6 tips to strengthen your willpower muscles

You need a 7 Day BrainwashIf you do some searching around the Internet, you will see a number of interesting

studies that have been conducted on the habit of “willpower” as being an important predictor of success in life.

In general, people who exercise more self control (in all different types of situations) are more likely to produce better results in life, health, family, business, and so on.

Many of the studies actually show that a person’s willpower acts like a muscle that can be developed and strengthened with practice. Here are some suggested activities you can try to strengthen your own willpower or self-control “muscles”…

1. Try brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. It might start off feeling very awkward, but as you work on the habit, you improve your ability while increasing your self control.

2. Change your reactions. For example, if you have the habit of reacting with anger when something doesn’t go your way, choose to practice changing your reaction to something more positive. Each experience creates the new habit and reinforces your willpower muscles.

3. Read or listen to books about personal development daily (ideally at the same time each day). The more you analyze your habits and behaviours, the more you will see opportunities for change and improvement.

4. Replace every drink with water. This is a great habit for anyone who wants to improve their health. If you normally have a pop, coffee or juice, make the conscious decision to replace it with water. Each choice strengthens your self control muscles and contributes to better health.

5. Practice proper breathing. As often as possible throughout the day, focus on deep breathing into your diaphragm rather than short breaths that often come as a result of stress.

6. Adjust your posture. By repeatedly correcting your posture, you not only improve the health of your body (and particularly your spine), you also create an opportunity to form a new habit that comes from the development of your willpower.

These are just a few examples that you can use and adapt into your own self-control regimen. The key is to find activities that are important to you and will move you towards some specific goal you have in your life.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is the enjoyment factor. If you are working on your willpower strength but the entire time, you feel like it is punishment or painful, the chance of you maintaining your new habit is slim.

So take some time today to think of some new activities you can build into your life that help you build your willpower and self control. Remember to have fun with it, see it as a tool to help you become more successful and don’t forget to forgive yourself if you happen to sway off track once in a while.

The Law of Attraction History

You need a 7 Day BrainwashIt is important that you understand that the law of attraction is not simply New Age nonsense (many descriptions of the law of attraction refer to it as a product of a New Age Mentality). The principles of the law of attraction date back far beyond the new found popularity of the New Age.

The immortal Buddha was actually one of the first to introduce man to the law of attraction. He said, “What you have become is what you have thought.” This was a principle that the people of the east were acquainted with for centuries before it began to sweep into the western hemisphere.

The concept of karma may also have drawn its roots from the law of attraction. Karma states that you will eventually be revisited by that which you have sent out into the universe. If you have practiced kindness and compassion, you will receive it in kind. If you have been deliberately cruel to another, you will receive back into your life that cruelty which you have sent out. Your actions and thoughts morph into physical entities, causing the universe to react in kind.

The law of attraction began to gain popularity in the western hemisphere in the 19th century, as people began to appreciate the power of positive thinking and how to apply it to their lives. This new concept was first introduced to the general public by William Walker Atkinson, the editor of New Thought magazine, who published a book called Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World’ in 1906. Other works followed, including the famous Master Key System’ by Charles F Haanel, and Think and Grow Rich’, written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill.

As you can see, the concept of the law of attraction is not new. The idea that thought can have a predominate affect on the course of a man’s destiny has been taught by wise men throughout the ages, and has given rise to a whole new era of beliefs. The principles have been used, either consciously or unconsciously, by the rich and successful for thousands of years.

The Secret’

You have probably heard of the movie, The Secret’- it has been largely responsible for the recent interest in the law of attraction and is well worth watching. The Secret’ is actually based on older classics’ written in the early part of the 20th Century, such as the Master Key System’ and The Science of Getting Rich’. However, knowing about The Secret’ (the law of attraction) is not enough- you have to learn how to apply it and how to control your thoughts and feelings so that your desires can manifest into reality.

Make goal lists

You need a 7 Day BrainwashTypically those who achieve have a different mindset to those who never quite make the mark. This mindset is made up of an inner belief, a steely confidence and the power of positive thinking which can help to transform not only your outlook but the way that life’s journey unfolds.

In order to be able to change your life, you need to identify what it is that you really want to achieve. What one area represents the person that you would like to be? Or learn how to identify the one aspect that could add powerful positive changes to your life.

Having a clear focus will enable you to map out the things that you need to make these life-changing decisions and to start the ball of transformation rolling in your direction. Of course, clearing the conscious clutter isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Your mind could be so filled with disorder that even learning how to cope each day, week and month is a frightening reality. The prospect of making significant changes is not just daunting; it might feel as if it is off the scale of probabilities.

