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Achieving Personal Success

April 28, 2010

Success is defined as an event that accomplishes its intended purpose. But let’s go beyond the definition, and define success as it relates to your personal life.

For some people, success is financial freedom. For others, their success is defined by their health, family and friends. And for others yet, success is simply freedom.

No matter how you define it, the techniques to elevate your level of success are largely the same. They include:

1. Do What You Love

It is hard to argue with this one. Have you ever found anyone that is successful doing something they hate? I guess you can take the definition of success to any extreme, but I have a hard time accepting that anyone living in misery doing something they hate can be called successful. Naturally, doing what you love gets you the motivation and the excitement required to achieve success. In fact, for many, doing what you love is success in and of itself.

2. Perfect Your Game

If your definition of success is being great at something, then studies have shown that the secret to success is to practice to perfect your game. These studies even argue that natural talent is irrelevant, and that it is all about the practice. Regarless of which side of the nature versus nurture argument you simpathyse with, most people will agree that in order to be successful you have to perfect your game.

3. Be Unique

It is hard to imagine a clone being a symbol of success. Success is about bringing your own unique ways to the world, adding diversity and value. Most experts will agree that if you want to be successful you have to find you niche, you have to find ways to leverage your own unique gifts. Success, even in its very definition, is about your own unique perspective in our vast universe.

4. Believe in Yourself

I am yet to find a successful person that does not believe in himself. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Studies have shown that success is influenced by your mindset. Successful people believe that they can get better through their own efforts. If you want to be successful, start believing in yourself.

5. Never Give Up

Last but not least, every success guru will tell you that you must never give up. To be successful you must persist through failures, criticisms, rejections, and all the other negative things in life. You must have heard the old cliché that success is a journey, not a destination. In the success journey, the only time you can say for sure that you are not a success is when you give up on the journey.



Earth Day 2010

April 22, 2010

In honor of Earth Day.

The Subconscious Mind

April 21, 2010

The subconscious mind is that part of your mind that you don’t “see,” the part of your mind that provides the support and foundation for your conscious mind.
subconscious mind

If you think of your mind as an iceberg, the subconscious mind is the huge mass floating underneath the surface. Its that huge underwater mass that gives an iceberg it’s power. Think about it, if a ship bumps into a block of ice floating on the ocean, that piece of ice would just bounce off the ship and start floating away.

But with an iceberg having several times its overall mass underwater, any ship that hits it will sustain serious damage. Think Titanic.

That’s power. And your brain has that power, in the form of the subconscious mind.

According to a NY Times article:

…new studies reveal a subconscious brain that is far more active, purposeful and independent than previously known. Goals, whether to eat, mate or devour an iced latte, are like neural software programs that can only be run one at a time, and the unconscious is perfectly capable of running the program it chooses.

How do you program your subconscious brain? Are there usable techniques to enhance your subconscious? The answer is yes.

Journal writing is a very effective way to reinforce neural pathways. You could also try stream of consciousness writing.

Learn to meditate. There are many different ways to meditate, but all deal with focusing the mind, quieting it and harnessing its power.

Visualization. This is one of the most significant keys to success. Actively picturing yourself achieving a goal will help you actually achieve it.

Affirmations. Affirmations are simply positive self talk. If you say to yourself ‘I can’t do this, I will fail,’ then you will fail. However, if you say ‘I can do this, I know I can’, you’re more likely to succeed.

The conscious mind is a remarkable thing, but the subconscious mind provides a whole other level of awareness that, when tapped, can greatly expand your abilities.

What are Neural Pathways?

April 18, 2010

When you start stimulating your brain, your brain creates new neural pathways. This neural stimulation encourages new dendritic growth within your brain. neural pathwayThis allows for faster and smoother neural communication within your brain, and also provides more “processing power” in the brain. The dendrites are the many branching fibers extending from the neuron/cell body. These fibers increase the surface area available for receiving incoming information. The more dendrites the brain has at its disposal, the more quickly and smoothly it can process information.

Whenever you learn something new, such as playing a musical instrument, new dendritic growth occurs as a result of stimulating the mind in a new and different way. At the same time, old dendritic connections can become inactive and dissipate. (The shortening of dendritic branches and the reduction of the number of branches is associated with senility in the elderly.)

To see a striking example of how this works, click here to read the story of Cameron Mott.

These neural pathways are created whether you want them to or not. If you tend to focus on the negative, then you’re essentially programming your brain to be negative. And if you focus on the positive, your brain physically changes to accommodate more positive thought processes.

Setting Goals

April 16, 2010

Let’s use weight loss as an example. Are you just trying to lose weight? Or are you trying to lose a specific number of pounds? Can you visualize how you would look if you lost ten pounds? Or would it be easier to visualize yourself in a certain pair of jeans?

Setting Goals

What if you combined your weight loss techniques with prayer or meditation? You could pray for the strength and fortitude to stay with your program. You could meditate and visualize yourself wearing your new jeans. You could visualize what your life would be like if you were weighed a little less. What would you do? How would your friends and loved ones react to a thinner, lighter you? How would your quality of life improve? Would you be more confident, more outgoing? Why? How would your health improve? What would that do for you?

Asking yourself “yes or no” questions isn’t as effective as asking yourself open ended questions. Open ended questions lead to more thought, which engages your brain even more. In this way you start building neural pathways.

What is Personal Development

April 14, 2010

According to Wikipedia, Personal Development refers to individual self-development and the development of others.

personal development

If you’re doing anything to improve yourself, you’re taking part in personal development. If you’re trying to lose a few pounds, are taking part in a fitness program, trying to focus a few minutes of each day on prayer or meditation, or even something as simple as writing in a journal for a minutes each day – you’re taking part in personal development.

Getting started in personal development is as simple as making a decision, a commitment to improving yourself. And then what? What do you do next?

You Set Goals.