Saturday, July 5, 2008

Be Careful For What You Ask For

How many of you have heard of the saying "Ask and you shall receive"? Ok - great concept, but how does it actually work? Many thinkers, religious, new age and scientific have been exploring this puzzle in recent years.
Have you ever decided that you need to buy a washing machine and then suddenly noticed there is a rush of companies advertising washing machines? What about if you are expecting a baby - noticed how many people are pregnant around you?
This is due to a part of your brain called the reticular activating system. The reticular activating system (RAS) is at the base of the brain stem and expands into the mid brain (neo cortex). It controls your sleep and arousal patterns and contributes to your focus of attention and levels of motivation.
You are bombarded by thousands of pieces of information every second - you need to sort this data into meaningful chunks and filter out non-relevant pieces of information otherwise you would overload. Your RAS does this for you. Your RAS is a bit like a computer where you set the program to filter out what you want, so only the important bits get through.
Thanks for the science lesson Ingrid, but what does this have to do with me, you may be asking? What you program your mind through your RAS to look out for - that is what you get.
If you program it to look for washing machines or pregnant ladies - that is what you see everywhere. The reality is that there are no more ads or pregnancies than before, it is just that you can see them now. If you program your mind to see the good in others, then that is what you see.
There is a Buddhist teaching story that tells of a wise monk sitting at a crossroads. A family walked up to him and asked "Tell us about the village up ahead. We are looking for a nice new home to live in." The monk replied "Tell me about what the people were like where you came from". "They were horrible, always fighting, crime was a problem and people were not helpful to each other". "Sadly, the next village is the same" replied the monk. Another family walked up to the monk.
"Tell us about the village up ahead. We are looking for a nice new home to live in." The monk replied "Tell me about what the people were like where you came from". "They were wonderful, very generous and supportive of each other." "The next village is the same" replied the monk.
Now you get the basic idea, let's take it that bit further.
Your Reticular Activating System (RAS) and Goals.
When you have clearly defined goals, what you are doing is setting your RAS to look for and sort information that will support your goals. If you have fuzzy goals, then your RAS will present you with fuzzy information and fuzzy outcomes.
The reverse also happens - if you set goals that are too narrow or limiting, then that is what you will receive.
To give you an example, I was talking with a businesswoman whose company had just closed. I was debriefing her about what she had done and what she could do differently next time as part of a grieving/closure ceremony. She was still stunned.
"I can't believe it she said. I was set some very specific goals in the past month". "Tell me about them" I asked.
"Well, I asked all my staff to make 100 appointments for free sessions with my business. I set each person an individual target of appointments to achieve and the time within which to achieve them". "So what happened" - I asked."
Well, they achieved their targets, we had 100 appointments booked. The problem was that none of the appointments converted to paying customers. Some didn't turn up, most couldn't afford our services and many just wanted the free session."
"So you actually got what you asked for. Did you set any goals for conversion to paying customers?"
A look of horror passed over her face as she realized what had happened "No - we got exactly what we asked for - appointments, not customers!"Lets leave aside the question of demographics, correct target marketing and qualifying clients for a moment. What she asked for she got 100%. The trouble was, she only asked for part of what she really wanted.
Lessons from Prayer
So does this mean that you have to be 100% crystal clear on exactly what you want? Not exactly. While there is a lot of research currently going on about RAS, there is also a lot of work going on about the power of prayer. Just key in "Power of Prayer" into Google and have a look at some of the nearly 3 million links. Research has been conducted on prayer and heart patients, IVF patients, burns patient, AIDS patients and the list goes on.
The type of prayer - specific "please heal Ms Jones of her lumbago" compared to more general - "If it is for her highest good, please heal Ms Jones", has also been the subject of research. It appears from the research that non-specific prayer is more effective than specific prayer and people are advised to leave the outcomes in the hands of the higher being or God (depending on your personal beliefs).
This provides us with some interesting lessons. The best outcomes come from setting clear goals, but leaving space for a higher being or God to intervene.
So, how can you set your RAS to best support your goals?
* Start with the basics - work out specifically what goals you are looking for.
* Visualise yourself achieving those goals 100%,
* Experience the emotions around successfully achieving those goals
* Hear the sounds of success
* Add in the thought/feeling "this or better, if for my highest good" as this provides space for God or a higher power to intercede.
Doing this will help you to set your RAS program for goal success.
Next write your goals into present tense, write them as if you have already achieved them and say them repeatedly throughout the month as an affirmation. This will help maintain your RAS program.
Finally, detach from the outcome. Know that whatever happens in your life is perfectly correct. You can learn from the outcome no matter what it is. It is at this point you need to let go and trust.

