Wednesday, 15 February 2017

How to Improve Your Wellbeing



In my last blog article I pointed out that feeling alive and full of energy comes from within, not from something outside you.  I hope you read that and took note.

Some readers wanted me to go a bit deeper.  To give some ideas you can take on board to start generating that energy and wellbeing.

There are three aspects of overall wellbeing:

1 How you feel on a daily basis
2 How satisfied you are with the quality of your life
3 How worthwhile you feel your life is

Even small improvements in each of those three areas will combine to give you a very noticeable improvement in your wellbeing.

Feeling Better on a Daily Basis


One way to make yourself feel better on a daily basis is to invest some time every day in physical exercise.

Hard physical exercise releases endorphins, which you can think of as "feel good" hormones.  The word "endorphin" come from the contraction of "endogenous morphine", or "internally created morphine".  So you could think of vigorous exercise as creating a happiness drug.  A drug which is legal and which doesn't get you hooked.

Exercise also creates a protein called "brain-derived neurotrophic factor", which by itself creates a feeling of happiness and wellbeing.  This protein also reduces anxiety and depression, and increases mental abilities.

Daily exercise is therefore a key factor in improving your wellbeing, both directly and indirectly, both in the short term and the long term.

You could join a gym and do daily exercise there, or even better find a physical activity you really enjoy and spend some time regularly practising that activity.  Maybe you will enjoy running, cycling, swimming, or even dancing.  Ideally a combination of these, as the kind of exercise in each activity is a little different and will benefit you in different ways.

Another obvious way to feel better on a daily basis is to avoid stress as much as possible.  Stress tends to be caused when you are put in a situation where you are unable to achieve whatever it is you are expected to achieve.  By all means set yourself ambitious targets, but don't allow anyone to put you in a position where you simply cannot achieve what is expected.

Finally, make sure you regularly reward yourself.  This is dual purpose.  By rewarding yourself for achieving something, you will reinforce your ability to achieve it.  For example, you should reward yourself for exercising.  But also, the reward itself should give you pleasure, and that regular extra pleasure of itself increases your wellbeing.

The Quality of Your Life


There are two clear ways to increase your wellbeing by increasing how satisfied you are with the quality of your life.

One way, obviously, is to keep improving that quality.  Conduct a full audit of your lifestyle.  If you do this properly you will find lots of areas where you can make small changes that will make quite big improvements in the quality of your life.  Make those changes one by one and feel your wellbeing and happiness improve as you do so.  Look, too, for the much greater changes that can be made.  Don't try to make those changes all at once, but identify longer term targets for improvement, and try to ensure the small steps you take each day, week, month and year move you towards the greater changes you desire rather than further away from them.

Another way is to lower the threshold of satisfaction.  Congratulate yourself and feel happy with even the very small improvements you make.  I don't mean you should not strive for big improvements.  Of course you should want to make those big improvements.  But learn to feel a sense of achievement for even very small improvements that others may not even notice.

A Worthwhile Life


Make sure you have chosen a really worthwhile purpose for your life.  In fact, not just one purpose, but many.  Find ways you can contribute to the wellbeing of the people around you - your family and your local community.  It may be that you will become more involved in volunteering and in charitable work.  The more you are involved in such activities the more worthwhile your life will appear to you.

But also you should find a target to which you can aim in your life which of itself is something that feels extremely worthwhile to you.  This could be something very ambitious that you may never reach, but that simply moving towards it is worthwhile.  Note down that end objective, then think about the different steps you could take to move towards it.  Then break those steps down into smaller steps.  Keep breaking the steps down so that you end up with steps that you can very easily achieve.  Then, as you make each step, congratulate yourself for getting closer to that great end target.  Reward yourself for getting closer (remember the importance of rewarding yourself)!

Summary


Turning your life into one filled with energy, happiness and wellbeing is not difficult.  Take small steps, working on feeling better on a daily basis, increasing your satisfaction with the quality of your life, and turning your journey through life into a more worthwhile journey.  Do this, and I can guarantee you will be have a very much happier and more fulfilled life - happier and more fulfilled than you probably ever dreamed possible!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Positive Energy



How alive do you feel right now?  How much energy do you have?

I hope you have responded with something along the lines of "I am very alive!" and "I am full of beans!"  If so, great!

But I suspect you have either not given such a positive response or at least admit that you don't always feel that way.

When you do not feel really enthused, full of energy, grateful just to be alive, and ready to tackle whatever challenges may confront you, why is this?

Stop reading for a moment, grab a clean sheet of paper and write down some of the answers that came to you.  Don't write them in a notebook - you need to write them on a single sheet of paper.  When you have done so, come back to me and we will discuss it further.  Ok, why are you still here?  Go and do it!

.......................................

Take a look at that list you have just written.  Now pick up that sheet and tear it in two.  Tear it again.  And again.  Keep tearing until you just have lots of small pieces of paper and you cannot read any of the sentences you wrote.

Feel good about that.  Those reasons are all gone.

In some cases because you have removed the reason.  It may still seem to be here in the physical world - but in the inner world, the world in which everything you can see around you begins, the barrier to an energy filled, happy and bubbly life has simply disappeared.

In other cases the thing you wrote about is still there, but you have destroyed its power to stop you living a fulfilled, and energy-filled life.

The reality is that nothing outside you really has the power to stop you being fully alive for as long as you are physically alive.  Nothing outside you has the power to stop you feeling grateful for all the good things you have in your life.  Nothing outside of you has the power to sap your energy.  It only has the power if you voluntarily give it that power.

If you really want to feel full of energy, that feeling comes from within not from the outside.  It doesn't come from your circumstances.  It doesn't come from the job you are doing.  It doesn't come from the people around you.  It comes from right inside you.

