What is your current aim or focus? We’ve all had the experience of setting goals, getting distracted, losing focus and missing our targets. How is it that others seem to be able to find their way to seemingly be always “in the zone” and on target? Like an illusionist, it is not as it seems…
Achieving focus is like sailing…
one must always be monitoring the current tact, trimming the sails and adjusting the rudder to point the point of the bow back toward the goal. Guided missiles work on this same principal. They have an internal guidance system combined with a gyroscope that gives them a stable reference to measure, determine the adjustments necessary and modify their course to achieve their purpose.
Here are some ideas to get the focus back and maintain it…
Here’s a snippet from Entrpreneur.com titled How to Stay Focused: Train Your Brain
Our brains are finely attuned to distraction, so today’s digital environment makes it especially hard to focus. “Distractions signal that something has changed,” says David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute and author of Your Brain at Work (HarperCollins, 2009). “A distraction is an alert says, ‘Orient your attention here now; this could be dangerous.'” The brain’s reaction is automatic and virtually unstoppable.
So, like the sailboat and missile we spoke of before, our brains trigger on changes in our environment and we must make decisions based on subby’s (the subconscious) reactionary call to action!
Try these three tips to help you become more focused and productive:
1) Do creative work first…
Typically, we do mindless work first and build up to the toughest tasks. That drains your energy and lowers your focus. “An hour into doing your work, you’ve got a lot less capacity than (at the beginning),” Rock says. “Every decision we make tires the brain.”
In order to focus effectively, reverse the order. Check off the tasks that require creativity or concentration first thing in the morning, and then move on to easier work, like deleting emails or scheduling meetings, later in the day.
So, one trick is to shift focus on creative tasks from the start. Now let’s look at another tip from deepexistence.com
2) Drop worry and guilt, pick up courage…
It might be surprising to see dropping worry and guilt as the number one step to getting focused, but you’ll find this intuitive when you consider your experience. Guilt and worry freeze us because they “take over” the mind. They must leave because focus requires our full mental arsenal.
This morning I woke up, brewed some Yerba Mate, caught a glorious rooftop sunrise and proceeded to get more done before breakfast than I had in the past 4 working days combined.
How about you? How many important things did you get done last week? I mean the things that actually got you closer to your biggest goals and dreams.
Take a minute to think about it and write a couple down. How many did you come up with?
For many the answer is few if any at all. Why?
In a word: Distraction.
Lack of focus is the most common killer of making things happen.
In the last 10+ years there’s been an unconscious shift from encouraging focus to condemning it. It’s happening without us knowing and we’re all likely victims. As soon as multitasking became possible and encouraged, our focus died.
Mine certainly did.
We have to fight our very best fight to get it back.
Leo Babauta is leading the charge with his book Focus, which is more than worth the read. I hit up a sweet barefoot run with Leo last week where he filled me in on some of the good stuff. Unbelievably powerful.
Without focus we are headed for disaster and the consequences are as dangerous as they come.
What’s the biggest risk of losing our focus? Wasting our time and living a meaningless life.
The solution is to simplify. Get back to the basics of doing the important.
So, there you have it, a killer set of thoughts and insights as to how you can bring focus and productivity back into your day. The actions are easy if you really take them as individual tasks. We all know, it is the 67 days of forced HABIT installation where the difficulty lies.
Those who have been through the Master Key Experience know this path well. We have focused on what we really want, found the core emotions that will infuse our every cell with the urgency to make forward progress every day and spent 6 months in a Master Mind Alliance to install the HABITS that help us maintain focus.
If you too lack focus, pick one task that will make the most difference in your life and get to installing it. Take for example a positive attitude capable of handling all those little things that maybe push you over the edge right now.
I challenge you to Download the Free 7 Days To A New Life pdf. read it and try to keep your life free from those emotional outburst that distract you from your goals. It’s a goal worthy of the effort believe me. I still go back to this challenge regularly to improve my outlook and ability to bring the positive not only to my own life but, to those around me as well. I am the light on a hill shining and hopeful guiding those who come after me toward the truth…
Success in life starts with finding our who you are…
What do need as achievements for you consider to yourself a success in life? I’ve been contemplating that more frequently as I’ve crossed into the over 50 group. The standard question comes to mind of “who am I really?” I’m not my work (as has been my primary focus which often subsumes alloted hours daily), not what others think I am but, who I have always longed to be, what brings me happiness?
