Guilt can lead to stress

You need a 7 Day BrainwashMany people hold onto guilt or emotional traumas burying them deep within and this in turn can be a constant source of stress that niggles away and irritates as external stresses build up. Whatever the source of guilt, regret or pain, it will only cause stale energy around the sufferer and hamper any stress reduction if left unresolved.

Guilt and regrets are common as are unresolved issues of rejection, heartbreak and grief but they stagnate and can be a powerful source of stress. To progress and to move away from any previously negative behavioural patterns that might have been developed over the years and to be able to manage stress more easily in the future, it is worth looking back at any of these feelings and identifying how they happened and how they should be dealt with.

Opening up the body, mind and soul to a better way of living means visualizing the negative emotions and recalling sometimes painful memories and this can be difficult, but it’s important that they are identified. Learning to let go of negative emotions and to be ready to move on is the only way forward. Accept that everyone does things that they regret, everyone feels pain, whether self-inflicted or caused through others but it’s unhealthy to hold onto those feelings. Stress management takes many forms and always looks to identify the crux of the matter.

Any visualization can be adapted to suit the individual’s personal circumstances, it simply requires them to focus on what they are trying to achieve before starting the visualization.

Healing Arrows is another useful visualization that can help you to focus on the inner most hurts and wounds that may have been damaging over the years. Focussing on these wounds is not to make the person re-suffer but to allow the sometimes fermenting wound to be emotionally cleansed and allow healing to take place.

With eyes closed and in a quiet space, the individual should focus on a time when they experienced emotional pain, trauma or conflict. This can be an emotional journey but to face up to any buried feelings, guilt or pain is an important part of the journey. If the event was simply buried at the time and is still tender and raw inside, then healing will not have begun yet.

Imagine the wound and lying within is a buried arrow, which is still keeping the emotional pain alive. Mentally imagine moving the arrow from the wound (the trauma) and realize that it doesn’t hurt to move it but instead, a sense of relief is experienced as the situation (the pain) is now able to heal and the wound is being cleansed.

Focus on the memory associated with the wound and watch it dissipate. As with all things in life, it’s important that the situation is accepted but understand that it is now possible to move on.

This is quite a powerful visualization and can take some time for the power behind it to materialize; it should be practiced regularly for maximum effect and can be adapted to suit.

Positive Notes

Write down something positive about life. Too often people concentrate on the negative aspects of their lives and this becomes the complete thought process upon which they live. No life is all good or all bad but to help ward off feelings of negativity and stress, write down all of the things that are good on an individual basis and then re-read it.

It may sometimes come as a surprise as to how much good is already there and how minimal the stress is by comparison. This technique provides clarity.

Slow Down!

You need a 7 Day BrainwashHow many times do you multi-task throughout the day? Your workplace might love your ability to write a letter, answer the phone and still manage to train someone within their role all at the same time but this isn’t doing you any good at all, not if you continue this multi-tasking practice continuously.

What about when you are at home? Do you find yourself cooking dinner and watching TV or listening to the radio? Is your mind constantly buzzing with uncompleted tasks? Do you plan your workload for the next day whilst you are peeling the potatoes for dinner? Do you find yourself doing general housework or gardening and talking and listening to your partner all at the same time?

It’s good to be efficient but in reality, you are probably only working at a fraction of your potential because you will be distracted and your mind will flit from one thing to another. It’s important to be mindful of your situation. Meditation will help you to slow your mind down and to live more in the moment. Consider a time when you were about to do something a little dangerous or try to recall a time when you needed the ultimate in concentration, your mind automatically slows down and you focus on the task at hand and this is important.

If you take up yoga for example, the process works the same. Okay, you are not doing anything dangerous, but you have to learn the postures, understand which muscles groups and organs that you are affecting, feel the stretch and learn to respect your body as you move into the postures and hold them.

These are powerful and yet gentle postures that need you to be mindful’ and they work. Of course there are other mindful’ hobbies too such as painting or pottery for example.

Goal setting

You need a 7 Day Brainwash“Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us, they are essentially to really keep us alive.” Robert Schuller

Goal Setting and Goal Achieving is ultimately what characterizes the true winners in life. Unfortunately for some people, they have wonderful and exciting ideas for their life but it rarely goes further than the idea phase.

Having a Goal allows ANYONE to take an idea from the invisible plane of thought and begin the process of actualizing it in the real world.

In this lesson, we are going to focus on the process of goal setting. The subsequent lessons will help you with the actualization process of goal achieving.

So, how do you determine what your goals should be?