Let me ask you another question.  Do you prefer feeling great, alive, full of beans, and thankful for the wonderful life you have, or do you prefer to feel lethargic, miserable, and self-pitying?

If you want to feel great, then do it!  Feel great!  Nobody and nothing can stop you!

I agree it is nicer to be in great circumstances, be surrounded by lovely people, have everything you ever wanted.  Of course it is!  But the feelings you have in the moments when you have those things don't come from them, but from within you.  By all means arrange things as much as possible so you have the things you want, are in the circumstances you wish for, are surrounded by lovely, positive friends.  There are many things you can do to move towards that situation.  But recognize that right now you can generate as much positive energy as you wish.

The power to feel miserable, weak and deflated comes from within.  The power to feel happy, full of energy, and glad to be alive comes from within.  Choose which you want, and choose wisely!



Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Failure



Always think in positive terms, not negative.  Use positive thinking to focus on what you want to become, not on the negative things you want to remove.  This is a major plank of Law of Attraction philosophy and is something to which I subscribe wholeheartedly.

So why have I named this blog article "Failure"?  Isn't that a very negative way to start?

Actually, failure isn't negative at all.  I hope by the time you have read this article you will agree.

Listen to the words of Charles Kettering, who was head of research at General Motors, inventor of the electric starting motor, and a holder of 186 patents.  Kettering said "Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. One fails toward success."

Or how about this comment from Thomas J Watson, the man who turned IBM into an international business to be reckoned with, and who was hailed as the world's greatest salesman.  Watson said "The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate."  He was certainly speaking from experience.  Watson failed in his first job as a teacher - he gave up after only one day!  If you read his biography you will realize he failed many times, at many things, but that didn't stop him from becoming the richest man in the world.  In fact, he believed that was why he became the richest man in the world!

How successful was Abraham Lincoln?  He went to war as a captain and returned a private!  He failed as a businessman.  He failed as a lawyer.  He failed when he tried to become a congressman.  He failed when he tried to become a senator.  He failed when he tried to become vice-president.  But all those failures were steps in his progress to becoming one of the greatest presidents of the United States.

Perhaps the most famous example of failure leading to success is Thomas Edison.  Edison designed the first commercially practical light bulb.  But only after failing to create one 1,000 times.  When he was asked how he felt about failing 1,000 times, Edison said that each of those 1,000 failures was a step towards his success.

And that is the key.  Failure is not something negative at all.  It is a step towards success.  Often, a necessary step.

Learn from your failures.  Edison found 1,000 ways a light bulb would not work, which is the reason he was eventually able to find one way it would work.

Don't try to avoid failure.  Embrace it.  See it the way Edison saw it.  Each failure is one step you have made closer to your ultimate success.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Luck or Skill?



I want you to imagine you are watching a group of people playing poker.  Don't worry - I am not encouraging you to gamble, but just using this to illustrate a very important point!

One of the players, Fred, keeps winning.  He shows top hand after top hand.  A Royal Straight Flush, which is the best hand you could possibly have in the game, comes up twice!  The probability of just having one Royal Straight Flush is 0.000154% and he has two, one after the other.  The next two hands he loses.  Then he wins again with four aces, which is also a very rare, powerful hand.  After another losing hand he wins with a Full House (a percentage chance of 2.6% for this).  That is 4 winning hands in a series of 7.  In the first 3 winning hands he gains a lot of chips.  Fewer players throw chips at him when he wins with his Full House, but he still leaves the table having gained around 10 times the amount of money he brought to the table.

Another player, Stephen, loses quite a lot of his "stack" of chips in the first couple of hands.  One of those hands was three kings, and he bet a lot of his "stack" on that hand.   He wins the third hand with a pair of 10s, gaining most of the chips he originally lost.  He wins again on the fourth hand, but as everyone folds to him we cannot see what his hand was.  His winnings now have increased his "stack" to around double what he brought to the table.  He doesn't enter the last three hands at all.

Fred walked away having increased his funds tenfold.  Stephen doubled his funds.  Which of these two players would you feel was the better poker player and is likely to end up with the most money if they keep on playing for many hundreds of games?

The poker players among you may say I have not given you enough information to be certain of the answer.  True.  But you probably have enough to make a fairly reasonable guess.

If you have answered "Stephen", then congratulations!  From the very limited evidence before us he is probably the better player and will probably eventually make more money.

Fred was just very lucky.  The only times he won he had extremely rare hands.  That was the reason he won so much, as other players could reasonably have assumed they had the best hand and were probably right to bet heavily against him.

The thing about luck is that you cannot rely on it.  Skill, on the other hand, you CAN rely on.

A good poker player knows that when he loses money at the table that doesn't necessarily mean he was playing badly.  He will try to learn from the experience, perhaps realizing after the event that there were some body language signals he could have picked up to tell him just how good a hand his opponent had.  But he will also recognize that the best poker player in the world does not win the majority of hands he (or she) plays.  Even the best players lose more hands than they win.  But those hands they DO win eventually ensure they win a lot more money than they lose.

Life is like this too.  No matter how experienced you are in using the Law of Attraction you will not always win every single "battle" in your life.  But if you remain positive and apply the Law of Attraction properly you will win the "war" itself.  Each of your failures is just another step towards success.

Be very thankful when you are lucky.  Make sure the Universe (or God, if you prefer) knows you are very grateful for that luck.  Believe yourself to be a very lucky person.  Know that "lady luck" is on your side.  But also accept your failures gracefully.  Look at them carefully to see what, if anything, you can learn from them, but never be discouraged.  Accept that sometimes luck works against you but that a series of unlucky events is not a pattern of bad luck that will continue.  Your next lucky event is only just around the corner.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Do You Dream?


