Tag Archives: dreams

The Magic Formula For Creating Meaningful and Compelling Goals

how to set goals, goal setting, better goals, best goal

“What do I want?”

This is the most important and compelling question you can ask yourself, because without a clear answer to this question you are like a crewless boat in the middle of the ocean with no direction. You can put in a lot of effort into what you are doing, and you could be the best at what you do; but even then, without knowing what you want or where you are going, you could end up anywhere and likely it may be somewhere you don’t like.

Imagine going to a travel agent and saying, “I’d like a plane ticket please.” The agent then replies, “Absolutely! Where would you like to go?” And you respond by saying “I don’t know, just somewhere, anywhere!” The travel agent, being a helpful service person, wants nothing more than to be able to serve you; however, without clarity as to where you want to go, he is confused and doesn’t know how to serve you to your satisfaction, because where you end up may not be to your liking. Nevertheless, many people do just that, and then they turn around and blame the travel agent or give the agency a bad review because it performed poorly according to them.

Now imagine going to a restaurant and telling the waiter, “I’d like to have some dinner, please.” The waiter replies, “My pleasure! Here’s a menu for you. What would you like?” And you reply, “Oh, I don’t know, anything will do.” Again, the waiter, being a helpful service person, wants to serve you; but without clarity as to what you want he is unable to assist, so he looks at you with a confused look on his face in an effort to solicit a more specific response from you. You sigh impatiently and proceed to say, “Oh all right; look, I don’t want this… And I don’t want this… And I don’t want that….” and on and on you go, pointing at each item on the menu you don’t want and stating that you don’t want it. Now this happens to be a restaurant that prides on its wide variety of foods, so it takes you a very long time to go through the entire menu pointing out what you don’t want instead of what you do want, and by then the waiter is so confused that he still doesn’t know what it is that you do want!

It all sounds very silly doesn’t it?  Yet, many people go through life being unclear about what it is that they do want; in other words, without any goals; and like the example of the travel agent, they are lost or confused about where they are going.  Or they spend their days going on and on about what it is that they don’t want out of the menu of life (imagine how thick that menu is) instead of learning to focus and getting clear about what it is that they do want, and like the example of the restaurant, they spend months and often years without getting what they want because they were so focused on what they didn’t want instead.  And then they spend their lives complaining about this or that, or blaming this person or that person, or this circumstance or that circumstance, for not having a better lot in life, instead of taking responsibility. Can you imagine how long your personal waiter (your subconscious mind) has to wait and how much unnecessary junk it would have to sift through in order to get to what you actually do want?

As Earl Nightingale puts it in his book “The Strangest Secret”:

Think of a ship with the complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take — it has a definite goal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there. Now let’s take another ship — just like the first — only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach — a derelict. It can’t go anyplace because it has no destination and no guidance. It’s the same with a human being.

So the first thing that we need to do in order to ensure we’re headed in the right direction is get clear about what it is that we want; in other words, we need a goal or outcome that is specific, measurable, achievable, and appropriate.  It must be something which we, and only we, desire, rather than something that society desires for us; in other words, it must be something for which we are 100% responsible from beginning to end. And it must be an outcome that is stated in the positive and something that we move towards rather than away from.  This is what is commonly known as “SMART Goals” or “Well Formed Outcomes.”

But having a goal, even if it meets the above criteria, is not enough. We must be able to keep the goal front and center, and we must be able to communicate the goal to our subconscious mind effectively, so that our subconscious can then do what it does best: serve us, and help us to achieve our goals following the past of least resistance.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing specific strategies to help you get clear about what you want following the “SMART Goals” model, as well as sharing strategies to embed these goals in your subconscious so that your probability of success is multiplied, so be sure to subscribe or follow me so you don’t miss any of it. It’s going to be a fun ride!

To your success!

JC

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The Reason That Your Tangible Desires Are Not Manifesting in Your Life

Do you have any unfulfilled dreams or desires?  Most people do; in fact, I’ll even venture out to say that everyone does.  The human race has desires as one of its characteristics. It comes with the territory; if you’re human, you have desires.  In a previous blog I shared with you my understanding of the underlying desire behind the desire for any physical or tangible thing.  Today I’m going to talk about those physical, tangible things that we all want and wish to have, but for some reason we have been unable to achieve.

Regardless of our gender, race, nationality or age, we all have a desire to improve our physical body, our financial condition, gain more confidence, more courage, improve our relationships, increase our self-esteem, and the list goes on.  At any point in time we have a plethora of desires that we want to have fulfilled, some of which have been with us for a very long time, and their fulfillment has been eluding us just as long.

