De Junk Your Personal and Professional Life

Do you at times feel as if you are drowning in a sea of stuff? Are you frequently stressed out because you cannot seem to get organized, no matter how hard you try? Frustrated because you find yourself always running behind in getting things done? De junking is not the same for every person. One person’s organization may be another person’s chaos. Some people like a very structured lifestyle, with every detail written down so they have a sense of control over each day, while others are more comfortable in a less controlled environment. So the best way is your own way!

Junk is defined as one thing that clutters up your life and interferes with your success, productivity and effectiveness. My definition of success is feeling positive about yourself and being productive both professionally and personally.

In this article we will review the aspects of your personal life since it’s just past the time you made your New Years resolution! Next edition will examine your professional life.

The benefits of getting either your personal or professional life organized is to focus on the things that are truly important to you. By doing this you may observe the following benefits:

  • You will have a sense of control over your life
  • You will find it easier to get things done
  • You will have less stress in your life
  • You will have time for the things you want to do, and
  • You will be more productive

When I started to do the research for this article I found some interesting studies relating to how we organize ourselves depends partially on how we process information.

Take the following test. There are no right or wrong answers; the tool will help you understand your natural tendencies. Read both of the questions and decide which one is more like you.

How Do You Think?

Do you … Do you…
Try to find new ways to look at things? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Try to find absolutes when judging issues?
Avoid looking for “right” or “wrong” answers? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Seek “Yes” or “no” justification?
Analyze ideas to determine “how”? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Analyze ideas to determine “why”?
Become concerned with change and movement 3 2 1 4 5 6 Become concerned with stability?
Make illogical jumps from one step to another? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Make logical jumps from one step to another?
Welcome intrusions of information? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Selectively choose what to consider?
Consider what is irrelevant? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Consider the relevant only?
Progress by avoiding the obvious? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Progress by using established patterns?
Avoid guarantees? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Guarantee at least minimal standards?
Total the numbers you circled: ________________
The higher the score the more likely you use the left side of your brain. Right brain people generally have a lower score.

If you scored 26-38 you equally access in processing information
If you scored between 9-25 you are right brained
If you scored between 39-54 you are left brained

Note: this is not your intelligence level but rather how you process information most of the time.

 

Left-brain people are usually:

  • Positive
  • Concrete
  • Analytical
  • Rational
  • Linear
  • Active
  • Explicit
  • Verbal
  • Sequential
  • Goal-oriented
Right-brain people are generally:

  • Intuitive
  • Holistic
  • Spontaneous
  • Playful
  • Emotional
  • Talkative
  • Nonverbal
  • Symbolic
  • Visual
  • Physical
  • Artistic

 

Equal-access people generally have a combination of attributes from both lists and move easily from using one side of the brain to the other.

You can use this information to help you de-junk your life more effectively. As you make changes, make the ones that fit your natural tendencies and build on your strengths. Don’t try to use a detailed calendar if you’re predominately a right-brain person because this will frustrate you. If you’re primarily a left-brain person, you might feel like things are out of control without a detailed calendar.

The left-brain person usually likes neat, tidy, well-organized surroundings. Right-brain people are more likely to be surrounded with chaos – piles, boxes, and even bags of information – but they can generally find things in their mess. An equal-access person can easily move between the two categories, so they have more choices in de-junking their lives. This also means it may be harder for them to settle on the things that are really important to them. For instance, an equal-access person might like a very detailed calendar like a left-brain person, but he or she also might arrange a workspace with more flair and change it more often like a right-brain person.

Remind yourself “Life is too short to be taken seriously.” Enjoy the time you have by planning the important things and saying no to things that are not important.

Tips for conquering your personal time at home.

  1. Have a family or household calendar where all major activities and dates are written down.
  2. Keep the calendar in a central location where it’s easy for everyone to see.
  3. Make appointments to handle household chores – inside and outside.
  4. Use lists – cleaning lists, grocery lists, and project lists – to stay on track.
  5. Keep supplies and tools together in moveable containers so they’re easy to find and use.
  6. Strive for balance in your life.
  7. Start now to conquer procrastination
  8. Realize everything isn’t equally important. Leave the tyranny of perfectionism behind.
  9. Schedule time to take care of yourself – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
  10. Remember time is a precious gift – use it wisely by making choices instead of reacting to situations as they occur.