Do you dream?  I certainly hope so, for several reasons.  If not, you are missing out - again for several reasons.

What do I mean by dreaming?

There are at least two very different types, and possibly three depending on how wide you define them.

Most people who are asked the question "do you dream?" immediately think about what happens when they are asleep.  Dreaming while you sleep performs an important function.  According to Dr Rosalind Carter, the founder of the Sleep Disorder Service and Research Centre in Chicago, dreams "help us process new, emotionally important information and add it to our conceptual memory system.  As I pointed out in an earlier article, scientists have discovered that most mammals (and perhaps all) use this process while they sleep to experiment and sort out which strategies should work and which probably won't.  We are no exception to this principle.  Dreams are a safe "sandbox" we can use to try out different things, to see how we might react emotionally to changed circumstances, to condition ourselves to and be ready to accept change.

If you believe you do not dream while asleep you are probably wrong.  There have been a number of scientific studies of the "non-dreaming" phenomenon, and most have reached the conclusion that those who claim not to dream simply do not remember their dreams when they wake up.  You probably still gain the benefits of your dreams, as your subconscious will have integrated the experience whether or not you remember it.

One way to begin recalling your dreams is to have a pen and paper by your bedside and to write down anything you can remember about your dreams the moment you wake up.  I can hear your objection loud and clear - how can I write down anything about my dreams if I don't remember them?  Humour me and try it anyway.  Many people still have a memory of their dreams when they first wake, but within just a few seconds completely forget they even had any dreams.  Those people adamantly state that they never dream, but if they try recording their dreams the moment they wake they find they really did dream.

Dreams don't just occur when we are sleeping though.  We also daydream.  You can think of a daydream as being very similar to a dream while you are asleep, and it can fulfil the same function.  As long as it is done appropriately this is a very good thing.  Clearly you should not daydream when driving a car or operating heavy machinery!  It may also not be appropriate to daydream when you are being paid to work or in the middle of a school lesson, or a college or university lecture!  On the other hand, sometimes in such cases a daydream can be very creative and help you do a better job or get a better grip on the subject you are studying.  Just don't expect your boss, teacher or lecturer to agree unless they are very open minded!

If you don't already daydream I encourage you to do so.  Choose an appropriate time to do this, ideally when you are on your own and will not be disturbed.  As with the technique to recall night dreams, have a pen and paper by you so that immediately after your daydream session you can note down anything that appeals, or any insights you may have had.

There is another meaning of "dream", of course.  Your hopes and wishes for the future.  To some people this is akin to daydreaming, and they believe it is enjoying an esperience they will never have in the "real" world.  This is a very shortsighted view.  The distinction between the imaginary and real worlds is nowhere near as great as you may believe.  When you dream in the "imaginary" world you are actually starting to bring those dreams closer to what most people define as "reality".

This meaning of "dream" is very important.  We should all have dreams.  We should all have something we truly wish to achieve, and the start of the journey that ends in achievement is a dream.

In 1963 a great American stated "I have a dream!"  The dream he had has not yet fully come to pass, but the America of today is certainly very much closer to Martin Luther King's dream just over 50 years ago.  Some may argue that this would have happened even if King had not had that dream.  Probably that is true, but only because the same dream would have passed through another person equally empassioned by it.  I truly believe the world is a better place as a direct result of that dream.

So I hope you DO dream!  I hope you dream for a better future for yourself but also for all around you.  If you do, then the world will be a better place simply because you chose to dream!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Destroy Your Limiting Beliefs


We all have limiting beliefs, worries, and negative thoughts.  Things that try to stop us achieving whatever it is we want to achieve.  Sometimes we recognize these as our own internal beliefs and sometimes they appear as external barriers.  But if they do appear as external barriers you should be aware that they are still internal beliefs.  There is no independent external barrier that is capable of stopping you achieving what you want to achieve.  The power of the entire universe is behind you if you are prepared to accept that power and allow it to propel you forwards.  Those barriers that seem to be outside are either directly or indirectly your own inner limiting beliefs.

Limiting beliefs arise in different ways.  Some have been with you since your early childhood.  Often they are misinterpretations of what is happening around you as a young child.  Some are specific statements made to you by authority figures.  These may again have arisen in early childhood - something said by a parent, an older sibling, a teacher for example.  Or they may have arisen more recently - comments made by friends, especially those whose opinions you respect, something your boss may have said, a comment by your spouse, etc.  They can arise from something you have read.  This may be a direct statement - perhaps a comment in a non-fiction book that if you want to achieve something you must be prepared to struggle hard to get there.  Or it can be indirect - maybe a novel you have read in which the hero had to cross a number of barriers to get where he or she wanted to go, and had great difficulty in doing so.

Do you see why I have said we ALL have limiting beliefs?  It is simply not possible to go through life without acquiring them.

But it is possible to protect yourself so that it is more difficult for such beliefs to grow roots and take control over you.  And it is possible to uproot those that have taken hold.

There are many techniques to do both of these things.  If you have been reading my blog for long you will already have come across some of these techniques.  Today I want to focus on one powerful technique you can use to uproot and neutralize any limiting belief you may come across.

In order to use this technique you should create a safe space for yourself.  I am using the term "space" in the widest possible sense - a 4-dimensional space.  You should have a place where you can go and know you will not be interrupted.  I cannot tell you where that should be as it will depend entirely on your own personal circumstances.  It may be that you can reserve a room in your house for exercises of this kind.  For many of us that is simply not possible - we don't have enough rooms in our house to reserve one fully in this way.  But I did say this is a 4-dimensional space.  So it includes time as well as physical space.  Perhaps you can simply inform those around you (your spouse or partner for example) that at a particular time each day, in a particular place, you need you own space and would appreciate it if there could be no interruptions.  However you create it, do your best to create this 4-dimensional safe space to which you can retreat when you need to do so.  You will use it for today's particular exercise, but it will also be available for other meditations which you should use.