Regardless of whether I am that person or not at this time, this is the drive that will power the rest of my life and leave a legacy for others to build upon. If you have been thinking similarly, I’ve got a secret to share… if you have a burning desire to be something other than what you are right now (and all of us do!), then it stands to reason, the power that be afforded you the capability to succeed at being that person. What a relief right !
In our society, we often have others tell us so frequently their cynical perspective that we begin to believe and project their story onto our own. Worse still, as in the story of the Golden Buddha from the movie Finding Joe, we get covered in a layer of cement that obscures our innermost desires and dreams that bring joy and fulfillment, success to our life.
The Master Key Experience has helped me start this process of defining my success in full alignment with my inner drives and desires. Subscribe to the right and I’ll send you a downloadable pdf “7 Days to a New Life”. The exercise within its pages will help you start chipping away the clay and cement that hides the successful life you really want to achieve.
Better still, I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned and introduce you to the themes and tools the Master Key Master Mind Alliance gave me to start my quest; my hero’s journey and how to be a success in life. Once your begin to seek the truth, and disover the gold within your Golden Buddha, nothing else will satisfy you. The choice is yours to bring lasting success or continue on the path you are currently on…
Self confidence exercises combined with positive thinking queues from within the Master Key Master Mind Alliance training has been a great start to my new life as a self-direct conscious being. I know that sounds a bit odd but, let share with you what I mean.
Most people on this planet walk around, going through their daily grind asleep; yes, nearly on autopilot and certainly without recognizing most of what they are doing. More importantly, many live a life of “quiet desperation” talking to themselves in the most derogatory terms that they would never use with a loved one, their favorite pet or even most strangers. It would be clearly recognized as rude, anti-social and likely not be tolerated. Yet, we call ourselves names, curse, threaten and degrade our performance on a regular basis.
What You Think Of Yourself Is Much More Important Than What Other People Think Of You. ~ Seneca
Self-confidence is obviously a fantasy… Given the 24-7 onslaught from none other than, you guessed it, YOU!
If you are not a part of this self-flagellating crowd, I am happy beyond words for you and for those around you as they flock to see what makes you tick, and observe in hopes that some of that self-assurance (likely seen as bravado) will rub off on them and they too can enjoy the glow that eliminates from that light from within.
For the rest of you, you probably have tried a multitude of course, books, yoga, meditation, scriptures and maybe even spent thousands on a weekend retreat or two with some guru who said he or she had the path to discover your purpose and align yourself with your inner being. Guess what… the moment you left that nurturing environment, you crumpled under your own criticisms. Am I right? Take solace in the fact that you are most certainly not alone!
5 Daily Habits
Here are 5 self confidence solutions you can try today, and continue as a daily habit to build your confidence like putting one foot in front of the other…
Reflect on a wonderful moment from the past 24 hrs. You will be amazed at how you will begin to find more and more of them to fill your mind with self confidence that, in fact, your life is not going to hell in a handbasket or better still you’ll find little successes that lead to greater ones over time.
Write down 3 things you are grateful for in your life or that you have accomplished. These can be little things like your husband rinsed his dish before putting it into the dishwasher, your son or daughter asked for your help in doing their homework or practicing shooting hoops. For me, I tend to see the wonder in nature and am grateful every morning for some fantastic songbird greeting me as I rise to a new day.
Do something physical, exercise a bit. It doesn’t need to be hitting the gym for a full on session it can be as simple as walking up the stairs in your house and then down and up again. Just something the you can take satisfaction in that you accomplished again for you.
Now, find someone for whom you can perform any simple and random act of kindness for. Smile at someone; who knows, you may be the warmth that turns a cold day into blissful sunshine for another. Hug your kids longer before they leave for school. Maybe a bit longer of a welcome home kiss for your wife or husband (or boyfriend/girlfriend). If you can find a way to do something without them knowing it was you, it is even better. It’s good to have secrets related to doing things for others and not getting credit for it. Karma pays dividends in so many ways…
Last but, my favorite, take time to sit and think in a quiet place all to your self. In the book The Master Key System by Charles F Haanel, Part 12-25 he says, “The intention governs the attention. Power comes from repose.” In the Master Mind we call this time our “Sacred Sit”, the last thing we do before going to bed so our mind is clear and focused ready for a night of rest and open for intuition. You would be amazed at what a little alone thinking time will do to build your inner strength. Push back on the pressures and just settle into clear and focused thought on asking for the answers you need to live your life in balance and on purpose.
These 5 daily habits (yes, you must do them long enough to become habits) will boost your self confidence and increase positive thinking in subtle and small ways until one day, you come to recognize the simplicity of it all.
