Archive for October, 2014

Keep motivated

October 25, 2014

My fitness goal is to fit into size 32 pants by January 31, 2016. This goal is not that easy, and it was an 18 month goal in the beginning. With such a time frame to accomplish such a personal goal, I began to wonder what will keep me motivated for so long. This morning when I woke up, I was giving it some thought, and I jotted down some ways I heard that have helped others.
Don’t make it a job, and have fun. When doing anything, whether lifting weights, or learning an instrument, don’t be afraid to have fun with it. When lifting weights, be safe, but don’t be afraid to change up the routine. This will keep your body guessing, and moving in the right direction; it also has the effect of keeping you from getting bored with the same old routine.
Keep the end in mind. This is also called visualizing. Gymnasts visualize themselves performing perfect routines; runners visualize themselves crossing the finish line. When you are lifting weights you need to visualize yourself having that body you want, or getting into the pant size you want to fit into. Visualization allows you to go beyond where you are right now. When you do this, you need to see yourself already in possession of your desire. If you see yourself as not possessing your desire, it will tend to keep you exactly where you are.
Find people who encourage you. You can’t choose your family, and you can’t always choose who you work with, but you can, and must choose who you hang out with. Hanging out with positive people will make you feel good about yourself, and keep you motivated. Good friends will build your confidence, and give you that extra push when you hit the rough times. Negative people will only drain you physically, and emotionally, and try to hold you down on their level.
Be grateful for every success, no matter how small. The best way to accomplish a big dream is to break it into smaller goals. When I was growing up, my family would go camping in a particular valley, in the Rocky Mountains. In order to get to the camp site, we had to walk 3 miles down an old path. The first time I went, I was complaining how hard it was. My dad told me that every step I take brings me one step closer to the camp site. Over the years, I learned to be grateful for every step I take toward any goal, because it is bringing me one step closer to my dreams.
It doesn’t matter if your dreams are big, or small, the important thing is to be persistent and hold on to that feeling you had when you first had the idea. You will have good times, and you will have bad times, but if you have fun, keep the end in mind, find positive people to hang out with, and if you are grateful for every little success, you will keep yourself motivated to complete the journey successfully.
Allen

Controlling Fear

October 23, 2014

One of the things that always stopped me from success is the fear of what could happen; it’s not about what is, it’s about what if. Many of us try to live two steps ahead of the present, imagining only the bad things that can happen; “What if I try to climb a mountain, and fall hundreds of feet to my death.” “What if I can’t handle my new job, and I lose it.” “What if I walk across the street, and get hit by a bus.” While these fears may be in the realm of possible, they haven’t happened yet, and you can avoid them with the proper precautions.
When you let fear stop you from doing something, you are limiting yourself to a life of safety and mediocrity. You are not giving yourself a chance of living up to your full potential, and the best opportunities of your life are passing you by. Susan Jeffers wrote a wonderful book called, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. We all have fear, but if we want to live, we need to act on our dreams in spite of fear; don’t let the fear of tomorrow stop us from living today.
Out of all the books, and audio programs, I’ve been studying; I have never found one reference to getting rid of fear. Fear is a part of us all and spending time trying to get rid of fear only wastes our time and energy. Instead of letting fear stop us, we need to learn how to control fear, and put it in its proper place.
As with all things, fear has a positive side, as well as a negative one. The negative fear will petrify us, and leave us unable to proceed on our journey. Positive fear, once mastered, can warn us of impending trouble, and motivate us to learn what we need to proceed safely through the trouble spots. How can we keep fear from stopping us? There are three things I know that can help you master your fear.
Keep your dreams, and desires, strong. The best method I have heard of is to write down the desire, and read it every day, while allowing yourself to feel the same enthusiasm you felt when you first had that desire.
Be persistent. In every journey to success, you are going to have good times, you are going to have bad times, and you will even have times where you seem to be going backwards. The one trick successful people use is to keep moving, and don’t let anything stand in your way.
Follow your intuition. This one is a little more tricky, but with practice, you can learn to use your intuition as a guide to your dreams. Out of all three, this is the part fear will attack the most because it’s both very important to success, and it’s the most subtle of the methods. To illustrate the power of following your intuition, I will give you a recent example, and I’ll try to keep it brief. Cory Williams, from California, recently decided to move to Alaska, with his girlfriend. On one particular day the two decided to go on a drive, just to explore. They decided to drive down one road to see where it would take them. He found a sign that gave them a choice of right, or left, to two different lakes. He took the left road, found a semi-frozen lake, and thought it would be fun to skip a rock across, which produced a surprising sound. He recorded it, and his excitement, put it on YouTube, and the video went viral.
As the example shows, Cory’s intuition gave him several impulses, that he followed and they moved him further in his journey than being afraid of moving away from California could have ever moved him. As your intuition gives you the necessary impulses, your fear will make itself heard telling you things like your ideas are stupid, or that you aren’t good enough, or you can’t afford what you want. The best way to train yourself to follow your intuition is to use what fear tells you as a reason to do it. Don’t give fear the upper hand.
Fear is a part of all our lives. If you don’t want it to stop you from reaching your dreams, the key is to learn how to control it, instead of it controlling you.
Allen

