Creating Clarity

Steve Pavlina:

Proactive people are clear about what’s important to them and why. They cut through the clutter of uncertainty to make decisions and take action. Reactive people, on the other hand, allow themselves to wallow in a fog of uncertainty, forever reacting to events and circumstances that seem beyond their control.

When you live reactively, you do give up control, but you can never give up responsibility. To the degree that you fail to make decisions for yourself, someone else will come along and make those decisions for you, whether it be your parents, your spouse, your boss, the media, or societal conditioning. After a time you’ll find yourself enduring a life you never really wanted… always working to fulfill someone else’s goals and never your own.

Proactive people accept that it’s impossible to avoid responsibility for one’s results in life, so they jump in and participate willingly. Instead of living as mere statistics and playing follow-the-follower, they make conscious choices based on their unique values, beliefs, and goals. Consequently, they enjoy a sense of passion and purpose that is forever denied those who live reactively.

See also: Clarity

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Attitude Is Everything

Dr. Joe Dispenza, from You Are the Placebo:

A wealth of research now exists to show that our attitude does indeed affect our health, including how long we live. For example, the Mayo Clinic published a study in 2002 that followed 447 people for more than 30 years, showing that optimists were healthier physically and mentally. Optimist literally means “best,” suggesting that those folks focused their attention on the best future scenario. Specifically, the optimists had fewer problems with daily activities as a result of their physical health or their emotional state; experienced less pain; felt more energetic; had an easier time with social activities; and felt happier, calmer, and more peaceful most of the time. This came right on the heels of another Mayo Clinic study that followed more than 800 people for 30 years, showing that optimists live longer than pessimists.

Researchers at Yale followed 660 people, aged 50 and older, for up to 23 years, discovering that those with a positive attitude about aging lived more than seven years longer than those who had a more negative outlook about growing older. Attitude had more of an influence on longevity than blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking, body weight, or level of exercise.

Additional studies have looked more specifically at heart health and attitude. Around the same time, a Duke University study of 866 heart patients reported that those who routinely felt more positive emotions had a 20 percent greater chance of being alive 11 years later than those who habitually experienced more negative emotions. Even more striking are the results of a study of 255 medical students at the Medical College of Georgia who were followed for 25 years: Those who were the most hostile had five times greater incidence of coronary heart disease. And a Johns Hopkins study presented at the American Heart Association’s 2001 Scientific Sessions even showed that a positive outlook may offer the strongest known protection against heart disease in adults at risk due to family history. This study suggests that having the right attitude can work as well as or better than eating the proper diet, getting the right amount of exercise, and maintaining the ideal body weight.

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Freeing Up Energy

If something isn’t working for you — be it your current work, your living situation, a relationship, etc. — should you quit it as soon as possible, or transition out of it?

Steve Pavlina explains:

The answer depends on how quickly you want to free up the trapped/stuck energy and get it flowing again. The more energy you free up, the faster you can go in pursuing other changes.

And initially, a great way to leverage this is to free up small bits of stuck energy and then use that to free up even more.

For me a huge improvement in my flow happened after my divorce finally went through. I had a lot of stuck energy in that relationship, and shortly after the divorce was done, so many things started falling into place, like getting my website update project done.

Dan Sullivan suggests making a list of your top procrastinations and prioritizing them by which ones you think would free up the most energy – energy that you can then apply to further growth and improvement. Make those items your to-do list. That’s basically his recipe for going at 10x speed.

For instance, one of my areas of stuck energy was not having any lead magnets. So I blasted through that with the recent 10-day challenge. That freed up even more energy, so it’s speeding up how fast I can go…

The more of your energy is stuck/trapped in various things you’re resisting on some level, the slower you’re able to grow and change. The more of that energy you free up, the faster you can go.

Even donating a bunch of stuff from my garage helped increase the flow. Every little bit counts – clearing out your email inbox, cleaning up your kitchen, etc. Wherever there’s trapped energy, it’s friction that puts the brakes on.

How can you tell where there’s trapped energy? You keep noticing something that isn’t changing much, and you somehow want it to be different.

How can you tell when the energy is flowing? You feel excited, happy, grateful, enthusiastic, in love with life, etc. You’re riding the waves and having fun.

