Category Archives for "Personal Growth"

Personal growth is your life work.

Life Distractions

What keeps us from doing all that we want? Many say that personal
growth and development and self awareness are our number one
priorities in life, yet most spend very little time and attention
towards this end. Some people do not realize how important it is to
continually grow, in fact they may not even realize they can. Many
people know that they can continue to grow, develop and become more
self aware, but they don’t do much about it.

And then there are those few that seem to be able to actively keep
moving forward on their life path. Why? They allow their thinking
to focus on their enlightenment, on how they think and act on a
regular basis, not just once in a while. They are able to let their
mind calm down and get quiet, allowing the chatter to fade away.
They are willing to allow their fears, doubts and worries to be
present in their thought, knowing that these thoughts can’t
actually harm them – knowing that avoidance just postpones not
eliminate.

There are different reasons why we all don’t actively participate
in our own personal enlightenment, but one of the main reasons is
due to distraction. The human mind can actually do only one thing
at a time, those of you that think otherwise are just good at
rapidly switching from one focus to another. So what we choose to
think about determines much of our life experience. In relation to
distraction, when we think about is something that helps us feel
comfortable or think we should be doing because of our life
responsibilities we are not focusing on growth and self
realization.

Now I’m not here to tell you what is and is not important in your
physical life, but I know that you need to apply some of your time
and attention to your inner growth which includes how you think and
act. So what keeps you from doing this you may not even be aware
of. Since it is normal for humans to seek happiness, which we
equate to comfort, we tend to avoid uncomfortable thinking and
feelings. And we do this in many ways, some are our daily
activities. We may not be aware of how our daily activities can be
getting the way of our growth and self-realization

Things you may do to avoid discomfort:

Listening to music
Listening to talk radio
Watching TV
Playing video games
Reading
Games
Hobbies
Cleaning
Tinkering
Socializing
Hold on! You say, “these are normal things.”

Yes they are, but they can all be used as a distraction. And only
you can know what role they play in your life. Like anything,
moderation is usually the best.

There are two situations you may be avoiding.

1)If you tend to go to any activity when you feel
uncomfortable, you are probably escaping. Sure you will feel better
doing something you are familiar with, but this behavior can just
postpone what you are avoiding or even make it worse. What I’m
referring to here relates to more discomfort than simple relaxation
and enjoyment.

2)One of the biggest things you may be doing without
knowing it is avoiding real thinking. This is when you are
uncomfortable with allowing your mind to run through the incessant
mind chatter, which shakes your worries and doubts in your face, to
the point where your mind is clear.

Life requires balance, and what I have found is that for most, any
self-growth is pushed into a small corner receiving only spare time
attention – sometimes. Are you running in circles doing the same
things each day and not seeing any change? Are you frustrated with
your life? There could be an initial feeling of discomfort when you
choose to allow yourself to think freely and not choose a
distraction, but this will pass. Using methods of relaxation and
meditation will help.

If you want more for yourself take a look at what you do and why
you do it. Take a look at what you do everyday towards your own
personal growth and development, to what you are doing towards
self-realization.  Only you can know if you are using activities to
avoid something that is actually more important. Choose to set
aside time to just relax and think – this is how you can get in
touch with your inner self on a more regular basis.

The choice of how you spend your time is yours and the result is
your life experience.
John Halderman,
Tips and tools for daily personal growth, increased happiness and
self-discovery. http://www.effectivepersonaldevelopmentblog.com

 

 

When Will You Be Too Old To Live Your Dreams?

Have you written off your dreams because you think you are too old?

Think about this, more and more Olympic athletes are over 30 and some over 40. The 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing China has more athletes over 30 participating than any time in history. Do you realize how difficult it is to make the Olympic team in a country with a lot of athletes trying to get on the team and where there are many young athletes competing for the positions?                      Dara Torres 2008 Olympics

Dara Torres, 41-year-old swimmer for the USA, just got two Silver medals and she out swam her much younger competitor during the last leg of the relay. She has successfully balanced the rigorous training needed with being the mother of a 3-year-old daughter.

