We have discussed this many times before. This is not only the key to the Law of Attraction, there is real science behind it. Using the part of the brain called the reticular activating system, which filters what the brain deems important, makes all of the difference in the world. Anecdotally, we see it when we buy a new car or outfit, and suddenly see many people with the same car or outfit. It is just what your brain decided was important.
If we know this happens with cars and outfits, why do we not take advantage of it for more important things? When I urge people to focus on what they have to be grateful for, or what is positive in their lives, this is the reason why. It is not being ignorant to what may not be going well. Indeed, we can use that to better clarify what it is we do want. What it does do for us is reveal more and more things that we have to be grateful for or that are a positive in our lives. It also works in reverse. Every have a bad day at work and when you come home you notice every little annoying thing that your spouse does? Normally, these wouldn’t even bother you. Perhaps you even snap at them when they don’t deserve it? How about if you have a disagreement with your spouse before work? How is the day at the office going to be that way? Productive? Singing kumbaya with your coworkers? I would imagine not.
Enough doom and gloom here. Let us practice thinking positive! What happens when your partner starts the day by showing you a loving gesture? You go into work and don’t even mind if the boss is yelling all day. You are just looking forward to coming home to more of that loving feeling. Maybe you have a great day and work and a relaxing drive home? Then if your spouse seems to be a little more sunshine challenged than you, it might bother you as much. You might even be able to lift them up as well. Why? You were feeling good.
Take having a good start to the day. Maybe you get a hug from that special someone? Maybe your dog snuggles up to you with a cute look on their face? Maybe you just had the perfect cup of coffee? Whatever it is, you leave the house with a smile on your face. You start to drive to work and notice songs you like on the radio. Oh, and what is that new little place to eat that you have never tried? Wow, the trees sure are a pretty shade of green. This may all sound a bit silly, but it is really how our brain works. The crazy thing is that we leave this up to chance most of the time. I did a video on my YouTube channel a few years ago called “Waking up in neutral” We need to act more in life, and react less. Set a determination to have a good day. Read something positive and inspiring. Recite some empowering affirmations. Have your happy playlist set to go. Whatever it takes. Start your day on a positive note and commit to staying focused on the positive. Life will feel like magic.
Do not worry. This is not some sort of legally questionable promotion of a Mexican food product by a daughter of a president of the United States. In fact, it has nothing to do with that brand of food. Although, many of their products are very tasty. This is about a missing step that many people miss in pursuing an amazing life. It is also a vital step in using the Law of Attraction that people often miss. It was mentioned in the movie The Secret, but somehow most people missed it, including several of the people who were in the movie.
The steps listed in the Law of Attraction, and the movie The Secret, are to 1. ask 2. believe 3. receive. There is an important aspect missing here. If you think positive thoughts and you believe, it will put you in the right mental and emotional state, but people will still come and take your car and furniture unless you add a step between 2 and 3. That step is inspired action. It was mentioned in the movie, and often in books and lectures on LOA, but because it is not listed as one of the steps, many people miss it. Following the first two steps will put opportunities in front of you. If you do nothing else, they will find themselves in front of someone else. It is like when the server places a gourmet meal in front of you. If you don’t grab the knife and fork and dig in, you will never enjoy it.
In this case, G.O.Y.A. stands for get off your ass. Goals are great. Planning is wonderful. If it is not followed up by action, you are not going to get anywhere. Many people worry, “What if I take the wrong action?” Better to do that and find out and be able to switch it up to the correct action. If you do nothing, you will get nothing. Inspired action should not feel too much like work. The excitement of knowing you are getting closer to accomplishing your goals should keep you motivated.
It might not be a bad idea to purchase a can of your favorite Goya product and place it somewhere you can see. It will serve as a great reminder that we all need to take action to get anywhere in our life. You need to put in the work in the physical realm as well as the mental and spiritual. Go ahead, visualize, meditate, but then go hit the gym or get outside and work. Picture yourself as a best-selling author, but then sit down and write 1000 words. You must put in the work. G.O.Y.A.
