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awakening big picture growth musings spirit success Wealth

What is the most destructive question that everyone asks themselves?

“What’s in it for me?”

This is the underlying question almost everyone has running in the back of their minds.  Someone makes you an offer and you automatically ask it.
“What’s in it for me?”
Parents ask a variation, “What’s in it for my child, my family?”

 

It’s perfectly normal and most everyone does it.

 

So why is it a problem?

Because this question reveals a mindset of lack.
“Gimme, gimme, gimme.”
“Take, take, take.”
It’s the voice of the ego based on fear, insecurity, and a lack of abundance.

 

It’s victim thinking, not a hero.

Poverty Thinking

I experienced this growing up.

 

It was like life was an all you can eat buffet.
But “You better get your money’s worth.”
It’s why cruise ship guests put on their “buffet pants.”
Or the advice of some who say, “don’t fill your plate with the cheap stuff, grab the good stuff.”

 

Now, what if we could shift this to the opposite?

What if we could change the question?
Not
“What’s in it for me?”
But rather

“How can I help?”

Abundance Thinking

By asking this new question, there is an assumption of abundance.  This question assumes you have the power, capacity, and ability to help.  It’s a powerful question. You are tapping into your true gifts. It comes from a deeply spiritual place, not your ego.  There is more than enough to share.

 

We’ve all had ups and downs in our lives.  I personally experienced many magical miracles. And then flipped to complete despair.

 

What I’ve noticed is the presence of the first question and not the latter.  Mindset is the key.

So what is mindset?

A mentor of mine recently gave me an amazingly simple definition:

 

“Mindset is the voice(s) in your head.”

 

That’s so true.  I hear my parents, teachers, and even people I don’t care for speaking in my head.

 

Who put these voices in our heads?

They get installed automatically throughout life.  Parents. Teachers. Relatives. Caregivers. Friends.  Facebook. The media…

 

The thing is, unless you are aware, you are being programmed all the time.  If you let it wash over you daily without consciousness, you are installing these voices.  The prevailing mindset of lack, poverty, and despair.

Reboot

The good news is, you can reinstall new voices.  It’s like upgrading your internal operating system to the latest, greatest version.  You choose your own voice.
Tomorrow, my son turns sixteen.  Sixteen! We’re about to start visiting colleges.  Think about focus of study. Plan out a course for life.
What I want most for him is to flip the questions.  Ask more empowering ones.
“How can I help?”
“What can I offer the world?  
What was I born to do?  
What are my gifts?

What makes me the only one?”

A Lifetime of Questions

Of course, questioning goes on for a lifetime.
We never completely know.  We are always discovering.

 

The journey of life and success IS the journey of discovering the answers to this question.  Life is self-discovery. And this question can change your life.

How can I help?

I hope this awakens something inside of you.  New voices = new life. This goes beyond parenting, music, education, business, whatever.  This is for you. And through you, you will light up the world.
“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and place it under a basket, but place it on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.   Let your light so shine, so that they may see your good works…” – Matthew 5:14. the Bible

 

Categories
awakening growth success Wealth

What Is The Iceberg Principle Of Successful People?

People are like icebergs.  What we can see is only its tip .  There’s a whole lot going on underneath where we can’t see it.  There is a principle that successful people know.  I call it the “iceberg principle.”  

Success means a lot of different things to people.   No matter your definition of success is, though, I think we can all agree that we feel successful when we are in control of our lives, accomplishing things and feeling like we are making  a contribution to the world.  

The Iceberg Principle

Successful people use the “iceberg principle” to work on what’s underneath the surface.  

Just as icebergs can drift through oceans, melting along the way, many people drift through life until they melt into a puddle of oblivion, irrelevance and regret.   

What keeps some icebergs on a path to doom?  It’s all in the part you don’t see – steering it like a ship’s rudder.  The difference between the lost losers and successful folks  is what’s going on underneath:  their subconscious beliefs.

Subconscious Beliefs Are Controlling You

One of the most powerful subconscious beliefs people hold concerns money and wealth.

You can learn a lot about your or someone else’s iceberg – subconscious beliefs – by asking questions.  

Can you answer this question?

What is the first thing you think of when I ask , “How do you feel about money?”

Or, to put it another way, fill in the blank:  “Money is ____________________.”

Subconscious Beliefs About Money

When I was a young boy, I heard many things about money.  

