goalkeeper switch sides just as you are approaching the goal, how easy it would be.  You would achieve exactly what you want to achieve!

Let me reveal exactly who that goalkeeper is.  It is you!  Yes, that is right!  You are the one who is making it impossible for you to score your own goals.  And I agree that goalkeeper is good.  Really good!  As for switching sides?  Well, now you know you are the one standing in the way and stopping you getting to the goal it should be easier for you to reverse this.  You don't need to make the goalkeeper change sides, just recognize he or she has mistakenly been playing on the wrong side all this time.

Enough of the sports imagery though.  Let's have a closer look at what is happening and what you can do about it.

You are guilty of self sabotage.  This is not another metaphor I have made up, but a recognized psychological issue.  We all do it.

Some of us do it in very noticeable ways.

If, for example, you are trying to get healthier and lose weight you may find you are also a "comfort eater".  You have a bad day at work, so the moment you get home you attack a big bowl of ice cream.  You feel a bit depressed (perhaps even depressed about the fact that you are not losing enough weight) and so you reach for the biscuit tin to give yourself some comfort.

Or you are trying to reach a goal of cutting your credit card debt, perhaps even losing that debt completely.  You have the right plans in place and know you can get there.  Then you suddenly find you have gone on a shopping spree, which has dug a deep hole in your debt reduction strategy.  It is almost as if a different person came along, grabbed your credit card, and put you right back to the beginning again.

I have known sales people, good sales people, who have gone along to one of their most important, big sales ever and have completely screwed up the sale.  Not because they were nervous.  Not because they didn't know how to swing the sale.  But because they found themselves saying things that they knew would mean their prospective client would not buy.  Why did they do this?  Not because they no longer believed in what they were selling.  Not because they thought it was wrong for the person in front of them.  They still believed passionately in the product or service they were selling, and they knew it was right for that person.  They seemed just deliberately to sabotage their own sale.  Why?

I have known business owners who, just as their business was really growing and starting to give them the return they had always dreamed of, started taking actions that any good business consultant could have told them would destroy the progress they had made in the business.  They didn't do this because they hadn't taken the right advice from a business guru.  They did it even though if they had stopped and thought carefully about what they were doing, they would have known it was a disastrous strategy.  So why did they do it?

The answer in all these cases is self sabotage.

Your own self sabotage may not be as obvious as these examples, but I can almost guarantee somewhere along the line you are guilty of committing self sabotage.  And that may be the very reason you have not yet reached your desired goal.

It may be as simple as knowing the right way forward but allowing yourself to go in a different direction.  If you are reading this blog it is very likely you understand very well the concepts of positive and negative thinking.  You know if you focus on the negatives you will never get there, yet still those negative thoughts keep coming into your mind and you don't seem able to stop them.

Why we self sabotage is a deep and complex subject.  I could write a whole book about it, and I guess there are a number already written.  But there are just a few reasons behind most examples of sabotage.

Perhaps one of the commonest reasons is that although you think you want to achieve the goal, deep inside you are afraid of getting there.  You may be afraid of changes it will inevitably trigger in your lifestyle.  Maybe you have got into a comfortable rut and subconsciously you want to hang onto that comfort even though you know it is a rut and you cannot afford to stay there.  You may recognize that once you reach your goal many of your "friends" will be jealous and will no longer want to be your friends.  Notice, though, I put "friends" in quotation marks.  The reality is that your true friends will be happy for you if you do achieve what you want to achieve.  Those who are jealous were never really your friends in the first place and you are better off without them!

Another very common reason is that you have some doubts, which may be genuine concerns, and then you surpress those doubts.  But you have not rid yourself of the doubts, just repressed them.  They are still there, and they are now making you sabotage your efforts to reach your goal.  Instead of repressing them, you need to recognize and address them.

Linked to this is what I, and many other coaches, refer to as "blocks".  Often these arose many years ago, perhaps in your early childhood.  They are usually irrational, but that doesn't stop them making you sabotage your progress towards your goals.  The key to dealing with blocks is to recognize they are there, to identify them.  Sit quietly, focussed on your goal, and allow repressed doubts and objections to arise.  This might not happen immediately.  It might not even happen the first few times you meditate in this way.  But keep trying and you should find they do eventually arise.  Even better, let one of the many good coaches who specialize in "blocks" guide you through the process.

There are many reasons for self sabotage, and there are many ways to counter it.  But the very first step is to recognize that, just like everyone else, you are guilty of sabotaging your own progress from time to time.  Once you recognize this you can work on unearthing the reasons and then finding out how to remove them.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


What is "Manifesting" all about?

I am sure, as you are interested in becoming successful, you have come across the term "manifesting", or "manifestation".  But what exactly does it mean?

The Oxford Dictionary principal definition of "Manifestation" is "an event that embodies something abstract".  In other words, you take something that is not concrete, not "real" in the way most people understand this term, and transform it into reality.

The way it is meant in the "personal development and success" world is very similar to this.  You have a desire (which is not concrete, but abstract) and turn it into reality.

