Systems Equal Success

You need a 7 Day BrainwashWhen it comes to personal behaviour and getting your daily activities in harmony with your life goals, it is absolutely critical to have a system in place. Brain researchers claim that between 90-95% of all human behaviour is habitual which means we literally perform these activities without really thinking about them. Without a system to govern your critical activities, you will very likely fall victim to your habits and never truly accomplish the goals you set out to achieve.

As a person who is working on a number of major goals for my lifetime, I am always examining my results and looking for ways to improve the quality of my work and manage the time I choose to allocate to all of my activities. There have been periods of incredible productivity and other times where it seemed that everything was at a stand-still (even though I felt extremely busy). Upon reflection, it is easy to see that the main reason I experienced success during those productive times was due to the presence of a well defined system.

The word system can be defined as “a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure; organizational scheme.” When I think of a system, I think of a list of activities performed in a certain order with a specific result in mind. Ultimately, a properly defined and implemented system is the key to success in any area of life.

Just take a quick look around you and you can begin to appreciate the value of a well defined system. In many cases, the entire system has been automated for optimum performance. If you have any doubts, just think about what happens when you place a phone call, start your computer, turn on your lights, flush your toilet, start your car or even when you eat dinner. Each process is handled by a system that is responsible for producing a certain result. In the same light, I believe it is critically important for every person to have an activity management system for their life; a system that has been designed to help a person reach all of their desired goals and aspirations.

For me, having a system brings clarity to my mind and removes the potential of procrastination. It forces me to focus on what I really want to accomplish and take action accordingly. For example, when I was going through the mental transition from corporate employee to self-employed entrepreneur, there were a number of activities I knew I had to ingrain as part of my behaviour. Before I really understood the concept of systemizing my calendar, I instinctively knew that I had to build a system that would help me create my new habits. For a period of probably 100 days (maybe more), I woke up every morning and opened my activity journal. I would divide the page in half. The right side of the page was a list of six success habits that I had decided to implement in my life; family time, fitness, good deed, personal development studying, business activities and mental fitness (which would include something like meditation, visualization exercises, vision boarding, etc ). The left side of the page would be a growing list of all activities that would pop up throughout the day (for example, returning an important phone call, doing my online banking, filing mail, etc ). I would write every single activity down and check it off upon completion.

As basic as it sounds, that particular system actually changed my life. First and foremost, I would not allow myself to go to bed at night without first crossing off all critical daily activities from the right side of the page. I was literally obligating myself to create new habits. Secondly, I would see the left side of each page completely full of checked-off items. I felt great every time I looked at all of the important activities I had completed and it gave me energy to do it again the next day.

I believe that a good portion of our own self esteem comes from our ability to give ourselves an assignment and complete it. If there was a time I was feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list, I could quickly glance through my journal and remind myself how productive I could be when I put my mind to it. The accumulation of pages in my activity journal ultimately acted as a “success log” and always provided that extra boost of confidence when I needed it most.

After a certain period of time, I’m not sure why but I decided to stop using that system. I went back to a more informal task management system and basically relied on my calendar appointments to keep me on track. The really interesting thing I noticed was that the habits I formed have remained with me for the most part. I have replaced some of those original “success habits” with new habits that fit my current business structure and lifestyle. At the same time, I recently came to the realization that due to my ever-growing list of work demands, my schedule was once again out of control and rather chaotic. I had been spending far too much time on low priority work tasks, my fitness regimen was suffering some setbacks and my overall level of enthusiasm was being affected. After some introspection, it became quite evident that it was time to systemize!

The most difficult part of the entire process was forcing myself to stop, take a breath and examine my results. Once I was able to do this, I could easily see the areas that needed improvement and it was simply a matter of designing a new system that matched my current demands and lifestyle. I’m now back on track, more organized and best of all I’m feeling enthusiastic about my days.

Are you aware of how you spend the time in your day? Could you stand to be more efficient and productive? Perhaps you have broken some of the good habits that used to be part of your daily routine? If so, there has never been a better time to systemize.

Take time to relax

You need a 7 Day BrainwashOne of the “personal skills” I have been working on for the past couple of years is my ability to not take things too seriously. There are so many events in our day to day lives that make us stressed out and it is easy to get wrapped up in the intensity of a situation. This is especially true in business situations but it can really apply to any area of your life.