Ekaterina Karstan 2008 OlympicsEkaterina Karsten of Belarus, competing in the women’s single skull rowing, brings home a bronze medal and she is 36. This is her 4th Olympics, she has won three gold’s and one silver in this event in those efforts proving she has remained in top shape for many years.

Romania’s Constantina Tomescu is 38 and just won the gold in the women’s marathon. In Contantina Tomescu 2008 Olympicsfact at the halfway point she was in 26th place before she gathered speed to end up finishing almost two and a half minutes ahead of the second place finisher. She finished 20th in the 2004 Olympics but has improved steadily in the last four years as she has gotten older in age.

Oksana Chusovitina the 33 year old German gymnast received a silver medal on the vault. My two Oksana Chusovitina 2008 Olympicsdaughters were both involved in competitive gymnastics, I know how physicaly brutal this sport is. She has stated that if she is able to qualify for the next Olympics she will, she will be 37. She said, “if I can I’ll do a sixth Olympics.” Is she giving up on what she loves? She says, “I don’t feel 33, I feel 18.” She not only made the German team, she took 3rd place amongst all competitors, most of which are about 16 years old!

Jason Lezek, the US swimmer who helped Michael Phelps win the two team relays, is 32 swimming againstJason Lezak 2008 Olympics athletes 10 to 15 years younger. He has shown that he can still compete in finals in the Olympics as well as other international events.

The ability of athletes continuing to compete at such a high level as they age can be attributed to several factors; more financial support for athletes, better sports medicine, more understanding about diet, but mental perspective and determination is at the foundation of it all. It definitely can become more difficult physically to train as a person gets older and the drive to continue must be strong. But the decisions you make based on your perceptions are the determining factor to what you will motivate yourself to do.

These older athletes are redefining what is possible as we get older. Their success shows what we are capable of when we have the vision, motivation and determination. More importantly is shows that more people are able to see themselves in this role as they continue to get older. When you can see something as possible you are more likely to find the ways to bring it about.

The demise of ones abilities begins with their perception of what is possible and not possible. So often people fall into the mental trap of thinking they are too old for something or that it is not appropriate for an older person. This is just not the case in all instances. Your physical abilities and mental drive is governed by your perceptions of what is possible, what you ‘should’ be doing and many times the influence of others.

This concept does not just apply to sports, any endeavor that you have stopped allowing yourself to see as possible is not necessarily dead, unless you condemn it in your mind. Take time to assess your deep wants and desires and rather than staying with restrictive perceptions, take a fresh look at it. You will discover that many times it is your own mental decisions that have stopped your progress and squelched your dreams, not your actual abilities.

Harland (Colonel) Sanders did not even start franchising his chicken until he was 65 years old, you may have heard of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

What is really possible for you ‘if’ you were to follow your dreams without telling yourself no?

John Halderman
More life changing concepts at Effective Personal Development Blog

 

The Power of Written Gratitude

Are you actively expressing gratitude every day? You should be. Expressing gratitude is one of the most powerful acts you can do to support your personal growth. There are always even minor things around and in your life that you can start to feel grateful about. The act of focusing on what you are thankful for places those things to a high value in your mind. And what you think about greatly affects your life.

Is your gratitude as potent as it can be? We know that thoughts are powerful, but what is even more powerful? Thought that has emotion added and focused thoughts are far more powerful than plain thought. This is why we tend to see more of what we fervently dislike in our lives, because there are strong emotions attached to the thoughts.

So how do we add emotion and focus to thoughts about gratitude? Write down your thoughts, in a gratitude journal, to engage more of your senses. Your mind is using many more brain cells with the act of writing, thus more of your brain is engaged.

First, Your emotions will greatly increase when there is more brain involvement. And your brain will better be able to link multiple related positive thoughts to your gratitude statements enhancing positive emotional feelings. The number and strength of the neural connections in your brain actually increase with the added activity with writing. The more attention given to anything, the more it will affect your life. The addition of positive emotions will supercharge your gratitude.

Second, your mental focus is enhanced as it takes more of your mind to do the writing. Your mind is pumping out thoughts all the time, how would it know that you want specific thoughts to be more important than all that chatter? You add this importance by giving the thoughts more attention. Writing down what you are grateful for and allowing your related emotions to develop clearly moves other thoughts out of your awareness. You can truly only think one thought at a time. The act of writing helps keep you from bouncing from thought to thought. Gratitude thinking is the kind of thought you want to spend your time with, it is positive and uplifting. 