The new age movement has been telling us for a long time now that through the power of our thoughts we create our own reality.  We have been told that we can “think and grow rich” or “think and grow slim”; we have been told that “thoughts become things” and that we can get whatever we want through the use of positive affirmations, dream boards, journals, movie minds, visualization etc.

More recently we have been told that thoughts alone are not enough, though. So we were instructed to incorporate our emotions in the process.  We were told that in order to manifest our desires we must not only “think” but we must also “feel” these things into manifestation.  We were told that when we use positive affirmations, dream boards, journals, visualization, we must include the feeling of already having those things; a task which has proved to be easier said than done for most folks, including me.

Even more recently we were told that the real secret to manifesting of our desires is to use those same manifestation tools incorporating both thought and feeling to feel as if we are already in possession of the thing we want, but use them so effectively that we suddenly lose the need or want for it.  And that’s – we’re told – when the physical manifestations will come.

There is a lot of value and wisdom in all of those teachings. Each of those methods definitely adds a piece to the manifestation puzzle, but does not quite complete it. Something still seems to be missing, because many people who put these teachings in practice and follow those instructions to the letter still complain of not manifesting their desires.  While most people are able to achieve some level of success with these methods, they don’t succeed in manifesting their biggest and greatest desires.

In my search for the missing piece to this puzzle I came across the works of Greg Kuhn widely known as the Law of Attraction Science Guy and author of the “Why Quantum Physicists” series. Greg assures us that there is, in fact, something missing from the commonly known approaches to manifestation, and this missing piece revolves around the subject of BELIEFS.

Greg explains that while our thoughts, words, and feelings do play a part in the manifestation process, it is our beliefs that are ultimately responsible for what we experience in our reality; in other words, it is our beliefs that actually determine whether our manifestations will occur or not.

Our belief system resides in the subconscious mind, and it’s a mechanism which is uniquely ours.  Each person has his or her own set of beliefs.  While there are some beliefs that we can say are “commonly shared” by some or many people, still each person has his or her own individual version and interpretation of those beliefs.

As we discussed in a previous post, our belief system is based on history and it’s composed of those programs which got past our conscious mind (with or without our awareness).  The subconscious mind, being the loyal friend that it is, has as one of its primary functions to protect us and prevent us from suffering or feel like we’re going crazy.

At every moment of our lives and in every single situation we encounter, our subconscious mind is at work, gathering data and presenting it to us to support the beliefs that we’ve held.  For instance, if a woman believes that all men cheat on their wives, her subconscious mind will be constantly at work gathering evidence from past experiences, stories, news, etc. in support of that belief.  It will also tweak her present awareness in such a way that she will come across plenty of evidence in her everyday life to support that belief.  This is not to say that there will literally be more of it, period; rather, it is to say that out of the sea of evidence that includes examples of both, men who are loyal and men who are disloyal to their wives, all she will see, notice, and experience are the disloyal ones.  In other words, there will be more of it in her individual current reality and experience.

If we’re presented with a new belief or idea, our subconscious mind quickly searches for evidence in our belief archives to support it.  If it finds it (if the new belief or idea is in agreement with what we believed in the past), it will accept it and provide us with evidence of it.  If no such evidence is found, it will flat out reject the idea and build an iron wall in front of it to ensure that it doesn’t get through.  It works with unbelievable speed; to the point where the effect is practically instantaneous, even without the conscious mind’s awareness of what just happened. See how good a friend the subconscious mind is to us.  It is always on our side allowing us to see and experience only that which we believe to be true. Now this is awesome if the beliefs that we have serve us, but if they don’t, it can set us up for self-sabotage.

Let’s bring this back to our desires now.  I’m sure we can now better understand why it is that the tangible things that we’ve desired for years have eluded us.  If the acquiring of those things is not in alignment with our subconscious beliefs, there is just no way that they will come to pass.  Like a good friend who covers our eyes so that we don’t see something on the side of the road that we believe will cause us any negative emotion, so does the subconscious mind protect us from experiencing those things which go against our beliefs and make us feel like we’re crazy or deluded.

Let’s revisit the example of a belief that may be held by a woman:

Belief: All men are cheaters
Sea of evidence: There are both loyal and disloyal men
Subconscious response: she believes all men are cheaters, and my job is to prove her right; if I let her see that many men are not cheaters she will think she’s deluded and possibly crazy, therefore I will only let her see evidence of what she believes.
Result: news, reports, stories, of men who cheated on their wives; possibly even marrying a man who will eventually cheat on her.

