15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


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Passion Overcomes Complacency

A human being will not take positive steps to improve their life for one simple reason: it is easier not to. All improvement requires change, and all change meets resistance. The only time there will be a change in the status quo is when desire overcomes fear and laziness.

passion
Today, I’m writing specifically for those people that have a vague idea that they would like to improve their life in some way, but have not yet taken proactive steps toward that idea. Either because they are scared to attempt it, or not motivated to try. These are five steps to develop a passion to overcome complacency.

1. Have a goal. When you create your goal, be specific. Not: Lose weight, make more money; instead: lose fifteen pounds, earn an extra $1000/month. Not: Be more social; rather: meet two new interesting acquaintances. Little goals are fine. Start small. Everything worthwhile begins with small improvements, and the idea of a “quantum leap” to success is largely a myth.

2. Write it down. And keep it posted someplace where you see it every day. More than one spot is fine as well. The bathroom mirror is a good spot, because it is usually the first place you see yourself in the morning. So is your car dashboard if you drive every day. Your refrigerator door if you eat every day. Keep a copy in your purse or wallet.

3. Think about it all the time. Visualize yourself having already achieved your goal. Experience the emotional satisfaction in having achieved it. If you have to set aside an alarm clock to remind you to think about your goal for fifteen minutes every day, do it. All I’m asking you to do is daydream; even the most fearful and lazy person could do this step.

4. Self-Talk about it. First you should talk about it with yourself. When you are looking at your bathroom mirror first thing in the morning, you should say to yourself “I will lose fifteen pounds,” “I will earn an extra $1000 a month.” But the next step is the most crucial and the one which will eliminate most people from progressing any further.

5. Talk about it with people that matter. This is the first step that involves anything resembling risk, because someone may tease you. If your passion to achieve your goal is not greater than your fear of being teased, then your future is sabotaged right here. That’s why you should only talk about your dreams and goals with “people that matter.” Who are those people? People that can help you and people that will encourage you. Avoid negative people like lepers. If someone has an attitude that you don’t want to catch, stop associating with them. Period. Does that sound harsh? Perhaps, but why would you want to hang out with someone that belittles your dreams? Small people want everyone around them to lose so that they can remain comfortably losers themselves.

I stole this quote from a businessman named Bob Kummer:

“The Bible states that Samson killed a thousand enemy soldiers with the jawbone of an ass. Every day, hundreds of people have their dreams stolen from them by that very same weapon.”

These are baby steps for developing a passion towards positive change. The more you think about it and talk about it, the more your goal begins to focus into a crystal clear image. When it begins to move from your head to your heart, you will develop a desire to achieve it; and when that desire–your passion–is great enough, it will give you the courage to overcome fear and the urgency to overcome laziness.

All achievement is accomplished twice. First in the mind, second in the body. So talking and thinking and imagining your way to success is not a waste of time. It is in fact a vital first step. Once you’ve gotten this far, you are literally halfway towards fulfilling your goal (and further than any of those negative “friends” have ever gotten).

Next post, an Action Plan to convert your goal into reality.

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Imagine You 2.0

The greatest hindrance to most peoples success is a poor self-image. Often when we are ground down by life we allow circumstances to depress us or define us. And that’s a lie; a trick of the enemy. Your worth is not determined by your environment but by your character. Your value comes from what is inside you not from what is around you.

A gold coin in a pile of cow dung is still inherently valuable. Sometimes it’s just hard to recognize its value because of the smell. Likewise, outside circumstances do not determine your self-worth. Your self-worth is inherently priceless and is not dependent on the approval of your boss, a bank, a loved one or a stranger.

You are unique. No one else in this universe has your exact same thoughts, mind and ideas. You have skills and abilities that no one else has. Emerson said, “Every man I meet is in some way my superior.” The problem is that we rely on our present, what we currently see and hear and feel, and allow that to become our reality of self. If that happens, then we cannot rise above our current circumstances, because we are not just struggling against the world, we are struggling against ourselves.

A couple posts back I described the process of creative visualization as a means of helping you to accomplish tasks successfully. This same method can be used to elevate yourself into the person you want to be. Utilize the power of your imagination to hold a picture of yourself in your mind. The person that you really want to be, not a prisoner of your circumstances, but the master of them.

Healthy, wealthy, wise. Visualize yourself as physically fit, living in a beautiful home, living a comfortable life. Imagine what your life is like on the average Tuesday. What do you do in the morning, afternoon and evenings? Imagine the way you talk to people, the way you conduct your daily activities, the relationships you have. Imagine a life of purpose. What do you want? Imagine it. Hold it in your mind. Allow that image to crystalize into a vision and you are on your way to becoming that version of you.

Once again, I hear the objections, “your advice to people is daydreaming?” Why not? You will be much better off doing that than spending your day berating yourself and complaining about being out of shape, broke, and stupid. Work on you first.

Emerson again: “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”


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The Greatest Nation is Imagination

Have you ever seen someone fail badly when attempting something new? Whether it’s a skateboard maneuver or public speaking or trying to de-claw a cat? After they fall, stammer, or get sliced, did they say, “I knew that was going to happen…”?

If you knew it was going to happen, why didn’t you do it a different way?

They didn’t know they were going to fail. They imagined that they would fail, which increased their chance that they would fail.

“Creative visualization” is a tool used by professional athletes and many successful leaders and experts. It is essentially imagining yourself succeeding at a task. Golfers paint a vivid picture in their mind of making a successful putt or drive before they step up to the ball. Basketball players imagine the ball swooshing through the hoop before they take the foul shot.

There has been tons of research and many books on this subject, but suffice it to say, that your autonomic nervous system cannot tell the difference between you physically performing an action and you carefully imagining performing that same action. It’s “virtual practice.”

So by visualizing yourself succeeding at the task before you attempt it, you increase your chance at succeeding. After all, you’ve already done it once before, right? But by worrying, by holding a failure picture in your mind before you execute, you are practically begging to fail.

Because he was worried about falling, the skateboarder wiped out. And because she was worried about being embarassed, the speaker blew her presentation. And let’s face it, your cat can smell your fear.

Imagination is a powerful tool. But if you are not using it to help you, you are probably using it against you.

I always talk about spending 15 minutes a day performing some activity that will move you towards your goals in life. Maybe right now, you don’t have a job or business vehicle to take you where you want to go. But you can spend 15 minutes dreaming. Creatively visualize. Paint a crystal clear picture of the life you want to live and the person you want to be. Write it down, imagine it, envision it. It will help prepare your mind for success and enable you to take advantage of the next opportunity that you come across.

Am I advocating daydreaming as a course of action? Yep. It will help you a whole lot more than worrying about not being able to pay your bills.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw