Clicky

Search:

Break-Through Journaling

February 10, 2017 by  
Filed under blog

Last week I talked about writing in a journal and I shared that I had written some of my very negative thoughts in mine. These are words and inner feelings that I had never shared with anyone. But what the journaling did for me and these thoughts was amazing.

A few days after writing these thoughts down, I re-read what I had written. Man, oh man … what a powerful reaction I have had in the days since.  It has lifted me up and has enhanced and improved my life almost like magic. I was so very surprised that just those few words that I wrote down on paper could have such a powerful effect on me and my life. Here is what I wrote:

“I didn’t have total follow through yesterday on my writing list of my intentions or goals and in fact I am finding that for a long time now I’ve not lived up to my self-promises and I see that I’ve been so very self-critical and have been berating and beating up myself cause I’m just not perfect like I want to be. I’ve been seeing that I’m very hard on myself and I really don’t forgive myself much although I forgive other people. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been feeling very good for going on two years. Maybe I ought to start forgiving myself and take more baby steps that really can turn into giant progress toward my goals like I’ve preached to my readers of my blog. Hmmm … I need to think about that.”

I was very surprised that, within a few days of re-reading those words, I began to feel so much better and noticed that I was not being so hard on myself. I kept thinking about taking baby steps and so now I am not inclined to berate and beat myself up. I think that this change of mind set must be due to my writing down my inner thoughts and that the act of writing it down changed something in my brain. What a breakthrough!

So, I would suggest you give journaling a chance if you haven’t already. Write down your inner most thoughts, especially the ones that you are struggling with or are getting you down. Then put them away and read them a little while later and see what your brain does with it. I’m sure it will get you to think about it and find a way to help yourself feel better along with being a great way just to get it out of your head and safely down on paper where you can, literally put it away for a while. At least until you are ready for your own journal break-through.10

The Super Power of Writing to Yourself

February 3, 2017 by  
Filed under blog

I’ve written about the huge value of keeping a journal of your life before. Writing about what you do, where you go, people you meet, and, probably most important of all, your inner most thoughts as you go through your life. I’ve kept a journal going on 55 years now. Yes, sometimes I go months without making any entries but still, I must say, I’ve made some major discoveries about myself and life in general from the entries I have made and they have helped me beyond what I ever would have expected.

Sometimes re-reading what I wrote years before brings me unexpected break-throughs. You know one of those ah-ha moments that really hit you hard and sometimes changes your life for the better. The latest breakthrough started when I began reading the “Life Story of Kathryn Baird Haroldsen” which are the writings of my mother, all gathered up and put together into a book by my father, Dr. Edwin O. Haroldsen, in 1995. Both of them have long since passed away but their writings still speak to me with great power.

Reading my parents’ words about their travels all over the world and their many great and exciting experiences was so very insightful for me. But when my mother shared on paper some of her inner most thoughts and feelings, it motivated me to get out my journal and put on paper some self-defeating and disturbing thoughts that I have had these last 2 years. These are thoughts that I haven’t shared with a single soul.

For some reason that maybe only our brains know about, when I later re-read my very negative inner thoughts it changed me and, surprisingly, did so in a very good and positive way. I now want to share that experience and the lessons I learned with others so they may have a positive breakthrough like I did that will help their lives. Next week I will share exactly what I wrote and how it began to change me and my life. In the meantime, if you don’t already, start journaling about whatever comes to mind. You never know what you might write down that will bring you your own break-through in the future.

January 15, 2016 by  
Filed under blog

For many years, science has proven that there is a definite mind/body connection. That is, our thoughts and self-talk can stimulate changes in our bodies. We’ve all experienced changes in our bodies when, for example a sudden fearful thought pops into our mind. Our bodies can quickly begin to perspire, produce adrenaline, or make our faces flush.

Likewise, a very pleasant thought or positive self-talk can relax our muscles, slow our heart rate and even lower our blood pressure. If we use that mind/body connection in the right way, we can make big and positive changes in our lives. I have certainly experienced that on the tennis court by doing a lot of specific positive self-talk before I play a match. I repeat over and over again statements like, “I have great stamina and energy,” I have a very powerful serve,” or “I stay positive and upbeat.” On the negative side, I learned a long time ago not to say, at critical times in a match, things like, “Oh, I just can’t double fault now!” as apparently the brain locks onto the “double fault” words and misses the word “can’t”. And yep, that’s when a double fault happens.