Start a gratitude journal. It can be anything from a fancy hardbound journal to a simple spiral notebook, all you need is blank space to write. With a physical journal it is easier to set up a routine to use it, and it is easy to review when you want a little boost or motivation. You can establish a time of the day to pick up your gratitude journal and express your thoughts and feelings. This helps create a good habit that you will follow over time.
John Halderman

More on Gratitude, Effective Personal development Blog

You Are Always A Success Whether You Like It Or Not

Are you trying to be successful at something, or with
several areas in your life? This is a characteristic normal
for us human creatures, to feel good about our abilities
and accomplishments. We seem to be continuously striving
for something more to feel good about. We so often think
that we are not doing or being what we want.

When actually, it’s not a matter of finding out ‘how’ to
have success in your life, but rather how and where to
direct your success. The problem is not, not being a
success. The thing is you actually already are very
successful every day, but maybe not at what you would like.

You are successfully living your life, your body is
functioning and you are thinking about something every day,
all day.  Now if you weren’t having any thoughts at all, I
would be concerned.  And since you are thinking about
something, you are receiving the fulfillment of those
thought requests without fail. 

The universe doesn’t fail itself, and since you are a part
of it you will not be failed either.  Just as a plant seed
always gets what it requests, so do you. So then why don’t
you get everything you think you want? You want it so you
must be requesting it right.

Well, again you actually are getting everything that you
are requesting.  I know it seems like I’m taking you in a
circle here but think about this for a moment, how do you
know what a tulip has requested from the universe? Well,
the tulip would not be a tulip if it had requested
something else. The way to tell what has been requested is
by the evidence that is present. 

bulb_tulip.jpg

Then, the other aspect you have is your mental capacity to
reason, think and choose.  Sure some other creatures have a
little of this aspect but nothing like we do.  A cat can
decide to seek out a warm sunny spot to lay in, but it
can’t learn a new trade or change the way it perceives
things like you can. This second mental ability is one
where you decide what is in the seed – your seed. You have
the ability to design what the seed will request from the
universe, let’s call it your ‘creative seed’. 

Now this part is important to understand, just like the
tulip seed and your physical body, your ‘creative seed’ is
always activated with the universe.  This means the
universe is constantly reading your request within your
‘creative seed’, thus it is always responding in kind. Here
is the scary part, your thoughts, all of them, are the
‘creative seed’ which is a continuous active request link
to the intelligent universe.  So everything you are
thinking is your ‘creative seed’ whether you are or are not
consciously aware of it. 

This is why it is so critically important to make it your
main objective all day every day to discover what you are
thinking and adjust it to be congruent with that which best
serves what you want in your life. When you may say that
you want something, but all the while your inner thoughts
are pointed elsewhere and your behavior is reinforcing
something else, your ‘want’ doesn’t hold much weight in the
request seen by the universe. Your predominant thoughts and
actions are so strong; the universe can’t hear what you
really want.

You are right now completely successful at what you have
invested your thoughts and energies to, even if you are not
totally aware of them. Your experience in life has a direct
correlation to what you think about and feel strongly about
most of the time. There is an exact relationship to the
percentage of time you allot to any thoughts and your life
experience.

So if you want to be successful at something other than
what you are successful at today, you will need to devote a
higher percentage of your thoughts, feelings and energies
in ways that are more in alignment with these desires. Just
occasional lip service will not do.

All of your thoughts combined are what is included inside
of your ‘seed’ that the universe works to fulfil for you.
So ask yourself, “How much of the volume or space in the
seed is taken up with what I deeply want and how much of it
is what I don’t want, don’t like, put up with or just
complain about?” You are constantly creating this seed, and
from this you are completely successful based on what’s in
it.

To change this, you will need to take command of your
everyday thinking, choose to have more of your thoughts,
feelings and actions be congruent with your deep desires.
Using your valuable thought time to complain, ridicule,
doubt, worry, feel angry, resent someone, and many other
negative type thoughts, just steal time you can be filling
your ‘seed’ with what you really want. Plus, you will just
get more in your life to complain, resent, worry about and
all the rest – is that what you really want?