Here we are, Monday morning! We have a great and powerful idea to not only discuss, but to put to work this week. The title of this post may shock you. A site dedicated to self-improvement tell you to forget affirmations. After all, affirmations have been suggested in almost every success book published, including mine. They help keep your goal front and center and keep you focused on the positive. They have also been suggested in many Law of Attraction books and even the movie, The Secret. With all of these sources mentioning affirmations, why would we be telling you to forget them in favor of trying something else?
Affirmations do a lot of great things and they certainly have a place in self-improvement. They do have one little problem, our own mind. Have you ever tried repeating “I am wealthy and drive the car of my dreams.” While you climb into your 2005 Ford escape? I mean hypothetically? Your reasoning logical mind can’t help but use your 5 senses to point out that this indeed is not your dream car. Affirmations are most powerful when they have a corresponding feeling to back them up. You can repeat “I have the lover of my dreams.” but if the other side of the bed is empty, that wicked conscious mind will let you know that you are one person light of a great relationship.
So, how do we manage to get a feeling of where we want to be, when our mind keeps pointing out where we currently are. Even those of us with the best imagination can find it difficult to imagine they are in the Maldives when they are shoveling snow in below zero weather. There is a way to turn the tables on your mind and make it work for you instead of against you. This can be summed up in one line – ask it a question.
When we ask our mind a question, it doesn’t rest until it comes up with an answer. Unfortunately, we often use this against ourselves by asking disempowering questions such as, “Why does this always happen to me?” or “How come I can never lose weight?” What if we used this power to help us reach our goals? How can we do this? By phrasing our affirmation in the form of a question. Precluding our affirmation by asking our mind “What would it feel like if ____” This causes our mind to use all of our senses to visualize our goal. When shoveling if you asked yourself “What would it feel like if I was in the Maldives?” Your brain would come up with answers such as, “I would be warm.” and “I would feel light instead of having six layers on.” Your mind will come up with the scent of the ocean, the feel of the sun, the smell of the tropical food, the taste of the cold cocktail and the sound of all the people playing in the pool.
Asking yourself a question causes the brain to come up with an answer instead of arguing with reality. It will help capture the feeling of the goal being accomplished instead of preventing it. This will help you accomplish your goal within a very short time. Why not try this for the week and see how it goes. At the very least, you will give yourself a mental vacation.
Have you heard about the Law of Attraction? Does it seem too good to be true? Does it sound like something from a science fiction movie? Does it sound too new age for you? You are not alone.
What if I were to tell you there was actual science behind why this does work? The Law of Attraction is real and it has to do with a part of the brain we use every day! Once I show you this powerful example and how you are already unwittingly putting it to use in your own life. With a few tweaks, you can take this part of your brain and consciously put it to work for you.
In my latest podcast episode we examine this phenomenon and tell you how to use it to start manifesting the kind of life you are dreaming of.
Law of attraction. Positive thinking. Manifesting. These words have almost become cliché. For a lot of left-brained folks they can also seem a little too New Age. I get it. I am a little left brain myself. Having faith in something that seems spiritual can be quite difficult for many of us. “Can I really just start thinking positive and my life will improve?” we wonder. The answer is both yes and no. I want to introduce you to a concept that will make this a little easier to understand and put into action.
When many of us hear of things like positive thinking and the Law of Attraction, we think of it as just blissing out and our life will change. It is not quite that simple. I have had people watch the movie The Secret and say I don’t believe that all you have to do is think positive for your life to change. They are right…kind of. You have to do more than think positive for your life to change, but if you don’t think positive, your life is highly unlikely to change. At least not for the better. This is not some strange occult or new age concept. There is actual science involved here.
If you google the reticular activating system like I did, you will be greeted with some wonderfully scientific definitions that you will have to read slowly and might not understand. Let me give it to you in terms of an example. Have you have noticed when you buy a new car or outfit that you start seeing that car or outfit everywhere? Let me ask, did everyone realize that you bought it and want to appear cool like you so they rushed out and bought it too? Could be. After all, you are a very awesome person. I don’t want to bring you down, but there is a far more likely explanation. The reticular activating system, among many other things, decides what is important and not important in your world. Here is the truth, those cars and outfits were there all the time, they just were not that important to you. Once they were, your brain began to bring them to your attention.
