Advertisements

Archive for the ‘focus’ Tag

Your Inner Voice   Leave a comment

Have you ever started doing something and for some reason it just started feeling like a bad idea?  Have you ever wanted to buy something and you get this nagging sensation that you shouldn’t?  Have you met someone before that seemed nice enough to you but for some reason you just feel uncomfortable around them?

I think we all would answer yes to those questions.  We don’t know how we know, or why we know, but sometimes we just know things are amiss.  That knowledge is coming from your inner voice.  And the reason why we don’t know how or why we feel a certain way is because we sometimes do a bad job of listening to our inner voice.

Why is that?  It’s our inner voice, so surely it’s working in our best interest.  It’s a part of us so we should be able to trust it.  And we probably would if we recognized it as our voice.  The problem is that we don’t hear it clearly so we dismiss it as nerves, or a chill in the room.  We rationalize it away because our conscious mind has come to a conclusion on the subject and we accept it must be the right one.

So why would our inner voice be at odds with our conscious mind?  Because our conscious mind is easily swayed in the direction we want to go.  When you started doing whatever it was you’re doing right now your conscious mind had a “good” reason for doing it.  You don’t just start doing something for no reason at all.  Your conscious mind decided this was the action you’ll take because it viewed it as the correct action.  It’s therefor biased towards that decision.  Or when you go to the store to get something your conscious mind has already decided that it should purchase that item.  The decision is already made presumably with rational facts to back it up.  And when you’ve already decided you like someone then surely they must be a good person.  Your conscious mind wouldn’t allow you to befriend a bad person.  And you’re a pretty smart cookie so it isn’t likely they could be fooling you into thinking their nice when they aren’t.

Your conscious mind is acting on the principle of confirmation bias.  It will seek out all the facts that justify its position.  Finding facts to support your position is a good thing.  At least it is when you aren’t overlooking facts that suggest you’re wrong.  That’s confirmation bias.  We only accept the facts that confirm our point of view.

Your inner voice is different.  It’s your subconscious mind.  It isn’t interested in right or wrong.  It’s merely going by what history tells it.  It will access all the information pertinent to a decision, whether it confirms a position or not.  It’s noticing all the facts and is seeing something wrong.  So when it’s giving you that off putting feeling about the person you’re talking to it’s because it knows from previous patterns that there’s something wrong with this guy.  It doesn’t care that he “seems nice” or comes off as a “good guy”.  It is picking up on subtle hints that your conscious mind is overlooking that lets it know there’s reason to be concerned.

It’s like your own built-in “spidey sense.”  You just have to tune in to it.  How do you learn to hear your inner voice more clearly?  The same way you hear outer voices better.  You stop and listen.  If you get that tingly feeling at the back of your neck, question why.  If you’re looking at that new TV you wanted and something about it doesn’t feel right, pause a moment and ask yourself “what am I missing?”  And then listen to what your inner voice tells you.  You don’t have to blindly follow everything it says, just give it a chance to be heard.

Another way to hear your inner voice better is similar to what you do when you are trying to listen to music or are on a phone call in a noisy environment.  You change your location to a quieter one.  The way you change to a quieter location in your mind is through meditation.  Breathe in and out slowly and rhythmically, focusing on your breath.  When you feel your body relaxing let your mind relax as well.  As thoughts pop into your head that aren’t related to what you’re trying to figure out just gently release them without judgement.  When your body is relaxed and your mind is calm start asking yourself questions about the area you’re looking for insight into.  Do this often enough and it will become a habit where you can quickly slip into the relaxed and self-aware state.

Like many changes you can make in your life, if you’ve been ignoring your inner voice for a long time it’ll take a while to get back into the habit of listening to it.  But it’s a habit worth spending time on developing.  Your inner voice can be a great and helpful guide if you allow it to be in your life.  As with all things the choice is yours.  Have a nice day.

Advertisements

Setbacks   Leave a comment

Got some bad news today.  I received an email letting me know that one of the possible new income streams I’ve been trying to get started has dried up for now.  It was definitely not news I wanted to hear, but it was the news I got.  It’s a setback.

We all experience setbacks from time to time.  Since I started on the keto journey at the beginning of the year I have weighed in each Monday.  Most have been weight loss measurements, but a few have been weight gain.  Setback.  I’ve tried improving my fitness doing things like jumping rope.  On a few occasions the jumping has aggravated my ankle.  Setback.  Yesterday when I went to run my errands I knew I’d need to use the downtime between errands to record my weekly YouTube video.  I looked for the mini tripod I bought a couple of weeks ago to hold my iPhone while I record and I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Setback.