If you allow yourself to be consumed by the stress, it obviously can take a huge toll on your well being. Here are 4 steps you can follow to stay calm and relaxed when a situation reaches a point of stress or intensity:

Consciously relax. You can literally reduce sensations of stress and anxiety if you force the muscles in your body to relax. The easiest way to do it is to start at the top of your head and focus on each area of your body. Make a point of relaxing any muscle that seems to be tense. In many cases, you will be amazed at how much tension you were holding onto (this technique works well if you are nervous before delivering a public speech as well).

Focus on breathing. Similar to the first point, focused breathing is a simple trick you can use to immediately reduce any tension you might be experiencing. Breathing into the stomach for a count of 3 and exhaling for a count of 6 will slow your breathing to a point where you will automatically start to relax.

Visualize something funny. This is a personal trick I use but it really works. The fastest way to move yourself out of a negative thought pattern is to totally replace the thought with something different. For example, if I am speaking with a customer who is angry, I might visualize myself interrupting the conversation so that I can break into a fast paced dance routine. Then I visualize the other person’s stunned reaction and I immediately feel like laughing.

Verbalize your relaxed approach. This is the key step in process. If you can demonstrate to the other person that you are not allowing yourself to get “out-of-control angry” and tell them that you intend to reach a solution without getting upset, they will often match your energy. A conflict can only escalate if both people are willing participants. By refusing to participate in the conflict, you remain in full control of the situation.

Next time you have a situation where there is conflict or an argument, try these techniques and see how much more effectively you can handle the situation.

Don’t dismiss things as impossible

You need a 7 Day BrainwashImagine what it would have been like in the year 999. Suppose you could travel back there and explain to them what the world will be like in another thousand years. You could tell them about flight, computers and medical advances. You could try explaining television and email. Maybe you’d give them some understanding of genetic engineering … and you know what? Practically every one of those examples have come about in the last half century! A thousand years is an unimaginably long time. What’s more, no one would believe a word you said.

So what will it be like in 2999? We cannot possibly even begin to guess. More has happened in the last fifty years than happened in all of recorded history up til that time if you think about it.

We live in the most remarkable age of all time.

But that is not to say more remarkable will not come.

So as you contemplate your own future, and perhaps that of your children, even your grandchildren, think on this.

There are countless examples of things we take for granted that were at the outset considered impossible. A thousand years ago, you would have been condemned as a madman for even suggesting a fraction of what we have in our time.

When you hear talk of what is to come, don’t dismiss it as impossible. I have heard of genetic surgery, time travel, and dying without leaving the body as a residue, just for starters. All considered impossible or highly improbable now. As would air travel, television and heart replacement in 999.

The plain fact is, none of us knows enough to be a pessimist.

It’s all in how you look at things

You need a 7 Day BrainwashThe other day I sent out an email broadcast. I clicked “Send” (as you do) and went about my business. The next day I discovered an odd thing – some people, including me, (I put myself on my mailing list as a check that everything’s going ok), didn’t get the message. But others did.

What are we to make of this gremlin glitch?

Let’s take it from many angles. Philosophically: Shrug. It’s just one of those things. And everything is happening as it should. Metaphysically: It’s a little nudge from the Universe to double check work. Metaphorically: A reminder that things do not always turn up exactly when you want them to. But they do turn up. Electronically: It’s just a mystery. Let’s wonder at it! Surreal: Time is winding backwards!

It means all of those things, and more, and none of the above. When all’s said and done, the only thing there is to remember is that nothing has any meaning except the meaning you give it.

So make up empowering meanings for events that happen in your life. If all adversity is nothing but a means to prove how resourceful you are as you turn it round, or another wave for you to ride, then adversity becomes your ally in strengthening you, waves, (which all have crests as well as troughs), are fun to test your skill at life-surfing.

Move Towards Your Fear

You need a 7 Day BrainwashThere’s no feeling like it. It is real and it is powerful. It creates intense physical sensations that cause our brains to scream “RETREAT”! It is also useful because it keeps us alert and keeps us safe. It is the emotion of fear and it has been one of my greatest adversaries.

Growing up, I was never once accused of being a major risk taker. I was not interested in being adventurous or exploratory. I remember being afraid to try the big toboggan hill, terrified of going on roller coasters and the thought of doing a student exchange program simply didn’t enter my realm of possibility. For whatever reason, I was very much controlled by my fears.

