Tuning Out For Success

It would be impossible to list all of the things people have considered crucial to success in life. Honesty, energy, bonding, modeling, control of fear…all are important. For my whole life, I’ve searched for the answers in this arena, and treasured the gems that have been revealed.

In July of 2012, I went back to Longview, Washington, where I’d lived for nine years, raising my daughter. When we left, we packed much of our house into two storage units, planning to return once we had our roots properly planted in Los Angeles. Going through the storage units was bittersweet—my wife and I didn’t have a huge amount of time to carefully examine every item in every box. But one book fell out of one box, almost as if it intended to jump into my hands, refusing to be junked. It was called MASTERY (now out of print), and its author was an old friend of mine, Tim Piering.

Tim was (and is) one of the best men I’ve ever known. A husband, a father, an engineer, a Marine officer, black belt in four martial arts, Tim is a gentle giant with a gift for teaching and coaching. During the 80’s, it was my honor to be part of a group with which he shared extremely high-level neurolinguistic and hypnotic patterns, advanced body-mind work that still, twenty years later, seems ahead of its time. Hands trembling, realizing how close I’d come to throwing away one of Tim’s few books, I opened it, and came to page 47. there, it said that if you only had two tools in the world to help you succeed, they would be:

1) Well defined WRITTEN goals.
2) The ability to take action despite the “Radio Voice” in your head.

And I was stunned. Never have I heard anyone, anywhere, state the secret to success more clearly, or succinctly. The impact of those earlier days flooded back to me in a moment, and I realized how much of my own accomplishment I owed to just this simple understanding.

Why are these so important, and what EXACTLY does it mean?

We all understand goal-setting, and most of us are aware that writing our goals down increases our odds of accomplishing them by at least 10X. There is a quiet magic in the act of writing goals, and anyone who has practiced this art will know exactly what I’m talking about. If you doubt it, just check around and find out how uncomfortable the average person is in performing this simple, basic act. They KNOW that a written goal, unlike a misty dream or hope, is a contract between your conscious and unconscious mind. A written goal is half-way between a thought and a reality, marking the way to the future.

But what is the Radio Voice? It is the voice in your mind that doubts you, that questions, that offers seductive alternatives to performing the daily tasks that make up our lives. You want to write a chapter—it tells you that your work is crap. You want to exercise—it tells you that it is too late, that your body is beyond repair, why bother? You want to find a healthy relationship, and the voice tells you that all the good men, or women, are gone.

Don’t believe you have one? Just sit quietly for two minutes and listen. Go ahead, use a kitchen timer. Listen.

Did you hear that voice saying “what voice? I don’t hear a voice!”

That’s the voice.

It is imperative to become aware of it, aware of its power, aware that it lies. Aware that the voice in your head IS NOT YOU.

No. You are not the voice. YOU are the one LISTENING to the voice. And this is so important to understand that I cannot overstress it. Please go back and read that again. And again.

All over the world, there are literally thousands of meditation techniques designed to “turn off” or “turn down” the voice of failure. The voice, composed of the memories of teachers, parents, friends, and our own past selves, can make us doubt ourselves even in the midst of victory.

Whatever you do, whatever you desire in life, you MUST find a way to either quiet or ignore those voices, or your results will suffer.

One of the most powerful ways to turn the voices off is physical flow. This is the state reached in Tai Chi or Yoga when your mental and emotional commitment to the technique becomes intense. You can find it in jogging, when you reach “runner’s high.”

In meditation, you can observe a candle flame, the smell of incense, or even your own breathing or heartbeat for 15-30 minutes at a time, on a daily or thrice-weekly basis. When you try to do this, believe me the voices will freak out and try everything in their bag of tricks to get you to stop.

This mental/physical practice is directly applicable to any other activity in your life. To large degree, your chances to succeed in life will be in direct proportion to your capacity to maintain “flow”, or relaxed concentration, under mental or emotional stress. The depths of this trance state vary, but we’ve all heard stories of artists, inventers, writers and poets so absorbed in their work that they didn’t hear the phone ring, or even a tree fall through a window! THAT is concentration. THAT is the ability to shut up “the voices,” and that is the state you must approach to find your own greatest genius.

Thank you, Tim, for reminding me of that lesson.

A Passkey To Success

Have you ever known someone who always seemed to get what they wanted? Maybe it was that guy at work who went from visionary cubicle working stiff to powerful corner office head honcho in a short interval of time. Or your faired haired high school classmate with the glimmer in her eye, who made getting straight A’s “and being caption of the womens soccer team look like a cake walk. Their cups always seem to overflow and others marveled at their accomplishments.

Never did we hear them complain or worry (out loud for that matter). They always expected the best to happen and it did. Even when bad times fell on them, them always stayed in good spirits and like clockwork everything that they seemed to have lost was restored back and then some. And many onlookers were left wondering how they did it (and how to get their magic potion). Quite simply, the working stiff and the fair haired classmate probably believed they deserved to see their dreams become reality, and that the best that life had to offer was theirs. And, it was not a matter of being connected and knowing the “right” person, there was one defining pattern to these people, it was their attitude. Fortunately this can also be true for all of us.

