If the Eighties was the decade of the fitness craze; with Jazzercise, Jazzergetics and Jazz.....just about anything; the Nineties was the decade of the ME Generation, governed and driven by one burning desire - to create more wealth for ME; although to what end, I'm not totally sure; then what of the Twenty-First Century?
The first decade of this Century has been marked, without a doubt, by the information explosion. The internet has opened up the world to just about everyone. The decade's most compelling feature has been the explosion of online Social Media; be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or the veritable host of other ways of connecting and communicating with people.
These trends all have one interlinking and fascinating thread. None of them, it seems has made us any wiser, any happier, or any more fulfilled. We still seem to be searching for that panacea - that formula that will help us understand the point of our existence - Herald the decade of the "self-improvement gurus"!
Since I began my own voyage of self-discovery around four years ago, I've read, listened to, or watched many of these programs and let me tell you right off the bat - many of them are incredibly compelling and hard to resist. I thank God every single day that I don't have a credit card because I have no doubt if I did, I would have succumbed to the temptation on numerous occasions and my shelves would be filled, like so many other people's, with books, DVD's and computer programs that I'd read or viewed and then consigned to the shelf in the sure and certain knowledge that my life was about to get better - NOT!
What I have done is assimilate much knowledge over these past four years about some basic principles that we need to live our lives by if we want to experience true abundance, happiness and joy. All the advice and direction from the "gurus" is wonderful and useful information, but at its core always remains some very basic principles that any of us can put into practice in our one lives and make an enormous difference to our life, as well as that of our family and wider circle of friends.
Right from the start I need to say; "I don't believe 'The Law of Attraction' is real - I know, with an absolute certainty, it is real; we are and we become what we think." That having been said, whether you believe in it or not, is totally irrelevant - it will influence your life in no less a way than gravity, electromagnetism or any other natural law, whatever you believe.
As I said earlier, there are a plethora of self-help gurus out there vying for your attention. If you stumble across one that resonates with you, that actually makes a difference in the way you're thinking, then by all means grab a hold of that person and suck as much useful information as you can from them. They all offer some of their insight for free (it's their cunning way of (a) getting your email address and (b) convincing you to buy the rest of their product to get the bits they didn't give you for free). I have literally read hundreds of different gurus over the past four years and although I still get nuggets of pure gold from all them from time to time, there are a few who actually make me sit up and listen - for different reasons.
I'll give their names, but in no way am I suggesting that just because they resonate with me, they also will with you.
2/ Jack Canfield: Jack was one of the first self-help gurus I encountered and the reason he resonated so much with me is he's not only an author, but he's probably one of the most sold and read authors in history. His "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series of books alone have sold well in excess of 100 million copies worldwide. He is not only a successful author, but he is an awesome coach. He is straight-forward and businesslike in his approach. He constantly reminds us that success doesn't come from sitting on the couch watching television. You can check Jack out here: http://jackcanfield.com/
3/ Bob Proctor: What I love the most about Bob is that he has been doing this "self-improvement" gig for nigh on fifty years now - long before it became fashionable and long before the internet made it so much easier to disseminate the information. Bob is now in his late eighties I believe and yet he still has the vibrancy, zest and enthusiasm for life of a man half his age. What he tells us are simple, easy to follow; rules for a happy life. You can access Bob's wisdom here: http://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/
4/ Andy Shaw: Andy is an Englishman who "tells it like it is". He approaches the subject from this simple idea; the reason most people fail to live abundant lives is because they don't know how to think. All our lives we've been taught "what to think" but no-one ever teaches us "how to think". Well Andy does that, in his own inimitable, and sometimes irritating way; but trust me his system is pure gold and I can credit much of my current thought processes to Andy's teaching. You can get much of his gems for free by visiting him here: http://www.abugfreemind.com/ii/
Now, I've never paid any of these people a cent (and it's quite probable that one day I will - as there is so much more I want to know) but my point is there is enough free information on any of these websites to literally change your life FOREVER.
It would of course be remiss of me to leave this section on self-help gurus without mentioning the one person what has had more influence in turning my life around than all of the self-help gurus put together - that is of course my life partner, my soulmate (cliched I know), my best friend, my lover and my darling wife - Thess. I can't emphasis enough how important it is to have the right people beside you on life's journey. She is definitely my right person.
1/ Life is SUPPOSED to be good: You are meant to live a life of joy and happiness, doing what you absolutely love doing and making a difference in your life, your family's life, your friend's lives and in society as a whole. You were not meant to live a life of struggle and pain - working all hours God sends in a job that has no satisfaction or joy for you, grabbing only a few brief hours of pleasure at the weekends. What would be the point of your life?
2/ Attitude is Everything: I love Henry Ford's quote to describe best what I mean by this: "If you think you can, or if you think you can't - you're right." Everything we do needs to be approached with an attitude of achievement. I didn't think I could write a novel, and for many years I was right. Once I thought to myself that I could do it - I absolutely did it! Incidentally said novel is called "The Second Coming" and will be available this coming month. Please buy it and feed a starving writer!
3/ Love is the ultimate power in the Universe: Everything good, joyful and wonderful in this world and in our life is brought about by love. Everything negative, sad and destructive in the world and in our life, is brought about simply; by a lack of love. The key to success and happiness is to "fall in love with life".
4/ Fear, doubt, anxiety, and worry rob us of the wonderful opportunities that are presented to us every single day. We spend so much of our lives worrying about things that are outside of our control, that we forget or miss the chances to experience the things that can bring us the joy and the happiness that every one of us so richly deserves. The key is to live in the PRESENT!
5/ Happiness IS a choice: Happiness is a personal choice that we can and should make every single day. What is the benefit to us and everyone around us from choosing to be unhappy? It is the most pointless of decisions and yet so many of us continually make the decision not to be happy. As Andy Shaw would say in his no-nonsense way; "That's just insanity!"
6/ Gratitude is the oil that makes the engines of abundance flow freely. Gratitude is a word that you will come across in every single self-help book you ever read. We all like to think we are grateful most of the time, but when you actually analyse your own behaviors you will quickly realize just what ungrateful little beggars we really are. I know I sure did. Gratitude has a power that absolutely defies belief. I can't actually tell you where I got this little gem of a quote from, but to me it sums it up perfectly. "If the only prayer you ever utter in your entire life is; 'Thank You', then that's enough".
Till next week:
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
Have a great life and spread the love!
Changing the world – one reader at a time!