The easiest way to get going is to think about all of the various areas of your life where you place importance on improving your results. As an example, the most important areas of my life that I focus on for goal setting include Financial, Career, Family, Health/Fitness, Recreation/Free Time. There are no rules or restrictions when it comes to defining your own personal categories. The important part of the lesson is to look within and determine the areas of your life that you would like to focus on improving.

Note: You may already be very successful in a particular area of your life. This does NOT mean that you ignore goal setting here. In fact, it is just as important to focus on your goals in this area so that you move your mind into a mode of constant improvement’. There is ALWAYS room to grow! By universal law, if you are not growing and expanding, then you are fading away and dying. Choose NOW to always be moving in the direction of expansion

and fuller expression.

Goals are very much like a destination on the roadmap of your life. You are in charge of the direction you travel at ALL times. People with goals generally accomplish great things because they know where they are going.

An alarming observation is that according to recent statistics, fewer than 5% of the population have written goals for their life. This means that over 95% of the people are moving through life without a clear direction. So the obvious question for these folks is, “if you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?”

By learning this lesson, you automatically move yourself into the top 5% of high achievers.

Raise Your Energy Today

You need a 7 Day BrainwashSome people have a lot of internal drive and seem to be motivated all of the time. Other people struggle with their energy and enthusiasm levels and it becomes more difficult for these people to really get the most out of their days. Even the most driven person can experience down times and it is important to know how to pull yourself out of these kind of ruts.

Here are 4 powerful techniques that you can use to raise your energy and lift your spirits when you feel a lack of motivation.

Audio immersion. This is a technique that I have seen a number of people use in a variety of ways. The general idea is to combine inspirational music with some form of physical movement. As an example, you might want to find a song that really makes you come alive. A song that you like to sing along with. Turn the volume up a little. Then, as the song is playing, grab a pen and paper and begin writing down powerful statements to yourself.

You might write words like “I am energized”, “I have supreme confidence”, “I am incredibly productive”, “I have undying power” or any other statements that resonate with you. You can also shout these sayings out loud but I prefer the pen and paper method because you can’t always shout out loud, especially if other people are around you. This method is a sure fire way to increase your energy and motivation levels.

Positive and Negative Drivers. This technique involves analyzing very personal things about yourself that impact your emotions. The idea here is to list as many things as you can think of that cause you to feel drive. For example, you might have a goal of running a marathon but you have not had the drive or motivation to go on a run. You would rather lie on the couch.

In order to get yourself off of the couch, you would start by listing all of the positive things would result if you were to go for a run. This might include things like increased energy, happiness because you are proud of yourself, excitement of moving towards your marathon goal and of course contentment that you are preserving your health.

At the same time, you would also list all of your negative motivators. Things that might occur if you DON’T commit to your running goals. This might include things like self let-down for not sticking to your objectives, reduced energy or even proving your doubters to be right (this can be a huge one). When you combine the positive drives with the negative drivers, your energy and motivation levels can’t help but to be impacted and improved upon.

Comedy and Movement. This is a technique that I use all of the time and when I show other people, they really enjoy it. The idea is to combine the good feelings of comedy and laughter with the increased energy brought about by body movement.

There is no “right” way to do this so I will illustrate with an example. Go to youtube and search for a comedian or clips from a funny show that always makes your laugh. Even if your mood is really low at this point, simply watch the clip with no expectations for instant mood enhancement. You are simply observing at this point. Watch the clip twice if need be. Then, search for a second comedy clip and simply cue it up. Don’t play it yet.

After the first clip is finished, stand up, move your chair out of the way and do some kind of fast body movement. This can be anything that gets your heart pumping (leg raises, jumping jacks, shadow boxing, etc…). Do this for a minimum of one minute.

Once your mini exercise session is done, return to your computer and watch the second comedy clip. You will find your energy level rising and you will very likely have an easy time laughing at this clip. Repeat this process a few times if need be.

These 3 techniques may seem basic on the surface but can have a huge impact on your life. Experiment with them and see how it can improve your energy and motivation levels.

Use the law of attraction to let go

You need a 7 Day BrainwashUse the law of attraction to let go, receive your desires and allow them to manifest. This may sound simple, and it should be, but so many people fail at this. They expect the law of attraction to work like magic- they set an intention for $100,000 or whatever and just sit back and wait for it to drop into their lap. I’m afraid that the law of attraction doesn’t actually work like this. It works by prompting and assisting you to act in a certain way to bring your desires to fruition; for example if your intention is to lose weight, you will feel naturally drawn to healthier habits such as eating more fruit and vegetables and exercising regularly. You may find that you no longer desire fatty foods or foods you used to crave.

