Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Tackling Subconscious Fears

It is very tough to know what your fears really are.

Sometimes you can figure out logically why it is right for you to go out and earn £100 million or why it is right to have the most passionate relationship ever, but your life won't reflect what you know is logical.

You may find that you have set these goals and have lots of reasons why you want to achieve them, but you still find that you are not producing results that lead you in the direction of the goals.

The reason this happens is because you have beliefs that you are not consciously aware of that prevent you from acting towards these goals. For example, you may really want to be a multimillionaire, but you may feel that generating wealth involves lots of pain, because you might get rejected when you start new relationships with clients or you will have to work really really hard.

But how can you tackle limiting beliefs you are not even aware of?

I have developed two very powerful exercises for overcoming this challenge.

The first one is to take a bird's eye view over your entire life. Take a look at all your actions and decisions up until the present moment. Visualise the key moments in your life and see how your life has progressed. Once you reach the present moment, continue to visualise what will happen as you continue to take similar decisions and actions as you have done in the recent and maybe longer-term past. If you do this as honestly as you can, you can often get a strong idea of where your life is really heading. Sometimes it is easy to begin visualising yourself owning this massive company or helping lots of people, but when you look at the actions you are currently taking you might realise that some of the beliefs that cause you to make the decisions you do will seriously have to change.

Once you have done this exercise ask the following question.

What fears are holding me back from acting towards achieving my goals?

You will probably come up with a list of several fears.

Now take this list and work through each fear finding reasons why the fear is completely flawed or why the fear is not relevant. This may require some creativity but it is definitely worth it.

When doing this also try and visualise why the fears are flawed, because this will make it much more real for your brain.

It may be a good idea to try this exercise several times until you feel deep down that you are not afraid of pursuing your goals any more.

I think what is particularly powerful about these two exercises is that they tackle beliefs that you are not even consciously aware of. This also means that once they are changed you do not have to consciously pump yourself up to take the action you need to to achieve your goals, it should happen automatically because you mind will believe that taking action that will achieve your goals will be fun.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Creating a Business Idea

So you want to generate financial abundance for yourself and those around you. You plan to do this by going down the entrepreneurial route. There's only one problem - you don't have a business idea.

This is quite a big problem. How can you go out and get rich if you don't have an idea. If you don't have an idea, then you can't make a plan. If you can't make a plan then you can't act. If you can't act then you can't produce any results.

So what is the solution to this problem?

An idea.

All progress stops when you don't have an idea and everything can begin when you have an idea. There is no getting round this.

This means you need to employ every conceivable strategy possible to come up with your idea.

So what is it like to experience an idea? How do you know when you have really stumbled upon a great business idea?

Before you know if you have a great idea you have to be familiar with the industry. You might have a great idea, but someone out there may have already started working on it. Alternatively your idea may not be profitable at all.

So how do we overcome this problem?

If you have an industry which you prefer, then it might be a good idea to start studying that industry. Begin asking yourself questions like "what is missing from this industry?", "what would I really enjoy contributing to this industry?".

Once you start studying an industry you will likely begin finding things that are missing from that industry. You will probably begin to see places you can add value, or areas in which there are companies who have no competition and therefore produce poor products or services. These all represent opportunities.

Another great way of generating ideas is getting out of your current environment and experiencing loads of new things. For example, go travelling, go visit some friends far away, go away to some cottage out in the country somewhere for a week, etc. This will help you get a fresh perspective on how your idea is coming along.

Some important things to note...

Do not use your lack of an idea as an excuse for not generating value. Whatever it is you are doing at the moment to generate value, it is probably worth continuing to do so, unless it compromises you ability to generate your new idea.

Also, do not allow the fact that your "working on idea" to reduce your productivity. Just because you do not have an idea is no excuse for sleeping in until midday and then watching TV until 5 in the evening before you start doing anything. You have to make your actions congruent with that of producing a great idea. You also have to look after yourself in a way that when your idea comes along you are ready to give it 100%.

I've thrown a lot of information out here, so I'll summarise my key points below
-If you want to make a big contribution or increase your wealth substantially you need an idea
-Become aware of what it will feel like when you have this idea. You may already have a good idea, but not realise it
-Explore an industry you like and find out what you might be able to add to this industry
-Get out of your current environment to get a new perspective on your situation
-Get some new experiences under your belt
-Keep generating value for people until you have your idea, unless doing so compromises you generating an idea
-Get your lifestyle to a position where you will be ready to implement your idea the second you think of it

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Sources of Motivation - Create or Prevent Fulfilment

Recently I have spent a lot of time considering how I want to be motivated. I have also considered what the different types of motivation are and the potential impacts they would have on my life.

