How to Remove Fear from Mind and Heart
How difficult it is to create success if you believe deep down that you really don't deserve it. Attitude. Belief. The way we create expectations that are played out for real in the arena of our daily lives.
It happens at every level of human experience but we're particularly concerned about the way it connects directly to our ability to create wealth, to achieve breathtaking freedom and foster an abiding sense of happiness.
And one of the great obstacles that often lurks undetected just below the surface - is fear.
If fortune favors the bold, at some point we will have to take action. We will have to act on the opportunities that we find. And what usually stops us even before we take that tentative first step?
Fear, my friend. Fear. It's amazing how creative we can be when it comes to creating reasons not to go ahead. Fear does that. It hits the brakes before we even touch the accelerator. The world is brimming with opportunities. Fortunes are waiting to be made.
Stacks of currency are ready and willing to leap into your wallet and flow into your bank account. And what do we do?
We shake our heads, shuffle our feet, suck on our fillings and stay exactly where we are. Because fear robs us of the momentum to move forward. I want you to move forward. Your life wants you to move forward.
The world wants you to move forward. But the only person who's going to allow any of these great things to happen - is you. And we're going to have to overcome that inertia, that absence of real movement, and get the show on the road.
So let's take a look at some of the ways that fear sneaks into the picture and tries to spoil our best-laid plans and good intentions. Do any of these items feel familiar to you?
Fear of failure
Fear of success
Fear of criticism
Fear of ridicule
Fear of change
Fear of who you are
Fear of the unknown
Fear of loss
Fear of standing out
Fear of pressure
This is not an exhaustive list by any means but it can feel pretty exhausting just to think about it. Fear does that. It has a strange effect on our energy levels, sucking the life force right out of our veins.
That is - up until now.
Because of this the moment when we learn to deal with these issues and take back full control of our lives. Living in fear - and that's how almost everyone gets through the day - is a form of communal slavery that has to end.
So let's turn the light of reason onto these completely irrational responses and root them out of our lives forever. We'll start at the top of the list.
Fear of Failure
Some of us experienced the pain of failing at an early, impressionable age. We had to endure the embarrassment, the ridicule, the pain of being wrong, and the vertigo of slipping off our little pedestals of smiling, parental adoration.
It's part of the parcel of expectations that get bundled together during childhood where some of us learn to try to be perfect.
Even though perfection is quite unobtainable, we're easily trapped in the net of its deep-rooted limitations and soon discover that life is a series of frequently repeated disappointments. Simply put, the emotional pain of failure, of rejection, of acute vulnerability produces a shift in the fabric of our personality.
And so we make sure we avoid situations where we might fail. It's safer that way. Failure just hurts too much. Yes, we're very good at rationalizing our responses, dressing our behavior in the responsible language of adulthood.
But, deep down, we're just afraid of the corrosive pain of failure. Every successful person I've ever met has failed on countless occasions. What made them successful was their decision to keep going.
Failure is part of the package. It's an integral part of life. When you laugh in the face of failure and just get back to the quest, it's remarkably liberating.
If it doesn't kill you or lop off a limb and incapacitate you, you just keep going. And, as the truly inspiring examples of men and women who've lost limbs amply demonstrate, the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity is truly awe-inspiring.
I sincerely hope you're not in possession of a full set of limbs and a fully functioning mind and body whilst still making those pretty excuses to explain why you don't make the effort to move your life along.
Those physically disadvantaged heroes just blew away every excuse you ever had. I'm a big fan of confronting the illusion of fear head on. You need to dare to fail at something. It doesn't have to be anything remotely significant. Just test your reaction.
I was failing at something in some way every single day. All I had to do was confront it and admit it. And - well, nothing. The world kept right on spinning and I was still there.
I hadn't imploded in a sulfurous cloud of mortifying self-loathing and embarrassment. I began to enjoy telling people when I was wrong. Then I didn't have to pretend to be right all the time. Being wrong, failing, made it easier to focus on the more important details.
The moment when you lose your fear of failure, you're suddenly more willing to experiment, to take chances, to raise your game and run the risk of becoming much more successful. A new opportunity doesn't fill you with dread. You can assess it coolly, logically and remain beautifully free from the blindfold of fear.
The great news is that even when you fail - and I knew an entrepreneur who owed his banks over three hundred million without the means to cover the interest or the capital - you learn so much that the experience is never ever wasted.
It's a priceless investment in your education for future opportunities. It's the foundation for greater successes in the future. It's the living proof that you're alive and kicking and in the game.
And what about the guy with the massive debt? I thought you might be wondering what happened to him. It might seem strange but he slept really well at night.
He always said it was those bankers who'd loaned him the money who was suffering from insomnia! Good point. And, with an extraordinary display of creativity, he managed to negotiate his way out of the financial black hole pretty much intact.
Eventually. Just think about that situation for a second or two. In debt to the tune of a third of a billion and he stayed calm and - he focused on being creative and that clarity of purpose eventually led to a resolution of the situation.
Knowing this amazing guy during an apparently catastrophic phase of his life certainly put my own more modest circumstances into a much clearer perspective!
Fear of Success
Really? Does such a thing even exist? Oh, yes, it most certainly does. I've witnessed too many examples of extremely capable individuals who happily expended vast amounts of energy - chopping down trees and laying the fallen logs right across their pathways to glory.
Then they'd stamp their feet and complain bitterly that they simply couldn't proceed - because their way was completely blocked! You had to be there, slack-jawed with disbelief, to witness such unbelievable acts of self-destructive behavior. And these were - inevitably - intelligent individuals. Some were truly gifted.
Their raw talent shone so brightly, it must've been visible from outer space. Painful to witness. Such a tragic waste of natural talent. Equipped to become massively successful and reduced to dragging their sorry butts along the ground in conditions of enforced poverty and financial distress. So what on earth was the problem?
They knew what success was. They just didn't believe they deserved it. And that can be a tough attitude to crack. Even at the point of a gun.
But I've seen remarkable breakthroughs too, situations where individuals have emerged from their delusion of worthlessness and, possessed of great natural abilities, I've seen them take off and soar to the heady heights of success.
That means that there's real cause for hope here. The damage is usually introduced - yes, you surely guessed it! - During early childhood. What is it with our formative years and this accumulation of emotional garbage that stunts our potential for freedom, success, and self-realization?
It's one of the reasons that I wanted to share the contents of this book with you. Too much suffering. Too little joy. Not enough success. Almost no fulfillment. Well, not anymore. You deserve better. I really believe you can have a better life.
So let's do what it takes to get you there.
As you learn to recognize your perfect right to success and happiness, you find that it starts to show up in the least expected situations.
It's as if success had been waiting for us patiently at the edge of our lives, biding its time and waiting for us to wake up and find space for it in our hearts. As soon as you wake up to your capacity for real success, it just loves to show up and add a beautiful sparkle to your efforts. You'll see.
Fear of Criticism
This is the less well known first cousin of the fear of failure and it certainly produces a similar feeling. Criticism is one of those nasty little devices that is used too often by the people who want to manipulate or control us. You know the ones.