Our commitment to understanding and facilitating both organizational and individual changes is foremost.

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Coping with Stress

Stress is part of life. Antibiotics can’t touch it. The microscope can’t spot it. It is rapidly spreading and almost everybody’s feeling the effect. A death in the family, the birth of a baby, moving, taking a vacation, getting a job promotion, arguing … all of these common occurrences are stressful. Since stress cannot be excised from the life experience, it is very important to learn how to deal with it.

Although we all talk about stress, it often is not clear what stress is really about. It seems that stress is the “hot” word these days. Most people seem to agree that these are high-pressure times. Employees complain of being burned out, used up or overloaded. Many of us are just plain tired, tired of ever going change, sick of ambiguity and uncertainty. We just wish that change would go way, or at least slow down. When it does not, we look round for someone to blame or for someone we feel should be responsible for causing of stress.

Research shows that everyone sees situations differently and each person has different coping skills. It is not necessarily the nature of the stressor that drives people to dizzying heights of fist-clenching, jaw-grinding, cold-sweating states of stress and panic. The key factor is one’s response to a stressful situation. Different people respond differently to stressors. One person may calmly face moving day, while another person (in the exact same situation) might be totally wiped out by the stress that moving induces. So the ability to manage the stressors that bombard us daily is of the utmost importance

Also not all situations that are labelled “stressful” are negative. Being promoted, changing careers or moving to a new office or home may not be perceived as threatening.

However, we may feel that situations are stressful because we are not fully prepared to deal with them

Some situations in life are stress provoking but it is our thoughts about situations that determine whether they are a problem or not to us.

However, there is one area experts feel will usually cause negative stress and that lack of control over one’s job or workplace. This is the leading cause of stress more than hours of work or ones responsibility on the job.

Stress manifests itself physically. When facing a stressor, your body responds by switching into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Physiologically, your body is ready to deal with the perceived danger (the stressor). Your blood pressure goes up; heart and respiration rate increases, and hormones such as adrenaline are released. The muscles become tensed (some people clench their jaw); headaches, back pain, stomach aches (ulcers become exacerbated), bad skin and the inability to concentrate may plague your day. Your extremities become cold as blood is kept in the central part of the body. The immune system is weakened (since your body is concentrating on dealing with the stressor) and you become very susceptible to colds, flues, cold sores, cankers, etc. Stress erodes away sexual function also. Evidently stress is a very real, and potentially uncomfortable component of life.

In recent surveys, Statistics Canada reported that from 1992 to 1998, the proportion of Canadian women who felt severe time stress rose from 16% to 21%, while for men; it climbed from 12% to 16%. In the year 2000 it was estimated that 10% of working Canadians, about 1.4 million people, suffer from depression, which is often caused by stress. Harvard University predicted that by 2020, depression would become the biggest source of workdays lost in the developed world.

What is Your Stress Index?

Stress can be difficult to understand. The emotional chaos it causes can make our daily lives miserable. It can also decrease our physical health, sometimes drastically. Strangely, we are not always aware that we are under stress. The habits, attitudes and signs that can alert us to problems may be hard to recognize because they have become so familiar. How high is your Stress Index? Find out by scoring your answers to the questions below.

Do you Frequently: Yes No
Neglect your diet? checkbox checkbox
Try to do everything yourself? checkbox checkbox
Blow up easily? checkbox checkbox
Seek unrealistic goals? checkbox checkbox
Fail to see the humour in situations others find funny? checkbox checkbox
Act rude? checkbox checkbox
Make a “big deal” of everything? checkbox checkbox
Look to other people to make things happen? checkbox checkbox
Have difficult making decisions? checkbox checkbox
Complain you are disorganized? checkbox checkbox
Avoid people whose ideas are different from yours? checkbox checkbox
Keep everything inside? checkbox checkbox
Neglect exercise? checkbox checkbox
Have few supportive relationships checkbox checkbox
Use sleeping pills & tranquiller without a doctor’s approval? checkbox checkbox
Get too little rest? checkbox checkbox
Get angry when you are kept waiting? checkbox checkbox
Ignore stress systems? checkbox checkbox
Put things off until later? checkbox checkbox
Think there is only one right way? checkbox checkbox
Fail to build relaxation time into your day? checkbox checkbox
Gossip? checkbox checkbox
Race through the day? checkbox checkbox
Spend a lot of time complaining about the past? checkbox checkbox
Fail to get a break from noise & crowds? checkbox checkbox
Score 1 for each “YES” answer, 0 for each “NO”
Total your score checkbox checkbox

WHAT YOUR SCORE MEANS…

 

1-6: There are few hassles in your life. Make sure, though, that you are not trying so hard to avoid problems that you shy away from challenges.

