Use competition to push you

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI don’t know about you but when I am put in a position where I’m competing against one or more people, my motivation shoots up to a whole new level. I have talked to many others who experience the same.

When you compete against someone, in any area of life, you setup 2 incredibly powerful forces.

The first is the desire to be triumphant. Imagine the excitement someone must feel when they win a gold medal in the Olympics. They have achieved a personal dream and they get a flood of recognition from friends, family, media, fans and ultimately their entire country. What person would not love this kind of validation of success? The same kind of triumph can be experienced (maybe not at the same level of intensity) when you win a competition that you have been involved in, no matter how small it may be.

The second (and more powerful) force that gets created in competition is the desire to avoid defeat. Most humans instinctively associate any form of loss with pain and in most cases, will do anything necessary to avoid that pain. If you enter some kind of competition that will help drive you towards your goals, this pain avoidance force may be the deciding factor in your success.

Use competitive scenarios to drive you forward but remember to detach from the outcome. If you happen to lose your competition, don’t get down in the dumps. Focus on what positives came out of it (usually a drastic increase in results) and continue moving towards your goals.

You need a personal place to unwind and de-stress

You need a 7 Day BrainwashEveryone should have a space that is personal to them and where they can go to think, unwind and generally relax. For many people, it may be their bedroom, a spare room in the house or even a sheltered spot in the garden but wherever is chosen, it’s vital that it is made to feel as friendly and inviting as possible. Because modern lifestyles are so hectic and demanding, there has never been a greater need for a tranquil bolt hole from everyday madness.

A space for relaxation should be instantly warm and welcoming. It should bring a sense of tranquillity to the individual immediately and evoke feelings of safety and emit a sense of peace. This personal space forms an escape from the everyday stresses for as long as is necessary. Care should be taken to ensure that the space is protected and secure especially if being used for meditation as complete peace and quiet is needed, so if there are children around, advise them that the space is off-limits and similarly, any phone in the room should be unplugged during that quiet time.

If using a room in the house, take a look around and see whether the furnishings are conducive to feelings of relaxation. If not, there may be things that you can do to increase those necessary feelings of ambiance at little cost. A cluttered space will not provide a relaxed environment so de-cluttering is an essential and actually quite therapeutic.

The room should be light and airy too with minimal furniture if possible to allow for freedom of movement and space.

Creams and beige colouring have a peaceful quality but essentially, the room can be decorated to suit that individual’s taste. In fact to personalize a room, it should mirror the user’s personality and this will allow them to take ownership of the space and to be able to enjoy their time there.

Pure essential oils can enhance a room immediately and as there are so many uplifting or relaxing essential oils, it will not be difficult to choose ones that suit any mood. For relaxation purposes, good old favourites such as Lavender or Geranium will not go amiss and for uplifting the spirits and mental clarity- Rosemary, Bergamot, Lemon or Clary Sage would be fine. Oils can be used in an oil burner quite safely and would provide an almost immediate benefit.

Equally, a private space in the garden can be incredibly inviting and care should be taken again to consider the appropriate environment first. A garden seat or bench is useful and shelter from rain is wise so that the space can be used in all-weathers. Consider any planting scheme carefully with a choice of colours that holds attention and appeals to the senses. Any plant fragrances will work to tease the senses and provide a greater response of peace and tranquillity. Whilst preparation can take some time, it is worth the time and effort because once the perfect space has been created, it will certainly aid any tension releases.

Be creative when choosing the right space, creativity is worth more than an extravagant splurge of money and it will mean more individually and become more welcoming and significant as a result. There is no need to restrict to one particular space either and this is of course dependant on the individual, but the garden, a room in the house, a favoured spot by a stream can all offer the same benefits some quality alone time in an aesthetically pleasing spot that soothes the senses and calms the frazzled mind.

Once any space is chosen or created then it’s important to use it as often as is required. Patterns of relaxation can be formed quite easily by using the space every day and if the same time of the day are chosen, then the body starts learning how to relax and this shaking off of any tensions begin the moment the room is used. This then becomes an instinctive response to relaxation.