  • “There’s not enough money.”
  • “Sorry, we can’t afford it.”
  • “What do you think, money grows on trees?”
  • “If we had money we could do it.”
  • “Money is the root of all evil.”

It’s no wonder that I have struggled with money and debt in my life.  

With subconscious beliefs like these, why would I ever want to be involved with  money?

Human Operating System – HOS

These controlling subconscious beliefs are like a human operating system.  Just as a smartphone has iOS  or Android, we humans have an operating system made up of beliefs.  Most of them, however, were never consciously chosen or designed by you.  You picked them up along the way.  And they are still resonating today.

Installing New Beliefs

How much more successful would I be if I grew up with beliefs like:

  • “Money is power.”
  • “Money is freedom.”
  • “Money is compassionate energy that I use to accomplish my goals.”

Skeptic’s Mind

You may think this is just mumbo-jumbo hogwash.  Woo woo New Age crap.  And, to be honest, a part of me is skeptical, too.  But, the childlike wondrous side of me says, why not?  Logically it makes sense.   The way I talk to myself definitely makes a difference.  Look at successful athletes and their powerful self-talk.   

Melt The Limiting Parts

It feels good to expose these limiting beliefs, because just exposing them is like melting these parts of my iceberg.

It’s Not Too Late

Another part of me (and maybe you?) is asking , “Well, isn’t too late?  I am what I am.”  And I get it.  It feels difficult and maybe even foreign to change your beliefs.  But let’s try a little experiment.

The Power Jacket

Over the next 30 days, think of it as if you were wearing a new jacket.  You are borrowing a power jacket.  Maybe it’s a nice blazer that makes you feel powerful, wealthy and in control.

Try saying to yourself, “I deserve to be wealthy.”   See how it feels.  Do you hear voices in your head making  negative or contrary remarks?  Interesting.

Write It Down

Take a blank piece of paper.  Draw a line down the center from top to bottom.  On the left, write the sentence “I deserve to be wealthy.”  On the right column, write whatever comes up.  It could be negative.  It could the voice of a relative.  Maybe it’s your father or mother.  Or maybe a neighbor or teacher?  

Do it at least twenty times.  Each time, write the corresponding response.  

Over time, you will notice the responses changing.  It’s very interesting!  Almost like a dialogue inside yourself.

Do it everyday until the responses change from negative to positive.  At some point, you may even “recruit” a supporter from that inner voice.

It sounds crazy and magical.  And it is.

Spending Money

Anytime you spend some money, tell yourself, “There’s plenty more where that came from.”

Holding on to money fearfully as if there were  not enough is also blocking the flow of wealth in your life.

By spending money  consciously, you add energy to the whole system and that energy  flows back to you.  We will talk more about this in a future post.

Money is just one area of your iceberg.  You can easily use the iceberg principle for health, relationships, spirituality and more.

Ancient Wisdom

These are not new ideas.  You can find them in every country  and spiritual tradition in the world.  But it seems we are a forgetful lot and easily distracted by shiny objects.  

Take some time for yourself to understand the iceberg principle.  

Carve the unseen part of your iceberg to guide you to new bluer oceans.  Send me a postcard when you land.  I’d love to know about your journey.

 

 

Categories
awakening big picture

The Mindset of Successful People: 5 Secret Beliefs

mindset of success

1) Negative emotions are change signals.

When you are feeling negative emotions, it’s like a warning light on your mental dashboard for a change.  Something needs to change, whether it’s an action you are taking (or not), the environment you are in and the people you are surrounding yourself with.

2) The fog of confusion precedes the calm of clarity.

There is always a period of confusion right before the epiphany, “the a-ha moment.”  If you are feeling confused, stop, take a breath, meditate, get calm enough to see the ripples on the surface of your mental waters, and reflect.

The clouds of confusion are burned away by the sun of awareness.  A path forward is revealed.

3) You are responsible for ALL your results.

I remember when I first heard this and it was a feeling of shock.

“What do you mean I’m completely responsible for everything?”  I was so used to blaming the world for my problems.  And of course, the more you indulge in this kind of personal un-accountability, the more “proof” you get.

The traffic cop pulls only “you” over when everyone else is going at the same speed.  Or the TSA official picks only you out for a random strip search.  Of course the world is against you!  Changing your mindset is akin to magic.  By taking personal responsibility for your entire life, your health, your finances, your living environment, everything…it radically changes your world.  And at first, it’s scary.