Making a list of all of the things that you would like to do will help define a pathway through all of the muddled thoughts that might litter your consciousness and having things clearly depicted in black and white in front of you will help you to sort out the priorities of your life.

It doesn’t matter if the list is jumbled and without any sort of order. The main thing is to direct your stream of thought onto paper and to capture it all. Afterwards, you will be able to sit quietly and sort them into order of preference.

This might sound far too easy to really be any good but it’s not. Small stepping stones will map out your way to great achievements. When you start to prioritize any goals, be sure to make them achievable. If you write down that you wish to earn a million dollars overnight, then you are probably going to wake up unsuccessful and disappointed that the power of thought didn’t do what you expected it to. There are no magic wands remember, but there is a science behind your transformational journey-you simply have to be realistic and be focussed.

You might really want to earn a million dollars but whilst this is distinctly possible it is more likely to be achieved further along into your journey than right at the start. Remember-small stepping stones lead to great things.

Your first goal should be something that could be achieved in a matter of weeks allow 4 to 8 weeks. So your goal should be something significant but that can be achieved with a renewed mindset and a sense of purpose. Ideally, any goals should feed into each other therefore making each goal the next important cog in the chain towards your overall target.

Some goals may be to just eliminate the negative aspects of your life that have always stopped you from achieving. Perhaps you are overwhelmed by negative thoughts constantly or perhaps your own self-limitations hold you back?

Do you always feel pressured for time? Wonder how on earth you are going to get everything done? In this instance, time management might be a good first goal if you always feel that your life is out of control and that you can’t implement new changes because there is never enough time to complete the tasks that you have currently.

When setting goals, you are looking at how to materialize the outcome and time management of course, would make a big difference to your life. Realistically, it simply needs a clear head when deciding which tasks should stay and which tasks should be cleared off your to-do list altogether.

Whilst creating your list, it’s worth considering just what holds you back in life. Why have you fallen short of your potential previously? It might be that you are scared to achieve or of course to fail? Capability is often not the real issue behind falling short of your potential but fear can be, so dig deep into your subconscious, what are you really scared of?

If you think about your chosen final goal, do you get excited by the prospect of realizing that dream? Or is there a nagging element of self-doubt that is interfering with your final vision? If yes, ascertaining why is important. Everyone has fears to overcome and facing up to yours is vital if you want to let go of the old you and embrace the new transformed you. Ask yourself out loud, what is really stopping you from being the person that you know you can be?

Don’t just write out your goals and forget all about them. You need to continuously reinforce your goals within your mind. They need to be important to you and you should relish each and every one of them. If you can imagine yourself accomplishing your goal then it will become more tangible and believable.

Stepping stones i.e. those small goals that interlink towards greater success are an excellent way of taking small but powerful steps to the new you. You need to follow your plan and work out a course of action for achievement and should you start allowing negative self-doubts to pop into your mind, just let them go. The power of the mind is strong. If you determinedly put all negative thoughts to one side and consistently do so, they will eventually dissipate.

Learn to track your progress and keep an eye on your timescales. If you have given yourself realistic deadlines then you should stay on course. Tracking allows you the chance to increase your endeavours if you are behind schedule and to pat yourself on the back if you are right on target. Tick each completed item on your to-do list and feel the sense of satisfaction at taking control of your life.

Treat yourself to something nice as you make each deadline. Your reward is personal to you but make it so that it adds to your sense of achievement. As you reach each deadline your confidence and sense of self-esteem will also rise dramatically.

Design your life

You need a 7 Day BrainwashOne of the most difficult things to master in life is your own mind. Every one of us has hundreds, maybe even thousands, of thought patterns that repeat themselves over and over in our head.

Some of these thoughts are supportive of our goals and self esteem but many of them actually hurt us or hold us back.

Taking control of your mind and directing your thoughts towards the things you want in life can be a huge challenge. But when you are able to overcome the challenges and focus on the things you intend to create in your life, the results can be amazing and exciting.

Let’s say, for example, that you have had a lifelong dream of traveling the world for a year. You know that this would be a life changing experience that you would remember forever.

But then you look at your current circumstances and you see a laundry list of reasons why this dream could never come true: a good job you can’t leave, a lack of funding, commitments to family, friends, teams and organizations, etc…

Your mind immediately says, “this trip is not possible until you clear all of those obstacles out of the way.” You then realize that removing all of those limitations is next to impossible and even if you are able to remove them, new obligations/limitations will replace the existing ones.

