Category Archives: new job

My Story, Chapter 8

(This is a quick overview “MY STORY” of my life, mostly to highlight the victories, challenges, and roller coasters we all ride in life. I offer some lessons that I learned at some points, and hopefully my perspective and experiences can help at least one person. Plus, some of you have just simply asked to learn more about me…)

….in Chapter 7, I mentioned how I was finally focusing on the right things and doing well. That’s when I got a call out of the blue to try something new and different, and to leave the world of self-employment. It was a little risky, too, because I entered the world of banking and SBA lending for the first time and I knew nothing about it….

Before I jump into new info, I wanted to reflect on what I consider to be guidance by our inner Self, or the Source, or God or the Universe – whatever you want to call it. To me, it is much the same. I believe we’re connected, so if you’re true to your Self and in the right state of mind and heart, your Self should equal = God.

Anyhow, I find it interesting, now looking back, at the ways I have guided myself, or been guided, along the way in life. While I was in the moments, it wasn’t much fun and wasn’t “interesting”. It was just plain rough. Now looking back, I’m glad and sort of relieved things didn’t always work out like I hoped. I think that I was being led by my ego during many of those moments into a job I thought I wanted, a job that paid a lot or looked cool, or both. Luckily my Self led me another way.

I can think of a few times where I wanted a job, even Needed a job. I applied for a position and did everything right. Then I got to the interview and blew it or just didn’t get a position that I felt I was definitely qualified for…..while I was in the MBA program I made contacts that got me an interview with Arthur Andersen Consulting. At that time, Arthur Andersen was doing very well nationwide and locally. They were in the news in good ways often. I had 4 interviews with them and they seemed to all go well. I loved the culture, the age groups, the compensation packages, etc. I wanted the job!

I was scheduled for a 5th interview. I was pretty happy that things were moving along well. Then I heard Arthur Andersen’s name in the news again. It seemed this time Negative! They were identified closely with ENRON and some of the ‘creative accounting’ there. Soon all new hires were put on hold. Soon after that a few people started to leave the local Arthur Andersen office. Soon after that more things came out and things got worse for them.

I had worked for the federal government, as I mentioned, and in one case later in my life, I tried to go back into the government and get re-hired by the same agency. The economy was shaky and I thought the government would offer some security while I got back on my feet. I had applied and many people and old friends thought it would be a slam dunk hire. Then, I got a form letter that I was declined. I had accidentally filled out the form wrong in one spot, I erroneously put a wrong grade number for the application and they denied my application. Even after I called and explained I was told that they could not modify an application and I’d have to wait until next year. It really was depressing and disappointing. However, not long after, it was announced that this agency was going to close. 300 people, many of my friends, would now need to look for new jobs. Had I been accepted, I would have been there only a short time and then required to go out and look anew. It would have been worse.

I’ve had many other instances when I wanted to work for a company, been passed over in some way, and then found out that there was an issue, it closed, or the job was not a good one. In some way or another I was lucky and it seemed like someone was watching out for me. What appeared to be bad luck seemed like good luck.

More recently I considered a career move and was again denied. I took it to heart and felt pretty down for a while. Then I recalled these past experiences in my life…I’m still “too close” to see big picture so far but I tell myself that this too shall pass and that something better is coming, this opportunity wasn’t right for my path and some Intelligence is helping me…..

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…I think that it helps to have a Vision where or what you want. Have a clear idea, picture, thought, feelings – where you want to go, how you want it to be, and why. Don’t worry about the How. You need to stay focused on that vision – what you can do today, how you can take action – and avoid focusing on what doesn’t work, avoid focusing on the negative. Setting goals is great. Having faith in yourself and faith in others, and faith in the world helps a lot. Giving, being open-minded, being happy, and being persistent are other lessons that I’d have to pass along too…..

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…..to jump back into my Chapter 8 timeline and get back to the story – I was going to start telling you about how I was hired to a large bank for the first time and how well things went for some time……had I not had the previous denials, challenges and even failures, I would not have had this new job at the bank. Those doors that were closed may or may not have been good for me, we will never know, but certainly when I started this new job at the bank, I was very happy to be there……to be continued.

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Question yourself!

Question yourself……the right way!

We all question ourselves, right? They say we have tens of thousands of thoughts each day.