Start in one area. Pick a specific activity where you absolutely believe that you are responsible for your results like a sport, or a musical instrument or a language.  By holding yourself accountable for your results you begin to live in this belief.  From there, you can expand to all other areas of your life.

4) Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.

I used to have a lot of anger and frustration.  Taking on and conditioning myself with this belief has been a struggle, but produces fruit everyday.  It really is unlikely that the world is conspiring against you.  In fact, everyone is too caught up in their own problems, insecurities and limiting beliefs.  Hold your judgment and realize, they’re doing the best they can with the resources they have available at the moment.

5) There is no permanence.  Success or failure are a temporary state.

If you look around you, there’s the illusion of permanence everywhere.  The furniture in the room.  The buildings, the mountains, the lakes, trees.  But look deeper and you see that all is temporary.  A snapshot in time.  Apple is the biggest company on the planet…at the moment.  But remember US Steel, one of the largest employers in the world in the 1950’s? Today they are a mere shell of what they once were. Or what about Pan American Airlines?  These were seen as bedrock, unstoppable successes, for a while.  Nothing is permanent.

We are all in a state of motion.

Even the most solid of materials, at the quantum level, are in motion.

If we are not growing, we are dying.  Keep moving, evolving, reaching for higher and higher levels.  It’s the only way to stay in a state of success.  Don’t be misled that it’s all sunny days from now on.  There will be failures (or you can call them learnings) along the way.  But as long as you are aware of the learnings, incorporate them, and move on, you will be in a more consistent state of success.

Categories
awakening big picture

9 Negative Emotions And What They Mean

Stop Negativity

There are 9 common emotions that are uncomfortable, unpleasant and just darn nasty.

Fear, Hurt, Anger, Frustration, Disappointment, Guilt and/or Reget, Inadequacy, Overwhelm and Loneliness.

I think most of us have felt these in our lifetimes, and perhaps even on a weekly or daily basis.  There was a time when I experienced Anger, Frustration and Overwhelm almost daily.

The 9 Negative States can be seen as warning lights on your dashboard.

Here’s what they mean and how you can learn from them to release them.

1) Fear

Batten down the hatches, tense up – there’s something you’re going to have to deal with.  This is not always true, but you feel it!  Take a moment, breathe.  Is there really something worth fearing?  Unless you are in a life/death situation, most fears are overblown, misplaced and are just worry amplified.  Worry is also not necessary.  If it happens, deal with it then.  Don’t make it worse by spending energy tensing up for a possible non-event.

Action:  Ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?  Then what? And then?”

2) Hurt

Somehow a standard was not met.  Rules were broken.

Action:  Reflect on “Are these rules even valid?  Who made these standards?”

3) Anger

This is a more intense version of hurt, because again, a rule was not met.

I have been in arguments in the past where the other person leaves the room because I’ve raised my voice.  In my set of rules, it was okay to get passionate about your discussion and just get it all out in the open now.  The other party, whose rules were, never raise your voice as that is verbal abuse and threatening would just leave the room.  Can you see how these sets of rules were always in conflict?

Action: Let it go.  Reflect on the standards and rules that you feel were not met.  What now?

4) Frustration

Something is not working and trying to bang through the wall over and over in the same way will only leave you with a banged up head.

Action:  Change the approach.  Change something.  Be flexible.

5) Disappointment

You haven’t achieved something and you need to change.  You also may be feeling a little sorry for yourself.

Tony Robbins says the difference between winners and losers is that winners know how to control their emotional state.  Emotions can be thought of as weather patterns being sent up from the unconscious, most triggered habitually.  Did you know that you can consciously induce triumph or disappointment?  You choose your states whether it is out of habit or choice.

Action:  Change the process or change what you want your outcome to be.  Pivot.

6) Guilt / Regret

You broke one of your own standards.

Lester Levenson created a whole personal improvement program called the Release Technique and it is simply letting yourself feel the emotions fully and then releasing them. Once you do, you have emptied out the energy you were holding onto thereby clearing all kinds of problems created by stress which causes disease.   This technique lives on with two of Lester’s disciples Hale Dwoskin’s Sedona Method and Larry Crane’s Release Technique.

Action: Make amends, forgive yourself, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

7) Inadequacy

You feel less than something or someone else.  You can do this by first, stop comparing yourself to others and to start educating yourself in the ways you feel inadequate.  This may be in the hard skills of how to play chords on piano, or the soft skills of how to have confidence in public speaking.

