STEP 1: FIND YOUR TRIBE.
ACTIVELY SEEK OUT PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU’RE SETTING OUT TO DO AND WHO CELEBRATE THE VICTORIES ALONG THE WAY WITH YOU.
Avoid people who see the life as a series of impasses, and are threatened when you begin to look past your circumstances to a better life.
Ask yourself this question: Am I spending most of my time with people who say -- “I KNOW you can do it!” -- and applaud my unique skills and talents?
Or, am I spending hours of each day with people who denigrate my ideas and doubt my capacity for change?
STEP 2: CHILL OUT.
RESERVE AT LEAST 10 MINUTES EVERY DAY AND JUST BREATHE. Don’t make a call, solve a problem, plan a meal, take a call or get in a quick workout.
This time is what I call the “reset.” The most important capacity of our distinctive human consciousness is that we can stop and open ourselves to insights. To change anything, I have to elevate from simply reacting to stimuli, and working down my to-do lists. I have to rise up in my mind and get the aerial view. From way up in my higher consciousness, I begin to see the lay of the land and know intuitively if I’m moving towards my destination. I have the perspective to make accurate and necessary course corrections.
Skip this step, and I find myself WAY off course. Busy all the time -- getting lots of things done -- moves me not one centimeter closer to calling my own shots, making memories or making a difference.
STEP 3: BEWARE OF THE BELIEF THERMOSTAT
Whether we’re talking about building a successful business, losing weight, running a marathon, building a garden box, preparing a great meal -- ANY endeavor that requires holding a vision, making a plan and gathering your resources -- we ALL have pre-set beliefs.
If I decide to drop 10 pounds, I may believe that it’s going to be excruciatingly hard. I’m going to feel deprived, and my will power will join the witness protection program by the time I’m halfway to my goal.
This setting on my belief thermostat dooms me to failure from the start.
If I believe that financial scarcity is my conjoined twin, and that separation from this belief just might kill (or bankrupt) me, I’m going to be frozen with indecision. It’s mandatory that I find out how to adjust my financial belief thermostat.
We can issue a challenge to our own beliefs. As Dr. David J. Schwartz, the author of THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG says, a belief is just a thought we think over and over again.
Here are some thoughts I choose to think over and over again, so I have beliefs that move me forward toward unfolding possibilities:
***“It’s obvious and easy how to “release” pounds. I can find a plan with foods I love and fun activities with people who encourage me. THIS will make me want to move. I can see myself now feeling leaner, stronger and more attractive.”
*** “There are people and resources behind me in my pursuit of financial stability and peace of mind. There’s a downpour of cashflow on the horizon. It’s coming! It’s coming!!”
I remember vividly when I stopped telling myself I had no sense of direction. I went from almost always getting lost trying to navigate somewhere new (or NOT new) -- to rarely losing my way. It was merely a matter of thinking NEW -- proactive and positive --- thoughts over and over again.
STEP FOUR: FIND A DETOUR
There are neighborhoods where the likelihood of getting mugged is higher. AND there are media neighborhoods that increase the odds of being “relieved” of my belief in the possibility of change -- along with any motivation to leave my happy union with the couch.
The first sketchy media neighborhood is the news. News networks survive primarily by hunting down the worst things that happen and amplifying them to make them seem even worse. Find a detour. If you're concerned about remaining informed, online news services allow you to pick and choose what world and community events you're going to investigate further.
Some neighborhoods are less toxic, and you can walk there safely if you just keep moving. Social Media is the name of this burrough. Visit briefly. Mixed with the informative and the entertaining are many pockets of disempowering belief thermostats , seductive in their familiarity.
Entertainment can occupy the peaks and move me closer to action, but most definitely entertainment can lure me into dark, dead-end places. If we’re going to step into someone else’s shoes and live vicariously for awhile, it’s wise to ask ourselves if this surrogate life is one that teaches us something of value -- or moves us closer to where we really want to go.
Why not choose a detour onto roads less traveled? Plan an adventure. Sign up to learn more about dance or photography or archeology. Visit/court your dream. Change careers. Make a difference in someone else’s life. Just in case this isn’t a dress rehearsal.
STEP 5: It’s NOT all you!
I suppose there are superhumans out there who feel they can take the entire credit for their successes in life. However, most people -- this includes the tremendously gifted -- are very clear that there were people who set the stage, played the music, footed the bill, started the applause and cleaned up the messes. Sometimes they even stitched us up and helped us back to our feet.
Gratitude is not simply an obligation, though. It’s a reminder that we have gifts both big and small bestowed on us all the time. It’s the chance to stack up the good things about our lives, so that the other stack is diminished by comparison. I call it “collecting gifts.”
When I make collecting gifts a daily habit, life looks brighter and I’m drawn into the day -- rather than finding reasons to pull the covers over my head. When I’m consciously grateful, I can hope to light up a room as I enter rather than as I leave. I experience a calm anticipation that pulls people into my sphere of influence.
Here’s a list of gifts I noted down today:
*hummingbird visiting each new agapantha blossom
*call from a good friend I haven’t spoken to in awhile
*my sweet brother coming by to make a repair
*husband Lee’s appreciation for Father’s Day meals
*sun finally making an appearance
*Mom loving her caregiver this time around
*no leaf blowers today!
Now, I ask myself: Who can I thank today? My brother, Lee, Mom’s caregiver -- Yes. And a silent thank you for good friends, hummingbirds, sunshine and silence.
No, my life is not unremitting bliss, but I subscribe wholeheartedly to two axioms:
- We get more of what we focus on.
- We don’t get what we want in life; we get more of what we think about.
GRATITUDE for everything that is going right and for everyone who lightens the load is an essential propellant: It moves us forward into new territory with power and helps to sustain our belief that we’ll make it to our destination.