But now comes some new discoveries about this connection. It’s kind of the reverse—it’s a body/mind connection. Several recent studies have shown that certain things we do with our bodies send a message to our brain. Those messages can be very helpful or very hurtful.

This body to mind connection was introduced to me just last month when I heard Amy Cuddy, an American social psychologist, talk about it. I was so surprised and impressed that I bought her book, Presence, the first day it was released. What a great return I am getting as I see and understand more about how the body can change your brain.

Last week I quoted Amy on the subject of better ways to set new years’ resolutions by using baby steps and nudging yourself. I thought her advice on goals setting was good but Chapter 8 entitled “The Body Shapes the Mind” uncovers, what I think, are brilliant ideas. Amy Cuddy, along with some very bright collaborators, began experimenting to see if the human body holds certain poses for about two minutes would that affect or change the human mind. They chose 5 positive poses and 5 weak poses. Probably the most powerful pose was standing up very straight, shoulders back with hands on your hips–what she called the superman pose. Not only did that pose make the person feel much more powerful, happy and confident it also improved their body chemistry. By using blood samples and saliva samples they found that the men and women who participated in the study showed a 19 percent increase in testosterone and a 25 percent decrease in cortisol–which is a stress hormone.

On the other those people that held a 2 minutes low-power pose like slumped down in a chair, head down and tucked in arms, had a 10 percent decrease in testosterone and a 17 increase in cortisol. Amy goes on to say “the way you carry yourself is a source of person power–the kind of power that is the key to presence. It’s the key that allows you to unlock yourself, your abilities, your creativity, your courage and even your generosity. Taking control of your body language is not just about posing in a powerful way. It’s also about the fact that we pose in powerless way much more often than we think and we need to change that.”

So when you want to feel better about yourself and feel more powerful in your life, remember that how you hold your body can change things in your brain. I’m going to start power posing before my tennis games like Amy does just before she gives a speech. In the quiet of her hotel room she stands in the superman power pose for 2 minutes which gives her the right attitude and confidence to go out there and give a terrific speech!

More Notes on Beautiful Uncertainty

December 11, 2015 by  
Filed under blog

As I promised in my last blog here, I have other high points from Pema Chodron’s wonderful book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. These super great gems will not only save you time but I really believe they can help most people’s lives in a big way. And maybe it will even motivate you to read her book.

Page 52: One big key that Pema talks about over and over about is “mindfulness”. I need to work on this more in my daily life.

Page 56: “And even when fame is achieved, does it bring the happiness that people anticipate?” Consider how common it is to have wealth and fame but be miserable, like Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis.

Page 72: When one gets to speak or teach, remember to not tune out others; try to pick up on their feelings, etc.

Page 73: Let go of negativity about other people.

Page 72-73: A monk taught Pema to practice saying to herself when waking up, “I wonder what will happen today; that’s the spirit of taking a leap.”

Page 104: Chogyam Trungpa’s comments on ‘enlightenment’. Basically it is when you hear or see or smell something for the first time like you did when you were a child; that’s enlightenment and I do need to pay more attention to those things around me to have more enlightenment, and look deeper to see or experience new stuff.

Page 108: Be fully open to whatever is coming along right now.

Page 111: To know self is to forget the self.

Page 112: To forget self is to be enlightened by all things.

Page 115: Embrace the world as it is.

Page 115: “Peace and prosperity come from how we, the citizens of the world, are working with our minds. By not running from the vicissitudes of life, be fearlessly opening to them all, we have the opportunity not only to change our own life but also to help change the earth.”

Page 133: Pema ends her book by saying “… so I leave you with a question: Are you ready to make a commitment? Is the time right for you to commit to not causing harm, to benefiting others, to embracing the world just as it is? Are you willing to make any–or all–of these commitments for a lifetime or a year or a month or even a day?”