In the medical world, "manifestation" means the way in which an ailment expresses itself through detectable symptoms.  In other words, there is something there which is not visible in itself, but you then become aware of it because it creates something which shows it is there.

Again, this is close to what I believe about "manifestation" when considering success strategies.  My wish or desire for something is not visible in itself, but it then creates a result which is very clearly visible.

Notice that in both definitions there must first really be something there, something undetectable but still very definitely there, before the results can manifest.  This is certainly the case when considering "manifesting" or "manifestation" as part of a strategy to achieve a certain goal.  You cannot simply think it would be nice for something to happen and then assume you have done all that is necessary to manifest it!  The seed must be there in the first place if you want the plant to grow.

Actually, it is a jolly good thing this isn't the way "manifesting" works.  Imagine the chaos!  You have a brief thought that "it would be nice if ..." .  Fill in the gap with anything you like.  Whatever it is, it may be something you really want, something that is right for you, or it may not.

With most things in life we begin by deciding what we might like to happen.  We then think about it and decide whether this really is what we want.  If so, we start to make plans to make it happen.  And then we start taking actions by following that plan so it DOES happen.  At every stage of the way we have the option to change our mind.  Even once we have started taking actions we can usually reverse and start again in a different direction if we begin to feel this is not right for us after all.  Included in all this is our moral and ethical analysis.  Perhaps when we first think of something we would like to happen we don't consider the effect it might have on those around us.  I would like to think that I DO consider this first, or at least very early on in the process, but many people only consider this later on - perhaps when they start taking actions and realize that there are negative implications they had not considered earlier.  Some people may decide to proceed regardless.  Hopefully you are not one of those people!  When you recognize that, for example, the goal you wanted to achieve means people around you will suffer I hope you will reflect carefully and either find a different way which will not cause this suffering, or will change your goal entirely.

So it is important that there is time for a "reality" check, time for proper reflection on all the implications, before whatever it is we want materializes.  And this is exactly the way manifesting works.

First you have to examine your dream carefully.  You must make sure it properly reflects your inner values and that it is something you really want.  During this process you will consider not only what it will mean for you but also what it will mean for others.  You must spend as much time as necessary embedding your desire for this dream properly.  If you have done this properly you will feel an intense emotion when you focus on the dream.  That powerful emotion is the "something abstract" that manifestation is going to turn into a real event or series of events.

Having taken the trouble to ensure you are going after the right dream, you must begin to take the actions that will turn that dream into reality.  These actions will begin with preparing something physical that will constantly remind you of the dream and why it is so important to you.  You will begin turning the "something abstract" into something more physical by giving it a name and writing that down.  A name that truly encapsulates whatever it is you want.  You will write it down in a way that shows it already has moved from the abstract to a real event.  Express it positively in the present moment.  State your dream as a goal already achieved.  This process is what is often called creating a "vision board"  Now all that has to happen is for what you and everyone around you see as "reality" to catch up with true reality.

Do not, though, think that because you have done all this you no longer have to take any other actions.  It is most certainly true, as Sophocles said (in 409 BCE) that "heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act", or in the words of Euripedes (428 BCE) "for to the worker God himself lends aid".  Do not just sit back and wait for it to happen, but take whatever actions you would take to move towards your dream even if you did not believe in "manifestation".  Often, the way manifestation will work is by presenting you with great opportunities.  But if you are not doing anything to move towards you dream you will not notice those opportunities and will not take the actions nedded in order to benefit from them.

In this short article I have only touched on the surface of "manifesting", but you should find there is enough here for you to start building on this foundation.  Don't stop there though - study all you can on this very important subject and take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way to improve your manifesting techniques.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

What are Your Limiting Beliefs?

Notice I didn't ask whether or not you have any limiting beliefs, just what they are.  If you believe you do not have any, you are deceiving yourself.  We all have limiting beliefs.  Every one of us.

Limiting beliefs are not "limited" to the poor and those of us who are not well known.  The French King Charles VI, for example, had a belief that limited him from being touched by others - his belief was that he was made of glass and that if anyone touched him, he would shatter!  Most of us will not have limiting beliefs quite that strange, and most of us will not act quite as erratically as King Charles - who even gave his country away to the King of England!  But we do all have limiting beliefs, and some of those beliefs will be highly debilitating.

A limiting belief is any belief which stops you achieving something you would like to achieve.  This is often, but not always, because you do not believe it is possible for you to achieve it right now.  Sometimes it is a belief that what you want is in some way sinful.  It may be a belief that even though you really want to achieve it, you will be unhappy if you do.  Perhaps because deep inside you are not sure it is right for you.

As you will see, there can be many different kinds of limiting belief.  The best way to deal with some of those beliefs is to take some time to review very carefully what you really do want to achieve.  As I have said many times before, look deep inside and make sure your desire is fully aligned with your inner values.  If it is not, then you will always be struggling against yourself when you try to reach that goal.  Something has to change before you can move forward.  Either your inner values must change or your goal must change.  For more help on aligning your goals with your inner values read my article on Alignment here.