This is all really cool for new cars and outfits, but what does it have to do with positive thinking and Law of Attraction? When you are focused on positive things, or opportunities, what do you think your brain will bring to your attention? That is why people who say “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.” have it all wrong. Your expectation has a great deal to do with your success in life. Here is where those who argue that you can’t just bliss out and life will magically improve. If you just sit and meditate and all the wonderful things in life without doing anything, people will come and take your furniture. What this positive thinking, and exercises like vision boards do, is let your brain know what is important. Then, when your brain presents you with these situations, you must act. What the positive thinking and Law of Attraction will do is present you with more opportunities. Just like the cars and outfits. It is then up to you to take the inspired action. Here is the good news. It will seem easier and more enjoyable than before.
I hope the science behind all of this will make things a little easier to understand and will make it more likely for you to dip your toes in the water of putting your mind to work for you. Just remember, if it works for cars and outfits, it can work for opportunities and positivity. If you want to learn more about this, feel free to pick up my b, Living the Dream, on Amazon or wherever fine books are sold.
As I write this post, it is the first day of spring here in the northern hemisphere. I like to think of it as the ‘death of winter’. My affection for cold weather is just this side of nonexistent. What does spring represent to most of us? A time of rebirth and renewal. All the the plants that had remained dormant during the long winter months begin to flower and turn green and lush. Entire woods and parks go from looking like a dead wasteland to a green garden of Eden.
I find this is a perfect time to give a renewal and rebirth to the spirit inside of ourselves. One of the best ways to do so is to remind ourselves of our major aim in life. There are far too many people who operate on the “Wake up, pay bills and die” mentality. Do you wake up with a purpose and happen to life, or do you wake up and let life happen to you? It may seem like a small difference, but it has a huge impact on how we live our lives. Deciding what it is in life that we will major in causes us to change not only our perspective in life, but our performance as well. We may spend months or years deciding what we will major in when it comes to the four years we dedicate our lives to in college, but seldom do we spend any length of time on what we will major in when it comes to our lives. What will our chief focus or aim be?
How do we decide on, and then maintain our focus on what to major in when it comes to our lives? I am going to let you in on one of my secrets, or should I say one of my strangest secrets. One piece of information that has amazing life-changing qualities is The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. I have explained what an amazing person Earl was in previous posts. If you would like to know more about the man, and I think it would benefit you to do so, feel free to look him up in Google. You will discover what a powerful and accomplished man he was. His most famous work was titled The Strangest Secret. I will have a link at the end of this post. It is no more than 30 minutes, but will forever change your life. I have listened to this audio over 1000 times! Why would anyone listen to the same 30 minutes over and over again for over 1000 times? Simple. The information contained in this message will transform you life. Each time you listen to it you will seem to uncover something you might have missed before.
Contained in The Strangest Secret is a 30 day plan for transforming your life for the better. Really? 30 days to a completely different life? Yes indeed! It will help you discover and maintain a productive and decisive course for your life that will help you accomplish your goals in a fraction of the time it would normally take. One of the main facets of this life-changing program is developing a chief aim for your life. Earl uses an analogy of a ship leaving a harbor, which is how each of us could be described as we set out each morning. Now, if that ship has a destination and a captain and crew aboard, it has a 99.9% chance of getting where it is going. Should there be some challenges and obstacles to get it off course, as long as it has a clear destination it can adjust its course and maintain progress towards that destination. Much like our lives. Things may not always go as smoothly and easily as we like, but as long as we know where we are going (having a main purpose and goal for our lives) we can adjust our course and maintain progress.
