I spent this past weekend celebrating my fiancé’s belated birthday in San Francisco. Living within 10 miles of the city it’s not unusual for us to spend a night in town. Yet what was lusciously different for us this time was that we chose a completely different neighborhood in which to hang out. This time we stayed in Japantown.
I’m a native San Franciscan and have lived a majority of my life in the Bay Area, yet I’m embarrassed to say that I have never stepped foot in Japantown until this weekend. It reminded me of how getting out of my ruts always leads me to look at life with a fresh pair of eyes.
This weekend I realized how important it is to focus on what I have been able to create in my life instead of where I am lagging behind in where I want to be. It’s so easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking that my business isn’t doing this or that while totally losing sight of how blessed I am to have a business that enables me to spend every day working with my fiance and very best friend. My instincts tell me this will be far more important as I reflect back on my life at its end than my client list and annual revenues.
Thoughts Taking Form
Be careful what you ask for. I went to Maui for the first time in the summer of 2002 for a retreat with best-selling inspirational author Alan Cohen. One of the memorable exercises for me was describing to a partner what an ideal day would look like. I found myself sharing something that I’d never given deep thought to yet it felt right at the time. I shared that I’d love to have a business that my significant other was a part of. I was single at the time working in a corporate job and partnership had eluded me for several years. So this idea seemed like a pipe-dream that I never expected would come to fruition.
I met Dean five years later and when his business came to a fork I seized the opportunity to ask him to join me in mine.
This weekend I was reminded of how powerful it is to be aware of desires that you have that may not be a part of your daily consciousness. You have to be in touch with what you want before you can reach out to claim what you want when the opportunities present themselves.
I didn’t expect the 4-mile hill run I took the other day to be anything more than a standard workout. But as I got about 10 minutes into the run and started to climb with the hilly grade, I receive another life lesson reminder. I became aware of how much my beliefs and habits play a role in what I am able to accomplish. As I tuned into what was going on in my mind, I was able to get beyond what I had let become obstacles and achieve a higher performance.
Here are the obstacles I got in touch with and lessons learned:
Obstacle: I realized that I had established certain points in this routine run where I told myself that the grade was too steep and I allowed my pace to transition from run to walk.
Lesson: I had come to let the points in the road dictate my pace without even considering what may be possible. Over the course of time, I had developed the habit to stop at certain points without pushing myself. I let myself believe it was too hard without even trying.
Obstacle: When I became aware of how I was holding myself back, I made an effort to get in tune with what thoughts were attached. I realized that I had a slight fear about driving my heart and breathing rate.
Lesson: I made the assumption that if I was huffing and puffing deeply at the lower part of the hill, that it would be too much for my lungs to handle as I made my way towards the top. It wasn’t until I pushed myself that I was able to discover that I could manage my breathing as I focused on it. The assumption that I had let hold me back had turned out to be totally false.
The fresh New Year is just around the corner. Maybe you, like me, are thinking about goals. As you take a look at what you’d like to create in your life, what obstacles might be holding you back? Might you discover like I did some thoughts that are pure false?
Last January I discovered Dr. Joe Dispenza‘s theory about how to consciously create your day, a result of my viewing the film, What the Bleep. It was one of those pieces of wisdom that stayed with me, yet I have to admit that I haven’t been able to grasp exactly how to put it to use in a practical way. This morning I think I got it.
How to consciously create your day:
- Start by getting a clear vision of what you want to experience or accomplish for the day
- Identify the steps necessary to achieve that vision
- Follow through on those steps
- Throughout the day bring your consciousness back to your vision, acknowledging that you are in the process of creating it
- Recognize that your consciousness and external actions are coming together to create your vision
How to Consciously Create Your Day,
Is there something that you wish to achieve or create in your life, yet you lack the confidence in yourself to follow through? Here are some tips for staying relentlessly focused on your goal.
- Break your goal into executable steps.
- Recognize that the key to achieving your goals is following through with the necessary steps.
- Assign a schedule for each step and commit it to your calendar.
- Use your calendar as your “to do” list. If you can’t get to a step on the scheduled date, reschedule it. Keep the step on your calendar until its completion.
- If you are feeling resistance to following through with a particular step, get in touch with the belief that is in your way.
- Replace the limiting belief with an idea that empowers you to move forward. Get inspired from someone who believes in you.
- Hold yourself responsible for the life you create. Don’t allow room for regrets!
I had one of my most fulfilling experiences on Friday when I was invited to speak at a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help those who are most in need to succeed. Sixty women who are enrolled in various vocational job training programs attended my workshop, “The Secret to Success”. Why was it so fulfilling? Because for at least our 90 minutes together, my ideas made a difference.
The breakthrough lesson was how our beliefs are all that holds us back from taking the steps to succeed. We did an exercise that first asked them to write answers to the following:
- What fears do you have about your job future?
- What ideas are limiting what you think you can achieve or become in your life?
- What is holding you back from believing you can stay dedicated to doing the necessary work?
In the second part of the exercise, I asked them to go back and write down what new ideas they could replace the ones above with that would support them in taking action. After a few minutes, several shared how writing their thoughts down enabled them to get clarity they’d never had before.
We can help ourselves break through all our obstacles if only we look closely enough to see what they are.
Try the exercise yourself and see what you might learn.
I was overweight throughout grammar school and up until my second year of college. I grew up seeing myself as an overweight person. After numerous failed diets throughout the years, it became a stretch for me to consider that I would ever be anything but overweight. One morning when I was 19, I got out of bed anticipating a party that I was going to that night. I realized that I was sick of being overweight. I decided that I was willing to do what it took to change my weight. I took one day at a time, making healthy choices and changing the way I ate. Within a few months I dropped 40 pounds and changed my lifestyle forever. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was following the key to success in creating any change.
7 Steps to Successfully Create Change:
- Declare that you are no longer willing to tolerate a particular habit or way of being.
- Identify the specific things you need to do differently to change.
- Acknowledge that you are in complete control of your actions.
- Recognize the process of change as being day by day.
- Commit to making the desired actions for that particular day.
- If you fall down, forgive yourself and start fresh.
- At the end of each day, honor your ability to make the choice you want and create the change you desire.
My current task of coming up with a logo for my new personal development firm, inner architect has brought me to probe a number of questions that I don’t often think about. I’m sure I’m not the only one who spends more time thinking about what I am going to wear than reflecting on these questions that address life at the very core. I wanted to toss them out to give you something to chew on:
- How do you want to be remembered?
- What ideals do you represent?
- What image would you pick to represent who you are?
- Do your choices and actions align with that image?