Probably one of the most common limiting beliefs is that your goal is impossible to achieve.  Impossible for you.  Impossible at this time.  Perhaps even impossible for anyone, ever.

Nothing is impossible.  What seems to make it impossible is your limiting belief, or even a whole series of limiting beliefs which are all conspiring against you.  Absolutely anything is possible if you truly believe you can achieve it.  In fact, I would go even further.  My belief is that as long as you are determined to deal with your limiting beliefs you have ALREADY achieved your goal.  Read that again!  You have ALREADY achieved it.  That achievement is in the future, but the future is real, so you have really achieved your goal.  All you have to do now is to allow that future achievement to unfold in the present.

One way to unearth your limiting beliefs is to look out for a person inside you called Mr, Miss, or Mrs Yabut.  Yes, you have multiple personalities, and one of those personalities has the name "Yabut".  This is the person who, when you think about one of your goals, says "yah, but ..."!  What comes after "yah, but ..." is the key.  It is the objection you need to answer.

If you have ever had any sales training you have probably been taught to unearth and then answer objections.  If you don't have this skill it is very difficult to sell anything.  In fact many sales trainers will tell you that an objection is a buying signal.  Your prospective buyer is telling you that he or she wants to buy from you but first you need to help them remove this obstacle.  Give them the help they need to remove that obstacle and you have the sale.  In other words, find the "Yabut", answer it, and then you can assume the sale is made.

It is exactly the same when you are "selling" to yourself.  Find the "Yabut", answer it, and then move on with the certainty that you will now achieve your goal.

Just to give you some encouragement, here are some "Yabuts" that others have answered and moved on to achieve their goals.

Shania Twain was born into poverty.  In her childhood, she and her brother and sisters often went hungry.  From the age of 8 she had to work to help earn enough money for her family to survive.  Shania is now one of the most successful country singers of all time, with a net worth estimated at the time of writing as around $350 million.

Howard Schultz was also born into poverty, and nobody in his family had ever been to college.  Perhaps you have never heard of Howard Schultz.  But I am sure you have heard of Starbucks.  It was Howard Schultz who catapulted Starbucks from a single coffee shop into a worldwide chain that, when I last checked, had nearly 24,000 branches.

Another great man born into poverty was Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate and philanthropist who gave away around $350 Million to charity in the last 18 years of his life.  In today's terms that is over $78 Billion.

Have you heard of Steve Jobs?  I am sure you have - the co-founder of Apple Computers.  Steve had a lot of problems at school.  His parents were not well-off, and when he realized how much college was costing them and how little they could afford it, he dropped out of college to save them the money.  So here you have it - a family background of financial difficulty, and an educational dropout.  Despite this background, and despite many other challenges after he co-founded Apple Computers, Steve Jobs realized his dream and completely revolutionised the computer industry.  In 2010 he was worth over $8 Billion!

J K Rowling struggled as a single mother after a failed marriage, living on state benefits. Her first draft of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was rejected by publishers 12 times, before the 8 year old daughter of the chairman of the Bloomsbury publishing house read the first chapter and demanded to see the next chapter!  Bloomsbury took her on, but also told her she should get a "proper" job, as she had little chance of making any money as an author of children's books.  As I am sure you know, J K Rowling has made a fortune from the Harry Potter series and is now a billionaire.  She has also set up a charitable trust with an annual budget of over £5 Million to combat poverty and social inequality, which are two of her major passions.

There are plenty of other examples of individuals who are now very famous for what they have achieved but who overcame enormous obstacles to get there.  How about Michael Jordan, the basketball star?  He didn't even manage to get into his high school basketball team, and today he reminds us that the only reason he is successful is because he has failed so many times, having lost over 300 games!

Or how about overcoming obstacles that occur while you are already living your dream and that threaten to take that dream away from you.  Perhaps one of the best examples of someone who overcame in those circumstances is Ludwig Van Beethoven.  In his late 20's he started to develop hearing problems, compounded by severe tinnitus (a condition in which you continuously hear sounds that are not actually there).  This is a difficulty in many careers, but would seem an insurmountable problem for a professional musician!  Imagine having your concentration on creating a symphony interrupted by continuous noise!  And then being unable to play and hear the passages you want to include in your masterpiece!  These are the obstacles Beethoven faced.  They were pretty solid and apparently insurmountable obstacles, but they did not create for Beethoven the limiting beliefs they would have created in almost any other musician.  He was very frustrated by them, but that did not stop him - he simply carried on regardless!  When he wrote his magnificent 9th Symphony, which contains the "Ode to Joy" that is now the official anthem of the European Union, Beethoven was completely deaf.

Find your limiting beliefs.  Recognize that nothing can limit you unless you allow it to do so.  Then go on to achieve your goals, whatever they may be!  But don't stop there - also recognize that no matter how many limiting beliefs you have unearthed and destroyed, there will always be more under the surface.  Keep on rooting them out and keep on achieving goal after goal!