What about those who do not wake up with a purpose or determined goal for the day? Those operating on the “wake up, pay bills and die” mentality? Well, let us go back to our ship analogy. What would happen if we had a ship with no destination, no captain or crew aboard and we just started the engines and let it go? it would not even make it out of the harbor. If it did it would likely go wherever the ocean pushed it to go and end up crashed on some distant, or not so distant, shore. That certainly sounds ridiculous, but are we not doing the same thing when we start our day without a purpose or aim? We wake up, maybe grab a cup of coffee to get the engines fired up and going and then launch ourselves in the world with no specific aim. We let the waves toss us about on the ocean of life. Then, when a major challenge happens, such as a job loss or health challenge, we crash about that shore because we could not adjust our course and stay focused on our destination.
Do not be like the second example. Do not start your engines and let yourself go. Develop a chief aim for your life. It may change and once you reach a certain destination you may discover there are other ports of call you wish to set out for. That is great! Without a purpose in life, you will find yourself at the mercy of life. Tossed about like an unmanned ship on the waves of the ocean. Just as no good fortune could come to a ship in that situation, no constructive ends can come to a life lived the same way. Start today by taking 30 minutes to listen to The Strangest Secret for yourself. Try the 30 day program to change your life. I promise you once you listen to it, your life will be changed for the better. I look forward to hearing what you think of this program and how it impacts your life!
Those looking to raise their vibration and master the Law of Attraction, or LOA as it is often called, listen to and read many wonderful things. The movie The Secret was one that really caused me to adjust my thinking. I recall as a very young man reading the book The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. This not only allowed me to glimpse the power of my mind to accomplish things in my life, but gave me some practices to do them. Over the years I have listened to several wonderful recordings such as the life-changing The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. I have discovered such great leaders of thought like Tony Robbins, Eric Thomas, and others. As someone looking to master anything, I pursued as many different avenues as I could.
It was the other morning while doing some recreational listening at my day job that another good example of these principles put into action and their success occurred to me. I am a fan of music, almost every kind of music. I advocate having a ‘happy playlist’ on your phone, mp3 player or whatever device you have handy. This is a list composed of songs that just make you feel good. Mine currently has 215 songs. They range in genre from classic jazz, 80’s hard rock, pop, country and the music I am going to discuss today – old school hip-hop.
Growing up, one of my favorite artists in this group included Ice-T. His name was taken from a crime novelist named Iceberg Slim. The song I happened to be listening to at the time was Rhyme Pays, off the album of the same title. Released in July of 1987, it was the first major release of his career. As you can imagine, for someone just getting going fame and fortune were still a ways off. You would never guess it by listening to this track. In it, the hip-hop artist tells about having multiple houses, maids, butlers, private jets and even so many gold chains he has to let the dog wear one. A lot of artists at this time did that. They rapped about the lifestyle they were chasing, in great detail. It is like people who use a vision board today. What happens when you have a song that you have written like this? What happens when you perform this track night after night, repeating these lines of fame and fortune? You end up not only achieving fame and fortune in the music industry, but film and television as well. Currently playing a detective on Law and Order SVU and having a net worth of $60 million, I would say he went on to complete his vision using many of the principles of the Law of Attraction. Whether he knew he was doing that or not is a different matter.
Another trick to succeeding with the Law of Attraction is to raise your vibration. This means improving your self-image to a point you really believe in yourself and the fact you can accomplish anything. If there was something you could always count on in an old-school hip-hop album, it was the individual telling you how great they were. Some of this bordered on arrogance and straight up narcissism. In a world where we are always being told we are too short, too fat and a million other things, a little bragging about yourself might be just what the doctor ordered. One of the great secrets is to believe in yourself so others can as well. You do not have to be a performer in the hip-hop industry to understand that.
One of the people who did this best and with the most class was Will Smith. Whether it was back when he was known as ‘The Fresh Prince’ or after he started going by his given name, the heightened self-image was there. It was done with humor, class and very little if any cursing. What has this African-American man, born in 1968 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania been able to to using humor and a positive self-image along with a love of people? Smith has went on to be nominated for five Golden Globes, two Academy Awards and has won 4 Grammy Awards. Impressive to be sure, but there is more. He has also married the woman he loves, had a family which he adores and has a net worth of an astonishing $350 million dollars. In April of 2007, Newsweek called him “The most powerful actor in Hollywood.” The actor has went on to record numerous motivational videos and help several charity concerns.