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Your Heroes

Derek Sivers:

People with many interests often ask my advice on which industry or career path they should follow.

Years ago, I felt I was just a programmer and entrepreneur. Yes sometimes I write a tiny blog post sharing what I’ve learned, but that’s just something on the side.

But something never felt quite right about this. I spend most of my time writing, very little time programming, and hadn’t started a business in years. Still, I kept saying I was a programmer and entrepreneur, and felt I should really spend more time doing it.

But everything changed when I asked myself a question:

“Who are my heroes?”

I thought, wrote them down, then realized they were all authors! Basically, look at my list of favorite books, and there are my heroes.

The people I look up to the most… The people I’d most like to meet… The people I’d most like to emulate are not entrepreneurs, and not programmers — just writers.

So, that day, I realized I actually want to be a writer.

I re-arranged my hierarchy of interests. Yes I enjoy programming, and yes I’ll probably start another business. But really my main love and top priority is writing.

How about you? Who are your heroes? Does that help you see which way you’re actually facing?

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Write It Down, Make It Happen

Henriette Anne Klauser on the power of writing down your goals:

Without further ado, before you read the chapters which follow, I want you to compose your own list of goals. Go to an espresso bar and buy a latte or put on a pot of peppermint tea at your own house. Set the stereo for the kind of music you like best and start to write.

Write fast. Do not linger over the page. If you find yourself dismissing a goal as grandiose or farfetched, write it anyway and put a star next to it. That’s a live one.

Do not be afraid of wanting too much. Write down even those ambitions which have no practical means of accomplishment.

Keep on writing. Write from your heart and make the list as long as you like.

Lou Holtz, the famous football coach, did this in1966. He was twenty-eight years old when he sat down at his dining room table and wrote out one hundred and seven impossible goals. He had just lost his job, he had no money in the bank, and his wife, Beth, was eight months pregnant with their third child. He was so discouraged that Beth gave him a copy of The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz to help lift his spirits. Up until then, Holtz says, he was totally lacking in motivation.

“There are so many people, and I was one of them, who don’t do anything special with their lives. The book said you should write down all the goals you wanted to achieve before you died.”

The goals he wrote in answer to that challenge were both personal and professional. Most seemed impossible to a twenty-eight-year-old out-of-work man. His list included having dinner at the White House, appearing on the Tonight Show, meeting the pope, becoming head coach at Notre Dame, winning a national championship, being coach of the year, landing on an aircraft carrier, making a hole in one, and jumping out of an airplane.

If you check out Coach Lou Holtz’s website, along with this list you will get pictures—pictures of Holtz with the pope, with President Ronald Reagan at the White House, yukking it up with Johnny Carson. In addition, a description of what it was like to jump out of an airplane and get not one but two holes in one.

Of the one hundred and seven goals on his list from 1966, Lou Holtz has achieved eighty-one.

So give yourself permission to dream, to be totally unrealistic. (Richard Bolles says, “One of the saddest lines in the world is, ‘Oh, come now, be realistic.’”) Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Endow a university or a hospital. Compose an opera. Start an orphanage. Become a better parent. Play the flute in Carnegie Hall. Discover a cure for an untreatable disease. Get a patent. Appear on TV, or whatever equivalent grandiose schemes you can come up with—if money were no object and time were not a factor. Money is no object, and time is not a factor.

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Your Mind Bandwidth

Joe Rogan, in a conversation with Nikki Glaser:

JOE: The way I look at it, your mind, you have a certain amount of bandwidth.

This is why I don’t read Instagram comments or Twitter comments or YouTube comments. I don’t have time. If I read them, it’s an accident. But to seek them out and go—like, you have bandwidth. I don’t spend time wondering why I hate things or hating things or hating on someone or being jealous.

Let’s call it units. You have a 100 units of bandwidth in your mind. So that means there’s a 100 units you can spend on things you care about. Or, you can let your mind be occupied by some stupid Twitter feud that you’re in with some idiot that you don’t even know.

You could spend 30% of your mind bandwidth on this. And then you only have 70% for the things you love!

And then maybe you’re involved in some relationship with someone who’s an idiot, and you’re arguing back and forth—well, there’s another 30% gone!