Action:  Learn skills, Stop comparing to others.  Measure your results to see personal  improvement.

8) Overwhelm

Your priorities have become muddled and you’re trying to do everything because you don’t know which is the most important.

Action: Stop, reflect, prioritize and then go forth.  Most people over-estimate what they can achieve in a year, but underestimate what they can do in a day.

9) Loneliness

You need to connect with people and spirit.

Action: Get out and say hello.  Find your support group of like-minded people.  Find your “sangha.”  Get with God.  I have a writing group, my church choir, my Dad’s group, my music students, my family and now the Foundation as my network.  I’m grateful to have them all.

I’ve learned this list from Dane Maxwell and Andy Drish at The Foundation, of which I’m just starting the journey.  Because I’m an extroverted thinker, I find I can think and reflect better if I’m teaching others about it.  I hope you find this helpful.

Categories
awakening focus

A Funny Thing About Commitment

If you commit yourself 100% to a project, it becomes effortless.

There is no friction.

It’s all or none.

You do not battle yourself of whether you should or shouldn’t.

You don’t prioritize, you just do.

 

It’s when you’re at 95% when there’s trouble.

At 95%, there is stress.

There is worry.

There is anxiety.

There are too many choices.

There are pros and cons.

You start to second-guess everything.

Procrastination sets in.

 

That little 5% is what separates the winners from the almost.

It’s what makes you Usain Bolt and not the next guy, what was his name?

At 100%, there is a zen-like calm, no more driving with the brake on.

Enjoy the process.

Just do.

Categories
awakening focus inspirational quotes purpose

You’ve Got To Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive

Everything in life can be viewed in one of two ways, positive or negative.  Re-reading the classic book The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz, I came across this wonderful passage where he talks about having an internal broadcasting system.

“View it this way. Your mind is a mental broadcasting station. This broadcasting system transmits messages to you on two equally powerful channels: Channel P (positive) and Channel N (negative).”

I love this.  The mind is a screen that you can project the images you have control over.

“You own it, so manage your thought broadcasting station . When your thoughts turn to people, make Channel P your listening habit. If Channel N cuts in, say stop. Then switch channels. To make the switch, all you must do is think of one positive quality about the individual. In true chain reaction style, this one thought will lead to another and another. And you will be glad. When you are alone, you and only you can decide whether you will listen to Channel P or Channel N. But when you are talking with someone else, that person has a measure of control over how you think.”

Tune Into Channel P, for Positive
Tune into Channel P and Eliminate the negative.

The more you tune into one or the other the more you get of the same.  You’ve tuned your frequency to only receive on that channel.  It’s like setting the defaults on your car stereo or the favorites on your TV remote control in your living room.  It’s also what everyone has been saying with the Law of Attraction.

“Bear in mind that the longer you stay tuned to either Channel P or Channel N, the more interested you become and the harder it is to switch channels. This is true because one thought, positive or negative, sets off a whole chain reaction of similar thought.”

What channel are you tuned to?

Do you need to change the channel?

It may take some effort at first, just like learning to program the remote on your TV does.  But this one is far more powerful with much greater impact.  And it will last, as long as you stay tuned to…Channel P!

This of course makes me think of the wonderful song, Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive.

You’ve got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive
Elim-in-ate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
And don’t mess with Mr. In Between.

– From the 1944 popular song of the same name – Music by Harold Arlen and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

 

And here’s one of my favorite versions by the great Aretha Franklin.

http://dai.ly/xyjy4e

Categories
art joyful living musings

Creating a personal mission poster

I found this cool tool called Wordie that allows you to create a typographic poster of words you put in it.   It also allows you to put in a URL of your website to create a word poster of your website.  Very cool.

I was thinking that I could use this to create a self-motivational poster using Dr. Stephen Covey’s ideas of roles.  In his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he talks about planning your day/week/month using the roles of your life such as Father, Employee, Husband, Church-goer etc.  This allows you to plug in an activity in each of your role areas ensuring you don’t give one short shrift, like say Husband.  “Bring home flowers!”

Here’s something that I made today.  I’ll probably make other ones that make me focus on my goals and ways of being, example “Loving kindness.”

roles poster

I’m also planning on using this with some of my music students to help motivate them to practice more.

Check it out here: Wordie