From my research and thinking I have come up with two extreme sources of motivation. The concepts themselves are not unique and original, but from what I have found, the way in which I bring them together is.

So, the two extreme sources of motivation are

1. Ensuring your own security / staying alive
2. Providing value for others

The key characteristics of these two sources of motivation are

Ensuring Your Own Security / Staying Alive
-Scarcity mentality
-Based on the belief that there are limited resources and value to go around
-Does not make a person feel great about themselves
-Discourages integrity
-Less likely to produce massive results and unlikely to unlock much of a person's true potential
-Inspired by fear
-It is hard to be proud of the results produced by a lifetime of living this way

Providing Value for Others
-Abundance mentality
-Based on the assumption that a person can easily meet their needs and therefore changes their focus to how they can provide value for others
-Can be massively inspiring and motivating
-Encourages integrity
-Very likely to produce massive results and unlock much more of a person's true potential
-Inspired by love
-A person can be incredibly proud of the results they have produced and how they have lived after a lifetime of living this way
-When taken far enough it easily takes care of what the other source of motivation seeks to achieve

The above are the two extreme sources of motivation a person may have in life. It is rare to find a person whose motivation comes purely from one source. Most people will have a combination of the two.

What can be taken from this is that as a person moves further to the source of their motivation being to provide value to others they generally improve the quality of their lives.

It can be the case that in the short-run the quality of their life suffers slightly. For example, if a person gives up an hourly wage to try and run a toy manufacturing company they will probably suffer financially in the short-run. However, if the way they add value to others is a passion of theirs (in this case manufacturing toys) then it is highly likely that in the long-run they will increase the quality of their life and help others more. It is also true that if they are doing what they are passionate about then they are very likely to feel much better about themselves and therefore in a way the quality of their life has improved anyway.

Moving between these two sources of motivation is not something that is likely to happen overnight. Western culture heavily conditions people to focus on ensuring their own security, such as through the "get a job culture", rather than how they can contribute to others.

It can also be quite scary to initially make the switch. The most common fear is "if I just focus on adding value to others, then how will I pay the bills and keep my house, etc." The problem with this fear of switching is that it arises specifically because that person is still living with the mindset of being motivated by ensuring their own security. Once they make the leap to the other source of motivation that fear will no longer be relevant. A person will not be able to be motivated by providing value for others while consistently maintaining that thought pattern of fear.

Once a person intellectually recognises the benefits of the being motivated by providing value for others they have to gather enough faith to make the leap from being motivated by security.

I am yet to discover a case where being motivated by security creates a better and more fulfilling life than one motivated by providing value for others. This is one of the key reasons why I believe this theory to be so powerful.

So have a look at your own goals. Why is it that you want those goals? Could the reasons for wanting your goals link with how quickly and efficiently you are acting to achieve them?

Friday, 23 November 2007

Benefits of Tolerating Risk

I have just had another epiphany.

I have just been reading a book written by someone who has become very wealthy, but did not do it in a way that focussed on providing value to other people. I find that by reading perspectives from different people who have become wealthy, it is easier to isolate the core beliefs that are necessary for generating wealth from those which are not. With this information I can more efficiently tackle changing my own beliefs.

So anyway.

I have found that an interesting characteristic the wealthy share is their tolerance to risk. Risk tolerance is very closely related to a person's ability to overcome their fears. As you fear failure less you will be willing to take on more risk. I am beginning to believe that the ability to take on risk (sensibly) is one of the key factors that will in the long term benefit someone financially.

Another interesting thing I have picked up is how tolerance to risk can be applied to other areas, besides finance.

One of these areas is in your social life.

By enjoying risk you will enjoy expressing your true self more in social interactions. You will be more likely to crack jokes amongst people you do not know and you will be more likely to get involved more. This is because both of these things involve risk. Looking back on it now, it is often those friends of mine who are most comfortable with risk who are also the most fearless socially.

Now by being socially fearless they do not necessarily achieve the same outcome that I want to. For example, some socially fearless people I know treat people very harshly and do not feel regret (as far as I can tell). The outcomes they produce that I do like are ones such as being able to enjoy themselves a lot around people they do not know. They are also able to crack more jokes and it takes them much less time to form friendships.

To conclude...

1. Recognise the benefits that an increased tolerance to risk will give you financially and in other areas of your life
2. Find some ways in which you can improve your tolerance to risk
3. Apply it!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Create Systems to Make Life Easy

Life should be easy.

One of the things I focus on is to create systems so that I do not need to consciously remind myself to do things or be a certain way. In many ways this is the equivalent of creating long-term permanent change.