Think about it, each and every day we ask ourselves questions – often they are NOT good questions.

We might say, ‘why can’t I get that person’s attention’, why am I so broke, why do I run out of money so quick, why am I so unlucky, why do I feel so bad, why are others smarter than me, why do bad things happen to me, why can’t I get that job, why am I so depressed, why can’t I get ahead in my career/business/life….etc. etc.

Many of us say these or other questions that are not only NOT EMPOWERING, but harmful!

So what if you asked yourself QUESTIONS OF POWER?
What if you asked yourself something that Empowered you?

  • Change the questions!

Your brain is like a computer – it is unemotional.

If you ask it a question, it will search for an answer.

Ask yourself “Why am I so rich?”

Why am I so likeable? Why am I energetic? Why am I healthy? Why am I a good parent/spouse/friend/employee/boss,etc.?

If you ask your brain a ‘bad’ question like ‘why can’t I get ahead in my job’ – it will go look for why you’re bad, what’s weak and you focus on the bad stuff. You reinforce your weaknesses.

If you ask instead, “Why (or what) am I great at my job?” and then try to answer it sincerely.

Even if you’re ‘poor’ – if you ask yourself sincerely “why am I wealthy’ you begin to think about why you are – maybe it is just wealthy in friends or health or talents – or maybe you’re wealthy compared to a Haitian citizen but you’ll find an answer, maybe you never thought about the equity in your home, or whatever.

So …..we really need to catch ourselves each and every day -…..interrupt the pattern…..stop the disempowering thoughts and questions….then replace it with an empowering question…….

….asking question is better than just stating an affirmation.

If you say and affirmation “I am rich” and you’re not – or you don’t believe that you are, you’ll immediately shoot it down and the affirmation will loose the power.

With a question, it is open ended, it can be answered in any case, and it ‘sends’ your brain in that direction. Your brain will try to answer it.

Your brain will search for an answer and then ‘believe’ the answer – whatever it is….so why not just ask a good question? HOW? Read them, Write them, Speak them, Visualize them.

Parting questions, for fun…..

Why do you like this blog?
Why do you think that my blog is so good?
Why do you want to leave a great comment below?

Why do you want to tell your friend about this blog?

…… 😉

ENJOY!

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www.checkoutEN.com

Independence, Freedom, Life

snowbunniesA quick story……

As you may have guessed I have been self-employed before and I enjoyed it. Even when I worked at two banks, I had lots of self-autonomy and acted as if I was running my own business or profit center…….

….I believe that we all should have freedom to be with our family or friends as we choose, to do things as we want, to make as much as we want, to spend quality time with those we want to, to be creative, to exercise and do healthy things, and so on…..

I really relish what working for oneself has to offer – whether it is inside a larger corporation or actually self-employed. I gravitate to these sorts of things….I wish more people knew what it felt like too…..

In any case, we all know that the Internet is full of so many gurus, gadgets and ‘opportunities’ that appear to offer freedom, income, etc. etc. I confess that I’ve tried a blog and business before. I had a CD-set of information, advice and references that I sold. I had podcasts. I sold books written by others on the same subjects. I’ve tried things and failed. I’ve also had a few successes.

I think many of us would like to work from home, or be able to do something like that. I believe that it is possible.

So, my point is, that I’ve come upon a couple interesting things. Really just two. I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars on many others. I have found many useful items, many scams, and things in between. Many items were actually good but perhaps something not what I wanted to do. There are many items out there that one can actually make money or do. It is about committment.

Anyhow, I’m in the process of checking out these few things. If they seem to be reasonable, realistic, and worthwhile, I’ll tell you. Then you can check them out and see if you think it is worth it.

I respect the fact that you read this blog, I respect that visited this once or maybe visit each day. I promise that I won’t abuse your trust and the relationship that we have. This blog is primarily  here to share good ideas, information and have fun. Deep down I believe that if I find something that is really good, it will still fulfill these things.

Until then. Enjoy and take care.

For more, click here

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http://www.onewebstrategy.com

How Couples Can Stop Fighting About Money

How many of us have fought with a spouse or partner about money?
We all have in some way, right?

When financial issues come up, we handle things differently due to our gender, family, upbringing, current outlook, etc.