Some people have actually kept track, in time, of their
thoughts all day long in order to discover what percentage
of time they devote to certain ideas. With this you can
discover what undesirable thinking you want to replace with
the aligned thinking you want.

Take command of your thinking now by aligning more of your
thoughts with your deepest desires, you will see your
feelings and actions follow suit, then your life experience
will too. Choose what you are successful at by redirecting
the same tools and power you now use to get what you now
have.  
John Halderman

 

Don’t Wait For A Hole In the Plane

I’m sure you have heard about the Qantas Airways Flight 30 jet that had to make an emergency landing at the Manila International Airport shortly after leaving Hong Kong while in route to Melbourne, Australia. It was discovered that there was a large hole in the fuselage and a this point no explanation has been given as to how it happened, although it’s not likely caused by a terrorism act. All the passengers are fine and were very calm during the unknown course of actions needed to get the plane down safely in Manila. This is just the event that can trigger your personal growth and development. Have you ever been in a situation where your life is quite possibly in imminent jeopardy? If you have, you will know first hand how you quickly go through an awakening, which commonly includes ’seeing your life flash before your eyes’. You all of a sudden see yourself and your life from a different perspective. It is much like the perspective many people come to when they are at the place of imminent death from old age or illness. They are able to see in a new light many of their long held feelings, thoughts, and perspectives from a more ‘outside looking in’ point of view. When you are living ‘in’ your life you have a harder time taking an outside view of what you are doing. What you think is important or necessary may not actually be so. Your perspectives and your interpretations of the people, situations and events in your life may not be the most desirable to have to support the life you really want. When your life has evolved as it has, you accept much of it as ‘how it is’ and don’t really look at it as something that can be different.   When an event wakes you up so to speak, you are sort of knocked off kilter a bit and suddenly you are able to see things differently. At this point many people do a lot of reassessment of what is important to them and of their priorities, making changes that are more aligned with their true feelings. As undesirable as the trigger event may be, it can be a wake up call for you to take a look at how you are using your life.   Like at old age when people look back and say, “I should have done this or that, or not have acted that way” and regret what they did for so many years. Why wait the facing of death to reassess your life? You can do it any time you choose. Just because your life has evolved mostly in an automatic way, you don’t have to let it stay that way. You can shift gears and change direction any time you want. The first point is to realize that you can, and you can. You don’t have to be shocked into it, although that can make it quick!   There are many helpful methods and tools available for you to use helping yourself see your life in a new view and then with making any alterations you may choose to make. The second requirement is you must want to change, as your mind will most easily keep doing what it has been doing up to this point so you will need personal motivation to override this. You are intended to continuously change and evolve throughout your life, but many get stuck and don’t realize why they feel unfulfilled and frustrated.   You have your thinking, reasoning and the ability to choose which are your basic tools to navigate your personal evolution through life. Your connections with your inner self and your intuition serve as guidance as you go but can only respond to what you seek. A life unquestioned is a life unchanged except by outside influences. Allowing outside influences to be your only guide, you will be much like the ball in an old style pinball machine bouncing from peg to peg with little to no choice.   Choice is part of your basic equipment, learn how to use it and do so. Don’t wait for some outside event or near death to wake you up, assess your life and how your feel now. What is working and what is no? Everything in the universe is in constant change, what makes you think you can remain the same and feel good about it? You can’t - dissatisfaction, unrest and unhappiness are the result. Rather, learn to navigate the change to best suit the life you are guided from within to live and you will see your happiness and satisfaction increase dramatically.   As you navigate your natural change, as guided from within, you will actually feel more calm and secure than when you were seeking comfort by trying to keep everything the same. Let this latest in air emergency be the catalyst for you to asses your life, don’t wait for something to happen to you. If we can learn from what happens to others, we may not need to experience it ourselves. Your first choice is to take a look at yourself - or not.   John Halderman John Halderman writes and trains in personal growth and development focusing on what can be done daily to enhance your happiness and satisfaction with life through the understanding of how life works, managing your thoughts and purposeful actions. Find out what you can do daily to improve your life. And see the Effective Personal Development Blog for insight, methods and tools for life growth.