I’ll never forget a specific incident that occurred over 17 years ago. I was in grade 7 and my teacher recognized me as one of the top spellers in the school. He invited me to participate in the spelling bee which would take place in the auditorium in front of the entire school. I can still vividly remember the crippling sensations of fear as I visualized myself spelling a word incorrectly in front of the entire school. Without hesitation, I declined his invite and told him “it’s really not something I’m interested in.” Yeah right! This was exactly something I was interested in but the fear once again kept me in the bleachers. What made the whole event so tough to swallow was that I actually would have won had I participated. I knew how to spell every word in the competition including the word that eliminated the final participant. Fear took me out of the game before it started. Fear cost me a huge win, personal success and school fame.

My sister, on the other hand, seemed to have been born with a higher threshold for fear. I remember her bombing down that same toboggan hill that I was scared to try and she is 4 years younger than me. As for travel, at age 15 she took the first opportunity to travel across the world alone and live with a family in Germany for a few months. To this day, she continues to live an adventure-filled life including moving 5000 kilometres away from home to do her master’s degree, snowboarding down a mountain and even skydiving! Does she experience fear? Of course, but she does not permit fear to be a deciding factor in her goals and aspirations.

When I finally adopted the same mindset and made a commitment to take action in spite of fear, I was able to take full control of my life and implement lasting change. As I began to work on myself and learned what my fears were and why they existed, I started to truly understand the limitations that fear had created in my life. Once I placed my focus on what my fears had been costing me, the motivation to overcome the fears seemed to blossom. I actually felt angry because I was now associating the pain of missing out on life’s adventures with my inability to transcend my fears.

I now see fear, doubt and worry for what they truly are; imagined catastrophes. I once heard an author say that fear stands for “Fantasized Expectations Appearing Real” and I could not agree more. When I am feeling fearful, I can effectively deal with the emotion because I now understand that I am literally using my imagination to contemplate a disastrous outcome to a situation. Having this awareness allows me to move forward, experience the physical sensations being caused by the fear and ultimately overcome the feeling.

The best part about learning how to overcome fear is the true sense of liberation. To set the record straight, yes I was a fearful kid but I still had some amazing experiences and many came when I mustered up enough courage to do something that scared me. When Canada’s Youth Television Network YTV was at our school doing auditions for a kids game show, not only did I step up to the plate, but I actually made it on the show! Despite feeling extremely nervous and fearful of looking foolish on television, I went ahead and gained a life experience that my family still talks about today. I let them off the hook for making fun of my 1980’s mullet hairdo

From a professional perspective, I have had to work extremely hard at dealing with fear when it comes to public speaking. Despite the fact that I quit my software career to pursue a business in personal development speaking and coaching, I had a significant amount of anxiety when it came to standing up in front of an audience. You see, my ultimate goal is to be a top ranked platform speaker like so many of my mentors. But I set this goal with the awareness that I had a fear of speaking and that I would have to transform and reinvent myself completely to fulfill this desire. I would consider this particular task to be a work in progress. I continue to get up and speak in front of audiences. The size of the audience is progressively growing larger and the size of my fear is progressively getting smaller. Instead of worrying about my next presentation, I am eagerly practicing and preparing to deliver a performance to the best of my ability. The audience feedback is indicating that I am on the right track.

It is the culmination of these positive indicators that continue to chip away at my fear and move me towards liberation. While I accept and embrace fear as a part of the equation that keeps me sharp, I am able to continually move forward and develop myself to new levels and plateaus. Life is much more exciting now that I have learned to step into the fear!

Books enrich us

You need a 7 Day BrainwashFor all our modern technology, you still can’t beat a good book, I say. I do here confess it, I’m a bibliophile. Call me old fashioned, quaint or any darn thing you like, but I love those documents.

Weighty tomes they may be, but there’s something about the concerted thoughts of another human being, all that focused energy from that person directly to you and me that’s just awesome, don’t you think?

And I’ve never been a great believer in libraries. They’re a great source of reference material, but I love books too much to just borrow them and have to give them back. I want to own them. That way, they are silent friends, founts of wisdom that just wait patiently for the day you pick them up and work through them. I’ve tiptoed through books, ploughed through books, devoured them, and waded through them, but always I come out enriched. Touched by another human being.

Perhaps most significant to me about owning books is that you can go back to them a second or third time, sometimes years after the first reading, and suddenly the book gives you a whole load of new insights you wouldn’t have seen in a million years the first time around. Or sometimes, it has the opposite effect – the words you once held as a light for your path is now laughably trite.

And you realize it isn’t the book that’s moved on. It’s you. Paper barometers of change.