So how do we handle this?

I saw this good video about it from Noah St. John.

Thanks

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Is happiness the secret of success?

HERE IS A GREAT ARTICLE BY SHAWN ACHOR OF CNN THAT IS WORTHY OF SHARING. I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT, USE IT, AND GET HAPPY!

Is happiness the secret of success? – CNN.com

By Shawn Achor, Special to CNN –—          

Is happiness the secret of success?

Editor’s note: Shawn Achor is the author of the Happiness Advantage. He spent 12 years researching at Harvard, and is now CEO of Good Think Inc.

(CNN) — Scientifically, can happiness be an advantage?

Some people think if you are happy, you are blind to reality. But when we research it, happiness actually raises every single business and educational societal misconceptions about

When we study people, scientists are often interested in what the average is. If we study what is merely average, we will remain merely average.

Many people think happiness is genetic. That’s only half the story, because the average person does not fight their genes. When we stop studying the average and begin researching positive outliers — people who are above average for a positive dimension like optimism or intelligence — a wildly different picture emerges. Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success.

Scientifically, happiness is a choice. It is a choice about where your single processor brain will devote its finite resources as you process the world. If you scan for the negative first, your brain literally has no resources left over to see the things you are grateful for or the meaning embedded in your work. But if you scan the world for the positive, you start to reap an amazing advantage.

Now that there is research validity to these claims, the working world is starting to take notice. In January, I wrote the cover story for the Harvard Business Review magazine on “Happiness Leads to Profits.” Based on my article called “Positive Intelligence” and my research in The Happiness Advantage, I outlined our researched conclusion: the single greatest advantage in the modern economy is a happy and engaged workforce.

A decade of research in the business world proves that happiness raises nearly every business and

educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality-of-life improvements.

Given the unprecedented level of unhappiness at companies and the direct link between happiness and business outcomes, the question is NOT whether happiness should matter to companies. Given this research, it clearly should. The first question is: What can I do in my own life to reap the advantage of happiness?

See also: Ambition could make you rich, but not happy (on cnn.com)

Training your brain to be positive at work is just like training your muscles at the gym. Sounds simple, right? Well, think about how easy it is to make yourself go to the gym. The key with any new resolution is to make it a habit. New research on neuroplasticity — the ability of the brain to change even as an adult — reveals that moderate actions can rewire the brain as you create “life habits.”

In The Happiness Advantage, I challenge readers to do one brief positive exercise every day for 21 days. Only through behavioral change can information become transformation.

  • Write down three new things you are grateful for each day;
  • Write for two minutes a day describing one positive experience you had over the past 24 hours;

–   Exercise for 10 minutes a day;

  • Meditate for two minutes, focusing on your breath going in and out;

• Write one quick email first thing in the morning thanking or praising someone in your social support network (family member, friend, old teacher).

But does it work? In the midst of the worst tax season in history I did a three-hour intervention at auditing and tax accounting firm KPMG, describing how to reap the happiness advantage by creating one of these positive habits. Four months later, there was a 24% improvement in job and life satisfaction. Not only is change possible, this is one of the first long-term ROI (return on investment) studies proving that happiness leads to long-term quantifiable positive change.

In a study I performed on 1,600 Harvard students in 2007, I found that there was a 0.7 correlation between perceived social support and happiness. This is higher than the connection between smoking and cancer. So if in the modern world we give up our social networks to work away from friends and follow celebrities on Twitter, we are trading off with our happiness and health.

Following up, I switched around the questions and asked how much social support employees provided (instead of received). The results were off the charts. Those high on provision of social support are 10 times more engaged at work and have a 40% higher likelihood of promotion over the next four years. In other words, giving at the office gets you more than receiving.

The greatest cultural myth in modern society is that we cannot change. My research proves that you can not only become more positive, but if you prioritize happiness in the present, you can reap an extraordinary advantage.

13 Ways Your Office Job Is Ruining Your Life

Just passing this article along, FYI

From the Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/15/office-life-facts_n_1776644.html?utm_hp_ref=business

13 Ways Your Office Job Is Ruining Your Life

The Huffington Post  |  By

Words To Live By – Visualization – part 3

OK, you’ve read other blog postings of mine, can I ask you to listen to a quick story?
Would you picture something for a moment?