Can You Give Up Existing Thoughts and Perceptions?

One of the things that makes it tough to change your thinking is the attachment to existing thoughts. At first you may think that you wouldn’t do such a thing when the new mode of thinking is what you think you want. And of course this is true, but there is the aspect of your mind that loves to hold on to what you know and are familiar with. It’s very much like how a magnet automatically attracts iron and steel. Your existing thoughts seem to have a power of their own. They don’t of course, other than through your allowing them to. But the hard part comes with your not always being aware that these thoughts are even there. Your unconscious mind harbors these thoughts which are integrated into your base mental operating system Two aspects that are very powerful with us humans are the desire for comfort and following the familiar. Even when thoughts are not really in our best interest but are familiar to us, we will gravitate towards them, craving what is known. We generally have a hard time facing the unknown, thus we shy away from it rather more often seeking what is known and comfortable. In our desire to eliminate the unknown, we attempt to define, categorize and organize everything to put it all into neat order that we can feel comfortable with. This of course can not actually be done. In reality everything is in constant change, but because we are generally uncomfortable with new and different, we seek the known no matter how inappropriate it may be for us. This is also why thoughts and actions that don’t serve your best interest are so readily held onto and acted upon automatically in your unconscious mind. “Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.” — Glenda Cloud Part of your mind is trying to help you feel comfortable by building a database of what you have already experienced and use this as often as possible to help you feel good. One of the basic human drives is to feel good and our unconscious mind is geared to help accomplish this. I know, how can doing something that is harmful such as a bad habit be comfortable? It can in the sense that it is known. It is more comfortable than what you have not done before because at least it is known to you. As you know many people will hang on to some very destructive habits without knowing why. This is one of the main reasons why change is so difficult. For the most part you are unaware of this mental activity as your unconscious mind efficiently streamlines many of your thought processes. Don’t get upset with your brain, it’s just doing it’s job. Just imagine if you had to consciously think about everything your mind did - you wouldn’t have time to do anything above your basic life support, if that. “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” — Abraham H. Maslow Our unconscious mind, much like a computer operating system, performs many functions without our need to be aware of them. But also like a computer program, your automatic brain functions can be altered. As a programmer can go in and change a program such as Microsoft Word and get it to perform different functions, you can change many of your basic thoughts, feelings and perceptions that automatically guide your behavior. The question is - are you willing to face your basic comfort seeking programming in order to experience something new and different in your life? You must choose to step into the unknown, into what is new to you and away from what you have been deriving some comfort from. On the surface this seems and feels unnatural - but it’s not. Learning to face and accept the uncertainty of the unknown releases your ability to change your lot in life, realize your potential and increase your happiness. Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” This applies here with your perceptions about the unknown, comfort and feeling good. When you change how you look at change, the unknown, anything new, you can affect your related behavior and how your automatic unconscious mind tries to keep you away from it. Your life is designed to continuously develop with you becoming more of what you are capable of as you go along. When you allow yourself to shy away from change you are actually stopping this free flow of growth. When you see something new as being somewhat painful because it is different, this is a perception - a choice. Something new and different does not come with discomfort attached that is your doing. Nothing comes with perceptions or emotional feelings attached - that is all of our doing. One of the most powerful self-help methods is totally free. Ask yourself questions, the right questions. Your subconscious will seek to answer your serious heartfelt questions. And questions can be used to assist with changing the way you perceive the unknown and change so that you welcome it rather than avoid it. Ask yourself, “How can this be beneficial to me?” “How can this be more beneficial than remaining as I have for so long?” “How can this, new and different activity, better support the life I want?” The questions you can ask are endless. It will take a little practice to figure out what to ask, just keep playing with it - having the intent of creating effective questions you will discover the right questions for your situatuion. You will also likely need to learn to listen for the answers. Quieting the incessant mind chatter is necessary and can be done in various ways such as breathing and meditation. Another angle for questions is to ask yourself why you feel as you do about change, comfort, happiness, new and different to see if you can get clarity into your perceptions about them. This then allows you to see what you don’t want which then leads to the opposite, what you DO want. Take the position mentally that something new and different is basically good and beneficial, ask questions seeking how this is. Rather than your old way of looking at change as uncomfortable and undesirable. Look for the benefits, not the detriments - this is a change of perception. Your emotional feelings will follow your perceptions, you will feel different about change when you look at it differently. Be proactive with how you look at things, choose the perceptions that best support the life you are meant to live. Just because you have had a certain perception now does not mean you must keep it forever. The first step is to change the way you look at change. “Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.” — Herbert A. Otto John Halderman John Halderman teaches and writes in the areas of personal growth and development focusing on effective methods for self actualization, increased satisfaction and happiness. For more: http://www.effectivepersonaldevelopmentblog.com http://www.designalifesystem.com