When Times Get Tough

You need a 7 Day BrainwashWe’ve all been there at some point in our life. Everything seems to be moving along smoothly when something suddenly happens; a challenge, a barrier, a crisis. These events can range anywhere from being mildly inconvenient to downright terrible and sometimes devastating. When situations like this arise, we all have ultimately one choice to make how we will choose to respond.

When you boil it down, that is really how our entire life unfolds. We are making a never ending series of choices about how we will interact with the events and circumstances surrounding us. Many of these choices occur unconsciously as part of our conditioned behaviour patterns. Understanding that we always retain the power and the right to make a conscious choice about our reactions is where we can transform challenges into opportunities.

Consider the idea of personal perception. Every person observes and interprets the world around them from a unique vantage point. I remember very clearly an incident about 5 years ago when I was having lunch on a restaurant patio with a few of my colleagues. The patio was next to a very busy street. About 20 minutes into our meal, we were all startled by a large crash followed by an excitable YELP sound. As I turned in my seat to examine the incident, we saw a new sports car t-boned by an older sedan. Fortunately, the collision had taken place at a relatively slow speed so there were no injuries, just two very upset drivers. The YELP sound had come from a tow truck driver who had been parked literally across the street. He was so excited that an accident had occurred right in front of his truck meaning he would be the first tow provider on the scene. Talk about drastically opposing perspectives! These two unfortunate drivers were caught up in a very unpleasant experience while the tow truck entrepreneur had his latest gig essentially fall into his lap.

What’s most interesting about this example is that it illustrates to me that the world around us simply exists, nothing more, nothing less. It is not until we apply our personal perception along with all of our expectations and beliefs, that events become positive or negative. Since we are creative by nature and always have 100% control over our thoughts, we can then choose to seek out the positives in life. When something happens to us that initially appears to be negative, we have an opportunity to reject our habitual reaction and create a new, more empowering belief about that event.

I have personally made a habit of this type of mentality and I continue to develop this capability with every passing day. I am becoming someone who can cherish the tough times. When adversity strikes, I am often able to control my attitude and remain focused on the positive rather than being consumed by the apparent misfortune. I then remind myself of Robert Collier’s quote, “In every adversity there lies the seed of an equivalent advantage.”

Dustin Carter is no stranger to adversity. We recently featured his YouTube video on the Ignite Your Essence website. Dustin was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder at age 5. The doctors were forced to amputate the majority of all of his limbs. Despite his obvious challenges, Dustin is now a top student wrestler working towards a full wrestling scholarship. He is a tremendous inspiration to everyone who meets him and he gives hope to others who may be facing physical challenges.

Many successful entrepreneurs have been able to transform challenging life situations into business building opportunities. One of the best examples of this is Robert Allen. His book, Nothing Down: How to Buy Real Estate with Little or No Money Down, went to the top of the New York Times Best-Seller list after a controversial ad he ran to promote it. In the ad, Allen claimed that you could take him to any city, take his wallet away, give him $100 and he could buy a piece of real estate. After Allen’s book had achieved great success, a reporter from the LA Times challenged his claim in the ad and called him a fraud. In order to prove himself, Allen was forced to take the challenge and prove he could actually achieve the feat. Not knowing if he would actually be able to pull it off, Robert Allen began to worry and realized that he would be professionally ruined if he was not able to deliver. In a formally arranged meeting, the reporter met Allen in San Francisco, took his wallet and gave him $100. With his name and credibility on the line, Allen took the $100 and purchased 7 properties worth $700,000 in a 57 hour window. Needless to say, he went on to achieve enormous success in his career.

How would your life change if you were able to transform a negative event into a positive experience? What kind of results could you produce if you learned to embrace adversity and treat it as an opportunity for growth? Regardless of the nature of the challenge you are facing, decide to become the kind of person who embodies this philosophy and you will most assuredly begin to produce incredible things in your life while providing inspiration to those around you!

How to find motivation

You need a 7 Day BrainwashLearning what makes you tick on an individual level is so important. Once you have found the elixir of motivation, it makes sense to tap into it and to give yourself a kick-start if you start flagging.