Following the Steps

October 21, 2014

Have you ever tried to learn something new, only to have it blow up in your face? I’m sure we’ve all had that experience; however, contrary to popular belief it wasn’t because you couldn’t do it. You can do anything you want, so why do so many people give up on their dreams before giving it a real chance? I realize there are too many reasons to list, so I will give you my reason, as a former “quitter” in hopes that it might help someone else with a similar problem.
I can honestly say I grew up an impatient perfectionist. If you don’t know what that is, I will try to use an example. When I was 12, I wanted to play golf. I got some clubs, and had my brother teach me the basics before we hit the course. I went to the driving range, hit a bucket of balls, then we were ready to tee off on a 9 hole stretch. I found the game to be pretty easy, and I beat my brother my first time out. I don’t believe in luck, and I know I wasn’t a natural, I just followed the techniques he taught me, and I used them.
The problem was that I expected to get better every time I played golf, but I didn’t put in the time for practice, and I never got any better, so I gave up. I have found this to be a common theme in everything I quit in the past. The point is, I expected to be an expert after learning a few basics; and I didn’t believe I had to put in the practice to improve. In short, I tried to skip steps to accelerate my journey and reach expert status. When I did that, I would lose confidence in my ability, and eventually quit.
I still find myself doing this, and it’s still causing problems, but I have started to learn things that I am now giving the time to practice, and I’m not giving up when trouble starts to show up.
Like I said before, there is nothing you can’t do. If your dream is to become a pianist, practice every day. If you want to climb the highest mountains, get walking. Find your passion, start at the beginning, practice every day, and let the journey take as long as it needs to take. This is the way to see the results that will build your confidence, and ability that will lead you to your dreams.

Changing Perspective with a Focus Statement

October 17, 2014

It goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyways, that 100 percent of people around the world have problems, and worries. The sad part of this figure is that 99 percent of the population have become victims of these problems and worries, and use these as an excuse of why they are unable to succeed. A few years ago, a small percentage of these people took it on themselves to speak for the 99 percent, and complain about those who learned to succeed in spite of their problems. Successful people have problems and worries, just like everyone else; they just don’t focus any attention on them. What we are talking about here is perspective.
When I first started with my job, I believed that my job was hard. I found it difficult to get through big nights, and my percentage remained at less than 90 for years. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get past that 90 percent. The supervisors would right me up, use threats of disciplinary action, all to no avail. A couple of years ago, I started studying success, and something hit me. I was focusing on the problems I was having getting my speed up. I was spending all my time worrying about the consequences of not improving. I was not focusing on what I wanted to see, which was a better percentage, and work speed. I then learned about auto-suggestion, and came up with a focus statement, “every day I am working faster, and more efficient.” I would start each day at work with saying that to myself, for 15 minutes. Within 2 months, I noticed that my percentage and speed was noticeably increasing to both me, and my supervisors.
I was recently able to give someone the same idea of a focus statement, and he’s been seeing similar results. Before he came up with his own statement, he asked what I thought about the statement “I don’t want to be slow.” The problem, I told him, with this statement was that he was still focusing on being slow. I told him that to make it work in a positive direction, it has to be a positive statement.
When we take a problem we’re having, and create a positive focus statement, we change our perspective, and open ourselves up to the positive. Here’s my way of overcoming my weaknesses at work. The problem was low productivity, and trying to justify why I was so slow. My first step was to take responsibility, and get rid of the excuses. I knew I didn’t want the low productivity, so I had to decide what I did want, higher productivity. Then I came up with my focus statement, “I am working faster, and more efficient.” Then I would repeat this daily until it became a regular part of my thinking, and whatever you focus your attention on will cause your body to react. Eventually your body will perform the actions required without thinking about it.
This is not the only way to change your life in a positive direction, but it is the one that has helped me the most. The only advice I have for you, if you have problems that still seem overwhelming, learn what others have done, and pick the method that works best for you.
Allen

Trust Your Own Instincts

October 12, 2014

tube trouble

I know it’s been a while, but it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about the WordPress community.

Here’s something I felt I should share. There is a little humor in the situation, but there is also a lesson in it, as well.

As most of you know, I work nights, and I have been going to the gym since June. After a full night of work, and working out, I made it home, in a fairly good mood. With such a schedule, it doesn’t take long to crash, so right before going to bed, I went to the bathroom. After flushing the toilette, I noticed an unusual amount of water coming out of the top of the back. It was enough to cause a little flood, so I put some towels down and pulled the top off. A little testing, and loss of sleep later, I found the problem; the tube leading to the overflow valve had come loose, and wouldn’t go back. I knew a trip to the hardware store was needed, to buy a new tube, but I also needed my sleep, so I gave it a quick mend with some electrical tape.

I made it to the hardware store, bought the tube, and headed home. In the parking lot of our building, I met up with one of my neighbors. He walks with a walker, and used to be a plumber. When I explained the problem I was having, he said, “A new tube won’t help, your problem is in the floater ball.” After trying to convince me that I needed to buy a new floater ball, we both went in and I took the elevator up, to repair my toilette. As I approached my place, I couldn’t help thinking how I appreciated his advice, but how can I trust the advice of someone who has never taken the time to look at the toilette. Even doctors wouldn’t make a diagnosis over the phone, without ever seeing the patient.

The repair took me two minutes, and four tests, which ended up a huge success. This taught me two things. One, even experts can make mistakes, and two, when you are certain of your answers, don’t let someone else make you doubt your instincts. When you have done all the work of looking over the problem, and coming up with a solution, trust your own instinct, it’s the only expert you will need.

Enjoy,
Allen