Imagine This:

See a father of two beautiful daughters, great loving wife, who used to make a bunch of money, in his house. See that guy in his 40’s as a caring, dynamic person who was successful. The economy changed, he made choices and suddenly, it seemed, he made a lot less money. He is sitting on the couch peering into the distance, blankly staring. His daughter asks him something but he misses it first, she asks again and he gives her a terse response, and later feels bad about it. NO reason to do that, he thinks.
Now the mortgage was a little too high, the tuition was a little too high. The ‘gap’ between the income coming in and the expenses going out was very, very small. Sometimes it was negative. Debt became a huge factor and fear.
In the mornings he would wake early, lie in bed and get a tight feeling in his chest.

He sometimes got an upset stomach, and sometimes even felt like throwing up. This guy, who typically was happy, confident, easy going, fun to be with, was now an anxious guy, lacking confidence, lacking his patience and humor.
He felt bad. He felt like he let his family down. He felt like he got to where he was in life and had nothing to show for it. He was scared, uncertain, nervous.
Picture him in the morning eating breakfast while his kids ate breakfast and got ready for school. Since he sometimes felt sick, he had difficulty eating breakfast. Sometimes he’d try to swallow his breakfast and had to pause so he didn’t get sick. Imagine his daughters sitting there looking at him and asking, “Daddy are you OK? You’re not eating your breakfast very fast. ”

Picture our dad at a party with other families. Everyone is having fun, our guy is somewhat withdrawn. Typically he is engaged and joking, meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends. See our guy hanging back at the party. Notice his posture.

Notice his face. When you shake his hand and say hello, notice how he speaks, how he looks at you and looks away. How does he interact with you?
Imagine seeing our guy at a party. Notice his posture. Notice his face. When you shake his hand and say hello, notice how he speaks, how he looks at you and looks away. How does he interact with you? How is he dressed?

STOP

Would you take a moment and imagine one other brief story?

This one is better!
Imagine This

Picture our good father and husband again. All the above is true. It happened, and it is in the past.Hear him humming an upbeat song from the radio that his daughters love to dance to….he gets a little smirk on his facing thinking about it.
Our guy has some good friends and family around him. Imagine him sitting with some friends and getting some good support, some ideas, some connections. He is having a good time talking and laughing a bit. See our guy in front of his computer getting emails about networking, about a place to send a resume, about a new opportunity.

See our trusty dad and good guy talking with connections on the phone. One quick, casual conversation uncovers a business opportunity. It seems like a great fit.
See our guy excited. He sits up a little straighter. He has more confidence. He is thinking about the future and the future is brighter. Instead of negative worrying, he is thinking of ideas how to solve problems, improve things, improve his finances.
His face seems different. He is more focused and driven. He does smile more often. He has a purpose. He reflects that he put himself where he is and accepts where he is, he also accepts responsibility and doesn’t blame the economy or others like he sometimes did before.
He spends a little more time eating right, exercising, and even tries to dress a little better. Picture a toned dad, trim, in some stylish yet casual clothes. See him and his wife talking about the budget, working in front of a spreadsheet. They’re excited about paying off a credit card that has been around for too long.

Now that couple hundred dollars is available to pay off something else, for reserves, for a fun fund, or whatever. Notice the relief and calm that has returned to his face.

There is another summer party with the families again. Many of the same people are there and new people attend. It is a nice night, a great party with twinkle lights in the background. People are interacting, talking, laughing while the kids play. There is some corn, chicken and beef on the grill. You catch a whiff of the food and it smells great. You hear some music in the background softly playing. Maybe it is a Bob Marley song?

