As discussed last week, your thoughts and actions are like ripples on a pond, spreading out, influencing and affecting everyone around you. Most important though your attitude affects YOU! It affects how you feel, how you think and how you act. If you want to succeed at anything you need to ensure your attitude is spot on. Henry Ford said it best, when he said; "If you think you can, or you think you can't, then either way you are right!" If you truly want to achieve something, especially something beyond your normal comfort zone, if you think you can do it; you're well on the way to success, but if you start off the whole process with a list of reasons why you can't achieve your goal - then guess what? You won't! ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!
The status quo is simple, it's comfortable, it's easy, so your ego tries its very best to knock you down at every opportunity and remind you of your perceived shortcomings. What we need to understand is that our ego is NOT us - it is not the real you, it is merely a collection of pre-programmed ideas and concepts that were drilled into us from our very earliest days. You may remember your parents, your teachers or your friends saying things like; "Oh rich people are just lucky, or even worse, all rich people must be crooks; you need to find a stable career, something to support your family; leaders are born, not made - some of us are just meant to be followers; only the really smart people can succeed in life; or perhaps the worst of all, you just have to accept your lot in life, there's nothing you can do about it" As we grow up we accept these things as being gospel and we limit our opportunities and life accordingly.
NONE OF THIS IS TRUE! You have infinite power inside of you to change anything in your life and in your circumstances - life does not have to happen to you; you can make life happen for you, and it all begins with your attitude.
Everyone should have big, wild, seemingly impossible dreams - it's what gives us a sense of purpose, of fulfillment and of wonder. If you reach for the stars, even if you don't always make it, you'll surely come closer to heaven. We need to remind ourselves that this is OUR life; not our parent's life, not our bosses life, not our children's life, not even our spouses life - but it is OUR life and we need to work toward making our dreams come true, for our own sake.
One of the biggest problems I see with people who make a commitment to following their dreams or to set goals, is an immediate attempt to try and map out the path toward success. This is a big mistake! You will never be able to clearly see the path toward achieving your dreams. The key to achieving your dreams, is to actually start out on the road to achieving them - not in trying to figure out how to get there. Whether you believe it is The Law of Attraction, the Power of the Universe, Karma, or just plain good luck doesn't actually matter; the reality is that when you are following your dreams and approaching life with the right attitude; the people, the circumstances and the opportunities WILL appear in your life and will show you the way.
1/ Get very clear in your own mind what it is you want:
What is the specific goal(s) you want to achieve? The very best way to do this is to write it down. There is something decidedly effective about expressing your thoughts on paper. Let's take an example from my own life. When I first started writing, I decided my first and my biggest goal was to be a best-selling novelist. That is what I wanted my future career to be, so I wrote down in my list of goals: "I want to write a novel; I want my novel to be published; I want to sell a million copies of my novel.
Now, it is important to note that I had absolutely no idea how this could be achieved. I knew nothing about the publishing industry, I'd never written anything longer than a University Essay and most importantly of all, I really didn't believe I could do it. Of course, at this point my ego was blasting away at me telling me how stupid I was. "Who do you think you are? You? Write a novel? Get real Grant!" Despite all this swirling around in my head, I just laughed at my ego, and told it - just you wait and see fool!
This really is the fun part of the whole process. It involves using our imagination to really feel and experience our dreams come true. You must feel all the emotions you will experience when your dream actually happens. For me it was a case of picturing myself writing the first chapter; the sense of deep satisfaction I felt when I typed; "Chapter 2, on my manuscript. I visualized in my head the entire process of writing the novel. I experienced the joy, the pain and the anguish of the characters in my novel (incidentally this process also gave me some great plot ideas). Finally, I felt and enjoyed the absolute satisfaction of completion - the moment when I looked at my manuscript and boldly typed; THE END. There was a real feeling of elation and contentment in the finishing of a manuscript and I experienced all of that long before I had written a single word.