If your intention is to manifest a new job, you may get a hunch to call a friend you haven’t spoken with for some time. Whilst you are chatting, he then happens to mention that an acquaintance of his is looking to hire somebody in the exact field of work you have always wanted to work in.

If your intention is to manifest a load of cash, you may receive some inner instruction to start a new business, or get an idea of running your existing business more efficiently.

So although you will still have to take some action to receive your desires, it will be inspired action, and people have found that all the obstacles in their path have melted away before them. If you get a hunch or instruction that seems to come from inside of you, make sure you act on it, as it could be the universe’s way of manifesting your intention.

Also, make sure you are not stating your intentions from a place of desperation. For instance, if you need money to pay the gas bill before you get cut off, whilst you are reading your intention there is a risk that you will be worrying how you will get it, and inwardly fretting about your gas being cut off. This is where your emotions will be focused and you will attract more reasons to worry rather than the money you need to pay the bill.

You will need to be able to detach yourself to a certain extent when reading your intentions. Don’t allow yourself to feel bad because you don’t have them yet and have no idea how you are going to get them. That’s the universe’s job. You just need to feel confident that they are on their way so there is no need to worry. The trick is to imagine receiving them, get into the feeling of having them, get excited about them, feel grateful for receiving them and try to detach yourself from worrying that you don’t yet have them or how you will get them. That last sentence encapsulates quite neatly the whole process of manifesting your desires using the law of attraction!

Once you have received your intention, feel grateful for it and release that feeling of gratitude to the universe.

5 common mistakes people might make when using the law of attraction

You need a 7 Day Brainwash1. Believing that positive thinking is enough to attract what you want

Positive thinking occurs only on the conscious level; this is why positive thinking alone is not enough to be able to use the law of attraction. It is necessary for belief to enter the subconscious as well.

As we have seen earlier, the mind is always operating on two levels; the subconscious and the conscious. The conscious mind is being given hundreds of tidbits of information at any given time from all five senses. This is an incredible amount of information to process, even from such an advanced tool as the human brain. The mind would slowly go crazy if it had to deal with all of that information all of the time.

Instead, the mind developed the conscious mind, which serves as a filter to review the information sent to it by the senses and retain anything that it deems important. Anything that it does not deem important is passed along to the subconscious. It is the subconscious which will retain this information, acting as the guardian of repressed memories until such time as those memories are needed again.

It has long been held that the subconscious has a direct effect on the actions and beliefs of the conscious mind; if the conscious mind is attempting to think positive thoughts while the subconscious retains a negative energy the two will cancel each other out, and the desired effect will not be achieved.

2. Becoming impatient

The universe works at its own speed; remember, every action carries with it an equal and opposite reaction. Your desire will manifest in the universe’s timeframe rather than yours! It could even be that the universe knows that you are not yet ready to receive your desire.

This means that the law of attraction may take weeks, months or even years to bring about your desires. People of today’s society are spoiled; they want their desires right now. They expect instant results.

When they don’t manifest immediately, people then start to doubt; disbelieving in the law of attraction because it does not manifest your desires immediately is a direct violation of the guidelines required to see them manifested. If you were confident in its ability to deliver the desired results you would be content to sit and wait, knowing that what you want will come to you in time.

On the other hand, the fact that you are not indicates that you do not have confidence in its ability to bring about the desired results. This means that somewhere in your being is a small kernel of negative energy, sufficient to throw a monkey wrench into the whole process of manifestation. Remember, if you are vibrating negative energy you will attract negative energy back onto yourself.

3. Determining ahead of time how and when you will attract what you want

Let the universe do its work! It is possible to become so focused on what you think is going to happen that you manage to totally miss the event when it occurs if it does not occur in precisely the manner you pictured it would.

As we said before, the universe will choose its own time and place for all things to occur, and these events may take place through rather unusual means. By trying to plan exactly how you will receive the desire which you want you are taking away the choice from the universe. For example you may want to make $10,000 in sales and picture yourself talking to a prospect and closing the sale. This is in conflict with the law of attraction, as it is not possible to manifest your desires by attempting to manipulate another person into doing something, even buying from you. The correct way of manifesting this goal would be to focus on the $10,000 and what benefits this money would bring you, and leave the method of getting it to the universe.