Now you have 40% left.

You have 40% for the things you love, instead of 100%.

But if you only concentrate on the things you care about, that matter, that mean something to you, and learn how to do that—like you were talking about meditation…

NIKKI: Yeah.

JOE: It’s a form of meditation. You’re learning how to avoid the little road bumps and the ditches on the side of the road…

NIKKI: …that can suck your bandwidth.

JOE: That can suck your bandwidth!

NIKKI: You can give them just a little bit and go “Ok, no no no—”, or you could lean in.

JOE: Like how you were saying when you stopped drinking… all of a sudden, your career took off. You started doing well.

NIKKI: More bandwidth.

JOE: You had more bandwidth. And you had less problems. This problem that you had that was rotting you away, no longer existed!

So now all of a sudden it frees up your time, and you realize “Oh my god, there’s so many funny things that I could talk about, and I have so much energy, and I’m so healthy. I can just go on stage and have fun.”

And then, you’re killing it!

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Your Dwelling Place

Neville Goddard:

There are infinite number of states. The state of health, the state of sickness, the state of wealth, the state of poverty, the state of being known, the state of being unknown – all are only states and everyone is always in a state. We all have one state in which we are very comfortable, so we return to it moment after moment. That state constitutes our dwelling place. If it is not a pleasant state, we can always get out of it. How this is done is the secret I will now share with you. All states are mental. You cannot remove yourself from your present state by pulling strings on the outside. You must mentally adjust your thoughts to proceed from the desired state, all within yourself. You fell into your present state either deliberately or unwittingly; and because you are its life, the state became alive and grew like a tree, bearing its fruit which you do not like. Its fruit may be that of poverty, or distress, heartache, or pain.

There are all kinds of unlovely fruit. But you can detach yourself from your unlovely harvest by making an adjustment in your human imagination. Ask yourself what you would like to harvest. When you know what it is, ask yourself how you would feel if your desire was ready to harvest right now. When you know the feeling, try to catch it. In my own case I find it easier to catch the feeling by imagining I am with people I know well and they are seeing me as they would if my desire were now a fact. And when the feeling of reality possesses me, I fall asleep in that assumption. At that moment, I have entered a state. Now, I must make that state as natural as I have made my present state. I must consciously return to my new state constantly. I must feel its naturalness, like my own bed at night. At first the new state seems unnatural, like wearing a new suit or hat. Although no one knows your suit is new, you are so conscious of it you think everyone is looking at you. You are aware of its fit and its feeling until it becomes comfortable. So it is with your new state. At first you are conscious of its strangeness; but with regular wearing, the new state becomes comfortable, and its naturalness causes you to constantly return to it, thereby making it real.

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You Are Responsible

Brian Tracy:

Your goal is to feel powerful, purposeful, competent, and capable of doing anything you need to achieve any goal you can set for yourself. But before you do anything, you have to do something else first.

You have to accept 100 percent responsibility for the person you are today, for everything you have ever done or accomplished, and for everything that you achieve in the months and years ahead. You are responsible. No one is coming to the rescue. It is all up to you.

(…)

Make a Decision

Decide today to accept 100 percent responsibility for everything you are or ever will be. It can be the biggest and most exhilarating decision you ever make. Making this decision sets you free to get started and keep going toward what you really want. No more excuses.

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Your Actions Tell the Truth

Brian Tracy:

It is not what you say, wish, hope, or intend that matters; it is only what you do. Your actions on an hour by hour, minute by minute basis tell you and everyone around you who you really are and what you really want.

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Success Is Goals

Brian Tracy:

Success is goals, and all else is commentary. All successful people are intensely goal oriented. They know what they want and they are focused single mindedly on achieving it, every single day.

Your ability to set goals is the master skill of success. Goals unlock your positive mind and release ideas and energy for goal attainment. Without goals, you simply drift and flow on the currents of life. With goals, you fly like an arrow, straight and true to your target.

The truth is that you probably have more natural potential than you could use if you lived one hundred lifetimes. Whatever you have accomplished up until now is only a small fraction of what is truly possible for you. One of the rules for success is this, it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from; all that matters is where you’re going. And where you are going is solely determined by yourself and your own thoughts.

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