This is how is was for me. Going through the Master Key Master Mind Alliance course, over 6 months of 3 times a day tasks, exercises and remoulding my mental blueprint has set me on the road I have been searching for most of my adult life.
Challenges seem smaller, partnership failures shrink to their proportionate size and the richness of my simple life, nature and close relationships expand to make me so grateful I am alive and making progress towards my goals.
As Seneca once said,
It’s Not Because Things Are Difficult That We Dare Not Venture. It’s Because We Dare Not Venture That They Are Difficult.
The lack of self-confidence;
Fear is a Tourniquet on Thought ~ Mark Vitor Hansen
Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fantasy is a form of visualization, meditation and positive thinking.
Visualization helped all of us when we were children as we spent a good portion of our time thinking on what we wanted without limitation. As we grew older, people and institutions in our lives and societal norms stripped many of us of this pleasurable and valuable skill. Next time you are with a child, take the time and effort to observe how they respond to their world with faith that all will work to their betterment. They never question their ability to have what they want and derive pleasure from.
We all yearn to have those skills to support us in creating the lives we picture for ourselves and our families. The movie called “The Secret” was all about the using visualization to manifest (i.e. activate the “Law of Attraction”) our personal desires. It was such a driving desire of many that the movie benefited to the tune of $65 million in direct box office sales. That’s a lot of repressed desire to find the skills of the “inner child” wouldn’t you say? The Master Keys through the MKMMA teaches many of these skills to those who commit and persistent.
So who in our society have been able to maintain their childlike abilities to envision and go after their desires? If you notice, those who are the more creative “right brain” thinkers (musicians, artist and entrepreneurs), seem to understand this and embed the instructions, nearly in code, in lyrics, images, visionary stories of creating new products or services and in movie scripts. For example, the video above of the Earth Wind and Fire’s song entitled Fantasy. Read the lyrics while listening to it and decide if it does not pull at something in your heart that makes you believe in you… My fallback is always to music such as this magical piece. Music has been such a large part of my early years and still carries the emotional charge I need to power my affirmations and positive thoughts on a daily basis.
You too have a particular “tone” like a tuning fork of a particular size, certain songs infuse power into your dreams and inspire you with their lyrics. I recommend finding these harmonious musical gifts and keep them available for those days when you need more energy, more persistence to go after your fantasies.
Back in Scroll VI of Og Mandino’s Greatest Salesman in the World, we were taught how to master our emotions. Remember… “If I feel depressed, I Sing”? As just such a tool, I have created my own playlist of Youtube videos to energize me when I need that kick in the butt to “plunge ahead”.
Excerpt from Scroll VI
If I feel depressed, I will sing. If I feel sad, I will laugh. If I feel ill, I will double my labor. If I feel fear, I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior, I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain, I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty, I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent, I will remember past success. If I feel insignificant, I will remember my goals.
So, how perfect is it that this last line says “If I feel insignificant, I will remember my Goals.” This leads me back to visualization and object of our desire. I am becoming more childlike (I’m sure my wife would agree) in this respect and pick away the cement layered on my years of societies training, manners and constraints of externally imposed duty. The golden Buddha that lies beneath is my goal to expose and share; my authentic vision of who I am, what value I bring to every relationship and to every venture.
I am a self-direct human being with dreams and aspirations destined to leave a legacy of thoughts and shared experience to benefit all who are in tune with them or have resonance and alignment with the way they experience this world. Hopefully, if these words strike a familiar tune for you, you will share this with others who may also think, dream and fantasize as I do of a life of continuous development and self-improvement.
Fantasy ~ Earth Wind and Fire
Every man has a place In his heart there’s a space And the world can’t erase his fantasies Take a ride in the sky On our ship, fantasize All your dreams will come true right away
And we will live together Until the twelfth of never Our voices will ring forever, as one
Every thought is a dream Rushing by in a stream Bringing life to the kingdom of doing Take a ride in the sky On our ship, fantasize All your dreams will come true miles away
Our voices will ring together Until the twelfth of never We all will live love forever, as one
Come to see victory In a land called fantasy Loving life, a new degree Bring your mind to everlasting liberty
As one, come to see victory In a land called fantasy Loving life for you and me To behold, to your soul is ecstasy
You will find other kind That has been in search of you Many lives has brought you to Recognize, it’s your life now in review
And as you stay for the play Fantasy has in store for you A glowing light will see you through It’s your day, shining day All your dreams come true
As you glide in your stride With the wind as you fly away Give a smile from your lips and say I’m free, yes I’m free, now I’m on my way
Come to see victory In a land called fantasy Loving life for you and me To behold, to your soul is ecstasy
You will find other kind That has been in search of you Many lives has brought you to Recognize, it’s your life now in review
Responsibility is tightly linked to accountability in our culture and brings to mind duty, commitments and perhaps guilt. This is not the type of responsibility Deepak Chopra is speaking of when he shares the Law of Least Effort with us. The secret in the Law is that we spend copious amounts of energy gyrating through our mind all that we should have done or all that we must or should do. According to this Law, this is all wasted energy better spent on the here and now, the present.