At the same time, you could look at other areas of your life where you are able to make things happen that seem impossible: you meet a crazy deadline at work, you brave the snowy roads and somehow make 3 family events for Christmas, you get the kids to school and yourself to work despite a huge traffic jam and car problems. The point is, you are achieving things in your life, on a regular basis, that seem difficult or impossible when you analyze them. Yet you seem to pull them off over and over again because you had no other choice… you had to get these things done.

When you realize that you have this ability to make things happen and figure things out “on the fly”, you gain a new confidence that you can apply to even the biggest goals in your life.

So if your dream is to travel the world but there are a mountain of excuses stopping you, the real solution is to treat the dream as inevitable and start acting as though it is inevitable. It could start with a small action like doing research on places to stay in your dream locations or it could start with a huge action like buying plane ticket to the first country on your dream list. This first action will lead to another and like every other time in your life, you will figure it out as you go along only this time, instead of getting the kids to school or finishing that project at work, you will be fulfilling a lifelong dream!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

You need a 7 Day BrainwashThe other day someone reminded me of a quote from “A Course In Miracles” which goes something like: “All human behaviour is either an act of love or a cry for help.”

Such pearls of wisdom are lost, aren’t they, unless they have some personal meaning?

Then yesterday I got upset with someone I’m very close to. I mean angry and hurt. In my heart of hearts I knew I wasn’t being rational or constructive, but in the heat of the moment it didn’t matter. I was right, darn it!

And then, as so often happens when you just release for a while, the answer fluttered in. That quote reverberated round my brain for a while, and then I asked myself, “Well, in that case, I’m either performing an act of love or a cry for help. This surely doesn’t feel loving, so what is it I want help with?”

As if by magic the pieces dropped into place. I went to this person and said, “Listen. I need your help. I need not to feel like this. I know your behaviour wasn’t intended to hurt me, so I must have made up the hurt myself. But I’m kinda playing this loop tape in my head that you didn’t put there, but once I started it, for a while, it’s all I can hear.”

We reached a loving understanding in less than ten minutes. We are closer, bigger inside and enriched.

So here’s my tip for now, for this day and for always. If there’s anyone you’re upset with, even if it’s an old upset, ask yourself, “What is it I need help with?” And then humbly and sincerely ask them for your help. Do it with your palms up and your head high, for you are bigger than your anger, and love and friendship are more important than your ego.

The importance of good feelings

You need a 7 Day BrainwashIt isn’t easy feeling good, especially on those days when things aren’t going so well. However, as we have seen before, our thought vibrations affect what comes into our lives, so if you don’t try to change your thoughts your day won’t get any easier. If you oversleep and then your car breaks down on your way to work, you will be tempted to think It’s going to be one of those days- what an awful day it’s going to be!’

Of course, the thought vibrations you are giving out to the universe will be negative ones, which will attract back a whole load more things to make the day worse- because that is what you are expecting. You may find that your meeting is really difficult, the caf gets your order wrong at lunch and your boss calls you into his office over an error you made.

However, as soon as something first goes wrong, you need to stop any negative thoughts and immediately get into happier ones. Focus on something that makes you feel good- it could be your partner, your child, your pet, your hobby- anything that will make you feel warm and happy whenever you think of them. Imagine yourself chatting to your partner, playing with your child or pet or enjoying your hobby and then, when you are feeling in a much better state of mind, think It’s going to be a great day!’ Your mindset will have completely changed and you will be giving out much more positive vibrations to the universe which will ensure that the rest of your day goes well.

If you are feeling really stressed and are finding it too difficult to change your thoughts, try a little visualization. Go somewhere quiet and close your eyes. If you find it difficult to find a quiet place at work, take a bathroom break! Take a few deep breathes and try to clear your mind of everyday clutter. Think of a peaceful place where you would love to be; this could either be a place you know, such as a holiday resort, or somewhere imaginary, such as by a mountain stream. Imagine that you are there; feel the hot sun on your face and the sand under your feet, or hear the gentle sound of water trickling over rocks and feel the breeze on your face. Spend a couple of minutes in the vision and then gently release it. You should feel much calmer.

Here is a simple experiment I tried some years ago; when I used to drive to work, I hated the journey as it was usually pretty busy, there were snarl ups, road works, break downs- you name it and I was held up by it. It used to take me ages to get to work and I found myself tensing up even before I left the house. I expected to be held up every morning and to hit loads of traffic- and I was never disappointed!