Be A Magnet For What You Want

Another article in the ‘Daily Action For Self Improvement’ series, articles focusing on the personal development and growth actions you can take daily to support a high level of happiness and satisfaction in your life. In looking what you can do each day to support what you want in your life - check your thinking throughout the day. Ask a simple question of yourself, “Am I a magnet for what I want?” You see, your predominate thoughts direct your magnet. Unfortunately, spending a lot of time thinking about what we don’t want seems to be the norm. But doing this just defines your creation magnet - so you are essentially requesting more of what you don’t want. You do this when you re-play in your head; What you don’t like, What you are upset about, What you worry about, What you are afraid of And, this is so easy to do, it is automatic. But it doesn’t have to be. You can stop and shift ‘thought gears’ whenever you want. The first option is to switch your focus onto something, anything that you can feel good about. Get yourself to delve into this topic for a while to divert your attention. It is easier to replace thought with another thought than it is to try to get yourself to just stop the current thinking. Replace your thought with something desirable. A second option when you catch yourself stuck in ‘the negative thought spiral’ is to look for the opposite of what you are thinking. Usually at the opposite of a dislike is something you would want. Identify this and place your focus on it, allowing yourself to feel better. Wherever your mind is - you are seeking more, even if it is what you don’t want. So, train yourself to not remain in that state of whirling around in what you don’t want - use that to look for the opposite, what you do like. Or even just switch to thinking about anything to get your mind into a happier place. To get yourself to begin to notice more often what you are thinking about try this: Get a 3 x 5 card to take with you for the day. Write on it - “What am I thinking about right now?” “Does it make me happy?” “What else can I be thinking?” Keep this where you will see it often. It’s good to put it somewhere where you will accidentally notice it without thinking about it. This helps you catch yourself off guard so you can take notice of your thoughts. Using a tool like this can help you to learn to take more notice to what you are thinking all the time. When you are aware of your thoughts, you can decide if you want to change them. John Halderman John Halderman teaches and writes in the areas of personal growth and development focusing on effective methods for self actualization, increased satisfaction and happiness. For more: http://www.effectivepersonaldevelopmentblog.com http://www.designalifesystem.com

Do You Start More Than You Finish?