The time dimension of your safe space is very important.  You must make sure anyone who may otherwise wish to interrupt you is aware of it and knows it is very important for you.  But also you must avoid interruptions by yourself!  In other words, don't schedule your session at a time when there is a deadline coming up for something else you need to do.

Go to your safe space and relax yourself.  Close your eyes and feel your body and mind relaxing.  If you have any relaxation music it would be a good idea to use this to relax you more, but it is not essential.

Once you are fully relaxed I want you to imagine there is a big garbage bin just at the edge of your safe space.  There is no garbage in it yet.  But it is the most efficient garbage bin in the universe.  Inside it there is a black hole.  A black hole which will swallow up and completely destroy anything you put in the bin.  See that garbage bin there and see the black hole inside.

Allow a limiting belief or worry, or whatever other negative thought or feeling you may have, to surface.  Don't react to it.  Don't try to argue with it.  Don't judge it, nor yourself for having it.  Just let it surface.

Now see yourself picking up this negativity and throwing it into the most efficient garbage bin in the universe.  See the black hole swallowing it up.  It has no choice.  It cannot escape.  It cannot resist.  It has gone!

Feel the sense of peace that comes with knowing this particular negativity is gone for ever.  It is no longer in the universe at all.  It is as though it never existed in the first place.

Gradually allow yourself to surface from the deep, relaxed state you were in.  When you are ready, open your eyes.  Now you are ready to get up and leave your safe space.  Leaving behind the limiting belief you originally identified.  In fact, not just leaving it behind, but knowing it has disappeared from this universe and it is as though it never existed in the first place.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Making and Breaking Resolutions


If you are reading this soon after it is published, then it is that time of year again.  The time we try to keep New Year resolutions.

Did you make any resolutions this year?  How many?  And have you kept them all?  Have you kept any of them?

For many people, New Years Resolutions are simply a tradition.  A bit like hanging up stockings and waiting for Santa to fill them.  They don't really expect to keep them.

For many others, New Years Resolutions are an opportunity to do something they know they ought to do, or stop doing something they know they ought to stop, but have never really had the motivation.

Most of the above fail to keep their resolutions.  Why?

Well, if you are in that first category, notice the final sentence.  "They don't really expect to keep them."  Is it any wonder  you don't keep those resolutions?  If you start with an expectation of failure, this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you don't really expect to keep a resolution you shouldn't make it.  Not only is it a waste of effort, but it is actually harmful.  Why harmful?  Because you are sending out a message to your subconscious mind that you are unable to achieve whatever you try to achieve.  Keep sending out this message and your subconscious will then apply it to everything else you try to do.  By paying lip-service to the tradition of making resolutions you will be weakening your ability to achieve anything, not simply those half-hearted resolutions.

As for the second category, notice "they have never really had the motivation".  Do you fit into that category?  Do you make resolutions in good faith, and with every intention of keeping them, but don't really have any motivation to do so?  If so, then you are very unlikely to succeed.  Without motivation you will probably fall at the first hurdle.  If not the first hurdle then the second.  And there will be quite a few hurdles to cross before you can finally say you have kept the resolution and will now always keep it.  You need strong motivation to cross all those hurdles.

Before even thinking of making a resolution, begin by asking yourself why you want to do this.

For example, if you want to stop smoking, why do you want to stop?  The glib answer to this is "because smoking is unhealthy".  That may be the reason, but it is not sufficient to give you the motivation you need.  What you should do is start listing all the positives and the negatives.  The positives are all the benefits you will gain if you stop smoking.  Try to think of as many as you can.  Identify the ones that really appeal.  The negatives are all the bad things that may happen if you don't stop smoking.  Again, try to think of as many as you can.  Do some research online if you cannot come up with a long list - you will find plenty of reasons out there.  And again, identify the ones that really horrify you.

At this point you have a list of really great things that should inspire you to keep your resolution, and another list of really bad things that can happen if you don't keep it.  Focus on those lists every day.  Especially focus on the positive list.  Really feel the change inside you and how good it makes you feel.

If you do this properly you will have the motivation you really need in the form of a bunch of carrots and a load of sticks!  With that motivation you are much more likely to succeed!

Of course, you don't have to do this simply at New Year.  This is a good exercise to try at any time of year.

Tackle your resolutions this way one by one.  Once you have turned a resolution into a habit which you are confident is there for good, then turn to the next one.  Don't try to do two or more at once, as you are then much more likely to fail.  Focus on just the one.  Don't pick one that you think you ought to do but cannot really get yourself properly motivated to do - when you create your "reasons why" lists you will soon see whether or not this is something for you to attempt.  And don't think of it as a pass or fail exercise.  You may slip back into your old habits from time to time.  Don't consider that a "fail", but just a reminder that it is important to keep on trying.

Use these techniques and you really can improve your life in ways that may not even seem possible right now!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Putting Down Your Burden


"Today is the first day of the rest of your life."

"Self-evident" you may say, "it goes without saying"!

So why am I saying it?

The reason I feel it necessary to say this, is that whilst everybody knows this as a self-evident truth, almost nobody lives their life the way they would if, internally, they really knew it.