You can start learning about yourself just through understanding what your biggest achievement has been to date and how you came to reach it.

Think long and hard about the following questions and take time to write down full-answers in response. Be honest with yourself when answering these questions-you may surprise yourself.

1. What is your biggest achievement to date?

2. How did you achieve your success?

3. During the process, what kept you going to the end goal?

4. How were you motivated?

5. How much did the end goal mean to you?

Once you have answered the questions, sit quietly and contemplate back to that time when you experienced that joyous sense of achievement.

Remember that people are motivated by very different things and what motivates one may not motivate another but your inner-most dreams have probably changed little and will have remained fairly constant throughout. What often happens is that people give up on these hopes and instead settle for something much less simply because it is easier and quicker.

The true dream, your true destiny may have taken a lot of hard work and patience and therefore was abandoned. This knowledge of taking the easy route may be an issue for you today.

From the following list, write down any that connects with your feelings:

-Do you seek recognition from others?

-Do you strive to make life better for your family?

-Do you need to prove to yourself that you can be someone important or achieve all of your goals for personal satisfaction?

-Do you feel that it’s important to do the right thing in life?

-Do you strive to increase your financial income?

-Do you have a passion in life and find it all-consuming?

-Was your childhood difficult and do you wish to ensure that your adult life is vastly improved?

-Is it important for you to take charge of your life and do something that matters?

-Do you need variety in life so embrace any changes?

-Does seeing your goals written down in black and white increase your determination to succeed?

You may find that several relate to how you feel personally so make a note of them and pin them up where you can see them so that they are a constant reminder of how you really feel.

How Visualization Actually Works

You need a 7 Day BrainwashEver since the release of “The Secret”, there has been a lot of hype around the topic of

visualization. Speci cally, many people have gained an awareness about the power of

visualization and how it can positively or negatively impact the results you experience in your

life.

This is not a new concept by any means. Visualization has been a practice used by many cultures

for many generations. Olympic athletes are now trained in the art of visualization as a means of

gaining a competitive advantage in their chosen sport. Unfortunately, I think the way The Secret

portrayed the idea of visualization gave people a skewed perspective of how visualization

actually works. Too many people assumed that the simple act of thinking about something would

automatically cause it to become reality. As any logical thinking person would agree, this is

de nitely not always the case.

The true power of visualization comes from the fact that we all have access to creative thoughts.

We can create a new idea in our mind through the simple act of visualization. Using the power of

action, we can take an idea that exists in our mind and bring it into reality. The process to do so

varies depending on the idea you have conceived. The point is that all creation starts in the mind

and it is up to the originator of that idea to see the result through to completion.

The more I have studied the connection between mental and physical reality, the more I have

become fascinated by the topic of visualization. A simple example is, you can take a room in

your home, visualize an entirely new arrangement and then go to work on bringing your vision

into reality. A few hours later, there you have your visualized image into reality. OK so it’s not

the most exciting example in the world but that same process can be applied to anything. And to

me, that IS exciting.

I have visualized myself doing some amazing things in my lifetime. Some of these things have

already come to pass while many of my larger visions still elude me. The fact that our vision of

the goal creates the potential for it to really happen is something for every person to get excited

about.

Someone visualized humans ying through the sky. People laughed. Now we have been

doing it for over a century!

Someone visualized sending sound through the air and being able to hear the sound in a

remote location. People laughed. Now we have 1000s of radio stations

Someone visualized two people having a conversation across the world with no wires.

People laughed. I just got off a Skype call with someone over 1000 miles away.

I had my own interesting visualization experience about 2 years ago. I was at a personal

development seminar and the speaker was talking about the power of visualization. He was

telling all kinds of exciting stories about people who had used various visualization techniques to

create some amazing results in their lives. Toward the end of his talk he walked us through a

“guided visualization” exercise. In the exercise, he had us close our eyes and clearly visualize a

result we would like to create. Having tried and failed at this kind of experiment in the past, I

was somewhat reluctant but I decided to suspend any disbelief and just try it out.

