Lately I’ve been blogging a bit about the life changing power of directing and controlling the chatterbox inside your head. So now I thought it would be helpful to give some specifics of how I have been practicing this inner-self talk.
For years I’ve had a morning hot tub time routine. I stretch and let the water jets work the kinks out of my lower back and neck, silently counting the number of seconds I hold each position. So a few weeks ago, there I was in my hot tub counting away and suddenly I thought “Hey wait a minute. Why not use this hot tub time to practice my positive affirmations?” (Or my “PA’s” as I like to call them.) So now I repeat “I’m strong and worthy” 50 or 100 times instead of counting seconds. Then I change positions and silently repeat in my head multiple times “I am healthy and happy”.
It’s amazing what this little exercise can do to help you in your daily life and it can be done in odd spare moments. It’s something you can do while waiting in line at the store, on your drive to work, as you shower, etc. Even in the middle of a busy, stressful day you can steal a moment at your desk to do some deep breathing and PAs (and on such days, this will really help!) I do PAs specific to my task all the time now. For instance, when I am playing a tennis match, I run through my physical and tennis PA’s as I play and between points.
Next week, I’ll share even more specific PAs and help you keep a focus on them until they become a habit. If you missed the articles about PAs, see the list at the end of this blog and start practicing this simple but powerful little exercise and see for yourself how it can really improve your life and how you see it!
I’ve been thinking about my mentor and good friend Paul J Meyer (1928-2009) a bit this week. I have an entire chapter about Paul on page 173 of my book How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. He was just that influential to me and to many other people. Probably the most important thing I learned from him was the life changing power of “positive affirmations”. Like other great things that I thought I learned, at some point I stopped practicing and fell out of the habit of using affirmations in my everyday life. But I’m making a great effort to change that.
Paul believed that affirmations could work miracles in just about everything we do. And I believe it too. You know the adage that if you say something enough times, you’ll believe it? Well, since your inner self is always listening to what you say and what you think, repeating positive statements about something as if it already happened will have you believing it and acting on that belief. And if it’s not already true, it will be soon enough!
I find it astounding that the mere uttering of certain words and phrases can change our lives. But it can and it does. The only real hurdle to having the power of positive words work for you is committing to practicing it. It’s the same as keeping in physical shape by exercising. You have to keep doing it your whole life if you want to stay in shape and reap the benefits. This is a lesson I’m relearning now. I certainly hope I don’t forget this great lesson and keep feeding my subconscious lots of positive words for every part of my life.
I ran across a great quote today:
Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets.
~ Nido Qubein
How true. Trying to work on all the goals you have simultaneously means you will need to split your time and resources among them and are less likely to reach them or at least not to the extent that you might have hoped to. But what if you spent all your time and resources on one goal?
For example, maybe you’d like to be a great tennis, baseball, hockey and football player. Can you imagine anyone trying to work out, practice and play all those games during the same time period? You could do it but you wouldn’t be that great at any one of them. Now, if you picked just one and put all your work outs and practice time into getting ready for it, don’t you think you’d be very good if not great at that one sport?
If you set multiple goals this year, choose just one or two to work at present. Pick the most important or the most urgent. And if you choose two, try to pick ones that are in two different areas of your life, like one being to improve your career while the other is a personal health goal so you only have one thing to focus on in each area.
I’m not saying you need to put aside or forget your other goals. You can always work a little here and there on them, preparing for the time when you can give them the focus needed to work effectively. The bottom line is, you should concentrate on a “limited set of targets” so you are going after them with enough energy and enthusiasm to be super successful!
2011 is being called the Year of the Protestor. From the uprising in Tunisia in January that ignited the courage of others in nearby countries for months afterwards to the Moscow rallies in the last weeks of the year, the common people rose up to protest injustice and oppression and forced people to hear them and to change. It was inspiring to see what people could accomplish when they stood up and rallied against the powers that be but it was also sad to hear of the violence and pain that had to be endured to enact the changes the protestors were after. But change did come in many countries simply because so many people persisted even when it was terribly difficult and even when it was life threatening. They were unshakably dedicated to their purpose and that made all the difference.
I wish the protests did not have to include the violence and pain and I hope that things will soon settle down with peace and freedom for these people that have suffered for so long. But pain or discomfort or just frustrating moments usually accompany change and is the reason why people commonly shy from fighting for it.
We are very lucky here that what we have to fight for are not basic freedoms or a life without constant fear of pain or death. We have our hard times, but the choices we have are, for the most part, within our grasp and what we have to work through is not so hard compared with what people in so many countries we watched this past year went through.
How about making 2012 a year of real change here, in our own lives? Let’s choose to take on the challenges that will make a better life for ourselves, our family, our friends and everyone we work with. All we need to do is keep focused on our goals, those end results, that will make our lives so much richer. And if it gets tough, just think of those people who rose up against their oppressive governments and what must have stuck in their mind to keep them so determined. You can be so determined too. Just keep your eye on the prize and keep in mind what the change will mean for your life.