Positive Thinking - Whatever The Mind Can Conceive

'Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve' - Napoleon Hill.
Our mind is an incredible power whose abilities and powers no one is aware of. Even great scientist are said to have used only a small fragment of their brains capacity. They have proved that a normal human being uses only 10% of his mind and they are also of the opinion that 75% of all sickness the human being confront is due to this 10% mental power. This clearly shows that even the 10% that we use is not optimized or used diplomatically.
Researches conducted in eminent universities clarify the fact that a healthy and positive thinking can ensure a better life or living condition. Today there is so much buzz about hypnosis, self hypnosis etc. the power of the mind is amazing and if only we knew how to incorporate positive thinking into our daily thinking pattern we can lead a much better life free from sickness and mental worries.
Unfortunately people just do the reverse by imbibing negative thinking and outlook which definitely makes their lives miserable. So how can we incorporate a positive thinking in everything that we do? When there are so many negative things around is it possible to successfully follow a positive thinking pattern? Many people do not believe in this attitude but in reality this positive attitude will help them cope with daily issues easily and most of all you see life with optimism.
Positive thinking is nothing but guiding your sub conscious mind to see, feel, hear and experience things positively. It is the choice you make and the attitude you decide to stick to which ensures a positive or a negative pattern in all that you do. We can easily develop positive thinking if we make a commitment towards the goal and had some control over what we think and challenge the negativity we encounter.
We have all heard about the law of attraction which says like poles attract. Same way when we always think about negative things only negative things happen and we are in the habit of viewing things positively we will always encounter positive things in life. People who are depressed are usually negative thinkers and when they go for counseling they are guided to think positively.
Everyone should stop being judgmental as it is another form of negative thinking. Goal setting and advancing towards it with a positive thinking that you will reach the goal will definitely help you to attain the goal. Sportsmen, differently able people, elders and students especially should practice positive thinking and enhance their lives. Winston Churchill rightly said, "a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity and an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty'. Positive people never give up and they learn from even failures. But negative thinkers always look for ways to blame others or crucify others for their own faults.
Changing over to a positive attitude cannot be done overnight. Effort is needed as our minds are already programmed or conditioned to think negatively and see negatively. But the effort that you take is worth million dollars. When your thinking changes your whole life and the incidents changes and you can see the difference instantly. Visualizing and self hypnosis are some of the methods to create positive thinking and it helps to develop a positive attitude. We are what we think we are so expert's advice to visualize ourselves as what we wish to become constantly.
Visualizing something regularly can create a positive atmosphere in which it will definitely happen. That does not mean you can visualize about going to mars everyday. Your goal and passion should be attainable and fair. Mental visualization will take you closer to your goal mentally and you will automatically be driven towards it as every action of yours will be then focused towards what you visualize. Self hypnosis also helps you to repeat to yourself what you should do and achieve it is like hypnotizing yourself to do something undeterred by any other distractions. So positive thinking will lead to positive atmosphere where you will encounter and see only positive things happening. And here's a sample positive thinking to finally establish my point positively,
"Instead of thinking about what you are missing, try thinking about what you have, that everyone else is missing".

Tapping into Personal Motivation

Does the word "Motivation" have a charge for you? Do you notice that when you get ready to begin certain projects curious personal behaviors emerge? Have you noticed the desire to stop reading this article altogether? This topic can be a bit overwhelming.
How many of us have listened to "motivational speakers" and wanted someone to just, oh, I don't know, perhaps shush them up!!! Or how about reading books on motivation and finding that you don't even have the motivation to finish the book? As a human and a coach this issue comes up often. The common thread is that many of us have behaviors that seem to undermine the desire to complete something that we really want to do.
I looked up the word "motivation" in my dictionary and could not find a definition. I was going to leave it at that and thought, "Well, since I am writing an article on this subject, I probably could be a bit more thorough" (a curious behavior of mine is sometimes giving up too quickly!). So, I read further and found the definition for "motivate."
Motivate means: to provide with a motive.
This was interesting, though this did not say much. I read further, I was becoming more motivated now to find a definition that I could work with to make this an interesting and exciting article that would inspire readers! Here was the next definition I found.
Motive means: an inner urge that prompts a person to action with a sense of purpose.
Much better! So there is an "inner urge" and a "sense of purpose," and the only part that can hinder us is the "action." Let's play with this a bit. The first step is to notice the "inner urge." Maybe you have an inner urge to clean out your closet, paint a wall a different color, or write a book. Give this urge a voice. Maybe you could write about it, talk about it, or read about it.
The next step is to get clear about what this "sense of purpose" is for you. Maybe the clutter in your house is driving you nuts and you are tired of feeling crazy. Your purpose for painting may be that your walls were painted "dusty rose" in the 80's and you just want to bring in a more modern feel. The book? Well, that has been a secret dream for years and the purpose is to share something with the world that is uniquely you.
Now it's time to get clear about what needs to be in place in order for you to take "action." Maybe you need to set aside more time or save more money. For larger projects finding supportive people to talk to may be helpful. Maybe you need an organized space for creativity. Being honest with yourself about what needs to be in place will support you in taking that action that could make your life a lot less crazy, a lot more modern and a lot more creative.
Take some time to release the charge around how you motivate and watch yourself!