Why You’re Not Attracting Money

You need a 7 Day BrainwashHave you tried to manifest money lately? What did you do?

You probably visualized. You believed with all your heart and mind that money was coming to you. You may have closed your eyes and felt abundant. Perhaps you went so far as to test drive a luxury car or view a property that’s five times over your budget. (I’ve done those things and more in the past).

Did you manifest money?

I’m betting, (especially as you’re reading this), that you didn’t. And I’m not a betting man! Does this mean that the law of attraction doesn’t work then?

For a long time, I thought that must be the case. Surely I was doing everything the books, courses, website gurus and channelled wise ones were instructing me to? Either they were wrong or I was wrong. If they were the ones at fault – and I did consider that perhaps they were modern day “snake oil” sellers, then the law of attraction was just another myth put about to manipulate and cruelly hoax the masses.

And if I was wrong, what on earth did I have still to learn in order to manifest money? The frustration was overwhelming at times.

So I considered all the options. Now, try to imagine a world with no law of attraction. In that case everything would be just random. (You can’t have it both ways). You’d have animals with nineteen legs and the body of a cow and the head of a chicken, wouldn’t you? DNA isn’t random!

The world would spin the other way, or not at all some days. There’s just too much order in the universe for randomness to be considered. So if there’s order, I reasoned, and I’m a part of that, how much influence do I have over it? Surely, I’m something of a transmitter of ideas and information as well as a receiver of thoughts, dreams and yes, DNA instructions?

I decided, after much thought, that the gurus were right.

Which meant I was doing something wrong! But what?

To find out, I watched and listened to and read as many “naturally” successful people as I could find. I wanted to figure out what they had in common, and especially how they managed to manifest money seemingly on demand. I analysed and scrutinized and rubbed my eyes! Finally, the penny dropped. Talk about “hiding in plain sight!”

They weren’t DOING anything. They were simply BEING themselves – and their way of being drew success, attracted wealth, health and anything they desired – naturally.

The shift from doing to being was what enabled me to finally “get it.” Since we’re always “being” something, all we have to do is learn how to “be” something that attracts wealth! Astoundingly, we already know how to be a manifester. It’s like when you plan a trip or organize an event. You’re in a state of total certainty and confidence. You’re clear about your outcome and you have no doubts.


But when I started telling people that, they still thought that to manifest money there must be a “technique” or “trick” involved. But that’s “doing” again!

Now, NLP (neuro linguistic programming) happens to be something I’m trained in. And one of NLP’s finest tools is teaching you how to manage your “state” – which is another way of saying “how you are.” You can change your way of BEING on command, which in turn implies that you can learn to manifest money on demand!

You see, you can’t WORRY about money and still manifest money. It’s like driving with your foot on the accelerator and the brake at the same time. You’ll waste a lot of energy and get nowhere.

Now, do you suppose that you might be in the right state to manifest money if you weren’t worried and you knew how to banish negative thoughts – as a way of BEING?

You betcha! (Okay, you don’t bet either).

But I’m telling you, I hit something big here. Don’t DO, just BE. And then you’ll manifest money. I manifested over 8,100 in nine days doing this so I know it works.

Go get your money manifesting instructions from here … and do it now!

Eliminate negative beliefs

You need a 7 Day BrainwashSome beliefs are more easily cleared than others, and there are beliefs that you may not realize you even have. For example, you may desire more money and think that you believe you deserve it, but if deep down in your subconscious you think that money is evil because that is the message your parents gave you years ago, your subconscious will be pushing money away rather than attracting it to you.

Another example would be someone who is heavily overweight and who just can not lose weight no matter how hard she tries or how hard she visualizes being slim. Now suppose she had suffered a sexually related attack when she was quite young, and one day her doctor suggests that she is maintaining her present weight as she subconsciously feels that by being heavy she will not attract unwanted attention from men, which will save her from further potential abuse. Now that she understands this, she may choose to undergo a course of counseling to remove this belief from her subconscious and then go on to attain her ideal weight.

Some beliefs, such as the first example, are overcome by use of affirmations, whereas beliefs such as those in the second example may require outside assistance, such as counseling.

Try this exercise; for all areas of your life you want to change, read your intentions and note any resistance you feel. For example, when reading out your intention to earn more money, do you feel anxious or apprehensive in any way? If your intention doesn’t make you feel 100% great and excited then chances are you have a limiting belief that is going to get in the way- if you let it!