For my visualization, I picture my hand raising in front of my face and seeing my wedding band

on my ring nger. I had lost the ring 3 months earlier on a blustery winter day and had no idea

where it might have fallen. The exercise forced me to hold this vision of the ring on my nger for

at least 2 minutes (although I think it was even longer than that). The exercise ended and he

continued on with the presentation. After that, I dropped the whole thing from my mind and went

on with my day.

Later that evening, my wife answered the phone and there was a call from our sister in-law. Her

neighbor had found a gold wedding ring on their lawn among a pile of melting snow. She knew I

had been missing my ring so she called me right away to tell us it had been found. The ring must

have fallen off in their driveway and been shot across the yard with a snowblower only to land

on the neighbor’s yard. What are the chances that they discover the ring right around the same

time I visualized it?

Yes it is mysterious and it also could be coincidence. I guess you just have to ask yourself what

you believe in? For me, I know the power of visualization and I continue to leverage it as a

success habit in my life.

7 quick ways to de-stress

You need a 7 Day Brainwash1. If possible, walk away from the problem and get some fresh air. A walk, even a brief one, will provide space from the scene of the stress and enable some breathing space so as to calm down. A change of scenery can be exceptionally therapeutic.

2. Reading a novel with a gripping storyline can help with a mental escape from any stressful situation. Troubles can dissipate along with any tension and a few good chapters of reading will have provided enough time out to be able to face any situation more calmly.

3. Meditation is often overlooked or viewed as too difficult when in fact; the truth couldn’t be more different. There is no mystery to the techniques; it only requires regular practice and a focus on the intent of clearing the mind.

4. Herbal teas can be an excellent aid to relaxation. Trial and error will soon ascertain the best calming teas for the individual but chamomile is a renowned favourite for de-stressing and relieving tension.

5. It’s possible to buy stress-busting toys. There may be a fun aspect to them but squeezing a stress ball and pummelling it into shape or getting a punch bag and focussing all that inner aggression on it, can certainly help to alleviate any frustrations and prevent it from turning inwards.

6. Watch a comedy DVD. It’s virtually impossible to stay tense when something is funny. Even five or ten minutes will make a big difference to any stress levels.

7. Breathing of course is vitally important but when someone is stressed, they become tense and their breathing becomes erratic. Take five minutes away from the stressful situation and focus on the breath. Counting the breath in and out will help to focus the mind and relieve tension.

The Forgotten Skill of Focus

You need a 7 Day BrainwashLately, I have noticed a common theme among many friends, colleagues and associates. It seems we are all struggling with the same issue the ability to stay focused on a single task for a prolonged period of time.

When I recently took a mental inventory of my typical day, I quickly became alarmed by the number of concurrent tasks I found myself working on at any given time. Worse yet, when I examined my results and productivity levels, it was evident that I was struggling to keep up with previous outputs during the earlier phases of my business.

Then I came across an article written by Josh Waitzkin that pinpointed the direct cause of my reduced effectiveness. The article was on a topic he calls the “Multitasking Virus” as posted on Tim Ferriss’ Blog at http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog.

In the article, Waitzkin demonstrates the detrimental effects of multi-tasking and makes reference to a recent study at the British Institute of Psychiatry which ” showed that checking your email while performing another creative task decreases your IQ in the moment 10 points. That is the equivalent of not sleeping for 36 hours more than twice the impact of smoking marijuana.”

This was a real eye opener for me! I would have a hard time counting the number of times I had been checking my email throughout any given work day. On more than one occasion, I would completely stop a task (often an important, revenue generating task) to tend to a new email that popped up in my inbox regardless whether it was an important email or not.

When I discovered that this type of distraction was literally decreasing my IQ, I could immediately see certain areas where the quality of my work had been impacted. But it also forced me to stop and think about all of the other distractions that I was allowing (knowingly or unknowingly) to impact my work.