They rarely offer you good advice and they never recognize your achievements. No matter how much try or how well you succeed, there's always that ill-disguised look of disappointment, the suggestion that you could've done better or even worse - the implication that you didn't really deserve the success in the first place. And it's painful.
Too often, when we lift the lid on this lurking fear of criticism, we discover early environmental influences that crushed the joy out of any achievements. It's a tough one. But we can learn to create the perfect antidote to this insidious poison that runs silently and deeply in our veins. We can learn to appreciate ourselves.
That's right. Once we're free of that unfulfilled addiction for approval that we lacked during childhood, we can begin to recognize our achievements and discover the joys of true independence.
We take away the weapons of manipulation and control. We become so much freer. We develop a profound immunity to criticism. We can afford to do things even if there's a risk of failure. We discover that underneath that craving for approval, we're much stronger than we ever realized.
We may even learn that criticism tells us much more about the critic than it does about the person who's being criticized. We learn to know ourselves at a deeper level. When an individual offers advice, we can appreciate the value of their observation and evaluate it more objectively.
We discover that the criticism of who we are is all too often completely inappropriate. It's absolutely fine to criticize what we do or how we're doing something, even if we choose to ignore the advice.
It's one of those 'Ah, ha!' moments when we distinguish between the personal judgments that try to take us down and the potentially useful comments about how we're approaching a particular task or challenge.
Show me a better way or an easier path to my goals and you'll have my full and undivided attention. Tell me I'm an idiot and, well, you're not really telling me something I didn't already know!
Fear of Ridicule
Kids can be cruel. Any hint of weakness or irregularity and they're on it in a flash, tormenting and teasing, heaping scorn and ridicule in equal measure, making life a living hell.
Unfortunately, there usually isn't anyone around to explain that it's the tormentors who have the problem, that it's the screaming band of taunting children who really need the help.
So we develop a thick skin to hide our pain and embarrassment and try to fit in more with the herd, disguising whatever might have prompted the scorn in the first place, suppressing our individuality within the group, conforming to the lowest common denominators, talking like them, dressing like them, avoiding any areas where we might stand out.
We become perfectly camouflaged within the dense jungle of mediocrity. The last thing we want is to stand out. Being conspicuous is too risky. So we never explore our potential to be outstanding.
But there's always an antidote to the deeply addictive drug of fear. There's a tradition in some religious communities that the angel who stands next to the right hand of God is responsible for laughter.
It's an interesting allusion because one of the most potent antidotes to fear is - laughter. It's so powerful, it really should be on prescription!
Once we learn to laugh at the absurdity of our own reactions, the fear evaporates.
Instantly. It disappears in a flash. Fear cannot exist in the same space as laughter.
Other people's ridicule becomes meaningless, the empty braying of asses.
It might even amuse you to understand what the ridicule reveals about the people who are having fun, apparently at your expense. Ridicule only works if the target responds.
If you step aside from the expected response, the ridicule misses its mark and the game loses its purpose. You can smile or even laugh at the crude attempt to produce a pained reaction in your emotional framework and wonder why anyone would choose to behave in such a strange way.
Now you're free from the fear and laughter of others as you begin to scale the heights of success. Of course, they'll want to make fun of you. It's so much easier to point the feeble finger of ridicule than explain why they deny themselves the opportunity to climb above their own self-imposed limitations.
Be kind. Let your example inspire others to rise above their circumstances. Touch their hearts with the beauty of your inspiration. And smile at their failed attempts to drag you down to their level. You're already rising far above those crude and antiquated limitations.
Fear of Change
How often do we cling to the bare rocks of our daily existence, no matter how uncomfortable those conditions might be? We cling on with every fiber of our being because we're afraid of change.
We forge an unshakable bond with our circumstances and avoid all risk of change as if the Grim Reaper himself could be found lurking with his freshly sharpened scythe beneath every hint of moving on.
So we stay where we are. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Financially. It's completely dysfunctional because change is the very nature of reality. Everything changes all the time.
We're so perversely inventive, we manufacture the most ludicrous reasons why things have to stay exactly the way they are. "Its Fate". "If it's meant to be, it will happen anyway".
Really? "You have to deserve it". Why on earth do you imagine that the universe operates on this basis? "Wait until it's your turn". What do you mean - is life just some kind of crazy lottery? "It just wasn't meant to be". "It can't be done". "We're not the kind of people who get the breaks". "Know your place". Wow.
That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making excuses for living in reduced and difficult circumstances. I've heard thousands of reasons why things can't change. Yet - things most surely do change. Every single day. Every hour. Every second.
Change is the most natural thing of all. And I've seen the power of change sweep away all the obstructions and obstacles and limitations and carry individuals to the stratospheric heights of success and abundance.
The moment an individual's heart changes, everything around them begins to change too. The fabric of our personal reality is deeply connected to the emotional landscape that we maintain around ourselves.
Our beliefs are the bedrock of how we perceive reality. The greatest challenge of all is to learn to let go. Especially of all the things that are holding you back.
Imagine yourself halfway up a mountainside, climbing a steep rock face, ice and loose stones on all sides and a bone-chilling wind biting at you as you struggle to keep your grip on the foot and hand-holds that you've found to stop yourself from being swept away.
That's how we live. We cling on for survival, hanging onto whatever's around us because we're so deeply afraid of falling.
A great mountain-climber, a legend in his extraordinary lifetime, once described in nerve-wracking detail the experience of scaling an ice face during an ascent of a very challenging peak in the Himalayas. He said there were some very important rules that the mountain would teach you.
Firstly - never look down! He had a great point here. There is absolutely no virtue in looking behind you. Nothing can be gained by looking back. Your future is not behind or below you. It's in front of you.
The second principle - ignore what anyone else is doing. There might be other people attempting the same challenge but, if you focus on what others might be doing around you, you lose the vital connection with what you have to do to move forward toward your chosen destination.
Thirdly - deep breath - you have to let go. This was always the most terrifying aspect of the entire process. It seems so completely unnatural. Every instinct is screaming at you to hold on, pushing every cell of your body closer and closer to the mountain. And then you have to look up and focus on your goal.
You have to remember why you're halfway up an ice face in a howling gale and look up at the mountain peak that represents your goal, your destination, and the absolute culmination of your challenge.
And then you let go with one hand because that's the only way you can move on. You let go with one hand and reach for the next handhold. Then you move one foot. And you move up the mountain. By letting go and moving upwards. It was such a powerful speech,
I really felt that this incredible man was speaking to me directly. I was going through a tough time and his message was so beautiful, so uplifting, so overwhelmingly direct that I was inspired to make my first tentative steps to let go of the things I was clinging to. It changed my life. That wasn't fate. That was a choice based on a remarkable man's advice and experience.
He spoke of the constant close proximity of death on the mountains he'd climbed and he told us of the pain of losing dear friends and I'd never been in the presence of an individual who was so completely at peace with himself and the great mysteries of life.
Learning to let go. Perhaps the greatest challenge for humans to face. But that's how we learn to reach the highest peaks of personal fulfillment and unimagined success.