It’s so interesting to me to write these words that I’ve read so many times before and realize that, once again, the review motivates me to work on these great principals to enhance my life. It’s amazing how most of us humans know something and know it well but tend to neglect that knowledge way too quickly. We get distracted and stop doing, thinking and living what we once learned. It tells me one more time to keep reviewing and reviewing and reminding myself. Remember this great quote “To know and not to do is not yet to know.” –Guru Neem Karili Boba

Eradicating ANTs–It’s a Mind-Body Connection

October 23, 2015 by  
Filed under blog

You are walking along the side of a busy road when suddenly a car swerves and is heading right for you! You are just ready to jump out of its way when the car self corrects and doesn’t even come close to hitting you. So now how do you feel? Well, if you are like everyone else on this planet you’d feel a huge rush of adrenaline flow through your entire body. So what just happened? Well it’s pretty simple. Your brain sent a super quick signal to your body to prepare it to take evasive action. That action may even have been you jumping faster and further than you ever thought possible.

I don’t think that the average person really understands or fully appreciates how big the connection is between the brain and the body. You see science has pretty much proved that our thoughts send electric signals throughout our brain. Yes, our thoughts have physical properties. Then messages can and do get sent to virtually every cell in your body. Why is knowing this important? Because by using or directing our brains and thoughts we can overcome anger, depression, sadness, negative thinking and yes, even our body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure.

A few days ago my daughter shared with me a manuscript written by Daniel G. Amen, MD (I think it came from one of his many books) entitled “Ant Therapy” or “How to Develop Your Own Internal Anteater to Eradicate Automatic Negative Thoughts”(otherwise known as ANT’s). A fascinating read indeed. It’s all about understanding the direct connection between thoughts and your body and how to automatically turn negative thoughts into positive ones to greatly improve your life and relationships.

The connection between mind and body he points out is clearly shown by observing a polygraph or lie detector test. He points out that a lie detector test measures heart rate, blood pressure, breathe rate, muscle tension and how much the hands sweat. He goes on to state, “The tester then asks questions like ‘Did you do that thing?’ If the person did the bad thing his body is likely to have a ‘stress’ response and it is likely to react in the following ways: hands get colder, heart goes faster, blood pressure goes up, breathing gets faster, muscles get tight and hands sweat more.” And all of that is the results of the brain sending messages to the body.

If we really understand what is happening in our brains, we then can turn things totally around and start reaping big benefits for our bodies and life. Amen further says, and we all need to burn this into our brains, “Remember, the deep limbic system is responsible for translating our emotional state into the physical feeling of relaxation or tension.”

So how do we control or program our brains to automatically turn our negative thoughts that are causing problems in our lives to positive ones that will improve virtually everything we do? Those answers will be given in next week’s post. But do consider sharing this weeks’ blog along with next with week’s with friends or relatives that you think might benefit from knowing more about the brain body connection and how to control it.

Forging Past the Fear

October 9, 2015 by  
Filed under blog

Well I did it! I gave my one-hour presentation to the MBA students at Utah State University on ‘How to Make Millions by Wise Investing’. If you recall from last week’s post, this speech had caused me some fear and anxiety. But after 5 or 10 minutes the fear and anxiety that had been gripping me diminished and finally totally disappeared. The students were great, as was the professor. They asked some great questions and it all went quite well. Yay! I guess I acted out the title of Susan Jeffers great little book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

It’s fascinating to me that a huge percentage of people don’t step outside their comfort zone when it comes to investing as a direct result from that thing we know as fear. It might be fear of the unknown, fear of losing their money or sometimes just plain fear of taking any risks at all. I look back at my younger years (now called “my warrior years”) and remember how quite a few of my peers, people that were just as smart as me and sometimes a lot smarter, knew what I was doing and how I was doing it and, yes, knew that I was having some very big financial gains. However, they didn’t dare step up to do the same thing I was doing. I’m pretty sure the reason was primarily because of fear.

Looking back now I’m pretty sure I didn’t share with them that I had huge fears myself. The thing is, I forged ahead anyways and took the risks and it paid off. I wish I could go back in time and share those fears that I felt with those friends. I think if I had done that then many of those people might have taken a few more calculated risks, pushing past their fears and ending up with the kind of success that I experienced.

I think you would agree that many of our fears come from us thinking  things like “Oh, what if I fail? What will my friends and family think of me? What if I lose all my money?” But like I told the MBA’s, everyone fails from time to time! The key is to learn from your mistakes and be sure not to beat yourself up. It’s okay to fail. No human is immune to failure but if you pick yourself up and keep trying, your success, in investing to create your fortune or just about any part of your life, will far outweigh your failures.