We all live with an unconscious expectation of ourselves and our own lives. This expectation not only determines what we have in our lives but it also represents what we are willing to settle for. Expectation is a very powerful outlook and one that very few people ever learn to fully cultivate. Whatever you expect with certainty is what you will get in your life. Expectation is the intrinsic place where an idea becomes so real that you feel it even though you can’t hold it yet. Expectation is like an invisible magnet that will attract into your life that which you expect. When you expect something you activate and engage those parts of your mind and your nervous system that can empower you to think the unthinkable and do the undoable. Whatever thoughts you constantly feed your mind through out the day, your subconscious mind is taking it in. And it does not discriminate between the good thoughts or the bad thoughts, it takes it all in! What you earn right now is what you expect to earn. The amount of free time you have right now is what you expect to have as free time. The relationships you have are what you expect to have.

When you expect the best it’s not like expecting something good or something similar, it is the best and only the best. You have to stop settling for less than you can be or have. On a deep psychological level this is exactly what creates your expectations and that is why a lifetime of settling for less than you can be creates an expectation that is only “O.K.”. It becomes the standard that you are willing to settle for.

Great expectations create great results. When you expect the best it will become a directional mechanism that will guide you to seeking out and finding what you expect. The difference between great expectations and weak hopes start out with nothing more than a outlook or mind set; an outlook that can make the difference between living a life of fulfilment and one of desperation and frustration. Create the expectation by making sincere decisions. Nurture your expectations by never settling for anything less than the best. Over time you will no longer want to think negative and self destructing thoughts. You will choose joy, happiness, success, abundance and everything that you wish for yourself.

It is easy to change your expectations. You can do it in an instant. And that can be a menace. As too often, we lower our expectations because that seems easier than overcoming the obstacles which seem to stand in the way of fulfilling those expectations. Are you being forced to lower your expectations or are you choosing the “handy” way out? You must expect the best in order to achieve the best. Yet it takes more than just expectation. It takes commitment and performance. Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself and then do what is necessary to make it a reality

You need no special skills or knowledge to raise your expectations. You simply need a decision that from this point onwards you will never again settle for anything less than you can possible be. The difference between hoping for something with uncertainty and depending on something with expectation is nothing but the way you direct the focus of your mind. What you say to yourself, the images you imagine and your behavior are what you can consciously direct. But, only if you choose to. If not, you will revert back to the autopilot of the masses just going with the flow of “whatever” comes along. The cultural autopilot is the emotional default and only through conscious and consistent nurturing of your desires and inclinations can you live life by your own standards and create the expectations that will lead you to a life of abundance and fulfilment.

In 1968, a study was conducted in San Francisco on teachers of students in grades one through six. Known as the Pygmalion Study, researchers who were involved gave the teachers incorrect information about their students; basically that the students were on the brink of intellectual growth. However, the students were really selected randomly and were not necessarily on the brink of anything. Nonetheless, the teachers believed and expected that the students were capable of great things and this resulted in high scores on IQ tests and other projects. After the study was completed, researchers concluded that the teachers’ belief in the students caused the students to experience outstanding intellectual growth. This study is a prime example of belief turning possibilities into reality.

Are you making a living or living your life? To “live” your life implies action–movement–excitement. Unfortunately, today most of us have our calendars so full we have little time to enjoy all the courses in the feast of life. It’s important that you value your precious time here on this planet.

Most of us believe that the hand we are dealt in life is what we will always hold. Sure, life is okay but it isn’t great; bills need to be paid, the kids are sick, and the bank account never seems to grow. After some time, you believe this is your life and how it will always play out. On the other hand, people who believe they deserve better play a different hand and they never have a poker face when it comes to their expectations.

When you expect only the best, you put yourself in a position of power. First and foremost, you send signals to your subconscious to help you notice and get what you desire (and deserve!).You get a check in the mail or you literally bump into the perfect woman at the coffee shop and she happens to live close by. Great expectations lead to great results.

Like every play, your life has its own story. Learn from the past but don’t get caught up in it. You can’t change it and you can’t expect or anticipate anything that has already taken place! And you don’t really know how it’s going to end, or even what’s coming up next. The best thing you can do is keep up with what’s going on and steer it in the direction you would like it to go. The rest will play out as it will.

In the morning, do not get out of bed until you sit back, fluff your pillows and fill yourself with words of loving encouragement and expectation. Ponder the words, let them sink in. Imagine the dreams you have for yourself. And finish by including a short proclamation for your day to be full of wonder, joy and guidance.

Listen to your intuition, for it is your best friend. Ignore your fears for they are definitely not in your best interest. Believe in your dreams for they are your future. Come to expect success in your life and everything you do, because you are constantly preparing for it. Expect the best out of life and you will get it!

Expect the best and the best will come…