7 – 13: You’ve got your life in fairly good control. Work on the choices and habits that could still be causing you some unnecessary stress in your life. The suggestions in this article nay help.

14 – 20: You’re approaching the danger zone. You may well be suffering stress-related symptoms and your relationships could be strained. Think carefully about choices you’ve made and take relaxation breaks every day.

Above 20: Emergency! You must stop now, re-think how you are living, change your attitudes and pay careful attention to diet, exercise and relaxation.

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Special Issue on: Positive Thinking to Achieve Your Goals

Creating a written affirmation for your goals is important. An example is setting the amount of money you want to make in your life. It is important that you set a specific amount in a time line. I would suggest you make this statement as to the value that you are willing to create in the world in return for the money you will receive. Money is simply payment rendered for other people. Money is simply energy, which needs to flow. Money is the form of currency rendered to you by the universe for the amount of value and goodness that you offer to others. The more value you create for others, the more money will be available to you. Experience has shown that to be fully effective self-suggestions or affirmations should be; brief and positive. If they are too long, they will not be effective and they need to be positive, which is essential. The saying “say as you mean it” is vital.

Another way to imprint powerful change within yourself is to repeat single words frequently. Words that work for me are enthusiastic, knowledge, curious, positive, imaginative, confident, persistent, energetic, dependable, and astute. I have done this before by using strong and powerful words repeatedly in my journal just to imprint them within my consciousness. If you pick a word that describes the characteristics, you want to strengthen in yourself, repeat the word throughout the day. Alternatively, affirm, “I am ___________”. This has been a very effective technique. Make a list of the qualities you would like to develop more fully using or adding to the above list of words. I choose the qualities I need to work on the most. Working on one at a time starting with the weakest is a plan that has worked for me.

Our thoughts do materialize. Our lives becoming the dominant reflection of our inner image and of our regular thoughts. This is why it is so important we pay attention to the quality of our thinking. Only human beings can think about their thinking. We can write about the quality, the thinking processes, and then reflect on the caliber of our thoughts. In doing so, we can then commit to make changes and creating new ways of thinking. If you focus on what is not working in your life, you are literally blocking all things you want entering your life. If you are focusing on all the negatives in your life, you are literally living in the past.

By doing so, you are failing to remain open to the present. When you are worrying about what is not working in your life, brooding over your past mistakes you really are not living in the present. The present is where the possibilities live. Therefore, if you are not open to the present you are missing the opportunities to live your best life. However, we need to learn from our mistakes. Spend a little bit of time in the past time trying to figure out what needs to be improved but then moving on.

We need to remember that we cannot move that car forward with one eye stuck in the rear view mirror. Every moment is a new opportunity to recreate your life and to achieve your highest possibilities.

I believe that what we focus on in our lives grows and what we think about all day long expands. The more you pay attention to what is not working the more your life somehow does not work and on the other hand the more you pay attention to the gifts and blessings that are within your days the more those kinds of things seem to appear with greater frequency. That is really, what appreciation is all about. If you look at a painting, for example, you can appreciate it, which means that it goes up in value for us and the more we can appreciate all the good things that are in our lives; like other people, where we are, our victories, our struggles and what those have made of us, the more they will grow in value in our life as a whole. It is so easy to let the insufficiencies going on and struggles we face in our lives to allow those to dominate our days and interfere with our positive state of mind.

If you are going through a tough time, I am not suggesting you just need to think positively. “Think positively and everything will go away”, because that is more denial and denial is not just a river in Egypt (humour). Denial is something that is very unhealthy and those wounds that we often stuff deep down within ourselves and swallow in the form of denial by not really acknowledging what is true, is a very harmful thing to do and it only leads to greater dissatisfaction. I think that anyone who suggests all we need to do is wish that things were better and go into a positive way of thinking is really giving coaching that is ineffective.