Battling Fear in the Great ‘Right Now’

October 2, 2015 by  
Filed under blog

Fear and anxiety is something all of us experience from time to time in our lives—sometimes more often than we care to admit.  We fear and stress over big things that might not, and usually never, happen. They are these little things that can get stuck in our brains day after day that bug us and don’t let go. As a matter of fact I am experiencing a bit of fear and stress right now over something that logically shouldn’t bother me, something I’ve been through many, many times and logically I shouldn’t have any fear at this point. That fear and anxiety is all wrapped up in my head over a speech I’ve been asked to give to a group of MBA students at Utah State University.  Even though it’s not scheduled until next week and I’ve given many hundreds of presentations and seminars on the same subject over the years, I’ve still been worrying myself into a bit of a frenzy.

Part of the problem is that I haven’t given any speeches for a very long time  That shouldn’t bother me since I know my financial subject backward and forward and I’m sure none of the kids (Oops! I mean the MBA college students!) don’t have near the experience or knowledge of the subject I’ll be presenting.  So I really shouldn’t be stressing.  But of course our fears and worries aren’t necessarily logical or based on any facts. And furthermore I’m almost positive, based partly experience, that when my presentation is all finish I will think back and laugh at myself for being so uptight.

For most of us normal and average human beings it’s the same story–we fear things that may happen in the future even though most of what we fear never happens. So what is the lesson to be learned from all this?  It’s an old subject, an old lesson but one that we need to constantly be vigilant in observing and monitoring–that self-talk or negative chatter box inside our head.  We need to keep directing that self-talk to bring our thoughts from future thinking to thinking and living in the great ‘right now’!

Just taking time to write about my fear and anxiety over next week’s speech has already given my brain a calming feeling and the worry and stress has dropped considerably. Wow … I guess that is another lesson to learn! If we open up and talk or write about the fears and anxiety that we have in our heads, sharing it with others, that sharing can act as a kind of magic cure.

Well, I think I better get to work and outline and practice my presentation for the MBA students next week–that also reduces stress and anxiety.

 

The Story of a Millionaire Goal

February 6, 2015 by  
Filed under blog

Last week I posted the front page story that was written about me and my plight when I was a poor 21 year old and how that wonderful couple Phil and Addie DiBenedetto took me into their house and let me sleep in their basement even though they had just met me.  This all happened when I was working construction in Rockford Illinois back in 1965.  I was very lucky to meet the DiBenedettos not only because they gave me a place to stay and feed me for free as well but maybe even more importantly, they seemed to really believe in me.
Re-reading that article reminded me that even as a very young man I had set my sights on becoming a millionaire.  I must admit that I had a tough time staying focused on that huge million dollar number when I was physically working myself to the bone at a measly $4.50 an hour. I do remember that I tried very hard to make every single day count by continuing to search, in what little spare time I had, for the “million dollar secret”.

I don’t think the DiBenedettos, even though they believed in me, ever really thought I could reach the “millionaire status or level”.  In fact years later as quoted in the newspaper story when they visited me in Denver, Phil and Addie said they “still remember Haroldsen and his wife lived in a broken down house. Finally, the young man ended up in Salt Lake City, where he was eventually fired from his job and on his way to making his first million.”

I loved the next part of the newspaper story. “When Addie and Phil visited Haroldsen for the first time in Salt Lake City, they had no idea he had fulfilled his dream of becoming a wealthy man.” In fact they were even worried that I couldn’t afford the long distance calls that I had been making to them prior to their arrival.  The best part was how blown away they both were when I drove them through the gate and into the long driveway of my home. It wasn’t a huge mansion but it was close, with over three tree-lined acres surrounding it.  They were so very proud of me and I had always been so very grateful to them for their willingness to reach out and help a young man who needed a place to stay but even more so for their very kind, loving and friendly support of his dream.

Those 5,840 days (16 years) between my meeting the DiBenedettos and the publishing of that article, were used to search out and discover the financial formula that can lift an ordinary person from being a meager wage earner to being a millionaire and, yes, even a multi-millionaire.  What is the secret?