Our dad is there at the party. Life still isn’t perfect but his attitude seems to have changed.You walk over and greet him again. Notice how he stands differently. His posture. His smile? Notice how his handshake, eye contact, and confidence seem this time. He throws in some humor. He has a good smile. What is he wearing? Does he have a different “feel” about him? His voice has a strong tone to it. He sounds confident.
He asks more about your life this time. He is more engaged and listens to what you say. Our guy shares an idea about something in your life; it is a helpful idea, something he recently read and it could actually be something you could really consider. You’re happy to hear about it. You talk more and there is a good feeling going on.
You ask him about his life and he comes across as being very grateful for things. He is happy with what he has in life; friends, family, home, work, income. He feels like celebrating, he says. He is upbeat about the future.
Stop imagining.
Were you able to read that OK? Maybe these weren’t great stories but you were interested for a little while right?
You were able to imagine these things weren’t you?
You had a story, a movie playing in your mind. You now have an image of “our guy”. You probably have an image of his daughters, his wife, the party, etc.
Notice how, especially in the second story, there were details all around, senses, feelings, images, sounds, smells. Emotions are key. I probably should have included more and bigger emotions in the second one.
That is visualizing! That is mental imagery. Easy!
You don’t need a huge Vision Book, some complex outline, and you don’t need to spend 20-30 minutes a day.

The Vision Book will help, outlines help, and you can spend more time but 5 minutes a day is fine.

Create a story of you already “there”, as if you’ve arrived. Imagine that you got a DVD of you from the future – but this DVD has more features..you can also feel and smell what the future you feels and smells. What are the feelings having accomplished things?

How do you feel/look now that you have more income (or whatever)? What is life like? What kind of music is in the background? What kinds of food do you smell? How much are you laughing? Who are you talking with and what does that conversation look like.
Write a story about you and have fun.

Myth Of Decline: U.S.

Here is a great article I came across – something we don’t hear enough.

Take a quick look…

Myth Of Decline: U.S. Is Stronger and Faster Than Anywhere Else

By Daniel Gross of http://www.thedailybeast.com

It starts…”

Given the magnitude of the economic fall, it’s no surprise that declinism quickly emerged as the time’s chic intellectual pose. Left and right, highbrow and lowbrow, ideological and pragmatic, historians and futurists—all came to an agreement: the U.S. had a very slim hope of recovering from its self-inflicted blows. The lion was now a lamb, shorn of aggression and vitality, unable to compete with rivals like China. Much like Japan, which has endured two decades of stagnation and misery since its real-estate bubble popped in the late 1980s, the U.S. had fallen and couldn’t get up.

As is frequently the case, however, the conventional wisdom is wrong…….”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/04/29/myth-of-decline-u-s-is-stronger-and-faster-than-anywhere-else.html

Words To Live By – Visualization – part 2

“People who fail focus on what they will have to go through; people who succeed focus on what it will feel like at the end.”
Anthony Robbins

I want to discuss more about Visualization – more about technique in this session.

The simplest thing to do is tell a story, from the end, as if you’ve already done it. How do you feel? How did you think/act/behave, etc.

Also, I just finished reading the book “The Power of Habit” – which I recommend. Anyhow one study sighted in the book describes that people did better in many situations in sports/work/life when they not only visualized, set goals and asked questions before a situation but also asked themselves how they would react if different scenarios came up.

Example: “What would I do during the presentation if the power went off? What would I say if someone brings a politically charged subject up? How will I regroup if I get off the subject? How will I re-direct if an attendee gets us off track?” – Etc.

How should you visualize?

Write a story! Once upon a time I was about to compete in a big competition before the event I felt like….. just before I felt like……. During the competition I felt like……. After the event I felt like………. .Write a script like you’re writing a bestselling movie starring you!

The whole idea behind this technique is to imagine all the possible scenarios, positive and negative, and all the possible feelings, positive and negative, associated with them.

I would suggest that any of the counterproductive feelings of stress and anxiety stem from the ‘great unknown’. If our mind has already experienced the stressful scenario in the comfort of our home, using mental imagery, then it is more likely that we will manage to manage the scenario when it happens for real.

Misunderstanding the how and why visualization works often results in failure.  It is easy to become disillusioned about the power of visualization when, no matter how often or hard we concentrate on visualizing the outcome we desire it just doesn’t happen.

Many Americans first became aware of “visualization” as a technique when the Russians used the technique as central to training Olympic athletes – with great success.  Since that time, the idea of visualization as a tool to live a better life has become practically a mainstream assumption within American culture.

Visualize what we need/want and it will come.

A common complaint of people wishing to employ creative visualization is that they can’t “see” – or create a clear enough picture.  They close their eyes and maybe all they see are colors, or even just a “blank screen.”  They are having trouble visualizing.  This is where detail comes into play.  So far we’ve been concentrating on visualizing (“seeing”) as it relates to improving athletic performance; however, creative visualization is just as powerful technique for achieving anygoal or desire.  For example, you have decided to pursue finding another job.