Have you ever read "Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan?  In that book (written in 1678), Christian, the hero of the story, struggles on a long journey with a heavy burden on his back.  A bit like a modern day special forces recruit doing what the Royal Marines call a "yomp" - a long march with a fully loaded 100 pound pack on his or her back.  There is one big difference though.  The special forces need to be able to carry that weight because they will need what is inside the pack.  On an exercise it may just be weighted down to increase the challenge, but the reason for that exercise is the soldier needs to be able to carry heavy supplies in a combat situation.  But Christian didn't need it at all.  I know I am now changing the story a little (apologies to Bunyan!), but he could simply have put that burden down at any point in his journey.  He didn't, and nearly drowned in a swamp as a result.

Are you carrying any burdens?  I know you are, even if you think you are not.  We all are.  Maybe what is called "emotional baggage".  Maybe a belief that we cannot achieve our dreams, because the last time we tried something like that we failed.

We all have the ability and the right to put down our burdens and carry on our journey through life without anything holding us back.

We all have the ability and the right, but for most of us it feels as though something is holding us back and we feel we cannot do it.

Recognize the burden is there and that you do not need to carry it.  You simply have to put it down.  Nothing is stopping you - only your false believe that you cannot release it.

In accounting there is a concept called "zero-base budgeting".  Many organizations (both in business and in public service) base their budgets on whatever was budgeted and spent the previous year.  This may be a way to produce a budget quickly and easily, but it certainly does not produce the best result.  In many cases it prevents that organization from moving forward and achieving what it needs to achieve this year.  More forward-thinking organizations use zero-base budgeting.  Forget what happened last year.  Just look at what you want to achieve this year, work out what it will cost to achieve it, and if it seems to produce the result you want (e.g. it is profitable enough), then budget for those required costs.  Maybe there are costs in that budget you have never had before.  That doesn't matter.  Maybe last year you spent a lot of money on something you are not budgeting for at all this year.  That doesn't matter either.  All that is important is that you are budgeting the true costs of achieving what you need to achieve this year.

Really forward thinking organizations go further than just zero-base budgeting.  They apply the zero-base concept to everything they do, not just to the costs of a project.  They look at what they want to achieve, what resources they have to achieve it, and what they need to do now with those resources to get there.  Never mind if this means they are completely changing the way they do things.

Have you ever heard the story about the housewife who always cut the ends off a piece of meat before she roasted it?  One day her husband asked her why she did this, and her answer was that she had always done it this way.  Her husband was an engineer, and always liked to know exactly why things worked the way they did, so he pressed her on this point and asked why she ever started doing it this way.  Did it improve the quality of the roast?  He asked her to do him a favour and one time roast the joint without cutting off the ends.  His wife did what he said, and they found the roast tasted just as good, but without wasting any of the meat at both ends.  They were now intrigued.  So they visited her mother, who had taught her to cook this way.  They asked the mother why she did this, and her answer way "because I have always done it this way - it is the way my mother taught me to do it!"  So they visited the grandmother and asked her the same question.  And do you know what she said?  "I always cut the ends off the joint as my roasting pan is too small for the whole joint to fit in!"

Never believe you have to do something simply because you have always done it, or you have to do it in a particular way because you have always done it that way.  Things change, and we need to change too rather than stay stuck in a particular rut.  We need to put down the baggage we are carrying and check whether we need everything that is there.  We need to zero-base our lives.

Zero-basing your life and putting down your unnecessary burdens should be quite simple.  And really, it is.  But often a big part of the burden is the belief that it is impossible to put it down.  Believe in yourself.  You really do have the power and the right to start fresh, without that burden.

This is something you should do every day.  Because every day really is the first day of the rest of your life.  You don't have to spend it being miserable, living your life in a way you don't want to live it, doing what others want you to do rather than what YOU want to do.

If you are reading this just after I have written it, resolve to "zero-base" your life from 1st January this coming year.  A new year, and a new start.  But also recognize you can always put down your burdens, and you can always live your life in the way you want to live it from now on, not simply accept that "it has always been this way".

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Moods and State Changes


Physical State Changes


I want you to try a little experiment for me.

Sit down on a chair or the sofa.  No, in fact don't sit - slump untidily there!  Breath shallowly.  If you were smiling, stop doing so.  Frown.  Sit that way for several minutes.  Now think about how you are feeling.  What kind of a mood do you have.  Are you happy, sad, or indifferent?  Do you feel lively and energetic, or are you lethargic and in a "couldn't care less" kind of mood?

I am pretty certain you will have answered at least "indifferent", if not "sad".  And it is very unlikely you answered that you felt "lively and energetic" - if you did, then you are a very unusual kind of person!

Now stand up.  Straighten your back.  Feel tall.  Smile.  Take a deep breath, hold it, then fully exhale.  Do that again.  And again.  Now how do you feel?  Do you feel any different from a few moments ago when you were slumped on a chair or your sofa?  I am pretty certain you now feel quite different.  You should feel happier and more energetic.

Finally, go one step further.  This time I want you to start jumping up and down.  Keep the smile on your face as you jump.  Stretch your arms right up as you jump, bringing them down again as you land.  Keep jumping like this for a while.  Now analyze how you feel.  Probably happier, and certainly livelier and more energetic.

What this proves is that what you do with your body has a big influence on the way you feel.  You are in control of your moods, and one way in which you control them is through your body.  If you want to feel happy, then sit up (or stand tall if appropriate) and smile.  If you are feeling miserable, check whether you are frowning - stop frowning and smile, and again, put your body in a position more conducive to feeling good.

Anchors


It is not just your body position and your smiling or frowning that can create moods, although you will find that by changing position and starting to smile you can always change your "state".  There are other things that trigger different moods.  Not just being happy or sad but, for example, feeling confident, feeling resourceful, feeling ready to take on a challenge, etc.  These are all different "states", and they can be triggered by what NLP professionals call "anchors".