Here’s the reality of setbacks.  A setback will push you in reverse.  It will move you farther away from the goal posts.  But there’s a big difference between a setback and a road block.  A road block keeps you from moving forward along a path.  A setback just slows you down.

However, a setback can become a road block if you allow it to.  If you begin to focus on the negative setback too much you could lose track of all the positive success you’ve had.  Lose track of the success you’ve had and you can become discouraged.  Become discouraged enough and you may stop trying to move forward.  The setback has become a road block.

How do you avoid this?  Accept the setback.  Understand that a setback doesn’t define you or pigeon-hole you.  It’s one event that has happened, and has passed.  And having passed you’re free to get moving again.  You just have to want to and you just have to try.

So while I’m not happy that I got news of this setback today, I realize that it’s just one of the new sources of income I’ve tried to get going.  I still have other options I am exploring which may pan out.  And they may not.  But that would just be another setback that I can move forward from.  And while the well has dried up for now, I can still come back at it later.  I can dig a little deeper to see if there’s water still to be had.  I look ahead on the path and I still see a bright future.  I keep focused on my bigger goals knowing that even if it takes a little longer to get there because of a setback or two, I will get there.  I know this with great certainty because I don’t allow my setbacks to become road blocks.  And I hope you won’t either.  Have a great day.

New YouTube Video   Leave a comment

Just a quick post to let you all know I’ve uploaded my second video blog to YouTube.  It’s about goals and goal setting.  Please give it a quick view.  The link is below.  Feel free to leave a like or a comment if you so desire.  Subscribe if you like the content and if you want to be notified each time I post ring the bell.

Specificity   Leave a comment

One of the people I know loves to watch baseball.  Myself, I’m not a big fan of the sport, but I’ll watch it with her when she has it on.  She really gets into the game, including speaking to the television, encouraging her team on to greatness.  This led to a funny exchange the other day.

She was watching her team play and she said to the screen, “Ok, we need a hit here.”  After a few pitches the player hit the ball, right into an out.  She wasn’t happy about it and wondered what had just happened.  I said, “he did what you asked.”  She looked at me with an incredulous look.  “You asked for a hit and he did hit the ball.  You never specified what kind of hit you wanted.  Details matter.”  She looked at the screen and said “Ok, I want a home run.”  Sure enough, when the next player finally connected with the ball, he knocked it out of the park for a home run.  She looked over at me with amazement and I just repeated, “details matter.”

Now, I’m not claiming that she caused the home run.  I do believe in the law of attraction, but I doubt this was a case of it working.  I think it was more just a funny coincidence.  But it’s a funny coincidence that makes a great point.  Specificity in direction is important.  Details do indeed matter in life.  This is especially true in goal setting.  The more specific you are about your goal the better the chance you’ll realize it.  There are a number of reasons why this is true.

First, it really isn’t a meaningful goal if it isn’t a specific one.  Think about it.  How accomplished will you really feel if your goal today is to exercise?  It’s a very vague goal.  Pick up a semi heavy object and put it back down and you’ve essentially reached your goal.  Move ten feet farther than you needed to today to achieve your to do list and you’d have hit the goal as well.  But will you feel any sense of accomplishment meeting those benchmarks?  Probably not.  Now set the goal “I’m going to go on a 15 minute walk.”  That’s substantially more specific then “I’ll exercise today.”  It specifies not just that you’ll exercise but also what kind and for how long.  When you go out for that walk and return 15 minutes later you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment because you met a specific goal.  How strong a sense of course will depend on how much your goal pushes you to achieve it.  If you can easily walk 15 minutes then it’ll be a small sense of accomplishment.  If you’re just starting out and live most of your life sitting down, you’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Second, details make it measurable.  “I’m going to make more money” is vague.  If I walk down the street and find a penny I’ve reached my goal.  I have more money then I did before.  I can stop trying now.  “I’m going to earn enough money to buy a ticket to go visit my friends in Alaska” is specific.  That penny I just found won’t cut it.  I could find a penny every day for a year and I wouldn’t even be able to buy a snack on the plane, let alone the ticket.  So I haven’t reached the measurement yet.  I need to keep going to reach my goal.  The goal posts are in a very specific location so I know how long to keep working at it.