If you are going through a tough time whether it is an illness, dealing with an accident, moving through a divorce or dealing with financial issues it is healthy to feel the feelings that surround those experiences because that is reality. There is nothing more detrimental than bottling up all those emotions that want to come out; that want to surface and putting on a happy face to the world instead.

Life is a balance. It is a balance between moving through feelings in a very realistic way if you are facing a struggle and at the same time remembering that you cannot move that car forward with one eye stuck in the rear view mirror. It is a balance process in the sense that once you have completed the feelings and have moved through them, a time will come where you must exercise personal responsibility and obviously move ahead with your life.

There is a difference between feeling through your feelings, which is very genuine, and wallowing in your feelings, which is staying stuck in the past. Making it a daily practice to stay focused on what you want in life and what is working in your life is important.

Every moment that you focus on what you do not want in your life you need to remember you are actually blocking what you do want from being present.

Wise men and philosophers throughout the ages have disagreed about many things, but they are unanimously in agreement on one point: “We become what we think about”.

Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long”. The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it this way, “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it”. William James said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind”. In the Bible, we find, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

In his book, Success! The Glenn Bland Method, Charlie Jones writes,

“Since ‘we become what we think about,’ then it is most important that we carefully regard our thought patterns. This is one of the most powerful natural laws in the universe. You will find this law to be a two edged sword, a natural law that can lead a man to a life of inner peace, wealth, enlightenment and physical well-being and a law that can lead him into the gutter, into a life of misery. How the law works for you depends on how you use it, for good or for evil, the choice is yours. Never forget that you live in a world of cause and effect, for every action there is a reaction.”

There is a need to have a blueprint present of our lives, which is an incredibly important strategy; a plan of action for the extraordinary life you are committed to creating. Having a plan allows us to direct our energies, stay focused and channel the best within ourselves to make wiser choices and speed us along to our goals much more quickly.

A very important aspect of reaching your potential and creating the success in your life is not to allow your failures to defeat you. Many successful people have had failures, sometime many. Most people never reach success because they give up after one or two setbacks. Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich recounts a story of a miner who gave up after months of prospecting, three feet from the gold. Nevertheless, he applied this lesson to everything in his life thereafter and eventually became very successful.

In conclusion, a quote from Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

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Special Issue on: The Power of Our Thoughts

Our lives reflect our beliefs of unlimited success come from an unlimited belief system.

Sometimes our inner resistance to success surprises us, one might be surprised by the negative inner monologue, which most people relentlessly repeat out of habit. Most people repeat these negative monologues of habit and most people do not know they are doing it. That is not a criticism; that is not judgment on my part, but that is a statement of fact. We need to pay attention to the excuses we make surrounding the reasons why we are not playing your biggest game as a human being. We need to pay attention to the self-talk that comes up when we have an opportunity in the middle of our day to raise the bar, to reach for excellence, to be greater than we really are and we do not do it! It is an illusion that all that chatter is nothing more than the voice of fear within our unconscious mind.

I recommend to many of my coaching clients that they take some time every morning by getting up a little earlier and take 30 minutes to an hour for themselves. This is the time of renewal, reflection, self-examination, you can workout, you could meditate, but also I ask them to journal and I ask them what happens when they do this. I ask them to journal about their stained glass window; their false assumptions, about their core beliefs, their excuses and where they originated from; about their success, and their belief about money, and authenticity, their limitations, and all the things that are keeping them small and preventing them from connecting to the life they know deep in their heart they were destine to live.

Our lives reflect our beliefs. We must believe that we can reveal high levels of success in order to experience the same in our lives. We must want to achieve our goals as much as we want to stay alive. Desire is a huge factor in the levels of success. I want to emphasize that; you need to really, really, really want your goals to come true before they ever will.

There is a story about a student who went to see a wise man and asked him, “What does it take to find wisdom”. The wise man took the student’s hand and lead him to the riverbank where he put the student’s head underwater until it appeared that the student would drown. Finally, the wise man took the student’s head out of the water. He asked the student what he wanted most at that moment of time. The student replied, “To breathe!” The wise man then said, “That is exactly how much you must want wisdom. You must want it as much as you want air.” One of the critical success factors is for any league performer or executive is the burning desire to achieve his or her goals and dreams.