You’ve set a scheduled time to visualize (say right before getting out of bed in the morning and right before going to sleep at night – both great times to visualize.)  You close your eyes and start thinking that you want to get a picture of your new job – and get nothing.  The more you strain to “see”, the blanker your mental screen gets.  Now is a great time to remember that you have five senses – not just one.

If you can’t see your new job – can you hear it?  Imagine a conversation you may have with a colleague or superior.  A very detailed conversation where you are expressing yourself to others with extreme confidence and competence.  Your listener, in turn, responds as you would wish them to in the most optimal circumstances you can imagine.

Can you smell your new job?  Perhaps your desk is near the coffee maker.  Now the conversation you have imagined has smell attached to it.  Can you touch your new job?  Maybe you can feel yourself standing by your desk with a cup of coffee in your hand having that successful conversation with your colleagues.

Now that you can hear and touch your visualization, you try to imagine you can see yourself at your new job, but – darn – all you can see is the color red.  Ask yourself, what is red about my new job?  And you realize that it is the tie or sweater a colleague you are speaking with is wearing.  Before you know it you can see, hear, and touch your new job – exactly as you desire it to be.

Creative visualization must be practiced consistently

“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.”
Anthony Robbins

“What if my beliefs don’t fully support what I want or what I visualize”

In other words, even though we visualize,  do beliefs sometimes overcome visualization? Visualization techniques can change a negative self fulfilling prophesy into a positive self fulfilling prophesy.  For instance, frequently, consistently, and in a detailed manner visualizing one’s self actually taking the test successfully is very powerful.  For one, the level of self confidence is improved.  Those who feel confident are not focused on perfection, they are focused on realizing their full potential.

WHY– I think it is crucial, in addition to adding emotion to visualization, that you add the Why. Why do you want the end result? Describe why you really want it. If powerful enough, one or two sentences is OK.

HOW – It is my opinion that when you visualize an end result, don’t focus much on the “How’s”. In other words, if you want to be happy in a situation, for instance, don’t focus on how you’re going to ‘get’ happy. If you want money, don’t get too tied up in “how” the money will come. This lets your creative mind work out solutions that you can’t think of – and take advantage of opportunities that you can’t see now. Be open to the goal, think about the WHY, and anchor good emotions. Forget how it will come about.

I read an example of a visualization exercise in Mike Dooley’s books. They helped me. In one example he is sitting on a veranda at a beach house. He talks about how he feels, the changes, and it paints a great, simple picture. There are no details how he got there. It could be the lottery, maybe he wrote a book, maybe he did ten things to get there. It doesn’t matter. He set the stage for happiness, abundance, loved ones, etc. etc.

You can read about these good examples at http://wp.me/p2mGFu-h

You can watch on YOUTUBE at http://youtu.be/FTAdjr1n7m4

Creative visualization (C.V.) is used to create change in your life. Anything you desire to achieve has to exist in your mind first, whether the end result is physical or mental. Creative visualization means picturing your desired end result. You ‘see’ it, and feel it in your whole body before you take action on it. Creative visualization begins to change the way you perceive a goal, taking it from the realm of dreams and wishful thinking, to reality. The more you visualize, the more your actions will reflect that mental image.

Creative visualization can be used to acquire a new skill. Athletes use it all the time: a skater may know how to perform a certain jump as a double revolution: using creative visualization, the skater can take that skill and expand on it to mentally learn how to do a triple version of that same jump – before ever going out on the ice.

It can be  used to embed a new belief system in your subconscious. For example, if you want to improve your financial situation, you have to be able to visualize yourself receiving large sums of money – and not have any internal resistance to that visualization. This takes time, and mental reprogramming to release feelings such as “I’m not worthy” and “money is hard to come by.” Unless these limiting beliefs are reprogrammed, you will unconsciously keep taking actions that make sure you will not be financially abundant.

Also – a good quote relevant here:
“Whatever your goal may be, if you create in your mind a clear image of the result you want and represent it to yourself as if you’ve already achieved it, then you will go into the kind of states that will support you in creating the results you desire…. you’re not just a leaf in the wind. You can control your beliefs. You can control the way you model others. You can consciously direct your life. You can change.”
— Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins page 62

More in Part 3- soon to come!

