Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Greatest Saleman in the World - does it work?

I went to some leadership training a few months ago and the presenter talked about the importance of improving yourself.  He labeled personal growth and development as the primary condition for success in all that you do.  The reason I was there was because this person had several traits that I really crave.

He was genuine with everyone he met.  He had no stress even in stressful situations.  He makes the bucks.  And he always made people feel better than they really were.  How?!

It was interesting that he pointed out that the statistical information about business failures stemmed mostly around those unwilling to make improvements to themselves. How interesting that our attitudes, perceptions, and primarily our habits, are the things which most affect where we are socially, where we are comfortable, and how we react to every day experiences.

We are a hybrid personality and individually unique.  We are a conglomerate of belief systems and programming founded upon a myriad of variables; our parents, our upbringing, feelings we had during various life experiences, our environment, what we were exposed to in school, in church, with animals, with the opposite sex, etc.

From all the experiences and feelings we developed a place that we felt comfortable and that became our thermostat against which everything is checked.  We found what we were comfortable doing.  We discovered where we are comfortable living.  We identified those that when in their presence, we were comfy.

From this thermostatic living - our 72 degrees if you will - we formed habits that keep us within those zones.   Those are the belief systems that we have ensured could never be changed and upon which our lives are built.  They are what make use unique and keep us where we believe we should be - economically - socially - physically - spiritually - academically.

Enter the man or woman who has something we want.  We either go after it, wish for it, never going to have it, or shun it since it's not within our realm of possibility.  Our thermostat is set to that comfy 72 degrees and nothing is going to change that.  Even if we try - we cannot stray too far from the environment of belief systems that we have created and developed habits around - no matter what.  Well - almost.

Secret: Most of who we are revolves around a series of well formed habits.  Those habits are simply the things that we do minute to minute, day to day, week to week to keep our belief system is on track with our thermostat.  In order for us to change our thermostat to something we desire to be at - maybe more money, different living circumstances, better attitudes, treating our families better - whatever that may be - we have to become 5th graders and learn things all over again and develop new habits and supporting beliefs.

This is no easy undertaking.  This takes time, persistence, and application of right thinking.  Authors like Wallace Wattles, Napoleon Hill, and Og Mandino  - have been telling the world how to do this for decades.  But most people - read the books, listen to the tapes, get excited, and then fall back to their old thermostatic 72 degrees.

Few - do the time to make the changes in their core.  This in my experience, is never, never, an overnight or over-month happening.  To change your belief system requires application of technique, visualization, desire, and learning how to change old habits into new.

It's not that you're not capable, too fat, too ugly, too unlucky, too stupid, too undisciplined, or too broke.  It's that you don't know how long it really takes and what has to be done to make the changes.

Steps for Change.. wanna change - really?  No! Do you really want to change?  Because you won't if you don't really want to.

Tip 1:  Time.  Are you willing to make your change permanent?  If so - then there is no end date or date of realization when you'll stop making the change.  You must keep doing these things - never quitting - never giving up - never changing back.  

Tip 2: Tools.  You need tools and training.  Here are some tools you must use:
       -Visualization with Emotion - this is the key to changing your subconscious
      - Expectation of Results - this is your belief indicator - belief precedes the outcome
      - Habit Replacers - you can't break an old habit - you can only replace it with a new one
      - Opportunities to succeed - identify where you want to be incrementally over a period of 
         time and make that achievable for you.  Don't swallow a watermelon - eat it a slice at a
      - Coaching - either through books, in person, on CD - but you need this.  The answers
         to your dilemmas, questions, weaknesses - have all be found and help is out there.

Tip 3: Spirituality.  You are part body, part spirit.  Answer this question - point to where you are right now.  Point to that little I am inside you.  Is it up here in your head?  Is it in your hand?  How about your stomach?  Where is it?  You have to get in touch with your spirit and thinking side.  You are literally what you believe.  You are literally what you think.  Think yourself into the new you.  Meditation, scripture reading, prayer, service to others - these are all 'key' to you becoming who you want to become.  Leave this out - and you will never reach the potential that you can reach.