Fear of Who You Are
It's just too easy to live your life pretending to be someone else. We learn to play so many roles during our lifetime that it's often impossible to work out who we really are.
The roles provide us with the illusion of security, protection, safety, continuity, and acceptance. I use the word 'illusion' because you have to play a role in order to receive these apparent benefits. You are not being yourself.
It reminds me of the oriental concept of having three hearts or faces. We have one face that we show to the world. Another face that we reserve for our close friends and family. And then the face that really represents who we are - the face that no one ever sees. If only we were limited to just those three faces!
Most people have dozens of roles that they learn to play according to the situations they find themselves in. You often see a slightly disturbing example of this shift in roles when you visit a partner's family and your dearly beloved suddenly starts behaving in unexpected ways.
A different personality emerges - apparently from nowhere - in the presence of parents or siblings, a personality that is often more childlike, less confident, more dependent, in many ways quite different to the person you fell in love with.
Which is real? The personality you think you know or the 'new' version that emerges when parents are around? No wonder these changes often result in heated arguments. They're guaranteed to produce contradictions. Accusations and confusion abound.
What's going on? As long as we crave the approval of parent figures, we'll always shift into a behavioral framework that seems to match our view of their expectations. Playing all these different roles becomes so natural, so deeply ingrained in our behavior; we don't even realize that we're doing it.
And let's remind ourselves that these roles serve a purpose. They help us to feel that we fit in. They give us the reassurance that we're accepted. They reinforce our sense of worthiness and acceptance.
When we have to move beyond these limitations and become more aligned with a new model of personal success, we naturally fear the loss of the old connections.
We're afraid of giving up the comfort of our security blankets, of losing the familiar framework of our comfortable array of roles. But getting in touch with who you are beneath the layers of masks and conditioned reflexes is a powerfully liberating experience that can set the stage for extraordinary discoveries and unimagined personal progress.
We often come across the word 'authentic' in these situations as cognitive behavioral science encourages us to be more in tune with who we really are. Once free of the web of restraining roles and superficial identities, we can accept the benefits of success and abundance so much more easily.
We effectively remove many of the behavioral obstacles that may have sabotaged our efforts in the past and grant ourselves the freedom to enjoy life to the full.
We return to the issue of learning to let go.
We consider the value of becoming aware of what we do, what we say, how we feel. We learn to pause and ask ourselves if we're being who we really are or whether we're just playing a role to get an instant fix of approval or attention.
We learn to ask ourselves if the attitude or behavior we're displaying is aligned with our vision of success and abundance.
We learn to let go of behaviors and roles that do not support our aims.
We learn to be free.
Fear of the Unknown
Humans don't like change. Much of our existence as a species has been conditioned by the daily demands of survival. Much of our creativity has been directed towards taming the unknown and producing continuity in our food supply. That's how we've evolved over hundreds of thousands of years.
Our daily mission was to maximize our chances of survival. Our expansion across the plains of Africa - and eventually across most of the planet's land masses - didn't happen because of some natural instinct for tourism.
We moved on in search of better food supplies and better habitats for survival. In countless examples from these dimly lit blogs of our distant past, our remote ancestors settled in areas where the food, water, and shelter favored survival.
They usually moved on when one or more of these essential elements was compromised and survival demanded a change of location. We still retain this primordial fear of the unknown. It's easy to forget that our forebears lived under the constant risk of being eaten by a predator.
It's easy to ignore the threat of disease or accident when there was no recourse to medical support. Our ancestors were undoubtedly tough. But they died early. Survival encouraged us to be cautious, to minimize risk and avoid peril wherever possible.
Hunting wild animals can be a very dangerous way to obtain high-quality protein but the risk must have been worthwhile or our ancestors would never have developed the co-ordinate skills and tools to hunt, bring down, kill and butcher a very large and obviously untamed animal;
Avoiding risk, avoiding danger wherever possible, resisting change in favor of continuity - these survival traits can still be seen in our twenty-first-century behaviors.
We live in a very different world today compared to that of our ancestors yet we still retain essential elements of their ancient behavior.
Our brains exhibit this evolutionary course in the way the ancient limbic system still produces powerful drives to eat, to run away or fight and to reproduce. These were early elements in our evolution, tied into the necessity to survive and which favored the continuity of the species.
Much later in the course of our development, the brain evolved a vastly more sophisticated faculty that we refer to today as the pre-frontal cortex.
This complex - and uniquely human - part of the brain only exhibits its fuller potential from our early twenties onwards and provides the driving force behind our unique ability to visualize, plan and execute goals.
The PFC can be trained to overcome the atavistic drives of the survival-driven limbic system and helps us to evaluate risk with logic, objectivity and cool detachment.
This unique facility is the key to overcoming the fear of the unknown. We have learned to become calm, to breathe gently, to eliminate the adrenaline rush of the limbic system's panic response and evaluate a given situation with the PFC's dramatically revealing, objective overview.
The PFC assesses, adjusts the course of action to match the changing circumstances, keeps the desired end result clearly in focus and allows us to formulate flexible approaches to achieving our goals.
This ability to apply logic and rational judgment to a situation cools down the limbic system's hot responses and gives the observer much more control and choice over the most appropriate courses of action.
We evolved to be creatures that can visualize, plan and deliver our goals and objectives. It's a natural part of being human.
Fear of Loss
The true spirit of abundance celebrates the potential for unlimited quantities of whatever we seek. The opposite expression of this spirit of plenty is the fear of loss. We can only fear losing something if we feel that it is irreplaceable or if it seems to be in short supply.
This is one of the great obstacles to abundance, this abiding sense that there is too little in the world to go round. It's so obviously untrue yet the belief persists.
We suspect at some deep, irrational level that if we somehow get our hands on more, then someone else must automatically have less. It doesn't work like that. It really doesn't.
But when you see pictures of poverty-stricken parts of the world, images of starving children and the effects of famine and drought, you link these emotive scenes to your lingering doubts about whether there's enough to go round.
Many people feel that having more in the face of crushing poverty and want is somehow immoral. In their minds, the conclusion is simple: as long as there are so many starving, impoverished people in the world, it is immoral to have abundance.
So, in the face of poverty and lack, the attitude is 'Let's have more poverty so that we won't feel uncomfortable when we have to see pictures of starving children'.
If poverty is a problem, favoring the concept of having less hardly improved the situation. When you create abundance in your life, you have so much more choice about helping those in need. Yes, you do. More abundance allows for more sharing. A spirit of abundance is not an isolated, selfish phenomenon.
It's a powerful expression of the potential for improvement at so many levels, both personally and globally. If you want to help the world if you want to make a positive difference, develop a strategy for success and spread the good news wherever you go. That's how to make a very useful contribution to the state of the world.
When you start to understand the real concept of abundance when you begin to feel its power at a deeply emotional level when you open your heart to its profound benevolence, your life will move in a whole new direction and you'll want to share the experience wherever you find yourself.
Fear of Standing Out
We've already covered this topic. It's just another aspect of daring to be different. It's another way of understanding the costs of pretending to be someone or something you're not.
It's a simple way to confront the challenge of trying to be less than your true potential. I've always taken the view that we need to live up to the promise of our abilities and put them to work.