Words To Live By: Visualization -Part 1

While visualization isn’t a value like some of the Words to Live By, such as “honesty”, I still know that it is a key Word to use in daily life.

(you can listen to a podcast here)

For a long time I wanted to visualize more often and struggled with it. I was always concerned I wasn’t doing it right and probably even held off because I thought I would ‘do it wrong’. Then I read one simple passage about it in a book and realized that any visualization is helpful. So I now try to do it often in different ways.

First of all, let’s all realize and agree about an example of ‘bad’ visualization: Worry. When you worry, you typically picture – or visualize – something going wrong, right? Well, guess what, you’re reinforcing that image in your mind. You are physically creating the chemical and biological connections that could make that negative thing more likely. I read once that “worrying in like praying for bad things to happen”. I think that society has taught us – especially my mother’s generation and many mothers in our country – that if you don’t worry, you don’t care. I know so many women that feel that worrying is a necessity if you have a family. Some feel that if you don’t worry, you aren’t as good of a mother. I say all that is wrong.

Visualizing is a form of praying, I believe. When we pray for someone that is sick or in need of help in some way, we want them to get better or find themselves in a better situation. We often pray for help and guidance in our own lives.

Visualization is very important. Regardless if you believe in the Law of Attraction, the Secret, or anything spiritual, there is so much scientific support for it. I think that schools should teach it. If you talk with any coach or athlete at a good college program, in the Olympics, or a professional athlete, they all use visualization. Arnold Palmer, Michael Jordan, entire teams of players. Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps was taught by his coach to “play the tape” each night and morning. That meant to play the mental tape, like a video, of him swimming and winning.

  • Michael Jordan: used visualization to become arguably the greatest basketball player in history.
  • Jack Nicklaus has won a record 18 professional majors and is considered the best golfer in history. He has described how he used visualization extensively to help him prepare and win at golf.
  • Tiger Woods was taught how to use visualization and imagery when he was a boy by his father, Earl. Tiger visualizes exactly where he wants the golf ball to go. Tiger Woods uses visualization to become one of the best, if not the best, golfer in the world today.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, five time Mr. Universe, four-time Mr. Olympia has not only used visualization for athletic success but also credits it for his success as a movie star:”When I was very young I visualized myself being and having what it was I wanted. Mentally I never had any doubts about it.”
  • Jim Carrey When Carrey was just starting out in Hollywood, he was completely broke and out of work. He decided to write himself a check for ten million dollars and dated it for Thanksgiving 1995. On the bottom he wrote “for services rendered”.  He would then carry the check around in his wallet and look at it everyday. Six months before Thanksgiving of 1995, he was paid ten million dollars for his work on a film. It wasn’t long before he became of the highest paid actors in Hollywood -earning twenty million per movie

So many great business people use imagery and visualization. They use it for business meetings, presentations, specific events and also for the big picture strategies.

Many people believe that we can attract things with our thoughts. You may believe that we are connected to God, the Universe, to the Source. Many people believe that thought is energy, especially a concentrated thought laden with emotional energy. Perhaps thoughts change the balance of energy around us, and bring changes to the environment in accordance with them.Visualization initiates or triggers the Law of Attraction, many say.

Others provide a different explanation why visualization brings results. It may come as a surprise to most, but the theory of “Maya” – Illusion, which comes from the eastern philosophies, provides the explanation. According to the Indian philosophy “Advaita- Vedanta”, which is called “Nonduality” in the West, the world is not real, but only an illusion, created by our thoughts.

Since most people think and repeat the same or similar thoughts often, focusing their mind and thoughts on their current environment, they create and recreate the same sort of events or circumstances. This process preserves the same “world” and status quo. It is like watching the same film over and over again, but we can change the film by changing our thoughts and visualize different circumstances and life, and in this way create a different “reality”. For us, it is a reality, though in fact it is just a dream we call “reality”.