My point is that you never know what you can accomplish. There are so many great examples of using the principles of the Law of Attraction that we may not even consider. I am not advocating you run out to purchase a large gold chain and an over-sized boom box, but a little practice in speaking your fantasies, fostering a positive self-image and using humor and a love of people can propel you to heights you may have never dreamed possible. It wouldn’t hurt to listen to some old-school hip-hop as a reminder.
In the course of writing these blogs and my books I often wonder what is the most important key to improving yourself and living an amazing life. When I was writing A Happy Life for Busy People I recall asking myself how I could write a book about making people happy when different things work for different people. I answered that by finding universal truths that do apply to everyone and that are uniquely able to be customized by the individual. Through doing so I had solved the problem of ‘the same but different’. The next question was, if people needed to improve themselves how could I make it affordable. 90% of the tools mentioned in my book are less than $5 and many can be done for free. As a bonus I also made them fun to do so people were more likely to stick with them. There was also the question of time. A book that mentions happiness for busy people couldn’t very well give you a complicated 12 step process that required a great deal of time. Although the set up may take you some time, depending on what you choose, the actions required to use the insider secrets shared in that book only take 2 to 5 minutes a day. Less time than it take to enjoy your morning coffee. Many you can even do while enjoying your morning java juice.
I thought I had solved all of the challenges that a determined individual might face when trying to improve their lot in life. The tools were able to be customized to fit the reader. They were so cheap anyone could afford to begin improving their life no matter what financial state they were in. They only took 5 minutes at most a day. Many of them could be done while drinking your morning coffee or some other daily ritual. They were even fun! Still, I encountered people I know had read my book that seemed not to be experiencing the full and rich life they so truly deserved. This greatly disturbed my otherwise congenial spirit. It was, after all, why I wrote the book in the first place.
I learned the one thing all of those wonderful folks were missing – effort. The next question was naturally, “Why are they not putting forth the effort when it is minimal and fun?” The answer, as is the case in many things in life, was not that simple. People didn’t give the effort for many different reasons. I had to learn what they were. It would not only allow me to better help people live an amazing life, but help me stay committed to the changes I was seeking to make in my own life. Let us look at some of those reasons now.
The main reason people do not act on changes they know will change their life for the better also happens to be the key to making it as effortless as possible. That reason is their why is not strong enough. If, for example, you want to get in better shape to look better in your clothes, that could be rather motivating. If you have the unfortunate experience of going through a heart attack and almost dying, that is a lot more motivating. By no means am I suggesting one goes through a heart attack to strengthen their why. It does give us a clue as to a tool we can use. Let us create 2 lists. The first can be fun. Think of the great benefits you will get by obtaining your goal. You will look better in your clothes. You will be able to climb the stairs without seeking oxygen and a Sherpa. You will have more energy. If you have to bend over you can…well…get back up. The second list may not be as fun, but may be more motivating. Think of all you stand to lose if you don’t act on your tools of self-improvement. In this case, you may miss out on some fun events because you lack the energy or physical ability. You will miss out on extra fun with your spouse because ill health negatively affects libido. Use both the carrot and the stick.
Another reason, one I am guilty of on occasion is thinking too far ahead. As the great quote from Martin Luther King Jr. says above, just take the first step. Jack Canfield put it brilliantly in the movie The Secret. He mentioned that the average headlights on a car shine 100 feet ahead. Yet, by continually looking 100 feet ahead you can drive from New York to Los Angeles, 100 feet at a time. Can you think how ridiculous it would be if you only took trips if you could see the entire journey at once? We would never go anywhere! I would never make it to the tropics! That is a scary thought. Why then, do we do this will our self-improvement journey? We may not be able to see how a gratitude journal can help us chance our mindset. How do you really set up a vision board? Sometimes we just have to jump in and figure it out as we go. This leads us to the next problem.