Tip 4: Self commitment & Self Integrity.  It's one thing to be outwardly committed and outwardly integral for the sake of others.  For your job, you have to be committed and trusted.  For your marriage - the same.  For the law - the same.  But when you're off in the dark of night, where no one is watching - are you committed to your own integrity and righteous desires or is that the time you slack off.  Do you think that doing things that you don't want others to know about will affect your outward integrity and commitments?  The answer - yes - absolutely!  Learning to have internal integrity and commitment to yourself - is another key!  You'll never go the distance outwardly if you can't go the distance inwardly.  

Tip 5: Love.  Love and like yourself then love - everyone unconditionally.  Most people - can't just turn this on.  This is another habit that has to be learned and practiced multiple times daily.  Don't discount this for sounding sappy.  Those who truly have love for themselves and others don't struggle over pettiness and imperfectness day to day.  Do you want to experience truly relaxed, confident living?  Then this principle alone will free you from the stresses that cause disease and strife for over 90% of the world population.  Learn this principle and watch your life change.

I'll post more on these areas later.  For now - think about them or act on them.  Making change doesn't have to be hard or monumental to have monumental life impact.  You've got the next x number of years to re-grow yourself.  Ready to start?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Building without the Joneses

It's a strident world.  There's so much noise about who to be, how to be, whether people measure up to other people's 'rules' for success.  Everyone is looking for something and few seem to find that something.  In the wee hours of the morning some are wringing their hands over the problems of the day, or yesterday, or last week because they don't know what to do about the problems of today.

Its a bit philosophical - all this - but it's reality.  What are you doing every day that makes you happy?  What are you filling your life with?  Where do you find your happiness?  Is it in your work, your religion, your spouse, your kids, others image of you?  (As if you know what that really is.)

I heard it stated one day that if you're living in less than this, then you're a loser.  I've read if you're not smarter, faster, stronger, apt, you're - well - Oh, that's OK. (wink - big L)  I've heard it stated that if you don't do everything you're supposed to - you're a loser.  Losership - oft times can be heard without even being spoken.

Self reflection hails from every move we make during the day.  Every time you write, every time you make a decision, every time you take a break from that thought at the computer or machine or hammer or steering wheel, whether at home or in an office or sitting in church - your reflection of you yells out both to your inner self as well as to others.  Do you know what you are saying?  Are you aware of what you is saying about you?

We often take a position in life that we're going to be someone - someone better - someone greater, richer, stronger, faster, thinner, smarter, kinder, worthier - disciplined.  Every year the end of the year brings all this celebration of 'new' something, where each determines - determinedly - that these types of self-realizations will be realized - with the new year.  We muscle-up mentally to become.  But people can see and hear - who you really are.

The new year comes to end and with the new resolutions in mind - its as if last years well said, poorly enacted plans, are forgiven, forgotten, shelved, graded, measured, weighed, and left in the status of which they finished the race.

Do the Jones exist?  We create them in our own mind no matter what social level, education level, religious level. They exist because we allow them to exist.  And we hold ourselves so accountable to their expectations as if they are standing over us with some life-threatening, do-it-or-be-a-failure, toe-tapping-glaring - well, you know what I mean.  And we let them!  They become part of what we spout off to our friends.  Their expectations become what we believe to be right.  Their rules become our rules.  And we pass them along to all who lend an ear whether at work, at the pulpit, in the car, or at home around the dinner table. 

This note - has it's own Jones family influence behind it - it's just the way we're built.  Truly seeking betterment isn't bad.  Looking to become the greater, better, faster, stronger, smarter, kinder - is good.  But the attitude carried with such things - does it now become fodder for zealot-like behavior or something that truly builds character in others and helps them be there very best?  Well approached - well conceived - truth to purpose - critical to how you enact your plans.

Falling down may skin your knees.  It may hurt for a while - it may hurt others for a while. Building up - may hurt even more and may cause some others to hurt - but at least - building is a positive direction.  But build - and for the right reasons.  Build because it is truth in you - good in you - purity in you.  Build or rebuild for good reasons  - not because of or for the Jones satisfaction.  Build because you love, care, and hope for betterment of you and others.  Desire, be pure in your heart, obey universal laws, and love.  

Start today and feel - really feel - practice doing better - try - serve others (not yourself - you've done lots of that) and experience the bliss of growth. And serve others while you're doing it.  It's often painful, tearful, and difficult, frustrating, and requires lots of focus and action - but it's worth it.  Try it and see what changes in your life by the end of the week.  Then keep doing.  The wonderment, the joy, the satisfaction - is in the journey.