When you are in a particular "state", your subconscious mind notes everything around you.  Smells, sights, sounds, the things you touch, etc.  It then anchors these to the state.

Once you realize this, you can design your own anchors.

It is a good idea if you make those anchors relate to the state you are trying to achieve.  For example, you might associate a comforting hand on your shoulder with confidence.  
In order to associate the anchor properly, find a memory where you were really fully in that state.  In this example, a time when you were feeling really confident about something.  Try to find the best example of this that you can.  It is really worth spending a long time doing this if it gets you the right memory.  When you recall this time and are right in that "zone", immediately feel that comforting hand on your shoulder.  If the memory fades, then imagine that hand being removed from your shoulder.  But if possible, maintain that memory for several minutes, and keep feeling the hand there all that time.  Now open your eyes, feeling that the hand has now left.  Repeat this several times, trying to make the memory more vivid each time.  For now, that is enough.  But later in the day, use the anchor (in this case, feel the hand on your shoulder) and check that the confident state arises.  At first it may not be a strong feeling for you, although many people do indeed get an immediate very strong change of state.  Don't worry if it is not that strong - just repeat the anchoring process several times again.  Keep doing this in different periods during the day and feel the anchoring build up stronger and stronger.

The next day, visualize the anchor again.  It should bring the state change immediately.  If not, again repeat the anchoring process.  You may need to do this several times for several days running, but eventually it will be fully and permanently anchored.

In this example I have referred to only one state - feeling confident - and one anchor - a hand on your shoulder.  You can, and should, use this process to create as many positive states as possible, using a different anchor for each.  You will find this is a long process, on which can build more and more positive state changes over the next few months and years.  A long process, but a very worthwhile one!

Summary


Use both these techniques to change your state, and you will find you have a much better control over your moods and can get into the right state so much easier.  This will create enormous positive changes in your life.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Greylag Geese and Why You are Not Successful



Has your past influenced the way you are now?  Of course it has!  We all have free will, but the decisions we make when we use that free will are highly conditioned by things that happened to us in the past.

In many cases that is a good thing.  You have a bad experience because of something you did, and that teaches you not to do the same thing again.  If this were just a memory, from which you could then make a logical decision, this would in many cases not give you enough time to modify your behaviour before it caused the same problems.  So we are all equipped with a way to make the "right" response instantly, before we even have time to think about the response.  This is called "imprinting".

The 19th century biologist, Douglas Spalding, discovered the phenomenon of imprinting and published his results in "Nature" in 1872.  Konrad Lorenz popularised the concept, particularly in his books on the studies he did on the behaviour of greylag geese.  Lorenz found the geese bond with the first object they see after they had hatched.  Normally this is a good thing, as it will be older geese who will show the younger geese what they should and shouldn't do.  But sometimes the process goes wrong, and the geese are inappropriately imprinted.  When this happens, the badly imprinted geese behave inappropriately, even when that behaviour causes them problems and maybe is even very dangerous for them.

The same thing applies to all of us.  Except our imprinting is certainly not limited to the first thing we see after we are born.  Many things influence us in this way throughout our childhood and on into our adult life as well.

For example, imagine as a child you hear your parents having a big argument.  This makes you very unhappy.  You notice the argument is about money - which is one of the commonest reasons for a couple to argue.  This imprints on you the idea that money is bad because it causes arguments and makes people unhappy.  And that imprinting creates within you a block that will always try to stop you making money.  Unless you find a way of dealing with this block it will be almost impossible for you to make much money.  Even if you do manage to make some, the block will act to make sure you lose it quickly!

Very many people have at least one "money block" that was imprinted on them from early childhood.  I would go as far as to say the majority of people have "money blocks".  They also have many other blocks, which stop them from achieving anything they have set their heart on - success, a fabulous life partner, etc.  Which means the majority of people will find the manifestation techniques they learn simply don't seem to work for them.  They study all the books they can find on the Law of Attraction, try to put it into practice, and eventually give up in disgust.  They decide all this talk about affirmations and how you can attract all you wish for through the power of thought is nonsense.

Does this sound at all familiar?  Perhaps you have reached this phase and are ready to give up trying.  Or maybe you are not as far down that road, but are still getting frustrated that nothing seems to work for you.  It could even be that you have only just started, are full of enthusiasm, and have not yet realized how difficult the journey is going to be.

Whereever you are on your journey to your definition of success, you need to find and eliminate the many blocks you have which will either make it impossible or very difficult to reach your goal.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Time Travel IS Possible


If you could travel back in time and change anything, anything at all, what would you change?

OK, I know we cannot travel back in time - at least, not yet.  But humour me please.  Imagine that you could.  For Doctor Who fans, imagine you are Doctor who and you have your own Tardis.  Close your eyes, think about how things are now, then think about what you could do to change them if you could go back in time.

Pick something that really means a lot to you.  Something that can get you emotional.  Something you can invest with your emotions.  Something that would make a real, important difference.  A difference in your life or a difference in the lives of those around you, or both.

Now let me add two rules:
1  You cannot go back to before you were born.
2  The only magical power you have is the power to go back in time.

As a result of those rules, You can only change things by behaving differently.  Not by playing superman.  Not by going back to pre-war Germany and assassinating Hitler - unless you are at least 90!

Perhaps those rules mean you need a different objective.  If so, change your objective.

Visualize that objective.  Now visualize what you are going to do in order to change what happened.  Remember, this has to be a realistic action, not something that is virtually impossible.  See yourself making that change, and then visualize how things are now as a result of that change.  How does that make you feel?  Hold on to that good feeling.  Bask in it.