Finally, to create a specific goal you’ll be required to think about it.  Using the first example, when creating an exercise goal you need to consider many factors.  What kind of fitness level are you trying to achieve?  Are you more interested in muscles or endurance?  Are you looking for fast results or do you have time to achieve your goal?  By considering all these factors you’re creating goals that are more relevant to you.  The more relevant the goal is to you the more likely you’ll achieve it.

You’re also going to create more reasonable goals when you think about them.  Using the second example, if you want to go visit your friends in Alaska you also have to consider different factors.  How will you get there?  Buses will get you there but will take days.  So flying would seem more reasonable.  How will you fly there?  Private charter would be really cool, but if you’re saving for the trip in the first place, it probably isn’t very reasonable.  First class tickets might be a bridge too far as well.  So now you’ve considered your options and your goal is to buy an economy ticket on a commercial airline by saving your money where you can.  That’s a very reasonable goal.  The more reasonable your goal is, the more you’ll believe in your ability to carry it out.  When you create unreasonable goals your subconscious knows you don’t stand a chance of making it and will sabotage every effort you make toward the goal.

So as you move forward into the future setting goals on how to improve your life, make them specific, measurable, and reasonable.  Give yourself every chance to succeed and you will.  Set yourself up for failure, and you’ll easily reach that goal too.  Me, I’m partial to hitting home runs.  Have a great day.

Goals   Leave a comment

Go on Amazon and do a search for books on financial success and you’ll find books about how to be a millionaire with no cash in your pocket now.  How to create passive income to be a millionaire.  How to invest to become a millionaire.  How to do (fill in the blank) in order to become a millionaire.  It’s as if the only possible way to be a financial success is to be a millionaire.

Or maybe you do a search on getting in shape.  You’ll get page upon page about books that will help you create rock hard abs.  90 days to a six-pack.  Maybe even books on how to create an 8-pack because a 6-pack just isn’t fit enough.  Books on how to create 20 inch biceps with no equipment in your home.  Bodyweight exercise books promising to give you the physique of a champion, the champion being Schwarzenegger.  You’ll get muscles on top of your muscles.

You can even find books on how to super charge your mind.  A book that will teach you how to become a speed reader so you can finish a new book every day.  You might be more partial to books that will teach you another language in 3 months.  How to become a human calculator.

These books all have one thing in common.  They tell you what your goal should be in advance.  There’s a preconceived notion that if you want to improve your health and fitness you must be going for the body of a greek god.  Or if you’re looking for financial success the true and only goal is to become a millionaire.  Unless of course you’re a high performer, in which case you’re shooting straight for billionaire or bust.  When it comes to improving your mind, obviously your brain needs to be able to learn and retain things on a level on par with The Matrix.

These are the goals that society has decided are proper goals for each endeavor.  But they aren’t necessarily your goals.  Don’t get me wrong, these goals are perfectly good goals to have.  That’s if, of course, you want them to be your goals.

Take me for example.  This may come across as financial heresy, but I just don’t want to be a millionaire.  What I want to do with my life doesn’t require me to have that level of cash.  My goal is simple.  I want to be able to get a nice class B RV and spend my life just touring North America.  Who knows, I might even decide to try South America as well.  I don’t need to be a millionaire for that.  I don’t even need to be a quarter millionaire for it.  There’s nothing wrong with my goal.  I’m not aiming low.  I’m not settling.  I just don’t see the need to own a huge mansion with several high-end sports cars out front.  I don’t desire that.

Now for the fitness goals, yeah I’d actually like to have bulging biceps, tremendous traps, and 6-pack abs.  However your goal may be different.  To you, being able to walk upstairs without needing a nap afterwards could be sufficiently fit.  You might not be interested in being able to rip that back of your shirts apart with your super broad lats.  Instead you just want to be able to sit in an airplane seat comfortably for a cross-country flight.

I’d like to learn another langauge or two.  I would definitely love to improve my reading speed so I can take in that many more books.  But I don’t particularly care if I can do Calculus in my head.  To you a great working brain might entail not being foggy all the time.  It might be having the ability to crush anyone in a game of chess.  Or something altogether different from anything I’d imagine.

What’s important to remember in all this is your goals need to be your goals.  Not what society deems proper goals.  If your dream life is to earn $50,000 a year, the fact that other’s might respond “That’s all?” isn’t a negative reflection on your goal.  It just means it clearly isn’t their goal.  Which is fine because they aren’t walking your path, you are.  You don’t need to justify your goals to anyone other than yourself.  If you have buy in on your goals you’ll accomplish them.  That’s why they have to be yours.  Because if you’re chasing society’s goals you just don’t have the buy in, which means you won’t have the success.