I hope you can now see the ramifications of this.  These beliefs, if left unattended, become self-fulfilling prophesies and they will produce a series of undesirable results even though we remain consciously unaware of the reason behind it. Try as we might, we will be unable to achieve new and lasting results so long as those beliefs remain in place, so it behooves us to take a good look at the beliefs that we hold in any area of our lives where we’re not experiencing the tangible manifestations we desire and ask ourselves this most important question: Does this belief serve me?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to let that belief go and replace it with one that will serve us and help us to manifest those desires.  In a future post I will talk about how to go about releasing or replacing those beliefs, so make sure you follow me or sign up to receive updates via email.

Do you have any questions or comments you would like to share?  Please drop me a line in the comments box below or email me directly at jc@effect180.com.  I’d love to hear from you!

To your success!

JC

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Do You Think You Know What You Really Want?

Do you know what you want?  Do you know what your desires in life are?  Most people have at least a vague or general idea of what things they want to be part of their life experience.  Or at the very least, they know (usually with certainty) what it is that they do not want.

Do you believe that your desires today are the same ones that you had 10 years ago, 5 years ago, last month, last week?  I’m willing to bet that you don’t think they are.  “Maybe” – you say – “maybe my desires today are the same as last week’s, but not the same as last year’s, and certainly not the same as 5 or 10 years ago!”

The reason most of us believe this is because we have grown up.  We have matured and evolved over the years and we believe that our desires have evolved with us. For instance, when we were babies our prominent desire was to have a full tummy and a dry bottom.  When we got a little older (and wiser) our prominent desire changed to playing with our favorite toy, perhaps.  And when we got older it evolved again to whatever it was that we most wanted at the time, until we got to where we are today, desiring more money, good or better relationships, more status, a bigger house, a newer car, etc.

But I’d like you to think for a moment about the things that you want (house/car/money or whatever it is) and ask yourself these questions:

Try it with any of the material, tangible things that you believe that you want.  Do you ever get to a YES?

In my case the answer was always a NO, and this was very revealing to me.  This meant that the material, tangible things were not what really I was after.  It was definitely something else, but what? I reviewed the answers I had provided to Question 2, and realized then that those things were what I really wanted; but they were not things at all. They were feelings!

I was looking for feelings or emotions of love, peace, satisfaction, fulfillment, etc. and the reason I thought I wanted the material things is because I believed that in the having of those things I would experience those emotions.  Did you have the same experience?

Now consider my previous question. Do you still believe that your desires have changed?  The truth is that we believe that our desires have changed or evolved with us because we generally look at our desires as the material or tangible things that we wish to see manifested in our lives. But if we think about it and look past the tangible aspect of it for a moment, we’ll realize that we aren’t really after the material things, but the emotional effect that those things have on us.  So in reality, our desires have not changed over time.  What has really changed over time, are the material, tangible things that we believe will bring about what we really desire.

I also realized that I did not have to wait until I acquired those things in order to experience my desired emotions. I could do it right now by doing simple things like going for a walk, meditating, hugging my kids, or sharing a moment with my wife.  Once I made it my intention to feel those emotions, I found myself looking for (and finding) every day moments and situations that brought about those emotions in me.  This made those moments and situations so much more valuable to me, and my gratitude for them increased tremendously.

This was an extremely powerful realization to me, as was the feeling of freedom that I felt as a result of it.  I was able to let go of my need for those things in order to be happy, and I was able to put them in the proper perspective as things that would add levels of ease and comfort to my life, rather than as the source of my happiness.

Do you have any input on this subject?  Feel free to share it with me in the comment box below, or email me at JC@effect180.com.

I’d love to hear from you!

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The Secret To Stop Growing Old

Do you feel your age?  Or do you feel older than your age, much older perhaps? Do you feel tired and drained?  Whatever your age is I invite you to read on and discover what you are doing that could be causing you to grow old faster, and what you can do to stop it before it’s too late.

Take a short trip with me down memory lane and recall if you can a time in your childhood when you were truly happy.  A time when you didn’t have any cares or worries and you were just happy.  Try your best to bring back all the details of that memory. When was it? Where were you? What were you doing? Were you alone or were others there with you?

Now close your eyes and sit with this memory for a moment before reading on.

Did you enjoy it?  Did it make you feel good? Did you smile as you remembered? Did it make you feel happy? Did it make you feel young?

Now bring your awareness back to the present, and think about your life as it is now.  Do you feel old again? Did your smile fade away? What happened to that little child?  Does he/she still come out to play, carefree and full of energy, or has he/she grown scared of the world and taken refuge in a dark corner within the older you?  When was the last time you played and laughed like that child?  When was the last time you channeled your inner child, and truly allowed him or her to express him or herself?