I had just heard of the law of attraction, and decided to apply it to my daily commute. Instead of feeling tensed and angry, and imagining all the hold ups I would encounter, I put on some relaxing music, and visualized having an easy journey into work. I imagined sailing through the usual busy spots, and felt confident that I would not experience any hold ups or broken down vehicles. I expected my drive to work to be smooth and quick. The funny thing is it really worked! As long as I took this approach, the traffic was a lot lighter, nobody had broken down, other drivers let me out at junctions and I started getting to work a whole lot faster!

You have probably experienced this when you are running late- every traffic signal appears to be against you, there are unexpected road works, you get stuck behind a slow moving vehicle, and find yourself becoming more and more worked up! On the other hand, if you are running early and feel relaxed because you have plenty of time, the traffic is flowing freely, all the traffic signals are on green and there are no hold ups at all, because you are not expecting and fretting about them. Try my little experiment and see the difference in your daily commute!

If you have a particular meeting or appointment you are dreading, don’t turn it over and over in your mind and think of the worst case scenario or you will be sending out negative thought vibrations to match it. Instead, imagine it going well, and visualize achieving the outcome you want- then forget about it. Don’t worry about it and don’t stew it over again and again in your mind.

A Child’s Perspective

You need a 7 Day BrainwashThis past month, my wife and I have started sending our 2 sons to public daycare. The 1 year old is too young to understand what is going on so he is always happy to be there. The 3 year old, on the other hand, has been having a very difficult time in the mornings. As soon as we get in the car, he starts crying and it gets progressively more intense as we get closer to the daycare. By the time we are in his classroom, he is in a near panic, screaming and drawing intense stares from the other parents and staff. Within seconds of me leaving, he completely calms down and gets absorbed with some fun new activity that he would not have been able to experience at home.

Witnessing this really drove home a new realization for me. We all have the ability to experience happiness (or any other positive emotion for that matter) at any time we choose to do so. The advantage with children is that they let go very quickly and have a much easier time living in the moment.

I started thinking more about how most adults handle these kinds of situations, myself included, and in the majority of cases it takes a much longer time to move from a depressed state to one of positivity and happiness.

I can think of many times in my life where I spent an entire day in a negative state carrying around a grudge about something that happened many hours (or even days) prior. At the time, I didn’t even realize that I had control over the situation. Complete victim mentality.

Having spent a number of years working on my own personal development, I now experience far more happy and positive moments than negative ones. But I think it is only human to have times when the doom and gloom creeps in. My new strategy when dealing with these circumstances is to literally think like a 3 year old.

As an example, a few weeks ago I was expecting payment from a client with whom I made an agreement to offer a monthly payment plan. This was something I did more as a favor than a standard policy. When the client ignored my first, then second payment request, I felt myself becoming extremely frustrated. In the past, an event like this might have soured my mood, and in turn my productivity for the entire day (if not longer). I used the opportunity to literally picture myself as the 3 year old easily moving from one moment of devastation to a brand new moment of fun and opportunity. Instead of picking up a coloring book or a new toy fire truck, I picked up my laptop and began working on an exciting new project that I was involved in. My mood shifted immediately. I then took it up a notch with some inspiring music and before I knew it I was feeling amazing and very excited about my day.

I have still not been paid by that client but I’m okay with that now. The new project that I got involved in has already more than paid for the unpaid bill from my deficient client and I’m having a lot more fun with what I’m doing now.

Next time you are feeling overwhelmed by negativity, frustration, anger or depression, try remembering what it was like as a kid when you could experience pure happiness at any moment you chose to do so!

Get motivated with these tips

You need a 7 Day BrainwashThere is no “failure” per se but rather, a choice. Do we choose to draft new plans and keep going? Or do we give up on the idea and move on.

You can do it… you just need to persist. And sometimes that persistence will be the only thing to keep you going.

Take a few minutes to really contemplate this question… “Does your life have meaning?”

Are you creating something that makes you come alive and gives you that meaning we have been talking about?

Realize that anything you want to do CAN BE DONE just where you stand right now. One little action is all it takes.

Some people view life as a set of choices with varying degrees of risk. They then make choices based on risk mitigation rather than gains.

The truth is, if you want to make the most of your life and really experience everything you truly desire, you have no choice but to RISK.

Use today to focus on powerful goals and the powerful actions that you can be taking to advance towards those goals.

Focus on the win and accept the risk as the price you pay for the dream. Will it be worth it? You better believe it.

I want to challenge you today. Make your entire focus about exuding the energy that you want to attract into your life.

We can choose to react to life. Or we can choose to respond to life.