Unlike many of our mammalian co-inhabitants of this planet, we can choose how we respond to a particular stimulus. Let’s say we are driving to work; traffic is heavy and someone cuts us off nearly causing an accident. We have a myriad of things we can choose to do, yell and curse at them, bang on the steering wheel or raise our eyes and thank the powers that be that you noticed the danger and that you are now safely continuing on your commute home to see those you love. My wife calls this the “Glad Game” and it works quite well once it becomes a habit.
My point is this, we are “able” to “respond” how we wish and train our mind to habitually be flexible using the least amount of energy. Humans are Response-Able.
Accountability, another type of Law closely related in my mind to the Law of Karma, is the world without caused by our responses and actions. So, if in the traffic situation, you sped up to chase this jerk who cut you off and subsequently were seen by a cop and ticketed for your response, that would be accountability. Yes, Virginia, there really are Laws keeping the entire Universe in balance. I’m not referring to man’s laws rather to the greater Laws that effortlessly keep our world as it should be. Notice how there are many laws without a single congressman or congresswoman in sight… little joke there 🙂 . Understand, these Universal Laws do not always act on our preferred timeline but, they do have their impact to be certain.
This leads me to my next point and the growing relief I feel due to Dr Chopra’s help in focusing me on this moment. The past is gone with it’s opportunities to accomplish tasks, the future may never arrive and the circumstances of future moments are unknown. The only moment that has value is this moment. The key to living my purpose and remaining in balance with the Universe is to live in the present moment. Below is the Law of Least Effort… read it slowly and imagine you responding differently to the “problems” that already occurred today in your life. Now reverse the clock and see yourself in those very moments when you could have chosen a different response and been lighter and happier for that choice.
I will put the Law of Least Effort into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:
1. I will practice Acceptance. Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur. I will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. I will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. My acceptance is total and complete. I accept things as they are this moment, not as I wish they were.
2. Having accepted things as they are, I will take Responsibility for my situation and for all those events I see as problems. I know that taking responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for my situation (and this includes myself). I also know that every problem is an opportunity in disguise, and this alertness to opportunities allows me to take this moment and transform it into a greater benefit.
3. Today my awareness will remain established in Defenselessness. I will relinquish the need to defend my point of view. I will feel no need to convince or persuade others to accept my point of view. I will remain open to all points of view and not be rigidly attached to any one of them.
~ Deepak Chopra
Now, LISTEN TO ME, you can do that in every present moment and build the Life You Choose. Here is the Magic!!! As we have been taught before in our MKMMA course, take the mentality that “I Live This Day As If It Is My Last”. Sound familiar? Here and now, would you make different choices? Then, Do IT NOW!! and Live the Life You Were Born To Live… Take Responsibility! A life of least effort, struggle and strain against the past or anxiety for the future. You only control your thoughts and choices in This Moment. Your life is made of single moments added on upon they other so, the only way to look back and become pleased with the life you have lead, the lives you have touched and change you have supported is to Do It Now, in this moment and release the burden of anything outside of that area of your influence.
Stress is unique to Humans; because we manufacture it! This week we have been studying Acceptance, Responsibility and Defenselessness which all focuses on living in the moment from within the Law of Least Effort. With the weather being right on the cusp of Spring, I spent some time outside watching the birds coming to my wife’s feeders. It was the perfect representation of living in the moment with taking thought for the future or complaining with changes in the weather.
To further accentuate the point, the benefits and the credibility of the Law of Least effort, I received on of my favorite newsletters this week from James Clear. His article not only brings home the differences stress in animals, birds versus humans but, as if to say “Hey, this is something related to the MKMMA!”, the animal of choice for James is the Giraffe, Mark’s favorite four-legged friend.