The Key To Peace

"Think thoughts that make you feel good. Think thoughts, say words and do things that resonate with who you really are-with that broader, wiser, securer part of you. Then your feelings of well-being, your feelings of worthiness, your feeling of value become very real to you. Then you have something to offer the world." Abraham-Hicks 1/8/91
The Law of Attraction states that whatever you focus your energy on will grow larger. That which is like itself is drawn. So, let's look at this in the light of world events. Are you focusing on peace or are you focusing on war? Are your conversations of world events leaving you feeling good or bad? Are you putting your focus on what you want or on what you don't want? Notice where you are putting your attention.
Let's take this a step further. Take a moment to get centered and quiet. Now ask yourself: "What do I want?", "What do I want for this planet?" Notice what words, pictures, and feelings come up for you. Whatever comes up notice if you feel good or bad when you think of what you want. Focus your attention on the aspects that feel good. Bring the essence of what you want into your internal experience. For example: if you want peace in the world, focus on feeling peaceful yourself.
Do you treat yourself with unconditional love and compassion, or do you beat yourself up with critical thoughts?
Do you spend time with your kids in joy and play, or do you spend time nagging and yelling?
Do you create a positive connection with your partner by being open and listening fully, or do you hold on to your opinions until the bitter end?
Focus and acknowledge the times that you choose peace over conflict. Focus and acknowledge when you experience peace internally and in your external world.
"If we are going to experience peace we need to notice each act of peace, however small. As we notice and ignite our sense of internal peace, our actions then reflect peace and those actions will influence the whole. If we are going to experience world peace we must start with ourselves and BE peace." --Sarah Hartzell, founder of Circles of Ten Women for World Peace.
I recently joined a local Circle of Ten. As a group we focus on outrageous acts of peace. We are supporting each other in remembering how to focus on peace rather than discuss our fears about war. Circles of Ten is a grass roots, peace activism, and leadership training movement whose intention is to facilitate personal, interpersonal and global peace.
The idea is to energize what you want. Create a clear vision of what you want and begin experiencing this internally. Then begin attending to it in your day to day life. Then broaden the vision and attend to where you can find this vibration in the world.

Attraction Of Success

I do not care what people debate or think or believe in, this is something you need to pay attention to. How much you believe or do not believe in the law of attraction it is there true as fact. It is absolutely critical that you read this with an open mind and understand what I am telling you.

I am not talking about the movie, The Secret with you. I am talking about The Law of Attraction. Even though that movie has been out while, The Law of Attraction has been around for thousands of years.

You are responsible for everything in your life right now. You attracted it into your life. I am not saying you mystically attracted it. I am saying you attracted it because you did certain things in the past that created your present.

I am saying that things you are doing today will make a difference in the future. If you change or alter one thing, even subtly, it can have a significant difference in your life down the road.

For example, if you decided today to run 1 mile each day, and you had not done that in the past, your entire life will be different months from now.

You will be healthier, happier and posses more energy. Who knows what will happen if you decide today to make that kind of change. Months from now, you may run a marathon.

What you think about the most becomes your reality. You know why? Because it moves you forward towards that in which you think about the most.

Your thoughts create actions. Actions create results. Therefore, if you continue to think you are not good enough to make it in the internet marketing industry, you are right. If you change your thought process and realize anyone can make it in this business, including you, then you will have different results.

However, you have to take full responsibility for what your life is like right now. You have to realize that if you want different results you will have to take different actions.
And guess what? You have to think different thoughts!

If you continue to think the right thoughts, you will have things fall into your lap. You will have the right people; the right situations, the right opportunities, the right answers, the right clients, the right JV partners, etc. come to you because you are thinking the right thoughts and doing the right actions.

Everything that you see around you is a direct reflection of what is going on inside you. It is a direct link to your thoughts. If you always think doubt, lack and financial problems, then that is what you will get.

It is cause and effect really. You have to cause certain things to happen in your business. It does not happen on its own. And, you will never recognize these things if you do not change the way you think.

If you want different results, think different thoughts. And, if you are going to have the choice on which thoughts you think, you should think positive thoughts.
Look at it this way, If you spend 60% of your time thinking negative thoughts, then 60% of the time you are worrying, fretting, stressing and probably not doing much to move you towards your goals. You only have 40% of your time available for positive thoughts.

I know I find myself taking much more action when I am having positive thoughts. I am much more confident and willing to make bold moves. Therefore, spending more of your time in the positive zone will create more action and results.