Well, first it’s setting your mind firmly on your goal and never giving up on your objective and then working your tail off–or I should say, working your brain off since physical work and an hourly wage will never get you to the big numbers.  Hitting millions and multi millions is done by using financial leverage and people leverage. If you are not sure what that is, you should go back and read some of my earlier blogs that address that specifically and in detail. The secrets are all here:

http://ignitemylifenow.com/2013/01/11/the-power-of-leverage-and-compounding/

http://ignitemylifenow.com/2014/06/14/the-final-step-to-wealth/

http://ignitemylifenow.com/2014/07/25/the-simple-wealth-formula/

http://ignitemylifenow.com/2014/11/07/leverage-to-lift-your-profits/

 

VEM for Great Sleep and a Great Day

April 25, 2014 by  
Filed under blog

Last week I showed you a great way to get past the worrying that keeps you from falling asleep or wakes you up in the middle of the night. But that trick I taught you is not the only thing you can do to get a great night’s sleep and have a great next day. I’ve also found a Very Effective Method (VEM) that not only helps my sleep but gets me ‘jump started’ the next morning on my to do list and  sets a very positive mood and outlook for the day.  And if I don’t use my so called VEM my mornings can be, and usually are, super negative downers. On those days, it takes me hours to lift my mental attitude.

My VEM process begins shortly after lights out. That’s when I review in my mind (or perhaps on paper before lights out) what I want to accomplish the next day.  Next, and more importantly, I start telling myself I’m going to sleep long and deep or I say similar positive affirmations (PA’s) that give my brain that message. Plus–and this is key–I tell myself I am going to wake up in a very, very positive and upbeat mood  and it’s going to be a beautiful and uplifting morning.  You can choose the positive words that you think fit you and your situation but the important thing is to repeat the words over and over in your head so your inner brain really gets the message loud and clear.

As any of my readers that have followed me very long know, I am a huge believer in PA’s. I learned about PA’s many years ago from my near billionaire friend and mentor Paul J. Meyer and what I learned from him helped me in so many ways that I am indebted to him for the rest of my life.  Like many things we learn, I slowly dropped the use of PA’s over time. But then Susan Jeffer’s book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway reminded me of the great power of sending positive messages to the subconscious mind.  And, wow …what a difference that made. As I outlined in an older blog post, I used several PA’s to help  with my tennis game and, as quick as that, raised my tennis playing  level big time without any extra practice even!

Bottom line is,  I am definitely a “true believer” in the great power of  PA’s–they really do work and they will work for you on just about any part of your  life from sleep improvement to mental moods to, yes, even your tennis  game.

 

Getting Back Those Sweet Dreams with P.A.s

April 18, 2014 by  
Filed under blog

So how well do you sleep at night these days?  Remember when you were a teenager—no problem sleeping then! You’d usually crash out as soon as your head hit the pillow. There was no waking  up in the middle of the night for unknown reasons, no worries keeping your brain from turning off, no waking up for a trip to the bathroom which also woke your worried mind. There was just deep wonderful uninterrupted sleep!  Boy, those were the days!

99% of my readers are definitely not teenagers so it’s likely that, like me, you have experienced many nights of restless sleep—lots of tossing and  turning and waking up worrying about some problem or unknown outcome. The good news is that you are not alone and there are things you can do to help reduce these disruptive moments.

When I wake up in the middle of the night my mind can so quickly go into a highly negative mode and I just lay there being a big time worry wart.  I have discovered that most of us humans, especially  as we age, have brains that seem to automatically lower our natural  mental defenses and logical mature thinking to a very weak state when we  are tired, hence the worried state of mind. To get  back to sleep one can try some of the old methods such as counting sheep but a much better method is to first work on changing that worried mental state. Once the worry is reduced, sleep will come much more readily. But how do you do that?

It’s actually quite simple. Turn the chatter filled with fear filled questions and negative thoughts into inner talk that is filled with positive, supportive statements. Use your P.A.s! PA’s (positive affirmations) can be repeated in your mind the same way those worries and doubts are being echoed over and over. Keeping your positive thoughts generalized and not at all focused on the situation that is worrying you will keep you from taking a “but what if?” detour. So you put aside thoughts of the things that are worrying you and say something like, “I feel relaxed and very, very sleepy,” over and over in your mind. Don’t let anything else creep back in. Repeat the PA and imagine how it feels to be that relaxed and sleep and pretty soon you will actually feel that way, your mind will agree that this is true and you’ll quickly be back in sleep mode. Try it.  It’s amazingly simple and effective!

There is more you can put into your arsenal to insure a good night’s sleep and a relaxed well-rested state of mind. We will go into another very effective method next week but in the meantime, sweet dreams!

Next Page »