Another article in the ‘Daily Action For Self Improvement’ series, articles focusing on the personal development and growth actions you can take daily to support a high level of happiness and satisfaction in your life. How many things have you began and put aside before completing? If you can answer, “many”, you are a ’starter’. Do you have a tendency to get excited about doing something, begin it, then soon get sidetracked by interest in somewhat new. This can be any type of project, a new career or job, a hobby, a business idea, even a relationship - whatever, just anything that gets put aside when your interest clings to something new. If you can relate to this, you are also perhaps quite frustrated with the lack of money, satisfaction and happiness in your life. What’s the problem? You try so hard; you are always involved with or working on something yet you don’t see the results you initially desire. What is going on with this repetitive cycle you are stuck in? * You do not have a clear course in your life to act as a beacon keeping you on track. * You don’t have a clearly defined set of specific goals, targets or a vision to serve as benchmarks in your progress. * You are not managing your time properly nor sticking to appropriate tasks. * Allowing your focus to bounce around shows you are not fully committed to a big picture. * You are not benefiting emotionally from the reward and satisfaction of accomplishment. * Your personal confidence is likely not how it ought to be. * Your frustration level is damaging to your personal power, energy and motivation. * You are likely to be questioning or even doubting your ideas and decisions. Now look at what a success cylce can be like. The fact that you are bouncing your attention from idea to idea indicates that you are not aware enough of your purpose. Your purpose is what you are here to do to serve the universe and your work supports this when directed properly. Discovering or getting a better sense of your purpose in life gives you a specific direction to focus much of your attention. From this you will be better able to decide where to place the focus of your thought and the energy of your actions. Seeing and feeling your purpose will reveal a deep intent and a strong motivation. You should feel strongly like you are on a mission. This helps you to remain focused and on task. You will have the inner strength and conviction to take command of your thinking, directing your thoughts and actions towards supporting your mission. The questioning and doubting mentioned above comes up when your inner self is hampered by your conscious attempts to seek happiness and satisfy your ego mind. Without consciously knowing your direction you will not be giving your all to what you should be focused on. You can actually cause your inner guidance to be clouded to your perception, not receiving it’s full benefit. When you determine a direction based on your purpose you can more appropriately set up the steps and focused actions that will support this. You don’t need to know every step in the beginning, just enough to get yourself going and more is revealled as you go. Through your inner guidance, intuition and conscious thought details are exposed as you are immersed in the process. If you sit back and attempt to figure it all out ahead of time before starting you will remain stuck. You must begin, in trust, taking steps forward in order to discover the next steps.. You will see the way forward as you procede in the right direction. Accomplishing some goals or targets along the way definately gives your confidence and motivation a boost. This is crucial in keeping your energy and interest at a high level. Continued accomplishment and motiovation supports willingness to do what is necessary. Daily planning and refocusing on the specific tasks to be accomplished each day is important to keep yourself from getting mired in daily life. You must have an intention and the burning desire behind it every day in order to trigger the self-discipline to stick to it, as it is so easy to get distracted amid everyday things that do not directly support your purpose. You can be busy all day and not get done anything that you had set out to if you are not diligent. Time management is critical to your overall satisfaction and progress, there is not time to do everything you can think of in a day. Learn to be selective with the thoughts you hold and the activities you are involved in so that you are not merely getting moved by life but rather focusing on your desires. This should be reinforced with daily reminders of your purpose, intent and goals. Set up a daily plan for your activities every day, be determined to stay on course, and check yourself often, it’s very easy to veer away. If supporting your purpose includes several things, know that you can’t do everything at once. One thing accomplished provides far more motivation than 3 things half-done. Determine the method and order that projects will be done and commit to when they are to be completed. Focus your focus and atttention to the first or most vital step then go through the list - you are now on a mission. You will soon develop the positive habit of the success cycle. Your personal development is your responsibility, take control of your scattered thought and find the key to focused attention. Happiness and satisfaction are the result of purposeful accomplishment. John Halderman is a trainer and writer dedicated to assisting people with ideas, methods and tools to help them do, be and feel better enhancing their overall happiness and satisfaction. Get the guide detailing many activities you can use to daily support your personal development and growth. Websites: http://www.designalifesystem.com http://www.effectivepersonaldevelopmentblog.com

The Justification Trap

Have you ever allowed yourself to do something that you really should not have?

The human mind is a wonderful thing, however, it can work against you if you allow it to.

Is can be beneficial to understand how this can happen so you can prevent it, keeping yourself out of undesirable situations.

Last week, in my family we experienced a situation that is a good example of how the mind can lead us astray – if we let it.

My youngest daughter came to a point of thinking something was OK to do, when it was not.

It appears that her path of thought was supported more by her desire to do something rather than all the facts.

She justified, in her mind, that certain things occurred in ways that supported her desire.

The mind can do this easily.

This allowed her to make decisions that further supported what she wanted.

It’s a normal function of the mind that it tries to find solutions that support our desires – this is how we grow, develop and fully experience our life.

You may have noticed how your mind may attempt to circumvent your values in an attempt to take the shortest route to producing your desire.

You support this line of thinking when you take a small step allowing your mind to guide you to think something is acceptable now when previously it was not.

It’s usually a small step, but then another small step, and another and so on.

And you will find yourself doing something you shouldn’t.