Everyone - and that includes you, my friend - has talent. Harness that raw potential and harvest the rewards. Live up to your potential. Stop pretending to be something less than you really are. It isn't about boastfulness or deluding ourselves that we're superstars.
False modesty is just as damaging. It's about feeling that it is really is absolutely fine to be you. It's the beautiful message that whispers from your heart that who you really are is always more than enough. You don't have to be anyone else.
It's just fine to be you. You - with all your faults and failings, mistakes and imperfections, doubts and fears, confusion and questions - who you are are enough. We don't have to be perfect.
We can recognize our failings and shortcomings. We can learn to be kind to ourselves. To lighten up. To deal with the behaviors that are getting in the way of a happy and fulfilled life. We can grow.
But, above all else, we can be ourselves. And when you decide that it's fine to be successful, that it's great for you to enjoy the rewards of reaching your goals that the past doesn't matter anymore because you're looking ahead now to a totally different and brighter future - that's when your life will move along and you'll be completely comfortable with the process. Even if you stand out from the crowd.
Because it's great to be you. And deep down you always knew it.
Fear of Pressure
Self-doubt. It lurks in the background, always ready to question your worthiness, gnawing at the foundations of your confidence. It's an unwanted artifact from our early conditioning and it usually shows up when we're facing some of life's tougher challenges.
Especially when we're tired or stressed. Nagging hints of failure, dark intrusions into our self-confidence, niggling worries about whether we're up to the task. But there's a fabulous antidote.
It's called - laughter and it's to be deployed with all the energy you can muster. Laughter - even the forced, artificial guffaw of the struggling comedian in front of a tough house - dispels fear and doubt in an instant.
There will always be doubt - as long as you leave space for it to sink its roots into your belief system. The fear of dealing with increased pressure is just one of the ways your doubts will find a convenient pathway to express their insidious influence.
Laugh in the face of your doubts and they'll slink away into the background. They really do not like to be treated with such obvious disdain! So laugh at them. Never lose sight of your ability to overcome obstacles, to solve problems, to triumph over adversity, to achieve your goals. And what about the pressure?
That just shows you're taking the abundance project seriously. And it's so much more rewarding to live with the pressure of success than with the crushing frustration of living an unfulfilled life.
Fear has always been the main obstacle to success. That's why we needed to address its influence right at the start of this project. Fear diverts us from our goals and objectives.
It tells us what we can't do, what we shouldn't do, why we can't succeed, why we should settle for what we've got. Fear binds us to the illusion of our limitations and chains us in the dark cage of our uncertainty.
Fear disguises its role in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways, hiding behind the veil of old habits, familiar behaviors, and other peoples' expectations.
It slows you down. It questions everything but most often it questions your goals and whether you're capable of achieving success. Step beyond the bounds of your fear and the world opens up with an extraordinary array of possibilities.
Fear is only a natural product of our evolutionary past. It has its place in the primitive mechanism of our survival reflexes. It is not part of our planning and goal-setting apparatus. Setting goals and planning for their success overrides the knee-jerk fear response.
We are fully equipped to learn how to use the part of the brain that evolved specifically to enable us to set goals, to plan and to fulfill our dreams. That part of the brain is there for a purpose. You are about to discover that you are precisely the kind of person that can achieve tremendous success.
You're a human being. You evolved to be successful. Focusing on your goals, dreams, and ambitions is a perfect antidote to the poison of fear. It sets you free. And freedom is one of the great hallmarks of true success.
"A wise person should have money in their head but not in their heart" Jonathan Swift
This looks like a perfect place to see if we can learn a little more about your attitude towards risk. We've identified many of the underlying causes for failing to take action and flushed out the shadows of fear that used to darken our hopes and aspirations. Now let's see how you feel about taking chances.
Once again, there are no right or wrong answers. The aim is to shed light on how you feel and understand the motivations that often govern your actions.
The test is really easy.
Check each opening statement and tick the answer that feels most appropriate to you. If in doubt, you can tick two answers if you feel that would give a better impression of how each statement affects you.
Learning to be Best Friends with Cash
As we dissolve the bonds of fear that have held you back for far too long, we're getting closer to the point where we can introduce some fabulous changes into your life, changes that will put you in the driving seat and open up your potential for financial abundance. You might be wondering at this point if you can you still be the same person that you were before.
The answer will depend on whether the roles you've been playing so far have worked successfully for you, or not. If you're getting by, pretending to be a successful version of yourself, you'll still probably sense that something is missing.
You'll most probably know intuitively that there could be so much more in your life. And you'll know how easy it's been to form strong attachments to those familiar, old roles you've been playing for so long.
Our mission is not to exchange one set of roles for another, although new roles can make a surprising difference in the short term. We're aiming for a sustainable evolution that will put financial comfort and success within your grasp as permanent features of your new lifestyle.
That implies change
And the change that will produce the best contribution to your new plan for financial abundance is in your attitude towards money. We've explored the subject before in other works from One Life Wellbeing Media but, as we discovered when we examined the impact of fear in our lives, our attitudes contribute significantly to the outcomes of our daily experience.
So what about our attitude towards money? Once again we have to confront the distinction between the way our conscious minds react and the underlying responses from our subconscious.
As you may recall, the subconscious governs most of our behavior and contains elements of deeply programmed attitudes and emotional responses that were imprinted on our impressionable lives during early childhood. Happily, these conditioned behaviors and reactions can be changed. They do not have to last forever.
They do not have to be permanent. We do not have to remain the prisoners of our early conditioning. We can discard the attitudes that block our capacity for success, that sabotage our potential for happiness.
We can introduce behaviors that encourage a growing sense of personal fulfillment and we can attune ourselves to actions that totally favor our goals and aspirations. And, as we suggested earlier, our attitude towards money is a vital component in our quest for financial abundance.
So we're going to begin our quest with a new introduction to money. Are you really ready for this? I'm asking because your life is about to become a little more interesting.
Take a deep breath.
Concentrate. Let me have your attention here because this is important. Money exists primarily because we believe in it. Run that line again. Money exists because we believe in it. Your purse or wallet contains pieces of paper, fragments of metal and slivers of plastic.
They have value because we all agree that they are worth something. It's a highly efficient way of communicating an agreed value but, at the end of the day, all you have are printed pieces of paper and stamped pieces of metal and plastic.
The pieces of paper and metal function because we all agree that they represent something of value. Your bank account is even more obscure. The value of your money is not necessarily represented by pieces of paper and chips of metal.
Your bank account functions on electronic impulses that represent an agreed value. Your money just slipped quietly into the twilight zone of digital expression.
But if your computer screen shows an amount in your account, it's as real and valid in theory as a wad of printed paper in your wallet or a slice or two of precious metal in your hand. Money exists because we believe in it.
It's a very powerful, communal belief and we rarely spare a thought about it but the only reason those pieces of paper are valuable is that we all agree that they have a specific value. What we need at the launch of this mighty quest for financial abundance is a new relationship with the whole concept of money.
Releasing the Chains of Fear
You're smart so you've probably already guessed that attitude is a fundamental concept in dealing with any issue connected to money and success in general.