You will notice in the writing that the amygdala (a part of the lymbic system), which we have be learning about all throughout the course, is part of the fight or flight mechanism in higher vertebrates (i.e. animals and humans). In this Wilipedia entry about the amygdala, scroll down to the “Emotional learning” and “Memory” sections. Does any of this sound familiar?; “Cells That Fire Together Wire Together” or peptides…
Now that your head is hurting from researching the background, go outside your house or to the park and watch the animals; squirrels, birds, dogs, cats, chipmunks whatever. See how they focus on one thing at a time… I’m hungry -> find food; I’m thirsty -> find water; I’m tired -> they sleep. Life has no stress until there is a fight or flight response to REAL DANGER. Unlike humans who have the ability to trigger the REAL DANGER alarm if they think of what might happen at school tomorrow during a test they have not prepared for… Major Stress right. But, it is of our own making.
I put it to you that the Law of Least Effort gives us the tools (yes, more tools) to become more efficient and effective in our lives by living in the moment.
So, like the bird that trust his wings, free yourself from these manufactured fears and worries. Have faith and believe that in the moment you need things, they will be available to you. Focus on the tasks at hand, practice well the skills required and polish your gifts so that when the opportunity comes to share them, you can rise to the call and deliver your part. Remember, “When you come to know that every form of disease, sickness, lack and limitation are simply the result of wrong thinking (stress and fear), you will have come to know “the truth which will make you free” (The Master Key System by Charles F Haanel 24-5).
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Somewhere along my road of a Hero’s Journey, I’ve found the ability to enjoy the moment. Mark, Davene and the rest of the MKMMA support team just finished the 24th week of the Master Key Experience. The memories streamed through my head as I listened to the stories of my fellow travelers Ann and Hong Mai. There has been so much growth and personal discoveries. Simply amazing! Towards the end of the webinar, this song by Dan Fogelberg came to mind so I thought I would share it with you all.
Along The Road ~ Dan Fogelberg
Joy at the start Fear in the journey Joy in the coming home A part of the heart Gets lost in the learning Somewhere along the road.
Along the road Your path may wander A pilgrim’s faith may fail Absence makes the heart grow stronger Darkness obscures the trail.
Cursing the quest Courting disaster Measureless nights forebode Moments of rest Glimpses of laughter Are treasured along the road.
Along the road Your steps may tumble Your thoughts may start to stray But through it all a heart held humble Levels and lights your way.
Joy at the start Fear in the journey Joy in the coming home A part of the heart Gets lost in the learning Somewhere along the road Somewhere along the road Somewhere along the road.
Healthy boundaries are, or rather have been an enigma to me. I’m risk here and be absolutely transparent like tissue paper… I have weak boundaries. I feel like I’m at the lectern in an AA meeting, and just as sober as though I’m a regular.
As Teal Swan shares in this video called “I Can Have Me and I Can Have You Too”, I tend to “cave” and let my boundaries be broken and disregarded. The MKMMA experience is helping me become a much better observer of my existing blueprint in this respect. I have 50+ years of programming to break down so it takes every day being conscious and observant to ferret out these tendencies, and expose them like film lying in the activating chemicals that bring the images to life.
In our Silence exercise, I was amazed that I spent much of my time contending with “monkey mind”. That state of thought described as running around in your head being unable to concentrate and focus on one thing. This week, in combination with the emotional exercises, I came to recognize that the list of things that drove me nearly crazy were all lists of duties and commitments to other people (many of which violated my boundaries). These are old counter-productive habits, that need to be eradicated. Their extinction will bring me more health and an Acceptance/Defenselessness attitude to be more in alignment with the Law of Least Effort.
This last week with Scroll VI I’ll be watching to see why I might feel Sad, or Depressed of worst of all because it is the “opposite of money consciousness” as Haanel puts it. I know I have the tools to change it but, driving to the root and learning how to proactively build a new blueprint that supports my emotional system is where I want to be. More than anything, I want to be a solid, assertive and well-balance individual, capable of being alone all the while happy to be a part of the larger Universal plan as well. Is this not fulfilling my purpose? I am coming to realize that “Money has no value except to bring about the conditions we desire, and these conditions are necessarily harmonious. Harmonious conditions necessitate sufficient supply, so that if there appears to be any lack, we should realize that the idea or soul of money is service, and as this thought takes form, channels of supply will be opened, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that spiritual methods are entirely practical.” ~ Charles F Haanel
I hope you and I both are able to find and strike that balance that makes us both happy with ourselves, responsible yet not self-critical and supportive of others through service as our spirit beckons us to be and thus fulfill our purpose.