Between news and information websites, email, phone calls, instant messaging and business research, I was probably getting distracted a minimum of 10 times a day! If you think that sounds like a high number, take a few moments right now to mentally review some of your own personal distractions. You will likely notice that they add up pretty quickly! In my case, these distractions would actually make me stop the task at hand and move on to something different. Often, I would move on to something of lower priority but I was unable to recognize this at the time due to the fact that I had been so severely distracted from my previous train of thought.

Like anyone else, I am at my best and produce my most valuable work when I am able to stay focused and concentrated on one item of work. This really applies to any task we perform. If you have ever learned a manual skill like laying a hardwood floor, using a weed remover for your lawn, or even running large stacks of paper through a laminating machine (these all happen to be tasks that I recently performed), you likely noticed a learning curve. At first, you might have felt awkward and you may have even fouled up your first few attempts at the task. Gradually you got the hang of it and developed a rhythm. After a certain period of time, you actually started to master the skill and eventually you were able to do double, triple, quadruple (or even better) your productivity.

The same thing applies to practically everything we do in life. If you want to learn a new skill, the best way to do it is through a complete immersion process. If you want to run a marathon, you focus on running and likely divert from the weight room until after the competition. If you want to learn how to speak Spanish, your best bet is to get into a Spanish class and postpone your French class until you have mastered Spanish. Regardless of what you may be trying to accomplish, you will produce your best results when you are able to consistently focus on the highest priority activities.

When I want to write an article, I remove myself from all distractions. I even remove myself physically from my office and go to the library or another spot where I have no choice but to focus on the task at hand. My local library happens to have neither wireless internet availability nor cell phone reception. This combination makes for the perfect cure to my typical interruptions! I am often able to complete my articles or reports in less than a third of the time it would have taken me had I been working from my office and connected to my world of distractions.

An empowering discovery I have made about utilizing the power of focus is that it becomes increasingly easier to stay focused for longer stretches as you develop the mental discipline. One of the six intellectual faculties of every thinking person is something called “will”. This is our ability to sustain concentration on one item for an extended period of time. If you think of your “will” as a mental muscle, you can actually grow and develop this muscle similar to the way you would develop physical muscles at the gym; through frequent exercise.

If you are experiencing problems with productivity, take some time to carefully review the key points of this article. Then, try to determine if and where you are falling victim to distractions. Make a commitment to eliminate these distractions (disconnect from the internet, turn off the cell phone, etc ) so you can begin to practice your focusing exercises. You may want to start with 30 minute blocks. Work on staying 100% present with the task at hand. Monitor your progress. As you feel comfortable and find your rhythm, work on stretching it out to an hour, then two hours and then go beyond if you can.

But don’t forget to listen to your mind and body. Taking breaks is absolutely critical for your long term success. Since I often work from home, I use my breaks to drop all work from my mind and spend quality time with my wife and son. Whatever your situation, make sure you have an outlet to relieve your mind from your work for at least 15 minutes at a time.

Then when you’re ready, go back and continue to strengthen your focusing skills.

Old Hat

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI do my best, I do. I try with each post to be totally original, but sometimes, just sometimes I think, “Weeeeelll, I know they’ve heard it before, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt for them to hear it again.” (Of course, what I don’t tell you is that I get to hear it for myself again, ‘cos I need reminding of these things too. The great thing about being the author of these messages is that I get to write them and read them!)

Anyway, enough!

Yesterday I heard of a friend of ours in distress. Not funny. A very unpleasant dilemma indeed, she has. And I know it’s old hat, but here’s the train of thought it sparked off in me. I thought I bet some of my readers have challenges too – so …

It will pass. All things will. And your greatest resource is you. No matter that the world may collapse around your ears, tomorrow morning you’re gonna wake up, and you’re always going to do something. What you do and how you go about doing it depends on what you focus on. The trouble is, in times of stress and distress we tend to see nothing but the trouble.

So you could use Tony Robbins’ Morning Power Questions:

a.. What am I happy about in my life now? (Don’t let yourself come up with “Nuffin’. Everything stinks.” If that happens, say, “Well, if I was happy about something, what would it be?”) b.. What am I grateful for in my life now? c.. Who do I love? And who loves me? That’s not his complete set of questions, but I think if you just focused on those, you’d start the day as a much happier bunny. It won’t solve your problems, but it might give you the energy to remind yourself that you have the resources to turn anything around, and that what seem like insurmountable difficulties is actually you setting yourself challenges so that you can find the way to set yourself free. Without the challenges you would never have bothered even looking for a way out.