I recall a particular moment of clarity many years ago when I was complaining - alright, whining - about my financial predicament to my boss, a very smart lawyer who'd made and lost and re-made a fortune.
She was a legend in the business. Though, in truth, she could sometimes be accused of lacking subtlety. Bored to the point of violence by my pitiful complaining, she threw down her half-smoked Marlborough, grabbed me by the tie and dragged me right up to her face and snarled in her gravelly, chain-smoker's voice - "Listen, junior. You might be broke. But you'll never be poor!"
And, after the initial shock of being grabbed by the throat, I got the message and, to my surprise, I understood. I really did. Her message was so simple. Being short of cash happened to everyone.
But you could always do something about the situation. Being broke could only ever be temporary. Poor - in her philosophy - was an extremely dangerous attitude of mind that would condemn you to poverty forever. Wow.
That was a potent message to receive from a very forceful lady whose belief was unquestionable. The message stayed with me. A cash shortage was simply a sign that it was time to change tactics and boost revenue. Simple. Even being broke could be shrugged off with the right kind of effort.
She'd been through the trauma of being broke and she'd worked her way out of it. I liked that approach. It was one of those moments of empowerment that exploded my ridiculous complaints and put me back in the driving seat. And it worked. My situation improved dramatically.
My change in behavior was driven by my change in attitude. Attitude matters. Never forget it. As the lady said - "You might be broke. But you'll never be poor". Chew that one over. It's deep.
We're beginning to build a picture of how important our beliefs can be when it comes to creating wealth and abundance. Great plans and beautiful dreams can flounder on the hidden reefs of our belief system. How we feel is a deeply influential factor in the great equation of success.
As one of my mentors often liked to quote - "Many a battle has been lost before the first shot was ever fired". He was referring to attitude and how difficult it is to win if you believe that you've already lost. How tempting it is to throw up your hands and quit at the first encounter with resistance to your plans.
I know a lot about the importance of this critical area because I grew up in an environment where there never seemed to be enough money. Life was a constant struggle and the daily challenge in the family was the unending question of how to make ends meet. There is nothing noble in this tale of self-imposed financial lack.
I remember as a small child helping my mother to put grocery items back on the supermarket shelf because she'd realized that she didn't have enough cash to pay for the essentials. She was very unhappy and embarrassed about the situation and these episodes can leave their mark deeply etched on our formative attitudes.
It's fair to say that my father deliberately kept her short of housekeeping money to limit her choices and options - so money was obviously used as an unsubtle tool of manipulation in the household.
When my mother got a job working night shifts in a factory to help with the bills, dad stopped giving her the meager weekly shopping allowance, which meant she had to pay for the family groceries from her own wages. She was working harder than ever but for no discernible difference.
I loved my dad. He sometimes complained about the shortages of money but he always somehow had enough cash to back his beloved ponies every week. Seemed like food and clothing were seen more as luxury items!
Don't worry. We're not here to judge my dear old dad. I loved him as only a child can love a parent. We're here to learn something useful about the way attitudes shape peoples' lives.
When we experience these negative, emotionally-charged events, we easily develop a distinctly negative attitude towards the underlying cause - and in this case, the cause always seemed to be connected to money.
On an emotional basis, it can turn ugly as we learn to be afraid of money. We associate money with painful, unpleasant feelings and we unconsciously form the opinion that it's always something that's in short supply.
So, deep within our emotional framework, we learn to dislike this immensely powerful force and, like so many things that we're afraid of, we unconsciously reduce our contact with it to the minimum. It becomes a necessary evil. My dear old dad always used to say that rich people were either crooks or conmen. That was the extent of his vision of wealth.
Yet he could've had so much more. He died when I was in my teens and I learned after his death that he'd turned down various offers of promotion to management because he hadn't wanted the additional responsibility. He turned down an offer to give me a scholarship to a private school because he didn't want me to be 'different'.
These experiences have proved to be extremely valuable in my life. I truly understand the dynamics of the problem. Life was generous enough to frame these problems for me at every turn.
It gradually became clear that the choices and attitudes that characterized my upbringing weren't simply a question of good or bad decisions. No one was trying to make my life difficult.
The people in my life made their choices because they believed they were doing the right thing. They did the absolute best that they could with what they knew. But the outcomes rarely made sense to me. And those circumstances combined to provide the catalyst for change.
When things don't add up
First of all, I couldn't help noticing the contradictions in the family circumstances. We were always short of cash but dad could afford to smoke like a chimney and bet on the horses. He was my dad and I thought that's what dads were like.
He had the wicked sense of humor. He was a brilliant storyteller. But the inconsistencies showed up every day. Other people in the neighborhood had similar jobs yet somehow enjoyed a higher standard of living. They went on holidays. We didn't. Yet those neighbors could never be described as 'rich'. There was definitely something amiss.
It occurred to me one day that perhaps as a family we weren't really poor as such but were simply addicted to living in reduced circumstances.
We were addicted to the daily pain and anxiety of not having enough. And I knew at an early age that I had no intention of repeating this dreadful pattern of lost and wasted opportunities.
I didn't have any kind of shortcut and I would taste often enough the bitter fruit of failure but anything was better than living in the dysfunctional and limiting world that my family liked to describe as 'normal'. And the first breakthrough moments occurred as I gradually made friends with money.
Open your mind and let some fresh air in
Reading opens the doors to a vast array of other worlds. Books bring you into contact with other thoughts and other possibilities. The town where I grew up had a fabulous public lending and reference library which soon became my second home.
I wanted to read about everything and in the comfort of that simple, modern library building, I could sit quietly with the works of the greatest thinkers who'd ever lived and try - often in vain! - To understand their legacy and their teachings.
I read everything I could and that included the newspapers too. I didn't always understand the content but I loved to work through the finance sections.
I was invariably amazed at the seemingly vast sums referred to in the business articles because they were always far too large for me to imagine. As I pored over articles about take-overs and stock issues, government bonds, and public borrowing, it dawned on me that money was the force that allowed so many things to happen.
It paid for education. It paid for hospitals. It was paying for the public library where I sat so often in a well-lit booth, surrounded by a dozen precious books and the previous day's newspapers.
Money really was an immensely powerful force for good. I was also very young and impressionable and, against a family background of grinding lack and limitation, the message lit up my life like a solar flare.
I felt that there really was more money in the world than I'd ever thought could exist. I didn't truly grasp its real power and presence but it was undeniably everywhere. And I started to believe that it could really be a tremendous force for good.
This subconscious transition can be one of the most vital steps in developing effective strategies for creating wealth. We have to make friends with money. The dynamics are simple enough. Our underlying feelings towards wealth will always show up in our behavior and in our lives.
We can discuss wealth creation in great detail, make plans, feel enthusiastic about the agreed outcomes and tell the world we're finally moving on. But, more than anything else, our unconscious feelings and attitudes will determine the outcome.
It's painful to see these contradictions showing up every day in people's lives. You have lots of effort on the surface, but no success, lots of intensity and hard work. But only grindingly slow progress. One foot on the accelerator and the other foot firmly clamped down on the brake pedal.