Be happy with your goals.  Confident in your goals.  And most importantly, have a steadfast faith that because they are your goals, and you’re truly worthy of attaining them, you’ll reach that destination.  I wish you the best of luck with your goals.  Have a great day.

Posted 10/07/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,

Why?   Leave a comment

I listen to a variety of podcasts and read a lot of books. I think this moves me forward along my journey to be my best self. I just don’t think there’s anything such as bad information, so long as you always ask “Why?” at the end.

You see the problem with the information we are exposed to isn’t the information, it’s the lack of critical thinking we put into it. We often hear something and either accept it or discount it uncritically. Why?

We’ve spent a long time becoming the person we are now. We’re very invested in that person. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So we hesitate to do anything that upsets the apple cart. But if you’re that certain of the person you are there shouldn’t be any problem asking those “Why?” questions.

If you ask Why? and follow that thought critically you’ll discover one of two things. First is, you were right to hold that view or belief. Yeah you! Or you might realize that you could be a little off. Maybe even way off.

It sounds bad at first but think about this. Once you’ve identified a problem you can fix it. Once you’ve fixed it you’re back to being right again. You’re back to “Yeah you!” That’s a win.

Asking Why? is the path along which we get to the best version of ourselves. We’re often told not to question ourselves. Have confidence in who you are and what you believe. I think questioning yourself is the best way to show that confidence in who you are and what you believe. So go ahead and start asking yourself Why? a lot. You’ll love the results of being comfortable challenging yourself. Have a nice day.

Tending your Garden   Leave a comment

I heard the best analogy today.  The person mentioning it didn’t know who originally said this other than they knew it’s an older idea, and he thought it may be Earl Nightingale.  If you know who came up with this analogy please feel free to let us know in the comments.

The analogy likened ones mind to a garden.  When you start a garden you have a new patch of soil.  The soil doesn’t really care what you plant in it.  It isn’t like you plant carrots and the soil says no and grows cabbage instead.  The soil is an unbiased medium.  It just waits for you to plant whatever seeds you want to.

The mind is the same way.  It takes in whatever you choose to plant, without judgement or reservation.  If you plant doubt, you’ll grow more doubt.  If you sow the seeds of fear, you’ll be fearful.  However, if you sow the seeds of prosperity, you’ll prosper.  If you plant healthy thoughts and goals, you’ll be healthy and move in a healthy direction.  The mind simply doesn’t care, it waits for you to decide.

But that’s only part of the picture.  You see if you want good things to come into your life (money, love, happiness), you can’t just plant the seeds and wait for the results.  If you’ve ever had a garden (or even just a house plant), you know that for the seeds to grow you must regularly tend to the garden.  If you just plant the seeds and leave them, sure, there’s a chance you might get some fruits from it.  But why leave it up to chance?

Once you’ve planted the seeds, go back and regularly tend to your garden.  Water your seeds.  Make sure there’s plenty of sunlight.  If you see weeds creeping in, go pull out the weeds before they ruin your seeds.  As the plant grows, trim and prune it so that unhealthy parts of the plant don’t go back to infect and destroy the healthy parts.

What mental crops do you want?  It’s easy to say that you want roses (or whatever your favorite flower is).  But are you truly planting rose seeds?  If you want to be happy think happy thoughts.  When you start having thoughts that aren’t happy (mental weeds), root them out and destroy them.  Give it plenty of good food to grow strong like books on meditation or self-help guides.  YouTube channels that promote positivity and being better.  Spend time meditating to enrich your soil.

Same goes for money.  If you constantly dwell on the lack of it, those are the seeds you plant.  And you will grow lack.  So grow the seeds of abundance.  Nurture your abundance plant by being grateful for the things you already have.  Feel you are worthy of more.  Take steps to create different pathways for the money to come to you.

Or being in shape.  If you’re constantly planting seeds of a bad body image you’ll grow more self-doubt.  So plant seeds of self acceptance.  Be happy with who you are.  Feed your soil by looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself.  Literally water yourself.  The same H20 that makes your plants healthy and strong does the same for you.

Whatever it is you want in your life, plant the seeds of desire for it.  Go back regularly to tend to your garden and remove factors that might hinder your progress.  You’re garden is your life.  How well it turns out is directly proportional to the energy you put in to it as the gardener.  I’ll leave you with that thought, have a nice day.