Now choose something else.  Again, something that would make a real difference.  Something it would be possible for you to change if only you could go back in time.  Visualize the things you did to change it, and the difference that made.  Feel that difference strongly.  Let the positive vibes from it change your state.

Do this a third time with yet something else.  Maybe something completely different.  Perhaps if the first two were mainly changes to your present lifestyle, then make this one something that will make things better for those around you - your family and friends, or even strangers if you wish.  And vice versa.

How do you feel, now you have imagined those changes?  Happy and fulfilled, I hope.  Don't feel frustrated, thinking that there is nothing you can do now to change what has already happened.  Just feel good about the changes you wanted to make.

This exercise alone will change things for you if you let it.  You have sent a message to the Universe, and the Universe has heard and will respond.

But that is not the only reason I asked you to do it.  Nor is it even the main reason.

Think for a moment about what you did.  You knew that by doing things differently you could make a change for the better in the future.  As I said, at the moment we do not have the ability to go back in time and change things, but we do have the ability to change things now, to make things better in the future by changing what we do now.

Time travel IS possible right now, just not in the way you may have thought.  Not only is it possible, but it is happening.  The future is not here yet, but it is coming.  And changes in what you do now will change that future.  What kind of future do you want?  For yourself and for those around you?  Think about that carefully, then start doing now the things that will change your future for the better!  You are in your own private time machine and can change everything.  You are Doctor Who and have your own Tardis.  Choose wisely how you change it all!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Healing


Do you believe in healing?  I don't mean the kind of healing you get from doctors.  Nor do I mean "alternative medicine" such as homeopathy for example.  I mean using the power of the mind to heal.

Let me slightly rephrase the question.  Do you believe you can heal?  Guess what - no matter how you answered that question, you are right!

Did you say "no, I cannot heal"?  Then you are absolutely right.  If you have that belief it would be very difficult for you to channel any healing power either to yourself or to others.  So you cannot heal.  Not because it is not possible for you to heal, but because you are conditioned by your beliefs.

Did you say "yes, I can heal"?  Then you are absolutely right.  If you have a strong belief in the power of healing, and believe it is possible for you to channel healing power, then you can do so.  Not because your mental or spiritual powers are better than the powers of those around you, but because you are conditioned by your beliefs.

We all have within us amazing abilities if we are prepared to acknowledge them.  Those abilities include healing powers.

The healing we can give, to ourselves and to others, is across a wide range of conditions.  This includes mental and physical ailments.  It includes minor and major illnesses.

Be careful, though, that you do not misuse this power.

What do I mean by misuse?

Firstly, I mean do not assume that if we have the power to heal we do not need medical science.  Some of you may be members of a religious group that believes its followers should not consult doctors and only pray in order to receive healing.  This is not my belief.  But if you are a member of such a group you do not need me to tell you about the power of healing anyway.  It is not my mission to change anyone's religious beliefs, so I will not be drawn on whether or not what such people believe is right.  But to the rest of my readers, I implore you to seek proper medical care when you are ill.  I am not encouraging you to replace medical science with the mental and spiritual power of healing.  Just to add mental and spiritual power to the efforts of medical professionals.

Secondly, do not raise false hopes.  Yes, miracles do happen.  There are cases of people with "incurable" illnesses being completely cured through healing power.  There are cases of people who have been given only days or weeks to live being treated effectively by healing power.  But there are no guarantees.  Please do not give false hope to such people or to their families.

As long as you do not fall into the trap of misusing your healing power, begin to recognize today that you personally do have this power if you wish to use it.  Look for ways to nurture it and use it to be better and stronger yourself and to help those around you.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Manifesting


Law of Attraction.  Visualization.  Affirmation.  Vision Board.  Mind Movies.  Manifesting.

You have probably come across all these words and phrases at some point.  But which one is the odd one out?  The last one.  The first five are techniques you can use in order to be successful, in order to manifest whatever it is you really want.  Whether or not you use some or all of these techniques, one thing I can guarantee - you are manifesting something.  The question is - what?

For most people, what they are manifesting is not what they want.  But that does not mean they are not manifesting.  They are doing it all the time.  The universe is responding to the commands they are giving.  It is just that they do not realize what those commands are, or that they are giving them.

Myths and fairy tales contain a great deal of truth.  They are often a way of passing on a truth that we might miss if we were told it outright.  Do you recall, as a child, hearing the story of the genie who had to give three wishes to his "owner" (usually the person who rubbed a lamp that allowed the genie to escape)?  Inevitably, the person making the wishes didn't phrase those wishes correctly, with the result that they got exactly what they wished for but were unhappy with what that was.  I remember reading those stories and thinking how silly the "hero" of the story was.  Fancy having all that power and using it to make the wrong wish come true!  What I didn't realize as a child is that this fairy tale, like most, hides a true story which has meaning for every one of us.  The only real difference is that we are not limited to three wishes.  We can make as many wishes as we want, and our genie will make them come true.  That is the power of manifesting.  But just like the unfortunate people in the fairy tale, most of the wishes we make are not in our best interests at all.

Once you know that you are continually manifesting it is easier to decide that you will manifest what you really want.  It makes no difference to the universe.  If you ask it for something that is not what you really want, it will still give it to you.  And then you will complain that you never get what you want.  A fatal mistake!  Because of the way manifesting works, by making such a complaint you will be asking the universe for more of the same - and it will respond by giving you more of what you don't want.

The key to manifesting what you really want is to learn the language of the universe and then to use that language.  I don't mean "language" as in English, French, Chinese, Urdu etc.  It is a language without words.  Or, rather, the language hidden behind those words.  This language is positive, not negative.  It is free from guilt.  It knows, without question, that the universe will respond in the right way.  And it is thankful for what the universe has given - even before anyone can see that it has given it.