Frustrating? Disheartening? Dispiriting? Yes. Absolutely! But the instant we re-align our subconscious attitudes with success, the foot lifts up from the brake and the machine surges forward.
Have you had enough of sitting in the same place for too long, stalled in the great stream of life? It is time for a breakthrough. So let's do something radical.
I have a very simple three-part strategy to make money your new best friend.
Firstly, you'll need to accept that this major shift is going to create changes in your subconscious landscape.
Yes, it is. It might not make a great deal of sense to your conscious mind but that's not where your life's direction is coming from. Money is not some random, neutral, faceless force that appears haphazardly according to the whims of fate.
Money is an unimaginably vast, potent force and we need to give you unique, direct, personal access to its influence. So you'll need to imagine how money is going to appear to you from now onwards.
And we're going to cast that precious image upon the great canvas of your subconscious. You need to use your powers of imagination. It's time to switch on your powers of visualization.
It's time to give money a face, perhaps a body and even a name. Money - through the power of your imagination - is about to receive a very distinctive and positive personality.
One of the best examples I've come across is an image of an enormous, smiling genie, exactly like some fabulous character from the Thousand and One Nights, a happy, benevolent character whose immense size reflects the global power of free-flowing currency;
A jovial, happy face with twinkling eyes and an expression of complete benevolence; A beaming smile that expresses the perfect spirit of generosity; A smile that is directed right at you; Your own personal genie who loves to shower you with the gifts of good fortune, financial success, and material abundance.
Meet your new friend
The key to this exercise is to create an emotional link with the image in your imagination.
As you learn to smile at the image and feel its warmth and benevolence radiating into your life, as you learn to add detail to the image's composition and allow yourself to feel excitement at the force and presence of this powerful character, you begin to create new neural pathways and connections in your brain and in your subconscious framework.
You might like to give a special name to your new friend, a more familiar identity to this powerful artifact of your imagination, a personal name for your new expression of wealth. Choose carefully.
Nothing can be too grand for this personal symbol of money's vast power in the world. Imagine the figure - whatever you choose, it has to be an extremely powerful, benevolent character - opening its massive hands and pouring cascades of cash into your lap.
Laugh at the joy of the experience. Remember, we're re-framing your deeper attitudes here and the subconscious just loves this kind of symbolism.
It's a fabulous exercise to practice every day for a few minutes before you get up in the morning. It's a joyous celebration of what's really possible in your life to practice the visualization exercise for a few minutes before you go to sleep each night.
Some people have even been known to write their new friend's name down on a slip of paper and carry it in their purse or wallet, a simple way to keep the private connection going throughout the day.
And it is private. Do not share the details or the name of your new friend with anyone. The moment you try to explain what you're trying to do, you'll interfere with the re-framing process and unintentionally add elements of doubt or uncertainty into the new programme.
This is your new best friend. You want to feel that there is an unshakable bond developing between you that will unleash unimagined prosperity into your life. This is powerful. You're learning to re-engineer the fabric of your existence.
Next, if you're ready to receive, you have to be ready to give. As you begin to feel the spirit of benevolence surrounding you every day with its deeply comforting warmth and generosity, you need to start showing to yourself that you're no longer constrained by the limits of your old attitudes - those feelings that always whispered that there was never enough to go round.
Give some change or whatever you feel is appropriate to someone in need. Don't judge them. Don't hand over your wallet.
Just start making spontaneous gestures of goodwill. Give to those in need. Just do it. It doesn't have to be all your money! You're opening your life to the forces of generosity so now is a great time to start spreading the good feeling around. And that includes a measure of goodwill too.
It's a very powerful dynamic at so many different levels but you'll soon notice that your natural spirit of simple generosity encourages an even stronger connection with that titanic force of benevolence that you've been cultivating through your new friendship with money.
Be kind. Be generous. You'll reap the benefits by doing good things and it will soon start to feel as if you're naturally inclined to do the right thing.
5 Star Attitudes
Finally, it's time for you to start behaving as if you were wealthy. That does not mean selling the kids and buying a Ferrari! It isn't about spending money either - not yet.
And it certainly isn't about pretending to have money you don't yet possess. Remember that it's much easier to sell an expensive car at full price to someone who can only just afford it - the wealthy tend to drive a much harder bargain! No.
This isn't about fake watches and pretending. It's about attitude. It's about feeling that everything is suddenly possible, suddenly affordable, and easily do-able. We're aiming for a subtle shift in attitude that replaces the tired old belief system that painted life as a constant uphill struggle.
The side-step in attitude that allows you to appreciate hand-tailored shirts and the services of a five-star GL hotel. You feel instinctive that this is where you're headed. You begin to know at some deep level that this is how your life is going to be.
You reinforce the re-framing of your subconscious architecture by presenting a radically different emotional response to your life. The limitations no longer constrain you.
You start to experience a new sense of inner power, a certainty that anything is possible, calm confidence in the knowledge that you're on the pathway to untold success and material abundance. It feels good. It's beautiful. It's the dawning of a new day and a new life.
And now that we've exorcized the demons of your fear and re-phrased your deeper connections to money, it's time to take some more action. Welcome to the bright fresh start of your new life.
Wealth creation gets a lot easier when you get organized. If you're a disciple of chaos, this is going to be a challenge. We need to bring a degree of order into your financial affairs and this means knowing exactly where you stand right now. There's nothing quite like a freshly sharpened pencil and a clean sheet of paper to focus the attention and this is where we're going to start.
You don't need a Master's in advanced economic theory either. All you need is a basic knowledge of how to count. Nothing complicated. A calculator might come in handy too.
The fact is that most of us avoid dealing with the essential money issues because they scare us. That's why we've devoted so much energy in this manual of financial abundance to removing those damaging old fears and anxieties.
You wouldn't mind counting your newly-minted millions, would you? Of course not! We want you to feel that you're in control of your situation, that you're comfortable with your new financial destiny. So let's get some clarity into your understanding of exactly where you are right now.
Profit and Loss
It couldn't be easier. With one sheet of paper and a line drawn down the middle to divide the page into two halves, left-hand column = income and assets. Right-hand column = outgoings, debts and liabilities. Bottom of the page = the totals. List everything.
Whatever you're spending - put it down on your list of outgoings. The list will tell you pretty much what you're worth in financial terms. You'll also get a clear, objective overview of where all the money goes every month.
The initial aim is to give you an overview of what you need right now to make the two columns balance. You'll immediately spot the shortfalls or surpluses and see at a glance whether or not you've got a healthy personal balance sheet. Don't let the shortfalls scare you.
We're here to make things better. If you're running a surplus - congratulations! Effective financial planning requires clarity. That's what this overview is for. If you're spending more than you're receiving, the list will show you where the leaks are. It really couldn't be easier.
Clarity is power.
Covering the shortfalls and creating surpluses is the new future and the way forward.
If you have a surplus, you'll probably already know that saving is a vital component in creating financial stability. You'll already appreciate the virtues of having a cash cushion to provide for unforeseen situations or for investing in opportunities.