Write down any beliefs that you feel you hold or anything you can remember your family telling you. For example, did they say things like rich people are all a bunch of crooks’, we don’t have money but at least we are happy’, you’re meant to be big, the whole family’s big so it’s in your genes’? Write down whatever comes into your head- many people have been surprised by what they have discovered when doing this exercise.

Now, look at any belief statements you have written, and write down their exact opposite; for example, the belief rich people are all a bunch of crooks’ could become rich people are mostly very honest and generous people who contribute to society’ (this is true by the way!) You’re meant to be big’ can become I am meant to be the correct weight for my height and build and to be very healthy’.

Here are some more examples of limiting beliefs turned around;

I am not meant to be wealthy’ I am destined for great wealth’.

I am not smart enough to change my job’ I am smart enough to do any job I choose and to do it well’.

I will never lose weight’ I am choosing better habits and losing weight every day’.

I hate exercise’ I love exercising and how good it makes me feel’.

Once you have rewritten all of your limiting beliefs, you now have a new set of affirmations. Read these through at least twice daily, aloud if you can. As you read, really feel the meaning behind the words. This will help to replace those old limiting beliefs with new positive beliefs which will help you to manifest your desires.

Clear the clutter

You need a 7 Day BrainwashIt can be very hard to make important decisions about how to change your life if your whole life is feeling cluttered. You might be feeling overwhelmed by feelings of bewilderment, that life is passing you by and you might not know which way to turn to make important changes that will ultimately improve your life in the long term.

Maybe you just long for a simple life? Perhaps your life is too fast-paced and you have no time to think, let alone plan or dream for your future? Maybe you struggle from one situation to another because you lack the clarity needed to resolve certain issues?

There is no shame in feeling that your life is unfulfilled in terms of the envisaged potential or that you have been swallowed up in the murky depths of uncertainty, there is shame however in not doing anything to get yourself out of it, because the solution isn’t as difficult as you might think.

There is no doubt about it. Clutter causes additional stress and it can prevent you from having feelings of clarity about your situation. Take a good look around you and see if you can detect things that have been cluttering up the house and yet have not been needed in months or even years. Are there things that you could give away which would free up your home and might be of real benefit to others?

Clearing clutter is not easy. Often we bond with possessions that bring us no real happiness and yet we stubbornly refuse to let go of them. To be able to de-clutter, you need to have one hard and fast rule, get rid of those items that have been lying around or have not been used within the last two years. The moment that you spot something, package it up ready to give it away. Be ruthless. Surprisingly, once you get started, you will find it very cathartic.

You will be amazed at how much stuff you have harboring in your wardrobe and how much of your clothes may no longer fit or is no longer in style. Try on any clothes that in your mind still have potential but be realistic, if you haven’t worn those clothes in a few years, you are not likely to.

Work your way through the whole house in this manner and feel a real sense of achievement once you are finally de-cluttered and have room to grow and to live.

Daily Affirmations

You need a 7 Day BrainwashAffirmations are powerful statements of intent. They work for the individual because they are written by the individual, and therefore the affirmation is uniquely relative to the situation. Used a great deal within self-motivational techniques, they are also a great tool for stress management. Remember that to resolve stress, the individual should look at the root of the problem and affirmations can be targeted directly at this.

They can be used daily. Morning and evening works best but the beauty with affirmations are that they can be adapted to suit that individual’s need and to endorse positive feelings at times most needed.

By their very nature, affirmations have to be written in a positive style such as:

I am going to resolve this problem today.

I am going to do well in my job interview because I am the best person for the job

I will not be bullied or get upset today

Affirmations must never be written or used in any manner other than a fully positive slant. Written and repeated sufficiently, they endorse a powerful message within the subconscious and conscious mind, if they are not written with a positive message, then the benefits will be limited for example:

I hope to do well in the my job interview today

The difference between statements is immediate. One is a powerhouse of energy and the other is a wishy- washy’ statement of hope.

To utilize the true benefits of affirmations, it’s important to consider where they are needed the most. Then write them to suit those needs. Different variations of the same message can be used too:

I am not going to get stressed today

I will remain calm and in control today

I will solve that problem and I will feel great

Once written, they should be repeated aloud, as many times as is necessary. They can also be repeated throughout the day and last thing at night. When repeating the affirmations, just ensure that they are said with conviction and emphasize key words that endorse the positive message:

I am not going to get stressed today

I will remain calm and in control today

I will solve that problem and feel great