Now that you know you are always manifesting, start using those techniques I have listed.  Each one builds on all the others.  You will find plenty of material on each if you search for it.  A lot is right here in my blog.  For those of you who have subscribed to my e-mails, you will find plenty more, as I am constantly searching out the very best programs and letting my subscribers know about them, as well as giving links to free training.  If you have not already subscribed, do so now by going here:  www.beallican.com.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Escape from Prison




"If you want to get ahead, you have to make sacrifices and work all the hours God gave!"

Has anyone ever said that to you?  For that matter, have you ever said that to yourself?

This belief is so common that I am sure, in one form or another, this has been said to you so many times that deep inside you really believe it to be true.  Even if you don't consciously think this way, subconsciously you probably do, without even realizing it.

Many people, on hearing this (or something very like it), have decided that they are simply not going to bother.  They don't want to sacrifice time with their friends and family.  They don't want to work themselves into an early grave.  So they opt out of the race to success.  They know that they are never going to make it without sacrificing more than they are willing to sacrifice.  And so they give up.

Most people I meet fall into one of these two camps.  Either they are working so hard they don't have time to stop and smell the roses, or they have thrown away all the ambitions they had when they were younger because they know they will never achieve them.

Do you fall into either of these two categories?

If so, you are missing a vital trick!

It is simply not true that the only way to become successful is to make unacceptable sacrifices.  You only believe that because you have been told it too many times, and now even repeat the mantra to yourself.  This creates an inner block which makes it virtually impossible for you to be successful.

For as long as you have this inner block it is as though you are in prison.  But in a prison cell you created for yourself.  And a prison cell for which you have the only bunch of keys.

There are several doors you must pass in order to break out of that prison, and you have a key to each of those doors.

The first door you must open is the one to the room that tells you what it is you really want.  Surprising as it may sound, most of us do not know what we really want.  You will need to sit quietly as you reflect on what it is you think you want and see what bubbles up to the surface.  If you do this properly you will probably find what you really want is quite different from what you thought you wanted.  Once you have opened this door you are well on your way to freedom from your self-imposed imprisonment.

The next door is one labelled "It is ok!".  What do I mean by this?  I mean whatever it is you really want, you have to know that it is ok to want it!  Recognize that the Universe (or God, if you prefer) really wants you to succeed.  You have a destiny you can fulfill if only you will recognize it.  Once you really become aware of this you will feel really positive.  And that positivity will propel you forward towards your goal.

Then there is the door labelled "Visualize".  Having found your real goal, and recognized it is right for you to achieve it, you need to find ways to focus your emotions on achieving it.  Some people refer to "affirmations".  As long as you invest those affirmations with a strong positive emotion, and repeat them in the present tense rather than as a hope for the future, then this is a good way to move forward.  Some people refer to a "vision board", on which they put pictures of whatever it is they want to achieve and what their life will be like when they have achieved it.  Again, this is good.  However you do it, visualize yourself having achieved success.  Feel what it is like.  Immerse yourself in it.  Know that you have achieved it.

Unlock these three doors and you are well on the way to escaping from the prison you have made for yourself and achieving the success of which you have always dreamed!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Self-Image



Try this exercise.  In one short sentence, without using your name, write down who you are.

When someone asks who you are, your answer will usually depend on the context.

If, for example, you are stopped by a security guard as you enter a company's offices, you will probably identify yourself in terms of why you believe you have a right to be there.  For example "I am a new employee and I was asked to report to reception".

But if you are asked the same question in no particularly special context, you probably answer with your name.  That is what identifies you.

How did you answer?

As I told you not to use your name you probably used a different label.  Perhaps your job title and the name of your employer - e.g. "I am an accountant working for Grant Thornton".  If you are studying, maybe you wrote down "I am a business student at Harvard University".  

Or maybe you have used a more personal label.  "I am a loving husband and father", or "I am a loving wife and mother".

Whatever label you may have used, that is not the real "you".  It is a mask you hold up to the world.

What IS the real you?

Hidden behind the various labels you use are many thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Your identity may just be a name, job title or a face to those around you, but it encapsulates far more than this to you.

Try answering the question again, but this time don't use any labels.  Dig deep.  Identify the image you have of yourself.  You may need to spend some time doing this, coaxing the image out.

Once you have identified your self-image, see how comfortable you are with it.  Is it a good image?  How does it make you feel?  Is there anything about it you would like to change?

You will probably find some negatives within it.  Re-write your image but replace those negatives with positives.  I suggest you attach a photo of yourself to the page where you have your modified self-image.  That way, you will begin to associate the image you want to have of yourself with your picture.  Eventually your subconscious mind will automatically assume that this new and improved image is the real you.

Someone I know who exudes confidence and has a great ability to inspire others, does a very simple exercise every day.  He stands in front of a mirror and tells himself he is a wonderful, handsome man.  He has always done this from his early teens.  When he started doing it, he didn't really believe it, but because he kept telling himself the same things every day eventually he DID believe it.  More importantly, so does everyone with whom he comes into contact!  His positive self-image is contagious.  What he does every day is quite similar to what I am asking you to do once you have identified what you want your self-image to be.

This may sound simple.  Other than the need to dig deep and make your true self-image emerge, it IS quite simple.  But don't let the simplicity deceive you.  This is an extremely powerful technique.  Use it properly and your self-confidence will improve by leaps and bounds.  You will find yourself behaving in ways you never imagined possible.  A massive return for not a great deal of effort.

Get working on your self-image today and be prepared to see big, positive changes!