A good rule of thumb is to have at least three months income in cash available, preferably in a simple, interest-bearing account with your local bank. This is the first objective in any plan for creating wealth - building a short-term cash cushion.
You'd be amazed how often this first rule is ignored. Second rule: reserving a modest portion of your income for savings every month before splurging on other things.
This can be the simplest and most effective way to turn your finances around. It doesn't happen very often because most people spend their money first before thinking about savings. Put savings first and only spend whatever's left over.
Save first - spend as much of what's left as necessary.
Cash is king.
You need that reassuring layer of cash to give yourself your first hint of financial peace of mind. It might seem very simple but it's fundamental and it's very important.
But what if you're running a deficit? What do you do when the outgoings outstrip the income? Well, something's got to give. Your life is calling for change. Take another look at your sheet of paper.
It's time to get tough.
Have you cut out everything that really is non-essential? Whatever you're doing, it obviously isn't sustainable. Ultimately it's about priorities. If you were a company and running losses, you'd have to make cuts to survive until healthy income levels were restored or else the company folds.
Most of us have been there at some point. But I know too many cases where people in financial difficulty have just kept on spending money as if nothing were amiss, running up debts on credit cards and grabbing loans, digging themselves into deeper financial holes and behaving as if the problems would just disappear somehow by magic. You might need to get tough with yourself.
You might need to get rid of the non-essential items. Set some seriously grown-up priorities. Smoking is a good illustration. I know it's an addictive substance but tobacco is a fair example. For a start - it's expensive.
If you put your smoking cash into a jar instead of into tobacco products for a few months, you'd be shocked at how much you'd save. The same applies to alcohol and eating out. Sometimes it's a bigger question such as moving home and finding more affordable accommodation.
Remember - this isn't forever. It's a response to a situation where your income today doesn't match your spending. Yes, we're planning to improve your finances but we can't spend what we don't have. That's why debt is so debilitating. It sucks the joy from your life. It consumes your income and limits your choices.
Reducing debt has got to be one of the early strategies for improving your immediate financial viability. Create some space in your life for regaining better control of your financial circumstances.
These changes produce some additional, unexpected benefits. Good financial discipline creates good financial habits, helping you to manage your future success far more effectively than you ever thought possible.
We need a plan.
The next item on our agenda is to build a strong financial strategy that takes our future needs and goals into account. We've described in other works from One Life Wellbeing Media Products how to construct a Life Line. It's a beautiful, visual representation of where you are right now and, more importantly, where you see yourself in the future.
It's a graphic description of how you want your life to unfold. It's a great way to plan for major expenses and outgoings and can be the basis for creating suitable structures to take care of whatever's looming on the horizon. It's incredibly useful. It's extremely practical. It's a vital component in any financial planning exercise.
As you can see from the illustration, the LifeLine begins with two simple lines - a vertical and a horizontal axis. Nothing too complicated. The bottom line represents time and we usually advance into the future in five-year steps. The vertical line represents our current and future income expectations.
Now all you need to do is work out the major expense items that you can foresee for the next five years, calculate the anticipated costs and write them down on the lifeline.
Then move into the next five-year segment and repeat the exercise. This is a powerfully effective way to illustrate potential future drains on your income and assets and the exercise will also include the inevitable drop in income that typically occurs at retirement.
Now you can begin to prioritize these future events and make plans to allocate assets for future expenses and lifestyle funding. It can be a wakeup call to make better provision for the future.
It can alert you to necessities that sometimes slip past our attention because they're just out of sight, over the horizon. It can provide hard data to add depth to your plans to create real wealth and abundance. It can provide the stimulus to get you started on your personal plan for financial success.
The Life Line can form the backbone of any plans you might make to take control of your life and create success beyond your wildest dreams. I recommend it to you now because it's so helpful.
When you create improvements in the quality of your life, you'll enjoy going back to the Life Line and checking your progress, perhaps upgrading your plans and expectations, enjoying the obvious sense of achievement because you've put your life on the fast track to better times. And it feels good. It's supposed to.
But we need more than the Life Line. We need to dream a little. We need a vision.
The mind is unbelievably powerful. A renowned Karate master was preparing to demonstrate a breaking technique in front of a packed audience as his assistants wheeled in an enormous block of ice. It was an attempt at a world record. You can imagine the atmosphere. The dramatic build-up of tension.
People holding their breath as the master prepared himself for his confrontation with the ice block. The master struck the ice as forcefully as he could - and shattered his hand and wrist. Not quite the expected outcome and, after examining his broken bones at the local hospital, the doctors told him he would never regain normal use of his hand.
But the master put the failure behind him and focused on repairing the damage to his wrecked bones and tendons. At night, he used to imagine teams of miniature laborers rebuilding the broken bones, surrounding the damage with scaffolding as they worked during his sleep.
Soon he imagined new work crews shaping, polishing and finishing the repaired structure of his hand and wrist. Then he added teams of miniature workers, armed with old-fashioned oil cans, squirting lubricant into his joints and tissues.
Four months later, he returned to the exhibition hall where he'd met disaster, now with a completely healed and restored hand and, to everyone's astonishment, shattered the ice block and broke the record. The mind really is an extraordinarily powerful instrument. And, when it's directed and focused, it's capable of achieving extraordinary results.
Now that we've examined the state of our current financial health and noted where the strengths and weaknesses are affecting our cash flow, it's time to add some much-needed depth to our plans for success.
Build a brighter vista of the future.
It is imperative that our new vision of the future is detached from our negative experiences of the past. There's no point in extending the old model of the past into the unwritten future.
We need a vision of the future that is so bright, so powerful, so beautiful that it lifts our expectations far above our experiences of what we used to think was possible.
All those darkly familiar doubts and disappointments from the past are just waiting to whisper 'Told you so!' So we need to direct our vision towards a totally different future - an expression of wondrous prosperity that is as far removed as possible from the difficulties of the past.
The obstacles are more densely concentrated in our own hearts than anywhere else in the broad, wide world. It isn't the government or the economic climate. It isn't the political environment or the state of fiscal policy.
People are making absolute fortunes every day under the most difficult of circumstances. Let's flush out the fear and excuses. It's time to join the incredibly diverse numbers of people around the world who are creating tremendous success right now.
Time to build the Vision
So I want you to take a few minutes to relax somewhere quiet where you won't be disturbed. You'll be closing your eyes and just breathing gently for a while. Get comfortable. Relax.
Now imagine yourself in the most wonderful place you can conjure up with your inner eye. See yourself in exactly the place where you'd love to live. See the fittings and furnishings. Imagine the decorations, the artwork, the lighting. Can you hear anything in your vision? Are you near the sea? Can you hear the waves?
Can you smell the salt tang of the ocean? Can you hear seabirds? Are you next to the forest? Are you in the city? What are you wearing? This is your vision. Go a little wild. Turn up the intensity.
Can you conjure up the feeling of being wealthy? A calm, comfortable sense of ease, secure in the certainty that you have more than you'll ever need? Can you imagine a sense of deep, inner calm as you sit quietly, enjoying a warm feeling of appreciation that you've created all this wealth and abundance?
