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Mental rehearsal (DW#577)

Yesterday we talked about how it is not enough to simply dream of an exciting future. 

Let me repeat that. 

It is not that dreaming of an ideal future is not important to manifest your dreams. 

It is. 

Very. 


However, it is not enough. So what’s missing?

You also need to visualize and plan for the work involved in achieving that goal or manifesting that dream.

Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book You are the Placebo, talks about how you can determine your future. One of the key ways, he explains, is through "mental rehearsing". 

[Controlling your destiny] "is possible through mental rehearsal. This technique is basically closing your eyes and repeatedly imagining performing an action, and mentally reviewing the future you want, all the while reminding yourself of who you no longer want to be (the old self) and who you do want to be. This process involves thinking about your future actions, mentally planning your choices,...

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Visualizing success is great except for this (DW#576)

Do you remember the sensation created by the book The Secret? After it came out, many many people started visualizing what they wanted and what success looked like for them, on a regular basis, believing that it was the key to success.

Here’s the thing: it is important to dream. It is also valuable to allow yourself to dream big and let your imagination come up with what wild success looks like. And to feel the good feelings that come from dreaming about these successes.

But you should know one big caveat.

Research shows that when you indulge in this type of day dreaming, it releases all sorts of feel good chemicals and hormones in your brain and in your body. And your brain and body are tricked into feeling that you have already achieved this ….. which in turn dampens your motivation to take action towards your goal!

WHAT???

Yes. Your strategy for success may actually be holding you back from the very thing that you are chasing. (I have been down this rabbit hole many...

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Just get started (DW#575)

Now that you are clear on your why, it is time to take action.

Please do not wait until you can see the whole staircase before you take the first step. You do NOT need to figure out how you will finish before you take start.

Start by walking 100 steps
Start by eating one vegetable
Start by saying one kind thing to your spouse
Start by being grateful for one tiny thing
Start by writing 100 words
Start by reading one page
Start by calling one friend
Start by listening to your child for 1 minute
Start by putting away your phone for 5 minutes
Start by clearing clutter from a single chair

Don’t worry about finishing yet.
Just get started. Now.

 

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The art of taking action (DW#574)

As we said yesterday, keeping busy is different from being engaged in meaningful work.

Gregg Krech puts it well in The Art of Taking Action.

He says: "The Art of Taking Action isn’t simply about keeping busy or checking things off your to-do list. It’s about choosing what to do, how to do it, and the development of character."

So come on. It is time to come clean. At least to yourself. Answer these two questions:

What are you procrastinating on? And
Why does it matter? In other words:
What is the cost of procrastination for you? Why is this a problem?
What would it do for you if you get this task/project done? How would it impact your life in a positive way if this task or project would be done?

Getting crystal clear on your WHY is really really important to push through the times when your inspiration leaves you.

 

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Productive procrastination (DW#573)

Can I share a secret?

When I am working on a creative project, such as writing, planning or working on a presentation, I get very productive. I clean out closets, cook up a storm, get my filing done, find great deals on Amazon, clean out more closets and drawers, organize the pantry . .

Anything to keep busy and stop feeling the anxiety that comes from producing meaningful work. . . .

I call it productive procrastination. A lot of stuff gets done.

Except what really matters.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Just because we are busy, it does not mean that we not procrastinating.

We need to make sure that we are doing work that really matters rather than merely busy work.

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The bad news about inspiration (DW#572)

A couple of days ago we said that the good news about inspiration and motivation was that we all experience it from time to time.

Now here’s the bad news: inspiration and motivation does not last. Meditation teacher Eknath Easwaran puts it this way: people are often heroes at the beginning (the Sanskrit word for this is arambhashura) of a project and take it up with a fanfare of trumpets and enthusiasm but they soon find that their enthusiasm soon "tiptoes down the back stairs."

What this means is that it is perfectly normal for inspiration and motivation to wane over time. The problem is not that we lose motivation for a task but that we stop moving forward when this happens.

So, while inspiration is great to get a project going, it is not a good idea to count on inspiration to help us complete a project.

When inspiration and motivation abandon us (and they will), we do not have to abandon projects that matter. This is the time when we need to remind ourselves about our...

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The law of diminishing intent (DW#571)

Last week we talked about how we need to get into action when we feel inspired.

This week let’s explore this idea of inspiration a little more.

Jim Rohn (who happens to be Tony Robbin’s mentor) talks about what he calls the law of diminishing intent. The law of diminishing intent, he explains, is that the likelihood of doing something diminishes the further away you get from the initial moment of inspiration.

In other words, if we don’t take action when we are feeling inspired, and delay it, it becomes much less likely that we will take action in the future. Our intention to take action diminishes with the passage of time.

This applies whether we are talking about working on our relationship,

starting a new project or doing something that we have always wanted to do.

The more an idea sits on our "someday list" the less likely it is that it will actually get done.

So here is what we need to do on capitalize on inspiration and motivation when it does strike: get in...

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The good news about inspiration (DW#570)

You have moments of inspiration, don’t you? Moments when you feel really really motivated and inspired to take action on your task or project. The good news about inspiration is that we all experience it from time to time.

It would be wise for you to capitalize on this inspiration. And start taking action immediately. Today. Not in the future. Now.

Experts in motivation tell us that the longer we wait between feeling inspired to do something and actually doing it, the more our own image of ourselves erodes. Along with our confidence in getting the job done.

So the moment you feel inspiration, please don’t delay, over analyze it or second guess it. Or try to do it perfectly.

Simply get up and get into motion.

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The bad news about the future (DW#569)

Have you ever told yourself that you don’t have time this week to do what matters but you will for sure next week? Next week you will be organized and have more time. Next week, things will magically work out and what distracts you today, will surely sort itself out next week.
 
It turns out that this is a very common human tendency. We tend to overestimate the time that we will have in the future.
 
The line from the musical Annie comes to mind: Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow. You are always a day away . . .
 
As lovely and positive as that thought may be, the reality, it turns out, it quite different. We are no more organized the next day than we are today. Tomorrow is likely to be just like today. We will be busy and distracted and have a long list of urgent things that will crowd out the important.

So our future will be just like our present. Unless we do something different. And start taking action on what matters. Not tomorrow and not...

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You can take action despite your fears. (DW#568)

Can I tell you a little secret?

The most successful people in the world have the same fears that you and I do. Fears regarding failure, criticism and not meeting standards set by themselves and others. 

Really and truly. 

The only difference is that they take action despite their fears and their anxiety. 

The strength of their purpose is greater than the fears and the doubts that they experience. 

Really. 

You and I can also choose to act despite how we feel. 

Repeat after me: 
Feel the fear and take action anyway. 
Feel the fear and take action towards your goals. 
Feel the fear and take action towards your goals. 

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