Has it been long?  If so, I invite you to ask yourself the reason behind that.  Are you scared that that child will be hurt?  Have you become so overprotective of your inner child that you, yourself, are preventing him/her from coming out to play?

Or do you feel like you are so overwhelmed with “grown up responsibilities” that you have no time to play? It’s easy to postpone or do away with playing when we become so absorbed with our everyday lives.  After all, who has time to play when there are bills to be paid, mouths to be fed, responsibilities to be fulfilled…?

Or is it, perhaps, that you believe that adults are supposed to behave like adults, and not like immature little children?  Do you frown when you see grownups acting silly or just “having too much fun”? Or… are you secretly wishing that you could do the same?

I invite you to really ponder these questions and come up with some truthful answers, because your answers will reveal to you why it is that you feel as old as you feel.  At one point or another we all experienced that carefree child spirit.  We played pretend and absorbed ourselves in imaginary worlds that were filled with fantasy.  We built sand castles, we erected fortresses, we constructed spaceships and race cars, we fought pirates (or perhaps we were pirates); we engrossed ourselves in these activities so much that we lost track of time and space.  Those were good ol’ times weren’t they?

But at some point, somewhere down the line we were introduced to work and responsibility. We were told to stop dreaming and focus on reality. We were instructed, whether with words or by example, to start taking life more seriously, because after all, we weren’t children anymore.

Somehow we got the idea that growing up meant that we had to smile less and stress more; that we had to stop playing and focus all our energy on working; that we had to dream less and do more.

But is that really true?  Must we really bury that free-spirited child in order to live a fulfilling life? Wherever did we get that idea?  It is true that as we grow up, get jobs, get married, have children, our responsibilities increase and our free time decreases.  But where did we get the idea that we had to carry out our responsibilities without having any fun in the process? That we had to frown, be stressed, or be “serious” in order to show that we are mature grownups?  All of this has nothing to do with maturity.  Maturity is demonstrated by taking care of our responsibilities, not by how stressed or serious we are or look when we take care of them.

I believe that it is possible for us to let that inner child out to play again.  Not only is it possible, it is a must if we are to enjoy life to the fullest.  I know all of us are busier than we’d like and it’s difficult to find the time to involve ourselves in fun activities.  But this is precisely why we must make it a point to let our inner child come out to play as often as we can while we carry on with our grown up responsibilities.  Understand that I’m not talking about acting like a child while you’re in that important office meeting or taking that exam.  I’m talking about feeling like a child as often as you can, no matter what you’re doing. I’m talking about letting go of those inhibitions and letting that fun side of you really shine through.

You know the side I’m talking about. You have it. We all do.  But maybe we’re afraid that people will laugh at us or frown at us if we show it.  You know what?  Let them.  Let everyone else frown and think what they want.  Show them that it’s perfectly okay to feel young, to not take life so seriously, to be happy.

How do you go about it?

Next time you are around children pay attention to them.  See how uninhibited they are.  See how little they care about what the other children think.  See how happy they are as a result of it.  Then make it a point to be just like them.  Here are 10 suggestions to help you coax your inner child out of his or her hiding place:

  1. Next time you’re moving from one place to another, whether it’s going from one room to another in your house, or from one isle to the next in the supermarket, skip instead of walking.
  2. Next time you take out the trash pretend there is a hopscotch drawing on the floor and hop, hop, hop your way to the dumpster.
  3. Buy a coloring book and crayons or coloring pencils, or a sketch pad and sketching pencils and spend 5-10 minutes coloring or drawing while you wait for your laundry to be done.
  4. Surprise your child or spouse by tickling the heck out of them. Then dare them to do the same to you and run!
  5. When stepping out of the shower make funny faces or talk in funny voices in front of the mirror.
  6. Next time you pick up your kids from school ask them what they did in school that day. When they tell you what they did, say, “Sounds boring compared to what I did.” Then make up a fantasy about going to the moon, or fighting monsters, or having a sea adventure.
  7. Dance in place as you cook, do the laundry, or make a deposit at the ATM.
  8. Buy a bubble set and have fun making and popping bubbles at the park while you watch your children play.
  9. Put stickers or post-it notes on your face while doing paperwork or paying bills.
  10. Next time you’re cooking dinner wear a bowl on your head and pretend it’s a chef’s hat, then narrate what you’re cooking as if you were doing a cooking show.