Now all you need to do is add a simple statement. You'll need an active word, a verb that describes what you're doing in your vision. Then you can add a description of how you're feeling, a positive emotion that expresses the strongest sense of happiness, excitement, and fulfillment. And then describe where you are.
So the statement might run something like this: 'I'm joyfully sitting on the terrace of my breathtakingly beautiful beach-side home in Maui, blissfully contemplating the sunset as I share the elation and the magic with my family'. Fine tune the feelings and description to match exactly whatever you've chosen for your personal vision.
Now repeat the formula for a few minutes every day. Do it when you wake up in the morning. Take a pause during the day and slip into your vision and power up the dream-scope every night before you go to sleep. Do not share the vision with anybody else on the planet. It's your personal and private power vision. It is not to be discussed or diluted in any way by sharing.
If you've followed other courses from the team at One Life Wellbeing, you'll already know that this mechanism activates parts of the brain that are extremely helpful in helping us to produce extraordinary results in our lives. We open up the filtering system in the brain that tunes out unnecessary data.
But the filter works according to your old belief systems. Now you're creating a powerful new vision of the future and your filter will start scanning for ways to bring your vision into reach, to unleash your latent creativity and manifest your dreams.
The fact is that we use our creativity all the time. The irony is that we use it mostly to create limitations at every level of our experience. We use enormous energy to tell ourselves what isn't possible. And now that is about to change for good.
The next part of the process is to start programming your subconscious with illustrations of what you're planning to achieve. Whatever vision you've chosen to represent your future successful self, now's the time to find some beautiful, bold pictures of where you plan to be.
These are illustrations and other people might obviously see them. You don't have to explain them or expose your ideas to the doubts and damaging negativity of other, less enlightened individuals!
You might choose illustrations of your dream home or a fabulous vacation destination. You might be motivated by a top of the range car or your own stable of racehorses.
Whatever it is, it's your vision. Find the best pictures, print them out and put them around your home. After a while, you'll stop noticing them. They'll soon become part of the background. But your subconscious will be completely aware of them.
Take your imagination all the way to the bank.
When I first came across this method many years ago, I went down a slightly different route. I bought a sheet of cartridge paper about six feet long by three feet wide and a pack of coloring pens.
Then I spent most of a weekend kneeling on the floor, drawing and coloring an imaginary banknote. I put in as much detail as possible and decided that the note should be worth a quarter of a million. So that's the amount I drew on the note.
When it was finished, I thought it looked pretty good and I pinned it to the ceiling right above my bed. It looked almost real. Every night before I went to sleep, I'd stare at that note. It was the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning. I made smaller, simpler copies and pinned them up around the house.
There was even one on the back of the bathroom door. And my income accelerated so fast, people thought I must have some secret formula for success.
But all I was really doing was engaging the enormous resources of the human subconscious, directing that hidden source of creativity towards the simple objective of delivering a quarter of a million.
As my income moved up, my wife asked me why I'd opted only for two fifty thousand! At that time, it was an experiment but the results opened my eyes to what was possible.
Let's get physical.
We used a similar approach to super-charging my wife's weight-control plan. She found pictures of super-clean, female body-builders and trimmed the excess muscle from the photos with a pair of nail scissors.
Then she snipped off the heads and replaced them with her own portrait. The result - a couple of dozen photos around the house of lean and fit bodies with my wife's smiling face carefully taped to the torsos. There were pictures on the fridge, on the ceiling, on the walls - everywhere she might look.
And, as you might know from her best-selling publications on effective weight control and healthy eating, the weight dropped off and stayed off.
We still need to do what's necessary to make the dream a reality but we can boost our efforts and the results by engaging the power of our personal subconscious turbo-charger. And move smoothly into the fast lane. There is very little armor against stupidity.
We've focused very strongly so far on the psychological aspects of influencing our behavior and directing the outcomes of our lives. Ultimately, these are the foundations that will either support our endeavors and plans for success or else they'll be the shifting sands that doom our efforts to failure.
I recall a very charismatic individual that I worked with for a time who was blighted by a bizarre taste for self-destruction.
He'd just crawled out from his third and completely avoidable bankruptcy and was re-building his shattered life from scratch with a much younger wife and three small children in tow. He was certainly very talented.
He had an obvious gift for making money. I saw it firsthand. But he always reached a critical point on the success curve where he'd just implode and systematically blow up his business.
The conflict between his massive abilities and his underlying desire to self-destruct was truly painful to observe. I remember meeting him for the last time as he and his young family had just been evicted from their beautiful apartment for failing to pay the rent.
It wasn't the first time it had happened in his life and the problem was completely unnecessary and absolutely avoidable. Friends advised him, warned him, cajoled him and tried to help him but he was determined to repeat his famous impersonation of a depressed lemming and leap recklessly off the cliff without a parachute, dragging as many people with him as possible.
Last I heard he was serving time for smuggling drugs - another make-a-fast-buck-and-damn-the-consequences approach that was always doomed to failure.
These underlying attitudes create a critical influence in our lives. That's why we've worked on eradicating the flaws in our thinking and in our emotional framework. Now we're learning to build on stronger, firmer foundations that will support and enhance our goals and dreams. Now our goals have a dramatically enhanced opportunity for sustainable success.
This might be a good time to see how you feel about your current arrangements.
This might imply a change of work or perhaps a change in the way you communicate with the organization you work for. Sometimes the problems can be successfully resolved by arranging a meeting with your manager or department head to give you a chance to clear the air and work through any disappointments or misunderstandings.
Effective communication is often the key to improving the situation at work. But sometimes you have to find the courage to admit when you're in the wrong place and that it's time to move on. The experience is never wasted. You learn from these challenging circumstances. You grow. You find something better.
If your answers produced mostly Strongly Disagree or Disagree answers, you're suggesting that you're fairly happy at work and that can only be good for your general happiness. Most people spend a significant proportion of their lives at work so it's important to feel appreciated, recognized and valued.
Developing a secondary income stream shouldn't conflict with the sense of satisfaction that can be derived from enjoying the day job. The fact is that most people really don't enjoy going to work, an obvious inference from the widespread incidence rates of absenteeism and stress-related health disorders.
For those of you who didn't agree or disagree with most of the answers, we would tend to infer a sense of resignation from the responses. This implied indifference suggests that you might be in a rut, turning up for work because it's the only way you've found so far to earn a living.
The answers don't imply any sense of joy or satisfaction and this could provide a useful catalyst to start questioning the purpose of your life. Where are you going? What do you want?
Is this as good as it gets? This is a perfect moment to step out of the old ways of thinking and feeling and start imagining an altogether better vision of the future. This is your life. Your responses demand a better set of questions that only you can answer.
The Unimaginable Power of Smart Passive Income
Have you ever volunteered to work overtime to make more money? There were times in my distant youth when it seemed like it was the only way to increase my income. Those were the days! Work harder. Work longer.
Die of exhaustion! Yes, it works but, as we suggested earlier in the manual, it isn't really sustainable as a long-term method of cash flow improvement. Happily, there are plenty of alternatives. And, as often happens in life, the principal came to me unexpectedly.