This is where you may say something to yourself like;

“It will be OK this time”, or

“They didn’t tell me not to”, or

“But I really want this”, or

“Who will know”, or

“Just this once”, or

You may recall some of your own.

Here is where you need to be in command, to temper the minds tendency to give you what you want- no matter what.

This is an opportunity for you to solidify your standards and principles.

Every time you stop your mind from taking the shortest route to give you what you want, you strengthen the position of your values.

Even when you think you have developed habits that are based on your principles, still be on the watch for what you are doing.

Keep monitoring your thoughts and actions, your unconscious mind can slip into finding the easiest way to accomplish your desires without telling you – that’s how it’s built.

Don’t take for granted that you are all set with your thinking.

Change is constant with new and different circumstances coming before you that need your interpretation.

Continue to filter everything through your principles.

Justification is just a convenient way to circumvent your principles in order to get what you want.

Justification turns off the filtering mechanism you use to interpret what you do.

Vigilant thought management is the key.

John

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your

words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.” — Anonymous

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.” — Heraculitus

“The character ethic, which I believe to be the foundation of success, teaches that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.” — Stephen Covey

“Character and personal force are the only investments that are worth anything.” — Walt Whitman

Questions Expand Your Mind

Asking yourself questions is one of the best ways to get an answer.

Well, yes – that statement is obvious – but do you really get it?

Follow me here a minute – –

How many times do you let something undesirable continue to go on and on?

Why is this?

Part of the reason is that you may allow yourself to stew over something and replay the distasteful aspects over and over.

This mental activity does not support doing anything productive to find a solution or termination of the situation.

It actually just perpetuates or even enhances it.

I’ll bet you can easily think about some situations where you.

So, think again about situations where you have moved through into a solution or beneficial outcome.

What did you do to get to this point?

You asked yourself questions – didn’t you.

This may still seem too basic to you – what is he getting at?

OK, you move on with some change by asking yourself a question.

Why did this happen?

Who did this?

What do I do now?

How can I fix this?

You get the idea.

Aren’t movement, understanding and change always based on a question?

The point I am making here is that you will stay repeating the same thoughts and actions until you ask a question.

So then this leads to the fact that the beneficial outcome is based on the kind of questions you ask yourself.

Questions that probe deeper and deeper are the ones that are most valuable.

Questions that are bases on continually asking a question and being aware of the various answers you receive.

Questions that carry on from an answer you get.

Questions that continue to ask why – again and again – not just stopping at the first answer.

The quality of the outcome is directly related to the quality of the questions you ask.

This is related to a very basic concept – that there is always a new idea coming out of an existing one.

One idea leads to another.

Think about it – when you get an understanding about something, there are now new possibilities available that weren’t before.

The key here is that asking a question is the way that you seek that next understanding that builds upon the previous idea.

If you don’t ask – you remain with what you have.

Your unconscious mind may tend to resist this kind of probing questions if you are not accustomed to doing this.

Your mind will tend to just want to repeat what it has been doing.

This is where you will need to exercise your command over your thinking ability.

Learning to step aside from a situation to purposefully ask yourself questions with the purpose of developing new perspectives and understandings is a very valuable skill.

This stepping aside, quieting your chattering mind and asking questions is a skill that must be practiced frequently if you are to get it to be a normal part of your behavior.

You can only override your existing habitual ways of thinking by developing a new pattern.

One idea leads to another – and another, and so on.

Keep asking questions and you will find that you will get more and more appropriate and useful answers revealed to you.

You will learn to be receptive to more answers that come from your inner self and universal intelligence.

Be open to the feelings and varying ways answers are conveyed to you.

This is growth in action.

. . . On purpose.

John

“Every clarification breeds new questions.” — Arthur Bloch

“Asking the proper question is the central action of

transformation… Questions are the key that cause the secret

doors of the psyche to swing open.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estes

“The answers you receive depend upon the questions you ask.” — Thomas Kuhn

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” — Albert Einstein

“The word question is derived from the Latin quarrier (to seek) which is the same root as the word for quest. A creative life is a continued quest, and good questions can be very useful guides.

Most useful are open-ended questions; they allow for fresh

unanticipated answers to reveal themselves.” — Source Unknown

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” — Decouvertes