Another thing to be aware of is by trying to plan too much yourself you are essentially saying that you don’t have faith in the ability of the law of attraction to deliver the desired results in time. By setting your own timeline for events to occur you will eventually come to disbelieve in the law of attraction (after all, it didn’t do what it was supposed to, did it?), which will cause your subconscious to radiate the negative energy which will drive the positive energy away.

4. Allowing your emotions to be led by external evidence

In order to reap the full benefits of the law of attraction you need to believe that what you see now is a result of what you have been attracting to this point; again, it is essential that you realize that what has occurred in your life to this date and what will happen later on is determined by you. Whatever successes or failures you have experienced have been the result of the thought energies that your mind and body have released out into the universe.

It is very easy to look at the events of your life and think, “I certainly didn’t want that to happen; the law of attraction must be untrue because I would never wish for something so awful.” What you have to realize is that it is not always what your conscious mind wishes for that influences what your subconscious mind is projecting.

This leads us to the fifth most common mistake;

5. Not removing limiting beliefs

There are many occasions in which people fall into a self defeating cycle because they are unable to control the thoughts and attitudes of their subconscious mind. A common argument against the law of attraction is, “Why is there so much suffering in the world if people have the ability to determine the events of their life?” These people have not chosen a life of starvation and servitude; however, due to their history many of them do not truly believe that they have any choice.

This disbelief in their ability to change their circumstances because “it is the way that it’s always been” means that they will continue to live this way. Their subconscious continues to project that disbelief and negative energy out into the universe, drawing back negative energy which will cause them to continue to live in this self destructive cycle of events.

It is those who have dared to dream, and believe in the possibilities presented by these dreams, who have effected the greatest changes in the world. If Henry Ford had not truly believed that man could ride in a car, do you think that the Model T could have been invented? If women really believed that they were destined to live the rest of their life under the thumb of their fathers and husbands, with no say in the lives they would lead, would women’s liberation have occurred?

The removal of limiting beliefs such as these is absolutely vital to the ability of the law of attraction to work as it is intended to. If you truly feel that the law of attraction is not working for you, take a moment to consider the things that you are wishing for. Do you truly believe that you can have them, or does a part of you feel that it’s impossible? Do you secretly believe that you don’t deserve to have them?

In order to project the positive vibes which are necessary to draw the energies of the universe to you it is essential that you are one hundred percent confident in your ability to effect a change and are willing to believe that all of the events occurring up to that point have been a necessary prerequisite to bringing these events to be.

The simple key to the law of attraction is the ACCEPTANCE of YOUR responsibility.

I wish you complete success in manifesting all you desire.

Track your progress

You need a 7 Day Brainwash“What get measured gets managed.” — Peter Drucker

The beginning of a new year is a time where we all sit down and determine once and for all that we are going to change. We’ve failed our resolutions in years past, but not this time. Right?

If this describes your thought process, the odds are drastically against you. Most of us live our lives primarily through habit. Hundreds (actually more likely thousands) of little habits determine our moment by moment choices and ultimately our results in life.

Making permanent change usually requires a lot more than a simple new year’s declaration. And the key is becoming aware of the changes you want to make.

Enter the fun and exciting world of statistical measurement. Okay, even as a Math major I find the idea of stats and data completely boring. Or at least I DID find it boring until I read the quote at the beginning of this article.

The truth is, when you begin to measure anything, the simple act of observation will begin to impact the results.

In 2007 I was on a mission to change my life, build up the courage to quit my job and start my own business. This required a total re-engineering of my thought patters, beliefs and behaviours. Without knowing it at the time, I actually used precise measurement and analysis to drive my permanent lifestyle change.

For a period of 100+ days, I tracked almost every single activity I performed in a day. This included everything from work, to checking Facebook (back when nobody knew Facebook), to grocery shopping. What this allowed me to do was evaluate my actions and focus more time and energy on activities that ultimately moved me towards my goal of being an independent entrepreneur.

If I engaged in a goal-destroying activity (like watching TV instead of working on my new business), I had to write it down on my activity list. Of course, I didn’t want to write these destructive activities down so my “list” became my control mechanism. Instead of discipline and wishful thinking, I had a practical, tangible solution to changing my life.

In hindsight, I now realize that this simple system can be used to activate any change you want in your life. From losing weight to increasing productivity to improving relationships, measure the activities and instantly bring a new awareness that provokes positive change.

Your task. Go to the dollar store, buy a simple 3-subject notebook and begin tracking “some” data that is impacting your life. It could be a food/exercise journal, it could be a list of all “time wasters” that are hurting your success. Make sure you have a specific goal in mind and then track your improvements as you track your activities. The small changes in numbers will have a large impact on your life.

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.

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.