This definition of success sucks! For a better one, I go back to quote one of my mentors Earl Nightingale. “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” I put the word in italics for a very good reason. If we only celebrate achieving goals we are missing the point entirely. One of the best ways to assure you live an amazing life is to find ways to enjoy the process. Life is a journey, not a destination. Every day that we work on ourselves is one day closer to a better life. In fact, if we work on ourselves every day, the end of the day is a better life than the beginning. Have you every thought of life in this fashion? Even mistakes and terrible days bring us more enlightenment. We either win, or we learn. Nobody is perfect (my beautiful Margie comes close, but then again I am biased) do not expect yourself to be. Feel free to laugh at your silly mistakes and be grateful for all of the lessons learned.
There are a million different reasons to not put forth the effort in improving your own life. What are some of yours? Once identified, you can begin to discover ways in which you can override them. That journey in itself is reason for celebration! Something to tell yourself, or better yet hang on the mirror, is something I tell Margie all of the time –
As we wind down our week of posting no negativity and at least one positive thing a day, there is something I was reminded of that I would like to share with you. In my upcoming book, Living the Dream, I explain the science behind the power and importance of a grateful and positive mindset. In a very brief explanation, keeping this mindset activates a part of our brain called the reticular activating system or RAS for short. This part of our brain modulates our sensory information. In other words, out of the information we take in, it decides what is important and worth noticing. The best way I can explain this is through an example. Have you ever noticed when you buy a new car or outfit, you suddenly see that car or outfit everywhere? Let me ask you, did everyone see that you bought it and then went out and bought it themselves? Unless your last name is Kardashian or some other internet influencer, I am sure you know the answer is ‘no’. So why are you seeing those cars and outfits all of sudden? They were there all of the time. Your brain has now decided, “Hey this is like our car/outfit and worth noticing!”
The ‘secret’, if you will, to all of this is that this area of your brain is always working. Most of us, however, have it in the default setting. It notices whatever we are focused on at the moment. Been watching the news and seeing the world go down the drain? Yep, you will notice examples of that everywhere. Researching that new puppy you would like to buy? Suddenly you will notice your neighbors out walking their puppies. The dangerous part of this is that is works whether what we are focused on is positive or negative. We can all agree at any given moment in time there are both positive and negative things going on in the world. What we are focused on will determine what we experience to a greater degree. Some people may confuse this with becoming ignorant of all the challenges the world is facing. This is no more true than knowing there are other cars on the road and outfits on people other than yours. It is what we are focused on and feeling most intensely.
Knowing every day that I would need something positive to write about, my brain started to be on the lookout for such an event. This happened even when I was consciously engaged in something else. This is one of the great side-effects of developing a habit of devoting a portion of your morning focused on gratitude. If you do this first thing every morning you brain will begin to lookout for things you could record in your ‘gratitude journal’. Imagine all day having a mind that is on the lookout for things that are positive or that you should be grateful for. These posts have reminded me what a powerful thing this can be. Our life improves greatly when we take control of our mind and put it to work for us.
As this week begins, you may find yourself asking, “Where do I begin?” Sometimes we can feel so far down we can’t see a way out. If you haven’t been there yet, consider yourself quite fortunate. Personally, I have found myself there several times.
Whether it is thr loss of a job, loss of a relationship or loss of a loved one, life can throw us under the bus when we least expect it. We can feel like we don’t even want to get out of bed.
Even when things are not quite that bad but we are just frustrated with how our life is at the moment, what to do next can be confusing. What is the first basic step? Is there a universal action that can work for everyone in all situations?
The great news? There is such an action and I can tell you it has worked in my own life. That action is GRATITUDE. Focusing on what you have to be grateful for will change your life quicker than anything else.
There are many great books and ideas to help foster this ‘attitude of gratitude’. In my own book “A Happy Life for Busy People” I lost several fun activities that can help make gratitude a daily part of your life. If you are interested in getting your own copy, there will be a link at the end of this post.
Whether you use my book or any other method, begin to use gratitude today, and watch your life transition immediately!