Archives For Personal Development

Persistence

August 21, 2017 — Leave a comment

If you knew what 500 of the world’s wealthiest people knew – would you do as they do?

In the classic book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill dedicates an entire chapter to Persistence.  Your paradigms will shift when you consistently feed your mind with repetitive information.

Hill describes the four steps that lead to the habit of persistence as:

  1. A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.
  2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
  3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
  4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.

These four steps will also lead to the mastery of fear, discouragement and indifference. Persistence is one of the common threads in the 500 wealthiest people’s repertoire – make it part of your daily practice.

Perfection

August 7, 2017 — 2 Comments

Perfection is defined as a state of completeness and flawlessness.  Have you ever experienced perfection?  Does it exist?  Is it egotistical to think that we can achieve perfection? Is perfection a perceived concept and does it mean something different to others?  Most importantly, does it matter? In the grand scheme of life, does it matter if you achieve perfection and does it matter if you perceive something as having achieved perfection while someone else may disagree?

I ate a chocolate chip cookie the other day. In my opinion, the baker achieved perfection.  There was nothing wrong in my mind with that cookie.  It brought my taste buds to nirvana.  It was delicious and it made me so happy to eat it.  What a cookie!  Have you ever experienced that before?  That total feeling of perfection?

What keeps us from thinking or feeling that when we create something ourselves?  Most of us create something and then begin to tear it down mentally – which in turn tears down our confidence.  Is this innate in humans or just those of us lucky enough to think we aren’t good enough to ever achieve perfection.

This in itself is flawed thinking.  Our minds are perfect. How we perceive things is what becomes fuzzy.  We have experiences that cloud what is really there and what we perceive to be there.  Know that our minds are miracles and are perfect. Know that we are capable of incredible things. Urban legend says we only use 10% of our brain. Although physically we use all of our brain what we really are using is a small portion of our potential.  This keeps us from accepting and achieving perfection because we hold back a lot of our potential out of fear.

Perfection is not something that many people can accept – but is so worth the effort of exploring and understanding because it helps raise your awareness of what you truly are capable of and how you alone hold yourself back from reaching that level.

Comfort

July 10, 2017 — Leave a comment

On Wikipedia, comfort is defined as a sense of physical or psychological ease and a lack of hardship while uncomfortable is people lacking in comfort.  I disagree!  I am hung up in the word “lacking”.  I think people who are comfortable are lacking.  Let me explain.

When you go along in life and stay within the lines, always on the safe side of the street, not taking risks and staying under the radar, you think you are comfortable.  You don’t ruffle feathers, you don’t cause problems, you avoid drama… Ha!

That is not the life I want to live. Not that I desire to ruffle feathers and be that obnoxious guy no one wants around. Far from it.  I want to be the person that takes the risks, that lives in that uncomfortable zone because that is where I am growing – taking life by the horns.  Experiencing new things.  Having new adventures. Dreaming big dreams and better yet, living the life I desire.

Comfort is a place where boredom sets in.  I define comfort as eating TV dinners in front of the television night after night with nothing worthwhile to say to my spouse because our life is BORING! And Comfort is where I think those people live that are afraid of going for the big promotion because they live in fear that they aren’t good enough.

Good enough. Ha!  I don’t subscribe to that philosophy.  We are all good enough.  In fact we are better than good enough.  Good enough is not an option with me.  Did I always think this way? No.  I lived in comfort until one day a mentor pushed me.  I didn’t know he was my mentor at the time.  He was just my friend and he pushed me to dream bigger dreams. He pushed me to want more out of life. To go after the big fish.

I have physical and psychological ease because I am reaching for the stars and I am going to do whatever it takes to get there!  My mentor pushed me and changed my thinking – he said – even though you don’t believe it now, trust in my belief in you. That was motivation enough for me – I trusted in his belief that I could and wow did my life change.  My mentor got me out from in front of that television and off the couch to living life!  And the best part is now I am mentoring others to achieve their dreams.  Comfort is not my goal – I’ll take uncomfortable any day!

Behavior

June 19, 2017 — Leave a comment

Behavior defined can be a physical thing one does such as a morning routine and it can be non-physical such as replaying negative thoughts all day long.   A few behaviors are instinctual and built in while the rest are learned through meeting needs.  What this means is that our behaviors are motivated by our needs and therefore we can be manipulated as well as manipulate to have our needs met.

So when we have negative behaviors and we want to change them, we find it isn’t always so easy because these learned behaviors that we exhibit are actually rather complex.

There are two types of motivation – the motivation to approach something and the motivation to avoid something.  When we desire something, we are motivated to approach it therefore receiving positive reinforcement or feedback.  When we avoid something, we are motivated to move away from it or we will receive negative reinforcement or feedback.  This is pretty simple.  We understand that when we eat something sweet, most of us have a pleasant experience and when we eat something sour, our faces pucker and we try to avoid that experience again.

But let’s look at those things we approach or avoid because the thing doesn’t create that behavior, we do.  Some people desire the adrenaline rush of jumping out of an airplane. It is exhilarating – it is something they repeat again and again as it has a positive affect on them and they desire that and are motivated to seek that experience.  Some people avoid even the thought of getting on an airplane due to their learned fears that it will absolutely crash and they will die no matter what statisticians say – forget purposefully jumping out of a perfectly good airplane!  Did the airplane create these behaviors?  No!  We learned them.  And each of us react differently to different things, experiences, tastes, smells, thoughts, etc.  All because of our own personal thoughts and behaviors.

So how do you change your behaviors?  Your thoughts?  Let’s say you want to become a public speaker but you are petrified of speaking in front of people.  How can you overcome this fear, build confidence, perform and knock it out of the park?  You have to change your behavior so that you are motivated to approach public speaking effortlessly without turning into a sweaty mess.

Practice.  Anything you try for the first time will be clumsy and awkward, maybe even difficult.  By practicing your speech – over and over again until it is so engrained in you and flows off your tongue as if it is just another story you are telling a friend, you build your confidence to speak to several friends or a small group… until you are ready to speak to a large audience.  Practice.

Shaping.  Practice your speech and ask your audience (family members, friends, mentor, coach) for feedback.  Try giving it several different ways.  Break down the speech into bits and mix it up.  All the while correcting your approach and delivery until you shape your presentation and performance.

Chaining.  Very good and effective speeches, keynote talks, sales pitches… are complex.  They are made up of many components within the speech to get you to the end result you desire – sell a product or service, teach a thought or program, build rapport with your audience, create new clients, whatever your end result is, your speech has to be built on a frame and chaining is how you piece it together so there is a natural flow, a rhythm that mesmerizes the audience. Think about a really good comedian who gets up on stage and tells little stories for the whole set and the last story wraps up and circles back to the first story – bringing the evening to a close so naturally and you give a standing ovation because you were mesmerized by how good he was – he practiced, shaped each story or joke, chained them all together and brought it to a close.

By using these techniques, you can change an old behavior that you don’t want for a new one that you do want.  Whatever you want to change, practice your new desired behavior, shape the new behavior by approaching it in different ways and ask for feedback all the while tweaking it, chain all the components of the new skills you are now mastering together and now you have successfully changed your behavior.