Give these suggestions a try, or come up with your own! There are hundreds of ways to channel your inner child and have fun while taking care of your adult responsibilities.  Whatever you do, give yourself permission to be free, and smile as you’re doing it.  Not only will you be less stressed and have more fun, you’ll be stopping or even reversing the aging process.

This post was inspired by my lovely wife whose inner child is always inviting my inner child out to play, and who reminds me every day that, no matter how hectic our lives are, there is always time for laughter.

We don't stop playing because we grow old...  We grow old because we stop playing.

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Why Having A Magic Lamp Wouldn’t Make You Happy

magic lamp, wishes, dreams, Aladdin, dreams, goals

Imagine for a moment that you found Aladddin’s lamp. I know. Humor me. Imagine that one day you’re taking a relaxing stroll around your neighborhood and you suddenly spot something shiny hiding in the bushes.  At first you ignore it and dismiss it as something unimportant (perhaps an empty soda can?).

You continue stroll but a few moments later you can’t shake the feeling that you were meant to see that, whatever it was.  What if it was something important?  “I better make sure,” you think.  So you walk back to retrieve the shiny object and to your surprise you find yourself staring at what appears to be a magic lamp.  Could it be?  “Yeah, right.” You let out a sarcastic chuckle and laugh at yourself for thinking such a ridiculous thing. “Still… what if it is?”  You take an inconspicuous look around to make sure no one is looking, and carefully rub the sides of the lamp.

As soon as you do that, smoke starts oozing from the lamp and suddenly, out comes a genie who, to your amazement, utters those amazing words you’ve been waiting to hear all your life, “Your wish is my command.” He then tells you that he’s there to grant you all of your heart’s desires.  Not just 3 wishes, but all of them.

Now think for a moment. What would you ask for?  You’d probably ask for all the major things right away. Love, health, money, success, vacations to exotic locations, mansions, more money, more love, etc. etc. etc.  You would basically ask for all the things that you believe would make your life easy, happy, pain-free, and struggle-free.  You’d go wild, testing the waters to see if you would really be able to get all you want.

You’d then realize that you can ask not only for you but for everyone else around you.  So you’d become the biggest philanthropist, sharing your good fortune with everyone around you.  At some point, however, you’d start running out of things to ask for.  You’ve had all the vacations you could think of, helped everyone in the world (work with me here), have more money than you know what to do with, all the success and love you can imagine, all coming instantly to you without any amount of effort or struggle on your part.

How long could you live like this? Honestly. How long? A year? Ten years? Twenty?  How long would it be before you were bored out of your mind and were left feeling depressed and worthless?  How long would your mind be able to live without a challenge or a worthy goal?  How long before you felt like you were no better than an inanimate object that adds no value to anything?

Sooner or later you’d start looking for things to do, challenges to face, goals to pursue, problems to solve.  But you wouldn’t ask the genie to bring these to you, you’d want to go out and find them yourself.  We would all want to do this.  And do you know why?  Because that’s our nature.  We think that we want life to be a breeze; we think that we’d just as soon be without the worries, the pain, the suffering, the sorrow, the struggle.  From our vintage point, we’d trade our lives for the imaginary scenario I described above in a heartbeat. But how quickly we would tire of it.  We’d soon find out that a life like that is not much fun.  You probably know by now that the things we value the most are those that required some involvement or contribution from us, no matter how small; and the higher our contribution, the greater its value to us.

There is a lesson in all of this.  I’m not saying that life has to be difficult in order for it to be fun, exciting, exhilarating or rewarding.  What I’m saying is that life is not supposed to be pain or struggle free.  I’m saying that the pain, the struggle, the challenges and all the emotions associated with these things, the good and the bad, are what make the human life such a magnificent experience.

The true joy of living does not stem from never experiencing difficulties or struggles, but from overcoming them.  So don’t get all bummed out about how life may be right now.  It won’t stay that way forever.  In spite of what it seems like at times, there is perfect balance and order in the universe. The seemingly negative experiences we encounter are meant to help us become better versions of ourselves. Embrace the challenge and push forward with confidence.

Pain may be inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Decide today that you will suffer no more.  Decide today that you don’t need to wait to find Aladdin’s lamp to be happy.  Decide today that no matter what situations you encounter in life, you will make it your dominant intent to look for the good in them, for there is good to be found if we only look hard enough.  Decide today that you will take on every day with unshakable confidence, and the determination to feel good, to spread love, to experience joy in everything you do. Decide today that you will go after your goals and your dreams, and that you will enjoy and appreciate the ride as much as, if not more than, getting there.  Decide today to share your gifts with the world, which no one but you can share.  Decide today to leave your mark in this world.

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