According to vanderbuilt.edu, visualization, also called mental imagery is defined as
experience that resembles perceptual experience, but which occurs in the absence of the appropriate stimuli for the relevant perception  (plato.stanford.edu/entries/mental-imagery/).  Whenever we imagine ourselves performing an action in the absence of physical practice, we are said to be using imagery.  While most discussions of imagery focus on the visual mode, there exists other modes of experience such as auditory and kinesthetic that are just as important. 
One important thing I found in this study and others is that “There is no correct way to practice mental imagery.

From Psychology Today’s FLOURISH by by Angie LeVan  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/flourish/200912/seeing-is-believing-the-power-visualization

A study looking at brain patterns in weightlifters found that the patterns activated when a weightlifter lifted hundreds of pounds were similarly activated when they only imagined lifting.  In some cases, research has revealed that mental practices are almost effective as true physical practice, and that doing both is more effective than either alone. For instance, in his study on everyday people, Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared “people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads”. He found that a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. However, the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%). This average remained for 3 months following the mental training.

Begin by establishing a highly specific goal. Imagine the future; you have already achieved your goal. Hold a metal ‘picture’ of it as if it were occurring to you right at that moment. Imagine the scene in as much detail as possible. Engage as many of the five senses as you can in your visualization. Who are you with? Which emotions are you feeling right now? What are you wearing? Is there a smell in the air? What do you hear? What is your environment? Sit with a straight spine when you do this. Practice at night or in the morning (just before/after sleep). Eliminate any doubts, if they come to you. Repeat this practice often. Combine with meditation or an affirmation (e.g. “I am courageous; I am strong”, or to borrow from Ali, “I am the greatest!”).

Scientifically, there is ample evidence that visualization can significantly enhance physical skill development and increase performance in many sports. There is even evidence that visualization of weight training can lead to significant gains in muscle mass and strength!

Neurologically, visualization invokes many of the same areas of the brain involved in the actual physical manifestation of the skill. Because of this, there are tremendous neural connections that are strengthened during visualization that are transferable to the physical domain.

Visualization helps with motivation and inspiration. Put simply, when you imagine something you then remind yourself of how good it will feel to achieve your dreams, and you become more so motivated to strive for them. This motivation allows you to take the steps needed to fulfill your dreams – and feel like fun along the way.

Visualization burns the mental picture, images, feelings and emotions into your subconscious mind – a very powerful tool. Once your subconscious mind latches onto an idea, it begins to work without you. It creates the belief. Your subconscious can effortlessly lead you to your goals, if it has a belief. Beliefs rule our lives. One day we couldn’t do something, the next day we could. One day we believed that we could not, the next day we believed that we could. Visualization helps us believe sooner, and helps us believe when we probably would never do so.

Here is a reminder from Focus – The Path to Perfect Execution

“The Power of Visualization will only work when your inner self is totally confident that you can faultlessly deliver what you have learned. The only way to make this possible is when you physically repeat the action over and over again – be it presenting to a customer, writing a document, driving a golf ball down the fairway or executing a slick cross court volley. Practicing over and over will also convince your inner being that you can do it. It gives the power to the mind to play the video of perfect execution picking up pieces from the hard work it saw you do while you were building and rehearsing the skill.”
“When done with sincerity, the human nervous and muscular systems prepare themselves by firing precisely in a similar manner to what they do when the ‘physical action’ actually happens. Medical tests were conducted on Olympic athletes where they were asked to run races in their minds by visualizing themselves doing so. While they sat absolutely stationary, it was incredible that the same nerve cells and muscular tissues fired up that would have if they were actually running the race!”
  1. Keep is simple at first then graduate to more complex imagery.
  2. Make your images very clear, elaborate, and kinesthetically true
  3. Prep your mental work out with real external images through videos
  4. Follow it up with your own real physical practice
  5. Visualize as often as you can to reinforce your new brain connections
  6. Go the distance! Visualize yourself doing what’s just out of your physical reach and then watch it manifest on the field – mentally and physically!
  7. The most important, in my opinion, attach and use emotions when you visualize! The more positive, strong emotions you have attached to an image or mental picture the better! This is a must!

You can see that there is a lot of info on visualization. Therefore I will follow it up with a part 2 soon. Above I’m leaving you with some quick thoughts on how to visualize. Just do it. Spend 5 minutes twice a day. If you can, write it down and them imagine it. If not, just take a moment, get in the right state of mind and visualize.

More to come soon. If you like this, please hit “LIKE” ?

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