I also pictured and felt in my mind the joy and pride of holding a book in my hand that bore my name, as the Author. I saw the cover (incidentally my pictured cover bore no relationship to the final actual cover, but that doesn't matter). I actually pictured myself sitting on the floor of my lounge-room ripping open my box of books, holding one up for my wife to photograph, with this enormous grin all over my face. I felt all the excitement and joy that I would experience at that moment.
I have also experienced and lived the thrill of watching my book climb up the Amazon Charts. I have seen it listed in the best-seller's list in its genre. I have even watched the moment when the sales clicked over to one million. It is also worth noting here that the Author page that I have created in my mind has not just one book for sale on it, but many. I have already lived this dream in my mind. It is REAL for me.
This is the part where so many of us fall over when we are attempting to follow our dreams. It's not just enough to dream it, to experience it inside our minds, we also have to actually do some work to bring our reality into the world. Again, it is important not to look at the HOW will I achieve my goal. What you need to do is only to focus on one thing that will bring you closer to where you want to be. Rhonda Byrne has a very good quote that describes this perfectly. "You can only EVER take one step at a time, so that's all you actually need to do - take the next step."
For me this was crucial. I had no real idea how to construct a novel; how to write anything longer than a few thousand words. So, all I did was focus on writing the next chapter. Once I had decided what would happen in that chapter, I would set about writing it and a wonderful and mysterious thing happened. Every time I neared the end of the chapter, the idea for the next chapter would spring forth. Before I knew it I had a complete manuscript. This is the beauty of following this system. You don't know how you will succeed, but the Universe does and it will lead you gently down the right path to success.
Exactly the same thing occurred when it came time to look for a way to be published. I knew nothing of the industry and it soon became apparent that traditional publishing roads were going to be long, tiring, and full of rejection and disappointment. Deciding that wasn't for me, I looked at other options and just like magic I discovered Pentian Publishing a Spanish Crowd-sourcing company who were looking to expand into the English speaking market. I submitted my manuscript and was shocked, excited and overwhelmed when it was accepted. My manuscript was just the second English book they had accepted for publication.
There are still many parts of my reality that haven't actually been brought into everyone else's reality YET - but I'm just doing what Andy Shaw teaches and working diligently on them; one step at a time.
I really hope this simple system of making your dreams into a reality gives you some inspiration to try it in your own lives. Remember; "If you think you can, or you think you can't, either way you are right!" GIVE IT A GO AND FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
1/ Before you get up in the morning, spend just 5 minutes listing in your head all things you can and should be grateful for.
2/ Read, listen to and watch less news. In fact, why not do what I did and have a total media ban for a month. You'll be amazed at how much the negative news has been subtly impacting on your attitude and thoughts.
3/ When you are walking somewhere, smile at people, for absolutely no reason other than you want to share your good mood and attitude.
4/ We live in a world of duality - for every negative circumstance, there is ALWAYS a positive opportunity. Look for the positive in everything and just turn away from the negative.
5/ Pay absolutely no mind to anything anyone says about you or does to you. Their opinions cannot hurt you - only your reaction can. Just turn away and be happy and proud of who you really are.
6/ Get into the habit of performing small "random acts of kindness" every single day. They make the recipients day and they also make you feel absolutely awesome. It can be something as simple as standing for a lady or an elderly person on the train or the bus; holding a door open for somebody; or giving a few pesos to an elderly or disabled beggar. It doesn't matter really because once it becomes an ingrained habit for you, the benefits will surely be seen in your attitude, your thoughts and your actions.
7/ Don't listen to, or spread gossip. Gossip really only hurts one person - YOU! You never know the full story of anyone's life, so don't judge them and certainly don't start or pass on rumors or gossip about them. There is only one person in this world you can control and that is you.
There are many other little tips, but that's a good start, and I'm sure you can come up with many more. In fact, please feel free to leave a comment on this blog, with your ideas and tips. I'm always excited to get new ideas.
Till next week - have an awesome week and maintain an attitude of gratitude.
EMBRACE THE OPPORTUNITIES LIFE PRESENTS TO YOU AND ALWAYS, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
Have a great life and spread the love!
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