No, matter what we think the unconscious – not outside circumstances – is responsible for individual success or failure. It does not matter how many books we read or how many courses we attend, or what our conscious mind tells us if our unconscious mind and our self-image beliefs will never succeed this is bound to be our reality. Our unconscious mind was influenced in profound ways; during our early childhood as we received suggestions from our parents, from teachers, from the media, from religious figures, from our peers and from the world around us. Once these messages are assimilated within the unconscious mind, the unconscious mind executes this program based on the message it has received. If you have received messages such as you do not deserve success or money is bad, or be like everyone else and do not dare to be different or do not listen to your heart. No matter how hard we try, there will be a self-sabotaging mechanism setup within us that will limit us from our genuine life and the life of our dreams. We might not even know this limiting thought if we have not spent the time investing in ourselves. It is very important; we need to get to know ourselves, our inner image and the nature of our unconscious mind. As we change in our inner life, our outer life will change with it.

Most people have more imagination and time for conjuring up problems that prevent them from realizing their dreams than for recognizing their opportunities for success. Stephen Covey, author of the seven habits of highly effective people, emphasizes this point:

Habits have tremendous gravity pull. Like any natural force, gravity pull can work with us or against us. The gravity pull of some of our habits may currently be keeping us from going where we want to go. Breaking deeply imbedded habitual tendencies such as procrastination, impatience, criticalness or selfishness that violate basic principles of human effectiveness, involves more than a little willpower and a few minor changes in our lives. It takes tremendous effort to break free from the gravity pull of such habits, but once you do, our freedom takes on a whole new dimension. Change, real change, comes from the inside out. It comes from striking at the root, the fabric of our thought, the fundamental, essential paradigms, which give definition to our character and create the lens through which we see the world (our stained glass window).

The power of affirmations and the power of self-suggestion is a tool to rescript the unconscious. I have used affirmations during many periods of my life to re-create and refocus my mind, and create the desires of my own heart. Remembering that the world is a mirror and we do not get from life what we want, but we get from life who we are. As you go deep and rescript the inner scripting of your mind, your life begins to change almost as if by magic.

The quote, “In every day in every way I am getting better and better” by French pharmacist Emile Coute is a phrase I have used with some modifications in my own life with exceptional results. When I was senior manager and I was driving to work under my breath, (not out aloud in case someone was watching or listening!!) I would simply be repeating this phrase over and over and over again. It had some wonderful effects in my own life and I really commend them to my clients today.

Discipline and positive mental programming lead naturally to developing your own methods and ways of generating our personal working pace, precedent and establishing that habit of success. Replacing one habit or negative thought with another new habit becomes second nature. Success will then interestingly be attracted to us.

The British writer William Makepeace Thackeray said it brilliantly: “Sow a thought, and you reap an action; sow an action and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character, sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

Creative visualization is an important concept. It is very important to spend some time in silence and dreaming about the life you want to create personally, professionally, economically and spiritually. I spend a lot of time in my own life reflecting on what I want to achieve. I have also taken the time to built a success collage where I put specific pictures of what I want to see occur in my life. Recently I pulled out my success collage for this year, which I keep in my journal, and I looked at it and was truly astounded by how many of the images that I had glued into that journal nearly 12 months ago had manifested themselves in my life. I must say that this really works. I use this with my coaching clients and they tell me they had experienced striking results through this simple technique.

In her powerful book Creative Visualization, Shakti Gawain writes, “creative visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life.” All successful people pictured themselves successful before achieving their dreams. No matter how poor they were in the beginning, no matter how little education they had, no matter how few contacts they had, all of them pictured themselves successful. They became convinced they would be successful. Life answered their dreams in accordance with their self-image and the faith they had in their success. Because of this direct correlation between your self-image and what life offers you, it is extremely worthwhile to work on your self-image, so that every day in every way, you are getting better and better. This affirmation does wonders for your self image. You can change your self-image at any time, according to your aspirations.

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Special Issue on: What Does Your Future Have In Store For You?

“You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want!” and “Say it the way you want it!”

The success to creating your future is your attitude. Success is a habit. It is easily available to all who want it, believing you can have it and putting your desires into action is what it takes. Success has no secrets. Those who have achieved it readily tell their story of devoting years to their careers, to their passions and dreams, before they were able to acclaim success.

So many of us have reached that critical point in our lives that we want to change and attain the success we have been working so hard to reach. No matter how old you are or what circumstances you may be in, all you have do is be alert and receptive and believe; knowing that it is possible.

