Hey all! It's been a hectic weekend and few days as I balance the firehouse schedule and my sick 2o-month-old daughter. Many things in life will break your heart, and one of them is undoubtedly seeing your little one go through a rough patch in their life. However, through it all, I've kept a positive mindset and spoke words of healing to my little one because as many of us know, what you put out into the universe through your thoughts and words will come back to you. Many call this prayer, and others call it the power of energy, either way, what you speak and think will have a significant influence on the outcome of things in your life. With this in mind, I would like to share five ways you can boost success rates in life.
1) Self Talk
What you say to yourself has a significant influence on how you perceive yourself and the situation around you. What you say about who and what you are will begin to develop as a subconscious image of yourself. This self-image will, in turn, determine how you behave or perform which will affect and stimulate your self-talk all over again. This vicious cycle can only be broken in one way, and that is to change the way you think, talk and write from a negative perception, to the positive reality you want to live. This is why we often hear people say, "Things always happen to me" or "Why do these things always happen to me?" When we begin to say such things like "I'm going to bomb this interview," the chances are that that very thought is going to be circling your mind throughout the interview. Don't limit your thoughts to negative perceptions or assumptions, instead expand your thoughts to think and speak only about the way you want things to be. "I will do great on this test" "I will ace this interview" "I will do my best to eat healthy this day/ this week..." Self-talk goes a long way!
2) Live by the Four Agreements
Author Don Miguel Ruiz wrote an internationally influential book called "The Four Agreements" based on Toltec wisdom. Ever since I read this book, I've done my best to follow its principles and have had a smoother time on this ride called life. If you follow these four agreements, you will begin to think, talk and live with integrity and the energy you surround yourself with will boost your way towards personal intellectual and spiritual freedom. Here they are below:
"Be Impeccable with Your Word- Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love."
"Don't Take Anything Personally- Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own area. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
"Don't Make Assumptions- Find there courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life."
"Always Do Your Best- Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret."
3) Improve your Responses to Situations
Thing will happen in life, the good, the bad, the joyful, the heartbreaking and everything in between. These "things" in life are called "Events." When we receive happy events in life, all is good, life is great, and we are high in life. However, what happens when the negative events happen in our life? How do we get an Outcome we want even when these things happen? Dr. Robert Resnick, a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, talks about a formula called E+R=O (Event+Response= Outcome). This formula was later adopted by New York Times bestselling author Jack Canfield who speaks thoroughly about this formula in his book "The Success Principles" (Which I recommend you read). You can blame the event (E) for the outcome (O) all you want. However, if everyone would blame events for the outcome in life, no-one would be successful. For example, if Dr. Martin Luther King blamed the events around his time for the outcome of how civil rights were, he wouldn't have been so influential. Instead what Dr. Martin Luther King did was change his response/ thinking/ communication/ mental pictures. Instead of letting the Event be the deciding factor, he changed his response to achieve the outcome he was aiming for. Simply put, if you don't like the outcome of events in life, simply change your response to those events to get the outcome you want. Three things in life we can control: Our thoughts, the images we visualize, our behavior/ actions we take. You are in Control!
4) Intention, Intention, Intention!
I wake up every day, I pick up my Five Minute Journal (You can get it on Amazon), and I begin my day by writing my intentions. What is intention? Definition search and you will find answers such as: "a determination to act in a certain way. A process or manner of healing of incised wounds. Purpose, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal mean, what one intends to accomplish or attain. A little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about" In other words, what do you want to accomplish? What do you want from life? What will you do today to achieve those goals? The short-term goals, the long-term goals? There is a well-known phenomenon previously studied by Albert Einstein regarding our thoughts and how they are made up of energy. Mr. Einstein experimented with this during his research with quantum mechanics. In a nutshell, quantum mechanics states that something that is triggered in one place can trigger a reaction in another place, even on the other side the world for example. If you want to read more about experiments regarding this energy, pick up the book Thoughts through Space. So what does all this have to do with intention? What you put out into the universe via the way you think and speak, will come back to you sooner or later. With this principle in mind, write down your intentions in the morning as soon as you wake up. Ask for what you want and not for what you don't want. Remember if you are putting thoughts into what you don't want, that very thing you are thinking about not wanting will come back to you. For this reason only write, think and talk about what you want. Replace any thoughts of negative origin with positive ones, this way only positive energy will be going out from you and returning to you. Once you write down your intentions for the day, go out and take steps through it. You can't just write it down and expect things to come to you. You have to take actions towards these intentions as well. Finally, before you go to sleep, write down all the good things that happened to you and prepare your mind for the next day. Think, Talk, and Write with positive intention!
5) Surround Yourself with Like-Energy
Ever heard the term "Birds of a Feather flock together"? I wholeheartedly believe this is such an important aspect of our self-development. If you surround yourself with people who are always talking negative, gossiping and engaged in self-destructive habits, chances are it will eventually be your way of life as well. Now, there's one "but" here. If you are a positive source of energy and productivity to a negative or destructive person/ group, then this reverses itself into "them" following your lead. When I was growing up, my mother warned me about my current best friend. She told me "He's a bad influence for you" I usually didn't talk back to my Puerto Rican mom with a fast chancleta hand, but I responded by saying "Why does he have to be a negative influence on me? Why can't I be a positive influence on him". Years later, we are still best friends, and he is one of the greatest exemplary dads I know. If you are simply surrounded yourself by constant opposing energy, be warned. If you want to be a successful business person, surround yourself with successful business people. If you want to be a successful student, surround yourself with students aiming at being successful as well. If you want to be fit and healthy in a balanced life, surround yourself with people with the same goals of health and fitness as you. This is a well-known principle of many successful people. Vince Lombardi, a famous NFL coach with the Green Bay Packers, once said, "Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence." Oprah Winfrey said, "Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." World-renowned marine artist Wyland said, "There are two types of people- anchors and motors. You want to lose the anchors and get with the motors because the motors are going somewhere and they're having fun. The anchors will just drag you down."