I'll explain.

How you act now is how you are naturally. If you find playing computer games fun and have everything set up so you can easily play them then that is part of who you are and will be unless you change it.

Creating a life system is changing your beliefs and environment so that you naturally do things differently and you do not have to think really hard to do them. For example, if you want to earn a living from blogging, then it will be easier for you if you have beliefs that mean you really love blogging. It will also help you if you have all the facilities available to you.

What I try to do is create changes that make results happen for me naturally. For example, when I wanted to get fitter I tried to change my beliefs permanently so that I enjoyed getting fitter and ensured that I had all the equipment and plans for doing so. More specifically, now I have all the running equipment I could want and I focus on the things I enjoy about running. As a result I run almost daily and really enjoy it.

This is one of my examples of creating a "system for living".

What I am trying to get at is that achieving goals should not involve forcing yourself to get up every morning and pressuring yourself to do things every day (not to be confused with not having any pressure to follow through). The ideal way of achieving goals is to have a system that means you don't need to think consciously about it in order to do it. This will allow you to fully embrace the moment or as some people describe being in the "zone" or the "flow state" while still achieving your goals.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

The Illusionary Epiphany

The illusion of the perfect answer.

This is a state I used to live in almost every day of my life. I remember when I was younger and wanted to "get good with the ladies" I used to come to a question I could not quite answer. For example, it might be something like "what should my outcome be when talking to women?" I would spend hours thinking about it. I would walk around in a state that told me that when I answered this question all my problems would be solved and I would instantly have what I wanted.

As you could guess my problems were never instantly solved. My strong desire for answers did lead to several epiphanies, but not the solution to the bigger problem.

The reason I talk about this is because I still find myself in this highly addictive state. When I am in the frame of mind it is very hard to spot. I probably have some form of it at the moment as I seek my true purpose. My search for it seems to fit all the symptoms. Even now I have convinced myself that this time is different to all those other times. Maybe I will have to relearn the lesson I am trying to teach?

My real point is this...

Don't use waiting for the great epiphany, or answer to all your problems as an excuse not to carry on with your life as it is. Keep challenging yourself to be better. Keep exploring new belief systems. Keep searching for more efficient ways of looking at life and of doing things. Keep working towards the goals you have set at the moment. Keep loving unconditionally. Keep contributing.

Don't let waiting for the illusionary epiphany stop you from living life.

This illusion manifests itself in so many forms, like "I have to create the perfect business plan" or "after I have read this book I will do this" or "after I xxxxx I will achieve this easily".

Don't ask yourself IF you're going through this. Ask yourself WHERE in your life you are experiencing this. When you have done this, ask yourself if it is giving you an excuse to procrastinate on anything. That excuse is no longer valid.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Purpose and Passion ... and Why I Have Been Away

Where have I been?

Tomorrow it will 2 months since my last blog post. What have I been up to?

To say it in as short as possible, I have had a rather large change of lifestyle. I have started studying for a degree at university.

The reason I have not been posting is a combination of reasons. One is that I have been up trying lots of different things out. Another is that I almost forgot about blogging for a while when I was so caught up in the first few weeks just making sure I was registered for everything. Another part of me forgot the joy I receive from blogging and began viewing it as something I "needed" to do, but would never do just for the fun of it.

So why did I start blogging again?

I consider myself at one of the biggest turning points of my life at the moment. I am currently building the foundation for my future career. I have some vague goals set and plan to make them more specific. My biggest hurdle at the moment is finding my true purpose. My key focus at the moment is to find my purpose.

While journalling about what my purpose could be I also explored what some of my passions were. One of these I reminded myself was sharing my beliefs and developments with others, which reignited my passion for blogging again.

So here I am.

So what information can I provide that might be useful for you?

Here are my speculations as it stands.

To achieve fulfilment you must experience a life of overcoming challenge, contribution, love, growth and enjoying how you do it.

Carrying out these different factors come from doing different things.

-Overcoming challenge, growth and contribution comes from setting and achieving goals
-Love comes from aligning with your purpose and developing your beliefs
-Enjoying how you do it comes from completing your goals using an approach that you enjoy

Setting and achieving goals lies very much at the route of this. The key to setting and achieving goals is motivation. This means we need a reason to achieve our goals. There must be a fundamental reason from which all our goals develop. I believe this is comes from our purpose. You can tell when people have this because of the extraordinary things they achieve, such as Tony Robbins. My current aim is to discover a purpose that is so in line with who I am that all my goals seem obvious. My challenge after that is to find the most passionate and enjoyable ways of achieving these goals.

Then I speculate, I will be fulfilled.