Socrates the Greek Philosopher was profoundly aware of the weakness in his own nature. Yet he came to realize that people are evolving beings, capable of changing and growing toward an ideal. People can always improve themselves. That is part of our greatness. Moreover, that the ability to improve ourselves can develop at any moment in our life.

Our unconscious mind is very important to consider throughout this process of creating your future and achieving success. The key to success resides within the area of our mind known as the unconscious mind and by feeding it positive messages our levels of abundance will change.

No matter how many books one reads on building prosperity in our lives or achieving personal success, if your self image is such that you do not believe you are worthy of success you will never be able to manifest your highest potential from an economic point of view.

So much of my work as a coach for executives and entrepreneurs leads me to see the harmful impact that a low self-image may have on people’s lives. So many people have a fear of succeeding and most people are not even aware of it. They attend seminars, they get executive coaches and they go out and read book, after book, after book on living your biggest life but no matter what happens they find that they cannot achieve their biggest dreams.

When you change your self-identity, your goals start to change; your actions start to change. The way you feel about yourself starts to change and then your life changes. The size of your goals reflects the nature of your self-image. Small self-image – small goals. Changing your self-image would be the start to changing your life.

Books are incredible teachers but nothing will teach you more than life and it is important to stay open to life’s lessons as they present themselves to you every day. The start to making changes starts with inner self-reflection. The doorway to success swings inward not outward. Therefore, the need for self-reflection is important. Removing limiting decisions, negative emotions, anger, sadness, fear and guilt from our past will enable us to look forward into the future with clarity and a new set of goals.

By not reflecting inwards, I believe may be the reason why so many people are living less than ideal lives. They are looking for fulfillment but on the outside; “let me get a better car, let me get a better title, let me live in a bigger house, and then I will find happiness”. Yet a fulfilling life begins by nurturing and connecting with your inner life.

There is nothing wrong with making more money, nothing wrong in living an externally beautiful life but if that is your number one priority, you will get to a time when you will realize that was not your highest priority after all.

Nothing is more important than working on yourself; getting to know yourself, getting to know your beliefs, your fears, your false assumptions, or your stain glass window, as I call it, your Context Window. The stain glass window is the combination of your beliefs, your fears, and your assumptions. It is essentially the way you see your world. We all see the world through a filter and most of us forget that we really do not see the world as it is but as we are. We have a personal context through which we filter reality.

The Context Window looks at our opinions, values, experiences, beliefs and attitudes in what we see through the “window of life”. Through this stained glass window, we determine what the truth is. For many people the windows has many different colours, some are bright; the expression “looking at life through rose coloured glasses”. While for others, they may be dark or even broken. Different life experiences will govern how we perceive events in our lives.

These truths govern our judgments and whether we take action or remain inactive, which in turn influences the results of our behaviours and impact on our future decisions.

We do not really see the truth that we believe we do. This filter has been set up by all the beliefs we have been taught since childhood and all the experiences that we have had since we were young. I encourage you to get to know your stained glass window or Context Window and look at your core beliefs.

Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman, authors of In Search of Excellence, describe an experiment that illustrates the power of words, even when those words are untrue:

The old adage is “nothing succeeds like success”. It turns out to have a sound scientific basis Researchers studying motivation find that the prime factor is simply the self-perception among motivated subjects that they are, in fact, doing well. Whether they are or not by any absolute standard does not seem to matter much. In one experiment, adults were given ten puzzles to solve. All ten were exactly the same for all subjects. They worked on them, turned them in, and were given the results at the end. Now, in fact, the results they were given were fictitious. Half of the exam takers were told that they had done well, with seven out of ten correct. The other half were told they had done poorly, with seven out of ten wrong. Then all were given another ten puzzles (the same for each person). The half who had been told that they had done well in the first round really did do better in the second, and the other half really did do worse. Mere association with past personal success apparently leads to more persistence, higher motivation, or something that makes us to better.

The result of this experiment is worth some thought; the subject’s unconscious minds were influenced by the falsified results. Perception alone radically improved one group’s performance and weakened the other’s.

These words stay in our unconscious mind and as we reach adulthood we need to take responsibility for our own belief systems. No programming has to be permanent. Any negative programming can be turned around. Sometimes through the power of a single affirmation that effectively counteracts the negative programming.

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