There is a Chinese proverb which goes something like, “The road before you is clear. Why then do you throw rocks in your own path?”

Maybe that’s the reason. And once you start to accept they’re your own rocks, clearing them can become a more energised, even joyful challenge.

Old hat? Maybe. But good stuff I reckon.

Know where you’re headed

You need a 7 Day BrainwashDon’t you wish you could see round corners? Corners in time I mean.

If only we knew what was coming next! How many times in your life have you said or heard statements such as “if I’d only known then what I know now”, or “I should have seen it coming.”?

Because we can’t see round corners we cling, sometimes we even panic. We cling to our jobs or lifestyles that are outmoded, no longer expressing who we truly are, and that instead of supporting us have come to imprison us. But to change or let go would be terrifying.

Obviously we can’t see round corners. But I have a question for you. When was the last time you got into a car with not the faintest idea where you wanted to go? Never! Yet as you travel the roads you have no idea what is round each corner. You *trust* your ability to navigate any hazard that might appear, and you have total certainty about your ability to arrive safely at your destination.

The key is to be certain of the destination at the outset. Once you know where you’re headed, GO! Do your preparation as you would for any journey – read the guide books, pack your bags, buy your ticket, maybe even take out a little insurance, then go.

What else is life for?

Navigating the hazards will grow you along the way.

And if perchance you don’t end up where you thought you wanted to go, you’ll get somewhere else, and there’ll be another adventure for you to have.

3 Ways You Can Attract Abundance

You need a 7 Day BrainwashYou don’t have to look very far to see the law of abundance in action. A single apple seed can spawn an entire orchard, whilst to count the individual grains of sand on a beach would take many lifetimes. (As well as being somewhat pointless).

The universe is clearly abundant. Not only that, but it has no resistance. Can you imagine the creative force, (whatever name you choose to give that), saying, “Well, I’m sorry. There just aren’t going to be any stars in the sky until next year – it’s too energy consuming!”

If you want to attract abundance, or indeed “trigger” the law of abundance in your life, here are three powerful ways you can get the ball rolling.

1. Accept you are a part of the abundance, not separate from it. For centuries now, our Westernized minds have conceived of ourselves as separate from our environment, resulting in an “us against the world” mentality.

If that was truly the case, could you say where you end and air or sunlight begins? Without either you could not exist, and yet we have the experience of those things being “outside” of ourselves because they aren’t under our direct conscious control. But conscious awareness is not the defining boundary of who and what you are.

Scarcity thinking, as opposed to an abundance mentality, comes about as a result of sensing this illusory separation. It is as absurd for you to think that you cannot attract an abundance of money, for example, as it would be for the ocean to consider it had run out of waves! The law of abundance doesn’t desert you, but you can dam it up by believing in its somehow skipping you.

2. Believe in your worthiness. There’s a tendency, because there are a lot of people on this planet, to think of yourself as “just an ordinary Joe or Jane.” In fact, there’s no such thing as an “ordinary” person! Every one of us is utterly unique. Attend anyone’s funeral and listen to the eulogies for confirmation of that fact.

At your funeral, a lot of people will say a lot of nice and wonderful things about you! So you might as well accept now that you make a positive contribution to a lot of lives and that you matter.

As you open your mind and heart to that notion, you open a channel too for the law of abundance to begin flowing its treasures to you once more.

3. Finally, a paradox. Stop trying so hard! We are somewhat obsessed with “to do lists” and “goal achievement.” There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with those notions unless they start to rule our lives. They are meant to serve you, not control you!

The law of abundance operates freely when you are living from your heart, relaxed and enjoying what you do. In other words, come from a place within first that feels good and let what you do flow from that.

There you have it. Three law of abundance tips that can change your life. All you have to do is to start believing in them and acting on them – starting right now.